Sunil Abeyewickreme was called to the Bar in 2004, and is one of the few lawyers in the United Kingdom to have such an extensive knowledge of the regulations pertaining to healthcare and dentistry. In addition to his healthcare expertise Sunil has a thriving employment practice and has conduct of matters in the European Court of Human Rights, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal as well as in the Employment Tribunal.
Before reading law, Sunil had graduated in the medical sciences and this interest in healthcare has continued throughout his legal practice. He has considerable experience in the areas of healthcare and employment. In addition, Sunil is often called upon to advise on public law matters involving the NHS regulations and contracts. His thorough and incisive understanding of the rules and regulations governing the practise and business of dentistry and medicine is often called upon when advising clients. Sunil also appears regularly at Employment Tribunals representing professionals in employment disputes with an enviable success record. In addition, Sunil has been instructed on a number of appeals in cases where he had not been involved at first instance. From a non-contentious perspective, he has advised a leading private hospital in a restructure of its practising privileges arrangements. Sunil's expertise in employment law is as remarkable as his practice in healthcare law.
Clearly Sunil has considerable experience in the areas of healthcare law and employment. In addition, Sunil advises on public law matters involving the contracts for provision of NHS medical and dental services and has acted in judicial review proceedings. In relation to procurement of NHS dentistry, Sunil appeared before the National Co-operation and Competition Panel in its first appeal in 2010 and since then has been regularly instructed to advise upon procurement decisions whereby he has successfully identified manifest errors, which have resulted in his clients being awarded contracts. In September 2014, Sunil acted in respect of judicial review proceedings against NHS England and its incorporation policy, which NHS England attempted to justify on the basis of procurement law. Nevertheless, NHS England agreed to settle the dispute and allow the incorporation.
His understanding of the rules and regulations governing the practice and business of healthcare is often called upon, especially on complex subjects. Sunil is also instructed by banks in addition to healthcare providers (including those who are not healthcare professionals) who wished advice in relation to whether the regulations pertaining to dental practice were being complied with and to be provided with sound advice on due diligence. He often represents professionals before their regulators, especially doctors who face inquiries that are before the Medical Practitioners' Tribunal and dentists before the General Dental Council's Professional Conduct Commitee. He leverages his medical background to provide keen insight into the intricacies governing medical and dental practice. Sunil's record of successful outcomes have made him the advisor of choice for the most complex cases in medicine and dentistry.
In 2013, Sunil joined the award-winning innovative full service law firm, gunnercooke LLP as Partner and was responsible for the firm's offering to the healthcare sector nationally. Nowadays, he is often sought by international clients to assist them with their provision of healthcare in the UK. Sunil was first made Partner at Halliwells LLP in 2010, where he was responsible for providing a full service offering dedicated to the dental healthcare sector. In 2011 Sunil cross-qualified as a solicitor as he was leading the dental healthcare team at the international firm, Hill Dickinson LLP. In 2012, Sunil was responsible for developing the dental healthcare expertise at DWF LLP, and its delivery in Scotland as well as England & Wales.
Partner, Healthcare Law, gunnercooke LLP
November 2013 – Present
Partner, Head of Dental Healthcare Law, DWF LLP
July 2012 – October 2013
Partner, Legal Director of Dental Healthcare Team, Hill Dickinson LLP
July 2010 – July 2012
Partner, Halliwells LLP
May 2010 – July 2010
Head of Department, Cohen Cramer
October 2008 – April 2010
Senior Legal Adviser, British Dental Association
November 2004 – October 2008
Legal Adviser to the British Association of Dental Therapists
Senior Legal Adviser to the British Dental Association (2004 - 2008)
The Inns of Court School of Law, Bar Vocational Course - 2002 - 2003
The University of Dundee, LL.B in English Law - 2000 – 2002
The University of Dundee, B.Sc.(Hons) in Medical Sciences (Joint Honours in Anatomical and Physiological Sciences) - 1997 – 2000
Leeds Grammar School
Honourable Society of Gray's Inn
Industrial Law Society
Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
Employment Lawyers Association
Society of Conservative Lawyers