Disciplinary and Regulatory

Marc Beaumont is a senior barrister, highly regarded for his leading practice defending those accused of professional misconduct, especially barristers before BTAS, solicitors at the SDT and lawyers generally before the Legal Ombudsman. He now specialises in defending Doctors at the GMC, Nurses at the NMC and Surveyors in RICS disciplinary cases. 

If he accepts your instructions, he will be completely committed to obtaining the best possible result for you, without worrying about how the “establishment” may view him for acting for you and challenging the regulator’s case by all legitimate means.   

He was recently described on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme as, “The Barrister’s Barrister.”

Combining a strong and courageous court presence, immaculate written advocacy, esoteric analysis and a devastating cross-examination technique, Marc has achieved some superb results in a field of practice where the success rate is notoriously low.

Marc also represents those accused before the disciplinary tribunals of the CILEX, GMC, GDC, NMC, HCPC, RCVS, FCA, ICAEW, RICS, ARB, OISC, Police disciplinary tribunals, the JCIO and those belonging to the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).   

Marc has represented those serving in a judicial capacity including:

  • the Chair of a regulatory panel
  • an LVT Chair
  • an appeal court judge and
  • a senior Arbitrator.

A number of Marc’s victories in disciplinary cases have been “Houdini” acts against seemingly impossible odds. 

He conducts statutory appeals to the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court and is a specialist in judicial review claims against all regulatory bodies.

A unifying theme of Marc’s cases is his passionate insistence on due process as the irreducible right of anyone accused of anything.

Overlapping areas of work are financial services, sports law & discipline, professional negligence claims, partnership disputes, boardroom disputes and aspects of costs law, including wasted costs applications against solicitors and barristers.

Barristers

Marc is the barrister of choice for any barrister unfortunate enough to be prosecuted by the Bar Standards Board. In June 2012, he was referred to on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme as, “the barrister’s barrister.”

Marc advises and represents members of the Bar before the BTAS Tribunal at Gray’s Inn , in Legal Ombudsman (“LeO”) proceedings, in appeals to the High Court and in judicial review challenges.

In 2012, the Bar’s disciplinary system came under intense scrutiny as a result of serious irregularities concerning past disciplinary tribunals. Marc Beaumont was a driving force for change in this area, doing a considerable amount of work behind the scenes to expose irregularity and to ensure that the BSB and COIC addressed their shortcomings.

He has been a forthright advocate of fairness and transparency. In 2013, Marc was  heavily involved on behalf of 2 barristers in the judicial review litigation arising from the defective appointments of disciplinary panels in barrister disciplinary cases between 2006 and 2012. Please read his article: The Bar’s disciplinary system: When is a judge not a judge ? (Lexology Dec 2013; The Barrister magazine, Dec 2013).

From January 2014, the appellate jurisdiction of the Visitors to the Inns of Court has been replaced by a direct route of appeal from a Bar Disciplinary Tribunal to the High Court. Marc advises and represents members of the Bar in such appeals and has a favourable record of success in such work, which is often very challenging.

Marc helps members of the Bar in coverage disputes with Bar Mutual. From November 2014, Marc assisted the Bar Tribunals & Adjudication Service in the drafting of sentencing guidance relating to entity regulation – from the defence viewpoint. 

Barristers’ Chambers disciplinary procedures

Barristers must now operate first tier complaints procedures.  These may entail chambers dealing with serious allegations of misconduct or negligence. The barrister ought to be represented independently and chambers must observe basic rules of fair play.  The modern requirement to have a complaints procedure is not a mandate to set up kangaroo courts.  Heads of Chambers may well be conflicted from deciding such matters, as a finding in favour of a member of chambers could well lead – and has led – to a fresh complaint by an aggrieved ex-client against the Head of Chambers.

Barristers’ Chambers disputes

Marc Beaumont is able to act as advocate, adviser, mediator or arbitrator between individuals and their chambers, Heads of Chambers or clerks. He has practised in every form of barrister business model and is a former Head of Chambers himself.  His knowledge of the Code of Conduct, of the realities of practice, of the economic pressures on the Bar and of a psychological approach to dispute resolution make him ideal for such work.  He has acted for individual barristers and for Heads of Chambers in such disputes.

Solicitors, Legal Executives, Licensed Conveyancers, costs experts, costs issues. 

Marc also defends solicitors before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and in Legal Ombudsman (“LeO”) proceedings in which he has developed a niche practice.  He has also defended legal executives and costs draftsmen before their professional disciplinary tribunals. An adjunct of such work, is that Marc gives advice on the law of solicitors’ costs, acting both for and against solicitors in costs claims.

Applications for wasted costs orders

As an adjunct to his disciplinary work, Marc Beaumont advises and represents barristers and solicitors about resisting applications for wasted costs.  He has advised in numerous cases raising such issues.

GMC, GDC, NMC, HCPC, RCVS, FCA, ARB, RICS, OISC, JCIO. 

In the medical arena, Marc defends doctors at the General Medical Council, as well as dentists at the GDC, nurses at the NMC, miscellaneous professionals at the HCPC and veterinary surgeons prosecuted by the RCVS.  Marc defends Chartered Surveyors against the RICS. He has also represented clients charged before the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal, as well as architects at the ARB and immigration advisers regulated by the OISC.  Marc has acted for past judges and tribunal Chairmen and intending judges in disciplinary cases.

RICS members and firms

Marc has successfully defended several individual Surveyors and regulated firms at the disciplinary tribunal of the RICS at Parliament Square. This is an area in which his 30 years of advocacy experience and his tenacity have been invaluable against a Regulator that sometimes seems to prosecute rather questionable and non-serious matters.

Nurses

Marc has been struck recently by the unjust treatment of nurses, who are often grossly underpaid, perform the most important work, suffer from gross under-funding and lack of resources and are accused of career-threatening misconduct often on a flimsy basis and without due process or proper representation.

Appeals

Marc Beaumont is experienced in acting on appeal from a number of regulatory bodies and in judicial review challenges in the High Court.

Direct access

Marc’s disciplinary work is very often undertaken on a direct access barrister basis, thereby saving substantial costs at a time in the life of the client when, by definition, funds may be scarce.

Recent work

(1)  Representing the quasi-judicial Chairman of Conduct and Appeals at RICS in a potential judicial review against RICS, who removed him when he refused to sign new terms of appointment providing for his removal on one month’s notice, a clause which would have defeated his ECHR Article 6 security of tenure. 

(2) Successfully representing several Chartered Surveyors on appeal against expulsions for CPD infringements. RICS 2-person panels were inquorate and so unlawful as the panels has to sit with 3 members.  RICS disciplined some 317 surveyors using a 2 person panel and struck off c. 200 surveyors in May 2016 in this way.  All cases now have to be re-opened due to Marc Beaumont’s successful submissions. For the Estates Gazette article of 14.10.16 click here 

(3) Successfully representing a Chartered Surveyor at the RICS tribunal in a high profile case and winning a submission that there was no case to answer.

(4) Successfully representing a Chartered Surveyor at the RICS appeal tribunal, (in a case about referral fees) whose expulsion was set aside.

(5) Successfully representing a firm of Managing Agents at the RICS tribunal on a submission of no case to answer. 

(6) Acting on appeal for several of the barristers in the landmark judicial review litigation arising from the defective appointments of disciplinary panels in barrister disciplinary cases between 2006 and 2012.

(7)   Advising, acting and reaching settlement in a continuing, high profile series of BSB prosecutions against a leading barrister relating to events over 10 years ago.

(8)   Successfully representing a Legal Executive before the Court of Appeal in a leading case which expanded the law of bias.

(9)  Successfully arguing that the GMC had no jurisdiction to review undertakings offered by a surgeon due to the effect of s.35D of the Medical Act 1983 and Rule 37A(3)(b) of the General Medical Council (Fitness to Practise) Rules.

(10)   Successfully defending before the NMC a senior nurse accused of neglecting a dying patient in a care home when the BUPA nurse/patient ratio was at danger level.

(11)   Successfully procuring the recusal of an entire disciplinary panel at the NMC for pre-determination and apparent bias.

(12)  Successfully procuring the acquittal of a paramedic at the Health & Care Professions Council, charged with failing to examine a drunk patient with a fractured skull.

(13)   Successfully defending a Doctor at the GMC accused of trying to borrow money from a patient.

(14)   Successfully defending a barrister accused by the BSB of not cooperating with the Legal Ombudsman.

(15)   Successfully defending a senior barrister accused of misleading the BSB.

(16)   Successfully negotiating a favourable plea bargain against the BSB on behalf of a barrister and Football Association intermediary.  

(17) Successfully appealing to the Visitors to the Inns of Court on behalf of a barrister accused of  conducting litigation by signing a statement of truth.  

(18) Successfully appealing to the Visitors to the Inns of Court on behalf of a barrister convicted without sufficient reasons being given.  

(19) Successfully striking out all BSB charges of “holding out” against a barrister, as well as the amended charges.  

(20) Successfully striking out a BSB charge of improper advertising against a barrister.  

(21) Successfully defending an architect at the trial of a professional negligence claim before the Technology & Construction Court.

(22) Advising non-English UK lawyers about referral fees

(23) Successfully procuring the withdrawal of Legal Ombudsman findings against a barrister by way of judicial review

(24) Successfully defending a senior barrister at trial against a charge of committing the criminal offence in section 14 of the Legal Services Act 2007 of practising without a practising certificate for 15 months.

(25) Successfully representing a senior barrister on appeal to the High Court in a high profile case.

(26) Successfully overturning all  disciplinary findings for a member of STEP before the STEP Appeals Committee

Radio interviews, lectures and articles on disciplinary work

For a recent article on issues arising in the defence of Chartered Surveyors in RICS disciplinary cases click here

In 2016 and 2017, Marc Beaumont spoke at a series of seminars held around England on defending Chartered Surveyors in professional disciplinary proceedings. 

In April 2017, Marc Beaumont spoke at the NYSBA’s Spring Conference in Dublin, Ireland about the comparative regulation of lawyers in England, Ireland and New York. 

For a recent article about illegality in the RICS’ system of disciplining surveyors for CPD infractions click here

For an article in the Estates Gazette of October 2016 about Marc Beaumont’s successful submission that threatened to render 317 RICS disciplinary decisions unsafe, click here  

Marc Beaumont is the only member of the English Bar who speaks out in the defence of barristers who face (or have faced) the Bar’s disciplinary process.  For a 2012 interview with Marc Beaumont on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme about the Bar’s problematic disciplinary system click here.

On 3rd June 2014, Marc Beaumont addressed PABA at the Middle Temple on, “Recent Developments in Barrister disciplinary work”

In 2013, Marc was  heavily involved on behalf of 2 barristers in the judicial review litigation arising from the defective appointments of disciplinary panels in barrister disciplinary cases between 2006 and 2012. Please read his article:  ”The Bar’s disciplinary system: When is a judge not a judge?” (Lexology Dec 2013;   The Barrister magazine, Dec 2013).

For an article in The Times quoting Marc Beaumont on the need for due process in the Bar’s disciplinary system, click here.

For an eye-opening  article “Taming the kangaroo: the collapse of due process within the Bar’s disciplinary system”  based on a public lecture by Marc Beaumont at Middle Temple, London  click here.

In 2012, at  the Middle Temple, Marc Beaumont spoke with Andrew Hopper QC about current issues in legal professional disciplinary work.

Marc Beaumont on how the Bar’s disciplinary process can be made more tolerable for the Bar. -  When sorrows come…….Marc Beaumont considers how the Bar’s Complaints process might be made more tolerable.”

For a seminal article: “Reflections on the fairness of BSB Prosecutions against Barristers”, click here.

For a 2008 Article  “A vain search, Marc Beaumont questions the legality of SRA investigations and adjudications”on the lack of lawfulness of Law Society procedures click here.

For a 2009 article on defending solicitors in the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, “When the Gloves are off” click here.

For Marc’s Blog on disciplinary issues please click here

© Copyright Marc Beaumont 2011. All rights reserved.