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.
Notable cases include:
- 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 – a case which attracted significant media attention, which concerned Tafida Raqeeb, a five-year-old girl who suffered a severe brain injury, the High Court ruled that the hospital acted unlawfully in preventing Tafida’s parents from taking her to Italy for treatment.
- Manchester City Council v LC  EWCOP 30 – where Mr Justice Hayden ruled that, in cases where issues arise that may require 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) – where Mr Justice Williams ruled that it was in the best interests of a seriously ill two-year-old 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 – where the Court of Protection ruled that withdrawing life-sustaining treatment was 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 – where the Court of Appeal ruled that it’s not appropriate for an application concerning serious medical treatment to be brought under s21A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It also commented that it was not necessary for such cases to be brought to court where all parties are in agreement.
- Briggs v Briggs  EWCOP 53 – this high profile case concerned the medical treatment of 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. The Court of Protection ruled in favour of withdrawal of life sustaining treatment from Mr Briggs.
- 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 – this landmark judgment was 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 very significant impact on the field of adult social care and provided clarification of the legal definition of ‘deprivation of liberty’. Thousands of vulnerable adults have since benefited from reviews of their protective care arrangements.
- An NHS Foundation Trust v R (Child) & Ors  EWHC 2340 (Fam) – this extremely sensitive case arose from an NHS Trust’s application seeking court approval for the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from a 14-month-old child.
- C v A Local Authority  EWHC 1539 (Admin) - which related to the treatment of an 18-year-old man with severe autism and severe learning disabilities at a residential special school. The court found that the responsible local authority had breached the man’s human rights by using a seclusion room known as a ‘blue room’ and failing to follow the appropriate guidance.
- G v E  EWCA Civ 822 - where 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) - where the Court of Protection ruled that a local authority had breached a vulnerable adult’s human rights by removing him from his carer without first seeking an order from the court.
- R (Murphy) v Salford Primary Care Trust  EWHC 1908 (Admin) - where the Court set aside a decision to refuse funding for life-sustaining drugs on the basis that, although the Primary Care Trust panel had looked at all the individual factors that could point to an exceptional case, it had failed to look at them in the round.
- 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.
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)
"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
"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
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