MHLA, Introduction to the Court of Protection – 8th July, London


Introduction to the Court of Protection

8th July 2013 – City Temple, London

Sophy Miles
Floyd Porter

The MHLA is pleased to present this new highly practical one day course, aimed at experienced mental health practitioners who are interested in expanding into Court of Protection work. Presented by two experienced Court of Protection lawyers, it will cover:

9.30am-10.00am Registration & Coffee/tea


Overview of Mental Capacity Act.

Jurisdiction of the Court of Protection:

• Types of cases
• Who should apply

11.30am-11.45am Coffee/tea

11.45am- 1.00pm

Procedure and Funding in the COP:

• Using the Rules effectively
• Legal aid

1.00pm-2.00pm Lunch


Financial applications

3.00pm- 3.15pm Coffee/tea


Article 5 issues:

• Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and appeals
• Interface with MHA

4.30pm Questions and contributions

5.00pm Close

Please click here for the booking form.

MHLA, NW Regional Meeting – 5th June, Manchester

All members are invited to the third meeting of the North West Area MHLA

Date: Wednesday, 5th June

Time: 4.30-6.00pm

Venue: Kenworthy’s Chambers, Arlington House, Bloom Street, Salford, Manchester M3 6AJ

Tel: 0161 832 4036. Please click here for location details.

CPD Points: 1.5

CPD Ref: 2647/MHTA

Topic At the meeting we are looking to discuss new changes to the Tribunal process and practice directions.

The meeting will carry 1.5 hours CPD, however this is unfortunately not relevant for barristers.

The meeting will continue beyond 6.00pm if people wish to have discussions in the excellent pub opposite chambers.

There will be refreshments of drinks and biscuits.

Please can you RSVP as soon as possible to Kathryn Gibson at, so that we have an indication of numbers we are catering for.

The meeting is free and open to all MHLA members.

Seventh North East Mental Health Law Conference

The Seventh North East Mental Health Law Conference

Friday 12 July 2013, City Campus East, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne

Issues to be covered include:

A review of recent significant decisions of both the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) and the Administrative Court;

A consideration of the implications for the application of mental health law in England & Wales of (1) important decisions emanating from the European Court of Human Rights and (2) the UN Convention for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;

An examination of legal and other issues arising as a consequence of the Approved Clinician role being open to a wide range of professionals;

An analysis of the statutory safeguards applicable to the care and treatment of children and young people with mental health problems;

An alternative interpretation of the caselaw which has addressed the all-important question ‘What is a Deprivation?’, as anticipation increases about the approach to be taken by the Supreme Court towards the end of the year;

A reflection on the general direction of mental health law.

Although the programme is packed, there will be opportunities for those attending to ask questions and to make comments, not only about issues arising from the various talks but also on other matters of relevance to a mental health law conference. A ‘Panel Discussion’ has been scheduled for the final session.

The conference carries 6 hours cpd and costs £240, with an early bird cost of £190 for those booking by 31st May.

Please contact for further details or click here for the brochure and booking form.

MHLA Courses, 21st June 2013, Bath


21 June 2013

Carfax Hotel, 13 – 15 Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4BS

Course 1:

Psychiatric Diagnoses, Medication and Representing Patients


9.30am Registration and Coffee

10.00am Nick Lewis – Welcome

10.15am Tam Gill – Why does diagnosis matter and what to look out for in preparing your case – Legal Perspective and Pointers

10.45am Dr Richard Noon – Common psychiatric diagnoses and symptoms

11.45am Coffee

12.00pm Dr Richard Noon – Psychiatric medication, side effects and compliance monitoring

1.00pm Nick Lewis, Dr Richard Noon , Tam Gill Open Discussion – Cross-examining medical witnesses, Tribunal preparation and submissions in relation to diagnosis and treatment

1.30pm End of Course

Course 2:

‘Risk’ and Tribunals


2.00pmRegistration and Coffee

2.15pm Nick Lewis – Welcome

2.30pm Tam Gill – Medical Records – why look at them & how to interpret medical records

3.00pm Dr Richard Noon:
1) Introduction – what is Risk and why does the Tribunal concern itself with Risk?
2) The ‘3 limbs of Risk’ – what issues and factors does the Tribunal consider, and why?
3) Appropriate Medical Treatment

4.00pm Coffee

4.15pm Dr Richard Noon (continued)

5.15pm Nick Lewis, Richard Noon, Tam Gill – Open Discussion – Cross-examining medical witnesses, Tribunal preparation and submissions in relation to medical evidence

6.00pm End of Course

Speaker Biographies

Tam Gill– Principal Solicitor, Gledhill Solicitors, Brighton. Law Society Mental Health Panel Assessor, Legal Aid Agency Independent Costs Adjudicator, Associate Hospital Manager, CQC Mental Health Act Commissioner, facilitator of MHLA Training Sub-committee

Dr Richard Noon – Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist and Clinical Director for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Medical Member of Mental Health Tribunal and National Trainer for Tribunal members

Nick Lewis – Partner, Gaskell & Walker Solicitors, Bridgend. Legal Member of MHRT Wales. Vice-Chair of MHLA

Please click here for the booking form.

New Rates for Experts Fees

New maximum rates for experts came into force on 1 April 2013

The changes apply to work carried out by experts in all civil, family and crime work with a case start date or representation order date of on or after 1 April 2013.

The rate changes are being made under the:

•Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations 2013
•Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations 2013

Maximum rates for experts have been in place since October 2011. But the 2013 Remuneration Regulations will introduce changes to some of the rates from April 2013, including:

•removing the London/non-London rate differentials for many of the expert types
•introducing a new higher rate for surveyors working in housing disrepair matters
The existing rates will continue to apply to cases started after 3 October 2011 but before 1 April 2013.

Please click here for full details. The new rates can be found in SCHEDULE 5.

The main changes affecting Mental Health are that the hourly rate for psychiatrists has been increased in London from £90 to £135 and Psychologists are now at £117. There is no reference to social workers.

MHLA 13th Annual Conference & AGM, 2nd November, London

Mental Health Lawyers Association

13th Annual Conference

Friday 2nd November 2012

Victory Services Club, London W2 2HF


9.00am Registration and Coffee

9.30am Richard Charlton Chairman’s Address and Welcome

9.45am LSC – MHU Contract Issues
Q & A Session, Chaired by Sue Antell and Peter Edwards

11.00am Coffee

11.30am Judge Hinchliffe MHT Practice / Future Plans

12.15pm Marian Trendell MAPPA

1.00pm Buffet Lunch

2.00pm Annual General Meeting Voting of Officers and Committee Members,
Presentation of Accounts

2.30pm Robert Robinson Mental Health Panel Accreditation

3.15pm Coffee

3.45pm Judge Jacobs Recent Case Law / Role of the Advocate

4.45pm Richard Charlton Closing Address

5.00pm Informal Reception

Please click here for the booking form.

Cheshire West & Chester Council-v- P & M

Below is an update from O’Donnells solicitors concerning their case Cheshire West & Chester Council-v- P & M.

We have been instructed by the Official Solicitor regarding this matter since 2009. At first instance Mr Justice Baker found that P was Deprived of his Liberty but the Court of Appeal overturned that decision. Munby L J who gave the main judgment indicated that the objective purpose of the restrictions imposed upon P were relevant in determining whether article 5 was engaged and “relative normality” was also relevant following Surrey CC-v- P and Q.

The judgment indicated that somebody like P should be compared to somebody else who has a similar disability and not with an ordinary person without a disability. Following this through to its natural conclusion it would therefore mean that far fewer people would be found to be Deprived of their Liberty and the Official Solicitor felt that this should be challenged.

The Court of Appeal refused to grant leave to the Supreme Court and we therefore made an application seeking leave to Appeal. We have now received confirmation that leave has been granted and that our case will be heard alongside that of P and Q-v- Surrey CC.

It is crucial to all those with considerable learning disabilities and challenging behaviour and those who care for them that these cases are heard by the Supreme Court.