Health & Welfare

The Court of Protection was established by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to make decisions on behalf of people whom it is felt cannot make those decisions for themselves.


With regard to 'health and welfare' decisions, those decisions include: 

  • Where a person should live
  • What care and support needs a person may have
  • With whom a person should or should not have contact
  • Whether a person can consent to having a sexual relationship
  • Whether a person can consent to marriage
  • Whether a person should use contraception
  • Whether a person should have certain medical treatment

Where a person lacks capacity to make those decisions, a judge in the Court of Protection can be asked to make a decision, in that person's best interests, where it is possible and appropriate to do so.  

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Cases in the Court of Protection generally concern people over the age of 18 who have been diagnosed with one of the following:

  • Learning disability
  • Autism
  • Acquired brain injury
  • Korsakoff's or other alcohol-related brain injury
  • Dementia/Alzheimer's Disease
  • Other mental health diagnosis (schizophrenia, bipolar, personality disorder etc.)

A case may involve a person living in their own home, with family, in supported living or in a care home and may involve a person being deprived of their liberty. This means that a person requires some degree of supervision and may not be free to do what they want.

Our team of Court of Protection specialists have considerable experience representing people who are at the centre of the court proceedings and representing family members and other individuals who either find it necessary to go to court or who otherwise find themselves involved in court proceedings.

Legal aid may be available and our experts will be able to advise whether a person/case qualifies for legal aid.

If you would like to have a chat about your options or how we may be able to help you please contact a member of the team, complete our call back form or contact us directly at your local office.

Your Court Of Protection Team

Karen Pratt


Karen Stephanie Pratt is an equity partner and is head of the Court of Protection team. After being admitted as a solicitor in 1986, Karen became…

Sapna Tugby


Sapna previously worked as a mental health paralegal for Thaliwal Bridge solicitors, in Leicester. She obtained a LSC funded training contract, then worked…

Helen Cruickshanks


Helen joined BHP Law in 2014 working within the Personal Injury team, progressing from paralegal to trainee solicitor and subsequently qualified Solicitor…

Simone Kent


Simone joined BHP Law in June 2016 during the course of her MLaw Exempting degree at Northumbria University. In the first semester of her final year,…

Melanie Morley


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…

Zoey Phillips


Zoey was admitted as a solicitor in 2021 after securing her masters degree in Law from Northumbria University. In 2017, Zoey worked at TLW Solicitors…

Emma Wood


Emma qualified as a paralegal and completed her police station accreditation before joining BHP Law’s Court of Protection team. …

Lisa Clark

Trainee Legal Executive

Lisa began her legal career with BHP Law in November 2003 when she joined the personal injury department in a secretarial/support role to assist three…

Abi McDowell

Trainee Legal Executive

Abi studied law at A-Level and went on to successfully complete an apprenticeship in Business Administration. She joined BHP in 2018 as a secretary in…

Ellie Phillips

Apprentice Solicitor

Ellie joined us in September 2020 as an apprentice solicitor in our Court of Protection team, alongside studying at Northumbria University one day per…

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