Ciara is committed to promoting the rights of the disadvantaged and is adept at working with vulnerable clients, particularly those with issues around mental health, substance misuse and offending behaviour.

Overview

Ciara has a multi-disciplinary practice, regularly receiving instructions to represent bereaved families at both article 2 and non-article 2 inquests. Ciara’s practice spans Housing, Immigration, Mental Health, Prison and Public Law. This multi-disciplinary practice enables her to offer holistic advice and representation. Overall, Ciara has been complimented on her calm, compassionate approach and enjoys working in areas where this is most needed.

Prior to the Bar, Ciara worked as a local authority homeless prevention officer advocating on behalf of young people and care leavers for suitable accommodation and improved access to services. As a result of this work, she has a keen interest in ensuring that her clients know and can access the range of services available to them and is well-versed in the duties owed by public bodies.

Ciara has achieved academic success finishing top of her class following her BPTC in 2016/2017. During her studies, she volunteered at the Greater Manchester Law Centre representing clients in welfare benefit appeals and also at the Personal Support Unit supporting litigants in person. Ciara is an active mentor, Young Legal Aid Lawyers committee member and trustee at the Greater Manchester Law Centre.

Ciara's pronouns are she/her or they/them.

Inquests & public inquiries

Ciara regularly represents bereaved families at inquests where their loved ones have died in custody, hospital or in the community. She frequently draws on her experience in prison law, mental health and community care when making submissions on disclosure and the engagement of article 2 ECHR. Some of Ciara’s recent cases include the death of a person in custody where neglect may be in issue, the death of a man on a party boat outside the UK and deaths in the community where there has been multi-agency involvement, including children services, community mental health and probation.

From December 2020 until February 2021, Ciara was engaged on a part-time secondment in the Inquests department at Broudie Jackson Canter. During her secondment, Ciara provided technical support, training and supervision to the team.

Ciara also has experience in Judicial Review and advising on civil actions.

Public law

Before joining GCN as a pupil in 2018, Ciara regularly represented clients in ESA appeals through her work at the Greater Manchester Law Centre. More recently, Ciara has worked closely with Tom Royston on a number of Judicial Review claims including R (Kauser and JL) v SSWP where the Secretary of State conceded operating an unlawful policy of refusing Universal Credit (‘UC’) claims for disabled students (see our press release here).

Ciara was also junior counsel to Tom in the case of R (Caine) v SSWP [2020] EWHC 2482 (Admin) (a challenge to the calculation of the housing costs element of UC). Although unsuccessful, Mr Justice Julian Knowles praised both Ciara and Tom for the ‘manifest skill’ with which they had prepared and presented the claim.

Ciara also appeared before UT Judge Ward in the reported case of MOC v SSWP [2020] UKUT 134 (AAC), [2020] PTSR 1337. Unfortunately, due to a period of ill-health, Ciara was unable to continue with the appeal but was successful in obtaining permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Community care & mental health

Ciara has experience representing both restricted and unrestricted patients detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. As with other work, her background lends itself to representing young people and she has a particular interest in representing children and young people diagnosed with eating disorders.

Housing

Ciara has a broad housing practice covering possession, unlawful eviction, homelessness and injunction proceedings. She is particularly interested in cases that engage the Equality Act 2010 and those that incorporate community care elements.

Immigration & Asylum

Ciara is regularly instructed in asylum, human rights, and deportation appeals, and bail applications. She has represented clients in both the First-tier and Upper Tribunals. Ciara’s experience working with young people and careleavers makes her particularly well-suited to representing unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

Memberships

  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers committee member
  • Greater Manchester Law Centre trustee
  • Women in the Law UK
  • BLAGG
  • FreeBar

Privacy Notice

Ciara’s Privacy Notice may be viewed by clicking here

 

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