Court of Protection and community care in London Bar
39 Essex Chambers has a ‘real depth of counsel in the Court of Protection arena, from the most senior counsel through to excellent newly called juniors’. Members advise across all areas and are regularly instructed by claimants, relatives, statutory agencies, private bodies, and the Official Solicitor. ‘The depth of talent means someone is always available’, said one client. The set has particular expertise in health and welfare matters as well as strength in handling property and affairs issues. Recent examples of work include Jenni Richards QC acting for the Clinical Commissioning Group in an ongoing dispute between public bodies over an historic responsibility for funding the provision of services to a severely disabled young person. Elsewhere, Fenella Morris QC advised in a dispute between relatives and a hospital about whether a frail and elderly patient should be moved to palliative care.
Serjeants' Inn Chambers ‘a leading set for Court of Protection work in England and Wales. It has real strength in depth particularly having added a number of members over the last year or so’. Michael Mylonas QC acted in the highly publicised case of Alfie Evans, which concerned the withdrawal of treatment to the 21-month-old child with advanced neurodegenerative brain disease. The set's members are also skilled in property and affairs matters, as well as receiving a steady flow of instructions from the private client market. Chambers is considered 'a supremely efficient operation that is filled with stellar people who are a delight to work with'. Christopher Johnston QC acted for the Official Solicitor who was representing the patient’s interests in a case where permission was obtained to withdraw feeding from a woman with irreversible brain damage.
5 Stone Buildings is 'an outstanding set for Court of Protection matters', advising on the full range of property and affairs issues as well as health and welfare applications. Tracey Angus QC advised on a major case which raised complex issues about the interpretation of a testamentary instrument that was made by the Court of Protection. Members regularly represent clients in disputes over issues such as statutory wills and gifts, lasting and enduring powers of attorney, as well as deputyships.
Doughty Street Chambers ‘is a formidable set with a depth of expertise’. This 'excellent' set's members handle the full array of community care and Court of Protection matters. In one example, Aswini Weereratne QC acted for MIND in Welsh Ministers v PJ. The case looked at whether it was lawful to deprive a patient of their liberty with a community treatment order under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended).
1GC | Family Law is ‘excellent for cases where there is a cross-over between Court of Protection and family law issues.’ Areas of expertise include advising on forced marriages involving incapacitated adults where these marriages have happened or are about to happen either in the UK or abroad. The set also has a particular specialism in representing 16-17-year olds who lack capacity and who are emerging from the care system or are otherwise in crisis.
Garden Court Chambers is described by some as a ‘very good set overall with members who are willing to assist’. The set's members act in Court of Protection matters at all levels and undertake health and welfare cases as well as covering property and affairs matters for the Official Solicitor, professional advocate litigation friends, family members, and public bodies. It ‘has a wide range of excellent, talented, and skilled barristers who are often willing to step in even at the last minute to help with urgent and complex cases.’ Representing the local authority in T (A Child), Amanda Weston QC acted in a leading Court of Appeal decision which considered whether a ‘Gillick competent’ transgender teen, in the care of an LA, could be deprived of their liberty under the court’s inherent jurisdiction where no secure accommodation was available.
Matrix Chambers is filled with ‘barristers who are unstuffy and ooze expertise’. Members act for individuals (through the Official Solicitor), local authorities, and NHS bodies in the Court of Protection, in many cases involving deprivation of liberty issues and the safeguarding of vulnerable adults. David Wolfe QC acted for the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the leading Supreme Court case of D v Birmingham City Counsel, which concerned the extent to which the parents of a teenager with learning disabilities could lawfully consent to their child being detained without any court supervision.
RADCLIFFE CHAMBERS is described by some as a 'top set' and a 'good, solid chancery practice' with a number of junior barristers – Justin Holmes and Piers Feltham in particular – well regarded by instructing solicitors due to their knowledge of Court of Protection matters. These include expertise in trusts and statutory wills advice to advising on personal welfare matters such as capacity to marry issues or choice of residential care homes. In one example, Feltham advised on a contested application for a statutory will disposing of a large estate between charities.