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Cases > Parties : AB or John Blavo or M

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Page name Sentence Summary
An NHS Foundation Trust v AB (2019) EWCOP 26

Abortion

"This is an application by the NHS Trust for an order in respect of a 24 year old woman AB who is 22 weeks pregnant and, who the Trust say lacks capacity and in whose best interests it is said to have a termination of pregnancy. ... I would like to record my unhappiness about the lateness of this application. AB is now estimated to be 22 weeks pregnant and therefore the cut-off date under the Abortion Act 1967 of 24 weeks is imminent. ... I am acutely conscious of the fact that for the state to order someone to have a termination, where it appears that they do not want it, is immensely intrusive and certainly interferes with her Article 8 rights. ... In my view the balance in terms of AB's best interests lies in her having the termination."

Application by Darlington Borough Council in respect of the Adult: AB (2018) ScotSC 4

Scottish capacity case

"The adult, AB, lacks capacity to make decisions as to her care and residence and is subject to Orders made by the Court of Protection in England. During 2017 the Court of Protection decided that it would be in AB’s best interests to move from a care home in Darlington (hereafter referred to as “the English Care Home”) to a care home within the Sheriffdom (hereafter referred to as “the Scottish Care Home”) for a trial period. ... A Summary Application was subsequently submitted to Glasgow Sheriff Court in which the Applicants sought two Orders from the court. Firstly, the Applicants sought an Order under paragraph 7(1) of Schedule 3 to the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 (hereafter “the 2000 Act”), recognising the Order of the Court of Protection dated 27 April 2017. Secondly, the Applicants sought an Order under paragraph 8(1) of said Schedule 3, directing the Office of the Public Guardian in Scotland to register said Order of the Court of Protection dated 27 April 2017 in the Register of International Measures maintained by the Public Guardian."

John Blavo v Law Society (2017) EWHC 561 (Ch)

Statutory demands set aside

"In November 2015 the Law Society served a statutory demand on Mr Blavo claiming that he owed it £151,816.27. In February 2016 the Law Society served a second statutory demand on Mr Blavo claiming that he owed it a further £643,489.20. On 14 December 2015 Mr Blavo applied to set aside the first statutory demand. On 11 March 2016 Mr Blavo applied to set aside the second statutory demand. ... It is the costs of the intervention, from 15 October 2015 to 20 January 2016, into the company and Mr Blavo's practice which are the underlying subject matter of the statutory demands. ... It follows from all I have said that I have concluded that the statutory demands in this case should be set aside because the debts in question are not for liquidated sums."

John Blavo v Law Society (2018) EWCA Civ 2250

Intervention costs statutory demands

The Law Society successfully appealed against a decision to set aside two statutory demands (of £151,816.27 and £643,489.20) which had been served on John Blavo in relation to costs incurred in respect of the intervention into his practice.

Lord Chancellor v Blavo and Co Solictors Ltd (2018) EWHC 3556 (QB)

John Blavo personally ordered to repay Legal Aid claims

The High Court gave judgment for the Lord Chancellor against John Blavo in the sum of £22,136,001.71 following the allegation that Blavo & Co made dishonest claims for payment on the legal aid fund for thousands of cases where it was not entitled to any fee.

Lord Chancellor v John Blavo (2016) EWHC 126 (QB), (2016) MHLO 6

Freezing order continued

There was a strongly arguable case that John Blavo was party to an arrangement whereby false claims were submitted to the LAA in many thousands of cases, there was evidence of a less than scrupulous approach to his duty of disclosure to the Court, and evidence of a recent attempt improperly to put property beyond the reach of the Lord Chancellor. Taking these matters together there was a real risk that any judgment would go unsatisfied because of disposal of assets. Given the sums of money involved and the admitted financial difficulties it was just and convenient in all the circumstances to continue the freezing order. (The precursor to the official investigation was an audit during which 49 files were passed to the LAA's counter-fraud team, whose conclusions included: "In respect of 42 of these 49 files HMCTS have confirmed that they have no record of there having been tribunal proceedings either in respect of the individual client or on the date when the file indicates...Following this, the LAA made inquiries of the NHS on a selection of files among the 42 that had no tribunal hearing and the NHS confirmed that they have no records relating to 16 of the clients... After completing this analysis the Applicant undertook a further comparison of all mental health tribunal claims against the HMCTS system. As a result of this analysis, it was found that the Company had submitted a total of 24,658 claims for attendance at tribunals of which 1485 (6%) tribunals were recorded by HMCTS as having taken place... After visiting the Company's Head Office and requesting documentation from the Company and the Respondent, the LAA team used an electronic sampling tool to randomly select 144 cases for further investigation, across the last three complete financial years. Only 3% could be evidenced from HMCTS records...")

M v A Hospital (2017) EWCOP 19

Withdrawal of CANH

"This judgment is given: (a) To explain why CANH was withdrawn from M, a person in a minimally conscious state (MCS). (b) In response to the request of the parties for clarification of whether legal proceedings were necessary or not when there was agreement between M's family and her clinicians that CANH was no longer in her best interests. (c) To explain why the court appointed M's mother, Mrs B, as her litigation friend, rather than the Official Solicitor. The short answer to these questions is that: (a) CANH was withdrawn because it was not in M's best interests for it to be continued. The evidence showed that it had not been beneficial for the previous year. (b) In my view, it was not necessary as a matter of law for this case to have been brought to court, but given the terms of Practice Direction 9E and the state of the affairs before the very recent decision of the Court of Appeal on 31 July in the case of Briggs [2017] EWCA Civ 1169B, it is understandable that the application was made. (c) Mrs B was appointed as litigation friend because she was a proper person to act in that role: the fact that she supported the withdrawal of her daughter's treatment did not show that she had an adverse interest to her."

M v Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (2018) UKUT 120 (AAC)

Covert medication and MHT

The tribunal had failed to turn its mind to the extent to which (despite his lack of capacity to conduct proceedings) the patient was capable of participating in proceedings before addressing the test for non-disclosure. The appeal was allowed and the matter remitted to the tribunal to re-make its decision.

M v An NHS Trust (2017) MHLO 39 (UT)

Tribunal reasons

"[T]he tribunal's decision was made in error of law, but not [set aside]. In my grant of permission, I identified two possible errors of law. ... One of those errors was that the tribunal's reasons might be inadequate for being 'long on history and evidence but short on discussion.' ... There is, in truth, only one thing that really has to be said about the quality of reasons, which is that they must be adequate. Everything else is merely application of that principle to the circumstances of a particular case. ... [T]he second possible error [is] that the 'tribunal's reasoning shows that it was confused about its role and the [relevance] of a community treatment order'. ... [T]he reasons at least leave open the possibility that the tribunal may have strayed outside its proper remit. ... The first three sentences read: 'A cardinal issue of this application is whether the patient should be discharged from hospital by a CTO. This issue involves knowledge of the nature of a CTO. A CTO may only be imposed by the patient's RC ...' It may be that the judge did not express himself clearly, but that passage appears to begin by suggesting, and to continue by denying, that the tribunal had power to make Mr M subject to an order or was being asked to approve that course. The judge did then make a distinction between discharge from hospital and discharge from the liability to be detained. So it is possible that his reference to 'discharge from hospital by a CTO' may have been intended, not as a direction about the tribunal's powers on the application, but as a statement of how the responsible clinician envisaged Mr M's eventual progress. This interpretation would be consistent with what the tribunal said later ... In view of Mr M's current status [he had been discharged], I do not have to decide whether those reasons do or do not show that the tribunal misdirected itself. I limit myself to saying that it is risky if reasons can be read in a way that indicates a misdirection. ... Given that Mr M is no longer liable to be detained, I can see no need to venture outside the appropriate role of the Upper Tribunal in mental health cases and state, even in the form of a narrative declaration, that the tribunal should have exercised its power to discharge him. That is why I have exercised my power to refuse to set aside the tribunal's decision regardless of any error of law that it may have made."

Re AB (2020) EWHC 691 (Fam)

Access to records of deceased patient

The Access to Health Records Act 1990 states that "[a]n application for access to a health record, or to any part of a health record, may be made to the holder of the record by ... where the patient has died, the patient's personal representative and any person who may have a claim arising out of the patient's death" but limits this as follows: "access shall not be given ... to any part of the record which, in the opinion of the holder of the record, would disclose information which is not relevant to any claim which may arise out of the patient's death." The two categories are disjunctive and the reference to "a claim arising out of the patient's death" is expressly tied to the second, and not to a personal representative.

Re AB (Inherent Jurisdiction: Deprivation of Liberty) (2018) EWHC 3103 (Fam)

Inherent jurisdiction authorises DOL during conditional discharge

AB had capacity to consent to the care, support and accommodation arrangements which were provided as part of his conditional discharge but, following the MM case, there was an unlawful deprivation of liberty. The High Court extended the inherent jurisdiction to regularise the position of a capacitous detained mental health patient subject to restrictions as part of his conditional discharge which satisfied the objective elements of a deprivation of liberty (firstly, it was clear that there was no legislative provision governing this situation in that the Mental Health Act provided no remedy; secondly, it was in the interests of justice; and, thirdly, there were sound and strong public policy justifications). The court order: authorised the deprivation of liberty for 12 months; required the applicant to apply to court if the restrictions increase, and no less than one month before the expiry of the authorisation; and provided for a review on the papers unless a party requests or the court requires an oral hearing.

Re AB (Termination of Pregnancy) (2019) EWCA Civ 1215

Abortion

"The requirement is for the court to consider both wishes and feelings. The judge placed emphasis on the fact that AB's wishes were not clear and were not clearly expressed. She was entitled to do that but the fact remains that AB's feelings were, as for any person, learning disabled or not, uniquely her own and are not open to the same critique based upon cognitive or expressive ability. AB's feelings were important and should have been factored into the balancing exercise alongside consideration of her wishes. ... [I]n my judgement, she clearly gave inadequate weight to the non-medical factors in the case, while the views expressed by the doctors were necessarily significantly predicated upon imponderables. In the end, the evidence taken as a whole was simply not sufficient to justify the profound invasion of AB's rights represented by the non-consensual termination of this advanced pregnancy."

Re C (Lay Advocates) (2019) EWHC 3738 (Fam)

Lay advocates in public law family proceedings

"In my judgment that there is no material difference between the services provided by an interpreter, an intermediary or a lay advocate insofar as they each enable and support parties and witnesses to communicate and understand these proceedings. HMCTS routinely pay for the services of interpreters and intermediaries, I cannot see any principled reason why it should not also pay for the services of lay advocates in an appropriate case. ... Accordingly, I will appoint a lay advocate for the mother and a lay advocate for the father. They cost £30 per hour which I consider to be entirely reasonable. I have assessed the likely number of hours of work on this for the lay advocates to be 50 hours."

Re GED (2019) EWCOP 52

Foreign representative powers

"[T]hree broad issues have been identified: (1) Is a foreign power of attorney capable of constituting a ‘protective measure’? (2) Is there a capacity threshold to the Court’s jurisdiction? (3) Where there is a valid and operable foreign power of attorney in place, is the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection under section 16 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 limited?"

Re M: A v Z (2018) EWCOP 4

COP bias

"This matter concerns an appeal from the order of HHJ Roberts made on 18 July 2018 in Court of Protection (COP) proceedings concerning M. The appellants are M's mother and father in law who have the care of X, M's son age 12. ... Mr Simblet relies on four grounds of appeal: (1) There was apparent bias, in that the judge stated her intention in the exchange between the judge and the legal representatives, in the absence of the parties, to decide the application consistent with decisions made in different proceedings. (2) The judge wrongly felt constrained to reach a decision that would be consistent with a decision she had reached in different proceedings. (3) There was a material irregularity, in that the Judge took into account material from different proceedings, and the [paternal grandparents] within the COP proceedings were unable to properly know the case against them or that they had to meet. (4) In reaching her decision the judge failed to identify or give sufficient weight to factors that were relevant to M's best interests."

Re M: AB v HT (2018) EWCOP 2

Declaration of non-marriage in English law

"These complex and difficult proceedings in the Court of Protection concern a 37-year-old woman, hereafter referred to as M, who (as I have found, for reasons set out below) at present lacks capacity by virtue of a combination of psychotic illness and acquired brain injury. The parties to the proceedings are the applicant, M's father, hereafter referred to as AB; her aunt, hereafter referred to as HT; the local authority for the area where HT, and currently M, live, namely the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham; and a man hereafter referred to as MS, with whom M went through a religious ceremony of marriage in 2013. A dispute has arisen concerning a number of issues about her past, present and future which has necessitated a lengthy and unusual fact-finding hearing. This judgment sets out my conclusions on the disputed matters of fact, together with an analysis as to her capacity, and orders made following my findings."

Re Z (2019) EWCOP 55

Disclosure of documents

"This is an application by JK, who is a son of Z, for the disclosure to him of certain documents which have been filed by the other parties in the course of these proceedings and prior to the making of the [court's] order."

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust v AB (2019) EWCOP 11

Injunction against publication of video

"This is an application to prevent publication of a video of a patient, AB, in her treating hospital. ... At times she is catatonic and lies in a foetal position on the floor. She has a history during these periods of self-harm, and for that reason she wears protective headgear at all times. In the light of AB's condition and the difficulties in accommodating her appropriately, the Trust has had to adapt the room in which she has been living urgently, and it is true to say that the condition of the room therefore looks somewhat poor. ... On about 20 January 2019, AB's son, W, who is the second respondent, took a video recording of his mother in her room. ... I am clear that it is appropriate in these circumstances to make the order. First of all, having seen the video, it is apparent that AB can be identified, even if pixilated, and would be identifiable from the information that Mail Online intend to publish. ... Secondly, it is clear from Dr Marlowe's statements that AB does not currently have capacity ... Thirdly, I have no doubt, having watched it, that the video would be an interference with AB's privacy and her private life. ... The draft order provides for W being able to apply to the court at a full hearing if he wishes to do so to seek to lift the injunction, and argue that it is in her interests to publish the video. Further, according to Dr Marlowe, AB may well regain capacity herself relatively shortly, i.e. within a matter of weeks, and if she then wishes for publication, that will be a matter for her."

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