Specialist Criminal & Regulatory Barristers

London: 020 7520 6000 | chambers@18rlc.co.uk

East Anglia: 01245 280 880

Professional Discipline

Members of the Regulatory Team have experience of acting for both sides in regulatory proceedings and bring to bear the perspective, judgment and knowledge to their cases that is sometimes lacking in those who have a one-sided perspective.

 

Defending Professionals

Individuals who find themselves the subject of disciplinary proceedings may face the loss of not only their professional reputation but also a career they worked hard for and their livelihood.  Regulatory investigations can be extremely stressful and often take some time to conclude, particularly if they are dependent on the outcome of separate proceedings, such as a criminal trial or coroner’s inquest.  Our barristers understand these pressures and when defending in regulatory proceedings use our skill, experience and knowledge to help professionals to achieve the best possible outcome at the end of the process.

Acting for Regulators

Equally, we appreciate the importance that professionals play in the lives of their lay clients and that a functional and trusted profession depends on effective regulation.  Regulators demand fair, experienced and robust counsel to present their cases, and the Regulatory Team at RLC exceeds those standards. Meticulous preparation, a wide knowledge of the relevant regulatory legal framework and an incisive approach are all key advantages which we bring to our cases.  Professional disciplinary hearings require thinking on one’s feet, from responding to last-minute legal submissions, to reassuring vulnerable witnesses, to seeing the evidence evolve as experts give evidence.  Our barristers are adept at pre-empting difficult scenarios and dealing with unexpected situations as they arise.

Experience

A number of members of chambers (Jane Oldfield, Max Baines, David Claxton, Patricia Londono, Chloe Binding, Leila Chaker) have undertaken secondments at regulators and at leading, well-established solicitors’ firms who act in regulatory proceedings.  This makes Red Lion Chambers well-placed to understand the internal processes and decision-making at regulators, and to use that experience to provide effective and nuanced representation on behalf of both sides.

While most professional regulators operate under a similar legal framework and apply the same principles, no two regulators employ exactly the same process.  We practise before a wide range of regulators and connected tribunals, including:

  • General Medical Council 
  • General Dental Council
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Health and Care Professions Council
  • General Osteopathic Council
  • Bar Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Football Association
  • The Administrative Division of the High Court

 

Chambers has members appointed to the Attorney-General’s Panel (Emma Gargitter and Naomi Parsons) with an associated expertise in Public Inquiries and Coroner’s Inquests; they are well-placed to represent interested parties (in particular healthcare professionals, care-providers and hospital trusts) in proceedings examining the circumstances and causes of death. 

In addition to advising on and appearing before tribunals, members often lecture to regulators and defence unions, as well as publishing in trade publications and legal journals.

Some members are Direct Public Access-accredited and can accept instructions directly from clients, in appropriate cases.

Healthcare

Doctors

Nine members of chambers (Chris Paxton, Allison Clare, Tom Forster, Noel Casey, Tom Payne, Rebecca Chalkley, Jane Oldfield, Trevor Archer, David Claxton, and Chloe Binding) are on the General Medical Council’s list of approved counsel and regularly appear at proceedings against doctors at the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service.  Additionally, Chambers regularly provides training to in-house lawyers at the GMC in the form of lectures and seminars.  Recent topics have included third-party disclosure in the disciplinary jurisdiction and management failures as the basis for a finding of deficient professional performance.

  • Tom Forster recently represented the GMC in disciplinary proceedings before MPTS - recent work includes the presentation of a case against a cardiologist alleging serious failings in medical practice that involved difficult expert evidence concerning the conduct of angiogram procedures.
  • Jane Oldfield recently acted for the GMC against a doctor who was charged with multiple incidents of poor attitude and communication with both patients and colleagues.  He was also charged with lying to an Interim Orders Panel (as then was) and dishonestly breaching interim conditions imposed upon him.  The vast majority of the allegations were found proved, his fitness to practice was found to be impaired and his name was erased from the GMC’s Register.

 

Other members of chambers, including David Malone, Michael Goodwin, Felicia Davy and Chloe Binding, have acted for doctors who are facing regulatory proceedings before the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service.

Dentists

Several members have represented the General Dental Council in fitness to practise proceedings against dentists.

  • In 2015 David Claxton appeared for the GDC in a case concerning negligent diagnosis and treatment which centred on the complicated evidence of experts.
  • Jane Oldfield and David Claxton have recently published articles in dentistry trade magazines with a partner at a firm of leading regulatory solicitors on the GDC’s disciplinary jurisdiction and how it can be navigated by dentists.

 

Nurses and Midwives

Chambers has a team of barristers who receive regular instructions to represent registrants in proceedings before the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

  • Michael Goodwin regularly appears representing nurses and midwives through all stages of proceedings. He recently represented a neonatal nurse facing charges of serious misconduct, securing a favorable outcome.
  • Emma Gargitter recently appeared before the High Court representing a nurse who was appealing a finding of dishonesty by a Conduct and Competence Committee.  The primary ground of appeal was that the Committee had found dishonesty on a basis which had not been advanced by the NMC nor ventilated in evidence or argument. 
  • David Claxton has recently secured outcomes for nurses that allowed them to continue to practice in cases where their culpable omission had contributed towards the death of a patient, and where one nurse faced multiple allegations of clinical incompetence and dishonesty.

 

Other Healthcare Professionals

A number of members (Riel Karmy-Jones QC, Michelle Nelson, Jane Oldfield, David Claxton, Chloe Binding,) have experience of appearing before the Professional Care Council, as it was, and/or its current incarnation, the Health and Care Professions Council.   Recent cases include:

  • Multiple laboratory failures by a microbiologist;
  • A social worker pursuing an inappropriate relationship with a service-user;
  • A physiotherapist whose professional performance had deteriorated to such a degree that she had become deskilled and was no longer fit to practise.
  • Ed Vickers QC and Michael Goodwin have defended before the General Pharmaceutical Council.

 

Legal Assessors

Carey Johnston QC sits as a legal assessor at a multitude of tribunals, including the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service, the Health and Care Professions Council and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.  Gerard Pounder has considerable experience sitting as a legal assessor for the General Optical Council and on police disciplinary proceedings. 

Legal Professionals

Red Lion Chambers has significant experience of Bar disciplinary proceedings. Silks with experience of such proceedings, whether as advocates or committee members, include David Etherington QC, who chaired the Bar Council’s and, latterly, the Bar Standards Board’s own Professional Conduct Committee, Legal Services and Professional Practice committees; Jeremy Benson QC who chairs Bar Disciplinary Tribunals and is a member of the Bar Standards Board Qualifications Committee;.  Riel Karmy-Jones QC also has extensive experience appearing before BSB tribunals; for example she was instructed to represent the BSB in a high profile case against an employee of the Crown Prosecution Service who accepted a bribe to abandon a criminal case.  

Juniors with substantial recent experience before the BSB tribunals include Gerard Pounder, Sailesh Mehta, Shane Collery, Tom Forster, Michelle Nelson, Michael Goodwin and Felicia Davy. Matters range from the straightforward to the lengthy and complex. Recently, Tom Forster acted in an appeal brought against the Bar Standards Board Disciplinary Tribunal on the basis of unwarranted interference with the barrister’s rights to freedom of expression and privacy under the European Convention on Human Rights.  Ed Vickers QC sits on the Bar Standards Board Ethics Committee, and has provided training to the Bar Standards Board Professional Conduct Committee on vulnerable witnesses.

Members of Chambers, including Richard Sutton QC, have appeared either on behalf of solicitors before the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal or prosecuting on behalf of the SRA.  Raj Joshi has advised and adjudicated upon complaints made to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority and the Complaints Advisory Service.

Education

Naomi Parsons is often instructed by the Secretary of State to represent the interests of complainants in proceedings against teachers at the National Council for Teaching and Learning.  David Malone also has experience of appearing before such tribunals.  Daniel Taylor and Matthew Sorel-Cameron sit as legal advisers to the Education Appeals Tribunal.

Sports Regulation

Alexander Milne QC was instructed in a sports fraud trial, concerning spot fixing in international cricket, and is currently appointed to act as the Chair of a Football League Disciplinary Panel. Noel Casey and David Claxton were appointed to chair Football Association Disciplinary Panels in 2014.  Other recent work has involved representation by Max Baines before the British Horseracing Authority (formerly the Jockey Club); Max also undertook a secondment at the Football Association as an in-house lawyer.  Ian Leist QC and Richard Wood also have experience in this field.

Police Discipline

Several members of Chambers, including Robert Woodcock QC, Ian Leist QC, Gerard Pounder, Ian McLoughlin, Michael Goodwin, Felicia Davy have appeared before Police Disciplinary Tribunals.  Alexander Milne QC, Sally-Ann Hales QC, Riel Karmy-Jones QC and Gerard Pounder have experience of advising on and appearing before inquiries by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).  Shane Collery has acted for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in respect of investigations of Customs officers.

 

 

 

 

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London


020 7520 6000

18 Red Lion Court

London

EC4A 3EB

DX: 478 London / Chancery Lane

East Anglia


01245 280 880

Thornwood House

102 New London Rd

Chelmsford

DX: 139165 Chelmsford 11

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