Court of Protection
“Rhys is a very diligent barrister who is always willing to go the extra mile.”
Chambers and Partners 2019
Rhys is on the Attorney General’s Regional B Panel and the Welsh Government’s Junior Counsel A Panel.
Experience & Expertise
Rhys is one of a handful practitioners at the self-employed Bar whose practice in the Court of Protection encompasses health and welfare and property and affairs. He has appeared in over 250 different cases across the whole spectrum of work including medical treatment, personal welfare, deprivation of liberty and property and affairs. He is frequently involved in cases that have a cross-border element or an overlap with other areas of law.
In relation to health and welfare cases, Rhys is regularly involved in complex and unusual cases, particularly where there is a difficult point of law or interlinked issues of mental health or community care law. He also has extensive experience of heavy fact-finding hearings where they may be substantial allegations of harm and safeguarding concerns.
Rhys has growing experience of serious medical treatment cases, particularly where there is an overlapping personal welfare element that may subsist after the proposed treatment has been provided (e.g. residence, care and contact).
In relation to property and financial affairs, Rhys is frequently instructed to deal with cases concerning the appointment and removal of deputies and attorneys, statutory wills and gifts. He has advised and represented deputies in cases where cross-border issues and questions of a person’s habitual residence under Sch.3 MCA 2005 have arisen.
Rhys is used to dealing with cases that raise complex mental capacity issues, including the capacity to marry, consent to sexual relations and contact with others. As a consequence of this, he has gained experience of parallel applications for a declaration of non-recognition of marriage in the High Court and forced marriage protection orders in the Family Court.
Rhys has acted in a number of cases where an individual has capacity but is vulnerable and permission has been sought to invoke the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court. One recent example has been bringing an application for protective orders in relation to a vulnerable young woman who was deemed by the Counter-Terrorism Unit of the Metropolitan Police to be at significant risk of radicalisation and had been stopped from boarding a flight to Cyprus at Heathrow airport.
Cases and work of note
- King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v FG  EWCOP 7
Serious medical treatment case before the Court of Protection. Declaration sought that it would be lawful and in the best interests of a patient, FG, to undertake an operation under general anaesthetic to repair his fractured and disclocated right shoulder. FG, who was also detained under the MHA 1983, repeatedly refused to accept the need for any form of treatment. In light of this, the Hospital also sought authorisation to covertly sedate him, if necessary, to transport him to hospital. Instructed by both NHS Trusts.
- A Local Authority v WB & Ors (2018)
Case before the Court of Protection and High Court (Family Division) concerning young man with microcephaly and moderate learning disability following a marriage ceremony in Pakistan. The case considered: (i) whether WB lacked capacity to enter into a marriage, consent to sexual relations, make decisions regarding his residence, care, treatment, contact with others and finances; (ii) a declaration under the inherent jurisdiction of non-recognition of WB’s marriage; (iii) whether a Forced Marriage Protection Order was necessary. Instructed by Official Solicitor on behalf of WB.
- R (ID) v Cornwall Council (CO/849/2017)
“Hybrid” case before the Court of Protection and Administrative Court. The claim considered whether the local authority had taken a lawful decision to withdraw a care package at home for an incapacitated adult, ID, on the basis that her needs under the Care Act 2014 could be met in a more cost-effective way in a care home. Instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of ID.
- A Local Authority v DM & Others (2017)
Contempt proceedings in the Court of Protection concerning DM and her son, JM, who were both profoundly deaf. DM had dementia and lived in a specialist nursing home. Applicant local authority had applied to commit JM on basis of alleged breaches of a court order made in 2014 and disturbances at the nursing home. Instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of DM.
- A Local Authority v CB (2017)
Complex welfare case before the Court of Protection to consider whether it would be in CB’s best interests to relocate to Germany and/or Scotland. Expert evidence obtained in relation to the proposed relocation in each country and the health, emotional and psychological impact upon CB of moving. Instructed by the applicant local authority.
- A Local Authority v ML, A Trust & Others (2017)
Complex health and welfare case in the Court of Protection involving young adult, ML, with severe learning disabilities and epilepsy. The application centred on personal welfare orders regarding the appropriate care and treatment plan further to a schedule of findings as a failure to implement the medication plan included a risk of death. Instructed on behalf of ML’s parents.
- A Local Authority v A CCG (2017)
Complex health and welfare case before the Court of Protection concerning a Polish national, HS, who had sustained an acquired brain injury in England following a car accident. Application centred on whether it would be in HS’s best interests to permanently relocate to Poland in accordance with his wishes and feelings. Instructed by the Official Solicitor on behalf of HS.
- Re AB (2016)
Court of protection – property and affairs. Determination under Sch.3 MCA 2005 in relation to: (i) whether P was habitually resident in England or Scotland; and (ii) the validity of a Scottish power of attorney and whether it fell for consideration as a “foreign” power of attorney in England and Wales. Instructed by the English attorney.
- A Local Authority v HK (2016)
Claim in relation to whether the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court could and/or should be used to make protective orders in relation to a vulnerable adult that had been stopped at Heathrow Airport and identified as being at risk of radicalisation by the Counter-Terrorism Unit within the Metropolitan Police Service (SO15). Instructed on behalf of the applicant local authority.
- CB v A Local Authority (B4/2016/3488; B4/2016/3652)
Conjoined appeals before the Court of Appeal in relation to whether the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court could be invoked to authorise a deprivation of liberty of a looked after child in England in: (i) a hotel room in England; (ii) a secure accommodation unit in Scotland. Appeal stayed to allow passage of Children and Social Work bill through Parliament and later settled by consent. Instructed as sole counsel by respondent local authority.
- MASM v MMAM & Others  EWCOP 3
Court of Protection case where P was removed from a care home in England to Saudi Arabia during proceedings. The case concerned the issue of whether acting contrary to a declaration under s.15 MCA 2008 could trigger contempt proceedings. The court provided practice guidance on the correct approach of parties and the court to orders made under s.16 MCA 2005. Instructed by respondent local authority.