Amy Street

Call 2002

Overview

Amy specialises in cases involving novel or complex points of law and her approach is applicable across all chambers’ areas of practice. She is regularly instructed at appellate level and at first instance where particular legal issues have been identified. She practices in inquests and coronial law and is an Assistant Coroner. She has a particular reputation for high profile and legally complex public & administrative law (including human rights and constitutional law), medical/welfare law (including Court of Protection, mental health and clinical negligence), and professional discipline/regulatory law (including police law).

Amy is clerked primarily by Tom O’Connor, Louis Lockwood Joe Ralph and Joe Fletcher.

“She’s got a brain the size of a planet, and she’s an extremely smooth and persuasive advocate.”
Chambers & Partners

 

 

Amy Street has been appointed Assistant Coroner for Bedfordshire and Luton.

Experience & Expertise

Amy is an Assistant Coroner and acts in inquests and other aspects of coronial law. This is set out in more detail in her inquests and inquiries profile.

Amy is recognised as a leading public and human rights lawyer (as well as in other subject areas) and brings the rigour of this approach to all her work. She is used to applying her expertise in new contexts and her incisive legal skills are applicable to all areas of chambers’ practice.

Other Aspects of practice

Amy has provided research and writing assistance in relation to competition law.

Since 2009, Amy has been legal advisor to ‘Unreliable Evidence’, BBC Radio 4’s legal discussion programme with Clive Anderson.

 

reported cases and selected unreported work

Amy has acted in leading cases in the Court of Appeal and House of Lords / Supreme Court, as well as at first instance.

  • 2019: Represented a police force in 7-day Article 2 / jury inquest into death of remand prisoner. Multiple interested persons (family, prison, prison healthcare, police force). Deaf prisoner took his own life. Jury found significant failings by prison / prison healthcare but made no criticism of Amy’s client. The coroner will make a report to prevent future deaths. Press coverage can be found here.
  • 2018: Represented an NHS Trust in 6-day jury inquest, conducted until the conclusion of the evidence as if Article 2 were engaged. The deceased died from complications of cocaine. The inquest considered in detail whether his restraint by the police had contributed to his death. The coroner made a report to prevent future deaths.
  • Welsh Ministers v PJ [2018] UKSC 66
    Supreme Court mental health / human rights case: junior for Welsh Ministers led by Richard Gordon QC. Supreme Court confirmed that a community treatment order under the Mental Health Act 1983 cannot authorise a deprivation of liberty under Article 5 ECHR.
  • 2018: Instructed to act as legal adviser to NHS Continuing Healthcare appeal panel convened by a clinical commissioning group.
  • 2018: Advised a local resilience forum in relation to a multi-agency debrief, following a major incident with multiple fatalities, considering in particular how to avoid the debrief coming into conflict with associated inquests. Led by John Beggs QC
  • ARB v IVF Hammersmith Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 2803
    High profile claim by a father for damages against an IVF clinic. Claim related to the birth of his child following the use of an embryo without his consent after his former partner forged his signature. Claim unsuccessful because of the legal policy barring damages for the birth of a child – courts confirmed this applies to breach of contract. Amy was the original junior before starting parental leave (before the High Court hearing) when other juniors took over, led by Michael Mylonas QC.
  • Spencer v Spencer, Hall & Anderson [2018] EWCA Civ 100 and [2016] EWHC 851 (Fam)
    Court of Appeal case on whether posthumous paternity testing on a DNA sample given during medical treatment can be ordered under the inherent jurisdiction. Practical significance for patients giving – and hospitals taking – DNA samples. Legal significance on whether the inherent jurisdiction can unpredictably grant new remedies which interfere with human rights. Led by Michael Mylonas QC. Primary responsibility for drafting skeleton arguments and developing legal argument, including human rights points. Instructed on behalf of the deceased’s mother who opposed testing. Amy was junior in successfully seeking permission to appeal and drafting a skeleton argument, although did not appear at the Court of Appeal hearing: the client was unrepresented and did not appear herself.
  • 2018/2017: Advice to a police force on the power of the police to remove individuals to a place of safety under s136 of the Mental Health Act 1983. Instructed as junior to John Beggs QC and as sole counsel.
  • 2017: Instructed to advise a senior coroner on legal issues arising from a TV production company’s request to film a post-mortem examination in a murder case.
  • Conway v Ministry of Justice: Assisted dying case – Amy was instructed as junior for the prospective claimant before the claim was issued, before starting parental leave in 2016, when other juniors took over, led by Richard Gordon QC. The claim subsequently went up to the Supreme Court where permission to appeal was refused.

Recommendations

The directories recommend Amy as a leading junior for public & administrative law; Court of Protection work; and professional discipline and regulatory law (including police law). Her Court of Protection ranking is the highest available (Band 1).

Clients cited by the directories note that she is phenomenal on paper and in court’, an exceptionally bright barrister who is able to cut through complex issues’ and ‘just so approachable with a good understanding of clients’ needs’.

Other directory editorial has included the following:

publications:

Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law, Bloomsbury Professional, 3rd Edition (2016), co-author

Judicial review and the Rule of Law: Who is in control?, The Constitution Society, 2013 (sole author)

Select Committees and Coercive Powers – Clarity or Confusion?, The Constitution Society, 2012, co-author with Richard Gordon QC

articles

Amy contributes to the UK Inquest Law Blog. Recent posts:

  • The Grenfell Tower fire ‘Preventing Future Deaths’ report: the breadth and the limitations of PFDs. http://ukinquestlawblog.co.uk/rss-feed/113-grenfell-pfd-reports
  • Inexperienced Pathologists and Costs against Coroners http://ukinquestlawblog.co.uk/rss-feed/105-amy-street
  • Protecting Vulnerable Witnesses in Coroners Court http://ukinquestlawblog.co.uk/rss-feed/97-protecting-vulnerable-witnesses-in-coroners-courts

Amy has recently reported on the following cases for the Medical Law Reports:

  • R (Speck) v HM Coroner for District of York and Ors  [2016] EWHC 6 (Admin) [2016] Med LR 103 Judicial review – Inquests – Scope of inquest – Article 2 ECHR – Right to life – State’s procedural obligation to investigate death – Policy and resources – Causative link with death – Coroner’s duty to investigate – Coroner’s discretion to investigate – Mental Health Act 1983 – Place of safety.
  • Staffordshire CC v SRK [2016] EWCOP 27[2016] Med LR 398Human rights – Mental capacity – Personal injury – Deprivation of liberty – Attribution of responsibility to state – Whether state responsible for deprivation of liberty – Whether authorisation of deprivation of liberty by Court of Protection required.
  • Re G (An Adult) [2015] EWCA Civ 446 [2015] Med LR 249Costs – Mental Capacity – Mental Capacity Act 2005 – Court of Protection Rules 2007 – Personal welfare proceedings – Departure from general rule of no costs order – Proportionate costs order.
  • St George’s HC NHS Trust v P [2015] EWCOP 42[2015] Med LR 463 Mental capacity – Best interests – Withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment – Minimally conscious state – Assessment of disorder of consciousness – SMART assessment – Mental Capacity Act 2005.
  • Notts Healthcare NHS Trust v RC [2014] EWCOP 1317 [2014] Med LR 260 Mental capacity – Mental health – Human rights – Refusal of life-saving treatment on religious grounds – Advance decision – Right to life – Lawfulness of clinician’s decision not to treat.
  • Aintree V James [2013] UKSC 67 [2014] Med LR 1 Mental Capacity Act 2005 – Adult – Best interests – Withholding of life sustaining medical treatment – Futility of medical treatment.

 

reflections

I’m excited by the process of working out what a case is really about, weaving human narrative with legal argument to drive it home.

It’s so important to find out what my client really wants. However interesting the legal points, I’m not doing my job properly unless I’m arguing my client’s case.

I really enjoy working in a team where everyone’s individual skills can be pooled and put to best use.

“Law is about creativity. At first it seems to be all about fixed rules. But in fact these just provide the framework for making (or responding to) arguments about how things could be different.”

I take pride in clear, elegant writing using everyday language rather than convoluted legal jargon.

I’ve learnt from the best, having worked with leaders on all sorts of cases up to the Supreme Court. I’ve had satisfying moments realising that I have emulated aspects of their work which I have so admired.

Law is about creativity. At first it seems to be all about fixed rules. But in fact these just provide the framework for making (or responding to) arguments about how things could be different.

I try to apply what I learn in different subject areas to all my work.

The rigour of a public law approach is particularly important to me. It’s critical not to skip over the fundamental question of whether there is a legal basis for whatever is proposed.

I’m most proud of cases where, from an unpromising set of facts, I’ve developed compelling legal argument which has led to a much better result than was predicted at the outset.

privacy

Amy adopts and adheres to the provisions of the privacy notice which can be accessed here.

further information

For further details of Amy’s practice please click on the links to the left or contact a member of the clerking or client service team.

Bar Council Membership No: 44430
Registered Name: Amy Caroline Street
VAT Registration No: 848549377