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Nicola August, Partner and Head of the Elderly and Vulnerable Client team at leading regional law firm Furley Page, has been re-appointed to the Panel of Deputies by the Court of Protection for a further 10 year term. She is one of only 68 Deputies in England and the only one based in East Kent and Medway.
The Court of Protection oversees the affairs of people who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions, and a Panel Deputy is someone who is appointed by the Court to act for such vulnerable individuals in certain situations.
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) maintains a Panel of approved Court of Protection Deputies for clients in situations where nobody close to the client is willing or able to act; or where there has been improper conduct or there is a family conflict.
Nicola was originally appointed a Panel Deputy in 2011 and earlier this year she was invited to reapply for the position. More than 900 lawyers expressed interest to the OPG to be considered and, after a long and rigorous selection process involving interviews and evaluations, Nicola was selected for one of the coveted positions.
The new Panel, announced in June, consists of just 68 Deputies located throughout England and Wales and Nicola is the only one covering East Kent and Medway.
Her re-appointment means that the Court of Protection can continue to call upon Nicola to act as a Panel Deputy for an incapacitated person. Nicola can act for people in matters relating to property, financial affairs, health and personal welfare.
Nicola joined Furley Page in 2005 having previously worked for two large regional law firms. Furley Page is recommended by Chambers UK and The Legal 500.
Nicola said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be re-appointed as a Deputy. The Court of Protection helps vulnerable people who need highly specialist help in complex situations. The re-appointment not only recognises my personal experience within this area but also the skills and hard work of my colleagues in the elderly and vulnerable client team at Furley Page in dealing with this sensitive area of the law.
The role of Court of Protection Deputy brings with it great responsibility and I’m looking forward to continuing to face the challenges ahead.”
Peter Hawkes, Senior Partner at Furley Page, says: “Nicola’s success in being re-appointed to the Panel of Deputies by the Court of Protection is richly-deserved for her dedication and commitment to helping people who are elderly and vulnerable.
Few Kent firms offer a specialist team to deal with complex issues affecting the elderly and vulnerable and we are very proud to boast such a wealth of experience and specialist knowledge. Nicola’s position as the only Panel Deputy in East Kent and Medway is not only a reflection of her level of expertise in this highly specialised area of work, but also illustrates the strength of the team behind her.”
Nicola is based at the Canterbury office of Furley Page but works out of the Chatham office one day a week. She heads up a team of specialist lawyers who cover all elements of Court of Protection matters, care issues including NHS Continuing Healthcare and care fee funding, Powers of Attorney and Wills, including Advance Decisions or Living Wills.
She is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and the Private Client Section of the Law Society. Nicola is also a Dementia Champion and gives regular information sessions to those who have an interest in becoming a Dementia Friend. Nicola can use British Sign Language at level one and is planning to develop this skill further.
Nicola and her team regularly give talks on the above topics to various groups and organisations. There is not usually a charge associated with this and Nicola is happy to be contacted if you think a talk might be of interest to your group.
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