mental health law

In mental health law, our main area of work is providing advice to patients detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983. We therefore have enormous experience of representing patients in applications for discharge to the Mental Health Tribunal.

We are specialists, however, in all aspects of mental health law, which means that, as well as representing you if you are a hospital patient, we can also help if you are living in the community and have an issue with mental health services, if you have a family member with mental health problems, or if you are a prisoner and are unable to get access to treatment for a mental disorder.

A full list of the types of work we do appears below.

Most of our clients are entitled to legal aid and will not therefore need to pay for the advice we provide. Full details regarding legal aid and funding can be found here.

To discuss how we can assist you, please telephone 01823 692800 or email

Legal advice for hospital in-patients

Advice for in-patients can be provided on:

  • Lawfulness of detention under the Mental Health Act 1983
  • Representation at a Mental Health Tribunal hearings
  • Representation at a hospital managers’ hearings
  • Other avenues of discharge from detention (including Nearest Relative)
  • Hospital transfer
  • Challenging the lawfulness of decisions regarding treatment or care (judicial review)
  • Accessing medical records

Legal advice for community patients

Advice for community patients can be provided on:

  • Accessing mental health services
  • Getting admission to hospital for treatment
  • Entitlement to after-care (section 117 Mental Health Act 1983)
  • Community treatment orders
  • Challenging refusal to provide treatment
  • Challenging a funding decision

Legal advice for relatives

Advice for family members can be provided on:

  • The rights and powers of a Nearest Relative
  • Getting treatment for a family member
  • Arranging hospital admission for a family member
  • Getting support from mental health services

Legal Advice for prisoners

Advice for remand or serving prisoners can be provided on:

  • Seeking transfer to hospital for treatment under s47/48 of the Mental Health Act 1983
  • Challenging a refusal by the Ministry of Justice to authorise a transfer