Gemma has a broad public law practice with a particular focus on matters relating to education, health, prisons and tax. Her clients include government departments, regulators, local authorities, universities and schools, individuals and action groups. In addition to appearing regularly in the Administrative Court, appellate courts and a range of tribunals she has considerable experience of chairing/sitting on disciplinary/grievance panels and of conducting internal investigations. Gemma is a CEDR accredited mediator. 

Before coming to the Bar Gemma taught at both King's College London and at Wadham College Oxford. She acted as Seminar Leader in Criminal Law and Course Director in the Law of Evidence at Kings College London between 1992 and 1994. 

Experience

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Public & Regulatory

Gemma has a wide-ranging public law practice. Her clients include government departments, local authorities, schools, regulators, individuals and action groups. Gemma appears regularly in the Administrative Court and appellate courts as well as a variety of statutory tribunals. She has conducted a number of internal investigations and disciplinary processes for clients and chairs/sits on school admission/exclusion panels in both the public and private sector. 

Recent cases in which she has been instructed have included claims brought by prisoners/young offenders relating to prison closures, conditions and regime, advice on acquisition of airports by public airport companies, airport safety, cases relating to the provision and repayment of student loans, health regulation and professional discipline, freedom of information and data protection, electoral expenses, challenges to housing benefit legislation and challenges to decisions taken by HMRC in relation to tax avoidance schemes. 


Cases

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Education


Gemma undertakes a wide variety of work throughout the education sector. Her clients include government departments, schools, universities and other education providers as well as pupils/students, parents, teachers and their unions. Cases include public law challenges to decisions relating to school organisation, discrimination claims, procurement issues and intellectual property claims. She has advised on a number of occasions on the inclusion of non-conviction information on teachers’ CRB certificates, matters relating to school teachers’ employment, pay and conditions and professional discipline. In the higher education sector she has advised on and drafted submissions responding to complaints to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and has been instructed in related High Court challenges. She has also advised universities and colleges and appeared before university disciplinary tribunals representing colleges and students. 

Gemma often appears (pro bono) before the First-tier Tribunal (previously SENDIST) representing parents challenging decisions made by local authorities in relation to provision for their children’s special educational needs. She has chaired and/or acted as a member of independent appeal panels in both the public and private sector dealing with admission decisions, exclusion decisions and appeals against public exam results. She has also conducted a number of internal disciplinary/grievance investigations.

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Civil Liberties & Human Rights

Gemma has advised on and drafted applications to the European Court of Human Rights and has drafted observations on behalf of the Government. Many of the cases in which she is instructed in domestic courts require consideration of claims advanced under the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights. 

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Professional Discipline

Gemma has appeared frequently on behalf of the General Medical Council in the High Court: defending appeals from decisions of fitness to practise panels erasing or suspending doctors from the medical register; resisting applications to terminate interim orders made against doctors; and resisting applications for judicial review of GMC decisions. She has also appeared before the Care Standards Tribunal (now FTT – Care Standards) on behalf of the General Social Care Counsel, advised on university disciplinary proceedings and the Teachers Disciplinary Regulations. 


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Achievements

Education

LLB (London) (1st Class), Maîtrise en Droit Français (Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne) (Mention Bien), BCL (Oxon)

Selected earlier reported cases

Public & Regulatory

  • BPAS v Secretary of State for Health [2011] 235 (Admin); [2011] 3 All E.R. 1012 
  • R (easyJet Airline Co Ltd) v Civil Aviation Authority [2009] EWCA Civ 1361; [2010] ACD 19 
  • Export Credits Guarantee Department v (1) Friends of the Earth (2) Information Commissioner [2008] EWHC 638
  • Secretary of State for the Home Department v Lord Alton of Liverpool and Others [2008] EWCA Civ 443 

Education

  • R (Sandhar) v Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education [2011] EWCA Civ 1614; [2012] ELR 160
  • R (B) v Brent LBC Independent Appeal Panel [2009] EWHC 1189 (Admin)
  • R (Parents for Legal Action Limited) v Northumberland County Council [2006] EWHC 1081 (Admin); [2006] ELR 397   

Civil Liberties & Human Rights

  • R (Morales) v Parole Board and others [2011] EWHC 28 (Admin); [2011] 1 WLR 1095
  • R (SP) v Secretary of State for Justice [2010] EWHC 1124; [2010] EWCA Civ 1590; [2011] MHLR 65
  • R (Roberts) v Parole Board and Secretary of State for Justice [2009] EWHC 2321 (Admin)
  • R (London Secure Services Ltd) v Youth Justice Board for England and Wales [2009] EWHC 2347 (Admin)
  • R (P) v Secretary of State for Justice [2009] EWHC 2464 (Admin)
  • R (X) v Secretary of State for Justice [2009] EWHC 2465 (Admin)
  • R (Brooke) v Parole Board [2007] EWHC 2036 (Admin); [2008] EWCA Civ 29
  • R (Girling) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] EWCA Civ 1779: [2007] QB 783
  • R (Shreeve) v Secretary for the Home Department [2007] EWHC 2431 (Admin)

Professional Discipline

  • Scholten v General Medical Council [2013] EWHC 173 (Admin) 
  • Cornish v GMC [2012] EWHC 1196
  • Ayyub v General Medical Council [2012] EWHC 797 (Admin) 
  • Ujam v General Medical Council [2012] EWHC 580 (Admin)
  • Belal v General Medical Council [2011] EWHC 2859 
  • Sulaiman v General Medical Council [2011] EWHC 1903 (Admin)
  • Karwal v General Medical Council [2011] EWHC 826 (Admin); (2011) 120 BMLR 71
  • Nooh v General Medical Council [2011] EWHC 359
  • Bradshaw v General Medical Council [2010] EWHC 1296 (Admin)
  • Uruakpa v General Medical Council [2010] EWHC 1302 (Admin)
  • R (Remedy UK Ltd) v General Medical Council [2010] EWHC 1245 (Admin)
  • Sandler v General Medical Council [2010] EWHC 1029 (Admin); (2010) 114 BMLR 141
  • Odes v General Medical Council [2010] EWHC 552 (Admin); (2010) 113 BMLR 139
  • Sacha v General Medical Council [2009] EWHC 302 (Admin)
  • Sinha v General Medical Council [2009] EWHC 1732 (Admin)
  • Abrahaeme v General Medical Council [2008] EWHC 183 (Admin)
  • Drafted written representations to the Bar Standards Board on behalf of a law student who had been convicted of a criminal offence. 

VAT registration number: 662451735

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