Sarah-Jane Varley

Senior Legal Advisor


In 2022 Sarah-Jane joined Richard Nelson LLP as a Senior Legal Adviser in the Professional Disciplinary Team; defending professionals in fitness to practise investigations.

Sarah-Jane was called to the Bar in 2001 and practised in Criminal and Immigration Law as a Barrister in London Chambers for three years before moving to Chambers in Leicester in 2005.

She has prosecuted for a variety of agencies including the CPS, HMRC and Department of Work and Pensions and defended in all areas of Criminal Law from fraud to sexual offences, largely in the Crown Court and before the Court of Appeal. In Immigration Law she has appeared before First Instance and Appellate Tribunals and on occasion the High Court in Judicial Review proceedings.

Her past practice at the Bar has given her the skills to manage complex and challenging cases, to work effectively with clients and given her a wealth of experience in drafting persuasive and robust legal argument.

Services & Specialisms

Expert advice & representation in these areas

  • Defence Lawyers for Accountants

    We represent accountants before their regulators, defend claims of professional negligence and malpractice against accountants and conduct litigation. We also offer regulatory and criminal defence for accountants and their clients, including defending Companies House prosecutions.

  • Dental Solicitors

    We provide specialist services for dental practitioners who are registered with the GDC or applying for registration. Contact us to discuss fitness to practise proceedings or any other challenges.

  • GMC Lawyers

    Our solicitors represent doctors in proceedings with the GMC and MPTS, helping you with written documentation and advising you at every stage of the process in a range of different matters.

  • Chiropractor

    We work with current and prospective GCC members to support with fitness to practise investigations, registration challenges, restoration, appeals and more.

  • HCPC Lawyers

    Richard Nelson LLP works with health and social care practitioners who are regulated by the HCPC, supporting you in disciplinary investigations, hearings and other registration challenges.

  • Insolvency Practioners

    We represent insolvency practitioners in matters relating to the IPA, including written responses, statements and legal representation in Tribunals.

  • NMC Lawyers

    If you are a nurse or midwife registered with the NMC, or applying for registration or restoration, we can support you in a variety of fitness to practise issues.

  • Opticians

    Our solicitors work with opticians and other professionals registered with the GOC to provide advice and representation in fitness to practise cases and other matters of registration and discipline.

  • Pharmacist Lawyers

    Richard Nelson LLP’s Pharmacy Solicitors have significant experience in providing advice and legal representation to pharmaceutical professionals, on all regulatory, disciplinary and professional misconduct matters.

  • Sports Lawyers

    Our specialist sports lawyers can offer advice, assistance and representation at all points of the disciplinary process. We are also happy to advise governing bodies when they are prosecuting a case.

  • Student Fitness to Practise

    Our experience working with healthcare professionals extends to students, who may be the subject of a fitness to practise investigation whilst studying. Contact us to discuss your options.

  • Teacher Lawyers

    We represent teachers in disciplinary proceedings with the TRA, as well as providing support in criminal investigations and employer disciplinary hearings. Whatever your situation, our specialist solicitors are here to advise you.

  • Vets

    Richard Nelson LLP's specialist solicitors support vets in disciplinary proceedings with the RCVS, including representation before preliminary and disciplinary committees. We also support with internal and commercial matters.

  • Social Worker Solicitors

    Contact Richard Nelson LLP's social worker solicitors for advice and representation in Social Work England fitness to practise investigations.

Organisations & Accreditations


  • Gray's Inn
  • Registered as an employed barrister by the General Council of the Bar

I particularly enjoy listening to my client’s legal problems and devising the best way to achieve their required result. The greatest reward for me is to help a client continue in a profession they are passionate about; or to help those who have studied hard and want to start out on their chosen profession achieve this.

Sarah-Jane Varley

I approached Richard Nelson LLP to assist me with a HCPC complaint. Sarah-Jane was very affable, kind and professional. She quickly put together a very strong response letter to the HCPC covering all the areas of the complaint. Sarah-Jane quickly understood the complaint and the most effective way to respond... and addressed all the areas in the HCPC complaint letter. I would highly recommend Richard Nelson LLP to any psychologist facing a HCPC complaint. I was very impressed by her willingness to understand my profession, role, nature of the complaint and to write a response that led to the best possible outcome that I could have imagined. Thank you once again Sarah-Jane for your empathy, understanding and outstanding professionalism.

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Aisha Ali
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