Round v. Institute of Chartered Accountants of
Ontario, 2015 ONSC 7099, dismissing an application for
judicial review following commencement of professional misconduct
The Professional Conduct Committee (the "Committee")
of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (the
"Institute") became aware that a professional services
firm not registered with the Institute might be providing
accounting services to the public. During the course of this
investigation, Mr. Round, a member of the Institute and the
president of the firm, was asked to produce information to, and
appear before, the Committee.
When Mr. Round failed to produce the requested information and
appear before the Committee, the Institute commenced professional
misconduct proceedings against Mr. Round and included in its
charges an allegation of failing to cooperate with the regulatory
Mr. Round then applied to the Ontario Superior Court for
judicial review on the basis that the Institute lacked jurisdiction
to investigate the allegations as there was no identified
The Court dismissed the application for judicial review, holding
that while the Court has the power to intervene in administrative
proceedings, it should be reluctant to do so until the
administrative process has run its course. The Court noted that
this is particularly true when an administrative proceeding is
still in its early stages because "constant disruptions in the
process ... are not, generally speaking, in the public
interest." In the early states, a professional member should
not "challenge the bona fides of the
investigation," but should focus on his or her duty to
Comment: Round endorses the principle that a
professional member is required to cooperate with his or her
regulator and demonstrates that a regulator can take disciplinary
action for non-cooperation. It also signals a deferential approach
to regulatory bodies in carrying out their administrative
processes, especially early on in the proceedings. Nevertheless, in
order to avoid a subsequent successful challenge on the basis of
breach of procedural fairness, regulators should ensure that they
are following their legislation and providing a fair
Originally published June 2016
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