Law firms in Harrogate say the town has become 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 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.”
Mark Jones, partner at Barber Titleys, said it was significant that the town’s largest firms each had STEP qualified lawyers on their teams.
“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,” he said.
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.
“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,” she said.
Mark Hutchinson of Kirbys said membership of the Society was widely recognised as a mark of excellence.
“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.”