Overview

Hugh James is currently appointed by the Court of Protection as a professional property and financial affairs deputy for over 130 individuals. We are regularly approached by solicitors, barristers and local authorities to act as property and financial affairs deputy for clients. The type of clients we are appointed for include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Children and young adults who have suffered injuries at birth;
  • Adults and children who have suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of accidents or assaults;
  • Adults and children who have suffered brain injury following inappropriate or substandard medical treatment;
  • Adults with learning disabilities; and
  • Adults with illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease.

We also act as a professional trustee for a number of clients with large personal injury trusts in place. Most of our clients have had claims for damages as a result of their injuries in either the civil courts or the CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority). Large settlements have been awarded as a result of these claims, to include an amount allowed for ongoing Court of Protection and deputyship costs. We become involved as early as possible in the litigation process to ensure that any interim awards are spent on appropriate care and therapy. We regularly see the positive effects that arise from this early therapeutic intervention. We form lifelong relationships with our clients and their families.  We do not act in isolation and we work with case managers and care providers to ensure that decisions are made in consultation with all those involved and are ultimately in the client's best interests. We understand the importance of fully engaging the individual concerned in the decision-making process if at all possible and are able to tailor our approach to their specific circumstances.

What sets us apart

We believe that it is very important to have a fully multi-disciplinary approach to how we manage our client’s finances. Our team comprises solicitors, a qualified social worker, and a qualified accountant. This depth of experience allows us to fully understand our client’s needs, which is key to managing their finances in the best way possible. The team is assisted by a number of specialist Legal Assistants who have built up excellent relationships with our clients and their families, providing a high level of support in a cost-effective manner. 

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Key contact

Andrew leads the Court of Protection team which represents the interests of those who have suffered acquired brain or spinal cord injury, and their families and carers, with continued support and input provided post settlement in the professional deputyship service provided. Andrew is currently personally appointed as deputy to more than 115 individuals who are unable to make financial decisions for themselves following acquired brain injury.

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Your questions answered

What is the role of a professional property and financial affairs deputy?
 

Our role is all encompassing and will involve most, if not all, of the following for each individual:

  • Managing long-term investment of funds;
  • Purchasing and specialist adaptation of properties;
  • Employing a full team of care staff;
  • Appointing and maintaining an ongoing relationship with a suitable, experienced case manager as well as other therapists;
  • Dealing with any Court of Protection applications which need to be made on a wide range of issues, including health and welfare issues where required;
  • Dealing with funding issues that arise, for example, NHS Continuing Health Care and Local Authority funding;
  • Purchasing specialist vehicles and ensuring these are insured, taxed and maintained where necessary;
  • Purchasing specialist equipment on the advice of the case manager/therapists and ensure this equipment is regularly maintained;
  • Ensuring a will is in place, including a statutory will if required;
  • Carrying out an investigation into the financial position of a client where required;
  • Managing various insurance policies (home, car, employment, pet etc);
  • Managing and ensuring the client is in receipt of the correct benefits;
  • Agreeing and managing allowances to the client;
  • Managing requests for funds;
  • Managing utility payments;
  • Ensuring correct benefits are received;
  • Managing periodical payments and ensuring they are appropriately indexed;
  • Arranging necessary assessments of capacity;
  • Ensuring the completion of tax returns; and
  • Completing annual reports to the OPG.

This is not an exhaustive list, as every client’s needs are different. We are happy to discuss any queries which you may have regarding our experience.

Why work with us?
 
  • Our approach is unique. Our team is multi-faceted including not only legal experts but experts in social care and accountancy, allowing us to consider our client's best interests taking into account much more than just the legal point of view.
  • The team has a nationwide reputation for its deputyship work covering the whole of the UK with offices in Cardiff and London.
  • The team is recommended nationally by independent directories, Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for their court of protection work with Hugh James being noted to field a team of ‘exceptional and approachable lawyers’ that includes Andrew Harding, who ‘takes a real interest in all of his clients’.
  • The team currently manages the affairs of over 130 individuals with total assets, to include property and large investment portfolios, exceeding £150 million.
  • Andrew Harding is particularly highly regarded in this field having first been appointed as a receiver nearly 20 years ago.
  • Andrew is currently a member of the Court of Protection Court Users Group in London and is also a member of COPPA. Andrew was a member of the Court of Protection Deputies Forum which provided input leading to the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. He is a Board Member of Headway.
  • The Brain Injury team at Hugh James is approved as brain injury solicitor by Headway UK, the Child Brain Injury Trust, and the Brain Injury group.

Accreditations

APIL Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
Specialist Clinical Negligence Panel
The Law Society Clinical Negligence

Quotes

Andrew Harding is described as “extremely fair – he considers all angles before making a decision.” Sources add that “he stands out because of his skill as a litigator and his in-depth knowledge and experience of claims of the utmost severity.”

Chambers and Partners UK

Quotes

Andrew Harding is a key partner in the neurolaw department, with formidable experience in complex and high-value head and spinal injury claims.

Chambers and Partners UK

Quotes

Andrew Harding is considered “very efficient and professionally competent” by his clients.

Chambers and Partners UK

Quotes

Catastrophic/neurological injury matters are led by ‘absolute expert’ Andrew Harding, who is also an ‘excellent’ Deputy

The Legal 500

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