A solicitor is set to face a disciplinary tribunal for aggressively threatening GPs with legal action if the doctor did not provide a Covid vaccination exemption for their client, it has emerged.
The move follows complaints about “bullying” made last year by the British Medical Association (BMA) to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
In March 2022, the BMA claimed that “some solicitors” were writing letters of this nature and urged doctors receiving them to contact their medical defence organisation and share a copy with the BMA’s medico-legal committee (MLC) so that it could “pursue further via the SRA”.
It said the MLC had contacted the SRA and been assured that solicitors should not be “writing in offensive, threatening or intimidatory ways”. The SRA said it also did not expect solicitors “to pursue matters which they know have no legal merit”.
At the time there were stories of letters from vaccine-sceptic solicitors also being sent to schools in an attempt to stop their involvement in the vaccine roll-out. It is not known if these are connected with the BMA complaints.
In a recently published update, the MLC said it believed these letters were “a clear breach of professional standards” that would have left GPs feeling “very distressed”.
It continued: “The SRA has concluded their investigation in one of these cases and have made a decision to refer the BMA’s concerns to the independent Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).
“The SRA’s legal team will now prepare proceedings and lodge the allegations at the SDT. The SDT will then make a decision about whether there is a case to answer.”
As the SDT has not yet made that decision – although it is a low bar – the name of the solicitor has not been published. As a result, an SRA spokesman said he could not comment.