Aidan joined Burton Copeland`s Professional Regulatory and Crime Team in September 2016 – he was previously the Senior Partner at Rowlands Solicitors LLP and subsequently a partner in the Regulatory Healthcare Team at Berrymans Lace Mawer, now BLM, where, as a panel solicitor, he regularly received instructions from the Medical Protection Society and Dental Protection Ltd, defending in many fitness to practise proceedings and healthcare-related criminal prosecutions for their members.
Admitted in 1980, Aidan has more than 30 years` experience of healthcare and other professional regulatory proceedings. He provided representation in The Shipman Inquiry and is a member of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers.
Since joining Burton Copeland Aidan has expanded his practice to include anti-doping violations in sport. Notably, he was recently retained by British Cycling to advise and represent its lead physiotherapist in the UK anti-doping investigation and House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into alleged wrongdoing in cycling and sport.
Aidan also acts in mainstream criminal investigations and proceedings and is conversant with proceedings in the Magistrates, Crown Courts, and the Court of Appeal Criminal Division, including Attorney General’s References and cases referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
Aidan is regularly instructed in cases which require the highest standards of discretion and diplomacy. His loyal client base includes fellow professionals, holders of public office, Premiership football and rugby players, sports-related personnel and individuals of high net worth.
- “One of the best, if not the best solicitor I have had the pleasure to work with”
- “A solicitor whose calm exterior conceals his tenacity and fierce intellect”
- “A first-rate lawyer and tactician with a first class knowledge of the applicable law and statutory provisions”
- “A lawyer who has extensive experience of dealing with professional discipline cases and other areas of law. That experience is reflected in his sound judgment and advice to clients”
- “Keenly aware of the expectations of his clients, having a sympathetic and patient approach”
- “A professional who sets himself the highest standards”
- “takes great care of his clients and the work that is entrusted to him”
- “Having a remarkable intuition for gauging his client`s state of mind”
General Dental Council v Professors X & Y
Secured the dismissal of the case against his client, Professor X, who, together with another professor of dental surgery, was accused of conniving at research fraud. The GDC case, supported by expert evidence, was that the two professors deliberately and dishonestly contravened the terms of their Research Licence issued by the Local Ethics Committee by deliberately breaching the mandatory “wash-out” period. A submission of” no case to answer” at the close of the GDC`s case was upheld. The outcome was highly significant for both professors, not only because the dismissal of the case preserved their professional reputations but also because substantial research funds had been embargoed by the research sponsor, a global pharmaceutical company, pending the successful outcome of the case.
Derbyshire Police Serious Crime Unit / HM Coroner for Derbyshire
The bodies of RS and her 23-month old son (A) were found at their home in Holbrook, Derbyshire together with the body her former partner and the father of A (RS). Subsequent post-mortems established that all three had suffered multiple knife wounds. Derbyshire Constabulary began a homicide investigation, focussing on the circumstances leading up to the incident and in particular the treatment AC had received for his mental health problems and in particular the appropriateness of AC being discharged to the care of the Local Community Mental Health Team and his GP after being detained under the Mental Health Act. The subsequent Inquest also inquired into the adequacy of the police handling of and safeguarding of RS and A – AC had been arrested on suspicion of threatening to kill RS just days before the fatal incident but had not been charged. Aidan advised and represented AC`s treating psychiatrist who was found to have provided appropriate treatment and was not criticised for discharging AC from his care.
NHS Counter Fraud Services and the Dental Practice Board and Dr's MS & AM
The NHS Counter Fraud Services and Dental Practice Board began an investigation into the 14 practices owned by Dr MS after they identified a larger than usual number of claims for emergency call-outs for which the practice claimed enhanced fees and expenses. The investigation uncovered the largest ever NHS dentistry fraud in history, amounting to in excess of £1.3m. Aidan represented Dr AM, an associate in one of MS`s surgeries. MS was convicted at Nottingham Crown Court of fraud and referred to the General Dental Council. He was also ordered to repay the £1.3m plus costs of nearly £300.000 by the High Court. Aidan was able to negotiate a very favourable “without prejudice” settlement with the DPB on behalf of Dr AM who was not referred to the GDC.
General Medical Council and General Dental Council v Mr AB
The GMC case alleged falsification of patient records by the doctor, a consultant maxillo-facial surgeon, in order to strengthen the defence to a claim in clinical negligence. The facts and allegations were admitted but the Tribunal placed great emphasis on testimonial evidence obtained by the defence and found that, exceptionally, there were no grounds to take action on the surgeon`s registration. Following the GMC hearing, as the doctor, was also registered with the GDC, being a maxillo-facial surgeon, the GDC began its own fitness to practise investigation but after considering written submissions by Aidan the Investigating Committee closed the investigation with no further action.
Manchester City Council v JC Decaux et al.
Secured acquittals in a series of regulatory prosecutions brought by Manchester City Council against the global advertiser, JC Decaux and others in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2006. The cases involved a detailed understanding of the law regarding “deemed planning consent” and detailed investigation and research into the history of the advertising sites in question. All the hearings went to trial and resulted in acquittals.
General Dental Council v Dr's K & L
This case involved the discredited “Hal Huggins Protocol”, which mistakenly assumed that chronic, incurable conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, MS and even some forms of cancer are caused by mercury leaching from degrading amalgam fillings and entering the body`s vital organs via the bloodstream. Hal Huggins, an American dentist practising in Colorado had his licence revoked in 1995 and was made the subject of a “cease and desist” order in 2007 for persistently advocating his theory and treatment which required the clinically unjustifiable extraction of all teeth with mercury amalgam fillings. Acting in pursuance of the Hal Huggins protocol Dr K performed multiple simultaneous extractions of Patient A`s teeth resulting in permanent catastrophic harm. Dr K and his partner were suspended for 12 months but at a review hearing he was allowed to resume practice.
R v Dr PP Newcastle Crown Court
Dr P, a GP on Tyneside, denied allegations of sexually motivated misconduct. The GMC case was that the doctor undertook unnecessary, inappropriate and prolonged chest examinations including auscultation upon one of his female patients. The GMC case resulted in erasure and was widely reported in the local media. Following the press reports of the GMC case three additional female patients of the GP came forward with complaints of inappropriate examinations. As a result, the doctor was charged with eleven counts of sexual assault on four different female patients. He was acquitted on all counts.
R v GS - Operation Care, Liverpool Crown Court
This prosecution arose from the Bryn Estyn investigation into physical and sexual abuse in care homes in Wales and the North of England and involved allegations of historic physical and sexual abuse going back over 30 years. At the time of the allegations in the 1980`s Aidan`s client was a recently qualified teacher and at the time of trial a well-respected deputy headmaster. The charges involved very serious sexual assaults which covered a wide time-span and involved a large volume of unused material, comprising school records, registers and medical records. A painstaking inspection of these documents, undertaken over several days at Huyton Police Station, Liverpool, identified a small number of vitally important documents which identified for the first time the precise dates of the allegations and when read together provided the client with unchallengeable alibi, completely undermined the prosecution case. Confronted with these key documents, prosecuting counsel was forced to offer no evidence and all allegations were dismissed.
R v Ramsey & Jones - Old Bailey
Secured the acquittal of his client in the first gross negligence manslaughter trial heard at the Old Bailey relating to fairground ride inspections. The client`s ride, whilst being operated at full speed at a funfair in Hammersmith suffered catastrophic structural failure, resulting in one of the ride`s carriages breaking free from the central column, causing a double fatality and the near amputation of both feet of a third rider. Aidan`s client was acquitted although the structural engineer who had issued the safety certificate just weeks before the accident was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter.
R v Bulcock - Manchester Crown Court (Greater Manchester 'Fridge Mountain' case)
Successfully argued abuse of process to stay a high profile regulatory prosecution brought by the Environment Agency, alleging breach of a Waste Management Licence, granted to allow the client to store disused fridges on various sites throughout Greater Manchester, pending their export for re-cycling. A fire started by vandals at one site adjoining the Manchester Ship Canal took the Greater Manchester Fire Brigade several days to contain and finally extinguish. Significant pollution was caused to the Canal. The client and his company were prosecuted for breaching the terms of their Waste Management Licence. The trial judge accepted the defence submission that the prosecution should be stayed as an abuse of process. That application was based on the Environment Agency acting in bad faith.
R v Toby and others, Manchester Crown Court
Aidan`s client, the son of one of the UK`s first multi-million pound lottery-winners was acquitted of conspiracy to import controlled drugs. The prosecution alleged that the client had agreed to the modification of one of his family`s trailer units by adding a concealed compartment which was then used to smuggle drugs into the UK from Spain. Officers from HM Customs and Excise, collaborating with Spanish, French and UK police forces tracked the vehicle from Spain through France on an initial “dummy run” and a subsequent “live” trip after which the haulage depot in North West England was raided and £1.5 million of cannabis seized.
Positions & Appointments
- Admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales 1980
- Admitted as a Solicitor in Ireland 2015
- Partner - Rowlands Solicitors LLP 1986 - 2010
- Marketing and New Business Partner 2004 - 2007Senior Partner 2007 - 2010
- Partner - BLM Healthcare Regulatory Team 2010 - 2016
- Head of Office BLM Dublin 2014-2016
- Member of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
- Former Governor, St Bede`s College ManchesterFormer
- Honorary Solicitor – The Association of Former Manchester United Players
- Vice President Broughton Park Rugby Union Football Club
- Broughton Park FC (Rugby Union)
- Manchester United Football Club
- The TVR Car Club