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  1. Court of Protection
  2. Leading individuals

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Irwin Mitchell’s established team attracts praise for the ‘efficiency with which it handles clients’ finances while ensuring that clients are fully involved in the decision-making process’. The team’s nationwide presence and ability to provide the full suite of services in property, health and welfare matters ensures that it regularly acts on cases involving multimillion-pound damages. Sheffield-based Yogi Amin has ‘unparalleled experience of really tricky cases involving mental health and mental capacity issues. National team head Julia Lomas provides ‘clear and concise advice’, and associate Anne-Marie Irwin is ‘a very good strategist’.

Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Martin Terrell is ‘one of the best and one of the most expert Court of Protection lawyers around’. The ‘excellent team’ is recommended for its experience in property and welfare cases in addition to high-value catastrophic injury claims. It is also very skilled at administering complex personal estates for older clients. ‘Very effective’ team head Eddie Fardell and Brian Bacon are also recommended.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

GT Stewart Solicitors & Advocates

GT Stewart is able to take on both private and publicly funded cases. Its solicitors and advocates can provide advice in the following areas of law.

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Withers LLPexcels both in the domestic sphere and on complex cross-border issues’, and is singled out for its strength in depth in elder law. Key figures include Julia Abrey, who ‘knows everything and gets everything right’; Paul Hewitt, who ‘combines technical excellence with a real streak of pragmatism’; and Stephen Richards, who is ‘top notch on procedure, brilliant at managing clients and has a way of getting the courts’ sympathy for his clients’. The team’s ‘excellent associates’ are also highly commended.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP is ‘very well respected nationwide for its Court of Protection, health, welfare and social care expertise. Senior associate Sheree Green is ‘reasonable, patient and measured’ and associate Kirsty MacMillan is ‘rarely fazed by the twists and turns of Court of Protection litigation’. Donna Holmes ‘takes the time to put her clients at ease’.

Anthony Gold’s ‘extremely responsive and professional team’ is led by David Wedgwood, who is noted for his ‘real understanding of the issues affecting a vulnerable client’. Wedgwood is an experienced deputy and has considerable experience of acting for vulnerable clients. Associate Emma Tante is also recommended.

Paul Ridge leads Bindmans LLP’s ‘fantastic team’, which is recommended for its ‘very quick responses, superb legal knowledge and spot-on advice’. Charlotte Haworth Hird is experienced in ECHR claims and ‘quickly gets to grips with each case’. Solicitor Laura Hobey-Hamsher ‘is always prepared to go that extra mile’. The firm regularly receives instructions from the Official Solicitor.

Bircham Dyson Bell provides ‘a fair and an excellent service’ on a broad range of issues, from capacity issues to complex multi-jurisdictional deputyship. Clients have ‘nothing but praise’ for Lucie Sleeman, who regularly advises on lasting powers of attorney and elderly client issues in addition to acting as a professional deputy. Recommended senior associates include Lorraine Jeffery (who is ‘extremely thorough’) and Rachel Rodrigo, who is adept at advising on statutory wills, gifts and contentious issues.

Suzanne Marriott at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is ‘a real star; she deals with situations that are often emotionally charged calmly, competently and with great authority’. The ‘specialist team’ advises on the full spectrum of issues and is well known for its work on large estates. Key figures on the contentious side include Tamasin Perkins, who ‘understands when to be conciliatory and when to fight her clients’ corner’; and Roberta Harvey, who regularly advises trustees, protectors and beneficiaries.

Foot Anstey is ‘very strong on elderly client matters, and is one of the leading firms in the South West for court of protection welfare work’. The team includes the ‘highly efficient and knowledgeable’ Patricia Wass, ‘very conscientious’ associate Katie Webber and ‘practical and approachable’ legal director Stacey Bryant. Bristol-based Holly Miéville-Hawkins joined from Royds Withy King and is ‘an associate to watch’.

An excellent firm’, Gillhams Solicitors LLP’s expertise was bolstered by the appointment of three of its members to the Office of the Public Guardian’s professional panel of deputies. The ‘hugely experiencedRussell Caller attracts praise for his ability to ‘make clients feel that they are in safe hands and ensure that they are well looked after in the most cost-effective way’. Lisa Cornish has ‘done some great work for clients in difficult situations’.

Leigh Day’s key clients include relatives of protected individuals and charities (as interveners). It also regularly acts on behalf of the Official Solicitor, and has particular expertise in healthcare law. Frances Swaine and Sean Humber are recommended. Solicitor Kate Egerton is praised for her ‘responsive and measured approach’.

Mackintosh Law is a niche firm that specialises in community care and mental capacity issues. Nicola Mackintosh is ‘very experienced, shows great integrity and is a brilliant strategist’.

Miles & Partners LLP advises on all aspects of mental capacity law and ‘punches significantly above its weight’. Floyd Porter ‘always adds value to the case by being objective and strategic while remaining completely focused on his client’. Newly promoted partner Rachel Turner ‘consistently brings commitment and humanity to all her cases’. The team is praised for its considerable ‘in-depth knowledge and experience in this area’. Solicitor Sara Isenberg is also singled out for praise.

Julie Burton heads Penningtons Manches LLP’s ‘strong, efficient and tightly run and well-resourced team’. Burton is ‘calm and vastly experienced’ and acts as a professional deputy for many clients with complex brain injuries where substantial compensation has been awarded. Senior associate Rebecca Sparrow is ‘driven to ensure that the best outcome is secured for her clients’.

Russell-Cooke LLP fields a ‘strong and focused team with the necessary expertise to handle complex work and cross-border cases’. The ‘extremely experienced and empatheticRita Bhargava is particularly adept at handling difficult capacity cases. Gareth Ledsham is ‘always ready to go that extra mile’ and Richard Frimston is a ‘go-to person’ for advice on the International Protection of Adults.

Simpson Millar LLP is well known for its expertise in Court of Protection work; ‘all its solicitors are very committed to its clients. The practice covers a significant range of social welfare cases. Julie Cornes ‘works tirelessly on complex and demanding cases and is a very skilled and effective negotiator. Other members of the ‘consistently strong team’ include the ‘intelligent and insightful’ Angela Jackman; solicitor Zena Soormally, who is noted for her ‘great attention to detail’; and Oliver Studdert, who ‘keeps on top of the most challenging cases’.

At Steel & Shamash, Janice Kaufman specialises in mental capacity and childcare law. ‘Very knowledgeable and experienced’ solicitors Andrew Bowmer and Damian Cullen display ‘excellent judgement and know which way to take the case forward’. The team is recommended for its ‘advice on welfare and health proceedings’.

Switalskis Solicitors’ ‘dedicated team leads the way with Court of Protection work in the North of England and provides a committed, expert and innovative service’. Leeds-based Alison Kaye has ‘an affable and calm manner that belies her steely determination to get the best result for her clients’. The team is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to act for vulnerable individuals.

Weightmans LLP acts for public sector clients including local authorities and NHS trusts such as Pennine Acute Hospital NHS Trust. Liverpool-based Richard Jolly heads the team, which includes the ‘excellentBeth Buchanan, who is experienced in clinical negligence litigation and clinical welfare applications to the Court of Protection.

Glen Miles heads an active team at asb law LLP and acts for over 150 vulnerable clients, primarily as deputy but also as an attorney and trustee.

Ashton Legal has a strong Court of Protection practice, which acts for clients who have suffered brain damage through traumatic injury or clinical negligence. Adrian Mundell and Tom Cook are recommended.

Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors’ team ‘explains things clearly and simply’. Gemma Connolly ‘puts clients at ease’ and Andrew Flannagan is ‘very well organised’.

Capsticks LLP has a diverse practice with considerable experience in medical treatment cases. It regularly advises a broad range of organisations on health and social issues. Francis Lyons and Birmingham-based Tracey Lucas are recommended.

Nottingham-based Anna Thurston heads the team at Cartwright King, which is singled out for its work in health and welfare proceedings. Leeds-based associate Kate Jackson is ‘totally supportive and explains things properly’.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is praised for its ‘excellent response times’. The ‘very knowledgeableGillian Weatherill regularly advises health and social care providers on mental health and mental capacity law.

At Dawson Cornwell, ‘very practical and calmJeremy Abraham and solicitor Katherine Res Pritchard (who ‘genuinely cares for her clients’) are recommended.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors specialises in cases that overlap between mental health/capacity issues and deprivation of liberty safeguards. Angela Smith and Ravinder Brar are ‘highly competent’.

The ‘incredibly brightEmily Exton is the key figure at Forsters LLP.

GT Stewart Solicitors & Advocates’ Amy Butler has ‘excellent client skills and is a very competent litigator’.

At Giles Wilson LLP, Melinda Giles primarily acts for the elderly in addition to those with learning disabilities. Philip Giles is also well regarded.

Nick Moxon heads the care and capacity team at Higgs & Sons, which includes associate Annabel Kay, who is ‘a clear communicator’.

Hodge Jones & Allen LLP’s team is headed by the ‘quick and thoroughPhilippa Barton.

Hugh James fields a team of ‘exceptional and approachable lawyers’ that includes Andrew Harding, who ‘takes a real interest in all of his clients’.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) receives a steady flow of instructions from local authorities, charities and care homes. Jacqueline Almond is ‘very competent and reassuring’.

At JE Bennett LawJane Bennett ‘develops excellent relations with her clients and is prepared to always go that extra mile’. Bennett has a ‘superb grasp of Court of Protection practice and procedure’.

Kingsley Napley LLP’s ‘very professional team’ has a particular specialism in complex and high-value cerebral palsy cases. Newly promoted partner Simon Hardy is ‘very thorough’ and Matthew Duncan is also recommended.

Lester Morrill Solicitors is singled out for its ‘exceptional team work’. The ‘well-informed’ Julia Morrill is recommended.

Linder Myers has a strong acquired brain injury and clinical negligence focus. Andrew Cusworth is well regarded.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s clients include University Hospital Birmingham and NHS England. Birmingham-based Jill Mason is a key contact.

Shoosmiths LLP acts for clients with acquired brain injuries as a result of a traumatic birth or a RTA, mental illness and learning disabilities, or those with a degenerative disease. Charlotte Dunn is recommended.

Slater and Gordon is ‘an excellent, all-round firm’. Lucy Nicol provides ‘high-quality advice’ and heads the team, which includes the ‘very skilledRichard Copson, who is recommended for his community care and mental capacity work – both are based in Manchester.

Key figures at Stephensons Solicitors LLP include ‘tenacious’ associate Melanie Varey, who provides ‘clear advice’, and Michael Pemberton.

Royds Withy King has a core focus on the management of deputyships and personal injury trusts. Becky Ricards Small heads the team.

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP’s ‘very efficient’ team includes the ‘knowledgeable’ Lynne Bradey; Ian Potter ,who is ‘very quick at identifying the key issues and addressing them’; and newly promoted partner Jane Netting.

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