Garden Court Chambers

Court of Protection: Health & Welfare Department

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Garden Court Chambers is highly regarded for its handling of an array of health and welfare matters. Its members are adept at acting for and advising protected parties and their families, public bodies, professional advocate litigation friends and the Official Solicitor in complex mental capacity and residence cases. Drawing on the set's expertise in community care, family, public and human rights law, the team is also capable of advising on matters concerning public bodies' duties to provide care to vulnerable adults and forced marriage claims. Standout recent work for the set includes T v CCBC, a leading case heard in the Court of Appeal concerning whether a transgender young person in the care of the local authority could be deprived of her liberty under the court's inherent jurisdiction where no secure accommodation was available. The team was also recently involved in providing evidence to the Parliamentary Committee inquiry into the reform of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

Client service: "The clerks are always very helpful and very willing to go the extra mile. They are very proactive and very good at document management." "The clerks are all very responsive and if a barrister is unavailable they're good at suggesting alternatives." "The clerks are fantastic - each one is extremely proactive and helpful, and they get back to you promptly on counsel availability." Colin Cook is the director of clerking.

Amanda Weston QC
Deeply experienced in mental capacity work, she is regularly instructed in deprivation of liberty and other welfare cases. She is well known for her work on safeguarding, and is able to handle highly emotional cases.
Strengths: "Amanda is very knowledgeable and passionate in this area, and is very proactive and helpful." "She is a font of all knowledge and is incredibly accessible and easy to work with."
Recent work: Acted in a leading case decided by the Court of Appeal case concerning whether a transgender young person in the care of the local authority could be deprived of her liberty under the court’s inherent jurisdiction where no secure accommodation was available, whether the Mental Capacity Act or Gillick approach to capacity to consent applied, and whether consent deprived the court of jurisdiction.

Bethan Harris
Excels across a range of Court of Protection matters, including deprivation of liberty, Section 21A applications and cases dealing with complex care packages. She acts for local authorities, family members and litigation friends.
Strengths: "She is very good in cases involving complex or novel points, and her drafting is exceptional. She always provides thorough and well thought through advice, and is very good with clients." "She's meticulous in preparation and calm on her feet. She doesn't leave any stone unturned."
Recent work: Instructed by the Official Solicitor to represent AA in London Borough of Islington v AA and others. Islington made 33 allegations of abuse and neglect against the family of AA, who suffers from schizophrenia and is cared for by her siblings in the family home, and sought to remove her to a rehabilitation unit against her wishes.

Helen Curtis
Instructed in a broad array of cases, often on behalf of the Official Solicitor. She is known for her expertise in mental health law, and her practice includes claims for unlawful detention, appeals and judicial review.
Strengths: "A very effective cross-examiner." "She's very calm, thorough and good with difficult clients." "She is invaluable when you have a messy case which needs untangling. She works very collaboratively and clients appreciate her sympathetic but firm approach."