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Antonia joined Swain and Co Solicitors in February 2016 originally as a legal assistant in the Prison & Public Law department at our Havant Office directly assisting Dean Kingham.  As a result of directly assisting the Head of Department, This invaluable experience coupled with her hard work and unrelenting commitment allowed Antonia to progress within the department and she is now a fully fledged Prison Law Advocate and fee-earner within the team.

Antonia specialises in Prison Law, Public Law and Criminal Appeals, her passion for civil liberties and miscarriages of justice make for an unfaltering commitment in her pursuit to achieve justice. Unafraid of undertaking bold challenges she consistently holds public bodies to task by way of judicial review and with assistance from Counsel pursuing matters all the way to the Supreme Court and ECHR. Now expanding her skills to advocacy before the Parole Board she is quickly becoming well-known to Parole Board members building a reputation of being unyielding in her approach to ensure progression for her clients.

She assisted the Senior Solicitor in the case of R (DSD & Anor) v The Parole Board of England and Wales [2018] EWHC 694 (Admin) in which they acted for the Interested Party whom had in fact entered in to the proceedings unrepresented. It spoke to the core values of the firm that the Interested Party simply could not go unrepresented with proceedings of this nature given the loss of liberty at stake. Sir Brian Leveson notably thanked the instructed lawyers for their assistance in the smooth running of the case at such short notice.

Antonia is hot in pursuit to be actively involved in the evolution of the law in order to continually develop her technical knowledge, this is most notably evidenced in her work surrounding the very prevalent and controversial issue of ‘joint enterprise’. In the wake of the landmark ruling in the Supreme Court case of Jogee and the substantial injustice test developed since, she has continued her quest to remedy this injustice and having exhausted all domestic remedies in the two notable cases of R v Johnson and R v Henry has instructed Felicity Gerry QC of Carmelite Chambers to lead in two applications to the European Court of Human Rights for permission to appeal in ‘joint enterprise’ murder. Both cases involve pertinent human rights issues of discrimination on the basis of race and disability.

The outcome of her cases is always of the utmost importance to her clients as often pertains to potential infringement to core human rights. A particular instruction of note was that by a vulnerable prisoner in the late stages of pregnancy in respect to refusal of entry to the Mother and Baby unit at HMP Bronzefield, which would have meant immediate separation of mother and baby upon birth. When the client went in to emergency premature labour and separation became imminent, action was required quickly. She was able to not only secure a High Court Order preventing separation pending resolution but when the decision was revisited by the SSJ entry to the Mother and Baby Unit was granted. The client was demonstrating a sense of hopelessness as is often the case with her prison law clients, but her positive and action-based approach delivers results exceeding expectations.

Antonia has a keen interest in human rights issues and miscarriages of justice and her commitment in the pursuit of this whilst working on cases is unfaltering. The Mission Statement of the Firm is to “Empower People to Make Positive Change”, she embodies this vision in its entirety. Working within a highly specialised area of law with limited opportunities for marketing and networking, she does her utmost to develop links with key organisations within the field such as Progressing Prisoners Maintaining Innocence (PPMI) and Joint Enterprise Not Guilty By Association (JENGBA) to name just a few, often attending events outside the normal working remit in order to extend her reach as far as possible to those whom may need assistance.

Within the volumes of her Parole Board advocacy work she has developed extensive links with experts often using the wealth of psychological research available, as well as independent psychological and psychiatric experts to strength applications for client’s progression. Her successes are regularly featured within ‘The Converse’ a prison newspaper.

Prior to joining Swain & Co Solicitors Antonia pursued a very different career path, with her life as a professional dancer taking her to countries near and far, all over the world. In September 2015 Antonia made the decision to embark upon her ambitious career change and began the academic training to become a Legal Executive and was thrilled to have the opportunity to develop her vocational experience here at Swain & Co Solicitors.

When not working Antonia loves to travel in any spare time and has managed to span her travels across 6 out of the 7 continents.

Contact details

Email: Antonia.McMonagle@swainandco.com

Tel: 02392 483322
Fax: 02392 483322
Address: Compass House
57 Meridian Centre
North Street
Havant
Hants
PO9 1UW