“Neil’s knowledge of the whole span of mental health, community care and public law is comprehensive. He applies that knowledge with great judgement and one never doubts his analysis. He is excellent on the papers, as he is on his feet.”
Legal 500 2021
“His academic excellence in this field is a real strength, and he’s brilliant.” “His ability to quickly identify those issues which may cause difficulties makes him a very helpful advocate.” “The level of his ability is beyond his years of call.”
Chambers & Partners
With particular interests in human rights, mental health and incapacity law, Neil practises from Chambers, teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students, and delivers training to health, social care and legal professionals. In addition, he regularly publishes in books and journals and is Clinical Lead of Manchester University’s Legal Advice Centre.
“Has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things CoP, but also very likeable and pragmatic.” Legal 500
Most of his current practice is in the Court of Protection where is instructed on behalf of individuals, the Official Solicitor, local authorities and health authorities. The proceedings involve many issues including:
Advice has been given on a range of matters including:
Wakefield Metropolitan District Council & Anor v DN & Anor  EWHC 2306 (Fam): inherent jurisdiction and the detention of those with capacity.
Re A (Capacity: Social Media and Internet Use: Best Interests)  EWCOP 2: established the test for capacity to use the internet and social media (acted pro bono).
Re KT  E.W.C.O.P. 1: established the use of Visitors to ensure a human rights compliant procedure for authorising deprivations of liberty for uncontested, unbefriended cases.
N v ACCG  U.K.S.C. 22: best interests and Court of Protection case management powers (Supreme Court).
Mrs P v Rochdale Borough Council  E.W.C.O.P. B1: DoLS challenge; financial deputyship.
Re X (Deprivation of Liberty)  E.W.C.O.P 25: established the streamlined procedure for judicial authorisations to deprive liberty.
P v Cheshire West and Chester Council; P and Q v Surrey County Council  U.K.S.C. 19: meaning of “deprivation of liberty” in Article 5 ECHR.
A Local Authority v SY  E.W.H.C. 3485: non-marriage declaration under the inherent jurisdiction; social workers can be eminently suited to provide evidence of incapacity in COP proceedings.
GA v Betsi Cadwaladr University LHB  U.K.U.T. 280 (AAC): consent and community treatment orders.
P v M (Vulnerable Adult)  E.W.H.C. 2778: emphasises the emotional component in the best interests analysis.
B (Deprivation of Liberty: Validity of Authorisation)  E.W.H.C. 2508: guidance on procedural matters concerning the deprivation of liberty safeguards
G v E and Manchester City Council and F  E.W.H.C. 621;  E.W.H.C. 1115;  E.W.C.A. Civ. 822;  E.W.H.C. 2042;  E.W.H.C. 2512: breach of Articles 5 and 8 ECHR; deputyship; costs; Winterwerp.
(L and Others) v Manchester City Council  1 F.L.R. 43: one of the first successful uses of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Recommended by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for Court of Protection: Health and Welfare.
“Always well prepared, a pleasant opponent and a good problem solver.” “He thinks outside of the box and puts himself into P’s shoes when he is providing advice and will fight to the death to ensure P’s rights are restricted the least amount possible.” “Very flexible, and the work that he does is of a very high quality. His knowledge base is excellent.” Chambers & Partners 2021
“Neil’s knowledge of the whole span of mental health, community care and public law is comprehensive. He applies that knowledge with great judgement and one never doubts his analysis. He is excellent on the papers, as he is on his feet.” Legal 500 2021
“He’s very academically on the ball, knows the law very well and is a very good advocate.” “He is incredibly helpful, very responsive, fantastically knowledgeable and hugely respected in the Court of Protection world.” Chambers & Partners 2020
“Incredible intellectual abilities; not in the least phased at the prospect of having to appear before the senior courts on complex matters, at short notice.” Legal 500 2020
“He brings a really great and broad perspective to cases thanks to his academic background. He has an excellent technical understanding of the Mental Capacity Act and community care law, and he is very good at dealing with both lay and professional clients.” Chambers & Partners 2019
“Has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things CoP, but also very likeable and pragmatic.” Legal 500 2018
“Excels at Court of Protection work that involves deprivation of liberty and other human rights issues. Peers point out his academic excellence as a distinguishing characteristic, citing his role as lecturer in Clinical Legal Education at the University of Manchester. His academic excellence in this field is a real strength, and he’s brilliant.” His ability to quickly identify those issues which may cause difficulties makes him a very helpful advocate.” “The level of his ability is beyond his years of call.” Chambers & Partners 2017
“Intelligent and thorough, he offers an academic but accessible rights-based approach to complex welfare cases. He’s an excellent communicator. An excellent communicator and reliable source of support and expertise for the firm and clients alike. He’s always willing to delve deeper into broader issues and readily offers insight into exceptionally complex issues” Chambers & Partners 2016
“Intelligent and thorough, he offers an academic but accessible rights-based approach to complex welfare cases. He’s an excellent communicator . Very academic and extremely learned on the history of the law and its development. He is also fantastically approachable.” Chambers & Partners 2015
“He is highly respected by the Official Solicitor. He has a thoughtful, analytical approach to cases and an amazing eye for detail. What he doesn’t know about deprivation of liberty isn’t worth knowing.” Chambers & Partners 2014