Ashfords grows Court of Protection team with new hire

Ashfords has welcomed Jess Flanagan to the firm's busy Court of Protection (COP) team in Bristol, working alongside Katie Webber who heads up the team. Jess joins Ashfords from Clarke Willmott LLP, where she was a Partner and built up a very successful and well-respected practice in the highly challenging field of Health & Welfare Court of Protection work.  She has an extensive background in representing individuals who lack capacity in complex Health and Welfare proceedings before the Court of Protection and is a specialist in issues concerning capacity and best interests and deprivation of liberty, as well as wider community care and mental health law.  

Jess and Katie have worked alongside each other (for different parties in the same proceedings) over the past eight years, dealing with some of the most challenging legal situations and are frequently instructed by the Official Solicitor and Independent Mental Capacity Advocates in cases involving very vulnerable people who are not in a position to speak for themselves. They worked with HHJ Marston (who was the lead Court of Protection judge in the South West) in 2016 to establish the Regionalisation of the COP in the South West. During this time, Jess was Chair of the Court of Protection Practitioners Association (CoPPA) South West and Katie was the representative for the Bristol Court. They were both instrumental in the smooth transition of the administration of COP work from London to the Bristol hub.

Many years of working in the same arena has led to the development of a strong professional relationship and a mutual respect for each other and both Jess and Katie have a reputation as the ‘go to’ Court of Protection practitioners in the region. This is borne out by their ranking in Chambers with Jess also being singled out as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ by Legal 500 in 2022.  

Kerry Morgan Gould, Head of Trusts and Estates at Ashfords, said: “We are very pleased that Jess has joined us and are confident that Jess and Katie’s combined skills and experience will significantly enhance our reputation in the field of contentious Court of Protection work in the South West and Wales”.

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