Morris joined Weightmans in 2007, having previously spent 10 years working for in-house local authority teams, latterly as a principal solicitor. Morris specialises in all aspects of public law, with a particular emphasis on social care, healthcare and education. Morris regularly acts for local authorities in matters relating to child protection and children with disabilities, adult protection and best interests determinations, applications before the Court of Protection, general community care obligations, ordinary residence disputes, mental health law, commissioning and contractual arrangement and charging. He advises local authorities and individual schools on school organisation, exclusions and admissions, SEN provision, school transport and general strategic advice. His healthcare clients include hospital and mental health trusts and ambulance services to which he provides general healthcare law advice, particularly in relation to mental health/capacity law, consent issues and provision of and withdrawal of treatment.
Morris acts for regulatory bodies such as the Care Quality Commission and Ofsted in appeals by providers to the First-tier Tribunal. Morris also has an interest in all aspects of public and Human Rights law and information governance. He frequently advises his public sector clients on responding to requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and their obligations under data protection legislation. He also regularly provides training to lawyers, clinicians and other medical staff and local authority officers.
Morris has been recognised for a number of years as a ‘Star Associate’ and ‘notable practitioner’ by Chambers & Partners in the category of Court of Protection: Health & Welfare (Public Sector Clients).
Morris has acted in a number of reported and important cases, including:
- R (City of Wolverhampton Council) v South Worcestershire CCG & Shropshire CCG  EWHC 1136 (Admin) (responsible commissioner)
- In The Matter Of Human Fertilisation Embryology Act 2008 (Case M)  Fam Law 1089 (declaration of parentage)
- HM Senior Coroner For Cumbria v Ian Smith  Inquest LR 235 (application by Coroner to quash previous Coroner’s decision)
- Wirral Borough Council v Salisbury Independent Living  HLR 25 (meaning of ‘person affected’ for the purposes of the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000)
- A Local Authority v H  1 FCR 590 (the test for capacity to enter sexual relations)
- R (RH) v SSHD & Wigan BC  EWHC 2414 (age assessment)
- R (Broster & others) v Wirral BC  EWHC 3086 (Refusal to provide Personal Budgets)
- R (Culkin) v Wirral Independent Appeal Panel  ELR 287 (school exclusion)
- W PCT v TB & V & S MBC, C & W NHS Trust & W MBC  2 All ER 331(Mental Health Act 1983 / Mental Capacity Act 2005)
- R (F & Others) v Wirral BC  BLGR 905 (community care / Supporting People Programme)
- R (Manchester CC) v St Helens BC & PE  WLR (D) 319 (ordinary residence dispute)
- R (St Helens BC) v Manchester PCT  Times, October 6 (NHS continuing healthcare)
- St Helens BC v PE & JW and Manchester PCT  2 FLR 1115 (best interests under the inherent jurisdiction)
- E v Channel 4 V Channel 4 & News International Ltd and St Helens BC (injunction/declaratory relief)  2 FLR 913
- R (on the application of Haggerty & Others) v St Helens BC  HLR 69 (care home closure)
- R v Dr Finnegan & DE ex parte Wirral Health Authority and Wirral BC  MHLR 66 (effect of quashing order on MHRT decision)
- R v Chief Schools Adjudicator, ex p Wirral BC  ELR 574 (challenge of decision of the adjudicator)
- R v (1) Wirral BC (2) Governors of Elleray Park School, ex p B  ELR 266 (special educational needs)
- R v Schools Adjudicator, ex parte Metropolitan Borough of Wirral  ELR 2620 (challenge of decision of the adjudicator).
The Government has now set out details of the next steps to be taken, with timescales.
The High Court’s decision in R (Esegbona) v King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 77
We examine the requirements for care home managers and analyse the potential pitfalls contained in the new legislation.
The Government has abandoned its initial plans to include a definition of ‘deprivation of liberty’ (‘DoL’) in the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill
A Family Court judge has made public a judgment in which he criticises the conduct of the expert witness.
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