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

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By Thomas Connelly on

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


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.


Lord Justice Longmore also praised the surgeon on his performance.


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


Case No: B2/2014/2008