In this instalment of Realm Talks To, Associate Director Kelly Reid chatted with Francesca Rigby, Head of Private Client and Court of Protection at Bromleys Solicitors. During their conversation, Francesca described her morning routine, explained what’s in store for the team at Bromleys and shared her passion for CSI and Criminal Minds.
How do you usually start your working day?
I normally start my working day by getting to the office around 8am and getting a cup of tea. That is always my first priority. After that my first tasks are to check what is in my diary and prep for any appointments. This is then followed by checking my emails and voicemails. I then check in with the rest of my team to see what is on their agenda for the day/week. Once I have done that, I start working through my to-do list.
Why did you decide to specialise in private client?
During my training contract, I did seats in Personal Injury, Family and Private Client and when I qualified I was lucky enough to get a job that was both Private Client and Family law. After 2 years, I knew I wanted to specialise solely in Private Client. I went on to study for my STEP exams and I became a fully accredited member in 2018. I enjoy all aspects of Private Client work which includes drafting Wills, Trusts and Lasting Powers of Attorney which help clients plan for their future and safeguard their estates from potential tax and care fees, administering estates and also dealing with the management of vulnerable clients’ financial affairs through the Court of Protection. For me, the reason for choosing Private Client is that I enjoy the client interaction and helping clients through what can be a difficult time, especially when a loved one has passed away or has lost the capacity to deal with their own affairs.
What do the next 12 months look like for you and your team at Bromleys?
The next 12 months at Bromleys is set to be an exciting time! Both Private Client and Court of Protection teams will be expanding. There is an increasing demand for the services that these teams offer. The Wills and Probate team have two exciting new recruits joining and I am sure that this will drive the team forward. The Court of Protection team are busier than ever and no doubt further recruitment will be needed.
You’re a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly, what are the benefits of undertaking this qualification and what does it involve?
I chose to do the Solicitors for the Elderly qualification at a similar time to my STEP qualifications. I wanted to ensure that I continued to develop professionally and increase my knowledge and expertise. For the majority of my job, I deal with the elderly and vulnerable and I wanted to ensure that I was always acting in their best interest and offering them the appropriate support. In order to be a fully accredited SFE member, lawyers must have a minimum of three years’ experience advising in areas of older client law and have completed the Older Client Care in Practice Award. This demonstrates the specialist client care skills that enable lawyers to advise and support older and vulnerable clients. Members are also required to continuously update their knowledge with training and produce an annual statement of competence, which ensures they maintain their expertise.
If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what would have been your plan B?
My first career choice was always to become a lawyer, ever since I studied law at A-Level. My plan B career choice would be a criminal profiler or Crime Scene Investigator. I always had an interest in this probably from watching too many episodes of CSI and Criminal Minds.
Which TV show are you currently bingeing?
I am currently binge-watching all 6 seasons of Lucifer on Netflix. It is easy watching and entertaining – especially after a long day!
About Francesca Rigby
Francesca is an Associate Solicitor at Bromleys and the firm’s Head of Private Client and Court of Protection.
She handles the full spectrum of private client work including wills, probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection matters. Francesca is a fully qualified member of STEP and a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly.