www.wealthandfinance-intl.com 33 Thomson Snell & Passmore is one of the preeminent law firms in the South East, providing peace of mind to generations of families and businesses since 1570. Their heritage underpins their longevity, quality, commitment and reassurance. The private wealth practice has a reputation for providing high quality, intelligent advice and the very best service to their clients. Helen Stewart has been with the firm for over 15 years, and is proud to be an owner and a custodian of the firm. We spoke to her about the performance of the firm and her advice to those looking to break into the industry. WW160021 Thomson Snell & Passmore Company: Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP Name: Helen Stewart Email: [email protected] Web Address: www.ts-p.co.uk Address: 3 Lonsdale Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1NX Telephone: 01892 701398 Helen’s main and established role at Thomson Snell & Passmore is as head of the probate team, which she has carried out for a number of years, leading a team of six lawyers. Helen is also the departments trainee supervisor and has been for many years, providing support, guidance and encouragement to trainees embarking on their career in law. Helen sits on various committees from time to time, and supports initiatives across the firm. Business development plays an important part of her role, both in terms of existing clients, new clients, referrer relationships and cross selling private wealth services across the firm. In terms of her own career, her role is to lead the team, contribute towards the success of the private wealth services, adapt as necessary in relation to technology and structure, and encourage and mentor the current and next generation of lawyers. Helen aims to inspire others to fulfil their potential, so that they can achieve job satisfaction and, in turn, receive excellent client feedback on all that they do. In respect of challenges over the years, particularly for probate services, has been the price sensitivity in the market place. This has led to a programme of analysis and thought which focusses on providing a menu of services for clients, which has enabled them to select, by choice, what level of services they want to buy; ranging from fixed fee services for obtaining a grant of representation and executor support through to full estate administration. Providing clarity and certainty on pricing at the outset has been key for the firm, and their client listening programme supports the mechanisms that have put in place to ensure they consistently deliver and meet clients’ expectations. When asked what advice Helen would give to anyone wanting to succeed in the private client practice area of the law, Helen would stress the importance on keeping focussed on the clients’ need, and caring about doing a great job for them, providing clear, astute and uncomplicated advice. Very often, clients want practical solutions, and will place great value on decisive advice. Experience is key, and that can only be gained over a number of years of exposure to client work. Life skills also play an important aspect in the private client work, and should not be under estimated when dealing with complicated family structures. At Thomson Snell & Passmore, they have an ongoing programme of training for all lawyers, covering know-how business and personal skills. Training, development and encouragement for individuals are the key to success for that individual and the firm as a whole. In terms of equal opportunities, Thomson Snell & Passmore have an equality and diversity policy which can be seen at http://www.ts-p.co.uk/ about-us/equality-and-diversity. In terms of opportunities and career progression all lawyers, whether male or female, are judged on their own merits and performance, not by gender.