Jessica Hailstone

Jessica Hailstone


Office Administrator

Jessica joined Abbotstone Law in February 2018 after many years in publishing and PR including running her own consultancy  and has developed a compassion for the needs of the clients with whom she is often first point of contact. She oversees the running the office on a day-to-day basis and acts as the link for many of the firm’s principal processes.


Ellie Pusey

Ellie Pusey


Finance Clerk

Ellie took on her role as Finance Clerk at the beginning of 2021. She has previous experience working as an Accounts Assistant, obtaining an AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting.


Lucinda Broad

Lucinda Broad


Mental Capacity Solicitor

Lucinda graduated from the University of Kent, Canterbury, with a 2:1 in Law. She went on to study the BVC at The Inns of Court School of Law and qualified as a Solicitor under the QLTT scheme in 2012

Having initially practiced in Mental Health Law, Lucinda now specialises in Mental Capacity Law (Health and Welfare) and assists in applications to the Court of Protection to review deprivation of liberty standard authorisations. As well as representing individuals who have been deprived of their liberty, Lucinda also represents family members seeking a review of their loved ones care, treatment and placement.

Lucinda has a long standing dedication to ensuring vulnerable adults access to justice and ensuring that those who may be disadvantaged are afforded a chance to have any restrictions reviewed in a legal setting.


Tolu Ipinmoye

Tolu Ipinmoye


Consultant Solicitor

Tolu qualified as a mental health solicitor in 2012. Prior to qualifying Tolu worked as a mental health nurse practitioner for six years within an NHS Trust in a rehabilitation setting for people with enduring mental health problems. He also acquired significant experience working with the Crisis and Home Treatment teams responding to people experiencing acute mental health issues in the community where possible facilitating less restrictive home treatment as an alternative to compulsory admission.

Tolu represents patients seeking to appeal their detention orders to the First-tier Tribunal and the Hospital Managers. Tolu is skilled in understanding his client’s needs and endeavours to demonstrate understanding and empathy to achieve good practical outcomes for those experiencing crisis including offering advice relating to local authority’s duty of care and discharge care planning.

Tolu is fluent in the Yoruba language.


Magdalena Wiazowska

Magdalena Wiazowska


Trainee Solicitor

Magdalena obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from London South Bank University, followed by a Master’s degree in Corporate Finance Law from the University of Westminster. She completed a Legal Practice Course in July 2017 with an overall commendation.

During her studies she volunteered in Cambridge House and South Westminster Legal Advice Centre, helping vulnerable children and adults.

Magdalena is a Paralegal and a member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme representing persons detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 in appeals before the First-tier Tribunal and Hospital Managers.

Magdalena is a fluent Polish language speaker.


Bita Saharkhizian

Bita Saharkhizian


Mental Capacity Paralegal

Bita graduated from the University of Surrey studying Law as a Bachelor’s degree, consequently undertaking the Legal Practice Course gaining a distinction combined with an MSc in ‘Law, Business and Management’ at the University of Law.

Bita has subsequently gained employment as a paralegal sitting in Court of Protection (Health & Welfare) department and assists a specialist team of solicitors in the case management of Section 21A applications (DoLs) and Section 16 Best Interest matters and has developed a keen interest in protecting the rights of vulnerable individuals.


Peter Wusu

Peter Wusu


Consultant Solicitor

Peter is a specialist mental health solicitor accredited under the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme since 2001 dealing with a cross section of cases, ranging from clients detained in general acute settings to those detained in conditions of maximum security.

He represents patients detained under all sections of the Mental Health Act before the First-tier Tribunal and Hospital Managers as well as transferred/lifer prisoners whose cases are referred to the Parole Board. Peter regularly represents his client’s interests at Care Programme Approach and Section 117 Meetings. Peter is passionate about his work and committed to ensuring that his clients human rights are safeguarded and that they receive the best possible support available to facilitate their discharge into the community.

He also represents nearest relatives subject to displacement proceedings before the County Court, as well as advising them of their rights under the Act.

Further to his Mental Health work, Peter also specialises in mental capacity law and featured as a recommended practitioner in the Legal 500 2017 edition.

Peter is fluent in Yoruba.


Sam Rowlands

Sam Rowlands


Consultant Solicitor

Sam is a solicitor and member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme. Prior to working in the field of mental health law, he had specialist experience of representing prisoners before the Parole Board.

Sam prides himself on representing clients with dedication and empathy. He has previous experience working for a charity as a youth mentor and volunteering at a homeless kitchen.

Sam read Modern History as an undergraduate at Oxford University, before undertaking postgraduate legal training.


Soni Mandair

Soni Mandair


Consultant Solicitor

Soni has specialised in Mental Health law since 1994 and been a member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation scheme since 1996.

Soni is a founding member of the committee to the Mental Health Lawyers Association and a former peer reviewer for the Legal Services Commission. Soni is passionate about quality standards in publicly funded work contributing to the second edition of the Mental Health Lawyers good guide for managing case files.

She joined Abbotstone Law in 2014 as a Consultant solicitor, prior to this Soni held senior managerial roles in other large mental health providers acting in a supervisory role.

Soni specialises in representing patients detained or being treated in the community under Part II (civil sections) and Part III (forensic sections) of the Mental Health Act including those transferred from prison to hospital. She has experience of representing complex forensic patients detained in high secure hospitals and has successfully argued a case for discharge direct from Broadmoor Hospital. Her experience as an accredited police station lawyer and knowledge of criminal practice and procedure supports her specialist knowledge of forensic mental health law.

She has advised and assisted patients in numerous Hospital Managers hearings and advised and represented nearest relatives. Soni also provides pro bono advice to healthcare providers on a regular basis.

Soni speaks Punjabi.


Francesca Gabbitas

Francesca Gabbitas


Head of Mental Capacity Department

Key Lawyer

Legal 500 Court of Protection 2021

The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Francesca specialises in the areas of Mental Capacity, Community Care and matters dealt with under the inherent jurisdiction. Francesca is a member of the Law Society’s Mental Capacity (welfare) accreditation scheme and is an Accredited Legal Representative. She is regularly instructed directly by individuals and on behalf of ‘Protected Persons’ through paid representatives and the Official Solicitor in complex disputes in the Court of Protection and the High Court.

Francesca has experience representing clients with very complex disabilities including acquired brain injuries, mental health issues and severe autism, as well as clients with communication difficulties.

Francesca specialises in all welfare matters for vulnerable individuals such as issues relating to a person’s deprivation of liberty and decisions regarding their care and residence. Francesca also has significant knowledge and experience in best interests disputes including those with extremely complex dynamics such as safeguarding matters, contact, access to the internet and social media, consent to sexual relations and access to medical treatment and medication. Francesca’s matters have had notably complex capacity issues where P has a very rare diagnosis or has been assessed as having fluctuating or borderline or capacity, or where P has capacity to make some decisions but not others,

Francesca also regularly represents family members recently acting in a case where she represented P’s husband in a linked matter being heard across the Family Courts, Court of Protection and Inherent Jurisdiction to determine P’s capacity to marry and engage in sexual relations, raising complex issues of cultural differences and relevant information. Francesca has also advised clients and was part of a media review into family members’ access to loved ones in care homes which resulted in the CQC providing updating guidance on the issue.

'Francesca Gabbitas is an immensely talented and dedicated solicitor. She goes far beyond the call of duty to understand what makes her clients unique. She is determined to advocate for their wishes and feelings but is also able to undertake a pragmatic approach and negotiate great results with public bodies.'

– Legal 500 2022 Testimonial

Notable Cases:

LBB and NB, SA, AD, MB (by his litigation friend the Official Solicitor), SB

Francesca acted for P’s father, in a complex s.16 matter relating to the care of P at home. Senior Judge Hilder presided over the case in considering whether it was in the best interests of P, a 22 year old with dyskinetic tetraplegic cerebral palsy, to undertake a 12-week period of intensive support and assessment at a rehabilitation centre. The case raised important arguments as to capacity and the judgment contains a detailed review of how the Court considers best interests of P fits within an intractable dispute between care givers and a family member.