Eastwoods is experienced at defending clinical negligence claims and personal injury claims in a sporting context and has the expertise to defend a range of professional negligence and personal injury claims, as well as clinical negligence claims.
The firm is regularly instructed to advise and defend GPs, surgeons, physicians, nurses, dentists and various other clinical practitioners in medical and dental litigation. Our experienced team investigates and manages claims from the early stages of litigation through to procedural hearings and trials in the High Court and County Court. We undertake all medical and dental injury litigation including defending claims arising from surgical and medical procedures, and those arising from alleged negligent misdiagnosis and advice. The team has experience in high value (multi-million pound) claims involving spinal, brain and birth injuries.
In these complex and often lengthy cases Eastwoods provides clear and specialist advice to identify and resolve issues on behalf of our clients and , where appropriate, we negotiate settlement of claims before they reach court. With our wider medico-legal experience we are able to identify and manage any simultaneous or prospective regulatory proceedings .
Additionally, we have represented in Employment Tribunal proceedings a number of professional clients who have been dismissed following investigations and disciplinary processes.
Members of the Eastwoods team have been providing advice and representation in medical regulatory matters for over 25 years and the firm is consistently recognised in the national directories as a leader in the field. Between the fee-earners there is in excess of 100 years’ experience. We assist healthcare professionals at all stages of regulatory investigations and at interim and final (Fitness to Practise) hearings before the GMC, GDC, NMC, HCPC and other regulators. Our longstanding expertise in the field allows us to guide and support clients through what can be a lengthy and demanding process to achieve the best outcome.
Since its inception, Eastwoods has provided advice and representation to medical professionals involved in disciplinary proceedings before Hospital Trusts, PCTs (now NHS England) and private medical employers. We appreciate how traumatic these investigations can be for clinicians and are able to offer guidance throughout the process including representation at interviews, meetings and disciplinary hearings. We routinely advise in cases involving allegations of clinical and/or professional misconduct and are committed to ensuring that complaints are fairly investigated and decided.
Eastwoods also assists medical students in disciplinary proceedings across the country and have been involved in a number of Student Fitness to Practise proceedings before various University Medical Schools.
Our wider medico-legal experience allows us to advise in any complementary or subsequent regulatory investigations and proceedings.
Eastwoods regularly appears at Coroner’s Inquests across the country on behalf of medical professionals. We assist clinicians preparing for inquests and provide advice and support to those who are called to give evidence as a witness or interested party. Our expertise allows us to guide practitioners through these delicate proceedings mindful of the potential for any subsequent regulatory or civil consequences. Whether you are involved in a simple 1 day inquest or a lengthy, multi-party inquest Eastwoods can provide clear and specialist advice to protect your interests.
Eastwoods is regularly involved in applications for Judicial Review and appeals of regulatory and disciplinary decisions. We frequently advise clients on the merits of challenging unfair or unlawful decisions at a local level (i.e. employing bodies) or in the First Tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, High Court or Court of Appeal. Our expertise allows us to guide clients through these complex and lengthy proceedings to achieve the best outcome. Notable reported appeal and Judicial Review cases include the following:-
Eastwoods regularly represents clients in criminal investigations and trials. We have significant experience of defending clients charged with serious criminal offences in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts, including assault/battery, sexual assault, gross negligence manslaughter and fraud. Eastwoods has also assisted clients with defence of criminal allegations arising from health conditions such as alcoholism and drug addiction.
Eastwoods is equipped to assist in a number of ways, including:
• Police Station Representation: If you are required to attend an interview at the police station, be it voluntarily or under arrest, you have a right to legal representation. Eastwoods has years of experience of assisting clients with police interviews and can guide you through what can often be a daunting experience which, should the matter go any further, can have a crucial impact on the eventual outcome;
• Magistrates Court Representation: If you are charged with an offence and are summoned to appear in the Magistrates Court, Eastwoods has the expertise to represent you, and if necessary we have access to a wide range of experienced Counsel to represent you at trial;
• Crown Court Representation: If your case is transferred to the Crown Court, it is highly important that you receive skilled, efficient advice and quality representation. Eastwoods has years of experience of preparing clients for Crown Court trials and has relationships with a wide range of highly-experienced, well-renowned Counsel and can provide you with a robust, comprehensive defence when you need it most;
• Appeals: If you have already been through a criminal investigation and wish to appeal, Eastwoods has the expertise to provide advice and assistance, both on the likely chance of success and the process itself;
• General Advice: Often, prevention is better than cure and what clients need is advice on how to avoid facing criminal prosecution. Eastwoods is able to provide advice to individuals and organisations on a range of matters such as compliance with money laundering regulations and a range of other issues.
We are acutely aware of the sensitivities involved in managing a criminal case for professional and other clients and the potential for serious career and reputational damage. Our wide medico-legal expertise allows us to manage any consequent or simultaneous regulatory and disciplinary investigations.
The Eastwoods team has been involved in some of the most high profile and important public and private inquiries in the last 15 years including The Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry, The Shipman Inquiry and The Mubarek Inquiry. We have also provided advice and representation in private criminal proceedings following The Taylor Inquiry (Hillsborough).
We are able to provide advice and representation to individuals and organisations involved in Inquiries and have a particular interest in medical matters given our wider expertise.
Eastwoods has previously advised institutional and individual clients in the amateur or professional sport setting. With our extensive experience of regulatory defence we can assist with representation before governing bodies, disciplinary panels, selection and funding committees. In addition, we have experience of sports related arbitration and litigation.
Notable previous cases include the representation of Dennis Wise following his dismissal by Leicester City Football Club and a British Paralympic athlete challenging his non-selection for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. We also have considerable experience defending amateur sports instructors/clubs/institutions in personal injury claims.
Given our extensive experience and established reputation advising healthcare and sporting professionals in disciplinary and regulatory proceedings we are able to assist a range of other professionals including solicitors, barristers, teachers, accountants and others.
Our understanding of the complexities and sensitivities of professional regulatory matters makes us the ideal choice for any professional. Please contact us with your enquiry and we will be happy to discuss your case.
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This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (No 545483). The SRA Code of Conduct can be found at http://www.sra.org.uk/code-of-conduct.page.
Eastwoods Solicitors is the trading name of Eastwoods Solicitors Limited, (company number 07350954) (VAT number 839 6906 74). We use the word ‘partner’ to refer to a director of the company. A list of directors is open to inspection at the registered office. Eastwoods holds appropriate professional indemnity insurance details of which can be obtained from the office manager.
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