Q: Please tell us a little bit about your career?
I qualified as a solicitor in 1980. I have spent the majority of my career working for a well known Bristol firm of solicitors, where I was an equity partner, the firm’s finance partner and Head of the Private Client Department, dealing with dealing with a mixture of probate, trusts, Wills and LPAs. I also had a Court of Protection practice where I acted as a panel deputy. Whilst I dealt predominantly with UK clients I had a significant number of non-UK domiciled clients and clients who lived in and around London.
I moved to Moon Beever as head of their Private Client Department in 2018, where I dealt with a similar caseload; and brought new work into the firm and increased the size of the department. Moon Beever merged with Wedlake Bell in June 2021
My probate practice is quite diverse. Much of my caseload involves dealing with estates where the deceased died intestate, which can present challenges in tracing the deceased’s assets and their heirs. I also enjoy dealing with contentious probate cases which is a fast developing part of my probate practice.
Q: What issues are your clients facing at the moment especially as we emerge from lockdown?
The pandemic has prompted a significant increase in Will and Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enquiries. Clients recognise that they need to put their financial affairs in order and there has been a noticeable increase in Will reviews and the creation of LPAs. In addition, clients have shown an
increased appetite for capital tax planning and the creation of trusts, with a view to mitigating taxation of their estate when they pass away.
The pandemic has also brought with it an increase in contentious probate claims. I act sometimes on behalf of the claimant and on other occasions for the defendant. This area of law is fast developing and clients need clear and comprehensive advice from someone who specialises in this area of law, is up to speed on the latest developments and who can advise on how best to resolve a probate dispute.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
My spare time is shared between spending time with my two daughters and their children, and playing golf and the odd game of table tennis. I also particularly enjoy travel and have a list of destinations on my bucket list.