Michael Kennedy – Director & Barrister

Michael Kennedy is a Director and Barrister based in York but works in many areas across Yorkshire and the north of England.

  • Switalskis Solicitors, 18 Back Swinegate, York, YO1 8AD
  • 01904 606250

Michael is a long standing member of the Law Society Mental Health Tribunal Review Panel and Vice Chair of the Mental Health Lawyers Association. As a highly respected mental health lawyer, he has extensive experience in this field means and frequently receives referrals from legal and healthcare professionals from across the north of England.

Michael is the supervising Director for our Mental Health and Court of Protection teams, overseeing all of the work which we do in these areas as well as providing advice and support to clients.

Michael is also an experienced trainer and lecturer in his specialist field. He has provided training to a number of advocacy and support groups whose work requires up-to-date knowledge of mental health and mental capacity law. He was a Senior Associate Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University, and regularly contributed to courses for Best Interests Assessors and Approved Mental Health Professionals.

Michael has appeared for several years as one of the UK’s “Leaders in the Field” for mental health law in Chambers and Partners guide to the legal profession. In 2007 he was named Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year in the mental health category.

We asked Michael:

Q: What do you love about your job?
A: Meeting with my clients, my team and the professionals that I come across day-to-day.

Q: What can clients expect from you?
A: Practical, to-the-point, advice and representation. I care about each client’s individual situation and I am committed to helping them achieve their goals.

Q: Why did you choose to specialist in mental health and mental capacity law?
A: I started in criminal law and worked on some cases where my client suffered from a mental disorder and where their respective cases were disposed of by way of a Mental Health Act disposal. I became very interested in the Mental Health Act as a result. I went on to spend time, in an academic capacity, in the Department of Forensic Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London and that cemented my interest.

Q: Which of your achievements are you most proud of?
A: Winning the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award in the category of Mental Health Lawyer. Being called to the Bar. Being Listed in both Chambers and the Legal 500. And passing maths 16+ at the second attempt!

Q: What are you interests outside of work?
A: Cycling, triathlon and a bit of fell running. I love the Dales and the northern Pennines. I also support Bradford City and have an active interest in photography.