Lloyd’s of London has today issued a Public Censure, the first of its kind, against Atrium Underwriting Limited relating to non-financial misconduct by Atrium employees and failures by the firm and senior managers in the way in which they responded to allegations of misconduct. The Market Bulletin can be viewed here.
In regulatory Market Bulletin Y5252, Lloyd’s set out its policy in relation to conduct involving harassment, bullying, discrimination, and consumption of alcohol or drugs at work. The Bulletin makes clear that in addition to the actions of individuals, of “equal importance is the culture of the firm for whom the individual works and whether it supports or tolerates a culture of unacceptable personal behaviour towards others.” The proceedings against Atrium were brought as a result of serious failures by the firm including failures by senior managers. Instances of non-financial misconduct are evident as having taken place over a number of years which, in Lloyd’s view, precipitated a culture which tolerated instances of unacceptable conduct involving discrimination, harassment and bullying.
Atrium settled proceedings before the Lloyd’s Enforcement Board having accepted charges brought following a Lloyd’s regulatory inquiry, a fine of £1.050 million and liability to pay Lloyd’s costs of the proceedings.
Farhaz Khan (leading Chloe Bell and Anson Cheung of Outer Temple Chambers) acted for Lloyd’s during the inquiry and before the Enforcement Board, instructed by Claire Schrader (Head of Legal), Will O’Connor (Manager, Litigation & Enforcement) and Kevin Lazarus of Lloyd’s Legal Department.
Farhaz, who will take Silk on Monday 21st March 2022, is a leading financial services regulatory barrister (ranked in Tier 1 in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500) with experience acting for and against regulators in high profile proceedings. He regularly acts for Lloyd’s in regulatory matters and recently led a joint Bank of England and FCA team before the Upper Tribunal in the first ever joint-regulator case (Forsyth v FCA & Or) and acted for the DFSA in its first deliberate dishonesty case before the DIFC FMT (DFSA v Sheikh).