Litigation Friend

If a person lacks capacity to make decisions and are objecting to decisions made for them in the Court of Protection; we can support them as a litigation friend.

How do our litigation friends operate?

We represent people under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in the Court of Protection. Most of our cases are to support people who are objecting to a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) under Section 21 of the Act.

Although our litigation friends are also advocates, the litigation friend role is not an advocacy role.

Litigation Friends go to court if there’s a hearing, but can’t act as the other person’s lawyer. They ‘direct the proceedings’ on behalf of the other person. This means that they:

  • Make decisions in the person’s best interests.
  • Do everything they can to tell them what’s happening in the case and find out their wishes and feelings.
  • Talk to their solicitor about what’s happening, get advice from them and give instructions to them in the other person’s best interests.

Make a referral for a litigation friend

Dorset Advocacy litigation friends are funded by the local authority. Most referrals come via the DoLS/MCA teams of Dorset and BCP Councils. If you want more information about making a referral for a litigation friend under the Mental Capacity Act, email us at