The practice note has been put together by the Law Society Mental Health and Disability Committee to assist those working in legal services, particularly those who might not act for vulnerable adults on a regular basis, in response to calls for support from solicitors and charities such as Mencap.

Sheree Green, Court of Protection Lead at Anthony Collins Solicitors, and member of the Law Society Mental Health and Disability Committee, said: “Vulnerability is no respecter of persons. Any one of us may find ourselves in a vulnerable position at some point in our lives, and the provision of careful and tailored legal advice and services may make all the difference to us in that moment, and in securing our future.”

Law Society president, Andrew Caplen, said: “Vulnerable people face particular obstacles in accessing justice, including getting help from a solicitor. We have produced this important guidance to support our members and to help their clients to get the legal advice and tailored support that they need.”

Vulnerability can affect people at various points in their life and make it difficult for them to access and use legal services.  This may be as a result of a painful life event, such as bereavement; a person’s age; illness or a disability; or living arrangements. The guidance focuses on:

  • clients who have capacity to make decisions and provide instructions, but who require support to use a solicitor's services and give instructions;
  • clients who lack mental capacity to make decisions for whom a range of statutory and other safeguards must be followed;
  • clients who are vulnerable to undue influence or duress.

Sheree adds, “At Anthony Collins Solicitors, we understand the importance of respecting each client as an individual. We identify the needs of potentially vulnerable people and work with them (and their advocates where appropriate) to secure the best possible legal outcome. Our private client team warmly welcomes the publication of this Practice Note.”

For more information

For more information please contact Sheree Green