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Head of Mental Health Department
Nicola is the Senior Supervisor in the Mental Health Department.
A law graduate from the University of Nottingham who qualified in 1999, Nicola has always been dedicated to Legal Aid work. She was employed as a partner at a large Bristol firm before relocating to Reading in 2003.
Nicola has been a member of the Mental Health Accreditation Scheme since November 2000. She has extensive experience representing clients at Tribunals and Hospital Managers’ meetings. Nicola also attends CPA’s and discharge planning meetings. She regularly supports client detained in local hospitals, medium secure units and high security hospitals.
Having obtained a rating of ‘Excellence’ in an independent peer review of her own work, Nicola was appointed a member of the Legal Aid Agency Mental Health Peer Review Panel in 2017. This involves assessing the work of other firms on behalf of the Legal Aid Agency to ensure competency standards are met.
Nicola worked as a Duty Solicitor in Criminal law between 2001 and 2017 and obtained Higher Rights of Audience in the Criminal Courts in 2004. She was a member of the Legal Aid Agency Crime Peer Review Panel between 2005 -2017. This dual specialism enables Nicola to offer an exceptional service to clients detained under forensic sections. She is also able to refer cases to our criminal appeals department within Albin and Co if necessary.
Nicola’s practice is now mainly mental health law cases. She can be available to represent clients with mental health problems in the criminal justice system on request.
Nicola also now practices in inquest law. She enjoys the inquisitorial nature of this work. Nicola combines a forensic attention to detail with a compassionate person-centered approach when assisting clients throughout the inquest process.
Head of Court of Protection Department
Alice joined Albin & Co Solicitors in December 2015 having previously worked in a Surrey law firm. Alice gained her Higher Rights of Audience in civil cases in 2017. She is a qualified supervisor in both the Court of Protection and Mental Health Departments.
Alice specialises in Mental Capacity Law and is currently working towards gaining the new accreditation in this area. She has experience representing both “P” and their family members in the Court of Protection. Alice has experience in all health and welfare matters in the Court of Protection including challenging DOLs orders under Section 21(a) of the Mental Capacity Act as well as other orders when P is at home. Alice also has experience in other matters around care, medical treatment, consent to sex, relationships and contact. Alice is able to advise on Welfare Deputyships as well as one off decisions.
Alice is also a specialist in mental health law and has been a member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme since January 2015. She represents clients in both civil and restricted cases. Alice enjoys representing people from all walks of life. Alice particularly enjoys representing children and adolescents detained under the Mental Health Act and has a good understanding of the additional legal considerations when representing young people. She is comfortable at conducting hearings at all levels of security. Alice is regularly appointed by the Tribunal to represent clients who lack capacity to instruct a solicitor. She has a particular interest in representing clients who are subject to both the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Mental Health Act 1983.
Alice is also able to assist clients in Care Programme Approach Meetings, Care and Treatment Review Meetings, Hospital Managers’ Hearings and with issues with Section 117 aftercare arrangements.
Alice is a member of the Mental Health Lawyers Association and Liberty.
In her spare time Alice enjoys yoga, running, swimming and travelling.
Catherine studied law at Kings College, London. After graduation she worked for the probation service and social services gaining experience in community care and social welfare law before qualifying as a solicitor in 2000. Catherine then specialised for some years in criminal law, with a special interest in cases with a mental health element.
Catherine began work in the field of mental capacity law and the Mental Capacity Act several years ago and more recently it has grown to be her main field of work. She is able to advise and assist in welfare and deputyship applications to the Court of Protection, DOLs and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Under our community care contract with the Legal Aid Agency Catherine can advise and assist on issues arising from assessments and provision of services under the Care Act, including attending review meetings where there is a dispute.
Natasha is a trainee solicitor at Albin and Co Solicitors. She is a law graduate from Leeds Beckett University and joined Albin & Co Solicitors in October 2018.
Natasha has a long standing interest in Mental Health Law. She previously worked in Mental Health Act administration and has been a member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme since June 2019.
Natasha is able to represent clients in both civil and restricted cases at Tribunals, Hospital Managers’ Meetings and Care Programme Approach (CPA) meetings. She provides legal advice and assistance regarding other mental health matters including s117 aftercare.
During her training contract Natasha will also work with the Family Law and Court of Protection departments.
In her spare time Natasha enjoys playing netball socially and competitively in local leagues.
Natasha is a native speaker of Shona and Ndebele as well as English.