Legal Defence for Doctors

If you are facing an investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC)  our specialist regulatory lawyers can help. We have been advising and defending doctors for many years; having worked in health care regulation for over 40 years. (For commonly asked questions relating to an investigation by the GMC, please see our FAQs below).

We are independently recognised by the legal directories as leaders in the field. We have a proven track record for securing better than expected outcomes in relation to GMC complaints against doctors, particularly in cases of alleged sexual misconduct and dishonesty.

Whether you need assistance with responding to a Rule 7 letter, representation for an Interim Orders Tribunal, declaring a criminal conviction to the GMC or representation for a hearing before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) we can assist.

During their careers, many doctors will face a GMC complaint or an allegation brought against them which, if serious, may threaten their reputation and ability to earn a living. Specialist legal advice is essential to ensure the best possible outcome when dealing with a GMC investigation or a student fitness to practise investigation.

We have a sound understanding of the standards set by the GMC, such as Good Medical Practice, and the duties and responsibilities which come with being a regulated healthcare professional. We recognise the stress that can follow once a doctor is notified of a fitness to practise investigation or a hearing before the MPTS; we are available outside of your work hours to provide reassurance and support, as well as legal advice.

Our clients are individually supported, right from the beginning of our instruction and assisted to understand the process they are involved in, their options and the best way through. We are the lawyers for doctors.

Many of our clients require the input of our specialist criminal, employment or reputation management teams (if they face a police investigation, suspension from work or possible adverse press reporting for example). We can quickly mobilise a diverse team of legal specialists to provide advice that looks at the problem from all angles.

Recent work

We have acted in the following recent matters:

  • Represented a doctor in a GMC investigation concerning their registration status arising out of their involvement  in a television broadcast 
  • Advised a student doctor who was refused their medical certificate by a medical school 
  • Represented a doctor in a GMC investigation following an inquiry into a patient’s death on a cruise ship 
  • Advised in relation to a complaint made to the GMC about a doctor in respect of an inappropriate intimate examination of a patient and a failure to provide a chaperone 
  • Acted on behalf of doctor in a GMC investigation in relation to competence concerns regarding anaesthetic procedures
  • Represented a doctor in a GMC investigation, who was facing allegations of cheating in a formal exam
  • Represented a doctor in a GMC investigation who was accused of dishonesty in the course of revalidation  


Frequently asked questions

I am subject to a GMC investigation, what shall I do?

We understand how daunting an investigation by your regulatory body can be; we will do all we can to support you throughout the process. We have produced an overview of the investigation process which you can view here. Take legal advice early on; even before completing the Work Details Form; there is no substitute to getting it right from the start.


I have to attend an Interim Orders Tribunal. what shall I do?

The Interim Orders Tribunal does not make findings of fact. The purpose of the hearing is to decide whether a doctor’s practice needs to be restricted whilst an investigation is on-going. We will discuss with you the steps needed to prepare for this hearing, including collating relevant documents and evidence. Our experience helps us to accurately guide you as to the likely outcome and how to prepare for this.


What happens at a MPTS hearing?

Hearings are usually held in public, unless the allegation relates to the doctor’s health, or there is some other compelling reason why the hearing should be held in private. Prior to the formal opening of the hearing, any preliminary legal arguments may be raised and determined by the Tribunal.

The case will then be opened, by way of the charge being read and any admissions can be entered. Additionally, if any amendments to the charge are required, they will be dealt with at this stage.

Please see steps 7 to 8 of our brochure for further detail of what happens at a hearing which you can access here. We would advise you to be represented at an MPTS hearing as the Panel has the power to restrict your ability to practise in serious cases.


Do I have to declare a criminal conviction to the GMC?

It is a requirement of Good Medical Practice that doctors who are registered promptly advise the GMC if, anywhere in the world:

  • they have accepted a caution from the police or been criticised by an official inquiry (i.e. an Inquest)
  • they have been charged with or found guilty of a criminal offence
  • another professional body has made a finding against their registration as a result of fitness to practise procedures Doctors concerned if they need to tell the GMC about a criminal or civil matter, whether it falls into the categories above or not, should take legal advice.


I want to register with the GMC, how can you assist?

We regularly assist doctors in obtaining registration with the GMC. We can discuss your individual needs with you, and provide you with advice on the steps required.


I want to appeal an MPTS decision, how can you assist?

An appeal must be lodged with the relevant court within 28 days of the decision by the Tribunal and as such, you must act promptly. We will advise you on the merits of any appeal and assist you in preparing the grounds and in ensuring that the necessary documents are lodged with the court within the appropriate timescales. We will also ensure that you are appropriately represented at any hearing.



Training and CPD

We offer assistance to doctors in staying up to date with legal and ethical issues, recent examples include:

  • training and round table sessions with the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM) on ethical and legal issues, such as the duty of candour and GMC procedure 
  • experiential training in conjunction with UCL Partners on doctors appearing as witnesses
  • updates on issues affecting clinical practice such as confidentiality and consent
  • training on the GMC’s investigation process
  • shadowing scheme for trainee doctors, spending a day with our lawyers
  • training on issues relating to safeguarding



We regularly update on cases and matters of interest which affect doctors. Examples can be accessed here:


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