The professional body investigation

7 December 2020

The Professional Body investigation

Without giving an inch over two years we helped defend a client under investigation by their professional body. With our strategic, trust-based approach we ultimately prevailed and the investigation was withdrawn and our client unblemished.


  • Client: a member of a professional body
  • Location: Queensland
  • Situation: subject to investigation by a professional body after referral of information by ASIC and at risk of loss of ability to practice and exposure to penalties
  • Outcome: investigation abandoned after two years without any substantive information being provided by our client
  • Key elements of success: upfront assessment; deep subject matter expertise; strategy; clarity; determination; trust

In 2017 our client was informed by their professional body that they were under investigation.  The investigation was launched in response to information provided by ASIC to the body.  

Already having suffered their own losses after an investment failure, and having navigated queries from ASIC in its investigation into the investment, our client now faced an investigation by their professional body.

Using our regulatory expertise and knowledge of the interplay of private and public law we rapidly determined that the investigation was flawed from the outset. Working with specialist counsel we advised our client and presented a strategy leveraging off the procedural failings of the investigation to undermine and resist it.

Our client put their faith in us and our strategy, and over the following two years we doggedly maintained the strategy, repeatedly asserting our client’s rights and the failure of the body to observe them, all the while resisting the investigation proper while it seemingly escalated.

In the end, the body, now advised by external lawyers, simply gave up and ceased the investigation.

How did we do it?

One-part expert knowledge, one-part strategic thinking and a huge dose of trust from our client – in us and in our strategy.

How did we get that trust?  By listening and explaining, so they understood we understood; so they knew we knew what we were doing; so they understood the plan.