Claims against local authority - family law/Court of Protection

Our actions solicitors are nationally recognised as leaders in the field of human rights law and actions against local authorities. Our specialist solicitors are active members of key associations including: Northern Administrative Lawyers Association, INQUEST Lawyers Group and Police Action Lawyers Group.

Our solicitors make compensation claims and undertake public law challenges on issues concerning human rights law and decisions by local authorities.

We offer competitive private funding rates and routinely act for clients who pay privately. We are proud of the service we offer to our clients. We are also a practice that has the benefit of a legal aid franchise and as such, are able to act for the most vulnerable clients, free of charge.

On occasions, we may act for you under a no win, no fee agreement. To speak to a member of the team call us on 0175 321 5096.


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Our experience

Stephensons are specialists in pursuing civil claims for compensation against local authorities. Examples include:

Unlawful deprivation of liberty

We currently act for numerous clients in pursuing civil claims for compensation against local authorities for a breach of Article 5 of the Human Rights Act 1998. The first key question for claims of this nature, is whether the client is being deprived of his/her liberty. This is a key legal question that we can assist you with.

If so, then the local authority, provided they are providing and funding the care package of an individual who is at a care provider, are under a duty to ensure that any deprivation of that person’s liberty is lawful. That will usually come in the form of a standard authorisation and/or application the Court of Protection. If this has not been done, then there is scope for a potential civil claim for compensation.

Our solicitors work alongside our Court of Protection team in cases of this nature, which is headed up by Melanie Varey. There is therefore an array of experience in dealing with claims of this nature - Mental capacity & Court of Protection

Abuse in a care home

Unfortunately, this is still an ongoing concern in many care homes. It can be particularly traumatic to find out that your loved one has been abused in a care home, which is being paid for by the local authority.

In some circumstances, this can amount to a breach of your loved ones Article 3 rights. Stephensons have a lot of experience in pursuing such claims and have been successful in doing so.

S.20 Accommodation agreements and/or Care Order delays

Stephensons are currently acting for a number of client’s for a breach of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998, in circumstances in which the local authority has unlawfully removed a child from home.  Specifically, if the local authority have sought agreement from an individual to remove a child from their home, known as a S.20 agreement, in circumstances when that individual lacked capacity to consent, then this may be unlawful.

In addition, a S.20 accommodation agreement is meant to be a short term measure. If the local authority fail to make an application for a care order in a reasonable time, following a s.20 agreement, then this delay may also be unlawful. In both circumstances, this may amount to a breach of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Failing to remove a child from home

In addition, we represent  client’s in circumstances when the local authority at are ‘at fault’ for failing to remove a child from home, when it was obvious to do so and/or they have suffered abuse. These are particularly sensitive cases and ought to be dealt with by a specialist solicitor.

There has been a recent development in this area and therefore, it is important that you seek advice immediately. Failing to remove a child from an abusive home can cause serious long term harm. This may amount to a breach of your Article 8 rights.

If you would like to speak to a member of the team in relation to a claim against a local authority call us on 0175 321 5096. Alternatively complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.

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