Court of Protection and Social Care

Tel: +44 (0)121 246 1600 - Email:

Health & Welfare

Our barristers have extensive experience both in the Court of Protection and in matters concerning vulnerable adults where the paternalistic inherent jurisdiction of the High Court is sought to afford protection. We are regularly instructed by local authorities, the health service, family members and the Official Solicitor in matters concerning deprivation of liberty safeguards, review of court-authorised deprivation of liberty orders, legal tests of capacity in the field of intimate relations including marriage and sexual intercourse, forced marriage (including arranged/forced marriage of a person lacking capacity), and medical treatment issues. We are also frequently asked to advise on the range of protective measures available for vulnerable adults with a history of risky decision-making or at risk of exploitation and abuse encompassing action under overlapping provisions of the MHA 1983, MCA 2005, Forced Marriage Act 2007, inherent jurisdiction of the High Court, and social care legislation.

Decisions concerning vulnerable adults are often a source of interest to the press and members of our team have been involved in a matter concerning an application by ITV for access to proceedings in the Court of Protection in a matter that had previously attracted considerable press attention.

We are also experienced in the field of mental health and the elderly.  We have dealt with MHA Nearest Relative applications, displacement of nearest relative, claims in respect of deaths of vulnerable elderly people in care and related work; including Inquests relating to deaths in care homes. We have also advised on damages claims in circumstances where a young woman lacking capacity was unlawfully detained by the police, and also in relation to police welfare checks on disabled people and their families.

Our barristers also have considerable experience in Child and Adult Social Care law, drawing on St Philips’ well-established expertise in Children Cases. We have been instructed on cases involving Looked After Children and Special Educational Needs, placement cases, JR cases on the provision of suitable education, the interplay between social care duties and care proceedings, and the exclusion of a child with special educational needs who had sexually abused other children; and in respect of vulnerable adults on cases relating to s.2 Personal Care, s.21 Accommodation, s.117 Aftercare and NHS Continuing Healthcare for elderly people, disabled adults and asylum seekers. Members of the Team also have considerable experience in the related field of Social Housing, homelessness appeals, allocations of public accommodation to disabled people, disrepair and possession claims in private and public housing involving disability.