The Encephalitis Society has been shortlisted! | Bolt Burdon Kemp The Encephalitis Society has been shortlisted! | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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The Encephalitis Society has been shortlisted!

Bolt Burdon Kemp supports international charity in its drive for prestigious award

Bolt Burdon Kemp is joining double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington to support a charity which has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

The firm’s specialist legal team will cheer on the Encephalitis Society at the Charity Times Awards on Thursday 4th October 2017, where it is in the running for Charity of the Year 2017 (income of less than £1 million).

And in a sign of its continuing close relationship with the Encephalitis Society, Bolt Burdon Kemp is sponsoring its awards table at the Park Plaza Hotel, London, to ensure the charity’s staff and supporters can be on hand to enjoy the excitement.

Among the guests on the night will be Rebecca Adlington (pictured below), the charity’s ambassador, The Lord Kennedy of Southwark and charity supporters and staff members, including Chief Executive Dr Ava Easton.

Ipek Tugcu, Medical Negligence Solicitor at Bolt Burdon Kemp, who will represent the firm at the awards, said:  “I have become very familiar with the work of the Encephalitis Society over the past year and am delighted that we can help them go to the awards ceremony.

“I have seen at first hand the devastation that encephalitis can have on individuals and families and, at the same time, the excellent support they receive from the Society.

“Its nomination for Charity of the Year is richly deserved and demonstrates how a smaller charity can achieve global results and change the lives of people with brain inflammation, wherever in the world they are.”

The Encephalitis Society, which is based in Malton, North Yorkshire, is an international charity supporting people who have been affected by inflammation of the brain.

Bolt Burdon Kemp has continued to support the charity throughout the past year, joining it at a reception at the House of Lords in July 2017 and adding its voice to World Encephalitis Day on 22nd February 2017, a campaign which reached over 50 million people across the globe.  Most recently, Suzanne Trask, Partner and Head of the Adult Brain Injury team, attended the Annual Members Meeting on 2nd October 2017.  Suzanne added “It was an incredibly moving and uplifting day and I was touched to see the support the members give to one another”.

Dr Ava Easton, Chief Executive of the Encephalitis Society, said:  “It is a fantastic achievement for us to be nominated for Charity of the Year – even more so considering it is the second year in a row that we have been so honoured.

“This recognition is a reflection of the great work we are doing internationally in raising awareness of encephalitis, supporting and collaborating on research and being a lifeline to people directly and indirectly affected by the condition.  We are grateful to Bolt Burdon Kemp for their belief in us.”

The Encephalitis Society

The Encephalitis Society was founded in 1994, is a registered charity and the only resource of its kind in the world providing direct support and information to people affected by encephalitis and to their family and friends.

The Encephalitis Society receives no Government funding and relies on income raised from individuals, businesses and grant-making organisations.


Encephalitis (noun, /ɛnˌkɛfəˈlʌɪtɪs/) is inflammation of the brain and is caused either by an infection invading the brain (infectious) or through the immune system attacking the brain in error (post-infectious / autoimmune encephalitis).

The condition is indiscriminate, striking adults and children alike, showing no respect for age, gender, ethnic origin or culture.  Mortality rates are high and in those who survive many are left with an acquired brain injury, the degree and severity of which will vary.  Their difficulties may include cognitive, physical, emotional, behavioural, or psychosocial consequences.


The types of symptoms seen in encephalitis reflect the specific areas of the brain affected by the inflammation.  The range of symptoms and their rate of development vary widely and can make the diagnosis of encephalitis difficult.

Infectious encephalitis frequently begins with a ‘flu-like illness or headache.  Typically more serious symptoms follow hours to days later.  The most serious finding is an alteration in level of consciousness.  This can range from mild confusion or drowsiness, to loss of consciousness, seizures and coma.  Other symptoms include a high temperature, seizures (fits), aversion to bright lights, inability to speak or control movement, sensory changes, neck stiffness or uncharacteristic behaviour.

In autoimmune types of encephalitis people can present with psychosis and hallucinations among other neurological presentations.  Sometimes these patients can be mistakenly thought to be developing psychiatric or mental health illnesses.

For a more detailed factfile on Encephalitis please click here.

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