Eirwen practises in three of chambers’ core areas: employment law, public law and local government, and housing law. Eirwen is especially interested in the application of discrimination and human rights law in all areas of her practice.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Eirwen worked as a political advisor in the House of Commons, as a case worker for a leading community care and education law solicitors’ firm, and for a number of NGOs both in Britain and abroad. She also worked for two years at the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Eirwen is committed to access to justice for all, and will consider taking cases on a pro bono or conditional fee basis where appropriate. She volunteers with the legal charity, Rights of Women, and is a director of the Discrimination Law Association.
- Employment and Discrimination Law
Eirwen completed part of her pupillage under the supervision of John Crosfill. She now regularly appears in the employment tribunal for both employees and employers, and has also appeared in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Eirwen has been instructed in cases involving unfair and wrongful dismissal; constructive dismissal; TUPE-related dismissals; health and safety related dismissals; whistle-blowing; discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, age, marital status, pregnancy and disability; victimisation and harassment; failures to make reasonable adjustments; construction of employment contracts; wages claims; and jurisdictional issues. During pupillage she also gained experience of cases involving restraints of trade.
Eirwen was a member of the Employment Lawyers Association working group on the BIS consultation on tips, gratuities and service charges.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Eirwen worked for the Equality and Human Rights Commission where she developed an interest in equality and discrimination law, both within and outside the employment field.
- Public Law and Local Government
Eirwen accepts instructions on behalf of both claimants and local authorities in matters relating to children’s and adult social services. She is particularly interested in and has acted in judicial review proceedings concerning the provision of social care services to those with no recourse to public funds, local authorities’ responsibilities under Part III of the Children Act 1989, and the relationship between housing and community care legislation. She is a regular contributor to Local Government Lawyer. Prior to coming to the Bar, Eirwen worked as a case worker with John Ford Solicitors where she gained significant experience of bringing claims for judicial review against local authorities. She is a member of the Women’s Migration and Asylum Network.
Court of Protection and Mental Health
Eirwen completed part of her pupillage under the supervision of Angela Hodes and she is keen to develop her Court of Protection practice, and recently represented the successful Respondent in an appeal in the Court of Protection. She also has experience of county court applications to displace the nearest relative. During pupillage, Eirwen assisted Jonathan Cowen in a number of cases concerning the deprivation of liberty of children without capacity, including Re D (A Child; deprivation of liberty)  EWHC 922 (Fam).
Prior to coming to the Bar Eirwen worked for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and is interested in the application of human rights law in all areas of her practice. She was junior counsel for the Claimants in Williams & Anor v London Borough of Hackney  EWHC 2629 (QB), a High Court negligence and Human Rights Act claim against a local authority, in which Sir Robert Francis QC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, held that the local authority had failed in its obligations under Part III of the Children Act, in breach of the Claimants’ Article 8 rights.
Public Interest Immunity
Eirwen regularly advises local authorities in respect of disclosure obligations and public interest immunity applications.
Eirwen is regularly instructed on behalf of both landlords and tenants in the County Court. She has acted in claims for possession against residential tenants of local authorities, housing associations and private landlords, and claims for possession against trespassers. Cases have concerned the section 21 procedure; rent arrears; anti-social behaviour; death of the tenant; non-occupation; disrepair; oppression in the execution of a warrant; rights of succession; and many other issues. Eirwen has also appeared in High Court judicial review proceedings relating to local authorities’ homelessness obligations.
Eirwen has a particular interest in the use of public law and human rights principles in defending possession proceedings, as well as the application of discrimination law to housing matters. She has successfully defended possession proceedings relying on the public sector equality duty and disability discrimination.
Eirwen is also interested in the relationship between local authorities’ duties under the Housing Acts, the Children Act and the Care Act, and local authority obligations to accommodate care leavers and vulnerable children and adults.
- Notable Cases
R (on the application of W) v London Borough of Hackney and London Borough of Redbridge CO/841/2016 (Admin) – Eirwen represented the Claimant, an 18 year old, in respect of her claim against the authorities for breaches of their obligations under Part III of the Children Act 1989 and Part VII of the Housing Act 1996. Interim relief in the form of accommodation and financial assistance was awarded to the Claimant following a contested hearing and permission for judicial review was granted. The matter settled with the First Defendant agreeing to pay damages for breach of Article 8 rights.
Holman v Devon County Council UKEAT/0127/15/BA – Eirwen represented the successful Appellant in an appeal concerning the employment tribunal’s failure to give adequate reasons for their decision and the correct construction of a contractual term. HHJ Hand QC allowed the appeal on both grounds.
Williams & Anor v London Borough of Hackney  EWHC 2629 (QB) – Eirwen was junior counsel for the Claimants in this negligence and Human Rights Act claim against a local authority. The judge held that the local authority had failed in its obligations under Part III of the Children Act, breaching the Claimants’ Article 8 rights. He awarded £10,000 in damages to each Claimant.
R (on the application of M) v London Borough of Hackney  EWHC 3470 (Admin) – While a caseworker at John Ford Solicitors, Eirwen was part of the team that acted for the successful Claimant. HHJ McKenna found that the local authority’s decision about appropriate care provision for a disabled child, EZM, had been “plainly irrational” as it failed to carry out carers’ assessments of EZM’s parents prior to any decision-making.
Bar Professional Training Course – Outstanding
Graduate Diploma in Law – Distinction
BA (Hons) History – First Class (Warwick)
- Scholarships and Prizes
Queen Mother Scholar, Middle Temple
Certificate of Honour, Middle Temple
Lady Templeman-Master Singhvi Scholar, Middle Temple
Bar Council Law Reform Essay Competition, First Prize
The Times Law Essay Competition, Third Prize
Law Society Graham Turnbull Human Rights Essay Competition, Finalist
The Lawyer Essay Competition, First Prize
Human Rights Lawyers’ Association Bursar
Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
A requirement to work at weekends may indirectly discriminate against women, Discrimination Law Association Briefings, Vol. 59 (November 2016), 32-33, at 812
R (Hottak & anor) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs & another  EWCA Civ 438; May 9, 2016, Discrimination Law Association Briefings, Vol. 58 (July 2016), 785-798, at 789
False imprisonent, causation and damages claims, Local Government Lawyer, 16 June 2016
Age Disputes and Leaving Care Obligations, Local Government Lawyer, 9 April 2015
Placing Children with Family Members, Local Government Lawyer, 22 January 2015
Section 17 and No Recourse to Public Funds, Local Government Lawyer, 15 January 2015
Cuts to the Civil and Criminal Legal Aid Budget, False Economy, 2 June 2013
A Responsibility to Protect: UNHCR and Statelessness in Egypt, New Issues in Refugee Research, January 2013 http://www.unhcr.org/510938469.html
Cameras in Court: Justice’s loss or gain?, The Times, 29 March 2012
Escaping Diplomatic Immunity: the case for diplomatic law reform, The Bar Council, October 2010
- Professional Memberships
Discrimination Law Association (DLA) – Director/Trustee
Employment Lawyers Association (ELA)
Human Rights Lawyers’ Association (HRLA)
Housing Law Practitioners Association (HLPA)
Social Housing Law Association (SHLA)
Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA)
Court of Protection Practitioners Association (COPPA)
Bar Human Rights Committee
Young Legal Aid Lawyers
Society of Labour Lawyers
Bar Pro Bono Unit