The London Borough of Harrow v AT & Anor [2017] EWCOP 37 (14 May 2018)

Paramount Legal CostsThe Protected Party (P) was 21 years old and was autistic and had severe learning difficulties. He needed support in all aspects of daily life and was living at 4GS with a care plan arranged by the LA. An order had been made on 04/07/16 authorising the deprivation of P’s liberty at 4GS with a requirement that the LA applied for review no later than 04/06/17. However, an application was not made and on 05/09/17 the Court received a COP9 application by the LA and it was clear P had been given notice to leave 4GS by 17/09/17.

The matter was listed for hearing in October 2017 and a new authorisation from the deprivation of P’s liberty at 4GS was granted. The Official Solicitor became involved and directions were given to identify a new placement for P.

It was agreed by all parties at a hearing on 06/12/17 that it was in P’s best interests to move to a new placement at TGCH by 20/12/17. Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan and on 22/12/17, after 2 further directions orders, an order was made to provide for P’s move to TGCH by 07/01/18. The LA agreed to make sure that a Standard Authorisation for deprivation of P’s liberty would be in place at TGCH before P moved.

The Official Solicitor requested a written decision as to costs at the hearing on 06/12/17. Due to the LA’s failure to make a timely application to review P’s deprivation of liberty, the LA’s conduct in failing to serve case papers as directed and it the approach of the LA with regards to finalising the terms of the Order made at the October hearing, the court departed from the usual rule as to costs and the LA was to pay half of the Official’s Solicitor’s costs.

The full judgment can be read here.

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