Alison Millar is a partner in the human rights department at Leigh Day and specialises in human rights law, including abuse claims, education law and health care cases, and is also an experienced clinical negligence lawyer.
Alison Millar’s experience
Alison acts in claims for abuse
and unlawful deprivation of liberty
. She has acted for individuals who have been abused or neglected in care. She acted for a number of learning disabled people who were treated at the private Hospital, Winterbourne View
, which was closed following an expose by BBC Panorama of systemic abuse of patients. Some other examples of Alison’s work on behalf of abused clients include:
- Securing compensation for a young person who was sexually assaulted whilst an inpatient in a private psychiatric Hospital
- Securing compensation for a client with learning difficulties who was sexually abused and suffered neglect whilst in residential care
- Securing compensation for two adults who were taken into care as young children and suffered significant educational, emotional, psychological, social and behavioural harm whilst in the care of the local council
- Securing a five figure sum of compensation for a young woman with profound disabilities for the neglect she suffered as a child when placed with local authority foster carers.
Alison is currently acting for a number of people with learning difficulties who it is alleged were subjected to abuse in care homes in the West Country and for former pupils of Swaylands School
, a residential special school for boys, where a police investigation into ‘large scale abuse’ is ongoing.
Alison has experience of litigating cases through the Court of Protection and represented the family of a woman in PVS in an application to the Court of Protection to withdraw life-sustaining treatment. Alison is currently acting in a number of claims for unlawful deprivation of liberty in care and education settings.
Alison has considerable experience of assisting families through the inquest process. She has negotiated settlements under the Human Rights Act where an individual has died in circumstances where there has been a potential violation in European Convention rights.
In recent years Alison has developed a strong education law
practice and is recognized in the Legal 500 2013 as a key figure.
She specialises in particular in education law issues affecting children and young adults with special educational needs
, and in disability discrimination
claims. Alison regularly represents clients in the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal. Alison’s education law successes include:
- Securing an appropriate secondary school place for a young client with dyspraxia, dyslexia, and dyscalculia
- Successfully challenging the contents of a statement of special educational needs on behalf of a young client with complex special educational needs associated with severe cerebral palsy.
- Securing an appropriate care package for a young adult with severe anxiety and behavioural problems which included educational therapy and social care
- Securing a place at a new school for a young girl who was badly bullied and attempted suicide at her original school
- Successfully securing the right to an extended day curriculum at a residential special school for a client with complex special educational needs
She also has considerable expertise of community care law and has assisted charities and voluntary organisations including BDF Newlife, Beatbullying, Maternity Action and the Society for Mucopolysaccharide Diseases.
Alison is also experienced in bringing successful claims for discrimination in the provision of goods and services. She recently represented a small group of disabled people who brought an action against a leading retailer of sports goods. She has also been involved in advancing the rights of other protected groups, and helped a same-sex couple obtain a parental order conferring parental responsibility upon them in respect of their twin children born following an international surrogacy agreement.
Alison continues to represent patients and families in clinical negligence
claims, with recent settlements including:
- a substantial six-figure sum for a patient in her 70s who had suffered a spinal injury during the course of elective surgery
- a six-figure sum for a woman who had suffered a traumatic stillbirth after a serious liver complication of pregnancy was missed and compensation for her husband as a secondary victim
- a significant six-figure sum for the family of a man who had died as a result of inadequately treated thyroid disease.
Alison originally qualified as a barrister and was called to the Bar in 1995. She re-qualified as a solicitor in 2000 and became a partner in the firm in 2006.
Alison in the news
Alison Millar regularly contributes to the national media, including on televsion, radio and in newspapers and journals, on a range of topics including abuse of the elderly, child abuse and abuse of learning disabled people, special education needs and the provision of services for learning disabled people.
SEN law: providing access to specialist provision for disabled children