Irwin Mitchell (UK)
Polly Sweeney is an Associate Solicitor who heads up the Bristol Office’s Public Law Department.
Polly has experience in a broad range of public law practice, and specialises in community care, healthcare and medical treatment and education law (including representing parents at Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunals). She also specialises in cases in the court of protection / mental capacity is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to act on behalf of vulnerable adults in relation to matters such as deprivation of liberty, capacity to marry or engage in sexual relations, and other health and welfare matters including disputes about contact and residence.
Notable cases include:
• R (on the application of W) v Birmingham City Council  EWHC 1147 (Admin) which successfully challenged by way of judicial review, Birmingham City Council's decision to cut the eligibility for adult social care to provide funding for critical needs only.
• RK  EWHC 3355 (COP)(Fam) - Polly acted on behalf of the Official Solicitor in this case regarding the exercise of parental rights and whether children accommodated pursuant to Section 20 Children Act 1989 are capable of being deprived of their liberty within the scope of Article 5 ECRH.
• Ian Burnip and others v Birmingham City Council and others and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening  EWCA Civ 629; Polly acted on behalf of the lead Claimant in this court of appeal case successfully challenging the lawfulness of the Local Allowance Housing Regulations on the basis that they unlawfully discriminated against disabled persons contrary to Article 14 ECHR.
• Wychavon District Council v EM (HB) (2012) UKUT 12 (AAC), (2012) MHLO 5 which relates to the validity of tenancy agreements in circumstances where the tenant lacks capacity to enter into such agreements.
Polly was also ranked as a “Star Associate” in the Chambers and Partners 2012 for Court of Protection: UK-wide. She is described as "extremely thorough and extremely reliable. She is very good at spearheading messy and confused proceedings to logical conclusions." Although only recently qualified, she is generating a great deal of positive comment in the Court of Protection realm. She excels on mental capacity issues”.
Polly was also awarded the title of Assistant / Associate Solicitor of the Year at the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards 2012 and was also shortlisted for the title of Young Solicitor of the Year at the National Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2011.
Chambers and Partners Legal Directory 2013
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