Pauline Thompson, a member of the Law Society’s mental health and disability committee from 2005-2012, died of cancer on 13 January.
Pauline was well known as the co-editor of the 5th edition of Community Care and the Law with solicitor Luke Clements, and as someone with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law, which she used to best effect in her policy role with Age Concern (now Age UK).
The Law Society and its members benefited hugely from her contribution to the committee, particularly in the area of community care and welfare law. For many years she wrote the chapters on community care in the Disability Rights Handbook (Disability Alliance) and was one of the original authors of the Paying for Care Handbook (CPAG). She sat on the editorial boards of Community Care Law Reports and the Elder Law Journal.
Her networking skills were amongst the best, she seemed to know everyone and everyone knew her – all had nothing but praise for her ability to influence law and policy. Pauline approached everyone and everything in life with a generous spirit while still being straight talking and constructively challenging.
It was her tenacity, praised by Baroness Greengross during the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill in 2001, which secured the abolition of the “liable relative rule” which had forced many spouses into poverty, through funding the residential care costs of their disabled spouse. She was awarded the OBE for her services to the elderly in 2012.