Profile / Experience
I am a Consultant Solicitor in the Housing Department at Duncan Lewis Solicitors.
Due to my experience, I have become well known for my extensive legal knowledge of issues concerning anti-social behaviour, homelessness mental health and capacity. I have undertaken a number of housing law related judicial review claims on behalf of claimants, which have resulted in high court orders being made against local authorities.
Capacity is a major issue and can have a huge impact on an individual's life. The consequences of a lack of capacity could lead to loss of one’s home, which will inevitably lead an individual to being homeless. These individuals are the most vulnerable and are more likely to be led into a life of crime, drugs, alcohol and severity of mental health. I have significant experience assisting and advising such vulnerable clients.
The clients I advise and assist have usually been in the care system from a young age, have witnessed and/or been subjected to violence which has led to their behaviour being unreasonable and often out of control. Professionals have often tried to intervene but with little success so they are left to their own devices which causes the issues to spiral out of control leading to drugs, alcohol abuse and crime. From first reviewing the case and speaking to the client I see there is often an underlying reason behind their behaviour and it is not out of choice they behave this way.
In acting for my clients, I obtain a report and/or GP records, do the necessary referrals and get social services involved when necessary. These actions enable my clients to obtain the medication they need and/or third party support required. It has frequently has changed their lives for the better, with me being able to save them from losing their home and on several occasions rebuilding broken relationships with their family or friends.
Expert reports are often needed in court proceedings to assess mental capacity, identify disabilities and the effect this has on their behaviour/ability to deal with matters. This has given me a wide knowledge of different mental health issues including dementia, hoarding, disabilities in children and the ability of an individual to parent them.
I am committed to assisting those most in need and have devoted much time to understanding the impact of how offending and involvement in gangs has an impact on mental health and the effect on housing if not handled correctly. I have written my own course on offenders and gangs and lectured via HQN training. I particularly focus on teaching professionals what to look out for, how this can be dealt with, what steps could be taken to prevent this happening and showing helping someone from an early stage can save their home, change their future and make a huge difference.