The Judges

Karen Babington

Karen Babington

Co-founder, Collaborative Conveyancing

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. Karen co-founded Collaborative Conveyancing in 2022. 

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

Partner, Irwin Mitchell LLP

Ian joined Irwin Mitchell as a partner in January 2023 to build and grow the Lifetime & Estate Planning team in the Midlands. He has previously worked as the Head of Private Client departments at both regional and national law firms. Ian deals with all aspects of private client work as well as being a member (and former Chair) of the Law Society of England & Wales’ Wills and Equity Committee and is one of the Law Society members of the HMCTS Probate Service User group. Ian is an external tutor for Central Law Training on the “Administration of Trusts” module of the STEP Diploma for England & Wales. Ian contributed five chapters to the Law Society publication “The Probate Practitioners Handbook” (9th edition) and writes articles on various private client subjects for both legal journals and non-legal publications.
Simon Brimage FSWW

Simon Brimage FSWW

Director, Wills and Trusts UK (WaTUK)

Simon is an independent financial adviser by profession and began his financial services journey in 1995. Generating wealth for his clients, however, could lead to a potential IHT problem and so, alongside the first practice, Simon entered the industry of estate planning and will writing in 1997. This enabled him to provide a tailor-made solution of asset growth within a legal framework to protect his clients. Simon is honoured to have been made a Fellow of the Society of Will Writers.

He currently holds the position of Vice Chairman of the Professional Standards Board (PSB), whose role is to raise standards and improve industry practices, benefiting both consumers and advisers.

Running a busy practice and holding the position of management consultant for a number of companies, he understands what you have to do tactically, and how to have strategic conversations, in business. Simon’s no-nonsense approach sees to the heart of complex problems quickly, helping business owners put together strategies that compliment their personal, and their family’s, estate planning needs.

Simon’s wealth of experience across many business sectors, has led to him becoming a Parliamentary Adviser within the House of Lords, where he provides valuable industry and business insights and advice across a broad range of subjects and spheres. Personal relationships are at the heart of the business which is underpinned by Wills and Trusts UK’s values of honesty, empathy, privacy, excellence and social responsibility.

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.  

Ian Dibb

Ian Dibb

Founder & CEO, Keylu

Ian Dibb is the CEO of Keylu, a tech-for-good company. Ian is dedicated to simplifying life admin and capturing incredible memories, while planning for the future. Inspired by personal loss, Keylu was created to address the challenges of managing life admin through an innovative, secure platform. Keylu empowers users to efficiently manage the day-to-day aspects of their lives, whilst also storing precious memories for future generations. A passionate tech industry leader, Ian strives to make a positive social impact, fostering a stress-free world where individuals can prioritise what truly matters. The talented team behind Keylu shares Ian’s vision for easing the complexities of life admin for everyone.
Jacqueline Emmerson

Jacqueline Emmerson

Solicitor & Managing Director, Emmersons Solicitors

Jacqueline is the Managing Director of Emmersons Solicitors Ltd which she founded 25 years ago. Based in the North East of England the firm represents 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 by way of training Dementia Friends.

Jacqueline is President of Sunderland Law Society and in this role has brought together the local university, Sunderland BID, charities and sponsors. She is the Honorary Counsel for SSAFA in Newcastle. She won the inaugural Wearside Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award. She holds a diploma in Leadership Management. 

Jacqueline lectures to charities, businesses and the financial sector in relation to the needs of elderly clients. She has launched Slow Shopping in conjunction with Gosforth Dementia Alliance. She regularly writes articles for the press as well as being called upon for legal commentary by numerous radio stations.

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.

Lucinda Frostick

Lucinda Frostick

Director, Remember A Charity

Lucinda Frostick is Director of Remember A Charity, a 200-strong consortium of UK charities whose mission is to grow and normalise giving to charity from your Will. Working closely with government and legal partners, the consortium runs a Campaign Supporter scheme, providing resources and a free web listing service for solicitors and Will-writers that commit to make relevant clients aware of the option of including a charitable gift in their Will. Remember A Charity Week runs in September each year, but the campaign works all year round to promote charitable will writing to the giving public. www.rememberacharity.org.uk
Melinda Giles

Melinda Giles

Partner and Head of Private Client and Court of Protection, Giles Wilson Law Limited

Melinda is a key figure in Private Client Law, with over 25 years of specialist experience. A Founding Partner & Director at Giles Wilson Law, she heads the firm’s award-winning Private Client team in all areas of elderly client law.

You may have seen Melinda offering expert advice on The Martin Lewis Show, BBC Radio 4 Money Box Live and Sky News, or checked out her frequent appearances on local radio and podcasts.

Melinda also acts as the representative for Private Client solicitors on The Law Society Council, sits on the Wills & Equity Policy Committee, and is an Accredited Member of Solicitors for the Elderly.

Alex Holt

Alex Holt

Director of Business Development, The Cashroom

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.

Jonathan Maskew

Jonathan Maskew

Head of Private Client, Taylor Rose MW

Jonathan is head of the private client team in Birmingham with national law firm Taylor Rose MW and has a vast amount of practical experience spanning over many years with legal services innovation and change management.
Barry Mattock

Barry Mattock

Chief Executive Officer, 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 2021 and 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. As the CEO of the Arken Group, including Arken.legal, Footprint and Estgro, and a background in founding and leading technology firms, Dave has over 25 years’ experience in the technology industry. He is passionate about the opportunities brought by combining legal expertise with digital capability.

Clive Ponder FIMMM. TEP

Clive Ponder FIMMM. 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 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.
Aleks Tomczyk

Aleks Tomczyk

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Exizent

Aleks is the Co-Founder and MD at Exizent. Exizent is a business on a mission to improve the experience of bereavement for everyone involved.

Aleks is an experienced and energetic business executive with a strong track record of successful business innovation through technology.

Prior to Exizent, Aleks was an independent consultant advising on growth and technology. Before this he was Founder and CEO at Arum, a specialist technology advisory and transformation business with a software development arm – a business he sold successfully in 2017.

Aleks is a member of the LawScotTech Advisory Board, FinTech Scotland SME Advisory Board and, as a business angel, an investor in early stage businesses with growth potential.

He lives in Edinburgh with his wife and three school age children.

Julie Wilson

Julie Wilson

Co-Founder, Settld

Based in the UK, and working as far afield as Iraq, Julie has spent the last 25 years supporting organisations to strengthen their leadership capability, manage organisational change, and secure funding for their research, innovation and commercial growth.

In February 2020, following a personal loss, she co-founded an automated bereavement notification platform (Settld) with her daughter and is delighted to have supported Settld to fundraise, build a strong team and achieve award-winning status.

Trevor Worth MBA TEP

Trevor Worth MBA TEP

MD & Founder, Portcullis Legals and current British Wills & Probate Industry Champion

With over 35 years experience in the legal services profession after creating the business as a 22 year old, Trevor specialises in Inheritance and Succession Planning, bringing the expertise needed to protect clients and their families. He holds his Masters (MBA) from the University of Exeter and continues to guest lecture on innovation and entrepreneurship at several universities and he sits on the Advisory Board of the University of Essex Business School and Marjon University. 

Trevor has also sat on the Advisory Panel of the Legal Services Board in London and was elected as the Chair of The BEST Foundation in 2022. He also provides consultancy services to a number of law and financial services firms. Trevor is qualified to the worldwide gold standard for Trust and Estate Practitioners with full STEP qualifications and is seen as a legal innovator. He actively supports local causes and charities in our community, in addition to investing in and mentoring young entrepreneurs.

In January 2019 Trevor introduced the 4 Day Week to Portcullis and by increasing salaries at the same time, became the first company in the world to do so. One newspaper labelled him “The Best Boss Ever!” and he continues to provide advice and consultancy services on flexible working to businesses of all size.