In February 2022, Appleman Legal’s Director, Pramod Sanatun, became accredited as Accredited Legal Representative (“ALR”) in the Court of Protection under the new Law Society Mental Capacity (Welfare) Accreditation Scheme.
This reinforces Appleman Legal's commitment to Mental Capacity (Welfare) law and Court of Protection proceedings. This Accreditation provides assurance to existing and prospective clients and their family members that Appleman Legal has the requisite skill and expertise to adequately represent them in this complex area of law. Appleman Legal already holds accreditation under the Law Society Mental Health, Family Law Advanced and Children Law accreditation schemes.
What is an ALR?
ALRs are members of the Law Society's Mental Capacity (Welfare) Accreditation Scheme who have fulfilled additional requirements for approval under that scheme to enable them to become ALR.
The accreditation was developed to allow the Court of Protection to appoint an Accredited Legal Representative ( ‘ALR’) to ensure that vulnerable people who lack capacity have representation in welfare related Court of Protection proceedings.
In Court of Protection proceedings, the person at the centre of the proceedings and to whom the proceedings relate is often referred to as ‘P’. The Law Society describes ALRs as playing “an essential role in ensuring that a P who lacks capacity is at the centre of proceedings in the Court of Protection. Those vulnerable clients usually lack capacity to conduct the proceedings. Practitioners who are appointed as ALRs must demonstrate high professional and ethical standards to maintain confidence in this sensitive role”.
What is the role of an ALR?
Rule 1.2 of the Court of Protection Rules 2017 (known as ‘CoP Rules 2017’) states that in every Court of Protection case, the judge must give thought to whether P should take part in the case. The role of an ALR is defined by Rule 1.2(2)(b) of the CoP Rules 2017 as being “to represent P in the proceedings and to discharge such other functions as the court may direct”.
The Law Society practice note stipulates that this includes:
- Meeting with P and establishing P’s wishes and feelings about the decisions being considered by the court;
- Deciding how to keep P informed of the case as it develops;
- Obtaining and considering the papers relating to the case;
- Obtaining and considering P’s health and social care records, as well as any other relevant disclosure and documentation;
- If P is eligible for Legal Aid, corresponding with the Legal Aid Agency on P’s behalf;
- Deciding whether to instruct a barrister on P’s behalf; and
- Preparing for the next hearing including giving consideration of whether P should take part and, if so, how this should be achieved.
What did Pramod have to say on this Law Society Accreditation
As an Accredited Legal Representative, Pramod Sanatun can now be appointed by the court as an ALR to represent vulnerable clients with or without the need for a litigation friend.
Pramod said : “ I am delighted to be appointed as ALR and look forward to this new role. I am fully committed to representing my vulnerable clients and their families. This accreditation provides all my clients with assurance that I have the necessary experience and expertise to represent them in this niche area of law. ”
How can Appleman Legal assist you?
Appleman Legal has an experienced and skilled Mental Health and Mental capacity team specialising in all aspects of Mental Health Law and Court of Protection (welfare and financial) matters.
Director Pramod Sanatun, who heads the Court of Protection department, is always available for a free consultation with prospective clients and their family members to discuss any issues they may have regarding mental capacity and Court of Protection.