Meet the Private Client Team with Michael Cattermole
What is your role in the private client team and how long have you been at Sintons?
I am a specialist solicitor in the team and joined in May this year.
Tell us about your career to date…
I have spent all of my career in the North East, my home region, and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I began my training at a firm which works across Sunderland and Newcastle, then moved to a firm on Teesside. I have been qualified as a solicitor for almost three years now, and it felt like time to challenge myself career-wise and progress to the next stage, which is how my move to Sintons came about.
What attracted you to join Sintons?
The reputation of the private client team and the firm as a whole is outstanding. Ever since I was studying for my Legal Practice Course (LPC) at Northumbria University, I have heard good things about Sintons and from that point it has been a firm I wanted to join. While working as a private client solicitor in other firms, I became aware that the team at Sintons is viewed as one of the very best in the North East and indeed the wider North of England.
What does your role involve?
My role involves a range of matters including drafting wills, lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) and overseeing the administration of estates. I care passionately about the job I do and the clients I work with, and am actively involved in a number of groups and societies that will enable me to offer the best possible service. I am a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and am a dementia champion; I am also working towards my qualification with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
I enjoy playing a role in the development of the profile of our team and regularly attend events and networking opportunities with our key professional contacts. This enables us to build and strengthen relationships with fellow advisors we work closely with on client matters.
What have been your personal highlights to date?
Joining Sintons has certainly been a highlight, having been impressed by the firm’s reputation since my student days, so being given the opportunity to come here has been excellent. Also, when I secured my first role in private client work as a trainee – as soon as I started working in this field, I knew it was where I wanted to build my career.
The private client team is one of the most highly-rated in the North of England. What are the advantages of being part of it?
We are a very close-knit team with a vast amount of experience and expertise and a great dynamic and working relationship. I have been able to learn a huge amount in a short time, which has helped with my legal development and technical ability. It is also a big advantage for me that I have a dedicated supervisor – associate Paul Collingwood – which I have found very beneficial. Our head of department, Paul Nickalls, is regularly named by the likes of Legal 500 as one of the leading private client lawyers in the North of England, so he is great to learn from, as well as being good to work with.
How does Sintons differ from other firms you have worked in?
Sintons has a standalone private client department, which I have never worked in before at my other firms – Sintons is on a different level in terms of scale and capability. It’s also very supportive of its employees and their ideas. If you have something you want to do or want to try, the firm are prepared to support you to give it a go. People really feel like they’re listened to and have an important role to play.
What are your interests outside of work?
I have a five-year-old son who keeps me very busy, family time is my favourite way to spend my hours outside of work. I’m also like going to the gym and enjoy taking part in Total Warrior events – even though they’re really gruelling, punishing obstacle racing events, they are very satisfying to complete.