Riddle v Public Guardian [2021] EWCOP 38 (19 May 2021)

This was an application for Permission to Appeal from the two judgments of Her Honour Judge Hilder.

The matter involved some 40 cases where Mr Riddle acted as a Professional Deputy, although he was not a qualified Solicitor. He had applied for permission to Appeal on 24/09/20 and permission was refused on 19/03/21 and this matter was the renewed oral application. In the original judgments, Senior Judge Hilder refused Mr Riddle’s application to charge rates higher than the Local Authority rate, and also refused his application for retrospective authorisation for the solicitor rates he had been charging his clients without authority.

Three grounds of appeal were put forward with the first one split into 2 parts:

  1. that the Judge had erred in concluding Mr Riddle's qualification, experience, and business structure did not justify a specified rate and that the estates would commonly be dealt with by Solicitors and that inadequate weight was placed on the benefit to P of having a Professional Deputy
  2. that the Judge erred in her refusal to grant Mr Riddle's application for relief from liability for past charging
  3. that, save for costs associated with Mr Riddle paying his legal fees from the estates of protected parties and restoring the estates in this regard, the Judge had erred in refusing the application made by Mr Riddle for the Public Guardian to pay his costs that were associated with responding to the revocation application.

Mrs Justice Lieven DBE, after considering all grounds and submissions made by the parties, determined that there was no reasonable prospect of success and therefore they did not reach the threshold for permission to appeal. Thus, permission to appeal was refused for all grounds and the Order of 19/03/21 was affirmed.

The full judgement can be read here

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