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I trained and qualified as a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, specialising in civil liberties and human rights law in the Public Law & Human Rights department.
I have experience in a variety of civil liberties cases involving claims against the police and local authorities, inquest, judicial review, health and welfare and Court of Protection.
I have recently been appointed as trustee for the Public Law Project, and am a committee member for the South West Court of Protection Practitioners Association.
In October 2016 I was awarded Junior Lawyer of the Year at the Bristol Society Annual Awards.
I act for clients in claims against the police arising out of a variety of situations, such as:
I also bring claims against local authorities where decisions they have made on taking children into care or removing vulnerable adults from their families has amounted to an unlawful deprivation of liberty or an unlawful interference with their right to family life.
I represent families at inquests into the death of a loved one where that death has occurred in police custody, prison or a mental health hospital or where the death has occurred after contact with the police.
I also assisted on the high profile inquest into the death of Lloyd Butler in June 2014. Lloyd died after being inappropriately detained in a police station in Birmingham in 2010 in contradiction of force policy which should have mandated that he be taken straight to hospital. The jury found that Lloyd probably would have survived if taken to hospital.
I act for individuals wishing to challenge decisions made by adult social care and children's services in relation to closure of respite centres, day centres, care homes or withdrawals of services previously provided. This includes considering whether local authorities have complied with their consultation duties, their obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010.
I also bring challenges on behalf of individuals who are concerned about cuts to individual care packages or failures relating to provision of children's services under the Children's Act 1989.
I successfully represented the claimant in the case of R (on the application of Hardy) v Sandwell Council in relation to the local authority's decision to take into account the care component of Disability Living Allowance when assessing entitlement to a discretionary housing payment.
I represent family members in court of protection proceedings as well as through the Official Solicitor in health and welfare disputes. This includes best interest decisions on contact, care and residence as well of deprivation of liberty cases.
I worked with Cerebra, a charity for children with neurological difficulties, to review and update two of their key guides for parents. These guides are available to download from Cerebra's website:
“Poppi’s mother is understandably both distressed and disappointed by the CPS’s decision not to bring a prosecution regarding her death.
“She has always been anxious to know exactly what happened to Poppi on the day of her death as well as to secure justice for her little girl.
“She hopes that an inquest, which was delayed while the CPS examined its decision, will shed some light on Poppi’s injuries and create a path to justice so her daughter can finally be at peace.”
“Anyone who has a ‘spare bedroom’ is affected by the bedroom tax but the reality for many disabled people is that the bedroom isn’t spare at all but simply used for another purpose, such as accommodation for an overnight or respite carer.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is a victory for common sense for those whose disabilities require them to have an extra bedroom. We would now urge the Government to rethink the bedroom tax so that victims of domestic violence housed for their own protection, are also no longer penalised by this one-size-fits all policy.”
“Nothing can turn back the clock and return Oliver to his children and family, but the family hope lessons have been learned by the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust so that no other family has to live with the pain of losing a loved one in these circumstances.
“The family would however like to thank the paramedics and police officers who attended Oliver on Friday 14 August.
“We will now examine the coroner’s findings and advise the family on the next steps available to them.”
“Sarah, Naomi and the rest of Oliver’s family are devastated by his loss, and that feeling has been compounded by the unanswered questions about whether more could have been done to prevent his death.
“They are hoping that Tuesday’s inquest will highlight any flaws or failings there may be so these can be learned from to prevent other tragedies.”
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