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DAC Beachcroft LLP

Work 0117 918 2000
Fax 0117 918 2100
7846 BRISTOL 1

Stephen Hocking

Work 020 7894 6572

Work Department

Public law.


Partner advising public sector bodies on public and related commercial law matters generally; clients advised include local government organisations, the Greater London Authority, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, NHS trusts, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, OFSTED, local authorities and old and new universities and HEIs. Recent work includes advising public bodies on public law issues generally, equality law as it applies to public functions, freedom of information issues, local authority standards board investigations, defending human rights challenges to public body decisions, defending procurement challenges, and conduct of inquiries into allegations of mismanagement and financial irregularity.


Called 1994, Inner Temple; Chambers of Lord Irvine of Lairg QC 11 King’s Bench Walk 1994-95; Beachcroft LLP (now DAC Beachcroft LLP) 1996 to date; partner 2001.


Oxford University (1992 Biochemistry First Class Hons); City University (1993 Dip Law).

London: Dispute resolution

Professional discipline

Within: Professional discipline

DAC Beachcroft LLP's 'very good team' is able to leverage its in-depth knowledge of the financial , healthcare and local authority sectors when handling professional disciplinary instructions. Manchester-based Christopher Briggs' 'strengths are that he digs into a case and is prepared to work at the coalface when others might try and delegate; he is also meticulous in recording instructions and detailed proofs'. Briggs represents medical practitioners in both civil and regulatory matters. In Bristol, Stephen Hocking is a public and regulatory lawyer specialising in financial services-related professional discipline matters, particularly in the public sector; Dan Preddy is noted for Financial Reporting Council (FRC) cases; London's Richard Highley specialises in representing directors and officers in the accountancy and financial services sectors in relation to high-profile FRC cases; and Clare Hughes-Williams in Newport represents the interests of solicitors facing complex prosecutions brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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London: Public sector

Administrative and public law

Within: Leading individuals

Stephen Hocking - DAC Beachcroft LLP

Within: Administrative and public law

DAC Beachcroft LLP advises public bodies across education and local government and has a well-established reputation for its work in the health sector. Stephen Hocking’s work encompasses strategic advice on public and commercial law matters as well as judicial review and procurement challenges. He acted for NICE in a judicial review brought by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry against a new budget impact test in which it was successfully argued that NICE could consider costs when approving a drug for use by the NHS and which was a highly significant result for the NHS. He also advises NHS England on various pharmaceutical regulatory matters. Julian Gizzi, who now practices as a consultant, offers similarly deep expertise and advised the Higher Education Funding Council for England/the Office for Students on all aspects of the latter’s creation and powers. Other clients include the Post Office, the Faraday Institution and the Office for Fair Access.

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Education: institutions

Within: Education: institutions

DAC Beachcroft LLP's 'level of service is very good and the people handling the work are very experienced and knowledgeable'. It has a reputation for providing regulatory and funding advice and is advising the Higher Education Funding Council for England on a range of work, including the conduct of its review of additional funding for specialist higher education institutions. It is also involved in policy development matters such as the development of the new Higher Education and Research Act. Julian Gizzi and Stephen Hocking co-head the group and Eve Gregory leads the employment law advice. The team is advising ESCP Europe Business School on various matters including the setting up of its executive master's programme. It is also advising a number of clients on investigations into cases of historic sexual misconduct. Other clients include Ofsted, the University of Sheffield and Queen Mary University of London.

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South West: Public sector

Local government

Within: Local government

DAC Beachcroft LLP provides advice on real estate projects, policy and strategy, pensions, mental health, safeguarding, information law, procurement, competition law, state aid, corporate and commercial issues, and governance. Stephen Hocking heads the public law team, which includes Giles Taylor, who advised Somerset County Council in relation to its building schools for the future programme. Ben Pariser acted for Bath and North East Somerset Council with regards to the purchase of an investment property from an overseas company, and Ben Thornycroft advised Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in relation to a planning project to redevelop their civic offices and theatre in a deal worth £30m. Rosalind Ashcroft left the firm.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Public sector

Local government

Within: Local government

The team at DAC Beachcroft LLP leverages its broad expertise in public law, public health, real estate and private finance to advise its local government clients on a range of matters. Bristol-based Stephen Hocking heads up the national practice, which includes senior associate Ioan Davies in Leeds, who is advising Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council on its schools PFI scheme.  In another work highlight, the team is acting for Bradford City Council on all aspects of its regeneration and relocation of Bradford Markets. Other key names to note in the Leeds office include Charlotte Burnett, Lesley Hughes and Michael Peeters for matters involving public health, real estate litigation and transport projects, respectively. Former practice head Eve Gregory joined Clarion.

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