I have worked as a solicitor since 1981, in Reading, Salisbury and In Southampton. In that time I have dealt with most types of legal work, but my special interest is in Mental Health Law. I have many years’ experience of helping people who have mental health problems or learning difficulties, or issues with the Mental Health services.
About half my working time is spent representing patients who are detained in hospital or subject to the Mental Health Act in the community. I am a member of the Law Society’s panel for Mental Health Tribunals. I am also a part-time Tribunal Judge dealing with Mental Health cases, which gives me a better insight into how the Tribunal is likely to handle my client’s case.
From that work, I have developed an interest in Mental Capacity cases, where people often struggle to manage the finances or care of someone who can no longer do it for themselves. I spend the rest of my working time assisting people in applications to the Court of Protection, and acting as professional Attorney or Court Deputy for a number of clients who have limited capacity or no family to support them.
The biggest issue in this field at the moment is Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) with more and more people in care homes being placed under DOLS Orders and local authorities often struggling to cope with the demand for services.
Outside work, I have been experiencing what it is like to be a client, selling one house and buying another, so in my spare time I am still unpacking boxes.