Field Fisher Waterhouse has been appointed as the sole legal adviser to new regulatory body the General Social Care Council (GSCC)
The GSCC was established on 1 October last year with responsibility for social care workers across the public, private and voluntary sectors. It is expected to register approximately 1.2m people in the UK. The regulator needed immediate legal advice on the establishment of a register and the formation of codes of conduct for the profession. Once the procedure is established, the GSCC will also need ongoing legal advice for disciplinary hearings. The GSCC has no in-house lawyers so it carried out an interim tender process to appoint an outside firm. A number of firms, including Field Fisher, were invited to tender and four applied. A three-person GSCC panel appointed Field Fisher, but will review the appointment towards the end of this year when the position of legal adviser will be put out to full competitive tender. GSCC director of standards and regulation Mike Wardle said: "All the firms we asked had some regulatory experience in this area. Field Fisher just convinced us that at the moment they understand our business the best, but it was a close decision." Partner and head of the Field Fisher Waterhouse professional regulatory group Matthew Lohn said: "The GSCC have marked themselves out as a very modern regulator because they have a lay chair and a lay majority. That makes it a very interesting appointment for us." The firm's professional regulatory group was also appointed to the panel of the Nursing and Midwifery Council this April.