The Regions - Professional Discipline Lawyers & Law Firms - UK Bar - Chambers and Partners
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UK-Bar Guide

Professional Discipline — The Regions

Band 1

Deans Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

Deans Court Chambers remains the pre-eminent regional set for professional discipline matters due to its strength in the healthcare sector, as well as other areas. Members routinely act for and against various disciplinary bodies including the MDU, the GMC, the GDC and the Police Federation. Recent work highlights include GMC v Upton, a rare case in which the GMC criticised a practitioner's performance as a manager rather than in a clinical context, and GMC v Dr Julius Awakame, concerning a consultant psychiatrist who gave religious advice to the victim of a satanic cult. An instructing solicitor comments that "all the counsel I have contact there with are experts in their field and personable."

Client service: "I would really rate them very particularly highly. The senior clerk Matthew Gibbons is brilliant and does everything he can to help." "They are very professional and accommodating. Queries are dealt with expeditiously."

SILKS

Mary O'Rourke QC
Has a highly regarded professional discipline practice with a focus on the defence of doctors in matters before the GMC and other disciplinary bodies. She is admired for her advocacy in high-profile, complex cases, including judicial reviews and Administrative Court trials.
Strengths: "A standout performer. She's utterly fearless with an absolutely compendious knowledge of this area." "She has vast experience and is very good with clients."
Recent work: Acted for a doctor against whom the GMC panel made a finding of misconduct. Following a threatened judicial review the GMC consented to quash the finding.

Craig Sephton QC
Noted for his expertise in professional discipline defence work, acting for a number of doctors as part of a broader practice that also covers personal injury. He is also regularly instructed by the GMC in cases brought before both the Fitness to Practise Panel and the Administrative Court.
Strengths: "A highly respected, thoughtful and effective advocate who's very experienced."
Recent work: Acted for the GMC against an Italian-qualified surgeon, alleging that his surgical technique was seriously deficient, his records were poor and his relationships with patients were deplorable.

JUNIORS

Peter Atherton
Gains regular instruction from the GMC in medical tribunal cases, drawing on his wealth of experience handling civil and criminal cases when acting in court. He is also skilled at handling inquests concerning deprivation of liberty cases and Human Rights Act applications, among other matters.
Strengths: "He's such a class act. He has a wealth of experience which is used to good effect." "A very experienced, very capable advocate. He knows the case very well and presents it very clearly to the tribunal."
Recent work: Acted for the GMC against a specialist registrar in plastic surgery in a case involving allegations of dishonest conduct.

Sophie Cartwright
Experienced prosecutor on behalf of the GMC, also handling high-profile public inquiry police cases. Her professional discipline practice also takes in the representation of regulated professionals and organisations.
Strengths: "Very able and personable. I'm really impressed by her." "Very thorough and engaging."

Robin Kitching
Known for his work for the GMC on sensitive and high-profile cases, with expertise in handling fitness to practise cases. He handles professional discipline matters as part of a broader practice that also encompasses criminal law work.
Strengths: "He's encyclopaedic when it comes to law and practice. He is impressive." "He has many years' experience and good judgement. He is user-friendly and very persuasive on his feet before the tribunal."

Rosalind Emsley-Smith
An advocate who uses her broad experience in criminal law to good effect in disciplinary cases in the healthcare sector. She regularly acts for the GMC and has a wide knowledge of the MPTS, with a particular focus on fitness to practise hearings and reviews of fitness to practise hearings.
Strengths: "She has a well-rounded knowledge of regulatory matters, takes a sensible approach on cases to progress them and is liked by the client." "A busy practitioner in the GMC. Very tenacious and very thorough in cross-examining. A very confident, impressive performer."

Elizabeth Dudley-Jones
Has a broad professional discipline practice, with a notable focus on handling cases concerning medical and healthcare law, involving issues such as misconduct, dishonesty and clinical failings. She regularly prosecutes cases for the GMC, including several cases before the Fitness to Practise Panel.
Strengths: "Always on top of all the details." "An experienced Medical Practitioners Tribunal advocate."
Recent work: Represented the GMC in the prosecution of a senior consultant psychiatrist for the allegedly dishonest drafting of a psychiatric report in respect of a highly dangerous patient.

Since publication, Craig Sephton has moved in-house.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

Exchange Chambers is held in high regard for its ability to cover a broad spectrum of professional discipline matters in the healthcare and police sectors. "It stands out as an impressive set," comments one market observer, "particularly in view of its clerking and support staff." Its members regularly act on behalf of police officers and healthcare practitioners in disciplinary cases before their regulatory bodies. Recent cases handled by members include a case defending a police officer who exceptionally kept his job despite a finding of gross misconduct, and the case of a police officer who was convicted of an off-duty rape, acquitted after a retrial, and then subjected to police misconduct proceedings for the same allegation, a procedure which was successfully found unlawful in the High Court.

Client service: "Its clerking is second to none; exceptionally organised and helpful." "They have been extremely professional and they get back to you so quickly." Nick Buckley is the senior clerk in Manchester, Ian Spencer is the senior clerk in Leeds and Kate Masher is the senior criminal clerk in Liverpool.

JUNIORS

Steven Crossley
Focuses his professional discipline practice on police cases, acting for his clients in inquests and tribunals and before the High Court. He regularly handles cases concerning sexual assaults, dishonesty and the improper use of force.
Strengths: "An effective advocate who puts clients at ease and is very well prepared." "He's one of the best exponents of the art of representing a police officer accused of disciplinary misconduct. He's massively experienced, compassionate and realistic. An excellent advocate with super drafting."
Recent work: Defended a police officer in over 100 allegations of breaches of duty. The officer received a final written warning.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

9 St John Street has a high standing in the area of professional discipline due to its expertise in handling healthcare- and police-related disciplinary cases. Sources regard it as "a really impressive set" that is "very good for disciplinary cases." Its members regularly act for the GMC and for police officers in disciplinary proceedings. Significant recent instructions include GMC v Dr K, a sensitive case in which a GP was accused of raping his own patient, and GMC v Buchholz and Masood, a complicated case involving two eminent surgeons accused of dishonesty in their research projects.

Client service: "An incredibly good, extremely professional set." "Tony Morrissey is the senior clerk and it's a very productive relationship."

JUNIORS

Thomas Gilbart
An experienced practitioner in healthcare professional discipline cases. He is noted for his strong advocacy acting on behalf of the GMC in fitness to practise hearings.
Strengths: "Absolutely excellent in presenting a GMC case. He approached it in a very clear way." "An effective practitioner."
Recent work: Acted for the GMC in a case involving a doctor who was accused of sexually motivated conduct towards colleagues.

Catherine Cundy
Continues to impress in professional discipline cases in the healthcare profession, drawing on her previous role as in-house counsel at the GMC. She regularly prosecutes on behalf of the GMC in fitness to practise cases concerning dishonesty and clinical and sexual misconduct.
Strengths: "She's always incredibly well prepared. She presents cases extremely well and makes a complex case seem relatively simple." "Very robust and very effective."

Nigel Grundy
Particularly impresses in healthcare-related professional discipline matters, regularly handling GMC fitness to practise hearings and receiving regular instruction from the Ambulance Service and several NHS trusts.
Strengths: "He's a very experienced practitioner; he's a long-established, well-respected, capable advocate. He's an expert in the field." "He does a lot of disciplinary work against doctors and knows his stuff."

Edward Morgan
Experienced in handling professional discipline matters and related employment cases. He represents clients in Employment Tribunals and a range of disciplinary proceedings.
Strengths: "He has a remarkable knowledge of the law." "Effective, resilient and a good advocate."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Adrian Keeling QC

A

No5 Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Adrian Keeling QC of No5 Chambers 
A highly regarded silk with a focus on the representation of police officers at all levels of the disciplinary process, including Police Appeals Tribunals, misconduct panels and the High Court. He is also known for his expertise in handling cases concerning misconduct in public office and the legal sector.
Strengths: "A first-class barrister who has an innate sense for the right tactical approach to a case and a magical touch with juries and tribunals." "His depth of experience and knowledge is very vast indeed. You have the confidence he will do what's needed to be done in a timely fashion."
Recent work: Represented a police officer as part of 'Plebgate.' The IPCC directed that misconduct charges be brought and at the hearing all charges were dismissed.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Deans Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Mary O'Rourke QC 
Has a highly regarded professional discipline practice with a focus on the defence of doctors in matters before the GMC and other disciplinary bodies. She is admired for her advocacy in high-profile, complex cases, including judicial reviews and Administrative Court trials.
Strengths: "A standout performer. She's utterly fearless with an absolutely compendious knowledge of this area." "She has vast experience and is very good with clients."
Recent work: Acted for a doctor against whom the GMC panel made a finding of misconduct. Following a threatened judicial review the GMC consented to quash the finding.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Serjeants' Inn Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Chris Daw QC of Serjeants' Inn Chambers
Has a broad criminal law practice which includes significant experience in professional discipline matters. He regularly represents high ranking police officers in misconduct hearings and inquests.
Strengths: "An outstanding barrister who prepares extremely well."
Recent work: Acted for two retired Chief Superintendents of South Yorkshire Police in the Hillsborough inquests.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

New Park Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Paul Greaney QC of New Park Court Chambers 
An experienced silk with a wide-ranging professional discipline practice encompassing the healthcare, sport and police sectors. He represents police officers and sports regulatory bodies in disciplinary proceedings.
Strengths: "A top-class operator and a commanding advocate. He's a leader in his field." "He's a class act. He has a mixed practice and his abilities are such that he is a good performer."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

New Park Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jason Pitter QC of New Park Court Chambers 
A vastly experienced silk noted for handling misconduct hearings before the GMC, the NMC and police misconduct panels. He receives recognition for his expertise in the prosecution of healthcare professionals for the GMC and for his defence of police officers.
Strengths: "One of the best jury advocates around. Hugely impressive and fantastic with clients."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Lincoln House Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Lisa Roberts QC of Lincoln House Chambers 
Experienced in both the defence and prosecution of police and medical professionals, with experience in handling regulatory offences. She complements her professional discipline practice with expertise in criminal law.
Strengths: "She's excellent; an extraordinarily good cross-examiner who's very robust indeed and very persuasive."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Deans Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Peter Atherton 
Gains regular instruction from the GMC in medical tribunal cases, drawing on his wealth of experience handling civil and criminal cases when acting in court. He is also skilled at handling inquests concerning deprivation of liberty cases and Human Rights Act applications, among other matters.
Strengths: "He's such a class act. He has a wealth of experience which is used to good effect." "A very experienced, very capable advocate. He knows the case very well and presents it very clearly to the tribunal."
Recent work: Acted for the GMC against a specialist registrar in plastic surgery in a case involving allegations of dishonest conduct.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

New Park Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Sharon Beattie of New Park Court Chambers 
Respected junior focusing her practice on representing clients in the medical profession, who regularly presents complex and sensitive professional discipline cases before the GMC. She complements her professional discipline practice with her knowledge of handling serious criminal cases and is experienced in dealing with cases of doctors facing sexual allegations.
Strengths: "Approachable and thorough in her preparation." "Very experienced in some quite challenging fact scenarios. She's a very capable advocate."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Sophie Cartwright

Deans Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Sophie Cartwright 
Experienced prosecutor on behalf of the GMC, also handling high-profile public inquiry police cases. Her professional discipline practice also takes in the representation of regulated professionals and organisations.
Strengths: "Very able and personable. I'm really impressed by her." "Very thorough and engaging."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Exchange Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Steven Crossley 
Focuses his professional discipline practice on police cases, acting for his clients in inquests and tribunals and before the High Court. He regularly handles cases concerning sexual assaults, dishonesty and the improper use of force.
Strengths: "An effective advocate who puts clients at ease and is very well prepared." "He's one of the best exponents of the art of representing a police officer accused of disciplinary misconduct. He's massively experienced, compassionate and realistic. An excellent advocate with super drafting."
Recent work: Defended a police officer in over 100 allegations of breaches of duty. The officer received a final written warning.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Deans Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Robin Kitching 
Known for his work for the GMC on sensitive and high-profile cases, with expertise in handling fitness to practise cases. He handles professional discipline matters as part of a broader practice that also encompasses criminal law work.
Strengths: "He's encyclopaedic when it comes to law and practice. He is impressive." "He has many years' experience and good judgement. He is user-friendly and very persuasive on his feet before the tribunal."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

9 St John Street

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Catherine Cundy 
Continues to impress in professional discipline cases in the healthcare profession, drawing on her previous role as in-house counsel at the GMC. She regularly prosecutes on behalf of the GMC in fitness to practise cases concerning dishonesty and clinical and sexual misconduct.
Strengths: "She's always incredibly well prepared. She presents cases extremely well and makes a complex case seem relatively simple." "Very robust and very effective."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Elizabeth Dudley-Jones

Deans Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Elizabeth Dudley-Jones 
Has a broad professional discipline practice, with a notable focus on handling cases concerning medical and healthcare law, involving issues such as misconduct, dishonesty and clinical failings. She regularly prosecutes cases for the GMC, including several cases before the Fitness to Practise Panel.
Strengths: "Always on top of all the details." "An experienced Medical Practitioners Tribunal advocate."
Recent work: Represented the GMC in the prosecution of a senior consultant psychiatrist for the allegedly dishonest drafting of a psychiatric report in respect of a highly dangerous patient.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Rosalind Emsley-Smith

Deans Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Rosalind Emsley-Smith 
An advocate who uses her broad experience in criminal law to good effect in disciplinary cases in the healthcare sector. She regularly acts for the GMC and has a wide knowledge of the MPTS, with a particular focus on fitness to practise hearings and reviews of fitness to practise hearings.
Strengths: "She has a well-rounded knowledge of regulatory matters, takes a sensible approach on cases to progress them and is liked by the client." "A busy practitioner in the GMC. Very tenacious and very thorough in cross-examining. A very confident, impressive performer."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

9 St John Street

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Thomas Gilbart 
An experienced practitioner in healthcare professional discipline cases. He is noted for his strong advocacy acting on behalf of the GMC in fitness to practise hearings.
Strengths: "Absolutely excellent in presenting a GMC case. He approached it in a very clear way." "An effective practitioner."
Recent work: Acted for the GMC in a case involving a doctor who was accused of sexually motivated conduct towards colleagues.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

9 St John Street

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Nigel Grundy 
Particularly impresses in healthcare-related professional discipline matters, regularly handling GMC fitness to practise hearings and receiving regular instruction from the Ambulance Service and several NHS trusts.
Strengths: "He's a very experienced practitioner; he's a long-established, well-respected, capable advocate. He's an expert in the field." "He does a lot of disciplinary work against doctors and knows his stuff."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Lincoln House Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Simon Gurney of Lincoln House Chambers 
An advocate with strong expertise in representing police officers and healthcare professionals before their regulatory bodies. He is experienced in everything from FTP hearings to High Court and Court of Appeal advocacy.
Strengths: "He is an exceptionally good advocate and his legal knowledge is amazing." "I found him to be very professional and very knowledgeable, with a very clear analytic mind to deal with the matters in hand."
Recent work: Acted for a consultant plastic surgeon in what is now the leading case on proceeding in absence in the field of professional discipline.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

9 St John Street

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Edward Morgan 
Experienced in handling professional discipline matters and related employment cases. He represents clients in Employment Tribunals and a range of disciplinary proceedings.
Strengths: "He has a remarkable knowledge of the law." "Effective, resilient and a good advocate."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

2 Hare Court

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Mike Rawlinson of 2 Hare Court
An experienced advocate with a background in criminal law, he focuses on acting for police officers in misconduct hearings and appeals as well as inquests. In disciplinary proceedings he also acts on behalf of healthcare practitioners.
Strengths: "His representation has been second to none." "He was so down-to-earth and so professional."
Recent work: Defended a police officer against five separate allegations of misconduct and gross misconduct. The officer retained his job.

^ See whole ranking table

A

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