Spotlight: Leigh Wetheridge - A Trainee Private Client Solicitor
In October 2016, I started working for Giles Wilson as a paralegal in the Private Client department immediately after completing my law degree. Prior to starting with the firm, I did not know what Private Client law was or the type of work that I would be expected to undertake.
I, like many, confused an attorney with an executor and I didn’t know there were different types of Grant for Probate - let alone how to make an application to obtain this!
Fortunately, I have since learnt the crucial difference between the two, which is a fundamental part of Private Client work. An attorney is appointed to deal with your affairs during your lifetime, meaning an attorney’s powers cease upon death.
This differs from an executor, who is appointed to administer your estate after your death. They are then able to obtain a Grant of Probate, which demonstrates the individual has the necessary authority to encash and collect in assets.
My Solicitor Training at Giles Wilson
Under the watchful eye and guidance of the Private Client team at Giles Wilson, I have learnt the basics of Private Client law and my understanding of the topic has improved remarkably since I began my training contract in September 2017.
I work closely alongside Melinda Giles and Daniel Curnock who have around 35 years of combined experience as Private Client solicitors. Both have their own specialisms so, as a result, I get to work on a variety of cases and niche areas of Private Client law.
On a daily basis, I have a great deal of interaction with clients and I have recently started my own caseload. I am often involved in the preparation of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, as well as assisting in the administration of high value and complex estates.
Alongside completing my training contract, I also attend university at the weekend in order to complete my Legal Practice Course. In order to fulfil the requirements of my training contract, I am required to cover a range of topics in my everyday work. As a Trainee Solicitor within the Private Client team, my work frequently crosses over into other departments, such as Conveyancing, Litigation and Criminal Law.
What I Enjoy About Private Client Law
We work with various individuals and it is not uncommon for matters to become contentious. There are many reasons for this and it is often as a result of an individual not seeking proper advice before preparing a Will or not leaving a Will at all (this is called “dying intestate”).
In cases of intestacy, the way in which an estate is split follows strict rules as to who will inherit and how much. Therefore, many problems arise as intestacy rules do not make provisions for unmarried couples, often resulting in a Will dispute.
I have recently started to work on a number of contentious probate matters and I have found this to be an area that I particularly enjoy. Going forward with my training contract I am eager to learn more about this topic and gain more experience in this area.
Interested in our Paralegal Training Scheme?
We are currently looking for ambitious graduates to join our paralegal training programme with a view to training contracts. If you are interested in working as a Trainee Solicitor or Paralegal in our offices (based in Leigh-on-Sea and Rochford), check out our current vacancies.
To find out more about the types of Private Client and other services we offer, visit our dedicated page. Alternatively, organise a consultation with our expert solicitors - call us today on 01702 477106 or email email@example.com.