I'm a solicitor in the Public Law and Human Rights team in Newcastle, a position I’ve held since 2015.
I advise on a range of Court of Protection health and welfare issues relating to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. I represent Relevant Person's Representatives, family members, and am regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor. I’m also qualified as an Accredited Legal Representative, so I can act on behalf of those who have been deemed to lack capacity to conduct court proceedings. This is a possible alternative to a Litigation Friend.
I have a special interest in urgent medical treatment cases, and cases which involve a crossover of medicine and law. I also help people challenge unfair public body decisions through judicial review.
Before I worked in public law and human rights, I specialised in mental health law. I continue to advise detained patients, family members and hospitals, as well as being the firm’s point of contact for in-house mental health law advice. I also advise on community care law, covering cuts to care packages, the duties of the local authority and other public bodies under the Care Act and support for carers.
More recently, I've developed a focus on assisting and supporting individuals in Assessment and Treatment Units (ATUs) and regularly assist those in these units to move into the community with a suitable care package which can meet their assessed needs.
I'm a member of Irwin Mitchell's Parent Carer Forum - a safe online space to connect with fellow parent carers and discuss the issues that matter to you. Join the Parent Carer Forum on Facebook.
What inspired you to get into law?
Before I went into law, I studied medicine. I decided to move into law because it better suited my personality. I specialised in mental health law, then public law and human rights. This combined my interests in medicine with law and allowed me the best of both worlds.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
The most rewarding part of my role is when I am able to support a client to have their voice heard and they feel empowered by the work we’ve done.
What do you like about working at Irwin Mitchell?
The best part about working for Irwin Mitchell is the wealth of expertise you can draw on to learn from others, the supportive nature of the team to allow flexible working and the ability to shape your own future and develop specialist areas of knowledge with the support of senior colleagues.
What do you do away from the office?
I enjoy spending time with my husband and two young children, one of whom has complex medical needs. I’m also a carer for my mum.
I’m lucky enough to live near the coast and love to spend time down at the beach on those rare sunny days we get in Newcastle. I also work with and support local charities including the Tiny Lives Trust, who I'm a parent ambassador for, and SWAN UK, both of whom have supported my family.
I'm also an active part of the #right2home campaign supporting those individuals in ATUs and raising awareness of human rights
"Kirsty Stuart provided excellent representation for my client in relation to Court of Protection proceedings. She kept in regular contact with my client and myself as the advocate so that we were both fully aware of what was happening. Kirsty is very approachable. She listened carefully to my client’s views and acted on these. She also raised issues and challenged when necessary so that my client’s rights were fully protected." 5* Trustpilot review
"I have worked with Kirsty on a complex section 21a case which was challenging in a number of ways. Kirsty shows great communication skills, great attention to detail and a high level of sensitivity and knowledge. Kirsty is reliable approachable and empowering in her approach." – Jenny, client
"I don’t normally do this but I felt that I should highlight the fantastic job that Kirsty did in relation to a recent serious medical treatment case. Kirsty made herself available to give advice and support at all hours of the day and night (including Christmas Eve!) and managed the case throughout with clear legal advice as well as compassion." – Dawn, client
"Highly recommend this firm and Kirsty Stuart. [She] couldn’t have helped me more. From start to finish every member of staff I came into contact with was professional from the start. I was kept updated by Kirsty or Charlotte Roscoe who were always at the end of the phone. During meetings everything was explained with 100% support. She is professional from start to finish without making [it a] daunting or a horrific experience." – Client
"My experience with Irwin Mitchell extremely professional. My solicitor Kirsty Stuart has gone out of her way to help me throughout everything. Keeps in contact a few times a week. I couldn’t have asked for a more friendly professional lady." – Client
"In our recent fight against the NHS for funding treatment for our two daughters, we could not have been happier or more impressed with Kirsty Stuart at Irwin Mitchell. Kirsty kept us up to date on how things were proceeding, she was always at hand to speak to or message to ensure we got our questions answered. We know we were in safe hands & that Kirsty always had our daughters in her mind." - Client
Capacity and sexual relations
Lived Experience and Professional Expertise as a Lawyer in the Court of Protection