Deans Court Chambers

Professional Discipline Department

The Regions (Bar)
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An exceptional bench of barristers who have renowned practices both prosecuting and defending individuals facing allegations of misconduct relating to clinical failings, sexual misconduct and other serious matters. Many of the barristers draw on their supplementary skills in inquests and criminal cases to inform their practice in this area. A commentator points out: "They are a heavyweight set in terms of healthcare regulation and inquests."

Client service: "They've been able to provide counsel at the last moment and in an emergency. I know they would never let me down, and never provide less than excellent service." Matthew Gibbons is the senior clerk, while Peter Kelly leads the criminal and regulatory clerking team.


Elizabeth Dudley-Jones

Has a broad professional discipline practice, with a notable focus on handling cases concerning medical and healthcare law, involving issues such as misconduct, dishonesty, criminal allegations and clinical failings. She regularly prosecutes cases for the GMC, including several cases before the fitness-to-practise panel.
Strengths: "She has a very good advocacy style." "A highly polished advocate, who is extremely proficient and has an eye for detail. She's got a great grasp of professional discipline law and procedure." "She is very approachable, hard-working and committed."
Recent work: Acted for the GMC in a case involving the prosecution of a young doctor for serious domestic violence within an arranged marriage, and against the victim’s brother.


Mary O'Rourke QC

Has a highly regarded professional discipline practice with a focus on the defence of doctors in matters before the GMC and other disciplinary bodies. She is admired for her advocacy in high-profile, complex cases, including judicial review.
Strengths: "A pure professional disciplinary lawyer who truly leads the pack in this field." "She is well respected, dogged, determined and knowledgeable." "She is very robust and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the jurisprudence of this field."


Peter Atherton

Gains regular instruction from the GMC in medical tribunal cases, drawing on his wealth of experience handling civil and criminal cases when acting in court. He is also skilled at handling inquests concerning deprivation of liberty cases and Human Rights Act applications, among other matters.
Strengths: "A very effective and experienced advocate in these proceedings." "He takes a very thorough and detailed approach to cases." "He is very fair-minded and bright."
Recent work: Acted for the GMC in the prosecution of aconsultant ophthalmologist, arising from failures to identify and correct defective cataract surgery.


Peter Horgan

Frequently prosecutes on behalf of the GMC in an array of fitness-to-practise hearings and appeals relating to conduct both at and outside work.
Strengths: "He really is a class act. He's approachable, bright, very good with clients and he knows his way around - you can tell he's an accomplished jury advocate." "An efficient and effective advocate."
Recent work: Prosecuted a doctor who had failed to attend to a 12-year-old boy who died. The doctor was acquitted of gross negligence manslaughter but the GMC held that she acted below the standard and had been dishonest, so her registration was revoked.


Robin Kitching

Known for his work for the GMC in sensitive and high-profile cases, with expertise in handling fitness-to-practise cases. He handles professional discipline matters as part of a broader practice that also encompasses criminal law work.
Strengths: "He is a very able advocate." "He is very good with both tribunals and the High Court bench. A smooth performer who is very knowledgeable."


Rosalind Emsley-Smith

An advocate who uses her broad experience in criminal law to good effect in disciplinary cases in the healthcare sector. She regularly acts for the GMC and has a wide knowledge of the MPTS, with a particular focus on fitness-to-practise hearings and reviews of fitness-to-practise hearings.
Strengths: "She is a very accomplished advocate: always very well prepared, knows her brief and argues her corner." "She is very tenacious and impressive in a hearing."


Sophie Cartwright

Experienced prosecutor on behalf of the GMC, also handling high-profile public inquiry police cases. Her professional discipline practice also takes in the representation of regulated professionals and organisations.
Strengths: "She is enormously bright, very approachable and talented." "She is a very forensic cross-examiner and her approach was very collaborative with other advocates."