"The Official Solicitor acts for people who, because they lack mental capacity and cannot properly manage their own affairs, are unable to represent themselves and no other suitable person or agency is able and willing to act. He usually becomes formally involved when appointed by the Court, and he may act as his own solicitor, or instruct a private firm of solicitors to act for him." (from OS website)
From 25/8/13 the offices of the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee will move to: Victory House, 30-34 Kingsway, London WC2B 6EX; DX 141423 Bloomsbury 7.
Martin Hickman, 'Cash crisis slows justice for the vulnerable at Court of Protection' (Independent, 4/2/12). This article includes the following statistic: 'When [the Official Solicitor] started in April 2008, he had 42 cases. That's gone up to 650 on his books currently.'
Official Solicitor, 'Official Solicitor: Court of Protection: Acceptance of Appointment as Litigation Friend' (21/2/12). This document sets out the OS's general acceptance criteria (evidence of lack of capacity, no-one else suitable and willing to act, funding available) and the new dispensation in relation to health and welfare cases (refusal to act 'in any except the most urgent cases, namely serious medical treatment cases and section 21A appeals, other than those brought by the relevant person's representative' and a waiting list for cases to be accepted). In relation to the OS's reaching 'the limit of his resources' in regard to health and welfare cases, a distinction is drawn between money (which has not reached the limit) and staffing levels (which have).