DEPARTMENT PROFILE

St John's Buildings

Court of Protection: Health & Welfare

3 ranked barristersBand 3All CircuitsUK Bar 2021 View ranking table

Chambers Review

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St John's Buildings houses a strong bench of barristers experienced in the handling of a variety of health and welfare proceedings in the Court of Protection. Members are regularly instructed in serious medical treatment matters, including disputes concerning the termination of treatment and the withdrawal of artificial hydration and nutrition, and also offer expertise in deprivation of liberty and capacity to consent to sexual relations cases. The set's broad client base includes the Official Solicitor and families of vulnerable individuals, as well as several local authorities and clinical commissioning groups.

Client service:

"The clerking service is very good - they are always friendly and helpful." "The clerks are really great. They are very professional." Paul Laverty is the senior family and Court of Protection clerk.

Strengths:

Jonathan Bellamy
Noted for his expert handling of health and welfare cases concerning contact with others, residence and deprivation of liberty. He regularly acts for the Official Solicitor, as well as local authorities and family members.
"A really solid pair of hands. His drafting skills are brilliant and he is very solid in court. He's also very collaborative to work with and provides sensible and pragmatic advice." "Very solid, reliable and good with individual clients."

Strengths:

Joseph O'Brien
A leading junior in the market who is widely acknowledged as "the godfather of the Court of Protection." He acts for a broad range of clients including local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and the Official Solicitor. He has a broad practice that encompasses medical, welfare, and property and affairs matters, and is a noted expert in deprivation of liberty cases.
"A force of nature - it is outstanding how he can turn a case on its head once he gets on his feet. He really is just an outstanding advocate." "Incredible on his feet and he knows the courts so well." "In terms of all-round experience and skill he is unsurpassed - he can win the unwinnable cases."
Recent work: Instructed by an NHS trust seeking a declaration that it was in P's best interests to have treatment for her epilepsy and delayed onset of puberty. The application was opposed by P's mother.

Strengths:

Lorraine Cavanagh QC
Has expertise in cases concerning the marriage and sexual relations of incapacitated people, particularly involving concurrent matrimonial litigation. She is also experienced in matters relating to the transition from child to adult services.
"Hugely responsive and always has the ear of the court. A very dynamic and powerful advocate, and someone you definitely want in your corner in contentious cases." "She is very tenacious and has a very impressive intellect - a very powerful advocate." "Exceptionally bright and fierce in court when needed. She is incredibly articulate and pragmatic."

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

All Circuits

Court of Protection: Health & Welfare


Lorraine Cavanagh QC
Band 2

Juniors

All Circuits

Court of Protection: Health & Welfare


Jonathan Bellamy
Band 3
Joseph O'Brien
Star Individuals