An Interview with Jemma Garside

What do you do for Kingsley Napley?

I am a Senior Associate in the Private Client team. I specialise in assisting those who lack the mental capacity to make decisions in respect of their welfare or financial affairsandwhofall under the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection. I assist two Partners who act as Professional Deputies for a number ofhigh net worthindividuals that lack the capacity to manage their finances. There are often a number of complex issues to unravel, particularly where the person involved is elderly or where their attorney has had to be replaced by the Court because of malpractice. I am often called upon to advise in respect of welfare issues such as funding for care and residenceI have also recently dealt with a number of cross-boarder matters where family members have asked for their loved one to be moved abroad and authorisation has been required from the Court of Protection. 

What do you love most about your role? 

I love getting to know my clients and their families.Sometimes you do not need to do a great deal of work to assist them but they are often so grateful because it can make a big difference to their lives. I enjoy it when client’s send pictures of their holidays or at family events because then you really see that they are happy and enjoying their lives, in spite of the challenges they face This isoften when you realise that the work you have done has really made a difference. I am also very lucky to work for a great firm that cares for itsemployees, I am part ofa close-knit team and we all support each other in our roles. 

What has been your greatest achievement?

I acted for the daughter of an elderly gentleman who was suffering from dementia and had been sectioned. He had been livingin London but she, and the rest of the familylived in Northern Irelandand his wife had also moved there.It was apparent that he would need to go into a care home due to his deteriorating condition but his daughter was concerned that he would have no social interaction if he was placed in London.With my assistance his daughter had asked for him to be discharged to a care home in Northern Ireland, and I helped her to apply to become his Deputy and manage his financial affairs,as he owned a number of properties. He was becoming increasingly unhappy because he was lonely and missed his family but initially the local authority and Official Solicitor were unwilling to support the move. Eventually we managed to identify a suitable placement and persuade the authorities that it was in his best interests. He is now happy and settled in Northern Ireland and cansee his family regularly. Heis particularly close to his Grandson and it has been lovely to hear stories of them getting up to mischief together.

How has your business adapted in light of COVID-19?

The Court of Protection acted rapidly when the first lockdown commenced and rules were brought inquite quicklyallowing for the e-filing of papers and for virtual hearings to be held. My firm adapted to remote working well becausemost of the necessary infrastructure was in place,so that side of our practice didn’t change. The Court had always been quite archaic so it was good to see them forced into making progress. Unfortunately it seems to have gone backwards since the restrictions have eased and they are once again insisting that certain applications are filed on paper and hearing bundles are physical, rather than electronic.

Why did you join PCD?

I always enjoy meeting like-minded people and find that those working within this profession often share the same values. PCD is a great resource for those wishing to develop their practice and build connections.

On a weekend, I am most likely found...

In the Lake District. I was lucky enough to grow up there and I like to get back there as much as possible to see family and friends.Withagile working I am able to do that a lot more frequently than before Covid. My husband and I have walked most of the Wainwright’s but we have a few left to do, and we like to stop off at a local pub at the end for a well-deserved drink.


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