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Bill Wilson of Bankside Law successfully represented a Speech and Language Therapist before the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) managing to overturn a Suspension Order without restriction, which had been in place from September 2011.

The Speech & Language Therapist had initially been referred in 2011 to the Conduct and Competence Committee of the HCPC following concerns over her fitness to practise. After a three day hearing in 2011 the Committee found that there had been widespread, fundamental and serious failings. They immediately imposed a 12 month Suspension Order. A Review Panel on 28 September 2012 extended the Suspension Order, as did a further Panel on 16 September 2013.

On the first occasion our client was not present but submitted representations. She appeared and represented herself on each of the subsequent review hearings. The continual inability to remove the Suspension Order impacted so much that it became increasingly difficult for our client ever to imagine being able to return to practise.

In September 2014 being aware that a further Review Panel would consider her case further she sought legal assistance for the first time and approached Bankside Law to ensure she was adequately prepared and represented. They prepared her case and instructed Counsel, Mr Rad Kohanzad, of Serjeants Inn Chambers who appeared and represented our client before the Review Panel.

After hearing from Mr Kohanzad and the Registrant, the Review Panel commended her on all that she had done to remedy the deficiencies identified in her practice. They were impressed by the positive testimonials, her determination to succeed and the fact that she had successfully completed the Return to Speech and Language Therapy Programme undertaken at Birmingham City University. On the evidence, the Review Panel determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was no longer impaired and that she was permitted to return to unrestricted practice.

Bill Wilson commented that “The lessons to be learnt from this case, are that it is better to attend hearings, be represented and prepare fully from the outset but also that it is “never too late” to involve us whatever the circumstances and the length of suspension.".