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Introducing the Regulatory Investigations Conference 2024

Company News January 29, 2024

La Touche Training is delighted to announce the launch of its Regulatory Investigations Conference 2024, an online event which will take place on the mornings of 21st and 22nd of March 2024. Our annual Regulatory Investigations conference explores current trends and pertinent issues faced by regulators, and this year is no different with some exciting speakers and burning topics to the fore.

Peter Leonard, barrister, is co-host of the popular and renowned legal podcast, The Fifth Court, where his dulcet tones and witty interchanges about a broad range of legal topics with co-host Mark Tottenham has seen their show grow from strength to strength. A former sports broadcaster, Peter’s legal career at the bar has seen him represent various state bodies and departments, having been appointed to the Chief State Solicitor’s Panel in 2014. Peter has a keen interest in employment law and judicial review and will speak of the growing importance of the role of the whistleblower and disclosure in his segment.

Since ITV’s extraordinary TV show Mr. Bates v. the Post Office, the injustices and iniquities of the UK Post Office Horizon IT scandal has reached a broader Irish audience. The ongoing official inquiry into the catastrophic consequences of the flawed investigations and convictions based on the Fujitsu Horizon software continues to make startling and often disturbing revelations into the decades’ old debacle, exposing not just faulty and bugged software, but faulty, unconscionable and unethical investigative methods and practices. International financial crime investigative expert Mark Heffer will give attendees a precis of the scandal, recounting how many sub post masters were convicted on the basis of faulty IT evidence, often bullied into a guilty plea. Mark will explain the shortcomings of the investigations and prosecutions, the catastrophic failures of ethics, and the lessons to be learned for Irish investigators and regulators.

Neasa Bird, barrister, has enormous experience representing professional bodies in fitness to practice and disciplinary hearings, acting for such bodies as the Law Society of Ireland, the Medical Council and the NMBI. Neasa often represents the sharp end of the sword at the climax of a prosecution, and at our conference she will speak of the challenges of securing a favourable result, from advising on proofs, elucidating evidence and testimony of witnesses, cross examination and getting the prosecution over the line.

Irish investigators increasingly rely on digital evidence in collecting and logging evidence, and regulatory enforcement nowadays involves monitoring and investigating in the digital and outline worlds as it does in the real, corporeal world. As we move towards a paperless society data and evidence is primarily now found on phones, on hard drives and servers, in the cloud and on social media. How does the investigator discover and harvest such data? And having collected this information, how does the investigator effectively present it as evidence in court? Increasingly regulators are tasked with monitoring the online space. How can this be done effectively? Tackling this challenge and providing expert advice by fireside chat will be experienced digital forensic specialists Thomas McCarthy and Rory Byrne from KPMG. Thomas and Rory are deeply experienced and highly qualified in advising on recovering and analysing electronic information and protecting the integrity of the data recovered.

Increasingly regulators lean on specialist in house legal counsel, and as investigations become more and more legally complex, the supporting role of an inhouse lawyer grows in value. But what does such a role entail? Is the role of inhouse counsel that of advisor, or should they be an active participant in the investigation? Discussing these issues and more is in house solicitor for the Revenue Commissioners, James O’Mahony. James is a highly experienced litigation solicitor, working for more than a decade with Cork City Council as inhouse lawyer, before moving to his current role with Revenue. James also has a keen interest in education and training, tutoring with the Law Society of Ireland’s professional practice courts, and authoring Blackhall’s Essential Law Revision Series.

Our final speaker is Aonghus Kelly, Head of the International Crimes Prosecutions Unit at the EU Advisory Mission Ukraine. An extraordinarily experienced human rights lawyer, Aonghus’ storied career has seen him practice in England, Bosnia, Kosovo and Cambodia. Since 2023 he has worked in Ukraine, where he advises and assists the Ukrainian authorities on investigating and prosecuting war crimes perpetrated by invading Russian forces in that ongoing war. Aonghus will speak about his extraordinary career, and while the crimes he investigates seem distant and alien to our peaceful shores, some of the challenges faced and methods employed will be familiar to Irish investigators.

Chairing the event is veteran solicitor and legal trainer, La Touche Training’s own Judy Peters. Judy practiced extensively as a litigator in the UK before taking up a role with La Touche Training in the 1997, where she has trained across all of La Touche Training’s professional courses, with enormous experience in working with regulators and state bodies with enforcement powers, training regulators in investigative techniques for decades.

Book now to join us with these speakers – and more – online on March 21st and 22nd 2024

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