As an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) or Relevant Person's Representative (RPR), you might need legal support to carry out your role. Our experienced team of mental capacity lawyers can give you expert advice and representation if you need to dispute a decision or challenge a deprivation of liberty.

Deprivation of Liberty challenges can be tricky for IMCA and RPRs. Legal advice can help you comply with the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). You can make a challenge under Section 21A of the Mental Capacity Act for someone if they:

  • Don’t agree that they lack mental capacity
  • Want to leave residential care and move back to their own home
  • Want to move to a different, less restrictive, residential placement.

As well as cases under the DoLS, our mental capacity solicitors can also help IMCAs and RPRs with issues around:

  • Welfare disputes, including disputes about placements, contact with family or safety concerns
  • Concerns over capacity assessments, including capacity to consent to sex and capacity to marry
  • Disputes about serious medical treatment, like deciding to stop life sustaining treatment
  • Acting as a 'litigation friend'
  • Court of Protection proceedings.

We understand that these issues are time consuming for IMCAs, RPRs and other advocates. We work hard to ensure that the process is as simple and straightforward as possible.

To find out more about how we can help, contact us online or call our team today on 0800 028 1943.

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Independent Mental Capacity Advocates and Relevant Person's Representatives - More Information

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Without Irwin Mitchell challenging the Local Authority we would still be awaiting an answer.”

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Client Story ‐ Improving Applications For Deprivation Of Liberty

“The purpose of the recent judgement was to consider how the Court could streamline the process for dealing with these court applications going forward, on the basis that the numbers are likely to increase significantly." - Irwin Mitchell

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Litigation Friend?

A litigation friend is someone who makes decisions about court cases for children and adults who lack the mental capacity to do so themselves. An adult with a litigation friend is called the 'protected party' in court.

Ligation friends' responsibilities include:

  • Making decisions in the person's best interests
  • Keeping them up-to-date with the progress of the case and finding out their wishes and feelings
  • Communicating with, getting advice from and instructing their solicitor.

Anyone can apply to be someone's litigation friend for a case as long as you don’t have any conflicting interests. It’s important you can make fair and competent decisions about the case. Litigation friends are often family members, friends, solicitors, RPRs, IMCAs or Court of Protection Deputies.

For more advice about becoming or appointing a litigation friend, please contact us online for more information.

Why Should I Choose Irwin Mitchell For My Mental Capacity Case?

Our experienced team of mental capacity solicitors are national leaders in mental capacity disputes.

We’ve been involved in leading mental capacity cases, including the landmark Cheshire West Supreme Court case. We represented the mother of the man at the centre of the case. We’re regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor, IMCAs and care organisations, who come to us because they trust our dedication and expertise in this field.

Our expert lawyers have experience in mediation and negotiations in hotly disputed cases, inside and outside the Court of Protection. As a full service law firm, we also offer a wide variety of other services that can be helpful for individuals with reduced mental capacity. We can help with representation in healthcare and human rights disputes or help with personal injury trusts.

What Are The Deprivation Of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)?

A 'deprivation of liberty' is when an adult who lacks the mental capacity to make decisions about their care is under constant supervision and control and isn’t free to leave their residence.

In certain circumstances this may be justified. In a landmark case in 2014 that we were involved in (the ‘Cheshire West’ case) ruled that these decisions need proper authorisation.

In some situations, local councils can give authorisation through the Deprivation Of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). In many circumstances, this authorisation can only come from the Court of Protection, including where there’s a dispute about the placement.

If you're involved in a dispute over deprivation of liberty, it's important to get specialist legal advice for this complex, evolving area of law. We’re the national leaders in this field, having been involved in a number of high-profile cases, including the recent 'community DoLS' cases of Re X and NRA. Contact us today to find out more.

Awards & Accreditations

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.


Private Client Team of the Year - Legal Business Awards 2018
The Times Best Law Firms 2019
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Courteous and professional
The team is helpful, courteous and professional and provides clear and concise advice."
Involved in some of the leading cases
They've been involved in some of the leading cases and are really committed to the individual and human rights."

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