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Written on 5th April 2022

As the clinical negligence team congratulates Julie Marsh on her promotion to partner, we asked Julie to share her reflections on her training, experience and work with clients, charities and the wider community, and her vision and plans for the future.

Looking back at your training and early career with Boyes Turner, do you have any special or memorable moments?

Joining the firm in 2008 was a huge accomplishment for me as I had worked as a paralegal for four years whilst seeking a training contract. I remember the warm welcome I was given by everyone with whom I came into contact. Even the CEO and managing partner, Andrew Chalkey, made time to welcome all the new trainees on our first day.  

An obvious highlight was qualifying as a solicitor within the clinical negligence team. I had coveted that job from the moment I started working on claims for the personal injury and clinical negligence team’s injured clients! I realised that it was a great privilege at that early stage of my career to be able to work on birth injury and other complex, severe injury cases. Despite the huge responsibility, it was (and still is) deeply rewarding to see some of the first cases I worked on as a junior lawyer through to final settlement, and follow my clients’ continued progress under the care of our Court of Protection team, and see how their lives have improved through their compensation. 

In hindsight, one of the defining moments for me was working on a case for a client who had been severely disabled by cauda equina syndrome (CES). At the time we achieved one of the highest reported settlements for a CES case. Learning about my client’s condition and how compensation could make a difference to their life inspired me to develop my expertise in cauda equina and focus on how I could do more for this worthwhile cause.

Over time, my experience with some truly inspirational clients also led me to develop my interest, expertise and specialism in other areas, such as brain injury, amputation/limb loss and severe disability from serious infection, such as TB, meningitis and sepsis.  

What originally inspired you to work with people with severe injury and disability? Has anything changed about the way you work today?

As a child I learned from example, seeing my mum working with a Romanian relief organisation. After that early exposure to charitable work, I wanted to be able to help people who were in need get access to resources and support. Once you see what a difference your help can make to people’s lives, you never want to give that up.

Today, I am constantly inspired by clients who have faced the very worst of times and survived, and who are still motivated to return to independent living and make the most out of life. Knowing that I can make a difference to others in the same situation makes me more determined to reach out to support organisations like our CES Facebook group, and signpost people towards support that they might otherwise struggle to find.

Looking forward, as a partner in the clinical negligence team, how do you see your role developing and what would you like to achieve?

The future of medical negligence work is constantly under political scrutiny and injured patients’ rights are increasingly under threat from review.  My focus remains firmly on my injured clients, doing my utmost to help support them through the litigation process and to move forward with their lives once compensation is secured.

Throughout my career I have been lucky enough to have great support from Boyes Turner’s clinical negligence team and to work alongside inspirational leaders in the field whose technical knowledge is second to none. Within the firm, I see my role as helping to support and develop those who are starting out in their legal career, helping them identify their goals and supporting them to meet them.

Externally, I love getting out and about, talking to charities and support groups and meeting new people. I enjoy learning about their experiences and what helped them on their journey, and sharing the stories and experiences which can help my current clients and future clients. I find that alongside the practical and financial support that we offer through compensation claims, shared conversations and experiences can also offer a more holistic approach to resolving their problems.

What advice would you give to someone who is facing a disability for the first time?

Aside from advising anyone who is concerned about their care that they should not hesitate to speak to a specialist solicitor, I think it helps people to realise that there are others who have come through what they are experiencing and to know that they are not alone. Finding support from others who have suffered similar injury and lived with the issues you face can help you see light on the other side of your injury or disability and help you focus on moving towards that.

What advice would you give to someone starting out on a legal career?

My advice to anyone starting out, whether newly qualified, in a training contract or as a paralegal looking for a training opportunity, would be to get as much experience as you can in any way that you can. Find what motivates you and drives you to get out of bed and into work each day, and go after it with every ounce of your being! You can influence your future by what you do today.

About Julie

Julie Marsh is a partner and medical negligence specialist solicitor in Boyes Turner’s clinical negligence team. Her specialist expertise includes claims involving brain injury, cauda equina syndrome (CES) and spinal cord injury (SCI), amputations and other diabetes-related disability, severe disability from conditions such as meningitis, sepsis and tuberculosis, maternal obstetric injury, cancer and fatal injury.

You can read more about Julie and contact her here.