Monica Kreel

Monica Kreel

Monica Kreel

Solicitor (Supervisor) Date of Qualification: October 2014

Monica has experience of a wide range of community care, public law, discrimination, human rights and Court of Protection cases.

Her community care work includes obtaining care packages for disabled people and obtaining accommodation and financial support for disabled 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 and damages claims in the County Court.

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. Monica has recently become an Accredited Legal Representative which means she can be appointed by the Court of Protection to act for protected parties without a litigation friend. 

Monica’s community care work includes representing 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 and Equality Act where they have been abused in care homes or denied urgently needed services.

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.

She can undertake Legal Aid work and private work.

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
  • Support for disabled migrants
  • 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

AT and KT v London Borough of Haringey (2017) Claim under the Equality Act and Human Rights Act against the council’s Children’s Services department for refusing to provide services to a child with autism due to the council’s discriminatory policies. Following legal proceedings, the London Borough of Haringey withdrew their policies for disabled children, acknowledging that they directly discriminated against children with autism. Substantial damages were paid to the family. The council also agreed to carry out an audit of families previous affected by the policy and inform these families that they may have been entitled to social care support.

RO by his litigation friend the Official Solicitor v London Borough of Newham (2017) In this case, RO, an adult with mental health problems and a learning disability was taken by social workers and the police to a residential setting where he was deprived of his liberty. His mental capacity to make this decision had not been properly assessed. The Court of Protection decided that he lacked mental capacity to choose where to live and agreed and that he should be allowed to return to his family home.

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 living in supported accommodation. She was awarded substantial damages. The local authority was also agreed to carry out a thorough and legally compliant Safeguarding Adult Review

R(AK) v London Borough of Lewisham Judicial review of the failure of social services to provide services to a terminally ill destitute asylum seeker so that she could leave hospital. An injunction was obtained which ordered social services to provide accommodation and care.

London Borough of Brent v AC (2016). A Court of Protection case where 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 DWP also agreed to review its guidance about appointeeships.

R(JC) v Essex County Council (2015) 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 (MK) v London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (2013) Judicial review of a local authority’s decision to refuse to accommodate a destitute teenager, separating her from her cousins and aunt who she had grown up with.

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