The law on mental health can be confusing. Get legal support you can rely on.
If you, or someone who depends on you, need legal assistance for mental health issues, you will want someone you can trust and who knows the law on mental health.
Law Society Mental Health accredited practitioners advise and represent patients who may be placed, or who are already in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983 ('sectioned').
They can also help you with on other areas of law affecting someone with mental illness or incapacity, including:
- wills and probate
- Court of Protection cases
- powers of attorney
- care orders
Why choose a member of the Law Society Mental Health accreditation scheme?
The Law Society's Mental Health accreditation is available only to solicitors, case workers, barristers or trainee solicitors.
To become accredited, they have to undergo a process which includes mandatory training and an assessment in front of a panel of experienced practitioners, to demonstrate that they have the required competency and knowledge.
In particular, they must:
- be aware of the relevant laws relating to mental health, including patient confidentiality and medical treatment
- have the sensitivity to understand the needs of a vulnerable client as a
consequence of their mental disorder
- have the ability to represent clients effectively before a tribunal
- show commitment to representing the interests of clients with mental health difficulties
- show continued compliance through re-accreditation every three years and ongoing checks by the Law Society.
From August 2014, only members of the Mental Health Scheme will be able to represent legally-aided clients at the mental health tribunal.
Making a complaint
The solicitor will give you details about their complaints procedure. If you want to complain about your solicitor you must use this procedure first. If you are still not happy when you have done that, you can contact the Legal Ombudsman in 0300 555 0333 or at www.legalombudsman.org.uk. The Legal Ombudsman handles complaints about solicitors.
If you have a complaint about a member of a Law Society accreditation scheme, please email us or telephone us on 0207 316 5550.