For an Initial Consultation With a Member of Our Team

Specialists in The Health and Welfare Aspects of the Court of Protection

Southerns Court of Protection team are dedicated mental capacity lawyers who are available to help in a range of mental capacity issues.

What is the Court of Protection?

The Court of Protection decides cases in the best interests of people who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions.   The Mental Capacity Act 2005 protects people in these circumstances.

The work of the Court of Protection is generally split into two areas Property & Affairs and Health & Welfare.  It covers issues including

  • a person’s medical treatment
  • where they should live
  • what type of contact they should have with their family or others
  • issues relating to their finances and property
Protecting Health & Welfare

Our specialist team deals with a variety of matters, including;

  • When you, your relative or friend are unable to make decisions due to a lack of capacity
  • Court of Protection applications
  • Best interests cases relating to residence, care and contact
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) and challenges to authorisations, where vulnerable adults are placed in a hospital or care home as it is considered to be in their best interests and to protect them from harm.
  • Representing individuals who lack capacity and who live in their own home in circumstances that deprive them of their liberty.
  • Cases involving a person’s capacity to consent to sexual relations and marriage
  • Cases involving considering a person’s capacity to consent to sterilisation
  • Cases relating to urgent and serious medical treatment
How we can help

We can act for you, or someone you care for

We can act for those appointed as Litigation Friend including Independent Mental Capacity Advocates and Relevant Persons Representatives.

Working on instruction by the Official Solicitor.

Legal Aid & Funding

As Legal Aid Contract holders we are able to complete an assessment and provide you with advice regarding the availability of Legal Aid under our contract with the Legal Aid Agency.

Non-means-tested Legal Aid is available for cases brought under Section 21A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. These are cases in relation to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. (DOLS)

In other welfare cases, eligibility for legal aid is means assessed.

Free initial consultations and private payment options are also available.

Our Team

As Mental Capacity and Mental Health specialists we are able to provide advice and experience across a full complement of issues, many of which are intrinsically linked.   We are able to deliver a cohesive service, giving you confidence across the full spectrum of mental health and capacity related problems.

Members of our experienced and dedicated team include;

Rachel Eastham, Solicitor
Head of Mental Health and Capacity Department

Rachel specialises in cases before the Mental Health Tribunal and Court of Protection.

Rachel is a longstanding member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme and has extensive experience representing clients detained under the Mental Health Act.  Rachel regularly represents clients before the First-Tier Tribunal and at Hospital Managers Hearings.

Rachel provides advice in relation to the Mental Capacity Act, the deprivation of liberty safeguards and deals with a variety of cases in the Court of Protection.

Rachel is an Assessor for the Law Society’s Mental Capacity (Welfare) Accreditation scheme, a member of the Court of Protection Practitioners Association (CoPPA) and Mental Health Lawyers Association (MHLA).

Background Information

Rachel obtained a First Class Honours Degree in Law from the University of Glamorgan and went on to study the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law.  Rachel has over 13 years experience in mental health and mental capacity law.  She joined the firm in 2008.

Neil Cronin.
Solicitor Advocate & Partner,

Neil deals with a wide variety of cases before the Mental Health Tribunal and Court of Protection.

Neil is the Chief Assessor for the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation scheme and a longstanding member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation scheme.  Neil holds Higher Rights of Audience; he is an Assistant Coroner in Lancashire and also sits as a hospital manager in the Manchester area.

Neil is a national committee member of the Mental Health Lawyers’ Association and is involved in delivering training in this area.


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