60-second interview with Carole Tomlinson

Carole Tomlinson, 6/2/2018

Carole Tomlinson TEP is Partner and Private Client Department Manager at Anderson Strathern in Edinburgh.

What does your firm do?

Anderson Strathern is a full-service law firm in Scotland with a history going back over 200 years. We are particularly strong in the private client, rural and commercial property sectors. Our private client department works closely with our rural business team to deliver a comprehensive service to the owners of large rural estates.

What has STEP done for you, individually, or as a business?

STEP is an internationally recognised badge both for our individual lawyers and our firm, and we use it to demonstrate our expertise in this field. It is also recognised by our clients. Our newer lawyers have benefited from studying for STEP qualifications, and so continuing their learning in this specialist area, and gaining exposure to a wide variety of private client issues.

What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?

A number of things: providing ongoing training, offering support at all levels of development, bringing members together through branches and chapters, and keeping us in touch with private client issues around the world. It’s often very useful to have international insight.

How do you think that being an accredited STEP Employer Partner benefits you and your organisation?

Our accreditation demonstrates our commitment to the learning and development of our staff. That ultimately benefits our clients in the advice and service they receive.

What do you most like about your job?

The diversity of work, because working for private clients really can take you anywhere! As private client lawyers, we are often instrumental in building and maintaining the client relationship, and looking after their wider needs within the firm. I also enjoy acting for family clients where we have acted for generations of the same family.

... and what do you feel is most worthwhile?

Working with clients in what are often difficult circumstances, and making the legal process as simple and painless as possible.

What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?

I had no idea I wanted to be a private client lawyer until I started my training contract. It is difficult to understand what is involved in any area of law until you have actually practised it. Try out all the options. It’s not always about the law but also being a ‘people person’ and being able to build lasting relationships with clients.

Where do you see future growth, both in terms of sectors and jurisdictions?

We have seen an increase in the specialised work we do in the personal injury trust area, with clients increasingly keen to put additional protection in place, so we work closely with litigation lawyers as part of the personal injury claim process.

We also see a lot of new work in international succession, as clients increasingly have foreign assets in their estates, and require advice on how the EU Succession Regulation will affect them.

What do you feel are the main challenges facing practitioners at the moment, and how will you deal with them?

We are proactive in advising our clients on how Brexit will affect them, and also on the very Scottish issue of land reform.

Which social media channels do you use and why?

We find LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are all great ways of communicating what we offer to the public. Our Twitter handle is @solicitors_AS and we regularly post on recent cases and popular topics.

Carole Tomlinson TEP is a Partner and Private Client Department Manager at Anderson Strathern LLP in Edinburgh. She is dual-qualified so advises private clients on both English and Scots law, and holds a STEP accreditation in family business advising.