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“From assisting on strategic legal challenges to individual discrimination claims, Alice is always a pleasure to work with. She is committed to her cases and is wonderful with clients. Her drafting and written work is thoughtful and thorough and shows she has a real understanding of the legal issues.”

Alice Irving’s practice spans housing and social welfare law, community care, education law and related public law.

Alice has been instructed on a number of cases concerning the rights of disabled individuals and carers. These include judicial reviews challenging local authorities (for example, R (L) v Devon County Council [2020] EWHC 2054 (Admin)) and central government (for example, R (Shaw) v Secretary of State for Education [2020] EWHC 2216 (Admin)). Alice also represents families in the First-tier Tribunal in appeals of Education Health and Care Plans and disability discrimination claims.

As a pupil, Alice appeared regularly in the County Court in small claims trials and infant approval hearings. She has also assisted in a wide range of public law cases, including in a judicial review of a local Clinical Commissioning Group’s decision to restructure a local hospital (Cherwell DC v Oxfordshire CCG [2017] 3349 (Admin)) and a religious freedom of expression challenge to a local authority’s management of a cemetery (R (Haq) v Walsall MBC [2019] EWHC 70 (Admin)).

Alice has contributed to advice for local authorities in relation to data protection in the children’s social care context. She has advised individuals on personal data breaches by local authorities.

Before coming to the bar, Alice completed a Bachelor of Arts in Community and Family Studies, which is the academic portion of a social work training. She also holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Law and was a lecturer at the University of Oxford. Alongside lecturing, she worked as a research assistant for academics, barristers and the Law Commission.

Alice has a particular interest in women’s rights and preventing violence against women. At Oxford, she co-founded the Student Union’s anti-sexual violence campaign, It Happens Here. She worked as a Legal Intern at the Women’s Legal Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. Alice collaborated with Universities UK to promote their ‘Report of the Universities UK Taskforce examining violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting university students’ (2016). She also organised and chaired a panel on sexual violence and the criminal justice system at the inaugural RebLaw UK conference.

Alice has been praised for her manner toward clients and her accessible style when giving written advice. She has experience working with vulnerable clients, as a volunteer at Dunedin Law Centre and an immigration law firm. She has represented a bereaved family at a pre-inquest review and the victim of a homophobic attack in an appeal against the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

Alice has published articles in the Guardian, Huffington Post, UK Human Rights Blog, Counsel Magazine, Legal Action Group Magazine and has contributed content to Special Needs Jungle. She maintains an active professional Twitter account: @AliceLIrving.

Housing and Social Welfare Law

Alice takes instructions spanning all aspects of housing and social welfare law.

Education Law

Alice has appeared in the First-tier Tribunal in appeals of EHC Plans. She has also advised claimants on disability discrimination claims and appeals to the Upper Tribunal. Alice can take instructions on a Direct Access basis.

Public Law

Alice has been instructed in a range of judicial review claims in the field of disability rights. These include:

  • challenging a local authority concerning delays in the finalisation of EHC Plans following annual reviews (R (L) v Devon County Council [2020] EWHC 2054 (Admin));

  • challenging the Secretary of State in relation to the downgrading of legal duties owed to children and young people with EHC Plans during the Covid-19 pandemic (R (Shaw) v Secretary of State for Education [2020] EWHC 2216 (Admin));

  • challenging the Treasury for the failure to increase financial support to recipients of Carer’s Allowance during the Covid-19 pandemic, in line with the increase to Universal Credit (ongoing).