Adam Smith

Adam joined Hempsons in January 2020 as part of our merger with Eastwoods, having originally trained at Hempsons. Adam was one of the three founding solicitors at Eastwoods and became a partner in 2008. Adam has been ranked in “Professional Discipline” for some years in Chambers & Partners.  

Adam’s defence practice covers regulatory and disciplinary (GMC/MPTS, GDC, HCPC and others), crime (particularly sexual assault and gross negligence manslaughter) and inquests, as well as representation of police officers in criminal (IOPC) and gross misconduct proceedings. Adam sits part time as an Assistant Coroner in both Milton Keynes and Inner North London.

Main areas of expertise

  • Regulatory defence
  • Criminal defence
  • Police
  • Inquests
  • Judicial review/appeals

Regulatory Defence

This has always been at the core of Adam’s practice. Indeed, the commencement of Adam’s training coincided with the GMC’s Professional Conduct Committee hearing regarding paediatric cardiac surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, then the longest running GMC hearing, much of which Adam attended. Since then, he has represented numerous professionals in regulatory matters, including at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS)/General Medical Council (GMC), General Dental Council (GDC), Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

This includes assistance throughout a regulatory investigation, from the initial stages through provision of observations (with many cases concluding at this stage), gathering of evidence and preparation for substantive hearings. Adam conducts advocacy at interim order and review hearings and works with counsel at lengthier, occasionally high profile substantive hearings.

Adam was invited to speak on the subject of interim orders at the Disciplinary Tribunals annual conference in September 2017.

Adam has sound knowledge of hospital trust disciplinary procedures (under “Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS”) and NHS England (Performers List) procedures, having dealt with many of these during his career. This includes representation at suspension hearings and appeals to the First Tier and Upper Tribunals. In one case, Adam conducted a two-day mediation on behalf of the consultant concerned, leading to a favourable compromise of High Court proceedings against her employing trust.

Adam also has a growing practice helping professionals regarding disclosures contained in enhanced DBS certificates.

Criminal Defence

Adam has considerable experience of representing individuals facing criminal proceedings including, in particular, sexual assault, gross negligence manslaughter and NHS counter-fraud and, in one case, an appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal. Adam attends police interviews and, where an individual is charged, assists throughout the process, including advocacy at Magistrates Court hearings, collation of evidence, preparation for trial and instruction of counsel at Crown Court trials. These cases can attract substantial press interest and Adam is experienced at managing clients through these inevitably stressful proceedings.

Police

Adam defends individual police officers facing regulatory and criminal allegations.  This includes attending interviews under caution with the IOPC and assisting at all stages of gross misconduct and criminal proceedings.  Whilst at Eastwoods, Adam and Surjit Dubb secured a place for the firm on the Police Federation’s panel of solicitors, and this continues at Hempsons, with Adam regularly assisting Federation members.

Inquests

These matters require great sensitivity and often will arise where there is other investigation of the same matters, for example by a regulator, a criminal investigation or civil claim. Assisting with the Inquest as well as these other investigations enables greater continuity and Adam has at all stages during his career enjoyed assisting individuals called to give evidence at an Inquest or afforded full representation (as an “Interested Person”) to question other witnesses. In many of these cases, Adam has undertaken the representation at the Inquest itself, as well as at pre-Inquest review hearings. In other cases, including more lengthy inquests, Adam assists with production of evidence and preparation for the hearing, instructing counsel to attend the hearing itself. Adam sits part time as an Assistant Coroner, reflecting his experience in the field.

Judicial Review / Appeals

Adam has conducted a number of Judicial Reviews and statutory appeals during his career. In some cases it has been possible to achieve the client’s desired outcome from “pre-action” correspondence. In others, Adam has worked alongside counsel in bringing these cases to a High Court hearing. These cases have generally arisen in the context of regulatory decisions or disclosure on enhanced DBS certificates. Adam has been involved in criminal appeal proceedings and represented the doctor in the well-known case of R (Sosanya) v GMC (2009).

Range of clients

  • Defence organisations
  • Professional bodies
  • Individual healthcare practitioners
  • Individual police officers
  • Other professionals

Qualifications

1985-1992: King Edward VII School, Sheffield

1992-1995: LLB (Hons), University of Hull

1995-1996: College of Law, York

Professional memberships

Member: Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL)

Member: Pharmacy Law & Ethics Association

Member: Health & Safety Lawyers Association (HSLA)

NewsView all

  • Chambers UK 2016
    “[Adam is]praised for his “all-round ability.”
  • Chambers UK 2017
    “[Adam is] a real thinker... If you have a problem case, he can find a way to tackle it.”
  • Chambers UK 2018
    “He’s unflappable, calm and level-headed. He’s good at managing the stress of the client.”
  • Chambers UK 2019
    “I would describe him as being great in a case analysis – he has a very intellectual, careful and cautious approach, and he is great at determining strategy.”
  • Chambers UK 2020
    “Very astute, switched-on and practical.”
  • Medical Client 2020
    “My sincere thanks to Adam Smith and team, who rose above the call of duty to help me successfully pull through my most stressful and darkest hour, with them you are not only in safe hands but experts as well.”
  • Client following HCPC hearing 2020
    “Adam you smashed it out the Park, when the panel retired I knew it would be a good result... No stone unturned.”
  • Medical Client 2020
    “I am very grateful for your support and professionalism throughout, which made a potentially traumatic and stressful experience considerably less so.”
  • Medical Client 2020
    “I cannot thank you enough for your empathic and brilliant defence by you and the team…Adam, thanks a lot as I realise you orchestrated everything with an astute thoroughness.”
  • Dental Client 2020
    “I cannot begin to describe how reassured I was by your handling of the case at all times. I was extremely lucky, as I had the best possible legal team and I am fully aware of that…I am thoroughly indebted to you for going that extra mile on my behalf.”