Court of protection in London
Irwin Mitchell has one of the largest established Court of Protection teams with over 100 members nationally that supports more than 1,500 clients nationwide and has in excess of 1,350 deputyships. The team advises on all aspects of Court of Protection matters including areas such as litigated ‘best interests’ disputes, trusts, powers of attorney as well as property and affairs and welfare deputyships. Many of its Court of Protection partners regularly appear as advocates on complex matters in the Court of Protection or in the High Court as expert witnesses. In addition the public law and human rights team helps clients with a variety of Court of Protection matters such as where a person should live and issues surrounding serious medical treatment. Julia Lomas is the national head of Court of Protection while Yogi Amin is the national head of public law and human rights. Niall Baker is the managing partner of the Court of Protection and public law and human rights teams.
Julia Lomas; Yogi Amin; Niall Baker
Other key lawyers:
‘This team is the very best that the COP has to offer. There is a unique blend of talented public law lawyers and sensible welfare lawyers. The management of the team is exceptional – the cases are matched to the interests and skills of the lawyer.’
‘Irwin Mitchell has a very substantial Court of Protection department.’
‘It is a very responsive and supportive team.’
‘There’s a depth of expertise there that is unrivalled elsewhere. The team has basically seen and done everything in COP work.’
‘Julia Lomas is well-regarded.’
‘I have a huge amount of respect for Polly Sweeney.’
- Acted for the child who had sustained severe neurological injuries as a result of substandard treatment afforded to his mother during delivery.
- Appointed as deputy for C but his rehabilitation has been so successful through his own determination that he has had his capacity restored and the team now manages his finances through a trust.
- Acted for AK who was severely injured as a result of clinical negligence at birth and suffers from cerebral palsy, cognitive impairment and epilepsy.
- Advised on an urgent application to the Court of Protection to request the Court’s authority to transfer a family property.
- Represented a client under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, in order to challenge the standard authorisation depriving him of his liberty at a residential care placement.
Thomson Snell & Passmore has a large and dedicated team that deals solely with Court of Protection work and acts as deputy in over 250 cases with an estimated value of over £300m. The excellent team that is headed by Eddie Fardell is skilled at handling property and affairs cases especially in the context of high-value catastrophic injury claims. It is vastly experienced at administering complex personal estates for elderly clients involving foreign property, commercial property and business as well as any issues of financial abuse, insolvency and continuing healthcare claims. Brian Bacon is another known name and routinely acts as deputy, trustee and an expert witness in these matters while Catherine Fuller is also well regarded. The much lauded Martin Terrell is now at Warners Solicitors.
‘The team is efficient, professional, highly competent, experienced and knowledgeable in this field.’
‘The team is fantastically helpful and also very responsive and friendly. I know that our personal injury clients are in good hands with its Court of Protection team.’
‘Other firms don’t have the same level of understanding of working with disabled clients and their families. This requires patience, care and a willingness to go over and above – which the team has in spades.’
‘The team is very approachable, knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. Every query, no matter how small or big, is always addressed with efficiency and speed.’
‘Eddie Fardell is fantastic, a voice of great experience and tact. He is incredibly helpful in challenging situations. A born diplomat!’
‘Eddie Fardell is well-regarded.’
‘Brian Bacon is very experienced.’
‘ Brian Bacon is very helpful, and seems to have an understanding of what clients have to deal with.’
‘Catherine Fuller is a developing star, she is tough and kind.’
‘Rosie Hamlyn has a lovely manner with families.’
Withers LLP advises families and the appointed representatives of older and vulnerable people as well as regularly acting for trustees, executors, charities and other professional groups. The team is experienced at advising on disabled trusts and on advance decisions to refuse medical treatment (also known as ‘living wills’). Julia Abrey co-heads the elder law team and has particular expertise in cross-border mental capacity issues. Stephen Richards frequently acts for both applicants and respondents in the Court of Protection in applications for statutory wills, lifetime gifts, contested registrations of powers of attorneys as well as health and welfare decisions and deputyships.
Julia Abrey; Stephen Richards
Other key lawyers:
Paul Hewitt; Alice Tomlin; Natasha Stourton
‘Withers has a first-class Court of Protection practice. In my view, it is the best in the UK by far in terms of its knowledge, tactical and strategic nous, and skill in delivering the best outcome for the client.’
‘Withers stands head and shoulders above all other firms as the best in the business in this area, combining shrewd private client knowledge with a detailed insight into the Court of Protection.’
‘Withers has a number of exceptional partners but the true quality lies in its strength and depth with a huge number of extremely capable associates who are all well-versed in this area and related litigation.’
‘Stephen Richards is a first-class lawyer who is steeped in this area and deals brilliantly with clients who are in highly stressful situations.’
‘Paul Hewitt is sensible and the truly exceptional Julia Abrey is skilled at advising high-net-worth individuals.’
‘Julia Abrey is at the forefront of representation of those lacking mental capacity.’
‘Julia Abrey is a hugely experienced lawyer specialising in elderly clients and non-contentious work. Julia is able to build an easy rapport with her clients and is simply always right.’
‘Stephen Richards and Paul Hewitt are both highly experienced in contentious Court of Protection work and I am willing to recommend them to parties who require representation in what can be highly charged litigation.’
‘Stephen Richards is very intelligent and approachable.’
‘Stephen Richards is very experienced in COP litigation, fighting hard for his clients, but at the same time respecting the inquisitorial nature of the COP and knowing when it is better to try to achieve consensus.’
The team at Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP combines expertise in health and welfare matters with a strong financial Court of Protection offering. Head of team Donna Holmes is a panel deputy who specialises in wills, probate and personal injury trusts as well as lasting powers of attorney and Court of Protection matters. Holmes acts as a deputy for approximately 90 people lacking capacity and assists them on all aspects of Court of Protection matters such as statutory wills. Kirsty MacMillan specialises in mental health and mental capacity, as well as Court of Protection and community care matters, and Douglas Houghton has a wide range of experience with the Court of Protection – both are associates. Sheree Green has left the firm.
‘The team is person centred, friendly, down to earth with excellent communication skills.’
‘Donna Holmes is an excellent financial deputy, who works tirelessly to provide the best support to her clients. Excellent communication skills and demonstrates an excellent level of understanding of the daily challenges the clients face post-injury.’
‘Donna Holmes is always ready to listen and support with challenges or problems as they arise. She always puts the client first and her approach with both clients and their families is exceptional.’
- Advising JS on an application to court for approval of complex property co-ownership via trust to recognise how JS’s needs were being met and how best interests could be served.
- Advising MPF on an investigation and restitution for client lacking capacity where her son and former attorney has subjected her estate to significant financial abuse.
- Advising on the application for the approval of a sale of one property and purchase of two properties to ensure that the needs of a young client lacking capacity can be met.
- Advising on an application to the Court of Protection to protect the property of a vulnerable beneficiary.
- Advising on a deputyship investigation to protect an incapacitated beneficiary.
Anthony Gold has a diverse client base, including very intelligent but challenging brain injured people, the mentally ill through to children who are suffering with cerebral palsy as well as the elderly and the infirm. Head of team David Wedgwood does both welfare and financial-related litigation in the Court of Protection. Alexandra Knipe frequently acts as a professional court appointed deputy on complex personal injury and clinical negligence cases. The team provides a full service to its clients and is well-equipped to handle various issues such as overseeing complex health care packages to employing care teams and managing substantial property disability adaptations.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team works together with the case manager in providing a tailored and bespoke service to the client. The team is approachable and responsive.’
‘David Wedgwood does a great job.’
‘David Wedgwood handles cases very well and manages tricky situations carefully and sensitively.’
‘David Wedgwood. He is unfailingly gracious but firm where needed, is obviously an expert and applies a great deal of emotional intelligence and sensitivity to this sometimes difficult area of practice.’
‘Alexandra Knipe did a great job of managing a complex case. Her team has also been excellent and is very easy to work with, and very accommodating and helpful.’
‘ Anthony Gold has cases that test the boundaries of this area. It is known for pushing hard to achieve the client’s goals.’
‘The team is clearly well-versed in this area.’
‘The team understands how to work with clients as an individual. The lawyers work collaboratively with the clinical team and families taking time to understand and appreciate everyone’s point of view.’
Man with learning difficulties abused by trustees
92-year-old Indian lady with Alzheimer’s
80-year-old lady suffering from Dementia
Adolescent child with cerebral palsy and complex construction project
16-year-old brain damaged boy based in Jersey.
Deputyship for high-net-worth individual from Hong Kong
Man struck by a car while on holiday abroad in France
16-year-old girl with significant learning difficulties
Elderly lady seriously injured following a routine hospital operation
- Advised a 60-year-old male with learning difficulties who had been abandoned and exploited by trustees who had been appointed on the death of his mother.
- Advising a 92-year-old Indian lady with Alzheimer’s on a multinational family dispute.
- Advising a 80-year-old lady suffering from dementia on various welfare issues arising from a property and affairs deputyship.
- Advising a young boy with cerebral palsy on a large adaptation of a high-end property development.
- Advised Ms H (the daughter of a father with Alzheimer’s ) on the resolution of a statutory will dispute.
Bindmans LLP has a diverse practice that advises on a wide range of matters from cases concerning the withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration to acting for high-profile individuals on various Court of Protection issues. It also advises on other matters such as an individual’s capacity to consent to marry or the validity of patients’ advance decisions to refuse treatment. The highly recommended Laura Hobey-Hamsher is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor and family members on complex matters and also acts for bereaved family members at inquests. Head of team Paul Ridge also has a significant Court of Protection caseload. This team is doing well and is one to watch. Charlotte Haworth Hird and Will Whitaker are also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Has a wonderful ethos and really cares about its clients, going above and beyond the call of duty to look after them well. The team has a solid human rights based approach.’
‘A particular strength of the Bindmans team is that all of its solicitors have a grounding in general public law and human rights, which enables them to be most effective in addressing all of their clients’ needs holistically.’
‘Laura Hobey-Hamsher is definitely someone to have on your side – she leaves no stone unturned to further her clients’ causes and is both efficient and devastatingly effective.’
‘Laura Hobey-Hamsher is very well known in this field and well respected. Instructed a lot by the Official Solicitor and CAFCASS on the most sensitive cases and for good reason.‘
‘Laura Hobey-Hamsher has total commitment to her clients, a great rapport with counsel and is regularly singled out for praise by judges.‘
‘Will Whitaker has knowledge and expertise extending beyond Court of Protection work which means he is able to assist the court to resolve issues in a full and timely way.’
‘Will Whitaker is very thorough and is developing both a good knowledge and a good feel for these cases.‘
‘Charlotte Haworth Hird has superb knowledge and great judgement, her calm manner is very reassuring to clients and her preparation is extremely thorough.‘
‘Saimo Chahal QC is a leading light in the fields of mental health and Court of Protection. She has been at the forefront of the developing law in these areas over many years.’
‘Amy Rowe has a personable manner that covers a steely determination to succeed, making her a formidable practitioner, possibly the ultimate “fist in a velvet glove” in her field.‘
Health Service Executive of Ireland (‘HSE’)
- Amy Rowe continues 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.
- Laura Hobey-Hamsher acted for Douglas Meyers in successfully arguing on Douglas’ behalf that his being ordered to remain in a care home (against his capacitous wish to return home) when no ‘unsoundness of mind’ was identified breached his Article 5 rights, and the order compelling him to do so – and preventing him from residing him in his bungalow of 35 years – was lifted.
- Laura Hobey-Hamsher acted for Mrs Y, wife of Mr Y in the seminal case of An NHS Trust and others (Respondents) v Y (by his litigation friend, the Official Solicitor) and another (Appellants)  UKSC 46, in which the Supreme Court determined that it was not mandatory to seek court approval for the withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration that was keeping a person in a prolonged disorder of consciousness alive when the patient’s clinical team and the patient’s family agreed that it was not in the patient’s best interests to continue treatment.
The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP works across a large geographical area through its offices in London and Guildford. Suzanne Marriott is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and the STEP special interest group on mental capacity. Sally Ashford is also a member of the STEP special interest group on mental capacity. Marriott specialises in cross-border and UK mental capacity and Court of Protection work as well as tax planning, wills, trusts and other contentious trusts and probate matters. She regularly acts as the independent deputy for property and affairs and health and welfare cases in situations where the family is in dispute about residency and the tax implications of losing non-UK residency and domicile.
Suzanne Marriott; Sally Ashford
‘The firm is highly respected for the work that it does with vulnerable clients – it is particularly recognised for the high-net-worth vulnerable clients that it represents and also for the breadth of knowledge that it has in the international field of Court of Protection work.’
‘Suzanne Marriott is very well-known and really excellent. Very popular as an interim deputy.‘
‘Suzanne Marriott is a superb practitioner and the person to handle difficult deputyships. She is the stand-out star and well supported by junior members‘.
‘Suzanne Marriott is highly respected by her peer group for her knowledge and expertise. I know that her clients put great faith in her and that she is very much a trusted adviser to them‘.
- Suzanne Marriott was approached to act for P following proceedings in 2012 when P’s sister applied to be discharged as deputy and replaced by P’s daughter.
- Suzanne Marriott was appointed by the Court of Protection as deputy following an investigation by the OPG into the handling of P’s affairs by an attorney (her gardener) under a registered LPA.
Clarke Willmott LLP has a strong offering under the leadership of Anthony Fairweather who is deputy for over 150 people. The skilled team specialises in the management of the whole spectrum of Court of Protection work including deputyship on international Court of Protection matters where there are assets abroad through to elderly care issues where there are disputes with local authorities and associated welfare issues. Anne Minihane is a member of the Public Guardian’s panel of professional deputies and acts as deputy for a wide range of clients such as those with acquired brain injury, a diagnosis of dementia, stroke or other learning difficulties as well as those with psychiatric illnesses. Jess Flanagan is also recommended.
‘This is a fabulous team – it really cares about its clients, and goes to exceptional lengths to support them and to fight their corners.’
‘The team was highly professional yet very human. I was treated with compassion and sensitivity at every stage. The team delivered on all promises made too.‘
‘Anne Minihane always takes any concerns seriously and yet has a reassuringly light approach which makes a client feel at ease and able to confide in her.‘
‘Jess Flanagan is willing to take on matters at short notice and to a very high standard. Jess is very knowledgeable and experienced in court of protection welfare/capacity/best interests cases‘.
‘Jess Flanagan’s communication and interpersonal skills are outstanding and she is highly skilled at quickly getting to the heart of the matter. I felt extremely reassured having her on board‘.
‘Camille Ivinson has good tactical sense and judgment. She is also hugely compassionate to the vulnerable people she works with, and they love her‘.
‘Frances Bamber is professional yet approachable‘.
Training in Mind (Wales)
Southern Advocacy Services (Isle of Wight)
Mental Health Matters ( Wales)
- Acting as litigation friend in a contested statutory will application.
- Acting in a statutory will application where discretionary trust of residue was sought and in which the Official Solicitor was persuaded to support the application despite the provisions of the will usurping the court’s jurisdiction.
- Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent a client in a combined application to the court concerning his capacity to manage his finances and his capacity to marry and enter into a pre-nuptial agreement
- Acted for the second respondent in a High Court application on P’s ability to make decisions on health and welfare matters including where to reside and on who should provide P with care.
- Acting for the second respondent in an application by the local authority for welfare orders.
Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a multi-disciplinary team that advises on mental health, community care, clinical negligence and public law. The group has strength in cases where there is overlap between the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act as well as deprivation of liberty safeguards. It routinely advises vulnerable clients and their families on best interest welfare decisions relating to residence, contact and medical treatment. It is also skilled at advising on property and affairs disputes in the Court of Protection and the High Court as well as assisting clients and their carers on other issues such as how to receive help from social services. Alex Peebles and Rachel Caswell are the names to note.
Alex Peebles; Rachel Caswell
Other key lawyers:
‘Alex Peebles is leading a team that can do work from the most basic section 21A to the most complicated section 16 case. It has great experience in cases where the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act collide‘.
‘Alex Peebles is excellent, hardworking and has excellent judgement‘.
‘Alex Peebles is thorough and makes sure that I understand things clearly‘.
‘Alex Peebles is legally brilliant; really intelligent. His analysis of the legal issues in a case is first-class‘.
‘Rachel Caswell has been helpful and realistic – fully prepared to fight the appropriate points but also willing to give clients unpalatable (but correct) advice when their case is weak‘.
‘Helen Cummings is efficient and knowledgeable, as well as personable. She is also committed to and experienced in this area of work‘.
‘Helen Cummings works tirelessly to ensure that cases are presented to the highest standard. She deals with each case with the care and attention as though it were her only case‘.
‘The team is hardworking and imaginative. It is results driven but without losing focus on being client friendly‘.
‘Duncan Lewis’s commitment to its clients is second to none. The team always goes the extra mile for its clients’.
Edwards Duthie Shamash
Janice Kaufman leads the team at Edwards Duthie Shamash. Kaufman specialises in mental capacity and child care law and has extensive experience of representing clients in the Court of Protection. Kaufman has represented many with mental health difficulties and is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor. Clients include parents, children and interveners in care proceedings where there have been issues such as non-accidental injury and allegations of fabricated illness and sexual abuse. The group has also acted in cases involving serious medical treatment, financial matters, statutory wills and contested powers of attorney. Anna O’Connell heads the public law practice.
Other key lawyers:
‘Janice Kaufman is one of the best in the field, excellent at spotting and solving the most thorny issues in the most complex cases. She is very “hands on” which is not typical for someone of her seniority‘.
Enable Law has an excellent team. Stacey Bryant is a key figure who is particularly skilled at supporting clients who lack capacity following a traumatic acquired brain injury. Andrew Hannam has extensive experience in Court of Protection matters and frequently acts for learning disabled adults. Patricia Wass has considerable experience in mental capacity issues and specialises in powers of attorney and Court of Protection work for the elderly and the vulnerable. Associate Holly Mieville-Hawkins is also well-regarded. The group overall offers specialist advice in diverse areas such as elder law, trusts involving incapacitated individuals, statutory wills and advising on issues of physical and financial abuse.
Stacey Bryant; Andrew Hannam; Patricia Wass
Other key lawyers:
‘Stacey Bryant is very experienced and efficient‘.
Gillhams Solicitors LLP
Gillhams Solicitors LLP has four panel deputies and manages over 170 deputyship matters. The main focus of the department is on property and affairs matters and it is adept at managing complex estates where there are foreign assets, varied shareholdings and significant damages awards. The team under the direction of Russell Caller acts for a range of clients from elderly clients who have lost capacity to younger adults who suffer from mental health issues. It also advises children who have suffered significant injury as a result of an accident or negligence.
Other key lawyers:
Christopher Poxamatis; Hina Tailor; Lisa Cornish
‘Gillhams has a real strength of experience in this area and is a good choice for someone who wants to instruct a London firm but without serious London prices‘.
‘Russell Caller, Hina Tailor, Christopher Poxamatis and Lisa Cornish are all very highly regarded COP lawyers. They are all very committed to their clients and between them have a real high level of experience and quality’.
‘The firm has a number of panel deputies and has particular experience and expertise in complex Court of Protection work’.
‘Russell Caller is an incredibly driven lawyer, always seeking to improve processes and achieve outstanding results for his clients‘.
‘The team that is led by Russell Caller has an immense depth of knowledge and experience‘.
‘Christopher Poxamatis has a very strong sense of how to reach the best commercial outcome for the client and his interpersonal skills with difficult clients are exceptional‘.
‘Lisa Cornish has an excellent intuitive understanding of the client’s needs and requirements and fulfils these needs to a very high degree‘.
Hugh James has a unique offering with a multifaceted team consisting of brain injury lawyers, a qualified social worker as well as an accountant. The professional deputyship team deals with high-value complex cases arising from damages claims. The work that the team does extends to overseeing the direct employment of care teams, the purchase of property through to other issues such as the investment of funds to provide care during a client’s lifetime. It currently manages the affairs of 173 individuals with total assets exceeding £175m. Head of team Andrew Harding is well-regarded.
Other key lawyers:
Robert Hurling; Kate Coles; Joy Davies
‘The team has a thorough knowledge of its clients and the difficulties they encounter, involving them in financial decisions whenever possible whilst ensuring their affairs are carefully managed‘.
‘The team is one of the leaders in the field of brain injury COP work on the financial side‘.
‘Hugh James was like a breath of fresh air and always answered my questions straight away or rang me back with the answer in a timely fashion‘.
‘Andrew Harding is knowledgeable and takes a very fair view about costs. He understands the special nature of the work and the fact that clients in this area of work are vulnerable. He cares‘.
‘Andrew Harding continues to be a stand-out deputy with exceptional support from Kate Coles‘.
‘Robert Hurling is approachable and very quick to respond to queries’.
‘Joy Davies is very responsive and shows excellent attention to detail’.
JE Bennett Law provides Court of Protection deputyship advice to vulnerable clients. It is particularly known for dealing with complex issues and disputes involving competing interests often on disputed family-related matters arising from financial care and welfare-related issues. The firm is increasingly handling a number of deputyships and personal injury trusts arising from brain injury and spinal injury personal injury and clinical negligence litigation. Jane Bennett heads the team and is a national panel deputy. Richard Shearing joined the team in 2018 from Dean Wilson LLP. Shearing is a professional deputy and has a particular interest in helping the elderly. Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby is also recommended.
‘The team at JEB works exceptionally well together to ensure each vulnerable individual is really well looked after‘.
‘This team has a hugely friendly, approachable and always easy/readily accessible modus operandi’.
‘Jane Bennett provides an exceptional level of service‘.
‘Richard Shearing takes enormous care when dealing with his clients, ensuring that the small details which make their lives better are attended to, and often goes above and beyond‘.
‘Richard Shearing is hugely experienced‘.
‘Jane Bennett and Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby are highly efficient, compassionate and caring as well as very positive‘.
‘Jane Bennett is very able and balanced in her approach. She makes swift and sensible decisions based on the claimant’s best interests‘.
‘JE Bennett provides a more economical service than some of the larger City-based firms. Jane Bennett is personable, astute, commercial and realistic‘.
‘Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby has a very gentle and personable manner‘.
‘Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby is always willing to talk and/or meet to discuss matters and offers very helpful advice’.
Sara May, DAC Beachcroft – Osborne v Hussain
- Jane Bennett was instructed to provide an expert witness report. This matter is ongoing and involves a dispute over the claimant’s mental capacity status.
Leigh Day’s human rights department includes its specialist Court of Protection team that has an established practice in 'best interest' cases. The work ranges from advising on the withdrawal of treatment, DNR, deprivation of liberty cases through to care matters. The team has been receiving an increased number of referrals from the Official Solicitor in matters relating to deprivation of liberty, contact, residence and sexual relations. Key clients include the Official Solicitor, professional property and affairs deputies, relatives of protected individuals and charities (as interveners). Sean Humber heads the team. Managing partner Frances Swaine is recommended and Anna Moore is 'highly professional and very competent'.
‘Leigh Day offers a formidable blend of expertise in health and welfare cases in the Court of Protection coupled with a broader understanding of the public law issues that crop up in the health and social care sector‘.
‘Anna Moore is a highly professional and very competent Court of Protection practitioner, able to handle a busy caseload and who approaches cases in a thoughtful and practical way‘.
‘Anna Moore has exceptional maturity and judgement that belies her relatively junior status. She is very good at building a rapport with vulnerable adults, particularly adults with a learning disability or autism spectrum disorder‘.
Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts
Penningtons Manches LLP
- Successfully argued to repatriate MCS back to Colombia after she suffered a brain injury.
- Acted in Court of Protection proceedings relating to a woman with schizophrenia who allegedly suffered abuse from family members.
- Acting in Court of Protection proceedings about the use of social media and how it can be used to contact strangers for sexual relationships.
- Acted for the parents in proceedings relating to the withdrawal of medical treatment for a terminally ill baby.
- Acting in Court of Protection proceedings to secure accommodation for an exceptionally vulnerable young man with autism.
Nicola Mackintosh is the sole director at Mackintosh Law. The firm specialises in advising clients who lack mental capacity and who are in need of social and healthcare services. Clients include disabled adults at risk of abuse or neglect and the group regularly advises these clients and their carers on their entitlements to assessments and services from local authorities and NHS services. In addition the team routinely advises on various mental capacity issues and deals with medical issues and any other issues that involve statutory agencies and family members. The firm’s casework also includes community care and health issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team puts the client at the centre of everything it does and has been pioneering in its approach to making the court process intelligible for individuals who lack capacity’.
‘Melissa Law is a rising star – dynamic and thoughtful’.
Miles & Partners LLP routinely advises on mental capacity and mental health law and issues of capacity and best interests for vulnerable adults who cannot make important decisions themselves. It is also adept at advising on community care issues. The team is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor, relevant person's representatives as well as by relatives to advise on issues such as challenges being brought under s21A of the Mental Capacity Act through to deprivation of liberty safeguards. The team is jointly headed by Floyd Porter and Rachel Turner. Andrew Bowmer has developed considerable expertise in mental capacity law.
Rachel Turner; Floyd Porter
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Bowmer; Kaileigh Hazeldine
‘The team really does care about its clients‘.
‘Rachel Turner has a great way of dealing with clients with mental health issues. I always feel clients are in safe hands with her‘.
‘Rachel Turner is incredibly hardworking, has an excellent eye for detail and is extremely personable. Her knowledge of the area is impressive‘.
‘Floyd Porter quietly obtains the seemingly unachievable, through rational and determined representation of his clients’ interests’.
‘Andrew Bowmer, Floyd Porter and Kaileigh Hazeldine. They are an exceptional team with a strong background in mental health work. They stand out from other firms for their attention to detail and going the extra mile for their clients‘.
‘Andrew Bowmer is a great team player, unflappable and always courteous and a joy to deal with, even when under immense pressure. He is very experienced in Court of Protection matters’.
‘I was impressed by the way that Andrew Bowmer was able to communicate intricate information relating to the Mental Capacity Act/Court of Protection procedure, to a client who had complex intellectual difficulties‘.
‘Andrew Bowmer is outstanding. His analysis is extremely thorough, he relates well to difficult clients and provides excellent, well-considered advice‘.
‘The team provides a professional yet personal service‘.
‘Kaileigh Hazeldine is highly experienced in COP matters and pragmatic both in and out of court, providing excellent support to counsel and clients alike, with a friendly and professional manner‘.
Julie Burton heads the team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP that frequently acts as a professional deputy or trustee for individuals who have received an award as a result of personal injury or clinical negligence claims. The group acts for both children and adults across the UK and abroad who have acquired brain injuries and other injuries. It also has a number of elderly clients. The department has 122 deputyship matters and 40 trust matters where Julie Burton or PennTrust Ltd (the firm’s trust corporation) is appointed as a professional deputy or trustee. It also has two matters where PennTrust Ltd is the appointed attorney under a lasting power of attorney. Senior associate Daniel Toop is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
Russell-Cooke LLP has a well-regarded full-service Court of Protection property and affairs practice that advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters. It acts as an independent attorney, deputy for financial matters and trustee in relation to those lacking capacity through progressive illnesses such as dementia or for those who have suffered brain injury. It also helps those who are vulnerable to abuse. The skilled team is particularly known for its expertise at handling cross-border/private international law matters. Rita Bhargava and Gareth Ledsham are the names to note.
Rita Bhargava; Gareth Ledsham
‘The firm provides an extremely assured service, in a sympathetic manner, which gives its clients both the confidence and the reassurance they so badly need‘.
‘Super impressed with Russell-Cooke as the team is very professional and on top of things’.
‘Russell-Cooke continues to go from strength to strength – the team regularly appears in the knottiest or most high-profile Court of Protection cases‘.
‘Rita Bhargava is simply outstanding. She brings a passion to her client’s interests and to this area of the law, not just providing an excellent service but playing a major role in assisting and encouraging developments within the sector’.
‘Gareth Ledsham is a brilliant and outstanding solicitor. He thinks outside the box and is a great leader. He is very professional‘.
‘The associates are always very well schooled, so provide excellent support‘.
Russell-Cooke Trust Company
- Representing the deputy of D on an application to commence nullity proceedings.
- Represented a family trust in relation to a statutory will application of which it was a proposed beneficiary.
- Representing the trustee of a will trust where the life tenant lacks capacity and there are allegations of financial abuse.
- Representing the attorney in relation to a claim for maintenance from P by the second wife.
- Representing the parents of P who wished to remove her from the jurisdiction.
Simpson Millar LLP
Simpson Millar LLP has considerable experience of advising on disputes with local authorities and health trusts over the welfare and best interests of incapacitated, disabled and elderly people. The team has built up a respected practice in pursuing challenges on behalf of both patients and their relatives in the Court of Protection concerning deprivation of liberty (DOL) issues. It also continues to be instructed by a number of independent mental capacity advocates from all regions in the UK who are willing to act as litigation friend(s) for vulnerable clients in respect of best interests and DOL cases. Julie Cornes heads the team that also includes Zena Soormally Bolwig.
Other key lawyers:
Zena Soormally Bolwig; Oliver Studdert
‘An excellent and efficient team‘.
‘The firm is collegiate which means it offers a seamless service’.
‘There is a real depth of knowledge and experience in this team – it contains exceptional practitioners‘.
‘The team is dedicated, and knowledgeable on the law. It engages well with the special issues relating to this client group which is vulnerable, and where full participation and access to justice are to the fore’.
‘Oliver Studdert shows a commitment to the details of a case even in the face of complex or pressured deadlines and sensitive issues‘.
‘It has a strong understanding of the law and principles. A strong commitment to achieving the best result for the client. Friendly, accessible and efficient – Oliver Studdert and Zena Soormally‘.
The team at Switalskis Solicitors is based in Huddersfield, York, Wakefield and Sheffield and covers the whole of the Yorkshire region and beyond. The team has lawyers who specialise in health and welfare, property and finances as well as mental health issues bringing together expertise from across the firm to help vulnerable people who lack mental capacity. The team is well-regarded for dealing with complex mental capacity and welfare cases in addition to deprivation of liberty challenges in the Court of Protection alongside community care challenges. Alison Kaye and Alex Guy are the key contacts.
Alison Kaye; Alex Guy
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong team working across a wide geographical area. Huge knowledge at the senior end of the team, which is patiently shared with less experienced lawyers to create a real depth in knowledge‘.
‘The team is extremely dedicated and believes passionately in defending the rights of people who lack (or are considered to lack) mental capacity. The solicitors fight for their clients vigorously’.
‘Alison Kaye – significant family law experience enabling her to negotiate tricky “crossover” issues arising in COP cases with a family law element‘.
‘Michael Kennedy – deep knowledge of mental health law and the crossover with mental capacity practice’.
- Acting in a deprivation of liberty challenge in the Court of Protection involving decisions relating to contact and capacity to consent to sexual relations.
- Advised on complex Court of Protection proceedings relating to the care and accommodation of P, that required a high cost case plan.
- Represented the husband of P in a long-running Court of Protection case involving issues around the right to family life.
- Represented P in a deprivation of liberty matter relating to unauthorised detention in hospital after sustaining a brain injury.
Weightmans LLP continues to advise on a wide range of welfare, health, property and affairs matters for a large number of local authorities, NHS trusts and private health and social care providers. The team advises a broad range of these public sector organisations in matters ranging from mental capacity issues and mental health matters through to best interests assessments, health, welfare and property matters. Simon Goacher, Richard Jolly and Tony Yeaman are the names to note.
Simon Goacher; Richard Jolly; Tony Yeaman
Other key lawyers:
‘Morris Hill is busy on COP matters‘.
Leicestershire County Council
Cumbria County Council
Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Rutland County Council
Cumbria County Council
Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust (now Royal Free Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
- Acted for Kirklees MBC in proceedings in the Court of Protection for best interests declarations to be made for an elderly lady.
- Advised Kirklees MBC on an application for deputyship in respect of a man who lacked capacity to deal with his property and affairs.
- Advised Leicestershire County Council in seeking declarations regarding P’s best interests to move address.
- Instructed by the Bolton Clinical Commission Group to make Re X applications in relation to all of those patients eligible for NHS continuing healthcare for whom it provides care and support services and who are deprived of their liberty as a result.
- Acting on behalf of the Bolton Clinical Commission Group in relation to Court of Protection proceedings concerning a patient with continuing healthcare needs.
Wrigleys Solicitors LLP covers all aspects of property and financial affairs and currently manages 101 deputyships and over 300 trusts. The specialist team is adept at providing advice on community care as well as other areas such as purchasing property and disability adaptation. It is well equipped to handle various complex court applications such as deputy appointments, applications relating to trusts and statutory wills. The practice has been appointed to the Office of the Public Guardian panel of deputies since June 2015. Lynne Bradey, Lisa Eato and Jane Netting are highly regarded.
Lynne Bradey; Lisa Eato; Jane Netting
Other key lawyers:
Ian Potter; Kate Edwards; Charlotte Dyson; Thomas Mundy; Tracy Sladen
‘Wrigleys is a force to be reckoned. Lynne Bradey has great experience. Jane Netting is highly focused and very responsive. Ian Potter is very intelligent and really knows the Court of Protection and trusts and Thomas Mundy is a real rising star‘.
‘The team is attentive and has great expertise in non-contentious Court of Protection work. The lawyers are clearly a cut above the vast majority of their competition. The firm has a large pool of talent to draw on for Court of Protection work’.
‘Ian Potter is quick to respond and approachable. He understands the nuances of each case and is very knowledgeable‘.
‘Thomas Mundy is a real “go-to” for Court of Protection work. Jane Netting stands out for this area as well, being very calm under pressure‘.
‘Tracy Sladen battles her way through problems admirably. Charlotte Dyson is also very knowledgeable. Lynne Bradey has vast experience with Court of Protection issues‘.
‘A strong team. Lynne Bradey is knowledgeable and empathetic. Tracy Sladen – her clients have great confidence in her. Unflappable in the face of adversity‘.
‘Kate Edwards kept us fully informed at all stages in the process and advised us about the best course of action to take’.
‘Kate Edwards is experienced and empathetic and looks after a challenging client base well‘.
‘Kate Edwards is always willing to discuss any issues and propose a solution to problems‘.
- Provided advice to London Emergencies Trust, a fundraising coordinator, regarding trusts for vulnerable beneficiaries due to receive charitable funds following the Grenfell Fire.
Abbotstone Law represents vulnerable adults and family members in health and welfare Court of Protection proceedings. It is well-regarded for its work that spans mental capacity and mental health issues. It is routinely instructed by the Official Solicitor, independent mental capacity advocates on matters such as section 21A challenges and on best interest cases. These cases range from decisions about residence through to family contact arrangements and other complex matters such as an individual’s capacity to consent to forced marriage and sexual relations. Kate Luscombe heads the team that regularly appears in court on complicated and significant health and welfare matters.
Other key lawyers:
Angela Smith; Frances Rattray
‘Always very professional, attentive and prompt. I have always received a welcoming and friendly service, and the individuals I have worked with have always appeared particularly passionate about the work they are doing‘.
‘Kate Luscombe is committed, passionate, yet insightful‘.
‘Kate Luscombe is an experienced and capable practitioner‘.
‘I work with Angela Smith on factually complex cases and she is on top of the issues and is extremely sympathetic to clients, who are vulnerable and sometimes difficult to deal with‘.
‘Angela Smith is an experienced Court of Protection solicitor whose calm and down-to-earth approach is a great asset in this area and enables her to gain the trust and confidence of her clients no matter how complex or pressured their circumstances’.
‘Angela Smith and Frances Rattray have excellent knowledge and judgement‘.
- Acting for P’s aunt in complex and difficult proceedings in the Court of Protection about a 37-year-old woman – HT First Respondent in AB v HT & Ors  EWCOP 2.
- Acting for the appellant who lacked litigation capacity before the Court of Appeal; the appeal concerned whether the statutory tests within ss72, 73 and 145 of the MHA 1983 required a ‘proportionality assessment’ to be conducted, pursuant to Articles 5/8 of the ECHR and the HRA 1983, taking into account conditions of the appellant’s detention – Djaba (Appellant) v West London Mental Health NHS Trust and another (Respondents) UKSC 2017/0217 Neutral Citation No.  EWCA Civ 436.
asb law LLP works with elderly and vulnerable people as well as their families and support teams to protect their interests and ensure their wellbeing. The group has particular expertise in working with individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries, particularly those with acquired head and brain injuries. It is also known for its experience in advising on the Mental Capacity Act as well as deprivation of liberty safeguards. Head of team Glen Miles has been a court-appointed deputy for over 15 years.
- Advised on various complex Court of Protection matters and hearings relating to a number of family members.
- Acting as an expert witness in a case involving a dispute regarding capacity.
- Acting in the administration of the affairs of a severely injured minor which has settled subject to approval for a possible record sum depending on life expectancy.
- Acting in the administration of the affairs of a complex injured adult.
- Acting in the application for the appointment of a deputy for a learning disabled person and supporting the family in complex trust and tax arrangements.
The team at Boyes Turner specialises in managing the property and financial affairs of children with birth injuries primarily. Around 50% of its caseload relates to managing the financial affairs of clients who are under 18. The team manages 58 professional deputyships and specialises in managing significant lump sum awards. In addition the team also manages 13 community care matters and 12 lay deputyship advice files. Ruth Meyer heads the team.
Other key lawyers:
‘Ruth Meyer cares very much about her clients’.
‘Alexander Wright works very hard and the work is of a very high quality‘.
- Ruth Meyer is deputy for an eight year old with quadriplegic cerebral palsy resulting from a birth injury.
- Ruth Meyer is deputy for a 12 year old with quadriplegic cerebral palsy resulting from a birth injury.
- Ruth Meyer is a deputy for a 16 year old with ataxic dystonic cerebral palsy resulting from a birth injury.
- Ruth Meyer is a deputy for a 26 year old young lady who lacks capacity as a result of a brain injury suffered during a road traffic accident in which she was seriously injured.
- Ruth Meyer is a deputy for a 23 year old who was assaulted in infancy by one of his parents leaving him with permanent brain damage and mental health issues.
Ashtons Legal deals with clients who have a mental incapacity for various reasons. It primarily acts for clients with complex needs and issues who have suffered a catastrophic acquired or birth-related brain injury. It also does some work for elderly clients. Adrian Mundell heads the team that acts as professional deputy for over 100 clients. In addition the department has a number of cases where it is supporting family members who are acting as lay deputy or where the team has been appointed as attorney or trustee.
‘Very approachable. Good with clients and involved professionals.’
‘Adrian Mundell cares about his clients and always tries his best to provide the support required.’
‘The Court of Protection Team at Ashtons is extremely hands on, approachable and a safe pair of hands. They take a pragmatic approach with clients, and do their best to resolve issues swiftly.’
‘The fact that they are approachable, friendly and make themselves available is a great starting point. They take the time to listen to clients and their needs, and assist and guide them in their decision making processes.’
‘Paul Humphries and Adrian Mundell are excellent – they build up a good relationship and trust with clients who have suffered significant brain injuries.’
‘Adrian Mundell is extremely calm and collected and provides clients with great reassurance.’
‘Adrian Mundell and Paul Humphries have a great deal of experience and take a very practical approach to managing clients and the difficult issues that arise; they don’t go around the houses but provide clear advice and support.’
Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors
Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors acts as professional deputy in cases involving multimillion-pound damages awards for claimants of medical negligence. It also assists on applications to the Court of Protection in relation to the appointment of lay deputies and advises on lifetime gifts, the creation of settlements and the removal and appointment of trustees. In addition the team acts as professional deputy in cases involving vulnerable elderly people who are suffering from dementia. It is increasingly attracting referrals from injury lawyers that do not have a dedicated Court of Protection team. Lesley-Ann Mayhew heads the practice.
The Court of Protection team at BDB Pitmans is led by Alastair Collett and comprises a mix of non-contentious and litigation lawyers who practise in this area alongside other connected areas, such as care of the elderly and will and trust disputes. The department is best known for managing capacity issues for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The team has substantial experience in contested Court of Protection cases as well as in bringing and defending objections to enduring/lasting powers of attorney. Simon Weil and Geoffrey Kertesz are the other names to note.
Simon Weil; Geoffrey Kertesz
Other key lawyers:
Alastair Collett; Helen Fry; Lorraine Jeffery
‘BDB Pitmans is immensely capable, with a real focus on doing the best for its clients. The lawyers are sensible litigators, fighting for their clients’ cause but never losing sight of the bigger picture‘.
‘A strong team with a great depth of litigation experience, which means the team can bring a broader view to COP work than many other firms in this area‘.
‘Geoffrey Kertesz is technically brilliant and a master tactician. He always seems to see six steps ahead‘.
‘A strong team with a great deal of litigation and private client experience, particularly good on property and affairs and cross-border (especially US) issues. Geoffrey Kertesz – truly excellent, a master tactician‘.
‘Helen Fry is extremely efficient, pragmatic and capable. She is able to pick up the issues quickly and tackle them sensibly, whilst also being very clever‘.
‘Lorraine Jeffery is an excellent solicitor and a real star in this area, capable of dealing with even the most difficult situations‘.
‘Lorraine Jeffery – very strong, a great senior associate with in-depth knowledge of the Court of Protection and a litigator’s brain‘.
- Acting for a son who had an enduring power of attorney as well as a lasting power of attorney in respect of his father in a matter concerning retrospective approval of family care payments that he made to himself.
- Acting for a high-profile businessman, who is a household name, in a dispute relating to his affairs.
- Acting for the landlord, a ministerial department, in a straightforward dispute regarding the forfeiture of a farm further complicated by the question of whether the tenant had the capacity to litigate in person.
- Acting for two deputies in a statutory will application where the deceased, who was intestate, had no immediate next of kin or any relationship with (or even knowledge of) distant relatives such that the estate would pass to charity.
Bevan Brittan LLP operates nationally out of its four offices and advises mental health, social and community care providers on mental capacity and other key issues such as best interest cases. The team provides specialist Court of Protection advice with considerable experience on mental capacity and health issues as well as human rights and equality issues. It frequently advises on significant medical treatment cases ranging from disputes over end-of-life care through to withdrawal of treatment for neonates and children. Joanne Easterbrook, Stuart Marchant, Simon Lindsay, newly promoted partner Hannah Taylor and Julia Jones are the names to note.
Joanne Easterbrook; Stuart Marchant; Hannah Taylor; Julia Jones; Simon Lindsay;
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
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
- Represented two national representative bodies, the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine and Intensive Care Society, that intervened in a landmark Supreme Court case giving guidance on when serious medical treatment matters need to go to court.
- Represented West London Mental Health NHS Trust in a mental health tribunal challenge regarding Mr D’s detention under ss72, 73 and 145 of the Mental Health Act in Broadmoor Hospital.
- Advising on an application regarding serious medical treatment for a woman who collapsed at home having suffered a cardiac arrest, resulting in an irreversible hypoxic injury.
- Advising a CCG in relation to ongoing Court of Protection proceedings concerning the residence, care and support of a young woman with complex and challenging needs.
- Represented a CCG in the resolution of a complex care package dispute through the Court of Protection.
Burke Niazi Solicitors & Associates
Burke Niazi Solicitors & Associates has extensive experience of helping vulnerable adults. It is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent clients who are subject to welfare proceedings in the Court of Protection in relation to their care, contact with relatives, residence and other issues such as capacity to consent to sexual relations. The group has particular expertise in acting for the protected party in these proceedings. Many of the firm’s clients are elderly and suffer from dementia and physical health problems. Elizabeth Cleaver heads the team and is a skilled higher-rights advocate.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team works well with lay and professional clients and demonstrates a good level of empathy with clients‘.
‘Elizabeth Cleaver is thorough and considered, she assesses and analyses the merits of a case and communicates clearly and succinctly‘.
‘Elizabeth Cleaver is a respected and experienced practitioner in Court of Protection welfare and deprivation of liberty matters. The team is notable for its sheer hard work and commitment in any case it takes on’.
‘Elizabeth Cleaver is an excellent solicitor who is very experienced in Court of Protection matters. She is tactically astute and very good with clients‘.
‘The team is professional and hardworking. It seems to offer realistic, honest advice to clients which means that client expectations are managed‘.
‘This is a very strong team of lawyers which is also able to draw on its extensive experience in mental health law.’
‘Michael Barrett is responsive, supportive, person centred and considerate‘.
- Representing a client in challenging a deprivation of liberty.
- Represented a client in an application for committal in the Court of Protection.
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 has a key strength on the interaction between the Mental Health Act, the Mental Capacity Act and deprivation of liberty safeguards under the leadership of Francis Lyons. In addition the team is regularly involved in disputes regarding lasting powers of attorney/advance decisions.
‘I always found the team to be approachable, responsive, with technically strong knowledge‘.
‘Francis Lyons has in-depth knowledge that he easily translates into options and practical advice‘.
‘Francis Lyons is one of the “go to” advisers for healthcare clients with tricky medical treatment issues as there appears to be no issue he has not advised upon. He is reassuringly calm and is excellent with lay clients‘.
Derbyshire Community NHS Trust
St Andrews Healthcare
Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS FT
South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS FT
South East CSU
London North West Healthcare NHS Trust
Birmingham South Central CCG
Wye Valley NHS Trust
- Advised a healthcare trust in an interesting case featuring both the Mental Capacity Act and Mental Health Act frameworks.
- Advised an acute hospital in the Midlands on treatment under the Mental Capacity Act where a patient refuses insulin on a regular basis.
- Advised a hospital trust on Court of Protection proceedings regarding contraception for an individual with a severe learning disability.
- Advised a clinical commissioning group on Court of Protection proceedings regarding the transfer of a very frail patient to a care home.
- Advised a clinical commissioning group on Court of Protection proceedings in relation to a patient after a long-delayed discharge from hospital.
Cartwright King specialises in health and welfare proceedings in the Court of Protection as well as human right and community care law. The group focuses solely on representing the individuals (both the individual at the heart of the case or their family members) and is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor as litigation friend in cases where the client lacks capacity. It is also frequently instructed by statutory representatives for the vulnerable adult. Victoria Burrows, Yvonne Chapman and Andrea Prescott are the names to note.
Victoria Burrows; Yvonne Chapman; Andrea Prescott
‘Yvonne Chapman is hugely experienced and a safe pair of hands. Her humour and calm approach make her a delight to work with‘.
‘I appreciate the pragmatic, problem-solving attitude of the team that provides a result tailored to the individual in question’.
‘Yvonne Chapman provides an impressive blend of compassion, sound judgement and robust pragmatism‘.
‘Yvonne Chapman has a calm professionalism and an unwavering commitment to act fully and fearlessly in the best interests of her clients’.
‘Victoria Burrows – incredibly able and intelligent‘.
‘Andrea Prescott has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Court of Protection. She has earned the respect of her opponents and judges alike.’
‘Andrea Prescott is excellent at coming up with pragmatic solutions to issues’.
Newcastle-based Gill Weatherill heads the national team at DAC Beachcroft LLP. The group provides specialist advice to health and social care commissioners and the NHS as well as independent health and social care providers on a broad range of issues. It is skilled at advising on matters such as the complex legal framework covering capacity, mental health and deprivation of liberty as well as disputes about best interest, serious medical treatment and accommodation. Other areas it regularly advises on are adult safeguarding and serious ethical issues surrounding the withdrawal of treatment and forced treatment.
Other key lawyers:
Alan O’Beirne; Jessica Major; Corinne Slingo; Helen Kingston
‘The team is really responsive and recognises the urgency of applications to the Court of Protection. It has a pragmatic approach from the outset‘.
‘DAC Beachcroft is extremely talented and competent in this field of practice. The breadth of its knowledge is impressive as is its ability to communicate this knowledge on many levels‘.
‘The team works in a very supportive way, breaking down and conveying often very complex information so that the recipient of the information can make sense of it and use it in practice‘.
‘Gill Weatherill and Helen Kingston are able to very quickly assimilate situations and have expert knowledge. They are then able to provide comprehensive advice quickly‘.
‘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‘.
‘Gill Weatherill and Helen Kingston particularly stand out as consummate professionals. They are very good at 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‘.
‘Alan O’Beirne and Jessica Major are honest, kind and patient in what can be a very stressful situation for the Trust and our team‘.
‘Corinne Slingo provides calm and clear advice‘.
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
City Hospitals Sunderland NHSFT
Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Newcastle upon Tyne NHSFT
NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group
- Represented the CCG in Court of Protection proceedings concerning Ms F and advised the CCG in relation to her ongoing care and medical treatment, including whether treatment should be withdrawn to allow her to die.
- Instructed by an NHS Foundation Trust to make a Court of Protection application in respect of a patient who resides in an assisted living facility.
- Instructed by an acute NHS Foundation Trust to make an application to the Court of Protection in a matter concerning the serious medical treatment of a lady with a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, who was detained under section 3 of the Mental Health Act in a psychiatric hospital.
- Instructed by an acute trust and a mental health trust in an urgent matter concerning an incapacitated adult with a long history of mental health issues who was objecting to a limb amputation in circumstances where there were no other treatment options available to prevent death.
- Advising a mental health trust on the management of a patient with a long-standing diagnosis of anorexia nervosa who was detained under s3 Mental Health Act.
Dawson Cornwell has a significant Court of Protection practice which is largely due to Jeremy Abraham who has considerable experience as a court-appointed deputy. Abraham’s focus is on property and financial affairs for mid- to high-net-worth individuals, many of whom have been awarded substantial compensation. He is frequently instructed in cases where there is a complex high-value estate and international/cross-border matters. He has advised on cases where the client may have been the victim of financial abuse by immediate family and friends or where there has been misconduct by a former deputy.
‘The team is particularly adept at working on sensitive matters. Jeremy Abraham is highly experienced and isn’t afraid to tackle difficult client situations‘.
‘Jeremy Abraham has a wealth of experience as panel deputy and has a very shrewd approach. He has excellent client management skills and is well able to deal with difficult opponents‘.
The vast majority of the work at Fieldfisher relates to complex, high-value deputyships for children and adults who have sustained catastrophic injuries at birth or as a result of serious accidents or medical negligence. The dedicated team provides specialist deputyship and trustee services to clients nationally in addition to some clients who live outside the UK and who have received significant damages awards. In addition head of team Anna Bond is regularly instructed to act as an expert witness to comment on the lifetime costs of a professional deputyship. Robin Tubbs is 'extremely responsive and efficient'.
Other key lawyers:
‘Still a relatively new team, but it is increasing its profile and quality of work all the time. The team deals with some top end COP work and is very capable‘.
‘Clients know names and faces and find the lawyers friendly – I also find them easy to work with as they give quick decisions‘.
‘This team excels in internal communication. The whole team appears to have up to date information at all times‘.
‘A responsive team, very knowledgeable and attentive, and speaks in plain English! It has the right type of professionalism and the ability to simplify problems and then action things!’
‘Anna Bond and Robin Tubbs are excellent practitioners, but are very down to earth and easy to get on with‘.
‘Anna Bond and Robin Tubbs are excellent deputies, highly knowledgeable and professional’.
‘Anna Bond is exceptionally good and Robin Tubbs is excellent. They are extremely responsive, on the ball and empathetic‘.
‘Anna Bond has a unique ability to communicate effectively often having to say things which can be difficult for clients and families to hear without causing breakdowns in relationships. She is a very clear strategic thinker‘.
‘Robin Tubbs is easy to get hold of and quick to respond to queries. Keen to attend necessary meetings to address important decisions‘.
‘Robin Tubbs is extremely responsive and efficient. He never has to be chased, and has an eagle eye for detail‘.
Freeths LLP has a UK-wide Court of Protection team. The majority of its clients are brain-injured people who have received large awards. The practice is skilled at helping clients who require substantial care packages and have complex equipment and property needs as well as behavioural difficulties. The group handles a wide array of matters from acting as professional deputies for clients with valuable estates (several clients have large agricultural estates, businesses and foreign assets) through to preparing expert reports on Court of Protection costs for litigation proceedings. Melanie Williams and Jane Maitland were appointed to the Office of the Public Guardian’s panel of deputies in July 2015.
Melanie Williams; Natasha Molloy
Other key lawyers:
‘Jane Goulding is very efficient, organised and is very passionate about what she does, always being client centred in her approach‘.
Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors has a particular focus on property and affairs deputyship work especially for clients with large damages awards for injuries. The skilled team advises on an array of matters from dealing with urgent applications to the court for approval to buy a property through to contested deputyship applications. The team now has 58 professional deputyships and acts as professional trustee on 35 trusts. Head of team Philippa Barton is recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has managed to create a compassionate yet professional, efficient and understanding approach to clients and their welfare‘.
‘Philippa Barton is very good at her job, a very nice and helpful and polite lady. Got on very well with Philippa. She understood me’.
‘Angela Nunn’s knowledge and experience mixed with her sheer determination, means that she will not be swayed by current fads or trends, but remains focused on the client to achieve the best solution’.
IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett)
IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) advises a range of clients from those who have suffered brain injury through to those with mental health issues, learning disabilities and dementia. In many cases the team gets involved at an early stage of the clinical negligence claim in making an application to the Court of Protection. Head of team Jacqueline Almond is also often asked to advise at the initial stages in assessing capacity when considering personal injury trusts. The team frequently makes applications to the court for various matters and has been successful in securing health and safety welfare deputy appointments for its clients as well as on other applications relating to contested wills and lifetime gifts. Russell Hallam is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is knowledgeable, efficient and approachable‘.
‘The team’s most stand-out quality is diligence, the team leaves no stone unturned in making sure that it is doing the best for clients. I am often amazed at the lengths the lawyers go to, arguably well beyond their role, to give the very best for their vulnerable clients‘.
‘Jacqueline Almond and Russell Hallam stand out as really good and knowledgeable deputies. They know their clients’ files from memory‘.
Kingsley Napley LLP primarily assists clients with property and affairs matters. It acts for clients who lack capacity due to catastrophic medical negligence or acquired brain injury. Under the leadership of Simon Hardy the department advises on various matters such as statutory will applications and the creation and administration of personal injury trusts in addition to providing professional deputyship and panel deputyship services. Through Anita Gill the practice also administers and manages the affairs of the elderly, particularly those diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Other key lawyers:
Anita Gill; Sameena Munir
‘The team is outstanding in its delivery of client care, it always has time for the clients and the team has an understanding and sympathetic manner when dealing with its vulnerable client base‘.
‘Simon Hardy is outstanding‘.
‘Very strong team. Simon Hardy is extremely bright and a great strategist‘.
‘Simon Hardy – ferociously intelligent, pragmatic and commercial‘.
‘It is a supportive, welcoming and understanding team‘.
‘Sameena Munir is very bright, able and is extremely proactive‘.
Mills & Reeve LLP works with a significant number of commissioners and providers of acute and mental health services on Court of Protection matters. The group is skilled at frequently advising on complex matters that have to be heard by High Court judges in the Court of Protection. Jill Mason heads the team.
- Advising a CCG (Midlands) on the residence of a patient who has been self-harming.
- Advising a mental health trust that was joined as a party to proceedings following perceived failures to comply with a s49 report.
- Provided a CCG with advice in relation to s21A proceedings (challenges to deprivations of a patient’s liberty).
- Advised a CCG in the South East of England on a challenge to the residence of a vulnerable young adult with significant physical and learning disabilities.
- Continuing to advise a Midlands CCG on a significant amount of s21A cases (challenges to deprivations of patients’ liberty).
Minton Morrill is adept at managing large funds for those who lack mental capacity to manage their property and financial affairs. It is particularly skilled at advising on high-value infant settlements and brain injury cases. Julia Morrill and Sahida Patel often act as professional deputies in these cases.
Other key lawyers:
‘Sahida Patel and Julia Morrill and their teams are well respected and deliver an incredible service and deserve more than 5 stars‘.
‘Julia Morrill is extremely approachable, she is pleasant and courteous. She will make herself available to deal with concerns or issues that arise no matter how small they may be – she is always understanding‘.
- Advising on an £8m settlement that is being managed by the Court of Protection team.
- Advising on a £15m settlement that is being managed by the Court of Protection team.
- Managing interim payments of £1.2m pending final settlement of a clinical negligence claim (value £12m).
- Advising on a £1.3m settlement that is being managed by the Court of Protection team.
- Advised on a £10m (estimated) settlement claim that is being managed by the Court of Protection team.
RadcliffesLeBrasseur routinely deals with complex Court of Protection matters and vulnerable person matters for both institutional clients and private clients. Its practice straddles its private client and healthcare teams. It acts for many private healthcare providers as well as NHS clients. Andrew Parsons has extensive experience of advising NHS, private health and social care providers on all areas of health law, including care homes law, mental health law and judicial reviews. Jonathan Shankland is another key member of the team.
Andrew Parsons; Jonathan Shankland
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has exceptionally broad knowledge and experience with a panoply of lawyers of all levels of experience, many of whom are excellent. Many of the trainees and junior solicitors are really able to tackle case-work beyond their years and do so with great enthusiasm‘.
‘The firm has a real “collegiate” feel to it. The lawyers are approachable, highly knowledgeable and always return calls the same day‘.
‘Julia Appleton is clever, competent and always personable. She is always pragmatic and sensible whatever the demands of the situation’.
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Four Seasons Health Care
CAS Behavioural Services
- Acted for Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust in relation to a Court of Protection matter concerning what residence was in the best interests of the service user in the client’s unit.
- Frequently asked to advise the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust in relation to orders made by the court for the trust to undertake capacity assessments under s49 of the Mental Capacity Act.
- Instructed by the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust to challenge a placement in local authority social housing as being inappropriate for the service users’ needs.
- Acting as a professional attorney and advising on the management of the estate of a UHNW business leader and leading financial name in the banking industry.
- Advising an institutional client about the safeguarding of a vulnerable child at risk of trafficking.
Royds Withy King has a dedicated team that provides contentious and non-contentious Court of Protection advice across the M4 corridor and London. The firm’s trust corporation, Withy King Trustees Ltd ( ‘WKTL’), has been appointed to the Office of the Public Guardian’s panel of professional deputies. The practice has considerable expertise in managing complex deputyships and personal injury trusts with Maria Meek at the helm. The group manages over 65 files where WKTL is appointed as deputy and also acts as financial attorney for a number of clients.
Other key lawyers:
Amanda Noyce; Sara Isenberg; Edward Vidnes; Becky Ricards Small; Mike Muston
‘It has a real depth of experience and expertise in the field. Amanda Noyce is excellent. She has very good judgement and is a firm and effective litigation solicitor who knows when to dig in and fight when necessary’.
‘An experienced team with an eye for details and a professional quality to their output. Sara Isenberg and Maria Meek have an excellent understanding of complex client requirements and how to deliver a professional but still individual service‘.
‘Amanda Noyce always provides me with clear and careful instructions. She is always willing to go that extra mile for her clients‘.
‘The team possesses the technical knowledge required to excel at the role but I take that as a given. What makes it stand out is the way it communicates this knowledge to clients‘.
‘Edward Vidnes, Maria Meek, Becky Ricards Small have an exceptional ability to control what can be complex situations, without being overbearing‘.
‘Edward Vidnes and Maria Meek are both extremely approachable and very down to earth, but at the same time expert at what they do… able to provide a direct answer to a query, but more importantly provide you with the context of why the answer is what it is!’.
‘Maria Meek and Sara Isenberg stand out as team players who have the best interests of their clients at the centre of their actions‘.
‘Sara Isenberg is also very good and sound‘.
‘Mike Muston is also an excellent lawyer with very sound judgement and eye for detail‘.
- Advised on an application for a statutory will when the deputies found a will was invalid for an estate worth approx £1.4m.
- Advised on obtaining a deputyship order to secure assets for a client whose son was a paranoid schizophrenic held in a secure hospital.
- Acted as deputy for a lady who was the recipient of a large compensation award worth £3m and incapacitous due to brain injuries.
- The firm’s trust company was appointed to act as deputy for the client to replace his elderly father for an estate worth approximately £3m.
- The firm’s trust company was appointed to act as deputy for a young man with cerebral palsy who had received a damages award.
Shoosmiths LLP acts for a large number of vulnerable clients of all ages from those who have acquired brain injuries as a result of a traumatic birth or an RTA through to those who have mental illness or degenerative diseases such as dementia. The team deals with all types of financial applications such as the appointment of deputies, statutory wills and property and gift applications. It has a particular specialism in the management of ongoing substantial compensation awards and other areas of practice include advising on issues of validity and the construction of powers of attorney. Charlotte Dunn heads the team and Rebecca Bristow 'strives to get the best for her clients'.
Other key lawyers:
Lucy Taylor; Rebecca Bristow
‘Provides clear and concise advice coupled with a considerate and thoughtful approach to working with people who have suffered catastrophic injuries as well as their extended family‘.
‘The team is compassionate, responsive and proactive. Work is completed in a timely and efficient manner and the team has an excellent understanding of its clients‘.
‘The individuals advise their clients with integrity and respect at all times, no question is felt to be silly to be asked and is answered in an honest and professional manner‘.
‘Lucy Taylor and Rebecca Bristow stand out for their commitment to their clients and for going the extra mile to ensure that their clients’ best interests are protected’.
‘Rebecca Bristow does a very good job, always proactive and practical in her approach, considering all aspects of the client’s needs‘.
‘Rebecca Bristow is very client centred and always strives to get the best for her clients. She is very approachable and always happy to have a conversation‘.
‘Rebecca Bristow offers outstanding service to my clients. She is prompt in her responses, offers a measured and pragmatic approach and puts the client at the centre of everything‘.
Nationally the team at Slater and Gordon acts as financial deputy for over 350 clients managing settlements from £10,000 to £30m. It has a particular specialism in property and affairs applications. The group has dealt with a range of applications from complex statutory will and gift applications through to gratuitous care applications for lay deputies. It also has an elderly client specialism and receives a steady flow of instructions from local authorities to act as a deputy for protected parties. Michael Knott, Martin Hudson and John Fawcett are the names to note.
Michael Knott; Martin Hudson; John Fawcett
‘The lawyers know their clients’ needs and requirements. Easy to get along with. Approachable‘.
‘The team has an empathy with its clients and a genuine desire to help where possible. The lawyers go the extra mile to help their clients‘.