Practitioners Who Wear Two Hats

Are practitioners subject to a regulator when they are acting in another capacity? This issue arose in A.C. Waring and Associates Inc v Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta, 2017 ABCA 152, where an accountant was facing an investigation for his actions when acting as a trustee in bankruptcy. Mr. Waring sought a declaration that the Institute could not investigate his conduct because he was not acting as an accountant and because of the protections in the federal Bankruptcy Act protecting trustees in bankruptcy. The Court dismissed this argument. It applied the case of Law Society of Alberta v Krieger, 2002 SCC 65 (dealing with the discipline of a lawyer acting as Crown Attorney) to hold that regulators could investigate and discipline members acting in another capacity, at least for bad faith conduct. The immunity in bankruptcy legislation was not intended to interfere with this regulatory role.

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