Pay Out Victory

Pal v General Medical Council, Sarah Bedwell, Peter Lynn and Catherine Green [2004] was the first of its kind. The particulars of claim were initially drafted by my side without lawyers. The initial application for full disclosure and an adjournment was rejected and Mckenna J at the Birmingham District Registry of the High Court decided to slap me with a high costs bill. This is despite the fact that an adjournment was granted on the grounds that the General Medical Council had failed to disclose their bundles to me on time. Field Fisher Waterhouse and Jane Collier represented the General Medical Council with amazing zest. Their ambush of me in the first hearing was returned with double toppings in the final hearing. 

Richard Price and Robert Jay QC represented me for the final hearing. They were expensive lawyers. Even though we won, I don't believe that they were very good lawyers really. We edited Jay's skeleton repeatedly, I made the bundles for the hearing while both lawyers earned a packet. I as though grateful that Robert's QC title got the judges attention and our arguments presented by him won the day. This legal team did not complete the case as they insisted on short changing me. 

Finally, it was Baljinder Sahota who ran to the finishing line with his legal tactics. The final outcome was reported by the Mercury in the Midlands. It was the only newspaper to have mentioned it. The article can be downloaded here. 

This was the first and only case in the history of the General Medical Council where the GMC had been sued directly for breaches of the Data Protection Act, The Human Rights Act and Defamation.

The General Medical Council insisted they would have won. Of course, their crowings fell on deaf ears much like their large overinflated costs bill. The GMC did not appeal the case possibly because they will have known that any appeal was doomed to fail. 


  1. Just happened upon and thus read your blog with welcome intrigued. There is a totally unrelated case but one in which what appears to be the established "legal" template to unlawfully crush a legitimate claim is clealy discernable:
    -Judge displaying apparent bias
    -Refusing an application for Disclosure
    -unlawfully hitting you with untenable huge Costs clearly intended to intimidate and paralyse you
    -a big law firm being deployed to achieve same intimidation,
    -your own legal team surreptitiously working against your interest and when you demonstrate that you are not as intellectually malleable as they may have perceived, they withdraw leaving you in the lurch, etc, etc.
    -When they fail to knock your intellectual competence, they then lauch a caustic collateral attack on your psyhological integrity. The list goes on!

    Just wanted to express that another person in a completely different and unrelated case was put through this same "standard" dirty grinder and the more that person did not crumble, the heavier the resources deployed to annihilate the party 'under the table'. Your statement that the law is not rocket science is very true notwithstanding that is not what they would like you to believe.

    Any surprise then that there is such disenfranchisement in today's society with people losing confidence in the judicial process?

  2. I was called to give evidence at a GMC Hearing. I found the whole process (of the case I was involved in) quite unfair. The 'prosecutor' did not want me to say anything favourable against the defendant and turned VERY nasty, trying to discredit me, when I told the truth. There was an inadequate investigation by the GMC's Lawyers and they got really pi**ed off when my evidence did not match what they told me they wanted from me. Tough.

  3. One of the best paid Saturday jobs is working in the medical opinion industry, often frequented by those seeking to supplement superannuated life. Medical qualifications atop an A4 sheet regularly appears to assuage the need for logic, thoroughness and most of all literacy.
    Many of the opinions expessed are thinly crafted with little supportive data.
    But the medical qualification appears a bulwark to those seeking the inclusion of reason and research.
    Until the measure of the duty of care of medical profession is assessed solely by the general public (its employers) the overtines of croneyism will prevail.