Meet the Private Client Team with Emelie Vardon
I am a solicitor at Sintons specialising in contentious wills, trusts and estate matters, in addition to disputed Court of Protection issues. I have been at Sintons for over 2 years, after completing my training contract at the firm and qualifying as a solicitor in September 2019.
Tell us about your career to date…
I completed my MLaw (Exempting) Degree at Northumbria University, incorporating the Legal Practice Course, graduating in July 2017 with first-class honours. I commenced my training contract at Sintons in September 2017 and over the course of 2 years, I undertook 6 months in each of Private Client, dealing with personal and family matters, Employment, Real Estate and Contentious Probate (where I have now qualified).
What attracted you to Sintons?
Despite originating from outside of the North East, I was already aware of Sintons’ excellent reputation, not only in relation to its diverse areas of work, including its private client team, but also for its trainee solicitor programme. I knew training at Sintons would provide me with the greatest start to my legal career and ensure I was well-equipped with the knowledge and experience required to start my journey as a qualified Solicitor.
What does your role involve?
As part of our growing contentious probate team, I advise on disputes concerning a deceased’s estate which often involves will challenges, Inheritance Act claims and the administration of the estate. I also work closely with our private client team to ensure our clients receive comprehensive advice on both non-contentious and contentious matters that may arise on their death. I often work alongside the dispute resolution team due to the litigious nature of our work, our expertise overlaps which assists in a full service to clients to ensure things are dealt with effectively.
In connection with my work, I am also studying on the specialist Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialist (ACTAPS) course to develop my expertise in this field from the outset of my career.
What have been your personal highlights to date?
My appointment as a qualified solicitor specialising in contentious trusts and probate matters is a personal highlight and one of my biggest achievements to date after working within the team for the final part of my training. I am lucky to have secured a permanent role at Sintons where I get to work alongside outstanding lawyers such as Emma Saunders, who is known for her strong and growing reputation in this field (Legal 500 2019) and the Northern Law Awards 2019 private client and dispute resolution teams of the year.
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?
Having spent six months of my training contract in non-contentious private client and a further six months in contentious private client matters, I could not have chosen a better team in which to qualify, both in terms of expertise and general team dynamic. I am consistently challenged to aid my development and I have been involved in a variety of complex matters from the early stages of my career.
How does Sintons differ from other firms you have worked in?
Everyone at Sintons is very welcoming and having trained at the firm, I have had the opportunity to get to know and work with all staff right up to partner level. This has really helped upon my qualification, particularly with internal referrals as I already know who specialises in which area of law. I do feel appreciated at Sintons for my contribution to work but also in promoting the firm and our CSR activities, which makes it all worthwhile.
What are your interests outside of work?
Outside of work, I am a music enthusiast and enjoy playing the flute, piano and saxophone and being part of a choir. I also spend a lot of my time out with my cocker spaniel, discovering some of the wonderful places the North East has to offer.