Olivia Kirkbride

Call 2018

Overview

Olivia is developing a practice across a range of Chambers’ specialisms, with a particular focus on Court of Protection and inquests. Olivia is skilled in navigating cases involving children and vulnerable individuals, having acquired family law experience prior to joining Chambers. She also spent a year working as the Judicial Assistant to the President of the Family Division and the Court of Protection. Olivia is approachable, empathetic and is recognised for her tenacious advocacy. She is shortlisted for the Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year Award 2022 by Advocate.

Olivia is clerked primarily by Tom O’Connor,  Joe Ralph, Jubeda Begum and Josie Ryan.

Olivia has been appointed to the team at Clarke Hall & Morrison on Children, with responsibility for the chapter on Mental Health in Children and Young People.

Olivia has been appointed as secretary to the President of the Family Division and the Court of Protection’s Transparency Implementation Group, where she will work specifically on data strategy and media engagement.

EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE

Olivia has developed a busy healthcare practice, particularly in the Court of Protection and in medical-related inquests. She is regularly instructed by local authorities, NHS Trusts, ICBs, on behalf of P (by the Official Solicitor, RPRs and other litigation friends) and by family members, in a range of matters. Olivia also provides advice in respect of judicial review claims, particularly in the field of health and social care.

She has experience in section 21A matters, in addition to personal welfare applications brought under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Olivia has particular expertise in cases involving children and vulnerable young people, including deprivation of liberty and medical treatment cases under the inherent jurisdiction, bringing with her a family law background. She maintains a discrete family law practice, including private children law and financial remedies.

Olivia has already appeared in several high-profile and challenging matters. She was led in the Court of Appeal in Re AH [2021] EWCA Civ 1768, a successful appeal against an order permitting an NHS Trust to withdraw life sustaining medical treatment from the “most complex Covid patient in the world”. She appeared in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal as sole counsel in the case of Re PZ [2021] EWHC 2294 (Fam). Olivia was recently led by Nageena Khalique KC in a complex inquest involving the death of an individual who was detained under section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Cases & work of note

  • Re G (Court of Protection: Injunction) [2022] EWCA Civ 1312 – Olivia appeared in the Court of Appeal as junior counsel to Michael Mylonas KC, instructed by an NHS Trust and ICB jointly, in a case concerning the legal test to be applied in the Court of Protection when considering an application for an injunction.
  • Reading Borough Council v P and others [2022] EWCOP 27 – The Court of Protection considered the issue of where it was in P’s best interests to reside and receive care and support, in circumstances where various family members had expressed conflicting views.
  • Re AH [2021] EWCA Civ 1768 – Olivia was led in a successful appeal against an order permitting an NHS Trust to withdraw life sustaining medical treatment from P, who was described as the “most complex Covid patient in the world”. The Court of Appeal provided essential guidance in respect of judges meeting ‘P’ in Court of Protection proceedings.
  • Re PZ [2021] EWHC 2294 (Fam) – Olivia appeared in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal as sole counsel, in a case involving the withdrawal of life sustaining medical treatment from a child.

Publications

  • Olivia has published/contributed to a number of articles which have appeared in Lexis PSL, Family Law Week, and the Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law.
  • Olivia was recently appointed to the team at Clarke Hall & Morrison on Children, with responsibility for the chapter on Mental Health in Children and Young People.

Seminars & talks

Olivia has delivered a number of talks and seminars, including for the Medical Defence Union and other private organisations.

Prior to the Bar

Prior to joining the Bar, Olivia spent a year working as the Judicial Assistant to Sir Andrew McFarlane, the President of the Family Division and the Court of Protection. She also worked with various judges of the Court of Appeal and the High Court, on a range of complex matters. Olivia conducted legal research, assisted with speech writing and offered preliminary viewpoints on the merits of cases, both at first instance and at appeal.

Whilst studying for her LLM, Olivia volunteered with the Free Representation Unit and taught debating to young offenders, as part of prison-mentoring scheme Vocalise. She also worked with the British Institute for International and Comparative Law and has appeared in the Ethiopian Yearbook of International Law.

Recommendations

“Olivia is astute and her preparation is of a very high standard. She is not only a very persuasive advocate, but she has a way of assuring vulnerable/anxious clients and putting them at ease. She always delivers on the briefs given to her. She has firm and confident negotiation skills. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Olivia.”
Instructing Solicitor

Qualifications and awards

  • BA (Hons) Theology, University of Cambridge
  • GDL, University of Law
  • BPTC with LL.M Legal Practice (Outstanding), BPP Law School
  • LLM (Distinction), UCL

Olivia was awarded a full scholarship for the GDL and the Gray’s Inn Steen Award for the BPTC. In December 2021, Olivia was appointed as Secretary to the PFD’s Transparency Implementation Group; she works closely with members of the judiciary, legal professionals, media representatives and academics/researchers in developing data strategies and media engagement, with a view to increasing transparency in the justice system. She is shortlisted for Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year at the Advocate Awards 2022.

Privacy

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

FURTHER INFORMATION

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