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Anne-Marie Irwin

Associate Solicitor

Biography

I am an 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.

What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect Of Your Role?

Whenever I succeed in helping a client to obtain the support they need from the state, or to challenge an unfair decision.

Testimonials

"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

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

Notable cases

  • R (Conway) -v- The Secretary of State for Justice & Ors [2017] EWHC 2447 (Admin) - Acting for Noel Conway, a terminally ill man in a judicial review against the Secretary of State for Justice. Mr Conway seeks a declaration that the prohibition against assisted suicide in section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961 is incompatible with his right to a private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case was heard in the Court of Appeal from 1-3 May 2018 and judgment is reserved. 
  • R (on the application of) (1) MS C and (2) MR W -v- Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Others [2015] EWHC 1607 (Admin) - I acted for the Claimants in this high profile judicial review in which we successfully argued that the delays experienced by claimants of Personal Independent Payments, were unlawful.
  • St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust v P v Q [2015] EWCOP 42 - in which the Court of Protection concluded, in accordance with our arguments, that it was in the best interests of our client’s brother to continue to receive life sustaining treatment following a cardiac arrest and brain injury.
  • KM v Northamptonshire County Council [2015] EWHC 482 (Admin) - in which the High Court held that Northamptonshire’s policy on charging for social care provision was unlawful.
  • Westminster City Council v Manuela Sykes [2014] COP1238388T – I acted for the former councillor and dementia campaigner Manuela Sykes before the Court of Protection, resulting in orders that Ms Sykes be allowed to return to her own home and very unusually permitting reporting of the case in her name and publication of photographs of Ms Sykes.
  • R (Gibson) v Waverley Borough Council [2012] EWHC 1472 (Admin) - I acted for the Applicant in which quashed a planning permission and listed building consent granted by Waverley Borough Council for a scheme to turn Undershaw into nine separate homes.

Publications

  • Do Not Attempt to Resuscitate: The Legal Issues, nRC August 2014, vol 16, no 8
  • Access to medical treatment for people with an unsettled immigration status, British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, April/May 2012.
  • Your Rights to Children’s Services, My Child and Me Magazine, March 2012
  • Physician Assisted Suicide – Yogi Amin and Anne-Marie Irwin - British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, April/May 2011
  • Understanding Restraint in the Context of Law – Yogi Amin and Anne-Marie Irwin - British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, August/September 2010

Read My Comments On The Latest News

  • 05/07/2018
    Lawyers Granted Permission To Challenge Hackney’s Special Educational Needs Policies In High Court

    We are pleased that the court has accepted that we have an arguable case which merits a full judicial review of Hackney’s proposals. “It remains our view that the local authority has failed to ensure that each child receives the level of help they require and that the proposals to reduce funding do not have the individual needs of a child in mind. “These proposals would severely impact on some of the most vulnerable people in society. We once again call on the local authority to engage with families to find a solution and end the worry and upset our clients are experiencing because of these proposals.”

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  • 24/05/2018
    Specialist Lawyers Granted Permission To Challenge Council’s £20m Spending Cuts To Disabled Children’s Services In High Court

    We have said all along that the county council has misunderstood its legal obligations and failed to lawfully consult with some of the most vulnerable members of society who will be adversely affected by these proposals. “We are pleased that the High Court has recognised the need for a full legal review of the county council’s plans to be held. However, despite this we would once again urge the local authority to reconsider its decision and enter into constructive dialogue with the families on how best to find a solution. We appreciate the severe financial burdens that public services face but this issue will not go away.”

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  • 22/05/2018
    Lawyers Demand Rethink On Hackney’s ‘Unlawful’ Special Educational Needs Policies

    We have heard extremely worrying first-hand accounts from our clients regarding what their children have faced. “Through our work, we have come to the conclusion that the council’s policy on funding support is unlawful as it fails to fulfil the absolute requirement to ensure each child gets the help that they require. In addition, the amount of funding available has been reduced by an arbitrary figure which has nothing to do with children or young people’s needs. “We are also concerned that the changes made to the EHC Plan mean decisions on provision can be made without having a child’s needs properly in mind.”

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  • 10/05/2018
    Specialist Lawyers Seek Permission To Challenge Council’s £20m Spending Cuts To Disabled Children’s Services In High Court

    The families are understandably upset and angry at the county council’s stance with regards to the proposed cuts which we are concerned will impact vulnerable disabled children across Surrey. “We consider that the decision is unlawful because the local authority did not undertake a consultation with those families whose lives will be severely affected by the decision to withdraw vital funding. “It is also worrying that when the council made the decision it had not identified which special educational needs and disability services it would target to cut funding. This raises the question of whether officers who drew up the proposals had any idea as to where potential savings could be made and so how this would impact families. “The families call on the council to reconsider its position and engage with the families to find a solution rather than ignoring their concerns. “We recognise the very severe financial parameters local authorities across the country are facing but councils still have a duty to ensure spending decisions affecting frontline services are lawful.”

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