The private client group provides legal advice on a wide variety of issues directly to wealthy individuals and trustees and to other institutions and firms for themselves or for their private clients. The majority of the individual clients are UK based, but almost all of the work has an international dimension. Occasionally, clients have no contact with the UK at all.
The probate team sits within the private client group and focuses on high profile, high value estate administration and advisory work. Areas of expertise include extracting UK grants of probate or wills or letters of administration in the High Court after a client’s death (including re-sealing overseas grants) and the subsequent administration of estates and related post-death tax planning for the family. The team has extensive experience of coordinating the administration of cross-border estates.
In addition to providing general taxation advice for personal representatives and beneficiaries, the team covers a number of specialised areas including insolvent and potentially insolvent estates, offers in lieu and the conditional exemption from inheritance tax of heritage property as well a private company share valuations. It also assists our litigation group in dealing with contentious probate actions, including claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
This role will focus on providing dedicated client/matter opening support to the wider private client group, but will also provide support to the probate team.
Duties will include:
- using the firm’s new client/matter workflow system to co-ordinate the opening of new matters and liaising directly with clients for the collection of client due diligence information and the preparation of engagement letters;
- assisting the probate team on a range of probate work including; reviewing and organising the personal papers of the deceased; corresponding with banks, asset managers, other intermediaries and creditors to obtain date of death valuations; maintaining an efficient filing system for probate files; drafting inheritance tax accounts; liaising with legatees and beneficiaries and assisting with the process for paying legacies; and
- assisting where required with supporting fee earners generally in relation to administrative support on client matters.
This job description encompasses the main duties of the role and is by no means exhaustive. It is anticipated that duties may vary from time to time according to the needs of the practice area.
The candidate will be enthusiastic and have a keen interest in private client work. Accuracy and professionalism must be demonstrated as well as confidence, tact and judgment when communication directly with clients.
Ideally the candidate will have:
- strong academic qualifications from A Levels with a minimum 2:1 degree obtained from a well-respected institution or the GDL;
- completed the Legal Practice Course at a well-respected institution;
- a keen interest in private client matters;
- excellent written and oral communication, drafting and research skills;
- the ability to take a self-motivated and pro-active stance, to work flexibly and independently following appropriate instruction or in a team, and to take responsibility for the work product delivered;
- an organised, meticulous and methodical approach to work;
- effective interpersonal skills; and
- familiarity with standard WP (Word 2010, MS Office).
The paralegal development programme
We have a paralegal development programme which is designed to equip our paralegals with the broad range of skills and knowledge they need to be effective in their roles. The programme also includes sessions covering essential legal and business skills required at the start of a career in law, recognising the fact that many solicitors begin their careers as paralegals. For the right candidate, this role could either provide an opportunity for a long-term paralegal position or potentially a stepping stone towards a training contract.
Our commitment to inclusion
At Macfarlanes we understand the importance of an inclusive culture, the continued development of which has been identified as one of our key priorities. Our focus is to foster an inclusive culture throughout the firm, from entry level to partnership. It is about recruiting, retaining and promoting all groups in the firm fairly, and we are continually reviewing our processes to ensure that everyone has the same chance to develop and advance. An inclusive, forward-thinking culture also enables us to provide innovative solutions to our clients.
We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, bringing different perspectives and experiences, making Macfarlanes an exciting and stimulating place to work. We seek to recruit the best candidates, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, background, religion, physical abilities, sexual orientation or any other characteristic.