Court of protection in London

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell has one of the largest and most established Court of Protection practices in England, and remains a 'groundbreaking team that has played a lead role in almost every top-tier Court of Protection case in the last decade'. The team advises on the full range of matters, from litigated ‘best interest’ disputes to property and affairs and welfare deputyships. In addition, it acts as a professional deputy or trustee on many complex, high-value cases. The public law and human rights team also assists in Court of Protection disputes, including advising on questions of whether an individual has capacity and issues surrounding serious medical treatment. The powerhouse practice is headed by Julia Lomas, Yogi Amin and Niall Baker. The team has seen some recent changes at a senior level with the departures of Alex Rook, Polly Sweeney and Anne-Marie Irwin to set up a new practice and the arrival of Oliver Studdert from Simpson Millar LLP.

Practice head(s):

Julia Lomas; Yogi Amin; Niall Baker

Testimonials

Irwin Mitchell remains one of the best by virtue of its size and ability to deal with the contentious and non-contentious realms’

‘This team cares – it is in its culture. Katie Thackray is very responsive to the needs of other lawyers in the litigation team as well as the clients themselves’

‘Niall Baker has an abundance of down-to-earth, practical common sense, a pleasant bedside manner, and an infectious sense of humour, which are – believe it or not – essential qualities in this area of the law and practice’

‘The whole team is excellent but Julia Lomas is exceptional. She has the ability to convey complex information to her clients in a way that makes them understand and feel involved. Julia Lomas and Niall Baker have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the practice area, and are excellent at supporting their teams and bringing out the best in their staff

It is a huge firm that can take on a range of cases. It has local offices around the country, meaning it has good local knowledge of the courts and public services. Yogi Amin is very well known in the sector

‘Yogi Amin is exceptionally good at seeing the wider picture, and being alive to the relevant political sensitivities (including institutional sensitivities)’

‘The team has huge experience in managing very large awards in personal injury claims, as well as dealing with other Court of Protection issues such as welfare. The lawyers have been at the forefront of this area of the law for many years

A very accessible team, always willing to discuss issues. Knowledgeable, approachable and very client centred. Caroline Barrett is knowledgeable and insightful – she is really good at helping me unpick the issues at hand and always able to offer practical solutions to often complex problems’

Key clients

Michael Davies

 

AP (instructed by the Official Solicitor)

CW (instructed by the Official Solicitor)

RSBH – 58 year old male of Jamaican heritage with diagnosis of Korsakoff’s dementia

MH

PS

YD, on behalf of her sister DD.

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a 31-year-old man who sustained catastrophic brain damage following a road traffic incident at the age of 22, and working with his family and case manager to move him to a new care home placement.
  • Acting for P in Court of Protection proceedings before the High Court regarding her capacity and best interests in relation to residence, care, contact with others and use of social media.
  • Acting in a matter where a highly able young man had mild learning disabilities.

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Brian Bacon heads the large and dedicated team at Thomson Snell & Passmore, which is 'definitely one of the best Court of Protection teams in the country', with 'huge experience over a number of years' and 'still well ahead of the game'. The practice acts as deputy in numerous cases and is renowned for its expertise in property and affairs cases, especially those relating to high-value catastrophic injury claims. The group continually advises on capacity issues and frequently acts in an expert witness role, as well as dealing with a number of high-value personal injury trusts where partners act as trustees. Bacon heads the department following the retirement of Eddie Fardell, who remains a consultant with the firm. Catherine Fuller has particular expertise in applications relating to individuals with severe brain injuries and other complex medical conditions. Rosie Hamlyn is highly recommended for her work with clients who have been involved in catastrophic accidents.

Practice head(s):

Brian Bacon

Testimonials

‘A calm, considered and unflappable approach, old school in the very positive meaning of the phrase. The opposite of fly-by-night short-termists, solid, trustworthy, personal and a significant cut above the others because of this. Clients and professionals are served by the company, not the other way around, just as it should be

Brian Bacon is a person we could all turn to in a crisis: he has learnt his craft well and I would trust him to make decisions in the interests of others, not himself or his firm. He works well with clinical professionals, he listens and he takes on board advice whilst remaining true to his role and task. If I lose mental capacity to manage my finances, I want Brian to be my deputy

‘Brian Bacon, having taken over the running of the team from Eddie Fardell, has kept up the excellent standard that he set and made sure it is still the outstanding team it has always been’

‘A really good, quality, well-established team that works well together and individually. Brian Bacon is very good. So too is Rosie Hamlyn

‘Its particular strength is how the lawyers work together with very complex clients, their families and significant others to ensure that their needs are met safely and effectively. This requires everyone to work as a team which Thomson Snell and Passmore does effectively

‘Brian Bacon has exceptional experience and judgement, and is kind and responsive. Rosie Hamlyn is positive, kind and a great problem solver. The lawyers go the extra mile to understand and thus meet the needs of their clients’

‘I can’t praise this team enough. I have worked with the team for years and have to say it is my favourite of all the many COP teams I work with. Catherine Fuller is a delight to work with. She is so in tune with her clients’ needs and totally understands the case manager role

Catherine Fuller is a highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced solicitor who will go above and beyond to respond to her clients’ needs whilst working in partnership with all the parties involved. She is committed, caring and thoughtful but is also objective and professional at all times. Her communications skills are excellent and pitched appropriately to the task at hand. She is personable, persuasive and able to read people and a situation effectively

Withers LLP

Withers LLP has team members in the UK, the US, Hong Kong and Singapore; as a result, its 'extensive experience on cross-border issues is exceptional'. It is 'one of the industry leaders' and provides a 'Rolls-Royce service'. As well as acting for families and appointed representatives of older and vulnerable people, it regularly acts for trustees, executors, charities and other professional groups. The team routinely advises on disabled trusts and advance decisions to refuse medical treatment known as ‘living wills’. Julia Abrey has a particular interest in cross-border mental capacity issues. Stephen Richards acts for both applicants and respondents on diverse matters such as statutory wills and contested registrations of powers of attorney, as well as deputyships and health and welfare decisions. In addition, Richards regularly advises on investigations by the Office of the Public Guardian. Paul Hewitt is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Julia Abrey; Stephen Richards

Testimonials

‘One of the longest-standing and most experienced CoP teams in the country. Paul Hewitt and Stephen Richards are standout partners in this team. Both have vast experience, have handled some of the most complex cases to go through the CoP (on the property and affairs side), and bring great strategic vision and determination to bear

Julia Aubrey has huge amounts of experience: she has pretty much seen everything and has a great manner with clients

‘Consistently excellent recruitment of bright new lawyers supporting experienced and first-class partners. Stephen Richards is the best Court of Protection lawyer in the business, repeatedly securing fantastic results

‘You don’t get much more high-powered experience than at Withers. A huge amount of Court of Protection knowledge combined with a great non-contentious private client team who really know their stuff

‘Julia Abrey is particularly good at undertaking investigations into large, complicated, multi-jurisdictional estates where the patient has been financially abused. Alice Tomlin works really hard

‘There is virtually nothing Julia Abrey doesn’t know about vulnerable adults and mental capacity law, while Stephen Richards is one of the best Court of Protection litigators around – he does it all

By carving out and making the niche of elder law its own, Withers continues to be able to offer a service which responds to the many needs of those approaching their older years, without a narrow focus on one particular area. Julia Abrey’s knowledge is encyclopaedic, and her willingness to share that knowledge for the wider benefit is truly admirable

Stephen Richards is really the perfect private client litigator – he has a deep knowledge of the law and a real sense of the practically achievable and desirable, and is a rock of support to his clients

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP has significant experience in health and welfare matters and a strong financial Court of Protection offering. Team head Donna Holmes is a panel deputy and guardian and frequently acts as deputy for people who lack capacity. She has a wide range of experience in the Court of Protection, dealing with both property and affairs matters as well as assisting deputies and working on deputyship administration, lasting powers of attorney and various health and welfare applications. Kirsty MacMillan is another name to note and specialises in mental health, mental capacity/Court of Protection and community care matters. She largely acts for individuals with mental health and mental capacity issues and their families, but is also regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor.

Practice head(s):

Donna Holmes

Other key lawyers:

Kirsty MacMillan

Testimonials

‘From the the partners down, all staff are incredibly professional, competent, caring and supportive of their clients. They are approachable

‘The lawyers go the extra mile with clients to make them feel comfortable in what can be a most anxious situation

Donna Holmes is outstanding in her work always. She gets to know the clients and treats them with the respect they deserve. Nothing is too much trouble for her. Many clients have learning difficulties and she shows enormous patience when explaining situations to them

Anthony Collins is a large firm that covers many different practice areas, but each department has a small and personalised feel. If clients need support in more than one specialist area, they are able to receive this within the same firm

‘Donna is knowledgeable, approachable and someone I have no hesitation in recommending. I know that she is a safe pair of hands

‘Kirsty MacMillan really cares about her clients. She has developed a solid health and welfare practice which sits alongside the wider private client deputyship practice at the firm. She is able to build relationships with the most hard to reach clients

The team has high levels of integrity, competence and client friendliness

Donna Holmes has evidenced exceptional levels of competence and integrity and a client-centric approach

Key clients

FS

CO

Mrs G

BCC

PW

PCS

CA

SP

KSS

RT

Work highlights

  • Advised CA in a successful challenge to a deprivation of her liberty and provided ongoing support and assistance for her financial management.
  • Undertook an urgent investigation into KSS’ finances and assets following significant financial abuse allegations, enabling the court to determine KSS’ best interests on welfare and financial matters.
  • Supported vulnerable but capacitous AMPC to make decisions and obtain support regarding a significant inheritance and management of his own finances, giving reassurance that he was protected to Social Services and his care provider.

Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP

David Wedgwood co-heads the practice at Anthony Gold; as a qualified social worker, he has in-depth knowledge of capacity issues, rehabilitation and care plans. Wedgwood frequently acts in deputyship cases and handles both welfare and finance-related litigation in the Court of Protection, as well as regularly acting as an expert witness. His clients include a wide range of protected parties from government ministers and celebrities through to the poorest members of the community. Alexandra Knipe, who was made joint department head in May 2019, heads the side of the practice dealing with deputyships arising from complex personal injury and clinical negligence cases. She is vastly experienced in supporting clients who have acquired brain injuries, severe physical disabilities and mental illnesses. The team has also expanded at associate level with two new hires.

Practice head(s):

David Wedgwood; Alexandra Knipe

Testimonials

A team with a recognised and well-deserved profile in this area. The lawyers know exactly how to engage with Court of Protection matters in the right spirit. David Wedgwood has been in the field a long time and has accumulated a huge amount of wisdom. Clients appreciate his bedside manner and dedication

It is an excellent team and David Wedgwood is very well respected in the area

‘Anthony Gold has a significant Court of Protection practice and acts in many of the most significant cases. David Wedgwood is well known in the market and an experienced deputy

‘David Wedgwood stands out for his knowledge as a professional deputy and experience acting in complex cases for the team’s very vulnerable clients, and he manages a great CoP team of individuals

Emma Tante stands out as an incredibly impressive solicitor in her field. She is both diligent and creative in her approach, has achieved fantastic outcomes for clients, and leaves no stone unturned in challenging health and social services to adequately meet the needs of her clients

Always easily contactable and quick to provide solutions. Very person-centred and wanting to do the best for the client. Alexandra Knipe is always professional and understands her clients’ needs well. Nicola Gunn is hardworking, knowledgeable and supportive of families

‘The recent addition of Grainne Feeney will boost the team’s ability to handle complex matters, including international work

David Wedgwood and Alex Knipe head a good team which has expertise in property and affairs and healthcare matters and is growing. It appears increasingly regularly as one of the leading London teams

Key clients

Ms JS

Deputyship for high-net-worth individual from Hong Kong

The Official Solicitor

A 60-year-old man with learning difficulties

A 92-year-old Indian woman with Alzheimer’s

Mrs T, an 80-year-old woman suffering from dementia

A boy with cerebral palsy

Mr M

J, a man struck by a car whilst on holiday abroad in France

A 19-year-old woman with significant learning difficulties

Work highlights

  • Acting for JS, a Chinese resident, in applications relating to funding a support plan in Shanghai and IVF treatment in California.
  • Resolved issues around non-domicile tax, Hong Kong estates and safeguarding on behalf of TY.
  • Acting for the Official Solicitor in safeguarding protected parties’ assets and welfare, as well as issues around statutory wills, gifts and deputyships.

Bindmans LLP

Bindmans LLP has particular expertise in representing vulnerable people and their families before the Court of Protection. It advises clients on the full spectrum of matters, from best interests decisions in respect of a person’s welfare through to serious medical treatment cases where life-sustaining treatment is withheld or withdrawn. It also routinely advises on other major issues such an individual’s capacity to consent, welfare and financial deputyship matters, and lasting powers of attorney. Paul Ridge heads the team, which includes associate Laura Hobey-Hamsher, who is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor and family members on a broad range of welfare and serious medical treatment cases; Charlotte Haworth Hird, who has an extensive mental capacity and Court of Protection practice; Amy Rowe; and solicitor Will Whitaker. Solicitor Elizabeth Cleaver joined the team from Burke Niazi Solicitors & Associates in February 2020.

Practice head(s):

Paul Ridge

Testimonials

Greatly committed team that takes on some of the most challenging and difficult CoP cases. Great range of experience. Laura Hobey-Hamsher is a standout individual – she is vastly experienced, she has the confidence and ear of High Court judges, and her attendance notes on clients are routinely quoted in High Court judgments’

Laura Hobey-Hamsher is fantastic and exceptionally bright’

‘The team has significant experience of Court of Protection welfare cases, including those regarding urgent and serious medical treatment decisions. Its preparation and attention to detail are excellent’

Laura Hobey-Hamsher is very committed to her clients and produces absolutely excellent witness statements’

Laura Hobey-Hamsher is very good and extremely experienced

Charlotte Haworth Hird is first class, with great knowledge and a very good way with clients and opponents

‘An excellent team with strength at every level. The lawyers are extremely committed to their clients and always go the extra mile. Their expertise in related areas of public law and human rights is a great asset. Will Whitaker is always excellent. He gets on extremely well with clients and is very good in a crisis. He demonstrates judgement and maturity well beyond his years of PQE

‘It is a high-profile firm that gets a lot of good cases. The lawyers are willing to take on difficult cases and fight hard. Laura Hobey-Hamsher is an excellent Court of Protection lawyer – she is dedicated and goes the extra mile for her clients

Work highlights

  • Acting for CD in An NHS Foundation Trust v (1) AB, (2) CD, and (3) A Local Authority, in which the client opposed the termination of her vulnerable daughter’s pregnancy.
  • Acting in complex proceedings concerning the welfare of a UK national resident in Spain, diagnosed with Parkinson’s and dementia.
  • Continuing to represent the Health Service Executive of Ireland in complex and novel cases in relation to the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection to recognise and enforce foreign orders relating to the placement of vulnerable adults in institutional care in this jurisdiction.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP works across a large geographical area with offices in London and Guildford. The team is uniquely placed to advise on the most serious and technical aspects of Court of Protection cases in conjunction with its strong private client, matrimonial and private wealth disputes teams. As a result, it routinely acts on multi-jurisdictional disputes and has advised on matters of fraud, complex tax planning and other issues such as the management of large estates with global asset portfolios. Suzanne Marriott is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly, as well as the STEP special interest group on mental capacity (along with Sally Ashford). She regularly acts as an independent deputy for property and affairs and health and welfare.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Marriott; Sally Ashford

Testimonials

‘It is able to deal with any Court of Protection issue, regardless of the complexities, the family background, and the issues or wealth involved. The teams is massively experienced at both partner and associate level, so has a real understanding and feel for the practice area. The COP team also integrates really well with the wider private client and contentious trusts and probate teams

Court of Protection work requires a sensitivity which this team demonstrates exceptionally. The lawyers never lose sight of what they can achieve and how it ought to be approached. They have in-depth knowledge of the area which makes them an obvious choice for the big cases

‘Suzanne Marriott is simply at the absolute forefront of this practice area – she is highly sought after as a litigator, but also a go to as an independent administrator, trustee or deputy in highly contentious situations: she brings an unparalleled degree of calm and good sense

‘CRS’s private client team is clever and thoughtful. Suzanne Marriott is exceptional – clever, strategic and calm

‘Sally Ashford and her team are thorough and yet flexible in their approach and determination to secure the very best outcomes and quality of life for the clients they support. I was hugely impressed by Sally’s relentless dedication and eye for detail, always within professional yet genuinely empathic boundaries

‘Duncan Elson has a wealth of experience to bring to a difficult case – he is definitely someone you can trust, particularly as an independent deputy.  I often recommend Duncan

‘Graeme Kleiner is eminently well suited to this work – he is never aggressive while holding his ground, and he never loses sight of what the clients are trying to achieve

Oliver Auld gives the team a real strength in depth: he is highly experienced and a steady pair of hands

Clarke Willmott LLP

Anthony Fairweather leads the team at Clarke Willmott LLP, which specialises in the management of the full spectrum of Court of Protection work. The team, which 'genuinely cares for its clients', routinely advises on high-value personal injury awards arising from catastrophic injury and clinical negligence cases, as well as handling matters of fraud, insolvency and abuse by attorneys. Other strengths lie in advising on foreign jurisdiction matters, dementia-related cases, disputes with local authorities, and Care Act funding and associated welfare issues. Anne Minihane is a member of various key bodies in this area, including the Public Guardian’s panel of professional deputies, STEP and Solicitors for the Elderly. Newly promoted partner Jess Flanagan is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Fairweather

Testimonials

‘It is always a pleasure to work with this firm. Anthony Fairweather has unrivalled sector knowledge

‘Clarke Willmott LLP’s Court of Protection practice is exceptional to deal with. The lawyers are kind which is an important trait, especially when dealing with vulnerable people. Anthony Fairweather is an utter professional. He is transparent in his communications and balanced in his opinions. He responds in a prompt manner and is always courteous

‘Anne Minihane has considerable practical experience and is a Court of Protection panel member. She is very prompt in responding to and progressing matters

Jess Flanagan cuts through complex issues to identify the core of the case and is particularly good at interacting with the protected party on complex cases. She is pragmatic and able to negotiate cases particularly well

‘Clarke Willmott has a broad deputyship team with a dedicated and effective health and welfare team working alongside it. Camille Ivinson is a rising star in Court of Protection matters and gets the job done for her clients. Jess Flanagan is a safe pair of hands and is known for being able to bring a sense of calm to heated situations

‘Jess Flanagan is first-class’

A small, passionate and friendly team with incredible experience. Always pragmatic and on top of its cases. Its clients are always well represented. Jess Flanagan has an incredible ability to pick out key issues and her client care is exceptional. She knows the Mental Capacity Act 2005 inside out. She is always on hand for the junior members of the team when they need her’

‘Camille Ivinson punches above her weight in terms of the complexity of the cases that she deals with having regard to her legal experience

Key clients

Training in Mind (Wales)

Southern Advocacy Services (Isle of Wight)

Dorset Advocacy

Official Solicitor

Solent Mind

Swan Advocacy

Mental Health Matters Wales

Bristol Mind

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a multi-disciplinary team that advises on mental health, community care, clinical negligence and public law through its various offices across England and Wales. The team has particular strength in the interplay between the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005, as well as deprivation of liberty safeguards. It frequently represents vulnerable clients and family members in disputes relating to mental capacity and in best interests welfare discussions pertaining to residence, contact, care and medical treatment. Other key focus areas include representing clients in disputes about the registration of lasting powers of attorney and the appointment of deputies. Alex Peebles and Rachel Caswell head the team.

 

Practice head(s):

Alex Peebles; Rachel Caswell

Other key lawyers:

Helen Cummings

Testimonials

‘Duncan Lewis has a growing Court of Protection practice and is increasingly called upon by the Official Solicitor. Alex Peebles is well regarded in health and welfare circles

Rachel Caswell is efficient and approachable. She works collaboratively without being prescriptive, and this benefits the clients’

‘It is truly a national firm that is able to offer a cross-jurisdictional approach to clients’ needs. Helen Cummings is a standout associate. She manages to gain the trust of clients and tribunals with ease

‘Helen Cummings’ advice in particular is thorough and ensures that the protected party’s views are amplified in every aspect

Helen Cummings is knowledgeable, practical and has a genuine interest in obtaining the best possible result for her client. She is friendly and offers timely advice’

Helen Cummings is incredibly dedicated to her clients and their cases. Her approach is well balanced: she knows when to take good points and when bad points can result in poor outcomes for her clients

Helen is devoted to getting things done well and will give up endless hours to her case load. Helen is an innovator’

Rachel Caswell has a good manner with clients

Enable Law

Enable Law's 'fantastic practice' has a particular specialism in personal injury and clinical negligence matters. The team is led by the 'gold standardStacey Bryant, who has extensive experience of advising clients who lack capacity following a traumatic acquired brain injury and acts for a wide range of clients from children to adults. Consultant Patricia Wass is another known name in the mental capacity team who specialises in powers of attorney, Court of Protection work and other legal issues relating to the elderly and vulnerable. The 'responsive, accurate and helpfulHolly Mieville-Hawkins is skilled in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious property and financial affairs matters.

Practice head(s):

Stacey Bryant

Testimonials

‘A super team. I feel confident each member is aware of what the others are doing so there is always continuity even if the main contacts are unavailable

Personable, friendly, down to earth, straight talking and caring. I feel able to talk about absolutely anything, good and bad, without feeling judged or not listened to’

Client centred, approachable, available, personable, professional and highly experienced. Fully understand and value the role of a case manager’

Stacey Bryant is the gold standard

Just a fantastic practice that works well with its clients. The lawyers listen to suggestions. Fees are set out at the start of the year and communicated at the annual financial review

‘Holly Mieville-Hawkins manages her team well and communicates the correct amount of information in the appropriate manner rather than just legal jargon. She is responsive, accurate, helpful and respected by her team

Gillhams Solicitors LLP

Gillhams Solicitors LLP's well-established team includes Russell Caller, Hina Tailor and Christopher Poxamatis, all of whom are members of the Public Guardian's panel of deputies and manage numerous deputyship cases. The team often advises on complex cases involving issues such as financial abuse and jurisdictional matters, as well as health and welfare matters. The firm acts for Court of Protection clients ranging from elderly clients with dementia to clients with mental health issues or brain injuries resulting from accidents or medical negligence. The team also advises on statutory and gift applications which have been referred by the Official Solicitor.

Other key lawyers:

Hina Tailor

Testimonials

‘The team is efficient and committed to its clients. The lawyers are extremely approachable and work in a transparent manner. Russell Caller is a delight to work with. He has such a level-headed, sensible approach to some very sensitive and complex situations

Russell Caller is very experienced and proactive in acting for extremely vulnerable children. Christopher Poxamatis has a way of explaining Court of Protection matters that connects with clients and family members to turn difficult situations into working relationships, acting in the best interest of the client

‘The firm was fantastic from start to finish. Chris was outstanding and always replied to emails and phone calls the same day

‘The level of expertise and professionalism is refreshing and essential when working with and caring for elderly people in the community. It is a well-respected practice with a broad level of experience in dealing with complex care issues both in care homes and the community. Its advice in helping to navigate complex family dynamics which may affect care approaches is very valuable and essential

Russell Caller always takes his time to advise us about potentially complicated scenarios involving lasting power of attorney issues and best interest issues when caring for the elderly in social care settings. He is easy to understand and takes his time to review all possibilities for the best approach to clients’ care needs’

The team at Gillhams Solicitors is personable, professional and very experienced in Court of Protection matters. Its attention to detail makes working with everyone extremely easy and the team has a strong client focus

The firm has a very well-established Court of Protection practice, with several of its members regularly acting as panel deputies. The team therefore has the benefit of a vast cumulative wisdom of Court of Protection-related issues and there are few problems that the team has not previously encountered’

Russell Caller and Chris Poxamatis have great experience in acting as panel deputies. Hina Tailor is a very careful and thorough private client lawyer who supports the Court of Protection team with her experience in estate administration

Hugh James

Under the leadership of the 'extremely knowledgeableAndrew Harding, the multi-faceted team at Hugh James consists of brain injury legal experts, a qualified social worker and an accountant. The practice deals solely with high-value complex cases arising from damages claims. It currently manages the affairs of 165 individuals, including 133 deputyships and 32 trusts with total assets (including property and large investment portfolios) exceeding £175m. The work of the 'approachable and capable' team extends from overseeing the direct employment of care teams to advising on home adaptations and managing planning and building applications.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Harding

Testimonials

The professionalism and support I have had has been exceptional. The lawyers have been approachable, and their response times to any enquiries have been prompt and direct’

Andrew Harding, Kate Coles, Charlotte Fletcher and Joy Davies have always been very professional and helpful

Very professional, and all members of the team who I have had contact with have been responsive, putting the client’s needs at the forefront of their work. The individuals I work with are always able to help

‘The team is very professional and caring towards the clients. Kate Coles, Charlotte Fletcher and Andrew Harding have a good rapport with clients and case managers’

The team is very approachable and capable

‘Kate Coles and Andrew Harding keep us as a family in the loop and take our opinions into account when making decisions. They make home visits to keep us up to date with the finances and are always available to offer guidance and advice on every situation

‘A professional team that is extremely knowledgeable about its clients’ needs

Andrew Harding is extremely knowledgeable. Also, coming from a litigation background, he truly understands his clients. He is very ably and efficiently assisted by Kate Coles

JE Bennett Law

JE Bennett Law is best known for its Court of Protection work and its focus on advising vulnerable clients. The practice is led by the 'extremely hands-on and practicalJane Bennett, who routinely acts as an expert witness in catastrophic injury cases and also acts as a deputy for elderly clients and those with catastrophic brain and spinal injuries. The group continues to receive referrals through Bennett’s panel appointment as a professional deputy and this in turn generates referrals from the Official Solicitor and other non-specialist solicitors. The 'experienced and user-friendly' team also includes Richard Shearing and Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby, who was promoted to partner in December 2019.

Practice head(s):

Jane Bennett

Testimonials

‘Jane Bennett is extremely hands on and practical’

Jane Bennett is always prompt and deals with instructions efficiently. She is helpful and approachable. I value her professionalism and turnaround times in cases where things can be a bit last minute. Jane always delivers for us

‘A very strong team ethic as the practice has developed over the last few years. Jane Bennett is a leading industry figure, with a strong business acumen built upon excellent client care. Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby is a rising star of the team

The team at JE Bennett Law knows its clients well, and the lawyers are responsive to issues and supportive of the case management process. Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby has an exceptional ability to empathise with her clients and to create solutions that place their needs at the centre of the decision-making process’

Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby is a caring and effective deputy. She is very supportive but not afraid to challenge when necessary. Her patience and understanding in the face of rudeness and provocation deserves real admiration. I think her previous experience in psychology and working with disabled people really gives her an edge

Lorna is infectiously passionate about promoting independence and is happy to think outside the box in ensuring her clients have access to the necessary support and rehabilitation services. Her approach is one of someone highly skilled in her field. Lorna remains professional at all times and nothing seems too much

‘Richard is very practically involved with his clients. He is highly respected by clients and professionals alike. Richard is very approachable and is obviously highly skilled and knowledgeable

‘Highly professional service at a fair price. An experienced and user-friendly team

Key clients

ASB Aspire LLP – re expert witness work

Plexus Law – re expert witness work

Elderly woman with abusive attorney removed in favour of Jane Bennett as panel deputy

Elderly high-net-worth man with dementia who was a former diamond merchant

DAC Beachcroft re expert witness work

DWF re expert witness work

Weightmans re expert witness work

Elderly gentleman with brain injury – Jane Bennett involved as deputy

Woman with brain injury – Jane Bennett involved as deputy

Young woman with brain injury – Jane Bennett instructed to act as deputy

Work highlights

  • Appointed by the court via the Official Solicitor to act as a deputy for property and affairs for a woman whose estate has been subjected to fraud and allegations of conspiracy to commit fraud, and appeared as an expert witness in the Criminal Court.
  • Acting as property and affairs deputies for an elderly former businessman whose estate is valued at over £12m, including setting up extensive tax-planning vehicles to ensure his estate minimises its tax liabilities.

Leigh Day

The human rights department at Leigh Day includes a specialist Court of Protection team with an established practice in 'best interests' cases. The team receives regular referrals from the Official Solicitor in matters relating to deprivation of liberty, contact, residence and sexual relations. Jamie Beagent leads the practice. Another key contact is associate Anna Moore, who acts in a variety of health and welfare cases before the Court of Protection and is instructed both by family members and by the Official Solicitor on behalf of protected parties. In addition, she is an accredited legal representative under the Law Society’s mental capacity accreditation scheme. Frances Swaine is another recognised practitioner in this area.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Beagent

Testimonials

‘The lawyers are real fighters but excellent lawyers at the same time. Their case preparation is very good and they show real commitment to clients, whom they treat as individuals’

I am highly impressed with the firm as it is a true representation of its ethos – to get justice for those who would otherwise not have a voice

Anna Moore is simply excellent. Her case preparation is exceptionally thorough and she is one of the most committed solicitors around, yet she manages to retain sufficient detachment to have good judgement. Her legal analysis and clarity of expression also make her stand out

‘In the area of Court of Protection health and welfare, Anna Moore is a highly competent and experienced solicitor. She brings to her work thoughtfulness and an ability to understand the detail and nuance of the case which makes her an effective litigator in this area. She is an excellent communicator with clients and families, other parties and other professionals involved in the case alike’

Merry Varney is an excellent and supportive lawyer. The firm is well resourced with many departments that complement each other

Anna Moore is excellent – very thoughtful, intelligent and with good judgement. She has a nose for a good case

Anna Moore is a pleasure to work with, being both friendly and a true professional. She is evidently very experienced and has a wealth of knowledge given how thorough she is in her work

The team was very thorough, explained everything to me and set out what was required very clearly

Key clients

JDO – Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts

HB – Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts

CF – Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts

JS

AM – Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts

JLC – Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts

RW – Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts

PH – Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts

AM – Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts

MA – Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts

Work highlights

  • Acted in a complex Court of Protection case (with a linked clinical negligence claim), successfully arguing that JDO should be moved to a bespoke placement to start a trial of independent living.
  • Advising on Court of Protection proceedings that are currently being heard in the High Court due to complexities about CF’s capacity to make decisions about meeting individuals online.
  • Advising on a cross-jurisdictional case, successfully securing MCS’s repatriation to her home country of Colombia after years of delay, and pursuing and settling a Human Rights Act claim.

Miles & Partners LLP

Miles & Partners LLP's specialist solicitors have expertise in the field of family and relationship, mental health and housing law, with particular strength in mental capacity issues. The team has more recently expanded into the area of community care. The team, which is jointly headed by Floyd Porter and Rachel Turner, is adept at handling matters in the Court of Protection. It is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor, the relevant person’s representatives and relatives. Porter, Turner and Andrew Bowmer are approved legal representatives under the Law Society's mental capacity welfare accreditation scheme.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Turner; Floyd Porter

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Bowmer; Kaileigh Hazeldine

Testimonials

‘An expert team with a well-earned reputation in the field. Well organised, client focused and a pleasure to work with. Rachel Turner has a first-class legal mind, and is conscientious, efficient, thoughtful and tenacious

Floyd Porter is committed, a great strategist, and fearless in pursuing his client’s interests. Andrew Bowmer has an unusual and formidable combination of excellent knowledge of the Court of Protection with public law expertise

‘Rachel Turner is a pleasure to work with, very competent and great with clients’

‘Floyd Porter has a very calm manner and handles a client who is particularly difficult patiently and firmly. He has a very good understanding of the legal and human issues that underpin decision making in the Court of Protection and  focuses on what is important. Rachel Turner and Kaileigh Hazeldine are both excellent – extremely knowledgeable and very efficient

‘Very thorough, professional and committed to their clients. They give sensible advice in difficult circumstances. Floyd Porter is very astute. He is sensitive but that doesn’t mean he isn’t able to vigorously act in his client’s interests

‘Andrew Bowmer is  outstanding: proactive, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. Legal advice from Andrew is exceptionally thorough and well reasoned

Andrew Bowmer has a very clear and engaging approach to clients and is diligent in terms of seeking the protected party’s wishes and feelings. He thinks through cases. He is approachable and thorough

The lawyers are experts in the Court of Protection. Andrew Bowmer really knows his stuff. He is a very experienced solicitor, really knowledgeable about Court of Protection  matters and manages complex cases’

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP frequently acts as a professional deputy or trustee for individuals who are in receipt of an award due to personal injury or clinical negligence. The team led by Julie Burton acts for children and adults with acquired brain injuries and other injuries across the UK and internationally. It also manages the estates of a number of elderly clients. PennTrust Ltd, the firm's trust corporation, is on the Court of Protection deputyship panel and the brain injury group specialist panel for Court of Protection practitioners. The team recently welcomed Grace Serwanga to its ranks from Simpson Millar LLP and Daniel Toop was promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Julie Burton

Testimonials

This team is always superb when it comes to representing brain injured people – just outstanding

Julie Burton wears her wealth of experience lightly; always appears friendly and approachable with clients; and, importantly, manages to take clients with her, even in situations where she is having to give them advice they do not want to hear. Daniel Toop, now himself recently made up as a partner, is very much in Julie’s mould and definitely one to watch for the future

‘A strong COP team that is highly regarded in COP circles and does high-profile work. Led by Julie Burton with a wealth of experience’

Julie Burton is calm and extremely knowledgeable and is able to make quick, common-sense decisions based on her years of experience and background in private client law. Danny Toop is also very knowledgeable’

Julie Burton is very experienced and deals with the most complex of matters. Daniel Toop has now been made partner after specialising in this field for a long period of time. He’s excellent at balancing the client’s needs with what the finances will allow to be achieved. A lot of fellow practitioners would do well to follow his lead’

This is a brilliant team led by Julie Burton. The lawyers are so committed to clients in terms of the support that they provide during litigation and after. I am confident that they will do what is best

The team is very responsive, proactive and engaged. The lawyers are very approachable and I deal with Julie and her team almost exclusively because they are so brilliant. Julie is so knowledgeable and has huge experience. She is also incredibly down to earth and approachable; her ability to explain and talk through the issues is unrivalled. She is very practical’

‘I am delighted that Daniel Toop has been made partner. He has absorbed Julie’s knowledge and commitment to clients. I am very impressed with him. Rachel Taylor is a senior associate in the team.  She is fantastic – very proactive, practical and approachable. She is brilliant

Russell-Cooke LLP

Russell-Cooke LLP has a broad range of experience, advising on both contentious and non-contentious Court of Protection matters. It acts for a variety of private clients as both applicants and respondents, as well as not-for-profit organisations whose users do not have capacity to manage their own property and financial affairs. Other strengths include advising on statutory will applications, applications in relation to lifetime gifts, health and welfare applications and applications for deputyship (both contested and agreed). It also has specialist cross-border expertise and regularly assists clients in cases involving foreign assets and with the enforcement of lasting powers of attorney and orders abroad. Rita Bhargava and Gareth Ledsham are the key figures in the team.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Ledsham; Rita Bhargava

Testimonials

Russell-Cooke is highly experienced in Court of Protection matters. The lawyers have in-depth knowledge, are very responsive, and highly organised.  They are committed to and sensitive to the needs of vulnerable clients, and I think they deliver an excellent legal product to them. I think Rita Bhargava is an excellent partner; she is responsive, knowledgeable and handles sensitive, complex matters in an astute manner

The team has a great knowledge of property and affairs matters particularly. Gareth Ledsham is so clever and diligent and really cares about the clients’

Gareth Ledsham works tirelessly. He shows true compassion and builds a great relationship with clients – he shows he truly cares and goes above and beyond to get the best outcome possible, ensuring the balance between risk and reward is always highlighted so clients can make an informed decision

‘It is a smallish, very close-knit team, with a real sense of common ethos and approach

‘It is a really sensible and practical team. You know the lawyers will fight their clients’ corner and they understand the area inside out and can see the bigger picture for their client. Every member of the team shows excellent instincts and is really practically minded, focused on achieving the best possible result for the client

‘An excellent team, with real strength in depth and cross-disciplinary experience. Gareth Ledsham is excellent and inspires great confidence. Russell-Cooke is a titan in the sector and really understands the Court of Protection

‘I think it is the team’s wide-ranging, specialist expertise across private client and family law, as well as contentious and non-contentious matters, that makes it unique. The lawyers all have membership of relevant specialist groups like STEP and ACTAPS

As well as specialising in all matters of practice relating to mental capacity, if you have a family member or loved one who is vulnerable, you want Rita Bhargava in your corner

Key clients

Russell-Cooke Trust Company

Mackintosh Law

Mackintosh Law is a niche firm that specialises in mental capacity welfare cases in the Court of Protection. It is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor in vulnerable adult protection cases and challenges to deprivation of liberty under the Mental Capacity Act which raise complex and novel issues. The team frequently advises on cases which require the involvement of statutory agencies and family members, including cases relating to the protection of disabled adults at risk of abuse or neglect, or the consideration of mental capacity on a range of matters, including medical issues. Nicola Mackintosh was recently joined as co-director of the firm by Zena Soormally Bolwig, who was previously at Simpson Millar LLP. Melissa Law moved to Edwards Duthie Shamash in November 2019.

Testimonials

This team is entirely devoted to the best interests of its clients and always puts their needs first. Nicola Mackintosh particularly stands out; she leads from the front and has pioneered legal aid representation via the Official Solicitor in some highly challenging and complicated cases

The firm’s practice is unique because it is highly specialised and only takes on predominantly Court of Protection health and welfare cases. Nicola Mackintosh is a very highly regarded and experienced practitioner in the areas of Court of Protection and community care. Zena Soormally is cast in the same mould, and will be an extremely effective tag-team with Nicola

‘A niche community law and welfare Court of Protection practice with a team of highly experienced and dedicated lawyers who are prepared to push boundaries and go the extra mile to achieve excellent outcomes for their very vulnerable clients. Nicola Mackintosh is a fierce advocate for her clients

It is unique in that Nicola Mackintosh has complete oversight of all cases. She is one of the most dedicated and forward-thinking solicitors I have ever come across. She is an absolutely excellent solicitor and leaves no stone unturned to get the best result for her clients

‘Nicola has pioneered proper participation for protected parties in Court of Protection proceedings, no matter what their difficulties or disabilities. She is fearless in her pursuit of justice

Nicola Mackintosh QC (Hon) takes a very hands-on approach to cases. That means a very sophisticated level of engagement and that potentially thorny issues get identified quickly and addressed properly. Nicola is extremely knowledgeable, experienced, committed and engaged. She fights hard to get the best for vulnerable clients and looks for ways to make things better

Nicola Mackintosh continues to be one of the single most impressive solicitors in the Court of Protection field – tenacious but pragmatic, and exceptionally creative in her approach to securing the participation and the interests of the individual at the heart of the proceedings

The firm dedicates itself to Court of Protection welfare matters and has a strong reputation for managing complex cases and ensuring that the protected party is at the heart of the process. Nicola Mackintosh is one of the most experienced COP practitioners in the country. She dedicates a huge amount of her time to wider policy work and the developing of the law

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP continues to advise on a broad range of welfare, health, property and affairs matters. Clients include a large number of local authorities, NHS trusts, and private health and social care providers. Areas of expertise include advising on a myriad of issues under the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act, as well as on best interests assessments. The team also routinely advises on other areas such as orders permitting restraint, sedation and transportation to hospital. Morris Hill, Richard Jolly and Simon Goacher are the key members of the team.

Key clients

Kirklees MBC

Knowsley MBC

Leicestershire County Council

Cumbria County Council

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Rutland County council

Cumbria County Council

Wirral MBC

Royal Free Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Bolton CCG

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP has a specialist team that is widely recognised for its work in the Court of Protection and for its management of personal injury funds. Of particular note is the fact that the firm has been appointed to the Office of the Public Guardian's panel of deputies since June 2015. The practice provides a comprehensive service to clients on all aspects of property and financial affairs, managing numerous deputyships and trusts. It also frequently acts as an expert witness and provides specialist advice on community care and local authority and NHS care provision and funding. Lynne Bradey, Lisa Eato and Jane Netting are all highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Jane Netting; Lisa Eato

Testimonials

Undoubtedly Wrigleys has great strength in depth in its Court of Protection offering. The lawyers have huge experience and have a great feel for this area. Jane Netting has great experience and is very approachable. Kate Edwards is thoughtful and eager to solve problems

The team has a great deal of knowledge and experience in dealing with Court of Protection matters. The lawyers are able to take often complex situations and break them down into digestible tasks which they complete extremely well, and give the client the right level of interaction and communication so they feel comfortable with what is going on

‘A long-established firm with a noted specialism in personal injury and Court of Protection work. It has recruited well in recent years. Kate Edwards is an excellent and increasingly high-profile deputy – empathetic and engaging but no-nonsense when required

‘This team is unique because of the people in it. Not only is their level of expertise second to none, but the lawyers have a desire to help those of us who have little or no knowledge of this area of law. They are approachable and friendly and that, combined with the broad range of expertise and exceptional level of knowledge in this area, makes for an extremely high level of service

‘Lynne Bradey is supremely knowledgeable – she (literally) wrote the book on Court of Protection work’

Charlotte Dyson is extremely bright, with excellent judgement and great client-handling skills

‘Charlotte Dyson is a partner of the future. She is excellent with vulnerable clients and able to quickly build a rapport

‘A very experienced team with a national reputation. Easy to work with, very practical and good at solving problems and collaborating

Abbotstone Law

Abbotstone Law has an established practice in mental capacity law. It regularly represents vulnerable adults and family members in health and welfare Court of Protection proceedings. In addition, it is frequently instructed by the Official Solicitor on section 21A challenges and best interest cases. It often advises the protected party on safeguarding disputes and matters such as access to the internet and social media, consent to marry and sexual relations. Team head Kate Luscombe is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Kate Luscombe

Testimonials

The firm, in my experience, reliably provides an excellent and professional service’

The team always provides timely and appropriate advice and is careful to meet court deadlines. Rhiannon Jones is extremely professional and has a good level of expertise in COP work

Rhiannon Jones is always easy to work with, helps cut through any legal jargon, and is very friendly and approachable whilst being able to fight on behalf of the protected party. Rhiannon is often on hand to talk matters through and nothing ever seems too much trouble for her

‘Rhiannon gives me confidence in her abilities and capabilities to work in a person-centred manner that always keeps the best interests of the client at the forefront

Angela Smith stands out for her attention to detail, dedication (working all hours!) and exceptional client care

A very straightforward and hardworking Court of Protection specialist team.  Very impressed with its strategic thinking and depth of knowledge. Angela Smith is excellent. She gathers information extremely well and gets to the nub of the problem quickly

Angela brings to her work a depth of experience in Court of Protection health and welfare matters and the linked area of mental health, having practised in these areas for many years. Besides her confidence and high level of competence in running the case, her particular strengths are her pragmatic and down-to-earth approach, which is extremely useful in this area, enabling her to get on well with clients in all sorts of situations

Francesca Gabbitas is effective. She is very good at getting on with the protected parties she represents, she has good judgement and works her cases well

Boyes Turner

Ruth Meyer leads the team at Boyes Turner, which specialises in the management of the property and affairs of those who lack capacity. The majority of its clients are high-net-worth individuals, and the team is well known for assisting children with brain injuries and their families, who have substantial compensation claims. As well as acting as professional deputy, the team also advises lay deputies and attorneys on matters relating to their appointments, statutory wills, gifts and other matters. Jemma Garside is another name to note for her community care expertise.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Meyer

Other key lawyers:

Jemma Garside; Alexander Wright

Testimonials

‘An extremely well-organised and structured Court of Protection team, all of whom are extremely engaging with the client and in professional communications. Ruth Meyer is an exceptional Court of Protection solicitor who sets the culture for the team, also supported by Alexander Wright – they have very strong decision-making processes in place for their clients and COP obligations’

Boyes Turner’s Court of Protection practice continues to grow in strength and can now boast an exceptional team led by Ruth Meyer. Ruth Meyer stands out from the moment you meet her. She is client focused, caring and very bright, with the sensitivity and balance to maintain her trusted status with families and other professionals

Very client focused and very supportive when working with all its clients, in particular those with complex needs

The CoP team at Boyes Turner led by Ruth Meyer is highly professional and knowledgeable in its particular field of law. The team members are accessible and work in a responsive and timely way for the benefit of clients

Ruth Meyer is a good leader, always has her clients’ best interests at heart and works tirelessly to ensure their needs are met

Alexander Wright is very active, hardworking and doing really well. Ruth Meyer is an excellent deputy. Jemma Garside is also doing good work on community law

‘Alexander Wright is a rising star. Dynamic, focused and one to watch for the future. He is currently a senior associate but is definitely partner material

Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors

The growing Court of Protection team at Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors is led by Lesley-Ann Mayhew. The group frequently acts as professional deputy in cases involving multimillion-pound damages awards for claimants of medical negligence. It also advises on areas such as applications to the Court of Protection in relation to the appointment of lay deputies, lifetime gifts, the creation of settlements, and the removal and appointment of trustees, as well as on statutory wills. Increasingly frequently, the team receives referrals from injury lawyers who do not have in-house Court of Protection teams.

Practice head(s):

Lesley-Ann Mayhew

Testimonials

Small but nimble team with access to the whole spectrum of advice across the firm’

This is a boutique outfit which offers a tremendous service to its clients. Lesley-Ann Mayhew is a star performer who has strong, incisive knowledge of this field. She is an extraordinarily hard worker who works tirelessly for her clients

‘Lesley-Ann Mayhew goes from strength to strength. She is both approachable and efficient

Lesley-Ann Mayhew stands out for her in-depth consideration of issues and swift responses

Lesley Ann-Mayhew was very efficient at picking up the case and was very sensitive and empathetic in the way she handled the matter. She promptly provided clear and concise advice. The service provided was excellent, she was very approachable, and I have no doubts that we will work together on similar matters in future

BDB Pitmans

The Court of Protection team at BDB Pitmans is led by Alastair Collett and handles non-contentious matters and litigation, advising on issues such as care for the elderly and will and trust disputes. The team is recommended for its work with wealthy clients on capacity issues and has substantial experience in Court of Protection cases, as well as advising on bringing and defending objections to lasting powers of attorney. Lucinda Brown recently joined the team from Hewitsons, bringing further expertise to the team in contentious Court of Protection matters and cases involving the financial abuse of vulnerable adults. Geoffrey Kertesz moved to Stewarts Law LLP in August 2020.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Collett

Other key lawyers:

Lucinda Brown

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP has a sizeable national Court of Protection team. It offers specialist expertise in Court of Protection work and complex related issues under the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act, as well as human rights and equality matters. It has been busy advising on serious medical treatment cases, ranging from disputes over end-of-life care to the withdrawal of treatment of neonates and children. It also frequently advises on care and treatment funding. Key members of the team include Joanne Easterbrook, Stuart Marchant, Simon LindsayTim Hodgetts, Hannah Taylor, Carlton Sadler  and Julia Jones.

Testimonials

Simon Lindsay and Stuart Marchant have great experience and always seek practical solutions to clients’ problems before reaching for the court application. Hannah Taylor was simply a star in the making from the first time I met her years ago thanks to her wisdom and level head’

Specialist expertise in welfare and health cases, primarily for healthcare bodies. Very experienced and effective

Hannah Taylor is first-class in terms of expertise and knowledge of the legal issues

Hannah Taylor is dogged in the way she runs her cases. There are many complementary departments, making it a very good choice for public sector clients in the health sector

Hannah Taylor is effective as a partner and in her COP work

Key clients

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Whittington Health NHS Trust

Gloucester Health and Care NHS FT (Formerly 2gether NHS Foundation Trust)

Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Livewell Southwest Community Interest Company

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

St Anne’s Community Services Ltd

Care Management Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust in a precedent-setting case in relation to fluctuating capacity and obstetric care.
  • Acted for the Cambian Group in the national Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, giving evidence about best practice in safeguarding young people with mental health problems.

Burke Niazi Solicitors & Associates

The Court of Protection team at Burke Niazi Solicitors & Associates has a breadth of experience in other practice areas, such as housing, mental health and community care law. Recently promoted partner Keith Clarke and Michael Barrett co-head the team and are both accredited legal representatives. The team has particular experience in welfare matters, such as in cases involving deprivation of liberty and residence disputes, and is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor and family members to represent clients subject to welfare proceedings in the Court of Protection. Elizabeth Cleaver moved to Bindmans LLP.

Practice head(s):

Keith Clarke; Michael Barrett

Testimonials

The knowledge from the team is exceptional. The lawyers are always on hand to help and guide clients through the process’

‘Keith Clarke has always been approachable and has taken the time to explain court processes and where certain cases are and at what point. He is always clear and his knowledge shows through his confidence in his role

Burke Niazi is very helpful, reliable, knowledgeable and easy to approach. Keith Clarke is able to engage well with clients

Legally knowledgeable and committed to its clients

The team provides realistic advice that is given without reducing its efforts to secure the best outcome for the client

Keith Clarke has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Court of Protection. He has empathy, expertise and compassion. His authoritative understanding of the Court of Protection process and its intricacies, as well as his dedication and hard work, gave me real assurance that our case was in safe hands

Michael Barrett has tremendous empathy and consideration for vulnerable clients. He is genuinely interested in their lives, concerned about their welfare, and is able to generate a good rapport with them by going to meet them in their home settings. He has an excellent ability to identify and analyse complex issues of law, particularly in the field of mental capacity law, and is always pleasant, polite and well organised

Burke Niazi offers clients community care expertise and representation before mental health tribunals, which are both key services that some other firms do not offer. Michael Barrett has a background in physiotherapy and his practical skills shine through his Court of Protection practice

Capsticks LLP

Capsticks LLP specialises in advising NHS providers and commissioners, as well as public, private and charitable sector clients, on all issues involving incapacitated and vulnerable adults and children. The team provides a 24/7 emergency advice line to assist health sector clients with complex medical ethical and legal issues. Another of its significant strengths is in the interaction between the Mental Health Act, the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. The team is frequently involved in disputes regarding lasting powers of attorney, advance decisions and best interests cases. Francis Lyons heads the department.

Practice head(s):

Francis Lyons

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Radcliffe

Testimonials

Francis Lyons is professional, friendly, approachable, and it always feels like we are working as a team

Capsticks’ staff has a wealth of knowledge of all areas and can direct me to the most suitable and qualified expert for the advice I need. The guidance is clear and sensible which makes life much easier’

‘Charlotte Radcliffe’s clear, direct approach is extremely valuable when dealing with clinical staff. She gives clear instructions regarding options and what the most appropriate and safe approach is to situations. She is kind and caring as well as firm, and her engagement with clients and the opposition I feel is second to none. She also has a wealth of knowledge about child safeguarding’

Francis Lyons has been amazing in the quick turnaround of advice in respect of consent issues. Again, he is always available and when he is not ensures someone contacts us with advice and support

Capsticks has provided us with invaluable step-by-step advice in numerous Court of Protection cases. The lawyers provide clear instructions and explanations of the process to clinicians that would otherwise be completely alien to them, thereby ensuring the relevant and appropriate clinical knowledge is available to the court

‘Francis Lyons is always approachable and responsive, providing considered advice at an appropriate level to existing knowledge and understanding

Key clients

Derbyshire Community NHS Trust

St Andrews Healthcare

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

Lambeth CCG

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS FT

Midlands Partnership Trust

South East CSU

London North West Healthcare NHS Trust

Wye Valley NHS Trust

Work highlights

  • Acted in Court of Protection and High Court proceedings regarding an elderly patient with end-stage dementia and a degenerative condition, including advising on a declaration for a feeding tube which was opposed by the patient’s family.
  • Represented a CCG in the authorisation of a deprivation of liberty and best interests decision regarding a patient with a complex mental health diagnosis and a serious risk of death because of noncompliance by the patient with the proposed treatment.
  • Assisted a trust with multiple applications to authorise a deprivation of liberty, section 21A applications, section 117 funding disputes and issues relating to deputyship and advice in relation to section 136 detentions.

Cartwright King

Cartwright King specialises in health and welfare proceedings in the Court of Protection, human rights and community care law. The department acts for clients with public funding and in privately funded cases. It focuses solely on representing individuals and is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor as litigation friend in cases where the client lacks capacity. It also is frequently instructed by statutory representatives for vulnerable adults. Senior associates Andrea Prescott and Victoria Burrows, who act as accredited legal representatives, and Yvonne Chapman are key members of the team.

Testimonials

Cartwright King has an excellent Court of Protection team. The team is fully committed to ensuring its clients’ best interests are at the forefront of decisions made by professionals and the court. The team works exceptionally hard and demonstrates a degree of empathy with clients which is rarely seen in this or any other area

‘The team has a specialism in young persons in the COP. Yvonne Chapman is extremely bright and regularly raises issues that no other party has considered in order to promote the protected party’s best interests

Yvonne Chapman is an entirely committed practitioner. She possesses excellent knowledge of the law and procedure relating to the Court of Protection. She works tirelessly on each client’s behalf. She is quietly tenacious

Yvonne Chapman is unflappable and really cares for her clients

I love working with Andrea Prescott – she makes the process straightforward and is always happy to give her time. I feel Andrea provides a personal approach, not corporate

‘A very experienced and solid team dealing with all aspects of practice in the Court of Protection. Victoria Burrows is very knowledgeable and skilful when dealing with complex family welfare disputes in the Court of Protection

Victoria Burrows always puts the client front and centre. I also feel that the team is passionate about the work it does and feels that it is a vocation

‘The team has great experience of dealing with difficult and often protracted litigation, and of assisting its clients to find a good solution to the problem at hand. Yvonne Chapman is vastly experienced both in welfare cases and as a finance deputy. Andrea Prescott is very experienced in complex cases, particularly those that touch upon a person’s personal and sexual relationships

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s national team provides specialist advice to health and social care commissioners, as well as NHS and independent health and social care providers. Key focus areas include advising on the complex legal framework covering capacity, mental health and deprivation of liberty issues, in addition to adult safeguarding and the interaction between the Mental Capacity Act, the Mental Health Act and the Care Act 2014. Team head Gill Weatherill has extensive experience of advising both acute and mental health care providers on complex issues of capacity and matters surrounding consent to treatment. Paul McGough was promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Gill Weatherill

Other key lawyers:

Paul McGough; Helen Kingston

Testimonials

‘Gill Weatherill and Helen Kingston stand out as consummate professionals. They are very good in juggling their competing demands to make sure they respond in a very timely way. Their patience in providing advice to people who do not have their knowledge is impressive.’

‘The team are very easy to talk to and it feels like you get to know them really well when you are working with them. I appreciate their honesty and also their kindness and patience in what can be very stressful situations.’

‘Gill Weatherill has a broad range of knowledge and experience and leads by example. She is flexible and willing to adapt her approach to meet the ever-changing needs of the client.’

Key clients

Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHSFT

Heart of England Foundation Trust

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Cygnet Health Care NCity Hospitals Sunderland NHSFT

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Newcastle upon Tyne NHSFT

NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group

Edwards Duthie Shamash

Associate Melissa Law joined Edwards Duthie Shamash from Mackintosh Law in November 2019 and leads the practice following Janice Kaufman's retirement. The department represents protected parties and family members in complex health and welfare proceedings before the Court of Protection and the High Court. It is primarily instructed by the Official Solicitor, as well as paid relevant person's representatives and other advocacy organisations, and predominantly acts in Mental Capacity Act cases and deprivation of liberty matters. Law is an accredited legal representative under the Law Society mental capacity accreditation scheme. Associate Laura Dawson also joined the firm from Mackintosh Law in March 2020.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Law

Other key lawyers:

Laura Dawson

Testimonials

It has grown into a really strong team with the merger of Edwards Duthie and Steel & Shamash. This brings a strong background in community care law to its welfare work in the Court of Protection, and the team now has the ability to involve other departments at EDS (housing, family, etc) where necessary

Melissa Law is great: always very responsive and thoughtful. Laura Dawson is also fantastic. Both are very good at going the extra mile to ensure the person they represent is given the best possible opportunity to participate in proceedings

Key clients

Official Solicitor

POhWER

Dorset Advocacy Group

Kingston Advocacy Group

Advocacy For All

Family members referred to the firm by local authorities and other law firms or who have contacted the firm directly

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent P in High Court proceedings under the inherent jurisdiction.
  • Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent AB in proceedings under section 16 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, concerning residence, care and best interests for AB, who has recently given birth to a baby.
  • Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent LW in section 16 proceedings, concerning LW’s capacity, residence care, contact with others and best interests for LW, who is currently detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher's experienced Court of Protection team primarily focuses on high-value and complex property and affairs deputyships for adults and children all over the country. It has particular expertise in managing considerable interim payments while claims are being litigated. Team head Anna Bond is regularly instructed to act as an expert witness on the lifetime costs of professional deputyships in litigation claims arising from birth trauma and catastrophic accidents. The group regularly oversees large packages on diverse matters, from multimillion-pound property purchases to dealing with long-term investment of its clients’ damages awards.

Practice head(s):

Anna Bond

Other key lawyers:

Robin Tubbs

Testimonials

Anna Bond has an excellent approach to parents and families in general. Clients find her warm, knowledgeable and easy to talk to. She always makes time and seems to know all her clients very well, treating them all as individuals’

‘The team has one outstanding attribute, which is the complete concern for and prioritising of the best interests of clients, who are all vulnerable brain-injured individuals. The ethos of doing what is best for the client serves them very well. This commitment, although seen in other companies, is not matched by any that I work with

Anna Bond and Robin Tubbs both stand out for their complete attention to detail, particularly the small details that matter so much to the client, and their efficiency and decisiveness in dealing with client matters in an appropriate timescale

Anna Bond is an experienced property and affairs deputy who is intelligent, practical and kind. She is empathetic and is effective at building a rapport and working with people who have experienced significant trauma. This, as well as her approachability, accessibility, fantastic organisation and excellent judgement, distinguish her from competitors in the field

An excellent Court of Protection team. Anna Bond is a particularly good deputy’

‘Very knowledgeable, responsive, approachable and easy to deal with. Incredible teamwork that is visible at every level. Robin Tubbs is excellent – extremely responsive, pragmatic and experienced. A pleasure to deal with

The team works collaboratively with case managers and with families so that plans for the future are thought out as a team. They are strategic thinkers, and are sufficiently experienced to know what may be a problem in future and help to plan for this now rather than waiting for it to arise

Robin Tubbs is very approachable and puts clients at ease with his caring approach

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's national team mainly acts for brain-injured clients who have received multimillion-pound compensation awards, dealing with complex cases where clients require significant care packages, and have substantial equipment and property needs, behavioural issues and complicated finances. The group handles a broad range of matters, ranging from acting as professional deputies for clients with valuable estates (including several with large agricultural estates and businesses) to preparing statutory will and gift applications. Natasha Molloy was promoted to the partnership. Melanie Williams and Jane Maitland have been appointed to the Office of the Public Guardian’s panel of deputies since July 2015.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Williams; Natasha Molloy

Other key lawyers:

Jane Maitland

Testimonials

Natasha Molloy is a dream to work with, knows COP matters inside out and is a thoroughly lovely person. She is exemplary in her work

The team stands out for the wealth of experience of its people and their personal styles and engagement with clients. It’s obvious how much the lawyers pride themselves on their service. Natasha Molloy is personally involved in all her cases and has the ability to think and plan ahead about what is in her clients’ best interest at all times’

Natasha Molloy has ensured that all team members follow her principles of being dedicated to offering advice and service of the highest quality. Natasha is the consummate professional and this is being reflected in the team

‘Natasha Molloy is a first-class COP practitioner who leads from the front and sets the example which her team duly follow to ensure a first class-service is delivered to clients and professional contacts

‘The team works well and functions with efficiency. Communication is good and the large size of the firm allows for a pooling of talent and access to other specialities that you may not be able to utilise in a smaller firm’

Melanie Williams is well respected in this field of work and brings ample experience of complex matters to the table

Melanie navigated a complex case and its significant challenges with skill, compassion and, on occasions, ingenuity

The Freeths LLP team has a consistently high level of excellence amongst all staff and in all dealings. As a client, I feel supported and have every confidence in Freeths

Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors

Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors specialises in the niche area of property and affairs deputyship work, particularly for clients with large damages awards for injuries. Under the leadership of Philippa Barton, the team has been dealing with some complex cases involving financial exploitation, conflicts of interest and complicated finances. It has also taken over several deputyships from other firms and has assisted a number of clients in resolving various disputes that they had with former deputies. It now has over 60 professional deputyships and acts as professional trustee on 38 trusts. Angela Nunn is recommended for her experience acting as professional deputy and trustee, having served as deputy for more than 20 clients awarded substantial PI damages awards. 

Practice head(s):

Philippa Barton

Other key lawyers:

James Berry; Angela Nunn

Testimonials

The team at HJA is solid and reliable, understands the complexity of individuals and works with case managers in a professional way. The lawyers are incredibly fast with decision making and the process is always smooth

Philippa Barton and James Berry both have an outstanding work ethic. The duty of care towards the client is second to none. The detail and level of involvement is appropriate and appreciated by their clients and case managers

‘Angela Nunn always works with the highest level of integrity and is knowledgeable on matters regarding the Court of Protection. She is always available to talk to and has also assisted when our family have needed help dealing with other professionals, i.e., carers, social workers, etc, which I consider to be above and beyond her job description’

James Berry is one to watch under the efficient Philippa Barton. A responsive team that knows when to step forward or step back

Work highlights

  • Acting in a case that it took over from another firm just as the client settled a substantial injury claim.
  • Acting as litigation friend in a matter where the client was in dispute with his deputy and had applied to discharge the deputyship.
  • Instructed by the Official Solicitor to act for a 75-year-old client who has severe dementia, following a breakdown in the relationship between the former deputy and the client’s nephew.

Hyphen Law

Hyphen Law is a specialist deputyship practice which acts for clients (many of which are children) nationwide who have received or will receive substantial compensation awards as a result of severe and complex injuries. The team mainly manages deputyships and trusts that involve complex financial and personal arrangements, such as where the protected party lives or owns assets or substantial properties abroad. The practice also acts in a number of joint deputyships with lay deputies. Christine Bunting, who is sought after as both a deputy and an expert witness, leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Christine Bunting

Other key lawyers:

Tom Hall; Kelly Knight

Testimonials

The team at Hyphen Law is extremely knowledgeable whilst being very approachable and helpful at the same time. The lawyers care deeply about their clients and are always willing to go the extra mile to ensure clients’ best interests are always met. Christine Bunting is an outstanding practitioner. She has an amazing depth of knowledge that she is always willing to share and she is incredibly supportive of those around her

Christine Bunting is exceptional – truly top notch

‘Christine Bunting gives well-reasoned, persuasive evidence and her preparation is very thorough’

I have always found the practice to be notably focused on the wellbeing of its clients and extremely proactive. Tom Hall demonstrates obvious attentiveness to the best interests of his clients, and is extremely personable and a delight to work with

The lawyers are practically minded and have a great passion to understand the personal circumstances of each client. Chris Bunting and Kelly Knight are both highly experienced and very easy to communicate with – with a real passion for their work

It really is a one-stop shop for all COP matters. I was also hugely impressed by highly responsive associate Kelly Knight, who hit the sweet spot of being both fun to work with and really on the ball’

Tom Hall and Kelly Knight have both demonstrated a high level of professional expertise in a very approachable manner. Their presentation of complex information in a clear and comprehensive format is impressive, and they are passionate about doing what is best for their clients

‘Even when experiencing very high workloads Tom and Kelly always appear unruffled and calm. They always have time to discuss queries and always maintain that good service ethos

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett)

Jacqueline Almond, Russell Hallam (both of whom are professional deputies) and Elena Hall are key members of the dedicated Court of Protection team at IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett). The team continues to receive referrals directly from the Office of the Public Guardian panel, as well as increasingly from local authorities and other law firms that do not specialise in this area. It currently acts for numerous clients who lack capacity as a result of acquired brain injury, mental health issues, dementia, and drug and alcohol issues, as well as those with learning disabilities.

Practice head(s):

Jacqueline Almond

Other key lawyers:

Russell Hallam; Elena Hall

Testimonials

The Court of Protection practice at IBB Solicitors is wonderful to work with and stands out as having exceptional commitment to its clients. All the team is committed to excellent communication

The team has an in-depth understanding of brain injury and the impact of this on an individual client’s ability to manage their finances and their needs in general. Jacqueline Almond is an incredibly experienced and skilled deputy. She is very responsive, and always prepared to discuss and advise on any difficulties

Elena Hall and Jacqueline Almond listen to what I have to say and my suggestions, and provide quick, efficient responses

‘A knowledgeable and available team with a broad spread of services. Jacqueline Almond is calm and reassuring

Kingsley Napley LLP

Kingsley Napley LLP primarily assists clients who lack capacity due to catastrophic medical negligence or acquired brain injuries with property and affairs matters. It is also continuing to expand its expertise into the elderly client area. Other areas of expertise include advising on statutory wills, gifts and tax planning, as well as providing professional deputyship services and panel deputyship services. Simon Hardy heads the team, which also includes Anita Gill, who is skilled at administering and managing the affairs of the elderly (especially those who have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s).

Practice head(s):

Simon Hardy

Other key lawyers:

Anita Gill

Testimonials

I find Simon Hardy’s attitude very client orientated and he fully understands the needs of this special client group

‘The lawyers take a sensitive and pragmatic approach to advising their clients, with a firm emphasis on ensuring that the interests of the (often vulnerable) client is prioritised

Simon Hardy is approachable, hugely knowledgeable and determined to achieve results that are optimal for his clients

‘A great combination of private client skill and commercial zeal.  Anita Gill has a huge amount of experience, a pragmatic approach, and always has her eye on the protected party’s needs

‘Anita Gill is the consummate professional – she goes far and beyond what is expected of her role, and clients and their families have the benefit of that commitment

Anita is kind, empathetic and has a wider view of property, tax and of life. You cannot beat her on protecting vulnerable clients in a compassionate and professional way

Anita Gill is an excellent COP lawyer

Knights plc

The Court of Protection team at Knights plc (which acquired asb law in March 2020) works closely with elderly and vulnerable people. In addition to property and financial affairs, the team has been granted a number of applications to the Court of Protection for health and welfare appointments. The team supports numerous clients on deputyships and is skilled at assisting individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries with managing high-value settlement awards. Under the leadership of Glen Miles, the department is also well regarded for its expertise in the Mental Capacity Act and for its advice on deprivation of liberty safeguards.

Practice head(s):

Glen Miles

Other key lawyers:

Stella Mullane

Testimonials

Nothing feels like it is too much trouble whenever I have had to contact Knights plc, and I am always treated with compassion and dignity whilst still professionally. Glen Miles has been patient and understanding and has been able to provide fair and just advice whenever it has been needed

Glen Miles and Stella Mullane have a good reputation for a broad-based practice and an ethical commitment to their vulnerable clients

An established team, led well with strength in depth, knowledgeable, responsive and good with clients. Glen Miles has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all relevant areas

The team’s specialist knowledge regarding disabled people has made our lives much easier

Glen Miles is one of the most knowledgeable lawyers I have encountered in this sphere and manages to combine this with a genuinely caring approach with his clients

‘Glen Miles is very detailed in his work. He is able to communicate with clients in a variety of ways to ensure that they are aware of what is happening and have their say in what they feel should happen, and he has an ability to negotiate with them to reach positive conclusions’

Stella Mullane takes a realistic approach with clients to save time and money.  She is thoughtful and considers the best interests of the client at all times.  She manages clients with difficult behaviours in a positive way

‘They have an exceptional level of knowledge and expertise in the Court of Protection sphere, combined with a person-centred, understanding approach to clients. Stella Mullane is a very knowledgeable and resourceful lawyer. She has an excellent approach with clients, with a great ability to put them at their ease and understand their needs whilst providing tailored advice in often difficult and stressful situations

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP has 'in-depth experience of Court of Protection work', acting for both commissioners and providers of care, with particular expertise in complex medical treatment cases. Its areas of strength include navigating the complex overlap between the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act and advising mental health trusts on Court of Protection welfare cases. The team is increasingly active handling litigation relating to legacies. The 'superb and unflappableJill Mason heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Jill Mason

Testimonials

It has in-depth experience of Court of Protection work, including the most urgent and complex medical treatment decisions

Jill Mason is superb – supremely organised and unflappable

Work highlights

  • Advising a number of commissioners on section 21A Mental Capacity Act 2005 cases.
  • Advising a number of large mental health trusts on complex Court of Protection welfare cases involving patients with complex mental health needs where there is a risk of death.

Minton Morrill

Minton Morrill’s 'approachable, knowledgeable and efficient' Court of Protection team is experienced in managing multimillion-pound funds for those who lack mental capacity to manage their property and financial affairs. The 'exceptional, hardworking and experiencedJulia Morrill and Sahida Patel often act as professional deputies in cases involving high-value claims and brain injury cases. In addition, Morrill acts as a professional trustee in personal injury trusts.

Practice head(s):

Julia Morrill

Other key lawyers:

Sahida Patel

Testimonials

Minton Morrill solicitors and staff provide excellent service, support, help and advice

Julia Morrill is an exceptional solicitor, hardworking and very experienced. She is always available to answer any questions or queries we may have and responds in a very timely manner

My overall impression of the firm is that the lawyers are engaging, responsive and proactive with their clients and relevant others, with a thoughtful and considered manner. They are approachable, knowledgeable and efficient

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP acts for a large number of vulnerable clients, including those with acquired brain injuries as a result of traumatic birth or road traffic accidents; mental health issues; learning disabilities; and degenerative diseases such as dementia. In summer 2020, Sue Bowler, who is based in the Thames Valley office, joined as national practice head from Coffin Mew LLP; in Milton Keynes, legal director Charlotte Dunn is national head of wealth protection. The practice handles applications for the appointment of deputies, statutory wills, and property and gifts. In Birmingham, senior associate Rebecca Bristow specialises in advising children and young adults who have sustained brain injuries.

Practice head(s):

Sue Bowler

Testimonials

Client focused, approachable, sound understanding of the individual client’s needs and difficulties

Extremely knowledgeable team when dealing with clients and families who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries. The lawyers take a very person-centred approach and include the views and opinions of those around the client in their decision making

‘Lucy Taylor has a very calm and considered approach which allows clients and families to feel fully informed and supported. Lucy and her team work to find individual solutions to issues which means that clients are more invested and engaged

Shoosmiths LLP is a large firm with a particular expertise in dealing with property and affairs work in the Court of Protection as part of its private client department. The firm has a corporate approach but offers a very personalised service

Lucy Taylor stands out as an associate within the department, with an eye for detail, both in relation to financial and legal matters, and great compassion and pragmatism in how she approaches her work

The lawyers always want to do their best for the client. They are approachable and you do not feel intimated by their status. It is clear that both the CoP and the litigation teams talk to each other, making it much easier to support clients effectively. They have an understanding approach, are good at listening and have excellent communication skills – responses are prompt, they keep you updated on progress, and are open to suggestions and approachable

Rebecca Bristow is very client centred and always strives for the best. She is very approachable and always happy to have a conversation, being open to ideas to try. Rebecca is very prompt in her responses. She is very efficient and professional in her approach, but also comes across as very caring and understanding during meetings with clients and their families

The Court of Protection team is dynamic and close knit. It is quick to respond to issues that arise and always strives to get the best for the client. The lawyers know each other’s cases and I can be confident that even if one solicitor is not available there will be someone who can assist and provide advice

Simpson Millar LLP

Simpson Millar LLP has considerable expertise in deprivation of liberty disputes and specialist section 16 cases relating to capacity to consent to sex, to marry, or to use the internet and social media, as well as issues surrounding repatriation to different countries. The team regularly receives instructions from the Official Solicitor and lay clients, as well as referrals from the judiciary and, increasingly often, family members. It has also developed relationships with organisations in Leeds, Manchester and along the south coast. Manchester-based senior associate Melanie Varey, who joined from Stephensons Solicitors LLP, heads the team following the departure of Zena Soormally Bolwig for Mackintosh Law. Oliver Studdert also departed for Irwin Mitchell.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Varey

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Manson

Testimonials

Melanie Varey is a really standout lawyer who combines serious legal acumen with a fantastic down-to-earth approach. She’s who I think of whenever I am asked for a personal recommendation by a friend or family member

‘The lawyers have always gone that extra mile to provide the best service and were and still are on hand to help and guide us

‘A very experienced and well-managed team of hardworking and effective solicitors’

‘Hannah Manson is calm and measured, with excellent knowledge of the law. She is unfailingly committed to the interests of clients lacking capacity and a pleasure to work with’

Hannah Manson is a relatively junior associate but she has stood out to me as being someone who is willing to fight for a client. She knows the law and will go above and beyond to achieve the best result. Not someone I would want to go up against

An  experienced and specialist team of practitioners covering the whole array of health and welfare issues in the Court of Protection. As well as specialist solicitors in the field, the team is supported by experienced and effective paralegals and trainees’

Mel Varey is amazing. She will take the time to communicate clearly and honestly and treats the protected party with dignity and respect at all times. She takes her time to ensure they are comfortable and have ample time to discuss all of the important matters

Melanie Varey is obviously extremely knowledgeable, hardworking, helpful and professional

Key clients

Young male (Re A)

Young female (P)

59-year-old male (KR)

COP case s16 (JR)

COP case s21A (DL)

Young female (P)

SMT case (Mother of MB)

S16 CCTV case (PF)

Family member s21A case (MH)

Work highlights

  • Acting for a young male in the first reported judgment dealing with the relevant information when assessing someone’s capacity to make decisions about the internet and social media.
  • Advised on a case that clarified the appropriate use of the inherent jurisdiction and what orders can appropriately be sought.
  • Acted for PD on the instructions of the Official Solicitor in relation to the casual link between addiction and incapacity.

Slater and Gordon

Slater and Gordon has a large Court of Protection department nationally that is led by Martin Hudson. The team acts as financial deputy for numerous clients, managing assets exceeding £350m. The group has a particular specialism in property and affairs applications before the Court of Protection and is skilled at dealing with a wide range of applications which are sometimes contested, including complex statutory will and gift applications and gratuitous care applications for lay deputies. The majority of its work is on high-net-worth estates.

Practice head(s):

Martin Hudson

Testimonials

The team is focused upon the best outcome for all its clients. The lawyers engage willingly and consider all options put before them. They are not afraid to make difficult decisions where this is needed as long as it is in the client’s best interests

Each fee earner I have dealt with has considered additional areas of client need, such as welfare benefit reviews. They are all pleasant to deal with, return calls promptly, and follow through queries and issues that need to be dealt with

In my dealings, the team is always highly professional and willing to go the extra mile to assist

Easy to approach and speak to and the team has the necessary knowledge

Switalskis Solicitors

Switalskis Solicitors has offices in Huddersfield, York, Wakefield and Sheffield and covers the Yorkshire region and beyond. Its specialist practitioners advise on health and welfare, property and finances, and mental health issues, acting for vulnerable people and those who lack capacity. The practice regularly deals with complex mental capacity and welfare cases in the Court of Protection, as well as deprivation of liberty challenges and community care matters. Alison Kaye, Alex Guy and Michael Kennedy are the names to note.

Other key lawyers:

Alison Kaye; Alex Guy; Michael Kennedy

Testimonials

It provides a strong offering to private individuals in personal welfare matters and endeavours to work sensibly with its opposition to find the right outcome for its client

Warners Solicitors

The Court of Protection team at Warners Solicitors was established in August 2018 with the arrival of Martin Terrell from Thomson Snell & Passmore to develop the firm’s private client practice. The team handles a large volume of deputyship work, as well as complex Court of Protection matters, covering the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters and acting for elderly clients (from wealthy individuals to those on benefits) and clients with brain injuries. The group advises on lasting powers of attorney and trusts, often involving elderly or vulnerable beneficiaries, tax, welfare benefits and funding issues, as well as welfare issues including access, residence and deprivation of liberty.

Practice head(s):

Martin Terrell

Other key lawyers:

Heather West

Testimonials

Warners’ COP department is excellent. The lawyers come with a wealth of experience of complex best interest and capacity matters and deal with everything with knowledge and compassion. Martin Terrell is a brilliant deputy.  I have worked with him for years and he is always a pleasure to liaise with. He truly has his clients’ best interests at the heart of everything that he does

‘A very experienced team who understand all the nuts and bolts of COP work. The team is led by Martin Terrell, who is a COP expert extraordinaire. He has written one of the main works on COP work and has a fantastic, lateral brain for resolving issues

The team knows its clients and understands their complex needs. The lawyers visit all their clients in their own homes regularly and work together with all involved in an open and transparent way, ensuring the best daily wellbeing of everyone under their care, which isn’t easy to achieve and maintain. This team is well led, effective, responsive and very caring’

‘Martin Terrell has superb academic and intellectual knowledge

Martin Terrell is an exceptional Court of Protection lawyer. He is extremely knowledgeable and seeks to provide the best outcomes for his clients. He is supportive of other members of the profession and will always take the time to discuss particular issues of concern

Martin Terrell is totally professional, practical, knowledgeable and understanding

Martin Terrell is an excellent leader and I only hear and have experienced positive things about him. This firm is very friendly and appears to work well with outside agencies. The team I deal with is very impressive and respects outside opinion, which is good

Heather West is amazing. She is so insightful and level headed. She makes dealing with some very stressful situations all the easier’