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 then 6 years in adult social care 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.​

Carmel has extensive experience responding to pre action letters, of preparing defences 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.​

Carmel’s experience in adult social care incorporates deputyship applications, challenges to deprivation of liberty and welfare applications in the Court of Protection and High Court with many of the cases being complex.​

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

“This was the first time I have dealt with a matter like this and Mark was extremely helpful in explaining what was required from me. He dealt with the case in a timely manner always responding quickly to my correspondence.”
School Client
“I felt supported at all times and thank Nina for her professional support and guidance throughout a difficult situation and process.”
School Client
“Fully satisfied with both the practical delivery of legal advice and also in the professional guidance and approach.”
School Client
“I am really grateful for your pragmatic approach to this case and well done on achieving such an excellent result for us. ”
Monitoring Officer
“Kent County Council’s 18+ service is supported by the Invicta Law asylum team providing impeccable legal advice in assisting our service to support asylum seeking care leavers in Kent.”
Leaving Care Service - Kent County Council
“The Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking (UAS) Children’s Service is grateful for the support your team provides in defending its age assessments and responding to UAS child-related legal matters. I and the Service look forward to working with you in 2024-25.’ ”
UAS Children’s Service - Kent County Council
“South East Strategic Migration Partnership (SESPM) have worked successfully with Invicta Law over a number of years and their support, advice and training has been a key element to our work in this field. They have offered value for money training which has received extremely high levels of positive feedback from participating local authorities in the South East. Our experience is that the advice and training, especially related to Age Assessments and undertaking Human Rights Assessments, has been particularly helpful for local authorities here. ”
South East Strategic Migration Partnership
“The service so far has very good feedback for both of your case holders assisting. We thank you again for your supplemental service to Lambeth ASC at this very busy time for our in-house legal team.”
Community Care - London Borough of Lambeth
“The services we have had from Invicta Law have been excellent, both from the legal discussions but also the support we have received to increase my staff’s knowledge of the age assessment process. There have been times during some of our most challenging periods when I have communicated with members of your team at weekends and out of office hours, and the colleagues we have worked with have gone above and beyond in helping us in Torbay.”
Children's Services - Torbay Council
“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 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

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