On January 9, 2017, ACC submitted a letter to the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in response to regulations including the head of the legal function in the Senior Managers Regime (SMR). ACC argues the effort, aimed increasing accountability in financial institutions, fails to take into consideration the unique position of in-house counsel in ensuring corporate compliance. Including the general counsel in the SMR would weaken the relationships between in-house counsel and their business-colleague clients. First, the SMR would limit the ability of in-house counsel to maintain open dialogue across departments by placing limits on legal privilege. Additionally, the rules add personal liability sanctions upon the allocated Senior Manager, who retains ultimate and overall responsibility over business compliance, which discourages in-house attorneys from offering legal advice.
The ACC letter is available here.