9.PPS Dealing with Complaints


Membership of the ABRT is personal to an individual Restructuring & Turnaround Practitioner. ABRT Members have an obligation to ensure that engagements[1] are effectively managed, controlled and administered at all times. It is in the interest of complainants and ABRT Members, and in the wider public interest, that complaints are dealt with professionally and expeditiously. Failure to do so can only exacerbate any problem, prolong any sense of grievance felt by a complainant, and undermine confidence in the restructuring and turnaround profession.

As a result, practitioners, their firms[2] and the profession may be brought into disrepute. This paper is intended to remind ABRT Members of their duty to deal properly with complaints, and to suggest some matters that might usefully be considered. It is recognised that ABRT Members may hold other professional memberships or be regulated by government authorities and, as such, their rules may override this ABRT Guidance Material.

On Receipt of a Complaint

It is likely that the following steps will be appropriate:


Duties, Obligations and Responsibility of ABRT Members

It is a feature of the work of ABRT Members that complaints may arise because of an incomplete understanding of the professional standards by which they are required to act. In many cases, actions or outcomes that are obvious to ABRT Members may be seen as wrong or unfair by complainants, as ABRT have certain duties, obligations and responsibilities may not be easily misunderstood. When responding to a complaint, an ABRT Member should provide, where appropriate, a clear explanation of their duties, obligations, responsibilities, professional standards and any relevant legislation.

Other Matters to Consider

The matters that an ABRT Member should consider in relation to complaints include:


Professional indemnity insurance

A complaint may, in some circumstances, have to be notified to an ABRT Member’s professional indemnity insurer. In such cases, any action or response by the ABRT Member will necessarily be subject to any conditions imposed by the insurer.

[1] An ABRT Member’s formally agreed client engagement terms.

[2] Reference to ‘firm’ includes, as appropriate, a company, a partnership, a sole practitioner, and a practitioner working in association with other ‘firms’ or practitioners in other ‘firms’.

[3] See ABRT Guidance Material ‘Managing Engagements’.

[4] See ABRT Guidance Material ‘Client Advisory Record’.

[5] See ABRT Guidance Material ‘Record Keeping.

[6] See ABRT Guidance Material ‘Succession Planning’.