Legal Defence for Psychotherapists, Psychoanalysts and Counsellors

Professionals that need to work alone with patients are amongst those most exposed to having a complaint made about their professional conduct.

Our band 1 Chambers and Partners ranked team has a proven track record in securing fair and just outcomes in cases brought against ‘talking professionals’ by professional organisations such as the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), the British Psychoanalytical Council (BPC), the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the Association of Child Psychotherapists.

We have extensive experience in assisting professionals, both in the successful resolution of complaints made against them and in holding regulators to account, including through challenging the fairness of their procedures for resolving complaints in judicial review challenges. 

Facing an allegation or investigation from your professional body?

Clients come to us when they are facing allegations made by their professional body, often arising out of their treatment of a patient or due to a matter arising in their personal life which is said to affect their ability to remain registered.

“Kingsley Napley’s professional discipline team combines first rate legal expertise with humanity. Sophie Kemp and Julie Norris navigated my way through a complex professional disciplinary hearing and meticulously argued my case.  I emerged vindicated and with deep respect for my industrious and thoughtful lawyers. Thank you very much.”

Psychoanalyst Client, 2014

Many professionals believe that following a complaint, their open and direct early engagement with their regulator will ensure that the matter is ‘closed down early’ and will just ‘go away’. Sadly, our experience tells us that this is rarely the case; early legal advice can make a crucial difference to the outcome in these disciplinary cases. 

Representing mental health professionals

When we represent mental health professionals, our first task is to work to ensure that the regulator conducts a thorough and fair investigation; this is often the key to a successful outcome. Preparation for any disciplinary hearing that follows can often include the instruction of experts, the tracing and interviewing of witnesses and, where appropriate, demonstration of insight and a willingness to adapt and change their practise.

Having worked for professionals in this sector for a number of years in some of the most complex cases, we have a deep understanding of the often difficult task of providing therapeutic support to challenging patients. We also know how easy it is for complaints to be made against professionals and how best to respond to any unfounded allegations. 

For more information or to speak to one of the team, please contact Julie Norris.

Recent work


The team working on my case was first-rate: they gave lightning-fast responses and possessed unparalleled expert knowledge of my profession, its regulatory bodies and the law relating to professional discipline"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

They are obviously very strong in the field of professional regulation"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

They understand that there are risks in everything one does and we work together in mitigating the risks"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

 The lawyers are able to present cases to an exceptional standard, in terms of both advocacy and legal principles"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

When it comes to healthcare-related matters, Kingsley Napley LLP is a ‘force to be reckoned with’, and ‘shines as an exemplar of a quality practice"

Legal 500 UK

Psychotherapists, Psychoanalysts and Counsellors - Knowledge Hub

Psychotherapists, Psychoanalysts and Counsellors - Knowledge Hub

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)




Preventing Complaints


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