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Spotlight on: Trudy

Date: 18 December 2017

This is a longer post helping you get to know Trudy a little better.

Trudy took her Legal Executive exams at Chelmsford College and became a legal executive in 1988 and progressed to associate legal executive in 1990.

Before working in medical negligence what other legal experience did you have?
I’ve been working at solicitors since 1988 and some of the first cases I worked on were medical negligence but I then went on to focus on personal injury. I moved to Blackpool in 1992 and continued to do personal injury for two years and then went into doing matrimonial, child care and family. In my last firm I assisted on a Cerebral Palsy case which I found extremely interesting and influenced me joining Sarah ten years ago last April.

Why did you decide to focus on medical negligence?

Well I always enjoyed medical negligence but had to focus on the areas available at the firms I was working at, so didn’t have as much opportunity to get as involved with it. To be able to focus on it was an amazing opportunity because I felt I was really helping people through medical negligence cases. I found the childcare work a little demoralising at times so it’s good with to be working with people to make a positive change to all their lives.

What has been your best experience working with Sarah and the team?

It was my ten year anniversary; we went for afternoon tea at The Imperial which was really lovely. Not just because of it being good for me, but it shows just how caring everyone is; caring for each other as well as the clients. We’re all so close and such good friends as well as work colleagues. So when we do have the opportunity to go out together whether that’s for a celebration or Christmas it makes it even sweeter and a great reward for everyone’s hard work.

What was the first case that stuck with you?

There was one case where the client kept going back to the same doctor and the same mistakes kept happening. I helped her to realise that her complaints were legitimate and making a claim wasn’t something personal between her and the doctor. I think a lot of clients don’t realise that, actually, their claim isn’t just against the doctor; and that however good they usually are they still need to be held account if they make a mistake that will severely impact someone’s life.

(This is a topic we will explore in a later blog article for anyone interested in that aspect of a claim.)

 Can you give an example of a really memorable case, or a particular moment in a case?

I was a case concerning Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which we valued at around £30,000. We then instructed a joint care expert, which was a risk as to whether their report would bring the value down or potentially up. But the report came back and it was so good that the case actually settled at £100,000! The client has a few children so the damages were going to be life changing for the family so that was a very satisfying result.

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Following that heartfelt moment, let’s move onto some sillier stuff: first, what would you be if you weren’t a solicitor?

I have no idea cos I’ve always done it so there is nothing else I could do! I always knew it was what I wanted to do even at school. My sister, who is two years older than me, had left school and one of her friends had already gone on to the course that I went onto. So from an early age I knew this was what I wanted to do and how to end up doing it.

An important part of office life: what is your favourite biscuit?
I want a chocolate biscuit. Any particular kind?

No, anything covered in chocolate is cool with me.

Favourite holiday destination?
America. We’ve had some amazing holidays there and as a family we love it. Even my daughter says she wants to move and live out there which upsets me greatly cos I’ll have to go with her!

What are your hobbies outside of work?

There aren’t any really, just running around after my daughter constantly and ferrying her around and walking the dog, that’s my life! Renovating my house if that counts? And gardening, I like gardening!

Here's a good one for you seeing as You're not native: what's your favourite thing about living in the North West?
The sea. Moving up from down south nowhere near the sea and then suddenly being right next to it and driving to work every day on the sea front. It was such a novelty for me! And then we moved next to the sea so I could see it every day but it was too windy so we had to move away.

Could you share a surprising or interesting fact about yourself?

Well seeing as I’m from Chelmsford originally a lot of people are actually surprised that I’m an Essex girl, not that people can tell!

If you were a contestant on GBBO what would your showstopper be?
I’m rubbish at cooking so I’d love to say I could do something exciting but it would be a lie. I don’t want to say I could something and then someone holds me to it! I can do Meringues, they could be my showstopper. Or I could join Sarah as a judge; I’d be perfect at that!