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Anne-Marie Irwin

Senior Associate Solicitor


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.

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.


"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

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.


  • 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

  • 19/12/2018
    Families Launch High Court Challenge Against Govt Special Education Needs Funding Policy

    “How local authorities fund special education needs is a major issue nationally and will only become more acute as local authorities continue to feel that they have no option but to further squeeze services in light of continued budget cuts. “We have heard extremely worrying first-hand accounts from the families we are supporting about the issues and obstacles their children have faced. They believe that the government’s current funding policy is leaving thousands of pupils across the country in limbo and that the government is failing in its legal duty to unequivocally promote the well-being of children. “While we welcome the government’s recent announcement to increase the SEND funding it provides by £350 million over the next two years, some local government estimates state that there could be a national deficit in high needs spending of between £1.2 billion and £1.6 billion by 2021. Therefore this issue still needs addressing urgently.”

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  • 30/10/2018
    Families Urge Hackney Council To Rethink Special Educational Needs Budget Cuts

    “The families are hugely concerned by the steps taken by this council and feel they do not ensure that each child will receive the support they need. “These children are among the most vulnerable members of society and it is clear that a review is needed to ensure they get the help they require. As we have said all along, we would ask the council to speak to the families and rethink its proposals which we feel will only do more harm than good. “We appreciate that local authorities face significant budget challenges but they still have a duty to ensure all decisions comply with the law.”

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  • 02/10/2018
    Parents Take Legal Battle To Overturn Surrey County Council’s £20m SEND Cuts To High Court

    “Our clients are deeply concerned about the decisions made by this council and believe the local authority has not complied with its legal obligations. “The proposed cuts would impact significantly on some of the most vulnerable members of society. The parents have been left with little choice to bring this judicial review, as despite repeated pleas, the local authority has failed to enter into meaningful talks with them to find a solution which addresses their concerns. “We appreciate that are difficult times for local government but cuts of this nature would only serve to create huge difficulty for disabled children and their families.”

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  • 26/09/2018
    Parents Launch Campaign To Bring Legal Challenge Against Government Over Special Educational Needs ‘National Crisis’

    “Through our work in helping families of children with special educational needs we have seen the increasing strain local authorities are being placed under because of budget cuts. “The issue of councils being able to fund specialist services is a growing problem with concern that an increasing number of local authorities are failing to meet their statutory responsibilities to disabled children. “The families are concerned that local authorities are not receiving enough funding so wish to investigate whether there are legal grounds to challenge the government over its funding support. “They believe that thousands of children across the UK with special educational needs are currently unable to receive the support that they need.”

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