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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Dispute resolution > Professional discipline > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Professional discipline
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

At Bates Wells, 'the attention to detail is quite exceptional, yet the practice manages to work collaboratively and pleasantly'. It recently hired Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's former professional discipline team, including partners Nicole Curtis and Geoffrey Hudson (now consultant), as well as consultant Katrina Wingfield and associate Neil Wilks. Curtis and Wilks recently represented Farriers Registration Council in disciplinary proceedings, including in relation to animal cruelty. The professional discipline practice has particular strength in acting for representative bodies that have professional discipline functions, as well as statutory regulators, and it covers the health and social care, accountancy, veterinary and equine-related professions. Melanie Carter is a former GOC deputy registrar; also key to the group are Emma Dowden-Teale and senior associate Claire Whittle.

Practice head(s):Melanie Carter; Nicole Curtis

Other key lawyers:Emma Dowden-Teale; Katrina Wingfield; Geoffrey Hudson; Claire Whittle; Neil Wilks


'The practice has this year acquired the regulation team of Penningtons Manches, which has consistently provided a partner-accessible, partner-hands-on, user-friendly, efficient, proactive and knowledgeable service to its clients'.

'The team always makes itself available - even when under pressure - to talk through the options, risks and best approach, and it always makes clients feel included and consulted'.

'Nicole Curtis and Geoffrey Hudson have a wealth of experience in the field of professional regulation, enabling them to identify what is important in a case and exactly how all the elements of a case should be managed'.

'Melanie Carter and senior associate Claire Whittle are both extremely astute; they mix legal ability with superb client care'.

Key Clients

General Dental Council

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Farriers Registration Council

General Osteopathic Council

Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

Insolvency Practitioners Association

Royal Institute of British Architects

General Optical Council

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

British Association of Social Workers

The Compliance Officer of Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

The Institute of Psychoanalysis

Royal College of Nursing

British Psychotherapy Federation

The British Society for Rheumatology

The Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals

Market Research Society

Work highlights

  • Acts as the sole legal adviser to The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Compliance Officer, which disciplines MPs for abuse of the expenses system.

Blake Morgan LLP is 'a first-rate firm, with huge experience in professional discipline'. The practice is best known for acting for professional regulators, particularly in the fields of healthcare, legal, education, accountancy and engineering; it has also undertaken defence work before regulators such as the GMC, the General Chiropractic Council, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). Eastleigh-based Bradley Albuery heads the regulatory practice group and recently acted for a healthcare regulator, which investigated a case in which the registrant was charged and acquitted of gross negligence manslaughter; this was believed to be the first time in this regulator's history that it had considered the fitness to practise of a registrant, whose alleged omissions were said to have contributed to a patient's death. Nick Leale heads the professional regulatory England group, which also includes senior associates Christopher Pataky in London, and James Danks, Guy Micklewright and Antonia Dowgray, who split their time between the London and Reading offices.

Practice head(s):Bradley Albuery; Nick Leale

Other key lawyers:Christopher Pataky; James Danks; Guy Micklewright; Antonia Dowgray


'Bradley Albuery has wide experience; he is also wise and a good judge of matters. He gets on well with everyone and leads the team well'.

Key Clients

Council for Licensed Conveyancers

Association of Project Managers

National Counselling Society

Architects Registration Board

Association of Accounting Technicians

Bar Standards Board

Royal Institute of British Architects

Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountants

Football Association

General Osteopathic Council

Work highlights

  • Was legal adviser to the professional conduct panels of the Teaching Regulation Agency in relation to approximately 70 separate disciplinary proceedings against teachers.

BLM stands out for its representation of healthcare professionals in disciplinary disputes with NHS England area teams and hospital trusts; the team also has considerable experience in appealing adverse outcomes to the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal. In the regulatory space, the national department defends practitioners in investigations by the General Medical Council (GMC), interim and final hearings before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), General Dental Council (GDC), Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and General Optical Council (GOC). It recently successfully defended a senior dispensing optician before the GOC, which followed allegations of sexual harassment and dishonesty. Manchester-based Clare Chapman heads the firm’s professional discipline and regulatory practice group, Cardiff's Jane Lang leads the healthcare advice and inquest practice group, and Adam Weston heads the medical crime team in the London office. Other key partners are Rosie Shapiro in London and Lisa Jones and Katie Costello in Manchester. Max Eckstein and Rebecca Gowling in Manchester and London-based Laura Smith are experienced associates.

Practice head(s):Clare Chapman; Rosie Shapiro; Jane Lang

Other key lawyers:Adam Weston; Lisa Jones; Katie Costello; Max Eckstein; Rebecca Gowling; Laura Smith

Work highlights

  • Advised two social workers at an inquest, which investigated the background to the death of a six-year-old girl who had been murdered by her father.

Capsticks LLP's team 'has strong expertise in this area and it has easy access to a broad knowledge base'. The regulatory division - led by Mark Whiting and John Witt and supported at partner level by Daniel Purcell, James Penry-Davey, Nimi Bruce and Hugh Giles - is well known for its professional discipline expertise in the healthcare and legal services markets. It has also been doing an increasing amount of work in the emergency services space (including police, fire and ambulance). It acted for the GDC in a complex case against a clinical dental technician, who was the subject of five different complaints over the standard of care provided to patients. Kate Steele and Mark Rogers were promoted to partner and consultant solicitor Genevieve Bushell and senior solicitor Keziah Pearson were hired from Bevan Brittan LLP and Blake Morgan LLP, respectively. Anna Holdsworth and Adelita Thursby-Pelham are notable associates.

Practice head(s):Mark Whiting; John Witt

Other key lawyers:Daniel Purcell; James Penry-Davey; Nimi Bruce; Hugh Giles; Kate Steele; Mark Rogers; Genevieve Bushell; Anna Holdsworth; Adelita Thursby-Pelham


'Capsticks is enormously impressive; the lawyers are thorough, organised and hardworking without exception, and the systems in place for both investigation and administration are excellent. Moreover, the firm employs some extremely bright and able lawyers'.

'The lawyers' willingness to discuss discrete legal issues on a no-commitment basis, as well as the provision of in-house training to clients' own teams, provides significant added value to client organisations; billing is also highly transparent and timely'.

'James Penry-Davey has a sharp brain for legal issues. He is also pragmatic and very good at finding solutions to resolve matters in a way that is fair to all parties involved'.

'John Witt is a standout partner for his knowledge and experience'.

'Mark Whiting is knowledgeable, personable and well-organised; he manages the team extremely effectively'.

'Nimi Bruce combines high levels of expertise, a refreshing attitude and excellent logistical skills'.

'Kate Steele has considerable experience in the areas of regulatory and professional discipline and is regarded very highly by solicitors, counsel and other professional colleagues; she is absolutely meticulous in the planning and preparation of her cases'.

'Mark Rogers is hugely impressive when it comes to grasping complex clinical issues; he is also very well-organised and particularly adept at managing clients and their expectations'.

'Anna Holdsworth has great judgement and intelligence'.

Key Clients

General Dental Council

Solicitors Regulation Authority

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Health and Care Professions Council

Bar Standards Board

General Chiropractic Council

General Osteopathic Council

General Pharmaceutical Council

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

Work highlights

  • Acted for the General Osteopathic Council in a case against an osteopath who allegedly acted in a sexually motivated way towards a female patient.

Fieldfisher's large, specialist professional discipline group acts for over 40 different regulators across health, sport, surveying, policing, finance and law, as well as higher education institutions that offer study courses in regulated professions. It supports the GC team at the SRA in relation to a range of issues that affect the regulation of solicitors and legal businesses. Manchester-based Sarah Ellson and John Cassels in London co-head the firm's regulatory group; senior partner Matthew Lohn - who chairs the firm’s supervisory board - and Tom Rider are also key contacts, while the notable senior associates are David Northfield and Carina May. Former director Alix Rejman left to become GC at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Practice head(s):Sarah Ellson; John Cassels

Other key lawyers:Matthew Lohn; Tom Rider; David Northfield; Carina May


'The utterly professional Sarah Ellson is a standout leader and a very clever lawyer'.

Key Clients

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Solicitors Regulation Authority

Financial Reporting Council

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Taxation Disciplinary Board

United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy

Northern Ireland Social Care Council

General Optical Council

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Work highlights

  • Acted for NMC in litigation in relation to former registrants.

Hempsons' professional discipline team is 'extremely strong'. The team’s core work is focused on defending practitioners under investigation by the GMC, GDC and GOC, and representing appellants and respondents before the First Tier Tribunal, Family Health Service Authority and in the Administrative Court. It also acts for its extensive health and social care sector client base in complex investigations involving police, coroners, the NHS Counter Fraud Authority and the Health and Safety Executive. London-based Chris Morris is national professional discipline head and Tania Francis is a defendant clinical negligence expert. Manchester's Katherine Sheldrick is the northern team head, while Anne Ball heads up the crime and regulatory team. Katherine Sheldrick is also highly regarded; Hannah Stephenson was made partner in 2019; and Julie Hesketh was hired from Ryan Solicitors.

Practice head(s):Chris Morris; Katherine Sheldrick

Other key lawyers:Tania Francis; Anne Ball; Hannah Stephenson; Julie Hesketh


'The team has fast response times to any questions or calls made, and it is very knowledgeable and helpful'.

'Longstanding, high-quality expertise in looking after doctors and dentists - a leader in the field'.

'Chris Morris has vast experience'.

Key Clients

Medical Defence Union

NHS England

British Dental Association

Dental Defence Union

Care Quality Commission

Kingsley Napley LLP's 'highly respected team combines enormous experience with a forward-thinking and creative approach'. Its matters span the healthcare, finance, education, professional and legal service sectors, and the department’s work is complemented by the firm's criminal, dispute resolution and public law departments. In recent work, Melinka Berridge led the representation for Education Workforce Council (EWC) in conducting an unacceptable professional conduct case before the EWC's Fitness to Practise Committee. Nicola Hill heads the regulatory team and has advised many of the statutory healthcare, professional service and education sector regulators. Iain Miller's specialist area is advising law firms and legal regulators. Other key advisers are Julie Norris, Julie Matheson and legal counsels Lucy Williams and Laura Ryan; the senior associates to note are Jenny Higgins, Shannett Thompson and Hannah Eales. Sarah Harris was promoted to partner and Jessica Clay joined in July 2019 from the SRA.

Practice head(s):Nicola Hill

Other key lawyers:Melinka Berridge; Iain Miller; Julie Norris; Julie Matheson;  Lucy Williams; Laura Ryan; Jenny Higgins; Shannett Thompson; Hannah Eales; Sarah Harris 


'The unyielding drive and innovative approach of its lawyers sets this firm apart from its competitors. Their depth of knowledge and experience is simply unparalleled. They are properly recognised as the market leaders in this area - an acknowledgment that is richly deserved'.

'The firm is a force to be reckoned with – bright, ground-breaking and wildly impressive'.

'Melinka Berridge is extremely experienced - there are not many issues which she has not come across and tackled before. The breadth of her knowledge on regulatory issues and processes is staggering; she is a real heavyweight, and definitely someone clients want in their corner'.

'Julie Matheson is an extremely impressive lawyer. She has a fierce intellect, her case preparation is meticulous and she is always several steps ahead of her opponent. As well as being supremely bright, she manages to be both personable and robust - a real star'.

Key Clients

Education Workforce Council

Health and Care Professions Council

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Health and Care Professions Council in the investigation of an allegation of misconduct against a registered paramedic.

For some clients, RadcliffesLeBrasseur 'has probably the most experienced lawyers in London for solicitors' disciplinary cases; the team always provides a first-class service'. In addition, the group assists healthcare professionals in relation to conduct, health and competence issues, including reputation concerns and criminal allegations. It recently added police professional discipline to its offering, with the arrival of Tom Nutter in its Leeds office from Slater and Gordon. Alex Leslie is focused on advising professionals working in the NHS; Sam Flew advises healthcare professionals on regulatory, disciplinary and criminal investigations and prosecutions; Nigel West is the commercial litigation and solicitors regulation head; and Susanna Heley specialises in regulatory law and professionals. Also key to the team are Stewart Duffy and consultant Linda Lee.

Practice head(s):Sam Flew; Nigel West; Tom Nutter

Other key lawyers:Alex Leslie; Susanna Heley; Stewart Duffy; Linda Lee


'The firm sets the standard for all others in this area of law; its partners and associates are some of the very best practitioners around'.

'The solicitors in the team operate with the utmost professionalism and willingness to assist; nothing is ever too much trouble and clients always feel very valued'.

'Nigel West is a standout practitioner and an extremely able tactician'.

'Susannah Heley has top-class knowledge of regulatory law and practice'.

'Stewart Duffy has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law, while understanding that sometimes its applicability has limits'.

Clyde & Co LLP is 'a leading firm in the field of professional regulatory work'; it acts for a large number of professional organisations and its breadth of expertise covers the medical and healthcare, accountancy, legal, property, insurance and financial services sectors. Claire Petts is head of the global healthcare practice, Fergal Cathie has acted in complex professional malpractice litigation that involves professional conduct issues and Richard Harrison heads the lawyers’ liability and regulatory group. Also highly regarded are Tim Crockford, legal directors Sam Holden and Niya Phiri and consultant Judith Duffin.

Practice head(s):Claire Petts; Fergal Cathie

Other key lawyers:Richard Harrison; Tim Crockford; Sam Holden; Niya Phiri; Judith Duffin


'With a substantial medical disciplinary workload, the firm stands out as being efficient. The team deals with all matters comprehensively to ensure the best results for clients'.

'The team works seamlessly to provide a client service that is both supportive and caring but also knowledgeable; due to its experience, breadth of knowledge and ability to work with counsel, clients feel in the best possible, expert hands'.

'Fergal Cathie has huge competence and stands out as a team leader who commands the respect of his team, counsel and clients; he is also calm, thoughtful and responsive to difficult client wishes'.

'Richard Harrison is an excellent overall strategist who knows exactly what he is seeking to achieve for the client - and he usually achieves it'.

'Legal director Niya Phiri has a superb grasp of complex facts'.

Key Clients

Berkshire Hathaway International Insurance

Leigh Day

Medical Protection Society

Dental Protection

Abbey Legal Protection

Premium Medical Protection

Over 50 NHS Trusts

Work highlights

  • Acted for Berkshire Hathaway International Insurance in the defence of a senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist against sexual advances allegations.

According to one client, the professional discipline team at CMS 'has had a presence in this practice area for so long that it now has unrivalled knowledge and experience in the conduct of professional discipline cases for healthcare professionals'. The practice acts on behalf of both the prosecution and defence in professional disciplinary proceedings, including associated criminal proceedings and inquests. The team also acts in relation to a wide range of regulatory bodies, including the GOC, GMC, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, NMC, Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Ofsted. Sheffield-based Chris Horsefield and Manchester's Rachel Cooper jointly head the professional discipline and regulatory team; of counsel Yvonne Screene and senior associates Katie Henderson, Nyree Bichard and Rachel Brown are also key members.

Practice head(s):Rachel Cooper; Chris Horsefield

Other key lawyers:Yvonne Screene; Katie Henderson; Nyree Bichard; Rachel Brown


'They have the advantage of experience both in presenting cases on behalf of regulators as well as defending, which gives them an almost unique edge in the understanding of these cases and in making astute tactical decisions'.

'The team is well known for its excellent communication'.

'Rachel Cooper is extremely hardworking, well prepared and thorough in everything she does. She leaves no stone unturned'.

Key Clients


General Optical Council

Medical Defence Union

Medical Protection Society

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Work highlights

  • Represented the General Optical Council in the prosecution of an optometrist; this involved allegations of retrospectively amending patient notes and issuing prescriptions that were not clinically indicated.

Regularly advising on professional disciplinary matters in relation to the financial services, healthcare and local authority sectors, DAC Beachcroft LLP's team provides 'excellent preparation of frequently complex cases'. Manchester-based Christopher Briggs is well known for his representation of doctors and dentists in disciplinary proceedings before the GMC and GDC; Bristol's Stephen Hocking's work includes major misconduct enquiries; and Daniel Preddy frequently defends claims and connected disciplinary proceedings against a variety of professionals, including financial advisers and accountants and their professional indemnity insurers. Other key advisers are London's Richard Highley and Newport-based Clare Hughes-Williams and Catrin Davies, along with Rosalind Ashcroft in Bristol. Senior associate Karen Rawsthorne and associate Christian Carr are also names to note. Louise Wiltshire made partner.

Practice head(s):Stephen Hocking; Christopher Briggs; Richard Highley; Clare Hughes-Williams

Other key lawyers:Daniel Preddy; Karen Rawsthorne; Louise Wiltshire; Christian Carr; Catrin Davies


'Associate Christian Carr is very hardworking and gives very practical advice to clients'.

Key Clients

Medical Defence Union


New Line

XL Catlin



Eastwoods is 'a very experienced firm that is able, knowledgeable and accomplished'. It is traditionally known as a specialist firm for defence work, predominantly on behalf of healthcare professionals in relation to disciplinary issues; the firm has also expanded the practice to sectors such as sports, police, fiduciaries and corporate executives. The team successfully represented a consultant radiologist, who was facing a dishonesty allegation. Senior partner Simon Eastwood, Adam Smith and Surjit Dubb are highly rated, Kate Williams is a notable consultant and Stephen Hooper is an experienced associate. Jean Sapeta was hired from Hempsons as consultant.

Practice head(s):Simon Eastwood

Other key lawyers:Adam Smith; Surjit Dubb; Kate Williams; Stephen Hooper; Jean Sapeta


'The practice has vast experience in defending professionals in regulatory proceedings - they really understand the hidden complexities that cases can throw up, and they are brilliant at managing anxious clients who are worried about their careers'.

'Simon Eastwood is simply one of the leaders in this field - he absolutely does the best for his client and is someone clients should demand to have with them in the trenches when the bullets are flying'.

'Surjit Dubb is first class; he has a formidable and forensic mind but is still very amiable and supportive of clients and their concerns'.

'Consultant Kate Williams is excellent'.

'Adam Smith has huge experience and strategic wisdom; he really goes the distance for clients'.

'Associate Stephen Hooper works non-stop and makes it look so easy. He is lighting up this sector and has an insight into how to win a case that few solicitors possess'.

Work highlights

  • Defended a dentist against numerous allegations, including dishonesty, in relation to patients across his practice.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's professional discipline work complements the firm's widely respected administrative law and human rights practices. The group was recently predominantly active in the financial, accountancy and legal sectors. It acted for the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)'s Executive Counsel in prosecuting a formal complaint against Baker Tilly UK Audit, the auditors to AIM-listed Tanfield Group, which was a global manufacturer of aerial work platforms and zero emission electric vehicles. Andrew Lidbetter heads the practice, which includes Nusrat Zar and of counsel Jasveer Randhawa.

Practice head(s):Andrew Lidbetter

Other key lawyers:Nusrat Zar; Jasveer Randhawa

Key Clients

The Financial Reporting Council

Watchstone Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for a former senior employee of Barclays in respect of a high-profile regulatory investigation and prosecution that arose from Barclays' efforts to raise emergency capital at the height of the global financial crisis.

Acting for both professional and regulatory bodies, regulated businesses and individuals, Russell-Cooke LLP has 'amassed a considerable amount of knowledge over many years in relation to numerous areas of professional discipline'. The practice has particular expertise in complex and high-profile cases involving solicitors, barristers, healthcare professionals, architects, accountants and charity trustees. Matt Bosworth is a highly rated adviser, and senior partner John Gould and Paolo Sidoli acted for the SRA in a landmark appeal that concerned the concept of lack of integrity for professionals, which had not previously been defined. Michael Stacey and Andrew Pavlovic are the senior associates to note; former senior associate Michael Colledge left for Blake Morgan LLP.

Practice head(s):John Gould; Matt Bosworth

Other key lawyers:Paolo Sidoli; Michael Stacey; Andrew Pavlovic


'Russell-Cooke genuinely has a presence across nearly every sector of professional discipline; the firm has experience of defending, prosecuting and sitting on panels, and its background in crime makes it particularly adept where there are allegations of fraud'.

'The practice appears for both the regulator and for those appearing before their professional regulator, which gives it unique insight in this field; its lawyers also have a commercial, pragmatic and unfussy approach'.

'John Gould is a huge figure in this field - he is incredibly knowledgeable but really client focused as well'.

'Matt Bosworth is a standout individual, who appears both for and against the SRA, and has a direct approach with clients, doesn't waste their time and doesn't waste their money. He is also a great team leader who knows everyone in this field, and as a result is trusted by clients and regulators alike'.

'Paolo Sidoli is resourceful and determined'.

'Michael Stacey is thorough and balanced'.

Key Clients

Solicitors Regulation Authority

The Law Society of England and Wales

Architects Registration Board

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Work highlights

  • Represented a solicitor who was struck off the roll by the SRA, following a hearing in which the solicitor was unable to represent himself due to mental health issues.

Weightmans LLP is widely respected for healthcare-related disciplinary issues; the team regularly acts for medical defence organisations, assists with complex cases before the GMC and GDC, and has significant involvement in NHS Performers List and Health Service Ombudsman work. The firm also has a robust barrister conduct practice. In Liverpool, Richard Jolly is the healthcare advisory head, and Mickaela Fox and Emlyn Williams are also key advisers. The other names to note are James Rowley and Michelle Garlick in Manchester, and - in the London office - Tim Lang, Robert Crossingham, Simon Turner, consultant John Mitchell and barrister David Reddington. Patrick Gaul retired from the practice.

Practice head(s):Richard Jolly

Other key lawyers:Mickaela Fox; Emlyn Williams; James Rowley; Michelle Garlick; Tim Lang; Robert Crossingham; Simon Turner; John Mitchell; David Reddington 

Key Clients

Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland

Professional Standards Authority



Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund

NHS England

Royal Institute of British Architects

W R Berkley

CFC Underwriting

Work highlights

  • Acted for medical defence organisations in a number of Health Service Ombudsman cases, which arose within general practice and related to the exercise of clinical judgment, including cases involving patient deaths.

Bevan Brittan LLP's practice includes advising professional regulatory bodies in relation to the Bar Standards Board, SRA, ARB, Insolvency Practitioners Association and the FRC. It has led numerous inquiries and investigations into the conduct of local authority officers and councillors. Birmingham-based Adam Kendall heads the litigation, advisory and regulatory department; and Virginia Cooper in London acts for a large number of public bodies, including local authorities, regulators, NHS Trusts and Ombudsmen. London’s Amy Tschobotko is a key senior associate.

Practice head(s):Adam Kendall

Other key lawyers:Virginia Cooper; Amy Tschobotko

Bindmans LLP 'has a dedicated team with a growing presence in the field of professional discipline'. The firm recently hired Elizabeth McGlone as head of employment and professional discipline from Neves, while associate Sheetul Sowdagur was hired from Russell-Cooke LLP. John Halford regularly advises regulators on disciplinary action and Kate Goold assists clients facing professional discipline investigations that involve criminal prosecution; Katie Wheatley is also an experienced adviser. Shah Qureshi left for Irwin Mitchell and former associate Peter Daly joined Slater and Gordon.

Practice head(s):John Halford; Elizabeth McGlone; Katie Wheatley

Other key lawyers:Sheetul Sowdagur; Kate Goold


'They are able to use their longstanding experience in heavyweight criminal cases to their clients' advantage in the most serious cases, namely those where there is a risk of parallel criminal proceedings'.

'Kate Goold has a brilliant forensic approach that is coupled with outstanding client care skills'.

Key Clients

Association of Child Psychotherapists


Work highlights

  • Advised The Association of Child Psychotherapists on investigations into an alleged breach of confidence, whether parental consent was required for a course of treatment and transgression of professional boundaries.

'Under the watchful and experienced eye' of regulatory head Gary Rubin, Blackfords LLP's professional discipline team 'goes from strength to strength'. The practice is particularly focused on the health and social care sectors. It also has expertise in representing serving police and Ministry of Defence police personnel in misconduct proceedings and assists solicitors with SRA investigations in relation to alleged criminal offences. Acting for football professionals is also a growing area for the firm. Other key advisers are Trevor Francis and Gary Bloxsome, director Philip Williams in Cardiff, and solicitor advocate Jennifer Richardson.

Practice head(s):Gary Rubin

Other key lawyers:Trevor Francis; Gary Bloxsome; Philip Williams; Jennifer Richardson


'The team is incredibly hardworking and it works exceptionally well together and individually; this enables each client to be fully supported even when its individual solicitor is not immediately available'.

'The lawyers are all extremely professional, diligent and quick to grasp the needs of their clients, as well as understanding the stresses that clients face'.

'Gary Rubin is easy to deal with, knows what his clients need and who can best help them; he is always available and has good knowledge of this field'.

'Solicitor advocate Jennifer Richardson is an extremely able lawyer; she has the ability both to be empathetic with lay clients while maintaining a totally objective view'.

Work highlights

  • Represented a solicitor who was alleged to have allowed his firm to use money which was provided by a public body to fund the provision of legal services, in an unauthorised way.

Browne Jacobson LLP stands out for its high-volume advice to the Teaching Regulation Agency; the team also regularly assists NHS England with regulatory matters involving the Performers Lists. Nottingham's Fiona Butler has a broad professional disciplinary practice in education, healthcare, construction and surveying, while Ros Foster in London advises statutory and non-statutory bodies on all aspects of disciplinary matters. Also key to the team are Manchester-based Gerard Hanratty and recently promoted partner Ben Bentley. Samantha Paxman and Louisa Atkin in Nottingham were made senior associates.

Practice head(s):Fiona Butler; Ros Foster

Other key lawyers:Gerard Hanratty; Ben Bentley; Samantha Paxman; Louisa Atkin

Key Clients

The Teaching Regulation Agency

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Genetic Counsellors Registration Board

The Chartered Institute of Building

NHS England

The Pensions Regulator

Qualification Wales

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

Care Quality Commission

Work highlights

  • Regularly instructed by the Department for Education to undertake (on behalf of the Teaching Regulation Agency) regulatory disciplinary proceedings that involve misconduct cases across England.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP 'has years of experience in this sector, with a deep understanding of the relevant regulatory regimes'. The healthcare team is best known for its advice to pharmacists and pharmacy owners; it also assists doctors and dentists with professional discipline matters. The practice is also highly regarded for its advice to sports governing bodies on disciplinary proceedings. Noel Wardle in Guildford heads the healthcare regulatory team and London's Edward Craig has niche expertise in equine matters, including horse racing and polo, and legal director Rachel Warren has particular expertise in advising clients appearing before the Fitness to Practise panels of the GPC, GMC and NHS Performance and Fitness to Practise committees. David Reissner retired from the firm.

Practice head(s):Noel Wardle

Other key lawyers:Edward Craig; Rachel Warren


'The team has unparalleled experience in professional disciplinary matters; it deals with cases from cradle to grave, and always adopts the best possible strategy for clients'.

'The practice's attention to detail and its work ethic are second to none - its lawyers really know what they're doing'.

'Noel Wardle's expertise, diligence and excellent advocacy and communication skills stand out'.

'Rachel Warren always advises on the most diverse issues with tact and diplomacy'.

Key Clients

The British Horseracing Authority

Greyhound Board of Great Britain

Ascot Racecourse

Work highlights

  • Represented a pharmacist in respect of fitness to practise proceedings that were brought by the GPC.

Irwin Mitchell 'undertakes a large range of matters' and 'the practice has an impressive depth of knowledge of the many regulatory frameworks in which professional disciplinary proceedings arise'. It covers financial services, medical, healthcare, legal, accountancy, police and law enforcement, along with actuaries, osteopaths and education; its work also includes the criminal, regulatory, employment and public law aspects of investigations. Shah Qureshi heads up the employment and professional discipline team in London. Associate director Paul Haycock and Yogi Amin in Sheffield are also key contacts, while the senior associates to note are Emma Windle and Craig Weston. Team changes include the arrival of Shazia Khan and Emilie Cole from Bindmans LLP, and the departure of Sarah Wallace for Constantine Law Limited in 2019.

Practice head(s):Shah Qureshi; Yogi Amin; Paul Haycock

Other key lawyers:Shazia Khan; Emilie Cole; Emma Windle; Craig Weston


'The team combines unrivalled experience of big-ticket white-collar fraud litigation with a deserved reputation in the professional discipline field, and it is not fazed by large and complex professional discipline cases brought by a wide range of regulators'.

'The team is particularly good at client care and can calm the nerves of even the most stressed subject of a disciplinary investigation; it inspires trust and confidence as well as the respect of regulators'.

'Shazia Khan is really on the ball and provides sound strategic and legal advice; her interpersonal skills are sensitive to clients, and she also maintains an approach to cases that is suitably robust'.

'Senior associate Craig Weston is hardworking and has excellent judgement'.

Key Clients

Futures trading head at an Australian bank

Fund manager

Energy trader


Work highlights

  • Acted for a senior consultant cardiologist in relation to an investigation into allegations made against him.

Murdochs Solicitors 'has excellent knowledge of the law and practice of SRA interventions into solicitors'. The practice has longstanding experience defending solicitors and other legal professionals that face regulatory investigations and disciplinary proceedings. The team comprises practice head and senior partner Andrew Blatt - who specialises in SRA investigations, Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) proceedings and complex partnership disputes involving misconduct - Nick Trevette and senior consultant Robert Forman.

Practice head(s):Andrew Blatt

Other key lawyers:Nick Trevette; Robert Forman


'The firm handles disciplinary cases with great skill and success'.

'It is exceptionally knowledgeable, committed and experienced, and the lawyers are diplomatic and creative problem solvers'.

'Andrew Blatt is sensible and pragmatic'.

'Nick Trevette does a great job on cases - he is clear and frank, and under promises but over performs'.

'Robert Forman is an excellent lawyer'.

RPC's 'strengths are its depth of cover and number of exceptional individuals'. The practice is focused on the legal services, accountancy, healthcare and construction sectors. Legal director Graham Reid is regularly instructed on disciplinary proceedings, and Robert Morris in Bristol handles claims against accountants, financial professionals and insurance brokers. Former EMEA anti-corruption head for a global financial crime consultancy Sam Tate, who divides his time between the London and Bristol offices, was hired, while Richard Burger and former legal director Amy Gallimore left for DWF and Ashfords LLP, respectively.

Practice head(s):Graham Reid; Rob Morris

Other key lawyers:Sam Tate


'The firm has a long history of professional negligence and regulatory work and is seen as a go-to practice for professionals needing assistance in this area; the lawyers can also call on a wide range of expertise to assist with the areas of law that are involved in negligence claims or regulatory breaches'.

'Legal director Graham Reid introduces a sense of calm and perspective to what can be fraught and worrying situations; he is also careful, thoughtful and measured, and consistently achieves the best results in difficult situations'.

Key Clients

Sports Direct International

Brett Wilson LLP's Nick Brett and solicitor Alistair Parker have longstanding expertise in acting for clients being investigated or facing disciplinary action. The department is particularly focused on the legal and medical professions, and the firm's lawyers are additionally experienced in criminal proceedings that often run parallel to disciplinary matters.

Practice head(s):Nick Brett

Other key lawyers:Alistair Parker


'Provides total care for the client'.

'The utterly great Nick Brett is unfailing in his support for clients; his dedication and capacity for work are a wonder to see'.

Corker Binning handles complex cases involving alleged wrongdoing, and it covers advice on proceedings that overlap with other investigations. It has particular experience in FCA cases and specialises in compelled interviews and advising persons discharging managerial responsibilities. The names to note are Andrew Smith, Peter Binning, Claire Cross and Jessica Parker.

Practice head(s):Andrew Smith

Other key lawyers:Peter Binning; Claire Cross; Jessica Parker

Work highlights

  • Acted for an accountant in a large FCA prosecution.

DWF 'has strength in depth across many sectors'. The practice regularly defends professionals across a number of sectors, including medical, legal, actuarial, accountancy and financial services. Regulatory partner Richard Burger was recently hired from RPC; he represents clients under investigation by the FRC and Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. Tracy Sell-Peters frequently defends doctors and other healthcare practitioners whose registration is called into question by the GMC and other healthcare regulatory bodies.

Practice head(s):Tracy Sell-Peters; Richard Burger


'Being a large firm, it is well able to support its professional discipline practice'.

'Richard Burger has an encyclopaedic knowledge of financial services and regulatory law as well as a wealth of experience'.

'Tracy Sell-Peters is extremely thorough, professional and makes sure she is available for telephone consultation at all times, including evenings and weekends'.

Key Clients


Abbey Legal


Work highlights

  • Defended two senior surgeons in two separate full GMC fitness to practise proceedings, which involved allegations of attempted bribery of a patient and dishonesty.

Hickman & Rose 'differentiates itself through the quality of the partners that lead its teams and the high degree of partner involvement in work'. The professional disciplinary practice is led by Andrew Katzen, who works closely with associate Claire Wallace. Most of the firm's professional discipline cases come before the CQC, SRA and GMC, as well as the financial regulators. Ben Rose advises clients facing accusations of professional misconduct, particularly where professional regulatory issues intersect with criminal issues, and Ross Dixon and Aileen Colhoun are also key names.

Practice head(s):Andrew Katzen

Other key lawyers:Claire Wallace; Ben Rose; Ross Dixon; Aileen Colhoun


'This is not a firm that delegates by abdication; clients have the assurance that a partner with expertise and experience will take the lead role in cases, the development of the strategy and the provision of the service'.

'All partners involve themselves in instructions from the outset and ensure that nothing is done without considering how any action - or inaction - will impact on the overall strategy'.

Key Clients

Former CEO of a global bank

Howard Kennedy LLP is best known for advising solicitors and solicitor firms on SRA investigations and prosecutions, and it is a go-to firm for partners from Magic Circle firms, senior accountants and experienced barristers who are threatened with disciplinary proceedings. Ian Ryan is a business crime and regulatory specialist and Joel Leigh is particularly noted for defence work involving accountants, barristers, doctors, solicitors and surveyors; John Martyn is an experienced senior associate.

Practice head(s):Ian Ryan

Other key lawyers:Joel Leigh; John Martyn

Keoghs LLP is 'extremely quick to respond to requests'. The team regularly represents veterinary professionals and has specialist knowledge of equine-related matters; it has also experienced an increase in GOC-related work and the private medical sector. Liverpool-based Ruth Lawrence leads the professional indemnity team nationally; Sarah Naylor, who divides her time between Liverpool and London, heads up the veterinary defence team; and Sian Davies heads the healthcare team. Also key to the practice are Liverpool-based senior associate Graham Taylor and legal director Gillian Nevin. Jason Howarth was hired from Plexus Law, while former legal director Tony Wilson left the firm.

Practice head(s):Ruth Lawrence; Sian Davies

Other key lawyers:Sarah Naylor; Graham Taylor; Gillian Nevin; Jason Howarth


'The team has in-depth understanding of the issues involved and always handles cases professionally and knowledgeably'.

Key Clients

Veterinary Defence Society


Work highlights

  • Defended a veterinary surgeon against disciplinary proceedings before the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, which followed a complaint by a member of the public.

Legal Risk LLP has 'a specialist team of very experienced lawyers' who 'advise solicitors up and down the country'. The niche firm advises law firms and their insurers and regulators, and other professional services firms, on professional discipline. Liverpool-based Frank Maher is 'in a league of his own' and Sue Mawdsley is also highly regarded; Francis Dingwall is the key Oxford contact.

Practice head(s):Frank Maher; Francis Dingwall; Sue Mawdsley


'The lawyers have deep knowledge and experience of all aspects of risk and regulation, especially how the processes play out'.

'The team is at the forefront of knowledge in all matters connected with solicitors' practice and regulatory and conduct matters'.

'Frank Maher provides timely, practical and expert advice'.

Key Clients

ETL Holdings (UK)

McCormicks is particularly well known for its disciplinary and regulatory work in the football world. The practice also regularly assists with SRA investigations and SDT defence work. Peter McCormick OBE is senior partner; Philip Edmondson is commercial litigation services head; Peter Minnikin acts in disciplinary matters involving medical practitioners, physiotherapists and the Yorkshire Agricultural Society; and senior associate Sara Morgan represents National Pharmacy Association members in professional discipline cases.

Practice head(s):Philip Edmondson; Peter McCormick OBE; Sara Morgan

Other key lawyers:Peter Minnikin

Key Clients

National Pharmacy Association

The Premier League

Professional Game Match Officials

Leeds United FC

Sport Resolutions (UK)

Yorkshire Agricultural Society

Solicitors Indemnity Fund

Liverpool FC

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Premier League in professional disciplinary matters.

At Nottingham-based law firm Richard Nelson LLP, senior partner Richard Nelson and Cardiff-based Steve Roberts specialise in SRA defence work; Nelson is frequently instructed in large SRA investigations, particularly those with an element of fraud or involving complex financial transactions. Managing partner Marie Dancer represents healthcare professionals, as well as teachers and accountants, before their regulatory bodies.

Practice head(s):Richard Nelson; Marie Dancer; Steve Roberts

Stephensons Solicitors LLP is focused on defence-side work across sectors such as accountancy, healthcare, education, financial services and legal services. Carl Johnson heads the firm’s regulatory department and specialises exclusively in professional discipline and regulation; Laura Hannah is an experienced senior associate.

Practice head(s):Carl Johnson

Other key lawyers:Laura Hannah

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