Meet our Neurotrauma Team with Sarah Askew
What is your role at Sintons and how long have you been with the firm?
Tell us about your career to date…
I graduated from the University of Leeds with 2:I in English Law and Australian Legal Studies. My degree included a year studying in Australia. During this year, not only did I get to travel a lot, but I also worked as an Intern for The Parliament of Queensland and studied Equality and Discrimination Law.
Since finishing my studies in 2011, I have dedicated my career to supporting claimants through what can often be the most difficult time in their lives. I have been fortunate to work on complex and high-value personal injury cases for almost 10 years now.
However, I have to credit where I am now to the individual that I worked for as a personal assistant whilst studying. This person taught me so much (and no doubt my understanding is just the tip of the iceberg) about the daily fights and the barriers imposed by society. It was this person that influenced my decision to work in serious injury.
Can you tell us about your department and the work it does?
I work in the Neurotrauma team at Sintons. We are a specialist team of 10 lawyers plus our fabulous admin team that sits within the wider Claimant Pi Department. Our specialism is that we act solely for individuals who have sustained an acquired brain injury and/or spinal cord injury.
The most important aspect of our work is securing an award of damages to help the individuals fund their rehabilitation, care and equipment needs that arise after sustaining an injury.
Can you tell us about the work you do?
I act on behalf of clients who have sustained life-changing serious injuries bringing claims for both children and adults who have suffered a brain injury and or/a spinal cord injury.
I work closely with rehabilitation professionals to secure interim payments wherever possible for my clients to ensure they get the support and input that works for them. To help my clients achieve financial security for the future, I explore all avenues and work closely with my colleagues who can offer specialist advice on the family law issues and employment law issues that often arise following an injury, but that are so often forced take a back seat following a serious injury.
What have been your personal career highlights to date?
I have been fortunate to work for and learn from so many individuals who have suffered life-changing injuries to date that it is really difficult to pick one. The best part of my job is knowing that what I do can help improve the quality of my clients’ lives.
But if I had to pick – it would be securing an early admission liability in a matter that involved multiple defendants for a client who was very anxious and had no support or treatment in place before coming to Sintons. They now have an interim payment and rehabilitation programme in place. This was not the highest interim payment that I or the Neurotrauma team have secured for our clients, but it made such a difference for my client allowing them to move forward and start focusing on their rehabilitation and their future.
In respect of my technical ability/legal education, it has to be achieving my Higher Rights of Audience.
Sintons enjoys a first-rate reputation regionally and nationally for its work. What is it like to work here?
The Neurotrauma team are a fantastic bunch – I couldn’t ask friendlier and more supportive colleagues who are equally as passionate about the work that we do. I guess that is why we all work so well together.
But this is not surprising because Sintons is a great place to work. Not long after I joined the firm my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and they could not have been more supportive. They also listen to their employees’ ideas and take on board suggestions. Despite lockdown there has still been a collegiate feel and real effort to support our charity of the year – Children’s Cancer North.
And finally, tell us about your interests outside work…
Long country walks and cycling. After moving to the coast last summer I took up open water swimming but I am not brave enough to swim in the North Sea in the winter.
Amateur baker – some things turn out well and others are disastrous.
In my spare time, I also volunteer for a special educational needs charity and I am Trustee for Independent Advocacy North East.