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Jess Flanagan

After studying European Legal Studies at the University of Southampton, Jess qualified as a solicitor in 2010 and in 2013 established a Welfare Court of Protection Team at Clarke Willmott LLP in Bristol. Until August 2021, Jess was a Partner at Clarke Willmott LLP managing a small team of lawyers who represented clients in cases in the Court of Protection concerning health and welfare decisions. She now supervises and manages a similar team at Ashfords LLP on a part time basis and has recently been appointed to the Western Circuit to sit in the Civil and Family jurisdiction as a Deputy District Judge.

Jess provides bespoke training for advocacy organisations who support adults with additional needs and has written and spoken for national organisations including ‘Community Care’, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Jordan’s Family Law, and Elderly Care Law. She regularly speaks at the National Advocacy Conference and presented at IPSEA’s (Independent Provider of Special Education Advice) 2020 conference.

Jess is a mother to Ada and Frida who has Down Syndrome. Jess is part of ‘Positive About Down Syndrome’ (PADS) and works closely with the charity on various projects to support parents. She uses Makaton and is enjoying sessions providing advice around early intervention play with Frida. She has a blog with the aim of sharing her family’s experiences of Down Syndrome, from antenatal diagnosis to the present day, in the hope that they will help others.’