The Court of Protection
The Court of Protection can make decisions about the health and welfare and the property and financial affairs of adults who lack mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. These decisions will be made in the best interest of the person lacking capacity.
The court considers which decisions should be made about a range of health and welfare issues. These can include decisions in respect of residence, care, contact with others, medical treatment, internet and social media use, travel and a person’s capacity to consent to marriage, contraception or to engage in sexual relations.
If a person lacks capacity to manage their finances then someone can be appointed to assist them with this either through a lasting power of attorney or through deputyship.
If you want advice about financial matters such as lasting powers of attorney or deputyship, our specialist private client team can assist you with those.
Our Court of Protection Team
The Court of Protection team is led by Melissa Law, who is the team leader and a partner in the firm. In the Legal 500, 2024, Melissa is ranked as a next generation partner and she is described as ‘brilliant’ and a ‘highly experienced Court of Protection practitioner, who is meticulous in her case preparation, skilful in maintaining the strategic oversight, and tenacious in securing the best possible outcome for P’. Melissa has obtained her Higher Rights of Audience and is also an Accredited Legal Representative under the Law Society’s Mental Capacity Accreditation scheme.
Laura Mannering joined the team in March 2020 and has over 15 years’ experience, and 11 years’ PQE, in the Court of Protection. Laura is ranked as a Rising Star in the Legal 500, 2024, where she is also described as ‘excellent’, ‘extremely experienced. She is a fantastic lawyer, with a good eye for the points that should be taken.’ and ‘a standout individual. She has a fantastic bank of legal knowledge in the area. She is extremely personable but is prepared to be robust where circumstances require this’. Laura has obtained her Higher Rights of Audience and is also an Accredited Legal Representative under the Law Society’s Mental Capacity Accreditation scheme.
Sarah Lerner has 9 years’ experience in Court of Protection work largely acting for family members and for protected parties where the litigation friend is a family member. She has 21 years’ experience in Community Care work and her knowledge of Judicial Review gives her a particular strength when considering and advising on public law issues which arise in Court of Protection work. She was accredited to the Law Society’s Mental Health Panel and Children Panel for over 22 years. She is an experienced advocate and has extensive experience of advising and representing vulnerable adults. She is a trained family mediator and has been described by counsel as ‘very good’ at dealing with the difficult issues that can arise between parties in the Court of Protection. ‘Sarah Lerner excels at complex cases with mental capacity and mental health law. There is no one better’. (Legal 500, 2024).
Kris Jackson qualified as a solicitor in April 2021, and has over 8 years’ experience in Court of Protection work. Kris was described in the Legal 500, 2024, as ‘a standout solicitor. He has amazing attention to detail and is fantastic at keeping clients and counsel up-to-date with recent developments in the case’. He is also described as an ‘excellent’ solicitor with ‘excellent judgement’. He is ranked as an ‘Associate to watch’ in Chambers and Partners, 2024.
Catrin Williams qualified into the team in October 2023 after successfully completing her training contract at the firm. Catrin has experience in Court of Protection (welfare) cases and she receives instructions from the Official Solicitor to represent mentally incapacitated persons in those cases. Catrin also has experience in private client, housing and community care law.
The team is ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, which is a recognition of the skill, expertise and extensive knowledge of practice in the Court of Protection within the team.
Please see the individual profiles of the team members for more details.