“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 is ranked as a Band 1 Silk for Court of Protection work by both leading legal directories, he is also ranked as a leader in the field for Clinical Negligence and Professional Discipline and Regulatory law.
His work is described by the Lawyer as “a series of ground-breaking cases at the intersection of biology, ethics and law, often pushing regulatory boundaries and shaping the public debate”.
Michael has a broad practice involving healthcare, regulatory work (CQC and MPTS and sports discipline), health & safety work (including major inquests and criminal prosecutions). He has been instructed on behalf of private individuals and organisations, corporate and state entities in relation to multiple and individual deaths and has devised strategies for clients and provided representation at major Inquests and Inquiries.
He has a substantial 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.
He is regarded as a shrewd tactician and for his commitment to reaching the right result.
Cases and work of note
In March 2020 Michael is appearing before the Court of Appeal in the first case involving registration of a transgender man as a parent. Please click here to see news coverage.
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.
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.
Michael acted for the Claimant in ARB v IVF Hammersmith where 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 European Court of Human Rights.
In the Hillsborough Inquests Michael acted for the NHS Trusts involved. Despite early criticism of their actions, the Hospitals were exonerated.
In JMA Michael acted for one of the parties in a case before the Court of Protection providing for the variation of JMA’s will to award gifts totalling £7 million. This is believed to be the largest gift ever approved by the Court of Protection.
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 commentary 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 “Michael is experienced in all areas of medical negligence, is fantastic with clients and his understanding legal issues is outstanding,” adding that he is “very quick on his feet, an excellent trial advocate and empathetic with clients.”
Other editorial from the directories includes:
- head and shoulders above the rest;
- 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;
- a first-class lawyer and an exceptional advocate;
- he is extremely approachable, excellent on complex medical treatment cases, and makes his clients feel totally supported;
- proper and practical, very constructive;
- an exceptional advocate with extensive experience of professional discipline work;
- has a fantastic strategical mind. He will identify how best to present the case to a judge and ensure every evidential detail is addressed;
- Michael is an exceptionally talented silk, with a phenomenal breadth of practice;
- loved by clients;
- a vastly experienced silk;
- he has razor-sharp intellect enabling him to think quickly in stressful circumstances;
- a first choice for ethical cases;
- a pleasure to work with;
- an excellent tactician;
- he has a very good manner with families;
- has the ability to explain the most complex things in a way anyone can understand;
- he is superb on his feet;
- an expert in his field and highly experienced;
- a powerful and formidable court advocate;
- he builds very good relationships with clients;
- a very calm advocate who is well respected by the judiciary;
- he’s somebody who is utterly confident and inspires belief in solicitors and clients;
- a very impressive advocate;
- highly experienced;
- he has exquisite judgement;
- he is straight-talking;
- he has a brilliant mind;
- robust advocate with extensive experience in the Court of Protection;
- he is very able;
- analytical and engaging;
- very thorough and always well prepared;
- he’s very eloquent in court and is the voice of reason and calm outside court;
- his knowledge and experience in this area of law is vast;
- he is very intellectually able;
- unflappable and also a team player;
- takes a direct, proactive approach;
- conducts cases in a very charming but persuasive way;
- regularly sought after to lead high-profile, high-value cases;
- applauded for the breadth of his practice.
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, Inquests, fatal accident claims, mental capacity, ethical and medical treatment decisions.
Prior to qualification 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