Don’t hide behind NDAs warns law regulator

by |

Don’t hide behind NDAs warns law regulator

Law firms and solicitors have been warned not to hide professional misconduct by using non-disclosure agreements.

The UK’s Solicitors Regulation Authority said this week that any professional misconduct by a person or firm must be reported to the regulator.

Although NDAs are widely used to protect firms’ reputations and commercial interests, the SRA says that they should not be used to prevent reporting of incidents such as sexual misconduct or misconduct to the police or other authorities.

“The public and the profession expects solicitors to act with integrity and uphold the rule of law. And most do. NDAs have a valid use, but not for covering up serious misconduct and in some cases potential crimes,” said Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive Officer.

The regulator says that inappropriate sexual behaviour is often not reported due to cultural issues and the use of NDAs in some firms. It says that just 21 cases were reported to the SRA between November 2015 and October 2017.

PwC Australia determined to close gender pay gap

PwC Australia has published its gender pay gap at a partner level for the first time.

They show that like-for-like work has a zero gap while the overall gap is 16%.

“People have rightly been calling for professional services firms to disclose their partnership pay gap and we are proud to be the first Australian firm to do so today,” said Luke Sayers, CEO of PwC. “Transparency around diversity is one of the key ways we can address the challenges we face and hold ourselves accountable to real change.”

The firm has recently appointed a new chief diversity and inclusion officer who has been tasked with a detailed review of D&I across the firm.

“To achieve greater diversity and inclusion in our senior leadership roles, we are adding a 50% gender target for new promotions and lateral appointments at a Director level. We are also increasing our investment in D&I coaching for our Executive Board members, our Partners and our people,” added Sayers.

Energy partner swaps NRF for WFW

Nick Dingemans has joined Watson Farley & Williams in Singapore as a partner in its oil and gas sector.

He joins from Norton Rose Fulbright in the city state with over 20 years’ experience advising clients on mergers, acquisitions, disposals, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and general corporate/commercial matters.

Australasian Lawyer forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions