Tony is a senior solicitor in our clinical negligence team in our Birmingham office. The 49-year-old was born in Beirut in Lebanon, emigrated to California in his teens and moved to the UK with his wife 25 years ago.

 

Let us know something about you:

I was four years old when the Lebanese civil war started in 1975. At the age of 13 and unable to speak English, I emigrated to California to live with my brother and continue my education. I began to learn English soon after and finished high school before going to college and then to University of California Los Angeles, where I graduated with a political sociology degree. While I was at university, I met my wife who was doing a nursing abroad programme. 

Tony Mikhael, from our Birmingham office
Tony Mikhael, from our Birmingham office

Together, we took the decision to move to the UK in 1995. I began studying again and was awarded my Law Degree from Coventry University before embarking upon the Legal Practice Course (LPC) while working at Thompsons and was admitted as a solicitor in 2006.

What inspired you to go into law?

My brother had qualified as an attorney in the United States and I was inspired while working in my brother’s practice in California before coming to the UK.

I was mesmerised by the persuasiveness of lawyers in applying and interpreting the law to assist their clients’ plight. I was also impressed by the advocacy and negotiation skills, which are all part of a lawyer’s armoury.

What is your specialism?

Before I joined Thompsons, took on the LPC and qualified, I worked in the debt recovery department at a local firm of solicitors. I was always drawn to personal injury, hence my interest in Thompsons, and was involved in general litigation before I transferred to clinical negligence in 2014 and have never looked back.

What is your proudest moment with the firm so far?

By far it has to be the Ian Paterson litigation. Ian Paterson was a cancer surgeon who disfigured hundreds of women through unnecessary breast surgery. It took more than four years to conclude, but we secured a multi-million-pound recovery of damages in the group litigation which affected hundreds of people. There were three defendants to battle against and 620 clients to manage and prepare cases for, not to mention the constant media attention that the case attracted. It felt as though it was never going to end, but we persevered and got the result we wanted, much to our clients’ satisfaction.

What do you enjoy most about working at Thompsons?

My colleagues are absolute gems. Such a mixed bag of people from different backgrounds. Some have become friends outside of the office. I also enjoy the quality of the work and the open-door policy to speak with anyone in the firm, irrespective of status.

Tell us something surprising about you that most people don’t know?

During a high school tennis competition I played Michael Chang, who went on to become the youngest male Grand Slam champion. I returned one serve and took one point off him. I’ve never been so happy about losing 6-0.