Philly, London Bar Reps Call for Aggressive Self-Regulation

September 11, 2014 – In The News
Abraham Reich was quoted in the Law360 article “Philly, London Bar Reps Call for Aggressive Self-Regulation.” While the full text can be found in the September 11, 2014, issue of Law360, a synopsis is noted below.

Lawyers must take a forceful action to self-regulate if they want to keep the government from getting further involved in the industry’s standards of conduct, representatives from Philadelphia and London’s bar groups said as the 2014 World City Bar Leaders Convention opened.

Both Reich, former chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and a member of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates, and Alisdair Douglas, the chairman of the City of London Law Society, detailed the risks of ceding oversight responsibilities to an audience of leaders of 16 different bar groups from four continents.

“We, as lawyers, have a responsibility, not only to our clients, but to the wider society, and at limited times, we have a duty to disclose,” Reich said. “Our failure to properly regulate has allowed the federal government’s nose under our tent.”

Reich outlined the steps leading to the 2003 attorney conduct rule adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which obligates lawyers practicing before the commission to report material violations perpetrated by clients.

He said that the federal government’s intervention stemmed from proceedings before the American Bar Association in the early 1980s, which led to the group declaring that attorneys could not report any financial wrongdoing revealed by their clients.