Mike O’Brien is a former Law Officer and advised the government on legal issues. He was Solicitor General for England and Wales from 2005 to 2007, and served for thirteen years as a Government Minister. This includes being a Home Office Minister and the Minister of State for Health until May 2010. He therefore has an in depth knowledge of how the public sector operates at the national and local level and understands the NHS. He took through the House of Commons new legislation on health, as well as the Human Rights Act, the Freedom of Information Act, two pensions Acts and oversaw implementation of the Data Protection Act. He has lectured and written on the new Health and Social Care Act including conducting in house seminars for specialist firms on the implications of the new law.
Since joining No5 Chambers last year Mike has worked on judicial review cases including on local government and health related matters. He has advised on procurement cases involving in local government and health areas. In addition, he has recently acted in a 30m trust dispute over the ownership of a chain of businesses which was resolved privately and also in series of personal injury claims, including medical negligence.
He recently acted in an internal dispute within a national professional organisation as part of a developing interest in disciplinary and regulatory law.
Mike has a keen interest in Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act cases and both advised local authorities and others, as well as lectured on the subject.
Mike initially trained as a solicitor in Birmingham. He was a lecturer in Contract and Business Law from 1981 to 1987 before practicing as a solicitor in London and later the Midlands. He was on his feet in court on a daily basis as a solicitor advocate for some years before being elected to Parliament in 1992. He is a member of Her Majesties Privy Council and was appointed by HM as a Queens Counsel in 2007. He transferred to the Bar and joined No5 Chambers in early 2011.
This gives clients the opportunity to brief counsel with an extensive experience of how the public sector works, as well as the person who brought into the law many important Acts of Parliament. Although he was made a QC in 2007, Mike is currently building up his client base and hence has accepted a wide range of work as a junior because the key thing for him is to attract a range of interesting cases.
HM Privy Council