Jemma Garside is an associate - solicitor in our Court of Protection team. Her speciality is Community Care law as well as Health and Welfare matters arising in the Court of Protection.
When did you join Boyes Turner's Court of Protection team?
I joined Boyes Turner in April 2018. I was attracted to the firm due to the outstanding work they do for their clients with highly complex needs. I was impressed by the caring approach taken by the solicitors as well as their ambition to create a full complement of services to clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries. I felt that my previous experience would complement the existing team to ensure that client’s receive a holistic, tailored service from the firm from the outset of their case.
What work do you do?
I am instructed by deputies, professional trustees as well as directly by clients and their families. I provide advice in respect of all issues relating to client’s care needs including eligibility, funding, care packages, financial contributions and safeguarding issues. I am often approached at a time where a local authority or NHS body are taking steps regarding an individual that they disagree with but they or their family feel helpless to challenge these decisions. Often the first step is to look at the assessment or care plan to work out the rationale behind the authorities’ decision. From there we can then decide how to pursue them in order to resolve the issues; this could be through a formal complaint, liaising with their legal team or even making an application to the High Court for a Judicial Review.
I have a great deal of experience in Health and Welfare issues arising in the Court of Protection. I now deal with non-legally aided applications including challenges to Lasting Powers of Attorneys and applications for declarations relating to residence and care. I was interested to read the recent case law regarding Health and Welfare Deputyships which shows how the legal landscape has changed since the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
In addition I support the Property and Affairs team with the preparation of applications to the Court of Protection for deputyships, statutory wills, gifts and approval of gratuitous care payments.
How did you get into Community Care?
Whilst I was studying for my law degree I became really interested in the cases we studied that dealt with human rights and in particular the cases regarding care and support. As I developed my understanding I knew that this was the specialism for me as I am passionate about ensuring that all members of society are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve. I have always been a very compassionate person and wanted to support vulnerable people to help give them the opportunities they need to improve their lives. I often have to have difficult conversations with clients but pride myself on my ability to put them at ease and build their trust.
I first started as a paralegal in a very busy Community Care department at a leading Legal Aid firm. After the first few days I was sure that this area of practice suited me perfectly. During my training I also practiced in Mental Health and Child Care law which really complemented my chosen area as there are often overlapping issues in my cases.
What do you enjoy most about Boyes Turner's Court of Protection team?
I particularly enjoy meeting clients and getting to know them. It is really rewarding when you can make a difference to their lives by obtaining the support they need.
What do you like doing outside of work?
During my spare time, I enjoy running and at weekends I like to go on long bike rides. I find that the fresh air and green spaces are a great form of therapy which helps me maintain my focus and composure at work. I have completed a number of charity runs; most recently I completed a Tough Mudder for the Child Brain Injury Trust and a 10K Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research. I would really like to do a Marathon but finding the time to train is difficult!
If you or a member of your family have any concerns regarding community care please contact the court of protection team by email on email@example.com.