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I specialise in community care, patient rights and mental capacity law. I act for clients who have ongoing difficulties with social services, the NHS and other public bodies. I have brought judicial review cases on behalf of children and adults seeking appropriate care from their local social services and the NHS.
I also act for clients opposing the closure care homes, day centres and NHS services and seeking to challenge cuts to government funding in health and social care. I have acted for disabled refugees, securing accommodation for them from local authorities under their community care duties.
I advise clients in relation to their rights to healthcare, medical treatment and other clinical disputes. These cases often raise issues of medical ethics and legal arguments relating to ‘dignity’, the ‘right to life’ or the ‘right to healthcare’.
I also act for the Official Solicitor, Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (‘IMCAs’) and for the families of vulnerable adults in cases in the Court of Protection under the Mental Capacity Act relating to their mental capacity, deprivation of liberty, health and welfare. I am a founder and national committee member of the Court of Protection Practitioners Association (‘CoPPA’) and within Irwin Mitchell I lead the Public Law & Human Rights department’s Court of Protection special interest group.
Mathieu is "very approachable, very thorough and an excellent solicitor." – Chambers & Partners, 2017
"He is a careful lawyer who makes sure of his grounds before going into battle and shaves off the poor parts of a case." – Chambers & Partners 2016
"a very measured and intellectual lawyer who ensures that cases are well represented." – Chambers & Partners 2015
"Highly recommended." –Legal 500 2014
"Calm and efficient." - Legal 500 2013
Deprivation of liberty safeguards: Assessment and authorization - Yogi Amin and Mathieu Culverhouse - British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing Jun 2010
Legal reflections on the human rights of restraint reduction – Sam Karim and Mathieu Culverhouse – A human rights perspective on reducing restrictive practices in intellectual disability and autism, BILD Publications 2014
Cheshire West: A Year Later – Mathieu Culverhouse and Saoirse de Bont – International Journal of Positive Behavioural Support, Spring 2015
“Our client was reliant on legal aid in order to ensure that her husband’s wishes were respected, but today’s ruling means that many other families in a similar position will not be able to get access to that same level of support.
“We see numerous cases in which people earn too much to qualify for legal aid under the government’s means test for legal aid, but are also not wealthy enough to pay for representation themselves.
“Those who fall into this ‘squeezed middle’ are now likely to find it impossible to secure access to justice unless they are able to find a lawyer who is willing to work for free in what are inevitably lengthy and complicated legal proceedings.
“I am very concerned that the effect of this decision will be to restrict access to justice for families involved in these most difficult of cases, where the rulings made are literally a matter of life and death. I would urge the government to take urgent steps to reform the legal aid system to ensure a fair system in which families are able to argue their cases on a level playing field.”
“This is a victory for all those who would have been unfairly affected by the changes that Rochdale Council was proposing.
“The families of those affected are happy that the Council has withdrawn its proposals and has confirmed that before proceeding with any such proposals in future it will engage with those affected and ensure that they are given a full and fair picture of what the proposals will mean for them in practice.”
“The time since Paul’s collision has been extremely difficult for Lindsey and Paul’s family and from the outset they have wanted to ensure that his wishes are respected. They firmly believe that continuing treatment is not in Paul’s best interests given his previously expressed wishes, his injuries and his current condition and prognosis.
“After considering all of the evidence, hearing from medical experts and the clear and powerful evidence from the family, the judge agreed that treatment could lawfully be withdrawn. The judge made this decision after taking into account recent guidance from the Supreme Court. He weighed up the competing principles of the very strong presumption in favour of preserving life and the need to respect what Mr Briggs himself would have decided if he was able to do so.
“In his judgment, the judge stated: “I am sure that if Mr Briggs had been sitting in my chair and heard all the evidence and argument he would … not have consented to further … treatment”. The judge concluded by saying that “this means that the court is doing on behalf of Mr Briggs what he would have wanted and what he would have done for himself … if he was able to do so.”
“The family is disappointed that the decision is to be appealed, which will prolong their situation at such a difficult time of year.
“The next few weeks will obviously be very difficult for Lindsey and the family and we will continue to support them at this sensitive time. They can at least have some comfort in knowing that the Court at this stage has agreed that this course of action is in Mr Briggs’ best interests. We will now await the Court’s decision on whether permission to appeal will be granted.”
“Although the Council has to be commended for extending the deadline for responses and providing ‘easy read’ versions of the consultation, my client is concerned that the information provided was not sufficient to allow those affected to make an informed view on the proposals.
“My client, who is one of many disabled adults in Rochdale who will be affected by the proposals, is now proceeding with an application for Judicial Review, arguing that the Council has failed to give a correct definition of Supported Living in its consultation documents, failed to set out the advantages of the current arrangements and failed to identify the potential disadvantages of the new arrangements it proposes. This means that people who responded to the consultation did so without being aware of the full picture and the full implications of the Council’s proposals.
“The court will be asked to determine whether these flaws mean that the consultation was unlawful and should be quashed.”
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