At the client’s request we had taken over his case from another firm of solicitors who had attempted to deal with his case to conclusion during the investigation stage but had failed to do so. As a result his case had moved on to the formal disciplinary process before the Committee. In the referral, a recommendation had been made that Martin’s client receive a warning.
Martin’s client faced allegations that:
• He had received a formal police caution for a serious criminal offence; and,
• His fitness to practise was impaired by reason of the caution.
Martin requested a copy of the file from the General Pharmaceutical Council and reviewed the papers generated in the investigation stage by the former solicitors.
Taking advantage of current technology, Martin undertook a lengthy video conference with the client to seek his full instructions. During that meeting Martin was able to give full advice on the factual basis of the concessions to be made and gain full details of the mitigating circumstances and advise upon potential outcomes.
On the basis of this meeting and consideration of the papers Martin was able to draft a persuasive letter of representations. The client was then able to approve the letter. It was submitted in good time for the hearing.
As a result of Martin’s representations the the Committee reached the conclusion “take no further action” having taken into account the nature of the caution and the mitigation that could be offered.
Martin’s client was very happy with the result, particularly bearing in mind that the Council’s original recommendation.
We know that such referrals can have serious effect on a person working in this sector. The Investigating Committee has the option of referring the case to the Fitness to Practice Committee. It has additional powers of its own, including giving a recordable warning, advice, agreeing undertakes or recommending criminal prosecutions.
Neither the Investigation Stage nor the Investigating Committee stage can be taken lightly. Decisions made early in a case can affect the entirety of proceedings. As a result, it is extremely important to seek expert advice straight away.
If you are a pharmacist or pharmacy technician and face investigation then please contact Martin Hadley immediately on 0115 9599550 or email him here. He will give you information on our competitive private fees and explain what helpful steps can be taken immediately on your behalf.