Rachel Turner receives accredited legal representative status in the Court of Protection
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 increased the role of the Court of Protection by introducing powers to make decisions on health and welfare matters in addition to its already existing power to make decisions on property and affairs matters. on behalf of people who cannot make relevant decisions because they lack mental capacity to do so.
The court is therefore responsible for:
- deciding whether someone has the mental capacity to make a particular decision for themselves
- making necessary decisions on behalf of those individuals, including urgent decisions.
- appointing deputies to make ongoing decisions for people who lack mental capacity
- making decisions about the scope and applicability of a lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney and considering any objections to their registration
- considering applications to make statutory wills or gifts on behalf of someone who lacks capacity deciding whether in individual has been appropriately deprived ontheir liberty, under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
Rachel Turner, a partner in our Mental Capacity team, has been appointed as an Accredited Legal Representative in the Court of Protection with effect from 1 October 2017 by the Law Society of England and Wales as part of its Mental Capacity (Welfare) Accreditation Scheme. Rachel is a longstanding member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme, and this new appointment highlights her additional expertise and practice in Mental Capacity law. To become a member Rachel has had to fulfil separate exacting requirements to demonstrate high professional and ethical standards, which include:
- demonstrating the requisite knowledge, skills, competences and experience; and
- meeting certain high standards for fitness to practise and propriety.
The European Convention on Human Rights has emphasised the gravity of cases concerning legal capacity, and a consequent need for effective representation and protection. The rules of the Court of Protection provide for an accredited legal representative to represent a person who lacks mental capacity to conduct proceedings in relation to applications before the court.
The Law Society anticipates that an Accredited Legal Representative will play an essential role in ensuring a client is at the centre of proceedings. Amongst a broad range of duties, this will include:
- understanding and assessing a client’s personal circumstances, vulnerabilities, their needs, constraints, wishes and feelings;
- ensuring that legal advice is informed by appropriate legal and factual analysis, identifying the consequences of different options; and
- using a range of different communication methods and providing information in a way that vulnerable clients can understand.
For more information on how we support clients before the Court of Protection, please contact Rachel Turner on 020 7426 0400 or email RT@milesandpartners.com.
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.