Posted on 25th January 2012

Solicitors Gain Prestigious Qualifications

STEP Members: Natalie Palmer, Anne Elliott, Andrew Way, Elizabeth Armstrong and Gillian Ibbotson

Natalie Palmer and Gillian Ibbotson of the Private Client Team at Latimer Hinks Solicitors, one of Darlington and County Durhams longest established law firms, are celebrating their success after passing their Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) exams.
They bring to five the number of STEP members in the Private Client Department Team at Latimer Hinks, with Anne Elliott, Andrew Way and Elizabeth Armstrong all existing members.

Natalie, 33, and Gillian, 29, have gained their STEP qualifications complying with a rigorous code of professional conduct and having passed four exams tailored exclusively to the jurisdiction in which they practice.

STEP is the leading worldwide professional body for practitioners in the fields of trusts, estates and related issues and aims to promote the highest professional standards. As a requirement members must at all times act with integrity and in a manner that inspires the confidence, respect and trust of both clients and the wider community.

STEP qualifications demonstrate a sound knowledge of trusts and estates that is converted into practical, applied competence. Full members of STEP are the most experienced and senior practitioners in the field of trusts and estates and are recognised as the experts to whom others turn for good quality advice.

Gillian, who joined Latimer Hinks in 2004 as a secretary/paralegal and subsequently qualified in 2009, said: "Were both over the moon to have achieved such a recognised qualification as it shows our specialism in the ability to provide quality service in the field of trusts and tax planning.

"STEP members do great work for people at difficult points in their life and were proud to be associated with this organisation."

Natalie, who has been with Latimer Hinks since 2000, said: "STEP qualifications are notoriously difficult to achieve due to the extremely high standards the exam board sets.

Juggling working full time and studying at evenings and at weekends has been immensely difficult but it has all been worthwhile. We can now use the designation TEP which adds a degree of recognition and assurance for our clients that we have a real understanding of the issues with which were dealing."