Judges Spotlight: Sue Carter

In a series of Supporters 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 Sue Carter, a regular judge to the British Wills and Probate Awards.

We’re delighted to have you with us for the fourth year of The British Wills & Probate Awards. First of all, tell us who you are and what you do.

After 40 years working in the Banking and Professional Services Sector, I set up my consultancy business, Consult Sue Carter Ltd, in January this year. Offering strategic and independent advice to UK law firms , adding value and experience on a part time basis to Board/Management Teams either formally via independent Non Executive Director position or by specific consulting project.

What initially sparked your interest in the sector?

I originally wanted a career in the legal sector but took up an offer to work for a Bank, and stayed there for 40 years! I have always had an affinity with law firms and cemented this in 2008 by gaining an MBA in Legal Practice Management, with Nottingham Law School. Over many years, I have developed a reputation for being a serious thinker about the legal profession and its future.

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

In terms of longevity, its one of the few practice areas that has proven to be recession proof. It is also a practice area that can be both very rewarding (providing peace of mind as to distributions of their assets after death in accordance with their wishes) or challenging, (where no will exists or is challenged by family members). You will need very good communication and problem solving skills.

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

I still think a nationally recognised register of Wills especially, would be of huge benefit and for this should be mandatory.

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

Many firms adapted very quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic and showed resilience and real innovative ways of meeting client needs during lockdown. I will be looking for evidence of how the lockdown ‘forced’ that innovation, how it made their clients lives easier and especially if that provided them with a competitive advantage.

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

This year probably more than ever it is important to recognise achievement. This need not be results driven as equally important are behaviours that have been honed and developed beyond expectations, over the last 12 months or so.

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

The Wills Project was paused in 2017, and is likely to recommence in 2022. It points to a radical overhaul of the Wills Act 1837 and significant reform is surely an outcome.

Thank you to Sue Carter for her support for The British Wills & Probate Awards 2021.

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