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The Lester Aldridge Private Client Team now has eight members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the recognised mark of excellence for private client lawyers.

STEP is the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning. Becoming qualified requires a detailed study of the areas of wills, trusts, probate and estate planning followed by intense examinations on each subject.

All members are subject to an extensive Code of Professional Conduct, requiring them at all times to act with integrity and in a manner that inspires the confidence, respect and trust of their clients and of the wider community. Members are also required to keep up to date with the latest legal, technical and regulatory developments.

Lester Aldridge has five full members: Kurt Lee (Partner), Paula Shea (Partner), Harriet Mitchell (Solicitor), Ann Jackson (Manager – International Probate Service team) and Melanie Wilkins (Trust and Estate Practitioner). In addition, Trust Administration Manager Victoria Chant is an Associate Member and Trust and Tax Advisors Mark Chant and Mark Barnaby are both Affiliate Members.

Melanie Wilkins has also recently completed the STEP Diploma in Advising Vulnerable Clients, another specialist qualification in this area.

In addition, Paula Shea has gained full membership of the Solicitors for the Elderly, an independent national organisation of lawyers who supply specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable clients.

Kurt Lee, Head of Private Client at Lester Aldridge, said: “I’m delighted that so many of our team now have STEP membership; we now offer the most members of any firm locally. These qualifications display the Private Client Team’s commitment to providing a high-quality service to this sector of clients.”

Left to right in photo: Victoria Chant, Harriet Mitchell, Kurt Lee, Ann Jackson, Mark Barnaby, Paula Shea, Mark Chant and Melanie Wilkins.