I am a specialist mental health solicitor with over 20 years experience. My experience lies within all areas of mental health law, but my speciality is in cases involving the detention of people in hospital under The Mental Health Act 1983.
I will advise in cases of ‘displacement of nearest relatives’ and work for both people with mental health problems and the official solicitor. I also have experience of representing clients in court of protection proceedings when decisions have to be made by this court in relation to welfare issues if people are deemed unable to make their own decisions for example, in a situation where a family member wants to care for an older relative but the local authority is against this.
I have extensive experience of working with people with either a learning disability or a mental health problem. Over the years, I have developed an ability to both represent people’s best interests and explain the law to them in straightforward language.
I am honest with clients and do not promise results which are unrealistic. This is an area of law where I meet people at a very unhappy time for them . I always aim to be positive and professional while being tuned into the client’s needs and wishes. Above all, I aim to give my client a voice. If they are not able to speak for themselves I will speak for them and put forward to professionals their wishes, views and feelings.
I worked with people with learning disability for many years before entering the legal profession and was a general solicitor before specialising in mental health law. This all round legal experience allows me to signpost clients’ problems to other departments within the firm if necessary.
I am a member of the Law Society Mental Health Accreditation Scheme, which allows me to represent clients at mental health tribunals. The Law Society regularly tests my knowledge of this area of law and all panel members have to a reach a level of excellence before they are allowed to represent clients at tribunals.
I hold a Law Degree from Northumbria University and also a Dip T.M.H.A which is a qualification relating to teaching people with a learning disability. I qualified as a solicitor in 1993.