Leaders List interview: 60 seconds with Clare Nicolle, Preston Legal
This week’s 60-second piece is dedicated to Clare Nicolle, Preston Legal.
Citywealth speaks to Clare Nicolle, partner at Preston Legal, who won the Woman of the Year – Business Growth (Boutique) – SILVER award at the Powerwomen Awards 2023. She heads up the estate planning and capacity practice of the firm.
Tell Citywealth’s readers about your role.
- I am a Jersey Advocate and partner at Preston Legal, a relatively new firm founded in 2016 and based in Jersey. I head up the estate planning and capacity practice.
- I work with both local and international clients assisting them with their estate planning requirements, which includes will drafting and preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorney. This can involve in-depth discussions about family relationships and other personal matters.
- I also enjoy regularly presenting to local intermediaries about the importance of estate planning for their clients and then working with them to find resolutions for their clients.
What are the most pressing issues you are dealing with in your role at the moment?
We are currently seeing a lot of instructions around capacity-related matters. The baby boomers are aging and with that all sorts of challenges are attached. We are particularly engaged in cross-border capacity planning which is an area in which we are seeing increased enquiries. I enjoy working collaboratively with other lawyers across jurisdictions.
The ownership of digital assets and how they are managed in the contents of estate planning and estate administration is also raising huge issues for those of us in the private client sphere. This is an area which is constantly changing and poses significant challenges. Governments have to move quickly to keep pace. I expect to see substantial legislation being enacted over the next few years.
How would your clients describe you?
I would like to think they would see me as approachable, pragmatic and responsive. The work that I do is very much people focused and I work hard to build relationships with my clients.
What are the most important skills and personal qualities to succeed in your role?
People skills are very much the key. When dealing with estate planning and capacity related matters you can often be dealing with people at very difficult times in their lives and it is important to have both empathy and perspective.
ESG: Are your clients familiar with ESG? Are they behaving differently in the present scenario?
There are certainly discussions being had around ESG. With the handover of wealth from the baby boomers to the next generation these conversations are becoming more frequent and it is important for companies and businesses to ensure that their policies reflect the world we live in.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given?
A former colleague once told me to “put yourself in the client’s shoes”. Wise words which I hope help me unwrap clients’ motivations and always act with understanding and empathy when managing and resolving tricky situations.