Zoë advises and acts for local authorities and individuals in all aspects of health and social care work, including mental health and mental capacity. She appears in the Administrative Court, Court of Protection and Mental Health Tribunal and is able to advise and represent clients at all stages including pre-action and urgent interim relief applications in judicial review proceedings.
Zoë has particular experience and interest in mental health including s.117 aftercare under the Mental Health Act 1983 and regularly advises on s.117 responsibilities and duties. She is also able to advise and represent clients on other issues arising under the Mental Health Act 1983 including, for example, County Court applications for displacement of a nearest relative.
Examples of Zoë's recent health and social care work include:
- An urgent application in the Family Division for a forced marriage protection order and concurrent court of protection proceedings to determine capacity to marry and enter into sexual relations.
- Advising on a dispute between local authorities as to responsibility for carrying out an assessment and interim provision of services under s.17 Children Act 1989.
- Advising and representing in a Court of Protection case regarding safeguarding allegations.
- Advising and representing the respondent in a claim for damages for breaches of human rights arising out of an unauthorised deprivation of liberty.
- Advising in relation to care charges including capital disregards under the Care Act 2014 and the recovery of debt for care contributions.
- Drafting grounds and advising in a number of judicial reviews of age assessments.
- Representing a local authority in the Administrative Court on an interim relief application made in a claim for accommodation and support under s.17 Children Act 1989 in which it was suggested that the Secretary of State should provide asylum support under s.95 Immigration Act 1999.
- Acting for a local authority in a claim for judicial review of their purported decision to withdraw services provided under s.2 Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.
- Advising the father of a patient detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 as to whether he could be considered to be her nearest relative under the Act and, if so, the prospects of success of an application to displace the present nearest relative.
Zoë was recently seconded to the adult social care team of a local authority's legal department. This involved advising on the full range of adult social care including ordinary residence, s.117 services, mental capacity (including deprivation of liberty and best interest decisions), charging for residential and non-residential services, delayed discharges, NHS continuing care, funding disputes with other local authorities and clinical commissioning groups, transition from children to adult services, leaving care services, powers and duties in relation to persons from abroad, safeguarding. This work spanned across all adult social care services (including physical disabilities, community mental health and learning disabilities) and involved dealing with cases at all stages from an initial approach by an individual seeking services to those where proceedings (e.g. in the Court of Protection) were progressing.
Prior to the Bar, Zoë spent several years working for a solicitors firm where she specialised in community care, mental health and mental capacity law. She advised and represented clients in relation to a range of issues including the legality of community care assessments under s.47 NHS and Community Care Act 1990, service provision decisions, leaving care provisions, applications to displace nearest relatives, lasting powers of attorney and specialist housing provision for persons with disabilities. She regularly appeared in the First Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) and was an accredited member of the Law Society's Mental Health Review Tribunal Accreditation Scheme Panel. She gained particular experience in the rights of carers, as well as community care for persons with autistic spectrum disorders, and completed the National Autistic Society SPELL training course on working with people with autism. Zoë is experienced in working directly with lay clients who have mental health problems (including those who are acutely unwell) as well as people with learning difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders or behavioural problems.
Zoë is also a trustee for a service user led mental health charity in south east London.