Meet the management team
The Institute is managed by a team of 9 representatives from the membership who are elected by the membership for a 3 year term and then stand for re-election if they wish. One of the nine has been appointed to represent the Institute of Scottish Professional Willwriters.
I have been involved in writing Wills since 1990, joined the IPW in 1993, joined its management team in 1997 and was Chairman from 2000 - 2014. I am still involved in my Willwriting business which means that I experience first-hand the day to day trials, tribulations and elations of being a Willwriter.
What is clear to me as a Willwriter is that for my business to survive and thrive it, needs to set itself apart from all of the other firms offering Wills and all the different methods of making a Will. Which is why my IPW membership, along with compliance with a TSI Approved Code of Practice is an essential part of my business strategy – and why I continue to work to set the highest standards for the Institute and its membership.
My background was originally in new product development and quality assurance systems for the Boots Company. In 2004 I attended the IPW’s Introduction to Willwriting course and, duly motivated, decided to leave Boots. My wife and I went on to develop our own practice, which has ultimately led to working with and developing a major national estate planning company.
I have never lost sight of the fact that ultimately it’s about providing clients with excellent customer service, regardless of the size of business. Although being involved in both small and national companies has provided such hugely differing challenges in applying the same Code of Practice into such radically different business models, I firmly believe the Institute has set a unique benchmark for estate planning businesses, to enable the provision of excellent customer service through the Code.
I have been writing Wills and Estate Planning up in Scotland for over six years following a 30 year career in the hospitality industry where I always prided myself on giving great customer service. I have brought this over into the people facing Willwriting profession.
I have a passion for helping people and am always very gratified when clients say I have put their minds at rest and given them a clear understanding.
It was an honour to be asked to join the council of Institute as the delegate for the ISPW and I take this role very seriously, helping my colleagues in Scotland have a voice and making sure the ISPW is in the forefront of the legislation and regulation that the Scottish Parliament is pioneering.
My professional career began as a Chartered Management Accountant in manufacturing and we all know where that industry went - overseas. Fortunately for me the migration to Willwriting and estate planning has been a logical one having strong analytical skills to fall back on. Starting any new career or venture is an uphill battle and after three years of running my own company I can see the light, in fact it has been a thrilling life changing experience! As a newbie, I understand the challenges new members face and still have a way to go myself if I am to catch up with some of the more experienced members. Seeing the effort that goes on behind the scenes as a Council member has been an eye opener that makes me proud to be able to make a contribution to its integrity and future.
I started The Will Writing Company in 1990. Our firm has had a member representative of the Institute since its inception in 1991 and I personally joined in 1998.
The IPW and its members have always stood for what is right and proper within the sector and are ready and able to meet the demands of regulation when and it if comes, be it light touch, or formal. The attainment of the approval from the OFT of its Code of Practice being the first visible demonstration of our appetite to do the right thing and set ourselves apart.
It is vital in today’s demanding society that all businesses should not only treat its customers fairly, but also be able to show and demonstrate how they treat customers fairly. It is my view after 21 years in the sector that only the only organisation able to do so effectively so far is the Institute.
As a Will Writer of 20 years plus, I still know there is plenty to learn and keep on top of! As a member of the Institutes training team, I deal with a lot of new Willwriters and am always happy to share my ideas with them. Customer service is top of my agenda for my clients, and I always try to do my very best. Being a member of the Institutes Council can be very time consuming but I feel honoured to have been elected by the members.
After 35 years practising as a personal injuries lawyer, I switched to Willwriting in 2000 and I have been a member of the IPW since 2003.
I am currently drafting wills for a group of Willwriters and I also draft Wills, and act as mentor, for a number of sponsored members. My aim is always to make sense out of the disorderly and I strongly believe in producing documents in a language which the lay person can readily understand.
There are many challenging issues at the moment, and I am anxious to help the IPW in its drive for maintaining a high standard of excellence in the profession.