Mental Health Solicitors

Mental health solicitors
Legally reviewed by: Tim Lumb

Mental health solicitors with compassion

When mental health is involved in any legal case, it is paramount that the right legal support is involved. Cartwright King’s specialist Mental Health solicitors understand the complexities and issues involved in mental health cases and that this can be a distressing time for those affected. So as not to cause any additional stress on the individuals battling with the everyday complexities of their mental health condition, our dedicated team provides a fully focused, compassionate approach. We ensure that our client’s wishes are heard and understood, allowing their legal rights to be met.

We do more than just offer comprehensive advice and support, our specialist solicitors can challenge detention under the Mental Health Act, as well as decisions made by the health trusts and the Ministry of Justice. Our top priority is to ensure that the best interests of mental health patients are protected. Our team of specialists are all accredited members of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme, so you can be assured that your case will be handled with expertise and professionalism.

Our team of Mental Health Lawyers are extremely proficient in supporting legal cases under the jurisdiction of Mental Health Law. Our solicitors are equipped with the very best expertise to support all clients battling their mental health conditions. We are qualified to represent you at tribunals or hospital managers meetings if you are seeking discharge or a recommendation about your case.

Regardless of your reason for our expertise, we endeavour to cut through the legal jargon, providing straightforward options for your case. Let our specialists shoulder the burden, guiding you through your unique case with their years of experience.

For sensitive, straightforward legal support, get in touch with our Mental Health Team today.

We can help with…

As recognised experts in Mental Health Law, our solicitors can help patients detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. The Mental Health Act covers the assessment, treatment and rights of people with Mental Health conditions – whether that be a mental illness, a learning disability or a personality disorder. When Mental Health Care Professionals fail in their duty of care, we are there to represent individuals and their nearest relative, helping them protect their rights under Mental Health Law.

We can also represent those subject to Community Treatment Orders (CTO), an order made by a clinician to provide supervised treatment in the community as opposed to going to a hospital. If you wish to apply for discharge from your CTO, we can help you apply to the Mental Health Tribunal, offering expert advice every step of the way. 

With our strong legal background, our solicitors can provide professional advice in a range of areas, including:

Our experts can also help with…

  • Representation at the Mental Health Tribunal and Hospital Managers Meetings
  • Working with independent experts to examine and present medical, forensic and scientific evidence
  • Appeals to the Upper Tier Tribunal of decisions by the Mental Health Tribunal
  • Advising on complex forensic cases in the high secure hospital

Our Mental Health Lawyers Can Support You

At Cartwright King, our Mental Health solicitors are passionate about protecting people’s human rights, regardless of their situation. We work tirelessly to safeguard our mental health clients, in an attempt to end all unwarranted intrusions. That is why our solicitors undergo regular training to ensure we provide our clients with the highest standard of representation.

We understand that every case is different and requires completely tailored advice. To reduce your burden, we take a sensitive approach to your case, always putting your best interests and wishes at the forefront. As this can be a complex and demanding area of the law, we always bypass the legal jargon and provide clear advice.

From individuals who are detained in general psychiatric hospitals and secure hospitals, we can act on your behalf. Our service is about making legal advice more accessible. That is why we can arrange hospital visits, allowing you to get the support you need no matter what your situation is.

For those who have mental health problems, learning disabilities or are vulnerable people, our solicitors can explore every legal option to ensure the boundaries of Mental Health Law are challenged. However, our specialities do not end here. We are able to team up with our fellow solicitors in other sectors, including Family, Child Care and Employment Law, to ensure your needs are met seamlessly.

Benefit from a free, initial telephone conversation

Legal issues involving mental health require a sensitive, supportive approach. Cartwright King’s compassionate solicitors offer a free, initial discussion. With your liberty at stake, there’s no substitute for speaking to a specialist solicitor.

We’re here to ensure that you’re not alone. For immediate action, contact us today for your free* initial discussion. 

The discussion is completely informal and confidential, and is an opportunity for us to:

  • Get to know you 
  • Understand your situation
  • Agree how you want to proceed

*Please be aware that this is a ‘get to know you’ call and no advice will be given.

Why choose Cartwright King?

We listen, we understand and we genuinely care about protecting the legal rights of vulnerable individuals. 

The wellbeing of you or your loved one comes first at Cartwright King. Our specialist Lawyers are members of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme, which means they have been independently accredited as specialists in Mental Health.

This means that you will benefit from trusted advice and representation that empowers you to face mental health disputes with a strong legal backing.

We’re committed to defending your legal rights and ensuring that you’re treated with respect and dignity throughout your case. When you need us most, we’ll be there to offer sound, sensible legal advice and sure guidance.  

We’re a trusted, resourceful Legal 500 top tier law firm with specialist solicitors that are calm under pressure, giving you legal advice that you can count on, no matter how complex your case.

Legal Aid Requirements

For mental health cases, you might be able to secure Legal Aid for representation before the Mental Health Tribunal, without being subject to a means test. For matters not brought before the Tribunal, your eligibility for Legal Aid is subject to a means test.

Our Mental Health Lawyers are happy to assist all clients in understanding the eligibility criteria. 

Who We Can Help

Our specialist lawyers can represent individuals detained in hospitals under the Mental Health Act against their will. For example, if you have been referred for a Hearing or wish to apply to the Tribunal, we can advise you every step of the way and represent you on the day of your hearing.

We're here for you.

Frequently asked questions.

Can a person be forced to stay in hospital against their will?

Yes. Under specific sections of the Mental Health Act, a person can be forced to remain in hospital, even if they object to being held. 

However, this can only happen if you have been assessed by a team of health professionals. Cartwright King’s Mental Health Team can help you challenge a decision that keeps you in hospital against your will.

Can a person be forced to take treatment?

It is the duty of a medical professional to seek a person’s informed consent before administering treatment for a physical or mental health condition. However, under the Mental Health Act when a person has been detained and subject to a section, there are certain circumstances when treatment can be given without an individual’s consent.

When a patient does not consent, then treatment for a mental disorder can only be administered. Treatment for a physical illness without consent cannot be administered, unless the physical problem is a symptom or underlying cause of a mental health condition.

Cartwright King can advise on the complex consent to treatment provisions.

What legal rights does a person have if they are detained in hospital?

A person that is held in hospital under the Mental Health Act, still has certain legal rights. These rights include:

  • Access to information about why you have been held in hospital
  • Appealing to a Mental Health Tribunal to challenge your section 
  • Seeking help and support from an advocate
  • Meeting with hospital managers

Does Cartwright King offer Mental Health legal consultations at hospitals?

Our Mental Health Lawyers are trained and qualified in delivering legal advice and holding consultations wherever our clients need us. Even if you are currently being detained in a hospital, our solicitors can help you exercise your rights and liberties. By taking a critical eye to all the documents regarding your treatment, they are determined to help you understand your legal rights. Get in touch with our experts today to arrange your free, introductory consultation.

Do I qualify for free legal aid?

It is possible that you may be eligible for legal aid, giving you access to free, quality legal advice and representation from our Mental Health Lawyers. Legal Aid is available for those who have been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Nearest relatives of detained people may be able to receive financial assistance under Legal Aid. Regardless of your reason for seeking a Mental Health Lawyer, it is recommended to check your suitability for funding. At Cartwright King, we can help you understand the official criteria and represent you if you do qualify.

What is a mental disorder?

A mental disorder refers to an illness that involves clinically significant changes in behaviour, emotion or cognition or a combination of all three. Most mental disorders are associated with impairment in one or more areas of functioning or distress.

What does it mean to be an informal or voluntary patient?

If a person is receiving in-patient treatment in a psychiatric hospital of their own free will, then they are a voluntary patient, also known as an informal patient. In such cases, the individual should be able to understand that they are agreeing to treatment for a mental health problem in a hospital.

What does it mean to be detained in a section of the Mental Health Act?

If a specially qualified and trained Mental Health Professional thinks you have a mental disorder that is causing you to become unwell, they may make you stay in a hospital for assessment or treatment. Generally, patients are detained for the health and safety of themselves and others.

What can a person do if they disagree with being detained in a hospital in a section?

If you disagree with being detained in a hospital, you should speak to your Responsible Clinician or the other professionals looking after you. If they do not think you are ready to be discharged, you can:

  • Appeal to the Mental Health Tribunal – A hearing will be organised with a judge, a psychiatrist and a professional with a background in social care. At the hearing, the Tribunal will ask you and the staff questions. Your solicitor will also have the chance to ask questions to the staff looking after you. The Tribunal will then decide whether you still need to be detained.
  • Appeal to the hospital managers – A hearing can be organised with three hospital managers who have clinical and social expertise to determine whether you still need to be detained.

Get your Nearest Relative to discharge you – It is worth noting that the Responsible Clinician can override this decision if they feel that you will be a danger to yourself or others.

What is a tribunal?

In simple terms, a tribunal is a body put together to settle certain types of disputes. The Mental Health Tribunal is responsible for deciding whether patients can be discharged from sections and is made up of a chairperson, a psychiatrist and a professional with relevant experience.

What are the powers of the tribunal?

The Mental Health Tribunal has the power to decide whether you still meet the criteria for being sectioned or should be discharged. Please note that they do not have the power to assess whether you should have been sectioned in the first place.

What is a Hospital Managers’ hearing?

Like a Mental Health Tribunal, a Hospital Managers’ hearing is where three hospital managers assess your need for continued detention in a hospital. They can also review the requirement to continue on a Community Treatment Order.

Who is the nearest relative?

It is important to not confuse your nearest relative and your next of kin. In simple terms, the nearest relative is a member of your family who has certain powers if you are detained under the Mental Health Act.

Please note that the nearest relative must be over 18 unless they are your parent or spouse. Similarly, they must live in the UK, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands unless you usually live abroad too.



What is the nearest relative’s power of discharge?

The Mental Health Act has a strict list that sets out the order of who will be your nearest relative. This means that the person who is the highest on the list is your nearest relative.

  1. Spouse or civil partner (including cohabitee for 6 months or more)
  2. Child
  3. Parent
  4. Sibling
  5. Grandparent
  6. Uncle or aunt
  7. Niece or nephew

What is section 117 aftercare?

This law allows some people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act to get free support after they leave the hospital – whether that be supported accommodation, healthcare, social care or employment services.

What is a Care Pathway Approach meeting?

Designed by a multidisciplinary team, this is a package of anticipated care that follows an appropriate time frame.

What our clients are saying about us

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