In-house lawyers could be considered senior managers under SMR

Author: Olly Jackson | Published: 9 Jul 2018

If the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) determines in-house lawyers to be senior managers and within the scope of the senior managers certification regime (SMR), this could lead to a surge in whistleblowing and job departures. The decision is yet to be made but if in-house lawyers are to be within the scope of the regime it could fundamentally change their role going forward.

Earlier this week, the FCA published its final rules on the extension to SMCR which will apply to all financial regulated firms. The financial watchdog neglected to decide on in-house lawyers’ fate - a consultation will be held shortly and a decision is expected to be made soon after.

"The decision could change the role of in-house legal," Charlotte Henry, partner at Norton Rose Fulbright said. "If the FCA decides in-house legal are responsible for the advice they give, you may see people reconsider their roles."

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