Ulele Burnham - Healthcare and Serious Medial Treatment

Year of Call: 1997 

Chambers and Partners 2022 Band 2 (Court of Protection); Legal 500 2023, Tier 2 (Court of Protection and Community Care)

Ulele Burnham is a very experienced advocate in proceedings before the Court of Protection and related jurisdictions. She is ranked as a Band 2 expert practitioner by Chambers and Partners and Legal 500. She was counsel in the case of PB & TB [2014] EWCOP 14 (finding of lack of capacity possible even where impairment of intellectual functioning is not the sole cause of inability to make decisions). 

Prior to the passage of the MCA 2005, she had several years of experience representing patients either in Mental Health Review Tribunals or in public law challenges to the exercise of powers under the Mental Health Act 1983. Of her reported cases, almost all related to treatment decisions: R(Taylor) v Dr. Hayden Smith & Ors [2005 [EWHC 1668 Admin) (challenge to forced medication decisions post-Wilkinson);  DL-H v Partnerships in Care and anor [2013 [UKUT 500 (AAC) (inquiry about whether s. 72 MHA treatment therapeutically beneficial remains relevant to detention criteria notwithstanding replacement of “treatability” test); (R(B) v Ashworth HA and anor [2005] UKHL 20 (treatment of detained patients for non-classified mental disorders permissible under MHA). She was also junior counsel in Johnson v UK [1999] EHRR 296 (ECtHR found prolonged delay in giving effect to conditional discharge breached Art 5).   

Her familiarity with treatment questions under the MHA,  and an appreciation of the genesis of the MCA (She was co-author, with Aswini Weereratne QC and others, of “Butterworth’s New Law Guide to the Mental Capacity Act 2005”, Lexis Nexis, 2008), make SMT an area of particular interest. In the last 12 months she has been instructed in cases involving the withdrawal of treatment/hypoxic brain injury/PDOC (A London NHS Trust v CD (by her litigation friend, the Official Solicitor), EF, AB [2021] EWCOP 23);  a life-threatening advance decision to refuse medical treatment for a hypokalaemic condition caused by bulimia (Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust v Q & Ors [2022] EWCOP 6), amputation in cases of potential and active septicaemia, and hospitalisation under the MHA for treatment for anorexia nervosa.  

Read Ulele's full profile here.