Here at WBW we value every one of our team members. Each member of staff has their own stories, motivations and reasons why they enjoy working for WBW.

So we’ve decided to post a series of questions and answers with a staff member from one of our 4 offices. Today we talk to Jacqui Neate, Graduate Member of CILEX in our Contentious Probate Team based in our Newton Abbot Office.

What made you decide to go into law?
My mother was a Sergeant in the Met Police Force in London for many years and always told me I was never allowed to be a police officer.   With that door closed, and my dreams of being Dr Dolittle also crushed,  I fell into the legal system and found that I had a real flair and excitement for it.

What’s special about the way WBW works?
As a firm, we are very client focussed.  It’s very easy for legal advisors to appear like robots and I love that WBW is a firm built on real people who can understand how a client feels and really put themselves in their shoes.

Why do you enjoy your particular field?
There are definitely two sides to my job.  From the Private Client aspect, I am fortunate enough to meet different people every day and play a part in their life planning.  The stories I have heard are certainly entertaining, everything from MI6 and secret covert operations to forbidden love stories spanning 50 years!

From the contentious aspect, emotions can be raw and families broken.  If, by the end of the matter I have helped to put a smile on my client’s face and repaired seemingly irreparable relationships then the stress might just have been worth it.

What have been the most interesting developments in your industry during 2016?
That it’s become even more apparent that we don’t appear to have the testamentary freedom that as a nation we pride ourselves on.  The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act, despite having been around for over 30 years, only appears to have been thrown into the spotlight in the last few years, particularly in relation to high profile claims against estates by estranged adult children.

Whether we should have the ability to exclude certain individuals from benefitting from our estate is certainly a question that splits opinion. Ilott v Mitson [2015] EWCA Civ 797

What’s the biggest misconception people have about your profession?
That we carry briefcases!

Surprise us……
Once, a man dressed in a giant chicken costume made me jump so much, I ran straight into a lamppost!

Ouch! It sounds like a you’ve been framed moment! Thanks for sharing Jacqui, its been great chatting with you.