Wafa Shah

Year of Call: 2009
Inn of Court: Middle Temple

Wafa Shah

A specialist in professional discipline (with particular expertise in the healthcare field) and as a criminal defence practitioner.

She is a persuasive and tenacious advocate who has been praised for her compassionate approach with clients and meticulous preparation for cases, both by professional and lay clients. She is highly experienced in regulatory work having completed a secondment with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

She has extensive experience as a criminal defence practitioner in cases involving drugs, serious violence, sexual offences and fraud. She regularly appears in the Crown Court and Magistrate’s Court on a range of matters and accepts instructions in extradition cases.

Significant Professional Discipline Cases

  • NMC v. A [2017] – Represented a nurse accused of multiple clinical failures following the death of a patient. Secured a 1 year caution order.
  • NMC v. S [2017] – Nurse accused of dishonesty. No finding of dishonesty or misconduct.
  • NMC v. B [2017] – Nurse accused of serious and repeated sexual misconduct and dishonesty. COP order imposed.
  • NMC v. R [2016] – Represented Head of Nursing at a Trust accused of covering up whistle-blowers. Secured a finding of no misconduct.
  • NMC v. J [2016] – Nurse found no longer impaired despite a finding of dishonesty and a continued denial of charges.

Significant Criminal Cases

  • R v. M [2017] – Instructed to represent a teacher accused of multiple sexual offences, including historic sexual offences.
  • R v. D [2017] – Multi-handed GBH trial with 5 defendants. Secured an acquittal.
  • R v. H [2017] – Arson with intent. Involved cross-examination of experts. Successful acquittal for arson with intent to endanger life.
  • R v. M [2016] – 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

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.

Criminal Defence

She is a specialist criminal defence practitioner. She has extensive experience defending in cases involving drugs, serious violence, sexual offences and fraud.

International Law

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.

Other Details

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 appeals in various countries (including India, Venezuela, Japan and Greece).