The Professional Lifeline

Accountants’ Defence and Advisory Services Limited

The Professional Lifeline

Concerning complaints, regulatory and disciplinary cases, through a team of professional advisers. We also advise on technical matters, ethics, difficult clients and negligence claims and provide guidance for accountants.

Response from a member (January 2019)

“Complaints are inevitable. The key point is how each Complaint is handled. Three times I have asked ADASL to advise me on a Complaint. Each Complaint has been dealt with patiently and thoroughly; all concluding ‘No Further Action’ with no criticism of me. Most helpfully ADASL’s package includes consultation with a specialist firm of lawyers and an insolvency regulation expert. I recommend ADASL to all in Practice; a knowledgeable & supportive friend when you really need one.”

ADAS is delighted that, through our intervention, we have resolved each of these three complaints to the member’s satisfaction. Furthermore, there was no adverse finding. In all, we have paid out £7950 in professional fees, on behalf of the member, in respect of these matters.

What is Accountants’ Defence?

A team of specialists who assist members in the UK facing a complaint, disciplinary proceedings, a regulatory problem, a difficult practice issue or a negligence claim and by providing advice generally. In other words, we exist to help you solve your practice problems. Our specialists include two chartered accountants and SWAT, a barrister and three solicitors, all having experience of dealing with complaints, accountants’ disciplinary hearings and practice problems.
For more information about our advisers

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Why use Accountants’ Defence and Advisory Services?



Accountants’ Defence was incorporated in January 2004 by Chris Cope, solicitor (1976). Chris Cope dealt with complaints/discipline at the ICAEW from 1976-1983. Since 1984, he has specialised in accountancy complaints and disciplinary hearings, representing hundreds of accountants before accountancy tribunals.


As we are not a firm of solicitors we are not regulated by the SRA. However, Chris Cope is a solicitor holding a practising certificate and is therefore regulated by the SRA.

Why us?

Practitioners have never been under greater pressure with practice inspection and the internet advising the public how to complain, adding yet more worries. The average ICAEW Investigation Committee fine and costs is now £5000, compared to £6500 for the Disciplinary Committee. The ACCA no longer has an Investigations Committee. Average disciplinary fines/costs now similar to ICAEW.

Blake Morgan LLP (solicitors)

You may decide that Accountants’ Defence is not for you and then, one day, you have a problem. What do you do? Or, you are visiting this website because you do have a problem and are not a member of Accountants’ Defence. Accountants’ Defence won’t give you retrospective cover. What then? You could instruct Blake Morgan LLP. What services do they provide? All of the following:-

*Advice on practice problems

*How to handle difficult clients

*Professional standards


*Rules and regulations of your professional body

*Audit registration


*ICAEW and ACCA consent orders

*Disciplinary proceedings

*Appeal proceedings

*Readmission to membership