Heather Matthews is an Associate Solicitor in our Mental Health Law department. Heather is based in Wakefield.
Heather qualified as a Solicitor in 2005 and joined Switalskis in May 2008. Now based in Wakefield, she joined the Mental Health Law team in August 2014. Heather is an accredited member of the Law Society Mental Health Panel and is therefore qualified to represent clients who are detained in hospital in proceedings before the Mental Health Tribunal.
Primarily, Heather offers advice in relation to challenging detentions under the Mental Health Act, providing representation at the Tribunal and Hospital Manager’s Hearing. She also advises her clients on treatment whilst in hospital, S117 aftercare or transfer to another unit.
In addition to representing clients in hospital, Heather also acts on behalf of clients who are involved (either as the patient or the relative) in the Displacement of Nearest Relatives (changing who is responsible for a patient detained in hospital) at the County Court.
We asked Heather:
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: Being able to help people who are detained against their consent. I help clients through what is often a very difficult process during a time when they may be very unwell.
Q: What can your clients expect from you?
A: Hard work and honest, accurate advice. My approach is to be open and straightforward – I don’t believe in telling a client only what they want to hear – I tell them what they need to know, giving advice in a sensitive and constructive way.