STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) is the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning. It works to improve public understanding of the issues families face in this area and promotes education and high professional standards among its members. This year marks its 30th birthday and brings an opportunity to raise awareness, both within the industry and among external stakeholders of the advancements STEP has facilitated over the past 30 years and demonstrate its role in shaping the industry and being at the forefront of change.
A number of Blake Morgan’s Succession & Tax team are full STEP members or are working towards full membership, a top professional qualification, demonstrating their expertise and high professional standards, to keep their knowledge and skills up to date. The membership also provides an opportunity to connect with practitioners globally, sharing knowledge and best practice whilst showing commitment to providing the best possible service to their clients and speaks volumes of the quality of the firm’s Private Client teams.
Private Client Partner, Paula Shea commented: “I was a committee member and Student Liaison Officer for the STEP Bournemouth branch for several years and meeting so many other practitioners, and not just lawyers has been invaluable. STEP welcomes practitioners from many different disciplines, accountants and financial advisers, for example.”
It's this breadth of expertise and having the opportunity to collaborate and share experiences and talk about the challenges we face, that is so beneficial. One of the principal ways in which we have benefitted from STEP is that its Diploma has become a kite-mark for quality amongst private client practitioners. Also the opportunity for continuing development ensures we are ahead of the curve and providing the best possible service for our clients.
Blake Morgan have also recently been re-accredited by the STEP Employer Partnership Programme (EPP), which provides a set of quality standards for law firms. Blake Morgan has been awarded ‘Platinum Employment Partner’ status for the second time, a certification first achieved in September 2018, in recognition of commitment to the professional development of staff and maintaining levels of technical competence across the broad range of services offered by the firm and particularly in respect of the more complex inheritance and estate planning work, in which the team specialise.
STEP is a well-known and highly regarded global organisation and is the gold standard of memberships across the private wealth sector, setting high standards for trust and estate practitioners. This creates a high level of recognition amongst peers and for clients to know that they are in safe hands.
Senior Associate and Notary Public, Kathryn Woodward said: “STEP is important as it promotes professional standards within my area of work and is globally recognised. I have been on the Thames Valley Branch of STEP Committee since 2008, having served as their secretary for 10 years and as the branch chair for 3 years, until May 2021. STEP allows us to make connections with other professionals in order to share our ideas and knowledge.”