ACCA case sets precedent

A senior insolvency partner has successfully challenged disciplinary
proceedings brought against him by his institute, in what is thought to be a
case with no precedents.

A High Court judge ruled last week that ACCA had not dealt fairly with David
Mond, a senior partner at insolvency specialists Hodgsons.

Mond argued that charges brought against him had not clearly indicated their
seriousness, a charge that Mr Justice Collins accepted, saying that the charges
were ‘badly drafted’.

The charges related to a creditors’ voluntary agreement from the mid-1990s,
and the allegation that Mond left more than £46,000 from a company’s CVA in a
firm’s current account for 21 months. Mond said he thought he was being charged
with only ‘neglect or incompetence’ and not with ‘misconduct’, which ACCA’s
disciplinary proceedings eventually found him guilty of.

If he had known that was the charge, he might have sought to defend himself
more vigorously, Mond argued. However, the institute’s bye-laws meant that Mond
‘and his advisers were misled by the absence of any specific allegation of
misconduct or impropriety’, the judge said.

Sources said it was extremely unusual to see proceedings challenged in the
High Court, and possibly unprecedented. Mond said that the precedent set by the
case might be used against ACCA by others who had been charged in a similar way.

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