Irwin Mitchell fields a large and long established team that ‘provides excellent client care’ in both property and affairs as well as health and welfare matters. Lucy Nicol and Yogi Amin lead a team of ‘high quality individuals’ that supports more than 1,500 clients nationwide and in excess of 1,250 deputyships. It is ‘full of talented individuals’ who advise on all aspects of court of protection from litigated best interests disputes to powers of attorney. In addition it acts as professional deputy or trustee on many complex high-value cases involving multi-million pound funds and manages in excess of £1.5bn of protected parties assets. Its public law and human rights team helps clients on many issues such as where a person should live or serious medical treatment matters. Angela Jackman KC joined the team from Simpson Millar LLP. The firm ‘deserves its excellent reputation in this area as clients receive a comprehensive, efficient and highly professional service’, not least from experienced practitioners Damian Hodkinson and Joanna Grewer.
Court of protection in London
Lucinda Nicol; Yogi Amin
Other key lawyers:
Angela Jackman KC; Mathieu Culverhouse; Kirsty Stuart; Damian Hodkinson; Gillian Hitchen; Katie Thackray; Elizabeth Perry; Katie Strong; Charlotte Waite; Helen Smith; Joanna Grewer
‘Irwin Mitchell is undoubtedly the leading Court of Protection team in the Country. They are pioneering in the way in which they streamline the service and support they give to clients. Their structure enables them to manage every aspect of their client’s affairs in a cost-effective manner’.
‘The Court of Protection team at Irwin Mitchell in Birmingham is exceptional. They look after their underlying clients with care and compassion, ably supporting them as they navigate the challenges of their individual situations. Jo Grewer is a compassionate Deputy on behalf of individuals, whilst also being an expert in her field and being very efficient in how she handles cases’.
‘Irwin Mitchell has a large team doing welfare cases throughout their network of offices. This is a huge asset and means the team is able to share expertise and help each other out in a way that is far more difficult for those in smaller practices.’
‘I work with several of IM’s Court of Protection welfare specialist lawyers: Mat Culverhouse is really experienced and level headed when dealing with his complex case load. Kirsty Stuart is passionate and incredibly hardworking. She’s fantastic at both spotting challenges others would not, and communicating with lay clients’.
‘National capability to service clients throughout England. Wide level of expertise and industry experience. Lucy Nicol, Gillian Hitchen and Damian Hodkinson are the stand out individuals. They serve their clients with expertise and compassion which is invaluable in assisting clients through what can be very difficult times’.
‘The COP team at IM works collaboratively within other professionals working with the client to ensure a consistent approach. Katie Thackery – is open, honest and very efficient. She values and respects the advice from the professionals working with the client’.
‘The are proactive, approachable and very experienced in the work that they do. Beth Perry – is approachable and client focused’.
‘Katie Strong is a charismatic and talented lawyer. Clients warm to her instantly and value her sensible well thought out advice. Charlotte Waite is a highly experienced and empathetic lawyer. Clients trust Charlotte implicitly to make decisions in their best interests. She is a calm reassuring presence‘.
Institute of Registered Case Managers
- Represented Ami McClennan in high profile proceedings concerning the issue of whether it was in the best interests of her son, William Verden, to undergo a kidney transplant.
- Represented the charity Respond in the Supreme Court case of JB, concerning the test for capacity to engage in sexual relations.
- Represented the Institute of Registered Case Managers in the Court of Appeal case of Secretary of State for Justice v A Local Authority & Others, concerning the issue of whether it is lawful for care workers to assist clients in securing the services of sex workers.
Thomson Snell & Passmore
‘The breadth and depth of experience’ at Thomson Snell & Passmore and ‘specialist expertise that is combined with a sympathetic, empathetic and clear sighted support’ make this team ‘one of the standout Court of Protection teams in the country’. It acts as deputy in over 250 cases with an estimated value of over £350m in assets. It is renowned as experts in property and affairs cases especially with high-value catastrophic injury claims. In addition, it continuously advises on capacity issues and frequently acts as an expert witness on such cases. Another core area of expertise is dealing with numerous high-value personal injury trusts where the partners act as trustees with an estimated value exceeding £40m. Brian Bacon receives many plaudits and is ‘incredibly calm and reassuring with clients and their families’. Overall it has 'a well-resourced, high calibre team from partner to paralegal level'.
Other key lawyers:
Brian Bacon; Rosie Hamlyn; Catherine Fuller; Tom Hall
‘The team at Thomson Snell & Passmore all works diligently to ensure communication is replied to promptly. They have built a good working relationship with their client and his family which ensures the smooth running of daily life which was of utmost importance to us. If any of them is away we are still able to have someone to communicate with should any issues arise’.
‘The individuals have been brilliant. Due to the unique case developments, we have had a lot of close contact with Brian Bacon, head of the department. He and his team have put a lot of personal time, care and energy to ensure that we are always in the best position. Brian takes responsibility and leads by example‘.
‘The Court of Protection team at TSP is absolutely excellent and I frequently recommend them to clients looking for a deputy. They are delightful to deal with, very meticulous and competent in every respect. Brian Bacon who heads the team is excellent and has trained all his team very well too’.
‘This is an excellent team superbly led by Brian Bacon. It is the go to team in this field. Excellent lawyers with the highest standards, experience and common sense. Brian Bacon is the safest of safe pair of hands: an excellent, highly experienced advisor who is entirely dedicated to each client. He is very ably assisted by Rosie Hamlyn and Catherine Fuller’.
‘Brian Bacon: deeply knowledgeable, calm, willing to work through seemingly intractable problems with enthusiasm, patience and flexible thinking. Tom Hall: Very able to absorb information and complex issues quickly, and provide clear sensible advice and guidance for clients’.
‘TSP is a very client focused team. They always listen to the wishes of their clients and also take into consideration the clients wider support network such as the family and multidisciplinary team that support them’.
‘The whole court of protection team knows their clients from the support staff through to the partners. This is always reassuring for other professionals and families when they ring to talk about their clients/family members’.
‘In Brian Bacon, Catherine Fuller, Rosalind Hamlyn and Tom Hall, you have four outstanding individuals who display the highest levels of integrity, knowledge and professionalism. They build deep connections with the clients they serve and work collaboratively to achieve their goal’.
Withers LLP is ‘well known and well-regarded’ for its ‘excellent work with the internationally wealthy’. Praised for being ‘at the absolute top of the tree – from partners down to trainees, the team oozes quality’. It works with families and appointed representatives of older and vulnerable people and regularly acts for trustees, executors, charities and other professional groups. In addition it advises on disabled trusts and advance decisions to refuse medical treatment (living wills). Julia Abrey is particularly known for her elder law expertise and is ‘smart, creative and energetic’. The ‘phenomenal’ Stephen Richards co-heads the team and is a ‘very clever operator and a very nice guy to boot’. Paul Hewitt is adept at handling trust, estate and inheritance disputes. It is a ‘responsive, friendly and hugely knowledgeable’ group that is ‘truly the leader in the field when it comes to high end and bespoke mental capacity advice, particularly when it has a cross-border element’.
Julia Abrey; Stephen Richards
Other key lawyers:
Paul Hewitt; Natasha Stourton; Alice Tomlin
‘The Court of Protection team specialises in high-net-worth individuals often with multi-jurisdictional assets and complex family dynamics. Julia Abrey’s energy and commitment to getting the best outcome for her clients is impressive. Her elder law specialty practice in the UK is unique’.
‘My team at Withers LLP has supported me successfully through two Court of protection cases. Their vast knowledge of the processes and possible outcomes gave me the confidence to embark on these endeavours without any concerns. Their huge collective experience meant that my objectives were reached through their utter professionalism’.
‘I have known Julia Abrey and Alice Tomlin for many years now. Over these years I have felt utterly supported by each of them professionally and the thing that has been outstanding to me is the way in which they have each made every dealing with me a personal one too. I have felt able to reach out to them about many things and I cannot thank them enough’.
‘The Court of Protection team at Withers is a truly expert and niche practice, offering support to individuals with highly complex (often with cross border) issues. I work particularly with Julia Abrey and Alice Tomlin. Julia is a market leading expert but will always find time to support and mentor fellow professionals. She is a huge support and inspiration to me’.
‘Put simply – they care. They genuinely take the time to engage with us and learn as much as they can about our work, our ethos, our weaknesses, our strengths. Over the years we have come to consider them as colleagues and friends that we can trust to provide excellent service.’
‘Stephen Richards has a through and practical approach to his work. He clearly knows his stuff and also realises the importance of working with others to reach the best outcome. He has excellent negotiation skills’.
‘Stephen Roberts has an exceptional ability to cut to the key issues and is clear about how to resolve them. He is personable and easy to build a rapport with too. Alice Tomlin is approachable, a great team player and achieves her goals, with charm and efficiency.’
‘They are trusted by national and international charities and high net worth families to represent their interests and rightly so – they just get how this jurisdiction works’.
Abbotstone Law has a ‘busy and efficient team that does excellent work’ with Francesca Gabbitas at the helm. It fields a ‘team of experts in mental capacity and mental health law’ that is adept at helping clients where there is a crossover between mental capacity and complex mental health issues. It represents vulnerable adults and family members in health and welfare Court of Protection proceedings and receives regular instructions from the Official Solicitor on Section 21A applications as well as acting in best interests cases relating to decisions about P’s residence and care. At a senior level Kate Luscombe and Andrea Spyrou receive many plaudits.
Other key lawyers:
Kate Luscombe; Andrea Spyrou; Angela Smith; Rhiannon Jones
‘An exceptionally knowledgeable, thoughtful and diligent team. Whenever I am instructed I am confident that the lawyer involved will be skilful and organised. I never have to chase for things or check whether something has been done. They clearly dedicate time and thoughtfulness into all their cases.’
‘Andrea Spyrou – goes the extra mile in cases, has a passion for the work and seeks the best for the client. Kate Luscombe – impressive attention to detail and clearly identifies the salient issues in her cases. Angela Smith – impeccable knowledge of Court of Protection work’.
‘Infinite and up to date knowledge on all matters pertaining to mental health and the Court of Protection. Rhiannon Jones is a beacon in the field of Court of Protection. Her knowledge and expertise is valued and widely recognised amongst other legal professionals and the judiciary’.
‘An encyclopaedic knowledge of all aspects of the MCA, DoLS and relevant cases. A willingness to discuss complex legal matters, (even when the case has not been opened) and advise on potential resolution. Accessibility to clients, they are always available after working hours late in the day and will even reply to emails at the weekend where possible’.
‘My dealings with Abbotstone Law are with Rhiannon Jones and Kate Luscombe. I cannot praise them enough. They have both shown a dedicated commitment to achieving favourable outcomes for my clients, and their work has been exemplary’.
‘Rhiannon Jones is an exceptional Solicitor. She is empathetic, diligent, knowledgeable and passionate about each and every case. Rhiannon drives cases forward for P, she is creative and tenacious in her approach’.
‘Kate Luscombe is a standout solicitor for complex mental health tribunal cases. She is an expert in capacity issues too, so Mental Capacity Act and Mental Health Act crossover cases. Andrea Spyrou is an excellent solicitor’.
‘Andrea Spyrou is one of my favourite solicitors to receive instructions from. She is absolutely on top of every case she handles, and works tirelessly to achieve the best possible results for her clients, who by the nature of the work we do, number among the most vulnerable people in society’.
Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP
Donna Holmes leads the court of protection team at Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP that delivers tailored financial deputy and welfare services to over 190 clients. The group acts for those who lack capacity and have received high-value catastrophic injury settlements but also for some who have state benefits only. It manages over £75m of assets (as the end of 2021). Many of its cases are intertwined health and welfare, property and financial matters. In addition it is frequently appointed as interim panel deputy as part of ongoing proceedings, increasingly where investigations are required into past dealings of potentially abusive attorneys or deputies. The group is also regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor.
Other key lawyers:
‘Anthony Collins provides a personal and professional service to its clients. They are an ethical firm where, from what I can see, profit does not come before client care’.
‘Donna and Doug are the key members of the team that I work with. Donna leads by example and takes the time needed to get to know her clients and ensure they are well looked after’.
‘The Court of Protection team is one of the strongest in the Midlands with an enviable reputation for providing caring and cost-effective support to its clients’.
‘Doug Houghton is technically very strong with real expertise and will fight tooth and nail for his clients’.
‘The team is exceptional. Confident, caring and very professional. The clients wish to know that the team are understanding of the clients needs. They are always available to assist my clients and are punctual at answering emails’.
‘The team is unique as they show the clients the respect and patience they deserve. Clients come away from meetings feeling reassured, less anxious and happy. I would always recommend the team to clients’.
‘The team is led by Donna Holmes. She is a professional, competent and caring person. My clients adore her because of the service she gives to the clients. She shows enormous patience with clients often having to repeat herself several times and explains in terms a lay man can understand. This goes an enormous way towards the clients having faith in her position’.
- Acted for AC to be urgently appointed as both finance and welfare Deputy for his partner following a significant medical incident whilst residing in China.
- Supported a client initially judged to lack capacity and with an appointed Deputy with whom he was no longer willing to work with.
- Represented JB in a contested application regarding her brother’s residence where the Local Authority and sister disagreed that quality of life would be improved if he was closer to JB’s home.
Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP
Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP fields a ‘very committed and hardworking’ team under the superb leadership of Alexandra Knipe and David Wedgwood. Wedgwood is a well-respected practitioner who excels in both financial and welfare related litigation in the Court of Protection and receives a steady flow of referrals from the Official Solicitor, local authorities and other lawyers. Knipe is responsible for the team that deals with deputyships that arise from complex personal injury and clinical negligence cases - she continues to act on cases with an international dimension too. Donovan Lindsay was promoted to the partnership in 2021 and Emma Tante has also recently been promoted to the partnership.
ALlexandra Knipe; David Wedgwood
Other key lawyers:
Donovan Lindsay; Emma Tante
‘Superb level of experience in court of protection matters, both contentious and non contentious. Empathetic and broad minded. David Wedgwood is well known and respected in this area as a solicitor with a natural instinct for the demands of this sort of work’.
‘Alexandra Knipe is the stand out partner, efficient, effective and approachable. Emma Tante is the up and coming in the team’.
‘Large team, well organised efficient and responds in a timely manner knowledgeable client focused’.
‘The team has specialists in their field and a wide experience of complex cases providing a personal but professional approach. Alexandra Knipe is efficient, thorough and knowledgeable’.
‘Alexandra Knipe is incredibly capable, hardworking and highly intelligent. She is tireless in her commitment to her clients’.
‘Anthony Gold’s Court of Protection team is well known and very capable. They have long experience both of Court of Protection litigation and of the practicalities of acting as deputies or advising deputies and attorneys. David Wedgwood is an extremely capable Court of Protection lawyer, ably supported by a good team’.
‘Anthony Gold LLP is a leading law firm with particular expertise in Court of Protection work. It has an excellent team, with real strength in depth which makes them an obvious choice for high value settlements. They are flexible in their approach and determined to secure the best quality of life for the clients that they support’.
‘Alexandra Knipe, lead partner in the COP team, delivers sound, pragmatic advice and is a pleasure to work with. Emma Tante who has recently been promoted to partner, is a skilled operator able to deal with complex cases and deliver practical solutions.’
The Official Solicitor
- Involved in a complex capacity to marry dispute, addressing the issues of coercive and predatory marriage. Ensuring that protective measures were put in place and acting in safeguarding proceedings.
- Advising on a cross-border asset tracing case, involving Swiss based assets and UK repatriation issues.
- Advised the Official Solicitor on actions brought by the lender to enforce security. Analysis of complex commercial transactions and then achieving positive outcome. Safeguarding protected party through the removal of deputy convicted of fraud.
The ‘hugely experienced and committed team’ at Bindmans LLP is led by the first-rate Laura Hobey-Hamsher. It is skilled at acting for vulnerable adults and their families and receives a regular flow of instructions from the Official Solicitor, Independent Mental Capacity Advocates, NGOs, charities and other lawyers. The team frequently acts for high profile individuals and advises on cases with a cross-border element. Other strengths lie in acting on cases where there have been allegations of serious physical and/or sexual and/or financial abuse. Amy Rowe is now at Dawson Cornwell and Charlotte Haworth Hird is at Bhatt Murphy.
Other key lawyers:
Emma Varley; Will Whitaker; Elizabeth Cleaver
‘Laura Hobey-Hamsher is one of the leading solicitors in this field. She is very dedicated to achieving the best outcome for her clients and always gets results‘.
‘Bindmans has a first rate court of protection team. They have excellent capabilities in health and welfare matters and benefit from being part of a wider team with expertise in related areas of mental health, housing, community care and human rights‘.
‘Laura Hobey-Hamshere is a star in the Court of Protection world. She is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor and has a deep understanding of this area of law and the difficulties faced by those who lack mental capacity. Will Whitaker stands out as a very capable CoP solicitor.’
‘Laura Hobey-Hamsher is outstanding. A true class act who combines excellent client care skills with the knack of knowing what a judge will decide’.
‘The Bindmans team has breadth and depth and they work well together. My impression is that associates are given plenty of responsibility and are not micromanaged by partners but are also guided effectively with excellent support in place’.
‘Laura Hobey-Hamsher is an absolute joy to work with and a terrific lawyer. She is incredibly experienced and takes a no nonsense compassionate approach to her work. Emma Varley has really impressed me this year. She has a good understanding of wider public law and housing issues with impeccable attention to detail’.
‘Will Whittaker and Liz Cleaver also stand out as very pragmatic and experienced members of the team’.
‘Laura Hobey Hamsher is the best COP solicitor in the UK’.
63-year-old lady with a diagnosis of persistent delusional disorder)
27-year-old young person with autism and severe learning disability
Family of patient at Northwick Park Hospital
18-year-old young person with autism spectrum disorder
- In the case of S, the team represented S, who was, at the time proceedings were brought, detained under s3 Mental Health Act 1983 and 23 and a half weeks pregnant. When she raised the possibility of a termination, the treating Trusts had said that she did not have capacity to consent to a termination, and that it was not in her best interests to have one.
- Mr Hickmott has been detained under s3 of the Mental Health Act since 2001, despite having been deemed to be medically fit for discharge since 2013. Bindmans is instructed by the Official Solicitor to act for Tony in ongoing Court of Protection proceedings brought by his parents.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
Suzanne Marriott and Sally Ashford co-lead the full-service and ‘excellent‘ Court of Protection team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP which is an integral part of the highly recommended private wealth practice. The large team is adept at handling multi-jurisdictional disputes. Marriott is a member of the Solicitors for the Elderly and also the STEP special interest group on mental capacity (as is Ashford). Work undertaken includes advising on issues of fraud and restitution, anti-tax evasion, complex tax planning, judicial separations and managing large estates with global asset portfolios.
Suzanne Marriott; Sally Ashford
Other key lawyers:
Graeme Kleiner; Oliver Auld; Rebecca Piper; Robyn Hack
‘Suzanne Marriott has a stellar reputation – she is the first choice independent property & affairs deputy for high net worth families in dispute, and so has an in-depth knowledge of the workings of the Court and the dynamics at play’
‘Suzanne Marriott is very ably supported by Oliver Auld and Rebecca Piper who have excellent judgment in Court of Protection litigation, representing their clients’ interests at each stage without losing sight of the big picture’.
‘Suzanne Marriott is massively respected, and not a little feared by all in the sector. Oliver Auld is a very shrewd operator with excellent judgment. Rebecca Piper is excellent with clients and very experienced for her seniority’.
‘The team is expert and efficient, with very strong technical legal knowledge and excellent client care. They are able to call upon the skills of colleagues in other teams within their well-established firm, which ensures that their clients have a “one-stop service”‘.
‘Its pro-bono input is exceptional: I have partnered with them in providing practical legal training for the voluntary sector’.
‘Sally Ashford is a dedicated and highly skilled professional deputy dealing with many complex cases, including the cross-over between Health & Welfare vs Property & Finance, which is quite rare for professional deputies. She has a wonderful balance of being calm, determined and proactive’.
‘Robyn Hack assists Sally Ashford in her day to day casework and is an excellent communicator and diligent in her approach’.
Clarke Willmott LLP
The ‘knowledgeable and approachable’ team at Clarke Willmott LLP has the benefit of two Panel Deputies, namely Anthony Fairweather and Anne Minihane. It supports clients across the whole spectrum of Court of Protection work including on high-value PI awards arising from catastrophic injury/clinical negligence cases to matters of fraud, insolvency and abuse by attorneys. Other strengths include advising on foreign jurisdiction issues and dementia. It is a ‘down to earth and compassionate' team. Jess Flanagan is now at Ashfords LLP.
Other key lawyers:
Anne Minihane; Bonita Walters
‘The team has breadth and depth in terms of knowledge and expertise. Anne Minihane always makes time to have informal discussions about novel issues. She provides an expert service to her clients whilst being incredibly approachable’.
‘Anthony Fairweather is a pragmatic and skilled leader. He is unafraid of the most challenging and complex matters and builds fantastic relationships with clients and other professionals‘.
‘The team has a hugely broad skill set, and can assist and advise on any manner of Court of Protection and Mental Capacity matters. They have a particular specialism in injured clients, and have an excellent paralegal support team to assist with this’.
‘The team at Clarke Willmott has always provided a professional and reliable service, responding to any queries in a timely and efficient manner. Anne Minihane is an experienced and competent Partner at Clarke Willmott’.
‘Clarke Willmott has an experienced court of protection team who deals with both deputy appointments and the management of P’s estate and also when contentious work challenges are made‘.
‘Anne Minihane is knowledgeable and very experienced. I have found her approach to be constructive, and I imagine that clients/their families find her an approachable person to deal with’.
‘Lovely rapport established with Anne Minihane and her assistants. Any queries I or the client have are dealt with in a very professional, friendly and timely manner’.
‘Anne Minihane just ‘gets it’. She is very through but also practical. In my view, had it been another solicitor/firm involved then the case would not have run as smoothly’.
Training in Mind (Wales)
Southern Advocacy Services (Isle of Wight)
Mental Health Matters Wales
DAC Beachcroft LLP
One client describes the culture of DAC Beachcroft LLP as 'one of openness, respect and professionalism’. The ‘excellent team’ that is led by Leeds-based Paul McGough advises public and private sector health and social care organisations on a wide range of mental health, mental capacity and patient care issues. It is routinely involved in the most complex and high-profile cases in the Coroner’s court and represents clients in the Court of Protection and Family Division on issues relating to serious medical treatment, personal welfare, community care and ethical sensitivity. Gill Weatherill, who at the Newcastle office, is another key member of team.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team responds quickly to requests for legal advice and support, even at the shortest of notice. In particular, the way the team responds to requests for legal assistance in the preparation of s.49 reports is excellent’.
‘It is the ability to engage, explain and then take appropriate action that really shines amongst all the individuals we have worked with from DAC Beachcroft. Equally, due to the close relationships we have established and their knowledge of our most complex cases, DAC Beachcroft is often one step ahead in terms of identifying themes and areas for further focus’.
‘Paul McGough – I value the ability to simply phone him when needed to discuss any legal issues as needed. In my experience he has always responded promptly, does not make any value judgements around the nature of the query and always provides a resolution or legal view with little fuss and minimal delay’.
‘Very responsive and knowledgeable – Paul McGough’.
‘The team is collaborative, positive and entirely focused on getting the best outcomes for people. They really are exceptional both for their knowledge and experience and willingness to work in complete partnership‘.
‘Its availability and quick responses make a lot of difference as this is a stressful time for all those involved. The attention to detail and ensuring that all relevant information is considered is important, getting up to speed quickly is really helpful’.
‘The DAC Beachcroft team is very focussed and examines every detail without exemption. They provide specific advice and information to ensure our staff and the trust as a whole are supported and fully aware of any issues that have or may occur. The team is forward thinking and sensitive to the needs of our staff and the service involved’.
‘It’s hard to pick any of the team individually as they are all excellent. Gill Weatherill is exemplary in her advice and support, and as our point of contact she is always speedy to manage our concerns or identify one of the team who can best respond to them’.
Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust
Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Leeds CCG
NHS North Kirklees and NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG
NHS Wakefield CCG
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Health Research Agency
Barnsley Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
Airedale NHS Foundation Trust
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Harrogate NHS Foundation Trust
Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Commissioning Board (NHS England)
NHS North East Lincolnshire CCG
NHS Calderdale CCG
NHS Hull CCG
Babylon Healthcare Services
City Health Care Partnership CIC
Health Research Authority
NHS Doncaster CCG
Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Resolution (Lots 1, 2)
North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative (CPC)
NHS Shared Business Services (SBS)
Crown Commercial Services
- Acted for a mental health NHS Trust in Court of Protection proceedings concerning the birth of patient R’s child. R was detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.
- Acted for a number of NHS and private sector health clients in Court of Protection proceedings concerning the vaccination of patients against Covid-19 where this has been opposed by someone close to them.
- Represented an NHS Clinical Commissioning Group in complex Court of Protection proceedings concerning the discharge of a restricted patient, P, who was detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 in hospital.
Enable Law ‘puts the client at the centre of its practice’. Practice head Stacey Bryant is ‘hugely innovative and commercial’ and has extensive experience of supporting clients who lack capacity following a traumatic acquired brain injury. The team advises on all aspects of Court of Protection applications, hearings and orders and also acts as deputies for many clients. Consultant Patricia Wass plays a pivotal role in the mental capacity team and has acted as a panel deputy for the Office of the Public Guardian for many years. The team receives many accolades for its ‘strong team ethos’.
Other key lawyers:
Patricia Wass; Karen Jackson; Asha Beswetherick; Emily Steel; Bethan Phillips; Jamie Woods; Caroline Featherby; Nikki Bedford
‘Stacey Bryan is exceptionally knowledgeable‘.
‘‘Stacey Bryant is approachable, open to ideas and suggestions and truly has the needs of Enable clients at the heart of what she does’.
‘Karen Jackson has a tactical brain.’
‘Enable Law attends to detail and very much places its clients at the centre of its practice. Its communication is excellent, through and tailored to the need of each of the clients. Karen Jackson is always approachable, pleasant and places her clients (who lack capacity) at the very centre of her work and engagement with the professional network’.
‘I have found the team to be very professional, whilst also being friendly, approachable and empathetic when needed. They are very understanding of our family’s needs as a whole whilst also acting in the best interests of my son’.
‘Asha Bestwetherick has been fantastic as my son’s deputy. Always professional and knowledgeable but also very approachable. Asha is always available to offer advice and to support my family in navigating the legal process and providing the best care and support for my son’.
‘Emily Steel has been particularly helpful, very good with the approach she uses with vulnerable adults, person centred and efficient with all the documents she prepares and excellent with communication, ideas to help clients and feedback. Others within the organisation have been efficient and good with communication’.
‘I have worked with Stacey Bryant, Jamie Woods, Caroline Featherby and Nikki Millings and have found them to have an excellent approach to working together to meet the clients’ short and long terms needs. There is open and honest communications at all times’.
Gillhams Solicitors LLP
Christopher Poxamatis heads the department at Gillhams Solicitors LLP that is currently managing 120 deputyship cases. It manages a large variety of cases ranging from elderly clients who lack capacity to young children who have suffered significant injury at birth. Poxamatis is a professional deputy and was appointed to the Office of the Public Guardian Panel in 2015. The group regularly represents clients and their families at the Court of Protection hearings and provides ongoing management of their estates and their affairs in conjunction with the clients’ family members. Lisa Cornish also has considerable experience in this area.
Other key lawyers:
Lisa Cornish; Shareen Tanvir
‘Very good knowledge through their work acting as panel deputies – they live and breathe Court of Protection. Lisa Cornish and Chris Poxamatis are both tremendously talented’.
‘The practice has many years of experience and mainly deals with Court of Protection appointments’.
‘The partners and staff are extremely competent with the specialised practical aspects of dealing with the deputyship clients and their family members. Members of this team are friendly, courteous, diligent and professional and responsive at all times’.
‘Gillhams has a great team of Solicitors who go above and beyond for their Court of Protection clients. It is a pleasure to work with specialists who have expert knowledge of Court of Protection law. Christopher Poxamatis has great knowledge and the ability to find a workable solution to very complex problems‘.
‘The team works fantastically together with clear cut communication which enables each and every team member to be fully up to speed at every step of the way. The knowledge and speed in which Chris has delivered is without a doubt the best in the field. Recommendation goes without saying’.
‘An extremely competent firm always able to respond in a timely fashion to enquiries’.
‘Fresh thinking and innovative approach to difficult cases. People are very approachable and eager to help resolve any issues you may throw their way. This firm displays fantastic leadership skills and is very well led by Christopher Poxamatis’.
‘The team at Gillhams is friendly, professional and dedicated. They offer an excellent service and are a pleasure to work with. Lisa Cornish is excellent at what she does and we would highly recommend her and her team’.
The ‘approachable’ team at Hugh James is praised for its’ pragmatic and holistic advice’ under the leadership of Andrew Harding. The professional deputyship team deals solely with high-value complex cases arising from damages claims. The work extends to overseeing the direct employment of care teams to the purchase of property, overseeing house adaptations and the investment of funds to provide care for a client’s lifetime. It is currently managing the affairs of 183 individuals, including 144 deputyships and 39 trusts with total assets, including property and large investment portfolios exceeding £175m.
Other key lawyers:
Kate Coles; Ruth James; Charlotte Fletcher; Joy Davies; Laura Metcalfe
‘Andrew Harding and Kate Coles provide a wealth of expertise and experience. I’ve recently worked with Charlotte Fletcher and Joy Davies, both have an excellent understanding of the clients’ needs and respond quickly to queries’.
‘The team genuinely cares about the vulnerable people who they are engaged to support. Often their clients have suffered massive injury, trauma or abuse and they take a personal interest in their ongoing welfare. Ruth James – such a down to earth and kind lawyer who has the right personality to support the vulnerable clients she is safeguarding’.
‘Strong expertise and a consistent track record of being involved in very complex and high value deputyship arrangements. Hugh James (due to its size and specialisms) also offers the ability to bring in other teams to resolve matters out-with the scope of deputyship arrangements’.
‘Kate Coles is amazing she fully explains everything to me without me feeling dim. She answers emails quickly and if needed will phone with the answers’.
‘Two people who stand out for us are Kate Coles and Charlotte Fletcher. Both are very qualified and engaged in dealing with our son’s needs. All queries are dealt with promptly if possible or they will investigate and revert very quickly. They both show empathy towards our son and always acts in his best interest’.
‘Andrew Harding has been an excellent advocate for our daughter providing well balanced information and guidance which has been easy for us to both understand and implement’.
‘The team is our go to in Wales for deputyship matters. We have an excellent relationship with the solicitors there and know that if our clients’ funds are managed by them, they are in safe hands’.
‘I’ve had the pleasure of working with Laura Metcalfe. She has been easily contactable and great to work with collaboratively in relation to a case we have. She has been proactive and incredibly helpful throughout’.
JE Bennett Law
Jane Bennett leads the practice at JE Bennett Law that receives plaudits for its work with vulnerable clients by being ‘exceptionally helpful at a difficult time – approachable and friendly and happy to explain legal terms in understandable language to the layman’. Jane Bennett and Richard Shearing act as deputies jointly and the team has continued to grow its brain injury deputyship practice on the back of Bennett’s expert witness practice in catastrophic injury cases. It continues to be instructed by the Official Solicitor, other solicitors who do not specialise in Court of Protection work as well as receiving a steady flow of barrister recommendations.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Shearing; Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby; Amy Paxton; Jemma Cahan
‘The team has technical wizards and is the most caring client-focussed team in the field. The stand-out differences are the outstanding customer service, professional package, and the feeling of safety and comfort clients experience’.
‘Jane Bennett is a leader in her field and a credible expert witness. Her reports are clear and detailed and are accepted by the courts and opponents alike’.
‘Well organised and prioritises the objectives of the client’.
‘I think it is just a very strong practice that deals with these matters in a sensitive and efficient way. The individuals I have dealt with manage the right balance between professionalism and a personal touch that I think is required in this field’.
‘Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby is a great asset to the firm. She has a great understanding of all of our clients and works hard to meet their needs. She is very approachable, fair in making decisions and always accessible. I would highly recommend J E Bennett Law and the whole team’.
‘Jemma Cahan is very quick to respond and deal with – nothing is a problem. Jane Bennett, very knowledgeable and quick to respond, will always find time if needed at the last minute’.
‘My experience of the team at JE Bennett Law is that they really take time to listen and approach their work with the client at the heart of their work. I have always found them to be extremely reliable, responsive and professional. Jane Bennett is outstanding and takes a bespoke approach to all client work’.
‘Lorna Halfpenny-Beeby is always accessible if we have questions returning calls in a timely manner’.
- Assisted the Court of Protection and the Criminal Court in investigating and collating evidence of financial abuse against its client MA which was pivotal in the criminal case.
- Appointed as a panel deputy for AB. The team instructed solicitors to represent the client in family proceedings regarding housing and financial support.
- Appointed as panel deputy for MM who at the time lacked capacity, was homeless and was subject to a freezing injunction.
Kingsley Napley LLP
The ‘outstanding, extremely capable, experienced and kind’ team at Kingsley Napley LLP is ‘accustomed to running large and complex cases’. Simon Hardy heads the department that has a primary focus on assisting clients with matters pertaining to property and affairs in addition to managing deputyships. It is also skilled at helping clients on health and welfare matters. The majority of its clients lack capacity due to either a catastrophic brain injury that has been caused by medical negligence or personal injury. Anita Gill, as a panel deputy, manages the affairs of the elderly particularly those who have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Other key lawyers:
Anita Gill; Ryan Mowat; Jemma Garside; Sameena Munir
‘I have found this practice unique because of its incredible empathy. Extremely pro-active on tight deadlines, and attention to detail. A very real and hands-on concerted effort in very challenging circumstances. I would certainly recommend to anyone. Anita Gail and Sameena Samur have been literally life savers for my family’.
‘Jemma Garside for Kingsley Napley has taken the time to understand my family’s situation, and had been able to offer advice which went beyond merely form filling and filing. She has always grasped the nuances of a situation and provided specific and appropriate advice, thinking outside the box to approach the court’.
‘Jemma Garside provides meticulous attention to detail, and responds promptly to every single enquiry; while this might not sound innovative, it certainly demonstrates best working practise, rather than just saying the words. She cares about her clients, and shows understanding of the often difficult and distressing reality of needing to seek CoP intervention for loved ones who lack capacity’.
‘Simon Hardy is highly professional, personable, and it’s a pleasure to work with him. We have full confidence in his ability to understand the reality of severe disability and normal family life. We don’t take these qualities for granted’.
‘Simon Hardy has that rare combination of knowledge and compassion. Simon handles all of his clients’ affairs with a genuine care for the end result. We have been really fortunate to meet such a decent deputy who has such a balanced approach’.
‘Anita Gill is on the Office of the Public Guardian’s Panel of Deputies, and my work with her was in her capacity as a deputy. She brings a wealth of experience to this role, and her experience as a deputy is likely to inform her work in other cases’.
‘My primary experience of the Court of Protecton team at Kingsley Napley has been of Anita Gill and Sameena Munir. I found both Anita and Sameena to be very responsive and on top of the issues in the matter we worked on together’.
‘Simon Hardy and Jemma Garside deal with clients with a perfect balance of compassion and professionalism’.
Mackintosh Law has an 'ethos of providing the best quality professional advice in a timely fashion. They will always go the extra mile to support and assist their client’. The firm has an excellent national reputation for its specialism in mental capacity welfare casework in the Court of Protection. It is co-led by the ‘outstanding’ Nicola Mackintosh and the ‘incredibly skilled’ Zena Soormally Bolwig. The group is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts, advocacy agencies and lay individuals in vulnerable adult protection cases. It has been busy advising on diverse issues such as challenges to deprivation of liberty under the Mental Capacity Act and other health and welfare and property and affairs cases.
Nicola Mackintosh KC; Zena Soormally Bolwig
Other key lawyers:
Georgina Byrne; Kris Jackson; Shiva Krishnan
‘This team is one of the most experienced and ground breaking teams doing Court of Protection work. The extent of the work they do in enhancing ‘P’s’ participation in the proceedings has been ground breaking. It is a small niche, but extremely expert firm‘.
‘This team is dedicated to the rights of the disabled and is the platinum standard for this client group. Kris Jackson is a star of the future’.
‘Extremely well-regarded and effective Court of Protection team. Knowledgeable, professional and tenacious solicitors bringing interesting and important cases. Zena Soormally Bolwig – really top-flight solicitor, one of the best in the country. Fights her client’s corner fiercely and a pleasure to work with’.
‘The team is strong in its knowledge and acts for the OS regularly. They all give sensible advice and are always on the ball, responding often urgently and out of hours. Zena Bolwig – she is unflappable, calm and an excellent communicator with difficult clients and parties. Her work is always on point, timely and of excellent quality’.
‘Nicola and Zena head up an outstanding team of Court of Protection solicitors. Having worked with all members of the team, it is apparent that significant time has been devoted to training new team members to ensure that they become excellent junior solicitors and as such the quality of service from all team members is very high’.
‘Zena is the most devoted solicitor I have worked with. She fights fearlessly for clients to achieve the best possible outcome for their case. Particularly when acting as ALR for the incapacitated person, Zena has gone above and beyond to achieve for clients that which no-one else has sought for them’.
‘Court of Protection work is first-rate. Nicola Mackintosh, Zena Soormally Bolwig, Shiva Krishnan and Kris Jackson are all first-rate practitioners’.
‘Nicola Mackintosh and her team are extremely experienced and at the top of their game. Their reputation goes before them. Attention to detail and precision in legal knowledge are two of their key strengths – I would not hesitate to recommend them‘.
Miles & Partners LLP
Rachel Turner and Floyd Porter head the specialist mental capacity and mental health team at Miles & Partners LLP. It regularly advises on cases that involve the capacity and best interests of vulnerable adults who are unable to make fundamental health and welfare decisions themselves. The team is frequently instructed by the Official Solicitor, Relevant Person’s Representatives and by relatives on an array of issues such as S21A challenges as well as S16 cases. It is also increasingly advising on serious medical treatment cases too.
Rachel Turner; Floyd Porter
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Bowmer; Kaileigh Hazeldine
‘Rachel Turner advised me and she certainly knows mental capacity law inside out. I valued her expertise and her insight into this particularly tricky and sensitive situation. She always responded promptly and there were some important deadlines which she helped to manage effectively’.
‘The Miles & Partners Court of Protection team includes highly experienced specialist practitioners. Andrew Bowmer is very experienced and highly specialist in Court of Protection practice. He is always up-to-date on the latest legal developments’.
‘There is a large and very experienced team who provide clients with a real sense of reassurance and confidence they their matter will be handled well. Floyd Porter has a very calm manner and takes everything in his stride’.
‘Excellent specialist firm. Andrew Bowmer really stands out’.
‘Miles and Partners stands out for its experience and expertise in health and welfare matters, including some of the most complex cases before the Court of Protection’.
‘Floyd Porter is an incredibly experienced Court of Protection practitioner. The expertise and pragmatism he brings to each case is invaluable in cutting through and identifying solutions. Professional and empathic, he inspires considerable respect and confidence’.
‘In my experience of several years’ work in this area, Miles and Partners is the best firm I have worked with. I find all Miles and Partners staff involved in a case extremely helpful. Documents are shared in a timely fashion and anything required from me as PPR or litigation friend is followed up’.
‘Rachel Turner engages well with clients, taking whatever time necessary to explain to them their rights and listening carefully to what the clients have to say. She pays meticulous attention to detail, picking up on any discrepancies or inconsistencies’.
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP
Daniel Toop and Julie Burton lead the excellent team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP that has been strengthened by the additions of associate James Berry from Hodge Jones & Allen and senior associate Victoria Federico from Shoosmiths LLP. The group is skilled at acting as a professional deputy or trustee for individuals in receipt of an award due to personal injury or clinical negligence claims. It has a broad client base of children and adults with acquired brain injuries and other injuries across the UK and internationally. The group also manages the estates of a number of its elderly clients. It currently manages 128 deputyship matters.
Daniel Toop; Julie Burton
Other key lawyers:
Grace Serwanga; Rachel Taylor; James Berry; Victoria Federico
‘This is a leading Court of Protection Firm, well resourced and highly respected’.
‘The team is led by Julie Burton along with Daniel Toop who are excellent and highly experienced practitioners. Grace Serwanga- highly proactive in addressing complex and difficult client challenges’.
‘They have in depth knowledge about deputyship, trusts and protecting personal injury awards. They have extensive experience in the areas they practice.’
‘I have worked with Julie Burton and Rachel Taylor. They are both very experienced and knowledgeable. They are fantastic with clients. Professional, approachable and available at short notice’.
‘Grace Serwanga – I do love working with her, I can feel the compassion on all things she does for us. She’s good listener and easy to talk to. I trust her and learning lots with her specially when making decision on a difficult situation’.
Gareth Ledsham heads the contentious court of protection team at Russell-Cooke LLP while Rita Bhargava leads the non-contentious capacity and court of protection group. The practice handles a vast array of matters for various private clients as both applicants and respondents and also advises not-for-profit organisations whose users do not have the capacity to manage their own property and financial affairs. It is adept too at advising on statutory will applications as well as health and welfare applications (primarily relating to contact, residence and the provision of care). In addition it has a wealth of experience in areas such as applications to remove attorneys and agreed/contested applications for deputyships.
Gareth Ledsham; Rita Bhargava
‘Very personable, always available to answer any questions. Understanding of the situation and very patient’.
‘Rita Bhargava is excellent’.
‘What makes this team is the leadership of Rita Bhargava. Rita has specialised in Private Client work of all kinds, but Court of Protection and Capacity issues in particular, for many years. Her specialist knowledge is second to none’.
‘Rita Bhargava’s hands on approach and ability to get things done mean you can have no one better in your corner and for those who are vulnerable or who are unable to manage their own affairs – they can have no one better advocating on their behalf’.
‘Rita Bhargava goes above and beyond what is required, she has a real empathy with her clients and looks out for them, so that (whether in care homes or in hospital) they are being properly cared for. This requires not only legal skills but kindness, compassion and a real desire to help those in need’.
‘A lovely team of lawyers who are very knowledgeable and experts in their field. Gareth Ledsham is an excellent lawyer. He has a lovely way about him and is a pleasure to work with’.
Shoosmiths LLP has ‘one of the most experienced and capable court of protection teams in the country. It offers a highly personalised and collaborative approach. Clients are fully supported and encouraged to participate in the decision-making process’. The team now manages over 200 cases, from ongoing deputyship, trust and Lasting Power of Attorney matters to ad hoc applications, statutory wills and other bespoke advice services. It specialises in property and affairs matters. Sue Bowler, Lucy Taylor and Charlotte Dunn head the national offering whose team members are ‘very approachable, knowledgeable and available’. They are praised for providing an ‘efficient but friendly service’.
Sue Bowler; Lucy Taylor; Charlotte Dunn
Other key lawyers:
Rebecca Bristow; Lauren Miner; Andriy Buniak; Tricia Grout
‘Friendly and approachable contacts, Lucy Taylor in particular is very approachable and knowledgeable, ready to listen and ready to receive advice’.
‘The team is hardworking but never too busy that they can not give you the time that you need. Would like to mention in particular Sue Bowler ‘.
‘On hand to make pragmatic decisions in support of trustees/clients, a friendly approach informal where possible but business like and formal when required. Lauren Miner in particular has been fantastic so far in all aspects of support to us’.
‘Lucy Taylor – Exceptional lady whose knowledge in her field I would have to say is unsurpassed in my opinion’.
‘Tricia Grout stands out for her dedication, commitment and problem solving abilities. She is approachable and an excellent communicator. Her values are exceptional and she is absolutely the person I would choose for myself or a loved one’.
‘I’ve dealt with Rebecca Bristow on a Court of Protection client for several years. Rebecca clearly cares about what she does and balances professionalism with a sensitive human touch making clients feel at ease and well looked after. I’d recommend Rebecca without reservation’.
‘From a case management perspective, the solicitor has an extremely good relationship with the client and the family and provides a ‘personal’ touch. I refer to Sue Bowler and her team’.
‘Lucy Taylor and Rebecca Bristow are both superb. I am a Court of Protection solicitor and financial deputy and if I ever required Court of Protection services for myself or a loved one then I would feel safe with either of these leading individuals’.
- Providing ongoing advice to Philip Eaglesham as professional co-trustee of a Personal Injury Trust following a settlement from the Ministry of Defence after contracting Q fever as a serving Royal Marine in Afghanistan.
Wrigleys Solicitors LLP
The ‘excellent’ team at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP provides specialist advice to clients who are under the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection and deals with all aspects of property and financial affairs for these clients. It currently manages 140 deputyships. In addition the group has been appointed to the Office of the Public Guardian panel of Deputies since 2015 and is also regularly referred work by the Official Solicitor. It is also a member of the Brain Injury Group’s Court of Protection panel. Lisa Eato co-heads the team with Jane Netting. Netting ‘makes the process of dealing with the Court of Protection stress free for the family’.
Jane Netting; Lisa Eato
Other key lawyers:
Lynne Bradey; Charlotte Dyson; Thomas Mundy; Hannah Norton
‘The Court of Protection Team at Wrigleys clearly knows the law, they are proactive, highly competent, focused on the best interests of their clients, efficient, professional, experienced and knowledgeable. It is always a professional pleasure to deal with them on a contested Statutory Will matter’.
‘Jane Netting has clear expertise in this field. She makes herself available to discuss matters, with a clear focus on the best interest of the incapacitated person. She is pragmatic, evidently happy to explore matters with the Official Solicitor and her drafting is clear and precise’.
‘The COP team at Wrigleys is diligent, knowledgeable, approachable and above all they care deeply about their clients’ welfare’.
‘Lynne Bradey is very knowlegable, very diligent, very efficient. For us as financial planners what stands out is her ability to work well with other professionals. Lynne understands extremely well and values highly how financial planning and investment management dovetails with her role’.
‘Wrigleys has an established Court of Protection practice. They have an experienced team. The team also appears to benefit from other areas of expertise in this firm – including property, personal injury and private client practitioners.’
‘In my view: Jane Netting is a very experienced and knowledgeable Court of Protection practitioner. She has a collaborative approach, whilst not shying away from broaching difficult topics. She generally responds and addresses matters very promptly’.
‘I’ve been hugely impressed by Charlotte Dyson. She’s passionate about her clients, goes the extra mile, has superb knowledge and excellent judgment. A future star of the Court of Protection world.’
‘Jane Netting leads a tight team, which provides a quality service. Charlotte Dyson is pleasure to work with. She is completely unfazed by complex developments. She supports many of my clients both with Court of Protection work and PI Trusts’.
Ashtons Legal is adept at supporting clients who have mental incapacity for various reasons. It specialises in acting for clients who have suffered a catastrophic acquired or birth-related injury and it also works with some elderly clients and those with mental health problems. Head of department Adrian Mundell is well regarded. It acts as a professional deputy for over 120 clients and also supports some family members who are acting as a lay deputy.
Other key lawyers:
Debbie Holmes; Paul Humphries
‘Ashtons has the strongest Court of Protection team I have worked with. They have a large number of people working for them and a diverse range of personalities allowing them to match appropriate individuals with different clients’.
‘The team structure allows it to work efficiently and communication with me is always strong, both at deputy and relationship manager level. All members are always approachable.’
‘I have worked with a large number of the team on a wide range of clients over the years and working with each member has always been a positive experience. Members of the team really care about their clients and want the best for them’.
‘The team is headed up by Adrian Mundell who I have worked with for around 5 years now and who is a pleasure to work with. He is ably supported by Paul Humphries and Debbie Holmes who again are a pleasure to work with.’
‘Down to earth team that readily connects with its client base working practices are more flexible that most. Adrian Mundell and Debbie Holmes are the stand out lawyers with a great deal of practical experience’.
‘Paul Humphries and Adrian Mundell are both very helpful and compare well to other firms that we use for this type of work’.
‘There a few court of protection teams operating outside the major cities and the team run by Adrian Mundell for Ashtons legal is one of them and amongst the very best’.
‘Adrian Mundell is my court of protection deputy of choice because he is efficient, engaging with the clients, realistic in his advice and super efficient in delivering his services’.
- Working with a number of families acting as Professional Deputy for children who have suffered birthing injuries. A substantial medical negligence claim has either been concluded or is in progress, and there is a range of complex needs including 24 hour care and a requirement to adapt properties to meet the individuals’ needs.
- Acting as professional Deputy for those suffering a serious acquired brain injury either through a workplace accident or a road traffic collision, in many instances working with the clients to purchase or adapt property to enable independent living.
- Providing support to vulnerable clients on a wide range of ensuing matters. One client for whom it acts as professional Deputy entered into a relationship with a woman which was very volatile and opposed by the family.
Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors
Practice head at Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors is Lesley-Ann Mayhew who frequently acts in Deputyship cases managing substantial damages awards for victims of all ages who have suffered brain injury caused through medical accidents where they are unable to manage their own affairs. In addition Mayhew is a full member of STEP and currently an Associate Member of Solicitors for the Elderly.
‘Mainly deal with one partner but the support staff are very well informed and helpful. Lesley-Ann Mayhew is the key partner in the department. She is tenacious and empathetic to her clients and leaves no stone unturned in order to secure the right result for her clients’.
‘Small but effective team that cares about its clients’.
‘Stand out partner is Lesley-Ann Mayhew is always pleasure to work with’.
‘Attwaters has a very personal touch. They forge strong relationships with any clients that I have refereed and communicate well’.
‘Lesley-Ann Mayhew – really takes time to not just understand the client’s needs but to communicate with them in a way that they completely understand. She explains sometimes complex issues in a way for all to understand’.
‘The service is 24/7, and they tend to be ahead of their competitors in their thought process and strategies. They have a more holistic approach to the care they give to their clients, and are always keen to learn and implement newer and more updated methods’.
‘Lesley – Ann Mayhew is one of the best in her profession and in the years we have worked with her she seems to be getting better and better’.
‘The team has a wealth of experience in dealing with Court of Protection matters including matters of extreme complexity. Lesley-Ann Mayhew leads the team and sets very high standards of client care, technical ability and problem solving’.
Bevan Brittan LLP
Bevan Brittan LLP is best known for supporting public and independent sector health and social care organisations on a broad range of issues in the Court of Protection. Clients include the NHS, local authorities, housing associations, charities and third sector organisations. Tim Hodgetts and Simon Lindsay co-head the department that has an excellent reputation for its work nationally through its various offices on a range of complex matters including human rights and other liberty and protection safeguarding issues.
Tim Hodgetts ; Simon Lindsay
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent client engagement and support’.
‘Responsive and willing to support and communicate with staff at all levels in the organisation where required, tailoring guidance and advice appropriately.’.
‘This has strength and depth and with the two skilled and pragmatic partners – Simon Lindsay(who is approachable and experienced) and Hannah Taylor (who can be relied upon to guide clinicians through complex arguments and processes with patience and efficiency’.
‘The team works in partnership with in-house legal teams and clinicians. They always actively consider the patient as paramount during these often complex and emotionally draining applications’.
University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
NHS Bristol CCG
South London and Maudsley Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Birmingham CCG
NHS West Hampshire CCG
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
West London Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Devon CCG
- Advised Somerset Partnership in the case of EF&LR –v- Pennine Healthcare and Somerset NHS FT, an appeal to the Court of Protection which reviewed and consolidated the law relating to treatment of capable children who refuse medical advice but whose lives are at risk if they are not treated against their wishes
- Advised University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust in the matter of RS, a series of emergency applications to court of protection over Christmas and the New Year, but involving complex issues of international jurisdiction.
- Advised South London and Maudsley NHS Trust in a complex case involving decisions about whether to intervene to protect someone who may become incapable, at a time when they can make their own choices.
Boyes Turner fields a ‘very knowledgeable, highly motivated and caring‘ team that is led by Ruth Meyer. Alexander Wright and Meyer are ‘well known and respected’ in this field. It specialises in managing the property and affairs of high-net-worth individuals who lack capacity to do so themselves, whether they be children, adult or elderly clients. The majority of its clients have substantial claims for personal injury or clinical negligence compensation.
Other key lawyers:
Alexander Wright; Rosie Banks; Sue Clark
‘Ruth Meyer and Alexander Wright have been amazing, extremely supportive hardworking, organised, very caring and compassionate are always available if we need help from them and reply promptly. They always take our concerns seriously and do whatever they can to resolve any problems we are having’.
‘The Court of Protection team at Boyes Turner has a strong collegiate feel. They all fully understand their clients’ needs and requirements superbly. Ruth Meyer and Alexander Wright always put their clients’ needs and interests first’.
‘We have been working most closely with Rosie Banks. She has always been very responsive to questions and has been able to provide a detailed analysis of a situation and a preferred way forwards, or a selection of options with a justification for each, very promptly‘.
‘Strengths include good availability and a willingness to engage in problem solving. The quality of associate lawyers in the role of assistant is consistently high. The team’s attention to detail and loving care of their clients makes this team exceptional in this area’.
‘Ruth Meyer – very knowledgeable and responds to queries very quickly. Very approachable but able to make difficult decisions. Sue Clark – very easy to deal with’.
‘Whilst there are industry stalwarts in the team including Ruth Meyer and Alexander Wright. The recent recruitment of Sue Clarke makes the team even stronger’.
‘Ruth Myer and her team are very proactive and are family centred. They collaborate with the case manager and have good insight into the client needs. They are on the ground with us and the team approach and excellent communication makes working with them and their clients a pleasure’.
‘Ruth Meyer – makes very complicated matters easy to understand and demonstrates a high level of empathy for clients. Makes herself available to clients and will listen carefully to their concerns. Alexander Wright – will work very methodically and logically with clients‘.
- Advising on ongoing litigation and deputyship for a disabled teen with challenging behavioural issues who has requested a name change requiring the team to seek permission for a capacity assessment.
- Acting as deputy for a minor with severe and complex needs arising from injuries sustained at birth. Following a settlement, a property was purchased and significant adaptations have recently been completed which provide its client with a bespoke, accessible home.
- Acting as deputy for a teen with significant medical issues and limited life expectancy. Under challenging cross-jurisdictional and time-critical circumstances, the team sought authority to execute a settlement to ensure the client’s estate could not pass to his estranged father.
Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates
Burke Niazi Solicitors & Advocates ‘employs compassionate, committed, well-informed solicitors with the highest professional standards. Their commitment to their clients is exemplary and their interaction with other professionals always courteous’. Keith Clarke and Michael Barrett co-head the department and are both established Accredited Legal Representatives under the Law Society’s Mental Capacity Act (welfare) accreditation scheme. It has particular experience in welfare matters including cases involving deprivation of liberty, and disputes related to care and residence.
Keith Clarke; Michael Barrett
Other key lawyers:
William Ako; Nicola Peacock
‘Good mix of COP and MH lawyers. Michael Barrett is a stand-out solicitor. An organised solicitor who is able to give firm and empathetic advice to clients’.
‘Strong COP team with excellent background and overlapping expertise in mental health law. Keith Clarke stands out’.
‘William Ako and Keith Clarke are both excellent solicitors who have a breadth of legal knowledge and are highly committed to their clients. Both work efficiently to respond to evidence from other parties and pursue their clients’ cases’.
‘Keith Clarke – whenever I have an objection to a DoLS I will always refer to him’.
‘I have been instructed by Nicola Peacock on a number of occasions and have always been very impressed by her. Nicola is excellent with clients and particularly those with vulnerabilities. She has an ability to communicate complex and nuanced issues in a sensitive and accessible manner’.
‘I have also been on a case where another party was represented by Michael Barratt where his client had a number of vulnerabilities and presented in a challenging manner. I was very impressed with the way Mr Barratt conducted the case with impeccable professionalism and judgment’.
‘Alongside Court of Protection health and welfare work, the firm also has experience of Mental Health Act work, which I understand can be helpful in cases where there’s some cross-over between the two’.
‘William Ako has advised us on a recent Court of Protection Healthcare and Welfare matter. I found him prompt, helpful and clear in his advice. I was impressed at his focus on the key things that were important to the client. I felt that he was determined to get the best outcome pragmatically achievable for the client’.
Capsticks LLP fields a team of ‘friendly, approachable individuals with a sound knowledge of this field and a professional attitude’. It specialises in advising NHS providers and commissioners, public, private and charitable sector clients on all issues involving incapacitated and vulnerable persons. Another core area of expertise is its knowledge of the interaction between the Mental Health Act, the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty safeguards. The ‘exceptionally responsive’ Francis Lyons heads the department.
Other key lawyers:
Adam Hartrick; Serena Patel; Tracey Lucas; Nadine Mansell; Amy Holden
‘Great all-around COP team for healthcare bodies. There are great people at all levels throughout the organisation to handle a wide variety of cases’.
‘Francis Lyons: A real star. Has an exceptional understanding of the Mental Capacity Act and Mental Health Act, and is able to run some really complex, tricky and high-profile cases for health bodies extremely well. Adam Hartrick: Well-deserving of his national reputation in the field‘.
‘Very strong team, great depth of knowledge across all levels of seniority’.
‘Francis Lyons – pleasure to work with, always on top of his cases, supportive of colleagues. Serena Patel – calm and competent’.
‘Capsticks has an excellent Court of Protection team with particular expertise in medical treatment cases. They are one of the leading solicitors in the healthcare sector and have a clear understanding of their clients’ needs. Francis Lyons knows the healthcare sector backwards. Serena Patel is an excellent solicitor’.
‘Francis Lyons is always a pleasure to work with. He invariably gives wise counsel and advice.’
‘Francis Lyons- very knowledgeable in legal matters. Very committed to cases that are referred to him. whilst ensuring we acted within the law. The team is incredibly dedicated to its work and clients. Possibly more than any other practice they make you feel that you are their number one concern’.
‘Tracey Lucas is exceptional. She always appears to have time to manage cases without fuss, despite (I know) how much she is in demand. Tracey’s team – Amy Holden, Nadine Mansell and others – are excellent associates. They are always available and manage our cases professionally and firmly’.
NHS Kent & Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, (formerly NHS South Kent CCG)
NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group
NHS South East London CCG
North Middlesex University Hospitals NHS Trust
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust
NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG
NHS North West London CCG
Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Duncan Lewis Solicitors
Duncan Lewis Solicitors fields ‘a thorough, knowledgeable and professional team’ with Gillian Alysia de Freitas and Angela Sandhal at the helm. It advises on a broad array of matters from disputed capacity and best interest matters to specialising in cases that overlap the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act as well as deprivation of liberty safeguards, section 16 cases and inherent jurisdiction matters. Rachel Caswell recently moved to Irwin Mitchell.
Gillian Alysia de Freitas; Angela Sandhal
Other key lawyers:
‘Knowledgeable team. Client centred. Goes the extra mile. Professional, whilst being very good with vulnerable clients’.
‘Ben McGuckin – is such an excellent solicitor, he is diligent, extremely knowledgeable and always goes the extra mile for his clients. Ben shows genuine compassion for his clients and has a good rapport with them. He listens and really gets to know the client’.
‘Angela Sandhal was absolutely fantastic. She handled the case really well. She is empathetic, understanding and very efficient and all issues were handled brilliantly – she was very patient’.
‘Strong team in this area, good depth of knowledge and experience’.
‘Ben McGuckin – very good indeed for his seniority, I expect him to go from strength to strength. Handles complex cases very well. Angela Sandhal – strong partner, supportive of her staff’.
‘Ben McGuckin is an excellent solicitor, very thorough and thoughtful and keen to ensure his client’s case is advanced as much as possible’.
‘Angela Sandhal is the kind of solicitor that judges instantly defer to. She is unflappable yet manages to get opposing solicitors (particularly in public bodies) to do what she needs them to’.
‘Ben McGuckin is a very capable individual, who possesses a level of professionalism and confidence of a much more experienced solicitor. Ben is always well prepared, provides careful consideration to difficult points and is not afraid to rock the boat where needed. A future star’.
Edwards Duthie Shamash
Edwards Duthie Shamash has lawyers who are ‘incredibly tenacious in ensuring that the best possible outcome can be achieved for P’. Melissa Law leads the team who along with Laura Mannering receive many plaudits for their representation of protected parties in complex health and welfare proceedings before the Court of Protection and the High Court as well as their representation of family members, paid Relevant Persons Representatives and other advocacy organisations. In addition it receives a steady flow of instructions from the Official Solicitor.
Other key lawyers:
Laura Mannering; Liam Cunningham
‘The team has some of the best in the business and is likely to take a leading spot in the next five years‘.
‘Very experienced and good people here, with useful overlap across Court of Protection and related areas like community care and JR. Laura Mannering – very competent, experienced, effective’.
‘This is an experienced team of Court of Protection practitioners, with the benefit of colleague support when one member of the team is unavailable. Melissa Law is a very experienced, knowledgeable, and devoted Court of Protection solicitor’.
‘Strong CoP team with a wealth of talent, particularly at the junior end. Liam Cunningham is exceptionally dedicated and has judgement well beyond his years’.
‘In my experience the firm is person-centred and consistently works from a good thoughtful and ethical basis’.
‘Edwards Duthie Shamash is a client-centred, committed and compassionate practice. All staff are obliging, helpful and responsive. They undertake a range of complex and challenging cases, providing clear advice from a base of accurate, up-to-date understanding of the law‘.
‘The Edwards Duthie Shamash team, led by the brilliant Melissa Law, stands out for its technical excellence, breadth of experience, and its diligent commitment to fearlessly representing P (the protected party) by their litigation friend, the Official Solicitor’.
‘I cannot stress this enough – Melissa Law is an absolute pleasure to work with. She is highly intelligent, hardworking, and meticulous and insightful in her instruction. She has an excellent eye for detail, both factual and legal, whilst also being adept at maintaining the strategic overview’.
Dorset Advocacy Group
- Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent LW in the case of LW  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.
- Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent P in the matter which was reported in the judgment of Kent County Council v P v NHS Kent and Medway Commissioning Group  EWCOP 3 which considered complex issues regarding transparency, privacy and reporting in the Court of Protection.
- Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent SA in a section 16 matter. In this matter the local authority is seeking declarations relating to 9 different points of capacity.
Fieldfisher has ‘people who are first-class quality, very professional with vast experience’. Anna Bond leads the ‘very cohesive team’ of experienced COP lawyers 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 as a result of serious accidents and birth trauma. On a capitalised basis, it is currently managing in excess of £350m of client funds and other assets.
Other key lawyers:
Robin Tubbs; Kirstie Chambers; Stella Young
‘Fieldfisher has continually proven to be our best choice of deputyship for my daughter. There has not been a single moment of regret so far. The firm is well informed and truly professional and has an amazing ability to give support and valuable advice that we needed wholeheartedly in the last three years’.
‘Communication is perhaps the most important element in our interaction with Fieldfisher. Knowing that there is a team of dependable individuals that you can talk to and get things moving is what gives us peace of mind that things will get better‘.
‘A really good Court of Protection team – Anna Bond is amazing and completely reliable in every way’.
‘The stand out individuals for me are Anna Bond, Robin Tubbs and Kirstie Chambers. They all conduct themselves with great professionalism, organised with the right measure of friendliness; thus making them a great pleasure to work with’.
‘These are incredibly kind people. Supportive of clients and of the litigation team. Just brilliant to work with, particularly during the challenges of the last few years when our clients’ families, who are already vulnerable due to their child’s catastrophic injuries, have experienced undue stress and anxiety due to Covid-19′.
‘Anna Bond: Well liked and respected by clients and solicitors alike; calm, clear vision; authoritative and persuasive while always empathetic towards sometimes very challenging parents. She fosters a collaborative approach both within her team and with the clients and the legal team’.
‘Robin Tubbs. He acts with the utmost integrity and honesty. He understands individual client needs and is very attentive to their circumstances, always focusing on their best interests’.
‘Anna Bond – very good at working with families, helping them to think of the future and the implications for the client. Forward thinking helps clients/families to prepare for what might be on the horizon and guides them to understanding and supporting decision making’.
Hill Dickinson LLP
Hill Dickinson LLP is a trusted advisor to private sector organisations as well as NHS bodies. It continues to be involved in an array of complex cases involving the Mental Health Act 1983; the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Children Act 1989/2004, as well as human rights and equality issues (such as deprivation of liberty safeguards). London-based Kiran Bhogal is recommended and she frequently advises clients on significant judicial reviews.
Kiran Bhogal; Sharon Thomas; Paul Allerston; Ben Troke
Other key lawyers:
Emma Galland; Emma Pollard
‘The team is extremely responsive, which is necessary in this area of work which is often directed by short notice and tight deadlines’.
‘The team is extremely knowledgeable and is known for working on many of the leading cases in this area. Emma Pollard is extremely knowledgeable, and produces very thorough written work’.
‘Kiran Bhogal and Emma Galland are stand-out partners. They are extremely knowledgeable and offer sensible and pragmatic advice in the Court of Protection. They are fantastic at communicating with clients. I always feel that we are in safe hands when we instruct Hill Dickinson‘.
‘The lawyers at Hill Dickinson in London and Leeds have unrivalled knowledge and experience in Court of Protection cases and serious medical treatment cases brought under the High Court’s inherent jurisdiction’.
‘Members of the firm at all levels have been involved in some of the most high profile and ground breaking cases in the past few years which demonstrates the strength in depth of the firm in this practice area’.
‘Kiran Bhogal is an exceptional lawyer who leads by example. Her instructions are always clear and concise and she is always available to to discuss cases, both in and out of hours. Her knowledge of the sector is unrivalled and her calm and level headed approach to complex cases makes her an absolute pleasure to work with‘.
‘Ben Troke, Partner and Head of Health Advisory in Leeds has an unrivalled knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act and the forthcoming Liberty Protection Safeguards. Like his colleagues he is approachable and incredibly hardworking with a level head and calm disposition’.
‘Emma Pollard has clearly benefitted from working with exceptional lawyers like Kiran Bhogal‘.
Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
NHS North Central London CCG
Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Represented Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust in its application to the Court of Protection seeking declarations as to whether it was in a patient’s best interests to undergo renal transplantation.
- Represented King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in a case about a young girl (P) who was diagnosed with a brain tumour and required (a) surgery to remove the tumour; followed by (b) 12 months of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
- Represented NHS North Central London CCG in a case about a young man with learning disabilities, who lacked capacity to decide whether to have the Covid-19 vaccinations/boosters.
Hodge Jones & Allen
Christine Dyson joined Hodge Jones & Allen from Barr Ellison LLP and now leads the practice following the departure of Philippa Barton; the team helps clients with severe brain injury, learning disability and mental illness and is experienced in dealing with safeguarding issues for clients who are at risk of financial exploitation and in making best interests decisions.
‘The practice has a strong reputation. The partner dealing with our case was not only sympathetic to our situation, but also was very pro-active in making sure all administrative tasks required to deal with the Court of Protection were completed in a timely manner’.
‘HJA CoP team is responsive and knowledgeable. They hold the best interests of the clients at the centre of all the decisions they make. They are compassionate, whilst taking a strong approach with the clients as required due to the lack of capacity’.
‘Christine Dyson is very willing to undertake difficult conversations in a calm and constructive way. Works brilliantly as part of a team for the client’s overall care’.
‘This is the best firm that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Very much collaborative working, always kept up to date with information. Each member of staff has always been very helpful and very approachable. I feel that the solicitors really put the client and their best interests first’.
Christine Bunting leads a ‘highly efficient, professional and supportive’ team at Hyphen Law. It currently manages over £110m of combined client assets and over £4m combined clients’ annual income. The team is known for supporting clients nationwide who are in receipt of substantial compensation claims due to severe and complex injuries. It also helps lay deputies and acts in a number of joint deputyships with lay deputies. Many of its clients are children.
Other key lawyers:
Kelly Knight; Elizabeth Metcalf
‘I have been instructed by Kelly Knight, who was very easy to work with and displayed real excellence in the overlap between financial private client matters and the Court of Protection. I would recommend her and the wider team when a complicated matter arises in this area’.
‘They are responsive and keep to the timescales agreed. The reports I have had are balanced, careful and considered. I have worked a lot with Christine Bunting and I find her clever, willing to listen’.
‘A friendly and very well informed team with excellent communication every step of the way. Honest and open yet sensitive advice always. Elizabeth Metcalfe particularly impressive with modern day, dynamic and timely communication’.
‘Kelly Knight and Christine Bunting: great team to work with, very empathetic deputies who try very hard to understand the individual circumstances of the client. Professional management of the client’s fund and open communication’.
‘Top of their game. Excellent Court of Protection Specialists. Knows the market inside and out. Christine Bunting is phenomenal – deputyship expert of choice. Incredibly detailed and thorough. Formidable in court and blows the competition away’.
‘Christine Bunting – her attention to detail is second to none; she is highly experienced and is very supportive to her clients. It is a pleasure working with her and with the team who support her’.
‘We instruct Hyphen Law purely as experts in Court of Protection costs, for inclusion in large personal injury claims relating to brain injury‘.
‘I work with Hyphen Law in relation to clients for whom they provide a Deputyship role. All of the team members that I work with are approachable, skilled, excellent communicators, and creative practitioners who always seek to find the best possible outcomes for their clients’.
IBB Law has three Grade A fee earners – Jacqueline Almond, Russell Hallam and Elena Hall as well as a Grade B fee earner Michael Charalambous. In addition, Hallam is a member of the Office of the Public Guardian’s panel of professional deputies. The team currently acts for approximately 100 clients. It has expertise in dealing with clients with acquired brain injuries, mental health issues, dementia, learning disabilities and alcohol/drug abuse.
Jacqueline Almond; Russell Hallam
Other key lawyers:
Elena Hall; Michael Charalambous
‘Knowledgeable about Deputyship’.
‘Russell Hallam is very knowledgeable. We have a reasonably good understanding of the law and he respected our knowledge and understanding and provided us with relevant material to enable us to provide relevant information and arguments to support our case’.
‘Responsive and efficient. Elena Hall- Very efficient. Prompt response. Easy to engage with’.
‘I have worked with IBB Law for many years and have found them to be consistently excellent. They are passionate about ensuring that their clients have the best quality of life possible and supporting their best interests’.
‘They are committed to providing a human touch to their interactions with clients as well as offering exceptional levels of expertise’.
‘Jacqueline Almond is a highly dedicated Deputy. She works closely with me with clients whose injuries involve behaviours that challenge and these are often focussed on the the management of their finances. Jacqueline has met these challenges with compassion, skill and total dedication to ensure that her clients’ needs are met’.
‘I have worked with Jacqueline Almond in this area. She always ensures that everyone has a clear understanding of what we are trying to achieve, the different options available to the client and she asks in depth questions to ensure that the client achieves the best outcome’.
‘Jacqueline Almond’s knowledge about Lasting Power of Attorney and Enduring Powers of Attorneys, Court of Protection and in general issues affecting older adults is excellent’.
The human rights department at Leigh Day includes its specialist court of protection team. Anna Moore heads the group that has an established practice in best interest cases. The offering continues to be busy advising on issues ranging from withdrawal of treatment, choice of treatment, deprivation of liberty as well as other issues relating to residence, care and contact.
Other key lawyers:
‘A team of all round human rights lawyers who are able bring their experience into the Court of Protection’.
‘Sophie Wells is a star of the future’.
Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts
The Children’s Commissioner for England
- Acts for AHK in linked 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.
- Instructed by the Children’s Commissioner for England to intervene in the Supreme Court case of T (a child) UKSC 2019/0188 involving the provision of unregulated accommodation for children in care.
- Acts for AB in Court of Protection proceedings relating to her residence, care, capacity to enter into sexual relations, contact, ongoing medical treatment and education.
Mills & Reeve LLP
With Jill Mason at the helm at Mills & Reeve LLP it fields a large practice throughout the country that advises a diverse range of clients including acute, mental health and community trusts as well as commissioning bodies. Its work spans every aspect of the healthcare jurisdiction of the Court of Protection such as serious medical treatment cases and deprivation of liberty matters. Neil Ward is another prominent practitioner in this area.
Other key lawyers:
Neil Ward; Lucy Johnston; Kevin Duce; Sarah Garrood
‘The team is professional and approachable, and collectively brings a wealth of knowledge to matters concerned’.
‘Neil Ward and his team are always on-hand when I need advice. There are many individuals across the firm that I work closely with or have been in contact with, and every individual has consistently been professional, approachable, realistic and collaborative in their approach’.
‘The team is very knowledgeable on various Court of Protection matters and will pass cases to partners/other team members if better suited for the case’.
‘Each person from the firm has been very responsive and clear and concise in their responses and requests. Very easy to work with.’
‘Very professional, knowledgeable and responsive firm. Feels very approachable’.
‘Lucy Johnston always seems to ensure that legal cases run efficiently and cost effectively.’
‘The team at Mills & Reeve who represent us is responsive to questions, takes time to explain legal options and opinions and where required has been able to call on the expertise from different branches of legal advice. Many thanks to Sarah Garrood, Jill Weston and Kevin Duce’.
RWK Goodman has a ‘very client focused and centric’ team that covers all aspects of Court of Protection work whether assisting lay clients with applications to the Court or acting as professional Deputy or Attorney for incapacitated individuals. A substantial number of its clients are subjects of clinical negligence and personal injury litigation. Tracey Norris Evans, Maria Meek and Sara Isenberg are the key names in the ‘brilliant’ team.
Tracy Norris-Evans; Maria Meek; Sara Isenberg
Other key lawyers:
Amanda Noyce; Eirian Hitchmough
‘RWK Goodwin is probably one of the best Court Of Protection firms in the country never mind the region. They have some very experienced senior practitioners and a strong team. Amanda Noyce is excellent. Calm but tough when required. Very measured in her approach. Extremely experienced‘.
‘Truly client centred. The RWK team is incredibly knowledgeable, approachable and supportive. They ensure their clients have a voice and are part of planning and inclusion around their opportunities and how needs can be met. RWK is proactive and responsive‘.
‘Exceptionally professional team with great depth of knowledge. The ever capable Tracy Norris-Evans and Maria Meek in Bath’.
‘A formidable and unrivalled team of accomplished specialist lawyers which is truly even more than the sum of its parts. Tracy Norris-Evans she will imminently become the go-to Court of Protection expert’.
‘RWK has a team approach where you are always able to access somebody to help. RWK is always available in emergencies and to offer any advice when needed’.
‘I enjoy working with Maria Meek and her team. Maria Meek is very client centred and excellent at problem solving difficulties. Maria is always available and will always return calls and email promptly. The clients enjoy working with Maria because she delivers what she promises and is very interested in their stories‘.
‘The team is reliable, quick to respond and clearly care about their clients. Consideration is given to your opinion and thoughts, whatever the subject, and this is a relationship built on trust. Eirian Hitchmough continues to provide help, advice and practical support of the highest quality‘.
‘My main relationship is with Sara Isenberg who is truly professional, unflappable, patient, easy to communicate with, and clients find her very likeable‘.
Simpson Millar LLP
Simpson Millar LLP has a team ‘full of knowledgeable individuals, who ensure the best possible representation for their clients’. Its burgeoning Court of Protection team regularly handles the full range of health and welfare and property and affairs work under the leadership of Melanie Varey. Varey specialises in complex cases concerning capacity and sexual relations, contraception and marriage and is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor.
Other key lawyers:
Caroline Hurst; Kate Edwards; Aimee Last; Kayleigh Smith; Natalie Coates
‘A broad and bright health and welfare team. Aimee Last is a star of the future’.
‘Tremendous experience in this team, and a lot of depth in both health and welfare and property and affairs. Mel Varey is compassionate, no-nonsense and tough. She builds an excellent rapport with people and they really trust her to fight their corner’.
‘Kate Edwards – extremely experienced and reliable deputy with a deserved national profile. There is nothing Kate doesn’t know about the Mental Capacity Act. Kayleigh Smith – terrific solicitor, pleasure to work with‘.
‘Committed, experienced and compassionate. Caroline Hurst’.
‘Caroline Hurst is an exceptional advocate, whose flexible and knowledgeable approach helps ensure that her client’s voice is heard. She is very approachable and tireless in her approach to supporting others. I highly recommend her to others’.
‘The team is responsive and helpful. I have worked with Kate Edwards for a number of years and she has shown dedication to her role, working together with a vulnerable client she has been able to maintain a positive working relationship with the client through often challenging times’.
‘It has a large specialist team, which is not common in this field. They are obviously well led and are able to share good practice across their team’.
‘Melanie Varey is the partner and team leader. She is hugely dedicated and insightful. Natalie Coates is focussed and great an analysing the detail of difficult cases in a way which is really helpful to counsel and to the court’.
Alison Kaye leads the ‘very responsive’ team at Switalskis Solicitors. Based in Huddersfield and York, it is is well known for its CoP work throughout Yorkshire and beyond, particularly in relation to health and welfare matters. It has a strong reputation for dealing with complex mental capacity and welfare cases, and deprivation of liberty challenges relating to Sections 15, 16 and 21A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Other key lawyers:
Michael Kennedy; Amandeep Dosanjh; Danielle Smithurst; Nichola Burridge-Todd
‘I have always found Switalskis very responsive when contacted. They keep the client at the centre of the proceedings, ensuring their voices are heard and rights protected. They appear to work well as a team as when one solicitor is away I am able to contact their colleague regarding the specific client’.
‘I have worked closely with Amandeep Dosanjh on a number of cases. She is great at explaining things in simple language to our clients and myself. She is very helpful and always makes time to discuss complex cases with me, sometimes giving me informal legal advice.’
‘A large, well-respected and very experienced team, with excellent practice from top to bottom.’
‘Alison Kaye works tirelessly for her clients and really gets stuck in to cases, as well as running the team. Danielle Smithurst is an exceptional solicitor who really cares about her clients. She works incredibly hard, delegates well and is extremely approachable.’
‘Switalskis Solicitors are clear leaders in the Court of Protection sphere. The team has a wealth of experience in health and welfare matters, with a number of well-respected lawyers who are supported by a very capable group of paralegals that work hard to achieve the very best outcome for their clients’.
‘There are a number of stand-out individuals at the firm including: Alison Kaye is hugely respected and determined to achieve the best for her clients. She will leave no issue unturned and has excellent client care’.
‘Nichola Burridge-Todd is an extremely experienced solicitor with a keen eye for detail, which consistently has an impact on the lives of the people she represents. She commands the trust of her clients, her briefs are excellent, and she is very easy to work with’.
‘Michael Kennedy explains processes and procedures in such a way that clients with identified needs, are able to have a good understanding. Michael gives his time to explore all options in a sensitive and patient manner’.
- Acted for the protected party in the proceedings with Alison Kaye acting as Accredited Legal Representative.
- Alison Kaye represented client by way of her litigation friend the Official Solicitor.
Practice head at Warners Solicitors is Martin Terrell who provides ‘a first-class service to his clients, hugely knowledgeable and supportive’. The team covers the full range of deputyship related work from elderly clients (wealthy clients to those on benefits), brain injury/damages and panel cases (following family disputes and financial abuse) as well as contentious and non-contentious applications. It also deals with Lasting Powers of Attorney and trusts, often involving elderly or vulnerable beneficiaries, and advises on tax, welfare benefits and funding issues.
‘The team is headed up by the awesome Martin Terrell. He is an exceptional lawyer and a leader in the field of Court of Protection work. He takes the time to mentor others and help drive the sustainability of the profession’.
‘Martin Terrell has built an excellent COP team which offers an excellent service to clients and their families. He knows the clients’ situations very thoroughly, and him and his team are always available and hugely supportive and hands on and very friendly’.
‘They are very experienced in this area (COP) and I would highly recommend Martin and the team at Warners’.
‘Martin Terrell and his COP team offer an exceptional service to their clients and wider family’.
‘They are dedicated to ensuring that their clients are looked after to a very high standard and ensure that they have all they need, and provide excellent advice and support’.
‘A knowledgeable and hardworking team with detailed understanding of Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Court of Protection’.
‘Friendly and approachable with extensive relationships across the South East with private clients and Local Authorities’.
‘Martin Terrell is an expert in his field and deals with complex deputyship cases and serves on the board of the Deputyship Forum’.
Weightmans LLP and RadcliffesLeBrasseur have recently completed a merger. The combined group acts on a wide range of health and welfare as well as property and affairs matters for a large number of local authorities, NHS trusts, private health and social care providers. In addition it recently added Robert Rushton to its ranks from Ward Hadaway LLP.
Simon Goacher; Richard Jolly; Richard Bate; Sarah Louise Walker; Jonathan Shankland; Andrew Parsons
Other key lawyers:
Robert Rushton; Morris Hill
‘Weightmans went above and beyond in its interaction with myself for a case I held as part of my role as a social worker within the County Council’.
‘Weightmans practice was very person centred and was able to excellently support and represent both myself, and the person to a very high standard. This resulted in a positive outcome’.
‘Morris Hill was really experienced in acting for a local authority and was able to guide me through something which was incredibly different to my own role and made the whole experience a lot easier’.
Carmarthenshire County Council
Derby City Council
Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
Rutland County council
Derbyshire County Council
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Lanyon Bowdler deals with a range of complex property and affairs matters as well as receiving an increasing number of instructions on contested welfare cases and the transfer of deputyships from other firms. The department manages approximately 60 deputyships and trusts with assets in excess of £100m under the leadership of Neil Davies.
Other key lawyers:
‘Neil Davies is a caring and compassionate Deputy. He is dedicated to ensuring his clients are able to engage in activities and experiences that are meaningful to them’.
‘Neil is a very calm and calming personality, extremely affable and very much with the human touch. This belies a true lawyer’s brain. He fights his client’s corner tenaciously, drawing on vast experience and expertise to deliver extremely high quality work‘.
‘Small friendly team approachable client focused. Neil Davies and Lucy Speed are the key people within the COP team that I work with. Both provide a compassionate resource and are highly knowledgeable in their field‘.
‘The team has great knowledge and communication skills which makes working with them all the better for the client. Neil Davies and Lucy Speed – as a COP team, they are approachable and keen to hear views of others’.
‘Lucy Speed has always answered any questions and sorted out anything that was needed’.
‘The whole team at Lanyon Bowdler has been absolutely amazing helping with our case, they have all been so professional and extremely thorough in what they do. The have always made sure I am fully aware of what is going on and that I understand’.
‘Lucy Small and Neil Davies have been fantastic. They have always gone out of their way to help and make sure that my sons and family’s needs have been met. I would recommend them both to anyone they have been fantastic’.
‘The court of Court of Protection Team at Lanyon Bowdler enjoys an excellent reputation and a growing ‘reach’ by reason of its half a dozen or so offices across Shropshire, Herefordshire and into North Wales‘.
- Advised in a Statutory Will application concerning AX, a gentleman with dementia who had been financially exploited by his handyman.
- Acted for a brain-injured and amputee client (NX) in identifying and adapting accommodation for his needs.
- Acted for brain-injured client (CX) concerning serious employment issues with his care staff.
Julia Morrill leads the skilled team at Minton Morrill that manages multi-million pound funds for those who lack mental capacity to manage their property and financial affairs. Morrill has been particularly busy helping clients with acquired brain injuries.
Other key lawyers:
Sophie Kelly; Mary Woodward; Raksha Champaneri
‘Julia Morrill is friendly and approachable, professional and always responds promptly to any correspondence’.
‘The team is easily available via email and phone. Keen to ensure a client’s need is met as promptly and efficiently as possible’.
‘We use MintonMorrill for their deputyship services and managing our sons compensation award’.
‘Compared to our last deputy, they make the whole process much simpler. This means their services cost less and is better value for money but also that as parents we have some control over the day to day costs involved in running our sons care and expenses’.
‘It feels much less formal and more family friendly yet remaining professional and always ensuring they act in client’s best interests’.
‘The main people we deal with are Julia Morrill, Sophie Kelly, Mary Woodward and Raksha Champaneri. They are all friendly and approachable, professional and always respond promptly to any correspondence’.
Conor Maguire, Kate Jackson and Lauren Crow lead a ‘highly specialised team with a clear passion for Court of Protection work’ at MJC Law. It is skilled at handling health and welfare matters alongside community care and mental health work.
Conor Maguire; Kate Jackson; Lauren Crow
Other key lawyers:
‘MJC is an excellent firm. All of the solicitors are very good and they are always prepared to go the extra mile for their clients. Kate Jackson is superb. She is good with vulnerable clients and defends their interests fearlessly’.
‘Really bright and enthusiastic and not afraid to take difficult cases and argue difficult points of law’.
‘This team is full of excellent people, and all of the senior people are nationally-recognised Court of Protection experts. They are outstanding at both the academic and practical sides of the law, and have an excellent rapport with their clients’.
‘Kate Jackson: An absolute star. Extremely intelligent, sees deeply into cases and has a tremendous drive to help people in tough situations have the lives they want. Excellent Mental Health Act knowledge, and great for really tricky cases’.
‘The team at MJC law has exceptionally able individuals with a passion for the Court of Protection, Mental Health law and securing the rights of the individuals they represent. In my experience this is clearly demonstrated in the approach they take in their cases’.
‘Conor Maguire robustly represents his clients, both in and outside the court room. It is evident that he always has a clear grasp of the issues at hand and is able to present or argue these in an eloquent manner’.
‘I’ve worked closely with Kate Jackson, Lauren Crow and Ashley Bradley. All are incredibly diligent, detail-orientated and organised. The team is always approachable and goes above and beyond to protect their client’s positions, who are always well-served in my experience’.
‘Lauren Crow has been fantastic every step of the way. I was truly grateful for Lauren’s sound advice, unwavering support, tenacious determination and fantastic result! It was a long journey but Lauren was always pragmatic and clear in her advice’.
Ward Hadaway LLP
Georgina Rowley co-leads the team at Ward Hadaway LLP with Lisa Evans. Rowley is a partner in the healthcare team and her expertise spans issues of consent and capacity as well as the interface between mental capacity and mental health law. Evans is also actively involved in court of protection matters. The former head of department Robert Rushton is now at Weightmans.
Lisa Evans; Georgina Rowley
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
Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Wards Solicitors LLP
Jenny Pierce heads the practice at Wards Solicitors LLP that has particular expertise in advising the elderly and their families. The team has dealt with over 100 professional deputyships from 2020 to date. Alison Lamont advises deputies and attorneys, oversees the professional deputyship workload and deals with all aspects of statutory wills and gifts.
Other key lawyers:
‘I had contact with a number of the team and each one was helpful and conscientious in their dealings with me. The process and time that each process would take was clearly explained and the associated cost were given to me at the beginning so there were no surprises’.
‘Every member of the team was equally helpful’.
‘Wards Solicitors has been working closely with clients under the court of protection for a number of years and I have always found the team to be very approachable and knowledgeable especially with working and reporting to the office of the public guardian’.
‘I have always found Wards to charge a fair fee compared to other law firms’.
‘Alison Lamont stands out within the team, Alison is very helpful with any request and has a vast knowledge of the OPG and will provide clear guidance when required’.
‘The team is quick to respond to queries, very professional and trustworthy. I have built up an excellent professional relationship for our respective firms’ mutual benefits to provide great client care with the following individuals: Jenny Pierce and Alison Lamont’.
‘Excellent client communication across a well-established, caring and professional team with extensive experience’.
‘Alison Lamont has an empathy combined with professionalism that make her perfectly suited for this area of practice’.
- Successfully applied to call in a deputyship security bond against a joint lay deputy whose co-deputy had spent their mother’s funds prior to his death.
- Acting as Professional Deputy for MH who lives abroad with his partner and remains married to another party in the UK in the context of a dispute regarding who should inherit if he passes away.
- Advising S, as carer for P, who had tried to get P to change her will to S’s benefit; successfully agreeing terms of a statutory will (S was a respondent) and mitigating professional repercussions for S.