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A specialist law firm providing support, advice and representation in defending individuals in regulatory, disciplinary and negligence claims and other legal proceedings.

This highly specialised niche practice advises healthcare professionals (particularly doctors and dentists) and other professionals and individuals in defending claims, regulatory/disciplinary and other issues arising from their professional practice, including criminal representation.

The firm: Eastwoods was formed by Simon Eastwood in July 2004 and has expanded to its current size of 15, of which 11 are lawyers. The firm strives to understand fully the needs and requirements of all clients and to apply its knowledge and expertise to achieve the best possible outcome in the most pragmatic and cost-efficient way in each case. It is not unusual for matters handled by the firm to attract high-profile media and public interest. The firm, at all times, looks at the widest possible implications of advice and assistance given.

As well as individuals, the client base includes UK medical defence organisations.

Types of work undertaken: The historical core of Eastwoods' practice is derived from its healthcare business. Expertise includes advice and representation in regard to disciplinary matters instigated by regulatory bodies (eg General Medical Council/General Dental Council/Health and Care Professions Council/Nursing and Midwifery Council) and NHS employers (trusts) and related appeals, clinical negligence defence litigation and advice and representation at all levels of complexity at public and private inquiries (ie Bristol Royal Infirmary, Shipman, Mubarek), and representation before the First-tier and Upper Tribunals. Advice and assistance is given in regard to disciplinary and regulatory matters generally and representation is provided in criminal proceedings arising out of professional practice. Advice and representation at coroners’ inquests is given (including regarding the recent high-profile inquest into the deaths of six UK nationals in a four-day siege at In Amenas, Algeria). Judicial review is also a specialism.

Applying its disciplinary expertise, Eastwoods has also advised in relation to sport disciplinary (anti-doping) and employment procedures (Eastwoods represented Dr Eva Carneiro in her Employment Tribunal proceedings against Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho). In that context the firm has advised in regard to various insurance issues including policy drafting and indemnity issues generally.

The firm has also advised an actuary regarding a regulatory investigation by the IFoA.

Eastwoods personnel have experience in dealing with professional issues affecting police officers, particularly senior officers, such as disciplinary proceedings and criminal proceedings, including the representation of the most senior police officer prosecuted for gross negligence manslaughter arising from the Hillsborough stadium tragedy.

While Eastwoods' historical focus has been on the healthcare defence sector, it is transferring its regulatory and defence skills to represent a wider range of professionals, sporting and other individuals, particularly in defending regulatory/disciplinary and negligence issues.

  • Number of UK partners: 3
  • Number of other UK fee-earners 8: 
  • Breakdown of work %

  • Medical regulatory (GMC/GDC/HPC): 40
  • Clinical negligence defence: 20
  • Healthcare (inquests/PCT/trusts/inquiries): 10
  • Criminal defence (medical): 20
  • Sport/personal injury defence: 10

Above material supplied by Eastwoods.

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