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BLM’s national team is led by Manchester-based Clare Chapman and attracts praise for its ‘pragmatic advice and good understanding of technical issues’. The practice regularly represents medical and dental practitioners; recent work includes representing a consultant psychiatrist and the Medical Protection Society in a high-profile inquest involving a teenager who had died in care. Juliette Mellman-Joneshas great judgement and gives clear and robust advice’. Vicki Swanton and Judith Duffin are also highly recommended.

Bevan Brittan LLP’s longstanding clients include the Bar Standards Board, Intellectual Property Regulation Board and the General Optical Council. Peter Steel led the team acting for the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in the prosecution of a number of solicitors firms involved in conveyancing fraud. Iain Miller heads the practice, which includes consultant Rosemary Rollason. Margaret Bromley retired.

Blake Morgan LLP provides ‘first-class expertise and service’ to clients including the General Dental Council (GDC), General Pharmaceutical Council and SRA. Bradley Albuery heads the practice, which includes Clare Strickland, who joined from the National Medical Council, and Cardiff-based partners Robin Havard and Graham Miles.

Capsticks LLP is noted for its ‘truly outstanding experience in the field’. The ‘sageJohn Witt leads the practice, which acted for the SRA in a case concerning claims made by a solicitor regarding academic qualifications and professional accreditations. James Penry-Davey (who is ‘one of the hardest-working lawyers’) and Mark Whiting (who ‘has an unparalleled knowledge of clients’ cases’) are also recommended. Anna Sorbie stepped down as partner to become a consultant.

The ‘hugely knowledgeable team’ at Fieldfisher is led by Sarah Ellson, whose ‘knowledge of regulation is encyclopaedic’. Clients include the British Medical Council, GDC and the Professional Standards Authority. The practice recently acted for the Security Industry Authority in its prosecution of a security company director. Alix Rejman is also recommended.

Hempsons is noted for its ‘incredible depth of quality and experience in the field’. Clients include the Dental Defence Union, NHS England and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Key figures include Tania Francis (who is ‘very able, highly intelligent and very supportive’), Anne Ball and Katherine Sheldrick. James Lawford Davies joined the team from Denoon Legal, and Sharon Cooney was promoted to partner. Chris Morris heads the practice.

Kingsley Napley LLP’s recent work includes acting for the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) in investigations into allegations that two teachers had sexual relationships with a student; and acting for the Health and Care Professions Council in an investigation into social workers in Rochdale after allegations of widespread sexual abuse. Nicola Hill leads the team, which includes Julie Norris, who is ‘a remarkable lawyer with unrivalled knowledge and expertise’, and Julie Matheson, who is recommended for her work within finance regulation.

Penningtons Manches LLP acts for regulatory bodies governing the healthcare, veterinary, pharmaceutical and legal sectors, and recently acted in the prosecution of a coroner who had misappropriated over £1m of client funds. ‘Calm, wise and experienced’ practice head Geoffrey Hudson led on that matter, while Nicole Curtis led for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in a case against a respected veterinarian who was permanently removed from the register after being found to have breached critical health and safety guidelines.

The go-to firm for registrants’, RadcliffesLeBrasseur has defended legal, medical and dental professionals in disciplinary cases against the SRA, the General Medical Council and GDC. Alex Leslie heads the practice, which includes Nigel West (who is recommended for his ‘excellent strategic and tactical analysis’), and newly promoted partners Stewart Duffy and Susanna Heley.

Melanie Carter heads the team at Bates Wells Braithwaite, which acts for the General Dental Council, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, and the British Association of Social Workers. Recent work includes advising the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) in connection with a complaint made against a high-profile political figure, which involved potential criminal and civil proceedings.

Stephen Hocking heads DAC Beachcroft LLP’s national team, which includes Christopher Morris, who led the team in a high-profile whistleblowing case within the healthcare sector. Clients include the Medical Defence Union, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, and the Chartered Institute of Building.

At Eastwoods, Simon Eastwood is ‘friendly, unpretentious and prepared to work hard to achieve results’. Recent work includes acting for a dental practitioner whose name had been removed by NHS England from the Performers List in an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal; and acting for a doctor before a Fitness to Practice Panel of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service concerning allegations of a clinical nature and relating to the client’s probity. Stephen Hooper ‘works incredibly hard on his cases, knows them inside out and gets on with everybody’. Surjit Dubb is ‘always calm and in control of the case’. Adam Smith is also recommended.

Nabarro LLP is continuing to act for the NCTL in 15 cases concerning allegation that teachers agreed to allow an undue amount of religious influence in the education of pupils in several schools in Birmingham. Sheffield-based Chris Horsefield heads the practice, which also acts for the Medical Defence Union and the General Optical Council. Rachel Cooper is ‘efficient, proactive and knowledgeable’.

Russell-Cooke LLP’s practice is headed by Peter Cadman and includes the ‘toweringJohn Gould, ‘exceptional’ Tom Bradford and Paolo Sidoli. Gould acted alongside Sidoli for the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) against two individuals in relation to the collapse of a litigation finance fund and the misapplication of nearly £5m. Other clients include The Architects Registration Board, Bar Standards Board and Farriers Registration Council.

Weightmans LLP’s practice has a strong focus on medical representations, which involves acting for a number of medical defence bodies and medical insurers. The ‘thorough and efficientJohn Mitchell represented a medical professional accused of giving misleading evidence at a coroner’s inquest. Patrick Gaul leads the national team from the Liverpool office.

Baker McKenzie LLP acts for both regulators and individuals within the financial and legal services sectors. Arun Srivastava leads the team, which acted for 13 individuals at European and US banks under investigation in connection with the LIBOR scandal. In another key matter, practice head Joanna Ludlam acted for four individual claimants in a judicial review of the introduction of a quality assurance scheme for advocates, which reached the Supreme Court. Team changes included the departure of Tom Cassels to Linklaters LLP, the retirement of Andrew Keltie, and Jonathan Peddie’s recruitment from Barclays Bank.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s practice focuses on the healthcare sector, and is representing pharmacists against the General Pharmacy Council. The practice, which is headed by Noel Wardle and Jonathan Ellis, also handles sports regulatory work. Other key figures include Rachel Warren, who is noted for her ‘sound analytical advice’, and Susan Hunneyball.

Sarah Clover and Claire Petts jointly head the practice at Clyde & Co LLP, which specialises in representative matters involving surveyors, solicitors and healthcare professionals. Clients include the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors, Medical Defence Union and Hiscox Insurance.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP acts for The Financial Reporting Council and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and also for individuals and companies. Practice head Andrew Lidbetter provides advice that is ‘client focused and easy to understand’. The ‘excellent’ Nusrat Zar is also recommended.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s practice is headed by ‘the passionate and truly fearless’ Richard Creamer and regularly defends medical practitioners, with a particular strength in dental disciplinary proceedings. Newly promoted legal director Jenny Cummin is singled out for her ‘exemplary attention to detail, determination and persistence’.

RPC primarily represents corporate and individual clients in accountancy, law, education and healthcare disciplinary proceedings. The ‘meticulousRichard Burger heads the practice and has a focus on the financial services sector, while Graham Reid and Dorothy Flower focus on legal and health regulation, respectively.

Boutique firm Bankside Law defends professionals in the healthcare, financial services, education and legal services sectors. Bill Wilson and John Williams are key contacts.

Bindmans LLP’s client list includes The Law Society and the Association of Child Psychotherapists. Shah Qureshi and Sharney Randhawa acted for Terry Farr, the city broker accused of manipulating LIBOR rates, in disciplinary proceedings. John Halford jointly heads the department with Qureshi.

Bircham Dyson Bell’s practice is led by James Freemantle and acts for solicitors, insurers and healthcare professionals.

Ros Foster heads Browne Jacobson LLP’s practice, which has a diverse range of clients including NHS England, the Chartered Institute of Building and the Security Industry Authority. The practice recently acted for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in disciplinary issues stemming from a Channel 4 Dispatches programme.

Corker Binning’s practice has a strong focus on financial regulatory litigation and criminal investigations that stem from financial wrongdoing, and its track record includes handling a number of investigations by the Financial Reporting Council and the Financial Conduct Authority. Andrew Smith heads the team, which expanded in 2015 with the arrival of partner Edward Grange from Hodge Jones & Allen LLP and associates Nick Barnard and Maia Cohen-Lask, who joined from Russell-Cooke LLP and 2 Bedford Row, respectively.

Eversheds LLP’s practice is headed by Cardiff-based Peter Jones and has been active on Fitness to Practise proceedings on behalf of the National Nursing and Midwifery Council and GMC.

Howard Kennedy LLP's ‘detail-focused’ practice is headed by the ‘highly impressiveIan Ryan, who acted for an accountant being investigated for a conflict of interest. Joel Leigh is also recommended.

Legal Risk LLP advises law firms on potential SRA breaches of conduct. In a recent matter, the practice acted for a private client firm in the aftermath of a multimillion-pound fraud by a partner. Frank Maher heads the practice and is ‘a mine of information’. Sue Mawdsley ‘combines immense knowledge with commercially pragmatic advice’.

William Glassey leads the practice at Mayer Brown International LLP, which represents solicitors, accountants and finance professionals, and recently defended a solicitor in a substantial civil claim brought by the SRA. The practice also defended an accountancy firm against a liability claim.

The practice at McCormicks is best known for its work within football; Peter McCormick is chairman of the legal advisory group to the Premier League and a Director of the Football Association. McCormick also acts for legal and accountancy professionals under investigation by the SRA and The institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. The practice recently recruited senior associate Sara Morgan, who acts for the National Pharmacy Association and is a member of the panel.

Murdochs Solicitorsis a small firm that punches above its weight’ in representing solicitors under investigation by the SRA. Department head Andrew Blatt ‘relates well to clients and has a very human touch’. Robert Forman and Nicholas Trevette are also recommended.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP’s practice represents corporate clients in the accountancy and financial services fields, and advises on investigations before the Financial Reporting Council, Financial Conduct Authority and the Serious Fraud Office. Simon Willis is the practice head, Matthew Lawson specialises in cross-jurisdictional work.

Stephensons Solicitors LLP’s practice defends professionals in a range of sectors, from accountancy and financial service to legal, education and healthcare. Carl Johnson is the practice head and is ‘a tough but sensible lawyer who puts his clients first. Rachel Adamson is also recommended.

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Legal Developments in London for Professional discipline

  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

    - Macfarlanes

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