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Complex Patient (Court of Protection)

Complex Team

“The advice we receive is always timely and straight forward. My team work within a very complex health and social care system and we find their clarity of written advices extremely helpful in the care planning and advocacy of our patient group.

The follow up support and sharing of lessons with the wider multi professional team is also exceptional and I look forward to working with the team in the future.”

Lesley Lewis, Head of Nursing Localities Rhondda and Taf Ely


Who we are

Gavin Knox leads the team working closely with a number of other senior and junior solicitors. Together they aim to provide a comprehensive service that can response quickly to client’s needs.


What We Do

The law is at the heart of the doctor/patient relationship. It protects clinicians against criminal charges and from civil liability. With a wealth of experience our team can provide timely, and when necessary, immediate advice to ensure that NHS staff comply with their legal obligations. If you do not see the service you need below please call us as we will be able to help.


Mental Capacity Act

With an increasing number of NHS patients and service users lacking capacity to make decisions themselves, there is a growing need for NHS staff to understand and implement the principles and provisions of the Mental Capacity Act. Our team can offer a rapid and reasoned response to any capacity or best interests related query. By engaging early with clinicians, patients and families, we can usually assist in resolving disputes or ethical dilemmas and avoid the need for applications to be made to Court.


Deprivation of Liberty

The full impact of the Supreme Court decision in Cheshire West is still being realised with enormous impact on NHS resources. Until reform of the law is implemented our team can provide expert advice to help avoid unlawful deprivations. We regularly advise and represent Health Boards who are subject to an appeal to the Court of Protection.


End of Life Decision Making (adults and children)

There are no more important decisions than those relating to the end of life. We are regularly instructed where disputes arise between clinicians and patients or their family about what treatment can lawfully be given.

These include:

  • Patients in Permanent Vegetative State (PVS) or Minimally Conscious State (MCS)
  • Withdrawal of treatment from seriously ill children
  • Validity of Advance Decisions to Refuse treatment (ADRs)
  • Force feeding of patient’s with eating disorders
  • Do Not Attempt CPR orders (DNACPR)


Court of Protection & High Court Applications

Not all issues can be resolved locally and ultimately some decisions need to be made by a Court. Often these can be highly contentious, complex, and emotive cases with the health, liberty or life of a vulnerable adult or child in the balance.

We have extensive experience of making applications to both the Court of Protection and the High Court, each with their own particular rules and procedures. We offer a service that aims to resolve disputes quickly and sensitively to preserve therapeutic relationships with patients or families.

Examples include:

  • Treating patients (who lack capacity) against their will
  • Authorising deprivations of liberty
  • Treatment decisions for children without parents consent
  • End of life decision making


Mental Health

Once seen as a very separate area of law there are increasingly conflicts and interfaces with the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty. We can help staff navigate the legislation and represent Health Board in legal proceedings.


Human Tissue, Embryology, and Organ Donation

We can advise and assist NHS staff in these areas which are governed by very complex legislation and which often raise very sensitive issues and dilemmas of consent, Human Rights and confidentiality.



NHS staff are often under pressure from families or the police to reveal confidential patient information. We can guide staff through even the most complex of scenarios with sensitivity and discretion.

Examples include:

  • Police seeking information or medical samples from victims or perpetrators of crime
  • Disclosure of HIV status
  • Pregnancy related information of children.



Our team offers specialist advice on inquests that raise issues concerning any of our specialist areas. For example where consent, a best interests decision, Mental Health or a deprivation of liberty is involved. See our Inquest page for more information on the services we can offer.


Useful Links

"I have consistently received clear and considered responses from the team who have always proved both personable and helpful. The service is easily accessible even on those occasions where you need a swift response.”

Chris Sayer, Mental Capacity Act Senior Practitioner, Hywel Dda University Health Board