Irwin Mitchell Expands In South West With Award Winning Lawyer

Growth Cements Firm’s Position As One Of Leading Public Law Offerings In UK


Leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell is expanding its services within its Bristol office with the opening of a public law department spearheaded by an award winning solicitor who has appointed two local recruits to join her in the team.

Polly Sweeney, who was recently awarded Assistant / Associate Solicitor of the Year at the 2012 Birmingham Law Society Awards for her work in public law at Irwin Mitchell’s office in the Midlands, has now brought her expertise to serve the South West.

Joining her, will be a litigation assistant and paralegal, who have been handpicked from the South West region and will ensure Irwin Mitchell maintains its position as having one of the largest public law offerings in the UK.

Polly has vast experience in community care, healthcare and medical treatment, court of protection, mental capacity and education law and her successes include victory in a landmark case last year which saw her challenge Birmingham City Council and win, after the court ruled the authority’s plans to cut its adult social care budget were unlawful. 

Polly represented a 65-year-old lady with severe learning difficulties but it was thought that up to 5,000 disabled people in Birmingham would have been denied all or parts of their social care packages currently provided by the Council if their plans had gone ahead.

Polly said: “I’m really excited to be at the forefront of Irwin Mitchell expanding its public law services into the South West area.

“The city offers fantastic training and qualifications at the universities and colleges and this was backed up by the high standard of applications we had from legal professionals looking to join the team.

“I studied my legal practice course at UWE and grew up in Wells, Somerset so I already feel at home in the area.

“It’s a privilege to be able to recruit locally and I look forward to the new starters joining the team so we can start work on driving cases forward, and being a force for protecting the rights of the vulnerable who rely on state care and resources.”

Polly has worked on cases that have changed the law on welfare benefits, equality laws and discrimination law with significant judicial review victories this year in the High court and Court of Appeal.

Irwin Mitchell’s Regional Managing Partner in Bristol, Jonathan Peacock, commented: “Polly has done fantastic work within Irwin Mitchell’s public law team in Birmingham since she qualified with the firm, working on hugely important, landmark cases, that have ensured justice for vulnerable people in society that desperately need help from public services.

“The Assistant / Associate Solicitor of the Year award was a fantastic achievement for Polly, the Public Law team and Irwin Mitchell. This award is testament to Polly’s dedication to go above and beyond for her clients and is something that she should be really proud of.

“We are delighted to have her join the team in Bristol and look forward to welcoming some new recruits to lead the way in Public Law services in the South West region and Wales.”