The Judges

Karen Babington

Karen Babington

Entrepreneur, Resolutem

Karen has over 25 years’ experience in the legal, property and mortgage market. She has worked in several senior management positions which include three conveyancing panel management companies. Following the sale of Easier2move in 2010 (which Karen co-founded) to My Home Move (now Simplify), Karen took up the role of Corporate Sales Director.

Until recently, Karen was an owner and Director of Lawyer Checker, a company which provides risk management products to law firms.

Karen also co-founded Solve Legal, now known as Today’s Media, which incorporates three leading legal publications. Solve Legal introduced the British Wills and Probate Awards in addition to the British Conveyancing Awards which are now highly regarded in the legal sector calendar.

David Baskerville MBA

David Baskerville MBA

Director and Lead Consultant, Baskerville Drummond Consulting Ltd

David is the founding director of Baskerville Drummond, one of the UK’s leading IT and business consultancies for law firms. Over the past decade, it has established a stand-out reputation for its independence and integrity, with David one of the most trusted and recognisable faces in the industry.

In 2011 David founded Baskerville Drummond to provide strategic advice and hands-on guidance to UK law firms. He has become the ‘go-to’ man for system selection, implementation and optimisation projects, and was an early pioneer of the ‘fractional IT director’ and ‘critical friend’ roles.

David has long specialised in complex IT projects, such as mergers and demergers, and for turning-around failing practice management systems or other challenging technology situations; a growing area in the Cloud era is helping firms address or move away from poorly performing outsourced hosting or support arrangements.

Anthony Belcher

Anthony Belcher

Director General, The Society of Will Writers

Anthony Belcher is a director of The Society of Will Writers and has in his time there developed and managed relationships with its members as well as industry bodies, partners, and the public. Through the SWW, Anthony’s media background has helped breathe life into the will writing profession, in turn helping to grow and develop the SWW into the leading independent body representing estate planning professionals. Through providing access to services, training and guidance for its members and partners, as well as vital consumer advice for the public, the SWW under Anthony’s leadership continues to champion the importance of all things wills and estate planning.

Ian Bond

Ian Bond

Director and Head of Wills & Estates, Thursfields Solicitors

Ian Bond is director and head of Wills & Estates at Thursfields Solicitors as well as a member (and former Chair) of the Law Society of England & Wales’ Wills and Equity Committee. Ian is a contributor to the Law Society publication ‘The Probate Practitioners Handbook’; the 9th edition of which was published earlier in 2021. Ian champions the use of technology in the legal sector for the benefit of professionals and their clients; you can follow him on twitter @ianbondtep. 

Carrie Caladine

Carrie Caladine

Managing Director, Right Legal Group

Carrie is one of the co-founders and the Managing Director of Right Legal Group Limited, a private client focused ABS established in 2014.  Recognised for its forward thinking, innovative and commercial approach, RLG collaborates with law firms across the country to deliver its unique service called rightwill.  With a background in business management and finance working in both hospitality and the charity sectors prior to the launch of Right Legal Group, Carrie has led the development of RLG’s impressive infrastructure built upon firm business principles, putting staff development and client experience at the heart of its operation.

Sue Carter MBA

Sue Carter MBA

Strategic Consultant, Consult Sue Carter Ltd

After 40 years working in the banking and professional services sectors, I set up my own consultancy business, Consult Sue Carter Ltd, in January this year. During my banking career, I spent over 30 years advising law firms in areas including succession planning, mergers, acquisitions and disposals, coping strategies, funding solutions and balance sheet restructuring.  I have a reputation for being a serious thinker about the legal sector and its future.  Previously held a senior leadership role as UK Head of Professional Services Sector at Clydesdale Bank PLC and led a team of 28 sector experts across the UK.  In 2008, I achieved an MBA in Legal Practice Management and since 2015 have held a voluntary position as a lay Member on the Law Society of Scotland Council.  In February 2021, appointed as a Non-Executive Director at Switalskis Solicitors, where I am involved in the group’s financial management and performance, as well as wider business strategy and planning.  

Jane Cassell

Jane Cassell

Director, JC Independent Wills & Probate

Jane qualified as a solicitor over 20 years ago. Jane is on a mission to raise awareness that marriage cancels Wills. Her personal story fuels her professional purpose. Jane has been published in The Telegraph, the Law Society Gazette and The Law Society. Jane is a member of the Law Society Private Client Section.  

Emily Deane

Emily Deane

Technical Counsel, STEP

Emily Deane TEP is Technical Counsel & Head of Government Affairs at STEP. She has practised as a private client and trust solicitor in the UK, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands specialising in all aspects of the private client industry including wills, property, tax planning, estate administration, onshore and offshore trusts and litigation. She joined STEP in 2016 and leads the policy team informing public policy in relation to trust and estate related issues.

Jacqueline Emmerson

Jacqueline Emmerson

Solicitor & Managing Director, Emmersons Solicitors

Jacqueline is the Managing Director of Emmersons Solicitors Ltd which is based in the North East of England; they represent clients nationally and internationally. Jacqueline leads a team of award winning Private Client Lawyers. As a team they are interested in helping clients who often have no one else to support them. Emmersons are also heavily involved in their local communities having trained as Dementia Friends. They are also members of Solicitors For The Elderly.

Eleanor Evans

Eleanor Evans

Partner, Hugh James

Eleanor is a Partner and Head of the Trusts and Estates Administration Department in Hugh James.  Her team acts for private individuals, financial institutions and trust corporations.  She joined Hugh James, a top 100 law firm, in 2004 as a trainee solicitor, becoming a Partner in 2014.

Eleanor is a STEP member and on the committee of the STEP Wales branch, organising training events.  She has published articles and been quoted in the national press, and has spoken on national radio and podcasts.  She is recognised as a leading individual in the Chambers HNW and Legal 500 directories, where she is praised for her “excellent technical knowledge” and “strong leadership.

Alex Holt

Alex Holt

Expert in Outsourced Legal Cashiering

Alex’s background is in the legal profession and is a qualified solicitor, having been a litigation Partner at Hill Dickinson. He then founded and ran an executive search business, before joining a global outsourcing company to head up their strategic move into the legal sector. Alex joined the Cashroom in 2014 to lead the company’s Business Development. 
Tasnim Khalid

Tasnim Khalid

Founding Partner, Private Client Solicitors

Tasnim is the founding Partner of ‘Private Client Solicitors’, which is one of the largest boutique practices in the North West. Tasnim has been acting for private clients since 2005 and prides herself with offering specialist legal advice to clients from all walks of life. Tasnim has ranked highly in Chambers & Partners (HNW edition) and Legal 500. As an entrepreneur and working mother, Tasnim is keen to give back to the profession. As such, Tasnim sits on Manchester Law Society’s ‘Private Client Committee’ alongside other esteemed colleagues and acts a mentor to members of the profession.

Matthew Lagden

Matthew Lagden

CEO, Institute of Legacy Management

The professional organisation for charity staff who work in legacy administration. Our members are responsible for managing the income that is left to charities each year in supporter’s wills. This is worth approximately £3.4bn each year, and is one of the largest single sources of voluntary income for many of our members.
Rita Leat

Rita Leat

Chief Executive, Institute of Paralegals

Rita Leat is the Chief Executive of the Institute of Paralegals and a founder and Managing Director of the overarching voluntary regulator for Paralegals, the PPR. The Institute provides  the competency standards for Paralegals and has the largest on-line platform for the sector. With over 30 years’ experience in the Paralegal sector, representing the interests of Paralegals Nationally, Rita has become known as the Chief Executive of All Things Paralegal.
Barry Mattock

Barry Mattock

Managing Director, Property Solutions Group

Barry is a seasoned property specialist in the probate and wills, new build and second hand homes markets and headline sponsors of the British Wills and Probate Awards 2022. 

Experienced in forming and leading businesses Barry is passionate about providing property solutions to non-traditional markets and in building effective teams with strong technical expertise and friendly customer service.  

Always happy to learn Barry is very much looking forward to being part of the judging panel and seeing the hard work, ideas and problem solving of so many in the wills and probate sector.

Dave Newick

Dave Newick

CEO, Arken.legal

Dave has extensive experience in transforming and supporting the legal sector with digital solutions. He’s led multiple, successful companies including Global Attract and Experis Ltd and founded IT Futures. In total, Dave has over 25 years’ experience in the technology industry and is passionate about the opportunities brought by combining legal expertise with digital capability.

Clive Ponder TEP

Clive Ponder TEP

Director, CTT Group

Clive is the founder of CTT Group, a leading multi-disciplinary support system for the UK’s Professional Adviser community. With almost two decades of expertise, CTT Group has developed a forward-thinking approach to will writing, employing bespoke software to provide an unrivalled service to clients.

Clive has worked in the Will Writing sector for more than two decades, after a very successful career as a mining engineer. In this time, he has become a full member (TEP) of STEP, the leading international association for Wills, Trusts, and Estate practitioners, as well as being appointed to the Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Clive is also the founder and owner of the following companies: Countrywide Tax and Trust Corporation Ltd, CTT Accountancy, CTT Private Client and CTT Law, an SRA Regulated firm and strategic partner to CTT Group.

Stuart Simpson

Stuart Simpson

Head of Equiniti Benefactor

Stuart has worked in the regulated financial services industry for 15 years and is Managing Director of Equiniti Benefactor, which he has led since March 2016.  Equiniti Benefactor supply end of life and bereavement service offerings and support to Equiniti Group’s 28 million customers. In 2018 Stuart worked with leading financial services organisations to launch the Death Notification Service which supported the public and professionals to make over 125,000 notifications of deceased customers in 2020.

Stuart is also Executive Sponsor of Equiniti’s Vulnerable Customer Community, supporting Equiniti’s Head of Customer Accessibility & Inclusion and colleagues to develop and deliver Vulnerable Customer policies and services, Improving the experiences and outcomes for vulnerable customers across the group. During his time in this role he has worked with Money Advice Trust, The LRSA, Cruise Bereavement Care, UKFinance and others to contribute to the debate on  improving vulnerable and bereaved customer services.

Tom Stansfield

Tom Stansfield

Legal Marketer and Founder, Legal Growth

Tom is a legal marketer and founder of the marketing agency – Legal Growth. Tom has worked in the legal sector for 10 years and is a huge advocate for business and personal growth and branding. During his career he has been on the board at the Society of Will Writers as well as being the Head of Growth for WillSuite (and the Love Legal Group) prior to launching the agency. He is also a regular on the speaking circuit presenting at all manner of conferences and sessions.
Lakshmi Turner

Lakshmi Turner

Chief Executive, Solicitors For The Elderly

A graduate from King’s College, London, Lakshmi is a marketing specialist with over 30 years’ experience. In 1990, she took time out to do a full time MBA. She became SFE’s chief executive in 2014. Lakshmi has a simple but powerful aim for SFE under her stewardship: to be the go-to brand in the legal arena for later life ie SFE will continue to be the leading organisation for lawyers who work in this area, by providing training and best practice and will become a consumer facing mark of quality and a brand the public will actively seek out.
Trevor Worth MBA TEP

Trevor Worth MBA TEP

MD & Founder, Portcullis Legals

Trevor is an entrepreneur working to improve access to legal services that are innovative and completely client focused. I enjoy my roles in lecturing, mentoring and investing in start ups and focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation within universities and commercial enterprises, striving to help a younger generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders achieve their aims with sustainability and creativity at the forefront of their thinking. For me, it’s all about doing the right thing, with the highest standards of education and ethics anchoring every aspect of our practice.

Having run my own legal services practice for 27 years in the south west with a focus on succession planning for families and businesses, the need for innovation and the highest standards of qualifications has never been greater in order to differentiate between firms.

I am currently investing in and developing a number of collaborative new business models in the legal, education and sustainability sectors with partnerships including educational institutions, NGO’s and charitable organisations.