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Professional protection

The Court of Protection has come under scrutiny after a recent case in which lay deputies were able to abuse a compensation fund. But a perfect system is wishful thinking at the moment, says Simon Hardy

26 November 2013

The recent Samantha Svendsen case highlights the significant risk of leaving the management of a substantial compensation award to an inexperienced family lay deputy. The convictions of Samantha's mother, Cathy Watson, and Watson's ex-husband, Robert Hills, for serious theft offences received extensive media coverage - and rightly so.

The more sorry-cases like this that are known, the greater chance we have of similar ones being avoided in future. Sentencing is still awaited but the trial judge has made it clear that lengthy custodial sentences should be expected. It's a stark warning for those of us charged with managing an individual's financial affairs.

Samantha was awarded compensation of £2.6m following negligence at birth, which resulted in brain damage from oxygen starvation. Her mother was appointed her 'receiv...

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