I'm a Senior Associate Solicitor in the Public Law and Human Rights team in Newcastle upon Tyne.
I've been at Irwin Mitchell since 2015 and I specialise in community care, health care and mental capacity law. I have brought legal challenges via judicial review on behalf of both adults and children to seek appropriate care and treatment from the NHS, NICE and their local social services.
I advise clients in relation to their rights to healthcare, medical treatment and other clinical disputes and cases which involve a crossover of medicine and law. These cases often raise issues of medical ethics and legal arguments relating to 'dignity', the 'right to life' or the 'right to healthcare'.
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 advocates or 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.
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.
In our team, I lead on cases involving those who are autistic or have learning disabilities and are detained in mental health in-patient units known as Assessment and Treatment Units (ATUs). I regularly work with families to ensure the appropriate care is sought to meet an individual’s needs at home so that they can leave hospital and to prevent admission when care packages break down using the framework of the Mental Capacity Act, Mental Health Act, Human Rights Act and challenges via Judicial Review.
I’m the inaugural winner of the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards in the category of disability rights in 2021 and am an active part of the #right2home campaign group supporting those individuals in ATUs and raising awareness of human rights.
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.
I have been appointed Chair of the Law Society's Mental Health and Disability Law Committee from September 2022. The committee ensures the rights and equality of treatment under the law of disabled people, those with mental health needs, and those in vulnerable circumstances.
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 children, both of whom have SEN needs and medical needs. I’m also a carer for my mum who is diagnosed with a rare form of Young Onset Dementia called Posterior Cortical Atrophy.
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.
PN, Re (Capacity: Sexual Relations and Disclosure)  EWCOP 44 (20 October 2023) - We act for PN (applicant) and I am instructed by the Official Solicitor.
"Kirsty Stuart is passionate and incredibly hardworking. She’s fantastic at both spotting challenges others would not, and communicating with lay clients." - Legal 500, 2023
"Received amazing prompt service even at a weekends the service I received was fast and they are very well informed they kept me up to date at every stage I would definitely recommend." 5* Trustpilot review
"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
"Both of the solicitors have helped me climb out of a very dark hole and help me to get fair treatment for my son I could never have done this with out either of them and the barrister who was also amazing. I could not have asked for more from them they have all been there every step off the way to help me deal with everything. Both of the solicitors are worth their weight in gold so is the barrister" - 5* Trustpilot review
"Kirsty Stuart and Katie Wilkins provided an exceptional service on behalf of my son and I. They were always available for help and advice and showed great empathy to our situation. I couldn't have asked for better support and legal advice. Kirsty and Katie stepped in immediately during an extremely difficult and traumatic time and I cannot thank them enough for their hard work and diligence." - 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