Mother Knows Best
I’ve learned a huge amount from my mum.
I’ve learned how to cook – not that I get very much time to try it out.
I’ve learned that I hate gardening – she’s very good at it but I don’t have the patience.
I’ve learned some great sayings – “at the end of the day, comes the evening” being one of my favourites.
The best thing my mum taught me was never to take no for an answer. Of course she did live to regret this one on occasions, as I often used it on her rather than with her, but the rest of the time it’s been one of the many great weapons in my armoury, often to the frustration of others.
It is quite common in my profession to be in dispute with bodies that we might feel know best, or at least better than us, so it’s easy to be intimidated in to doing it their way. It might be hard to argue with Judges. Or if the other side say that their barrister says they’ve got a great case, it can take a great deal of courage to refuse to accept what they are saying.
I am involved in a dispute on behalf of a professional client. We are in the midst of court proceedings, when suddenly the other side decided to make a complaint to our client’s regulatory body. The regulatory body decided that they had jurisdiction to investigate, and duly wrote to me and told me what information they wanted, so they could proceed. I pointed out that we were in the middle of proceedings, and that they should wait to see what the Judge decided. The regulator said no, and insisted that he was entitled to the information. They also said that it was for me to prove that the court case and the complaint were the same matter.
At this point you have to make some harsh decisions. If you fight your regulator, it could prejudice them against you in the future. I know we shouldn’t let things like this influence us, but it’s a fact of life. On the other hand, I hate having to back down when I know I’m right – I hate taking no for an answer. What’s more, if I didn’t fight, then the client would have to incur the costs of effectively funding two sets of proceedings on the same issue, one through the court and one through their regulatory body. In addition, what would happen if each set of proceedings reached a different decision! Chaos.
So I stuck to my guns, wrote a lengthy letter to the regulator and gave them all the reasons why they were wrong, including case law. I said that if the other side wanted to make a complaint, and wanted to argue that it covered different issues, it was for them to prove it, not me. I added, just for good measure, that I wanted the regulator’s complaints process, as if they continued with the complaint, I was going to complain about them.
There then followed a very loud silence, followed, this morning, by confirmation that they were dismissing the complaint. Pity they didn’t listen to me in the first place, and disappointing that a regulator of a professional body doesn’t know when they can investigate and when they can’t, but perhaps I’ve taught them something new!
Any of you who know me well, no doubt are not surprised that I was happy to rise to the challenge. You may all know me well enough to know I’m not afraid to stand up to anyone if my clients need me to, but you may not have realised who taught me that – not everything you need is learned in law school. You may also not have known that we can help you with regulatory work, but you do now.
If there’s anything else you need to know about me, or anything we can help you with, regulatory or otherwise, drop me a line at Stephanie@kleymansolicitors.com. The coffee is on me, and I’m not taking no for an answer.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. For battles big and small.