Court of Protection removes professional deputy firm following breaches of duty owed to protected persons
The Court of Protection has published judgment in the case of The Public Guardian v Matrix Deputies Ltd and London Borough of Enfield  EWCOP 14, which concerns 44 individuals whose property and affairs were either already managed by a court-appointed deputy, or were the subject of an application for such appointment. The common link between all individuals was the involvement in their property and affairs of Matrix Deputies Limited (a professional deputyship firm) or persons who worked for that organisation.
The Public Guardian made a number of applications, which together sought as follows: the discharge of all appointments of Matrix Deputies Ltd, and its nominated officers as property and affairs deputy; the refusal of any pending applications; and the appointment of either the London Borough of Enfield or a panel deputy instead.
An investigation into the dealings of the deputies was conducted by a large and well-known firm, which revealed a catalogue of failings and breaches of duty such as excessive fee charging, inappropriate/inadequate arrangements for holding/recording client funds and transactions, conflicts of interest arising from inappropriate relationships with other bodies, and taking commission in relation to the sale of property owned by the protected persons.
Senior Judge Hilder held that Matrix Deputies Ltd is not a suitable organisation for either continued or new appointment of its authorised officers as property and affairs deputy for any of the individuals identified in the schedules. The Judge also considered that the management of funds under the deputyship was relevant to the appointeeships allocated to the firm, and ordered that the judgment and order in the proceedings to be forwarded to the Department of Work and Pensions. In relation to costs, the court departed from the usual rule in property and affairs proceedings to order that Matrix Deputies Ltd pay to the London Borough of Enfield indemnity costs in the sum of £250,000.
Barristers: Alexander Line | Claire van Overdijk