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ICAEW Regulatory Board

The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) is responsible for overseeing professional standards activities and the statutory regulatory role of ICAEW.

Shine a light: ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) annual report 2018

Cover of the Shine a Light report There has been much for the IRB to consider in these uncertain times. We have been forward-looking to ensure ICAEW as a regulator is well placed to deal with the potential difficulties and challenges that lie ahead; particularly in the short term.

  • How Brexit will affect ICAEW in its role as a regulator and for its members.
  • The Kingman report and the potential outcomes from the recommendations including the impact these may have.
  • Consideration of responses to a number of consultations.
  • Reviews and agreement of amendments to ICAEW’s disciplinary bye-laws and Guidance on Sanctions.
  • Regulatory fees and budget approval.
  • Commencement of its quality assurance programme of the Professional Standards committees. This included a full review of the Investigation Committee and the conclusion of a review of the Audit Registration Committee (April 2019). Both reviews have given the IRB full confidence in the operation of these committees.

About the Board

The role of the board is to initiate and develop strategic priorities pertaining to professional standards regulation such as keeping changes to regulations and bye laws under review and setting regulatory fees. It is not involved with the discipline of ICAEW members or those authorised by ICAEW to undertake regulated activities.

The IRB has regard to the objectives of the profession, as set out in ICAEW’s Royal Charter. It’s expected to have the interests of the public at the forefront of everything it does. To support this, board members are expected to act with independence and avoid conflicts of interest.

The Board ensures the ICAEW Professional Standards Department runs the processes that underpin licensing and disciplinary work effectively and efficiently.

The IRB has twelve members including the chair and is formed of an equal number of lay members (someone who is not and never has been a member, affiliate or employee of ICAEW or any other accountancy body) and non lay members (ICAEW Chartered Accountants).

The current IRB chair is a lay member, Michael Caplan QC.

The chair and IRB members are all appointed using an independent selection process.


The IRB has a general oversight role over three regulatory committees that are responsible for the registration and licensing of firms and individuals in respect of the main areas for which ICAEW is a regulator – the Audit Registration Committee, the Insolvency Licensing Committee and the Investment Business Committee. Each of these committees have equal numbers of lay and non lay members.

Probate committee

As a condition of ICAEW being an approved regulator and licensing authority for probate under the Legal Services Act 2007, there are different arrangements for the Probate Committee to ensure it carries out its regulatory functions independently. The IRB and ICAEW’s Council, Board and committees may not intervene directly in its work. The Probate Committee reports into the Legal Services Board. 

Establishment of the IRB

The IRB was established in 2015 (meeting for the first time in 2016) to enhance the distinction between ICAEW’s representative and regulatory roles following an independent review of ICAEW’s regulatory governance.

The IRB superseded the Professional Standards Board. To enforce the principle of independence within ICAEW’s governance structure which separates regulatory and membership activities, ICAEW office holders, ICAEW Board and council members are not allowed to sit on the IRB or regulatory and disciplinary committees.

IRB board members

The current IRB board members are:

Michael Caplan Michael Caplan QC Chair
Lay member

Michael has recently retired as a solicitor, having been a senior partner at an internationally-known law firm for 30 years. He is one of the few solicitors to have been appointed Queen's Counsel. Michael also sits judicially as a Recorder in the Crown Court and is authorised to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge.

He is the first chair of the IRB and helped to set up the board and recruit its members. He brings his experience and regulatory knowledge to the IRB; he is never frightened to inquire and, if necessary, challenge, and will always discuss what is in the best interests of transparency and governance of ICAEW.             

Michael is a member of the Regulatory Appointments Panel.

Philip Nicol-Gent Philip Nicol-Gent Vice-Chair
Lay member

Philip Nicol-Gent was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1991 and worked in private practice until 2000 when he moved to Guernsey to work for the Attorney-General. He was called to the Guernsey Bar in 2003 after studying at L'Université de Caen, France. While working at the Attorney-General's Chambers, Philip advised the Government and Guernsey Financial Services Commission on the purchase of the Guernsey Airline, Aurigny and led on the administration and ultimate liquidation of Landsbanki (Guernsey) Ltd.

Philip has also held appointments from the Royal Court in significant cases as an amicus curiae. Between 2009 and 2012 he was a Delegate of HM Solicitor-General. In 2011 Philip moved to work at the Guernsey Financial Services Commission and has been its General Counsel since 2013.

Steve Barrow Steve Barrow Lay member

Steve currently pursues a portfolio career and has fulfilled a number of lay member roles with bodies such as the Bar Standards Board, the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. He also maintains an interest in sports administration and is currently the Deputy Chair of the Disciplinary and Grievance Panels of British Fencing (the sport’s governing body).

Steve has held senior positions in a variety of regulatory bodies. Most recently he was director of standards at Standards for England, having previously been head of regulation at The Football Association, head of monitoring at the General Insurance Standards Council and head of investment business at the Law Society of England and Wales.

Steve will use his experience, gained in both hands-on and oversight capacities, to help ensure that ICAEW’s regulatory regime remains consistent with the principles of good regulation.

David Chitty David Chitty Non-lay member

David is International Accounting & Audit Director of Crowe Global. Prior to taking this appointment in 2010, David was an audit partner with the UK member firm.

David was a member of the Council of the ICAEW from 2001 until 2013 and a member of ICAEW’s Audit Committee from 2010 to 2015. David has served as President of his ICAEW District Society. He represented ICAEW as the UK member of the IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) Small & Medium Practices (SMP) Committee from 2007 until 2012. David is currently an elected member of the IFAC Transnational Auditors’ Committee (TAC).

Christine Fraser Christine Fraser Lay member

Christine is a solicitor who has held a range of senior management positions and nonexecutive board roles. Her early career was as a solicitor in local authorities. In more recent years she has worked for professional regulators as a member of senior management teams and has also been a member of a number of professional regulatory boards.

Christine is currently employed as an Ombudsman at the Financial Ombudsman Service. She also sits as an Appeal Panel Member for the Single Source Regulations Office, a regulator in the defence sector.

Andrew Goldsworthy Andrew Goldsworthy Non-lay member

Andrew is the Head of Audit of Mazars in the UK and a member of Mazars’ Group Independence and Acceptance Committee. He has over 30 years’ experience of delivering audit services to a portfolio of clients, specialising in those in the financial services industry. He has also been engaged on a number of expert witness assignments.

In his role at Mazars and through his client responsibilities, Andrew has significant exposure to regulators from the perspective of the regulated entity. As an auditor, he is acutely aware that the audit profession needs to act with integrity and deliver quality to maintain (and some would say, regain) the trust of the public. He believes effective regulation is an essential element in how trust is built.

Ian Leigh Ian Leigh Lay member

Ian is currently a statutory regulator of legal services in the field of immigration. He is an Immigration Services Commissioner, ensuring the fitness and competence of advisers, handling complaints and prosecuting those who act illegally. As a corporation sole and accounting officer, Ian holds responsibility for all aspects of corporate governance.

Ian has wide experience of management and policy delivery in the public sector with his later career focusing on regulation and consumer protection. After running the Regulatory Impact Unit in the former Department of Trade and Industry, Ian spent several years as managing director of the Consumer Council for Postal Services, championing the interests of all users throughout the UK.

In addition to his work on immigration, Ian is active in the further education sector and he advises the Irish communications regulator on postal consumer issues. His priority is therefore to ensure that the IRB protects the public interest.

John Milsom John Milsom Non-lay member

John has over 34 years’ experience of working in accountancy, having originally trained in audit with Deloitte Haskins and Sells. He has spent the majority of his career working with stressed and distressed companies, providing a range of services from solvent liquidations through to leading high profile contentious insolvency cases. He has spent eight years as the Restructuring Risk Partner at KPMG LLP, having joined them in March 2001.

John is a licensed insolvency practitioner, licensed by ICAEW, and takes formal appointments in accordance with the Insolvency Act in the UK, and has experience of similar processes in other jurisdictions. He has had periods of secondment in Australia, twice, and the US. In the last five years John has continued to concentrate on advising boards of distressed companies nationally and internationally, helping them to find innovative restructuring methods, insolvency protection and asset recovery and enforcement. 

John is the ICAEW representative on the Joint Insolvency Committee.

Michael Sufrin Michael Sufrin Non-lay member

Mike was director of tax at Rolls-Royce for 19 years where he was responsible for the group’s tax affairs worldwide. He retired in 2011 and continued as a consultant for a further year.

He was chair of the Midlands Corporate Tax Group, a member of the LBS and Business Tax forums, the EU joint transfer pricing forum, the CBI tax committee and the ICAEW international tax committee. In 2011 he received HMRC’s External Engagement Award for advancing transparency in tax.

Before joining Rolls-Royce, he held similar posts with other UK multinationals and was a partner in the Birmingham office of Arthur Young for five years.

Mike believes passionately in the importance of effective regulation to ensure public confidence in the accountancy profession and ICAEW, of which he has been a proud member for over 40 years.

Jane Titley Jane Titley Non-lay member

Jane is a Fellow of ICAEW and has 30 years of experience in accountancy, having been on leadership teams in a number of areas including audit, IT, restructuring, regulation, and quality and risk management. She is currently Head of Audit Regulation at KPMG.

Jane feels it is important to give back to the profession and has sat on various ICAEW committees including, most recently, the Disciplinary Committee. As a member of the IRB, she wants to help ensure her profession is held in high repute locally and internationally, and continues to be one the most talented young people are proud to join.

Jane is a member of the London Society of Chartered Accountants’ Regulation and Ethics Review Panel.

Pauline Wallace Pauline Wallace Non-lay member

Pauline was a senior global accounting technical partner with Arthur Andersen and subsequently with PwC, finally becoming head of public policy and regulatory affairs for PwC UK, responsible for the firm’s relationships with its regulators, government and Brussels. She is currently a member of the Regulatory Decisions Committee of the Financial Conduct Authority and a member of the Determinations Panel of The Pensions Regulator.

Pauline provides a member perspective on ICAEW’s regulatory activities and ensures that the reputation of chartered accountants is upheld. Pauline is also a governor of a special school and a director and chair of the audit and risk committee of a multi-academy trust.

Ann Wright Ann Wright Lay member

Ann was a partner at the law firm Nabarro for over 20 years then, from 2009 until July 2017, she was chief executive of the Intellectual Property Regulation Board, which regulates patent and trade mark attorneys. Here she dealt with the same issues that ICAEW faces: regulation in the public interest (and keeping public trust) and supporting an internationally-respected profession where strong regulation is at the core of reputation.

One of Ann’s roles within IRB is to ensure that it clearly communicates its role and work to all its stakeholders: the public, the profession, government and other regulatory bodies.

Terms of Reference

The IRB’s terms of reference set out the role and responsibilities of the IRB and contains practical information on how the IRB operates, for example its quorum. The terms of reference also detail the powers delegated to the IRB and the powers the IRB itself has delegated to other committees.


The meeting dates for 2019 are:

5 February
9 April
18 June
6 August
2 October
10 December

Record of Decisions

2016 2017 2018 2019