Mental Health Staff

One of the leading teams in the country.

Nicola Cho
"I am passionate about upholding the rights of mentally ill and vulnerable people and ensuring their voices are heard. All too often, their views are overlooked or ignored. I believe they should be at the centre of the decision-making process and will fight to achieve this for them."
Nicola specialises in mental health and Court of Protection work. She is a member of both the Mental Health Tribunal and Mental Capacity (Welfare) Accreditation Schemes. In addition to representing clients at Mental Health Tribunals and Hospital Managers hearings, Nicola also acts for patients and their families in nearest relative displacement proceedings in the County Court. She also represents vulnerable people and their families in the Court of Protection, including in Deprivation of Liberty appeals. She is frequently instructed by Litigation Friends, including the Official Solicitor, to represent incapacitated clients in such cases. Nicola also acts for family members who wish to be appointed as deputies to manage the property and financial affairs of their incapacitated relatives.

Nicola Cho MA (Hons)

Solicitor & Partner

Head of the Mental Health Department

Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson LLB (Hons)

Solicitor & Partner

Daniel has worked for RMNJ as a paralegal previously and returned in 2015 after being Called to the Bar. Daniel qualified as a Solicitor in 2017 and is a member of the Mental Health Tribunal Accreditation Scheme with experience of representing clients at Tribunals, Hospital Managers hearings and in CPA meetings. Daniel represents clients at all levels of security with a special interest in forensic patients. Daniel also has experience in Litigation issues arising from mental health and human rights matters and assists with Court of Protection matters.

Emma Hickson

Emma Hickson

Senior Legal Secretary

Emma co-ordinates Tribunals and other hearings and ensures the smooth day to day running of the department.

Azka Zubairy

Azka Zubairy LLB


Azka is an LLB Law with Spanish (Hons) graduate with experience in various areas of law. She has chosen to specialise in mental health and mental capacity law and is particularly interested in promoting and protecting the rights of vulnerable and incapacitated people. As a paralegal, Azka assists with Court of Protection cases regarding clients' welfare matters as well as appeals against their deprivation of liberty. She also takes initial instructions from patients detained under the Mental Health Act.

Holly Bernard

Holly Bernard LLB


Holly is an LLB law graduate who joined the mental health department in September 2022 following the completion of her law degree from the University of Chester. Holly has chosen to specialise in mental health law and is currently studying for her LPC and Masters. As a paralegal, Holly takes initial instructions from clients who are subject to the Mental Health Act and assists with all elements of case preparation up to the point of the hearing. She is preparing to seek accreditation to the Law Society’s Mental Health Panel with the goal of being able to represent clients at Tribunals.