I have been notified of the date of my hearing

You should first check your availability and ensure that you let the regulator know if for any reason you are unable to attend and need the dates to change. This is a lot simpler than trying to change dates or request an adjournment nearer the scheduled hearing.

Make sure that the regulator knows whether or not you will be legally represented and if you yourself are planning to attend. Even if you have a legal representative, it is still beneficial for you to attend some parts of the hearing and you will need to consider whether or not you should give evidence in support of your defence. A panel is entitled to draw a negative inference if a registrant does not engage in the process, but as long as they know that you actively participating, they are unlikely to ask you to be there for the entire hearing.

If you are not represented then it is much more important that you do attend throughout as at each step of the way the panel will need your input and you will need to decide how to address issues as they arise. 

If attending an in person hearing means incurring lots of costs for travel and accommodation, you may be able to apply to the regulator for financial assistance, although this is likely to be means tested. Alternatively, it might be possible for you to participate remotely, via Teams, Zoom, etc. It is best to raise this as soon as you can so that the necessary arrangements can be made.

Any documentary evidence should be collated into a ‘bundle’ with numbered pages, so that when you refer to it in your defence, the panel can find the information you are referring to. You will usually have received a bundle of evidence from your regulator, setting out their evidence.

If you do not attend the hearing without a good reason then the panel is entitled to decide to continue the hearing in your absence. While the panel will try to look at the case from your perspective, them not having the opportunity to hear from you or to take into consideration your interpretation of the rest of the evidence puts you at a significant disadvantage. If you decide to appeal the outcome of the hearing, a court may refuse the appeal if you actively chose not participate in the hearing. The court will certainly not be inclined to consider evidence that you could have given to the panel.