Gemma Kelly, an Associate Solicitor in our Private Client Department tells us a little about her life at Rowlinsons and what makes her tick!
Tell us about your background?
I studied law at Liverpool University which was a great experience resulting in life-long friendships, a love of the city and its vibrant student scene and a solid start to my career in the legal profession! I then studied the LPC at College of Law, Chester. Having completed my studies, I found a Training Contract in the Cheshire area which gave me a flavour of different areas of law including private client, family and commercial litigation. This experience helped me to realise that the area I enjoyed most in practice, and that best suited me, was private client. I was fortunate enough to be offered a role as a junior Solicitor in the private client department at the end of my training contract and have remained in that area since qualifying in 2006. I joined Rowlinsons in October 2020 and love working here. It is a very positive, forward-thinking firm.
What does your role at Rowlinsons involve?
My role at Rowlinsons as an associate private client Solicitor is primarily to help clients with a range of matters including Wills, estate administration, powers of attorney, inheritance tax advice, Court of Protection applications, declarations of trust etc. I also help with the supervision and support of more junior members of the team e.g. Trainee Solicitors, legal assistants etc.
What aspects of your role do you enjoy the most, and which did you find the most challenging?
The most enjoyable aspect of my job is getting to meet clients and help them to put their affairs in order. Clients often comment that they have ‘put off’ making a will for many years, and once it is done they realise it wasn’t so bad after all! It is satisfying to help people and give them peace of mind that they have made life as easy as they can for their loved ones. The trickiest part is managing a busy caseload.
What advice would you give to someone starting their Legal Career?
My advice would be that it is never too early to start looking for work experience and opportunities to enhance your CV and learn more about working in the profession. Also to keep an open mind about the area of law you may ultimately settle on as you may be surprised by the difference between studying a subject to actually practising it!
Tell us one highlight of your career that has made you proud?
In one taxable estate I dealt with I spotted that the deceased had been in receipt of War Pension as he had been quite severely injured whilst serving as a young man in Burma. I obtained his medical records and made an application to the Ministry of Defence to apply for an exemption from Inheritance Tax. This application was successful and resulted in a refund of Inheritance Tax to the estate, in the region of £30,000. I was proud of this and the family were delighted.
How would you describe Rowlinsons’ support, and what makes us unique?
Rowlinsons is a genuinely supportive environment within which to work and feel valued and appreciated. It is a friendly place to work, with staff who encourage and congratulate each other on their achievements.
We are currently recruiting for a Private Client Solicitor to join our award-winning team in Frodsham, Cheshire. For more information please visit: https://www.rowlinsons.co.uk/site/aboutus/careers/private-client-solicitor