On 24 October 2018, Switalskis’ Clinical Negligence solicitors myself and Sadie Simpson attended The Law Society’s Ethics Round Table event held in Sheffield. I am on the Law Society Executive Committee for Professional Standards and Ethics.
The event was chaired by Paul Wilson, Head of Regulatory Affairs at the Law Society, with expert academic input from Joan Loughery, Professor of Law at the University of Leeds.
As Sheffield is not normally a venue for the national Law Society events, it was great to see the Society engaging with the city and the discussion that the event produced.
Topics for Discussion Were:
- Are professional ethics under particular pressure at this time?
- How realistic or advisable is it for professionals to admit their own mistakes?
- How can organisations encourage a culture of employees being willing to whistle blow?
- How do lawyers retain the trust of the public in the current environment?
Our Thoughts on Ethics
Acting ethically means acting with integrity and honesty, serving the interests of our clients and in the interests of the administration of justice.
A common theme at the event was that it is important to differentiate between mistakes and ethics. Just because a mistake is made does not mean it is unethical. It is how the mistake is dealt with that is important. We have a strong team working environment and everyone at Switalskis feels comfortable to speak with their colleagues.
Ethics always is and should be at the heart of what a solicitor does.
Ethics are extremely important to us, not only to ensure that we do the best possible job for our clients, but as clinical negligence solicitors we must be mindful that we are seeking redress from the NHS.
Ethics are under pressure with the restriction on legal aid, costs and budgeting are squeezing legal costs. This has a knock on effect to access to justice.
We encourage an ethical culture at Switalskis by supporting each other, particularly our junior lawyers, in making difficult decisions. We are acting in accordance with the rules and we are always open and honest with our clients. We provide realistic, frank advice which clients can appreciate and understand.
A video of the event is available to view on the Law Society website by clicking here.