Law firms in Harrogate say the town has become as a centre of excellence for private client legal services thanks to a growing number of qualified practitioners in the field.
Barber Titleys, Raworths, Kirbys, Berwins and McCormicks Solicitors all have lawyers on their team who hold qualifications from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the professional body for practitioners in the fields of trusts and estates.
Gareth Marland of Berwins Life was also recently appointed to the Law Society’s Wills and Probate Section committee.
Mr Marland said:
Having a voice from the town on the Law Society committee is an important step for Harrogate which is already widely recognised for its expertise in private client work including wills, trusts and estates.
He said all the solicitors in the firm’s Legal 500 accredited life team were STEP qualified with him and Julie Jewers also being accredited Solicitors for the Elderly.
Mark Jones, partner at Barber Titleys, said it was significant that the town’s largest firms each had STEP qualified lawyers on their teams.
Mark Jones said:
Not only does the Society encourage good practice within the industry, it also trains its members to assist families as they plan ahead for themselves and their relatives.
Selena Hinds, partner and head of Probate, Wills and Trusts at Raworths is confident that the high professional standards to which STEP adheres would be very beneficial to clients seeking advice.
Selena Hinds said:
We have one STEP-qualified solicitor on our team and two more currently undergoing the rigorous procedure to achieve full membership of STEP. Full members of STEP are the most experienced and senior practitioners in the field of trusts and estates. We can advise clients on the broad business of the management of personal finance so that clients consider the whole picture in relation to wills and trusts.
Mark Hutchinson of Kirbys said membership of the Society was widely recognised as a mark of excellence.
Mark Hutchinson said:
Some financial institutions will only refer their clients to lawyers who are STEP members and it is reassuring for the general public to know that they are dealing with someone who is highly trained and whose expertise has been endorsed at national level.
Peter McCormick OBE, Senior Partner at McCormicks Solicitors, said:
We were delighted to be ranked yet again as one of the leading firms in Yorkshire and the Humber for our private client work in the latest edition of the UK Legal 500, which highlighted our expertise in tax planning, estate administration and charitable trusts.
STEP is an excellent organisation and we encourage our private client lawyers, who offer a full range of services to individuals, estates and trusts, to join it.