FSLA Regulatory Decisions Committee & Upper Tribunal Pro Bono Scheme

FSLA Regulatory Decisions Committee & Upper Tribunal Pro Bono Scheme


    The Financial Services Lawyers Association (“FSLA”), with the support of our membership has set up a scheme (the “Scheme”) where qualified lawyers will provide free legal advice to approved persons who are subject to disciplinary action by the Financial Conduct Authority and whose case has been referred to the Regulatory Decisions Committee (“RDC”) or which has been appealed to the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) (“Upper Tribunal”).

    This legal advice relates to any written and oral submissions an authorised or approved person may wish to make to the RDC or Upper Tribunal. If accepted on the scheme, a qualified lawyer will provide you with general legal advice on your case and, if appropriate, with assistance in giving written and oral submissions to the RDC or Upper Tribunal in support of your case.

    How Can I Apply For The Scheme?

    Please send an email to scheme@fsla.org.uk with details of your case. The details should include a short summary of the case, the Financial Conduct Authority’s (“FCA”) allegations against you and your proposed response to them. If possible, please also provide scanned copies of communications between you and the FCA/RDC/Upper Tribunal.

    Please also provide an explanation as to why you are unable to afford to pay for legal assistance in your case. As lawyers in the Scheme are providing a free service, they will prioritise those who are unable to afford legal assistance over those who can otherwise obtain legal advice.

    Your email and any attachments will be reviewed by a panel of lawyers who will consider whether your case is appropriate for the scheme. One of this panel may contact you to get further information about your case.

    The panel will then offer the case to lawyers from the firms supporting the Scheme. Following this, it will inform you whether someone is available to take your case, in which case, that lawyer will contact you directly.

    It will also inform you if no one is available to take your case.

    Why wouldn’t my case be accepted onto the Scheme?

    Your case may not be accepted onto our scheme for a number of reasons. The primary reason may be that there may not be a lawyer available to take on your case because all involved in the Scheme are otherwise busy. We may also decide that you could otherwise afford to pay for legal assistance and accept an individual with lesser means onto the Scheme.

    Generally, given the greater lawyer time commitment for Upper Tribunal cases, it may be more difficult to find available lawyers to assist in appeals before the Upper Tribunal.

    We reserve the right not to accept any person onto the Scheme for any reason.

    Who will represent me on the Scheme?

    If accepted, you will be represented by one or more lawyers from one of the firms and/or chambers supporting the Scheme. Your lawyer(s) will be qualified and have experience in financial services law.

    What will the representation involve?

    Our Scheme only applies where an authorised or approved person has decided to refer a matter to the RDC or appeal a decision to the Upper Tribunal.

    If accepted on the Scheme, your appointed legal counsel will discuss the nature of their representation with you. It could include some or all of: general legal advice, assistance with oral and written representations, and appearance on your behalf at the RDC meeting or Upper Tribunal hearing.

    How much will this cost me?

    The service under the Scheme is provided pro bono (i.e. free of charge) by the lawyers involved.

    Who is involved in the Scheme?

    FSLA is association of financial services lawyers and administers the Scheme. As FSLA merely passes on your details to the relevant law firm which accepts you as a client, you have no legal relationship with FSLA.

    If accepted onto the Scheme, you will be required to sign an engagement letter specific to the law firm which employs your lawyer which will set out the full terms and conditions of your legal relationship with your lawyer.

    I have another question

    Please email scheme@fsla.org.uk and we will be happy to help.