I specialise in community care, healthcare and mental capacity law. I act for clients who have ongoing difficulties with social services, the NHS and other public bodies. I've brought judicial review cases on behalf of children and adults seeking appropriate care from their local social services and the NHS.
I also act for clients opposing the closure of care homes, day centres and NHS services, and clients seeking to challenge cuts to government funding in health and social care. I've acted for disabled refugees, securing accommodation for them from local authorities under their community care duties.
I advise clients in relation to their rights to healthcare, medical treatment and other clinical disputes. These cases often raise issues of medical ethics and legal arguments relating to 'dignity', the 'right to life' or the 'right to healthcare'. I also act for clients seeking to be discharged from mental health Assessment and Treatment Units (ATUs).
I also act for the Official Solicitor, Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs) and for the families of vulnerable adults in cases in the Court of Protection under the Mental Capacity Act. These cases relate to their mental capacity, deprivation of liberty, health and welfare. I'm a founder and national committee member of the Court of Protection Practitioners Association (CoPPA) and within the firm I lead the Public Law & Human Rights department’s Court of Protection special interest group.
"Irwin Mitchell dealt with my very complex case and I am so grateful that I chose them . Could not ask for a more dedicated and helpful team . Very friendly as well as very professional and kept me very well informed . I would highly recommend them" - 5* Trustpilot review
"Mathieu and David were extremely professional, efficient and always kept me informed. They always responded promptly to my emails and were very good at explaining things simply." – Sab, 5* Trustpilot review
"Excellent service. A very difficult case within the medical environment. It was dealt with upmost professionalism." - 5* Trustpilot review
“Mathieu is clever and compassionate. Great partners like Mathieu Culverhouse and Yogi Amin mean [Irwin Mitchell] get some of the best cases: the real headline grabbers that really make a mark… [He’s] a joy to work with.” - Legal 500 2022 (Next Generation Partner)
"Mathieu Culverhouse has exceptional attention to detail. He can take a case and unpick the issues in it very quickly." - Chambers & Partners 2022 (Leading Individual - band 3)
Mathieu Culverhouse is a "Rising Star." – Legal 500, 2021
"Well known for his handling of sensitive cases, such as withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment proceedings." – Chambers & Partners, 2021 (Leading Individual – Band 3)
"His command of the law is extensive and his judgement is very good - he is always spot on about what is going to happen and intuitively adjusts his client's position to a sensible one to achieve a successful outcome." – Chambers & Partners, 2020
"Extraordinarily intelligent - he is the epitome of a measured, insightful solicitor." –Chambers & Partners, 2019
"He is a really sound, really good lawyer who is good to work with." – Chambers & Partners, 2018
Mathieu is "very approachable, very thorough and an excellent solicitor." – Chambers & Partners, 2017
"Singled out for his 'impressively calm manner'" – Legal 500, 2017
"Ability to combine details and is very thorough" – Legal 500, 2017
- London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust v M & Ors  EWCOP 13 – which concerned a young man who had a cardiac arrest and whose treating team considered that it was in his best interests that he be given palliative care only.
- A Clinical Commissioning Group v DC & Ors  EWCOP 2 – in which the Court of Protection ruled that it was in the best interests of a young man who lacked the mental capacity to consent to his medical treatment to receive the Covid-19 vaccine and boosters.
- A Local Authority v JB  UKSC 52 – acted for the charity Respond, as intervenor, in this case in which the Supreme Court confirmed that in order to have mental capacity to decide to engage in sexual relations a person has to understand that the other person must be able to consent.
- Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust v Fixsler & Ors  EWHC 1426 (Fam) – concerning the life-sustaining treatment of a two-year-old child and the parents’ request to move her to a hospital in Israel.
- Davies v Wigan Council  EWCOP 60 – in which Mr Justice Hayden made clear that visits to care home were lawful under the government’s coronavirus regulations and emphasised the need for care homes to be at the vanguard of developing opportunities for contact.
- Raqeeb v Barts NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 2531 (Admin) – concerning Tafida Raqeeb, a five-year-old girl who had suffered a severe brain injury, and in which the High Court ruled that the hospital had acted unlawfully in preventing Tafida’s parents from taking her to Italy for treatment.
- Manchester City Council v LC  EWCOP 30 – in which Mr Justice Hayden ruled that, in cases where issues arise that may necessitate restrictions in areas where adults have capacity, these should be heard by a High Court Judge in the Court of Protection.
- An NHS Trust v S & L (A Child) (Withholding Life Sustaining Invasive Treatment)  EWHC 3619 (Fam) – in which Mr Justice Williams ruled that it was in the best interests of a seriously ill child with a rare genetic syndrome to receive ventilation and CPR in some circumstances.
- Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust v Mrs P & Anor  EWCOP 23 – in which the Court of Protection ruled that withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in the best interests of Mrs P, who was in a minimally conscious state.
- Director of Legal Aid Casework & Ors v Briggs  EWCA Civ 1169 – in which the Court of Appeal ruled that it is not appropriate for an application concerning serious medical treatment to be brought under s21A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
- Briggs v Briggs  EWCOP 53 – a high profile case in which the Court of Protection ruled in favour of withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from Paul Briggs, a police officer who was considered to be in a minimally conscious state after suffering a severe brain injury in a road traffic collision.
- M v Press Association  EWCOP 34 – an application to extend indefinitely a reporting restriction order following the death of the person concerned.
- Re N  EWCOP 76 – the first case in which the court made an order authorising the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from a person who was considered to be in a minimally conscious state.
- P v Cheshire West and Chester Council and another  UKSC 19 – known as the ‘Cheshire West case’, this Supreme Court judgment had a huge impact on the field of adult social care and provided clarification of the legal definition of ‘deprivation of liberty’.
- An NHS Foundation Trust v R (Child) & Ors  EWHC 2340 (Fam) – concerning an NHS Trust’s application seeking court approval for the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from a child.
- C v A Local Authority  EWHC 1539 (Admin) – known as the “blue room” case, this matter related to the treatment of an 18-year-old man with severe autism and learning disabilities who was held for prolonged periods in a seclusion room at a residential special school.
- G v E  EWCA Civ 822 - in which the Court of Appeal ruled that there is no threshold test for deprivation of liberty separate from the best interests assessment under the Mental Capacity Act.
- G v E, A Local Authority & F  EWHC 621 (Fam) - a Court of Protection case concerning a local authority’s unlawful removal of a vulnerable adult from his carer without first seeking an order from the court.
- R (Murphy) v Salford Primary Care Trust  EWHC 1908 (Admin) – a successful challenge of a PCT’s refusal to fund life-sustaining cancer treatment.
- A PCT v SA  EWCA Civ 1145 – an end-of-life case in which the Court of Appeal held that the judge at first instance had been entitled to reject evidence from the family’s expert that the patient had a realistic prospect of recovery.
Deprivation of liberty safeguards: Assessment and authorization - Yogi Amin and Mathieu Culverhouse - British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing Jun 2010
Legal reflections on the human rights of restraint reduction – Sam Karim and Mathieu Culverhouse – A human rights perspective on reducing restrictive practices in intellectual disability and autism, BILD Publications 2014
Cheshire West: A Year Later – Mathieu Culverhouse and Saoirse de Bont – International Journal of Positive Behavioural Support, Spring 2015