At Olliers our team of specialist professional discipline lawyers have significant experience across a broad variety of sectors. We have significant experience of dealing with doctors, pharmacists, dentists, healthcare professionals, teachers, lawyers and many more.
We deal with cases nationwide and take a pro-active approach to the defence of proceedings before your professional regulator. We understand how daunting such proceedings can be for professionals who have spent many years progressing their careers. We take pride in our ability to deal with such cases sensitively and empathetically and always seek to conclude matters at the earliest possible opportunity.
People working in medicine, law, finance, education , accountancy and many other professions are all subject to complex rules of professional discipline. Being accused of breaching such rules can seriously impact an individual’s ability to continue in their career and can ruin their reputation.
In recent years there has been significant growth in investigations conducted by professional regulatory bodies. There is an increasingly blurred line between ‘personal’ and ‘professional’ conduct. Activities that once may have been considered private are no longer so. Professional disciplinary investigators are increasingly examining’ use of social media by professional as well as activity outside the traditional workplace.
What types of professional discipline cases do Olliers deal with?
Our experienced professional can assist with the following regulatory bodies:
- Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority (SRA)
- Bar Standards Board (BSB)
- Sports Professionals
- Accountancy & Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB)
- Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accounting (CIPFA)
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- General Medical Council (GMC)
- Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
- General Optical Council (GOC)
- Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
- General Chiropractic Council (GCC)
- General Dental Council (GDC)
- General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)
- Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)
- Chartered Institute of Accountants of England & Wales Disciplinary Committee (ICAEW)
- Teaching Regulation Agency
- Student Misconduct Proceedings
When should I seek legal advice in a professional discipline case?
Whilst Olliers are often instructed at short notice and are happy to assist you at a late stage in proceedings, we would always advise seeking specialist advice at the earliest possible opportunity. If you are aware you are facing an investigation by your professional regulator, or are concerned this may be imminent, we would suggest you contact us for a no obligation, confidential discussion as soon as possible to safeguard your position. It may be that written responses are required to be submitted to your regulator and this is something Olliers can be instructed to undertake on your behalf.
How can Olliers assist me with my professional regulator?
Olliers can assist, advise and represent you at all stage of proceedings from initial instigation though to full fitness to practice/misconduct hearings. We aim to provide clear advice at every stage of the process.
We can assist with the following types of allegations of misconduct:
- Breaches of professional standards
- Financial misconduct
- Criminal convictions
- Conflicts of interest
What happens in a professional discipline investigation?
Different regulatory bodies deal with professional discipline matters in different ways however the progression of an investigation is generally similar.
An investigation usually starts with a fact-finding exercise in the form of requesting information/ documentation. Some regulators have compulsory powers to obtain material. Other regulators may not be able to formally require material; in this way however lack of engagement will often be viewed detrimentally.
Many regulators have the power to interview anyone under investigation. This is usually a crucial part of an investigation and, as such, the way it is dealt with is likely to influence the outcome.
Anyone facing the prospect of interview is advised to carry out detailed preparation in advance. This may include requesting advance notice of issues to be covered and documents to be referred to. It also involves taking the time to thoroughly consider what is provided and how to respond.
There may be an opportunity in the period after investigation (but before any decision to proceed or not has been made) for an investigation’s subject to present an argument on whether proceedings should be brought. A well drafted written representation tackling the key issues and submitted at this point can end cases without any action being taken or result in agreed settlements or mitigate penalties.
Parallel criminal investigations
If you are a professional facing a criminal investigation, Olliers can assist you with both the criminal investigation and the often parallel professional discipline proceedings. With our experience of professional disciplinary proceedings we seek to ensure that the strategy employed during the criminal stage of proceedings will not jeopardise your position at a later stage before your regulator.
Our team of expert lawyers can help you with:
- immediate advice and assistance if you are arrested;
- representation at a PACE interview
- proactive representation throughout any police investigation;
- representation at the Magistrates’ or Crown Court if you are prosecuted;
- advice at the initial stages of investigation by your regulator;
- representation at a misconduct hearing;
- advice on the prospect of media coverage relating to your case
We can be instructed on either an hourly rate basis or by way of agreed fees for different stage of the case. Please contact us for a quotation in relation to your case.
- 2022 – TRA proceedings for teacher alleged to have sexually touched a work colleague at a works party not within the remit of regulated activity as a teacher
- 2022 – TRA proceedings for former teacher following allegations of inappropriate relations with students
- 2022 – Representation of serving police officer under investigation in relation to misconduct in a public office
- 2021 – Proceedings before the TRA in relation to teacher alleged to have formed relationship with former student
- 2020 – Fitness to Practice Hearing before the Medical Practitioner’s Tribunal Service (MPTS)
- 2020 – Representation of solicitor in connection with the potential criminal / regulatory issues that might arise from a misconduct complaint made against him by an employee of the firm of Solicitors of which A was an Equity Partner.
- 2020 – Proceedings before the Medical Practitioner’s Tribunal Service (MPTS) following allegations of dishonesty
- Representation of serving police officer in connection with Professional Standards Department investigation and obligations under Police Barred List and Police Advisory List Regulations 2017 following arrest in relation to criminal offences
- 2020 – Police Misconduct Hearing following conviction of serving police officer for sexual offences
- 2020 – Proceedings before the Teaching Regulation Authority (TRA)
- Representation of solicitor facing SRA investigation as a result of text messages sent to client in custody. Following representations our client did not face prosecution before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).