Michael is clerked primarily by Lee Johnson, Clare Sabido and Natasha Southgate.
“I should add by way of Post Script my thanks to Mr Mylonas. His presentation of this case has been assiduously fair and balanced throughout.His cross-examination of the father was skilful, sensitive and kind. The father paid a similar tribute at the conclusion of the case which I observed at the time and take this opportunity to reiterate, says a great deal about both of them”.
Hayden J, final paragraph of judgment in Alfie Evans proceedings (in which Michael represented the hospital).
Michael leads the Serjeants’ Inn Chambers Court of Protection team. He has a broad healthcare and private client practice and is often instructed in cases concerning the Court’s jurisdiction to safeguard the interests of those who lack capacity. He frequently advises both domestic and international clients on Court of Protection remedies and strategies and has appeared in many of the leading cases concerning medical treatment, assisted dying, euthanasia and fertility treatment. He is highly sought after by clients seeking advice in this area and the overlap with family and probate work.
Ranked in Band 1 for Court of Protection work by both legal directories, he is also ranked as a leader in the field for Clinical Negligence and Professional Discipline and Regulatory law. The Lawyer notes his work in “a series of ground-breaking cases at the intersection of biology, ethics and law, often pushing regulatory boundaries and shaping the public debate”.
He is regarded as a shrewd tactician and for his commitment to reaching the right result.
Cases and work of note
Michael led the team representing Alder Hey Children’s Hospital during the Alfie Evans case.
This tragic and highly sensitive case concerned the decision to withdraw life support from an infant with a severe neuro-degenerative disorder. It comprised more than eight contested High Court hearings over a two-month period as well as four unsuccessful appeals by the parents to the Court of Appeal and two applications each to the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
Ultimately the High Court’s ruling that continuing life-support treatment would not be in Alfie’s best interests was upheld.
In August 2018, Michael secured a ground-breaking decision in Y v A Healthcare NHS Trust when the Court of Protection allowed the emergency extraction of sperm for fertility treatment from a man who had suffered a catastrophic brain injury. There was no written consent for the extraction and this result was achieved through an innovative application of the Mental Capacity Act, which allowed a named individual to sign a consent form for fertility treatment on his behalf.
In December Michael received Judgment from the Court of Appeal in ARB v IVF Hammersmithwhere a father is challenging the public policy bar to recovery of damages for wrongful birth of a healthy child. The case is being appealed to the Supreme Court.
Last year, Michael advised in JMA where the Court of Protection decided it was in JMA’s best interests to vary her will and award gifts totalling £7million. This is believed to be the largest gift ever approved by the Court of Protection.
Michael is also acting pro bono in the case of a transgender man who, having given birth, is seeking to be identified as the child’s “father” or “parent” on the birth certificate.
In An NHS Trust v Ms X, Michael appeared before Cobb J, who granted a declaration that it should be lawful not to forcibly treat an anorexic patient, despite the inevitability that death would follow.
Other work of note includes:
- Spencer v Anderson (Paternity Testing: Jurisdiction)  EWHC 851 (Fam)
An unusual case involving novel legal issues about whether the court can use the inherent jurisdiction to direct scientific testing of the DNA of someone who has died, for the purpose of providing evidence of paternity. Michael led Amy Street as junior in this case. Read sample comentary here.
- Hillsborough Inquests [2014-16]
Instructed as lead counsel on behalf of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Hugely complex investigation into the deaths of 96 people occurring more than 25 years ago. Inquest concluded without censure for Michael’s client.
- Harman v East Kent NHS Trust 
Case won for claimant at trial for £15m – high value, complex on both breach of duty and causation. Involved a difficult valuation of housing claim and recovery of education costs. Read sample press coverage here.
- GMC v X 
Four week hearing concerning doctor who had an affair with a psychiatric patient and was also facing allegations of dishonesty and negligent treatment. Disproved all the claims that the treatment was sub-standard and after detailed consideration of the other issues (which were admitted) the doctor escaped with a 12 month suspension.
- Inquest touching the death of Stephanie Bincliffe 
Representation of a private care home in a two week inquest following the death of a morbidly obese autistic 26 year old patient. Involved sensitive cross-examination to establish that treatment provided was not likely to have caused or contributed to her death. Extensive press coverage, for example The Guardian.
- An NHS Trust v X  Cobb JL
Capacity, anorexia, withholding of treatment. Click here for a copy of the judgment.
- Re X & Others (Deprivation of Liberty) Sir James Munby (P) 
Addressing the fall out from the SC’s definition of DOL in Cheshire West.
- A & B v The London Women’s Clinic 
Contract for the supply, storage and insemination with gametes from a specifically selected donor. In breach of contract, wrong gametes supplied resulting in two non co-sanguinous children.
- An NHS Trust v A, B & C  Mostyn J.
13 year old girl was Gillick competent and could consent to TOP.
- Re P  Peter Jackson J.
Notwithstanding that a pregnant mother (P) lacked capacity, it was in her best interests to undergo treatment including – if necessary – restraint and LSCS.
- Davison v Leitch  Andrews J.
4th degree tear. Obstetrician not disclosing fact of tear to patient. Not informing GP. Not recording a repair (if one was done). Quantum claim for a mother of three children who had successful career as a banker. Read sample press coverage here.
- X PCT v XB  EWHC 1390 Theis J.
Motor neurone disease. Advance decisions. First decision in the High Court providing guidance on the interpretation of Advance Decisions under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
- Electronic Health Records 
Advising a sovereign state on best practice regarding implementation of a national system for setting up and maintaining national electronic health record system.
- A PCT v B 
Patient in minimally conscious state. Capacity. Whether aggressive resuscitation in B’s best interests.
- GMC v Dr Y 
Successful defence of a paediatric oncologist accused of euthanizing a terminally ill child.
- Clements v A PCT  EWHC 2335 (QB).
Medical negligence. Bowel surgery. Complication. Death. Acting for patient’s husband.
- AVS v (1) An NHSFT & (2) A PCT  EWCA Civ 7
Successfully resisting application by a litigation friend in relation to the provision of treatment to a patient suffering from CJD.
- Johnson v Le Roux Fourie  EWHC 1062 (QB) Owen J.
Negligent maxillofacial surgery. Complex quantum claim. D’s £10m limit of indemnity.
- Jones v North West SHA  EWHC 178 (QB). Nicol J
Medical negligence. Shoulder dystocia. Cerebral palsy.
- Newman v (1) Maurice & (2) Sussex Healthcare NHST  EWHC 171 Platts J.
Treatment of epidural abscess. Neurological injury.
- Baxter v McCann  EWC 1330 (QB). Hickinbottom J
Medical negligence. Successful defence of GP.
- Lakey v Medway NHSFT  EWHC 3574 Silber J
NHS Trust entitled to cremate body of C’s wife.
- Tamil Tiger Hunger Strikers  Advance decisions.
Refusal of nutrition and hydration. Representing the NHS in relation to the attempts by two Tamil Tiger hunger strikers to starve themselves to death in Parliament Square. Advising on successful strategy to resolve the crisis without.
- HFEA v T (2008-11)
Instructed by HFEA in relation to ongoing regulatory and administrative court proceedings against two licensed fertility centres.
- Dr X (2009): GMC. Physician assisted suicide. Successful defence of Scottish GP who had assisted a number of patients to commit suicide.
- Re RB  EWHC 3269 (Fam). McFarlane J
Withdrawal of life prolonging treatment where there was disagreement between the parents as to the child’s best interests.
- Dr M (2008) GMC.
Successful defence of consultant neonatologist accused of administering muscle paralysing agent that hastened the death of two infants in end stages of life.
- Dr R (2008) GMC.
Successful representation of senior consultant accused of raping junior doctor.
- Warrilow v Norwich and Norfolk PCT  EWHC 801.
Negligent failure to remove catheter. Bladder injury. Substantial claim for damages. Alleged exaggeration.
- A PCT v SA  EWCA Civ 1145.
Non-escalation of life prolonging treatment. Whether evidence of one expert overrode others in determining best interests.
- Re Charlotte Wyatt  EWHC 2447 (Fam) Hedley J
Baby. Non-escalation of treatment.
- Kerr Haslam Inquiry 
Inquiry into patient abuse in Yorkshire
- Dey v GMC Privy Council  UKPC 44.
GP’s appeal against erasure.
- Ladbroke Grove Inquiry 
Counsel representing EWS at the Inquiry into Rail Safety.
- HSE prosecutions
Representing major international companies and other clients both at inquests and at criminal prosecutions in relation to cases including: (a) death of an employee after ignition incident at an automotive paint plant; (b) deaths and serious injuries of employees at construction sites throughout the UK; (c) deaths/suicides in the workplace; (d) death and injuries of patients in facilities operated by various clients; (e) prosecutions arising out of the presence of asbestos on premises; (e) various prosecutions following pollution incidents.
Michael is consistently ranked as a leading silk in the directories for Clinical Negligence, Court of Protection and Professional Discipline.
Most recently Chambers & Partners notes “his craft of medical law is just unbelievable. He has an absolute knack of getting on top of the cases within an alarmingly small space of time. He really gets the confidence of the people we are working with, and is very charming with clients and family members. Superb on his feet, his delivery and advocacy is absolutely fantastic.”
Other editorial from the directories includes:
- a first-class lawyer and an exceptional advocate;
- loved by clients;
- a vastly experienced silk;
- he has razor-sharp intellect enabling him to think quickly in stressful circumstances;
- a powerful and formidable court advocate;
- he’s somebody who is utterly confident and inspires belief in solicitors and clients;
- he has exquisite judgement;
- he’s very eloquent in court and is the voice of reason and calm outside court;
- takes a direct, proactive approach;
- conducts cases in a very charming but persuasive way;
- draws particular praise for his work handling medical treatment and welfare cases;
- a very experienced advocate;
- his knowledge is second to none;
- known for his sensitive and pragmatic handling of medical cases;
- regularly sought after to lead high-profile, high-value cases;
- applauded for the breadth of his practice;
- always aware of the key issues in a case;
- a safe pair of hands;
- his straightforward and pragmatic approach is welcomed by both solicitors and clients;
- a highly effective advocate all round;
- he has the unique skill of being able to robustly present the case whilst also showing great empathy and compassion;
- extensive experience of professional discipline work;
- his ability to grasp the issues and manage the different threads of a case is a strength few counsel have;
- Michael is a brilliant advocate;
- has an extraordinary way with clients – he makes them feel at ease whilst instilling absolute confidence in his abilities;
- his preparation is meticulous and he gets fantastic results for clients;
- he’s extremely good on his feet;
- his advocacy is eloquent;
- meticulous, clearly experienced, user-friendly and skilled at navigating papers;
- his commitment to a case is unwavering;
- his advocacy skills are among the best at the Bar;
- his grasp of medical work is second to none;
- he gains the confidence of doctors completely;
- he’s a fantastic advocate and great all round;
- he fights at the right time but knows how to position the case to achieve a settlement when that’s what we need;
- continues to impress and be in demand;
- meticulous when it comes to preparation;
- tenacious in court;
- he remains a very skilled and intelligent advocate;
- fantastic client relationship skills;
- a quiet, calm, very effective case runner;
- great for those tricky cases where the law is uncertain;
- detailed and meticulous preparation;
- he has a canny skill in reading disciplinary panels;
- valued for his hands-on approach to cases;
- very diligent, elegant and well-prepared advocate;
- superb client management skills;
- heavyweight junior for a big case;
- has a great head for details;
- very patient and understanding with clients;
- a brilliant brain and is therefore great on difficult, tactical cases;
- so good on his feet;
- never daunted by a fight;
- shows complete understanding and compassion to clients;
- always the first choice where you have a case which is dominated by complicated medicine;
- astonished by the quality of his work and his capacity to grasp incredibly complex issues at short notice;
- intellectually very able;
- impressive at marshalling arguments which he puts across in an appropriate and helpful manner;
- always gets to the heart of the matter;
- a sharp mind;
- a tiger in court;
- very strong on the medicine, a fact that helps him to root out issues for cross-examination purposes;
- fantastic trial advocate;
- a leader in the field of medical ethics and treatment law; and
- stunning hard work, technical knowledge and outstanding ability to out-think opponents.
Michael co-authored the most recent edition of Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law (2016) and contributed to APIL’s Clinical Negligence text. Between 2000 and 2009 he was a contributing editor to the Medical Law Reports.
He lectures extensively on a wide range of subjects including corporate manslaughter, confidentiality, fatal accident claims, ethical and medical treatment decisions, special damages, causation, inquests and limitation.
As a junior barrister he was a guest speaker at the International Bar Association’s conferences in both Buenos Aires and Strasbourg. He has been featured as the Times’ Lawyer of the Week (click here to read the article).
Michael adopts and adheres to the provisions of the privacy notice which can be accessed here.
For further details of Michael’s practice please click on the links to the left or contact a member of the clerking or client service team.
Bar Council Membership No: 22824
Registered Name: Michael John Mylonas
VAT Registration No: 524206480