Simon Eastwood

Simon joined Hempsons in January 2020 as part of our merger with Eastwoods. Since qualifying in the UK in 1984, Simon has specialised in defence and insurance-related work and is consistently recognised in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 as a leader in the field of Professional Discipline. Having originally qualified in Melbourne, Australia, Simon moved to the UK in 1988 and joined healthcare specialists, Hempsons for the first time!  In 1997, he joined Winckworth Sherwood, where he helped to establish a Healthcare practice within the litigation department. In July 2004, Simon founded Eastwoods where he has maintained his healthcare practice, in addition to developing a practice in employment and sports-related matters.

Main areas of expertise

  • Regulatory defence
  • Employment
  • Sport
  • Inquests
  • Criminal defence
  • Public enquiries
  • Judicial review/appeals

Regulatory Defence

Since moving to the UK in 1988, Simon has maintained a core practice in Regulatory Defence, particularly in representing healthcare professionals, and is consistently ranked as a leader in the field. Throughout his lengthy career, Simon has successfully represented numerous clients facing investigations by bodies such as the GMC and GDC, has been involved in some of the most high-profile cases to date and has been described by one source as a “legend in his own lifetime”.

In addition to representing clients facing investigations by their regulatory bodies, Simon has maintained a strong practice in hospital trust disciplinary matters, under the current framework under “Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS” (MHPS), as well as for NHS Performers List investigations.

Employment

As a natural development from his core Professional Discipline practice, Simon has assisted a number of clients with wide-ranging and often high-profile employment-related issues. This has included Dr Eva Carneiro in her Employment Tribunal claim against Chelsea FC and Jose Mourinho. Simon has significant experience of assisting healthcare practitioners with employment-related issues with hospital trusts, particularly following on from regulatory and/or internal disciplinary investigations. Simon is acutely aware of the sensitivity of these matters and scope for reputational damage, and is known for his pragmatic approach to what can often be highly stressful proceedings.

Sport

Particularly in recent years, Simon, following his personal interests, has developed a keen sports-related practice, including disciplinary and anti-doping investigations, arbitration and litigation. This has included assisting both sports professionals and healthcare practitioners in a sporting context. Simon has represented clients before disciplinary panels, selection and funding committees and in relation to UKAD anti-doping inquiries, with highlights including having represented a British Paralympic athlete challenging his non-selection for the Paralympic Games in 2012 and successful resistance to a National Governing Body attempt to withdraw a coaching license for safeguarding reasons. He is a member of the Sports Resolution pro bono panel.

Inquests

Simon has, throughout his career, represented many clients with participation in coroner’s inquests. This has, in particular, focused on representing doctors involved either as “Interested Persons” or as witnesses in inquests where there is a suggestion of clinical negligence or neglect contributing to a death, and several of the matters Simon has been involved in have attracted considerable press interest. Simon has often undertaken advocacy of the Inquest itself and/or at Pre-Inquest Review hearings, in addition to working closely with Counsel where needed.

Criminal Defence

Simon has represented several individuals facing criminal investigations. Simon assists from police interview through to trial and has successfully defended clients charged with a wide range of allegations, including in sexual assault, gross negligence manslaughter and fraud. Simon’s experience also includes having advised and represented a senior police officer in the private criminal proceedings following the Taylor Inquiry (which related to the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster).

Public Inquiries

Over the years, Simon has been involved in some of the most high-profile and important public inquiries, including the Shipman Inquiry and Mubarek Inquiry.

Clinical Negligence

Simon has, throughout his career, maintained a practice in defending doctors and dentists facing clinical negligence claims covering a wide range of matters including delayed diagnosis of cancer, psychiatric injury and historical sexual abuse. This has involved representing clients in county court, High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings.

Judicial Review/Appeals

Simon has a wealth of experience of assisting clients with claims for Judicial Review, injunctions and appeals (arising from both civil and criminal proceedings).

Range of clients

  • Defence organisations
  • Individual healthcare practitioners
  • Other professionals

Qualifications

1971-1974: Haileybury College, Melbourne, Australia 1971 – 1974

1975-1978: LLB (Hons), University of Melbourne, Australia 1975 – 1978

1979-1981: LLM, University of Melbourne, Australia 1979 – 1981

1997-1998: Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Law, Kings College, London

Professional memberships

Member: Sports Resolution pro bono panel

Member: Royal Society of Medicine (RSM)

 

NewsView all

  • Chambers UK 2016
    ““[Simon is] a vigorous and effective advocate” who is “very able and thorough.” “He continues to be highly regarded for his representation of healthcare practitioners."”
  • Chambers UK 2017
    “[Simon has] robust advice combined with tactical awareness and a good client manner. He is well regarded in the marketplace for his representation of medical professionals facing disciplinary proceedings.
  • Chambers UK 2018
    “He’s very experienced and knows the regulation of medical professionals inside out. He’s very thorough and very knowledgeable.”
  • Chambers UK 2020
    “Simon Eastwood is a standout lawyer who is well known for defending healthcare professionals before the GDC and GMC. Sources say: “He is hugely experienced. What he doesn’t know about regulatory work isn’t worth knowing.”
  • 2016
    “Friendly, unpretentious and prepared to work hard to achieve results.”