Melanie qualified as a solicitor in September 2019 at the age of 43. Previously, Melanie was employed as a Court of Protection Paralegal at Gateshead Council. As a trainee solicitor at BHP Law she set up the BHP Law Community Care Legal Aid contract.
Melanie is dual trained and specialises in both Court of Protection Health and Welfare and Property and Affairs. Melanie is a Court of Protection appointed joint Deputy for Property and Affairs.
In January 2022, Melanie gained The Law Society Mental Capacity (Health and Welfare) Accreditation which permits the Court of Protection to appoint her as an Accredited Legal Representative. Melanie’s role is to advocate and promote her clients wishes and feelings within Court of Protection proceedings and to engage as best as possible her clients within these proceedings.
Melanie is directly instructed by the Official Solicitor, Advocates, family members and Responsible Person’s Representative (RPR’s) who are deprived of their liberty. She represents vulnerable clients who may lack capacity in areas of care and support, accommodation, contact with family, sexual relations, to litigate and social media. Her role is to ensure that her clients wishes and feelings are heard in relation to the proceedings. This involves building a positive and trusting relationship as most of her clients have some form of mental health condition such as learning difficulties, dementia, depression, autism, schizophrenia and cerebral palsy.
In March 2022, Melanie will be appointed as the incoming President for The Tees Valley Law Society. She is looking to use her Presidency platform to promote legal diversity and social inclusion and to bridge the gap between the legal profession and education establishments, to assist in filling the wide skills gaps. Melanie is also involved as a lecturer at the University of Teesside in respect to her specialism of Court of Protection.
Qualifications: Legal Practice Course, Post Graduate Diploma in Political and Legal Theory: Toleration, LLB (Law Degree) and Degree in Media and Communication
Year admitted as a solicitor: 2019
Professional memberships: Solicitor’s Regulation Authority and Law Society
Charitable/pro bono work: Melanie is a Volunteer for the Prince’s Trust, mentoring young people in business, law and finance
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