Re LD; London Borough of Havering v LD and KD [2010] EWHC 3876 (COP)

(1) The practice of the Court to appoint personal wefare deputies only relatively rarely, in the most extreme cases, is the correct approach, considering the intention of s16(4). Specific decisions of the court are to be preferred to the ongoing appointment of a deputy and when a deputy must be appointed it is to be for the narrowest scope and the shortest time reasonably practicable in the circumstances. (2) The local authority's application to be appointed as LD's personal welfare deputy until further order was rejected: the case was not especially unusual or difficult; residence had recently been resolved by the court, and the other issues were either routine (and thus subject to s5) or very major (requiring court scrutiny); the absence of a deputy would not cause problematic delay in decision-making, as as court orders can be obtained very swiftly, and was not preventing care or services being provided; mere convenience to a local authority in avoiding future court applications is not relevant.

Related judgments

London Borough of Havering v LD and KD (2010) COP 1144388/03

Official summary

The following is an extract from Judiciary of England and Wales, 'Court of Protection Report 2010' (July 2011).

11. Re London Borough of Havering v LD and KD (His Honour Judge Turner QC, 25 June 2010)7. Havering applied to be a personal welfare deputy of LD, a man aged 22 who has cerebral palsy and global developmental delay. The application was opposed by the Official Solicitor as litigation friend of LD and his mother, KD, 42, who has a persistent delusional disorder or paranoid schizophrenia. At paragraph 41 the judge said: “It has been the practice of the court to appoint welfare deputies only relatively rarely. That accords with the Code of Practice. The Official Solicitor considers the court’s general approach to be correct and suggests it is to be applied in this case. I accept that submission. .. I do not consider this to be an especially unusual or difficult case. I consider that the issue of residence has recently and successfully been resolved by the court. Other issues raised in support of the application strike me as either routine (and thus properly subject to s.5 protection) or very major (and thus the better for court scrutiny). Court orders can in appropriate circumstances be obtained very swiftly indeed. I was not impressed by an argument on avoiding delay. ”

7 The facts of this case were briefly described in the 2009 report in relation to an earlier decision Re LD, KD & another v Havering [2010] WTLR 69.


Before: HHJ Turner QC

Hearing: 25/6/10

Mr M Horton (instructed by the Legal Services Department) appeared on behalf of the Applicant.

Miss J Richards (instructed by Irwin Mitchell LLP) appeared on behalf of the First Respondent.

Mr A Norton (instructed by Maxwell Gillott) appeared on behalf of the Second Respondent.


Previously on MHLO as (2011) COP 1144388/03


Thanks to Alex Ruck Keene (39 Essex Chambers) for providing the judgment.

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