Students accused of sexual misconduct barred from finishing courses - Sandra Paul & Shannett Thompson quoted in The Telegraph

7 June 2021

Sandra Paul, Partner in our Criminal Litigation team, and Shannett Thompson, Partner in our Regulatory team have been quoted in The Telegraph following reports students accused of sexual misconduct are being banned from collecting exam results and graduation ceremonies in surging numbers since the Everyone's Invited scandal.

Sandra quoted:

It's getting blocked from graduating with your friends and not being able to take exams, or being able to take exams but not being given results, immediately having email and database access shut down, and not being allowed on campus [even online]. Where that happens on a practical course, the impact is immense."

Shannett quoted:

We are not seeking to undermine the concerns of the complainant -any type of unwanted sexual contact with an individual is going to cause them considerable upset. But that culture of ‘survivor, victim’ does unfortunately uneasily weigh the scales against the person that complaints have been made against."

There does need to be careful consideration for the language that is used in investigations by universities, and making sure that they don’t automatically give the impression that they have taken a particular view."

This article was first published by The Telegraph on 05 June 2021 which you can read in full by clicking here (subscription required).

Further information

If you have any questions or require advice concerning issues relating to students or universities, please email a member of our team in confidence.


About the authors

Sandra Paul is a Partner in our Criminal Litigation team. She has a wealth of experience in criminal and related litigation. The majority of her work concerns defending allegations of sexual misconduct. She works with clients in the UK and abroad, including allegations following the #MeToo campaign.

She has a particular passion and aptitude for working with children and young adults, navigating them safely through the youth justice system. Youth crime is a specialist area in which Sandra is a leader in her field.

Drawing on her advocacy experience, Sandra is particularly accomplished in preparing witnesses to give an account or evidence in settings ranging from court proceedings through to internal and external investigations or inquiries.  Sandra’s career has included discreet representation of high profile individuals including politicians, bankers, music, sports and media personalities.


Shannett Thompson is a Partner in the Regulatory Team having trained in the NHS and commenced her career exclusively defending doctors. She provides regulatory advice predominantly in the health and social care and education sectors. Shannett has vast experience advising  regulated individuals,  businesses such as clinics and care homes and students in respect of disciplinary investigations.


She is a member of the private prosecutions team providing advice to individuals, business and charities in respect of prosecutions were traditional agencies are unwilling or unable to act. In addition Shannett has built up a significant niche in advising investors and businesses in the cannabis sector.



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