Firms To Watch: Court of protection

Neil Davies leads a team at Lanyon Bowdler that deals with clients across the UK on a wide range of complex property and affairs matters as well as receiving instructions on an increasing number of substantial welfare cases. The department manages approximately 55 deputyships and trusts with assets of approximately £100m.
Royds Withy King has a national offering that advises on all aspects of Court of Protection work, whether assisting lay clients with applications to the Court, or acting as professional Deputy and Attorney for incapacitated individuals. Tracy Norris-Evans is among the names to note.
Wards Solicitors LLP 's mental capacity team sits within its large personal tax trusts and probate team. Its court of protection property and affairs work continues to increase and it receives a steady flow of instructions directly from the Court of Protection in London and the OPG in Birmingham/Nottingham. Bristol-based Jenny Pierce heads the department.

Court of protection in London

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell has one of the largest and longest established court of protection teams in the country supporting more than 1,500 clients nationwide and in excess of 1,350 deputyships. It  has 'outstanding knowledge and experience'.  The group offers specialist advice in all COP matters from litigating ‘best interests’ disputes, trusts and powers of attorney through to property and affairs and welfare deputyships. It acts as professional deputy and trustee on many complex high-value cases and provides support in many personal injury claims. Julia Lomas is the national head of the court of protection department. Yogi Amin heads the public law unit and Niall Baker is the managing partner of both the court of protection and public law groups as well as the human rights department. 'The IM Court of Protection team is undoubtedly one of the leading teams in the country, at the forefront of game-changing decisions in the Court of Protection'.

Practice head(s):

Julia Lomas; Yogi Amin; Niall Baker

Other key lawyers:

Mathieu Culverhouse ;Joanna Grewer; Damian Hodkinson ; Lucy Bloom; Gillian Hitchen; Elizabeth Perry;Katie Strong; Charlotte Waite; Louisa Chadwick; Richard Jervis; Lucy Nicol; Helen Smith

Testimonials

There are few people in the COP world as good as Julia Lomas. She has the ability to be kind and considerate to clients whilst tough and demanding on suppliers. Whilst she challenges us as financial planners, it is always with her client’s best interests at heart. Charlotte Waite is a truly brilliant solicitor. She is compassionate with clients’ circumstances but confident to make the harder decisions as needed. Louisa Chadwick is also excellent with clients and very knowledgeable of the COP processes‘.

‘Probably the main player in the area – covering the most cases to greater effect. Yogi Amin‘.

‘First choice for Court of Protection matters. IM has a large number of hugely committed and very smart lawyers at every level. The breadth of the practice means it has access to wide pools of knowledge and support. Mathieu Culverhouse is fantastically bright. He sees all the angles in a case and gets some brilliant cases off the ground. He’s also endlessly enthusiastic and a real pleasure to work with‘.

Because it is a full service operation, it is possible to ensure that the interests of a person with impaired capacity are secured across the board by one team, which is rare, if not unique, amongst solicitors’ firm‘.

The Deputy team does an amazing job supporting its underlying clients, managing its varied and often challenging requests with ease. The team is well managed, with nominated individuals looking after specific clients and they really care about their clients. The lawyers are also innovative in how they manage their clients’ affairs. They ask all external investment managers to provide detailed performance information so that they compare advisors and therefore can be certain that the best advice is being provided for their clients for their long term benefit. Joanna Grewer is a delight to work with, she is personable and friendly but at the same time clear and focused in doing the best job for her clients. Individuals who have Joanna working as their Deputy should be very grateful indeed in having her on their side! Within the team Lucy Bloom, is great, easy to contact and clear in communication. It makes the firm very easy to deal with!‘.

‘An excellent and knowledgeable team that is client focused. Katie Strong – Knowledgeable senior professional with a good working understanding of client’s needs. Richard Jervis – Client focused service delivery and very approachable’.

‘Market leaders in the provision of Court of Protection services throughout the country. Lucy Nicol, Damian Hodkinson and Gillian Hitchen are the stand out candidates, all of whom provide an exceptionally personal service where they will always take the time to really understand a client’s needs and deliver a service that is precision guided to the client’s requirements‘.

You are treated as an individual not just an account. The right person/team can make all the difference enabling you to live the life you deserve. Elizabeth Perry encourages all in her team to have empathy for families, and to understand this isn’t just about being an account but about supporting the quality of clients’ lives and how they need to be lived to the best possible. Excellent in communication and listening skills, planning ahead and being multiskilled to adapt to what’s required of them‘.

 

 

Work highlights

  • Act for Michelle Davies, by her husband and litigation friend John Davies, in an application under s21A of the Mental Capacity Act seeking contact between Michelle and John after this had been denied by Michelle’s care provider during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advising on a claim under Article 5 and 6 ECHR:   instructed to appeal an order made by Mr Justice Mostyn in the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court on 22 April 2016 which authorised Mr Mazhar’s forced removal from his home and detention in a hospital.
  • Responsible for the management of AC’s substantial financial award following his PI claim and have recently started a demolition and custom built property build which AC has assisted with the design of which will meet his needs for rest of his life.

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Thomson Snell & Passmore's lawyers are renowned as experts in property and affairs cases especially high-value catastrophic injury claims. The skilled team regularly advises on capacity issues and continues to act as expert witness on a large number of cases. The 'well-resourced, high calibre team from partner to paralegal level' acts as deputy for over 250 cases with an estimated value of over £330m in assets with a significant number of new applications pending. It is also adept at dealing with numerous high-value personal injury trusts where partners act as trustees with an estimated total exceeding £40m. Brian Bacon heads the team and has a strong reputation in this area. Rosie Hamlyn and Catherine Fuller have a wealth of experience in this area too. Hamlyn has particular experience in helping those who have been involved in catastrophic accidents. Fuller is recommended for her particular skill at helping individuals with severe brain injuries and other complex medical conditions. It is a 'formidable team of highly experienced COP lawyers. Wide range of skill sets and personalities to match a whole range of clients'.

Practice head(s):

Brian Bacon

Other key lawyers:

Rosie Hamyln; Catherine Fuller; Louise Mathias-Williams

Testimonials

The firm has a really brilliant Court of Protection team that I always recommend as a first choice. Brian Bacon has taken over the team from Eddie Fardell who built up this brilliant team and has maintained the excellent standard‘.

‘A long established and respected practice in Court of Protection matters. The lawyers have a wealth of experts available to assist in any matter. During the pandemic the service and speed has been seamless even though at times they have been working remotely. Catherine Fuller – an exceptionally good deputy who keeps me updated an a regular basis. Catherine will always respond very quickly to any questions or concerns that I raise. Even more importantly as a person Catherine is exceptional. She is a kind and considerate person and always considers our viewpoint as well as her legal obligations’.

Thomson Snell & Passmore took over the deputyship of my son’s award in December 2019. The lawyers have made big strides in improving my son’s quality of life, whether it be from directly employing carers to helping him achieve the project of a hydro-therapy pool. Their communication skills are excellent. They are kind, knowledgeable, very approachable and nothing seems too much trouble. They are quick to respond and act accordingly. Catherine Fuller is my son’s deputy.  She is  kind, patient, very knowledgeable and supportive, listens to any concerns, and makes one feel part of the team. I would happily recommend to others’.

‘The team at TSP COP is excellent! I really enjoy working with the lawyers and they are extremely client focused. It is an efficient team and very responsive. They take the time that is needed to reassure clients during difficult times and do their best to call in all the experts and professionals they need to assist in areas they do not cover. I work closely with Catherine Fuller. Catherine has a real heart for her clients and this shines through in everything she does for them. I also work with Brian Bacon and he is a very knowledgeable and kind man. He really helps to put clients at ease‘.

Good understanding of the law combined with a sympathetic approach. Easily contactable and available. Clear and concise records keeping for financial deputy work and good litigation/expert witness support. Brian Bacon and  Rosie Hamlyn are very well versed in the law, give clear and sympathetic guidance to clients and their family and make themselves available according to the needs of the case or client. They are able to explain complex issues with clarity‘.

Brian Bacon and his team continue to provide an excellent Deputyship service. They are responsive, empathetic, practical and sensible. Brian Bacon is exceptional. Not only is he incredibly experienced and knowledgeable, but he is always willing to make the time and effort to build strong relationships with clients and their families, which is vital in this line of work. He is not scared of having difficult conversations when needed, but will navigate these skilfully, with sensitivity and tact. Rosie Hamlyn is an absolute pleasure to work with‘.

The team is well structured. This makes working with the team at TSP very easy as whenever I have to contact the team about a client I can always go straight to a member of the team who is fully aware of the clients and their families’ needs. In the absence of the first point of contact you know you can approach one of the senior members of the team and they are equally knowledgeable about the client and their support system which makes it very easy to get funding agreed for items that the clients need. As a team it works exceptionally well together.  Louise Mathias-Williams has great understanding of the clients and is always up to speed with their files but equally she shows a great deal of attention to the clients and families which the families really appreciate‘.

I cannot think of a better team nationally for the whole “wrap-around” approach, the integrity of the firm and the willingness to be pragmatic and sensible. Old fashioned is sometimes an insult, here it is applied as a compliment. The firm serves its clients, not the other way around which, is sometimes the case with some of the behemoths in particular. Brian Bacon has taken off from where Eddie Fardell left, there can be no greater compliment than that in this field. I would trust Brian to always consider the client, consider the long term needs, and consider pragmatism and good service to be held in high regard. The rest of the team follows, it is an ethos nurtured by Eddie Fardell over years and now maintained by those he trained and supervised. If I or any of my family needed the services of Court of Protection lawyers, I know where I would head’.

 

Withers LLP

Withers LLP has a significant international reach with team members in the UK, the US, Hong Kong and Singapore. As well as acting for families and appointed representatives of older and vulnerable people it also regularly acts for trustees, executors, charities and other professional groups. It is skilled at advising on disabled trusts and advance decisions to refuse medical treatments. Julia Abrey co-heads the elder law team and has a particular focus on cross-border mental capacity issues. Stephen Richards also leads the elder team that is 'highly knowledgeable, strategic and effective'. Natasha Stourton was promoted to the partnership. Stourton is recommended for her work on various court of protection matters including statutory wills, lifetime gifts and contested registrations. It is 'amongst the very small handful of firms that can deal with the biggest, most complex, and most high profile Court of Protection litigation'.

Practice head(s):

Julia Abrey; Stephen Richards

Other key lawyers:

Paul Hewitt; Natasha Stourton; Alice Tomlin

Testimonials

‘The Elderly and Vulnerable Client Team has exceptional knowledge of incapacity law and dispute resolution, having acted in many leading cases. Julia Abrey has empathy and kindness and a very lovely manner when talking with vulnerable clients who need treating with care and compassion. She has great knowledge of her area of expertise and works well with her team in finding resolutions to tricky situations which vulnerable clients can find themselves in‘.

Amazing collaborations with lawyers in other jurisdictions (esp in US, Canada, Caribbean and Hong Kong) about standards of capacity and what differing standards and approaches mean for clients who may have property in multiple jurisdictions or travel between jurisdictions with risk of a medical event that may leave them away from their home jurisdiction. Julia Abrey – Very informed about court of protection issues, and working with clients with diminished capacity. Networks with lawyers and others around the world on issues related to diminished capacity. Conducted a STEP program on these issues with lawyers in other jurisdictions, including the US, Canada and Barbardos, with participants from the legal and financial fields around the world’.

‘Great knowledge throughout the team. No weak links. Stephen Richards is my absolute go to for Court of Protection work. His knowledge of this area and excellent advice has repeatedly helped us protect gifts left to the charity‘.

Withers has a wealth of experience in Court of Protection matters. The lawyers have an excellent understanding of the Court’s jurisdiction and procedure, as well as the practicalities of making applications to the Court of Protection. They can properly be described as specialists in this area. Stephen Richards (partner) has excellent client skills as well as being an excellent lawyer, as well as having great tactical instincts. Alice Tomlin (associate) is particularly strong in this field and really understands the law and principles in this area‘.

That Withers decided many years ago now to establish an Elder Law team was a decision which has continued to pay off in spades, because it means that it is able to respond across the board (including in relation to Court of Protection matters) to all the needs of clients who are ageing. Both Julia Abrey and Stephen Richards continue to go from strength to strength, and always continue to impress me by the way in which they seek to problem solve outside the court arena, and to find ways in which to ensure that their own teams, and the lawyers they work with, are informed about broader clinical and ethical considerations relating to elder clients‘.

‘A very smooth operation that draws respect from the Court, opponents, and the Official Solicitor. Stephen Richards: very sensitive to the client’s circumstances and priorities, but will (politely) give uncomfortable advice in the client’s own interests. Understands the jurisdiction and approach of the judges intricately and cultivates excellent relations with fellow practitioners which smooths the road for litigation. Natasha Stourton: supremely competent and confident, and very well polished. Totally on the ball and totally unflappable‘.

‘A very responsive, quality team, with outstanding lawyers at all levels. Also a pleasure to deal with. Stephen Richards leads the team and is excellent. He is very sensible and is able to explain complex points with clarity. He understands the client’s needs and works tirelessly to ensure they are met. Our matter was extremely full-on and he marshalled his team superbly. Natasha Stourton was the junior partner on the file and was excellent, on top of the detail and provides very sensible and pragmatic advice’.

Technically strong team with great lawyers who really know their stuff, particularly in respect of contentious applications. Also sensible and reasonable in their approach to Court of Protection work which requires sensitivity due to the issues that often arise. Stephen Richards is great technically but also understands the complex personal issues that arise in COP cases‘.

 

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP delivers tailored financial deputy and welfare services to those who lack capacity either with high-value catastrophic injury settlements or state benefits. It manages in excess of £55m of assets and many of its cases involve health, wealth, property and financial matters. It is appointed too as interim panel deputy increasingly where investigations are required due to potentially abusive attorneys or deputies. The group is also adept at advising on complex community care law and human rights claims arising out of the MCA. Head of department, Donna Holmes, is a panel deputy and acts as deputy for approximately 165 people lacking capacity. Kirsty MacMillan specialises in mental health and mental capacity as well as court of protection and community care.

Practice head(s):

Donna Holmes

Other key lawyers:

Kirsty MacMillan; Douglas Houghton ; Rebekah Sambrooks

Testimonials

‘Anthony Collins is a great firm of solicitors and I enjoy working closely with its very knowledgeable COP team. It is my go to firm for anything COP related and specifically Donna Holmes who heads up the team in a very down to earth and approachable way. Simply the best in my view. Donna is open, friendly and someone who communicates well with clients. Doug is well organised and approachable and makes sure that difficult issues are dealt with in a thoughtful and appropriate way‘.

The team at AC is able to handle all manner of Court of Protection matters. The lawyers do so with a great mix of compassion and professionalism. Donna Holmes – approachable and adaptable to client needs. Doug Houghton – a safe pair of hands‘.

Excellent Court of Protection team with very knowledgeable solicitors who are committed to their clients. Rebekah Sambrooks and Kirsty Macmillan are both very pragmatic, sensitive and knowledgeable solicitors‘.

A strong Court of Protection team that acts for both the Official Solicitor and family members of P. The lawyers are often involved in difficult safeguarding matters and they bring care and sensitivity to such matters. They are empathic and care strongly about the cases they are involved in. They fight their client’s corner’.

The team is exceptional in the way it delivers the service. Always competent, professional, caring and way above similar practices I work with. The lawyers are able to think out of the box which is needed when dealing with complex clients. Clients are put at their ease straightaway. Clients have very individual needs –  these needs are recognised from the word go. My clients have learning difficulties and communication issues but are always listened to. Explanations from the team can be on the basic level but the practice is able to recognise these issues and perform in my clients’ best interests. I would always recommend‘.

The team is led by Donna Holmes. She is forthright, dedicated, professional and caring. She sets the high standard for her team and performs at a high level. One of my clients has a speaking aid and Ms. Holmes trained herself to use the aid in order to communicate with my client. Full marks to Miss Holmes as it was no easy task to set herself. She puts my client’s needs as the number one priority. She is always available to discuss any issues that arise outside of the normal office hours. She is a shining star in our sector‘.

‘A good regional team with a solid practice. Douglas Houghton, a friendly and hardworking associate with a good client manner’.

Work highlights

  • Acted for RM to undertake a significant financial investigation and take urgent steps to safeguard assets and secure previously non-disclosed assets to ensure his needs can be met and best interests promoted going forwards.
  • Acted for GJ to challenge her deprivation of liberty in a care home when she did not require care and supported her with management of her finances for which she did not have capacity.
  • Acted for SB to secure proper exploration of appropriate discharge plans to a suitable environment to maximise his choice and independence in life.

Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP

Joint head of department at Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP is David Wedgwood  who is a qualified social worker and has an in-depth knowledge of capacity issues, rehabilitation and care plans. Wedgwood acts for a  wide range of protected parties from princesses, government ministers and celebrities, to the poorest in the community. Alexandra Knipe co-heads the 'excellent team' and deals with deputyships arising from complex personal injury and clinical negligence cases.  Knipe is also known for her work on cases with an international dimension and she manages deputyships which have concurrent deputyships, trusts or attorneys abroad. Newly-promoted partner Grainne Feeney has a wealth of experience in this area too. The lawyers are 'professional and hardworking'.

Practice head(s):

David Wedgwood; Alexandra Knipe

Other key lawyers:

Grainne Feeney; Emma Tante

Testimonials

Anthony Gold has a uniquely strong COP team – a real listening ear for worried clients, combined with huge experience and know-how. David Wedgwood is a doyen of the Court of Protection world, gentle but with a clear direction, and many years experience as a deputy‘.

Leading team of high profile lawyers acting in high profile cases. Head and shoulders above other private client/deputy lawyers. Particularly strong in managing high-value and complicated issues relating to protected parties’ funds. Alexandra Knipe  – Alexandra has been involved in a high-profile Swiss case, complex asset tracing and the repatriation of a vulnerable individual from Switzerland to the UK‘.

‘Alexandra Knipe is highly knowledgeable and calm in a crisis. Her knowledge of Mental Capacity law is very good‘.

‘The COP team is well respected and knowledgeable dealing with some tricky cases. I know Alexandra Knipe and David Wedgewood although my greatest knowledge is of Alexandra and she is a very dedicated and passionate practitioner‘.

‘The team is professional whilst also providing a personal approach. The lawyers are responsive and provide excellent communication. Alexandra Knipe is exceptional and I feel blessed to work with her. Whilst being professional in her approach, she is very responsive and considerate of the client and care team’s needs – always going the extra mile to ensure the client, family and support workers’ needs are met in a proactive and sensitive way‘.

‘This is a dynamic and dedicated Court of Protection team. The Professional Deputies, Alexandra Knipe and David Wedgwood, have a great team working with them and both have a really stand-out approach to investing time into and investigating every avenue of health and social care support for their clients to protect their best interests and safeguard their human rights. Emma Tante of the team secures particularly impressive results in very complex cases’.

Anthony Gold’s Court of Protection team is well known and highly respected. David Wedgwood and Alex Knipe are very experienced in this area and have built a good reputation for the firm. David Wedgwood and Alex Knipe are both very capable Court of Protection lawyers, adept both at dealing with Court of Protection litigation as well as with the operation of deputyships‘.

‘A well-known team. I know Alex Knipe and David Wedgewood best- worked with David on a matter last year which was potentially contentious and we reached a good conclusion‘.

 

Work highlights

  • Acting for a Chinese resident in applications relating to setting up a support plan in Shanghai and facilitating a surrogacy in California, then to bring the baby from USA to PRC.
  • Acting for the Official Solicitor in numerous matters involving property disputes and consequential instructions to take deputyships to safeguard assets going forward.
  • Acting for the Trustees of the M Trusts to recover stolen trust assets, restructuring trusts, then deputyship application, so as to deliver improved quality of life.

Bindmans LLP

Newly-promoted partner Laura Hobey-Hamsher now heads the department at Bindmans LLP. The team continues to act in the most legally complex and contentious cases in the Court of Protection. This ranges from cases concerning the withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration to cases involving the thorny issue of an individual’s capacity to marry. Hobey-Hamsher who is 'absolutely brilliant and completely focused on the needs of her clients' has a niche practice of acting for high profile individuals, cases with a cross-border element, and cases where there have been allegations of serious physical, sexual or financial abuse. Charlotte Haworth Hird has an extensive mental capacity and Court of Protection practice. Amy Rowe is another recommended individual.

Practice head(s):

Laura Hobey-Hamsher

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Haworth Hird ; Elizabeth Cleaver; Will Whitaker; Emma Varley ;Amy Rowe

Testimonials

Laura Hobey Hamsher has outstanding client care skills. Deeply committed’.

‘Bindmans has exceptional strength in depth. They are leaders in their field across the whole spectrum of social welfare law. Will Whitaker is an excellent solicitor. He displays expertise and judgment well beyond his years PQE. Laura Hoby Hamsher is a standout solicitor. She is incredibly dedicated and skilled at dealing with difficult cases‘.

Exceptional depth of knowledge and commitment to clients. Elizabeth Cleaver- incredible diligence, passion and commitment to her clients. She tries to see the case from every angle and will always go the extra mile‘.

‘Bindmans has a particular expertise in public law, so the cases I have done for them have had a Court of Protection link with public law, and also Mental Health Tribunals. It is a joy to work with solicitors who are au fait with CoP, mental health law and public law. This enables Bindmans to provide a holistic service to clients with especially complex needs. Elizabeth Cleaver is a stand-out associate, who is adept at CoP, public law, and mental health tribunals alike’.

‘Bindmans is a leader in the Court of Protection. The team is often instructed on some of the toughest cases and can be relied upon as a trustworthy source of comprehensive, knowledgeable instructions. The firm is extremely well-regarded and I would not hesitate to recommend it. The primary people I have worked with have been Emma Varley and Laura Hobey-Hamsher. Emma is an ‘up-and-coming’ solicitor who works hard and readily takes on advice. She is a pleasure to with work. Laura has high expectations which is understandable given her level of experience and knowledge in the field; she is really one of the best’.

‘Unique because of the superior legal knowledge, practical approach, kindness to individuals in extreme distress, super responsiveness, incredible hard work at all hours of the working day and night and at weekends, and attention to detail. Team working is difficult and the level of trust and communication in this team puts it head and shoulders above its competitors. Laura Hobey-Hamsher is the best in the business. She is always the first solicitor I recommended when a member of the public needs advice and representation. Hugely experienced in life and death cases, a superb instinct for how to approach difficult ethical issues, first-class communication skills and highly empathetic so that people in emotional crisis feel looked after and find her easy to talk to‘.

Bindmans’ team has significant experience in the Court of Protection and a particular focus on fighting their clients’ corner. Laura Hobey-Hamsher is the person I have worked with most. She has a fantastic way with clients, and is extremely caring whilst being able to give firm advice when required. She is resourceful and determined in obtaining relevant evidence, leaving no stone unturned, and takes the best witness statements in the business‘.

Excellent in Court of Protection welfare work and hybrid applications and working with families in sensitive medical treatment cases. Laura Hobey-Hamsher is a delight to work with. Very bright and quick off the mark with a wicked sense of humour. A very effective litigator. Sensitive and supportive- especially with families in serious medical treatment cases‘.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a full service Court of Protection team that covers a wide geographical area and is an integral part of its wider private wealth offering. It is a large practice that handles multi-jurisdictional disputes. Work undertaken includes advising on issues of fraud and restitution through to managing large estates with global asset portfolios.  Suzanne Marriott is a member of the Solicitors for the Elderly and also the STEP special interest group on mental capacity (as is Sally Ashford ). Marriott regularly acts as the independent deputy for property and affairs and health and welfare.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Marriott; Sally Ashford

Other key lawyers:

Robyn Hack

Testimonials

‘The firm has been involved in one of the huge court of protection cases which have been raging this year and deservedly so-it has the expertise and experience to be a first choice. The private client team is exceptionally strong.  Suzanne Marriott is unsurpassed in her knowledge of Court of Protection matters. She is a first choice as deputy in so many cases. The lawyers are all great team players‘.

‘An excellent team at all levels who have a deep understanding of Court of Protection practice – fee earners from trainees to partners are very knowledgeable and hardworking. Suzanne Marriott is a leading light in Court of Protection practice: she is a go-to litigator in contentious cases, and often put forward as an independent deputy in the most high-profile cases. She is extremely well-trusted and respected by the Official Solicitor’.

Sally Ashford is inspirational in her approach to her work as a Professional Deputy for her clients with very complex needs. She deals not only with Property & Finance (as many Professional Deputies do) but also with the challenges of acting as a Professional Deputy for Health & Welfare.  Her breadth of knowledge, approachable and “hands on” stance and genuine engagement with and for her clients is impressive in the sector. When instructed by Sally, I know that she and her team have left “no stone unturned” and the fact that they do instruct us as public law community care law experts to assist with issues outside their expertise is a reflection of the commitment to cover all possible angles in the clients’ best interests. Sally Ashford – as above; and her excellent assistant Robyn Hack‘.

The firm is well respected in the Private Client/Court of Protection arena. I have worked with Suzanne Marriott who has years of experience. She is easily approachable, very knowledgeable and has a wealth of experience particularly with complex multi-jurisdictional Court of Protection matters’.

CRS is always great to work for, it has some of the best cases and is incredibly well resourced‘.

Suzanne Mariott- super lawyer and great deputy‘.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP specialises in the management of the whole spectrum of Court of Protection work including high-value personal injury awards arising from catastrophic injury and clinical negligence cases; matters of fraud, insolvency and abuse by attorneys and foreign jurisdictional issues. It is also skilled at advising on dementia; disputes with local authorities, Care Act funding issues and associated welfare matters. Head of team is Anthony Fairweather who along with Anne Minihane are both members of the OPG panel of professional deputies. It has over 280 deputyships, numerous personal injury trusts and appointments as power of attorney - the team is ' extremely well managed, organised and approachable.'

Practice head(s):

Anthony Fairweather

Other key lawyers:

Anne Minihane; Jess Flanagan; Bonita Walters

Testimonials

‘I have worked with Anthony Fairweather on a number of cases, in which he has acted as Deputy and Litigation Friend, in the context of litigation for claimants who have lost capacity to handle their financial affairs, through traumatic brain injury. His approach has been outstanding. He has fantastic client skills; in a number of difficult cases, he has demonstrated expert client handling skills, combining an empathetic and understanding approach, with finding practical and workable solutions to a range of complex issues. He really is a leader in his field‘.

‘The team is led by three doyenne’s in the field of Mental Capacity, and as such it has a huge breadth and depth of experience that it can draw on. The lawyers are knowledgeable, fast paced, and keen to move their practice and knowledge forward. Anne Minihane is highly experienced and capable, particularly in the realm of statutory wills. She is dedicated to her team and is very easy to deal with. Jess Flannagan is second to none for Health and Welfare work. She has a huge capacity to understand her clients and fights tooth and nail for them. Anthony Fairweather is a highly experienced and knowledgeable deputy who has been around the block and seen it all‘.

Personalised service from a team who have matching competencies and interact well with each other. Anne Minihane goes the extra mile with her dedication to obtaining the best for her clients‘.

‘Our experience is of a strong team that works very efficiently and effectively with great communication. We get prompt answers to our queries from the appropriate level and we are kept informed on matters that are relevant. The team is led exceptionally by Anthony Fairweather who listens, reassures and delivers for his clients constantly. He does so with a confidence, strength of character and certain panache that makes him a force to be reckoned with and we are delighted he represents our son’s interests alongside us‘.

Anthony Fairweather has proved to be an excellent Deputy for our son. His huge breadth of experience is evident in his assured approach to problems and he works with a tremendous efficiency that keeps costs in check. Anthony takes time to listen and working with him has been an absolute pleasure compared to our previous experiences. He is professional and firm, but retains a compassion for the families with whom he works and he understands the daily battles that they face. He has a very mature view of risk management‘.

A brilliant firm who genuine specialise in Court of Protection Work and is at the top of its game. Anne Minihane is highly experienced, knows the law inside out, and is utterly charming. Bonita Walters is superb at dealing with contentious matters and is great with clients‘.

‘The court of protection team includes members experienced in the non-contentious aspects of the work of being a deputy, such as Anne Minihane, and those experienced in contentious work such as Bonita Walters. Anne Minihane is a very experienced practitioner in advising clients with court of protection issues and herself acting as a deputy in complex estates where understanding the family dynamic is key. Bonita Walters is very good at managing litigation and taking the right tactical decisions and how to make the best use of the evidence available‘.

‘Clarke Willmott LLP has a wealth of experience, its COP practice has Deputies and staff that are empathetic, client centred and dynamic to solve any of the clients’ issues. Its strengths are based on its vast experience, can do attitude and professionalism. Anthony Fairweather stands out as a Deputy who has vast amounts of experience working with complex clients. He is the go to Deputy for challenging and complex cases. His personal approach, ability to communicate with clients and family keeping them at the centre of the process is reassuring and successful‘.

 

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 approach that advises on a whole host of issues including mental health, community care, clinical negligence and public law. It is increasingly receiving instructions to advise trust corporations and other firms on health and social care matters. The practice is skilled at representing vulnerable clients and family members in disputes about mental capacity and best interest welfare decisions.  It specialises in the overlap between the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act, as well as deprivation of liberty, section 16 and inherent jurisdiction matters. Rachel Caswell is key name - she is a director in the mental health and mental capacity departments.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Caswell

Other key lawyers:

Helen Cummings

Testimonials

‘A dedicated and popular team. Extensive experience in Court of Protection work across the country. The lawyers have a real insight into the diversity of needs across the protected parties that they represent (though the relevant litigation friends) and are able to think about the practicalities as well as the legal issues. Helen Cummings is an exemplary associate. She is incredibly hardworking and will go the extra mile in her cases. Even when extremely busy, she manages to make time where none would appear to exist‘.

‘I enjoy working with the team – the lawyers communicate well and provide excellent and comprehensive briefs in good time. They seem to work well as a unit. Helen Cummings – charming, very engaged with her cases and clients. Fantastic to work with.’

Helen Cummings is a superb problem solver – she goes further than the extra mile with her responsiveness and levels of client service. We know that our clients are in very safe hands when we refer them‘.

‘I find the Court of Protection Team at Duncan Lewis to be committed and professional. The lawyers are open to suggestions and constructive criticism and pay attention to the detail. They are absolutely committed to the work they do and to their clients. I find Helen Cummings in particular a joy to work with, she is committed, friendly, caring and above all determined to do right by her client whilst being realistic about what can be achieved‘.

Work highlights

  • Acting in a case that involves a 19-year-old (EOA). The lead solicitor was Helen Cummings. EOA and siblings were removed from the care of their parents as young children and were made the subject of full care orders. The Local Authority brought a section 16 application and, simultaneously, an application under the inherent jurisdiction owing to concerns for EOA’s welfare. EOA was represented by the Official Solicitor and the firm.
  • Acting in a complex court of protection case that was not issued at court. The team was instructed by Sinton Solicitors – who were acting for PO (by his brother, RPR and litigation friend) in connection with a claim for damages following a catastrophic accident. PO was knocked down on a pedestrian crossing and suffered severe brain damage and other injuries- leaving him in constant pain and with life changing injuries.

Enable Law

Enable Law has a specialist mental capacity offering and has a particular specialism in personal injury and clinical negligence matters.  It also offers a growing specialism in elder law, brain injury, trusts involving incapacitated individuals, learning difficulties, statutory wills and issues of physical and financial abuse. Stacey Bryant heads the department. Consultant Patricia Wass specialises in powers of attorney, court of protection work and helping the elderly and vulnerable.  Alison McClure is another name to note. Holly Mieville-Hawkins is now at Michelmores LLP.

Practice head(s):

Stacey Bryant

Other key lawyers:

Patricia Wass; Alison McClure; Karen Jackson; Asha Beswetherick; Bethan Phillips

Testimonials

Very professional and approachable and goes the extra mile to support clients and those who work with it. Knowledgeable and objective. I work as a case manager and you also feel like you are the most important colleague. Stacey Bryant – exceptional at managing her team who have the same values and standards in working with our clients. Leads from the top but very personable and respected by colleagues and external agencies‘.

‘The team is highly specialist and knowledgeable, as well as being approachable and co-operative in its work with other professionals. Stacey Bryant as the team leader is brilliant- knowledgeable, approachable, available and committed to involving clients at whatever level they are able, in decisions about their lives. She is great to work with‘.

A top property and affairs team with the ability to pivot to top tier health and welfare work. Karen Jackson is taking a case to the Supreme Court at present‘.

‘Quick and responsive with advice/support for clients. Extremely knowledgeable but at the same time approachable. Karen Jackson- Smart. Pragmatic with an eye for detail. Whilst at the same time able to understand and empathise with things from a client’s perspective in what are difficult circumstances‘.

Excellent team work, communication and collaboration with other professionals. The lawyers are approachable and support clients with their knowledge, experience and professionalism‘.

Enable Law is one of the leading COP teams in the country. It has a large team of fee earners but does not lose personal relationships with clients as a result. The team is all well organised and on top of relationships with clients. Each relationship is managed by a lead individual and then supported by a team to ensure continuation of service in all situations. Enable well deserves its reputation as one of the top COP teams in the country. There are many stand out individuals at Enable…. Patricia Wass and Stacey Bryant with other notable individuals including: Asha Beswetherick and Bethan Phillips provide support in the background‘.

Outstanding team that prides itself on delivering impeccable service to clients. In addition to the client work the lawyers are generous with their time and expertise, frequently providing events where other affiliated organisations can mix and share experiences. Patricia Wass is the guiding light of this team. She has worked tirelessly to pull together an outstanding group of people who know their brief and work seamlessly with other professionals to collaboratively support vulnerable clients‘.

Team is family centric in its working practice. Patricia Wass has been a fantastic advocate for my daughter. Responsive, empathetic and always professional‘.

 

Gillhams Solicitors LLP

Gillhams Solicitors LLP provides a variety of services with a particular focus on private client, property and affairs. Its court of protection team has three panel deputies (Russell Caller, Hina Tailor and Christopher Poxamatis).  It manages a range of matters for elderly clients who have lost capacity as well as younger adults who suffer from mental health issues. Other clients include children who have suffered significant injury as a result of an accident or negligence. The team has a particular strength in property and affairs matters. The firm currently manages over 130 deputyship cases.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Poxamatis

Other key lawyers:

Russell Caller; Hina Tailor

Testimonials

‘Thoughtful and tenacious approach to possible claims‘.

‘Gillhams has a fantastically experienced Court of Protection team: it has three panel deputies, supported by a very strong staff with extensive knowledge of all aspects of Court of Protection practice. Its specialism in a niche, complex and challenging area of practice puts it at a huge advantage compared to other firms. Other professionals and the Court know they are dealing with a reliable knowledgeable set of practitioners, and what they say is always treated seriously as a result. Russell Caller and Chris Poxamtis stand out as individuals who are adept at dealing with difficult and contentious situations and individuals. They are good at identifying the practical solution to difficult legal connundra. Hina Tailor is a very thoughtful and sensible deputy; a calm and reassuring presence for any fraught situation‘.

I really enjoy working with Gillhams COP team. The lawyers are extremely client focused and understand how my role as a case manager fits with the overall process of supporting vulnerable adults and children. When there are urgent matters they are very responsive and supportive. Russell Caller is  excellent and a pleasure to work with. He is efficient and clearly has his client’s best interests at the heart of everything he does‘.

One of Gillhams’ main strengths is acting for those who have lost capacity in managing their affairs and as such are appointed by the Courts to act as Deputies. The lawyers also specialise in dealing with Wills and probate matters. The Partners and staff have a very warm, personable and empathetic approach to the families of those clients who the Court of Protection have appointed and for those families who have suffered bereavement. They have vast experience in these areas and work efficiently in providing a professional service. Christopher Poxamatis‘.

‘Friendly, reliable and professional – worth its weight in gold‘.

The team always strives to deliver the best possible service and achieves best possible outcomes for client. The team is always seeking innovative technology and techniques to achieve these outcomes. Chris Poxamatis stands out in his approach to ensuring best possible outcomes for clients and places a great deal of care to secure the goals of his clients. Russell Caller stands out in his role as an advocate for the entire Court of Protection sector. Leading and driving change by challenging the status quo and campaigning for better collaboration between legal industry, financial sector, regulators and governmental departments (including the courts)’.

A collaborative and efficient team, who have a flexible approach. The lawyers are friendly, approachable, eminently sensible and genuine’.

Excellent communication and prompt responses from all working at this firm. It takes its role as deputy very professionally and conducts its duties in line with recommended OPG guidelines and within legal framework. Competent partners and well trained and knowledgeable staff‘.

Hugh James

Hugh James has a multifaceted team that has brain injury legal experts, a qualified social worker and an accountant. The professional deputyship team deals solely with high-value and complex cases that arise from damages claims. The work ranges from overseeing the direct employment of care teams to the investment of funds and managing home adaptions. Under the leadership of Andrew Harding it currently manages the affairs of 179 individuals, including 142 deputyships and 37 trusts with total assets (including property and large investment portfolios) exceeding £175m. It has a 'high degree of knowledge and experience. The team has a good understanding of clients' issues and offers an individual and personal service to each client'.  

Practice head(s):

Andrew Harding

Other key lawyers:

Robert Hurling; Kate Coles; Charlotte Fletcher; Joy Davies; Ruth James

Testimonials

Hugh James has provided a “one stop shop” solution to meet our family’s Deputy needs. The lawyers’ understanding of our needs from a legal and personal perspective, plus providing solutions, has made working with Hugh James very simple. Time was taken to ensure we clearly understood the process and the responsibilities of each party. Communication has been timely and personal. Responses are provided in terms we understand and which relate specifically the concerns or guidance required. Andrew Harding’s engagement has been excellent, providing us with very high levels of understanding and confidence. Charlotte Fletcher has provided excellent, timely, and high quality service to us‘.

‘Very friendly team and competent without being patronising. Always quick to respond to any queries. I deal a lot with Joy Davies who is exceptional. Always a swift and efficient response and very friendly and approachable. Nothing is too much trouble for her‘.

‘It has helped me look after the affairs of my late cousin . The team’s application to this task had great continuity and the responses to problems which arose over the years were always immediate. Robert Hurling was my point of contact with Hugh James . He has been instrumental in guiding me in a task which I found could have been very overwhelming . He has helped me with most things concerning my cousin‘.

‘ Robert Hurling has been absolutely brilliant in dealing with my needs when it comes to The Court of Protection and the Court Funds Office. He has worked for me for several years and has calmly and professionally guided me through all the hurdles of dealing with the C.O.P and the C.F.O. Applied for several Court orders on our behalf, dealt with both the land registry and my local Council all with a 100% positive outcome. I could not have asked for a better person to have dealings with. He is a credit to himself and his company. He is friendly, professional and efficient. Having tried for years to deal with the Court and the various departments with limited success Robert Hurling and the company he works for have been a Godsend‘.

‘Collaboration with case managers excellent. In depth knowledge of clients apparent. Speedy responses. Charlotte Fletcher- approachable, quick responses, collaborative working, good understanding of complex cases‘.

Kate Coles –  I find her approachable, communicative and clear in her decision making when approving funds for my client. My client’s parents have an excellent working relationship with Kate also‘.

All team members from partners down to junior associates are helpful and committed. They have a flexible, friendly and helpful attitude. Questions are answered promptly and information well researched. They are also good at chasing third parties for information and action on behalf of the client. Ruth James- has a lovely personality and is very easy to talk to which is important. She genuinely cares for her clients and is very fair‘.

‘The lawyers provide a client centred bespoke service. They have been continually available and supportive during the pandemic. Kate Coles, Ruth James, Charlotte Fletcher. Always available to answer queries, responsive to requests‘.

 

JE Bennett Law

JE Bennett Law is well-known for its Court of Protection practice and has an excellent reputation for its work with vulnerable clients.  Jane Bennett, Richard Shearing and Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby are among the key members of the 'professional, friendly, innovative and compassionate' team. Bennett continues to grow the brain injury and vulnerable client practice on the back of her expert witness practice in catastrophic injury cases - she regularly acts as deputy for catastrophically brain and spinally injured and elderly clients. The team receives 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.  It receives praise for its 'personalised service to vulnerable clients '. Amy Paxton was recently promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Jane Bennett

Other key lawyers:

Richard Shearing; Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby; Amy Paxton; Jemma Cahan

Testimonials

‘Jane and her team are outstanding. Communication and correspondence is extremely excellent. Confidentiality is top priority for me and Jane and her team respect this. Jane has worked with me for the last couple of years. I feel that she has supported and helped me achieve so much and she has really helped with my confidence. Without Jane and her team I would not have been able to get where I am. I’m happy, living as independent as possible and really looking forward to my future with Jane and her team’s support. Jane and her team are always available by email or phone‘.

‘Dedicated business focusing solely on the vulnerable client. Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby. Jane Bennett‘.

I have been particularly impressed by the collaborative working and the effort and commitment the team devotes to getting to know the client and understanding the client’s unique strengths and challenges. Jane Bennett – is an excellent communicator and a warm and engaging professional. She endeavours to listen to her clients and colleagues and goes above and beyond to make a difference. Lorna Halfpenny –  is very compassionate and understanding with an eagerness to learn about the challenges that her clients with brain injury face on a daily basis. She has shown great commitment to working within an interdisciplinary team, providing support to colleagues and clients alike‘.

JE Bennett stands out for me due to its passion for providing an excellent service for its clients, tailored to the individual and with the client’s needs at front and centre. The lawyers have an expertise for seeking the bigger picture for their clients, looking beyond the strict legal parameters and sign-posting to other professionals who can advise and support where necessary. There are many years of combined experience in the team and they are clearly very driven to provide their clients with solutions and the best possible outcomes‘.

‘Jane is able to  clearly demonstrate the in-depth knowledge and hands on experience she has of this specialist area.  She keeps up to date with case law and relays her views carefully but with authority.  She has no issue in challenging the opinions of her counterparts and explaining the basis for this. I have every confidence in her as an expert witness‘.

Very proactive and personable. Jane and Lorna, who I work with, work hard to form and maintain strong relationships with their clients and those associated with the clients. Support is always available when it is needed. Lorna and Jane are excellent communicators and very knowledgeable‘.

This is a niche specialist firm in Court of Protection. The service is tailored to each client. Richard is brilliant. He puts the client first and cares deeply and will fight to get the right outcome. He is down to earth but will tailor his approach to different client’s needs’.

‘Amy Paxton – Amy is a very talented and committed lawyer with an incredible eye for detail and in my opinion well-deserving of her recent promotion to partnership. She is a pleasure to work with and her clients rate her very highly‘.

Key clients

Weightmans

DWF

Keoghs

CL Medilaw

Dolmans

Plexus Law

BLM

DAC Beachcroft

Express Solicitors

Slater & Gordon

Mackintosh Law

Work highlights

  • Successfully negotiated the removal of family members from a deputyship client’s home to enable her to access her independence in a disputed case, whilst avoiding costly and aggressive COP litigation proceedings
  • Removed squatters from the home of a deputyship client in residential care to enable his property to be made safe, secure and to be sold to safeguard his estate and ongoing payment of his care fees.
  • Successfully safeguarded the client’s right to remain living at home with care whilst fending off an aggressive application for variation of maintenance in ancillary relief proceedings following divorce.

Kingsley Napley LLP

Simon Hardy leads the team at Kingsley Napley LLP that primarily assists clients with property and affairs matters. It is also widening its offering to include advice on health, care and public funding for care through its recent recruitment of Jemma Garside from Boyes Turner. Many of its clients lack capacity due to catastrophic medical negligence or acquired brain injuries. Anita Gill is recognised for her work with the elderly, particularly those diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Practice head(s):

Simon Hardy

Other key lawyers:

Anita Gill; Jemma Garside; Sameena Munir

Testimonials

‘All the team I worked with at Kingsley Napley was highly professional, understanding and approachable. I could not recommend the team more highly. The lawyers kept me totally informed at every point and gave reassurance and support when needed. Simon Hardy was outstanding together with his assistant Sameena Munir. The support, professionalism and expertise they gave at a difficult time was something I will remember for many years to come‘.

The team refers to each other. Information is promptly passed to the relevant member. I have found members of the team very helpful and patient with me. I know very little about the law and must have asked rather simplistic questions at times. Members of the team have never been patronising or impatient. Any professional that I encounter in the course of business, I expect to be efficient, hardworking and to know their sphere of expertise . Anita and Sameena definitely exceeded my expectations, and combined with such pleasant and warm personalities it was a pleasure to be associated with them. I would definitely recommend them and the firm‘.

‘I have been working with Anita Gill is respect of a COP matter. Anita takes a very sensible, empathetic and practical approach. Anita is proactive and positive‘.

Jemma Garside –  Excellent COP and Community Care solicitor‘.

‘The client care is second to none. I work with a number of different Court of Protection Teams and in my view the team at Kingsley Napley and Simon Hardy is head and shoulders above the rest. They are extremely client focused, responsive and adopt a common sense approach to this area. Simon Hardy is outstanding‘.

‘Each member of the team has knowledge and understanding of the client’s specific needs. I work with Simon Hardy who is engaged, honest, with integrity in his work‘.

‘Jemma Garside is always approachable, providing thoughtful and valuable insight. I have been impressed with her people skills and technical knowledge‘.

The team is v good- COP at all levels and lots of deputyship. Anita Gill and Sameena Munir- worked on a matter with them last year- v good‘.

Leigh Day

Leigh Day ’s human rights department has a specialist court of protection team with an established practice in best interest cases. The team receives regular referrals from the Official Solicitor in matters relating to deprivation of liberty, contact, residence and sexual relations issues. Jamie Beagent heads the department that acts for the Official Solicitor, professional property and affairs deputies, relatives of protected individuals and charities as intervenors. Anna Moore acts in a variety of health and welfare cases and specialises in cases involving children and vulnerable adults.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Beagent

Other key lawyers:

Anna Moore; Frances Swaine

Testimonials

‘Leigh Day has an excellent team of Court of Protection solicitors. The lawyers are very knowledgeable and dedicated to their clients‘.

Anna Moore is a very good lawyer. She is careful, and thoughtful. She has good judgment’.

‘It has the advantage of  its very high-profile practice in human rights / civil claims alongside its CoP team. The lawyers bring a uniquely ‘human rights focused’ perspective to CoP welfare work. I have instructed Anna Moore who went to exceptional lengths to investigate the evidence and ensure that P was able to participate properly; and gave clear and helpful advice throughout‘.

Work highlights

  • Acting in a complex Court of Protection case (with a linked clinical negligence claim) where Anna Moore successfully argued that JDO should be moved to a bespoke placement to start a trial of independent living. This case led to judicial guidance on how reviews of deprivation of liberty should (and should not) be dealt with by public bodies.
  • Advised on court of Protection proceedings currently being heard in the High Court due to complexities about CF’s capacity to make decisions about meeting individuals online. This case involves careful consideration of CF’s best interests, seeking to promote her autonomy whilst keeping her safe.
  • Acting in a complex medical treatment case. Anna Moore acts for AHK in proceedings involving AHK’s capacity to consent to life sustaining treatment. This case led to a linked claim involving AHK’s eligibility to receive a kidney transplant.

Mackintosh Law

Mackintosh Law is a niche firm with a national reputation for its work on mental capacity cases in the Court of Protection. It is dedicated to working with disabled clients and their family members and representatives. The practice is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts, advocacy agencies and lay individuals in vulnerable adult protection cases, challenges to deprivation of liberty under the Mental Capacity Act and other health, welfare, property and affairs cases in the Court of Protection. A lot of these cases involve elements of human rights and civil liberties. Nicola Mackintosh QC (Hon) (‘who needs no introduction‘) and Zena Soormally Bolwig garner a lot of praise – both are  ‘extremely supportive and sympathetic. Highly professional and well organised, and very knowledgeable‘.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Mackintosh QC (Hon); Zena Soormally Bolwig

Other key lawyers:

Georgina Byrne

Testimonials

Mackintosh Law punches very, very far above its weight, and continues to set a standard for those firms working to secure the interests of vulnerable individuals. Nicola Mackintosh deserves particular plaudits for tireless work alongside her caseload working on policy matters with the Law Society and during the pandemic on the Vice-President’s Hive group on the Court of Protection. Recruiting Zena Soormally Bolwig to act as her co-director was an exceptionally clever move on Nicola’s behalf, as she shares her values, her commitment, and her passion‘.

The team at Mackintosh Law is excellent. The lawyers complement each other brilliantly with a wide range of skills and sensitivities. They really specialise in what they do but are not afraid to get up to speed with less common areas of law when necessary or take external advice when warranted. Above all, they absolutely put their clients first and fight for the rights of those least able to protect themselves. They are the market leaders in their area. I cannot recommend them highly enough‘.

‘Nicola Mackintosh is absolutely dedicated to her clients and getting the best for them. She is also absolutely excellent at keeping complex and ongoing matters on track. She knows everything there is to know about the Court of Protection and her other specialisations. Zena Soormally Bolwig is extremely clever and always uses her skills to assist her clients. She has a huge capacity for marshalling complex facts and ruthlessly cutting down masses of information to what is relevant and important and will make a difference. Both Zena and Nicola are among the most effective and dedicated lawyers I have worked with’.

‘Nicola Mackintosh is clearly very experienced and knowledgeable in respect of Court of Protection work and Deprivation of Liberty Decisions and is able to provide clear advice and to discuss all the options open‘.

‘I can say with some authority. Nicola Mackintosh is exceptional. The extent to which she genuinely cares for her clients cannot be overstated. If I were to lose capacity, I would want Nicola involved (although I wouldn’t be able to get her because she is too busy)’.

‘Care for vulnerable clients. Compassion – and the team would score ‘exceptional’ for this criterion‘.

The Court of Protection team is relatively small but has a great deal of experience and quality in its ranks. The quality of the advice given to clients is always excellent. Zena has a lot of experience in the Court of Protection and that becomes clear very quickly when dealing with her. Her attention to detail is always excellent and her understanding of this area of practice shines through. She always provides excellent and clear advice to clients. Georgina very much follows in Zena’s footsteps. Whilst nominally less experienced that does not show in the quality of her work, quite the opposite. Her advice and practice suggests someone with years more experience’.

‘A niche firm with a strong leadership team providing a very hands on and personal service. All team members are dedicated to promoting and protecting the vulnerable in our society. They are willing to hold their own and to achieve an outcome in the best interests of their clients. Nicola Mackintosh QC – great to work with and very hands on and willing to provide a service above and beyond expectations. Zena Soormally Bolwig – a rising star in the firm and an excellent compliment to Nicola‘.

 

Miles & Partners LLP

Miles & Partners LLP has a niche collection of specialist solicitors who advise on family and relationship law, mental capacity, mental health and housing issues. It has recently expanded into the field of community care. Its specialist mental capacity and mental health team routinely advises on capacity and the best interests of vulnerable adults who are unable to make fundamental health and welfare decisions themselves. The group is jointly headed by Floyd Porter and Rachel Turner. Andrew Bowmer is another key figure.  The 'very strong' team is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor, relevant person’s representatives and by relatives.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Turner; Floyd Porter

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Bowmer; Kaileigh Hazeldine

Testimonials

‘For me, Miles and Partners is unique due to the breadth and depth of experience it has in the Court of Protection. It has a specialist team that is able to bring real expertise and experience to matters of all complexities. In addition, Miles and Partners is highly professional and committed to representing some of the most vulnerable people in society.  I work primarily with Floyd Porter. Floyd is wholeheartedly committed to representing some of the most vulnerable people in society. He is robust and fearless in fighting for his client’s best interests. He brings considerable expertise and experience to each case. He has a keen strategic eye and is able to see all angles to a case. He is well-respected by others engaged in the litigation process‘.

‘Very good service – bespoke approach to complex cases and the team is committed to its clients. Floyd Porter in particular has an in-depth knowledge of Court of Protection issues. He is willing to help clients in difficult situations and will go above and beyond in providing a Rolls Royce service‘.

‘Unlike some other firms, Miles and Partners deploys its senior and experienced staff to work on my cases. This means my clients are supported by lawyers who understand how to engage with people who lack capacity. I have worked with the same lawyers over a long period of time. Prior to the Covid restrictions they would travel out to meet clients face/face. I find the staff I deal with to be very helpful, accessible and quick to respond to any queries I have. I have worked extensively with Rachel Turner. Rachel brings great experience in communicating with clients who lack capacity. She is very clear in her approach and very personable. Rachel is also very good at communicating with staff. She has tremendous knowledge of the area which I also find very useful. I completely trust her judgment and value her advice‘.

‘I have also worked several cases with Kaileigh Hazeldine. Like Rachel, Kaileigh has a very approachable style that clients respond well to. She is very good at communicating with me and keeping me informed. She is also very flexible in terms of finding out whatever questions I may throw at her, on a range of issues. To a lesser extent, I have also worked with Floyd Porter who I found to be extremely professional, helpful and efficient’.

‘Extremely committed to the clients and achieving the best outcome. Excellent lawyers who give sound advice and are willing to think outside the box in respect of legal argument. Personable and approachable and willing to work collaboratively. Andrew Bowmer‘.

‘Andrew – meticulous in his reading of the papers and preparation. He is an excellent lawyer who thinks imaginatively to achieve the best outcome for the client. Robust in his representation and willing to fight his client’s corner. Andrew is a charming man to work with who is able to place his clients at ease‘.

‘Hugely experienced, intelligent and diligent team. Rachel Turner: Great at strategy, on top of the detail, firm with clients‘.

‘I have used Miles and Partners regularly for 21a challenges in Court of Protection. Responses are prompt and give clear understanding of client’s position and options. Kaileigh Hazeldine cares about my clients and is imaginative in her approach of looking at least restrictive options for my clients. She has regularly achieved some outstanding results for my clients and has made a significant difference to their lives‘.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP regularly acts as a professional deputy or trustee for individuals who have received an award due to a personal injury or clinical negligence claim. Julie Burton leads a ‘very experienced‘ team that has a broad client base of children and adults with acquired brain injuries and other injuries across the UK and internationally. It also manages the estates of some of its elderly clients. In addition it receives a regular flow of referrals directly from the Court of Protection on various contentious and complex matters. It currently has 130 deputyship matters; 40 trust matters and three matters where Burton has been appointed attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney. Daniel Toop is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Julie Burton

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Toop; Rachel Taylor; Grace Serwanga; James Berry

Testimonials

‘The team is strongly led by Julie Burton who has a wealth of experience. She is assisted by Danny Toop who is also highly regarded. They are panel deputies and also deal with large catastrophic claims. Therefore they can deal with everything from the smaller issues to the much larger ones but everything is dealt with professionally. Julie Burton is a stand out partner. She is very experienced and deals with matters with kindness and compassion‘.

‘It is an extremely approachable team. Nothing is too much trouble. The team seems to be well organised and proactive. The lawyers really are a pleasure to work with. Julie Burton – not only is she incredibly nice and down to earth, she also knows the law, the procedure and the practice inside out. I love working with Julie, she is so calm and has the ability of explaining complex and daunting concepts to clients with ease and simplicity. She is fantastic at thinking outside the box‘.

‘Daniel Toop is a rising star. Extremely professional and kind, but expert in his field. Rachel Taylor – Rachel is fantastic. She has great experience and she is very proactive. Nothing is too much trouble‘.

Penningtons is a large firm with particular expertise in Court of Protection work. It has an excellent team, with real strength in depth which makes it an obvious choice for high-value settlements. The lawyers are flexible in their approach and determined to secure the best quality of life for the clients that they support. Julie Burton leads a formidable team with fellow partner Daniel Toop ably backed up by senior associates Rachel Taylor and Grace Serwanga. You will be hard pressed to find a more dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced team of practitioners in this specialist area‘.

Julie Burton has built-up and runs a delightful tight ship; over the years she has chosen and nurtured a fantastic, long-lasting and experienced team, which makes clients and their solicitors feel they are in safe, reliable and dependable hands. Julie Burton and Daniel Toop are the outstanding members of the team, willing to think outside the box and treat each client as an individual. I have never had any trouble getting hold of either of them when their advice is urgently needed‘.

I have also instructed Julie Burton as an expert witness giving evidence on the likely costs of CoP and Deputyship work – very balanced and sensible advice, based on her practical experience as a Deputy, and knows exactly when to stand her ground in expert witness meetings and when to concede a point. She has unerring judgment‘.

Daniel Toop always has a good understanding of his clients and their families, and their individual preferences. He is generally able to navigate difficult discussions and decisions and reach a compromise where there is a difference in opinion. He listens to guidance and input from other professionals to aid decision making around expenditure. He is always thorough in considering cost effectiveness and is able to see the ‘big picture’ and weigh up information based on previous experiences with the client and what lies ahead in the future‘.

‘Rachel Taylor – I have always found her to be approachable, flexible and supportive. She is supportive of my recommendations if she feels they are in the client’s interests, and has been flexible in her working approach in order to meet client circumstances‘.

Russell-Cooke LLP

Russell-Cooke LLP has been busy advising on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious court of protection matters and has considerable expertise in cross-border issues.  It acts for various private clients as both applicants and respondents, deputies and attorneys as well as for not-for-profit organisations. It has a wealth of experience in other areas such as statutory will applications, applications relating to lifetime gifts and lasting powers of attorney. It frequently advises on health and welfare applications too. Gareth Ledsham and Rita Bhargava co-head the 'remarkably strong COP team, that is perfectly attuned to both the court's modus operandi and the particular needs of the vulnerable'.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Ledsham; Rita Bhargava

Other key lawyers:

Susannah Foden; Georgia Haughney

Testimonials

Rita Bhargava is simply outstanding. She is dedicated to the sector, as shown in her initiatives in law-change, and her senior role within the Society for Trust & Estate Practitioners, but even more dedicated to her clients. With her on your side, you are as well-placed as you could be. She is especially good at finding sensitive solutions to seemingly intractable problems. Gareth Ledsham is that rare bird – a litigator who completely understands the Court of Protection. Get him on your side!‘.

Russell-Cooke is the go to firm for this kind of work. The lawyers have an instinctive understanding of their client’s needs and are very well placed in the market to assist their clients. Their cross-over expertise in contentious and non-contentious private client work is of great assistance in this area and is a real benefit to the clients. The team is well and deeply resourced and has both excellent client management skills as well as real firepower on the legal analysis‘.

Gareth Ledsham is extremely reassuring. He knows everything about the area and is keen to guide his clients to a beneficial outcome. He keeps a tight hold of the matters in which he is involved and really works to achieve the client’s priorities. Susannah Foden is a brilliant Court of Protection lawyer. She is excellent with clients and extremely intelligent and efficient. Georgina Haughney is always alert to find the best route through for the client. She goes the extra mile to deliver what is necessary‘.

It offers, in terms of quality and expertise, a comparable service to the larger London firms at a reduced price. Gareth Ledsham has a fantastic depth of knowledge which he deploys in each of his practice areas‘.

The lawyers absolutely give the right advice, at a reasonable cost. The contentious probate / court of protection team is highly specialised, talented, and good to work with. Gareth Ledsham is a smooth operator. Fights his client’s corner, but gives realistic advice. He knows what matters and what doesn’t. Georgia Haughney is a very strong associate. Very enjoyable to work with‘.

‘Great Team – excellent in all aspects of private client work. Gareth Ledsham – very impressive and calm under pressure‘.

Highly regarded Court of Protection Team. The team  has experts in the field and has an in-depth know of Court of Protection work. In particular Gareth Ledsham has a great approach in looking after clients and their family‘.

‘Excellent team collaboration especially during the pandemic. Attentive to client needs and very responsive to client wishes. Successful in Zoom meetings and effective use of time. Susannah Foden, as the main point of contact, exceptionally responsive to client needs, thorough in her research and approach going over and beyond expectations. Highly professional individual and a very talented operator when dealing with a rival solicitor. Gareth Ledsham equally effective when advising on strategic approach for settlement matters. He was always omnipresent and used his time effectively‘.

 

Key clients

Russell-Cooke Trust Company

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP

Jane Netting and Lisa Eato co-head the department at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP that has been appointed to the Office of the Public Guardian panel of Deputies since 2015. The team provides a comprehensive service dealing with all aspects of property and affairs. It currently manages 100 deputyships and also acts as expert witness providing expert witness statements relating to Court of Protection costs in personal injury claims. It has vast experience of dealing with complex and difficult court applications including statutory will applications, gift applications and applications relating to property. Charlotte Dyson was promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Jane Netting; Lisa Eato

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Dyson; Tracy Sladen

Testimonials

‘Jane Netting who heads up the team is great to work with as she is down to earth but has excellent knowledge in this area‘.

In my view Wrigleys are truly dedicated specialists for Private Client and Court of Protection work. The lawyers are committed to high quality work and are excellent at working collaboratively with other lawyers and law firms’.

‘A highly respected team. Charlotte Dyson is a superb Deputy. Highly knowledgeable, approachable, efficient, great with clients and 100% safe pair of hands. It is no surprise that she has quickly risen through the ranks to partner‘.

‘Wrigleys is a team that offers good strength in depth and strong scope for continuity of excellent client care/management when managing damages awards into the future‘.

‘Charlotte Dyson is able, knowledgeable and keen to assist on the most challenging cases‘.

Excellent value for money. Cheaper than a lot of other firms but high quality. Charlotte Dyson is excellent. She is a very good communicator and good at keeping the client and I in the loop as to what is happening with their PI Trust‘.

Depth and strength of knowledge in Court of Protection work and acting for vulnerable clients. Jane Netting is incredibly knowledgeable and thorough and puts her vulnerable clients at the heart of the work she carries out on their behalf‘.

‘Excellent team, very knowledgeable and most importantly approachable. Everyone within the team has the clients’ best interests at heart and that shines through. In particular Tracy Sladen is very engaging and the feedback from her clients and interactions with members of my team is excellent‘.

Abbotstone Law

Abbotstone Law has specialist lawyers who frequently act for clients where there is a crossover between mental capacity and complex mental health issues. It advises vulnerable adults and family members in health and welfare Court of Protection proceedings. The team is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor and Independent Mental Capacity Advocates on matters including Section 21A challenges and best interest decisions. Kate Luscombe  is recommended and Francesca Gabbitas heads the department.

Practice head(s):

Francesca Gabbitas

Other key lawyers:

Kate Luscombe; Angela Smith ; Lyra Nightingale; Rhiannon Jones

Testimonials

‘High level of skills and knowledge, commitment to clients. Kate Luscombe is exceptionally dedicated, with an excellent knowledge of the law and a willingness to think outside the box. Angela Smith impressed as calm, efficient and knowledgeable‘.

Excellent Court of Protection health and welfare practice. The team is very knowledgeable of both legal principles and procedure and I find that it is always on top of its cases and takes a sensitive and pragmatic approach. Angela Smith – very knowledgeable and experienced in Court of Protection health and welfare work. Francesca Gabbitas – proactive and pragmatic when dealing with Court of Protection health and welfare cases. Lyra Nightingale – a pleasure to work with and understands complex issues involved in Court of Protection health and welfare cases‘.

‘Experts in the field of Court of Protection. The lawyers regularly represent P and provide a empathic, sensitive approach in dealing with incapacitated adults. They fight fearlessly for P with unsurpassable knowledge and tenacious determination. Rhiannon is extremely personable, which means that she can deal with all manner of clients with a range of difficulties. She is able to adapt her style and approach to meet each client’s individual needs so that they feel supported and listened to. Rhiannon is one of the most experienced CoP advocates in the country and renowned for her skill in this particularly complex area of law‘.

‘I have mainly instructed Rhiannon Jones (Abboststone Law) on behalf of ‘P’ for S21a/S16 COP cases. Rhiannon is highly professional, approachable, knowledgeable and extremely person centred. She is always available to offer help and support from a legal point of view. Rhiannon always puts ‘P’ at the centre of her work, and her personable approach makes her easy to work with. Rhiannon when she has met with ‘P’ always puts them at ease and really listens to what they have to say‘.

‘Great team of dedicated solicitors who are all lovely and great to work with. Kate Luscombe – smart beyond belief. Great at advocacy and in many cases wouldn’t need to instruct counsel. Incredibly good with strategy and tactics. Encouraging of counsel. An absolute joy.  Rhiannon Jones – Cornwall-based solicitor who is a gutsy CoP practitioner‘.

The firm that cares about its clients and works hard to get the best result for them and this is important for clients who may be dealing with stressful and important issues in their lives. Francesca Gabbitas is a top class specialist solicitor in the Court of Protection, who knows her law and gives sensible advice to clients. Angela Smith deals with mental capacity & mental health issues and is always prepared to spend the time and effort getting to know the clients and getting a good result for them’.

‘Francesca Gabbitas is an immensely talented and dedicated solicitor. She goes far beyond the call of duty to understand what makes her clients unique. She is determined to advocate for their wishes and feelings but is also able to take a pragmatic approach and negotiate great results with public bodies. In instructing counsel, she is extremely efficient, well-prepared and on top of every case‘.

‘Rhiannon Jones is my go-to Solicitor! Rhiannon is brilliant at dealing with all queries promptly and thoroughly, her advice is always great and I know that she always has P’s best interests at the centre of all she does. Her knowledge of the MCA is outstanding. She is incredibly professional and maintains this professionalism even when challenging others (when necessary) and she is also approachable and kind. Angela Smith is also an outstanding Solicitor. Her approach is thorough and person-centred, she looks at every angle that could be explored to enable the best result for P, every case is individual – her approach is always fresh. Angela’s knowledge of the MCA is also incredible. I would not hesitate in recommending either of these Solicitors‘.

 

Work highlights

  • Acting in an  appeal that concerned a request by a patient for a public hearing in a mental health case. The Upper Tribunal held that capacity to conduct proceedings is to be assessed as a whole, provided the patient’s capacity is not fluctuating. Guidance was provided on the salient factors that a patient should understand in order to have capacity to apply for a public hearing. The Upper Tribunal held that there is power to hold a public hearing, even if the patient lacks capacity to have an informed view. AH v West London Mental Health Trust [2011] AACR was explained
  • Acting in an appeal that concerned the client’s right to discharge and to live independently and be included in the community as set out in Article 19 to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 (“CPRD”), which the UK ratified in 2009.

Boyes Turner

Boyes Turner specialises in managing the property and affairs of those who lack capacity. The majority of its clients are high-net-worth and the team has a particular specialism in helping children who have suffered catastrophic brain injuries where there is a substantial claim for compensation that is needed for their care and treatment. The group also advises on issues such as statutory wills, gifts and other applications to the Court of Protection. Ruth Meyer leads the team. Jemma Garside is now at Kingsley Napley LLP. Alexander Wright  has been promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Meyer

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Wright; Charlene Hughes

Testimonials

Really committed to its clients and offering a full service. Ruth Meyer and Alexander Wright. Alexander is a real rising star with an excellent reputation. His work is commendable. Ruth is excellent with clients and has grown a significant team‘.

‘Boyes Turner explained everything about the complexities involved in court proceedings. It was efficient and there was clarity. Alexander Wright explained everything in great detail and guided us through the complexities of the court proceedings in a very professional manner‘.

‘Very efficient and caring service that supports clients and facilitates the process of COP access. Very up to date in terms of legislation. Offers an all round supportive service. Ruth Meyer; Charlene Hughes‘.

Experienced Team. Ruth Meyer is the stand out member of the team‘.

‘From my experience with the Court of protection team at Boyes Turner it is very client focused and very supportive of clients. The lawyers are very proactive and responsive to their clients needs. Ruth Meyer  provides a seamless service to clients, very supportive and always responsive to the clients’ needs‘.

‘Very well organised. Great team work with good leadership. Understand clients’ needs. Good use of technology and generally a model legal practice. Alexander Wright has been a rising star for a number of years. He has this year been appointed a Partner and there can be no better person to be so appointed. He has great technical skills but also great emotional intelligence with both clients and his legal team‘.

‘The Team is very client focused and gives a high level of attention. The lawyers are meticulous in the level of detail in all aspects of  work and highly professional. Ruth Meyer heads up the team and is very committed to her clients and works tirelessly to ensure they receive the best service possible. Charlene Hughes is also a very diligent solicitor and a pleasure to deal with‘.

‘Very knowledgeable team that works together to provide a very positive outcome for clients. Alexander Wright and Ruther Meyer stand out as a class act with very detailed knowledge of their subject. No stone gets left unturned in pursuit of the clients’ needs‘.

 

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal helps those who lack mental capacity for various reasons with particular expertise in acting for clients who have suffered a catastrophic acquired or birth-related brain injury and have received a damages award or where there is an ongoing claim. Around 10% of its work is for elderly clients and those with mental health problems. Adrian Mundell leads the team that acts as professional deputy for over 100 clients and supports some family members who are acting as lay deputy.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Mundell

Other key lawyers:

Paul Humphries; Debbie Holmes

Testimonials

‘The Court of Protection Team is very well run with great communication and service.  I feel I am able to work very closely with them in providing the best outcomes for our mutual clients. Each individual in the Court of Protection Team is very easy to work with.  Adrian Mundell heads up the team, supported by Paul Humphries and Debbie Holmes.  I have worked with all of them over the past 5 years and have always found working with them very easy and enjoyable.  The primary difference when compared with other firms I have worked with is the speed and effectiveness of communication, something I place a significant amount of importance on‘.

A very pleasant team who build up a good relationship with the clients. Adrian Mundell is the standout individual. He has to deal with very difficult issues at times, but manages to overcome them for the client’s benefit‘.

‘All the members of the team are approachable , efficient and responsive. Team members all know who is dealing with particular issues. Paul Humphries‘.

Very personable. Knowledgeable‘.

I have to compliment Ashtons Legal on its professionalism and friendly manner, the lawyers make me feel very at ease which never makes me feel hesitant in contacting them when I need to.  They are efficient in helping and paying a trade when needed, nothing is too much of a problem for the team and they go over and beyond for us.  I can’t compare them to any other firm as we have not dealt with anybody else.  Adrian Mundell is our son’s Deputy, he is friendly, knowledgeable and informative‘.

‘I can’t recommend the team we work with at Ashtons enough – it is a fantastic team that provides a fantastic service – I never dread ringing them which is how it should feel’.

‘I only work with Adrian Mundell, the senior partner of Ashtons Court of Protection team; he is a brilliant lawyer, very flexible and easy to work with and have had no complaints having referred multiple clients to him and worked with him over the past five or so years‘.

Work highlights

  • Appointed as Deputy for 30 year old man whose accident at work claim had settled for £1.8m.  Worked with the client to purchase his property and enable independent living.  Made an application to the Court of Protection as to whether he could marry – case is reported Mundell v Name 1, (2019) EWCOP 50 – and arranged for a pre-nuptial agreement.  Sadly the relationship broke down and we are now dealing with his divorce.
  • Appointed as property and affairs deputy for Mr since his RTC injury claim settled almost 20 years ago, when he was in his teens.  The team bought and fully adapted his property to meet his needs and subsequently built an independent annex attached to the family home.  His investments have been managed to ensure ongoing financial security.
  • Acting for Miss S  who suffered a birthing injury and a claim was undertaken by another law firm who referred Miss S to this team.  The claim settled in 2019 for £7.7m plus periodical payments.  A property was purchased and adapted using interim payments whilst the claim was ongoing and funds are now invested to ensure future financial security

Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors

The specialist team at Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors under the direction of Lesley-Ann Mayhew continues to thrive. It is increasingly attracting referrals from injury lawyers who do not have in-house Court of Protection teams as well as where a party to an application requires independent legal advice. It frequently acts as professional deputy in cases involving multi-million pound damage awards for claimants of medical negligence. In addition the group regularly advises on applications to the court of protection in relation to lifetime gifts, the creation of settlements, the removal and appointment of trustees and on statutory wills.

Practice head(s):

Lesley-Ann Mayhew

Testimonials

We’ve worked with the team for a number of clients, and what stands out is its attention to detail, the exceptional level of client care, and its ability to communicate and help us deliver on the client’s mandate. Its cohesiveness and focus on output, is second to none, and clearly the result of Lesley-Ann Mayhew’s leadership‘.

‘Lesley-Ann Mayhew has a natural ability to lead a cohesive and skilful team, which results in a client output of the highest quality. Her experience, knowledge and laser like focus ensures a superior client delivery. It goes without saying that she is better than her competitors, she’s one of the best we’ve worked with‘.

‘I have only worked with Lesley-Ann Mayhew but find her extremely communicative, professional and committed to her clients. She is a real team player and enjoys working collaboratively‘.

Careful handling of client, easy to deal with and gives the impression that you are the only one it is working for. I say this both on a professional and personal level as I am a client of this department.  Lesley-Ann Mayhew. On the ball, sharp as well as empathetic to the clients’ needs. She is excellent on matters involving powers of attorney but particularly in respect of capacity and court of protection matters. She is a force to be reckoned with‘.

‘Excellent well organised and insightful team – especially the capable and hardworking Lesley Ann Mayhew. Lesley Ann Mayhew – works with great diligence and industry, and has compendious knowledge in this area‘.

‘Small but nimble team. Lesley-Ann Mayhew works diligently on behalf of her clients and is prepared to go the extra mile‘.

I instructed AJH to assist a client of mine with a once off piece of work. The lawyers were efficient, helpful, really helped put my client at ease and did exactly what I had asked of them. Very client focused – I would happily work with/instruct them again. Lesley Ann-Mayhew is the individual that I worked with. She was very friendly, client focused, efficient and did exactly what my client and I had instructed her to do and helped me with a sensitive client issue. Very professional and I would not hesitate to contact her and/or instruct her again‘.

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP has an excellent team that operates nationally through its various offices. Clients include commissioners and providers across the health, social care, education and housing sectors. It works with the public, independent and third sector (such as charities) advising on a whole host of complex issues under the Mental Capacity Act and Mental Health Act as well as human rights and equality issues (including liberty and protection safeguards). Out of London Stuart Marchant is a leading member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Tim Hodgetts (Head of Clinical Risk Department); Simon Lindsay (Head of Health, Care and Regulatory Law team); Hannah Taylor; Stuart Marchant

Testimonials

This huge team is able to cover the whole range of Court of Protection matters. Hannah Taylor is a stand out expert in mental capacity issues‘.

‘It has an unusual depth of expertise in all healthcare matters which is of great use in Court of Protection matters.  Simon Lindsay- level headed, insightful and always a pleasure to deal with. Stuart Marchant – bright and experienced. Hannah Taylor – always shows exceptional commitment to her cases with a real eye for detail‘.

‘Very on top of the law and procedure, flexible and able to deal with urgent matters calmly. Hannah Taylor – strong analytic skills, calm, pleasant to work with‘.

Key clients

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Gloucester Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust (formerly 2gether NHS Foundation Trust)

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG

West London NHS Trust

NHS West Hampshire CCG

Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates

Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates has particular expertise in mental health law and has extensive experience of representing vulnerable adults including those who lack capacity. It has considerable expertise in welfare issues before the Court of Protection including cases involving deprivation of liberty and disputes relating to care and residence. It also receives instructions from the Official Solicitor to represent clients across the country on issues relating to care, contact, residence, sexual relationships and marriage. Keith Clarke and Michael Barrett co-head the department.

Practice head(s):

Keith Clarke; Michael Barrett

Other key lawyers:

William Aiko

Testimonials

‘The COP team at Burke Niazi works well together. The lawyers are clearly all very committed to the clients and work well together to deliver an effective service. They collaborate well and enjoy a collegiate atmosphere in the firm. They use technology effectively, which has been important in the last year. I work closely with Michael Barrett. He is intelligent, hardworking and experienced. He never gets ruffled and approaches even the most complex situations with the most vulnerable clients with a great sense of calm.  He knows his cases inside out, is practical and realistic and he is responsive. He is a safe pair of hands‘.

The team provides an excellent service in acting to protect the needs and best interests of vulnerable people and their family members and carers. The lawyers have real expertise in this area, not just in the finer points of the law but also in the practical realities and mechanics of the social care sector. Michael Barrett been unfailingly thoughtful, kind and sympathetic to his clients. Michael is always well organised, and endlessly astute and insightful on the finer points of his cases. He has a great ability to think practically about achieving solutions for his clients and, if possible, working constructively with social services though not afraid to bring a fight where one is required. He is a pleasure to work with‘.

‘Diverse and competent team of solicitors who take on a variety of interesting cases in the CoP and the Mental Health Tribunal. Michael Barrett – Former NHS physio, Michael is a standout solicitor. He is smart, dedicated to his clients, communicates with them and with counsel in a timely manner, has a wicked sense of humour and is a joy to work with‘.

Michael Barrett is a pleasure to work with. He genuinely cares about his clients and sees each as an individual. He knows his clients well and is able to identify the unique challenges each face. He is always responsive, both by phone and email, and is unfailingly polite and patient. He has excellent legal knowledge to which he adds strong interpersonal skills‘.

‘A highly professional, client-centred approach with demonstrably extensive knowledge and experience. Professional and efficient but very approachable. Michael Barrett – Michael is a very personable lawyer with an exceptional level of knowledge and experience and is highly intuitive and responsive to his clients’ interests and needs. Michael works in a very collaborative way with other lawyers, is communicative and a delight to work with‘.

Very helpful and knowledgeable team, supportive, informative, reliable. Keith Clarke: very helpful, supportive, approachable and knowledgeable, will provide great advice. Very good at keeping me and clients updated‘.

Clear commitment to the wishes of the client, excellent communication and straightforward approach‘.

We worked solely with William Aiko from Burke Niazi. William was incredibly helpful and talked us through the process at every step. He stayed beyond the case to support us and felt he listened to our concerns. He was prompt with his replies and would answer any queries promptly. William was very knowledgeable and supported us each step of the way‘.

Capsticks LLP

Capsticks LLP specialises in advising NHS providers and commissioners, public, private and charitable sector clients on all issues involving incapacitated and vulnerable people. It has significant knowledge of the interaction between the Mental Health Act, the Mental Capacity Act and deprivation of liberty safeguards. Francis Lyons leads the excellent team that continues to be involved in some of the most complex cases dealing with issues such as the withdrawal of treatment and compulsory treatment for incapacitated patients.

Practice head(s):

Francis Lyons

Other key lawyers:

Tracey Lucas

Testimonials

‘The team is capable and knowledgeable about the intricacies of Court of Protection cases. The lawyers worked very well with our clinicians to bring a case to court on an emergency basis, quickly understood the scenario being outlined and provided expert advice as required‘.

‘I have always found the team, extremely approachable, efficient and supportive’.

‘The experience Capsticks has gained in the years of working with Healthcare organisations really shows in its client care. Not only are they very knowledgeable in this area of law but they understand the pressures that Healthcare organisations are under and try to support them. The lawyers are warm and friendly. No matter the query they always put the client as ease‘.

Its strengths are (1) responsiveness – which is excellent (2) subject knowledge, not only technical knowledge but knowledge of the way the health sector works in practice. I work almost entirely with Tracey Lucas and her team. Tracey is a first-class lawyer who provides clear and practical advice. She takes on board our views. Tracey has excellent associates‘.

Key clients

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust.

St Andrews Healthcare

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

NHS South East London CCG

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS FT

Midlands Partnership Trust

South East CSU

London North West Healthcare NHS Trust

NHS Kent and Medway CCG

Work highlights

  • Advised and represented Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust in a case where a serious medical treatment application was made to the Court in respect of a patient with a large facial tumour. The case was of specific importance as it discussed the deficiencies in the MCA Code of Practice and the consequent difficulties in bringing a best interests application to the Court where the patient resides in the community with no clearly assigned decision-maker.
  • Applied on behalf of a London NHS Trust for the withdrawal of clinically artificial nutrition and hydration (CANH) from a young patient who had been admitted to hospital having been found hanging a psychiatric unit bedroom. This case has garnered a lot of recent press attention.
  • Advised a great may front-line NHS organisations delivering Covid treatment in the first wave on Ethical Decision Making frameworks for adults including those who lacked capacity, setting out processes for clinicians to prioritise admissions to hospital and, once in hospital, admissions to intensive care, as well as the processes for withholding or withdrawing treatment from patients which would lead to their deaths.  This was sensitive and high profile.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

The national healthcare regulatory team at DAC Beachcroft LLP provides specialist advice to health and social care commissioners, the NHS and independent health and social care providers on a range of issues such as the complex legal framework covering capacity, mental health and deprivation of liberty. Other core focus areas include advising on proceedings involving best interests and residence disputes and complicated ethical issues such as the withdrawal of treatment, forced treatment and adult safeguarding. Paul McGough leads the team. Gill Weatherill is another eminent practitioner in this area.

Practice head(s):

Paul McGough

Other key lawyers:

Gill Weatherill; Sarah Woods; Jemma Gillson ; Amy Fishburn

Testimonials

The team provides exceptional support. It has a wide range of skills and knowledge and has a practical insight into the delivery of healthcare from a CCG perspective. The team provides valid challenge when discussing cases, this approach assists ourselves to develop our position in terms of cases‘.

‘Very personable, practical and knowledgeable on the court of protection issues and process. This is reassuring as often these cases are very emotive for our staff and the patient and/or the family. Very experienced and understanding of our specific needs. Also very knowledgeable of how we operate‘.

‘We have always found the team very approachable and are always supported by a team member with the appropriate expertise. The team is always willing to discuss any potential cases to discuss options and approaches, and is flexible in its approach. The lawyers have a good understanding of the pressures and demands of our service. Paul McGough is always available for informal discussion of any issues arising, and after instruction is very clear about the information required from us. He keeps us up to date and is a supportive presence‘.

‘The team is highly knowledgeable with rare recourse to counsel. The lawyers are up to date with the latest legal updates and proactively share them with the Trust. The lawyers are responsive and available at any time including the out of hours helpline. We always feel in safe hands whenever a difficult court of protection case arises. They have also provided us with invaluable advice on duty of candour work, MCA and changes in the law surrounding transgender patients. Gill Weatherill is superb, a real fountain of knowledge! Also very personable and approachable. She strikes the right balance between being responsive and aware of the Trust’s needs to being pushy‘.

‘We think Sarah Woods is excellent. Very knowledgeable and showed great initiative with a difficult and urgent court of protection matter. She dealt with the clinicians in a friendly, supportive and professional manner throughout. Jemma Gillson also handled a sensitive and urgent application to the court which involved coming to the Trust and speaking with the parents and Judge over the phone. Jemma really knows her stuff and I felt in very safe and confident hands‘.

The team provides a really personalised and personal service. We have staff who are new to COP applications and they shepherd them through in a very supportive and positive way. Paul McGough is an extremely knowledgeable and highly competent practitioner. He has developed an excellent relationship with us and we trust him implicitly‘.

‘Excellent team of dedicated solicitors with expert mental health law knowledge. Willing to go the extra mile for clients and people. True collaborative approach to problem solving with partners but loyal to the client. Utterly dependable and responsive. Administrators are helpful and ensure communication is swift and precise. I value the team at DAC Beachcroft because the lawyers are truly committed to securing the best outcome for my clients. They are reputationally known as experts in their field and they bring a calm, measured approach to procedures. Gill Wetherill and Amy Fishburn have been amazing‘.

‘The firm has given solid reassurance and guidance to our corporate legal services team and our clinicians when guiding us through a potential Court of Protection application. The lawyers have assured us where we had concerns about timescales etc. Again, the reassurance about what we need to be mindful of during the potential Court of Protection application process and the willingness to assist has been valuable.  In particular, Amy Fishburn and Paul McGough have assisted us and have been really helpful and their knowledge and expertise is valued‘.

 

Key clients

Cumbria, 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

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHSFT

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Newcastle upon Tyne NHSFT

NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Barnsley Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in a complex serious medical treatment case concerning life sustaining treatment for a 34 year old incapacitated patient. This was a significant case focusing upon issues of personal autonomy and the weight to be given to a documented but legally non-binding advance decision to refuse treatment. The court authorised the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment.
  • Acted for a GP through his medical defence organisation in a serious medical treatment case concerning the provision of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration to a patient. The client’s position was upheld by the court. Due to the impact of the first Covid-19 lockdown the team was required to convene the first trial in the Court of Protection to be held remotely via video conferencing. The team was commended for its efforts by the Judge in the published judgment.
  • Jointly represented two NHS hospital Trusts in an application for authorisation of a complex care plan to admit a patient with a learning disability and autism to hospital from his home against his will and perform a full dental clearance. The case was considered by the Vice President of the Court of Protection, Mr Justice Hayden, who praised the quality and efficiency of the work the team had done and approved the care plan on the papers without a hearing.

Edwards Duthie Shamash

The team at Edwards Duthie Shamash continues to be regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent protected parties in complex health and welfare proceedings before the Court of Protection and the High Court. It also acts for family members and paid Relevant Persons Representatives and other advocacy organisations. Both Melissa Law and Laura Dawson are able to represent clients in cases in which the Court of Protection appoints them as the client’s Accredited Legal Representative. 

Practice head(s):

Melissa Law

Other key lawyers:

Laura Dawson; Colette Ward

Testimonials

Edwards Duthie Shamash has an extremely talented Court of Protection Team and Community Care Team. The lawyers go above and beyond for the clients, many, if not all, of whom are extremely vulnerable individuals. The Court of Protection Team is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to act in highly complex and sensitive health and welfare issues. The lawyers are tremendously good at keeping clients informed about the progress of their case, explaining complex litigation to clients in a manner they can understand. They are empathetic, diligent and work hard to achieve the best results they can for their clients‘.

Melissa Law is a highly capable Court of Protection practitioner. She has amassed a wealth of experience in a relatively short space of time, working on some incredibly complex health and welfare cases with apparent ease. She is hardworking, intelligent, insightful and calm under pressure. It is always a pleasure to work with Melissa, however challenging the facts of a particular case may be‘.

The quality of the legal service provided is outstanding. The cases are well prepared and the service given to the clients; exceptional. Laura Dawson- intelligent, sharp and insightful. Highly committed to her clients and always ready to fight their corner, but still measured and sensible. A very good knowledge of substantive law in the area. Melissa Law – outstanding, simply one of the brightest and most hardworking young solicitors around. Her meticulous case preparation has already attracted plaudits from the judiciary. Mature and sensitive in her approach towards clients, she is a real pleasure to work with‘.

Edwards Duthie Shamash is trusted by the Official Solicitor’s team to take on the unusual and complex cases that other firms may not be comfortable with. The instructions I have received from members of this team are always well thought out and helpful. I also get the sense that they are eager to learn and I often find myself discussing conceptual advancements in the law with solicitors from this firm. They are at the cutting edge. I have worked with Colette Ward and Laura Dawson in this team. Both individuals were a calm, safe pair of hands. They were able to steer the case behind the scenes with complete confidence and lined up the evidence perfectly so that, as counsel, all that I had to do was present their work‘.

Laura Dawson is particularly skilled at strategy and I have seen how confident she is at navigating complicated cases. She is also extremely calm and judges know her to be a safe pair of hands‘.

It has a good person centred approach to some challenging cases with clients that lack capacity to make certain decisions. I have worked with Colette Ward & Laura Dawson both have been efficient in the work they do‘.

Well known as an efficient and knowledgeable team. I have been particularly impressed by Melissa Law and the exceptional work she did acting for a very vulnerable woman whose parents (while very loving) would not let her be seen by mental health professionals.  As a result of Melissa’s patient engagement with the parents they have started talking to the care team.  If they accept help for their daughter her quality of life will improve and she is far more likely to be able to live at home successfully‘.

I have worked on many occasions over many years with Laura Dawson who has a first-rate knowledge of the law, and a keen analytical eye on factual details, and finding solutions for her clients.  She is always a pleasure to work with‘.

 

Key clients

Official Solicitor

Dorset Advocacy Group

Family members and individuals referred to us by local authorities and other law firms or who have contacted the firm directly having heard of its reputation through word of mouth

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent LW in the case of LW [2020] EWCOP 50 in which the judgment handed down by Hayden J explored and provided guidance on patterns of behaviour that may amount to controlling and coercive behaviour and the steps that local authorities, commissioners, providers and safeguarding teams caring for incapacitous adults can take to cease abusive contact.
  • Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent AEL in a matter which resulted in a reported judgment, AEL, Re (Mental Capacity Act 2005) [2021] EWCOP 9 considering the complex issue of deprivation of liberty in a private family home.
  • Currently instructed by the Official Solicitor in respect of a Section 21A matter where P, a 54 year old woman, has a diagnosis of early onset dementia

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher has a specialist team of experienced practitioners with a focus on high-value, complex property and affairs deputyships for adults and children all over the country who have sustained life-changing catastrophic injuries. Under the leadership of Anna Bond it currently manages in excess of £325m of client funds and other assets. It has particular expertise at managing considerable interim payments while claims are being litigated. Bond is regularly instructed to act as an expert witness on the lifetime costs of professional deputyships in litigation claims relating to birth trauma and catastrophic accidents.

Practice head(s):

Anna Bond

Other key lawyers:

Robin Tubbs; Stella Young

Testimonials

‘Anna Bond: is fantastic. Intelligent, very good attention to detail, reasonable, amiable and grasps complicated matters quickly‘.

‘Robin Tubbs has been a huge support to us over the years‘.

‘Very much on top of the law and practice; practical and solutions orientated (which is particularly important for court of protection work). Extremely responsive. Robin Tubbs – very pragmatic, understands the client needs and family dynamic, responsive and supportive‘.

‘An excellent Court of Protection team. Anna Bond is a fantastic deputy – sensible, practical and delightful‘.

I cannot praise this team enough. I work with lots of COP depts in different firms and FF is the best by far. The lawyers are a pleasure to work with and all my clients are always very happy with the services the COP team deliver. They are responsive and client focused. I would highly praise Anna Bond,  Robin Tubbs. They are the most approachable and client centred group of solicitors I work with. They really focus on the clients‘.

The team at Field Fisher is close knit and works collaboratively. The lawyers adapt well to the varying needs of clients and are consistently responsive, engaging and proactive. They are a pleasure to work with. Anna Bond is excellent; her client care is outstanding and her knowledge exceptional. She puts families at ease and is very accessible. Robin Tubbs’ pragmatism and clarity is evident from the outset. His ability to communicate, in a clear and direct manner, the most complex of issues is refreshing. Stella Young has excellent client care skills and is extremely efficient. She is calm and measured in her approach‘.

‘This is a great cohesive team of lovely knowledgeable and dedicated people. Always someone to contact, highly responsive and approachable, excellent people skills and clear focus on putting the client at the heart of the process, while remaining empathetic and compassionate towards the parents and families. Efficient internal processes and clear understanding of communication issues relevant to the litigation. Anna Bond – reassuring, authoritative and compassionate, first class communicator Robin Tubbs – approachable and very flexible‘.

‘Super helpful and extremely good leadership under Anna Bond. Very sensible, approachable and has a great approach with clients. Anna Bond is excellent! A great help in really tricky cases and very knowledgeable‘.

 

Freeths LLP

The majority of Freeths LLP ’ clients are brain injured and have received multi-million pound compensation awards resulting in the firm managing over £200m of funds. It also has considerable experience of working with elderly clients. The group is recommended for its work on contentious matters, preparing statutory wills and advising on gift applications as well as acting in an increasing number of welfare matters. 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):

Natasha Molloy ; Melanie Williams

Other key lawyers:

Jane Maitland; Robyn Hemmings

Testimonials

‘Freeths is very much a people practice.  There are two stand out individuals I shall name. Melanie Williams has the ability to recall facts of the case and use them with regards to the relevance of the topic under discussion. Melanie has a talent to interpret the facts and has the ability to see how they directly effect the client both personally and in the aspect of law. Melanie brings an analytical mind to the discussion, enabling clear understanding of the case and direction. Robyn Hemmings can examine a case with the ability to focus on the pertinent points. This talent brings comfort to clients as they feel in safe and assured hands‘.

Great expertise and technical knowledge at all levels. Jane Maitland‘.

Natasha Molloy is vastly experienced, dedicated and knowledgeable. She ensures that the team adopts the highest standards for client service and fully understands the responsibilities that they have with regard to the investment of claimant settlements. A thoroughly professional team who prioritise their clients’ needs. Natasha is able to manage client expectations whilst ensuring that the right financial strategies are implemented. Dealing with clients who lack capacity can be challenging but she manages the balance between clients demands and financial responsibilities. She has implemented these high standards across her department‘.

‘Extremely client centred and personable. Good communication and quick to respond to emails and messages. Natasha Molloy puts the client first and works really well with all the team‘.

‘I instruct Natasha Molloy and her team. They took over a complicated COP matter with the minimum of fuss. They gained the confidence of the client in no time and have been thoughtful and extremely reliable ever since. Natasha – A very cool head who is able to strategically plan matters whilst dealing with individuals in sometimes trying circumstances. Arranged a large scale adaptation with skill and care‘.

‘Experienced team that cares as well as serves the clients. Melanie Williams is the stand out candidate as she is caring as well as very capable‘.

‘Exceptionally experienced and dedicated staff with a vast array of service areas to call on when needed. Relatively young team and dynamic and ambitious. Natasha Molloy –  Excellent presenter on her areas of experience. Manner with clients is exceptional. Dedication to always doing the right thing and such a caring and professional attitude to her clients‘.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP fields a national team that regularly works with NHS bodies and other private sector organisations on a whole host of complex matters. It is adept at advising on cases that involve the Mental Health Act 1983, Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Children Act.  It frequently advises on key medical treatment cases such as deprivation of liberty authorisations, best interests decisions and community care packages. London-based Kiran Bhogal is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Kiran Bhogal ; Sharon Thomas ; Paul Allerston; Ben Troke

Other key lawyers:

Emma Galland

Testimonials

The Team at Hill Dickinson provides outstanding support to those it instructs at the Bar and to clients.  The Head of the team leads by example in fostering a collaborative and professional relationship with clients to whom they are readily available and accessible in urgent and non-urgent cases.  Those I have worked alongside are exceptionally well-grounded and adopt a pragmatic approach to cases in the Court of Protection which is unrivalled.’

Kiran Bhogal is Head of Healthcare at the London Office.  She is rightly recognised as a leader in her field – an exceptionally capable, measured and effective solicitor and solicitor advocate who clearly provides strong leadership for her impressive team.  Her instructions are always clear and she brings unparalleled tactical nous to the cases she is involved in.’

‘Expertise and ease of engagement during protracted matters. Ben Troke expert in his field. Clear, concise advise and easy to deal with.’

Emma Galland is also a star in this area.  Her straight-talking, down to earth approach makes her a pleasure to work with.  Having appeared in cases against her and instructed by her, it is clear that she is bright, tenacious and demonstrates sound judgment.  She is a real credit to her team, is also a star in this area.  Hill Dickinson has extensive experience in this field, at both partner and associate level, and really good technical knowledge.’

‘Great Team.’

‘Personal touch of the Legal Director, engagement with clients, breadth and range of legal confidence & knowledge of the healthcare sector, Contribution back regarding provision of training for healthcare staff. Paul Allerston.’

The team builds positive relationships and responds quickly, as the nature of the work means things often have to happen quickly. The team is knowledgeable. Billing is clear. It is excellent in defusing potential issues with our local authority (as an example) as they have developed positive relationships with colleagues.’

Key clients

Guy’s and ST Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

Homerton University Hospitals NHS Trust

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Surrey Downs Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group

Barts Health NHS Trust

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Manchester University Hospital NHS FT

Northern Care Alliance

Mersey Care NHS FT

NHS Leeds CCG

Mid Cheshire Hospitals and NHS Cheshire CCG

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised on an application that was made by the Trust for declarations that the Respondent, Ms P, lacked capacity to make decisions in relation to the treatment of her probable granulosa cell cancer; that it is lawful and in her best interests to have treatment, namely a total hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo  oophorectomy (both fallopian tubes and ovaries); removal of any other visible cancer; ommentectomy; and possible removal of pelvic lymph nodes.
  • Advising and representing NHS England in respect of application made by parents of patient, TH, that it is not in his best interests to remain in hospital, having been deemed to be medically fit for discharge for over 10 years, and yet there being no alternative placement available.
  • Advising Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust on an application made that it is in the patient, Miss K’s, best interests for treatment to be withdrawn, notwithstanding that this will result in the patient’s death.

Hodge Jones & Allen

Hodge Jones & Allen is experienced in property and affairs deputyships particularly for clients who have received large damages awards for injury claims. It also has considerable knowledge of mental capacity issues and frequently deals with a substantial number of cases involving financial exploitation and disputes. Head of department Philippa Barton overseas the firm’s 65 professional deputyship cases. Angela Nunn is now at Slater and Gordon.

Practice head(s):

Philippa Barton

Testimonials

‘I have found HJA to be willing to change its approaches to meet the needs of the client. The team works with speed and precision to be enable the clients to access the best care. Philippa Barton of HJA is quite remarkable. She is responsive, actions things quickly, and has a good monitor on what is going on in each case. She is great to work with, and always willing to help or give suggestions in ways clients can be helped. She is receptive to the clinical teams advice, and never stays away from a problem‘.

‘I have found all of those that I have worked with at Hodge Jones & Allen to be extremely friendly, helpful and quick to respond which is very much appreciated. Phillipa Barton is extremely helpful’.

‘The team has remained consistent and therefore gets to know the client, family and case manager. The lawyers offer a responsive service which I, as a case manager, and parents find extremely reassuring‘.

A small but capable team, led by the very experienced Philippa Barton.’

‘Every member in this team is exceptionally helpful, understanding and treats the clients with respect. Whenever we have any query or concerns, we can always rely on Philippa to help and guide us to the right path. She is always very supportive and we are so grateful for the support she has provided over the past years. She is very hardworking, very committed, very respectful, always motivated, very understanding and we can always depend on her. If we have any concerns, she deals with the matter very efficiently and quickly. We are so happy to have her in our team and we will always be thankful for the service she has and is continuing to provide.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a disabled child who has received a foreign damages award of £13m. The team worked closely with the parents, a financial advisor and tax expert in order to work out expenditure budgets for a major building project, setting up a rental property portfolio, setting up an equestrian business and making appropriate investments.
  • Acting for a client with a history of severe hoarding problems and vulnerability to financial exploitation. The client was very distressed about the sale of its property and wanted to give its property to a friend instead. This involved very sensitive work with the client and liaising with appropriate therapists in order to empty and sell the property while minimising the client’s distress.
  • Acting for a client with severe dementia who had been separated from her husband for many decades but had never divorced and therefore had not resolved any of the financial issues with her husband. The team is now negotiating the financial settlement for her as her deputy.

Hyphen Law

Hyphen Law is a specialist Deputyship practice and is best known for supporting clients nationwide who have received or go on to receive substantial compensation awards as a result of severe and complex injuries. Clients are those who usually lack the necessary mental capacity to manage their property and affairs by reason of a catastrophic brain injury or severe mental health difficulties. Head of team Christine Bunting is adept at handling deputyships that involve complex and personal arrangements. Kelly Knight is also recommended. Tom Hall is now at Thomson Snell & Passmore.

Practice head(s):

Christine Bunting

Other key lawyers:

Kelly Knight; Emma Costin

Testimonials

‘Christine Bunting. Absolutely excellent lawyer, very hardworking and great attention to detail‘.

‘I have always found Kelly and the team supporting her to be highly professional, responsive and committed to obtaining the right results for their clients in the right way. That is to say, clients can be proud of the way their cases are advanced by her team. Kelly is incredibly capable, engaged and will do whatever it takes to get the right results for her clients‘.

‘It takes a positive and inclusive approach to the client’s needs and is keen to ensure the client’s wellbeing throughout the process. On a number of occasions, we have worked with Ms Kelly Knight and also Ms Christine Bunting on various projects for their clients and have always found that they are very approachable and keen to ensure that any assistance or decisions required to keep the project moving are quickly provided. This is greatly appreciated as it helps to complete projects on time, allow the client to move back in to the adapted property and keep the work on budget’.

I like the personal approach of the deputies I work with. They really take the time to get to know the clients and the way they live, which makes it much easier to communicate and discuss services and equipment that the client wants to purchase. Christine Bunting – very approachable, really nice and calm manner with clients, very down to earth and clients feel easily reassured and trust her. Kelly Knight – very efficient and pro-active and ensures that the client receives value for the money they spend. Also very approachable and easy to talk to for clients and professionals‘.

Christine Bunting is superb – a real leader in her field. Christine Bunting is fantastic – knows deputyship work inside and out – she is incredibly knowledgeable, thorough, hardworking and a joy to work. Simply one of, if not, the best deputyship experts in the country‘.

‘The Deputyship team that I have connection with is very approachable, with consideration to the needs of the client’s individual needs. There are always key people to speak to for the client which ensures continuity. I have a close working relationship with Emma Costin, she is very approachable with attention to detail keeping the client’s best interests in mind at all times‘.

‘A solid Court of Protection team. Christine Bunting is first-class, she is highly organised, meticulous and very approachable. She gives sound advice‘.

‘Christine is highly experienced and knowledgeable in her field of Deputyship. She understands the demands of the litigation process. Her expert witness reports are well considered, well written and delivered on time. In discussions with her opposition she offers a pragmatic approach but is able to justify her position and stand her ground when the need arises‘.

 

IBB Law

IBB Law has three excellent practitioners Jacqueline Almond; Russell Hallam and Elena Hall. Hallam is on the Office of the Public Guardian’s panel of professional deputies. The team currently acts for approximately 80 clients. It is skilled at advising on property and affairs matters in addition to a range of other issues including acting as litigation friend in Court of Protection proceedings and advising on statutory wills. The group also frequently advises on authority to make lifetime gifts. In addition the practice receives instructions from local authorities, specialist schools and charities.

Practice head(s):

Jacqueline Almond; Russell Hallam

Other key lawyers:

Elena Hall

Testimonials

‘Prompt response from everyone I have been in contact with. Willing to listen to the Case manager and follow their recommendations. Client centred’.

‘Deep knowledge, Capacity and accessibility. Always available and willing to help. Jacqueline Almond – Empathetic, calm and extremely competent – gives her clients ultimate confidence that they are in good hands‘.

We deal with the team a lot for deputy cases and it deals quickly with emails‘.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP works on a range of complex cases with both commissioners and providers of care. The majority of its instructions are heard by High Court judges in the Court of Protection. Jill Mason frequently advises clients on issues under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 ranging from advance decisions, lasting powers of attorney to best interests decisions in the context of serious medical treatment cases or deprivation of liberty matters. It is increasingly advising on contested legacy matters in the Court of Protection.

Practice head(s):

Jill Mason

Other key lawyers:

Molly Sangher; Jill Weston ; Samuel Lindsay ; Katrina McCrory;Ruth Minnis; Kevin Duce ; Lucy Johnston

Testimonials

Responsive and experienced‘.

Always had a very personal approach, going over and above to support the CCG with cases. The support that has been offered has been excellent, taking the time to explain complexities and ensured that the CCG’s position was clearly communicated on many levels. The individuals I have worked with have always made themselves available to support the needs of the CCG. Two individuals in particular have made what was a very intense and stressful case much more manageable, their knowledge and support has been exceptional. So thank you to Jill Weston and Molly Sanghera for their continued efforts to guide and support the CCG’.

‘My experience of Mills and Reeve has always been exceptional. Its responsiveness to my queries are always dealt with in a timely and professional matter. The knowledge base of my contacts has been perfect, their understanding and adaptability to my way of working welcomed. They are personable, friendly but clear and professional in their approach and is highly recommended. Samuel Lindsay- is my go to contact within Mills & Reeve. He is responsive, clear and adaptable. He offers second to none support in relation COP, is always professional and personable. His knowledge base for the Health sector in particular S117 and COP is exceptional‘.

‘From my experience I have received prompt and knowledgeable responses. They are usually reliable in regards to up front with costs. They are both responsive and knowledgeable but equally able to explain legal terms in a way which is understandable‘.

Mills and Reeve is responsive, knowledgeable, supportive and work in partnership with the CCG. I have great support from a number of the team but Jill Weston and Katrina McCrory are the two I have worked with the most who are exceptional but I have received exceptional support from all the team‘.

‘In our experience the team at Mills and Reeve are available for consultations at short notice, responsive to unusual and complex legal matters, they have been able to draw specialist partners into cases so that “all legal bases” are covered in sufficient and robust detail in order to conclude cases in the most efficient manner. The team takes the time to advise and makes clinical staff feel at ease and takes the time to educate staff on the legal complexities and limitations to cases in front of the Court‘.

‘Individual partners are available at a range of times to suit me as the customer, they have the ability to help me understand the legal issues and the options available – some of the key individuals I have worked with with include: Jill Weston, Katrina McCrory. Ruth Minnis, Lucy Johnston Kevin Duce‘.

The lawyers are both responsive and knowledgeable but equally able to explain legal terms in a way which is understandable‘.

Work highlights

  • Providing specialist advice to a clinical commissioning group on the management and development of a complex package of joint care (residential and home) following conclusion of a long running Court of Protection matter.
  • Advising a Clinical Commissioning Group on withdrawal of life sustaining treatment from a patient in their 70s who had suffered a stroke. The judge concluded that it was in the patient’s best interests to continue to receive Clinically Assisted Hydration and Nutrition.
  • Working on a number of cases currently running in the Inherent Jurisdiction of the High Court, concerning restrictive care plans for young people aged between 15 and 17, where the position on capacity is unclear.

Minton Morrill

Minton Morrill manages multi-million pound funds for those who lack mental capacity to manage their own property and affairs. Julia Morrill and Sahida Patel often act as professional deputies in such cases. Morrill acts as a professional trustee in personal injury trusts. Patel has been appointed as joint deputy for property and affairs for some clients where she has dealt with their clinical negligence claim.

Practice head(s):

Julia Morrill

Other key lawyers:

Sahida Patel

Testimonials

‘I have found the staff very supportive. Communication is key to a good relationship and I have always found Julia to be excellent. Even through the pandemic, I have had no issues getting in touch with anyone from the team and if either is away on annual leave, there is always someone that I can speak to. I have always felt listened to and my feelings considered‘.

Julia Morrill has been a wonderful and supportive person who I believe always has my daughter’s best interest at heart. She is professional but also personable allowing me to ask even the most basic questions at times! I cannot thank her enough for the way she has helped me as I undertook the role of a deputy alongside her and have valued her knowledge and experience‘.

‘Works in an open and honest manner giving clear and easy to understand advice and recommendations. Has a good understanding of the clients’ situations and is supportive and available‘.

‘I have worked with Minton and Morrill Solicitors for a number of years and have always found it to be extremely supportive and helpful. The lawyers are quick to respond to any of my requests and they are available with advice and support when required. My experience of working with Julia Morrill has demonstrated how highly skilled she is when working with difficult and complex family situations. She is a great communicator with a strong commitment to her clients to ensure the best possible outcomes for them‘.

Weightmans

RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP advises on vulnerable person matters for both institutional and private clients. Its court of protection practice straddles its private client and healthcare teams. Andrew Parsons has extensive experience of advising NHS and private health and social care providers on all areas of healthcare law. Jonathan Shankland is adept at helping wealthy clients on a range of complex and high-end court of protection matters and capacity related issues.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Shankland; Andrew Parsons

Other key lawyers:

Alexandra Johnstone

Testimonials

Knowledgeable and thoughtful. Andrew Parsons – stand out healthcare practitioner in the care sector‘.

‘Radcliffes has a traditionally very strong mental health law presence, and has successfully deployed that expertise into the Court of Protection field.   Alexandra Johnstone impressed me hugely in picking up (pro bono) a very sensitive case at high speed for a client and working as a team player to coordinate pleadings and witness statements within a short time frame‘.

The team is very strong in this area and across sectors within the broad spectrum of mental capacity and Court of Protection Work. It is leading in the healthcare CoP side where Andrew Parsons’s Team acts on some very high profile matters for some big NHS foundation and private healthcare providers. The lawyers have a really interesting and impressive client base in this regard made up of some the big national healthcare players. They are highly thought of and I believe have won some awards‘.

I know Jon Shankland does a lot in his team with private client private matters to do with high end and high value tax and estate planning. The mix between the two has always impressed me as they have a wide reach in terms of the CoP and mental capacity matters that they can deal with and I know that they interact on large scale high profile matters. Andrew Parsons is excellent on the large Healthcare matters that involve NHS providers and private care providers and the case I have seen from them (as a costs draftsman) has been right at the forefront of developments especially during the pandemic‘.

‘Jonathan Shankland is my main contact and his expertise in the private client sphere is second to none and needs no introduction I think. I am aware of several cases with the CofP where Radcliffes through Jonathan have deal with significant gifting applications under power of attorney and deputyships in the several millions‘.

‘The whole team really has our interests at heart and this coupled  with its undoubted competence makes it a great team to work with‘.

Key clients

Central & North West London NHS Trust

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP has a broad practice with particular expertise in high-value property adaptation projects to move clients into bespoke homes. The team manages the finances of clients who have made a power of attorney, drafts personal injury trusts and acts as a professional trustee. Clients include those who have multi-million pound personal injury and clinical negligence settlements. Sue Bowler acts as a professional deputy for property and affairs and is a panel deputy. Charlotte Dunn is also a panel deputy and has a depth of experience in lasting powers of attorney and court of protection matters. The agile group also advises on gifting applications.

Practice head(s):

Sue Bowler; Lucy Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Dunn; Rebecca Bristow; Lauren Miner; Tricia Grout; Andriy Buniak

Testimonials

‘The Shoosmiths Court of Protection team is friendly and approachable. The lawyers have a can do attitude and always aspire to work in the client’s best interests. Lucy Taylor is direct with a no nonsense approach and is always vigilant to obtaining the most cost effective outcomes for the client‘.

The team  has always been professional and I have been able to talk to the person I’ve needed to have discussions with easily. Rebecca Bristow is an excellent solicitor – she responds promptly to emails and is available to talk through any issues that arise as needed. She has understood our family situation and been able to source appropriate help. She works efficiently on what is needed, but is also very personable and human with it. She stands out as being excellent at her job, but not ‘above’ her clients‘.

Lauren Miner genuinely seems to empathise with our case, and goes over and above to resolve issues for us. She has identified solutions to problems. She does this all in a straightforward manner and I never feel like she is doing anything but her best to achieve good outcomes for us and relieve some of the not inconsiderable burden that comes with managing a trust for a disabled child. Lauren is proactive and supportive and it feels very much like she is someone on our side, taking the time and care to make sure my son gets what he needs and being an invaluable sounding board and problem solver when things are overwhelming for me. Her help to navigate this legal minefield is invaluable‘.

Very professional at all times. Amazing service and does a fabulous job in helping us here‘.

We have been very pleased with all those in our son’s court of protection team. We always have a point of contact and are kept updated of all relevant issues. Everything is explained in layman’s terms to suit us not just official jargon. Our son is always involved too. Charlotte Dunn and Rebecca Bristow  have been exceptional in dealing with our son’s finances and next steps regarding support after settlement. They make us feel like we’re their only clients always finding time for us whether in email or phone conversation. We are always considered before any decisions are made‘.

Approachable, efficient, good communication and does what they say they will. Lauren Miner is an excellent advocate for her clients as well as being efficient and personable‘.

This team is cohesive and responsive. The lawyers focus on the client and tailor the approach to the individual. It is a team which holds the bigger picture in mind and how everyone can work together in the journey from litigation to settlement. Tricia Grout – integrity, passion for her clients’ wellbeing and wishes. She has a thorough knowledge of her clients and this sets her apart from those in other firms. Excellent team work, approachable. Knowledgeable and thinks outside the box. Gives time to charities which are supportive of her clients and offers her support‘.

‘The team has always been very approachable and capable of discussing in confidence all relevant matters when dealing with client‘.

 

Work highlights

  • Sue Bowler and Phillip Eaglesham (now aged 39) are joint Trustees of a Personal Injury Trust that holds his damages from the multi-million-pound settlement of his personal injury claim against the MOD. Phil is a Paralympian, charity ambassador and entrepreneur

Simpson Millar LLP

Simpson Millar LLP is adept at dealing with a diverse range of issues such as deprivation of liberty cases, section 16 cases relating to capacity to consent to sex, to marry or to use the internet and social media. Other areas of expertise include advising on serious medical treatment cases and cases where there is an overlap in the obligations between the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act. It continues to receive instructions from the Official Solicitor as well as lay clients. Manchester-based head of department Melanie Varey represents both vulnerable adults by their litigation friend and family members. Angela Jackman is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Varey

Other key lawyers:

Angela Jackman; Hannah Manson; Caroline Hurst; Aimee Last; Kate Edwards

Testimonials

‘Mel Varey has huge practical experience of COP litigation. She has fantastic client empathy which make her a stand out solicitor in cases involving people who would otherwise struggle to have their  ‘voice’ properly understood in the court room. She trains her staff demonstrably well.  Caroline Hurst has massive experience and a great inclination for the likely path a case will take and how best to navigate it. I love working with this firm‘.

‘Simpson Millar has a long established presence in Court of Protection work. That experience shows in the way that the lawyers are able to forward plan in litigation with a view to quick and effective resolution. Hannah Manson – fearless advocate for her clients. Calm and capable but a steely robustness when needed. Aimee Last – growing practice and very knowledgeable in the area. Extremely thorough and well prepared’.

A huge, national, Court of Protection team who cover every level of work. Aimee Last recently took a test case on capacity to make decisions as to education‘.

‘Smart, upbeat, fun CoP team. Aimee Last – upcoming newly qualified solicitor‘.

‘I work with several members of SM’s COP team. All are exceptional lawyers. I think it stands out as a team because of all its members’ desire to think creatively about the problems they face in their cases‘.

‘As an expert witness I have found this team to be responsive and helpful when requesting additional information. Furthermore, the team provides the relevant information in an organised and timely manner. In addition the team is prompt to settle invoices. Caroline Hurst has consistently been professional, whilst demonstrating an excellent understanding of her clients. In addition she is responsive and accessible‘.

‘The Simpson Millar team is very well known as being friendly. In the Court of Protection, this is very useful as judges are generally more interested in an inquisitorial approach to cases. They have the trust of the Official Solicitor’s office who have very high demands for the quality of written work‘.

‘Angela Jackman QC (Hon) – It is axiomatic to say that Angela is one of the leaders in this field. There is nothing that she does not know about the health and welfare jurisdiction of the Court of Protection. Despite this she also manages to make clients and junior colleagues feel included in a case. Hannah Manson – Hannah is an excellent solicitor. Her instructions are always practical and she has a way with clients that completely relaxes them‘.

Very helpful and knowledgeable team, supportive, informative, reliable. Hannah Manson: very helpful and knowledgeable, approachable, supportive. Will always give advice if needed. Great in client contact‘.

Key clients

Official Solicitor

Advocacy Focus

Pohwer Advocacy

Work highlights

  • Acting in a case that unusually differentiates the ability of a person who does not have the capacity to make informed decisions about their contact with someone who they have a history with, from those they do not.
  • Acting in a case that highlights very well that where a person can understand, retain and use and weigh the information, the court should not impose its own values on a person and that the weight which is to be attached to each detail of the decision is a matter for them and not for others, including the court.
  • Acting in a matter that set out for the first time the relevant information to be considered when assessing capacity in respect of accessing education.

Switalskis Solicitors

Based in Huddersfield and York, the court of protection team at Switalskis Solicitors is particularly recommended for its work on health and welfare matters. It has a strong reputation for dealing with complex mental capacity and welfare cases and deprivation of liberty challenges alongside its work on contentious community care matters. Recently it has increasingly been advising on a range of other matters such as forced marriage protection orders. Head of team is Solicitor Advocate Alison Kaye who advises on a myriad of complex issues such as consent to sexual relationships and deprivation of liberty issues. Michael Kennedy is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Alison Kaye

Other key lawyers:

Michael Kennedy; Danielle Smithurst

Testimonials

There are named members of staff that we can ring for advice. Any 21a referrals we pass to them we know they will be dealt with in a professional manner and we will be kept updated with relevant information. Alison Kaye has over a number of years provided awareness training over changes in legislation and is available to answer our queries and questions. We have also relied on Michael Kennedy for support and guidance‘.

‘Switalskis has a well established and respected Court of Protection Team. There is good knowledge and skill across the whole team, with a structured set up involving paralegals. Alison Kaye: A very experienced and respected solicitor. She really takes the time to get to know her clients. Danielle Smithurst: A talented solicitor who works extremely hard for her clients. Danielle puts all her energies into her cases to ensure the best possible outcome for her clients’.

‘Switalskis solicitors practice is an exceptional practice that is proactive from start to finish of a case and always updates me every step of the way which is important for me and the client. It is no trouble for them to explain what is going on in the case. For me what makes the individuals stand out is the fact they do not keep you waiting, they get back to you straight away they do not keep you waiting. They always update you about the case and when the case is over they let you know‘.

Work highlights

  • Acting in a Court of Protection matter where Switalskis Solicitors acted for the protected party (AG) in the proceedings with Alison Kaye acting as Accredited Legal Representative.
  • Acting in a matter in the Court of Protection in Leeds where Alison Kaye represented DK by way of her litigation friend the Official Solicitor.

Ward Hadaway LLP

Robert Rushton leads a large and dedicated health team at Ward Hadaway  that acts for over 60 NHS organisations. It has considerable experience in court of protection cases. The group has particular expertise in issues such as applications in relation to providing, withdrawing or withholding treatment for both adults and children as well as serious medical treatment cases. It is also adept at advising on residence issues and care packages in addition to general mental health and mental capacity issues.

Practice head(s):

Robert Rushton

Other key lawyers:

Fameeda Shafiq ; Victoria Parker

Testimonials

‘The team is extremely responsive and provides a high level of support and advice to help navigate the legal aspects of the care work that we are involved in‘.

‘Knowledgeable, insightful and client friendly. Robert Rushton- Always very aware of the client’s needs, there to assist in every situation with his calm, supportive and pragmatic approach‘.

‘Fameed Shafiq- thorough, diligent, personable and insightful’.

The team has been excellent in being able to respond to last minute requests for assistance or to attend Hearings at short notice The individuals are always helpful, friendly and knowledgeable in what they do. They are able to respond with professionalism and integrity at all times. Fameeda is fantastic – she is understanding of the pressures on both sides and has also been fabulous in providing informal supervision when things become pressured between clients. Fameeda is so approachable and will advocate on my behalf as required. Victoria – extremely supportive‘.

Highly professional with a personal touch. Robert Rushton‘.

Ward Hadaway is very thorough and answers any queries immediately or in a timely manner. The lawyers are very helpful and approachable and give direction when needed. Staff are very friendly and approachable and competent’.

‘I have always had a professional and timely response to enquiries. It has a very individual and personal approach yet was professional and caring‘.

This firm does a lot of work for CCGs and can be trusted to provide comprehensive, knowledgeable instructions which go straight to the heart of the matter. The lawyers are clearly committed to their clients and will often go above and beyond to ensure that their clients are satisfied. Most of my work has come from Robert Rushton, Partner. I understand that he is actively expanding the team and takes a very hands-on approach. He is very easy to work with. I would recommend him to others without hesitation‘.

Key clients

NHS North Cumbria CCG

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

NHS South Tees CCG

NHS South Tyneside CCG

County Durham and Darlington NSH Foundation Trust

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

Gateshead Health NSH Foundation Trust

Hartlepool and Stockton-On-Tees CCG

South East London CCG

Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

North East Commissioning Services

Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for South East London CCG  in a complicated Court of Protection case in which a final hearing was listed between 25th and 28th January 2021 before Mr Justice Williams where best interests decisions needed to be made in relation to P concerning care and support, decisions about residence and financial affairs, and whether P had capacity to make decisions about foreign travel, and access to social media and the internet.
  • Acting for South East London CCG in a complicated case in which advice was provided over a prolonged period of time.  P was living in a 1 bedroom property and the CCG specifically raised concerns about the size of P’s flat and the consequent restriction on NG’s liberty in the context of her needing to receive 2:1 care.
  • Advised North Cumbria Integrated Care and NHS North Cumbria CCG in relation to the treatment plan for a community based resident with a psychiatric history, who was refusing to engage with services.

Weightmans LLP

Richard Bate and Sarah Louise Walker lead the national team at Weightmans LLP. Other key members of the team include Beverley Beale who receives a steady flow of work as a professional deputy with an increasing number of appointments from local authorities. Beale is currently supporting around 40 individuals in a wide range of circumstances who lack capacity to manage their financial affairs.

Practice head(s):

Richard Bate; Sarah Louise Walker

Other key lawyers:

Morris Hill; Beverley Beale

Testimonials

‘Imaginative and practical solutions from a very experienced team. Morris Hill‘.

The fact that many of Weightmans staff have worked in local government makes them very user friendly to LAs and sympathetic and aware of our particular issues. Morris Hill‘.

The Court of Protection Team is excellent. The lawyers are approachable, very knowledgeable and very responsive. They have both public and private sector experience and take a pragmatic approach. Mr Morris Hill is professional approachable, supportive and very knowledgeable. He is a highly skilled Advocate and an expert in his field. He genuinely cares and aims to ensure that the best outcome is achieved. His client care is first class‘.