Kenworthy's Chambers has a very experienced Professional Disciplinary Team of Barristers to reassure the client that they are being represented by fellow professionals of sound judgement who will fight to get a positive result.
Our particular focus is to act for individual professionals before their relevant Professional Disciplinary Tribunals, as opposed to acting for the regulator. We are committed to supporting that individual at all stages of the disciplinary process. .
Our barristers have over many years represented Professionals such as Headteachers, Doctors, Nurses ,Psychotherapists Teachers ,Social Workers Prison Officers and Police Officers facing serious allegations of misconduct or questions of competence. Our barristers have appeared before many specialist professional tribunals such as the MPTS, GDC, NMC, HCPTS and the Teachers Regulation Agency. We have particular experience in the Education and Healthcare sectors gained through acting for trade unions and professional bodies who are active in these sectors...
Protecting your position
For any Professional involved in disciplinary proceedings the stress of that process is well understood by Kenworthy's team. We often approach a case of alleged misconduct as a systemic failure to illustrate that the culpability for an event is not just upon one individual at the end of the process but shared by a number of stakeholders. In our experience, the earlier the communication starts with our Team, for example by helping with an early written response to the Regulator, then the greater the benefit felt by the professional that he or she is in receipt of timely advice . The receipt of allegations from the Regulator is often a time of personal and professional crisis so it is vital to ensure that you are properly advised at an early stage by sufficiently experienced lawyers.
Our team receive instructions from firms of solicitors across the country and are willing to appear in all four jurisdictions. We work in partnership with solicitors to bring you the very best results. We are however located in Manchester and do consider we as a consequence can be cost-effective in MPTS cases since we do not charge clients travel or accommodation for those cases heard in the city.
The majority of our team mix their practice with other relevant areas of law such as employment, healthcare and crime from which areas they extensive backgrounds in defending allegations of misconduct in the relevant fields. Our practitioners take a holistic approach to a challenge to your professional integrity and can advise on concurrent proceedings taken in a criminal court, employment tribunal or an appearance at an Inquest. We believe that such a mix of skills is advantageous to you.
We understand the potentially catastrophic effect on personal and professional life as a result of a reference to a Professional body and the sense of rejection that you may face when matters are called into question despite the often hidden contributions you have made to the lives of so many.
We also understand many Professionals feel vulnerable and overstretched as was noted in the recent independent report commissioned by the GMC into Gross Negligence Manslaughter and culpable homicide. "The vulnerability felt by many doctors reflects their sense of working in healthcare services that are under considerable strain and where individuals trying to do their best for their patients can too easily be blamed for mistakes arising from wider system failures." Such a quote could so easily apply to Headteachers and Teachers generally ,Nurses ,Probation Officers Prison Officers Social Workers and many more who face allegations in Disciplinary Proceedings or Coroners Courts often without appropriate representation .As the same GMC report highlights often doctors felt underprepared for the Coroners Court. "Doctors appearing at coroners' courts also need better support. Although inquisitorial in nature, the process can feel adversarial and accusatory. Healthcare service providers have a responsibility to provide support and guidance for doctors involved in these processes so that they are better prepared". Often that representation needs to be separate from the organisation employing them since there is a conflict of interest which not appreciated by the employer's legal team.
The Need for Prompt Advice
Instructions received at the earliest stage prior to the institution of proceedings are often the most effective way to respond to the allegations from the Professional body .Responding without proper advice in the emotional atmosphere of recently receiving a letter of complaint is ill-advised.