FRC announces interim executive counsel

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has appointed Claudia Mortimore as interim executive counsel and director of enforcement from 1 November 2017, following the resignation of Gareth Rees earlier this month

Mortimore was called to the Bar in 1994 and practised at Red Lion Chambers for 10 years, before working as a prosecutor at both Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO) and the Department for Business. She joined the FRC in 2013.

Rees, who spent five years in charge of the FRC’s disciplinary system, has now returned to legal practice as a partner in the London office of the US law firm King & Spalding.

The executive counsel plays a key role in FRC investigations into potential misconduct by firms, accountants and finance directors. Rees’ time at the FRC was marked by several high profile cases resulting in record fines for both firms and their partners, the most recent being a £5.1m fine for PwC over failures in its audit of RSM Tenon.

The FRC is currently undertaking a review of its disciplinary sanctions. 

Among the cases the regulator has opened this year under its audit enforcement procedure are an investigation into Deloitte’s auditing of Mitie Group, and an investigation into KPMG’s audit of Rolls-Royce, following the Serious Fraud Office announcement of a deferred prosecution agreement relating to corruption and bribery offences.

The FRC is also carrying out two probes into PwC, one relating to its audit of BT Group following the announcement of accounting issues at its Italian operation, and the other in relation to the audit of Redcentric.

Report by Pat Sweet

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