Welcoming Mark Solon To The Awards Judging Panel

We are delighted to officially welcome Chairman of Wilmington Legal, Mark Solon to the judging panel for the upcoming exclusive British Wills and Probate Awards, which is brought to you by Today’s Wills and Probate, alongside headline sponsor, Arken.legal (UK) Ltd, a leader in software solutions for the legal services industry.

In this interview, he discusses what sparked his interest in the profession, how businesses in the sector could improve their delivery of service and the key main challenges the Wills and probate industry is facing.

Please could you provide us with a summary of your professional background and your present role?

I am a qualified solicitor and US attorney. Whilst I was in practice,  I became interested in what makes effective evidence, both oral and written. I set up Bond Solon Training and created many programmes for expert witnesses, investigators and those who have to generate evidence as part of their work. I am currently Chairman of Wilmington Legal, part of Wilmington Plc, a listed company with revenues of around £125m. Businesses include Central Law Training, which is the biggest provider of post qualification legal training for solicitors and paralegals.

What initially sparked your interest in the legal profession?

From an early age, I was interested in the law and as a teenager would visit the local courts to watch hearings. I loved the combination of really understanding facts and applying legal knowledge to come to solutions. I enjoyed the way good advocates could persuade.

What measures could businesses in the Wills and Probate sector put in place to improve their delivery of service?

I think all businesses are sales businesses and to be a successful sales business requires fantastic products. The sector needs to clearly define the products offered so clients want to buy, not as a distress purchase but as a real choice. In the USA people want great dentistry, compared to the UK where people avoid appointments. Wills and probate is an emotional field of the law and lawyers need to deliver their services sensitively so clients feel comfort and satisfaction.

As a judge of the British Wills and Probate Awards, what will you be looking for in relation to the entries? What will make them stand out from the rest?

A Will is perhaps the most important document an individual will sign. Having no Will or a badly drafted one creates much heartache for relatives and friends. It has to be right. Practitioners need to be great listeners to truly understand client intentions and the legal knowledge to accurately put those intentions in a court compliant document. Probate is more than dead peoples furniture. So I will be looking for evidence of excellent interpersonal skills and legal ability.

How important do you think it is to recognise outstanding achievement and highlight progression in the sector?

The public needs to know that making a Will and dealing with probate requires skill. Using formats bought from the local stationers or the internet is a false economy. The awards increase public awareness and show the sector cares about high standards.

What do you think is the main key challenges the industry is facing at present?

There is so much free information available that people think they can do things themselves and don’t need professionals. However, with Wills and probate, DIY is certainly not the best option. The industry needs to give the message that high quality advice does cost but it’s not an excessive cost: that short term savings can be significantly more expensive in the long run.

The British Wills and Probate Awards will take place on the 17th October at the prestigious Belfry Hotel and Resort in Birmingham, where the array of category winners will be announced and celebrated.

As 276 people are set to attend the exclusive event, sponsoring the awards will provide you with a fantastic opportunity to ensure your company is seen by your professional target audience. If you are looking for an exclusive way to boost your company’s brand exposure and reinforce your reputation click here.

As an alternative, your firm could enhance their exposure within the sector by appearing in the awards brochure, which is handed out to everyone attending the event. Do not miss out on these amazing prospects to showcase your firm.

If you would like more information about the awards, sponsorship and advertisement opportunities please call Josh Hall on 01829 307 505 or email [email protected]

Tickets for the awards are selling out fast so don’t leave it until the last minute to get an award ceremony seat at this ‘not to be missed’ event. Bookings for this key event are open here where you will find information and pricing for individual tickets and whole tables of twelve.

If you work in this sector, this event should not be missed and be a key date in your diary – what are you waiting for!

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