Judges Spotlight: Alex Holt

In a series of Supporter in Focus pieces, we are thrilled to introduce our Judges of The British Wills and Probate Awards 2021 

Alongside headline sponsor Executor Solutions, we look forward to recognising achievement, highlighting progression and championing innovation.

However, the awards couldn’t take place without the hard task of judging and shortlisting the entries. It’s not a task many would take on, but we are extremely grateful to those that have.

Today we profile Alex Holt, a regular judge to the British Wills and Probate Awards. 

First of all Alex, tell us who you are and what you do

I’m Alex Holt. I’m director of Business Development at The Cashroom. We provide outsourced finance functions for around 220 law firms throughout the UK

What initially sparked your interest in the sector?

Well, I am ancient, and many moons ago was a solicitor. I remember as a trainee (articled clerk in those days!) carrying out long form will drafting without any tech assistance. It was arduous but really satisfying work.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in the Wills and Probate sector?

I think more than almost any other sector, empathy is a crucial attribute for a wills and probate lawyer. Always consider your customer’s true needs. Think in terms of both what they want to achieve, but also what their experience of your service will be. For many, drafting of wills, EPAs etc is a scary, confusing and daunting thing. When dealing with probate, even more sensitivity and empathy is required. People will, I believe, recognise quality service and be prepared to pay a little more for that.

What improvements do you think could be made to the Wills and Probate sector?

Some firms really need to embrace technology, and harness the potential for clear and speedy communication with clients. I say ‘some’ because I see every year in these submissions (and every day with many of our forward thinking client firms) firms that are really leading the way in making this sector modern and accessible.

As a Judge of the awards, what will you be looking for to identify that winning entry?

A submission that answers the exam question!

How important do you think it is to recognise achievement in the sector?

Hugely important. Along with the conveyancing sector, the pandemic has put a focus on the wills and probate sector. Firms have had to be innovative in their approach, and the very nature of the work has meant that firms have often been dealing with the most vulnerable clients in the most trying of circumstances.

What are the most prominent challenges the industry is facing at the moment?

Modernisation. I think there’s a balance to be struck between the volume wills approach, and pricing the more bespoke wills at a level that is within reach of more people. Utilising technology to make processes more efficient (and that includes possibly using a service like ours to make payment processes more slick and secure) will mean that firms can be more competitive while providing detailed advice.

Thank you to Alex for your support for The British Wills & Probate Awards 2021.

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