Frances Rattray

Consultant Solicitor

Frances trained as a barrister and was called to the Bar in 1998, cross-qualifying as a solicitor in 2007.  She has higher rights of audience in all proceedings in England and Wales.  Committed to representing those confined within the mental health system and disadvantaged by mental illness, she began exclusively to practice mental health law in 2004.

Frances has a particular interest in human rights issues such as deprivation of liberty and rights to private and family life, to a fair hearing, and to freedom from inhumane and degrading treatment.  Apart from Court of Protection and tribunal work, she has successfully issued habeas corpus proceedings in respect of those unlawfully detained, and advised and represented clients in judicial review applications.

For many years, Frances’ practice was divided between mental health and mental capacity work. Her Mental Health Act work mostly involved the representation of patients detained in hospital or liable to detention in the community, and to a lesser degree the representation of nearest relatives and patients in displacement proceedings initiated by local authorities in the County Court.  Her Mental Capacity Act work included representation in welfare and deprivation of liberty applications, the drafting of lasting powers of attorney, deputyship and statutory will applications.  Her extensive work in both Mental Health and Mental Capacity law has provided her with a particularly good grasp of the complex interface between the two statutory regimes.

Frances now concentrates on health and welfare cases in the Court of Protection, where she is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor in deprivation of liberty challenges and best interests proceedings.  Her ability to engage constructively with litigants in person adds both to the efficient progression of cases and to the administration of justice.

Frances speaks French as a second language.

Notable Cases:


AM v (1) South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and (2) The Secretary of State for Health [2013] UKUT 0365 (AAC)

Landmark case on the interface between the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended) and the Mental Capacity Act 2005)


CV v South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust [2010] EWCH 742 Administration

AMHP’s duty to consult the nearest relative and meaning of “reasonably practicable” and “unreasonable delay”


R (ZN) v South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (2010) CO/9457/2009 (MHLO)

The de facto detention of an informal incapacitous patient, and the series of detentions under s5(2) was unlawful (claim settled by consent).