Bridget Dolan represented the patient (through the Official Solicitor) in this medically and ethically complex case concerning an application to withdraw treatment from a man in a minimally conscious state.

Mr Justice Newton accepted Bridget’s arguments that when assessing the value of life from the particular perspective of this patient,  there was strong evidence from the accounts of his family and based on his religious beliefs, that any life, no matter how profoundly disabled, would be considered by him to be of significant value.

The judge found that life-preserving treatment was neither futile nor burdensome and that, despite his profound brain injury, his present life was one P would find worthwhile, even though many others would not adopt the same position.

The treatment has therefore been continued.

We are delighted to announce that Bridget Dolan has won the Barrister of the Year award and Gerry Boyle was awarded bronze at The Lawyer Awards 2015.

Serjeants' Inn Chambers was awarded bronze in the Chambers of the Year category.

Eloise Power has represented the GDC in a hearing concerning challenges to IOC decisions under s32 of the Dentists Act.

The hearing established that the IOC and Court’s function in relation to an interim order is one of risk assessment and that there is no threshold specified in the legislation. 

In his judgment, Warby J stated:

“I accept the submission of Miss Power that the function of the IOC and the court in relation to an interim order is one of risk assessment. This necessarily requires that attention is paid to the nature of the allegations and the evidence which is relied upon to support them. The fact that it is an exercise of risk assessment cannot justify the court ignoring the need to pay attention to the quality of the evidence and the possibility or prospect that it may not be sufficient to justify the view that there is a risk. But there is no threshold specified in the legislation other than the need to protect the public, the public interest and, where applicable, the interests of the registrant. It is not a question of the threshold of a prima facie case.”

Please click here to read the full judgment.

We are delighted to announce that David Lawson has joined Serjeants’ Inn Chambers this month.

David has an established practice in education law, local government, public law and human rights and the Court of Protection.  Recent work has included judicial reviews of local authorities, universities, discrimination claims, advising on school regulation and appeals concerning Education, Health and Care Plans.  He is involved in a number of cases relating to reductions in public services and has appeared in several joint Court of Protection and judicial review challenges. 

David is a valuable addition to our public law team and his practice fits well with our expertise in the Court of Protection, health care and regulatory fields.  He is the fourth established practitioner to join us this year and his arrival reflects our ongoing commitment to building the expertise and service we offer to our clients.

We are delighted to have been highly commended in the Chambers Innovation category at the Legal Innovation Awards 2015.

The awards, held at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London, recognised forward thinking vision in the operation and delivery of services and client care.

On 19th May 2015, at the conclusion of a sensational case at the GMC, the careers of two promising young doctors were saved . 

The doctors had obtained overseas convictions in Spain for an offence of assault, arising from events during a stag weekend in Barcelona. Under the rules of the Fitness to Practise Panel they were unable to go behind the overseas convictions. The panel, however, heard compelling evidence that threw serious doubt upon the fairness of the proceedings giving rise to the convictions and concluded that the fitness to practise of neither doctor was impaired. 

The panel further concluded that, in the exceptional circumstances of the case, a warning was neither necessary or appropriate. 

The case received widespread publicity in the national and local press. 

The doctors were represented by Andrew Hockton, instructed by Katie Costello of BLM, Manchester and Kate Williams of RadcliffesLeBrasseur, Leeds.