The Law Society has issued guidance for family lawyers who act for and advise vulnerable persons. It is hoped that the publication will provide those who deal with cases of adoption, divorce, contact orders, domestic violence, and carers of such people, with the knowledge and capacity necessary to best promote their interests.
The decision to publish the document comes following a period of sustained pressure from campaigners for the rights of people with physical and learning disabilities. It also comes following strong input from mental health charity Mencap.
It is hoped that the guidance for family lawyers will enable more family lawyers to better communicate with disadvantaged clients, to promptly identify their needs and to work with the various third parties often involved with such clients.
A 2014 Law Society survey which showed that 59 percent of family lawyers had been instructed by vulnerable clients in the preceding year.
The newly published document places particular emphasis on protecting and promoting the needs of “vulnerable” clients; groups characterised as those who lack full mental capacity, those who might be under third party pressure or duress, and those whose situations demand that they receive extra support.
“Vulnerable people face particular obstacles in accessing justice, including getting help from a solicitor. We have produced this important guidance to support our members and to help their clients to get the legal advice and tailored support that they need,” commented Law Society president Andrew Caplen.
The guidance can be found here.
To find out more about your legal rights in relation to divorce, children, domestic violence or any other area of family law click here for more from Healys’ family lawyers.