The Trustees

Claims for compensation are made via Fieldfisher, Solicitors, to the Trustees of the vCJD Main Trust. There are seven Trustees, who have been appointed by the Secretary of State from a wide range of relevant disciplines and experience.

The Honourable Mr Justice Owen (Chairman), High Court Judge

Mr Dave Joad, Family Representative

Mr Roger Tomkins, Family Representative

Mr Richard Vallance, Retired Solicitor

Ms Elaine Motion, Solicitor (Scotland)

Dr David Stevens, Consultant Neurologist

Mrs Angela Westoby, Haemophilia Nurse Specialist

The Honourable Mr Justice Owen, Chairman, High Court Judge

Sir Robert Owen was called to the bar in 1968, and took silk in 1999. He was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court in 1987, and sat as a Deputy High Court Judge from 1994 to 2000. In 2001 he was appointed a High Court Judge. In 1994/5 he was chairman of the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association, and in 1997 served as Chairman of the General Council of the Bar of England and Wales. He is a married man with two sons.

Mr Dave Joad, Family Representative

Dave Joad’s only child, Emma, was diagnosed with vCJD in summer 2005. Following her diagnosis she married her boyfriend. Tragically she died three months later, in October 2005, at the age of 30. Dave and his wife June still have a very close relationship with their son-in-law and, with his help, began to campaign for improvements to the Trust. Dave hopes that his personal experience of the disease will enable him to be of service to the Trust.

Dave completed his training as a draughtsman and in 1969 became self-employed, consulting for various companies in the oil and gas industry. His particular expertise was in the design, procurement and management of mechanical equipment for the onshore / offshore plants. As part of his employment Dave spent 18 months working in Holland and four years working in Denmark. He retired in 1999 and since then he has acted as an executor for a family trust and a director for his neighbourhood’s limited company.

Mr Roger Tomkins, Family Representative.

Roger was born in 1946 in the county of Kent, the younger of two sons and was educated at a Secondary Modern School in Kent, then served a six year Toolmaking apprenticeship where he achieved City & Guilds qualifications.

He spent the next fifteen years as a designer for various companies in the Plastics Industry, and the last twelve years of his career were spent as Sales Director and finally Engineering Director in the Telecommunications Industry.

Roger was married to his first wife Dawn in 1967 and they were blessed with two lovely daughters Lisa and Clare.

Tragically, Roger lost his younger daughter Clare to vCJD in1998 having cared for her at home since she became ill in 1996. Roger then suffered a double tragedy when his first wife Dawn died only six weeks after Clare of Ovarian Cancer.

At this point Roger decided to take early retirement when by chance he met Sarah in late 1998, who in 1997 had lost her husband Edward to Classical CJD. Together they attended the majority of the BSE Inquiry in London until its conclusion, and now both play an active role for the CJD Support Network. Roger was also involved at an early stage in the discussions with Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and the DOH in the lead up to the Compensation Scheme and Care Package.

Roger and Sarah were married in October 2003 at which time Roger was on a course of Chemotherapy having been diagnosed with Bowel Cancer and had major surgery in April 2003.
They live happily on the riverside in Horning where together they own and run their Marina, and enjoy boating all year round, as well as being involved with Local Charities and Church fund raising events.

They also enjoy visiting their daughter Lisa, her husband Stuart and their two grandaughters Jemma and Kirsty who live in Kent.
Roger hopes that with his personal and particular knowledge of most aspects of vCJD he will be in a good position to offer a balanced contribution to the important work of the vCJD Trust.

Ms Elaine Motion, Solicitor (Scotland)

Elaine is Head of Litigation in Balfour & Manson solicitors, based in Edinburgh. She practises as a solicitor-advocate, qualifying as a solicitor in 1986. She is Head of the Litigation Department and is a member of the Management Board.

Elaine is also qualified as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand and spent some years there with her husband enjoying the work and the country itself.

She has acted for claimants in the personal injury field over 20 years. This work covers many areas including accidents at work; occupational disease claims; road traffic accidents; organophosphate damage claims as well as clinical negligence work including high value cerebral palsy claims. It is that expertise that Elaine brings to the Trust to assist in the fair determination of each individual claim.

Elaine is married with two teenage children. Between family and work finds the occasional time to relax by gardening, cycling or skiing as well as socialising with understanding friends.

Dr David Stevens, Consultant Neurologist

Before he retired, David Stevens was a consultant neurologist in Gloucestershire. He is married, with a grown up family and an increasing number of grand-children. Retirement from the hospital service means that he now has more time for writing and travelling and he thinks he is still fit enough to continue to have adventurous journeys to remote parts of the world. He is trying to do as much of that as he can whilst he is still able!

He likes organising things – before he retired he was the Treasurer of the Association of British Neurologists and he was also involved in the organisation of the World Congress of Neurology, which was held in London in 2001. He still works part time giving advice on neurological matters to lawyers and insurance companies.

When working as a junior doctor in the 1960s he was involved in the earliest experiments designed to find out the cause of conventional Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, so this illness has long been of great interest to him. He likes to think that the experience that he has had over the years of looking after many patients with this disease and with other debilitating illnesses has equipped him to help the patients and families afflicted by vCJD by working for the Trust.

Mrs Angela Westoby, Haemophilia Nurse Specialist

Angela works as the Haemophilia Nurse Specialist at St. James’ Hospital in Leeds. She undertook nurse training at Guy’s Hospital in London, qualifying in 1983. She is a steering committee member for the Haemophilia Nurses Association and a nursing representative on the Haemophilia Alliance.

Angela has spent more than 20 years working with patients who have haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders and many of her patients have over the years been affected by blood borne pathogens. She hopes to bring her experience of this to her work as a Trustee.

Angela is married with two teenage daughters. She enjoys reading, preferring novels over text books, sunshine holidays and the rare opportunity to do absolutely nothing!

Mr Richard Vallance, Retired Solicitor

Richard qualified as a solicitor in 1970. He practised in London as a partner with Charles Russell and then Fieldfisher until his retirement in 2011, having specialised in acting for victims of medical negligence. He is married with two sons and lives near Saffron Walden

­­­The Trustees’ role

The Trustees are an independent public body, which has been given the task of administering the fund. The Trustees are not part of the Government, employed by the Government or agents of the Government. On occasion they may contact the Department of Health and Irwin Mitchell in relation to general difficulties of interpretation of the Trust Deed, but it is the Trustees who have sole responsibility for making decisions and awarding compensation payments in all of the individual claims.

The terms of the Trust Deed were negotiated and established before the Trustees were appointed. The Trustees did not, therefore, have any input into the Scheme. The Trustees have succeeded in negotiating a number of amendments to the Scheme, including recent revisions, which have increased the potential beneficiaries who can receive compensation and increased the amount of compensation paid, in certain circumstances.

Fieldfisher, Solicitors, have been appointed as Secretariat and to advise the Trustees. The lawyers advising the Trustees are very familiar with the Scheme, having been involved since before the original Trust Deed was signed in March 2002. Field Fisher Waterhouse’s role, either by way of direct contact with victims and families or their Solicitors, is to prepare the claims for submission to the Trustees. This includes contacting family members to ascertain whether they qualify under the Scheme and wish to make a claim, obtaining representations from families as to how the compensation should be distributed between the family members, doing calculations and preparing a financial summary, and obtaining documentary evidence for claims (for example, invoices and receipts). Field Fisher Waterhouse try to make sure that complete information is made available to the Trustees so they can make decisions without delay whilst further information is obtained.

Claims are then sent to the Trustees for consideration in advance of the next Trustees’ meeting.

At the meeting, the Trustees consider the claims and make decisions as to the amount of compensation that should be paid and to whom. Field Fisher Waterhouse, Solicitors, are present at the meeting and may provide advice on the interpretation of the Trust Deed, scope of the Scheme, or provide more up to date information. The Trustees have sole responsibility for making the decisions relating to the claims.