Court of Protection

Our Court of Protection (COP) solicitors are acknowledged as being among the UKs leading practitioners in this highly specialised and sensitive area of law

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Access Legal have considerable experience in the provision of legal advice and practical help for families, professionals and others working with or caring for the most vulnerable people. Taking any issue before the Court of Protection is a big and expensive step. Call Access Legal to discuss your circumstances beforehand.

The Court of Protection is charged with safeguarding the best interests of anyone who does not have the mental capacity to manage their own affairs based on the principles established in the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

It works alongside the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and both these bodies exist to make sure that no-one takes advantage of any individual whose mental capacity is injured or impaired in any way. Often it's the entire family who need advice, support and practical guidance.

Above all though Access Legal is keenly aware that this is very sensitive work and we offer a highly personalised and responsive service, regularly meeting clients in their own homes, as well as liaising with family, friends and care professionals.

Partner Charlotte Dunn is a member of the OPG Panel of Deputies. She is entrusted to act by the COP and manage the affairs of those who lack capacity and do not have anyone else who can act for them.

Some of our team, such as Consultant Trevor George, are also members of Solicitors for the Elderly, an independent national organisation for legal advisers of all levels who provide specialist legal advice to older, vulnerable people, their families and carers.

It works alongside the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and both these bodies exist to make sure that no-one takes advantage of any individual whose mental capacity is injured or impaired in any way. Often it's the entire family who need advice, support and practical guidance.

Above all though Access Legal is keenly aware that this is very sensitive work and we offer a highly personalised and responsive service, regularly meeting clients in their own homes, as well as liaising with family, friends and care professionals.

Some of our team are also members of Solicitors for the Elderly, an independent national organisation for legal advisers of all levels who provide specialist legal advice to older, vulnerable people, their families and carers.

I want to know

If I can apply to the Court of Protection

The Court of Protection is a special section of the court established following the passing into law of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which deals with applications relating to anyone who does not have the mental capacity to manage their own affairs. It works alongside the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) which was set up to oversee the general management of the affairs of people lacking capacity.

The Court of Protection will look at applications for Deputyship by any of the following:

  • A local authority or NHS Trust
  • The official solicitor
  • The Office of the Public Guardian
  • A third party, family members and IMCAs (Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy)
  • A litigation friend

It's not unusual for the court to appoint (or for applicants to seek) Professional Deputies (more often than not solicitors) to act on behalf of a person deemed to lack capacity. Indeed, our partner, Charlotte Dunn, is a member of the OPG Panel of Professional Deputies. This ensures that there is someone on your side who fully understands the legal procedures.

Even if you decide to apply to the Court of Protection on your own, the procedure involved in making an application can be confusing and is certainly time consuming, which is why you should seek legal advice from Access Legal before you begin.

More about applying to the Court of Protection

Access Legal can help you with the completion of forms when applying to the Court of Protection. The forms required depend, to a certain degree, on the patient's circumstances and what order you are asking the Court of Protection to make. In most instances, the following documents will be required:

  • COP1 – Application form
  • COP1A – Supporting Information for Property and Affairs applications and/or
  • COP1B – Supporting Information for Health and Welfare applications
  • COP3 – Medical Assessment form
  • COP4 – Deputy's Declaration form

Making sure these forms are completed properly is important as making an application to the COP is not cheap. Supervision fees that are levied on Deputies and charged by the OPG were restructured in October 2011 – before that, each level of supervision was charged at a different fee rate. The four levels of supervision remained unchanged and they are now a flat rate of £320. 

An emergency application to the Court of Protection can also be made to obtain an emergency Court of Protection Order.

More about Court of Protection fees

There are a number of fees associated with Court of Protection and you will find some help and guidance in the following leaflets:

The basic application fee is £400 and if the application is in relation to the appointment of a deputy, there is an appointment fee of £100 to pay. Supervision fees that are levied on deputies and charged by the OPG were restructured in October 2011 – before that, each level of supervision was charged at a different fee rate. The four levels of supervision remained unchanged:

Level 1 – close supervision

Level 2A – intermediate supervision

Level 2 – low supervision

Level 3 – minimal supervision

A flat rate fee of £320 is charged for the first three levels of supervision. 'Minimal supervision', which previously did not attract any fee, now incurs a small 'administration charge' of £35. If a Professional Deputy is appointed, they too will charge fees which are calculated at an hourly rate as assessed by the Supreme Court costs office.

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Court of Protection

Access Legal's Court of Protection experts look after the welfare and safeguarding the financial affairs of those suffering from mental incapacity.

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