Gideon acts for professionals dealing with disciplinary investigations and prosecutions. He advises professionals across a range of disciplines, including doctors, barristers and social workers and has particular expertise in acting for solicitors and firms responding to investigations and proceedings brought by the SRA.
Gideon combines his professional discipline defence practice with advisory work on regulatory and compliance matters (for individuals and businesses alike) including in relation to compliance with professional Codes of Conduct, self-reporting, authorisation requirements and the GDPR.
What people say
“The service I received was not from a ‘text book lawyer’ but from someone who was well aware and genuinely believes that on occasions the position of the SRA (or any other regulator) needs to be robustly challenged.”
“Gideon was forensic in his analysis and strategic in his case planning of preparing our reply to the SRA when I was accused of failing to act with integrity.”
"I urgently required definitive and informed advice on a personal regulatory matter. Gideon gave me excellent advice every step of the way”
"Gideon assisted me when the SRA alleged I had been dishonest. He helped me draft a full response to the SRA, rebutting the allegations. Happily, the SRA decided to take no further action. I have no hesitation in recommending him."
He is very thorough both on the substance of the case and on case management and strategy.
Chambers and Partners 2021
Acting for a junior solicitor, Claire Matthews, in her appeal against the SDT’s decision to strike her from the Roll for dishonesty in the context of mental health issues;
Supporting a firm in an early-stage SRA investigation into its accounting practices;
Acting for a solicitor in defending an SRA prosecution before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in a case lasting over two weeks;
Persuading the SRA to take no further action against a junior solicitor who blew the whistle on his former employer but who was then himself investigated by the SRA;
Advising a junior solicitor responding to suggestions of potential misconduct by a former employer, including in relation to his self-reporting obligations to the SRA;
Advising a professional training organisation in relation to aspects of its complaints handling and disciplinary procedures;
Advising a barrister on issues relating to solicitors’ professional conduct duties in litigation;
Assisting a national charity on a specific project with a complex GDPR dimension.
Previously, Gideon was the lead solicitor on Leigh Day’s in-house defence team that successfully defended the SRA’s investigation, prosecution and appeal of allegations of professional misconduct arising from the Al Sweady Inquiry between February 2015 and October 2018.
Gideon Habel in the news
City firms 'intimidate' SRA over prosecutions, claims campaigner LSG 12.11.20
Solicitor who lied about lost documents to appeal strike-off Legal Futures 23 April 2020
Exclusive: Struck-off junior files appeal with pro bono help Law Society Gazette 22 April 2020
“Lawyer protestors advised to do ‘risk analysis’” Legal Futures 24 October 2019
“Sun newspaper ordered to print correction over Leigh Day article” Law Society Gazette 12 April 2019
“Misconduct while ill: difficult choices for the regulator”, Law Society Gazette 25 October 2018
“When should a lawyer admit to being ill?” Law Society Gazette 5 October 2018
“’Put up or shut up’ culture under the spotlight” Law Society Gazette 14 September 2018
“’We know what it’s like’ – Leigh Day sets up its own regulatory team” Law Society Gazette 11 September 2018
“Dealing with online reviews” Law Society Gazette 12 February 2018
Articles and blogs
Ethical considerations for law firms in the context of Covid and beyond Solicitors Journal June/July 2020
Influencing the influencers: social media in the workplace? Solicitors Journal April 2020
Doffing the judicial cap: recognising ethical standards in the profession Solicitors Journal February 2020
“Walking the line” Solicitors Journal October 2019
“The SRA’s new reporting requirements: an ethical conundrum for law firms” Solicitors Journal September 2019
“Non-disclosure agreements: do you know where your duties lie?” Employment Lawyers Association March 2019
“All about the straggler?” 4 February 2019
Gideon is a member of the Association of Regulatory & Disciplinary Lawyers and the Law Society’s Risk & Compliance division.
It has been a pleasure to work with Gideon. He has been prompt and accessible, explained the legal issues and processes in a clear and understandable way and worked hard to prevent us from taking unacceptable risks - saving us from ourselves.
Client of Gideon
SRA annual report again shows overrepresentation of lawyers from a BAME background
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has published its latest annual report covering enforcement activities showing an overrepresentation of certain groups based on diversity characteristics.