Mary-Rachel McCabe  - Healthcare and Serious Medical Treatment

Year of Call: 2015  

Legal 500 2023, Rising Star Tier 3 (Court of Protection and Community Care)

Mary-Rachel has been recognised as a ‘rising star’ by the Legal 500 in Court of Protection and Community Care Law. 

Mary-Rachel has a busy Court of Protection practice and regularly acts in cases concerning a wide range of health and welfare matters. She has particular expertise in cases involving 16 and 17 year olds in the Court of Protection and in cases concerning capacity to engage in sexual relations. Mary-Rachel acts for vulnerable adults (via their litigation friends), children, family members, local authorities and CCGs. She is frequently instructed by the Official Solicitor.   

Her recent key cases include: 

  • Acting for the Official Solicitor as P’s litigation friend in MB v PB [2022] EWCOP 14, a fact-finding hearing in which Sir Jonathan Cohen found that P had been subjected to coercive and controlling behaviour by her husband of over 40 years; 

  • Acting for the Official Solicitor as junior counsel in Re HD (Capacity to Engage in Sexual Relations) [2021] EWCOP 15 - the first case (at first instance) to consider the new test for capacity to engage in sexual relations set down by the Court of Appeal in Re JB [2020] EWCA Civ 735;  

  • Acting as junior counsel for the first intervener, RESPOND, when Re JB was appealed to the Supreme Court ([2021] UKSC 52). 

Mary-Rachel also recently obtained an order from the Court of Protection that it was in the best interests of P, an elderly woman, to urgently move out of the jurisdiction, in line with her strong wishes to see out the remainder of her life surrounded by her family in her home country. 

Mary-Rachel has experience acting in cases involving complex medical issues including acquired brain injuries. She has represented parties in contested COVID-19 vaccination cases and in disputes regarding contraception for P.   

Mary-Rachel is co-author, with Sophy Miles and Gemma Daly, of the Legal Action magazine Court of Protection updates. She has also contributed to 'Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook' (Legal Action Group, Third Edition, 2020). 

Read Mary-Rachel's full profile here.