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Public and Regulatory Law

 

Overview

Members of 9 King’s Bench Walk regularly appear in high profile cases before various regulatory panels and tribunals. 

We undertake work in any case arising from, or related to, professional regulatory proceedings. This can range from, advising on pre-charge issues through to representation at the Tribunal, the High Court and Court of Appeal (Civil Division). 

Counsel regularly prosecute and defend on behalf of a wide range of professional regulatory bodies, both within the private and government sectors, assisting with very large, high profile and complex investigations.

With members on the Government Legal Department (GLD) Attorney General’s List, we are regularly involved in advising the Government on complex human rights issues, disclosure and discovery exercises.

Members are also supported by an approachable, hardworking and knowledgeable clerking team.

 

Our Experience

Counsel at 9 King’s Bench Walk are instructed in a range of cases involving breaches of the regulatory requirements and serious quasi–criminal / regulatory allegations such as sexual misconduct in the workplace, mental health and fatalities.

Members who practise within this area are thoroughly experienced, dedicated, analytical and have a proven track record of obtaining the desired results.

Many professional regulatory bodies are deciding to robustly charge matters of a criminal nature. Due to our overarching expertise in both criminal and regulatory law, members have been instructed to advise and represent professional regulatory bodies and individuals alike. Instructions have ranged from advice and representation, not only within regulatory proceedings where there is a criminal crossover, but also with regards to independent criminal prosecutions.

 Members of Chambers are regularly instructed in wider regulatory issues revolving around Local Authorities, Education & Social Care, Health & Safety, Fire Safety, Environmental issues and referrals to CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union).

At 9 King’s Bench Walk we appreciate the important role of professional regulatory bodies and understand that those facing professional disciplinary proceedings are at risk of reputational damage and losing their livelihood. We always consider factors such as the seriousness of the charges, vulnerable witnesses, public interest and the risks to individuals. Accordingly, members of 9 King’s Bench Walk ensure that their advocacy is tailored, stylistically, to meet the needs and requirements of the case at hand.

Many members have been seconded within the various regulated sectors providing not only experience, but also a greater understanding of this area of law, in terms of both policies and procedures and legislative powers. 

 

News

·     9 King’s Bench Walk congratulates Ben Edwards, Sophie Quinton-Carter, Claire Stevenson and Charles Drinnan who have been appointed to the list of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health & Safety and Environmental Law.

·     9 King’s Bench Walk congratulates Claire Stevenson, Thomas Aitken, Laura Paisley, Charles Drinnan, Maria Buckingham, Aimee Stokes and Sophie Kay on successfully being appointed to the Government Legal Department (GLD) Attorney General’s Junior Junior List.

·     9 King’s Bench Walk congratulates Charles Drinnan, Aimee Stokes and Sophie Kay on successfully being appointed as NMC case presenters.

 

Notable Cases  

Ofsted v ELA Ltd

Reported at: http://carestandards.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk//Public/View.aspx?ID=1449

https://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKFTT/HESC/2019/1.html

Successfully defended an appeal on behalf of OFSTED against cancellation of a nursery’s registration in a six-day tribunal hearing before the First-tier Tribunal (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber).

 

Ofsted v SN 

Reported at: www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/childminder-who-continued-practise-after-15478147

Successfully prosecuted a disqualified childminder, charged with two offences: 1) childminding whilst suspended (section 69 of the Childcare Act 2006); and 2) childminding whilst unregistered (section 76(4) of the same Act).

 

Ofsted v LB

Reported at: http://carestandards.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk//Public/View.aspx?ID=1455

https://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKFTT/HESC/2019/209.html

Successfully defended an appeal on behalf of OFSTED against suspension of registration of a childminder who was suspended due to allegations of emotional and physical harm against a child. 

 

RICS v C

A Chartered Surveyor failed to identify several defects in multiple residential homes, including the existence of asbestos.  Thousands of pounds were spent on repairs.  The surveyor was found to be negligent and his actions were found to have brought the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors into disrepute.  A one year suspension was imposed.

 

General Pharmaceutical Council v B

Acted for the Registrant at a three day substantive hearing. Despite the Registrant not attending the hearing and serious allegations of dishonesty and misconduct being proved as well as impairment, successfully mitigated against the Registrant being ‘Struck Off’. 

 

Isle of Wight Council v K

Successfully resisted an appeal against an enforcement notice served by the Council over numerous dangerous fire safety issues in four properties on the Isle of Wight – an important issue in the aftermath of the Grenfell fire.

 

London Borough of Barking & Dagenham v H & P 

Two defendants charged with numerous offences under the Licencing Act 2003 and the various tobacco and related products regulations. 

 

Met Police v B (Ealing Magistrates’ Court)

Successful representation of a club in an emergency closure order application. The club remained open - 20 people kept their jobs.

 

NMC v F

Represented the NMC in a case where the nurse failed to realise a patient was seriously ill, resulting in emergency care being administered too late. The patient died. The nurse was found to have contributed to the patient’s death and was struck-off the register. 

 

NMC v B 

Successfully represented the NMC. The registered nurse sexually assaulted two vulnerable residents at a care home.  The panel found the actions of the registrant to be sexually motivated. The committee imposed a striking-off order. 

 

NMC v S 

Represented the Nursing and Midwifery Council over an eight-day hearing where a nurse was alleged to have made over forty errors when administering controlled drugs. 

 

[GLD] M v The Home Office

Instructed in advising the Home Office regarding an unlawful detention claim. The case concerned a ‘foreign criminal’ (as defined) being held in immigration detention following the conclusion of their sentence of imprisonment. 

 

[GLD] B v The Home Office 

Instructed in an unlawful detention claim. Advising the Home Office regarding issues concerning liability for the detention of a parent and child held in immigration detention. 

 

GLD v P

Preparation of witness statements in advance of a contested hearing in the Employment Tribunal. This involved processing large amounts of documentation, and condensing this into relevant factual and legal disputes. Counsel was able to offer advice on any further documentation that may be sought to assist in the preparation of the case.

 

HMRC - Operation Loom

Instructed as independent counsel to review material seized as part of a £5million investigation into the systemic abuse of the tax system by Premier League football clubs. 

 

NCA v X

Currently instructed by the National Crime Agency conducting a large document review involving legal professional privilege in a cutting edge, highly complex and sensitive case.

 

Articles and Case Digests 

 

Ofsted v R (on the application of Durand Academy Trust)

Following an inspection carried out on 30 November and 1 December 2016 ("the Inspection"), Ofsted produced a report dated 1 February 2017 ("the Report") which adjudged the School to be "inadequate" with a recommendation made under section 44(1) of the Education Act 2005 ("EA 2005") that it be placed into "special measures".

On 7 February 2017, the Trust brought a claim for judicial review seeking an order that the Report be quashed on the grounds that Ofsted’s assessment of the School was Wednesbury unreasonable and/or that Ofsted's Complaints Procedures were procedurally unfair.

The Judge, HHJ McKenna sitting as a judge of the High Court, found that "the absence of any ability effectively to challenge the Report renders the Complaints Procedures unfair" and that this "vitiates" the Report which was accordingly quashed. In those circumstances, it was not necessary for the Judge to rule on the rationality challenge and he did not do so.

Ofsted appealed against the Judge's decision and permission to appeal was granted by McCombe LJ on 25 May 2018.

The Judge's finding that Ofsted's Complaints Procedures were unfair had serious implications for other cases and impacted on Ofsted's ongoing work and, in particular, the manner in which it deals with schools which have been graded inadequate.

The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal. 

Hamblen LJ stated in the judgment at [69]:

The Judge was wrong to conclude that Ofsted’s Complaints Procedures are unfair in serious weakness/special measures cases and to quash the Report. In particular, I consider that the Judge erred in focusing exclusively on the Complaints Procedures and not considering the overall fairness of the process of inspecti

Members