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I am a Senior Associate Solicitor in the Public Law & Human Rights department in London.
I have expertise in a broad range of public law work and specialise in the law of social care, healthcare and medical treatment, mental capacity, disability discrimination and human rights law.
My practice is particularly focussed on healthcare, medical treatment and other clinical disputes, including withdrawal of life support and other end of life care. These cases often raise issues of medical ethics and human rights and involve legal arguments relating to dignity, the right to life or the right to healthcare. I have experience of urgent and out of hours applications where rapid decisions are needed about a patient’s medical treatment.
I regularly represent Claimants in the High Court in judicial review proceedings, and have successfully challenged decisions at the level of both local and national government. Many of these cases have involved challenging cuts to public services, or access to services, particularly on behalf of vulnerable and disabled people.
I am regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor and other parties to act on behalf of vulnerable adults in the Court of Protection in relation to health and welfare matters, including deprivation of liberty and disputes about contact and residence.
Whenever I succeed in helping a client to obtain the support they need from the state, or to challenge an unfair decision.
"She is extremely well prepared, extremely conscientious and takes real care about the way she prepares the cases." - Chambers & Partners, 2018
"Very good - she's on the ball and always on top of the facts, even in difficult and complex cases. She also gets on very well with clients." - Chambers & Partners, 2017
"Extremely calm and effective in juggling many balls in the air in a big case" - Legal 500, 2017
"Brilliant" - Legal 500, 2018/19
She is respected for her "enormous dedication to her clients" and is said to "understand the jurisdiction, the needs of her client and how to get the best result in a very canny way." - Chambers & Partners 2016
“Dear Anne-Marie, I would like to thank you very much for the skill, care and consideration that you gave to my mother’s case and to me as my mother’s litigation friend. It is not too dramatic to say that my mother has her life back and a future thanks to Irwin Mitchell.”
Ms M, daughter of an elderly woman with dementia who I advised in relation to her residence and care
“Dear Anne-Marie, I just want to thank you for your great kindness when I needed advice….You were an island of competence, efficiency and kindness at the time, which was exactly what I needed. Many many thanks once again, and I will be recommending you to friends and colleagues.”
Ms B, daughter of a man requiring end of life care
“Irwin Mitchell have been fantastic through all of this and especially Anne-Marie who helped move G to a neuro rehab, where he is now receiving excellent care. Appreciate all your expert help and professionalism so very much.”
Ms L, partner of a man with a severe brain injury
“The families believe that Hackney Council’s approach fails to ensure schools have sufficient funds to meet the actual cost of provision for children with SEND, who are some of the most vulnerable in society.
“While the families are thankful to the court for examining the case they have decided to seek permission to appeal. By doing so they hope that the council will adopt a policy in which funding is allocated according to the specific provision identified for each child, and reverses its cuts to expenditure on SEND, so that children get the vital specialist support that they require.
“It is important to note that the judgment does not prevent other families from being able to challenge cuts to budgets or services as each case is based on its individual facts and merits.”
She said: “The fact that Amal Fathy did not receive a fair trial is extremely concerning but what is even more worrying is that impartial international observers found that many of the issues identified in this case seem to be commonplace within the judicial system in Egypt.
“It was a privilege to speak at the European Parliament and help highlight the issues that people going through the courts in some countries still face and how vital it is that everyone receives a fair trial.”
“The decision to take this case to the High Court was one that was not taken lightly. We feel that we put forward very strong legal arguments on behalf of the families as to how they believed they would be severely affected by the county council’s plans.
“Shortly before the hearing, Surrey County Council conceded that it would not make any changes to SEND services and that it estimated a spend of around £4 million more than its budget had anticipated during the 2018/19 financial year – a significant result for the families who brought this case. However, the council was clear that it still intended to make the cuts in future financial years, meaning that the families had no real option but to fight on to the hearing.
“While the families would like to thank the Judge for thoroughly examining their case, they are now considering whether to apply for permission to appeal.
“This case does not mean that future decisions to cut budgets and services cannot be challenged – each case must be considered on its facts. It is important that families seek legal advice as quickly as possible if they are concerned about the impact of a decision or policy by a public body.
“What this case and other cases around the country have highlighted is that cuts to SEND budgets and services are causing a great deal of distress to tens of thousands of families. It is an issue which is likely to become of increasing concern as the new financial year, during which local authorities face continued budget cuts, approaches.”
“How special education needs services are funded is an issue which is continuing to snowball. This is especially the case at a time when many local authorities are setting their budgets for the next financial year in the face of continued budget cuts.
“We continue to hear very concerning accounts from families who say thousands of children in towns and cities across the country are not receiving the education they deserve because of government policy.
“The families feel that there have been left with no choice but to bring this action and are pleased that the High Court recognises that SEND funding is an issue which needs to be looked at urgently in detail.
“While we are prepared to put forward strong legal arguments in court on behalf of the families, we would rather the government re-examine its position and come up with a solution which will benefit families nationally."
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