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Deborah Nicholson

Markel Law

Partner and Head of Crime & Regulatory

Areas of focus
Crime and regulatory

Deborah is an experienced Regulatory and Public Law Lawyer and heads up the Regulatory team at Markel Law. She undertakes both contentious and non-contentious regulatory and criminal work.

Fitness to Practise – has acted for regulators, organisations and professionals in relation to investigations and prosecutions. She has undertaken work for most of the healthcare regulators including the GMC, the CQC and the PSA. She has also acted in cases involving Ofsted in relation to the suitability of childminders/nurseries and their compliance with the EYF. She undertakes 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, she 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 – Deborah has 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. She has experience in cases requiring urgent consideration involving injunctive relief and complex disclosure issues.

Entity Regulation – Deborah is a healthcare specialist and is regularly instructed by organisations that are subject to CQC regulation including care homes, online doctor consultation services and private clinics. She deals with representations to the CQC and appeals to the First Tier Tribunal. Also, she represents businesses and directors in the criminal courts in health and safety prosecutions by various bodies including the HSE, CPS and CQC.

Inquests/Inquiries – she has 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, she has managed disclosure teams on inquests and has been instructed by regulators in public inquiries. She has provided briefings and advice for senior public figures called before public inquiries and select committees.

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

Deborah is a Fellow of CILeX and a member of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers. In the Legal 500 she is recognised for her regulatory and sports law expertise and is a noted ‘next generation’ lawyer.