Receiving the ERS Gold Award is an incredibly proud moment for all our colleagues who work tirelessly to support our Armed Forces community, and the clients we help who’ve been injured whilst serving.
We’re committed to representing service personnel, veterans and their families at a time they need us most. We’ve acted for clients in civil and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) claims, as well as for families at inquests.
Amanda Marsh heads up our AFCS service. Amanda said that the award “gives us a greater opportunity to advocate on behalf of the injured and sick, or for their families in fatal inquiries. We’re incredibly proud to represent them all, and help them and their families on their journey to recovery.”
Alistair Robertson-Göpffarth recently joined our Tax, Trust and Estates team, having qualified as a solicitor six years ago. He now works as a Chartered Tax Advisor and as a Notary Public. Alistair speaks German and Dutch and his work includes cases for non-UK clients with UK assets and UK clients with assets abroad.
Before his career change, Alistair served in the Navy for over 20 years. His military service included deployment to the former Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Libya. He served on submarines and later taught tactics to future leaders at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham.
Alistair was attracted to a career in law because he felt it allowed him to combine intellectual challenge with the ability to solve complex problems for our clients.
Like all our colleagues who’ve served, Alistair’s legal knowledge is enhanced by the skills he brings from military service. Skills learnt in the Armed Forces that can transition to a civilian career include:
A positive attitude to challenges
The ability to adapt to new environments
A strong work ethic.
Alistair is still a member of the Association of Royal Navy Officers, a 5,000-strong organisation aimed at connecting and providing lifelong support after service.
Alistair said: “Soon after I joined the Tax, Trust and Estates team, I contacted the Military Injury team, as I was keen to understand more about their work with service personnel and learn how I could help.
“It’s great to be part of a firm that not only recognises but rewards the benefit veterans bring to a business, whilst being committed to supporting the Armed Forces community.”
Any organisation that signs the Armed Forces Covenant and works towards ERS Gold award needs support from the top.
Andrew Tucker, our Group Chief Executive, knows what this award means to our military injured clients. At the beginning of his career he’s helped many who’ve been injured in this way.
After joining the firm in 1985 Andrew was engaged with many high-profile cases, including the Kegworth Air Crash, the Nimrod inquest and the Herald of Free Enterprise capsize in 1987.
The Herald of Free Enterprise capsize highlighted post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosed in the survivors, and led to some of the first compensation awards for PTSD in the country.
Andrew also helped to support Ben Parkinson's campaign to improve benefits for injured service personnel under the AFCS.
On hearing of the award win, Andrew commented: “Our commitment to the forces community and the Armed Forces Covenant remains strong and we remain as active as ever in recruiting ex-servicemen and women and in acting for hundreds current and ex-Armed Forces personnel in military claims.
“We’re proud to recognise and support our military communities, and this Gold Award demonstrates that we’re among the best employers in Britain for veterans and reservists alike.”
In the five years we've been working towards the Armed Forces Covenant, many colleagues have advocated the benefits and demonstrated the commitment to service leavers, none more so than Mark Gilbertson, Head of Talent Acquisition and a former Army Officer.
Mark was the force for change for our enhanced reservist policy. Our wider recruitment team have also met with the Careers Transition Partnership, and attended the Invictus Games Trials Careers Fair to inspire others to consider a career in the legal profession.
Mark said: “We’ve put a lot of hard work into improving our support for reservists, and in appealing to ex-members of the Armed Forces to look at Irwin Mitchell when considering their next move. To be granted a Gold Award is fantastic news as we look to recruit former Forces personnel to our own ranks."
We’re thankful our Military Injury team have always received support from colleagues who’ve served, including for our
award-winning tribute video for VE Day 2020. This network of our colleagues is strong and growing, and the ERS Gold award demonstrates that colleagues across all areas of the business are working together for military clients and communities.
We’re proud to have a longstanding relationship with many high-profile military personnel and charities that support our clients.
When Amanda Marsh won the North West Armed Forces Award in the category of Wounded, Sick and Injured in 2017, we were proud to meet Colonel Philip Harrison, then Commander of the British Headquarters in the North West, who was presenting the award. On hearing of our recent award win he said: “The ERS Gold Award is an appropriate recognition for the amazing work that your organisation does for service personnel and their families at times when their need is greatest.
“Having commanded soldiers who’ve benefitted from the support you provide, I can relay first-hand the profoundly positive and lasting impact your work has on their lives at times when they could easily give up hope.
“On behalf of the Armed Forces community, well done and thank you. We appreciate your support and are very grateful.”
We’d like to thank all the individuals and organisations that have helped us along the way. In turn, we’ll continue to advocate the benefits to others.
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