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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."