Avril has a busy Court of Protection practice and provides representation in both health and welfare and property and financial affairs matters.
Avril has been instructed by the Official Solicitor, family members, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Health Boards, and Local Authorities in section 21A and section 16 proceedings.
Avril is also instructed in Forced Marriage Protection Order proceedings, fact finding hearings involving allegations of sexual abuse, proceedings where the interface between the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Mental Health Act 1983 is in issue, case invoking the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court, and nearest relative displacement applications under the Mental Health Act 1983.
In respect of property and financial affairs proceedings, Avril is regularly instructed by the Public Guardian in a variety of proceedings, including where there are concerns in respect of the execution and operation of Lasting Powers of Attorney, and the time-limited appointment of deputies. Avril is also instructed by family members in challenging applications to revoke their Lasting Powers of Attorney and in applications for statutory wills.
Avril has an advisory practice in mental capacity and community care law and has a growing expertise in cases involving questions of ordinary and habitual residence, care funding disputes under the Care Act 2014, applications for the recognition of foreign protective measures, and the interface between the mental capacity law and SEN law.
Avril is also instructed in damages claims for breaches of Article 8 ECHR,and can draw on her previous experience in Personal Injury proceedings in approaching these claims.
In 2020, Avril was seconded to the Adult Social Care Team of a highly regarding local authority law firm.
Avril has gained extensive experience in the field of public law and human rights. Avril has worked in human rights NGOs and legal advice centres in Germany, Bolivia, the UK, and the Netherlands, including the AIRE Centre where she advised on family reunification and the Citizenship Directive. Through this work, Avril has developed skills for dealing with vulnerable clients, particularly in the fields of LGBT rights, immigration and asylum, access to healthcare, anti-discrimination, and violence against women. Before joining Chambers, Avril taught in the LL.M programme at the Walther Schucking Institute for Public International Law.
Avril is contactable out of hours and is always happy to assist charities and NGO’s on a pro-bono basis.
Avril speaks fluent Irish and German and has a working knowledge of French and Spanish.
Health and Welfare
Re RB [HHJ Cronin]
Avril was instructed by the Official Solicitor in a complex case concerning whether a young woman ought to be forcibly given medical treatment for severe rheumatoid arthritis under restraint. Avril successfully argued, on behalf of the Official Solicitor, that RB had capacity to refuse the treatment and that her decision was unwise rather than incapacitous.
Re FH [Lieven J.]
Avril is instructed in ongoing FMPO and Court of Protection proceedings
Re SA [Newton J.]
Avril appeared in an ex-parte application for non-disclosure of certain pieces of evidence on a protective basis, and persuaded Mr. Justice Newton that SA’s interests outweighed the interests of the implicated party to view and respond to those pieces of evidence.
Re. JC [HHJ Goodwin]
Avril was instructed by the Official Solicitor in a section 21A challenge where those holding a Lasting Power of Attorney were opposed to a move due to the attendant increased cost of care.
Re. BF [DJ Mort]
Avril was instructed by a litigant in person (pro bono through Advocate) in proceedings where contact was in issue between the parties and successfully negotiated changes to a communication and behaviour protocol.
Re. MW [HHJ Plunkett]
Avril was instructed to represent the CCG in a case concerning whether P’s current needs resulted in eligibility for s.117 aftercare
Re. AAM [DJ Beckley]
Avril was instructed to represent the CCG in an application by P’s next of kin to remove her from her current placement..
Re MT [DJ Regan]
Avril was instructed by the Health Board (Wales) in a case where the diagnostic element of the capacity test had not been resolved. While P was found to lack capacity in the relevant domain, the question was still live as to whether she may regain capacity following treatment (if available).
Re. MNP [DDJ Allen]
Avril was instructed by a Local Authority in a dispute as to P’s capacity relating to his residence, care, and contact. Avril was also required to advise on the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court.
Avril was instructed by the Official Solicitor in this section 16 case concerning capacity to consent to sex and to make decisions regarding residence, care and contact. The case involved overlapping issues of mental health law stemming from an extant Guardianship order.
Property and Affairs:
Re. JN [Senior Judge Hilder]
Avril was instructed by the Public Guardian in proceedings investigating P’s retrospective capacity to execute the LPA.
Re. PL [DJ Wilson]
Avril was instructed by the Public Guardian in proceedings where there were allegations of undue influence by the professional deputy in the partial revocation of a joint power of attorney, as well as dispute regarding when a power of attorney is deemed revoked. Avril successfully negotiated a way forward whereby all parties were willing to accept the appointment of a professional panel deputy.
Re. PJL [DJ Beckley]
Avril was instructed by the Public Guardian in a case involving the alleged mismanagement of P’s funds and the payment of retrospective gratuitous care payments.
Re. GAB [DJ Asokan]
Avril was instructed to represent P’s sons in their application to oppose their sister’s registration of an EPA.
Re. EZ [HHJ George]
Avril was instructed by the Public Guardian in proceedings concerning whether the attorney had capacity to act under the LPA and/or had acted contrary to P’s best interests.
Avril has appeared before the First-Tier Tribunal (Mental Health), seeking the release of those detained pursuant under the Mental Health Act 1983.
Secretary of the Human Rights Lawyers Association
Executive committee member, Inner Temple Junior Bar Association
LLB Law and German Trinity College Dublin
LLM Public International Law University of Amsterdam
MSc. European Integration and Development Vrije Universitat Brussels (Free University of Brussels)
PhD Candidate, Walther Schucking Institute for Public International Law, Germany