Audit firms are increasingly facing regulatory pressure in the areas of supervision, administrative sanctions, liability and disciplinary law and corporate governance. Regulators such as the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) and the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) and the Public Prosecutor (OM) are continuing to investigate audit firms and individual auditors, which often leads to prosecution. Audit firms and individual auditors are also increasingly targeted in liability suits before the civil and criminal courts.
Recent legal developments resulting from EU legislation have significantly affected the profession. This can be seen in the auditing of the financial statements of Public Interest Entities (PIEs) but also in the separation of audit and advisory services, the regular rotation of audit firms and individual auditors as well as additional requirements regarding communication between the auditor and the audit committee of the PIE. As a consequence of this increased regulation, audit firms and individual auditors are being scrutinized and targeted not only by regulators but also by stakeholders.
Our audit firm and accountancy sector team has in-depth market knowledge which enables us to efficiently advise our clients on disciplinary law, supervisory regulation, criminal law, financial reporting, corporate governance and directors’ and auditors’ liability. We also represent and defend our clients in disciplinary, criminal and civil proceedings.