Burrows, Simon

Simon Burrows’ practice mainly concerns the human rights of people subject to the Mental Health Act or Mental Capacity Act (MCA). He now appears principally in the Court of Protection in cases involving welfare decisions, deprivation of liberty safeguards (DOLS), and medical treatment decisions.

He is instructed on behalf of public authorities (local councils, PCTs, NHS hospital trusts), social care providers, members of families where a relative is the person concerned in the proceedings, as well as those who are said to lack capacity (usually on behalf of the official solicitor). He also advises on advance decisions and lasting powers of attorney as well as neglect under s. 44 of the MCA. His practice covers property and affairs as well as care and treatment.

Burrows also practices in the field of mental health. He appears before the First-tier Tribunal as well as the Upper Tribunal on appeals and judicial review. Although he usually acts in cases concerning restricted patients he will also accept instructions in cases where the patient is not subject to restrictions. Recently, he has been involved in cases concerning the level of restrictions that can be placed on a restricted patient when conditionally discharged. He is regularly asked to advise on challenges to decisions of the First-Tier Tribunal, as well as the numerous issues that arise out of community treatment orders and the appropriateness of treatment. As a result of this experience, he is also asked to advise on issues arising out of the complex interface between the Mental Health Act and the MCA/DOLS, which can lead to serious complications even where there is no dispute between the parties as to the proper placement of a person in need of care or treatment. Applications under s.21A MCA are becoming a common feature of his work, as well as the use and abuse of community treatment orders and guardianship as a method of depriving patients of their liberty.

Burrows advises and represents in cases concerning detention and treatment under the Mental Health Act, including claims for judicial review and habeas corpus, assault and unlawful detention claims for damages. He also practices in the field of clinical negligence particularly in relation to mental health and mental capacity cases as well as Article 2 cases. He has appeared in a number of inquests concerning deaths in hospitals (both psychiatric and non-psychiatric) as well as care homes, including those involving the suicides of patients, and the deaths of psychiatric patients in the community or deaths caused by those patients.

He is happy to accept instructions in most areas of regulatory work and public law, including the judicial review of the decisions of regulators within healthcare and other areas. Burrows is sensitive to the needs of those involved in the mental health field and is willing to discuss cases on an informal basis prior to formal instruction. He is authorised to accept direct professional access, and will do so in appropriate circumstances.

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This information was sourced from the Kings Chambers website.