Partner

Experience

Nicole is experienced in providing advice on regulatory and disciplinary law, with particular emphasis on healthcare, veterinary and equine work. She regularly appears as advocate before disciplinary committees, and routinely has conduct of regulatory appeals, including to the Privy Council. Nicole advises regulators on judicial review and policy matters, and she reviews their rules, regulations and guidance documents. She is experienced in advising both statutory and non-statutory regulatory bodies, and also acts on behalf of individuals regarding proceedings brought by their regulatory bodies. Nicole sits as a legal assessor and regularly undertakes audit and training work for regulators.

Examples of Recent Work

  • Acted for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) in relation to an appeal to the Privy Council brought by a veterinary surgeon who had been struck off the RCVS’ register following a conviction for conspiracy to commit a fraud related to false equine certification (2018 - 2019)
  • Represented the RCVS with regards to an appeal to the Privy Council by a veterinary surgeon who had been struck off for numerous clinical failings (2018 -2019)
  • Acted as advocate before the RCVS Disciplinary Committee in relation to proceedings against a veterinary surgeon for attempting to administer an equine anaesthetic to another person, and attempting to undertake surgery to that other person (November 2018)
  • Acted as advocate before the Disciplinary Committee of a statutory regulator with regards to allegations of misuse of social media (October 2018)
  • Acted as advocate before the RCVS Disciplinary Committee in relation to proceedings brought against a veterinary surgeon following a conviction for smuggling miniature dachshund puppies into the UK (August 2018)
  • Represented a statutory regulator in an appeal to the High Court (Administrative Division) brought by a registrant who had been found guilty of serious professional misconduct (2017 - 2018)
  • Acted on behalf of an individual registrant in relation to proceedings brought by their statutory regulator for allegations of serious professional misconduct (2017 - 2018)
  • Undertook an audit of fitness to practise decisions on behalf of a statutory regulator, considering decisions at all stages of the regulator’s processes, from initial complaint to final hearing (2018)

Qualifications and Career

  • 1992 Called to the Bar, Gray’s Inn
  • 1990 Emmanuel College, Cambridge BA Hons (Law)

Nicole was called to the Bar in 1992 and spent approximately ten years in independent practice at 1 Paper Buildings before joining Penningtons in 2003. She became a partner there in 2010 and, in doing so, was one of the first barristers to enter partnership with solicitors. In April 2018 Nicole became team leader for the professional regulatory team at Penningtons Manches. In January 2019 she joined the Public and Regulatory team at Bates Wells Braithwaite.

Pro Bono, Memberships and Appointments

  • 2015 – appointed Independent Member of General Dental Council’s Quality Assurance Group
  • 2016 – appointed Legal Assessor to General Osteopathic Council’s statutory committees
  • Ex officio member of the committee of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL)
  • Member of the editorial board for the ARDL bulletin
  • Organises the annual Marion Simmons QC essay prize
  • Member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council User Group