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Simon Eastwood

Senior Partner

Since qualifying in the UK in 1984, Simon has specialised in defence and insurance-related work, and is consistently recognised in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 as a leader in the field of Professional Discipline. Having originally qualified in Melbourne, Australia, Simon moved to the UK in 1988 and joined healthcare specialists, Hempsons. In 1997, he joined Winckworth Sherwood, where he helped to establish a Healthcare practice within the litigation department. In July 2004, Simon founded Eastwoods where he has maintained his healthcare practice, in addition to a developing a practice in employment and sports-related matters, in which he has always had a keen interest.

EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE

Regulatory Defence

Since moving to the UK in 1988, Simon has maintained a core practice in Regulatory Defence, particularly in representing healthcare professionals, and is consistently ranked as a leader in the field. Throughout his lengthy career, Simon has successfully represented numerous clients facing investigations by bodies such as the GMC and GDC, has been involved in some of the most high-profile cases to date and has been described by one source as a “legend in his own lifetime”.

In addition to representing clients facing investigations by their regulatory bodies, Simon has maintained a strong practice in hospital trust disciplinary matters, under the current framework under “Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS” (MHPS), as well as for NHS Performers List investigations.

Employment

As a natural development from his core Professional Discipline practice, Simon has assisted a number of clients with wide-ranging and often high-profile employment-related issues. This has included Dr Eva Carneiro in her Employment Tribunal claim against Chelsea FC and Jose Mourinho. Simon has significant experience of assisting healthcare practitioners with employment-related issues with hospital trusts, particularly following on from regulatory and/or internal disciplinary investigations. Simon is acutely aware of the sensitivity of these matters and scope for reputational damage, and is known for his pragmatic approach to what can often be highly stressful proceedings.

Sport

Particularly in recent years, Simon, following his personal interests, has developed a keen sports-related practice, including disciplinary and anti-doping investigations, arbitration and litigation. This has included assisting both sports professionals and healthcare practitioners in a sporting context. Simon has represented clients before disciplinary panels, selection and funding committees and in relation to UKAD anti-doping inquiries, with highlights including having represented a British Paralympic athlete challenging his non-selection for the Paralympic Games in 2012 and successful resistance to a National Governing Body attempt to withdraw a coaching license for safeguarding reasons. He is a member of the Sports Resolution pro bono panel.

Inquests

Simon has, throughout his career, represented many clients with participation in coroner’s inquests. This has, in particular, focused on representing doctors involved either as “Interested Persons” or as witnesses in inquests where there is a suggestion of clinical negligence or neglect contributing to a death, and several of the matters Simon has been involved in have attracted considerable press interest. Simon has often undertaken advocacy of the Inquest itself and/or at Pre-Inquest Review hearings, in addition to working closely with Counsel where needed.

Criminal Defence

Simon has represented several individuals facing criminal investigations. Simon assists from police interview through to trial and has successfully defended clients charged with a wide range of allegations, including in sexual assault, gross negligence manslaughter and fraud. Simon’s experience also includes having advised and represented a senior police officer in the private criminal proceedings following the Taylor Inquiry (which related to the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster).

Public Inquiries

Over the years, Simon has been involved in some of the most high-profile and important public inquiries, including the Shipman Inquiry and Mubarek Inquiry.

Clinical Negligence

Simon has, throughout his career, maintained a practice in defending doctors and dentists facing clinical negligence claims covering a wide range of matters including delayed diagnosis of cancer, psychiatric injury and historical sexual abuse. This has involved representing clients in county court, High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings.

Judicial Review/Appeals

Simon has a wealth of experience of assisting clients with claims for Judicial Review, injunctions and appeals (arising from both civil and criminal proceedings).

DIRECTORY ENTRIES

“Simon Eastwood is a standout lawyer who is well known for defending healthcare professionals before the GDC and GMC. Sources say: “He is hugely experienced. What he doesn’t know about regulatory work isn’t worth knowing.””
Chambers & Partners 2019

“He’s very experienced and knows the regulation of medical professionals inside out. He’s very thorough and very knowledgeable.”
Chambers & Partners UK 2018

“[Simon has] robust advice combined with tactical awareness and a good client manner.” He is well regarded in the marketplace for his representation of medical professionals facing disciplinary proceedings.
Chambers & Partners UK 2017

“[Simon is] a vigorous and effective advocate” who is “very able and thorough.” “He continues to be highly regarded for his representation of healthcare practitioners.”
Chambers & Partner UK 2016

“Simon Eastwood is ‘friendly, unpretentious and prepared to work hard to achieve results’”.
Legal 500 2016

NOTABLE CASES

R v Rudling [2016] EWCA Crim 741
Successfully defended a GP charged with Manslaughter by Gross Negligence of a 12 year old boy; and of perverting the Course of Justice. The doctor was acquitted following a submission at the close of the prosecution case that there was no case to answer on the basis that, at the time of treating the patient, there was no obvious risk of death. The crown appealed the first-instance decision, but it was upheld by Leveson LJ, who ordered that the doctor be acquitted.

Chakrabarty (Claimant) -v- Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust (Defendant) & National Clinical Assessment Service (Interested Party) [2014] Med LR 379 : [2015] 141 BMLR 86
High Court challenge to the fairness of NHS MHPS disciplinary hearing.

Lloyd Owen -v- Spire Healthcare Ltd [2014] Med LR 268
High Court challenge to employers refusal to allow legal representation in disciplinary proceedings.

Ashish Dutta -v- General Medical Council [2013] 132 BMLR 212

High Court challenge to GMC Fitness to Practise Panel decision regarding the meaning of “Clinical care and treatment” in breach of interim suspension order.

John Walker-Smith -v- General Medical Council [2013] Med LR 462
Appeal of decision of the GMC Fitness to Practise Panel regarding finding of serious professional misconduct relating to research in relation to a possible link between the triple vaccine for MMR and the occurrence of autism and bowel disease in young children.

Chukwugozie Ujam -v- General Medical Council [2012] Med LR 285

Appeal of decision of the GMC Fitness to Practise Panel.

Barry Anthony Rimmer -v- General Dental Council [2012] 124 BMLR 40

Appeal of decision of the General Dental Council Professional Conduct Committee in relation to responsibility for keeping adequate sedation records.

R (on the application of Tutin) -v- GMC [2009] EWHC 553 Admin
Appeal of decision of the GMC Fitness to Practise Panel that a General Practitioner had a case to answer in respect of certain allegations made in disciplinary proceedings. Also represented Dr throughout GMC proceedings.

Emmanuel -v- (1) South Gloucestershire PCT and (2) FHSAA [2009] EWHC 3260 (Admin)
Appeal against a decision of the FHSAA to uphold the decision of a PCT to remove a GP’s name from its Performers’ List. The judge allowed the appeal on the grounds that the FHSAA had acted unlawfully in not calling the PCT’s key witness/complainant to give oral evidence.

Hutchinson –v– GDC [2008] EWHC 2896 (Admin)

Appeal of decision of GDC Professional Conduct Committee to erase a dental practitioner under the (then) new Civil standard of proof. Also represented Dr at the original GDC PCC hearing.

MD Abdur Razzaq -v- General Medical Council [2006] EWHC 1300 (Admin)
Appeal against the decision of a General Medical Council Fitness to Practise Panel to erase the name of an ophthalmic medical practitioner from the medical register, following allegations of fraud.

Parviz Seyedi –v- General Medical Council [2003] UKPC 67

Privy Council appeal against decision of a General Medical Council Professional Conduct Committee to impose conditions following finding of Serious Professional Misconduct.

R –v- Regional Director of Public Health (Trent) & Anor. Ex parte DR X [2001] Lloyd’s Rep Med 338.

Challenge to the Regional Director of Health’s decision not to withdraw Alert letter.

R v General Medical Council, ex parte Kypros Nicolaides [2001] Lloyds Rep Med 525
Appeal against decision of General Medical Council Professional Conduct Committee for alleged bias or breach of Article 6 European Convention on Human Rights.

R –v- Director of Public Prosecutions, ex-parte (1) David Godfrey Duckenfield (2) Bernard Dean Murray : R –v- (1) South Yorkshire Police Authority (2) Ann Adlington (on behalf of the Hillsborough Family Support Group) (3) Duckenfield (4) Murray (5) Hillsborough Police Authority, ex parte Chief Constable of South Yorkshire [2000] 1 WLR 55 ; [1999] 2 All ER 873.
Challenge to DPP decision not to intervene and discontinue prosecution for manslaughter and consideration of police funding issues.

Taylor –v- West Kent Health Authority MLR [1997] Vol.8 p 251.

Oncology – late diagnosis of breast cancer – liability and causation issues.

Smith –v- Barking Havering & Brentwood Health Authority MLR [1994] Vol 5 p.285
Informed consent and causation – neurosurgery – warning.

Thornton & Others –v- Nicol MLR [1992] Vol 3 p41
GP liability – diagnosis of meningitis.

EDUCATION

1971 – 1974 Haileybury College, Melbourne, Australia
1975 – 1978 LLB (Hons), University of Melbourne, Australia
1979 – 1981 LLM, University of Melbourne, Australia
1997 – 1998 Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Law, Kings College, London

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

Trained in Melbourne, Australia
1980 – 1983 Solicitor, F. Eden Dibble, Melbourne, Australia
1984 – 1986 Solicitor, Trefor James, Enfield, London
1986 – 1988 Solicitor, Freehill Hollingdale & Page, Melbourne, Australia
1988 – 1995 Solicitor, Hempsons
1995 Partner, Hempsons
1996 – 1997 Solicitor, Nabarro Nathanson
1997 – 2004 Partner, Winckworth Sherwood
2004 – 2008 Principal, Eastwoods
2008 – date Senior Partner, Eastwoods

Direct Line:
(020) 3137 4801

Direct Fax:
(020) 3137 4821

Email:
simon@eastwoodslaw.co.uk