Doughty Street Chambers

Court of Protection: Health & Welfare Department

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A highly regarded set for health and welfare matters, Doughty Street Chambers is regularly called upon to act for local authorities, health authorities, incapable individuals and family members in a host of cases. The set houses a strong team of barristers noted for their expert handling of cases concerning mental capacity, mental health and deprivation of liberty. Drawing on the set's broad expertise in human rights, community care and housing law, members are frequently instructed in complex and often landmark cases at the intersection of several legal areas. Several of the set's barristers were recently involved in Welsh Ministers v PJ, a case heard in the Supreme Court concerning whether it is unlawful to deprive a patient of his of her liberty in the community under a community treatment order of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Client service: Senior practice manager Sian Wilkins leads the clerking team for Court of Protection cases.

Aswini Weereratne QC
Acts for all parties in the Court of Protection, including the Official Solicitor, and is renowned for her work in complex cases concerning human rights, mental health and capacity. She is well versed in matters concerning the overlap between the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act, and is a noted deprivation of liberty expert. 
Strengths: "She is excellent; very measured and thorough." "A very effective barrister."
Recent work: Advised in Welsh Ministers v PJ, a case heard in the Supreme Court concerning whether it is lawful to deprive a patient of his or her liberty in the community under a community treatment order of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Sophy Miles
Was one of the leading national solicitors handling Court of Protection work before her move to the Bar in 2015. She is an expert on all health and welfare matters, and contributes to many of the leading texts in the area.
Strengths: "She is extremely reliable, inventive and intelligent. She's always willing to go the extra mile." "Sophy has a keen eye for detail and ensures that all pertinent issues in the case are addressed. She is thorough in her preparation, whilst maintaining a calm and client-focused approach, even in difficult situations." "She is very pleasant to deal with and is a clear thinker."

Stephen Reeder
Well-known specialist in welfare cases who is adept at handling property and affairs matters. He is instructed by a broad range of clients including healthcare bodies, families and the Official Solicitor.
Strengths: "He is very easy to get along with, is very down to earth and is very good at thinking practically. He's also very persuasive in court." "He's very knowledgeable and his written work is extremely good."

Ulele Burnham
Has a broad practice covering the law relating to mental capacity and mental health. She is also an expert in unlawful detention cases. She has a particular interest in the potential application of the Equality Act 2010 in the context of domestic Court of Protection law.
Strengths: "She is very down to earth, easy to work with and has a huge amount of experience." "She is a very good advocate and is very knowledgable on the law."