Our lawyers have particular expertise in dealing with vulnerable individuals who have mental health difficulties and who may be detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act.
We are a young, progressive firm with a fresh approach towards legal practice. We aim for a friendly relationship with all our clients, but we also recognise the need to work to the highest professional standards on their behalf at all times.
We are committed to excellence in our work, and our aim is to make sure that every single client feels that they have had the best possible advice and representation.
We are based in Taunton, though our reputation means that we are instructed to represent clients nationwide.
Please feel free to contact any member of the firm for more information about how we can help you. Call our office on 01823 692800 or click here to send us an email and we will call you back.
Michael founded Butler and Co in 2005, and is the firm's Principal.
He qualified as a solicitor in 1992 in London, having graduated from Warwick University and the College of Law, Chancery Lane. He was previously a partner at Claude Hornby and Cox Solicitors, London.
He has over 20 years' worth of experience representing clients in courts and tribunals and has been a Higher Court Advocate since 2003.
He is an acknowledged expert in mental health law, and is the author of 'A Practitioner's Guide to Mental Health Law', published by Wildy, Simmonds and Hill.
Michael's principal areas of work are:
Mental Health Law
Michael advises patients detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, and regularly represents such patients at applications for discharge to Mental Health Tribunals and at hospital managers' hearings. He receives instructions to act for detained patients all over the country with a wide range of mental health conditions. In particular, though, he has a wealth of experience as a criminal litigator and therefore has a particular expertise in relation to forensic mental health cases. Accordingly, he represents a large number of clients detained in secure units.
Michael also represents detained patients in High Court proceedings to challenge the lawfulness of decisions taken about their care and treatment by hospitals and/or local authorities.
In addition, a significant portion of Michael's work involves advising patients and their families on how to challenge hospitals or authorities who refuse to fund certain types of treatment or care, particularly with regard to after-care responsibilities under section 117 Mental Health Act 1983.
He is an accredited member of the Law Society Mental Health Tribunal Panel and is also a member of the Mental Health Lawyers Association (MHLA).
Mental Capacity Law
Michael is frequently instructed to act on behalf of both patients and their families in proceedings at the Court of Protection. The majority of his work in this regard relates to health and welfare cases and, in particular, those involve deprivations of liberty. Michael therefore regularly acts for parties involved in proceedings brought under s21A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
He accepts instructions on behalf of patients from paid representatives and from family members acting as litigation friends. He is also regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor.
Michael also receives instructions to act in Coroners' Court proceedings on behalf of bereaved families, particularly those cases involving deaths in psychiatric hospitals.
Michael lectures on mental health and mental capacity law and has presented numerous courses to other lawyers on behalf of Central Law Training over the years. He prepares and presents bespoke training packages for lawyers and other mental health professionals, and also presents an approved 2-day course for all candidates wishing to join the Law Society panel of accredited mental health lawyers.