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Fiona Horlick QC defends professional body against costs application

Fiona Horlick QC recently appeared for a professional body in a Disciplinary Tribunal Panel Hearing, defending an application for costs made by the Respondent.

The application was unique as the Panel had to consider whether it could, and if so, should award costs to a non party – the employer of the Respondent.

Prior to the costs application, the Respondent had been charged with misconduct and the Respondent’s employer instructed a magic circle firm of solicitors. However, as new evidence had been received such that the professional body’s case was weakened, the professional body sought that the charge be dismissed by the Panel prior to it being heard at a Tribunal hearing. The Panel had to consider two principal issues:

  • Whether costs were recoverable and, if so;
  • Whether it could award costs to the Respondent’s employer which was not a party to the proceedings and against which costs could not have been recovered had the Respondent been found guilty of misconduct.

The Panel considered whether it was possible to join the Respondent’s employer as a party to the proceedings, or whether there were any parallels between the employer and insurers or trade unions to enable a costs application to be made by the employer.

The Panel’s Decision

After Fiona’s submissions, the Panel agreed that there was no power that allowed it to join the employer as a party. Notwithstanding that, the Panel ruled that there was nothing in the rules to prevent it from awarding costs in favour of the Respondent’s employer, if thought appropriate.  However, in this situation, the Panel ruled that the professional body had acted entirely appropriately in bringing the Charge, and subsequently seeking that it be dismissed due to the further evidence received.  The Panel therefore ruled that costs were not payable against the professional body, and the Respondent’s application was dismissed.

Fiona Horlick QC was instructed by Kingsley Napley.

Find Out More

Fiona has a regular and extensive practice both defending and prosecuting regulated professionals. This practice encompasses:

  • Disciplinary proceedings before regulators
  • Criminal trials
  • Inquests
  • Employment/internal disciplinary hearings

She has also conducted a number of serious and complicated cases regarding the regulation of actuaries on behalf of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. Such cases invariably involve complex matters of expert evidence with regard to pensions and insurance.

To instruct Fiona please contact ct Graham Woods or Chris Rowe on +44 (0)20 7353 6381 who would be pleased to discuss your specific circumstances in the strictest of confidence.

News 29 Mar, 2020


Fiona Horlick KC

Call: 1992 Silk: 2019

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