Simon Eastwood

Simon rejoined 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 and regulatory practice, in addition to developing a practice in employment and sports-related matters.

Main areas of expertise

  • regulatory defence
  • employment
  • sport disciplinary
  • inquests
  • criminal defence
  • public enquiries
  • judicial review/appeals

Regulatory Defence

Simon has developed 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, GDC, NMC, HCPC, SWE and SRA. He 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 “Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS” (MHPS), as well as for NHS performers list investigations and hearings, including high court challenges.

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 Disciplinary

As a member of the Sports Resolution pro bono panel, Simon has developed a keen sports-related practice, including disciplinary, anti-doping and safeguarding investigations, arbitration and litigation. This has included assisting sports amateurs, 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, the successful resistance to a national governing body attempt to withdraw a coaching license for safeguarding reasons, as well as successfully defending an application to withdraw the UK Sport eligibility funding for an olympic athlete.  

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 many 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 the 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 Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry into children’s cardiac surgery,  Shipman Inquiry, Mubarek Inquiry and Redfern Inquiry.

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

  • Haileybury College, Melbourne, Australia 1971 – 1974
  • LLB (Hons), University of Melbourne, Australia 1975 – 1978
  • LLM, University of Melbourne, Australia 1979 – 1981
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Law, Kings College, London

Professional memberships

  • Member: Sports Resolution pro bono panel
  • Member: Royal Society of Medicine (RSM)

 

Simon Eastwood – the doyen of the professional discipline world.” Legal 500

Simon Eastwood is a seasoned and highly respected expert in the field of professional discipline. He possesses considerable experience in representing doctors and dentists facing internal investigations, as well as GMC and GDC fitness-to-practise hearings.” Chambers

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.”