GMC ditches Eversheds and Mills & Reeve but retains FFW

The General Medical Council (GMC) has dropped Eversheds and Mills & Reeve from its panel, retaining Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) as its sole adviser.

FFW partners Mathew Lohn and Tom Rider handle most of the GMC’s work.

The GMC was expected to cut its panel to two firms this year, rather than one. The measure will shock Mills & Reeve in particular, after the firm snared senior GMC lawyer Peter Steel for its healthcare regulatory practice in February.

But the move is consistent with overall structural consolidation at the GMC. Last year, the GMC replaced its three separate committees – professional conduct, health and performance – with a single ’fitness to practise’ panel.

GMC director of resources Neil Roberts predicted legal budget cuts of almost 70 per cent in his 2006 budget, put together at the end of last year. The budget estimated legal spend to hit around £13m for the year.

Eversheds and FFW declined to comment.