Fiona McNelis


Fiona McNelis

Senior Associate Solicitor & Head of Public Law, Civil




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I graduated from the University of Kent in Canterbury in 1995 and have worked in a number of specialised areas which have included immigration, family law, employment, welfare benefits, general civil litigation, personal injury, actions against the police, inquests, judicial reviews, child abuse and actions against local authorities.  I qualified as a solicitor on 1st February 2001 and specialise in:

  • Personal injury
  • Actions against the police
  • Inquests
  • Judicial review
  • Child abuse
  • Claims against local authorities.

My specialism means I often deal with vulnerable people in the course of my work and pride myself in my ability to explain matters to them clearly and advise them of the options available to them.  I am also no stranger to pursuing claims against large organisations such as the police, local authorities, prisons and other government bodies.

I have litigated a large number of cases and advise on the value of claims and negotiate settlements on a regular basis.  Clients appreciate my direct and straight-forward approach to complex issues.  I have been commended by my clients for always being available and approachable and for helping them to make sense of the litigation jungle facing them.  

My particular interest is in child abuse work which presents difficult challenges for lawyers and clients in securing an acknowledgement of the abuse and the trauma that clients have experienced as a result of the abuse.  These individuals are very vulnerable and often feel that they do not have a voice.  I strive to ensure that my child abuse clients are heard and receive appropriate recompense for what they have endured often over many years.

Recent Successes

Actions against the police

  • I was involved in a case where, as a result of my client’s complaint to the police and the IPCC, he was able to contribute to proceedings which led to the conviction of an officer.  
  • I am also regularly holding officers to account for their actions and ensuring that they face misconduct proceedings, as appropriate, which can lead to disciplinary hearings and can result in the officer’s dismissal.
  • I have pursued matters to trial and have dealt with many spurious applications and requests made by Defendants in the course of a case.


  • I have represented many families in their search to obtain answers as to why their loved one died.  A number of these cases have resulted in civil claims for negligence and breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998 where the families of the deceased have secured damages.
  • I am also well versed in challenging Coroner’s decisions.

Judicial review

  • I was involved in a reported case which dealt with the information that police officers could request of individuals attending a protest and whom they placed in a “kettle” in order to manage the dispersal of protestors. 

Claims against local authorities

  • I am presently dealing with cases where the local authority have failed vulnerable children, placed them at risk and a claim for damages arises as a result.

Personal injury and child abuse

I have extensive experience in personal injury matters which include sexual assault, assault and child abuse cases.  I have obtained substantial sums by way of damages for my clients since I qualified in 2001 and we have faced many challenges during that time.  I am keen to ensure that those who have been injured, through no fault of their own, can hold those responsible to account for those injuries. 

Accreditations, Awards and Memberships

  • member of INQUEST
  • member of Police Actions Legal Group (PALG)
  • previously a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
  • Abuse Lawyers Action Group (ALAG) - (Membership Pending)
  • Winner of LM Women in Law 2020 for the Public Law Category

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