Hudgell Solicitors is further enhancing its support to people awarded large damages settlements in compensation for serious and life-changing injuries through the appointment of an experienced professional Deputy and Trustee.
Eve Carter joins as Head of Court of Protection, a role which will see her expertise as a Professional Deputy provide support to those without the capacity to manage their financial affairs, or decisions relating to their future health and welfare.
In addition, she will work as a Professional Trustee, helping families who want to remove the stress and strain of trying to do the best by their loved ones financially, but without the full skill set or time to do so.
Working alongside those families, she will provide assurance and advice about financial decisions and set up good systems of financial management which families can then operate for themselves on an ongoing basis, or with her continued involvement.
Her services will not only be limited to recipients of large damages awards but be offered to anyone who has the need to help loved ones manage their affairs, as well as to other law firms without this in house capability.
She brings more than a decade of experience to Hudgells in this specialist work area and her appointment follows the firm recently partnering with financial advisors Frenkel Topping to offer financial planning advice to clients.
Under the Mental Capacity Act, professional Deputies must always act in the best interests of the person they represent and must always apply the highest standards of care. They are required to do all they can to help the individual understand decisions being taken and keep clear records of how finances are managed.
They are often instructed following multi-million pound compensation settlements being awarded to children who suffer brain injury at birth, and in cases where adults suffer an acquired brain injury (ABI) leaving them without the mental capacity to manage their own finances and care.
Expertise ensures a ‘full package of support’ for people who need it most
Amanda Stevens, Managing Director at Hudgell Solicitors, says Mrs Carter’s appointment will ensure Hudgells is able to provide a ‘full package of support’ to people who suffer life-changing injuries and illness when representing them in personal injury and medical negligence cases.
She says Mrs Carter, who previously headed up the personal tax, trusts and probate team at Harrison Drury Solicitors and has worked on national Deputy teams at Linder Myers and Foot Anstey, will also be a ‘valuable resource for other law firms, charities and organisations supporting people without capacity’.
“We are thrilled to have added somebody with Eve’s knowledge, experience and reputation to this very important role within the firm,” said Mrs Stevens.
“This is a specialist position we have been keen to add to the business for some time as it ensures we are able to offer a complete package of support to those who turn to us for help, in some of the most serious cases we handle.
“Having recently launched our specialist financial advice service after linking up with Frenkel Topping, which ensures people protect and maximise their damages, this was the next natural step to help those families with loved ones who are simply unable to make these kinds of decisions.
“We were determined to ensure we brought the right person into this role and Eve has the knowledge, experience and contacts to make a really positive impact for our clients.
“Her appointment means we are now able to ensure that people left without mental capacity not only get the damages settlement their injuries deserve, but that they are best placed to maximise and protect that money, and ensure it is properly managed under Court of Protection laws.”
Expertise will be offered to other firms needing to instruct a professional Deputy
Mrs Carter has extensive experience in estate planning for families with disabled children and advising in relation to the transition to adult services.
Her expertise is something Mrs Stevens expects other personal injury and clinical negligence firms to use, as she can act as an expert witness and be instructed as a Deputy by other firms where they do not have an in-house specialist themselves.
“We have taken a number of steps recently to ensure that the clients we serve don’t feel abandoned when the legal claims process is completed and they have received their compensation,” Mrs Stevens added.
“We have always been hugely proud of the service and support we provide our clients through the claims process and it always felt somewhat uneasy bringing that support to an end once the legal case was concluded.
“We recognised that people don’t want to start dealing with a new team of lawyers over the management of their finances, and that they feel much more comfortable when they are supported through the entire process.
“Eve is highly experienced at closely working with case managers, occupational therapists, support workers and financial advisers managing large clinical negligence awards.
“We expect her services to be in demand from other law firms, and other organisations such as charities and organisations which come into contact with families affected by somebody no longer being able to look after their own affairs.”
Commenting on her appointment to the national role at Hudgell Solicitors, Mrs Carter, said: “I am really excited to be joining a firm which has national expertise in personal injury and clinical negligence and a reputation for excellent client care.
“I look forward to being able to add to the already excellent services provided to clients and to working alongside the specialist legal teams.”