Posted on 15th October 2019

Solicitors STEP it up to Make a Perfect 10

The STEP Team. Front, left - Nicola Johnston. Front right - Kelly Maguire
The STEP Team. Front, left - Nicola Johnston. Front right - Kelly Maguire

Latimer Hinks Solicitors is ‘stepping’ up its team development with 10 members of its 14-strong team now holding one of the most prestigious law qualifications in the UK.

Kelly Maguire is the latest member of the team to pass an exacting series of exams to become a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). In addition to this, the firm has recruited experienced solicitor Nicola Johnston, who also holds the respected legal accreditation.

The ten STEP qualified solicitors, including the department’s four directors, are recognised by the profession as experts in the field of wills, probate, the administration of trusts and estates, asset protection, succession, wealth and tax planning.

Kelly said: “Whilst undertaking the full STEP membership has been a serious commitment, our focus is always to provide clients with the highest standards of advice and technical expertise. Latimer Hinks prides itself on setting the bar high with the legal services we offer. On a personal level I’m proud to be contributing to the firm’s ethos and traditions.”

Kelly, originally from Sedgefield, County Durham, joined Latimer Hinks in 2007, after graduating from Northumbria University, Newcastle. She qualified as a Solicitor in 2010 after completing her training contract.

Nicola, originally from Cumbria, started her career training at Clark Willis in 2007, after having graduated from the University of Lancaster and completing her LPC at the College of Law in Chester. She attained her STEP qualification in 2012.

Nicola said: “It was important to me to join a specialist firm that takes the development of its staff seriously and invests in training and advanced qualifications. Having ten STEP qualified solicitors is extremely rare and a badge of honour for any law firm, and I’m very excited to be part of the team.”

STEP membership is achieved through a combination of existing academic and professional qualifications, a series of technical exams and requires a minimum of two years’ practical experience.

Elizabeth Armstrong a Director in the Private Client Department and Head of Tax and Trusts said: “How to structure family inheritance is one of life’s most important decisions and can prove both complex and contentious.

“It is a highly skilled and technical area which requires specialist and up-to-date knowledge, so the client is reliably guided through the whole process.

“I’m delighted to welcome Nicola to the team, and to congratulate Kelly for becoming the latest member of our private client department to become STEP qualified. Latimer Hinks must now possess one of the most highly qualified teams in Yorkshire and the North East.

“We are dedicated to supporting our team in achieving the highest professional standards and training so clients can be assured of receiving the very best advice.”