MHLA Education and Training Courses 2017

The MHLA is running the following courses during 2017, at venues across the country. To register, and for further information, see All scheduled courses.

Legal Aid Supervision (1 day) MARCH, OCTOBER **NEW**
This course is suitable for those wanting to apply to become supervisors in mental health, community care and other LAA contract categories. During the day delegates will develop their practical supervision skills including delegation, leadership, team working and file review. There will be guidance on how to apply to become a supervisor, and an overview of the various audit tools the LAA use and how to approach and prepare for audits. The course has been prepared in conjunction with the LAA and attendance can be used to support an application for supervisor status.

Restricted cases (1 day) MARCH, OCTOBER **NEW**
This advanced course will cover all aspects of Part III work, including 37/41, transfers of sentenced (s47) and unsentenced (s48) prisoners from prison to hospital and vice versa. It will explain the different types of sentencing options and review recent case law and guidance. The focus will be on s74 tribunal proceedings, split between cases where your client is subject to a determinate or indeterminate sentence. For those clients subject to an indeterminate sentence, we will consider the role of the Parole Board and whether and when to represent in those proceedings.

Court of Protection funding (1 day) JULY **NEW**
Description to follow.

Foundation course (1 day) FEBRUARY, AUGUST
This course is aimed at new practitioners and those intending to attend the Panel course in the near future. Attendance at the Foundation course is strongly recommended in order to achieve a sound understanding of the basic principles of mental health law, practice and procedure and in order to achieve the most from the two-day Panel course, which is a pre-requisite for application to The Law Society’s mental health panel.
“Passionate presenters made the course enjoyable.”

Panel (accreditation scheme) course (2 days) FEBRUARY, MARCH, JUNE, OCTOBER
The MHLA is an accredited provider of the two-day course which must be attended by prospective members of the Law Society’s Mental Health accreditation scheme (formerly called the Panel). New practitioners are strongly encouraged also to attend the one-day foundation course (although this is not compulsory) in order to benefit fully from this course. The Legal Aid contract requires that all advocacy at Mental Health Tribunals be carried out by members of the Law Society’s accreditation scheme.
“The presenters had experience of representing clients and also sitting on the tribunal panels. Presenters were able to bring information alive.”

Refresher/re-accreditation course (1 day) MARCH, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER
This course will be suitable for those seeking re-accreditation, by: reviewing the legal and procedural developments of the last three years; providing a forum for discussing these along with the re-accreditation process; fulfilling the requirement to obtain six mental health CPD points. It will also be of interest to anyone wishing to further their knowledge of mental health law and practice. There will be a significant case study element to highlight areas of law and practice relevant to tribunal representation, including professional ethics, pre-hearing matters and tribunal procedure.
“Practical and provided a great update on case law and preparation for re-accreditation.”

Introduction to the Court of Protection (1 day) MAY
An intensive introduction to practice in the Court of Protection. This course is primarily aimed at practitioners with little or no experience in conducting matters before the Court and those seeking a practical foundation to undertaking proceedings in the Court. The course will cover health and welfare matters, deprivation of liberty, funding and, to a lesser extent, issues relating to property and affairs.
“Excellent course, invaluable insight and education of COP for both local authorities and private practice.”

Advocacy, risk and cross-examination masterclass (1 day) OCTOBER
A course designed to enhance advocacy and case preparation skills. The focus is on preparing for advocacy, with advice on cross-examination of the witnesses and taking evidence-in-chief from the client, along with formulation and delivery of submissions. The course will also cover: understanding mental disorder, nature and degree; psychiatric medications; consent to treatment provisions; understanding, testing, challenging and addressing evidence of the ‘risks’; instructing independent psychiatrists appropriately and using their evidence at tribunal effectively. This course will be delivered by consultant forensic psychiatrists and an experienced mental health solicitor, and will have an interactive element. It is suitable for both new and experienced representatives.
“Extremely helpful insights, anecdotes from both speakers.”

Legal Aid and peer review (1 day) APRIL
This course provides guidance on the Legal Aid provisions in mental health cases, including escape-fee cases and requirements for means testing. It will also broaden practitioners’ knowledge of the peer review process and the peer review ‘Improving your Quality’ guidance. Training is provided by a current LAA independent costs assessor and a peer reviewer.
“The best course I’ve attended to date.”

Pricing and CPD (no increases since 2015)

Pricing and CPD
Half-day: MHLA members £75, non-members £150. 3 hours CPD.
Full day: MHLA members £150, non-members £195. 6 hours CPD.
Two days: MHLA members £300, non-members £390. 12 hours CPD.
(Group bookings: 10% discount for groups of three or more members.)

We are an accredited provider of the Law Society’s panel course. Our courses are suitable for solicitors under both the ‘hours’ and ‘competence’ CPD regimes.

Refresher/re-accreditation coursebook for sale (Oct 2015)

We have 10 spare coursebooks from our October 2015 refresher/re-accreditation course, and are offering them for sale to MHLA members at £10 plus £3 postage. The 95-page coursebook contains 58 pages of original content, including a review of the most recent updates from the previous 3 years and a case study. The Appendices contain all the current Law Society documentation relating to re-accreditation.

Payment can be made by Paypal or credit/debit card (a Paypal account is not necessary) by going to the Payment and selecting the correct option (Coursebook 2). No other methods of payment are possible.

Please contact us if you have any queries.

MHLA Regional Meeting: 8 October, Bristol

South West regional meeting
Please note that the MHLA will hold a regional meeting on Thursday 8th October 2015 in Bristol.

Hamish Hodgen (full time tribunal judge) will be providing a legal update followed by time for open discussion on current issues facing tribunal practitioners.

The meeting will take place at No 5 Chambers, 38 Queen Square, Bristol BS1 4QS from 5.30 to 7.30pm. Refreshments will be available on arrival.

CPD points apply to this session (2 hours). This is a free event
open to all MHLA members.

For further details please contact Sheila Carrick at slc@mowbraywoodwards.co.uk

Court of Protection Conference – London, 3 Jul 2015

Sir James Munby will be the key-note speaker at this event. To book, go to the Events page. Further details will be added shortly.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT CLOSES AT 3PM ON WEDNESDAY 1 JULY

The Second Annual MHLA Court of Protection conference will be held on Friday 3 July 2015 in London.

Keynote speaker: Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division and President of the Court of Protection.

Other confirmed speakers:
Dr Teresa Joyce, Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Niall Fry, Department of Health

Mental capacity law develops constantly. Since Cheshire West hit the news, those engaged in this field have been deluged with court decisions, rules and guidance on deprivation of liberty.

Decisions about best interests continue to require specialist knowledge, crossing over the boundaries between medical and legal practice.

The MHLA has prepared a programme of topical issues including deprivation of liberty, the new CoP rules and the psychological perspective of best interests assessments.  Join us for a stimulating day of debate.

Programme
09:00-09:30 Registration
09:30-09:45 Opening address by Nick Lewis, Chairman of the MHLA
09:45-10:45  John O’Donnell, Solicitor – Liberty: What is that?
10:45-11:15    Break-out session/ coffee break
11:15-12:00    Niall Fry, Department of Health – The Future for DOLS
12:00-13:00  Alex Ruck Keene, Barrister – The COP Rules: Where are we and where are we going?
13:00-14:00  Lunch
14:00-15:00  Keynote address: Sir James Munby, President of the Court of Protection
15:00-15:15   Coffee break
15:15-16:00   Dr Teresa Joyce, Psychologist – Providing evidence on capacity: issues for the expert witness
16:00-16:45   Sophy Miles, Barrister – The Care Act and the Court of Protection
16:45-17:00   Closing remarks by Chairman

Programme subject to change

CPD Credit: 6 Hours

SRA CPD Ref: BYE/MHLA
BSA CPD Provider ID: 1637

Accreditation scheme (panel) courses in 2015

We will be running panel courses on 1-2 June (London), 4-5 June (Leeds), 7-8 September (London) and 10-11 September (Leeds). For further details see All scheduled courses.

The Mental Health Lawyers Association is an approved provider of the two-day course which must be attended by prospective members of the Law Society’s accreditation scheme (formerly called the ‘panel’).

Ensure that you book your panel course directly with a provider which is approved by the Law Society. We have been made aware of a non-approved organisation which advertises many panel courses but which, for a large fee, merely books customers onto other providers’ courses. We will not accept such third-party bookings.

New MH practitioners are strongly encouraged also to attend the Foundation course although this is not compulsory) in order to benefit fully from the two-day panel course.

The Legal Aid contract commencing on 1 August 2014 requires that all advocacy at Mental Health Tribunals be carried out by members of the Law Society’s accreditation scheme.

The course

Our presenters include Tribunal judges, Law Society assessors, LAA peer reviewers and costs assessors, and other experienced solicitors with a wealth of practical experience of representing patients at Mental Health Tribunals.

The course is supported by a 300-page coursebook which is updated for each course. The coursebook contains over 200 pages of original content, plus several appendices (including the peer review guidance, the latest Law Society practice note, and recent MHT Practice Directions).

Topics include:

  • The European Convention on Human Rights and mental health law
  • Civil sections and CTOs
  • Criminal detaining sections
  • Special considerations in restricted cases
  • Psychiatric information
  • Consent to treatment provisions
  • Nearest relative
  • Mandatory and discretionary references
  • Ethical and other conduct guidance
  • Interface between Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Mental Health Act 1983
  • Legal Aid
  • The Mental Health Tribunal and its Rules
  • Case preparation
  • Advocacy

The course has been held several times, in various cities, since 2011. Feedback from all of these courses has been excellent.

Cost

  • MHLA members: £300
  • Group bookings: £270 (10% discount) for groups of three or more MHLA members
  • Non-members: £390

CPD

12 SRA-accredited hours

MHLA Regional Meeting: 23 April, Brighton

All members are invited to a meeting in Brighton on Thursday 23 April, 4.00-6.00pm

Venue: Gledhill Solicitors, 1A Powis Square, Brighton BN1 3HH. Tel: 01273 719083.

Speaker: Tam Gill, MHLA Vice-Chair

Topic: Legal Aid Agency contract for Mental Health

This meeting provides an opportunity for practitioners to feed-back their views on the first ‘year’ of operation of the LAA MH contract.  We will identify any issues and concerns with LAA.  Also, any examples of operational difficulties with HMCTS would be welcomed and members’ concerns raised by the MHLA with HMCTS at a forthcoming meeting.

Refreshments will be provided.

CPD Points: 2

CPD Ref: 2647/MHTA

Please RSVP as soon as possible to Caroline Auty at admin@mhla.co.uk. Attendance at this meeting is strictly limited and will be applied on a first come first serve basis.

The meeting is free and open to all MHLA members.

Parking is limited to on-street ‘pay and display’. The offices are a short walk from Brighton train station.

MHLA NW regional meeting, 11 February CANCELLED

Please note that this meeting has been CANCELLED and will be re-arranged for a future date.

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

Date: Wednesday, 11 February

Time: 4.30-6.00pm

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

Tel: 0161 832 4036.

CPD Points: 1.5

CPD Ref: 2647/MHTA

There will be light refreshments.

Further details about the meeting to be confirmed in due course.

Please can you RSVP as soon as possible to Kathryn Gibson at kathryn@jbs-law.co.uk, so that we have an indication of numbers we are catering for.

The meeting is free and open to all MHLA members.

MHLA Education and Training Courses 2015

The MHLA is running the following courses during 2015. To register, and for further information, see All scheduled courses.

Foundation course – 1 day
This course is aimed at new practitioners and those intending to attend the panel course in the near future. The foundation course takes an interactive approach. It covers the basics of mental health law, Legal Aid, and running a mental health file.

Panel (accreditation scheme) course – 2 days
The MHLA is an accredited provider of the two-day course which must be attended by prospective members of the Law Society’s Mental Health accreditation scheme (formerly called the Panel). New practitioners are strongly encouraged also to attend the one-day foundation course (although this is not compulsory) in order to benefit fully from this course.

Refresher/re-accreditation course – 1 day
This new course will be suitable for those seeking to fulfil the re-accreditation requirement to obtain six mental health CPD points during each year of membership. The morning session will broaden delegates’ knowledge of selected areas of law. The afternoon session will include a comprehensive update on law, practice, and the current re-accreditation procedure.

Introduction to the Court of Protection – 2 days
An intensive introduction to practice in the Court of Protection. This course is primarily aimed at practitioners with little or no experience in conducting matters before the Court and those seeking a practical foundation to undertaking proceedings in the Court The course will cover health and welfare matters, deprivation of liberty, funding and, to a lesser extent, issues relating to property and affairs.

Legal Aid in mental health cases and peer review compliance – 1 day
This course provides guidance on the Legal Aid provisions in mental health cases, including escape-fee cases and requirements for means testing. It will also broaden practitioners’ knowledge of the peer review process and the peer review ‘Improving your Quality’ guidance. Training is provided by a current LAA independent costs assessor and a peer reviewer.

Case law for tribunal preparation and Advocacy – 1 day
The morning session will cover the essential case law required for case preparation. The afternoon session will provide practical guidance on effective tribunal advocacy skills. It is an interactive course, suitable for new and experienced representatives.

Cross-examination of medical witnesses – 1 day
A course covering: understanding mental disorder, nature and degree; psychiatric medications; consent to treatment provisions; understanding and addressing the ‘risks’ and challenging this evidence; instructing independent psychiatrists appropriately and using their evidence at tribunal. This course will be delivered by two consultant forensic psychiatrists and an experienced mental health solicitor, and will have an interactive element. It is suitable for both new and experienced representatives.

Pricing and CPD
Half-day: MHLA members £75, non-members £150. 3 hours CPD.
Full day: MHLA members £150, non-members £195. 6 hours CPD.
Two days: MHLA members £300, non-members £390. 12 hours CPD.
(Group bookings: 10% discount for groups of three or more members.)

We are an accredited provider of the Law Society’s panel course. Our courses are suitable for solicitors under both the ‘hours’ and ‘competence’ CPD regimes.

MHLA 15th Annual Conference & AGM, 14 November 2014, London

The 15th Annual Conference will be held at the Victory Services Club in London on 14 November 2014

CPD: 6 hours – reference BYE/MHLA – advanced level

The conference will be preceded by the Pre Conference Meal on Thursday, 13 November, at the Portman, a short walk from the Victory Services Club.

Details about how to book for the meal are on the booking form below.

Programme

9.00am Registration and Coffee

9.30am Richard Charlton Chairman’s Address and Welcome

9.45am LAA Policy Team & Mental Health Unit Contract Issues
Q & A Session, Chaired by Karen Wolton

10.45am Dr Jonathan Cripps Role of the Medical Member & changes in procedures

11.40am Coffee

12.10pm Judge Mark Hinchliffe The Operation of the First Tier Tribunal

1.00pm Buffet Lunch

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

2.30pm Mr Justice Charles The View from the Upper Tribunal

3.10pm Alastair Pitblado Developments in Mental Health Practice – The Official Solicitor’s View

3.50pm Coffee

4.05pm Sophy Miles & Tam Gill Legal Update & the new MHA Code of Practice

5.00pm Richard Charlton Closing Address

5.10pm Informal Reception

Booking

You can use the booking form, or pay online using the Paypal form below. Please click here for the booking form.

Pay online via Paypal/card

There is a discount for sending more than two delegates. Please use the booking form (not Paypal) for this purpose.

Options:
Names of all delegates
Dietary or other requirements