Carmel Maher

Senior Solicitor

About Carmel Maher

Carmel qualified in Australia and in England and Wales. She has been a litigation lawyer since her first position in a city firm where she dealt with a broad spectrum of civil and criminal law cases. She moved on to academic research, and then to criminal prosecutions for the Director of Public Prosecution and sat as a registrar of the County Court of NSW in Sydney on civil cases.

In the UK, her experience was gained in child protection law for 10 years and she now specialises in advising local authorities on unaccompanied asylum- seeking children (UASC), and migrant families with no recourse to public funds (NRFP). The expertise she has in all aspects of legal duties owed to asylum seekers and NRPF persons, was gained from advisory work to a large county council which is at the forefront of case law related to age assessments and the provision of services to UASC. She also provides advice and training in age assessments and Human Rights assessments to social workers and legal teams in local authorities throughout the UK

She has extensive experience responding to pre action letters, of preparing cases for the defence of judicial review claims, and of instructing Counsel in the High Court, Upper Tribunal of Immigration and Asylum Chamber and the Court of Appeal.

She has been involved in several judicial review cases most notably the Upper Tribunal case of R (AS) v Kent County Council JR/11261/2016 relating to dental age assessments and benefit of the doubt; the High Court case of R(WM) v Kent County Council [2018] EWHC 2025 (Admin) regarding who is an asylum seeker for Children Act support;  AB-v- Kent County Council [2020] EWHC 109 (Admin) in the High Court in which Mrs Justice Thornton considered short form age assessments and in the later successful fact finding hearing in the Upper Tribunal JR/1947/2020;  and  MA & HT -v-Coventry CC , SSHD and Kent CC (as interested party)[2022] EWHC 98 (Admin) on lawfulness of KIU age assessment guidance.

Areas of expertise

  • Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children
  • Vulnerable Adult Protection
  • No Recourse to Public Funds
  • Court of Protection
  • Judicial Reviews
Carmel is passionate about providing expert legal support in emotive cases to local authorities who support UASC

Client testimonials

“Sarah provides excellent advice, often off the cuff at the end of the phone when urgent matters arise. She is extremely good at explaining the intricacies of planning law in layman’s terms, which is very much appreciated. Sarah is a reliable and conscientious colleague who I do not hesitate to contact for guidance and clarity in often high-pressured situations. She is well respected amongst her peers and colleagues, and officers very much appreciate her knowledge and calming influence.”
Planning & Highways Client
“I am writing in praise of your support. As someone in the firing line of an ultra-aggressive legal team for the first time in my life, this was a traumatic and, at times, upsetting process. You were at my side, dispensing wise and calming counsel throughout. You have been readily available when crises occurred, have been a wonderful listener and, in the end, we reached an outcome that was highly satisfactory for our school and its pupils. I cannot speak highly enough of the way that you handled this case, and I thank you and your firm for the support you gave me. Being a chair of governors, sworn to confidentiality, can be a lonely business! You kept me sane.”
Chair of School Governors
“You’ve been incredibly helpful with this. Thanks for always replying so promptly and for being a star.”
Private Sector Town Planning & Development Consultancy
“The whole team at Invicta Law are really professional, efficient and courteous in their approach to our Development Agreement works. This I find makes my role much easier particularly when this is a specialist subject that I often need to seek their advice with.”
Planning & Highways Client
“The experience has been really top end. Rather than just offering the options, they have given some real solid advice on the best route. It's a good business 'partnering' approach.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
“Their employment advice has always proved to be sound. I’ve worked with lots of different lawyers in London boroughs and. I’d also say that Invicta Law is the most solution-focused.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service

News & Blogs

Meet the Team: Harry Johnston-Sluka, Community Care Team

30th Nov 2022

Now part of the Community Care Team, Harry Johnston-Sluka also completed his training contract at Invicta Law, qualifying as a solicitor in April 2021.

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Kent Family Justice Board Child Care Conference 2022

30th Nov 2022

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Defending Age Assessment Challenges

30th Nov 2022

Defending legal challenges against local authority age assessments

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