Simpson Millar welcomes Leading Court of Protection Solicitor
26 May 2021
One of the country’s leading authorities on Court of Protection (CoP) has joined Simpson Millar in a move that further cements the firm’s commitment to building an unrivalled, national network of specialists acting on behalf of people who lack capacity to make decisions for themselves.
Based in Manchester and appointed to join the property and affairs division, Kate Edwards brings with her more than a decade of experience during which time she has co-authored the Court of Protection Handbook and been named as a ‘rising star’ by the prestigious legal directory, Legal 500.
Her appointment to the team – which oversees the property, financial affairs and personal welfare of people who lack mental capacity to make decisions for themselves – sees her join fellow expert and Solicitor Carl Marston who joined the business last year, and who previously worked at both Irwin Mitchell and Lees Solicitors.
In 2020 Kate was invited by Mr Justice Hayden to join the ‘hive committee’ – a small group of key individuals who could consult rapidly on the issues affecting the working of the CoP during the pandemic - at the start of the Covid-crisis. A position she continues to hold, representing property and affairs solicitors as part of the network.
Joining from Wrigleys, Kate has a wealth of expertise in professional deputyship, including complex cases involving high value litigation, cross border disputes and welfare issues. She is also involved with applications for statutory wills, gifts, gratuitous care payments and other related matters.
First appointed as a professional deputy in her own right in 2013, she has gone on to work with hundreds of traditional and blended families from a whole range of different backgrounds and cultures, including those from the travelling community.
She will now also work to support Simpson Millar’s Personal Injury department, including acting on behalf of victims of serious injuries and medical negligence who lack capacity.
Carl, who has previously led a team managing the day to day financial and property matters, also has a considerable knowledge of personal injury and clinical negligence claims having been a serious personal injury lawyer for 20 years before he chose to pursue his interests in the Court of Protection.
This insight has helped him to provide invaluable assistance to personal injury solicitors and has helped him build strong relationships with his clients and their families throughout the claim process.
Commenting on her new role, Kate said: “I am delighted to be joining the CoP team at Simpson Millar.
“My whole career has been dedicated to this field, which in itself is dedicated to ensuring that our clients – many of whom are extremely vulnerable - receive the outcome that best meets their needs."
“Simpson Millar’s open approach to ensuring that they can provide legal support to clients when they need it most is a perfect complement to the work that I do, and the work that I am so passionate about."
“I have a particular interest in contested applications, assisting family members to resolve problems with another family member who is deputy or attorney, and I am excited to continue this work as part of Simpson Millar’s national network of top-quality lawyers.”
Melanie Varey, Simpson Millar’s head of Court of Protection, added: “It’s an honour to be welcoming Kate to the team. Her expertise and passion for the field is highly impressive and makes her perfect for the role.
“She joins us during an exciting period of growth for the department, which also welcomed Carl last year, and which is now one of the largest and most experienced Court of Protection teams in the country."
“As someone who embodies many of our goals here at Simpson Millar, most importantly offering our clients transparent and forward-thinking legal solutions, it is a real privilege to have her on board.”
In 2012 Kate founded the Court of Protection Practitioner’s Association (CoPPA) and continues to sit on the national executive committee.
An experienced spokesperson on key topics, Carl has regularly featured in the press - including appearances on BBC Radio and TV to discuss various areas of the law within his expertise. He established a strong relationship with charities through fundraising and presenting informative talks on key issues.
Kate’s arrival at Simpson Millar follows a string of ‘strategic appointments’ for the firm which is working to bolster its national network of ‘top-quality lawyers’ and its personal injury, public law and private client offering across the country.
Earlier this month the business welcomed Cara Nuttall as a new Family Law Partner in a move which furthers the firm’s ambitious expansion plans for 2021.
The move forms part of Simpson Millar’s ambitions to ‘open’ up the law to make it easier for people to get legal help and support when they need it most.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.