Introduction

Nationally and independently recognised as a highly ranked lawyer by both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, Mirza is an award-winning barrister whose vast and multi-disciplinary expertise is called upon in some of the most serious, complex and high-profile cases in the market. As an illustrative example, Mirza has been involved in multi-million-pound commercial property disputes, cases adjudicated upon by the House of Lords and Supreme Court, as well as numerous reported cases across many disciplines in his 36 years at the bar.

Mirza brings a wealth of experience and served as an employed barrister in local government for 26 years, where he latterly served as the Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Governance Director – leading over 800 staff and a team of 80 in-house solicitors and barristers, who handled approximately 9000 cases annually. An almost uninterrupted member of the General Council of the Bar since 1995, Mirza is a true multi-disciplinary heavyweight who serves as trusted advisor to major corporates, private individuals and public bodies alike.

Maintaining a successful four-pronged practice, Mirza’s vast experience and encyclopaedic knowledge of the law means that he is equally comfortable in complex personal injury or clinical/professional negligence cases; public & administrative cases; civil, commercial & property cases; and in employment cases. Mirza is an accomplished advocate, as well as a renowned expert in case strategy, litigation approach and drafting.

As a former president of the Association of Council Secretaries and Solicitors, Mirza has a keen interest in ensuring access to justice for all. As such, Mirza is able to take direct instructions from members of the public under the Direct Access scheme in each of the four main areas of his multi-disciplinary practice.

Personal Injury and Clinical / Professional Negligence

Mirza maintains a high profile and senior-level personal injury, clinical and professional negligence practice. He tends to appear for Claimants in clinical negligence cases, and has a balanced Claimant and Defendant client portfolio in respect of road traffic accident, employer liability and occupier liability claims. His work is predominantly multi-track in nature, reflecting Mirza’s extensive expertise and the complex level of case he is typically instructed in. For example, Mirza is regularly instructed in multi-track RTA trials concerning allegations of fraud and/or fundamental dishonesty, as well as cases involving allegations which fall short of fraud. Mirza is in the rare position of being equally valued by major Claimant firms and Defendant insurers alike, all of whom commend his sensible approach, forensic review of the issues and robust advocacy.

A small sample of Mirza’s vast personal injury and wider professional negligence experience, over the past 5 years, includes representing and/or defending numerous individuals, insurers, large employers, NHS Authorities/Trusts, Colleges/Universities and Local Authorities (including cases covering allegations of fraud and fundamental dishonesty). Some of the trials/hearings, recently, have been via CVP or Skype for Business.

Civil, Commercial and Property

A consummate ‘all-rounder’ in civil, commercial and property work, Mirza thrives on complex and ‘high-stakes’ dispute. His extensive and successful experience of appearing in and/or advising on complex commercial land and property transactions, including substantial and complex proceedings relating to allegations of fraud against Defendants, means that he not only covers all the salient angles, he is armed with stress-tested strategies for almost any issue or line of argument.

Mirza deliberately maintains an evenly balanced Claimant and Defendant client base and has experience not only in the High and appellate courts, but also before the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) in varied proceedings relating to insolvency and winding up, and recovery of public grant funding for alleged fraud and breach of conditions. Clients regularly commend his firm grasp of the issues and his pragmatic assessment of the evidence at hand. Often instructed in the most senior cases, Mirza is regularly in high demand nationally.

A small sample of Mirza’s vast civil, commercial and property experiences, over the past 5 years, include representing and/or advising clients on:

  • GP Partnership Practice disputes and mediation;
  • Company Director disputes and mediation, including Derivative Claims, Petitions and Injunctions;
  • Land Development, Compulsory Purchase and Planning disputes, along with construction of complex Option Agreements;
  • Professional body disputes and litigation (including Doctors, Pharmacists and Nurses);
  • Professional negligence claims against solicitors and other professionals;
  • Local Authority disputes and Judicial Review litigation (including allegations of fraud, EU procurement, State Aid, TUPE and Pensions advice);
  • Commercial Landlord and Tenant / property disputes and litigation, along with service charge disputes and Lands Tribunal litigation; and
  • The reported case of Kotak v Kotak [2014] EWHC 3121 (Ch).

Public and Administrative Law (incl. Regulatory Bodies)

Few can be said to have ‘written the book’ on public and administrative law, but through his service as General Editor of both Lexis Nexis’ Local Authority Law, Practice and Procedure” since 2009, and of Butterworth’s Knight’s Guide to Public Procurement Law and Practice between 2007 and 2014, Mirza strikes a claim few can challenge. Armed with a ‘legal lifetime’ of 26 years’ experience in local government, often at the most senior end of operations, Mirza’s insight and expertise in public and administrative law issues is almost unparalleled. Naturally comfortable with the most complex of contractual issues, partnership and JV issues, governance, housing law, judicial review, planning & CPO, environmental, trust and charity, and procurement & tendering issues, Mirza remains in high demand on complex and major cases. In addition, Mirza is a nationally recognized expert on the implication of the Human Rights Act 1998 on local government and has written books and delivered numerous national seminars on the topic, over his decades of practice.

A rare and niche sub-specialism, Mirza has also undertaken a number of cases involving members of professional bodies who have disputes with or who seek the Judicial Review / Appeal of professional body decision-making relating to, for example, the striking off from the professional register of members and/ or the imposition of restrictive conditions of practice relating to doctors / nurses. This naturally complements his thriving clinical and professional negligence practices, as well as enabling Mirza to bring his vast administrative and procedural knowledge to bear in favour of his clients. A true ‘gamekeeper turned poacher’ if ever there was.

A small sample of Mirza’s vast public law, administrative law and regulatory body experience, over the past 5 years, includes advising and/or representing:

  • Various parties in local authority disputes and Judicial Review litigation (including allegations of fraud, EU procurement, State Aid, TUPE and Pensions advice);
  • Councils in Judicial Review and Housing Appeal cases, both for and against Councils;
  • Parties (including Doctors, Pharmacists and Nurses) in professional body disputes and litigation; and
  • Parties in Kotak v Kotak [2014] EWHC 3121 (Ch), also relevant in this context.

Employment

Employment Law remains a specialist area of Mirza’s practice, for which he is nationally and independently recognized for his expertise. He regularly advises on complex and major multi-day Employment Tribunal cases (for and against multiple claimants / respondents and concerning multi-jurisdictional issues), as well as on employment appeals before the EAT. During his local authority days, he had a number of cases that have ultimately reached the House of Lords and, latterly, the Supreme Court. Mirza’s successful employment practice, in which he is renowned as an accomplished advocate, covers the full spectrum of sub-specialisms, including the most complex and high value unfair dismissal, redundancy, TUPE, and discrimination cases. Mirza has rare experience of also covering multi-jurisdictional matters.

A small sample of Mirza’s vast employment experience, over the past 5 years, includes representing / defending numerous individuals, large employers, NHS Authorities/Trusts/Pharmacies, Colleges/Universities and Local Authorities (including cases over multiple weeks covering multiple aspects of discrimination, unfair / wrongful dismissal and TUPE). Some of the trials/hearings, recently, have been via CVP or Skype for Business. Mirza also appeared for the Respondent in Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust v Mrs. L Herlock-Green [2015] WL 4111165, before the Employment Appeal Tribunal

Working with Mirza

Mirza’s personable style sets his clients (professional and lay alike) at ease. He prides himself on his upfront and considered management of his clients’ expectations at all times – whether in respect of turnaround times, prospects of success or the quality and position of the evidence. A pragmatist and realist, Mirza takes an honest, frank and transparent approach when considering and advising upon evidence. Whilst always preparing the case to the best point possible, he ensures that his clients are armed with clear advice in tricky situations.

Repeat clients of Mirza’s, some of whom have trusted him for many years, comment on his continued commitment, proactive approach to securing and using feedback to improve and his commercial awareness. Mirza offers an insight into the top echelons of a major organization or business, from his time in local government leadership, that few can match. This insight sets him apart as a truly leading junior in his fields.

Mirza is duly authorised to provide expert legal advice and/or representation to members of the public in relation to all of the above areas of work and he is keen to ensure that members of the public can benefit from the access to justice he offers (in that they do not need to instruct a solicitor to instruct him and so can save money). Mirza also accepts clients for mediation. Mirza also speak Urdu and Punjabi to a native proficiency.

Reported Cases

Mirza is the General Editor of two legal encyclopaedia publications:

  • “Lexis Nexis’ Local Authority Law, Practice and Procedure” (since 2009); and
  • “Butterworth’s Knight’s Guide to Public Procurement Law and Practice” (2007-2014).

He has, over the last two decades, written a number of articles on ethical and corporate governance, employment, EU Directives & UK Procurement Regulations, Compulsory Competitive Tendering, Human Rights Act 1998 and on TUPE (the Transfer of Undertaking Regulations).

Education

LLD – Doctor of Laws (Honorary): 2008
LLM – Masters Degree in Employment & Industrial Relations Law: 1998
MBA – Masters Degree in Business Administration : 1992
Barrister – Bar Vocational Course & Called to the Bar: 1984
Combined Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons) Degree in Law and Politics, 1983

Appointments and Memberships

Member of The General Council of the Bar for England & Wales (since 1995, save for 1998), ELA, PIBA, Midlands Circuit, Birmingham Law Society

Chairman of the Bar Association for Local Government & the Public Services (since 1998)

Best Barrister of the Year in the UK – Lawyer International 2019

Lawyer of the Year: UK Government & Public Services – Finance Monthly 2017

In addition to serving as the President of the Association of Council Secretaries & Solicitors from 2009 to 2010, Also a member of Gray’s Inn, Mirza has additionally received the following accolades between 2005 and 2010:

  • Recognised as part of ‘The Lawyer Hot 100’ – The Lawyer
  • Public Sector Lawyer of the Year – The Society of Asian Lawyers
  • Public Sector Excellence Award – Muslim Power 100
  • Lawyer of the Month – Black Lawyers Directory

Testimonials

Over the course of his career, Mirza has been highly ranked in both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners in the areas of public & administrative law and employment law respectively. He has also been awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws. A small sample of the many testimonials Mirza has received in recent years includes:
“Working with Mirza has been truly inspirational and returned my faith in justice” A direct access client
“We are really impressed with Dr Mirza’s performance in our recently instructed case. He not only managed to secure our client a good compensation but also recovered more than expected costs for us. We are definitely instructing him going forward.” Client Testimonial, Principal Solicitor at a well-known firm
“Mirza was instructed at very short notice and he prepared the case extremely well. His cross examination was faultless an excellent performance with a great result.” Client Testimonial, local authority employment client
“Mirza is a lawyer with an enviable range of skills and experience. He is conscientious with a high level of commitment to any task that he undertakes. If you want results, Mirza is the man to have on your team.” Client Testimonial, Principal Solicitor at a well-known firm
Further various client testimonials from legal directories and/or private clients:
“Recommended for unfair dismissals and restrictive covenants work.”
“Extremely thorough and shows great empathy.”
“Provides a realistic view of the strengths of a case.”
“He shows commercial awareness and strong technical knowledge of discrimination cases.”