60-second interview with Stephen Lawson
What does your firm or organisation do?
Forshaws Davies Ridgway (FDR Law) is a firm of solicitors in Cheshire and I am a contentious probate lawyer.
What has STEP done for you, individually, or as a business?
STEP has introduced me to a worldwide network of highly-qualified and passionate individuals who share a vision.
What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?
I’d say, education, education, education.
You will be speaking at the Virtual STEP UK Tax, Trusts and Estates Conference 2020 on 4 November. Would you be able to give us a soundbite on what you’re speaking on, and the main issues for the audience to take away?
I really want you to log on and watch – but I will be considering the risks, threats and opportunities when assessing the capacity of clients remotely, by video-conference.
Are you hopeful that this event, which is run online, will reach a wider audience than a traditional conference?
Absolutely – I’m hoping for a worldwide audience. I recently completed a domestic webinar and I was contacted by someone who had watched it on a tablet from a swimming pool in Switzerland!
What do you most like about your job?
Working with people – who never cease to delight and fascinate me.
... and what do you feel is most worthwhile?
Helping people resolve their problems and worries. As my mother used to say, ‘a trouble shared is a trouble halved’.
What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?
Embrace it, love it and do it to the best of your ability.
Which sectors are likely to see the strongest future growth, do you think?
Wealth planning – as people are now forced to confront their own mortality. Let’s hope that with sensible planning, they will avoid the litigation disputes that I get involved with.
What about jurisdictions?
It fascinates me that the issues we grapple with in England and Wales are the same issues worldwide.
What trends do you see in the global private wealth sector at the moment?
Wealth planning – and litigation.
What do you feel are the main challenges facing practitioners in the post COVID-19 world, and how will you deal with them?
Adapting to the ‘new normal’. I hope that in a very small way my presentation to the STEP conference about video conferencing will help.
Which social media channels do you use and why?
I use LinkedIn, as it gives a more meaningful opportunity to raise and share issues. I find Twitter too brief.
- Stephen will be speaking at the Virtual STEP UK Tax, Trusts and Estates Conference 2020 on 4 November.
Stephen Lawson TEP is a solicitor at FDR Law in Cheshire, specialising in Contentious Probate Litigation and says he is a passionate advocate for efficient wealth planning and estate administration. He is a member of the STEP England and Wales Committee and the STEP Worldwide Council, and a member of the England and Wales Law Society Wills & Equity Committee. Stephen is a co-author of Testamentary Capacity.