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Adam Smith

Partner

Adam is one of the three founding solicitors at Eastwoods and became a partner in 2008. Adam has been ranked in “Professional Discipline” for some years in Chambers & Partners. Adam’s defence practice covers criminal, regulatory and disciplinary, clinical negligence and inquests. Adam sits part time as Assistant Coroner for Milton Keynes.

EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE

Regulatory Defence

This has always been at the core of Adam’s practice. Indeed, the commencement of Adam’s training coincided with the GMC’s Professional Conduct Committee hearing regarding paediatric cardiac surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, then the longest running GMC hearing, much of which Adam attended. Since then, he has represented numerous professionals in regulatory matters, including at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS)/General Medical Council (GMC), General Dental Council (GDC), Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

This includes assistance throughout a regulatory investigation, from the initial stages through provision of observations (with many cases concluding at this stage), gathering of evidence and preparation for substantive hearings. Adam conducts advocacy at interim order and review hearings and works with counsel at lengthier, occasionally high profile substantive hearings.

Adam was invited to speak on the subject of interim orders at the Disciplinary Tribunals annual conference in September 2017.

Adam has a good knowledge of hospital trust disciplinary procedures (under “Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS”) and NHS England (Performers List) procedures, having dealt with many of these during his career. This includes representation at suspension hearings and appeals to the First Tier and Upper Tribunals. In one case, Adam conducted a two-day mediation on behalf of the consultant concerned, leading to a favourable compromise of High Court proceedings against her employing trust.

Adam also has a growing practice helping professionals regarding disclosures contained in enhanced DBS certificates.

Criminal Defence

Adam has considerable experience of representing individuals facing criminal proceedings including, in particular, sexual assault, gross negligence manslaughter and NHS counter-fraud and, in one case, an appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal. Adam attends police interviews and, where an individual is charged, assists throughout the process, including advocacy at Magistrates Court hearings, collation of evidence, preparation for trial and instruction of counsel at Crown Court trials. These cases can attract substantial press interest and Adam is experienced at managing clients through these inevitably stressful proceedings.

Clinical Negligence

Adam has defended clinical negligence claims throughout his career. These have been wide ranging in their nature, with cases including serious spinal injuries, delayed or missed cancer diagnoses, cosmetic surgery, “nervous shock” secondary victim claims and many more. A number of these cases have proceeded to trial, in either the County or High Court. Adam has conducted the advocacy at various interim hearings.

Inquests

These matters require great sensitivity and often will arise where there is other investigation of the same matters, for example by a regulator, a criminal investigation or civil claim. Assisting with the Inquest as well as these other investigations enables greater continuity and Adam has at all stages during his career enjoyed assisting individuals called to give evidence at an Inquest or afforded full representation (as an “Interested Person”) to question other witnesses. In many of these cases, Adam has undertaken the representation at the Inquest itself, as well as at pre-Inquest review hearings. In other cases, including more lengthy inquests, Adam assists with production of evidence and preparation for the hearing, instructing counsel to attend the hearing itself. Adam sits part time as an Assistant Coroner, reflecting his experience in the field.

Judicial Review / Appeals

Adam has conducted a number of Judicial Reviews and statutory appeals during his career. In some cases it has been possible to achieve the client’s desired outcome from “pre-action” correspondence. In others, Adam has worked alongside counsel in bringing these cases to a High Court hearing. These cases have generally arisen in the context of regulatory decisions or disclosure on enhanced DBS certificates. Adam has been involved in criminal appeal proceedings and represented the doctor in the doctor in the well-known case of R (Sosanya) v GMC (2009).

DIRECTORY ENTRIES

“Very astute, switched-on and practical.”
Chambers & Partners 2020

“I would describe him as being great in a case analysis – he has a very intellectual, careful and cautious approach, and he is great at determining strategy.”
Chambers & Partners 2019

“He’s unflappable, calm and level-headed. He’s good at managing the stress of the client.”
Chambers & Partners UK 2018

“[Adam is] a real thinker.”, “If you have a problem case, he can find a way to tackle it.”
Chambers & Partners UK 2017

“[Adam is]praised for his “all-round ability.””
Chambers & Partner UK 2016

TESTIMONIALS

“My sincere thanks to Adam Smith and team at Eastwoods, who rose above the call of duty to help me successfully pull through my most stressful and darkest hour, with them you are not only in safe hands but experts as well.”
(Medical Client)

“Adam you smashed it out the Park, when the panel retired I knew it would be a good result”. “No stone unturned.”
(Client following HCPC hearing)

“I am very grateful for your support and professionalism throughout, which made a potentially traumatic and stressful experience considerably less so.”
(Medical Client)

“I cannot thank you enough for your empathic and brilliant defence by you and the team…Adam, thanks a lot as I realise you orchestrated everything with an astute thoroughness.”
(Medical Client)

“I cannot begin to describe how reassured I was by your handling of the case at all times. I was extremely lucky, as I had the best possible legal team and I am fully aware of that…I am thoroughly indebted to you for going that extra mile on my behalf.”
(Dental Client)

NOTABLE CASES

Dr A (2017)
Adam represented a consultant colorectal surgeon who faced a criminal investigation for alleged gross negligence manslaughter, as well as a parallel GMC investigation. This involved the drafting and production to the police of witness statements, during a lengthy attendance at the police station for interview. Ultimately the CPS decided not to charge the doctor, but the GMC proceedings continued. Following detailed written observations provided to the GMC (and having represented the doctor at an Interim Orders Tribunal hearing of the MPTS), it decided not to refer the matter for a public hearing before a Medical Practitioners Tribunal of the MPTS, but to accept a series of undertakings.

General Dental Council v Mr T (2017)
A dentist faced various allegations relating to many patients and the full breadth of his practice, including numerous allegations of dishonesty. Following a five week hearing, the case concluded with a 3 month period of suspension and no review hearing, such that the dentist would then be free to return to practice unrestricted.

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries v Mr L (2016)
Adam represented an actuary throughout an investigation by his regulator, the IFoA. This included drafting written submissions through to the successful defence of the allegations (of misconduct) at a hearing.

R v Dr K (2016)
A successful defence of a GP accused by two individuals, one a patient, of sexual assault. At the Crown Court trial, the doctor was unanimously acquitted of both allegations.

General Medical Council v Dr S (2016)
Represented a consultant who faced allegations that he commenced an inappropriate relationship with a patient and sent her sexually-motivated emails. Following a hearing before a Medical Practitioners Tribunal, at which many of the allegations were admitted, the doctor received a 3-month suspension without the need for a review hearing.

General Dental Council v Dr D (2015)
Adam represented a general dental practitioner from the outset of this complex GDC investigation. Following written submissions, Adam challenged a decision by the GDC to refer the case for a hearing and, faced with an intimation of judicial review proceedings, the GDC agreed to remake the decision. Whilst a case was ultimately still referred for a hearing, the dentist’s fitness to practise was found not to be impaired at the conclusion of that 3 week hearing.

R v Dr K (2013)
Adam represented a GP accused of sexual assault by two former patients, one a minor. It was successfully argued on behalf of the doctor that the allegations should be severed and hence the case was heard over the course of two trials. The doctor was unanimously acquitted at both trials.

General Medical Council v Dr W (2011-2013)
A case involving allegations of dishonesty against a GP. Avoided an almost inevitable referral for a hearing before a Fitness to Practise Panel of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

R v Dr B (2012)
Adam represented a GP regarding allegations of sexual/indecent assault of one patient said to have taken place over a number of years. Following a finding at trial that the complainant’s evidence was too unreliable to allow the jury to consider it, the doctor was acquitted on all counts, without even having to open the defence case. The firm also represented the doctor in both GMC and civil proceedings.

R v Dr M (2012)
Adam successfully represented a GP who faced allegations of sexual/indecent assault from two patients. Following a Crown Court trial, the doctor was acquitted on all counts.

General Medical Council v Dr A (2011-2012)
Adam assisted a GP in successfully resisting an attempt by the GMC to reopen (years later) an investigation into the doctor about which the doctor had had no knowledge at the time. The investigation related to a single clinical incident which occurred when Dr A was a junior hospital doctor, prior to becoming a GP.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society v Mr D (2011)
Adam represented this pharmacist in these unusual proceedings in which allegations of misconduct in his capacity within the RPS (as distinct from fitness to practise proceedings at the General Pharmaceutical Council) were considered by an Adjudicating Panel of the RPS.

Ms C (2007-2011)
Adam advised a consultant orthopaedic surgeon throughout a protracted and difficult dispute with her employing Trust. A two-day mediation led to a favourable compromise of High Court proceedings, enabling the doctor to progress her career elsewhere.

Mr O (2002-2010)
Covering almost the full breadth of Eastwoods’ healthcare practice, Adam assisted a consultant surgeon regarding a single clinical incident which led to a police investigation for potential gross negligence manslaughter (no charges brought), a 2-week Inquest, civil proceedings and a 6-week General Medical Council Fitness to Practise Panel Hearing, at the conclusion of which the doctor’s fitness to practise was found not to be impaired.

R (on the application of Sosanya) v GMC [2009] EWHC 2814 (Admin)
Successful judicial review (and simultaneous statutory appeal) of decision of the GMC’s Interim Orders Panel (IOP) to suspend a doctor on the GP Vocational Training Scheme, pending the outcome of a criminal prosecution. Now widely cited in support of the need for tribunals considering interim orders to provide proper reasons for their decisions.

General Medical Council v Prof G (2009)
Adam represented a World-leading consultant in challenging the imposition of a warning by the GMC’s Investigation Committee, in respect of alleged probity issues. No warning was imposed.

General Osteopathic Council v Mr S (2008)
Adam acted for an osteopath in successfully resisting his removal from the register for an alleged failure (years earlier) to disclose a historic (many more years earlier) conviction.

E v E (2007-2008)
Adam acted for a physiotherapist and succeeded in striking out a claim brought against him by a litigant in person and securing an Order for payment of his legal costs.

R v Dr J (2007)
Adam represented a consultant rheumatologist who faced a Crown Court trial over the course of two weeks in respect of allegations of sexual assault of patients. One count was stayed as an abuse of process, another withdrawn from the jury and another heard in full, leading to an acquittal in “record time”.

R v Dr D (2004)
Adam represented a GP in a three-week criminal trial regarding multiple allegations of indecent assault. The GP was found not guilty on all counts. Adam also successfully represented the doctor in his subsequent GMC investigation, which concluded that the doctor’s fitness to practise was not impaired.

General Medical Council v Brennan & Urquhart (2001/2002)
Adam represented the consultant radiologist responsible for the North Devon Breast Screening Unit, culminating in attendance at a four month hearing before the GMC’s Professional Conduct Committee and an appeal to the High Court by the Council for the Regulation of Healthcare Professionals (later the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence) in respect of what it felt was an “unduly lenient” outcome at the GMC.

R v General Medical Council, ex parte Kypros Nicolaides [2001] Lloyds Rep Med 525
Adam was involved in instructing Robert Francis QC in this appeal against a decision of the GMC’s Professional Conduct Committee for alleged bias or breach of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

R v HM Coroner for Inner London North, ex parte Touche [2001]
During his training, Adam was involved in advising the Coroner in this well-known case, which ultimately went to the Court of Appeal.

GMC v Roylance & Others (1997-1998)
As a trainee solicitor and part of the team instructing Robert Francis QC in representing Dr Roylance, the Trust Chief Executive, Adam attended most of the GMC’s Professional Conduct Committee hearing regarding paediatric cardiac surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, which remains one of the longest-running GMC hearings to date.

EDUCATION

1985 – 1992 King Edward VII School, Sheffield
1992 – 1995 LLB (Hons), University of Hull
1995 – 1996 College of Law, York

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

1997 – 1999 Trainee Solicitor, Hempsons
1999 – 2000 Solicitor, Hempsons
2000 – 2004 Solicitor, Winckworth Sherwood
2004 – 2008 Solicitor, Eastwoods
2008 – present Partner, Eastwoods

INTERESTS

Electric guitar
Badminton

Direct Line:
(020) 3137 4802

Direct Fax:
(020) 3137 4821

Email:
adam@eastwoodslaw.co.uk