A specialist in professional discipline, inquests and criminal defence. She appears regularly before the major healthcare regulators defending in serious and high profile regulatory prosecutions. Her Crown Court Criminal defence practice includes a whole spectrum of serious and sensitive criminal cases. She has appeared as leading counsel in a multi-handed conspiracy and is particular adept at defending in criminal cases involving expert witnesses.
A persuasive, skilled and tenacious advocate, she has been praised for her compassionate approach with clients and meticulous preparation, both by professional and lay clients.
Areas of Specialism
Professional Discipline & Regulatory Law
Her major area of practice is that of Professional Discipline with particular expertise in the healthcare field. She is instructed on a regular basis to act on behalf of regulated professionals before bodies.
Cases she has been instructed on high profile, sensitive and complex cases including cases involving serious allegations of patient abuse, sexual misconduct and factually complex allegations. She has represented regulated professionals in cases which involve dishonesty, patient deaths, data loss. She has a particular expertise in representing registrants with learning disabilities, whistle blowers and registrants who have been the the victims of bullying and harassment. She has extensive experience handling experts in examination and cross-examination.
She also has considerable experience in financial regulation and has advised and represented individuals and companies regulated by the FCA in disputes involving permission to conduct regulated activities.
She is a specialist criminal defence practitioner. She has extensive experience defending in cases involving drugs, serious violence, sexual offences and fraud.
From 2011-2013 she was part of a team of lawyers involved in ongoing work with Peace Brigades International on Colombia. She was part of a team of barristers who submitted an Amicus brief to the Supreme Court of Colombia on the San Jose de Apartado case. She provided the expertise on the principles of attributing liability in international humanitarian law.
Wafa has defended in numerous protest law cases. She successful represented a number of individuals facing criminal charges arising out of the DSEI protests. Her clients were protesting against an arms fair being held in the London and Wafa successfully raised a defence based on the right to protest and peaceful assembly under the ECHR.
Wafa has also represented protestors when criminal charges have been brought against them for breaching lesser known regulations designed to protect monuments or protected spaces. For example she defended protestors who had been charged with breaching the Stonehenge Regulations. She was successful in having a majority of the offences dismissed and secured conditional discharges in respect of the remaining matters.
Recent publication include:
Contributed Chapter on England and Wales to Rechtshilferecht in Strafsachen (2014). Edited byKai Ambos (Hrsg.) / Peter Rackow (Hrsg.). Currently writing the update.
Fast Track Extradition at the expense of justice?’, Magistrates’ Magazine, February 2010, p4-5 (co-authored with Catherine Heard, Former Head of Policy at Fair Trials International).
‘The Promise of International Criminal Justice: The key components of the new era of international criminal accountability and the International Criminal Court’, JUSTICE Journal, Vol. 6(1), May 2009, p8-27.
Before being called to the Bar, she was a Legal Caseworker at Fair Trials International. She represented individuals facing trial in a country other than their own. As part of her role she worked with legal terms around the world for fair trial rights to be upheld in individual cases and conducted policy and campaigning work to aid systemic change within countries. She drafted interventions, submitted applications to the regional human rights tribunals (including the ECHR) and provided advice and assistance to pro-bono lawyers representing individuals in high court and Supreme Court.
Wafa is highly experienced in professional discipline law and has a strong reputation in defending healthcare professionals in front of a wide spectrum of fitness to practice tribunals and during inquests.
She is skilled at developing simple but effective case strategies in document heavy and expert led prosecutions. She has considerable experience with cases of a sensitive and high profile nature – including representing a Director of Nursing accused of an internal cover up and suppression of whistle blowers. The professional in question was cleared of most charges, the remaining being found not to have amounted to misconduct.
She has represented healthcare professionals accused of a variety of serious and sensitive matters including sexual assault, contributing or causing death and dishonesty.
In inquest work Wafa appears for interested persons including bodies like the Civil Aviation Authority and individual professionals. She has particular expertise in providing representation to interested parties during inquests held with a jury.
Wafa is a highly experienced criminal defence practitioner having defended in cases involving drugs, serious violence and sexual offences. She has appeared as leading counsel in a multi-handed conspiracy and is skilled in dealing with experts, DNA analysis and cell-site evidence. She also has experience prosecuting on behalf of regulators in criminal proceedings arising out of a breach of regulations in the aviation sphere and health and safety. She represents professionals accused of criminal conduct, including a teacher who faced charges arising out of sexual conduct with minors.
Wafa has defended in extradition proceedings during initial hearings, full hearing and at the appellate level. She has an impressive background in extradition and international law prior to coming to the bar having worked at Fair Trials International. She amassed a wealth of experience in representing defendants involved in extradition proceedings in many high profile cases and those facing criminal proceedings around the world. As part of her role she advised on proceedings being conducted in different jurisdictions including Europe, Asia and South America. She contributed to and led the strategic litigation strategy in individual cases and drafted submissions on human rights law to be included in submissions before appellate courts in different jurisdictions around the world. She continued to practice extradition law after coming to the bar and has been able to use her in depth understanding of international and human rights law to the advantage of her clients.
Notable projects she has been involved in as part of her international work:
Wafa was part of a team of lawyers involved in ongoing work with Peace Brigades International on Colombia and submitted an Amicus brief to the Supreme Court of Colombia on the San Jose de Apartado case.
Drafted an amicus curiae brief to be submitted to the Supreme Court in Thailand on behalf on an NGO assisting journalists who are facing criminal charges for criticizing those in power.
Contributed a chapter on England and Wales to Rechtshilferecht in Strafsachen (2014). Edited byKai Ambos (Hrsg.) / Peter Rackow (Hrsg.).
The Promise of International Criminal Justice: The key components of the new era of international criminal accountability and the International Criminal Court’, JUSTICE Journal, Vol. 6(1), May 2009, p8-27.
Significant Professional Discipline Cases
NMC v. A – Represented a nurse accused of multiple clinical failures
following the death of a patient. Secured a 1 year caution order.
NMC v. S – Nurse accused of dishonesty. No finding of dishonesty or misconduct.
NMC v. B – Nurse accused of serious and repeated sexual misconduct and dishonesty. COP order imposed.
NMC v. R – Represented Head of Nursing at a Trust accused of covering up whistle-blowers. Secured a finding of no misconduct.
NMC v. J – Nurse found no longer impaired despite a finding of dishonesty and a continued denial of charges.
Significant Criminal Cases
R v X and others-Instructed as leading counsel in a multi-handed conspiracy trial.
R v. M – Instructed to represent a teacher accused of multiple sexual offences, including historic sexual offences.
R v. D – Multi-handed GBH trial with 5 defendants. Secured an acquittal.
R v H- Arson with intent. Involved cross-examination of experts.Successful acquittal for arson with intent to endanger life.
R v. M – Successful abuse of process argument resulting in a stay of confiscation proceedings following deportation of the defendant.
LL.M Public International Law, Leiden University
LL.B (Hons), Bristol University
Middle Temple Benefactors’ Scholarship
Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers