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.
We start with Susannah Bower an Associate in our Private Client department who is based in our Exeter Office.
What made you decide to go into law?
I have always wanted to be a lawyer, that or a ballet dancer. I studied law at London University so going on to practice as a solicitor was the natural next step to take. I was lucky to be able to train at one of the largest firms in the South West which gave me an insight into different practice areas. A grumpy but inspiring supervisor saw me take the unusual decision of specialising in tax and I now spend my days assisting clients with all aspects of wealth and succession planning.
What’s special about the way WBW works?
Unlike many of our competitors, we have chosen not to move to the outskirts of Exeter. Being in Southernhay allows our business and personal clients to pop in when they are in town whilst remaining close enough to the countryside for our farming clients to feel we can still understand and empathise with their issues.
Why do you enjoy your particular field?
Never knowing who is going to walk through your door next. I once had a client who held his trousers up with baler twine but who owned a company worth in excess of £10 million. The ferret which appeared out of his waistband was however the real surprise of the meeting.
What have been the most interesting developments in your industry during 2016?
The introduction of the new Residential Nil Rate Band for inheritance tax in April 2017 will have a big impact on a lot of people living in the South West due to the value of property in the region. A number of conditions have however been attached to this new allowance which is making tax planning very interesting at the moment.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about your profession?
That tax is boring. It’s not.
People come to me primarily wanting to mitigate their likely inheritance tax liability, legally. I treat it like a big jigsaw puzzle and produce the most tax efficient answer. More often than not, other factors such as asset protection and flexibility then begin to influence the decision making process and the final course of action becomes a hybrid of all these factors.
Surprise us. . .
I was once thrown out of the Ritz for wearing an inappropriate pair of trousers.
Thanks Susannah! We are intrigued to find out what trousers you were wearing!