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University College London (UCL), Law Faculty Events

Lehman Brothers and the Lawyers: (When) Are Lawyers Ethically Responsible for Client Wrongs?

UCL Faculty of Laws

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (GMT)

Lehman Brothers and the Lawyers: (When) Are Lawyers...

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Event Details

 This seminar will operate under Chatham House Rule

Lehman Brothers and the Lawyers: 
(When) Are Lawyers Ethically Responsible for Client Wrongs? 

 to be delivered by
Professor David Kershaw, LSE 
Professor Richard Moorhead
, UCL 

With discussants 
Professor Joan Loughrey, University of Leeds 
Chris Perrin, Executive Partner and General Counsel, Clifford Chance LLP; Chairman, City of London Solicitors Company Rules & Regulation Committee

Chaired by
Antony Townsend

Chief Executive, Solicitors' Regulation Authority 


on Wednesday 30 January 2013 at 6pm 



(Registration from 17:30, talk will begin at 18:00)
followed by drinks reception



About this event: 
Should transactional lawyers bear responsibility when their competent actions facilitate unlawful activity by their client? Or is a lawyer’s only concern to act in the client’s interest by providing her with the advice and support she seeks? The high profile failure of Lehman Brothers provides a unique opportunity to explore these questions in the context of the provision of a legal opinion by a magic circle law firm. A legal opinion which, although as a matter of law was accurate, was a necessary precursor to an accounting treatment by Lehman Brothers which was described by the Lehman’s Bankruptcy Examiner as ‘balance sheet manipulation’. The article argues that the law’s existing understanding of when consequential responsibility should be imposed on those who assist another’s wrongdoing provides a theory and a tool-kit whose application could and should be extended to the professional regulation of transactional lawyers.


The UCL Centre for Ethics & Law was established in 2009 to reflect the growing need for enhanced collaboration between academics, practicing lawyers and industry, given the fast changing and increasingly interdisciplinary nature of the global issues lying at the intersection between ethics and regulatory compliance. The work of the Centre is resolutely multi-disciplinary and practice-oriented, focusing on a number of current themes including the professional ethics of in-house and external legal counsel, ethics of risk, anti-corruption, global business and human rights, and distributive justice.


with thanks to our donors Norton Rose, Ernst & Young, Shell, BAE,
AstraZeneca, HSBC and Carillion



Have questions about Lehman Brothers and the Lawyers: (When) Are Lawyers Ethically Responsible for Client Wrongs?? Contact UCL Faculty of Laws
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When & Where

UCL Faculty of Laws - Graduate Wing
1-2 Endsleigh Street
WC1H 0EG London
United Kingdom

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (GMT)

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UCL Faculty of Laws

For almost 200 years, UCL Laws has been one of the leading centres of legal education in the world. Recognised as offering an outstanding educational experience to our students, we combine a strong theoretical foundation in the law with practical teaching from world-leading academics and practitioners.


Ranked first in the UK for its research environment, the UCL Laws community of intellectually dynamic scholars responds to today’s global challenges. Through our research, we help to shape government policy, national and international law and its practice. As part of Legal London, we attract the leading figures in the field to contribute to our vibrant programme of events, informing public debate around social, legal, environmental and economic issues.

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Lehman Brothers and the Lawyers: (When) Are Lawyers Ethically Responsible for Client Wrongs?
London Events Conference
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