Quality manager, Bush & Company, Daventry
When I was young my dad took me to the public gallery at the Old Bailey and I was hooked. My interest in English language and the way it can be used and interpreted to construct arguments suited my legal training, and I found the strong medical component of catastrophic injury cases fascinating. It is a chance to engage with clinicians and rehabilitation experts. I learn a huge amount from them and get to work at the cutting edge of law and of rehabilitation.
My legal training was great preparation for Bush & Company. Because I’ve been an instructing solicitor, I can read the letters of instruction that the solicitors send to experts and understand exactly what they need from the report. Then I can ensure that the report is scrupulously fair and accurate, and covers exactly what is required.
Juggling parenthood and life in legal practice was a huge challenge. I’m sure many working parents will relate to the challenge of trying to do an important conference call from home with a small child hanging from your ankles. I’m fortunate to have a role where I can work flexibly and use the skills that I gained in practice in a new and exciting way.
I work with complex and fascinating reports about serious injury cases. I bring a different perspective to the team while learning from clinical experts. When in practice, I was on the board of Headway Hertfordshire. I’ve recently been appointed to the Law Society steering group to develop the new catastrophic injury accreditation scheme for claimant and defendant solicitors. This will provide assurance to prospective clients that the specialist they consult will meet their needs.
Individual clients stick in my mind when I think about career highlights. I remember a man with a brain injury who simply wanted to have the chance to go down the aisle with his daughter on her wedding day. We agreed funding for his rehabilitation that enabled him to achieve this goal and it was fantastic when I saw a picture of him with his daughter at her wedding.
Catastrophic injury cases are emotional and it can be challenging not to get caught up in the sentiments. It is important to step back and be objective, and it’s this lesson that I bring to my work at Bush & Company. I make sure when checking reports that experts instructed by both sides are reporting objectively and neutrally.
The personal injury world is in flux and the application of new PI reforms will be controversial. There is also a trend for the government to remove some of the costs of legal action facing our public services, as we’ve seen with the MoD’s combat immunity plan and the rapid resolution and redress scheme for maternity cases. This is a direction of travel that our sector needs to acknowledge and begin to address.
In catastrophic injury cases, both parties should have the highest quality of representation and access to top-quality expert evidence.