Robin Somerville - Resolving Legal Problems

Helping professionals facing an investigation or allegations

Robin Somerville - Barrister | Mediator | Investigator

Need help or advice in respect of your regulator? Facing an investigation or upcoming hearing? Previously been erased and want to be restored to the register?

Call me on 020 8242 4106 or click here to tell me about your issue. I’ll tell you how I can help..

I lead my Chambers’ Professional Regulation Practise Group.

I have been an advocate for professionals, case presenter for regulators, panel member and Chair for a number of regulators, and an advisor and trainer in professional regulation for over 14 years. I have experience sitting for the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Construction Industry Council (CIC), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service / General Medical Council (MPTS/GMC) and others.

I have helped a number of professionals including successfully appealing a surveyor’s erasure before RICS, successfully resisting an interim suspension order against a doctor facing misconduct and language proficiency allegations where the GMC later agreed to undertakings, representing a doctor previously erased for multiple instances of sexual misconduct, and representing a pharmacist with two convictions for sexual assault at the initial hearing and on appeal to the High Court.

Having been a tribunal member for over 14 years is extremely valuable as it gives a very strong sense of what works and how a tribunal will respond to different strategies. This experience and understanding extends well beyond the in-depth legal knowledge acquired and assists professionals chose the strategies they’d like to follow to potentially minimise the impact of an issue or allegation or identify approaches most likely to secure the desired outcome.

One decision I was involved in as a Tribunal member was unsuccessfully judicially reviewed. The Judgment included “It is to Mr Somerville’s credit… Mr Somerville was right to probe… entirely fair of him… perfectly sensible.”  This decision was unsuccessfully appealed. Dismissing the subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal the Master of the Rolls’ in his judgment said: “entirely understandable and appropriate“, that I was “entitled to ask the questions”  asked and that the perceptions of the Dr and her lawyer did “not undermine the legitimacy and appropriateness” of the questioning.

Written appraisals from the MPTS include: “Exceeds competency… Strengths have been noted across all competency areas… ability to grasp complex documentation, while making balanced and succinct decisions which were evidence based… effective contributions to in-camera discussions… ability to listen and challenge others politely, when it was appropriate… supportive approach in in-camera discussions with colleagues.”

Written feedback from the NMC includes: “Performance exceeds expectations” in all metrics and from colleagues includes: “Outstanding”, “inclusive”, “business-like”, “effective use of our time”, “very collaborative”, “…exemplary. He was logical, methodical and analytical and articulated his view clearly…. [he asked] highly insightful questions… When the question asked was not answered, Mr Somerville pressed for a proper answer” and“It is rare to meet such a refreshingly honest approach”.

I have delivered board and panel training to a number of leading regulators and regulated commercial organisations in the UK and abroad and have written of a number of codes of conduct including for statutory regimes requiring approval by the relevant Secretary of State.

I am available to advise or represent registrants, act as case presenter or legal assessor in respect of any of the following:

  • Response to investigations
  • Interim orders hearings
  • Substantive misconduct, conviction and health cases
  • Substantive order reviews
  • Registration appeals
  • Appeals against panel findings

I am a member of the Association for Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers. I can be instructed by professionals and regulators direct under the public access scheme, or via a solicitor. I am  co-authoring Judgecraft: the art of sound decision making which leans heavily on professional regulation.

I can help with any of the following list of professional regulators – and many more:


  • Charity Commission for England and Wales
  • Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
  • Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator

Construction and Architecture

  • Architects Registration Board
  • Construction Skills
  • UK Contractors Group
  • Construction Industry Council
  • National Specialist Contractors Council
  • Federation of Master Builders
  • Construction Clients Group
  • Royal Institute of British Architects


  • The General Teaching Councils for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Ofqual – Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation
  • Ofsted – Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills
  • Office for Students (OfS)


  • Environment Agency (EA)
  • Marine Management Organisation (MMO)
  • Natural Resources Wales (NRW)
  • Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA)
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)


  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Financial Reporting Council
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
  • Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies (ORCIC)
  • Payment Systems Regulator (PSR)
  • Pensions Regulator
  • Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)
  • The Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS)


  • Care Quality Commission (CQC)
  • NHS Improvement (NHSI)
  • Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)
  • General Chiropractic Council (GCC)
  • General Dental Council (GDC)
  • General Medical Council (GMC)
  • General Optical Council (GOC)
  • General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)
  • General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
  • Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW)
  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) – fifteen professions with designated titles[1]
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
  • Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
  • Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care


  • Regulator of Social Housing
  • Scottish Housing Regulator


  • Bar Standards Board
  • CILEx Regulation
  • Faculty of Advocates
  • Law Society of Northern Ireland
  • Law Society of Scotland
  • Master of the Faculties
  • Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority

Social care

  • Scottish Care Inspectorate
  • Care Council for Wales (CCW)
  • Social Work England
  • Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC)
  • Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)


  • Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
  • Office of Rail and Road (ORR)


  • Ofcom – independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries
  • Phone-paid Services Authority – regulator for phone-paid services in the UK, part of Ofcom, replaces ICSTIS, PhonepayPlus
  • Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)
  • Ofgem – the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets
  • Ofwat – the Water Services Regulation Authority
  • The Utility Regulator – regulating electricity, gas, water and sewerage industries in Northern Ireland[3]
  • Water Industry Commissioner for Scotland


  • Advertising Standards Authority
  • British Board of Film Classification
  • Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity
  • Competition and Markets Authority
  • Council for Registered Gas Installers
  • Direct Marketing Authority
  • Engineering Council – the regulatory body for the engineering profession
  • Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Food Standards Agency
  • Forensic Science Regulator
  • Fundraising Regulator
  • Gambling Commission
  • Gaming Board for Great Britain
  • Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • Independent Press Standards Organisation
  • Information Commissioner’s Office
  • Oil and Gas Authority
  • Planning Inspectorate
  • Independent Police Complaints Commission
  • Security Industry Authority