Rachel’s practice in public law is primarily related to deprivation of liberty issues, and she has particular experience in Court of Protection proceedings and inquests concerning deaths that occurred in state custody.
Rachel’s recent cases and experience include:
R (Gourlay) v The Secretary of State for Justice and Others  EWHC (Admin), a judicial review considering the adequacy of rehabilitation opportunities for post-tariff prisoners who maintain their innocence, in order to demonstrate a reduction in risk. Rachel was junior counsel for the Claimant, led by Philip Rule.
R v Docherty (Appellant)  UKSC 62, Rachel undertook research for Philip Rule on the retrospectivity of the abolition of IPP sentences ahead of the hearing in which the Supreme Court considered whether the ‘lex mitior’ rule applies within the body of Article 7 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Inquest touching on the death of LM: Rachel drafted grounds for judicial review to challenge a decision made by the Legal Aid Agency to refuse exceptional case funding to allow the deceased’s ex-partner representation at the inquest into her death.
Court of Protection and Mental Health
Rachel has developed a strong Court of Protection practice in relation to both health and welfare and property and affairs. Rachel’s background as a Hospital Manager considering appeals against detention under the Mental Health Act gives her a particular advantage when representing patients in the Mental Health Review Tribunal and when advising on potential claims for damages arising out of an unlawful deprivation of liberty.
Rachel is currently advising on the prospects of a civil claim for damages under the Human Rights Act in circumstances where an elderly lady was deprived of her liberty against her wishes for a period of six years before her case was referred to the Court of Protection. The Court of Protection subsequently decided that it was in her best interests to move to a less restrictive placement in accordance with her wishes. Issues involve limitation periods under the Human Rights Act and the potential for a false imprisonment claim.
Please see Rachel’s Court of Protection profile for more information.
Rachel appears on behalf of family members at inquests, many of which involve deaths in state detention where Article 2 ECHR is engaged.
Rachel recently represented the Care Quality Commission at a 10-day Article 2 inquest involving the death of a patient at a high secure psychiatric hospital. The jury recorded admitted failings (in accordance with Tainton v HM Senior Coroner for Preston and West Lancashire and Lancashire Care NHS Trust  EWHC 1396 (Admin)) relating to missed observations and risk assessments.
Please see Rachel’s Inquests profile for more information.
Rachel has experience of representing clients at prison parole board hearings, adjudication hearings for alleged breaches of prison discipline rules and immigration and asylum tribunals. Rachel is also regularly instructed in relation to appeals under the Road Traffic Act against the revocation of driving licences on immigration or medical grounds.
Bar Professional Training Course; UWE Bristol (Outstanding)
ADR Group Civil and Commercial Mediator
LLB Law; Aberystwyth University
Lincoln’s Inn Hardwicke Scholarship and Buchanan Prize