CooperBurnett one of the first firms to gain WIQS accreditation

CooperBurnett one of the first firms to gain WIQS accreditation

The Tunbridge Wells-based law firm, CooperBurnett, has been named as one of the first 20 firms in the UK to be accredited by the Law Society's new Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS). At the heart of WIQS is the first Law Society standard for delivering tailored wills and probate advice.

In achieving accreditation, CooperBurnett underwent an application and assessment process to demonstrate its adoption of best practice procedures in delivering Wills and probate advice. The firm will also be required to undertake compulsory training, self-reporting, random audits and annual reviews, in order to maintain its new status.

"Your Will is one of the most important financial and personal decisions that you will make, but currently there is no regulation surrounding Will drafting, so anyone is able to write a Will, holding themselves out as an expert," says Katie Gillam, a Partner at CooperBurnett and head of the firm's Wills, Probate and Trusts department.

She continues: "It is extremely important to talk to a solicitor who can make sure that the Will is expressed in a way that is legally watertight. A solicitor will also be able to advise on complex financial issues, such as inheritance tax and trusts planning. Solicitors are all trained and regulated and they are required to have insurance to protect the public. Selecting a law firm with WIQS accreditation will give clients peace-of-mind that their advice will be delivered to a best practice standard."

Jonathan Smithers, a Partner with CooperBurnett, is set to become Vice President of the Law Society this year. Current President, Nicholas Fluck says: "We have had an excellent response to the scheme from our members, who welcome the opportunity to demonstrate their high standards of practice and commitment to client care. WIQS is an important tool in reinforcing the importance of using a solicitor for Will writing and estate management. It offers reassurance to consumers and helps law firms stand out in an increasingly crowded market."

Notes to editors:
• Based in Tunbridge Wells, CooperBurnett boasts a team of 55 people, including nine partners.
• CooperBurnett has developed a local and regional - and, increasingly, national - reputation for providing effective and proactive advice.
• CooperBurnett was established in 1981 by senior partner Nigel Burnett. Nigel acts for clients in all areas of property and handles commercial acquisitions and sales. He also has expertise in personal tax planning issues, as well as land law. Nigel is a past President of the Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & District Law Society.
• The firm provides both commercial services and advice to private clients. Its commercial team acts for all types of businesses, from family enterprises to national companies across a broad range of sectors.
• CooperBurnett offers extensive and tailored advice to private clients on all aspects of their personal affairs, including specialist tax planning, trusts and settlements, and all aspects of residential property and family issues.
• For more information about the Law Society's Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS) visit:


Posted: 17th of February 2014

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