Stephanie Kaye, who heads up Clarion’s Court of Protection Costs team, has joined the 10-strong Working Group of the Professional Deputies Forum (PDF), a national not-for-profit body which acts as the ‘voice’ of professional deputies and campaigns for positive change in Court of Protection matters.
The PDF is a forum for over 230 solicitors and legal executives who act as professional deputies and those who work alongside them, covering over 4,400 solicitor professional deputy appointments. It was set up to help to share news, views and best practice, while also providing a collective voice on matters concerning vulnerable adults who lack or have limited mental capacity. The body represents over 65% of all deputy appointments in the UK and shares members’ views to third parties such as the Office of the Public Guardian, the Ministry of Justice, the Court of Protection and the Law Society.
Clarion enjoys a supportive relationship with the PDF, having hosted its launch back in 2019 and the Leeds law firm is the headline sponsor of the organisation’s conference in September. Stephanie is the first costs professional to be appointed to the Working Group and gained recognition after helping to win a landmark case last September that will result in a significant change to national guideline hourly rates for Court of Protection lawyers after 10 years without a pay rise.
Andrew McAulay, partner and head of the Costs and Litigation Funding team, said: “Stephanie is recognised nationally as an expert in the field of Court of Protection costs. I am delighted that she will be officially working with the PDF to share her knowledge and views so that Court of Protection work continues to develop and evolve for the benefit of protected parties and practitioners.”
Stephanie commented: “I am really proud to be joining the PDF’s working group. I feel passionately about helping to drive change in what, in many ways, is a fairly neglected but growing and challenging area of the law – the PDF has done a great job of helping to move it forward and increasing understanding of the role of professional deputies.
“Having been closely involved with the body over the last few years, moving into a more ‘official’ role is a logical step for me, particularly given the large number of solicitor clients Clarion’s costs team represents. I am excited to be bringing a new costs perspective to the working group as I believe there are lots of issues which also need to be considered in terms of cost assessment. I hope that I will be an asset to the group by providing an additional viewpoint and working to keep up momentum with ongoing changes and progress.”
Clarion’s 25-strong Costs and Litigation Funding team specialises in the areas of court of protection, commercial litigation and personal injury/medical negligence costs claims. It deals with the full spectrum of legal costs work, including costs management and detailed assessments. The team acts for both the paying or receiving party and is regularly instructed directly by lay clients. It supports over 200 law firms across the UK.
The aim of The PDF is to contribute to the work of professional deputies on matters concerning vulnerable adults who lack or have limited mental capacity – it works for its members and, most importantly, those for whom they work. As this area of law grows, so does the need for a body that can both support and represent its practitioners. This includes those working alongside professional deputies, such as solicitors, trainees and paralegals who may be learning or highly experienced, but who are also their lifeblood and their future.