Mental Capacity Law Team

Lisa Giovanetti QC

Lisa has a broad public law practice, undertaking advisory work and advocacy before a wide range of courts and tribunals, including the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights.  She has appeared before the Court of Protection and High Court in a number of cases involving mental capacity/best interests, notably Re: HM [2010] EWHC 1579 (Fam), [2010] Fam Law 1072, [2011] 1 FLR 97, in which she was instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of P.

Jenni Richards QC

Jenni specialises in public and administrative law, regulatory and disciplinary law and mental incapacity cases. She is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor, local authorities, NHS Trusts and individuals in more complex Court of Protection cases, in particular those raising difficult issues as to capacity, medical treatment, interference with human rights and deprivation of liberty.  Recent cases include Cheshire West and Chester Council v P [2011] EWCA Civ 1257 (leading Court of Appeal authority on deprivation of liberty) and A Local Authority v H [2012] EWHC 49 COP (test for capacity to consent to sexual relations).

Fenella Morris QC

Fenella appears regularly in the Court of Protection instructed by the Official Solicitor, local authorities, NHS bodies and individuals in cases involving medical treatment, welfare, property and affairs and deprivation of liberty. She has appeared in a number of leading cases in this area, including JE v DE, R v C, and P and Q. She is a co-author of The Mental Capacity Act 2005, A Guide to the New Law 2nd Edition (Law Society). Fenella’s practice also includes public, human rights and regulatory law, and she is experienced in mediating health and social care disputes.

Vikram Sachdeva QC

Vikram Sachdeva QC is qualified both in medicine and in law, and previously practiced as a hospital doctor. He also taught public law at Cambridge University for several years. Vikram practices in a wide range of public law and human rights cases, as well as in medical treatment cases in the Court of Protection. He is recommended as a leading junior in Administrative and Public Law in the Legal 500, and for Court of Protection work in Chambers UK.

Parishil Patel QC

Parishil advises upon and appears in best interests cases on a very regular basis, instructed by individuals (including on behalf of the Official Solicitor), NHS bodies and local authorities.

Simon Edwards

Simon has wide experience of private client work. He recently acted for Anthony Day in the Chancery division dispute that he had with the children of the late Sir Malcolm Arnold over the ownership of Sir Malcolm’s manuscripts. The dispute centred on the question whether Sir Malcolm had given the manuscripts to his children when in a desperate state or later when he was a patient of the Court of Protection. Questions also arose as to the meaning of Sir Malcolm’s will and a later written gift. He successfully obtained a revocation of a grant in Lamothe v Lamothe [2006] WTLR 1431 and opposed a daughter’s claim to ownership of a flat in Lalani v Crump [2007] 8 EG 136 (CS). His membership of the team provides an added dimension of experience in all aspects of property and contractual issues.

Nicola Greaney

Nicola appears regularly in the Court of Protection instructed by the Official Solicitor, local authorities, NHS bodies and individuals in cases involving health, welfare, property and affairs and deprivation of liberty. She is a co-author of The Mental Capacity Act 2005, A Guide to the New Law 2nd Edition (Law Society). She also practises in the areas of personal injury and clinical negligence and often undertakes work involving capacity issues. Recent cases including XCC v AA [2012] EWHC 2183 (COP) (forced marriage and declaration of non-recognition) and A Local Authority v H [2012] EWHC 49 COP (test for capacity to consent to sexual relations).

Katharine Scott

Katie has a busy Court of Protection and best interests practice. She has represented local authorities, the Official Solicitor and family members in disputes concerning health, welfare, property and affairs and marriage. She has been involved in a number of interesting cases, most notably PH v A Local Authority, Z Ltd and R  [2011] EWCH 1704 (Fam) – a case in which the Court gave guidance on the principles to be applied when addressing the issue of capacity under the Mental Capacity Act. C v A Local Authority, LMP, LM, A PCT and An organisation [2011] EWHC 1539 (Admin) – a case in which the Court considered the application of the Code of Practice to the Mental Health Act 1983 to the seclusion of incapacitated teenagers in schools. LLBC v TG, JG and KR [2007] EWHC 2640 (Fam) – a residence dispute which raised issues about deprivation of liberty in an ordinary care home. R (on the application of W) v Croydon LBC [2011] EWHC 696 (Admin) – a case in which the court considered the lawfulness of a decision regarding the placement of the applicant was taken after a flawed consultation in circumstances where the local authority were entitled to terminate the applicant’s placement on the basis of cost.

Neil Allen

Neil has particular interests in human rights, mental health and incapacity law and mainly practises in the Court of Protection. Also a lecturer at Manchester University, he teaches students in these fields, trains health, social care and legal professionals, and regularly publishes in academic books and journals. Neil is the Deputy Director of the University’s Legal Advice Centre and a Trustee for legal and mental health charities.

Alex Ruck Keene

Alex has extensive experience across all aspects of the Court of Protection’s work. He appears on behalf of individuals and public bodies in health and welfare applications under the MCA 2005. He is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and regularly advises upon and acts in matters relating to P’s property and affairs. He also has unrivalled expertise in the international protection of incapacitated adults under Schedule 3 to the Act. His publications include contributions to Court of Protection Practice 2012 (Jordans 2012) and Assessment of Mental Capacity (Law Society/BMA 2009).

Fiona Paterson

Fiona is instructed at all appellate levels up to the Supreme Court by the Official Solicitor, CAFCASS, NHS Trusts and Clinical
Commissioning Groups, in relation to medical treatment decisions and welfare matters. Over the last 2 years, she has appeared in 2 of the 3 appeals arising from the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to reach the Supreme Court; N v A CCG and Y v An NHS Trust and Ors, in which judgment was handed down by the Supreme Court in July 2018. She has also appeared on before the Court of Appeal and Family Division in a in a number of high profile medical treatment cases involving children including the Charlie Gard and Isaiah Haastrup in which she represented Great Ormond Street Hospital and King’s College Hospital respectively.

Mungo Wenban-Smith

Mungo’s public law practice encompasses a broad range of areas including local government, community care, mental health and mental capacity, homelessness and financial services regulation. Human rights issues are frequently at the core of the developing law in these areas. He appears on behalf of the Government, public bodies including local authorities and individuals in cases before specialist tribunals, the county court on statutory appeal and in the High Court in judicial review proceedings.

He appears regularly in a wide range of best interests proceedings brought under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 before the Court of Protection, on behalf of local authorities, the Official Solicitor, family members and health bodies.

Victoria Butler Cole

Victoria specialises in public law. She has a particular interest in mental health and previously worked in the field of medical ethics. She frequently appears in the Court of Protection on behalf of families, local authorities, NHS bodies and the Official Solicitor, in cases concerning welfare issues, property and financial affairs, and medical treatment.  She was recommended for Court of Protection work in Chambers and Partners 2014, where she was described as a ‘star performer’ and a ‘very persuasive advocate’.

Alexis Hearnden

Alexis regularly represents local authorities, the Official Solicitor and family members in court of protection matters. Court of protection work dovetails with the balance of Alexis’ practice which includes public law, healthcare regulation and clinical negligence.

Peter Mant

Peter has a busy Court of Protection practice, acting on behalf of the Official Solicitor, individuals and local authorities. His practice also covers the related fields of mental health, community care and human rights.

Catherine Dobson

Catherine has a particular interest in public law and human rights. She regularly appears in the Court of Protection, instructed by individuals and local authorities in welfare and financial cases. She is also a Bye-Fellow at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge University where she teaches constitutional law and civil liberties.

Annabel Lee

Annabel appears frequently in the Court of Protection. Recently, she appeared in a High Court medical treatment case representing the family of a young man in a coma with a rare brain condition. She has also been instructed by local authorities, care homes and individuals in COP proceedings concerning a range of personal welfare and financial matters. Annabel also practices in the related field of human rights

Nicola Kohn

Nicola has a substantial Court of Protection practice, specialising in health and welfare cases although she also accepts instructions in matters concerning property and affairs. She is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor, family members, local authorities and NHS bodies to conduct work in both the county court and the High Court. She has dealt with cases concerning a wide number of issues on capacity and best interests including capacity to determine contact, consent to sex, contraception, manage food intake and the best interests of Ps with a wide range of conditions including dementia, alcohol-related Korsakoff’s syndrome, acquired brain injury, schizophrenia and Prader-Willi syndrome.

She is one of the co-authors of the 39 Essex Chambers Mental Capacity Report and is a contributor to the 4th edition of the Assessment of Mental Capacity (Law Society/British Medical Association).

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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