I work as an associate, chartered legal executive within the wills, trusts & probate team, helping clients with wills, lasting powers of attorney (LPAs), enduring powers of attorney, deputyships, contentious deputyships and LPAs, and care fees.
I am a full member of Solicitors for the Elderly (a group of specialist legal professionals who aim to make a difference to older and vulnerable people) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx).
I have a particular specialism in deputyship applications, assisting clients with the process of becoming a deputy and advising deputies with specific legal issues, court applications or general financial management. My work ranges from obtaining deputyship orders for adult children for their elderly parent, obtaining a deputyship order where there has been a personal injury or clinical negligence resulting in lack of capacity and for young people who have special needs and lack mental capacity.
I adopt a sympathetic but practical approach with clients, in what can be an extremely difficult time.
I have completed the Society for Estates and Practitioners (STEP) examinations, with a particular emphasis on advising vulnerable clients. I have specialist experience in the areas of mental capacity, care fees, deputyships, lasting powers of attorney, gifts and making financial and health and welfare decisions for people who lack mental capacity.
Some examples of my experience include:
Acting for a child who came to the UK from the Middle East to have an operation to cure a heart defect. The operation was mismanaged and she suffered serious physical and mental injuries. Her clinical negligence claim was settled for over £2.5 million. This matter also involved an urgent application for a large lifetime gift for the client’s father, which involved liaising with both the official solicitor and the client’s family at home. The purpose of the gift was to settle debts incurred by our client’s father during the litigation. The application was made on an emergency basis due to the family’s difficult circumstances and approved by the court. Evidence had to be obtained from the Middle East to evidence the family’s need and the negative impact this was having on the child.
Acting for a client, who is deputy for his mother (an 83 year old with Alzheimers) who has gone into care. The client wanted to sell her mother’s property and either invest the proceeds or purchase a further property as an investment. An application to the Court of Protection was made for an order for sale of the property and purchase of a subsequent property. The deputy also needed to obtain independent financial advice and a valuation report carried out by a surveyor. I needed to demonstrate to the court that the mother’s best interests had been taken into account in relation to her health and life expectancy and also that my client, as her deputy, has taken proper advice in relation to any decision taken in investing the funds following the sale. The court granted the application.
I acted for a client who wished to become the deputy of a relative who had lost capacity. The relative lived in the UK but my client did not. I was instructed through another firm of solicitors in the foreign jurisdiction. The client did not have the necessary financial details for his relative to supply to the court and so I applied to the court for an interim order which he provided to the banks to release the necessary information. This was required in order for the application for deputyship to proceed. After that information had been provided to the court, it made a deputyship order in my client’s favour.
I advised a client, who had already been appointed as deputy for her mother. The deputyship order had not provided for the deputy to sell or purchase property on their mother’s behalf. The mother had now moved into a care home and the property needed to be sold to pay for care home fees. We made a successful application to the court to allow the deputy to sell the property.
I acted as deputy to a client, who suffered injuries and losses as a result of being assaulted in 1998. The client is in his 50s and has little family in the UK.
"I was very impressed by Janine Guthrie and so grateful that she was able to help immediately in a very urgent matter yesterday."
"We should like to thank you again for the excellent service you gave us; very professional at all times but with a very personal approach."
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