Court of Protection and community care in London Bar
39 Essex Chambers is at ‘the true epicentre of the Court of Protection Bar, with an unparalleled array of talented barristers across all levels of call and experience and who appear in the most important cases year in year out.’ It has an ‘incredibly wide pool of barristers- juniors and seniors who all provide a top-quality and prompt service. Its training is excellent (particularly the video seminars during Covid) and its Mental Capacity Newsletter is essential for anyone working in this area.’ In BH v NHS England and others Jenni Richards QC advised NHS England in a multi-party dispute concerning the capacity and needs for care and treatment of a young woman with learning difficulties and mental health problems. Fiona Paterson's and Annabel Lee's respective practices continue to go from strength to strength as they ascend the junior rankings. Parishil Patel QC, Peter Mant, and Katherine Scott are among a host of new entrants to this year's rankings.
‘If we need top-notch people we go to them', said one client of Serjeants' Inn Chambers due to it being the ‘top set for health and welfare CoP work with its number of really strong advocates who work remarkably well as a team.’ It is an ‘exceptional team and the choice is so good that you can make decisions on who to instruct as nuanced as to how someone might argue a particular point.’ Michael Mylonas QC was instructed by Welsh Health in Welsh Health v AB – Serious Medical Treatment/Force-feeding which related to a 50-year-old man with autistic spectrum disorder who, after killing his father, attempted to starve himself. The case centred on the man lacking capacity and an application to obtain an order that he should be force-fed. This year sees Bridget Dolan QC reach the summit of the silk rankings, while there were also worthy promotions for Nageena Khalique QC and Emma Sutton, amongst others, and new rankings for Amy Street and David Lawson.
5 Stone Buildings ‘as a whole is well-known and well-respected for private client and Court of Protection work, particularly property and affairs.’ The set ‘attracts really good quality work because of its expertise.’ Tracey Angus QC has been acting for the attorneys and executors of Lady Bathurst in Re Bathurst. The estate of the late 8th Earl Bathurst is valued in excess of £40m and includes assets of national importance. The case raises complex issues about the construction of a testamentary instrument made by the Court of Protection as well as the ownership of chattels. 'Mr Elder law' David Rees QC rises in this year's rankings, while Ruth Hughes and Jordan Holland are new entrants at the junior end.
Doughty Street Chambers is an ‘excellent set that is always motivated to help. Its barristers are the cream of the crop.’ Also, various clients have praised its webinars during the Covid-19 and have said’ Chambers is well ahead of other Chambers in keeping others updated with the knowledge it has collated and that has been so useful.’ The ‘brilliant’ set is able to handle the full range of community care and Court of Protection matters. One highlight to note is the promoted Martin Westgate QC acting for Liberty R (JCWI) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 452 (Admin), EHRC, Residential Landlords Association and Liberty intervening. He also acted for the claimant in MK v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 3573 (Admin), a judicial review challenge to the delays in the process for deciding asylum claims by unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC joins this year's silk rankings, and Ulele Burnham's practice continues to go from strength to strength, while in rising stars Antonia Benfield and Daniel Clarke, the future of the team looks bright.
1GC | Family Law is a highly regarded set for Court of Protection work and is regularly instructed in a wide range of health and welfare matters. Other areas of expertise include forced marriages involving adults who lack capacity. Members are also active advising on a myriad of other complex issues such as the withdrawal of treatment or the imposition of treatment ( such as feeding) on incapacitated or resistant patients. Due to its family law expertise the set also specialises in issues relating to 16- and 17-year olds who lack capacity and who are emerging from the care system. The 'strong and forceful' Andrew Bagchi QC and 'excellent effective advocate' Malcolm Chisholm both receive promotions in this year's silk and junior tables, while the 'highly intuitive' Louise MacLynn is a new entrant to this year's rankings. The 'excellent technical lawyer' Alev Giz is also well regarded by clients and peers alike.
Garden Court Chambers is a ‘brilliant set that has a strong Court of Protection team. Counsel are very approachable and friendly, whilst providing a high standard of advice and representation.’ ‘The reputation of Garden Court is for being the most fearless set, absolutely committed to the underdog clients and robust in its advocacy, even when the case is difficult.’ Described as 'extremely knowledgeable', Gráinne Mellon's practice continues to draw praise as she gains promotion in this year's junior rankings.
Matrix Chambers has particular expertise where community care issues interact with other legal issues such as migration matters, prison law, mental health protection or children in care cases. The community care team frequently acts in cases involving all aspects of domestic community care entitlements. David Wolfe QC acted for the Equality & Human Rights Commission intervening in a major Supreme Court case which looked at Article 5 of the ECHR. The case concerned whether parents could consent to their 16- or 17-year-old children being locked up. Meanwhile, Christopher Buttler was successful in a challenge to the Secretary of State’s policy that victims of human trafficking who claim asylum will not have their application for leave determined until after their asylum cases have been considered.
Radcliffe Chambers is an ‘approachable’ set 'with strength and depth’ for Court of Protection matters. It has ‘strong counsel who all share a willingness to work hard and to go the extra mile’. Justin Holmes, Katherine Mcquail, and Piers Feltham are the key names to note. Areas of expertise include working on the registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney, the granting of authority to deputies and attorneys to conduct litigation as well as the making of statutory wills.