Expert Witness Work

We have many years’ experience of dealing with professional deputyships and personal injury trusts. This makes us uniquely placed to act as expert witnesses for other law firms with providing reports on the likely costs of having a professional deputy or trustee. It is crucial to make sure that all the costs of the deputyship or PI trust are included in your client’s schedule of special damages.

Our team regularly provides expert reports in personal injury compensation claims and medical negligence cases setting out the total cost of the deputyship or trust.

What does the report include?

The report explains how legal fees are charged and assessed for Court of Protection work and provides details of past deputyship costs and annual estimates for the likely legal fees of the professional deputy for the rest of the client’s life. The report also includes details of one off expenses such as a statutory will application. The report also sets out additional expenses such as court fees and the cost of insurance.

Supporting our clients

The team can also provide evidence for the cost of setting up a PI trust and the fees of a professional trustee of a PI trust.

We also provide the following services:

  • Comment on the defendant’s report on deputyship costs.
  • Attend joint meetings with the defendant’s expert.
  • Give evidence at court.

Philippa Barton, who heads up the team, has extensive experience in this area and can be available to help you should you require assistance.

Professional Deputyship

Deputies are appointed by the Court of Protection to look after the financial affairs of a person who is mentally incapacitated. This covers adults with a brain injury, learning difficulties and mental health problems.

You will need to consider appointing a deputy if you are acting for:

  • A child who is unlikely to have capacity at the age of 18 or
  • An adult who lacks capacity

An adult may have a close family member or friend who can be trusted to act as deputy and manage their finances.
However, where close family members are dependent on the injured client for their accommodation and/or income, it is usually advisable to appoint a professional deputy instead of a family member. The deputy must keep their own finances separate from that of the injured client and must not benefit personally from deputyship funds.

In the case of a brain injured child who lives with their parents, it is likely that the deputyship funds may well be used to contribute towards accommodation costs and household bills and maybe also to compensate the parents for the additional care they provide. This results in a conflict of interest between the child and their parents which means that it is usually not appropriate for the parents to act as deputies without the involvement of a professional deputy.

Deputies are supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian and must file annual reports and accounts. Deputies must take out a security bond so that there is insurance cover if the deputy is negligent or fraudulent.

If there is no professional deputy, the OPG will set a higher level of supervision and the cost of the security bond will also be higher.

The legal fees charged by a professional deputy must be assessed by the court.

How to get in touch?

  • Specialist Experts

Whatever your needs, our team of highly experienced Mental Capacity lawyers can provide you with the help and advice you need. Contact one of our experienced team, either by telephone or email.

  • Arrange a meeting

We will arrange a time to meet to discuss your needs and particular situation in greater detail.

  • Call FREE 24 hours a day

We’ll ensure that the solicitor you deal with is the right match for your specific situation, helping you find the best possible resolution during a stressful and often sensitive time.

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Our offices are open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm.

Phone:0808 231 6369
Fax:020 7388 2106
Address:Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors
180 North Gower Street
London
NW1 2NB
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