Miriam is a very experienced barrister specialising in education law, human rights and equality. She has extensive experience in advising educational providers, local authorities and families in education law disputes, from early years to higher education.  Miriam provides advice and representation on admissions, exclusions, SEND, discrimination, school complaints, OFSTED and OIA matters.  Miriam acts for a full range of clients in this field and past and present clients include schools (maintained, independent and academies), parents, students, local authorities, universities and FE colleges.  She appears regularly in SENDIST appeals including highly complex multi-day extended appeals and disability discrimination claims both in the First-Tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal.

Miriam has a strong practice in judicial review claims in the field of education and equality acting for claimants, defendants and interested parties, having practiced public law throughout her practice.  Miriam has particular expertise in discrimination law and claims under the Equality Act 2010.

Throughout her career, Miriam has been actively involved in human rights and human rights claims regularly arise in most of her areas of practice. She has considerable experience of advising both individuals and public authorities on their rights and duties. Her experience ranges from litigation before the European Court of Human Rights, lecturing and training lawyers and judges to work with grass roots organisations and advisory and advocacy work at the Bar. Miriam has a strong background in litigation before the European Court of Human Rights having represented over 20 claimants before the Court. Through funding from the European Commission, she has trained lawyers and judges in Russia and OSCE countries, and has lectured extensively on human rights.  In her Chambers, Miriam is often called to advise in other cases involving complex human rights points such as extraterritoriality or statelessness in family law cases.

As part of her practice, Miriam continues to advise and represent migrants in respect of nationality, asylum and human rights cases, often acting pro-bono for Advocate and NGOs.

Miriam is registered for public access and has the litigation extension that allows her to represent clients directly.  She enjoys working closely with clients and accepts instructions widely from members of the public.

Miriam’s approach is collaborative and collegiate and she always strives to find the most cost-effective solution for her clients.  She enjoys training and engaging with individuals, educators and local authority professionals in understanding and applying the framework of law and policy.

In 2023 Miriam successfully helped Chambers win the tender for the London Legal Borough Alliance in respect of education law work.

Miriam is a qualified mediator in disputes within her areas of practice.

Key cases

TTT, R (On the Application Of) v X School (Defendant) and HKW (Interested Party) [2023] [Judgment pending]:  Acting for the Local Authority in respect of a judicial review claim against the School’s ban on Muslim prayers on school and exclusions of a pupil. Miriam’s client is a highly diverse local authority in a deprived area of England.

Sharp, R (On the Application Of) v Office of the Schools Adjudicator [2003] EWHC 1242 (Admin): Miriam represented a large multi-academy trust in respect of a complex claim brought against the Office of the Schools Adjudicator on the admission arrangements of the academy.  Judge Ockleton and OSA thanked Miriam for the clarity of submissions on admissions.  The Department for Education intervened.

R (on the application of Alfred McConnell) & YY (by his litigation friend Claire Brooks) v The Registrar General for England and Wales & SSHSC & Minister for Women and Equalities & SSHD & AIRE Centre [2019] EWHC 2384 (Fam): Miriam represented Mr McConnell in respect of a claim under the Equality and Human Rights Acts that as a transgender birth parent, he had a right to register the birth of his child as ‘father.’ *Following this judgment, Miriam is also acting for Mr McConnell in relation to a pending case before the European Court of Human Rights.

GK v London Borough of Hackney (2022): Acting in complex disability discrimination claim in circumstances where there were serious safeguarding issues related to a child missing education.  UTJ Rowley dismissed the claim and agreed with Miriam’s submissions on the scope of the duties under section 19 of the Education Act and her interpretation of existing caselaw. Steve Broach represented parents.

MW v London Borough of Sutton (2022):  Representing LA in the FTT and UT. Issues around the young person’s mental capacity and the extent to which parents should be allowed to participate in SENDIST proceedings where the young person has capacity.  The UT agreed with the LA on the lawfulness of excluding parental participation where the young person did not wish their involvement and had capacity. Clifford Chance represented Parents.

HN & NN v Essex County Council: Successfully representing LA in two linked SENDIST appeals in respect of highly complex 1 week extended appeals where an unfavourable outcome would have resulted in excess of £4million in costs of residential educational provision over the children’s placement. John Friel represented parents.

BT v Norfolk County Council (2023): Representing LA in respect of a judicial review claim on failure to make SEN provision and disability discrimination. Following advice to LA the claim successfully settled Parent and child were both disabled with a range of complex needs.

R (on the application of EP by her litigation friend M-AP) v Norfolk County Council: Advising to settle a claim in relation to its transport policy in the context of the duties under the Equality Act and section 508B Education Act 1996, thereby protecting the Council’s reputation and ensuring that all equality laws were abided by.

Advice (2022):  on whether LA was at risk of unlawfully stablishing a school through ad hoc funding arrangements entered into with parents of disabled child of compulsory school age whose parents wished them to continue to attend nursery. Miriam communicated with the DfE to clarify the legal position where there was a grey area

In the matter of B (a Child) [2016] UKSC 4:
Supreme Court judgment about habitual residence and the parens patriae inherent jurisdiction in the context of a same-sex relationship in which the non-biological mother has no legal status vis-à-vis the child.

EO (Ghana) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 40:
Appeal won on the grounds that removal of a sufferer of End Stage Renal Disease to a certain death would amount to a violation of Articles 3 and 8 ECHR as a result of withdrawal of dialysis treatment. Court of Appeal overturned this decision. Awaiting permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

MS (Coptic Christians; Egypt) Country Guidance [2013] UKUT611:
Country Guidance on the risk of persecution of Coptic Christians at hands of the state and non–state agents on return to Egypt after the fall of the Mubarak regime.

Bah (EO (Turkey) – Liability to deport) [2012] UKUT 009196 (IAC):
Use of intelligence in deportation proceedings against a suspected member of a gang.

MB (Trinidad & Tobago) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Court of Appeal, C5/2009/1216:
Successful appeal against an Immigration Judge’s decision on the test of sufficiency of protection (ability and willingness of the authorities to protect) and MB (Inability to provide protection–JAM) Trinidad & Tobago CG [2010] UKUT (IAC). No availability of protection to those at fear of persecution from Jamat Al Islam in Trinidad & Tobago.

Further information

Miriam regularly trains both online and in-person to a wide ranging audience in her fields of expertise and with colleagues across other fields/professions.

  • 1st Class MA Honours in Slavic Studies. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.
  • 1st Class MA Honours in Translation and Interpretation (German). Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in International Human Rights (1 year).  Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Warsaw, Poland.
  • BPTC (Commendation)
  • CPE (Commendation)
  • Gray’s Inn BPTC Full Award

English, Spanish, Polish, German and Russian.

Lawyer Legal Roundup

Administrative Court Digest

Appointments & Memberships

Bar Council Equality and Diversity Officer Network – Member

Education and Employers Charity (Inspiring the Future) – Volunteer Mentor

Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit) – Collaborate Mentor

Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA) – Member

Education Lawyers Association (ELAS) – Member

Discrimination Law Association (DLA) – Member

External Publications

European Human Rights Advocacy Centre, Middlesex University – Legal Consultant to a project funded by the European Commission. The project seeks to assist Russian lawyers and human rights organisations throughout all stages of litigation in the European Court of Human Rights.

UNHCR/OSCE: International Human Rights Seminar in Turkmenistan – Lecturer on international human rights law, enforcement mechanisms and procedure. Second Fact Finding Mission to Turkey (Baku Ceyhan Oil Pipeline) – Member of the mission and co–author of the resulting report.

OSCE: International Human Rights Seminar in Turkmenistan – Lecturer on human rights law, enforcement mechanisms and procedure.

First Fact–finding Mission to Turkey (Baku–Ceyhan Oil Pipeline) – Member of the mission and co–author of the resulting report. Author of a preliminary legal analysis on the human rights implications of the pipeline.

Memorial. Moscow, Russia – Independent researcher for the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. Research focus on minority rights in the Caucasus and freedom of movement in Russia.

Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. Warsaw, Poland – Participated in the development of a training programme in human rights monitoring