The High Court has dismissed a claim by an Oxford graduate who claimed that ‘inadequate’ teaching at the university cost him a lucrative career as a high-flying lawyer.

In judgment handed down this afternoon Mr Justice David Foskett said the claim by Faiz Siddiqui against Oxford University should be dismissed.

Siddiqui, who studied modern history at Brasenose College and graduated in 2000, had argued that his failure to obtain a first-class degree prevented him from landing a job at a top US firm, or a high-flying career at the bar.

Representing Siddiqui, barrister Roger Mallalieu of 4 New Square had argued that Siddiqui’s employment history after Oxford in legal and tax roles was ‘poor’ and he was now unemployed. He appears on the roll as a non-practising solicitor.

Siddiqui had claimed that the level of teaching was not high enough that he had suffered mental health difficulties after learning of his degree result.

However, Foskett said the evidence did not establish that the teaching was negligently inadequate. Foskett added that, although the claimant had suffered from intermittent bouts of severe depression over the years it could not be established that this was a result of one examination.

The judgment said that the ‘exceptionally’ well-argued case ‘could and should’ have been brought much earlier. ’I recognise that this will come as a great disappointment to the claimant given the investment and time and effort he has made to pursue it. It is recognised that claims based on educational negligence are notoriously difficult to bring to a succesful conclusion and I am sure he will have been advised of this.’

The hearing was adjourned so that consequential matters can be considered such as an application for permission to appeal – which should be filed within 21 days.