Why I'm so passionate about supporting WAY: Louise, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors

December 2023

As part of our exciting partnership announcement with Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, we spoke to Senior Associate Solicitor Louise Forsyth about why she is so passionate about supporting WAY….

What does your job with Irwin Mitchell Solicitors involve? 

I am a Senior Associate Solicitor specialising in medical negligence claims. Our clients have often suffered life-changing injuries and I investigate – by working together with medical professionals and barristers – whether this has been caused by significant failings in medical care. If so, we work out what help, support, treatment and equipment they will need for the rest of their life to ensure they are compensated for their injuries and financial losses.  

Where negligent medical treatment has caused the passing of a loved one, compensation is often the last thing on a client’s mind. I support families through inquests, questioning and challenging the medical system that has so often failed to properly care for their family member and, hopefully as a result, driving improvements in patient safety.  It’s an amazing job, I consider myself very lucky. 

How did you first get involved with WAY? 

I first came across WAY through social media posts and they really caught my eye. I hadn’t seen a bereavement support charity like them before, they seemed so unique. I could see clearly how my clients could benefit from their services. I also knew that, as a business, we needed to be better at talking about and understanding bereavement, to support our clients and our colleagues. I invited them to come in to speak to us. That was my first meeting with Colette. She shared her story with us so movingly and passionately that we knew it would be great to work together. 

Why has Irwin Mitchell Solicitors decided to support WAY? 

Their values are so clearly aligned with ours and they enable us to provide a holistic service to our clients. Whilst I help and support a client through a medical negligence claim, WAY will be there alongside us providing emotional and practical peer support.  

What do you get out of supporting a charity like WAY, both on a personal and professional level? 

Professionally, WAY enables me to provide a better service to my clients who are not only attempting to cope with their – and often their children’s – grief but are also having to contend with the fact that the passing of their loved one may have been caused by failings in medical care. Personally, my understanding of bereavement is growing and I can be a more understanding and supportive friend and family member to those who are grieving. 

How will this partnership help WAY members?

I hope that, through our partnership with WAY, we can help them reach even more people who could benefit from their amazing support network. The work the charity is doing is incredible, from raising awareness of the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community when they lose a partner to implementing change around bereavement benefits. To support them in their fantastic work is such a privilege.  In turn, as a full service law firm covering pretty much every area of law you could think of, we are here for WAY members as they face a myriad of legal and financial challenges following the death of a loved one. 

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As part of the partnership, Irwin Mitchell will be taking over the financial and legal helpline and offering tailored support for WAY members from 4 December 2023. 

They will also be creating joint promotional material and awareness campaigns, as well as supporting members with advice through clinics, podcasts and webinars