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Stephen Hooper

Associate

Stephen joined Eastwoods as a paralegal just after the firm first opened in 2004.  He became Eastwoods’ first Trainee in 2006, qualified as a solicitor in 2008 and was made an Associate in 2015.

EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE

Regulatory Defence

Throughout his career, Stephen’s practice has had a strong emphasis on defending professionals in regulatory and disciplinary matters, including GMC, GDC, HCPC, NMC, NHS Trust Disciplinary and PCT (now NHS England) investigations, in addition to assisting medical students facing Fitness to Practise proceedings during the course of their university education. This has frequently involved undertaking advocacy before various tribunals in both interlocutory and substantive review hearings. Stephen is ranked in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for Professional Discipline. (see “Directory Entries”, below).

Criminal Defence

Stephen frequently advises and assists clients in attendance at police and counter-fraud squad interviews and has successfully defended clients in both Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court trials, as well as achieving success in the Court of Appeal. The scope of Stephen’s practice has covered defending clients accused of a wide range of offences, including: sexual assault; common assault; gross negligence manslaughter; fraud; and perverting the course of justice. Stephen is recommended for General Crime in the Legal 500 (see “Directory Entries”, below).

Clinical Negligence

Throughout his career, Stephen has maintained a busy practice in defending medical and dental professionals in clinical negligence claims. This has covered a wide range of matters, including: cancer misdiagnosis; catastrophic spinal injuries; cosmetic surgery; primary and secondary victim psychiatric injuries; and historical sexual abuse. Stephen has represented clients in County Court, High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings.

Personal Injury

In addition to his clinical negligence portfolio, Stephen has also represented a number of clients in Personal Injury claims (largely sport-related), including claims against judo instructors, fencing coaches and amateur wrestling coaches. Stephen has successfully defended several clients all the way to trial.

Inquests

Over the years, Stephen has represented numerous clients in preparation for, and attendance at, inquests around the UK. This more often than not has involved personally undertaking the advocacy at both Pre-Inquest Reviews and substantive inquest hearings, in addition to instructing and assisting Counsel where necessary.

Judicial Review / Appeals

In relation to most areas of his practice, Stephen has experience of assisting clients with statutory appeals, judicial review claims and injunctions. This has included statutory appeals and judicial review claims against decisions of regulatory bodies; and Court of Appeal proceedings arising from both Crown Court and High Court/County Court proceedings.

DIRECTORY ENTRIES

“[Stephen Hooper] asks the right questions and takes a systematic approach,” according to impressed interviewees.
Chambers & Partners UK 2020

He is very loyal to his clients, very tenacious and absolutely dedicated.
Chambers & Partners UK 2019

“[Stephen is]…very bright, very clever and works incredibly well with clients, counsel and legal experts”
Chambers & Partners UK 2018

‘Stephen Hooper is thoughtful, hardworking, and approachable
Legal 500 2020

“[Stephen is described as] an ‘imaginative’ associate with a ‘refreshing approach to legal problems’”
Legal 500 2017

“[He is] ‘a very astute and thoughtful tactician’ with sources commending his ability to ‘identify the real issues and consequences of problems and devise the appropriate strategy.’”
Chambers & Partners UK 2017

TESTIMONIALS

“My very sincere thanks to you for your calm and reasoned approach, your thoroughness and prompt communications. You made a distressing episode considerably more manageable.”(Medical Client)

“Just a brief note to say a very big thank you for all of your highly professional and skilled advice during the last 5 months not forgetting the day of the inquest itself….Many thanks once again for your excellent and superb service.” (Medical Client)

“As I have said after the committee decision, I couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer.”
(Dental Client)

“Thank you for your support that has gone at times also beyond the strictly professional boundaries to act both as a friend and a legal counsellor.”
(Dental Client)

“We have found Stephen to be approachable, reassuring, supportive, appropriately direct, thorough, to have offered wise counsel and to have dealt with our insecurities and concerns with patience and care no matter how irrational – and as GPs we know how irrational people’s concerns can be. We thought you should know how grateful we are that he was assigned to us” (Medical Clients)

“I wanted to say a big thank you for all your help during the case. Your help during that difficult time was so vital for me getting back on the course and getting to where I am now”
(Medical Student Client)

“I particularly wanted to tell you how impressive I found Stephen to be. In fact, he has to be one of the best solicitors I have ever worked with. He is intelligent, perceptive, efficient, knowledgeable and extremely good with people.”
(Barrister)

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.

GDC v Mr H (2016)
Defended a dentist who had performed extensive (and largely cosmetic) crownwork on the majority of the complainant’s teeth over a period of two days. The GDC investigation followed a clinical negligence claim (in respect of which Stephen represented the dentist). It was alleged that the dentist had persuaded the patient to undergo the treatment when he knew it was not appropriate, and that he was therefore dishonest. At the eventual PCC hearing, the dentist’s fitness to practise was found not to be impaired.

R v Dr O (2015) – successfully defended a GP charged with 6 counts of sexual assault against 3 female patients. The jury took just two hours to unanimously acquit the Defendant GP.

R v Dr B (2012)
Successfully defended a GP charged with allegations of historical sexual assault against a former patient. The GP was acquitted at the close of the Prosecution case, following a submission by the Defence that there was no case to answer.

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.

Anthony Chyc v General Medical Council [2008] EWHC 1025 (Admin)
Appeal against the decision of a General Medical Council Fitness to Practise Panel (sitting as a Professional Conduct Committee) to erase the name of a General Practitioner from the medical register, following allegations of sexual impropriety, failures to refer patients and poor administration. Stephen also assisted Simon Eastwood at the initial Fitness to Practise Panel hearing in 2006.

GMC v Dr Wakefield, Professor Walker-Smith and Professor Murch (2007 – 2010)

The longest running GMC proceedings to date before a Fitness to Practise Panel (sitting as a Professional Conduct Committee) in relation to the care of and research into 12 children with a combination of gastrointestinal symptoms and degenerative disorders. The research culminated in the publication of a paper which led to a significant drop in uptake of the MMR vaccine in the late 1990s, when the lead researcher suggested a potential link between the vaccine and autism.

EDUCATION

1992 – 1999 John Fisher School, Purley
1999 – 2002 BSc (Hons) Politics & Law, University of Southampton
2003 – 2004 LPC, College of Law, London

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

2004 – 2006 Paralegal, Eastwoods
2006 – 2008 Trainee Solicitor, Eastwoods
2008 – 2015 Solicitor, Eastwoods
2015 – date Associate, Eastwoods

INTERESTS

In his spare time, Stephen is a keen musician – he plays the guitar and piano, and sings with the Royal Choral Society. Stephen is an avid Arsenal fan (much to the disapproval of the Senior Partner!) and follows most sports. He also enjoys long-distance running and is a Trustee of Nyumba Ya Thanzi (House of Good Health), a UK-based charitable trust which supports local initiatives in Malawi.

Direct Line:
(020) 3137 4804

Direct Fax:
(020) 3137 4821

Email:
stephen@eastwoodslaw.co.uk