New qualifications for private client team members
Two solicitors from Clarion’s private client team have achieved a highly sought-after and internationally-recognised qualification in the specialist area of Trust Disputes. Senior associate Lynsey Harrison and associate Julia Pearson passed with distinction and were both awarded Advanced Certificates in Trust Disputes by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
Julia and Lynsey have expertise in both commercial litigation and contentious probate, making them well-placed to handle trust disputes which can arise across a number of disciplines. They undertook a written assignment which had an offshore jurisdiction focus and, after and about 150 hours of study, they join a small number of lawyers in the UK who have achieved the qualification.
“Candidates from 27 jurisdictions around the world signed up for the qualification which is the first of its kind. There were only 24 lawyers in the whole of the UK who achieved the qualification and only ten of those passed with distinction, making Julia and Lynsey’s achievement even more impressive,” said Sara Rogers, partner in Clarion’s private client team.
Lynsey comments: “It’s fantastic for our expertise to be recognised in this way. We have seen an increase in the number of instructions relating to trust disputes in various contexts and have also been called upon to assist several departments at Clarion when trust issues have arisen. Trust disputes are often encountered in contentious probate and they have been on the rise due to the markets performing poorly and trust assets being adversely affected.
“There has been a significant rise in the number of beneficiaries suing trustees, often family or friends, for mismanagement. We have seen more people than ever before disputing inherited assets and needing our advice in this very specialised area of law. We have for some time been one of the few firms in the region with a dedicated contentious probate team and during the recession, there has been growing demand for our services.”
Lynsey is an experienced commercial litigator who has been with Clarion since 2001 and heads the firm’s specialist contentious probate team. Julia is also a litigator and member of Clarion’s contentious probate practice and completed her training with Clarion in 2005.
Julia commented: “The studying will continue as both Lynsey and I are in the process of completing a qualification to gain membership of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists which is the national professional body for lawyers specialising in contentious trusts and probate work. That qualification will be further recognition of the specialist work that we already do.”
Clarion’s private client practice was also recognised in this year’s STEP Private Client Awards, being short-listed for the Regional Team of the Year. In addition, earlier this year, two of Clarion’s private client team were among just 60 lawyers appointed to the national panel of Deputies for the Court of Protection following a rigorous selection process of over 600 applicants throughout the country.
Clarion’s growing private client team currently comprises eight dedicated lawyers who specialise in providing legal advice for older clients and their families, including wills and probate matters and tax planning as well as contentious probate.
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