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I’m the National Head of Irwin Mitchell’s Court of Protection department and joined the department in 2000, when it was just one team based in Sheffield. Now I’m proud to head a national department with a team in offices that cover the whole country.
The Court of Protection department helps vulnerable people look after their property and financial affairs. We can do this through a variety of mechanisms including a Deputyship, Personal Injury Trust, Enduring Powers of Attorneys and Lasting Powers of Attorneys.
In my role I specialise in advising on the management of personal injury damages, either through the medium of a Court of Protection Deputyship or through trusts.
I’m a member of the Court of Protection Users’ group and I lead the departments, providing leadership and directions. In recent years I’ve seen the introduction of welfare benefits advisors and service leads for a number of different areas like litigation support, statutory Wills and deputyship services.
In addition I provide technical oversight of London, my “home” office, as well as some of our more southern offices – Birmingham, Cambridge and Southampton. I’m also a director of the Irwin Mitchell Trust Corporation and Irwin Mitchell trustees.
"Extremely knowledgeable in dealing with extremely large money and personal injury awards." - Chambers & Partners 2016
"Her knowledge of this area is phenomenal, and she's very supportive and empathetic, but also very clear and direct." - Chambers & Partners 2015
"A real force of nature; she is like the deputy of deputies. She just knows her stuff inside-out. Others look to her for leadership." - Chambers & Partners 2014
Julia provides "clear and concise advice" - Legal 500 2016
"Extremely efficient, and engenders high levels of trust and respect." - Legal 500 2014
"Committed and passionate." - Legal 500 2012
I became a lawyer in local government so that I could make a difference.
The best part of my job is helping people to put their lives back together after an often life changing experience and helping them to use the sums available to them to enhance their quality of life.
Irwin Mitchell is a large family and I am proud to be a part of that family.
I enjoy reading, theatre, fine dining and scrabble – although not necessarily in that order! If I had to give one piece of advice to anyone reading this it would be to learn from others mistakes, so that you don't have to make them yourself.
“This shocking case highlights how vulnerable people are to having their savings stolen. Unfortunately, our Court of Protection lawyers see this type of behaviour all too often. The best way to protect an elderly person’s assets is for the vulnerable person to give a trusted family member a Lasting Power of Attorney, whilst they still have capacity to do so.
“This then gives the trusted family member the authority to manage property and affairs and reduce the risk of abuse. In this case, the executor’s of the gentleman’s estate may be able to sue the care worker in the hope of recovering some of the stolen money, but this is likely to be a lengthy process and may be difficult if the money has all gone. As they say, prevention is better than cure.”
“Court of Protection should be viewed as a safe and reliable environment for these issues to be determined, but people who grant Lasting Powers of Attorney do so whilst they have capacity to make decisions and the Court respects their wishes so it is concerning that this gentleman has been a victim of financial abuse. This instance is a clear indication of how important it is to ensure that the right Attorney is appointed but if problems should arise, the there is recourse to the Court of Protection for review.
“We understand the serious implications when powers of attorney are abused and would urge those who have voluntarily entered into arrangements, with which they have subsequently become unhappy with, to challenge the situation to ensure they regain their financial control.
“We should not lose sight of the fact that these cases often involve vulnerable people who need the help of those closest to them, so more needs to be done to protect these people from financial abuse.”
“This decision has been a long time coming and we will watch the outcome of the pilot scheme with interest. It follows on from the opening up of family courts in 2009 to enable accredited media to attend which although contentious at the time is now viewed as a positive step.
“The pilot should give attendees a wider understanding of the Court of Protection’s work, offer greater transparency and help explain how the verdicts were reached in these cases.
“However, as Mr Justice Charles has said, its success will largely depend upon the responsible (or otherwise) actions of the press when reporting some of the more public interest cases often involving quite shocking facts.
“We should not lose sight of the fact that these cases usually involve vulnerable people who will largely be unable to defend their privacy against an over intrusive press.“
“We are immensely proud to have been the market leading Court of Protection firm for the past 25 years and look forward to the future as we seek to support even more clients who need our help.
“Our clients range from babies to individuals in their 90’s and the team strives to support each and every one to make the right decisions and to protect their interests in a way tailored to their individual needs. We aim to protect and provide value for our clients in order to improve the standard and quality of their every day living, whether that is helping them with their day to day lives, managing welfare benefits or handling large building projects to build or adapt houses.
“Our clients are, by their nature, often vulnerable individuals who need our help and support in order to live their lives to the best of their ability and it is incredibly rewarding when we have people who have been under the Court of Protection’s jurisdiction, and due to their hard work and with support from family and specialist rehabilitation are sometimes able to be discharged from the process with the capacity to look after their own day-to-day activities and finances.”
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