HANNAH Pearson is celebrating 20 years as a solicitor and continuing a great tradition as she is the fourth generation of her family at the firm.
Charles Clegg, Slater and Pearson was founded in 1874, of which her great-grandfather Sam Pearson was a partner with Arthur Slater, his brother-in-law.
Hannah is a valuable and experienced part of the company’s Private Client team, now known as Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers, and enjoys working with generations of families who once worked with her father John, grandfather Arthur and great-grandfather Sam.
Here, the former Hulme Grammar School pupil talks about what it is to live and work locally, her career highlights and the importance of her role in people’s lives, as well as the changes she has seen in the law over the past two decades.
“I started at Pearson as a trainee solicitor, so one of my career highlights would definitely be completing the two-year training contract and qualifying as a solicitor. Qualification was the culmination of years of studying for my law degree, the legal practice course and finally further work during the training contract.
“Having said that, qualifying as a solicitor is a bit like passing your driving test; it is when the learning really begins!
“Since then I’ve had the opportunity to meet lots of clients and helped them prepare their wills and lasting powers of attorney. I have also been able to administer complex estates and given inheritance tax planning advice.
“I then started studying for further qualifications to become a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. This is for advisers who specialise in inheritance and succession planning and it certainly helped me to improve on the quality of advice I can provide to clients. It was hard work combining studying with full time work as a solicitor, but it was worth it.
“I am most proud that I attained the highest marks in the country on the Administration of Estates exam and was invited to attend an awards ceremony in London with other winners and industry professionals.
“Having been at the firm for 20 years, I have also had the privilege of advising several generations of the same family, some of whom were clients of my father and grandfather, who were previously partners in the firm.
“The workload can be demanding at times and it can be stressful as we want to provide a good service to every client. However, I have a good team to support me which is invaluable.
“As the fourth generation of the Pearson family to work at the firm, the biggest change personally was when my father retired. I had worked closely with him in the same department for 13 years so it took some adjusting to him not being here! I endeavour to continue to serve clients as well as he did.
“I think the biggest change in the legal profession is the use of technology, which has been both positive and negative. The case management systems we use are more sophisticated and certainly help in the probate and administration of estate work that I carry out.
“Since the pandemic, like many industries, we now have the option of meeting clients online which can be more convenient to both parties. We are also operating a broadly paperless system which is reducing our reliance on paper files and having a positive environmental impact.
“On the other hand, the Probate Registry has recently become digital. There have been a number of problems and severe delays in processing applications which is never great for clients.
“Advice I would give my younger self would be to have more confidence in my abilities and believe in myself more – the challenges I have faced have taught me I am more resilient than I would have thought when I first started out as a trainee solicitor.”