Our first ‘Realm talks to’ interview of 2020 is with Helen Gott, an experienced private client solicitor who has recently joined Shoosmiths’ Leeds office as a Senior Associate. In our conversation, Helen shared with us her reasons for specialising in private client, her musical back-up plan and her career highlights so far.
What are you most looking forward to about joining Shoosmiths?
I am looking forward to joining a nationally recognised team and developing my skills in advising ultra HNW individuals.
Why did you decide to specialise in private client?
After a corporate focussed training contract, my last seat was in Private Client. To my surprise, I enjoyed the mix of client contact and technical knowledge required to be an effective private client practitioner so chose to specialise in this area.
This area is often overlooked by trainees and junior lawyers (myself included) but the area offers a wide range of work and the opportunity to help people often at times in their lives when they need it the most. Those who don’t practice in this area don’t realise the problem solving and technical ability required to work in this field. The ability to undertake further a qualification in the form of the STEP Diploma was also appealing as it is the ‘gold standard’ for private client practitioners.
What would you say has been your career highlight so far?
Aside from my move to Shoosmiths, I would have to say leading my previous team to grow in not only in size but also increase in profitability. The skills I have learnt over the years will help me to grow the Wealth Protection offering at Shoosmiths. I was also proud to take up partnership before reaching 35, this had been a goal of mine since law school.
If you hadn’t had become a solicitor, what would have been your plan B?
I wanted to be a solicitor from undertaking my first work experience at 15 years old, I was also influenced by the raft of legal dramas when I was an impressionable teenager. The reality of private practice isn’t quite as glamorous as I thought Ally McBeal and Elle Woods were! If I had to pick a Plan B, my back up plan would have been a musician. I sing and play the piano but thankfully reality bit before I embarked on trying to make this my career. Singing is now a hobby which is far more preferable as it wouldn’t pay the bills and I am not talented enough to earn a living as a musician.
What is the last book you read/ film you saw?
I don’t go to the cinema that often but hope to go and see the new David Copperfield film. The last book I read was Lanny by Max Porter.
What is your favourite time of year and why?
Spring when we get more daylight and hopefully some nice weather. Winter comes a close second but the dark mornings and dark nights start to be a bit of a drain come January/February.
What do you do to unwind after a busy day at the office?
When I get chance and the time of year permits, I like to get outside walking or cycling. When it’s cold and dark I find a bit of sewing will take my mind off a stressful day.
About Helen Gott
Helen is a Senior Associate Solicitor in the Wealth Protection Team at Shoosmiths based in the Leeds office. She specialises in all aspects of Private Client work from wills, probate, tax planning, mental capacity work and trusts.
Helen is a member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) and a Full TEP Member. She is also a full professional member of Solicitors for the Elderly.