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Joanna Glynn QC

Call:  1983 
QC: 2002


Joanna Glynn currently undertakes advisory work in the field of professional discipline and professional regulation (health care, legal and financial). She is instructed by regulators and those representing registrants, to advise on legal and policy issues of general applicability, or case-specific issues, including points arising in common law jurisdictions such as Hong Kong and Singapore. She also accepts instructions to advise on points relating to expert evidence in infant homicides (“Sudden Death in Infancy” and “baby shaking” cases), in which she has a wealth of experience. 


Her advisory work is founded on her knowledge and experience derived from a combination of research for the authorship of books on professional discipline and regulation (see below), and on many years of practical experience, advising regulators and those defending practitioners, and conducting cases before the regulators' panels and committees. She chairs and speaks at conferences on regulatory topics and has developed an expertise in the preparation of, and law relating to, expert evidence.  Her advisory work is enriched by her knowledge of the criminal justice system and its rules of evidence, derived from having undertaken criminal work, (in recent years mostly infant homicide cases) and her 15 years as a Recorder (part-time judge) in the criminal courts.

Related interests

Joanna was a trustee and then Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Redress (a charity seeking reparation for torture survivors) until December 2007. She has undertaken trial observations in Kenya and Turkey for Amnesty International and the Bar Human Rights Committee.

She worked with the Royal Society as a member of the Review Panel of "Neuroscience and the Law," published by the Society in December 2011 and she conducts the Middle Temple pupils’ training on preparing expert evidence.


She is highly ranked (Band 1) as a leading Silk by Chambers and Partners in the category of "Professional Discipline".

In recent editions she is described as having an “encyclopaedic knowledge of the law”

She is also described as:

 “….a first choice on discrete procedural/legislative interpretation issues.” and “absolutely marvellous”,  valued for her command of detail, intellectual and forensic rigour, and flair for dealing with clients.  She is an authority on healthcare regulatory law and a frequent advocate on behalf of both medical practitioners and the GMC.”

"the kind of performer who ‘attracts the admiration of opponents,' 'In great demand'; 'literally wrote the book on the subject' and as 'a vociferous fighter who is not afraid to rock the boat'; 'she is a client favourite due to her assured appearances before the GMC....' 'with a reputation as being outstanding, fair and thorough she is often called upon to handle heavyweight cases'." and reference is made to her "mastery of detail and her ability to present complex evidence in a way that is digestible to a panel."

In the Legal 500 she has been described as: “The ‘superb’ Joanna Glynn QC is ‘an expert in the field of professional regulation’ as she has written ‘the bible for fitness to practise work’; '[she is] 'patient, thorough and clear' and 'very much first choice QC' for many.”

She was selected by The Lawyer magazine as one of the 10 barristers in their "Hot 100" list for 2008.


  • “Fitness to Practise : Health Care Regulatory Law, Principle and Process", Sweet and Maxwell, July 2005, (with David Gomez); this book covers all the UK health care regulators, and all legal and procedural topics required by those concerned with “fitness to practise” issues in the context of healthcare.
  • “The Regulation of Healthcare Professionals: Law, Principle and Process”, Sweet and Maxwell, November 2012, [1,354 pages] (with David Gomez); an update of the earlier book, but expanded to cover the whole regulatory cycle, from registration to restoration, and including chapters on NHS tribunals and on the regulation of primary care in the NHS in England.
  • Contributing editor “Archbold: Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice" for 12 years from 1994 to 2006, responsible for chapters covering Customs & Excise offences, Harmful and Dangerous Drugs and Money Laundering.


Assistant Recorder of the Crown Court 1997
Recorder of the Crown Court 2000 – 2013
Queen’s Counsel - 2002
Master of the Bench of the Middle Temple 2011

Significant Work includes the following:


  • The provision of numerous pieces of advice to health care regulators and those representing practitioners on points of generic applicability, including on points of statutory interpretation, disclosure issues, issues relating to the regulation of business registrants (eg, the internet sale of contact lenses), the effect of procedural errors, the effect of changes to the legal requirement to disclose spent convictions, etc. 
  • Advice to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal on a piece of their published guidance – 2012.
  • The provision of advice in cases determined by the Singapore Medical Council and the Medical Council of Hong Kong.
  • Appearances since the late 1990s before the General Medical Council’s fitness to practise panels, including leading for the GMC in a four month inquiry into a breast cancer screening unit, and acting in cases concerning prescription fraud, psychiatry, (including eating disorders), misconduct in relation to research into drugs to combat schizophrenia, clinical misconduct in general surgery, gynaecology, cases raising issues of consent, misconduct in research into aspects of respiratory medicine, multi-patient allegations of sexual misconduct by GPs, and the operation of private assisted conception clinics etc. She has advised in cases involving allegations of substandard breast cancer surgery and private medical insurance fraud, and on the admissibility of numerous categories of evidence etc.
  • Acting for the GMC in the appeal of Professor Walker-Smith v General Medical Council [2012] (an appeal against the findings of the GMC’s Fitness to Practise Panel in the longest and one of the most complex cases in the GMC’s history, concerning research and the MMR vaccination).
  • Acting for registrants before other regulators, including in the field of orthodontics, and for a senior academic pharmacist acquitted of dishonesty regarding the moderation of examination marks.


  • Conducting a criminal prosecution for the General Optical Council against Vision Direct (UK) Ltd concerning the international sale of contact lenses on the internet.
  • Advising on, and conducting trials in a number of recent infant homicide ("baby-shaking") cases, including in the leading case of R v Keren Henderson [October 2007 and appeal March 2010, [2010] EWCA Crim 1269] (child minder convicted of causing baby's death by shaking)
  • Acted for the Inland Revenue in a series of six frauds trials between 2001 and 2005, including:

R v Leaf [2005] (Inland Revenue prosecution of a £76 million "company purchase scheme" fraud, described in the press as the "largest case of its type".) R v Leaf (Ian Andrew)(Interlocutory)[2005] EWCA Crim 2229

R v Nolan and others [2004] (3 month Inland Revenue prosecution of construction industry fraud)

R v Kumar, Knight and Moore [2003-4] (4 month Inland Revenue prosecution of "pension busting") R v Kumar (Anil) [2005] EWCA 1979


Other information

VAT Registration No:  397 0396 14


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020 7797 7500

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Joanna Glynn QC prosecutes father of baby Ocean Elliot whose death was caused by shaking
Joanna Glynn QC prosecutes a case in which a 5 week old baby was shaken to death.
1 Crown Office Row appears on both sides of the Professor Walker-Smith appeal
Joanna Glynn QC discusses the Royal Society’s Report “Neuroscience and the Law,” on Radio 4’s “All in the Mind”