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Martin Searle Solicitors

Paula Jones

Associate Solicitor and Services for Professional Deputies Lead

“I have unique insight into Local Authority decision making as I spent many years working as a Community Care Solicitor at a Local Authority. I appreciate the challenges my clients face and I am well placed to achieve the best results on their behalf.”

Intro

Ì work from our Brighton Office with our Community Care Law team, providing advice and representation to vulnerable adults, their families and carers. As an experienced Community Care Law solicitor, I cover the full range of Community Care Law areas. I have particular expertise in Mental Capacity Law, including Best Interest Decision making and Safeguarding Adults at Risk. I also supervise our Community Care Law team.

I am an experienced advocate in the Court of Protection and the lead advisor on Mental Capacity Law, Best Interest Decision-making and Safeguarding. I am the point of contact for our Professional Deputies and Attorneys Services in which we advise and represent Professional Deputies and Attorneys who act for vulnerable individuals; and Private Client solicitors.

I run lectures and training courses across England for other legal professionals.

Expertise

I have expertise in:

  • Court of Protection and Mental Capacity Law, including
  • Services for Professional Deputies
  • Social Services disputes over care plans and care provision under the Care Act 2014
  • Planning and Paying for Care, including Social Services Charging Rules under the Care Act 2014
  • Safe discharge from hospital
  • Section 117 MHA 1983 after-care disputes
  • NHS Continuing Healthcare – assessment of eligibility, representation at all stages of assessments and appeals
  • Personal Health Budgets and Direct Payments

Clients

I act for the legal profession, specifically Professional Deputies and Attorneys and private client teams. I represent lay Deputies and Attorneys who require help and advice on various issues in Health and Social Care Law.

I work with a wide range of clients, including carers, family members and service users. I have extensive experience in representing clients involved in complex disputes between families and Local Authorities, where decisions have to be made on behalf of a family member that lacks capacity. I am a Dementia Friend and assist adults with learning disabilities.

Qualifications

I have a BSc in Combined Science from Brighton University. I completed my law conversion course at the College of Law in Guildford with a Commendation in 2000 and completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) in 2002 with a Distinction.

Other experience

Prior to joining Martin Searle Solicitors, I worked as an in-house Solicitor for a Local Authority advising and representing the Local Authority on all aspects of Community Care, Mental Capacity and Mental Health law. I was the Local Authority’s lead for the implementation of the Care Act 2014 and provided regular training for their professionals.

I was an Associate Lecturer at the Open University in the fields of public law, criminal law and employment law for over 8 years.

I have a life too

I enjoy hiking across the South Downs with my 2 dogs and riding my horse.

I am a regular fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support and have undertaken a number of challenges, including hiking 100km along the South Downs Way in 26 hours and climbing the two 2 highest peaks in the Atlas mountains.

To unwind, I enjoy good food and wine with friends and family, and I regularly practice yoga.

Get in touch with Paula

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