Michael Kennedy, Director & Barrister

Michael is an experienced barrister who is recognised nationally as a high-profile specialist in the area of Mental Health Law. He is also a director of Switalskis and a Senior Associate Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University. Michael is based at our Head Office in Wakefield.

Tel: 01924 882000

Department:
Mental Health Law

Address:
19 Cheapside, Wakefield, WF1 2SD

Email Address:
michael.kennedy@switalskis.com

Profile

Michael is a highly-experienced specialist in Mental Health Law and regularly receives referrals from both legal and healthcare professionals across the region. He is ranked ‘Band 1’ in the Chambers & Partners guide for legal professionals.

He has served on a number of industry panels and committees and is a Senior Associate Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University on courses for Mental Health practitioners.

Experience

Michael is a highly-experienced specialist in Mental Health Law and regularly receives referrals from both legal and healthcare professionals across the region. He is ranked ‘Band 1’ in the Chambers & Partners guide for legal professionals.

He has served on a number of industry panels and committees and is a Senior Associate Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University on courses for Mental Health practitioners.

Michael initially worked as a legal researcher, which is where he first developed a professional interest in Mental Health issues. In his published research he explored the links between Mental Health and issues such as criminal activity and homelessness.

Michael later qualified as a barrister and joined Switalskis in 1999, becoming a partner in 2008 (and later a director).

Testimonials for Michael

"He knows the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act inside out and his advocacy is very good."

Chambers & Partners Guide

"Michael Kennedy – deep knowledge of mental health law and the crossover with mental capacity practice".

Legal 500 Guide

More about 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.