What We Do and Don’t Offer

Pickup and Scott has a team of specialist solicitors, with a wide range of expertise.

Sometimes I think it is easier to explain what we do not do than what we cover, so let us start off with that.

At our practice, we do not offer conveyancing; this is the service you need when you are buying and selling houses. We are also not able to offer Family Law which covers divorce, relationship breakdown and disputes regarding children. We do however have a strong network of local contacts and are more than happy to refer clients to other firms that can help with these areas of law.

We do have a team of specialist solicitors who have an extensive range of knowledge and expertise when it comes to Criminal Law, Prison Law, Mental Health Law, Immigration Law and Private Law. Letus outline what these cover:

  • Criminal Law is about representing people accused of a crime
  • Prison Law is about advising someone who is in prison about such issues as parole
  • Mental Health Law is about people who are in a hospital and have not agreed to the admissions about
  • Immigration Law s for people coming to this country and about their rights to stay
  • Private Law covers what happens to your money and property when you die, looking after someone who cannot look after themselves and generally protect someone’s property.

These areas of law are very specialised and every member of our team who is involved in giving advice has been specially trained. We also have to ensure that our advice is up to date, so you can trust that we provide current and informed advice.

There may not be an obvious link between the different types of law we cover, but our aim is to provide the best support to people who need our help.

A Typical Day in the Office

When you work with this range of specialist solicitors, there is no such thing as a typical day. Our lawyers may be going out to see people in court, in prisons, in hospitals, or in their homes if they cannot get to us. We often get contacted by people in police stations, hospitals and prisons, who need urgent help. So even if we plan ahead, our schedule can change as we provide an immediate response.

With people coming in and solicitors going out, you can see the benefit of a strong team that also includes office based staff. If you give us a call, you won’t get directly through to a solicitor. Be prepared to let us know what area of law you wish to discuss and we will ensure you get to speak to the right person.


David Pickup – Senior Partner – Head of Mental Health Law

How to choose a solicitor?

Choosing a solicitor.

Over the last 10 years, the legal profession has changed considerably. It used to be the case that most solicitors’ firms covered all aspects of the law. Nowadays most firms specialise. This is due to the fact that legal work is increasingly complex and it is very difficult for anyone to know everything about everything.

 

The first step in choosing a solicitor is to be clear about the area of Law that applies to your case. You can then search for the service you need on the internet, or ask professionals, family and friends for recommendations.

A good place to start is to visit a number of solicitor’s websites to see the services they offer. Be aware that the specialist solicitors that would be best placed to help you may not be based in your town. With modern technology, you may find you would benefit from the services of a solicitors based miles from where you live. If travelling to their offices is difficult or inconvenient, it may be possible to communicate via email or Skype.

Local advertising provides a good way for firms to share their specialist areas. As a good example, Pickup & Scott ran a radio campaign to promote our expertise as immigration solicitors, which is one of our specialist areas. As a result, we were contacted by people from a broad geographical area. We knew that it would be difficult for some families to visit our Aylesbury offices, so we travelled to them.

If it would help you to have a translator, an accessible office or a solicitor willing to travel to you, ask if these services are available before you choose your solicitor. It can make all the difference.

The Future of the High Street Solicitor

Given that so much has changed, has the high street lawyer got a future? In our view, there will always be a place for a local lawyer. As part of the community, they should be approachable, able to give advice on a range of subjects and if necessary refer matters on to another specialist.

What is mental health law?

Mental Health Law.

Most of that law is contained in an Act of Parliament called the Mental Health Act. It has been amended several times and this year there has been further discussion about changing it.

Sometimes a person who has a mental illness is unaware of how bad it is, how it affects them and others, or whether they are ill at all. They may not always be able to make sound judgments. The law can allow others to make decisions on their behalf, including medical treatment, even when they refuse.

It is a delicate balance between wanting to protect people’s right to make their own decisions and the need to keep them and the public safe.

Often, we find that a person has been gradually getting ill over a number of years. Their family have been trying to get help and it has reached a crisis point.

The patient is admitted to hospital for a few weeks and then discharged. With little time to prepare, carers and family members find it difficult to access the necessary help and support when it is needed.

As specialists in Mental Health Law, we get involved when patients apply to a Mental Health Tribunal. The patient has a right to apply when they are detained in a psychiatric hospital and legal aid is available for this.

The tribunal is an independent panel of specialists who review whether the detention is necessary. Some patients are in hospital because they have committed a criminal offence and the court has sent them to a hospital to get treatment rather than go to prison.