The barristers at 1 Crown Office Row make up a strong team of silks and juniors whose experience is difficult to rival, in particular in the medical field given their incontrovertible expertise in clinical negligence.

Members of Chambers have appeared in some of the most significant and high profile professional disciplinary hearings of recent years as well as in subsequent appeals and challenges to decisions made by the various tribunals.

The volume of work before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service prompted the decision to open an annexe in the same building in Manchester in which the MPTS hearings are held. We therefore have good facilities in both London and Manchester.

Whilst much of this work is in the healthcare field, members of Chambers have also been involved in disciplinary hearings concerning sports governing bodies, the police, the legal profession, accountants, surveyors and vets.

Experience before these bodies includes dealing with allegations relating to conduct (including clinical care, financial irregularity, ethical issues and criminal offences), competency and health. Members also have extensive experience of challenging decisions made by various professional bodies, either through the statutory schemes in places for specific regulators or via judicial review proceedings.

Our experience includes advising in relation to and appearing before:

  • Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service
  • Internal NHS Trust disciplinary panels
  • Medical School disciplinary panels
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • General Medical Council
  • General Dental Council
  • General Osteopathic Council
  • General Optical Council
  • General Chiropractic Council
  • The British Chiropractic Council
  • Health and Care Professions Council
  • Hearings concerning inclusion on specialist lists
  • Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Bar Disciplinary Tribunal
  • MOD Police
  • Financial Conduct Authority
  • Advising athletes and sports officials in relation to disciplinary proceedings before sports governing bodies
  • Acting for health care practitioners in public inquiry relating to clinical care
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit

Members of Chambers also have wide experience of appearing before and Chairing Disciplinary Tribunals.

Members’ publications include the primary textbook on regulation in the healthcare sector, “Fitness to Practise: Health Care Regulatory Law, Principle and Process” [2005] and its successor “The Regulation of Healthcare Professionals: Law, Principle and Process” [2012].

Our expertise in the field of professional discipline is augmented by our reputation as the leading clinical negligence set. It is not unusual for civil claims and Coroner’s Inquests to lead to complaints to professional bodies, in particular since the introduction of the requirement to self refer to the GMC in the event of criticism. Members of Chambers frequently work together with the Medical Defence Organisations when advising individual clinicians both before and after such referrals have been made.

There is also some overlap with our expertise in public inquiries, with Members of Chambers having acted for health care practitioners in inquiries relating to clinical care.

Notable cases include:

  • Houshian v. General Medical Council [2012] EWHC 3458 (QB)
  • Harry v. General Medical Council [2012] EWHC 2762
  • R (Patel) v. General Medical Council [2012] EWHC 2012 EWHC 2120
  • Preiss v General Dental Council – Privy Council 2001 HRLR56 2001 Lloyd’s Rep Med 491
  • Dr Michael Jonathan Fish v GMC [2012] EWHC 1269 (Admin)
  • Negin Shamsian v GMC [2011] EWHC 2885 (Admin)
  • GMC v Wakefield
  • GMC v Southall
  • GMC v Squier

This year we were awarded the Professional Discipline Set of the Year by Chambers & Partners. In 2013 we were awarded Professional Discipline Set of the Year at the Chambers Bar Awards.

“1 Crown Office Row is acknowledged as a leading set for professional discipline work, thanks to its expertise in a wide range of sectors. It is especially notable for its strength in disputes involving medical practitioners including doctors, nurses and dentists. Members regularly defend individuals before regulatory bodies such as the General Medical Council (GMC) and General Dental Council (GDC). They are also instructed to act on behalf of regulators. A significant recent instruction was Dr Squier v General Medical Council, which overturned the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service’s (MPTS) findings of dishonesty against an expert witness in cases relating to shaken baby syndrome. Sources pay tribute to the barristers’ “intellect,” remarking that it “makes them special and a pleasure to work with.”  (Chambers & Partners 2018)

 “The clerking is excellent. They are flexible and always try to find a solution.” “The clerks are excellent. They are very efficient and have a very good understanding of the expertise of different barristers.”  (Chambers & Partners 2018)

“1 Crown Office Row handles a range of cases regarding medical regulation, typically for the defence, meshing with the set’s reputation for clinical negligence cases. Clodagh Bradley QC represented a doctor accused by the GMC of having diagnosed a person with a history of making false allegations to the police as terminally ill before encouraging her to make him a bequest in her will; the case was dismissed early in the hearing.” (Legal 500 2017)

“1 Crown Office Row handles professional negligence cases involving lawyers and construction, planning and environmental professionals. The practice is also closely linked to its market-leading clinical negligence expertise.” (Legal 500 2017)

Matthew Phipps 1COR

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