2018 Conference Preview: Good Lawyers Making Bad Decisions

Good Lawyers Making Bad Decisions: Using Risk-focused Regulation to Support the Good and Prevent the Bad


This session explores risk factors and indicators of poor and/or unethical client service, and what the regulator can do to proactively identify and address these factors with the goal of minimizing the risk of future harm, in the public interest.


Victoria Rees – Director of Professional Responsibility, Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, Canada. A lawyer since 1988, and employed with the NSBS for 30 years in a variety of regulatory risk areas including trust assurance, audit, client compensation, complaints investigation and prosecution, and lawyer incapacity. Member of National Discipline Standards and National Model Code of Conduct Liaison Committees, past President of the IBA Professional Ethics Committee, and past VP (Canada) with the US National Client Protection Organization.

Juliet Oliver – holds the roles of General Counsel, Executive Director Case Direction, and case Adjudicator at the Solicitors Regulation Authority. She is a solicitor specialising in public and regulatory law having advised on regulatory and disciplinary policy in a number of sectors including health, social care and law. She is a member of committees of the Law Society of England and Wales, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the General Optical Council.

Hans Vogels – a Netherlands lawyer, graduate in law in 1988 from the Maastricht University, and has contributed to several Bar activities in the Netherlands, i.e. president of the Young Bar Association, auditor, member of the Chamber of Deputies, member of the General Council of the Netherlands’ Bar, and Head of the Netherlands’ delegation to the CCBE. Presently he is President of the local bar of the Limburg region (i.a. Maastricht).

Why is this session of particular interest and to whom?

With our collective mandate to regulate in the public interest, comes the essential requirement that we ensure to the extent possible that those whom we regulate conduct themselves ethically and competently. Regulators must therefore identify, understand and effectively respond to any risks to our ability to achieve this objective. Meaningful regulatory risk management requires a strategic, organization-wide approach that is nimble, well-informed, proactive and proportionate. Regulators without this strategic foundation and commitment are at risk of losing the rights and privileges of an independent regulator.

What particularly do you hope to explore in this session? Any specific questions you hope to answer?

We will explore the following:

  1. What are the indicia of poor, incompetent and/or unethical client service by those we regulate?
  2. What are some of the different models for proactively identifying and preventing incompetent or unethical decision-making by those we regulate?
  3. How do we know whether such models are/will be successful in supporting competent and ethical decision-making by those we regulate?

What is the setting of your session?

Our session will be in the format of presentations by three panelists interspersed with and followed by time for audience engagement and questions.

Brought to you by ICLR.