Business as usual during COVID-19
Contact our team
How can we help?
- Acting as a professional Deputy or trustee
- Acting as an expert witness in litigation claims to comment on past and future Court of Protection and Deputy costs
- Advising lay Deputies and trustees on their duties and responsibilities
- Assisting lay Deputies to make applications to the Court of Protection for Statutory Wills, gifts, settlements and gratuitous family care payments
- Advising clients and families about changing Deputy
We understand that applying to the Court of Protection can be daunting and information about what to do next is not always easy to access or understand. Fieldfisher's specialist Court of Protection team provides clients and their families with clear advice and ongoing support.
Please call us on 020 7861 4064 to speak to an experienced Court of Protection lawyer, who will be happy to discuss your query and explain your options.
We understand that the importance of being responsive and flexible to the needs of our clients and their families. This underpins our approach to all our advice and decision-making.
We recognise that every client and their circumstances are different. We work closely with clients, families, case managers and support teams to ensure we provide a service which suits the individual.
We pride ourselves on regular, open and transparent communication throughout the application process and the ongoing management of our deputyships. We are committed to understanding our clients' needs and ensuring that they are met.
The deputyships and trusts we manage often arise from the most complex and high value litigation claims relating to personal injuries sustained as a result of accidents and clinical negligence. We provide clear, practical advice at every stage and use our skills and experience to ensure our clients and their families are supported.
We work closely with our Personal Injury and Medical Negligence colleagues and share knowledge and expertise in order to manage complex deputyships and trusts for our clients with pragmatism, compassion and a comprehensive understanding of all relevant considerations both pre and post-settlement.
We have excellent relationships with experienced case managers, therapists, investment advisers and architects, to provide the best possible services to our vulnerable clients.
We offer a focused and confident approach when handling even the most demanding cases, which include cross-jurisdictional issues, welfare considerations, contentious deputyship applications, capacity disputes and financial abuse.
Anna is excellent at putting clients at ease and answering their questions, demonstrating empathy and a willingness to assist. She is extremely efficient and responds to queries quickly with a very approachable attitude which facilitates good relationships with families and all professionals working on the case.
The Fieldfisher Court of Protection team has managed our quadriplegic daughter's affairs for five years now. We have found them to be sympathetic, professional and very responsive. We have always felt very comfortable knowing that they have our daughter's best interests at heart, at all times.
We have worked with Anna Bond and her team for many years now. I think the best testimonial I can give and to demonstrate the regard in which we hold her is to say that we first met Anna when she was with another firm in London, which was handling a Personal Injury claim on behalf of my husband. Even though we were very satisfied with them, we were so impressed with Anna that we followed her to her next firm and subsequently followed her again to Fieldfisher when she became a Partner and Head of Court Protection. Anna Bond and her team are extremely kind, caring, and always approachable and ready to explain and help in a situation that can be fairly daunting to a lay-person. We, as a family, are extraordinarily fortunate to have met Anna.
Our son's deputy Anna Bond and her team are all very hard working and professional. They are very open to our son's needs and also us as a family. They are always very eager and willing to help us with whatever is needed for our son. They know us as a family very well, they are always on top of things and we are always very well informed of any decisions and changes. We are very happy to have them working with us for a better, brighter future for us and especially for our son.
The Fieldfisher team have been a huge support to our family, not only helping us navigate a complex and unknown (for us) process but also being there to offer help and guidance. The whole team have been thoughtful and quick in their responses to us which has helped manage some of the day to day challenges we have as a family.
Court of Protection FAQs
The Court of Protection is a superior Court of record based in London. It was created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It has jurisdiction to make decisions about the property and financial affairs and the health and welfare of individuals who have been assessed as lacking capacity to make such decisions for themselves. The Court of Protection can exercise its jurisdiction by considering specific issues and making specific orders or by delegating authority for decision-making to a Court-appointed Deputy.
The Court of Protection can extend the scope of a Deputy's authority and can also deal with decisions which cannot be dealt with by a Deputy. It can discharge an existing Deputy, appoint a new Deputy and restore a client to the management of his or her own affairs, if that person regains or develops capacity.
The OPG is an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice, which supports the statutory authority of the Public Guardian under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Its main role is to supervise Deputies and attorneys. It has a distinct role from the Court of Protection (which only makes judicial decisions). All Deputies must submit a detailed annual report to the OPG as part of the supervision process. It can investigate if any concerns arise and can refer matters to the Court if necessary. The OPG also issues guidance for Deputies and produced the Professional Deputy Standards, which we must adhere to in the management of all our deputyship clients.
A Deputy has a fiduciary role similar to that of a trustee or attorney. The appointment of a Deputy is made by an Order of the Court of Protection. Financial Deputies (i.e. those dealing with property and financial matters) are usually given fairly wide discretion to manage a person's estate and act as his agent. This is particularly so when an experienced professional Deputy is appointed and it generally avoids the need to go back to the Court of Protection to seek permission or additional authority before significant decisions are made. The scope of the Deputy's authority is set out in the Deputy Order.
Anyone over the age of 18 years can apply to be appointed Deputy for someone else. Ultimately, the decision rests with the Court of Protection. A trust corporation can also be appointed as a Deputy.
It is also possible for one than one person to be appointed Deputy. They will either be appointed jointly (all decisions must be taken together) or jointly and severally (decisions can be made separately if required).
All proposed Deputies must complete a Deputy Declaration and send this to the Court with their application. This Declaration includes information about a proposed Deputy's personal circumstances and sets out a series of undertakings which any prospective Deputy must give to the Court of Protection.
The Court of Protection can appoint a Deputy for a child if there is evidence to confirm that they are unlikely to be able to manage their financial affairs when they reach the age of 18.
Where a significant award of damages is anticipated or has already been awarded, the Court of Protection generally prefers an experienced professional Deputy to be appointed to provide support and guidance for at least the first few years post-settlement when significant capital expenditure is likely. There are various advantages to this including avoiding perceived conflicts of interests; seeking and co-ordinating other experienced professionals where necessary; and assuming the administrative burden and legal responsibility associated with the role.
Where there is a claim for damages arising from personal injuries or clinical negligence, it is usually possible for the costs of a professional Deputy to be claimed and recovered from the Defendants.
The appointment of a Deputy is not set in stone and if a person develops (or regains) capacity at any time then the Deputy is obliged to present this evidence to the Court of Protection and to apply for the deputyship to be discharged.
It is also possible for a change of Deputy to take place at any time on an application being made to the COP.
Where a significant award of damages is anticipated or has already been awarded, the COP generally prefers an experienced professional Deputy to be appointed to provide support and guidance for at least the first few years post-settlement when significant capital expenditure is likely. There are various advantages to this including avoiding perceived conflicts of interests; seeking and co-ordinating other experienced professionals where necessary; and assuming the administrative burden and legal responsibility associated with the role.
The cost of a professional Deputy has been claimed from the Defendants. As you know, I provided expert witness evidence on the anticipated lifetime costs of a professional Deputy.
The main role of a financial Deputy is to manage property and financial affairs for the benefit of the person for whom they are appointed. The Deputy is under a formal duty to act in their client's best interests within the scope of the authority set out in the Court Order. Deputies are supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian and an annual account must be submitted detailing all income and expenditure and all significant decision-making. A Deputy's responsibilities include:
- Applying for and collect state benefits
- Managing bank accounts and investments
- Formulating budgets and monitoring spending
- Managing interim and final awards of damages and supporting litigators while claims are ongoing
- Dealing with tax affairs
- Managing employment arrangements for care teams
- Meeting routine expenditure, including care and therapy costs
- Dealing with tenancy arrangements for rental properties
- Dealing with the purchase and adaptation of property, including (where relevant) close liaison with specialist property finders and architects
- Reporting annually to the OPG
- Considering testamentary arrangements