Court of Protection
“She’s really clever and understatedly so. Her drafting is brilliant, her advice, both written and oral, is really thorough, and she has very good knowledge of all of the elements of Court of Protection cases.”
Chambers & Partners
Assisted dying challenge in High Court
Noel Conway’s landmark claim attempting to change the law to permit assisted dying is before the High Court this week. Amy Street was instructed by the prospective claimant in the case before starting parental leave.
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experience & expertise
Amy is a leading Court of Protection practitioner with a reputation for work on novel and complex legal and ethical issues. She has particular expertise on deprivation of liberty and other human rights issues.
Amy acts on behalf of all parties in Court of Protection work, including families, NHS Trusts, local authorities, schools, charities etc, and is frequently instructed as counsel of choice by the Official Solicitor on behalf of the person at the centre of the case. She works on both medical and welfare cases.
She has extensive experience acting in High Court ‘medical ethics’ best interests cases in relation to both children and adults (the latter now in the Court of Protection). She has been involved in countless cases giving rise to some of the most difficult human issues which the courts encounter, often concerning life, death and fundamental human rights, such as withdrawal of treatment, withdrawal of nutrition and hydration from patients in persistent vegetative state, forced sterilisation of adults with learning disabilities, and force-feeding.
Amy has been involved in particularly challenging welfare cases including those where the court has been asked to sanction taking people lacking capacity away from their partners, against their wishes but in their own best interests.
Amy has particular expertise in deprivation of liberty and other human rights work. She has been instructed in ground-breaking cases of legal and social significance such as Cheshire West in the Supreme Court (about the test for deprivation of liberty in social care placements); and G v E which resulted in four separate judgments on significant points of developing law (human rights breaches by a local authority which unjustifiably removed a vulnerable young man with severe learning disabilities from his foster carer; the appointment of deputies; anonymity; and costs) and reached the Court of Appeal twice.
reported cases and selected other work of note
Amy has appeared in leading cases at appellate level as well as at first instance.
- Re JM and others (Incapacitated Persons) (Deprivation of Liberty: Appointment of Representatives)  EWCOP 15;  4 WLR 64.
Significant Court of Protection (High Court level) case addressing the implications of Cheshire West: how people lacking capacity are to be represented in applications to authorise their deprivation of liberty. Co-instructed with Bridget Dolan QC, responsible for drafting skeleton argument on behalf of the Official Solicitor.
- Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust v ML  EWCOP 2;  COPLR 439.
Court of Protection (High Court level) case on deprivation of liberty and the interaction between the Mental Capacity Act 2005 / Mental Health Act 1983. Context was whether it was in the best interests of a young adult with severe learning disabilities and autism to move from his parents’ home to a psychiatric hospital. Instructed as sole counsel on behalf of the Official Solicitor (alternative counsel took over final stage of hearing when it overran). Role included the development and drafting of legal argument on complex statutory provisions.
- Norfolk CC v PB Court of Protection  EWCOP 14;  COPLR 118.
Court of Protection (High Court level) case on legal issues relating to the test for capacity and the relevance of influence under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Context was whether it was in the best interests of a 79 year old woman with psychiatric illness to be deprived of her liberty in a care home away from her husband. Instructed as sole counsel on behalf of the Official Solicitor. Role included devising a plan to ensure that the woman’s wishes and feelings were put across properly, and developing and presenting legal argument.
- Cheshire West and Chester Council v P  UKSC 19;  AC 896.
Part of the winning team in this landmark Supreme Court human rights case, which clarified the test for deprivation of liberty, establishing that people lacking capacity in social care settings are entitled to the same protection as those with capacity. Extensive analysis of European Court of Human Rights case law. Instructed at Supreme Court stage on behalf of the Official Solicitor, led by Richard Gordon QC, in particular to carry out legal research, legal analysis and develop / draft legal argument.
- An NHS Trust v A  EWHC 2442 (COP);  Fam 161.
Court of Protection (High Court level) case about whether a delusional, hunger-striking asylum seeker should be force-fed and deprived of liberty. Led by Angus Moon QC, instructed on behalf of the Official Solicitor. Brought in to develop / draft legal argument when issues arose about the interaction of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 / Mental Health Act 1983.
- A Local Authority v K  EWHC 242 (COP);  1 FCR 209.
Court of Protection (High Court level) case, as sole counsel on behalf of the Official Solicitor, successfully resisting an application for a young woman with Down’s syndrome to be sterilised. The court gave important guidance on how non-therapeutic sterilisation cases should be managed.
- An NHS Trust v DE  EWHC 2562 (Fam);  3 FCR 343.
Court of Protection (High Court level) case: the first time the courts had authorised the non-therapeutic sterilisation of a man without the capacity to decide for himself, as being in his best interests. Amy was specifically instructed by the Official Solicitor who was safeguarding the man’s interests, to assist Angus Moon QC by carrying out legal research on similar cases in foreign jurisdictions and to draft relevant parts of the skeleton argument.
- An NHS Trust v K  EWHC 2922 (COP);  1 FCR 190.
Court of Protection (High Court level) case on whether a woman with schizophrenia and cancer should undergo a potentially life-saving, but itself high risk, operation against her wishes. Instructed on behalf of the Official Solicitor as sole counsel in this high pressure litigation.
- G v E (Costs)  EWCA Civ 939;  2 FLR 1297.
Successful appearance as sole counsel in the Court of Appeal on behalf of the Official Solicitor, upholding the judge’s award of costs (contrary to the general rule that there be no order for costs) on the indemnity basis. Significant in the developing case law on costs in the Court of Protection.
- PH v A Local Authority  EWHC 1704 (Fam).
Court of Protection (High Court level) case where the court gave guidance on the principles to be applied when addressing questions of capacity. Context was whether a man with Huntingdon’s disease should return to his partner or remain deprived of liberty in a care home under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. Capacity was tried as a preliminary issue. Instructed as sole counsel on behalf of the partner.
- C v A Local Authority  EWHC 1539 (Admin);  Med LR 415.
Judicial review and Court of Protection case (High Court level) about a ‘blue room’ at a residential special school where a young man with severe autism and learning disabilities had been secluded. The court gave guidance on human rights and the lawful use of seclusion. Instructed on behalf of the school as sole counsel.
- TTM v Hackney LBC  EWCA Civ 4;  1 WLR 2873.
Part of the successful team in Court of Appeal case confirming the right to seek damages for unlawful detention under the Mental Health Act 1983. Amy was instructed at Court of Appeal stage on behalf of the patient, led by Richard Gordon QC, on the complex legal point whether the local authority, which had unlawfully applied for the admission, could escape liability because the hospital had detained the patient lawfully under s6(3) MHA.
- G v E (Costs)  EWHC 3385 (Fam);  1 FLR 1566.
Court of Protection (High Court level) case in which the judge awarded Amy’s client costs (contrary to the general rule that there be no order for costs) on the indemnity basis. (See Court of Appeal entry above)
- A Council v X (2010, unreported).
Court of Protection (High Court level) case in which the court made the exceptional decision that it was not in the best interests of a 94 year old dementia sufferer to have contact with her daughter. Instructed on behalf of the Official Solicitor as sole counsel.
- G v E  EWHC 2512 (Fam);  1 FLR 1652.
Court of Protection (High Court level) case where the court gave guidance on the circumstances in which a deputy should be appointed: of significance in the developing case law of the Court of Protection and of practical importance in relation to the care of vulnerable people. Instructed on behalf of the Official Solicitor as sole counsel.
- G v E  EWHC 2042 (Fam);  MHLR 407.
Court of Protection (High Court level) case in which the court authorised the naming of a local authority which had breached the human rights of a person lacking capacity. Instructed on behalf of the Official Solicitor as sole counsel. Significant in terms of increasing the transparency of the Court of Protection and holding public bodies who have acted unlawfully to account.
- G v E  EWCA Civ 822;  Fam 78.
Part of successful team in Court of Appeal case, instructed on behalf of the Official Solicitor, led by Richard Gordon QC, on the legal question whether Article 5 ECHR imposed threshold conditions before the court could consider whether it was in a person’s best interests to be deprived of liberty under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Of significance to the growing body of case law relating to the Court of Protection and deprivation of liberty.
- Re A  EWHC 978 (Fam);  2 FLR 1363.
Court of Protection and High Court case on deprivation of liberty in the family home. Parents locked their (adult and minor) children, who suffered from a genetic condition causing severe challenging behaviour, in their bedrooms at night to manage the behaviour. Significant case in the developing case law on deprivation of liberty, in particular the duties of local authorities in relation to ‘private’ deprivations of liberty. Led by Alison Ball QC on behalf of the Official Solicitor.
- G v E  EWHC 621 (Fam);  2 FLR 294.
Court of Protection (High Court level) case in which Amy obtained the first declarations under the Human Rights Act 1998 in the Court of Protection on behalf of a vulnerable adult who had been unlawfully deprived of liberty by a local authority. Instructed as sole counsel on behalf of the Official Solicitor.
- Re B (A Child) (Medical Treatment)  EWHC 1996 (Fam);  1 FLR 1264.
High Court case about the circumstances in which it would be in a child’s best interests not to receive intensive resuscitation. Sole counsel on behalf of an NHS Trust.
- An NHS Trust v D  EWHC 2439 (Fam);  1 FLR 638.
Amy was instructed as sole counsel on behalf of a family which vigorously opposed a hospital’s application that it would be in the best interests of a 32 year old woman with a terminal condition to withhold life-prolonging treatment.
“She’s got a brain the size of a planet, and she’s an extremely smooth and persuasive advocate.” “She is also hugely adept at handling high-profile and urgent medical treatment matters.”
Chambers & Partners
“She is well prepared, very energetic, works very hard and her court orders are very good. She is outstandingly clear.” “Has all the facts at her fingertips and is prepared in great detail. An extremely helpful and co-operative opponent.”
Chambers & Partners
“She’s appropriately persistent in court, and particularly good with intricate legal complexities.”
Chambers & Partners
“Popular with the Official Solicitor, and a leading Court of Protection practitioner who has acted in a string of landmark cases. She has marked strength in deprivation of liberty matters and human rights issues. ‘Her knowledge of human rights law brings an added dimension to her Court of Protection work.'”
Chambers & Partners
“Also at this set is Amy Street, who is a recognised leader on Court of Protection matters concerning health and welfare. She recently acted in G v E, Manchester City Council & F, a case which focused on a local authority’s removal of a disabled man from his foster mother. Sources praise her for being, ‘just so approachable and having a good understanding of clients’ needs.'”
Chambers & Partners
Ongoing: Law reporter and commentator, Medical Law Reports
Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law, Bloomsbury Professional, 3rd Edition (2016), co-author