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Written on 22nd December 2020 by

2020. What did we ever do to you to deserve that? Well, it’s gone now so let us review the year and move swiftly on.

I’ve reflected on the year and working life as a Court of Protection specialist. In reverse order, the major impacts on my practice area were:

No 3: PLK

Ruth Meyer and I are joint and several deputies for PLK. As a director of the Professional Deputies Forum we challenged the strict application of the guideline rates and achieved a 20% uplift to effectively adjust the rates for inflation. It took almost a year and we still have to deal with the indemnity principle, but a fair result.

No 2: COVID

Employment questions aplenty, then short lockdown, that turns into a long lockdown, then Matt Hancock telling us “don’t kill your nan”, then "here’s a coupon go and eat", then lockdown again, Christmas is on and now it’s off and by the way the virus has learned to be worse.

Not the easiest thing when you work only with vulnerable people and act as employer for hundreds of people. I’ve never spent more time on the .Gov website.

I’ve also never been more in awe of my clients and their families, especially at this time of the year, but I think we all had a new level of respect for them this year.

Narrowly missing out on top spot, the impact of COVID on our work was largely mitigated through video calls, electronic signatures, and specialist advice from our employment team.

No 1: ACC & Ors

Not as life threatening as COVID but life changing from a Court of Protection perspective. This was the biggest change to managing property and affairs deputyships since the Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force. Some positives, some clarifications and some questions yet to be answered. All in all it has to take top spot above COVID in my rankings as the biggest change to working life in 2020.

That’s my take on 2020. Now that I’ve looked back I’m fairly keen to look forward to a vaccine heavy 2021 where I can see my clients and colleagues.

Best wishes for the new year.