The Frenkel Topping Deputy Day has become a key date in the calendar for professional deputies and the clients they represent.
This year’s theme of financial abuse is high in the current news agenda and also strikes a particular chord with me. From my work over the last 30 years advising people who, through catastrophic personal injury no longer have the capacity to handle their own financial affairs, I’ve seen the difficulties that arise in managing settlement funds. In the most extreme cases, these settlements can often stretch to several millions of pounds and, while we strive to support our clients and their lawyers in obtaining the best possible financial outcome, this can create new problems of its own.
The Government has proposed landmark change to extend the legal definition of domestic violence to include financial abuse. In my opinion, this change can’t come soon enough. Handing a substantial lump sum to people who have been left with borderline capacity to manage their own financial affairs can leave the door wide open to abuse.
This is something that I feel absolutely passionate about, both personally and professionally. I’ve seen so many examples of money being mis-handled – whether with the best intentions or otherwise.