Friday, 28 September 2012

Hats off to Stewarts Law

The law firm, which has offices in London, Leeds, New York and Delaware, entered six teams in last Saturday’s London triathlon. The teams consisted of partners, associates, trainees and paralegals, as well as clients and their friends.

Photo courtesy of  Julian Chamberlayne
I applaud the firm's commitment to the triathlon not just because exercise is a good thing. What’s better yet is that all involved were raising money for Dan's Fund for Burns, a charity which provides burn survivors in the UK with ongoing support, resources and practical assistance with their recovery. The charity was established by Polly Miller (a former client of Stewarts Law) after her husband Dan, best friend and seven other friends were killed in the 2002 Bali bombing. Polly herself was badly burnt in the attack.

Polly's experience – which revealed that many burn victims receive virtually no support from health care professionals – led her to set up her admirable charity. Much though it does excellent work, the fact that the charity exists cannot but cast a spotlight on the NHS. The glare intensifies when we consider the Draft Care and Support Bill, published last July.

The Bill aims to create a single law for adult care and support, replacing more than a dozen different pieces of legislation. It will provide the legal framework for putting into action some of the main principles of the White Paper, entitled 'Caring for our future: reforming care and support'. So far, so sensible, but a close look reveals that the provisions of the Bill are wanting.

In an earlier blog, I objected to the Bill's idea that people may have to pay for care by selling their homes, an initiative which cannot but have serious consequences for their offspring and which seems to me to amount to a death tax, and may affect large numbers of seriously injured people.

The efforts of firms like Stewarts Law in last Saturday's London triathlon are to be praised for redressing the deficiencies in present social care system, but the Bill needs to tackle these deficiencies head on.  Here's hoping that there will be due consideration by the lawmakers of the plight of people such as one of Stewart's former clients. Having sustained serious burns injuries he became a double amputee, but he was able to cycle his recumbent bike in the triathlon. Well done to Julian Chamberlayne and Paul Paxton, the firm and all involved - and if you'd like to help out, its still not too late to make a donation by visiting: http://www.justgiving.com/StewartsLaw-LondonTriathlon.