• February 23, 2024
 Don’t you need to work in the city to get good work?

Don’t you need to work in the city to get good work?

I live in South Somerset and am based at a firm in Wiltshire. Whilst we have a London office, the majority of my clients live within a 50-mile or so radius to our main office in Wiltshire.

So does this mean I do not have exposure to interesting work? Far from it!

Believe it or not, not all wealth is in the city, or at least, stays in the city. There is nothing ground-breaking about people having a career in London and moving to the countryside later in life and we regularly see this.

Wealth is acquired throughout the parties’ married life, and frequently includes inheritance, so when they divorce in later life the family pot is likely to have grown significantly. This also often raises the issue of pre-marriage acquisition of assets, whether the inheritance should be ring-fenced, and complex issues surrounding how the parties have then invested their wealth; they may have businesses, complex pension arrangements etc.

Even when the high-net-worth are happily married, they seek advice from our firm and our renowned Private Client department about wealth protection, tax advice etc. This then leads to their children to instruct the Family Team for advice on complex pre-nuptial agreements.

Being in the countryside also means we act for many farmers and land owners and this brings its own niche area of skills required to deal with such cases.

Whilst the majority of my clients live in and around Wiltshire, given how adaptable the firm is and the equipment we have to assist us, geographically, it does not phase clients who live in London, should they wish to instruct the firm, and especially as we have our London office should we need to meet a client face to face.

While I act for high-net-worth clients, which work is interesting and challenging in equal measure, what I sometimes find just as challenging is acting for clients who are not so wealthy. With these cases creativity in negotiating a settlement is needed because any money spent on legal fees diminishes an already small pot where there is simply not the capital nor income to meet everyone’s needs. In these cases, every penny counts, and so I need to be efficient with my time and very focussed with my advice, which are important skills to gain as a junior lawyer.

The high value and complex work in my caseload has given me the skills to continue to progress my career, engage with more senior lawyers and also, meet financial targets, which amongst other criteria is laying the foundation for a well-respected career in family law and progression through the firm.

An obvious advantage is that there is less competition when developing your career as the countryside is less populated. However, I would say that you are more exposed as a lawyer, but the advantage to this is that you can quickly become well respected in your practice.

The opportunities outside of London, in my personal view are equally as good, if not better, as working in London, and I don’t have to battle the tube every day!

Lisa Payne, Legal Executive in the Family Law Team at Wilsons Solicitors LLP

Lisa Payne, Wilsons Solicitors LLP

1 Comment

  • Couldn’t agree more Lisa! The most frustrating thing of course is when you have a matter with London solicitors on the other side who behave as if you’ve just crawled out from under a rock……

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