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Alex Rook

Partner

Biography

I joined Irwin Mitchell’s Public Law & Human Rights department in 2006 and was made a Partner in 2013. I act for individuals, charities and companies in the full range of judicial review cases, with particular specialisms in the law on consultation, in health and social care, mental capacity and human rights law. 

In October 2014, I won the first Supreme Court case in relation to the law on consultation (Moseley) which ruled that all public authorities need to improve how they consult with local people. I was also instructed to intervene on behalf of national charities (Age UK, SENSE, RNIB and Guide Dogs for the Blind) in two of the leading Supreme Court community care cases in recent years as well as having successfully brought judicial review proceedings in a number of High Court and Court of Appeal cases. 

I have acted in numerous commercial judicial review cases, protecting the rights of companies that are affected by decisions made by public authorities.

I am also regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor as well as families and advocates to act on behalf of vulnerable adults who lack capacity to make decisions regarding their health and welfare in proceedings in the Court of Protection, and was invited to give evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to help consider the effectiveness and adequacy of the law as well as access to justice for vulnerable individuals.

Notable cases include:

  • R (on the application of Moseley (in substitution of Stirling Deceased)) (Appellant) v London Borough of Haringey (Respondent) [2014] UKSC 56
  • R (LH) v Shropshire Council (2014) EWCA Civ 404
  • Blake and others v LB Waltham Forest [2014] EWHC 1027 (Admin)
  • R (KM) (by JM) v Cambridgeshire County Council [2012] UKSC 23 
  • JM & NT v Isle of Wight Council [2011] EWHC 2911 (Admin)
  • R (on the application of McDonald ) v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea [2011] UKSC 33 (6 July 2011)
  • Independent News and Media and others v A [2010] EWCA Civ 343 regarding 'good reason' for the media to attend hearings in the Court of Protection (which would otherwise be held in private)
  • London Borough of Enfield v SA v FA v KA [2010] EWHC 196 (Admin) – the COP has power under COPR 2007 r95(d) to admit hearsay evidence which originates from a person who is not competent as a witness
  • Re F [2009] EWHC B30 (Fam) regarding the test in accordance with s48 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 regarding an adult's capacity in order to found the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection
  • KD and LD v LB Havering [2009] EW Misc 7 (EWCOP) — confirming that the court has the power to deal with cases summarily but that power is unlikely to be exercised appropriately where there is a serious or potential issue as to the appropriateness of deprivation of liberty and so where articles 5 and 6 of the ECHR are potentially engaged
  • Westminster Social and Community Services Department v IC and others [2008] EWCA Civ 198 in the Court of Appeal and London Borough of Ealing v KS and others [2008] EWHC 636 (Fam) both of which related to the incapacitated adult’s capacity to consent to sex and/or marriage and/or contraception
  • London Borough of Ealing v KS and others [2008] EWHC 636 (Fam)

Testimonials

Alex is a "sharp operator" with "huge amount of expertise"; "a really strong and well-respected lawyer." "His advice was very practical" and he is "good at spotting interesting new areas and pushing the boundaries of public law in the right way". "Completely unflappable and incredibly efficient."   – Chambers & Partners, 2017

"A very classy litigator, who is strategic and understated in a way which is effective" and according to sources is "Brilliant, connected superbly and hugely respected" - Chambers & Partners 2016

A "keen and hard-working" lawyer, who is "very tactically astute, with a good nose for issues." - Chambers & Partners 2015

Combines a "brilliant strategic legal mind with the ability to relate to clients from all walks of life" - Legal 500 2016

"A star of the future" as well as "extremely dynamic" - Legal 500 2013

Publications

  • Capacity to Marry and Marriages Abroad - Yogi Amin and Alex Rook - Solicitors Journal
  • Court of Protection for Public Lawyers - Authors: Nick Armstrong and Alex Rook -  Judicial Review, Volume 17, Number 1, March 2012 , pp. 28-35(8) Hart Publishing
  • The Wrong Key, June 2010 - As the press celebrates the Court of Protection's coming out party, Barbara Hewson and Alex Rook pondered how long its 15 minutes of fame will last.
  • Best Interests Decision Tool - Ambitious about Autism, Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation in partnership with Alex Rook at Irwin Mitchell, have produced a leaflet to help individuals who feel that they are not being appropriately consulted about the welfare of their loved ones. Download a PDF of the Leaflet
  • Times lawyer of the week, 1.12.11
  • Childcare for Families with Disabled Children - An online guide on how to access free childcare for two to four-year-olds. Compiled by Irwin Mitchell alongside Steve Broach (Barrister at Monkton Chambers) for the charities Contact a Family, Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) and The Family and Childcare Trust.

What Inspired You To Get Into Law?

My inspiration to become a lawyer, and in particular a public law solicitor, came from the combination of the academic challenge it presents and the high level of client contact. I have not been disappointed. (In truth, I was also told from a young age that I was so argumentative that I should be a lawyer!)

What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect Of Your Role?

Working with disadvantaged people to ensure that their rights are protected.

What Do You Like About Working At Irwin Mitchell?

The quality of work in the Public Law & Human Rights department is pretty much unrivalled nationwide. Every day brings new challenges and keeps me passionate about my work and the changes we can make to people's lives through enforcing their legal rights.

What Do You Do Away From The Office?

Spend time with my wife and two children. I am a passionate Spurs fan and try to get to watch them as often as possible, and am just about managing to keep my own amateur football career going!


Read My Comments On The Latest News

  • 28/09/2017
    Families Celebrating After Victory In Fight To Keep Respite Centre For Disabled Children Open

    Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group has confirmed, albeit very late in the day, that it has agreed to set aside its own decision and will continue to fund Nascot Lawn. The CCG have also confirmed that they will now carry out consultation with the families of children and young people who attend Nascot Lawn before thinking again about any future decision on funding. “Our clients have told us first-hand how Nascot Lawn provides excellent care and that the decision to close the centre would have severely affected their lives. “We are delighted that the CCG has seen sense and decided to keep Nascot Lawn open. We look forward to the centre continuing to provide excellent care for our clients and their families who use this vital lifeline.”

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  • 26/09/2017
    Specialist Lawyers Bring Legal Action In Fight To Keep Respite Centre For Disabled Children Open

    We will be arguing that the CCG has misunderstood its legal responsibilities, including under the National Health Services Act and the Equality Act, and that its failure to consult with families affected by this decision also renders the closure unlawful. “Nascot Lawn provides a vital lifeline for the children and their parents who use the centre. We are determined to ensure that the families affected by this planned closure have their voices heard on the matter.

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  • 31/07/2017
    Lawyers Launch Legal Challenge Against Closure Of Nascot Lawn Respite Centre Lifeline

    “The CCG has failed to undertake a consultation with families before reaching this decision, which they say was taken in order to save over £650,000 per year. “We believe that the HVCCG has not properly considered their legal duties before reaching this decision, and our clients say that had they properly understood the impact it will have on these very vulnerable children and their families, they would not have made this decision. “We have already written to HVCCG regarding our concerns about their decision-making process and are determined to ensure that the families affected by this have their voices heard on the matter. The matter will now be heard by the High Court in September or October, before the closure takes place.”

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  • 13/07/2017
    Lawyers May Bring Legal Action As Campaign To Save Nascot Lawn Respite Centre Continues

    “The CCGs have failed to undertake a consultation with families before reaching this decision, which they say was taken in order to save over £650,000 per year. “We believe that the CCGs have not properly considered their legal duties before reaching this decision, and our clients say that had they properly understood the impact it will have on these very vulnerable children and their families, the CCGs would likely not have made this decision. “We have informed the CCGs involved of our concerns regarding their decision-making process and are determined to ensure that the families affected by this have their voices heard on the matter."

    Continue Reading

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