We note this case, brought to our attention by Adrian Ward, the solicitor involved, who (as noted above) will from next month be one of our two Scottish contributors, as a good example of the operation of Intervention Orders under the Scottish regime.

In Scotland, both Intervention Orders and Guardianship Orders may be obtained under Part 6 of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. The application procedure for both is the same. An Intervention Order is a lesser intervention, and a Guardianship Order may not be granted where an Intervention Order will suffice. Both forms of order are obtained upon application to the Sheriff Court having jurisdiction, the primary ground of jurisdiction being habitual residence of the Adult. Guardianship is appropriate where ongoing financial management or welfare decision-making is likely to be required. An Intervention Order may either authorise actions specified in the Order, or authorise a person to take action or make decisions as may be specified. The Order may cover a single act such as signing a document, or a linked series of acts and decisions. With fairly limited exceptions, an Intervention Order can authorise anything which the Adult, if capable, could have done in relation to the Adult’s personal welfare and/or property and financial affairs.

By way of an example of the use of an Intervention Order is the case of ‘L,’ in which a compensation claim on behalf of a woman who was sexually and physically abused as a child was very recently settled after 24 years.

The victim’s mother had first applied for criminal injuries compensation in 1989, but for a variety of reasons the case was never brought to a conclusion, and no one was appointed to represent her as an adult. In 2011, however, with the agreement both of the victim’s family and of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (‘CICA’), Adrian Ward applied for an Intervention Order to authorise him to represent the victim before the CICA. The Order was expressly sought, and granted, on the basis that the solicitor would act as appointee for the victim, rather than as solicitor instructed directly by the victim. Thus appointed, it was possible for instructions to be given to Leading Counsel (acting pro bono, as did medical experts instructed) and settlement negotiations to be conducted, ultimately leading to a six figure settlement for the victim. By virtue of the powers granted under the Intervention Order, arrangements can be made for the compensation, insofar as it is not immediately applied for any purposes, to be held under arrangements such as a Personal Injury Trust, or for an annuity to be bought.