Deborah Nicholson

Head of Regulatory
Professional discipline and misconduct

I am an experienced regulatory and public law lawyer and I head up the regulatory team at Markel Law. I undertake both contentious and non-contentious regulatory and criminal work.

Fitness to Practise - have acted for regulators, organisations and professionals in relation to investigations and prosecutions. I have undertaken work for most of the healthcare regulators including the GMC, the CQC and the PSA.  I have also acted in cases involving Ofsted in relation to the suitability of childminders/nurseries and their compliance with the EYF. I undertake the full spectrum of fitness to practise work, supporting clients where concerns are raised in relation to their conduct, performance, convictions and health. In 2018-19, I spent 18 months on secondment at a national governing body as a specialist legal advisor working on a number of high profile regulatory matters. 

Public Law - I have conducted judicial review/appeal work in the High Court in relation to a variety of matters. These cases have included issues around specific case outcomes, policy change/ consultation and the interpretation of legislation. I have experience in cases requiring urgent consideration involving injunctive relief and complex disclosure issues.

Entity Regulation - I am a healthcare specialist and am regularly instructed by organisations that are subject to CQC regulation including care homes, online doctor consultation services and private clinics. I deal with representations to the CQC and appeals to the First Tier Tribunal. Also, I represent business and directors in the criminal courts in health and safety prosecutions by various bodies including the HSE, CPS and CQC.

Inquests/Inquiries - I have been instructed by clients in relation to high profile inquests involving sensitive issues that impact on other pieces of litigation, particularly where there is a potential for criticism by the coroner. In addition, I have managed disclosure teams on inquests and have been instructed by regulators in public inquiries.  I have provided briefings and advice for senior public figures called before public inquiries and select committees.

Audit, Policy and Advisory - I have undertaken audits for national regulators looking at their compliance with KPIs, policies and the quality of decision making. I have drafted rules and guidance for organisations and advised them on public law principles. In addition I have worked with banks, investment funds and large businesses on the sale of healthcare businesses on deals ranging from 8 million to 2.5 billion.

I am a Fellow of CILeX and a member of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers. In the Legal 500 I am recognised for my regulatory and sports law expertise and am a noted ‘next generation’ lawyer.

If you have a regulatory issue you would like to discuss, please do get in touch.