Professional Discipline Solicitors
Facing an allegation of professional misconduct can have a serious impact on your career and reputation. Not only this, but the prospect of being put under such scrutiny can be an incredibly daunting and stressful experience in of itself. If you are facing an allegation of misconduct following a professional discipline investigation, our regulatory solicitors are on hand to lend their expertise.
Regulatory bodies that conduct professional discipline investigations have the authority to impose harsh penalties if they find you guilty of misconduct, which is where the advice and representation of specialist regulatory solicitors is essential.
Our professional discipline solicitors will be able to provide expert guidance if you are subject to a professional discipline investigation, delivering a robust defence against the allegations and representing you if matters progress to a regulatory hearing or tribunal.
We advise and represent clients about investigations by professional bodies, including (but not limited to):
- Solicitors' Regulatory Authority (SRA)
- Bar Standards Board (BSB)
- Accountancy & Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB)
- Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accounting (CIPFA)
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- London Metal Exchange (LME)
- General Medical Council (GMC)
- General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
- Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
- Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)
- National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL)
If you have found yourself under the scrutiny of a regulatory body, contact Nelson Guest & Partners as soon as possible for a free 10-minute initial consultation. From here, we can discuss your personal situation in detail and run through your available options.
We have years of combined experience in defending individuals facing professional discipline investigations and hold an excellent track record in respect of the results we are able to achieve for our clients.
Speak to our professional discipline solicitors in London
If you are facing a professional discipline investigation or are awaiting the outcome of an investigation, our legal experts can help you fight the potential allegations against you.
How our team can help with a professional discipline investigation
Our regulatory defence will work alongside you, taking stock of all the circumstances related to the professional discipline investigation and the exact allegations that have been made.
If proceedings are launched by a regulatory body that accuses you of professional misconduct, we can work to achieve the best possible outcome, drafting an appropriate response to the regulator and, where necessary, providing robust representation during conduct or tribunal hearings.
We can assist with the disclosure of information, preparing written responses and attending any interviews to make sure that you comply with the terms of the investigation at all times.
Our professional discipline defence fees
We offer fixed professional discipline investigation defence and representation, meaning that you will know from the start how much the work involved will cost.
For further information in respect of our fees and the work covered, see our fees page.
Professional discipline investigation FAQs
Which professions could face a professional discipline investigation?
Registering with a specific regulatory body is a requirement for many professions. The types of professions that could face a professional discipline investigation from a regulatory body include:
- Social Workers
- Accountants and financial advisors
- Planning officers
All of these professions will have their own regulatory body, which will carry out their own investigation into matters that are considered to be examples of misconduct.
Why might a professional discipline investigation take place?
In the majority of instances, a professional discipline investigation will usually commence following a complaint from a client, patient, competitor, employer, or other relevant third parties. This may be because they feel as though rules have been broken, corners have been cut, or the standards of the service provided have fallen well below what is normally expected.
However, there may be certain occasions where a regulator will elect to conduct an investigation on the basis of stories in the media, its own enquiries, or as a result of reports from the police or another regulatory body.
How does a professional discipline investigation work?
It is important to note that each professional discipline investigation will vary depending on the regulatory body in question and the nature of the reported misconduct. That being said, there are a number of common steps.
The regulator will usually start by checking whether the allegation made is in relation to your fitness to practice or is a breach of its own code of conduct. From here, it will then make initial enquiries and start to gather relevant information and documents.
They’ll then start to take witness statements, collect evidence and communicate with the relevant parties. Many regulators also have the power to interview anyone under investigation, which is often a crucial part of an investigation. Once this investigation process has finished, the regulator will usually decide whether the matter should progress to a hearing or tribunal.
How long does a professional discipline investigation take?
The time it takes for a professional discipline investigation to conclude will ultimately depend on a number of factors, including the processes the regulatory body follows, the nature of the allegation and the type of evidence that is required.
Simple matters can sometimes be resolved in a matter of weeks, while other more complicated investigations could take months to reach a conclusion.
What may happen following a professional discipline investigation?
There are usually two immediate outcomes following the conclusion of a professional discipline investigation. The regulator will decide, based on the strength of the defence, to either declare that there is not enough evidence to continue or to move forward to a formal hearing or tribunal.
If a formal hearing or tribunal is required, you will usually be given time to prepare your case and further defence. During a hearing, evidence from every relevant party will be put in front of a neutral panel of experts, who will then make the final decision.
What are the consequences of being found guilty?
If you are found guilty of misconduct, either during the initial investigation or following a hearing, there are a number of potential penalties. The exact punishment you receive will depend on the nature of the misconduct and the procedures followed by the relevant regulator.
Sanctions could include:
- Financial penalties
- Losing your job
- A ban from working in the industry
When should you get legal advice for a professional discipline investigation?
It is important not to wait to receive legal advice until a formal hearing or tribunal. As soon as a professional discipline investigation is launched, having expert legal support on your side will greatly increase the chances of receiving a positive outcome.
An expert regulatory solicitor can make sure that you correctly disclose the correct information, you prepare detailed written responses and that you have representation during any interviews.
Get in touch with our professional discipline solicitors about an investigation or charge
If you are investigating for regulatory misconduct, our legal experts can help you fight the allegations against you and reach a positive outcome.
For further information in respect of our wider services, see our Regulatory Law page.