We find ourselves in an increasingly regulated environment where rules and procedures are put in place for the public's protection. It can be daunting to navigate the field of regulatory law particularly when different rules and regulations apply to different regulated entities.
As lawyers, we of course understand the framework that governs our profession. But not all lawyers know regulatory law like we do. We have helped shape the policies, procedures and rules that ensure that clients – and their professional bodies – work properly. We know the industry norms, and we play a big part in shaping the strategies that regulators employ to maintain good practice. We also work closely with regulatory panels to train them in their duties and on the law.
At Bevan Brittan we are experienced at providing advice to both the regulator and the regulated, in a wide variety of sectors. We can help clients navigate the law, and act with understanding and sensitivity at what can be a particularly stressful time, especially for those who find themselves being challenged by a regulator about an aspect of their conduct.
In a healthcare context our clients include providers of healthcare (both independent sector and NHS), primary care, adult social care (ranging from large corporates to single location operators), and retirement living. We support these clients with our extensive knowledge of the regulatory regime having previously acted for CQC, and predecessor national regulators since 2002, including as their recognised legal advisor in the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry.
Professional discipline & fitness to practice
Professional bodies have a duty to ensure members maintain professional standards. We have over 15 years' experience of prosecuting cases before tribunals and committees on behalf of regulators.
We can also assist those who may be under investigation by a regulator, talking them through the process that will be followed by the regulator as well as robustly defending their substantive position and/or advising them on any challenges they may have.
Members of our team sit on regulatory panels and committees and therefore have inside knowledge of the judicial systems.
We regularly conduct audits on behalf of the regulator to check that they are adequately following their own practice and procedures, providing them with comprehensive feedback so as to minimise future risk.
We are adept at dealing with any regulatory challenges that proceed by way of judicial review following a decision which has been made by a regulator. We act for the regulator, regulated or third parties across a wide variety of regulated sectors.
There may be a statutory route for individuals to challenge a public body's decision and we can help navigate individuals through the process of appealing on this basis or we act on behalf of the regulator, defending their position.
Solicitors Regulation Authority v Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and Arslan  EWHC 2862 (Admin)
The Divisional Court considered the standard of proof to be applied by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in relation to proceedings following an appeal from an SRA's internal decision. The internal decision had been determined on the civil standard but the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal applied the criminal standard. We acted for the SRA and successfully argued that the civil standard ought to apply to appeals. Interestingly, there were comments made about the standard of proof applied in relation to disciplinary proceedings in general. Lord Leveson stated that there ought to be a "re-evaluation of the approach to disciplinary measures intended to protect the public."
Solicitors Regulation Authority v Naresh Chopra (SDT number 11527-2016)
We acted for the Solicitors Regulation Authority and successfully managed to strike off Mr Chopra from the Roll after he was found to have dishonestly misled mortgage lenders in order to service clients of a firm which was barred from lenders’ panels. This was a high profile case as it had been the second time Mr Chopra had been struck off by his regulator.
Advice on co-ordinated enforcement
We advised Colchester Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust on responding to co-ordinated enforcement action taken by CQC and Monitor, following adverse inspection findings in relation to irregularities cancer waiting time data. This involved considered representations in response to proposed enforcement action and advising the Trust on the handling of a subsequent independent investigation, including issues relating to data protection and defamation risks.
We brought a successful First-tier Tribunal appeal of a CQC decision to remove the location of a care home.
We represented St Anne's Community in the first CQC Health and Safety prosecution under the 'Fundamental Standards'