Vincents appoints specialists to Court of Protection team

By Tim Aldred

12 Mar 2024

Vincents Solicitors Court Of Protection Oliver Banks Nicola Hayes Abigail Cuffe

Vincents Solicitors is expanding its Court of Protection (CoP) team just over a year on from appointing a new head of department.

Oliver Banks, who arrived just over 12 months ago, has recruited CoP and welfare specialist Abigail Cuffe and experienced paralegal Nicola Hayes to help support the firm’s most vulnerable clients.

Abigail and Nicola will be based in Vincents’ Garstang office alongside Oliver and Lisa Lodge, Vincents’ director of Private Client Services and former head of the CoP department. 

Both Oliver and Lisa are Professional Deputies, appointed by the Court of Protection to manage financial, legal, health and welfare matters for people who have lost capacity through illness or accident. Once appointed, they are the client’s advocate for life. Abigail and Nicola will work closely with clients to help support the Deputies.

Lisa said: “Oliver is extremely well known within CoP circles as an outstanding advocate for his clients, and his referral rate is quite exceptional. He is also sought out by families on word-of-mouth recommendation, due to the care and attention he brings to the job, and this remarkable growth in workload therefore required an expansion to his team. 

“We are extremely fortunate to have now also attracted both Abigail and Nicola to join the team to join Oliver and support our Court of Protection work. I am confident their dedication to CoP clients will allow them to further the firm’s strong reputation in this area.”

Abigail Cuffe is one of only a handful of specialists nationally with experience of welfare benefits within Court of Protection. She joins Vincents from JMW Solicitors in Manchester, prior to which she has worked at Potter Rees Dolan, Slater + Gordon, Pannone, and the Department for Work and Pensions where she undertook an apprenticeship after school.

As a key service for people going through major life changes - such as divorce, buying a home, dealing with probate, receiving an inheritance, or adjusting after an accident or injury - Abigail will also be on hand to provide welfare benefit checks for the firm’s family law, conveyancing, wills and probate, personal injury, and clinical negligence clients. 

Nicola Hayes was formerly a solicitor with Keogh’s in Bolton and Bannister Bates in Morecambe, before she moved to Australia where she managed a regional branch for national practice Shine Lawyers. Since returning to the UK she has volunteered for Witness Support and is working with the Coroner's Court within Lancashire, a role she will continue. 

Coming back into practice as a Court of Protection specialist with Vincents will allow Nicola to continue helping people when they need it most. She said: “Court of Protection clients are probably the most vulnerable people that lawyers work with. It means a lot to me that I can bring my legal knowledge experience to making sure they are looked after properly and their best interests protected."

Pictured [L-R]: Vincents Solicitors’ head of Court of Protection Oliver Banks with Nicola Hayes and Abigail Cuffe

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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