Hilary Meredith Solicitors in Wilmslow has appointed Invictus Gold medallist and high-ranking military solicitor, Natalie Robinson as Head of its Armed Forces Compensation Scheme department.
Natalie provided specialist military legal support to the British Army for twelve years, reaching the rank of Major, before being medically discharged in 2015 after an injury on duty led to complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and the partial amputation of her leg.
She served in war zones including Iraq and Afghanistan, performing a range of crucial tasks, from dealing with offences at court martials to advising senior commanders on rules of engagement during operations abroad. Natalie also trained and advised officers on discipline, administrative action and operational law.
A keen sportswoman, Natalie took part in the very first Invictus Games following her injury, winning a gold medal for her country in Wheelchair Rugby at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
Natalie has first-hand experience of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme – which provides compensation to military service personnel injured on or after 6 April 2005 – having successfully pursued her own claim after injury.
As a Solicitor-Advocate she is qualified to represent clients in higher courts, meaning she can appear for service personnel at Appeals to the Armed Forces Compensation Tribunal.
Natalie also has close links to a range of military charities and support groups including Macclesfield Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club, Broughton House, Walking With The Wounded and Help for Heroes.
Commenting on her decision to join Hilary Meredith Solicitors, Natalie, who qualified as a solicitor in 1994, said:
“Having been through so much over the last few years, I know just how challenging life after service can be – particularly when dealing with a life-changing injury.
“I am absolutely committed to fighting for the rights of service personnel and veterans.
“Without the right legal advice, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme is a daunting prospect.
“The scheme itself is not fit for purpose. Service personnel, who have made huge sacrifices to serve their country, are often under compensated and abandoned.
“If the evidence is not presented in the right way, perfectly valid claims are rejected, often leaving them in a desperate physical, emotional and financial state. We are here to provide the right legal advice and representation from the earliest possible stage.”
Commenting on Natalie’s appointment, Hilary Meredith, Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors and winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Manchester Legal Awards said:
“There isn’t a solicitor anywhere in the country who is better qualified than Natalie to head up our Armed Forces Compensation Scheme team.
“After a distinguished career in the Army, she has huge expertise in military law.
“Natalie has also been through the AFCS process herself and, as a Solicitor-Advocate, can represent clients at all stages of their claim and at any subsequent Appeal.”
Hilary Meredith Solicitors was the first law firm to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, a voluntary pledge from businesses and charitable organisations who wish to demonstrate their support for the Armed Forces Community.
The firm has a track record for employing former service personnel and has been recognised for its commitment to the armed forces community by the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme.
The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employers that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community and align their values with the armed forces covenant.