Sex, Disability and the Law - Study Day 29th Sept 2023

In an important judgement handed down by the Court of Appeal, following the matter of A Local Authority v C & Ors [2021] EWCOP 25, the Court has provided some awaited guidance as to whether care teams and carers can help vulnerable clients engage the services of a sex worker.

It was accepted that there may be limited circumstances where it might be appropriate for the Court of Protection to endorse a care plan where there was provision for engaging in sexual relations, but only where it is lawful and, in the clients, best interests. This study day will debate and look at the legal challenges and interpretation of the law.

For now, the legal stance taken from this ruling is that assisting a vulnerable person to engage the services of a sex worker will require a change in the law. Lets look at the interpretation of this ruling which is not clear. Best interest ? Who decides ? Is sex a human right?

We will be hearing from a neuro psychologist, human rights lawyer and solicitors grappling with the interpretation. Case managers and clients will have an opportunity to debate the legal position. As case managers and solicitors in Court of Protection we play an important role in protecting our clients, and advocating… has this ruling gone a step too far ? Case managers and solicitors are confused by the current ruling, and this study day aims to give clarity and deeper understanding of the law around the engagement and facilitation of sex workers


09.30 - 09.50 hrs - Registration & Refreshments

09.50 – 10.00 hrs  - Innova Care Concepts

10.00 - 10.40 hrs - Irwin Mitchell introducing Victoria Butler-Cole KC

10.40 – 11.20 hrs - Professor Claire de Than

11.20 - 11.50 hrs - Coffee

11.50 - 12.30 hrs - Beaver Meadow

12.30 - 13.10 hrs - Michelle Donald

13.10 - 14.10 hrs - Lunch, Network and Exhibition Stands

14.10 - 14.50 hrs - Dr Catriona McIntosh

14.50 - 15.25 hrs - Panel Discussion

15.25 - 15.45 hrs - Q & A 

15.45 hrs - FINISH


To view the Sex, Disability & The Law programme, CLICK HERE


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To download a sponsorship form, please click HERE

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Meet the presenters: 

Victoria Butler-Cole K- A Barrister at the Forefront of Health and Social Care Law

Victoria Butler-Cole is a leading barrister specializing in health and social care, known for her expertise in public law, community care, medical treatment disputes, human rights claims, and more. As a co-founder of the 39 Essex Mental Capacity Report and a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, Victoria is at the forefront of ethical discussions and developments in the field. Join us as she shares her profound knowledge and experiences, including her involvement in landmark cases and her insights into the intersection of law, ethics, and health.

Professor Claire de Than is an award-winning senior legal academic of more than 25 years’ standing, and Chair of the Jersey Law Commission, currently working on a Criminal Code and on laws relating to open justice.

She has over 85 academic publications in total, including more than 15 books, chapters in leading legal monographs and edited collections, and articles in a variety of leading national and international journals, including the Modern Law Review and the Criminal Law Review. Her publications and reform proposals have been adopted by governments, regulators and professions around the world. Her legal research fields include disability rights law, media law, financial law, criminal law, comparative law of tiny jurisdictions, trusts, environmental crimes and human rights law, and she is also expert in management and finance, all of which she is able to teach at any level. She is also regularly consulted on public and strategic policy.

She has been an expert for the Law Commission of England and Wales on two recent projects, and made many media appearances as a legal expert. She has advised governments large and small and many organisations on human rights and law reform issues, amongst other things. She is the Chair of several charities.


Michelle Donald  (PG Dip PST) is an Accredited Psychosexual Therapist; a senior member of the College Of Sex and Relationship Therapists. (COSRT). Her expertise is in the areas of sexual issues related to spinal cord injury and the strains on a relationship that SCI may bring with it.  Her long-term aim is focused on the development of a comprehensive sexual education programme within rehabilitation centres and care agencies. 

Michelle believes it is necessary to address the issue of how important sexuality is after a spinal cord injury, knowing that this aspect is often neglected, with the focus being on physical issues. A supportive and informative environment is established where people can explore their own ideas, practice tasks that are given in therapy, at home, and discuss feelings and concerns around their sexuality promoting them to ask questions they may not have felt they could.  

Michelle currently provides education and therapy programmes to patients and staff at STEPS Neurological centre in Sheffield to enable staff feel more comfortable in opening up these conversations and for patients help with feelings about embarking on a different intimate life.  


Bea Meadow is a pioneer in Sex & Intimacy Coaching and Partner Surrogacy, specialising in working with people with disabilities, neurodiversity, chronic health conditions and terminal illnesses for over 20 years. Trained in Dance Movement Therapy, Psychosexual Somatics and the Wheel of Consent, Bea combines therapeutic principles, conscious sex work and consent dialogues to help people explore, discover and express sex and intimacy safely. Advocating via mainstream and social media platforms, and driving groundbreaking projects, Bea promotes ‘conscious sexuality,’ and ‘Sex and Intimacy for everyBODY’. 


Dr Catriona McIntosh is a Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist from Yorkshire Neuropsychology who works as a treating psychologist and expert witness for the courts. She has a special interest in sexual relationships capacity assessments and supporting people with brain injury with their rehabilitation needs. She frequently works with care teams to assist them in understanding the legal and clinical frameworks for these areas and in promoting discussions about sexual needs and intimacy. She promotes the view that sexual or relationships needs can and should be an integrated part of brain injury rehabilitation which is relevant to interdisciplinary working and promoting recovery.

GOLD Sponsor 

Innova Care Concepts is a UK based healthcare equipment provider that specialises in designing and manufacturing innovative solutions for the care sector.  The company’s range of products includes hoists, baths, beds and seating systems, which are designed to provide the highest levels of comfort and safety to both patients and caregivers.  Innova Care Concepts is known for its commitment to quality, with all of its products built to meet the strictest industry standards.  The company also offers bespoke design and installation services to ensure that each product is tailored to meet the specific needs of its customers. 


SILVER Sponsor 

The OT Practice is a UK based occupational therapy provider that specialises in delivering high-quality, personalised care to individuals and organisations across the country.  The company’s team of experienced occupational therapists provides assessment, treatment and advice to clients with a wide range of physical and mental health conditions, helping them to achieve their goals and improve their quality of life.  The OT Practice is committed to providing a flexible and responsive service, with appointments available at the client’s home, workplace, or school.  The company also works closely with employers to provide workplace assessments and interventions, supporting individuals to remain in work or return t work after an injury or illness. 

Date: 29th September 2023

Venue: Iwin Mitchell, One St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 3AF

Time: 9.30am - 3.45pm

Price: £120 Members | £145 Non-members                    Paypal or BACS transfer payments accepted only.

The member rate applies to those with a paid annual membership only and not those with a pending or lapsed membership.  Delegate passes are non-transferrable and non-refundable.  

Please bring ID with you on the 29th September 2023

If you have any questions or queries please email us or call 01329 446959.

Venue Irwin Mitchell, One St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 3AF
Date Friday 29th September 2023
9:30 am - 3:45 pm
Contact Hayley Williamson

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