By Legal Futures’ Associate Certainty National Will Register 
The nominees for this year’s British Wills and Probate Awards  were announced in August. The awards are an opportunity to recognise Wills and probate professionals across the country who are making an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as forward-thinking individuals who are making a difference.
This year’s awards include four new categories which includes Best Contentious Wills and Probate Team of the Year and Court of Protection Team of the Year.
We are proud to announce that yet again 90% of the nominees use the National Will Register  to register Wills and search for Wills. This year’s nominees have registered 155,175 Wills so far in 2019, all of which has increased the Register’s total to over 8.2 million.
Nominees commented on what it takes to achieve this level of excellence within the profession:
Tara McInnes, Senior Associate, Shoosmiths LLP: “We are delighted to have been nominated in the category of ‘Best Contentious Wills and Probate Team of the Year’ in the British Wills and Probate awards 2019. Our team is relatively new although many have extensive expertise and experience within this specialist area of law. We have grown our team substantially and together with our colleagues in the North, cover disputes across the whole of England and Wales.
“Alongside resolving the legal issues our clients are faced with we are conscious of the emotional difficulties our clients are dealing with and support and advise them with both sensitivity and pragmatism. Our aim is to provide clients with a holistic, bespoke approach to their claims to ensure that all relevant legal and financial matters are dealt with using both internal and external referrers. In effect, we’re able to provide them with a ‘one stop’ shop for all their needs and not just the dispute, which differentiates us from our competitors. The team has worked extremely hard to develop and grow and this includes being listed as specialists in the Certainty Contentious Probate Hub & Area.”
Alexa Payet, Associate, Bolt Burdon: “We are very excited to have been shortlisted in the “Best Contentious Wills and Probate Team of the Year” and “Court of Protection Team of the Year” categories in The British Wills and Probate Awards 2019, an awards ceremony that celebrates excellence within the industry.
“Our Contentious Wills and Probate Team, formed just four years ago from a successful Wills and Estate Planning team, and are rapidly developing a reputation for their technical expertise and delivering success for their clients, and have already had 3 successful reported cases. We are proud that both of our Wills and Estate Planning and Contentious Wills and Probate teams are members of Certainty the National Will Register and the Certainty Contentious Probate Hub & Area. Both of which add value to our client offering at the firm.
“Our growing Court of Protection Team has invested in this niche area of work, and together this dedicated team spends more than 50% of their time working specifically in this complex area, going above and beyond to help their vulnerable clients.
“We are proud to have been shortlisted to win these awards and we are sure that everyone at Bolt Burdon would agree this has absolutely been a team effort!
We wish all of the nominees luck at the awards ceremony and look forward to the event!”
Kathy Long, MD, Heritage Will Writers: “We are all so excited and it is such an achievement to be shortlisted for both the Regional Will Writer of the Year and the Community Involvement Awards. Since winning Regional Will Writer of the Year last year, we have not rested on our laurels and have been working hard to enhance our services to our clients. For example, our new Client Care Package includes a fabulous suite of services including document storage, free updates, an Executor helpline and automatic registration with Certainty the National Will Register. By offering Will registration with the National Will Register as part of the package, it is definitely giving our clients more peace of mind than ever before.”
Tracy Ashby, Senior Associate, Wright Hassall: “Naturally we’re delighted to be shortlisted for the British Wills and Probate Awards. It’s a real credit to each and every individual in our private wealth team, and a testimony to the personal service each lawyer strives to deliver to their clients. This service is definitely enhanced by being a member of Certainty the National Will Register. By giving our clients the opportunity to register their Wills on the National Will Register it offers peace of mind that their Will can be quickly located.
“Being shortlisted for this award is an endorsement of our stated intention to put our clients at the centre of everything we do, understanding what they want to achieve so we can tailor our advice to their specific circumstances. Because we’re part of a full-service firm we can offer our clients a genuine lifetime service, ensuring that both their personal and business affairs are planned in tandem.”
The 16 Categories are:
- Probate Provider of the Year (Large)
- Probate Provider of the Year (Small)
- Best Contentious Wills and Probate Team of the Year
- Court of Protection Team of the Year
- Solicitor Firm of the Year (National)
- Solicitor Firm of the Year (North)
- Solicitor Firm of the Year (Midlands)
- Solicitor Firm of the Year (South)
- Will Writing Firm of the Year (National)
- Will Writing Firm of the Year (Midlands, North & Wales)
- Will Writing Firm of the Year (South)
- Young Practitioner of the Year
- Best use of Marketing and Social Media
- Best use of Technology
- Innovation of the Year
- Community Involvement Award
The awards are taking place on Thursday 17th October 2019 at the Belfry Hotel and Resort in Birmingham. We wish all of those nominated good luck!