I lead the Public Law Human Rights team in Gatwick and specialise in assisting parents, carers and young people with appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. I am familiar with the duties of the Local Authority to provide for children and young people and am individually recommended in The Legal 500 independent guide for having a “track record in SEN tribunal claims”.
I am keen to ensure that parents, carers and young people know their rights in relation to the support that is available to them and have delivered training to a number of charities and schools to ensure that children are supported in their education. I also provides training and representation to schools and education professionals who are defending against claims, challenging funding decisions, facing regulatory investigation or in disputes about SEN provisions.
"Irwin Mitchell team did an excellent job for me in assisting me to secure a good Special Needs school for my daughter after many struggles with the Local Authority. They have extremely great lawyers like Erin Smart." - 5* Trustpilot review
"The legal team were brilliant and well-informed. It’s really worth using them and will absolutely recommend every parent to seek advice from them if they can afford. They are indeed good. I was able to push back the LA and school following the legal advice we received from Irwin Mitchell." - 5* Trustpilot review
"Helpful, professional & sympathetic" - 5* Trustpilot review
"Erin Smart at Irwin Mitchell represented me recently in relation to appealing my son's school placement. She was efficient and professional and the outcome was successful." - 5* Trustpilot review
"Erin is approachable, extremely capable and sees the bigger picture while being on top of the necessary minutiae. She is extremely competent and very reliable." - Chambers & Partners 2022 (Associate To Watch)
“Erin Smart has a good reputation.” - Legal 500, 2022
'Erin Smart has a track record in SEN claims' - Legal 500, 2018
What Inspired You To Get Into Law?
I have experience in supporting children through roles in sure start centres, teaching English in Italy and tutoring children who had fallen behind in their education. I wanted to help ensure that these children were supported to receive the correct education and support they required.
What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect Of Your Role?
Helping parents and children understand their rights and the local authority’s responsibilities towards vulnerable children. When we are able to successfully challenge unlawful decisions it has a real impact on the child’s provision at school and allows them to reach their potential in education.
What Do You Like About Working At Irwin Mitchell?
My colleagues have expertise in lots of different areas of law which allows us to ensure our clients are receiving the all round support they need. I enjoy working with a team that are keen to help and happy to take the time to really understand any issues.
What Do You Do Away From The Office?
I enjoy country walks with our dog and relaxing by swimming, yoga classes and reading.