News

Litigant-in-person surgeon wows Court of Appeal with ‘high quality’ advocacy

By on
9

Doctor’s performance “would have done credit to an experienced member of the bar”

surgeon

There is a special place in hell reserved for the litigant-in-person who believes that his or her latent genius absolves them from the need to instruct a lawyer.

But occasionally, very occasionally, one comes along who might actually be right.

Amgad Nakhla is an orthopaedic surgeon — however he could also could have a “promising career at the bar”, according to Lord Justice Lewison.

Nakhla, who trained as a doctor in Egypt, is seeking registration in the UK as a specialist in trauma and orthopaedic surgery. But despite practising as a surgeon in the UK since 2006 he has been having some difficulties with his application.

Having seen it rejected, Nakhla took the General Medical Council (GMC) to court and won on appeal. But that decision was then appealed to the Court of Appeal by the GMC.

At the hearing last month, which has just appeared on BAILII, the GMC were represented by Blackstone Chambers duo Alan Maclean QC and Jessica Boyd.

Nakhla, meanwhile, opted to represent himself, as he had done throughout the whole process of challenging the GMC’s decision. And he did so really well.

An impressed Lord Justice Lewison feted the surgeon’s “mastery of the papers” and “formidable cross-examination” as he dedicated an entire paragraph in his judgement to him.

76

Lord Justice Longmore also praised the surgeon on his performance.

78

However, top advocates don’t always win, with the GMC’s appeal partially allowed, albeit with certain provisions of the previous order set aside.

READ THE JUDGMENT IN FULL:

Case No: B2/2014/2008

9 Comments

H

“There is a special place in hell reserved for the litigant-in-person who believes that his or her latent genius absolves them from the need to instruct a lawyer.” – bit harsh considering that the vast majority of litigants in person just can’t afford a lawyer.

(16)(4)

Clapham Omnibus Fare Dodger

The comments were inappropriate in the current climate, even if they were accurate. Watch for the proponents of more cuts to turn this man into an Lip poster boy.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

If it is a reference to litigants in person with ample resources to fund legal representation then I don’t see the comment as inappropriate

(5)(4)

katesjc6189

Well done you says the one who wants to see the general public learn and do advocacy of a standard that wins applause from all Lawyers, particularly The [Criminal and Post LASPO] Bar.

(1)(1)

Pantman

Simply put, LIPs will always have a better command of the facts than their advocates, the question is whether they can also put this knowledge to use in court – in this case at least, they can.

(7)(0)

sacha Cowlam

I am a LIP facing the same case since 2008, if I had been allowed/ financed to be represented int the first hearing I might not be facing another trail about the same heinous contract 8 years later. I was expected to cross examine the Claimant on the second day of a very serious trial with no knowledge of procedure, case law or cross examination technique. I needed a barrister ! I did have good command of the facts, but let my emotional state get in the way of my legal understanding. I face the same claimant I February 2015.

(1)(0)

TH

A litigant-in-person who would desperately like representation but can’t afford it is very different to a ‘litigant-in-person who believes that his or her latent genius absolves them from the need to instruct a lawyer’. Why does everyone in these comment threads love to create drama?

(11)(0)

Tessa Kyterski

The question is how would the litigant in person feel if a lawyer elected to perform surgery upon themselves?

(2)(1)

Paul

I would absolutely encourage my former lawyer to perform surgery on himself.

(5)(1)

Comments are closed.