A solicitor with 20 years’ experience in mental health legal issues has been appointed head of a newly formed department at one of the South West’s leading law firms.
Coodes Solicitors’ partner Lawrence Ford, who has been a member of the Law Society’s specialist Mental Health Panel for 18 years, will lead the company’s mental health team.
Coodes’ managing partner, Jeremy Harvey, said: “We have specialised in working with clients affected by mental health issues for many years.
“It has traditionally formed part of our family department, but following an increase in demand from patients and professionals we felt the time was right to create a separate team.
“The people we support need expert and sensitive help therefore it makes sense to provide a dedicated department.”
Lawrence, who is also a child protection specialist is being supported in the department by fellow mental health legal expert, Julian Tyson.
Lawrence, who works across Coodes’ seven offices in Cornwall and Devon, said: “In the past mental health issues were something that people covered up or were afraid to deal with, and many people felt like their rights were taken away from them.
“But the facts are that one in four people will experience some kind of mental health issue in the course of a year and that 10% of children will have a mental health problem at any one time.
“A great deal of this awareness has come about following the work of people like Alistair Campbell, Ruby Wax and Stephen Fry to use the platform they have to share their experiences.
“This work is also one of the few remaining areas that qualifies for Legal Aid support following Government cuts.”
According to a report by the Mental Health Foundation mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain.
Lawrence and Julian will be working with patients and advising on patients’ rights.
This includes regularly representing clients before the Mental Health Tribunal; making applications to the Court of Protection for financial and best interest decisions; advising on deprivation of liberty safeguards; complaints procedures; and judicial review in relation to provision of services.
For more information or for a confidential meeting please contact the team on 0800 328 3282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org