Pre-lockdown, we were delighted to welcome Ian Walker to the Howells team. Based in our Swansea office, Ian is a Senior Associate in our Private Client department, helping clients of all ages put plans in place for later life and for when they pass on. As a full member of Solicitors for the Elderly, Ian has an empathetic attitude and approach when working with older clients.
We met with Ian (socially distanced) to find out more about him when in work and at home.
Where Were You Born and When Did You Qualify?
The Midlands was my home for most of my childhood with a period of a few years living in Canada. The volume of snow was rather different from that which we get in Swansea!
I went to school at RGS Worcester, and I still enjoy alumni events and staying in touch with the school as it is now.
I have relatives in Swansea, and I fell in love with South Wales. I loved the friendliness of the area and this meant that Cardiff University was an easy choice for me. I studied English Literature followed by a postgraduate Diploma in Law (which is the equivalent of a Law Degree within a year) and went on to complete the Legal Practice Course in Cardiff.
I made some amazing friends, with whom, I’m so pleased to have reconnected with during lockdown and, towards the end of University I met my wife. We’ve now been married for 22 years, so South Wales holds a very special place in my heart!
I completed my Training Contract at Atter Mackenzie in Evesham, Worcestershire and shortly after qualifying returned to Wales.
Why Did You Choose a Career in Law and Your Specialist Area?
My first memory of wanting to become a Lawyer was at about the age of 13. I was an avid viewer of the TV programme LA Law!
I always wanted a job that connected with people and helped them in difficult times of their lives, and I loved to study and problem solve. Through looking at all sorts of careers, I realised that a career in this area of law fitted my work needs perfectly as, by providing an excellent level of service and care, I can make difficult times slightly easier for people. This is what keeps me motivated in the work I do.
What Are Your Favourite Aspects of Private Client Law?
I love helping people. I am an empathetic person. This means that I naturally gravitated towards those areas of law where I felt I could really connect with people in times of difficulty.
Can You Provide an Overview to Demonstrate the Variety of Cases You Have Worked On?
To join a Legal 500 firm makes me immensely proud. Obviously being at such a well-respected firm means that we have a wide variety of instructions.
Every client has different personal circumstances and so I have drafted many types of wills. There may be concerns over the ability of beneficiaries, whether it is for disabled beneficiaries or those in receipt of means-tested benefits, to inherit the estate and so we can work with the client on suitable outcomes.
We can also help with questions about long term care planning and, also, any concerns about mental incapacity.
Every estate administration brings with it the opportunity to help someone bring together someone’s affairs after their death. I really enjoy solving problems through pre and post-death legal planning.
What Are Your Career Ambitions?
Finalising my exams for the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP) is my immediate goal. What I love about my job is that you never stop learning.
In the longer term, I want to continue to be the best Solicitor that I can be. For me, it is so important to treat each case, whether it is wills or estate administration, individually. Each client is different, and everyone needs different areas of expertise. In my time at Howells, I can see that the firm is based upon the amazing high quality of service that they consistently provide.
This is what keeps me focussed on a daily basis. If I keep doing this, I believe that career progression then resolves itself.
Outside of Work, What Do You Enjoy Doing in Your Spare Time?
Lockdown provided me with time to reconnect with more simple things. I have been lucky to spend time outdoors on walks and getting to know my local area. I also love coastal walks.
I am a keen golfer and play regularly at Pennard Golf Club in Gower. I am looking forward to competitive golf returning in Wales as I am a qualified referee.
I love films and cannot wait to get back to the cinema!
Do You Have Any Advice for the Readers?
Making a will and managing legal issues relating to later life, and after, is very personal and does require a sympathetic and professional approach. Our Private Client teams provide exactly that and, should you require our expert help and advice, please get in touch.
If you would like to learn more about Ian and how to contact him directly, or any other member of the Howells team, please take a look at the Our People section of this website.