Jack's story

I am Jack's Mum and Court of Protection appointed Deputy. Jack has cerebral palsy, which has a profound impact on every aspect of his daily life.

My husband and I were first introduced to Richard Cropper in 2004, when our solicitor instructed him to provide us with advice with regard to Structured Settlements, which I know have now become periodical payments. Two offers had been made in full and final settlement of Jack's claim; one was a lump sum only offer, whilst the other included a stream of guaranteed payments for life and a smaller lump sum.

We met with Richard at our old house and we talked about what we wanted for Jack into the future and particularly securing him a suitably adapted home.

This was not an easy decision with a number of advantages and disadvantages on both sides. Richard guided us through these technical issues and supported us through the decision making process. Twelve years on, we do not regret the decision we made then.

During that first meeting Richard asked us a lot of questions, including whether we had any life insurance at the time of Jack’s birth. We said that we did and Richard asked to see the policy. It turned out that Jack was covered under the policy, which eventually resulted in us receiving a lump sum that we used to part redeem our mortgage.

Once the litigation had concluded, we met again with Richard to discuss the investment of the lump sum part of Jack's award. We discussed the risks that Jack faces, not just investment risks.

As I still provide Jack with the vast majority of his support, we talked about what would happen if I could no longer do that. Richard recommended an insurance policy that would protect Jack from having to spend more on professional care if something happened to me. This gives me some added peace of mind. Richard also arranged for HMRC clearance so that I had confirmation that my gratuitous care payments are not subject to tax or National Insurance.

We discussed investment risk at length. Richard made sure we fully understood the relationship between risk and reward and the vagaries of short-term investment markets. Given the twelve years over which Jack's award has been invested, the returns achieved have always been in line with the expectations we agreed in the beginning and reaffirmed each year when we meet. We never wanted any nasty surprises.

Jack turns 18 in the New Year, which brings with it the transition from the Local Authority child team to the adult team. This is a complicated area and we need to make sure that Jack's assessment is fair and maximises his entitlements. At our last meeting Richard mentioned that Jo from his office would be on hand if we needed her support and guidance with this change. It is good to know that there is someone there that I can speak to who understands the process and how it impacts on Jack.

Having worked with Richard and his team for twelve years, I have always found them to be friendly and easy to approach with any matter that may arise. They are always willing to answer my questions no matter how minor or insignificant they may seem – sometimes these small matters are important. I have full confidence in Richard’s abilities to manage Jack’s investment portfolio in a way that ensures long term growth and financial security.

My name is Amy and I am now 24. I have cerebral palsy, which I why I can’t talk or walk. This often means people don’t realise I am otherwise a normal human being.
My name is David. I’m 52 years old and live with my wife, Lesley, and ‘Bernie’ our very affectionate and inquisitive Jack Russell. I was involved in a serious accident at work in 2005 and broke my back and suffered an acquired brain injury.