Our Team


Accountants’ Defence and Advisory Services Limited.

Chris Cope

Qualified as a solicitor 1976.
Employed Professional Conduct Department, ICAEW, 1976-1983. Handled numerous complaints at ICAEW.
Was secretary to Investigation Committee.
Prosecuted cases before Disciplinary/Appeal Committees.
1984-1987 ran advisory service for accountants.
1988-October 2013 practised as a solicitor.
Since 1988 acted for hundreds of accountants and represented well over 500 before tribunals.
Established Accountants National Complaint Services Limited in 2013. Sold the company to Blake Morgan LLP, solicitors, in July 2020. Also a director of Accountants’ Defence.
As an Accountants’ Defence adviser, will give accountants advice on disciplinary hearings and represent them before disciplinary (mitigation cases) and regulatory tribunals. May instruct counsel on complex, defended and appeal cases.
Based in North Devon.

Christopher Aylwin

Called to the Bar 1970.
Member of chambers at 3 Paper Buildings, Inner Temple, since 1971.
Represented professional clients in disqualification proceedings under Company Directors’ Disqualification Act.
Represented numerous accountants (chartered/certified) before Disciplinary/Appeal Committees.
Prosecutes on behalf of the Professional Conduct & Complaints Committee of the Bar Council.
Lectures on professional misconduct.
Based in London.


A national firm of solicitors which has acquired Rochman Landau LLP, a former West End of London firm (established 1979).
The firm specialises in giving advice on all aspects of business law and acts for many accountancy firms. Advice is given on debt recovery, debentures, administration orders, liquidations, CVAs, IVAs and retention of title.
The firm also specialises in litigation and is willing to act for accountants or firms of accountants who find themselves involved in complex legal disputes.

Nick Openshaw

Qualified as a solicitor in 1985. City of London trained.
Set up own niche business practice in Devon in 1997.
Extensive experience of professional businesses and clients, including accountants, dentists, doctors, solicitors and vets.
Considerable experience acting for SME clients covering all corporate/commercial areas. Accomplished alliance-builder, with close working relationships with experts in areas including data protection, employee incentives, employment, intellectual property, pensions, planning, property, domestic and international taxation and technology.
Based in North Devon.


Moira Hindson

Chartered Accountant
Moira Hindson FCA MAE MEWI of Moore Kingston Smith LLP. A fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Also a member of the Expert Witness Institute and the Academy of Experts.
A partner since 2002.
Head of Forensic Accounting Services Department. Moira has acted as Expert Witness in many cases involving accountants’ and auditors’ professional negligence, both for the claimant and defendant. Moira also works on cases involving loss of profits and valuation matters.
A member of the firm’s technical committee, and involved in the discussion and resolution of technical issues that arise in connection with the firm’s professional work.
Designated Ethics Partner for Moore Kingston Smith LLP. Co-author of a casebook of professional negligence claims against auditors and accountants and the lessons to be learned from such claims by practising accountants and their advisers.
Based in London.

SWAT UK (now Mercia)

One of the largest providers of accountancy training and consultancy, operating throughout England and Wales including London.
Provides compliance support in the areas of: Audit, Anti money laundering, Practice Assurance / Quality Checked, Financial reporting, Tax Insolvency, Investment business (DPB & FSA) Client money
Provides a comprehensive training programme of accountancy courses in many venues across England and Wales, from staff and student level workshops to CPD level courses.
Has an in-house team of experts who lecture regularly on audit, financial reporting, anti money laundering, practice management and personal development through their public programme, as well as speaking at industry events and providing in-house training.
Writes many industry-recognised publications, including the PCAS and Kestrian audit systems, as well as their own Money Laundering Manual and Practice/Quality Assurance manuals.
Has very strong relationships with the ICAEW, ICAS and ACCA. Principal contact – David Norris BA FCA (director).

David Young FCA

Chartered Accountant
Qualified as a chartered accountant in 1969. After over 20 years in the profession, both in the UK and overseas, joined the Professional Standards Office of the ICAEW in 1992.
Investigated allegations of professional misconduct against members and member firms.
Resolved many complaints without the need for bringing formal disciplinary action.
In more serious cases, prepared written reports to the Professional Conduct Committees.
Has given detailed advice to members to ensure proper consideration is given to compliance with professional and regulatory requirements. As an Accountants’ Defence adviser, will give accountants advice on disciplinary hearings and how to avoid a complaint and, once a complaint is made, how to respond.
Retired from the Professional Standards Office in 2003 and is now in practice as a consultant. Also a director of Accountants’ Defence. Appointed director of Accountants National Complaint Services Limited in October 2013.
Based in Bedford.

David Kerr FIPA

Insolvency Practitioner
Holder of current non-appointment-taker licence.
Over 35 years in the profession.
Professional practice experience with chartered accountancy firms.
Over 20 years in insolvency regulation.
Senior roles in two largest insolvency regulators

  • Senior manager of ICAEW insolvency team
  • CEO of IPA

Investigated many complaints against IPs.
Resolved complaints without need for disciplinary action.
Prepared reports for disciplinary committees.
Instigated system changes to improve processes/ fairness to IPs.
Advised IPs on appropriate responses to professional bodies/ committees.
Unique experience & understanding of insolvency regulation committee dynamics.
Contributory author of complaints gateway and common sanctions guidance.
Consultant Board Member, Lexis Restructuring & Insolvency.
Fellow of IPA.



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.