Legal Eagle Goes The Extra Miles
Article courtesy of The Sydney Morning Herald
24 November 2012
One of the little-known advantages to a law degree is that it can involve world travel, gathering evidence and taking statements from clients.
Ruth Hudson became a solicitor just over two years ago and has already travelled to India, England and Germany to meet clients for her Sydney law firm, Stacks/Goudkamp.
“We specialise in bringing compensation claims on behalf of people who are injured in NSW,” she says. “Often, people who travel to Australia as tourists or [on] study and work visas are injured while they are here. We can help these people to claim compensation for the injuries they have sustained here in NSW, even after they return to their home country.
“I recently got back from India, where two of us travelled to see a client in his 20s who lived in a city several hours’ drive outside Delhi. He’d been an accounting student in Sydney when he was in a car accident and suffered brain injuries and lost his vision.
“It was quite a trek on really bad roads. We saw him with his family and took statements about how he was coping with his disabilities and the impact the accident had had on his life.
“It was something we couldn’t just do over the phone from Sydney. We really needed to get a feel for where he lived and the difficulties he now faces on a daily basis.”
Hudson and the Stacks legal team will try to gain financial compensation for their client through the Compulsory Third Party insurance scheme.
“It will help him and his family with medical expenses and adapting his life to help cope with his disability,” Hudson says.
“It’s great to see the family all pulling together to help him, but he was the hope of the family to have a career in finance and his plans to support his family have been dashed by that accident in Sydney.”
Hudson also travelled to England to take statements from a Bournemouth bricklayer who injured his back when a restaurant seat collapsed beneath him while on holiday in Sydney.
The Martin Place law firm works on a no-win, no-fee basis, so the trips certainly aren’t junkets.
“If we lose the case, we have to meet the costs ourselves, so the travel is no luxury,” Hudson says. “We always try to keep costs to a minimum.”
She also worked on a major case trying to win compensation for Australian military veterans exposed to radiation during Britain’s nuclear tests in the outback in the 1950s and ‘60s.
“It was a fascinating case and I met these wonderful veterans and their families all over Australia who had suffered terrible health problems from their exposure to radiation all those years ago,” she says.
Hudson graduated with honours from Newcastle University in 2008 and worked with World Vision in Asia before becoming a solicitor in 2010. She is now an associate at Stacks and a prominent member of the Australian Lawyers Alliance.