Legal Expertise at Professional Tribunals
Professional Discipline Solicitors
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for professionals to find themselves the subject of a complaint to their professional body or regulator. The result can be a formal investigation followed by a disciplinary hearing, and such proceedings can drag on over many months, or years. They can be time-consuming, costly, and very stressful. The outcome can be disastrous in terms of career prospects and/or reputation.
If you find yourself the subject of disciplinary proceedings, we can help you. Our professional discipline solicitors will evaluate whether your professional liability or other insurance can meet the costs of legal assistance, and even if you do not intend to have a lawyer represent you throughout the proceedings, we can provide you with sensible advice before you commit yourself.
To contact us regarding a professional disciplinary investigation and/or hearing, please call our office on 020 3824 8080 to make an appointment at our London office.
As a team, we provide partner-led, quality, professional service. A professional disciplinary investigation and/or hearing has the potential to damage your professional and personal reputation, as well as causing enormous stress and anxiety to you and your loved ones. You can trust us to provide expert advice and robust representation while supporting you and your family throughout the investigation.
We are confident that we can make a difference whether you are contesting an allegation or wish to accept it but mitigate the outcome.
At MPR Solicitors, we can assist those facing disciplinary action from most regulatory bodies including:
- General Medical Council
- General Dental Council
- Health and Care Professions Council
- General Optical Council
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
- Financial Conduct Authority
- Architects Registration Board
- Engineering Council
- General Pharmaceutical Council
- Civil Aviation Authority
- Bar Standards Board
- Solicitors Regulatory Authority
General Medical Council (GMC)
The GMC regulates doctors in the UK, and it derives its powers from the Medical Act 1983.
The purpose of the GMC in exercising its regulatory functions is to 'protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public'.
The GMC's procedures are divided into two separate stages:
- Investigation - cases are investigated to assess whether they should be referred to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) for adjudication
- Adjudication - a hearing by a Medical Practitioners Tribunal (MPT) (formerly known as 'Fitness to Practise Panel')
Our solicitors can advise and represent doctors at the investigation stage and at adjudication, ensuring they receive a fair hearing and a strong defence regarding their fitness to practice.
General Dental Council (GDC)
The GDC governs the dentistry profession. When exercising their functions, they must:
- protect the public
- promote high standards of education
- promote high standards of professional conduct
The GDC usually considers the following types of cases:
- criminal offences
- professional conduct
- health problems of the dental professional
- performance of the dental professional
If you are being investigated by the GDC, we can advise you on how the investigatory process will progress, collate and present evidence on your behalf and, represent you if the case proceeds to an Investigating Committee.
Accountants - ACCA; CIMA and ICAEW proceedings
Our disciplinary lawyers have experience in acting on behalf of accountants at disciplinary proceedings and we have experience of hearings before the (ACCA); Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
Any allegation can have drastic consequences on your ability to continue to practice in your profession and if you are facing an investigation you should seek expert advice from our disciplinary lawyers who can assist you in providing a pro-active and robust defence in order to defend the charges and avoid any sanctions.
General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
The GPhC is the regulatory body for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises in the UK.
The GPhC is responsible for ensuring that pharmacy professionals follow the professional standards set by the body and that they comply with the laws relating to medicines and poisons. The GPhC also has standards for pharmacy sites.
Only pharmacy professionals’ “fitness to practice” is regulated by the GPhC, which should not be confused with being fit to work. Fitness to practice refers to the skills, knowledge, character and health a pharmacy professional must have to do their job safely and effectively.
Most investigations are conducted by GPhC inspectors who are often pharmacy professionals themselves.
Our team will assist you if you are facing disciplinary action by the GPhC and ensure they stay within the bounds of their statutory remit. As well as providing a robust defence, if the GPhC does find against your fitness to practice, we will ensure the body have regard to the principles of fairness, proportionality and reasonableness when considering whether or not to apply sanctions.
Bar Standards Board (BSB)
The BSB regulates barristers in England and Wales. Alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct by a barrister will be investigated by the Professional Conduct Committee of the body. If the investigation shows the barrister in question is guilty of breaching the Code of Conduct, the Professional Conduct Committee may refer the matter to the Disciplinary Tribunal.
Disciplinary Tribunals are arranged by an independent organisation called the Council of the Inns of Court (COIC). It appoints the members of the disciplinary tribunals and arranges the hearings.
Tribunal panels are made up of barristers, in certain circumstances a judge, and always at least one layperson. Depending on how serious the matter is, the barrister will come before a panel of either three or five persons. A five-person panel will always include a judge.
Three-person panels can, amongst other things, suspend a barrister for up to three months and/or fine them up to £15,000. A five-person panel can suspend a barrister for any length of time or permanently disbar them.
The solicitors at MPR Solicitors have an in-depth knowledge of the bar (one of our partners is a barrister). We have assisted many barristers in successfully defending allegations of breaching the BSB Code of Conduct and can provide expert advice and representation before, during and after an investigation.
Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA)
The SRA is the regulatory body for the legal profession. Its overriding aim is to maintain public confidence in the legal profession.
The SRA has the power to investigate alleged misconduct by members of the legal profession. Our team can advise you if you are being investigated by the SRA and represent you should the matter be referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).
To contact our professional discipline solicitors in complete confidence, please call 020 3824 8080 or fill in our contact form to get in touch.
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