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5SAH has a team of highly skilled barristers who are regularly instructed on behalf of Individuals, Registrants & Regulators in all levels of professional discipline cases
5SAH barristers act in disciplinary proceedings for individuals, regulated individuals, regulatory bodies and defence organisations in a wide range of fitness to practise proceedings. This ranges from school and university, healthcare, sport, accountancy and other regulated professionals and sectors. We provide advice and representation all the way through from initial hearings, interim order hearings, substantive fitness to practise hearings, and investigatory hearings. We can advise in matters that are pre-hearing.
Our barristers have extensive experience of acting in professional discipline cases. We have outstanding advocacy experience and often utilise our knowledge from other practice areas, including criminal law, civil law, inquests, judicial review SEN/education, regulation, extradition, asset recovery & proceeds of crime and family law.
Our barristers regularly appear in appeals to the High Court on behalf of registrants and regulators, judicial reviews as well as appeals brought by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
The team of barristers is led by Wendy Hewitt, who practises exclusively in professional discipline and regulatory work. Wendy and other team members are recognised within the Legal 500 for their expertise.
We work with instructing solicitors or members of the team can be instructed directly in appropriate cases.
Governance & Advice
Our barristers have significant expertise in providing governance and other public law advice for regulators, including drafting disciplinary rules, Codes of Conduct and related policies. Our barristers also have experience acting as independent investigators for public bodies where an internal investigation is required.
Several members of Chambers regularly act as chair or legal advisor/assessor to several disciplinary bodies which include the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, the Health and Care Professionals Council, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and the Police Misconduct Panel.
Seminars & Articles
Our barristers are regularly instructed to appear before healthcare tribunals, in relation to all the main regulators of healthcare professions, including:
- General Medical Council (GMC),
- Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC),
- General Dental Council (GDC),
- General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC),
- General Optical Council (GoC),
- Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC),
- General Osteopathic Council (GOsC),
- Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists (RCCP),
- Pharmaceutical Society of NI (PSNI),
- Social Work England,
- We have also acted for doctors in relation to annual review of competence progression outcome appeals (ARCP).
We act in cases concerning schools (state and fee-paying), further education and higher education (universities).
In school cases, 5SAH barristers act in matters concerning admissions, exclusions, and have advised in contractual matters relating to private school disputes.
In further/higher education cases we are regularly instructed to represent students facing misconduct hearings and/or fitness to practise allegations. These include allegations of serious sexual misconduct. We have experience of cases involving allegations both predating and emerging from #EveryonesInvited and #MeToo.
We have acted for bodies including Ofsted, the Office for the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA), and examination boards.
Our members can advise at all stages of the process and are experienced in assisting with associated criminal allegations.
Our barristers at 5SAH have extensive experience in proceedings involving financial services regulation, particularly those involving the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Association of Accounting Technicians and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
Members of our Business Crime Team also act in Financial Services Regulation.
Our professional discipline barristers act in a wide range of sports disciplinary hearings and in particular,
- Football Association (FA);,
- Rugby Football Union (RFU);
- Irish Football Association (IFA).
5SAH barristers have acted as consultant to the FA’s Regulatory Advocates Department conducting hearings before Regulatory Commissions and Appeal Boards of the FA. We have acted as the Vice-Chair to the Disciplinary Committee of the Irish FA and advised on appeals under the Irish FA Procedure Rules. We also haves expertise in relation to anti-doping work, having advised athletes and clubs on allegations, as well as providing training on anti-doping legislation.
Other Regulated Professions
We also act for other professionals and their regulators including solicitors; barristers; teachers; police officers, architects, engineers and vets.
5SAH barristers both prosecute and defend police misconduct proceedings and appeals to the PAT. We have significant experience of police misconduct proceedings, as well as advising on and drafting regulations.
Our barristers have experience acting for the BSB (Bar Standards Board) in the BTAS Disciplinary Tribunal and acting for engineering regulators in disciplinary proceedings.
Many members of our team are Direct Access qualified and accept instructions from regulated professionals in suitable cases.