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Coronavirus availability

During Lockdown due to the Coronavirus Bankside Law regrets that we will not be available for face to face appointments with clients. We will, however, be available on the phone on 0207 407 2356 or via pre-arranged video conferencing during normal office hours. These measures have been introduced to protect our clients and staff. We are otherwise operating as normal and indeed have already conducted our first video conferencing hearing. 

Bankside Law recruit dual qualified doctor and solicitor. Dr Sam Godwin

Bankside Law is delighted to announce it has recruited Dr Sam Godwin, formerly a Medicolegal Consultant Team Leader at the Medical Protection Society, as a senior associate solicitor to join our ranks in defending doctors and health professionals facing disciplinary and other legal proceedings.

John Williams commented
"We are thrilled that Sam has joined us. Her dual qualifications place her in a great, if not unique, position to understand and advance the interests of our doctor and other health professional clients. Having worked with Sam when she was at both the Medical Protection Society and the Medical Defence Union we appreciate how committed she is to client care and defending doctors' and health professionals' rights. We feel this approach is a perfect fit with our values at Bankside Law and that Sam will be an excellent addition to our team enabling us to learn from each other for the benefit of our existing and future clients."

Link to Dr Godwin's profile

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Work mobile: 07494 829341

Successful defence of Senior Director of Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) – Fraud, Money Laundering, Bribery & Corruption – November 2019.

Bill Wilson successfully concluded a lengthy Banking Sector investigation conducted by City of London Police (Major Crime Team) with no further action. The matter had been reported to Police in August 2017 by the internal investigation unit within Lloyds Banking Group and resulted in Bill’s client being arrested and interviewed in January 2018 at which point a Restraint Order was imposed. Although the Restraint Order initially appeared to be an obstacle, it proved to be ultimately very beneficial for the defence following challenge, producing substantial disclosure which otherwise would not have been forthcoming at that stage. This enabled very detailed lengthy representations to be made to Police which otherwise could not have been possible, dealing with each of the numerous issues under investigation. Undoubtedly it was this disclosure that assisted in the matter being concluded with no charges being preferred and without even having to be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice.

Bill commented: "This was an extremely complex investigation dating back a number of years with a significant amount of papers. Undoubtedly Lloyds Banking Group misrepresented the true sequence of facts to Police when the matter was first reported, so the Police were under a false and misguided starting point.  As a consequence of challenging the Restraint Order we were able to uncover vital defence material which otherwise would never have been considered and unfortunately could have resulted in charges wrongly being preferred. This case proves that it is very possible to litigate pre-trial and hence avoid the unnecessary expense, stress and anxiety that a lengthy and complex trial may entail.

I was extremely fortunate in being able to instruct Leading Counsel, Mr Mark Rainsford QC, 33 Chancery Lane and it was with his assistance that the Restraint Order could be challenged, strategically being able to steer away from an unnecessary prosecution. 

One of the best recommendations I ever received came from the Investigating Officer who said, “If I ever find myself in trouble, I know precisely who to come to!”.

Client commented:  "Bill Wilson was recommended to me by a close friend in the legal profession. It was the best recommendation I could have asked for.   Bill is an exceptional criminal lawyer, who quickly was able to familiarise himself with what was a complex Banking sector case which included allegations of Money Laundering, Bribery & Corruption and Fraud. Bill is very methodical in the way that he broke down the case and tactically and strategically negated every point that was alleged. 

As a lawyer, Bill is both savvy and articulate and with his vast experience of these kinds of cases, considers every conceivable avenue to explore and leverage for the benefit of his clients.  He is relentless in his work and over the two years Bill represented me, he was always available to me in my many hours of need.  I owe Bill a huge debt of gratitude and we will remain lifelong friends of that I am sure."

 

Is good character evidence and/or evidence of usual practice relevant and admissible at the unacceptable professional conduct stage? GOsC PCC say it can be and their former guidance is wrong.

Bankside Law (John Williams) recently represented an osteopath at the Professional Conduct Committee of the General Osteopathic Council. Another solicitor had represented our client at the facts stage of the proceedings and we took over the case. Evidence of good character and usual practice was submitted and we argued (through our barrister Jonathan Goldring) that it was both relevant and admissible at the UPC stage. GOsC through their barrister, argued it was not and referred to the then guidance on GOsC web site which stated that evidence of good character was never relevant at the UPC stage.

We were successful and the PCC found that in the circumstances of this case unacceptable professional conduct was not present. This meant that our client had no disciplinary finding, no entry on the GOsC web site and left the proceedings with an unblemished professional reputation. Our client was hugely relieved and extremely grateful to the replacement legal team at Bankside Law. GOsC have subsequently accepted that this evidence could be relevant and admissible, they have taken the guidance down from their web site pending it being re-written by external counsel. John Williams said –

“This was an important case, not just because it preserved the professional reputation of our client, but also because it provided another chance for Registrants generally, in the correct circumstances, to put forward evidence of good character and usual working practices at a stage at which it had previously been precluded.”

Our client commented:

"Mr Williams of Bankside Law took on my case from another firm of solicitors. I am an Osteopath and I feared the worst-case outcome following allegations made of UPC. From my first phone call with Mr Williams, when I was feeling discouraged and despondent, he took care of my case with close attention to the details, correct legal advice and encouragement every step of the way.

It was Mr Williams who recommended and co-ordinated with the experts for my case. It was my barrister Mr Jonathan Goldring who challenged the GOsC's Guidance that evidence of good character at the decision and sanction stage should not be admissible, and he won, which was so important in my case.

My complaint process was a long and very stressful two years and at the final Hearing, the Professional Conduct Committee did not consider the facts found proved amounted to UPC and the case was closed with no sanction imposed against me. From fearing the worst outcome and getting the best outcome was such a relief and I believe was only due to the expert legal knowledge and care by Mr Williams and his team. I will be forever grateful to Mr Williams and would wholeheartedly recommend Bankside Law for excellent legal representation."