Paul Rooney


Paul began his career at the bar as a pupil and tenant at the national and internationally renowned criminal and regulatory set, QEB Hollis Whiteman Chambers in London, before moving back to his native North East.

Regulatory Law 

Paul has amassed extensive experience appearing regularly before a number of Regulatory bodies including;

The General Medical Council (GMC), The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC), The General Dental Council (GDC), The Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), The General Teaching Counsel (GTC), The General Social Care Council (GSCC) [as was, now part of the HCPC] and The Security Industry Authority (SIA)

Paul is regularly instructed by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to represent its members before the NMC. He covers the full range of hearings and presents lectures to the RCN legal team on an annual basis.

Paul regularly appears before GMC interim orders panels and has also acted as a led junior before the Fitness to Practice panel in a case involving an eminent breast surgeon accused of large scale fraud valued at over £3million pounds.

Paul has appeared before the first and second tier tribunals in relation to appeals as well as the High Court for both regulatory bodies and/or the registrants.

Having presented the longest ever case before the GTC Paul was instructed by the regulator to advise in relation to an appeal by the registrant on the basis of ‘new evidence’ under Rule 54, as well as the High Court. Following Paul’s advice the registrant withdrew both of the appeal applications.

Paul has appeared before the British Harness Racing Club in a case involving horse doping and the switching of blood samples by trainers in an attempt to disguise unlawful use of performance enhancing drugs.

Professional Disciplinary Proceedings 

The Police Federation both through Solicitors and via the Licensed Access route regularly instruct Paul to represent officers at Gross Misconduct Hearings as well as seeking his advice on esoteric issues concerning the federated ranks.

Paul was instructed in relation to six separate IPCC enquiries in 2011-12. None of the officers represented by Paul faced any criticism in the final IPCC report.

Paul regularly represents officers at inquests.

Paul also accepts instructions from individual officers via the direct access scheme, as the Police Federation does not pay for legal advice when officers are accused of misconduct whilst off duty.

Road Traffic Law 

Paul receives instructions direct from the public as well as from solicitors to defend in Road Traffic matters.

Paul is regularly instructed in relation to drink driving allegations e.g. failure to give breath and or blood samples as well as post incident consumption cases. Paul has an exceptional acquittal rate following submissions of ‘no case to answer’ and/or closing speeches.

Cases involving death are of particular interest to Paul who demonstrates a depth of knowledge that allows him to deal with experts in front of a jury with confidence, ensuring that juries gain the level of understanding needed to decide these tragic cases.

Paul welcomes instructions in relation to the more esoteric offence including HGV’s, weights and turning circles of trailers, temporary speed restrictions imposed by local authorities, construction and use offences as well as offences pertaining to learner drivers including those under instruction by a qualified instructor.


Due to Paul’s extensive experience in appearing before several medical tribunals including the GMC, NMC, GDC he can be instructed to represent both NHS trusts as well as medical staff or patients at inquests.

Paul has appeared at a number of inquests on behalf of Police Officers having been instructed by both the Police Federation and via the direct access scheme as well as pro-bono.

Paul has a specific interest in representing members of the emergency services who find themselves qualifying as properly interested persons.

Paul is able to receive instructions from the families of the armed services personnel.

Health and Safety Law 

Whilst at QEBHW Paul assisted with the defence of Maurice Agis. Mr Agis was the artist who created an inflatable structure; whilst in use at Chester-le-Street it was lifted into the air by a gust of wind and caused the death of one person and serious injuries to others. The HSE together with the Police investigated the incident. The defence identified and instructed experts in various fields including thermo dynamics.

Paul has advised a construction company in relation to their liability on an occasion where an employee fell from a lorry whilst unloading but without wearing a safety harness that had been provided and was present. Following Paul’s advice the company was informed that there would be no further action taken against them by the HSE.

Paul is keen to expand his practice in this field and is particularly interested in cases involving construction or shipping as well as local authorities.

Public Law 

Paul receives instructions to represent families involved in school placement appeals before Governing Bodies.

Paul receives instructions in relations to license applications and appeals for license premises, fast food outlets as well as taxis.

Paul receives instructions in relation to Firearm applications and appeals.

Direct access 

Paul is approved by the Bar Standards Board to accept instruction direct from the public as well as from organisations that have a license to instruct members of the Bar direct.


Paul has provided advocacy training to Police Federation Officers from North, South & West Yorkshire, Humberside, Cleveland, Durham, Northumbria, Cumbria, Manchester, Liverpool, Surrey, and Devon & Cornwall.  Paul is available to deliver specific training to other organisations upon request.

Recent Cases

Regulatory Law

NMC v Leighton (2013)– Instructed by RCN to defend Ms Leighton who was initially accused of causing the deaths of 6 patients by injecting insulin into saline drips. Eventually the charges before the NMC were reduced to theft of medication from Stepping Hill Hospital. Although a striking off order would normally follow such a case of dishonesty involving the theft of prescription only medicine including an opiate based drug, Paul was able to persuade the panel to impose a 3-month suspension order.

NMC v ‘R’ (2013)- Paul was instructed by the RCN to defend in this neo natal baby unit case. He had the assistance of a specialist neo natal nurse prescriber throughout the hearing, as the issues are so varied and complex. The case concluded with all the charges relating to abuse being stopped following a half time submission of no case to answer and the registrant received a conditions of practise order in relation to minor performance issues.

NMC v ‘M’ (2013)-  Instructed by the RCN to defend ‘M’ who was accused of serious professional misconduct involving lying about giving medication to vulnerable patients and forging patient notes to cover up the failures. Following extensive cross examination concerning the over dosage of medication, that it was alleged had been given, Paul was able to demonstrate that the records were in fact accurate and the NMC’s witnesses calculations had been based on a false premise. The panel agreed and all allegations were deemed to be unfounded.

NMC v ‘C’ (2012)-  Instructed by the RCN to defend ‘C’ who following an undercover Police operation was alleged to have stolen money from vulnerable patients in hospital. Paul presented legal arguments lasting 3 days, concerning the legitimacy of the undercover operation and the lack of disclosure from the NMC, resulted in the NMC offering no evidence.

HCPC v ‘D’ (2013) -  Instructed via the direct access scheme to defend ‘D’ who is alleged to have deliberately assaulted a work colleague. The matter was considered by the Crown Court where the CPS offered no evidence following the disclosure of the complainant’s medical records, however the HCPC are continuing to proceed and seek to rely upon the same witness. Case on-going.

Professional Disciplinary Proceedings

Raoul MOAT – Enquiry

Paul was instructed by the Police Federation to manage a team of barristers to represent 38 officers from Northumbria and Cleveland Police. The officers were involved in the manhunt and capture of Raoul Moat, who was wanted for murder and two attempted murders including the attempted murder of Pc Rathband.

Following an extensive IPCC enquiry none of the 38 officers were disciplined.

Lancashire Police v Sgt ‘B’

Mark Aldred of QEBHW led Paul in the defence of Sgt ‘B’ who had been accused of corruption following the collapse of a Murder case involving a 13- year-old victim. This was a complex case involving the examination of 17 ’probe’ tapes each lasting 1-3 hours in length, together with over 5000 pages of evidence and a total of 2000 pages of unused material. The case lasted for 14 days and the officer was required to resign. However the Police Appeals Tribunal upheld an appeal and found none of the allegations proven. The officer was reinstated and Lancashire Police were directed to reimburse the officer the wages she would have received had she not been required to resign together with all her annual leave owed during that period.

Thames Valley Police  -v- Sgt X

Paul was instructed via direct access to defend the officer who had been accused of thefts from a supermarket and theft of police property. The Police Federation refused to represent the officer as the supermarket incidents were off duty and despite the allegation pertaining to police property having been committed during working hours the federation also refused to fund this. The allegations of theft from the supermarket were found not proven and the taking of police property was found not to be dishonest.

Cleveland Police Federation

Paul has advised in relation to the use of an identification suite by Cleveland Police, which does not comply with the provisions as set out in the Police Reform Act 2002- matter on-going

Road Traffic Law

R  -v- ‘S’

‘S’ was accused of driving with 3 times the permitted level of alcohol in his system when he crashed into road side furniture following a race with another vehicle which left the scene. Paul successfully argued that the level of alcohol was due to ‘post consumption’. The case involved expert evidence following which the CPS offered no evidence in relation to the drink drive allegation. The defendant ’S’ pleaded guilty to failing to report the accident and received penalty points on his licence. Full defence costs order made in relation to the drink drive element of the case.

R  -v- ‘B’

‘B’ a solicitor was accused of Careless Driving following a collision with a Police vehicle. The case was dismissed following a successful application of ‘no case to answer’ that was presented following the cross examination of the police officers in the case. Full defence costs order made.

R  -v-  ‘M’

Paul successfully defended a motorist accused of drink driving who registered a reading of 45 on the lion intoximeter. Paul was able to demonstrate that the Police should have allowed ‘M’ to provide a blood/urine sample for further analysis and had failed to do so. The case was dismissed following a successful half time submission of no case to answer.


R v MS & PM – Murder

Paul was led in this murder where the two defendants were accused of stabbing the victim to death with a single stab wound. The two defendants ran a ‘cut-throat’ defence each blaming the other for the fatal stab wound. Following four days of evidence the co-accused accepted he had caused the stab wound and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Following the two-week trial the co-accused was found guilty of murder and the defendant represented by Paul - who was originally treated as a prosecution witness - was found not guilty of murder and not guilty of manslaughter. 

Operation Nacho- Cash for Crash Fraud

Robin Patton recently led Paul in the largest prosecution in the country involving 67defendants in a ‘Crash for Cash’ fraud. The case was split into several trials, some of which Paul prosecuted on his own. The final trial started in January 2013 and   lasted 11 weeks .

62 of the 67 defendants were convicted and the remaining 5 are to face a retrial in January 2014.

R –v- X Section 18 GBH

Paul acted for the defendant who was accused of attacking the victim with a saw resulting in the victim’s nose being sliced off as well as severe injuries to his forehead. Paul made a successful half time submission of no case to answer following his cross-examination of the officer in the case who accepted that he had not conducted the investigation fairly or in accordance with the CPIA.

R –v-  A      Licensing offence

Mr ‘A’ a shop owner was accused of selling alcohol to underage children during an undercover operation jointly run by the Police and Trading Standards. Paul made a successful half time submission of no case to answer where following his cross-examination it was conceded that the prosecution had failed to establish the date of birth of the person used to buy the alcohol.



Practice Areas

Regulatory and Criminal Litigation


Civil and Employment

Qualified to undertake Direct Access work

Print Details


Criminal Bar Association