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Oliver Carter

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I am a solicitor in the Public Law & Human Rights team, specialising in judicial review, health and social care, inquests and actions against the police. I joined Irwin Mitchell as a paralegal in 2010 before training and qualifying with the firm.

From May 2015 to May 2019, I was co-chair of Young Legal Aid Lawyers, a national group of aspiring and junior lawyers which campaigns for access to justice and seeks to promote social mobility and diversity in the legal profession.

In July 2019, I received a Legal Aid Practitioners Group Special Award for making an exceptional contribution to legal aid and access to justice at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards.

Judicial review

I help individuals, charities and campaign groups in challenges against policies and cuts which have a negative impact on communities and vulnerable groups. I've brought successful cases against local authorities, NHS bodies and government departments.

Health and social care

I represent adults and children with disabilities in cases concerning local authorities and the NHS. This includes challenges to withdrawal or closure of services and cases under the Equality Act.

I also help vulnerable adults and their families in health and welfare disputes in the Court of Protection, where the court is asked to decide what is in the best interests of a person who lacks the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.

Civil liberties

I represent families at inquests into the death of a loved one where that death has occurred in police custody, prison, social care or a mental health hospital, or where the death has taken place following contact with the police. I advise and represent families in claims under the Human Rights Act following a death in such circumstances.

I also act for clients in actions against the police arising out of wrongful arrest, assault, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in public office and in claims under the Human Rights Act.

Client testimonials

"No hesitation recommending Irwin Mitchell: Kept up to date with all aspects of my case. Went above and beyond to get the right outcome, even if that meant working late or emailing at weekends. All team members had a good knowledge of the case and were able to advise us. Friendly and knowledgeable, happily recommend them.” - 5 star Trustpilot review by Justine Cull

“Thank you so much for all you have done. The standard of your work and ability to listen to me, when we needed you, is astounding. You have given my father and I a voice. I have been so stressed out by all of this and so has my father. But we don't feel alone with you on our side.” – Ms E

“I am deeply moved by your quick and efficient response and willingness to help. It gives hope to see even that even when faced with brick walls, there are those who are there provide a ladder and help you up and over.”– Mr N


I write regularly about public law, human rights, legal aid and access to justice for Legal Action, The Justice Gap, Legal Voice and Socialist Lawyer. I have also written for Solicitors Journal, Huffington Post, openDemocracy and the Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law.

What inspired you to get into law?

I wanted to use the law to help people who need it most and also, where possible, to affect positive social change. The work we do in the Public Law & Human Rights team can benefit not only our individual clients, but also wider groups in society. For example, while working as a paralegal in the team, I assisted on a successful challenge to the closure of a soup kitchen in Walthamstow (Blake & Others v London Borough of Waltham Forest [2014] EWHC 1027 (Admin)).

What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?

It's incredibly rewarding to successfully challenge unlawful conduct by state bodies, but the most important thing is achieving a positive outcome for our clients and protecting their rights.

What do you like about working at Irwin Mitchell?

I work with fantastic colleagues on important cases which can change people’s lives, and throughout the firm the range of expertise we have is unrivalled – whatever legal problem a client has, there is likely to be someone at Irwin Mitchell who knows the answer.

What do you do away from the office?

I campaign for legal aid and access to justice as co-chair of Young Legal Aid Lawyers, I volunteer for a homeless charity and I try to run the occasional half-marathon (my single attempt at a marathon to date was not a resounding success). I have also taken part in two successful attempts to break the world record for the longest ever football match. Sadly I think my days as a world record breaking athlete are some way behind me.

Read My Comments On The Latest News

  • 18/06/2019
    Legal Aid Practitioners Group Honour Irwin Mitchell Lawyer With A Special Award

    “For 17 years, the LALYs have been recognised as the ‘Oscars’ of the grassroots legal aid profession, so to be presented with a Special Award is a major honour. Everyone on the Public Law team is proud of Oliver’s achievement. It is a great feeling to see one of our own recognised in this way. Not only is this award big news for Oliver and the firm, but will doubtless prove an inspiration to other young lawyers facing challenges and we and our clients are lucky to have him on our team.”

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  • 26/02/2019
    Family Speaks Out Following Inquest Into Death Of Christopher Moss

    “In 2017 HM Chief Inspector of Prisons published a report into HMP Featherstone which was critical of the very high levels of violence and intimidation within the prison. "Christopher was described by a number of staff as a 'model prisoner', but the jury heard that he had reported threats from other prisoners who were reportedly pressuring him to bring drugs into the prison from the visits centre. "On the days before his death, Christopher spoke to prison staff a number of times about these threats, and asked to move to the segregation unit for his own safety. Sadly, this request was declined. There was also a delay in accessing Christopher's cell after medical assistance was called for, during which there may have been an opportunity to save his life. “Since Christopher’s death, his family have had concerns about whether the problems with safety and violence at HMP Featherstone may have been a factor in his unexpected death. They hope that lessons will be learned from this tragic case.”

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  • 30/01/2019
    Campaigners Set For Legal Challenge Over Plans To Reduce Beds And Close Community Hospitals Across North Staffordshire

    "The announcement has caused a great deal of concern to many residents in the area who believe that the decision will harm NHS services. “Those opposed to the decision would like to work with the clinical commissioning groups to find a solution but so far have been left frustrated by the response. “Campaigners feel they have no alternative but to start the legal process and so have asked Irwin Mitchell to investigate the legality of the decision and the consultation process. “We would urge the clinical commissioning groups to enter into talks with campaigners to find a solution agreeable to all parties.”

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  • 19/12/2018
    Coroner Calls for Lessons To Be Learned Following Death Of Immigration Detainee

    “The inquest has been a deeply emotional time for Michal’s family. Hearing about his final hours, and reliving their devastating loss has been traumatising and upsetting. “The jury heard that Michal was looking forward to being released from prison on 7 December 2017, restarting his life in the UK and his relationship with his partner. Unfortunately, he was only told that morning that the Home Office would be detaining him beyond his release date. “The jury heard that Michal was told he would be removed from the UK, but he is unlikely to have understood that he had a right to appeal the decision to deport him. The documents from the Home Office were only provided to him in English, and the immigration officer who was present in the prison that day did not speak to Michal. “We know Michal would have found it difficult to access specialist legal advice to appeal against deportation, but with advice from an immigration lawyer he could have proved to the Home Office that he had been living and working in the UK for 12 years and that he should not be deported. “Tragically, just hours after being told that he wouldn’t be released, Michal jumped from the first floor landing in the prison and suffered a fatal head injury. “While nothing will change what they have been through, the inquest has raised important points regarding the support Michal was given after he received the paperwork from the Home Office. Hopefully these lessons will be learned not just here but nationally too. “We will continue to work with Michal’s family, and ensure they receive the support they need.”

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