Your trusted CPD partner

Capacity - practical insights

Capacity - practical insights
Add to CPD Planner


17 September 2021 - Due to the uncertainties of the lockdown levels in Auckland, the In Short, Capacity – practical insights on 30 September 2021, will continue as a live Web Stream only.

Existing registrants - your registration will automatically be transferred to the live web stream - please check your email for full options.

If you have not registered yet, we welcome you to register live web stream, registrations remain open below.

Lawyers often face the dilemma of representing clients with compromised mental capacity. Knowing how to deal with such clients in the correct manner is a key feature of legal practice. This seminar will provide insights by a psychogeriatrician and a barrister on what to look for in respect to capacity, what the prudent lawyer should do, when to refer for a medical assessment, how to assess, and how in general to sensitively manage this issue in legal practice.

This seminar will include:

  • A brief definition and discussion of the essentials of capacity
  • An outline of the different levels of capacity and the applicable varying legal tests
  • Real world practical examples of the red flags – what to look out for when assessing capacity
  • Discussion on what a lawyer should do when capacity is a possible issue
  • Questions the lawyer ought to ask when concerned about a client’s capacity
  • Advice for when requesting a medical assessment
  • Discussion of case law guidance
  • Best practice advice on methods to use to promote your clients’ abilities to express capacity.

Learning objectives

By attending this seminar you will learn and receive practical guidance from a medical expert geriatrician and court lawyer about:

  • The mental capacity tests for contracting, and will making and the varying tests to be found in the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 and when to apply.
  • What to look for to ascertain whether or not mental capacity may be an issue with your client.
  • What to do when advising clients who wish to enter transactions or wills when capacity may be an issue.
  • What records ought to be kept in situations where you are advising clients and mental capacity may be an issue.
  • What should be in your letter of instruction to the medical professional carrying out the mental capacity testing to ensure the resulting report is "fit for purpose" for its intended use.

Who should attend

Civil litigation, family, health, trusts & estates practitioners at all levels.


A short paper, in PDF format, together with a copy of the powerpoint presentation will be emailed out prior to the seminar.


  • 4.00pm - 6.00pm

Fee (incl GST)

In Short

  • $145 - NZLS members and Associate members
  • $195 - Non-members
  • Live web stream group pricing available! Click here

Do you want to register more than one person for this course? Use the Multiple Registration button below or Click here
Download PDF registration form

Live Web Stream 30 September


CASEY Dr Jane 2021 Dr Jane Casey
Consultant Psychiatrist specialist in Old Age Psychiatry, Auckland

Jane is a consultant psychiatrist, specialising in Old Age Psychiatry, working in both the public and private sectors and as an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland. She obtained her MBChB from the University of Auckland, 1987; is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP), 1994, immediate past Bi-national Chair of the Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age and a member of the International Psychogeriatric Association Capacity Special Interest Forum. Jane’s areas of expertise include mood disorders, dementia and the related topics of elder abuse and capacity assessments. She has considerable experience in writing expert opinion reports in relation to the Mental Health Act, PPPR Act and mental capacity cases, including capacity to appoint Enduring Powers of Attorney and Testamentary capacity. Jane has published and presented on capacity in various medical and legal forums.

Andrew Steele
Barrister, Princes Chambers, Auckland

Andrew, has over 30 years’ experience in litigation in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. He was previously a partner at Chamberlains, then a partner at Martelli McKegg Lawyers from 2006 to October 2020, he then left to join the independent bar as a barrister sole specialising in trust and estate disputes. Andrew has presented seminars for NZLS CLE Ltd, ADLS, STEP, Legalwise and CCH in a variety of property, trust and estate-related topics and has written a number of articles on trust-related topics for the New Zealand Law Journal and other publications. He is the lecturer for and examiner of the estate litigation component for the STEP diploma.

Cancellation and refund policy

You may cancel your registration eight working days in advance of an event, and you will receive a refund less a 25% administration fee. If you cancel less than eight working days in advance of the event, no refund is payable. If you are unable to attend, you may transfer your registration to another person. If you wish to do so you must advise CLE in writing of the change. NZLS CLE Ltd reserves the right to close registrations, and, cancel or reschedule an event as necessary. Where an event is cancelled by CLE, a full refund is payable.

freephone (within NZ)
0800 333 111

[email protected]

04 472 7837

04 463 2986
Level 4, 17-21 Whitmore Street
Wellington 6011

DX SP 20202
PO Box 5041
Wellington 6140
New Zealand