The Tax Incentivised Savings Association (TISA) has confirmed plans to draft an industry protocol on the use of restrictive covenants in adviser contracts.
The consultation will be based on the US's Broker Protocol, drafted in 2004 to prevent advisory practices engaging in costly and damaging litigation.
At a recent TISA seminar entitled ‘When advisers leave, who owns the client?', representatives from a number of firms spoke on whether an industry consensus was possible.
Towry CEO Andrew Fisher, who lost a legal case against Raymond James, admitted the firm had "learned its lesson" from the High Court action, but dismissed attempts at consensus as "impossible."
But Mike Alford, deputy general counsel for Raymond James, said the volume of litigation in the US declined sharply following the introduction of the Broker Protocol, and that the vast majority of advice firms in the US had adopted the voluntary regulation.
TISA director of policy Malcolm Small said the organisation would be setting up an executive committee comprised of larger IFA firms, banks and building societies, providers, restricted advisory firms, wealth managers, private client stockbrokers and trade bodies.
"The seminar highlighted that the current arrangements create uncertainty for firms, advisers, providers and most important of all, clients," he said.
"TISA was asked to look into the American protocols and determine whether they could be adapted for use in the UK market, or otherwise, how the current situation could be ameliorated.
"As ever, we will be seeking to establish clarity for clients and firms, as well as seeking to save the industry time and cost, particularly legal fees."
The first meeting of the executive committee will be held in September. Nominations for membership should be made to TISA by 29 June.
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