What does your firm do?
Turcan Connell is a private client firm of leading solicitors and tax experts with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. We specialise in providing tailor-made legal and tax services for individuals, their family businesses and charities.
What attracted you to a career in law?
I undertook an accelerated law degree, having previously completed a degree in English Literature and Classics. I have always enjoyed learning and law provided an opportunity to extend the analytical and research skills I had already developed. It is great to combine academic elements with the provision of real, practical, advice.
What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?
STEP enables connections, whether this is candidates studying together on courses offering support to each other, specialists sharing their expertise in the Special Interest Groups or meeting new contacts at conferences nationally and internationally. It is also not just fellow professionals that STEP helps to connect. Its widely recognised reputation gives clients the confidence to engage with an advisor they may not have dealt with before because they are a STEP member.
What made you choose to take the STEP qualification?
I would like to become a TEP and am currently studying towards the STEP Diploma (Trust & Estates) Scotland as part of my route to full membership. The course is also a useful way to refresh and increase my knowledge in a number of key practice areas.
You achieved the top mark in a recent exam – what are the secrets to your success?
Turcan Connell has been awarded the highest level of accreditation, a Platinum Employer Partner, as part of the STEP Employer Partnership Programme. This means that there is a great deal of support within the firm for colleagues undergoing training of any kind, including STEP qualifications. Having a wide range of resources to hand, including the experience and knowledge of others, and being able to take paid study leave to prepare was invaluable and helped me achieve the highest mark in the Wills & Executries: Law & Practice exam.
What do you most like about your job?
As a private client lawyer every day is different because every client is different. Although each client may want to prepare wills or settle a trust, their motivations, priorities, assets and personal circumstances will vary enormously. I enjoy the process of offering bespoke advice; exploring the options with the client and working together to find the best solution for them as an individual.
.. and what do you feel is most worthwhile?
Part of my job is assisting clients at some of the most difficult times of their lives. Dealing with bereavement or the incapacity of a loved one is hard enough without the legal issues, paperwork and tax compliance that can sometimes come with it. It’s very rewarding to help by ensuring that appropriate planning has been put place to minimise the impact of these life events when they come, and, when they do, by offering professional advice and assistance to make the process of dealing with them as stress-free as possible.
What do you feel are the main challenges facing your practitioners at the moment, and how will you deal with them?
Now is a time of change in Scotland as more tax powers become devolved. It is important that we continue to keep up to date with our knowledge and are aware not only of what changes have been made but are likely to be made. Forward planning is always better than reacting retrospectively. The industry updates and CPD opportunities that STEP provides can help us with this.
Which social media channels do you use and why?
Turcan Connell has LinkedIn and Twitter accounts (@TurcanConnell). Social media is a good way to keep in touch with professional contacts and clients. It is also vital for engaging with the next generation who may be considering a career in law and making them aware of opportunities such as our summer internship programme.
Adelle Seaton is a Senior Solicitor based in the Edinburgh office of Turcan Connell advising on wills, trusts, estate planning and succession. She is also a tutor in the University of Edinburgh’s School of Law. Adelle is currently studying for the STEP Diploma (Trust & Estates) Scotland.