I am a partner and head of the Court of Protection team. I qualified as a solicitor in 1987. I specialised in Personal Injury and clinical negligence litigation for 20 years before moving to private client law in 2006.
I am experienced in the following areas:
Managing the financial affairs of mentally incapacitated clients, whether as deputy, attorney or trustee
Acting all aspects of Court of Protection work
Obtaining probate and administering estates
Drafting trust deeds, powers of attorney and wills
Personal Injury trusts
I have particular expertise in acting as a professional deputy for brain injured clients with Personal Injury and clinical negligence settlements. I also act as a deputy for clients with dementia, mental health problems and learning disability.
I act as expert witness in personal injury litigation to provide the court with details of the likely deputyship costs. I am instructed by claimants and defendants.
I regularly publish articles in Personal Injury journals dealing with mental capacity and deputyship issues as they effect Personal Injury lawyers.
I am recommended in Legal 500 for Court of Protection work and have been described as “a team head who has ‘a complete understanding of this practice area, and provides clear and precise advice.”
STEP diploma: passed with distinction in 2008
1985 Legal Practice Course
1984 Common professional Exam – placed 2nd in order of merit
1983 Warwick university BA
2014 – present Hodge Jones & Allen
1990 – 2014 Edwards Duthie
1985 – 1990 Hodge Jones and Allen
I have been referred cases by the Official Solicitor, numerous Personal Injury and clinical negligence law firms, barristers and financial advisors.
Case A: Acting for a brain injured adult with a substantial award of damages. As a result of family breakdown, there was litigation over the family finances and his residence, care and access to both parents. I was required to represent the client at various court hearings and settlement meetings.
Case B: Acting for a young adult with a severe head injury where there are serious safeguarding concerns with regard to financial exploitation by her friends.
Case C: Acting for a brain injured child with a substantial award of damages where the parents are seeking large sums of money for expenditure which will not benefit the child and Court of Protection proceedings were required to resolve the issues.
Case D: Taking over a complex deputyship where the former deputy has mismanaged deputyship funds. I was required to analyse the decisions made by the lay deputy and write a detailed report for the court.
Membership and appointments
Member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners)
Fully accredited professional member of SFE (Solicitors for the elderly), a specialist panel of solicitors acting for vulnerable clients and those lacking mental capacity
A property and affairs deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection to make financial decisions on behalf of a person who lacks mental capacity.The deputy has a similar role to a trustee. They must keep the deputyship funds entirely separate from their own personal funds. They must keep proper records and accounts. The deputy’s powers are set out in the deputyship order and the deputy must ensure that they comply with the terms of that order.
It is quite common for the elderly and incapacitated to add a third party to their bank accounts so that someone can help them with their finances. They may appoint one of their adult children, because that person happens to live locally and visits often. They may appoint a friend, neighbour or carer.They believe that they are simply adding a name to their account but the reality is that they are changing their sole account to a joint account. What they may not realise is that on death any money held in a joint account passes automatically to the joint owner whether you intended this to happen or not.
Most probate practitioners have come across clients who report the death of a relative, come to the office to collect the will and advise us that they can deal with the probate themselves. It is not uncommon for the same client to return a few months later looking harassed, carrying boxes of papers and correspondence, and very keen to hand the whole lot over and get someone else to do it for them.