Emma GaudernManaging Director

Job Role at EMG

I am the managing director and was one of the founders of the firm. I split my time between running the firm and acting as deputy or trustee to incapacitated and vulnerable individuals. They both feel like full time jobs so it is pretty busy! As deputy or trustee, I work with the clients, their family members and support network to make sure that their needs are catered for and they are being enabled to live life as they choose, as far as that is possible. This involves empowering clients to make as many choices for themselves as they can, and then supporting them in achieving their aims. We work with specialists to invest and protect the clients assets, to ensure that their funds last for as long as possible – hopefully their lifetime. It can be a very challenging job at times but I really do love (almost!) every minute of it.

Experience

I qualified as a solicitor in 1999, so I now have over 20 years’ experience in the law. I started out life as a private client solicitor, advising high net worth individuals on Wills, probate and tax planning issues. In 2002 I started working with people who lack the capacity to manage their property and affairs, and began to specialise in this area in 2004. I combined a Wills, trusts and probate caseload with a deputyship caseload until around 2015 – as my trust and deputyship caseload has grown I have done very little Wills work but I have instead recruited cleverer colleagues who are able to keep pace with this ever evolving area of law, far better than I am!

In 2008 I was first approached to comment on behalf of defendants in relation to the Court of Protection costs being claimed by claimants and now regularly undertake work of this nature. I work with the solicitors and barristers involved in a claim to ensure that the Court of Protection or trust costs specified in the schedule of loss are properly quantified. This is still a significantly under-exploited aspect of a case and can leave a claimant seriously under-compensated in respect of these costs, if they are not properly ascertained.

I act as deputy for approximately 50 clients and am trustee of around a further 15 trusts of compensation. My deputyships range from children with cerebral palsy occasioned via birth injury, through to children and adults who have been injured in road traffic accidents. I also represent various adults who have been injured in accidents at work. I act as professional health and welfare deputy (most deputyships relate to property and affairs rather than health and welfare matters) for one client. I was one of the first professional health and welfare deputies to be appointed in the UK.

My broad range of experience across different types of case mean that I am well placed to work with all types of clients and their families, in a sensitive manner that is supportive of their needs and abilities. I manage well in excess of £60m for my clients in total, with values of individual estates ranging from £250,000 to £4m and over.

My experience lies now in dealing with challenging and complex clients and their families, to help them manage their funds and support them in living life on their own terms. I have also acted as litigation friend to incapacitated clients in a number of different types of claim, including both personal injury and clinical negligence work, as well as family and divorce cases and more general litigation.

I have spoken on the subject of deputyships and trusteeships for APIL, UKABIF, NABIF, Headway and COPPA, as well as providing in house training for various companies.

What do you like about working at EMG?

No two days are ever the same! My role is extremely varied, so I can be attending a conference on how to manage the financial affairs of a client with a brain injury and addiction issues one day, mentoring a colleague to help them achieve their career goals the next, and then chairing a best interests meeting on whether a client should be peg fed the day after. The variety of the role keeps it interesting but is also enormously demanding and I have to be able to switch very quickly from one mode to the next.

Outside of EMG

I have two young children and an active dog, so they combine to keep me on my toes. I love to cook and although my children rarely eat anything adventurous, my husband is always a willing victim. I have an unfeasibly large collection of recipe books and cook from them most days. I did say that 2019 would be the year I became a beekeeper but 2020 has been the one!

Emma qualified in September 1999.