The first SHLA (Midlands) event since its sell-out launch event in the summer was another strong vote of confidence in the initiative to bring housing law professionals together in the Midlands.
A large and engaged group of practitioners came together at the welcoming setting of St Ives Chambers on 5 December 2017 for an evening of knowledge-sharing, lively discussion and networking. After settling in over a drink and buffet dinner kindly sponsored by Arden Chambers, Joint-Chair of SHLA (Midlands) Yetunde Dania opened the event and introduced two contrasting but complementary experts in the field of mental health law. Jonathan Manning, barrister at Arden Chambers and Sheree Green, senior associate at Anthony Collins solicitors, shared their knowledge and perspectives on this ever-challenging area.
Jonathan Manning entertainingly combined his expertise of mental health issues in housing with thought-provoking examples and anecdotes from his practice. In particular he offered extensive guidance in the law and practice around the appointment (or not) of Equality Act assessors in proceedings. He also shared valuable points and tips about dealing with Equality Act defences.
Sheree Green then provided a very lively and charismatic review of – and vote of confidence in – the impact of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Her perspective, drawn from her experience as a mental health law specialist who acts as an appointee and in Court of Protection proceedings in many cases, brought to life the principles of the Mental Health Act 2005. Through a series of case studies, attendees discussed and debated the application of the core principles concerning mental capacity in what was an enjoyable and very informative talk.
The SHLA (Midlands) Committee is indebted to the speakers; to Arden Chambers; and to St Ives Chambers who sponsored the event. The event was a real endorsement of SHLA (Midlands), paving the way for a successful forum for housing professionals in the region and beyond.
Please note – and diarise – the next SHLA (Midlands) event which will take place on 20 March 2018, at Trowers & Hamlins’ offices in Birmingham. We look forward to seeing you there!”