Zena Soormally Bolwig

Partner, Court of Protection and Community Care

Career

Zena joined Simpson Millar (previously Maxwell Gillott) in May 2014, and has been working in the field of Capacity Law for 10 years. She was made Partner at Simpson Millar in 2018.

In her Court of Protection work, Zena specialises in both health and welfare applications and challenges to an individual’s deprivation of liberty.

Zena’s cases involve questions of capacity and best interests in relation to numerous questions, such as where an individual lives, what care they receive, who they have contact with, whether they can travel, use the internet, marry, have sex, or use contraception.

Zena also carries out Public Law challenges in relation to individuals who lack capacity. She acts in order to obtain appropriate support and accommodation from social services, the NHS and Clinical Commissioning Groups, including for those in care homes, hospitals and supported living placements and for care leavers.

In addition, Zena brings damages claims arising from her Court of Protection and Public Law work.

Zena accepts instructions from individuals who lack capacity (through a litigation friend), or from advocates, family members, carers or friends of those who lack capacity.

Zena gained a LLB Honours degree from Queen Mary University in 2006, followed by a Master of Laws (LLM) qualification from King’s College in 2008. Having been called to the bar at Gray’s Inn in 2007, she later converted her qualification with Oxford Brookes University and qualified as a Solicitor with the Housing and Community Care team at Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre in 2012.

Zena has worked with a number of charities including Crisis, where she volunteered as a specialist legal adviser at Christmas, and St Mungo’s Broadway, to whom she provided a fortnightly outreach advice service. Zena has a close relationship with a number of national and local charities, and is happy to receive referrals directly. Zena is also regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor.

Zena has been recommended for her capacity, Court of Protection and Public Law work by the Legal 500, most recently as a ‘Next Generation Lawyer’ for her Court of Protection work in both 2017 and 2018. She has also been recommended as an ‘Associate to Watch’ by Chambers UK in 2017 and 2018.

The guides have observed that Zena, a “Rising star”, is an "extremely diligent and thoughtful Solicitor with a very practical approach. She has a notable focus on cases concerning the mental capacity and best interests of vulnerable clients, particularly with regard to residential arrangements.” Also, she "is noted for being ‘a very organised and thorough associate who is a deep thinker and something of a perfectionist. She is a very good Litigator who is able to remain on top of large and detailed cases.”

Zena is an associate member of the National Mental Capacity Forum.

Interests outside of work

As a new mum, Zena has little time for hobbies but, when she does, she enjoys reading science fiction novels, cooking, walking, travelling, gardening and spending time with her family and rescue cat, Willow.

Awards

Modern Law Awards, Rising Star of the Year 2016.

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