Who? Lauren Crow, solicitor and director, MJC Law, Nottingham.
Why is she in the news? Represented a care home resident who wants to return to her family in Poland, where relatives can care for her and pay for care. Mr Justice Hayden, sitting in the Court of Protection, concluded that the move would be in her best interests. Two of the care home nurses agreed to accompany the resident and self-isolate for at least five days on their return.
Thoughts on the case: ‘My client had been expressing a wish to return to Poland for some time. However, her physical and psychiatric difficulties meant there were logistical challenges. We identified the evidence needed to demonstrate how to overcome these challenges (as well as those related to travelling during a pandemic and Brexit). We built a case which meant by the time of the final hearing before the vice-president of the Court of Protection, all parties agreed that there wasn’t really any option other than for my client to return. The judge agreed and made orders that it is in my client’s best interests to return to Poland and be cared for by her family. The case is an example of how all parties can work collaboratively to achieve a great outcome for an individual. Further, the vice-president will be handing down a judgment setting out some “best practice” points for cases such as this and these will hopefully assist practitioners in the future.’
Dealing with the media: ‘Understandably the focus has been on the nurses that have agreed to accompany my client to Poland. If travel restrictions remain the same by the time of the journey, the nurses will have to self-isolate upon their return, which is a huge sacrifice to make in the course of employment. However this case was a massive team effort and there were so many that went above and beyond.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘I am the cliched teenager who read To Kill a Mockingbird and was inspired to go into law to make a difference. Fortunately, I have ended up specialising in an area of practice that means I can do exactly that.’
Career high: ‘It would either be co-founding my own law firm in 2018 to concentrate on doing Court of Protection, community care and mental health cases, or winning Junior Lawyer of the Year at the Law Society Excellence Awards in the same year.’
Career low: ‘The increasingly vitriolic rhetoric about lawyers specialising in cases involving human rights, particularly if taken together with the complete lack of investment in legal aid in recent years, means that it is becoming increasingly difficult to forge a career in these important areas of practice.’