Fitness to Practice (Healthcare) and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
The increasing amount of regulation facing all professions has led to a rise in the number of disciplinary hearings being held. The conduct of these hearings is governed by an evolving body of law that is often highly complex, requiring specialist knowledge to fully comprehend.
Anyone required to attend any kind of professional disciplinary panel will benefit greatly from the guidance of a lawyer with expertise in this area.
Defend your Rights
We have experience of dealing with a wide variety of regulators, in particularly the General Medical Council (GMC)/Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. With our support, the prospect of you reaching a favourable outcome will be significantly increased.
From the initial investigation through to drafting witness statements and representing you at the actual tribunal, we’ll ensure you receive a fair hearing and present the best possible case for your defence.
Protect your Reputation
We understand how important your professional reputation is to you, and we’ll do everything possible to protect it.
Whatever sector you work in, and whatever the nature of the complaint, by taking advantage of our services, you’ll increase your prospects of resuming your career without any damage to your professional standing.
FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS
Fitness to practise (FTP) is a serious issue for any professional, especially someone involved in providing healthcare. If you find yourself facing an investigation of this nature, you should contact us immediately for a non-obligation initial discussion.
Responding to a Medical Grievance
The starting point of any disciplinary investigation is usually a critical remark or official complaint from an employer, a patient or a fellow professional. As a healthcare professional, you’re bound by your profession’s code of practice, so if there’s a reasonable possibility that you have in some way contravened these rules, the complaint will be investigated further.
There are typically three stages to the process:
- The investigation, where you have the opportunity to explain what has happened, usually in writing. Our experience includes successfully concluding numerous matters at this stage
- The investigating committee, which meets to assess the evidence and decide whether to pursue the case. If they do, you’ll be asked to attend a hearing. We have influenced these committees into accepting there is no case to answer
- The fitness to practise panel (FTP), usually consisting of three people, including someone from your profession, assesses the evidence and decides what penalty, if any, should be enforced. Our enviable record of success includes winning such hearings that others lawyers deem unwinnable
Our team of legal specialists have extensive experience contending with the following regulators:
- GDC – General Dental Council
- GMC – General Medical Council
- HCPC – Health and Care Professions Council
- MPTS – Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service
- NWC – Nursing and Midwifery Council
In addition, we’ve supported our clients at hearings held by a number of smaller regulators in both England and Wales.
Expert support for Healthcare Professionals
At each stage of the disciplinary process, our specialist team apply their expertise to assess your particular situation, advise on how you should proceed and then support you throughout the proceedings.
With our extensive expertise and experience in this area, your professional reputation couldn’t be in better hands.
FOR LAW AND FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS
If you’re a solicitor, accountant or financial professional, your professional reputation is everything. So when your conduct comes under investigation, you need specialist legal advice without delay.
Responding to a Legal or Financial Grievance
As a member of a professional body, you will carry out your work under an agreed code of practice or code of conduct. When a complaint or disapproving comment calls your professionalism into question, the matter will be investigated further.
There are four stages of the inquiry that can benefit from our expertise:
- The investigation, where you have the opportunity to explain what has happened, usually in writing. Our experience includes successfully concluding numerous matters at this stage.
- The investigating committee, which meets to assess the evidence and decide whether to pursue the case. If they do, you will be asked to attend a hearing. We have influenced these committees into accepting there is no case to answer.
- For solicitors, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which will make the disciplinary decision (typically a rebuke or fine) or a regulatory settlement agreement (an agreed outcome). We have experience and expertise in negotiating these.
- For solicitors, the prosecution before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal , which has the authority to impose more serious sanctions (larger fines or removal from the profession).
Expert support for Law and Financial Professionals
By defending your interests, we aim to persuade the regulator not to prosecute. If a disciplinary measure is handed out, we assist you in mitigating any sanction to minimise the harm it does to your career and your reputation.
We have a former Attorney General Panel Counsel advocate within our team, with experience of taking cases up to the Court of Appeal. In addition, our exhaustive experience of attending and influencing forensic investigation visits conducted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) enables us to put forward the strongest viable case in the most effective way possible.
Partner & Specialist in Professional Practices
Partner & Specialist in Professional Practices
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