5 Stone Buildings

Court of Protection: Property & Affairs Department

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5 Stone Buildings is a market-leading set for Court of Protection matters, offering significant expertise in a host of property and affairs cases. Its barristers are well regarded for their handling of deputyship and lasting power of attorney disputes, while the team is also regularly called upon to act for and advise its clients on cases concerning statutory wills and gifts. Members are frequently instructed by leading private client firms, as well as the Official Solicitor and the Public Guardian. Recent work for the set includes Public Guardian v BP and others, a test case concerning the appointment of a number of lasting powers of attorney.

Client service: "The clerks are all very polite and helpful. They're very good at suggesting alternative barristers if the usual choice is not available." "The clerking service is efficient and friendly." Paul Jennings is the senior clerk.

Alexander Drapkin
A strong junior with broad experience in the Court of Protection encompassing statutory will applications, attorneyship disputes and the exercise of trust powers. He is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to intervene in the affairs of incapacitated individuals.
Strengths: "Extremely eager, hard-working and keen to find new points to do the best for his client." "He is incredibly good at client handling, he knows his stuff and is also able to communicate it in a straightforward and easy to understand way."
Recent work: Instructed in the matter of Various Incapacitated Persons and the Appointment of Trust Corporations as Deputies. Advised and appeared for the trust corporations of 11 leading solicitors' practices in the hearing of 36 applications for deputyship, listed together as a test case.

Barbara Rich
Top-class Court of Protection barrister who has great experience in high-value, complex cases. She is also an expert on probate, the validity of wills and the administration of estates and trusts. She has additional expertise in dispute resolution. 
Strengths: "She is very fair, very knowledgeable on the law and really gets the personal side of this work. She's also very innovative and thoughtful." "She is very good on her feet and reassuring when speaking with clients." "She has a great deal of experience and is very well known. Her enthusiasm for this area of law and her practical experience are both admirable."

David Rees QC
He is an expert in matters that concern incapacity and elderly clients. He is noted for his unusual expertise in international and cross-border Court of Protection work that challenges the court's jurisdiction, and for handling cases that analyse orders made by foreign courts. He is sought after for high-profile cases with substantial damages, particularly by the Official Solicitor.
Strengths: "He has an exceptional mind and you know you can fully rely on him to provide the correct solution to the most complex of problems, even in a very short timescale. You are always in safe hands with David." "He is meticulous in his preparation and provides very clear and concise advice. He's also a wonderful performer on his feet and is very agile in his thinking."
Recent work: Acted for the successful applicant in PBC v JMA and others, a case brought before the Senior Judge of the Court of Protection concerning the authority to make gifts from P's estate in excess of £7 million.

Jordan Holland
Has a thriving Court of Protection practice and receives an increasing number of his cases from the Official Solicitor. He is active in a variety of Court of Protection matters, ranging from statutory will applications to disputes over deputyships. He offers pragmatic advice regarding the management of both domestic and international assets.
Strengths: "He is absolutely excellent - very technically minded and particularly good at dealing with difficult family dynamics. He also turns things round exceptionally quickly." "He's pragmatic, approachable and very easy to work with."

Mark Baxter
Active Court of Protection barrister who handles a number of complex cases as part of his wide chancery practice. He has broad spectrum experience including disputed deputyships, contested statutory wills and trusts. He is further noted for his knowledge of children's rights.
Strengths: "He is very sharp and has very good legal acumen. He's also always cordial and courteous in court, and you always know where you stand with him." "Very easy to work with; pragmatic and approachable." "A pleasure to work with - he's confident, responsive and has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Court of Protection."

Michael O'Sullivan
Noted junior with a wealth of experience in Court of Protection applications who is also adept at handling trusts and probate matters. He is also well known for his professional negligence practice and is often instructed in complex and high-value disputes, including those concerning large landed estates. 
Strengths: "His advice is very timely, succinct and helpful." "He's quick, responsive and provides very sensible and pragmatic advice."

Penelope Reed QC
Top-class silk whose extensive chancery experience informs her excellent Court of Protection practice. She has been involved in numerous high-value, complex applications in the Court of Protection. She is instructed by an impressively diverse client base encompassing charities, vulnerable individuals and families. 
Strengths: "An exceptional practitioner and an expert this area." "She is very nice to deal with and her advocacy style is very persuasive; she's calm, compelling and makes everything seem very clear."

Ruth Hughes
Instructed most frequently by the Official Solicitor, she handles cases involving statutory will applications, deputyships and divorce, amongst other things. She is well known for her work in cross-jurisdictional property and affairs matters, and has handled international matters arising under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. She is additionally instructed in high-value cases with a significant personal welfare element. 
Strengths: "She is straightforward, pragmatic and always quick to respond. She doesn't sit on the fence and is sensitive to clients - she really understands the Court of Protection." "Her knowledge is exceptional and she turns things around extremely quickly. She's also very impressive on her feet." "She's technically excellent, but also fully alive to the difficult circumstances that many of these cases involve."

Sarah Haren
Her broad chancery practice encompasses both non-contentious and contentious work, and she is experienced in probate, inheritance claims and trusts matters. Haren has received instructions from a range of sources, including the Official Solicitor. She has recently seen a rise in disputed property, gift and statutory will applications.
Strengths: "Extremely knowledgeable, down to earth and approachable in her style." "She is a pared-down, modest advocate, but she makes her points in a demonstrative and hard-hitting style." "She is always very thoroughly prepared and has the ear of the court."

Tracey Angus QC
Has a broad practice that encompasses contentious probate, trusts and all sides of Court of Protection work, including health and welfare as well as property and affairs. She is instructed by a broad range of clients including charities, individuals and the Official Solicitor. She brings her forensic grasp of trust law to assist in cases of negligence. 
Strengths: "She is meticulous in her approach and provides clear advice. She's very popular both with clients and the court." "A very good advocate who is always on the ball and prepares well."

William East
Well known for his breadth of experience in chancery matters, he is frequently involved in cases concerning statutory wills and contested deputyships, some of which are highly complex and involve challenging clients. Often sought out to act on cases involving financial negligence.
Strengths: "Impressive and pragmatic."