CALL 0800 437 0322 FREE 24 hours a day
Submit enquiry

Assessing Capacity

Most PI practitioners will have acted for vulnerable clients, such as clients with a head injury or mental illness. Such clients may have sufficient capacity to give instructions on the conduct of the claim and any settlement offers. However, they may not have capacity to manage a large sum of money in their own best interests.

The SRA is particularly concerned about the way that solicitors deal with vulnerable clients as this is an area where mistakes can easily be made with disastrous consequences for the clients.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) applies to people over the age of 16 who lack mental capacity and the Act sets out the rules for safeguarding their interests.

Under the Act, there is an assumption that every client has capacity unless there is evidence to the contrary. The test for capacity is not a blunt “all or nothing” condition but is issue specific.

Therefore even if you have established that the client does have sufficient capacity to give instructions during the claim, it is important to reassess whether the client has sufficient capacity to manage the damages award when the case settles.

If you have any concerns on this issue then it is advisable to request a formal capacity assessment. It may be that the client can manage his own finances with support and should therefore consider appointing an attorney or setting up a PI trust.

If you have concerns as to whether your client does not have sufficient capacity to manage their damages award, we can assist with the assessment of capacity and advice about the options available such as setting up powers of attorney or a PI trust or appointing a deputy.

Click here for more information about the Mental Capacity Act.

Our Court of Protection Solicitors are backed by four decades of experience. Our legal team of London Solicitors have a strong track record of achieving favourable client outcomes. For expert legal advice use our contact form or call us on 0800 437 0322 today

Request a FREE consultation

Fill out this form and one of the team will get back to you:


By ticking the following box I am giving Hodge Jones and Allen consent to process my personal data for the purpose of this enquiry.

Full details of our privacy policy is available here

Call us on:

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

Phone:0800 437 0322
Fax:020 7388 2106
Address:Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors
180 North Gower Street
London
NW1 2NB