Congratulations to solicitor Rachael Hart on receiving Law Society Mental Health Scheme accreditation

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Congratulations to Rachael Hart, Solicitor in the Mental health team here at Punch Robson, who has joined the select group of solicitors nationally who are accredited by the Law Society Mental Health Scheme.

Rachael joins Julia Walker and Graeme Downs at Punch Robson as accredited members of the scheme, solidifying the firm’s role as a leader in the representation of vulnerable mental health patients.  Only members of the scheme are able to provide advocacy at Mental Health Tribunals for those patients who have been detained under the mental heath act.  This advocacy is eligible for legal aid funding. 

The process of achieving accreditation has not been easy – having undertaken additional professional training in the area of mental health, and completed a detailed application, Rachael was called to interview at the Law Society in London where she had to prepare and present a case study to the panel. 

“I’m really proud to have achieved this recognition from the Law Society, and it is a real boost to have my specialist expertise in this area acknowledged.” said Rachael, “Accreditation has been the next step for me in terms of being able to support clients all the way through the process – and I am very much looking forward to being able to stand beside clients at the tribunal, in addition to supporting them in preparing their case.”

Rachael’s work focuses on providing advice, assistance and representation to patients who are “sectioned” or detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. All detained patients have a right to appeal to the Mental Health Tribunal if they do not agree to being sectioned. The most common sections include S2 for assessment and S3 for treatment. There are also Criminal sections including S37/41 where discharge can only be granted by the Mental Health Tribunal and less commonly by the Ministry of Justice.

Managing Partner at Punch Robson Solicitors Geoff Cruickshank said of the good news “The Partners at Punch Robson are proud to congratulate Rachael, who plays a key role in a team dedicated to providing high quality, specialist representation to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Do you or a member of your family suffer mental health problems which have led to Health Professionals discussing or seeking detention powers?  Call our team now for more information about how we can help.

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