What is a Litigation Friend?

“The Court of Protection makes decisions about individuals who lack capacity to do so themselves. More often than not, the person who is the subject of proceedings “P” will also lack capacity to conduct the litigation. Where P or any other party to the proceedings lacks capacity to conduct the relevant litigation, a litigation friend must act on behalf of P.”

The litigation friend conducts proceedings on behalf P, including instructing a solicitor to represent P. Until P has a litigation friend to conduct litigation on his behalf, the proceedings should not go ahead. Sometimes an Independent Advocate will act as litigation friend as they know the person best and are willing and able to represent them. 

Who can be a Litigation Friend and what can they do?

The role of a Litigation Friend can be taken by anyone who can fairly and competently conduct proceedings on the individuals behalf. The Litigation Friend should have no adverse interests to those of the individual. They could be a family member, a friend, the Official Solicitor, or an Advocate.

The Litigation Friend role is to: enable the litigation; act in the person’s Best Interests; conduct proceedings fairly and competently; appraise themselves as Litigation Friend of the issues and instruct a Solicitor on the Client’s views and ensure those views are put before the Court. Essentially the Litigation Friend will put forward the Client’s position and ensure this is heard in the Court arena.

What we do at Advocacy Focus

We identified the need for our organisation to raise awareness of this important role and ensure we are able to provide further support in this role.

In cases where we have an ongoing working relationship with the individual and Court proceedings are instigated, we could:

  • Act as Litigation Friend for Clients who we have been an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA), Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) or Paid Relevant Person’s Representative for.
  • Act as Litigation Friend for Clients who are Deprived of their Liberty (DOL) and whom wish to exercise their right to challenge (Section 21a).
  • Act as Litigation Friend for Clients where an application is being made to the Court of Protection around personal welfare, or Serious Medical Treatment.

Contact Us

  • For more information on the Litigation Friend process please contact us on: 0300 323 0965 or email [email protected]