Mark Sutton QC

Year of call 1982 Silk 2011

CClerk

William Meade
020 7269 0360 Email William

Mark Sutton QC's practice spans employment disputes, professional regulatory cases and hearings before disciplinary panels.  He appears as a leading silk in Chambers and Partners in both employment and professional discipline categories, where he is described as ‘one of the few excellent lawyers to have equal footing in employment law and regulatory law. He is profoundly knowledgeable and the sort of person who would inspire confidence in any judge." 

He is recommended as a leading silk by the Legal 500 Directory who report that he is 'the first choice for disciplinary cases involving doctors'. Mark was also nominated as ‘Professional Discipline Silk of the Year’ in the 2015 Chambers and Partners Bar Awards.

A significant proportion of Mark's recent cases are related to the healthcare sector. He routinely appears before civil courts, employment tribunals, professional disciplinary panels and internal hearings and inquiries. Mark has successfully represented doctors in a number of substantial fitness to practise hearings before the MPTS, as well as other regulatory bodies. He routinely undertakes judicial review applications, as well as appeals from regulatory tribunals.

Mark has recently acted as leading counsel in two successful Supreme Court appeals determining the scope of financial and pre-emptive remedies in connection with professional disciplinary proceedings, and has appeared in most of the recent cases before the High Court which have developed the law in this area.

Aside from his healthcare practice, Mark has extensive experience of all aspects of employment law. He advises clients, both corporate and individual, in all categories of dispute including healthcare, financial services, education, local authorities and the police. Mark has appeared before the higher appellate courts in several landmark employment cases. He is widely recognised for his skilled advocacy and pragmatic advice in high profile and complex cases.

Appointments

  • Mark is head of chambers at Old Square Chambers.
  • He sits as a part-time Employment Judge.
  • Mark is regularly appointed to sit as the chair of university disciplinary and grievance panels.
  • He is a Bencher of the Middle Temple.

Mark Sutton QC has been advising the British Medical Association (with Nadia Motraghi) in relation to its formal response the GMC’s consultation on proposed changes to the GMC’s statutory objective and sanctions guidance. GMC sanction changes 'fraught with difficulty'

 

Mark Sutton QC successfully representing Trust in an injunction challenge: Rajendran v North Lincs + Goole NHS Trust   [January 2015].

Acting on behalf of an NHS Trust in complex internal misconduct proceedings with parallel injunction claim being pursued before the High Court. [February 2015].

 

McMillan v Airedale NHS Foundation Trust [2014]

Appearing before the Court of Appeal (leading Ben Cooper) on behalf of an NHS Trust: whether an employee is entitled unilaterally to withdraw from a part heard appeal by way of rehearing. Whether sanction can be raised from final warning to dismissal.

 

Dahou v Serco

Appeal pending before the Court of Appeal [June 2015] against the decision of the EAT that the ET had erred in finding automatically unfair dismissal on grounds of trade union activity. Mark Sutton QC for Serco.

 

Debate at Industrial Law Society [January 2015]

Mark Sutton QC and Christopher Jeans QC: development of a contractual duty of fairness in the context of employment based disciplinary proceedings.

 

Employment

Hayley Dare v WLMHT [EAT 2015]

Highprofile whistleblowing complaint by consultant at Broadmoor Hospital. Mark Sutton QC leading Ian Scott instructed on behalf of Trust.

 

Dahou v Serco Ltd[EAT 2015]

Mark Sutton QC, instructed on behalf of Serco, in successful appeal against ET’s findings of detriment and dismissal on Trade Union grounds. Appeal before the Court of Appeal scheduled for April 2016.

 

Stevens v University of Birmingham [High Court 2015]

Injunction proceedings. Academic staff member’s right to be accompanied by medico-legal adviser at disciplinary interview. Mark Sutton QC, leading Stuart Brittenden, for the University.

 

Serco Ltd v Dahou

Successful appeal before the EAT (Simler J.) against a finding of automatically unfair dismissal on grounds of trade union activity. ET erred in law in misapplying the burden of proof and failing properly to evaluate the employer’s explanation. Mark Sutton QC for Serco.

Appeal to the Court of Appeal pending.

 

McMillan v Airedale NHS Foundation Trust [2014]

Appearing before the Court of Appeal (leading Ben Cooper) on behalf of an NHS Trust: whether an employee is entitled unilaterally to withdraw from a part heard appeal by way of rehearing. Whether sanction can be raised from final warning to dismissal. Disciplinary / Regulatory

 

Professional Regulation & Discipline

R (Aditya Agrawal) v East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust [High Court 2015]

Judicial Review brought by NHS consultant, challenging internal inquiry into breakdown in departmental working relationships. MSQC representing the Trust in successfully resisting application.

 

GMC Consultation over Rules changes

Drafting advice, on behalf of the British Medical Association, in response to the GMC’s consultation on amendments to the MPTS fitness to practise rules.

 

Upholding High Professional Standards

Advising the Welsh Government / Health Boards on draft disciplinary procedures for medical practitioners in Wales.

 

Fynes v St George’s Healthcare

High Court injunction proceedings – whether Trust had erred in convening a misconduct hearing in the light of expert evidence pertaining to the claimant’s health conditions. Requirements of MHPS procedure. MSQC for successful defendant, leading Louise Chudleigh.

 

Chakrabarty v Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust [2014]

Mark Sutton QC (leading Ben Cooper) for that National Clinical Assessment Service, intervener. The High Court [Simler J.] provides important guidance on the contractual requirements governing capability proceedings for NHS clinical staff, and specifically the role of NCAS in such proceedings.

 

Rajendran v North Lincs and Goole NHS Trust [2015]

 

Arnaout v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust [2014] Mitting J.

 

Public Law / Judicial Review

R (Cummings & Or) v Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board [High Court 2015]

Judicial Review challenging the failure of BCUHB to undertake a statutorily compliant consultation process and to observe Public Sector Equality Duty prior to closure of consultant led maternity services in North Wales. Mark Sutton QC, leading Nadia Motraghi, for the successful claimants.

 

R (Aditya Agrawal) v East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust [High Court 2015]

Judicial Review brought by NHS consultant, challenging internal inquiry into breakdown in departmental working relationships. Availability of public law remedies in an employment dispute. MSQC for the successful Trust.

 

R ex pte British Medical Association v General Medical Council [High Court 2015]

Application for judicial review. Challenge to the decision of the GMC to provide advice to doctors on the professional ramifications of engagement in threatened industrial action. MSQC, leading David Cunnington, for the applicant.


Mark Sutton QC has extensive experience of the full range contentious employment proceedings.

In recent years, he has represented both claimants and employers in high value tribunal proceedings in connection with City bonus claims and share option entitlements. Mark was instructed on behalf of a major financial services institution in the successful defence of a multi-million pound race discrimination claim arising out of the dismissal of a senior employee.

Mark has a particular interest in whistleblowing claims and employment disputes involving professional employees.

Alongside his appearances in the employment tribunal and appeal tribunal, Mark has significant experience of High Court employment practice. He is routinely instructed to advise on the availability of interim remedies and has successfully represented both claimants and defendants in a number of significant reported cases.

  • West London Mental Health Trust v. Chhabra (Supreme Court) [2014] ICR 194. Availability of an injunction to restrain the categorisation of disciplinary complaints as ‘gross misconduct’. Guidance on the proper interpretation of MHPS procedures.
  • Langford v. Department of Health [2014] Employment Tribunal (London Central). Mark Sutton QC for the Secretary of State, leading Christopher Edwards. Successfully defended remedy proceedings brought by former Chief Executive Officer following a dismissal for alleged mismanagement of the Trust’s finances and other breaches of his duties as Accountable Officer. Nil compensation ordered.  
  • Dahou v Serco Limited [2013] Employment Tribunal London Central. Mark Sutton QC for Serco. Multi-day hearing into complaint of alleged victimisation and detrimental treatment on grounds of trade union activity. Permission granted for appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (for hearing in 2014).
  • Matthews v. Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust [2013] EWHC 753 (QB) Globe J. Whether a breach of contract for disciplinary panel to take account of a ‘spent’ disciplinary warning in the determination of sanction in conduct proceedings against a consultant surgeon. Mark Sutton QC for the successful Trust.
  • Palmer v. East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust [2012] Age discrimination: Mark Sutton QC successfully representing consultant surgeon in complaint of unlawful age discrimination. Substantial compensation awarded.
  • Kerslake v. North West London Hospitals NHS Trust [2012] Med LR 568. Whether Trust could proceed to a dismissal hearing on the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown in working relationships: whether SOSR dismissal hearing can be pursued outside disciplinary procedures. (Mark Sutton QC for the successful Trust leading Betsan Criddle).
  • Lim v. Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (High Court) (2011) 122 BMLR 43, [2011] EWHC 2178 (QB) Mark Sutton QC (leading Betsan Criddle) represented the claimant in a successful application for declaratory and injunctive relief requiring an NHS Trust to refer a clinician’s case to the National Clinical Assessment Service as a condition precedent to proceeding with an internal capability hearing.
  • Hussain v. Surrey and Sussex Heathcare NHS Trust [2011] EWHC 1670 (QB) Mark Sutton QC (leading Ben Cooper) representing NHS Trust. Trust successful in resisting an application for injunctive relief preventing it from proceeding with a conduct hearing, in circumstances where a clinician’s practice was also the subject of capability concerns.
  • Edwards v Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust  [2012] 2 WLR 55 Supreme Court. Mark Sutton QC representing the successful Trust in a landmark appeal before a seven Justices Court, overturning the unanimous ruling of the Court of Appeal. Judgment addresses the extent to which damages (beyond contractual notice) are claimable for breach of a contractually incorporated disciplinary procedure.
  • McGregor v. Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Local Health Board [2011] High Court. Mark Sutton QC successfully representing claimant professor of plastic surgery. Case concerned the proper construction of contractual leave entitlements provided for under nationally negotiated terms of employment for medical staff in Wales.
  • Puri v. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2011] IRLR 582 [2011] Administrative Court. Mark Sutton QC representing the successful defendant Trust (with John Bowers QC) in a judicial review application in which the claimant sought an injunction restraining the Trust from proceeding with a disciplinary hearing on the ground of non-compliance with Human Rights Convention requirements. 
  • Speight v. County Durham & Darlington NHS Trust [2010] Employment Tribunal Newcastle. Reported: EqLR 403 ET. Mark Sutton QC representing Trust in successful defence of an age discrimination complaint brought by hospital consultant in connection with refusal of post-retirement age employment.
  • Chagger v. Abbey National [2009] ICR 624 (Court of Appeal). Mark Sutton QC representing Abbey National (with Christopher Jeans QC) Guidance on the availability of stigma damages and calculation of future loss of earnings in race discrimination complaints.  
  • Aftab v. North Lincolnshire NHS Trust [Administrative Court] [2010] (leading Marcus Pilgerstorfer) Mark Sutton QC representing doctor claimant in an application for judicial review. Issue as to the amenability of an internal disciplinary process to judicial review and the applicability of Human Rights Act protections.
  • Chauhan v. General Medical Council [2009] High Court (leading Andrea Chute). Six day appeal before the High Court, overturning key findings of a Fitness to Practise panel. Case remitted to the GMC for rehearing. Important guidance on the approach to be adopted by a disciplinary panel in determining the proper scope of allegations of dishonesty in regulatory proceedings. Mark Sutton QC representing successful doctor
  • Qasim v. The Central Manchester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2009] [High Court]. Mark Sutton QC successfully representing the defendant Trust in resisting application for mandatory injunction requiring it to lift the claimant clinician’s exclusion from work. Reported: 2009 AllER (D) 39/ 2009 53 Sol Jo. (No.34)
  • Annis v. Eclipse Energy Company Limited [High Court: June 2007]. Mark Sutton QC successfully representing defendant company in resisting a claim for wrongful dismissal and establishing breach of fiduciary duties on the part of a finance director of an oil and gas exploration company.
  • Ahmed and others v. Secretary of State for Health [2005]. Multi-week hearing concerning allegations of nationality discrimination in relation to the Government’s scheme for the higher specialist medical training of overseas doctors. Mark Sutton QC (leading G. Mahmood) for the doctors.
  • Kircher v. Hillingdon PCT [medical law report] injunction restraining dismissal. Post termination injunction granted by the High Court, restraining the employer from acting on a purported dismissal pending compliance with a contractually incorporated disciplinary procedure. Mark Sutton QC (with John Hendy QC) representing doctor claimant
  • Darnton v. University of Surrey [2003] IRLR 133 EAT. Mark Sutton QC representing university in successfully resisting claimant’s appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Important guidance provided on the requirement of ‘reasonable belief’ in whistleblowing claims brought under Part IVA of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Mark Sutton QC has a substantial practice in the field of professional disciplinary proceedings, particularly in connection with the medical profession. He acts for NHS employers and medical practitioners appearing before regulatory panels and tribunals.

Mark has particular experience in cases which encompass the areas of professional regulation and discipline together with disputed employment rights.

Mark is routinely instructed to appear before professional disciplinary panels, including the MPTS and other healthcare regulatory bodies as well as internal disciplinary tribunals. He has represented doctors in proceedings for removal from the Performers List; appeals against PMETB evaluations and RITA assessments.

He has successfully undertaken a number of multi-week inquiries involving disputes over professional capability.

In addition, Mark has experience of hearings before the Administrative Court on appeal from the MPTS Interim Orders and FTP Panels as well as from disciplinary panels of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Mark lectures to medical protection organisations on disciplinary and employment topics affecting doctors. Mark has, for several years, acted as a legal assessor on the NMC's fitness to practise panels.

In addition to disciplinary cases arising out of the Healthcare sector, Mark has extensive experience as a panel chair of university grievance and disciplinary tribunals.


RECENT CASES:

  • GMC v. Dr X [2013] MPTS fitness to practise hearing. Whether trainee doctor’s fitness to practise impaired by dyslexia following prescribing errors. Finding of no impairment by reason of adverse physical or mental health. Mark Sutton QC for the doctor.
  • GMC v. Taher Sharaf [2013] MPTS fitness to practise hearing. Allegations of dishonesty in connection with the alleged alteration of patient records and other matters. No misconduct found. Mark Sutton QC for the doctor.
  • GMC v. Dr Michael Lim [2012] MPTS Fitness to Practise panel. Consultant anaesthetist. Inquiry into multiple allegations relating to pre- and perioperative treatment. Mark Sutton QC for the doctor.
  • GMC v. Professor Al-Shihabi [2012] GMC Fitness to Practise hearing. Allegations of misconduct including dishonesty brought against a consultant audiologist. Mark Sutton QC for Doctor.
  • Rauniar v. General Medical Council [2011] [2011] All ER (D) 30 Administrative Court. Statutory High Court appeal brought against the decision of a review panel of the General Medical Council. Guidance provided on the function of the post-graduate deanery in the provision of remedial support to doctors who are the subject of GMC conditions of practice orders.
  • Lim v. Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust [2011] High Court. Mark Sutton QC (leading Betsan Criddle) represented the claimant in a successful application for declaratory and injunctive relief requiring an NHS Trust to refer a clinician’s case to the National Clinical Assessment Service before proceeding with an internal capability hearing.
  • Hussain v. Surrey and Sussex Heathcare NHS Trust [2011] High Court. Mark Sutton QC (leading Ben Cooper) representing NHS Trust. Trust successful in resisting an application for injunctive relief preventing it from proceeding with a conduct hearing, in circumstances where a clinician’s practice was also the subject of capability concerns.
  • Puri v. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  [2011] IRLR 582 Administrative Court. Mark Sutton QC representing the successful defendant Trust (with John Bowers QC) in a judicial review application in which the claimant sought an injunction restraining the Trust from proceeding with a disciplinary hearing on the ground of non-compliance with Article 6 ECHR requirements.
  • Balamoody v. Nursing and Midwifery Council [2010] Administrative Court. Mark Sutton QC representing the Nursing Council. Statutory appeal brought by registrant against the determination of an NMC restoration panel.
  • East Lancashire Primary Care Trust v. Pawar [2009] Administrative Court. Mark Sutton QC successfully representing the respondent general practitioner in resisting an appeal brought by the Primary Care Trust against a determination of the Family Health Service Appeal Authority.
  • Aftab v. North Lincolnshire NHS Trust [Administrative Court] [2010]. Mark Sutton QC (leading Marcus Pilgerstorfer) representing Trust in an application for judicial review. Issue as to the amenability of an internal disciplinary process to judicial review and the applicability of Human Rights Act protections.
  • Chauhan v. General Medical Council  [2009] EWHC 2093 (Admin)High Court. Mark Sutton QC (leading Andrea Chute) representing doctor in successful six day appeal before the High Court, overturning key findings of a Fitness to Practise Panel of the General Medical Council. Case remitted to the GMC for rehearing.

Mark Sutton QC undertakes internal investigations and the chairing of inquiry panels in the context of disciplinary proceedings, grievances and other employment related processes. He has substantial experience of working with healthcare bodies, universities, police forces and a wide spectrum of public authorities and commercial undertakings. He is strongly praised by clients for his efficiency and user-friendly approach, as well as the clarity, balance and thoroughness of his reporting and decision-making.

As a leading barrister, Mark Sutton QC combines expertise in professional disciplinary proceedings and employment law, regularly appearing before civil courts, employment tribunals, disciplinary panels and at internal hearings. He has been described as ‘one of the few excellent lawyers to have equal footing in employment law and regulatory law. He is profoundly knowledgeable and the sort of person who would inspire confidence in any judge.'

He recently acted as leading counsel in two successful Supreme Court appeals determining the scope of financial and pre-emptive remedies in connection with professional disciplinary proceedings. In 2015, Mark was nominated for Chambers & Partners  ‘Silk of the Year: Professional Discipline’.

He has for several years appeared as a leading silk in Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. Mark Sutton QC has 15 years’ experience as a part-time judge of the Employment Tribunals and is a master of the bench of the Middle Temple.

pAwards

2017 C&P Leading individual 2016 L500 Leading Individual C&P 2016 Ranked Barrister L500 2015 leading individual Chambers & Partners 2015 Barrister Legal 500 Top Ranked Barrister 2014 Ranked in Chambers & Partners 2014 Ranked in Legal 500 2013

Mark Sutton QC's practice spans employment disputes, professional regulatory cases and hearings before disciplinary panels.  He appears as a leading silk in Chambers and Partners in both employment and professional discipline categories, where he is described as ‘one of the few excellent lawyers to have equal footing in employment law and regulatory law. He is profoundly knowledgeable and the sort of person who would inspire confidence in any judge." 

He is recommended as a leading silk by the Legal 500 Directory who report that he is 'the first choice for disciplinary cases involving doctors'. Mark was also nominated as ‘Professional Discipline Silk of the Year’ in the 2015 Chambers and Partners Bar Awards.

A significant proportion of Mark's recent cases are related to the healthcare sector. He routinely appears before civil courts, employment tribunals, professional disciplinary panels and internal hearings and inquiries. Mark has successfully represented doctors in a number of substantial fitness to practise hearings before the MPTS, as well as other regulatory bodies. He routinely undertakes judicial review applications, as well as appeals from regulatory tribunals.

Mark has recently acted as leading counsel in two successful Supreme Court appeals determining the scope of financial and pre-emptive remedies in connection with professional disciplinary proceedings, and has appeared in most of the recent cases before the High Court which have developed the law in this area.

Aside from his healthcare practice, Mark has extensive experience of all aspects of employment law. He advises clients, both corporate and individual, in all categories of dispute including healthcare, financial services, education, local authorities and the police. Mark has appeared before the higher appellate courts in several landmark employment cases. He is widely recognised for his skilled advocacy and pragmatic advice in high profile and complex cases.

Appointments

  • Mark is head of chambers at Old Square Chambers.
  • He sits as a part-time Employment Judge.
  • Mark is regularly appointed to sit as the chair of university disciplinary and grievance panels.
  • He is a Bencher of the Middle Temple.

Mark Sutton QC has been advising the British Medical Association (with Nadia Motraghi) in relation to its formal response the GMC’s consultation on proposed changes to the GMC’s statutory objective and sanctions guidance. GMC sanction changes 'fraught with difficulty'

 

Mark Sutton QC successfully representing Trust in an injunction challenge: Rajendran v North Lincs + Goole NHS Trust   [January 2015].

Acting on behalf of an NHS Trust in complex internal misconduct proceedings with parallel injunction claim being pursued before the High Court. [February 2015].

 

McMillan v Airedale NHS Foundation Trust [2014]

Appearing before the Court of Appeal (leading Ben Cooper) on behalf of an NHS Trust: whether an employee is entitled unilaterally to withdraw from a part heard appeal by way of rehearing. Whether sanction can be raised from final warning to dismissal.

 

Dahou v Serco

Appeal pending before the Court of Appeal [June 2015] against the decision of the EAT that the ET had erred in finding automatically unfair dismissal on grounds of trade union activity. Mark Sutton QC for Serco.

 

Debate at Industrial Law Society [January 2015]

Mark Sutton QC and Christopher Jeans QC: development of a contractual duty of fairness in the context of employment based disciplinary proceedings.

 

Employment

Hayley Dare v WLMHT [EAT 2015]

Highprofile whistleblowing complaint by consultant at Broadmoor Hospital. Mark Sutton QC leading Ian Scott instructed on behalf of Trust.

 

Dahou v Serco Ltd[EAT 2015]

Mark Sutton QC, instructed on behalf of Serco, in successful appeal against ET’s findings of detriment and dismissal on Trade Union grounds. Appeal before the Court of Appeal scheduled for April 2016.

 

Stevens v University of Birmingham [High Court 2015]

Injunction proceedings. Academic staff member’s right to be accompanied by medico-legal adviser at disciplinary interview. Mark Sutton QC, leading Stuart Brittenden, for the University.

 

Serco Ltd v Dahou

Successful appeal before the EAT (Simler J.) against a finding of automatically unfair dismissal on grounds of trade union activity. ET erred in law in misapplying the burden of proof and failing properly to evaluate the employer’s explanation. Mark Sutton QC for Serco.

Appeal to the Court of Appeal pending.

 

McMillan v Airedale NHS Foundation Trust [2014]

Appearing before the Court of Appeal (leading Ben Cooper) on behalf of an NHS Trust: whether an employee is entitled unilaterally to withdraw from a part heard appeal by way of rehearing. Whether sanction can be raised from final warning to dismissal. Disciplinary / Regulatory

 

Professional Regulation & Discipline

R (Aditya Agrawal) v East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust [High Court 2015]

Judicial Review brought by NHS consultant, challenging internal inquiry into breakdown in departmental working relationships. MSQC representing the Trust in successfully resisting application.

 

GMC Consultation over Rules changes

Drafting advice, on behalf of the British Medical Association, in response to the GMC’s consultation on amendments to the MPTS fitness to practise rules.

 

Upholding High Professional Standards

Advising the Welsh Government / Health Boards on draft disciplinary procedures for medical practitioners in Wales.

 

Fynes v St George’s Healthcare

High Court injunction proceedings – whether Trust had erred in convening a misconduct hearing in the light of expert evidence pertaining to the claimant’s health conditions. Requirements of MHPS procedure. MSQC for successful defendant, leading Louise Chudleigh.

 

Chakrabarty v Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust [2014]

Mark Sutton QC (leading Ben Cooper) for that National Clinical Assessment Service, intervener. The High Court [Simler J.] provides important guidance on the contractual requirements governing capability proceedings for NHS clinical staff, and specifically the role of NCAS in such proceedings.

 

Rajendran v North Lincs and Goole NHS Trust [2015]

 

Arnaout v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust [2014] Mitting J.

 

Public Law / Judicial Review

R (Cummings & Or) v Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board [High Court 2015]

Judicial Review challenging the failure of BCUHB to undertake a statutorily compliant consultation process and to observe Public Sector Equality Duty prior to closure of consultant led maternity services in North Wales. Mark Sutton QC, leading Nadia Motraghi, for the successful claimants.

 

R (Aditya Agrawal) v East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust [High Court 2015]

Judicial Review brought by NHS consultant, challenging internal inquiry into breakdown in departmental working relationships. Availability of public law remedies in an employment dispute. MSQC for the successful Trust.

 

R ex pte British Medical Association v General Medical Council [High Court 2015]

Application for judicial review. Challenge to the decision of the GMC to provide advice to doctors on the professional ramifications of engagement in threatened industrial action. MSQC, leading David Cunnington, for the applicant.


Mark Sutton QC has extensive experience of the full range contentious employment proceedings.

In recent years, he has represented both claimants and employers in high value tribunal proceedings in connection with City bonus claims and share option entitlements. Mark was instructed on behalf of a major financial services institution in the successful defence of a multi-million pound race discrimination claim arising out of the dismissal of a senior employee.

Mark has a particular interest in whistleblowing claims and employment disputes involving professional employees.

Alongside his appearances in the employment tribunal and appeal tribunal, Mark has significant experience of High Court employment practice. He is routinely instructed to advise on the availability of interim remedies and has successfully represented both claimants and defendants in a number of significant reported cases.

  • West London Mental Health Trust v. Chhabra (Supreme Court) [2014] ICR 194. Availability of an injunction to restrain the categorisation of disciplinary complaints as ‘gross misconduct’. Guidance on the proper interpretation of MHPS procedures.
  • Langford v. Department of Health [2014] Employment Tribunal (London Central). Mark Sutton QC for the Secretary of State, leading Christopher Edwards. Successfully defended remedy proceedings brought by former Chief Executive Officer following a dismissal for alleged mismanagement of the Trust’s finances and other breaches of his duties as Accountable Officer. Nil compensation ordered.  
  • Dahou v Serco Limited [2013] Employment Tribunal London Central. Mark Sutton QC for Serco. Multi-day hearing into complaint of alleged victimisation and detrimental treatment on grounds of trade union activity. Permission granted for appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (for hearing in 2014).
  • Matthews v. Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust [2013] EWHC 753 (QB) Globe J. Whether a breach of contract for disciplinary panel to take account of a ‘spent’ disciplinary warning in the determination of sanction in conduct proceedings against a consultant surgeon. Mark Sutton QC for the successful Trust.
  • Palmer v. East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust [2012] Age discrimination: Mark Sutton QC successfully representing consultant surgeon in complaint of unlawful age discrimination. Substantial compensation awarded.
  • Kerslake v. North West London Hospitals NHS Trust [2012] Med LR 568. Whether Trust could proceed to a dismissal hearing on the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown in working relationships: whether SOSR dismissal hearing can be pursued outside disciplinary procedures. (Mark Sutton QC for the successful Trust leading Betsan Criddle).
  • Lim v. Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (High Court) (2011) 122 BMLR 43, [2011] EWHC 2178 (QB) Mark Sutton QC (leading Betsan Criddle) represented the claimant in a successful application for declaratory and injunctive relief requiring an NHS Trust to refer a clinician’s case to the National Clinical Assessment Service as a condition precedent to proceeding with an internal capability hearing.
  • Hussain v. Surrey and Sussex Heathcare NHS Trust [2011] EWHC 1670 (QB) Mark Sutton QC (leading Ben Cooper) representing NHS Trust. Trust successful in resisting an application for injunctive relief preventing it from proceeding with a conduct hearing, in circumstances where a clinician’s practice was also the subject of capability concerns.
  • Edwards v Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust  [2012] 2 WLR 55 Supreme Court. Mark Sutton QC representing the successful Trust in a landmark appeal before a seven Justices Court, overturning the unanimous ruling of the Court of Appeal. Judgment addresses the extent to which damages (beyond contractual notice) are claimable for breach of a contractually incorporated disciplinary procedure.
  • McGregor v. Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Local Health Board [2011] High Court. Mark Sutton QC successfully representing claimant professor of plastic surgery. Case concerned the proper construction of contractual leave entitlements provided for under nationally negotiated terms of employment for medical staff in Wales.
  • Puri v. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2011] IRLR 582 [2011] Administrative Court. Mark Sutton QC representing the successful defendant Trust (with John Bowers QC) in a judicial review application in which the claimant sought an injunction restraining the Trust from proceeding with a disciplinary hearing on the ground of non-compliance with Human Rights Convention requirements. 
  • Speight v. County Durham & Darlington NHS Trust [2010] Employment Tribunal Newcastle. Reported: EqLR 403 ET. Mark Sutton QC representing Trust in successful defence of an age discrimination complaint brought by hospital consultant in connection with refusal of post-retirement age employment.
  • Chagger v. Abbey National [2009] ICR 624 (Court of Appeal). Mark Sutton QC representing Abbey National (with Christopher Jeans QC) Guidance on the availability of stigma damages and calculation of future loss of earnings in race discrimination complaints.  
  • Aftab v. North Lincolnshire NHS Trust [Administrative Court] [2010] (leading Marcus Pilgerstorfer) Mark Sutton QC representing doctor claimant in an application for judicial review. Issue as to the amenability of an internal disciplinary process to judicial review and the applicability of Human Rights Act protections.
  • Chauhan v. General Medical Council [2009] High Court (leading Andrea Chute). Six day appeal before the High Court, overturning key findings of a Fitness to Practise panel. Case remitted to the GMC for rehearing. Important guidance on the approach to be adopted by a disciplinary panel in determining the proper scope of allegations of dishonesty in regulatory proceedings. Mark Sutton QC representing successful doctor
  • Qasim v. The Central Manchester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2009] [High Court]. Mark Sutton QC successfully representing the defendant Trust in resisting application for mandatory injunction requiring it to lift the claimant clinician’s exclusion from work. Reported: 2009 AllER (D) 39/ 2009 53 Sol Jo. (No.34)
  • Annis v. Eclipse Energy Company Limited [High Court: June 2007]. Mark Sutton QC successfully representing defendant company in resisting a claim for wrongful dismissal and establishing breach of fiduciary duties on the part of a finance director of an oil and gas exploration company.
  • Ahmed and others v. Secretary of State for Health [2005]. Multi-week hearing concerning allegations of nationality discrimination in relation to the Government’s scheme for the higher specialist medical training of overseas doctors. Mark Sutton QC (leading G. Mahmood) for the doctors.
  • Kircher v. Hillingdon PCT [medical law report] injunction restraining dismissal. Post termination injunction granted by the High Court, restraining the employer from acting on a purported dismissal pending compliance with a contractually incorporated disciplinary procedure. Mark Sutton QC (with John Hendy QC) representing doctor claimant
  • Darnton v. University of Surrey [2003] IRLR 133 EAT. Mark Sutton QC representing university in successfully resisting claimant’s appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Important guidance provided on the requirement of ‘reasonable belief’ in whistleblowing claims brought under Part IVA of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Mark Sutton QC has a substantial practice in the field of professional disciplinary proceedings, particularly in connection with the medical profession. He acts for NHS employers and medical practitioners appearing before regulatory panels and tribunals.

Mark has particular experience in cases which encompass the areas of professional regulation and discipline together with disputed employment rights.

Mark is routinely instructed to appear before professional disciplinary panels, including the MPTS and other healthcare regulatory bodies as well as internal disciplinary tribunals. He has represented doctors in proceedings for removal from the Performers List; appeals against PMETB evaluations and RITA assessments.

He has successfully undertaken a number of multi-week inquiries involving disputes over professional capability.

In addition, Mark has experience of hearings before the Administrative Court on appeal from the MPTS Interim Orders and FTP Panels as well as from disciplinary panels of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Mark lectures to medical protection organisations on disciplinary and employment topics affecting doctors. Mark has, for several years, acted as a legal assessor on the NMC's fitness to practise panels.

In addition to disciplinary cases arising out of the Healthcare sector, Mark has extensive experience as a panel chair of university grievance and disciplinary tribunals.


RECENT CASES:

  • GMC v. Dr X [2013] MPTS fitness to practise hearing. Whether trainee doctor’s fitness to practise impaired by dyslexia following prescribing errors. Finding of no impairment by reason of adverse physical or mental health. Mark Sutton QC for the doctor.
  • GMC v. Taher Sharaf [2013] MPTS fitness to practise hearing. Allegations of dishonesty in connection with the alleged alteration of patient records and other matters. No misconduct found. Mark Sutton QC for the doctor.
  • GMC v. Dr Michael Lim [2012] MPTS Fitness to Practise panel. Consultant anaesthetist. Inquiry into multiple allegations relating to pre- and perioperative treatment. Mark Sutton QC for the doctor.
  • GMC v. Professor Al-Shihabi [2012] GMC Fitness to Practise hearing. Allegations of misconduct including dishonesty brought against a consultant audiologist. Mark Sutton QC for Doctor.
  • Rauniar v. General Medical Council [2011] [2011] All ER (D) 30 Administrative Court. Statutory High Court appeal brought against the decision of a review panel of the General Medical Council. Guidance provided on the function of the post-graduate deanery in the provision of remedial support to doctors who are the subject of GMC conditions of practice orders.
  • Lim v. Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust [2011] High Court. Mark Sutton QC (leading Betsan Criddle) represented the claimant in a successful application for declaratory and injunctive relief requiring an NHS Trust to refer a clinician’s case to the National Clinical Assessment Service before proceeding with an internal capability hearing.
  • Hussain v. Surrey and Sussex Heathcare NHS Trust [2011] High Court. Mark Sutton QC (leading Ben Cooper) representing NHS Trust. Trust successful in resisting an application for injunctive relief preventing it from proceeding with a conduct hearing, in circumstances where a clinician’s practice was also the subject of capability concerns.
  • Puri v. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  [2011] IRLR 582 Administrative Court. Mark Sutton QC representing the successful defendant Trust (with John Bowers QC) in a judicial review application in which the claimant sought an injunction restraining the Trust from proceeding with a disciplinary hearing on the ground of non-compliance with Article 6 ECHR requirements.
  • Balamoody v. Nursing and Midwifery Council [2010] Administrative Court. Mark Sutton QC representing the Nursing Council. Statutory appeal brought by registrant against the determination of an NMC restoration panel.
  • East Lancashire Primary Care Trust v. Pawar [2009] Administrative Court. Mark Sutton QC successfully representing the respondent general practitioner in resisting an appeal brought by the Primary Care Trust against a determination of the Family Health Service Appeal Authority.
  • Aftab v. North Lincolnshire NHS Trust [Administrative Court] [2010]. Mark Sutton QC (leading Marcus Pilgerstorfer) representing Trust in an application for judicial review. Issue as to the amenability of an internal disciplinary process to judicial review and the applicability of Human Rights Act protections.
  • Chauhan v. General Medical Council  [2009] EWHC 2093 (Admin)High Court. Mark Sutton QC (leading Andrea Chute) representing doctor in successful six day appeal before the High Court, overturning key findings of a Fitness to Practise Panel of the General Medical Council. Case remitted to the GMC for rehearing.

Mark Sutton QC undertakes internal investigations and the chairing of inquiry panels in the context of disciplinary proceedings, grievances and other employment related processes. He has substantial experience of working with healthcare bodies, universities, police forces and a wide spectrum of public authorities and commercial undertakings. He is strongly praised by clients for his efficiency and user-friendly approach, as well as the clarity, balance and thoroughness of his reporting and decision-making.

As a leading barrister, Mark Sutton QC combines expertise in professional disciplinary proceedings and employment law, regularly appearing before civil courts, employment tribunals, disciplinary panels and at internal hearings. He has been described as ‘one of the few excellent lawyers to have equal footing in employment law and regulatory law. He is profoundly knowledgeable and the sort of person who would inspire confidence in any judge.'

He recently acted as leading counsel in two successful Supreme Court appeals determining the scope of financial and pre-emptive remedies in connection with professional disciplinary proceedings. In 2015, Mark was nominated for Chambers & Partners  ‘Silk of the Year: Professional Discipline’.

He has for several years appeared as a leading silk in Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. Mark Sutton QC has 15 years’ experience as a part-time judge of the Employment Tribunals and is a master of the bench of the Middle Temple.

pAwards

2017 C&P Leading individual 2016 L500 Leading Individual C&P 2016 Ranked Barrister L500 2015 leading individual Chambers & Partners 2015 Barrister Legal 500 Top Ranked Barrister 2014 Ranked in Chambers & Partners 2014 Ranked in Legal 500 2013
About cookies on our website

To find out more about what cookies are, which cookies we use on this website and how to delete and block cookies, please see our Which cookies we use page.

Click on the button below to accept the use of cookies on this website (this will prevent the dialogue box from appearing on future visits)