Who is the Official Solicitor?
Role of a Litigation Friend
In welfare cases in the Court of Protection, where an adult lacks the mental capacity to conduct their own court case, a litigation friend will be appointed. Their role is to make decisions about the court case which are in the person’s best interests. The Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts, known as the Official Solicitor, will be invited to act as the litigation friend where no other suitable person has been identified by the court.
Role of the Official Solicitor
Once the Official Solicitor agrees to act as the litigation friend, the case will be referred to a case manager who will deal with the case on behalf of the Official Solicitor. If a person does not already have a solicitor dealing with their case, the Official Solicitor will ask a local firm of solicitors to represent them. The solicitor will advise the Official Solicitor on legal points and meet with the person who lacks capacity to ascertain their wishes and feelings.
The solicitor will get their instructions about what steps should be taken during the case from the Official Solicitor. The Official Solicitor will make their decisions based on what they think is in the best interests of the person. The person’s views are very important during the proceedings and both the Official Solicitor and the solicitor will make sure these are heard by the court. The Official Solicitor will only make decisions about the issues being decided by the court and will not play a role in any other decisions in a person’s life.
Our specialist team understand that dealing with Court of Protection proceedings is stressful and can be confusing. Our team are here to listen to you, answer your questions and guide you throughout the process. We represent those being supported by a litigation friend, family members and those with an interest in a person’s health and welfare in Court of Protection proceedings. For more information, please contact us via email or telephone on 0191 232 9547.