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Beer & Bankruptcy

By Chartered One

I am delighted to say that, since being elected President of the Liverpool Society of Chartered Accounts ( LSCA ) I have attended and enjoyed a number of joint events held with the Liverpool Law Society.

Each has added to my education. Although, I must confess they were social events and the lure was my desire to learn about the production of beer and wine rather than the need for CPD.

The LSCA and the Liverpool Law Society have very strong links which, certainly the current office holders, are keen to maintain and strengthen. However, I recently came across a research document prepared by Stephen Walker of Cardiff University which highlighted how far back our relationship extends.

The LSCA was formed in 1870 and famously was the first Society of Chartered Accountants in the country, a fact that all Presidents of the LSCA must mention at every possible opportunity.

I was aware that the Liverpool Law Society predate this. I was not aware that they were actually instrumental in the formation of the LSCA.

This happened as a result of the forward looking approach taken by the Liverpool Law Society in response to the Bankruptcy Act 1869.

For the first time this Act allowed accountants to be appointed as a trustee in bankruptcy, an area previously a preserve of lawyers. At the time, the prevalent view amongst lawyers was the measure would “considerably diminish the business of attorneys and solicitors who practice in bankruptcy and in common law” ( Law Time 20th March 1869 ).Not surprisingly the new rules met with more than a little resistance from lawyers

The first city in which accountants and lawyers addressed these issues was Liverpool.

The Liverpool Law Society took a pragmatic view and suggested to Liverpool’s leading accountants that, if the two disciplines were to work together, the lawyers would rather work with reputable accountants and suggested the leading firms form a professional organisation for accountants.

The rest is history.