Douglas HoughtonSenior associate
Senior associate in the personal planning team
I am a senior associate in the personal planning and management department specialising in Court of Protection matters, non-contentious and contentious, and am one of the firm’s professional deputies.
As a deputy, I am responsible for managing the financial affairs of individuals who lack the capacity to do so themselves as is in their best interests. I act for a range of people, from those who have suffered significant injuries as a result of personal injury or clinical negligence, to those who live in professional care settings or those who live in the community with mental health issues and require support. I am often approached to act as a professional deputy where there are no family members who can act or there is a need to investigate the administration of a former deputy or attorney and intervention is required.
I also advise individuals and professionals on all aspects of deputyship, attorneyship and the management of property and financial affairs under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, as well as advising and assisting on disputed applications in the Court of Protection, including:
- applications for the appointment of a deputy or new trustees;
- the sale of property or the extension of a deputy’s authority;
- statutory wills;
- retrospective gifting approval;
- financial abuse and other issues.
Before joining Anthony Collins Solicitors, I specialised in private client litigation, in particular, wills trusts and estate disputes, and contentious Court of Protection applications for several years before focusing on the Court of Protection. I remain a full member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and I am an associate member of Solicitors for the Elderly. As stated by Legal 500, I have been praised by clients for my ‘steady and calm approach and insight’.
The Act is underpinned by the fundamental concept that everything must be done in the P’s best interests and enshrines the five core principle under section 1 of the Act as follows: “(2) A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that he lacks capacity.