If your work is in one of the UK’s regulated industries, you will know how vital it is that you are able to maintain membership of your professional body. Professional disciplinary investigations, and any later proceedings, can disrupt your career and your livelihood, whatever the outcome.
Our clients include the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Bar Standards Board and a number of charities. LA also acts for professionals subject to investigation, and, together with our wider expertise in regulatory cases, that means that we can provide you with a rounded service which manages the impact of a disciplinary investigation.
How can our regulatory solicitors help?
Our professional discipline solicitors have experience in dealing with hearings before tribunals, and also with appeals or judicial review. Our team is comprised of experienced lawyers, including a barrister and solicitors, and so we provide a rounded advocacy service. We also advise clients on the effect of a previous regulatory investigation on a future application.
We are here to assist with a professional discipline investigation if you are:
- A finance professional, including an accountant or financial advisor
- A healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, nurse or doctor
- A legal professional, including a solicitor or barrister
- A property professional, including an architect or surveyor
- A security professional
What is the process of a Professional Disciplinary Investigation?
No two cases are the same, and the advice which we give you will necessarily be directed at your particular circumstances. Professional disciplinary cases typically take this sort of course:
- Investigation: although this is the time when the professional body is considering what action to take, we find that we can provide very useful advice to clients if instructed at an early stage. That then helps you to lay the groundwork to protect your position as far as possible. This includes advising about what information needs to be provided to those conducting the investigation, and what information should be provided by them to you. We also provide advice to minimise the disruption which the investigation may have on your career, and we can make representations on your behalf.
- Action taken by professional body (if any): in some cases, our regulatory investigation solicitors can help to achieve success for clients in preventing any action being taken at all. In other cases, we will advise you about the prospect of the action against you succeeding, and keep that advice under review as the case progresses. That is especially important as evidence and other documents are disclosed, or as evidence is gathered on your behalf. In turn, that then means that you are able to make informed choices, at each stage, about the way forward. Of course, we also deal generally with preparation for any final hearing.
- Penalties: we will advise you on likely penalties in the event of the complaint being upheld. Should that stage be reached, we find that we can add value in terms of advancing mitigation on your behalf.
- Appeals: our professional regulation and disciplinary team have dealt with appeals at every level. We are therefore well placed to advise about appeals against a decision of a tribunal or panel.
How long does it take?
Timescales vary depending on the facts of each case. The timescales in your case will depend on when the hearing is listed to take place and any timetable which is set by the tribunal or panel.