Kate Luscombe - Abbotstone Law Partner
Kate Luscombe

Partner

Kate is a longstanding member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme, and a member of the Mental Health Lawyers Association. Kate is a peer reviewer for the Ministry of Justice and is committed to ensuring strict quality standards are met by mental health practitioners.

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Lara Patrick


Partner

Lara qualified as a solicitor in 2005 and is a long standing member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme.  In 2007 Lara was made a partner of the firm she qualified with, before moving on to Head of Department at the largest provider of publicly funded services.

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Andrea Spyrou


Partner

Andrea is a leading solicitor within the field of forensic mental health law and specialises in the representation of clients detained in high and medium secure hospitals.  She conducts her own advocacy before First-tier Tribunal hearings but also works closely with specialist counsel on legally complex hearings lasting many days.

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Fatima Boujettif


Partner

Lara qualified as a solicitor in 2005 and is a long standing member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme.  In 2007 Lara was made a partner of the firm she qualified with, before moving on to Head of Department at the largest provider of publicly funded services.

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Lyra Nightingale


Lyra is a specialist Mental Capacity Act lawyer with significant experience in best interests work with an emphasis on healthcare and serious medical treatment work. Lyra recently joined Abbotstone Law having spent several years advising both NHS and private healthcare providers and commissioners on a range of public law and mental capacity issues.

Lyra’s experience includes initiating proceedings in the High Court, Court of Protection and Inherent Jurisdiction relating to incapacitated or vulnerable adults and children. Lyra acts for P and other family members in s21A challenges to standard authorisations (DOLS) Health and Welfare cases and s16 best interest cases.

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Sam Rowland


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.

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Angela Smith


Angela specialises in Mental Health law and Mental Capacity law and routinely provides advice in respect of the complex overlap between these two areas of law.

Angela has extensive experience in Court of Protection matters relating to health and welfare disputes over residence, care and contact and in s.21A applications challenging authorisations granted under the deprivation of liberty safeguards regime.  She primarily represents the protected party (‘P’) in welfare cases, most frequently instructed on P’s behalf by the Official Solicitor, but also represents relatives involved in disputes over their loved ones’ care and residence or disagreements about their level of contact with their relatives.

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Ismahan Ali


Ismahan graduated from the University of Surrey studying Law as a Bachelor’s degree, and then went onto undertaking the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law, achieving a commendation.

Ismahan has subsequently gained employment as a paralegal sitting in Mental Health department representing patients in appeals before the Hospital Managers and at Care Programme Approach Meetings and Section 117 meetings. Ismahan assists a specialist team of solicitors in the case management of applications before the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health) and is working towards gaining panel membership of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation scheme.

Ismahan has a keen interest in protecting the rights of vulnerable individuals.

Bita Saharkhizian


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.

Yesim Hall


Yesim is a supervising solicitor in the mental health department providing training and guidance to junior members of the team to ensure the department delivers a high standard of representation for all clients. She has been accredited under the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation scheme since 2011.

Yesim is passionate about representing clients who are either detained in hospital or receiving treatment in the community subject to the legal framework of the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended). She is experienced in representing both adult and children who may be detained in high, medium or low secure settings.

As an experienced advocate, Yesim enjoys representing at Mental Health Tribunals and attending Hospital Managers hearings to challenge evidence disputed by her clients and ensure their interests are represented. She takes pride in the work she undertakes for clients, and strives to provide them with honest, impartial advice regarding their situation.

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Rhiannon Jones


Rhiannon undertakes Court of Protection and Community Care work and is based in Cornwall.

Rhiannon is experienced in the Court of Protection with Health and Welfare cases including acting for the Protected party and other family members. Other work can include s21A challenges to standard authorisations (DOLS) (Welfare) cases. She often takes instructions from the Official Solicitor. Rhiannon is an Accredited Legal Representative (ALR) with the Law Society.

Community Care cases include obtaining assessments of Care and Support needs, assessments for Carers, the provision of services, challenges to Care and Support Plans and Judicial Reviews in relation to the provision of services and accommodation.

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Christopher Rogers


Christopher studied Ancient and Modern History at Keble College Oxford University before completing the Common Professional Exam and the Bar Vocational Course.  He was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple and lectured for many years at The University of Northumbria in Newcastle upon Tyne.

He holds a Master of Laws degree in Canon Law from The University of Cardiff.  He has taught on a broad range of courses both academic, undergraduate and postgraduate, and professional courses such as the BPTC and Professional Skills Courses for trainee solicitors.

He was the Programme Leader for the LLB incorporating the Bar Vocational.  He completed his LLM dissertation on the canonical and civil regulation of sexuality and has contributed to the Ecclesiastical Law Journal.  He also wrote regularly for the Legal Executive Journal and contributed towards Public Law texts for students.  He retains a great interest in History of many different periods, enjoys reading literature, and takes a keen interest in Church Affairs.

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Frances Rattray


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.

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Magdalena Wiazowska


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.

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Francesca Gabbitas


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.

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Soni Mandair


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.

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