Tell Citywealth’s readers about your role.
I am a partner and I head up Wedlake Bell's Private Client Group, which consists of our Private Client, Family and Residential Property teams. I also sit on the firm's Board and International Committee.
What does it mean for you to be one of the Powerwomen 2022 winners?
I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be recognised, particularly as a mentor. It is a real privilege to see junior members of the team progress in their careers and I feel that I had a positive influence on their personal and professional growth.
Talk us through one of your most recent client cases.
Advising a set of trustees going to court for directions on the application of the Human Rights Act on the definition of child as regards their class of beneficiaries. It was extremely sensitive (between the family) and complex given the number of sub-funds and the value of the trusts.
What are the most important skills and personal qualities for a lawyer specialised in Estate Planning?
You need a good technical brain teamed with extremely high levels of interpersonal skills – IQ and EQ. Being a good advisor isn't just about knowledge, it's also about empathy and understanding the client's needs and point of view.
Are your clients behaving differently in the present era?
The pandemic has facilitated the move to flexible home-working (in whole or part) and this will only encourage international mobility and global working. This will also translate into the need for dovetailed multi-jurisdictional tax and estate planning advice as properties/assets are acquired in different countries. Depressingly, clients have also been more focused on their own mortality and estate planning.
Best and worst parts of your job.
At Wedlake Bell, we have a strong team culture and we are proud of our ability to collaborate on client matters (i.e. the best bit). Achieving that in the changed workplace environment where most people are "WFH" for at least part of the week is a challenge, but not an insurmountable one with good organisation and effort on the part of all involved.
Possible worst bit? I miss office friendships and the possibility to catch up with colleagues face to face.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given?
Sleep on it and never assume anything (thank you Charles)!
Camilla Wallace is a member of our Leaders List.