Monica Kreel

Monica Kreel

Monica Kreel

Solicitor

Monica Kreel has experience of a wide range of community care and Court of Protection cases

Her community care work includes obtaining care packages or Disabled Facilities Grants for disabled people and obtaining accommodation and financial support for destitute migrants. She also has experience of NHS continuing care disputes, mental health aftercare and care packages for prisoners. She is prepared to tackle complex cases in the High Court, county court or Court of Protection.

Monica’s mental capacity work includes applications to the Court of Protection to challenge welfare decisions of local authorities, unlawful deprivations of liberty and applications to obtain Deputy orders.

She has represented adults experiencing serious abuse or neglect, to ensure that proper investigations are carried out.

Monica is able to use her knowledge of discrimination law, human rights and public law principles to challenge policies or decisions made by social services or the NHS. She has issued many successful judicial review challenges, obtaining emergency injunctions where necessary. She has also obtained financial compensation for people under the Human Rights Act or Equality Act where they have been abused in care homes or denied services, resulting in serious neglect.

Monica has over 20 years’ experience advocating for the rights of disabled people as a caseworker, policy officer and investigator at local and national organisations including the Royal National Institute for Blind People, the Disability Rights Commission and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. She played a key role in implementing and enforcing the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Equality Act 2010. She qualified as a solicitor in 2014.

Monica is also experienced in delivering training to external organisations.

Area/s of specialism

  • Assessments and services for disabled people
  • Safeguarding disabled people from abuse and neglect
  • Judicial review challenges to community care decisions and policies
  • Disabled Facilities Grants
  • Welfare and Deprivation of Liberty applications in the Court of Protection
  • Support for adults and children with autism
  • Claims for compensation under the Equality Act or Human Rights Act relating to social care

Notable cases/Awards

MI v a London Borough (2017). Compensation claim under the Human Rights Act on behalf a 90 year old woman with advanced dementia who suffered a serious sexual assault while resident in supported accommodation. She was awarded £15,000 in damages. The local authority was also persuaded to carry out a thorough and legally compliant Safeguarding Adult Review

R(P) v A London Borough and a Mental Health Trust (2017). Judicial review of the failure of a London Borough and a Mental Health Trust to lawfully assess an adult with autism before deciding to discharge their mental health aftercare duty or duty to provide care services under the Care Act. The two public authorities agreed to carry out a lawful assessment.

Re AC in the Court of Protection (2016). A local authority was found to have breached the human rights of an adult with autism by failing to manage his welfare benefits correctly leading to him losing his income and missing opportunities to go out and pursue his education and interests. The local authority was also found to have unlawfully deprived him of his liberty. As part of the case, the local authority agreed to carry out a thorough Safeguarding Adult Review which found that the local authority had financially abused the disabled adult. The Court made a finding that his human rights had been breached. The DWP also agreed to review its guidance on accepting applications for appointeeship from local authorities.

R(FY) v London Borough of Hackney. Judicial review of a local authority’s failure to assess a disabled woman under the Care Act, while she was recovering in hospital following a suicide attempt. There was a dispute between two local authorities about who should assess her or provide her with support. Meanwhile she remained in hospital ready for discharge, unable to see her young son due to the risk of hospital acquired infections. After proceedings were issued, Hackney social services agreed to provide accommodation and a support package.

R(JC) v Essex County Council. Judicial review of a local authority’s refusal to assess a child with autism or to provide him with services, despite his very serious needs. A lawful assessment, care package and human rights damages of £7500 were awarded. The local authority agreed to review its policies for the assessment of children.

R(BO) v London Borough of Lewisham (2015) Judicial review of local authority’s failure to lawfully assess or support a migrant family or to take into account the needs of a child who wet himself regularly. The family had been placed in a hotel room 1 ½ hours away from the children’s primary school. After issuing proceedings the local authority agreed to provide adequate accommodation which took into account the children’s needs.

Local Government Ombudsman Complaint 13 005 484 (2014) Complaint against the London Borough of Newham for failing to provide accommodation to a family, leaving an elderly disabled couple separated from each other and from their carers for two months. The complaint was upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman and compensation was awarded to the family.

R (YB) v London Borough of Newham (2012). Judicial review challenge to Newham’s unlawful decision to cut a child’s care package in half without a proper re-assessment. This left the child, who had autism and challenging behaviour, at risk of being restrained by the police. An injunction was obtained to restore the care package.

R(YK) v London Borough of Newham (2012) Judicial review of Newham’s failure to re-house a family that had been waiting for emergency re-housing for over 5 years, leaving a severely disabled child virtually unable to go in or out of the house in her wheelchair and without access to the bathroom.

R (McDonald) v Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea [2011] UKSC 33
Supreme court challenge to local authority’s decision to meet a disabled adult’s night time needs with continence pads instead of a night time carer.

Publications

Disability Discrimination Act Statutory Code of Practice for Employment and Occupation 2004
Disability Discrimination Act Statutory Code of Practice for Trade Organisations and Qualifications Bodies 2004