Marie O'Malley

Senior Solicitor

Marie is a senior solicitor specialising in Court of Protection work and part of the Health and Community Care team, based at our Westgate House office, having qualified as a Solicitor in 2001.

Marie's previous experience in personal injury litigation provided a valuable grounding in working with vulnerable adults prior to specialising exclusively in Court of Protection work. 

Marie now acts for people who need to apply to the Court of Protection for authorisation to act or take decisions on behalf of a friend or family member who lacks mental capacity.  This is an evolving area of law where an in-depth understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and recent court cases is essential. 

The most common applications to the Court of Protection are those seeking to appoint a Deputy to manage someone’s property and financial affairs.  However, there are circumstances when health and welfare applications may also be appropriate.  Marie believes that it is essential, when working with my clients, to "look beyond" the finances to fully understand their personal history, wishes and feelings so that she can tailor her legal advice accordingly.

Having built up a picture of someone’s needs, Marie can then provide advice on issues such as gifting, statutory wills, the Court of Protection application process, Trustee and Deputy roles and responsibilities and contested applications.  Marie also ensures that she address the legal aspects of any care issues and she has represented clients at care reviews and best interest meetings to address these needs.

One of Marie's notable contested cases is: DA v EP & Ors (COP- Deprivation of Liberty/Welfare) [2020] EWCOP 74 (28 February 2020)

There are two fundamentally important aspects to Marie's work – accuracy and understanding my clients’ specific needs. 

Court of Protection applications can take many months and Marie has an eye for detail to deliver accurate submissions to minimise any delays.  She also recognises that her clients are often vulnerable, with additional support needs.  Marie spends time getting to know them so that she can provide an accessible service which enables them to participate as far as possible in decisions concerning their lives.

Marie is also experienced in providing advice in relation to complex Power of Attorney cases, particularly those requiring an application to the Court of Protection, to request, for example, permission for the Attorney to make particular gifts.

We have a number of long standing clients whose financial affairs we manage under either a Lasting Power of Attorney or a Court of Protection Deputyship Order.  Marie provides legal supervision to our team and delegate tasks to other team members to ensure that our clients receive a cost effective and appropriate service.

Finally, Marie provides training and supervision to staff in relation to Court of Protection issues and contributes to our pro bono work at local legal clinics and training seminars.

Marie continues to work with Ms J after she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983 with severe mental health issues.Ms J needed an Attorney appointing to manage her property and financial affairs and, as she has no family, was going to use our professional Attorney service.She was, understandably, desperate to get discharged from hospital but there were disagreements about where she would live.  It took time to build a relationship with Ms J but this was vital to develop her self-confidence to consider different housing options and decide herself where she wanted to live.  In the meantime, Marie was able to arrange temporary care whilst coordinating the sale of her house and arranging the purchase of a retirement flat where she has happily settled and resides to date. Marie also dealt with her capital gains tax liability in relation to her previous disposal of land with planning permission.

P's return  to the community during Covid-19: This case involved, P, who was found by social services to be living at home without any central heating, hot water and eating out of date food during the ‘Beast from the East’ in 2018. P was an only child and had resided at her family home all her life. P had no family locally and relied upon the support of friends and neighbours. Due to concerns regarding P’s welfare, P was admitted to residential care on a temporary basis. A referral was made to the Court of Protection team in relation to the management of P’s finances. We were instructed to make an application to the Court of Protection to appoint Debbie Anderson of this office as P’s financial deputy to manage her property and financial affairs as sadly P lacked capacity to manage her finances independently.

Whilst residing at the care home, P expressed a wish to go home and therefore the local authority were invited to undertake an up-to-date capacity assessment of P. The local authority’s assessment of capacity concluded that P had capacity to make decisions about her residence (where she should live). As P had indicated a wish to return home, we sought to work with the local authority to support P with a transition back to the community.

Although returning home was not that simple… P’s family home was in a poor state of repair and was not suitable for her immediate return. As a result, the team embarked on a major overhaul of her property in readiness for her move home.  The renovations work included electrical re-wire, installation of new boiler and central heating system, replacement double glazed windows, front door, back door and patio door, garage conversion into a wet room, installation of electric garage door, new kitchen and appliances, new bathroom and sanitary ware, repainting throughout and replacement carpets, flooring and tiling together with many trips to Dunelm for soft furnishings! P was actively involved in the process from providing the team with her preferred colour scheme, in particular her choice of green front door and garage door.

As well as property renovations, we were actively involved in discussions with the care home staff, P, the local authority and external care agency in relation to P’s transition back to the community from a residential care environment. We were also instrumental in organising and arranging care and support for P at home.

We are pleased to say that P successfully returned in May this year, the carers advised that the first thing she did on return home was go upstairs and look at her redecorated bedroom. P is very happy with the renovation works and is thriving back at her home.  



Court of Protection Practitioners Association (COPPA)

The Professionals Deputy Forum (PDF) -

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If you would like to know more, or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Marie using the contact information on this page:



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