Yeovil Chamber News Articles Copyright 22nd Jul 2019 - 10:50 by Yeovil Chamber <![CDATA[Pardoes are excited to announce that Charlotte Dullaway has joined their growing Dispute Resolution ]]> Charlotte is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, specialising in probate disputes and related litigation. She deals with situations where people are unhappy with wills, such as when they have been disinherited or not left what they thought they were going to get, as well as where relatives and dependants feel they have not been properly provided for.

Charlotte, based in our Taunton office, trained locally and was keen to remain practicing in the local area. She says “I chose to specialise in contentious probate because of the people. Generally, when a probate dispute occurs people have just suffered the loss of a loved one and the emotional strain of litigation can be traumatic for them. I find it incredibly satisfying to be able to use my knowledge and understanding to help them reach a sensible outcome, obtain closure and move on with their lives.” 

There has been an enormous increase in the number of probate disputes in the Courts and covered in the media over the last few years. Family arrangements are becoming more complicated, people are living longer and accumulating more wealth. This, combined with the rise of DIY Wills, has resulted in more families than ever before going through the emotional turmoil of litigation to try and finalise the estates of lost loved ones.

The two most common types of probate dispute are challenges to the validity of a Will and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Challenges to Wills are on the increase in part due to the more widespread awareness of illnesses affecting mental capacity, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Where there have been signs of mental decline those closest to the person who passed away may wonder whether they really knew what they were doing, especially if they have been disinherited as a result. Other reasons why a Will may be challenged include if it is a result of coercion or undue influence, where there has been a mistake or where certain required formalities have not been fulfilled.

Claims under the Inheritance Act are often the result of the more complicated family structures in today’s society. Where there are new spouses or civil partners, children from multiple partners and, in some situations secret second families, it is difficult to balance the needs and expectations of those closest to you along with your freedom to leave your estate as you wish. If certain people do not feel they have been reasonably provided for, they can bring claims against the estate for a share, or greater share, of the assets.

Probate disputes are stressful. Grief and financial uncertainty can make it difficult to think straight and this is why it is so important to instruct a specialist lawyer to guide you through this complex area of law.

Bhavani Hogarty, Partner and Head of Pardoes busy Dispute Resolution team says; “Pardoes offer specialist probate dispute services to the local community. Charlotte’s focus on providing this specialist legal advice in a compassionate way makes her very popular with clients and we are delighted to have such a highly skilled and caring professional join our team.”

If you would like further information or require assistance with a contentious probate matter contact Charlotte on 01823 446230 or via email to

<![CDATA[Battens expands their Residential Property Team ]]> Battens Solicitors are pleased to announce the appointment of Mo Byers to their Residential Property Team.

Mo joins Battens as a Conveyancing Executive based in the Wareham office and is looking forward to supporting new and existing clients in the area. “I have experience in dealing with a wide range of residential conveyancing transactions and pride myself on being thorough. I am down to earth and able to convey matters to clients clearly and concisely but without the need for complicated legal jargon. Understanding that being patient, listening to client’s needs and keeping clients well informed throughout the transaction is key in trying to ensure a less stressful experience in what undoubtedly can be a very stressful life event for a lot of clients” explains Mo.

Mo’s legal career began as a Legal Secretary for a local firm of solicitors straight from school. From there, Mo studied and completed a Paralegal Diploma in Law Studies then progressed to Conveyancing Executive. “I enjoy the challenge of what each day will bring...every property and chain is different and has its own issues to be investigated and resolved. Conveyancing is such a fast paced and varied area of law and there's never a dull moment.” "It's a great feeling when a particularly complicated or stressful transaction is finally completed; knowing that I was able to achieve a happy outcome for my clients is extremely satisfying" said Mo.

Mo’s extensive experience in residential conveyancing transactions includes sales, purchases, buy to let, help to buy, probate and matrimonial sales, leasehold and new build properties, re-mortgages and voluntary first registration. Jill Cochrane, Head of Residential Property said: “Mo will be a great asset to Battens with her experience and knowledge. We are very much looking forward to Mo expanding our Wareham residential property team.”

<![CDATA[New Staff at Blueloop]]> We have three new Blueloopers:- 

Natalie Peters has joined Blueloop as a Consultant.  Natalie brings a wealth of experience from her career within State Education, providing IT Network management and support to both staff and students. Before joining Blueloop, Natalie took a short break from working within IT as a Driving Instructor

Steven Talling has also joined the team as a Consultant specialising in Security and Compliance.  Steven previously worked for 12 years in the Army/Signals as an IS Engineer being deployed around the world to set up and maintain military IT Systems.  He is looking forward to offering both new and existing customers support and guidance around data management, security and compliance. In his downtime Steven enjoys Scuba diving, reading, hockey and rugby. 

Emma  Amor will be working within the Admin team supporting Kirsty in her role as Financial Controller.  Emma brings a wealth of customer interface and accounting experience from her previous role at Screwfix.  Emma is a keen sport enthusiast including hockey and regularly attends the local gym.

We wish Natalie, Steven and Emma well in their new roles and look forward to introducing them to our customers and business partners.

Further details can be obtained from:  Julie Grant, Blueloop Limited,

Sales and Marketing Manager, Blueloop – Tel 01460 271055

<![CDATA[Battens Welcomes Immigration Adviser, Lee Campbell]]> Battens Solicitors are pleased to welcome Immigration Adviser Lee Campbell to its immigration department. Lee is based in Battens’ Bath office, but will travel or connect with clients wherever they are based, advising on all private immigration queries for both the employer and the individual.

Lee’s background uniquely qualifies him in immigration matters due to his previous role and experience as a Caseworker in the Home Office. “I was previously working in the Home Office as an Immigration Caseworker” explains Lee.” During this role I would provide decisions on most in-country applications; covering such visa applications as points based applications, spouse/partner applications and long-term residency applications.”

Having worked in the Private Sector for the last three years, Lee brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience and is now skilled in further aspects of immigration law including: family and private life applications, travel documents, EEA applications, visit visa applications and naturalisation. “Immigration law is often a daunting and complex area. Ever changing rules can often add to the stress and anxiety people and business experience in their everyday life. Let us take that stress from you. Providing up to date and qualified advice every time - we’re here to help!”

<![CDATA[President's Heartbeat – w/c 27th May]]> President's Heartbeat – 25th May 2019

Reports of the death of Yeovil town centre are greatly exaggerated.

On my weekly travels and meetings with key stakeholders around town, I was aware that things were changing; and yet I was still getting earache about empty shops, so I felt it was time to take a step back and see what has changed during my four-year tenure as President of Yeovil Chamber. Earlier this month, I ran a head-count across the retail, leisure, hospitality, food & drink, and accommodation sectors trading in Yeovil town centre, and the results were a revelation. I found that since 2015, no less than twenty new independent operators have arrived, and all are still trading in Yeovil town centre.  Add the arrival of five national brands in the same period, and that makes a total of twenty-five new operators in four years! When I factored in an estimated ten operators across the same sectors which closed down over the same period; the maths showed that for every business closing down, 2.5 new businesses arrived in their place.

Even if my stats are slightly out, more than one shop arriving for each one lost is remarkable, given the relentless negative media coverage of the UK 'high street', and is clear evidence that Yeovil town centre is on the up. The remaining balance of the sectors in my focus consists of established nationals and independents, who have largely weathered the storm which swept UK town centres.  They are now leaner, fitter, and like our ‘new kids on the block’, embrace and harness the internet and social media as a vital part of their business model.  Indeed; some traders in the new model town centre would struggle without an online presence. The curtain has fallen on the previous retail model of the town centre, and there is a similar tale across the service and professional sectors in Yeovil town centre.

Retail will continue to be a good reason to visit Yeovil but is no longer the reason to visit.  Town centres, and Yeovil is a good example, are now about 'experience':  Diversity, events, and of course, retail.  The remaining empty shops in Yeovil are now the target for private and local authority development projects; tapping into demand, which will likely see them converted to a mix of residential, commercial and retail space.  A good example of this is Glovers Walk, our dilapidated 1970s retail centre, now under new ownership. The family-run developers are working with the local authority, to ensure their plans for Glovers Walk dovetail into the town-wide development plans of the District Council.  A key factor in the turnaround of Yeovil town centre is the ambitious and supportive local authority.  Working closely with the business sector, South Somerset District Council is investing heavily in the infrastructure, at a time when many local authorities are cutting back, and this seed investment has already attracted private commercial investment and redevelopment.

Ironically, most of the earache I receive about empty shops is from change-averse people who have lived in the town all their lives, who you think would know better than to bad-mouth their home town. Almost without exception, everyone else talks the town up. Flexible leasing, rent deals, and recent retail business rates discounts, are turning heads to Yeovil. New people with new business ideas and models continue to join in; this month saw the arrival of national retailer Dunelm, choosing Yeovil as only their second town centre outlet, plus an independent coffee house Hot Shots; both eager to get a piece of the action, and to create the new chapter as the evolution continues in Yeovil town centre.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Yeovil evolution, please message me.  Get involved at or email me directly

<![CDATA[Accountants take to the slopes to strike up new connections]]> Accountants from the award-winning firm, Milsted Langdon, have taken a trip to the beautiful snow-filled slopes of Morzine in France to strengthen their relationships with their local business connections.

For the second year in a row, Partners Rachael Verinder, Rachel Hotham and Simon Rowe organised a trip to the continent as a way of breaking the usual pattern of networking events. The four-day excursion saw skiers of varying ability from local firms take on the French slopes alongside the team of Partners from Milsted Langdon. As well as the skiing, the guests also enjoyed dinners together, which was a great opportunity to network in an informal environment and make new connections. 

Commenting on the trip, one guest said: “It was a great group of people, superbly organised and an absolute giggle from start to finish! I do have the benefit of having generated some great memories over the last four days, having caught up with some existing business contacts and connected with some extremely likeable and interesting new ones. It couldn’t have been a better trip - the weather, food and company were all outstanding.”

Speaking about the success of the trip, Rachel said: “It was an excellent experience to really get to know some of our business contacts on a more personal level and cement the relationships that we’ve built up over a number of years. Last year’s event was really successful and this year just confirmed what a winning approach this is. By thinking outside the box, we have managed to strengthen our connections and enjoy a hobby that we are all passionate about.”

Milsted Langdon is no stranger to hosting quirky events, having hosted several odd and exciting outings for clients and its network of professional contacts to enjoy in recent years, including organising a ladies’ clay shooting and archery day in Somerset this week, which was extremely popular and well attended.  

<![CDATA[Battens Charitable Trust Makes an “Egg-cellent” Donation]]> The Battens Charitable Trust have been making their way around the South West, delivering Easter eggs to five food banks in Somerset and Dorset and also contributing towards Wessex FM’s Easter Egg Appeal for local charities and good causes. Over 250 chocolate eggs were donated in time for the spring holiday, meaning some of those who are less fortunate receive a small Easter treat.

The work of the local food banks is very prominent in the community. Volunteer Liz Murray explains; “Sherborne food bank, a registered charity, is crucial to the town and provides more than 1000 food deliveries each year to individuals and families in need. The food bank has seen an increase in demand of some 30% in the past twelve months, so the support of donors and local businesses such as Battens is invaluable. We provide basic food supplies, baby food, nappies and toiletries but families are often excluded from the seasonal treats the rest of us take for granted. This is why the donation of Easter Eggs will mean such a lot to local families, and especially children, who are managing on so little.”

Lynn Crabb from the Wareham food bank added, “The food bank supports local families and those living alone. We work with health care and social professionals as well as the Citizens Advice Centre, this ensures the food goes to those in need. We are very fortunate to be supported by the local community and I would like to thank the Battens Charitable Trust for their continued support of Wareham food bank.”

Naomi Dyer, a Trustee of The Battens Charitable Trust said: “We are delighted to be able to make a contribution again this year. It’s great to see that the generosity of people’s donations to the trust help with the important work the food banks carry out in the community.” Battens Charitable Trust, which was established by Battens Solicitors, has donated more than £500,000 to charities and causes in and around Somerset and Dorset since it was first founded in 1985. Groups to have benefitted from its funding include schools, hospitals, children and youth sports groups, disability groups and hospices.

If you would like to make a donation or leave a legacy to Battens Charitable Trust, please contact the Trust team by emailing or by calling 01935 811304.

<![CDATA[Somerset Entrepreneur Bootcamp]]> Got an innovative business - or an ingenious idea for one?

Your journey to business success could begin now!

Join us at Yeovil Innovation Centre on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th June 2019 for a FREE two day event for budding entrepreneurs and be inspired to be the best that you can be.


About the Bootcamp

Somerset Entrepreneur Bootcamps are open to anyone with an early stage business - or an ingenious idea for one. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in business before or not. All you need is enthusiasm, ambition, energy and an innovative idea for a business.

At these exciting, highly interactive days, you’ll work with experts well used to turning high potential business concepts into commercial successes on the world stage. You’ll receive coaching and practical tips on key aspects of growing a business including:

  • Making a compelling business case, worthy of investment.
  • Effective communications – presenting, pitching ideas and negotiating.
  • Team building for growth and success.
  • Creating value through supply chains, networks and open innovation.
  • Following this, you’ll have access to a full range of support to help you move forward.
<![CDATA[Battens Welcomes Conveyancing Executive Bill Osborn to its Residential Team]]> Battens Solicitors are pleased to announce the appointment of Bill Osborn to the Residential Property Team.

Bill began his legal career with a degree in law from the University of Southampton before joining a local firm of conveyancing solicitors in 2005, training as a Residential Conveyancer. Bill worked with the same firm for fourteen years across several offices, including a long spell as the office manager of the company’s Bristol based office before returning to the Yeovil and Sherborne area.

He joins Battens as a Conveyancing Executive and is looking forward to supporting new clients with his broad property expertise. Bill brings a wealth of knowledge to Battens and has extensive experience in sales, purchases, re-mortgaging, transfers of equity and right to buy matters. “I am very excited to be joining Battens and putting the skills I have developed as a Residential Conveyancer into a traditional firm with a progressive approach to Conveyancing.” said Bill.

Jill Cochrane, Head of Residential Property said: We are very pleased to welcome Bill to the Residential Property Department, bringing his experience and local knowledge which will add strength to the team.

<![CDATA[President's Heartbeat – w/c 7th April]]> President's Heartbeat – 7th April 2019

“Our young people are our most precious resource. . .we must not fail them”

4th April at the Manor Hotel Yeovil, was a watershed moment for Yeovil Chamber, and marked the end of the beginning of our work to see the Yeovil business community and secondary academies working together for the benefit of all.  Nearly fifty people attended our Education Special Breakfast.  Significantly; the attendees included the heads of The Park School, Westfield and Stanchester Academies, and senior figures from Bucklers Mead, and Preston Academies, along with key figures from Fiveways SEN School, and Yeovil College.  Also in attendance were business leaders from Bradfords, Jones Building Group and Leonardo Helicopters, Albert Goodman Accountants, and many other Yeovil employers and entrepreneurs.

In my address, I described the work Chamber has been doing to bring education and industry together in Yeovil, and said: “Our young people are our most precious resource; we must not fail them.” The speakers were Jo Skeel (HOTSW Careers Hub), Andrew Hanson (Somerset Education Business Partnership (SEBP)), and Julie Young (South Somerset 14-19 Careers Partnership).  Andrew Hanson and SEBP will take up the initial work of Yeovil Chamber, to bring business people into schools, and from here onwards, Yeovil Chamber will ‘signpost’ business people and employers into schools as required, with the assistance of SEBP and the other agencies.

The speakers outlined how their agencies working in unison have addressed the challenges and will deliver opportunities.  Jo Skeel talked through the statutory requirements for careers advice, including the new GATSBY requirements, and why schools need to work with business.  Andrew Hanson detailed the role of SEBP in developing a talent pipeline unique to each school with the assistance of the Yeovil business sector, and Julie Young outlined the good practice which sees South Somerset leading the way, and the opportunities this is creating.  Yeovil Chamber will act as a ‘portal’ for both parties in conjunction with SEBP, to influence the School and College curriculum, and to network key figures and stakeholders across the business, local government and education sectors.

High employment and the huge diversity of skillsets across South Somerset brings challenges to both the education and employment sectors.  Employers also cite concerns about young people’s readiness for work.  These are challenges which Yeovil Chamber, and its’ work since 2015 with Yeovil College have already met, and are securing opportunity for employers and education in the Yeovil area.  Today’s breakfast saw the completion of the first phase of Yeovil Chamber efforts to put employers and entrepreneurs into Yeovil’s Secondary schools, to deliver life skills, ideas and careers options’ enhancing and influencing the curriculum towards South Somerset employment requirements, and allow our children to hit the ground running when they enter the world of work and careers.

Get involved at or email me directly 

<![CDATA[CareerCheck have moved!]]> CareerCheck have moved! Our present office in Prestleigh house is scheduled to become part of a block of flats.

We are pleased to announce that as from Friday March 29th 2019 we will have moved to our new offices. Please note that our new registered address will be: Unit 4 Lufton Heights Commerce Park Boundary Road YEOVIL BA22 8UY.  Before that date we will progressively move our equipment and hopefully our staff will be able to resume work on “April Fool's Day” as if nothing has happened. We will be making every effort to ensure that our service to you is not disrupted.

Progressive change to our Management Structure. We are pleased to announce that Paul Swaine has been promoted to CEO. Paul has worked with CareerCheck as Operations Director and has been responsible for all the administrative operations for several years. Nobody understands your requirements better than Paul does. He will ensure that along with the office move, this change will provide uninterupted service.

Alex Smith who founded Career Check back in 2000 and who has worked tirelessly for its development will be taking a less stressful back seat but will continue to have a significant business interest. Although planning to work on a part time basis, she will still be available to provide marketing advice and sales support.

<![CDATA[Clarke Willmott sponsored St Margaret’s Hospice 2019 Great Somerset Cycle]]> The St Margaret’s Hospice Great Somerset Cycle 2019, proudly sponsored by law firm Clarke Willmott and retailer The Bicycle Chain, raises over £12,000

This was the second time the event was held and saw 90 cyclists taking part on Sunday, March 24, to raise funds for St Margaret’s which runs In-Patient Units in Taunton and Yeovil as well as five community based teams who care for patients in their own homes.

The riders set off from both the Taunton and Yeovil hospices and completed either a 40-mile ride from hospice to hospice, or an 80-mile round trip challenge, the latter also tackled and completed by a Clarke Willmott team. 

Kate Gardner, Partner and Head of Clarke Willmott’s Taunton office, herself a keen cyclist, said: “We are extremely pleased to be supporting St Margaret’s Hospice and the Great Somerset Cycle.

“Members of our staff took part in the last event and enjoyed it so much we decided to be main sponsor this year!

“The charity does a great deal of work for the people within our local community and their families and we want to show our support for how grateful we are to both their workers and volunteers.”

She added: “The amount raised so far is absolutely brilliant.”

Sadie Ellison, Corporate fundraiser at St Margaret’s Hospice, said: “A massive thank you to our Great Somerset Cycle sponsors Clarke Willmott Solicitors and The Bicycle Chain for supporting this event. 

“The money raised will go directly to ensuring St Margaret’s Hospice continues to make each day count for patients and their families across Somerset.

“For example, this money could go towards 50 counselling sessions for a child who has lost a parent, it could pay for 20 home visits, keeping patients in the comfort of their own home, or it could ensure there is someone to call even in the middle of the night by funding 80 calls to our advice line.

“It really will make a difference to so many people in our local community.”

Sadie also commented: “The beautiful weather and the companionship and encouragement of fellow cyclists along the route made for an excellent day, and so far the event has helped to raise over £12,000 with sponsorship and donations still coming in.”

<![CDATA[YEOVIL COLLEGE CO-WORKING WITH COUNCIL TO BRING BENEFITS TO LOCAL BUSINESSES ]]> Sixteen students have embarked on an exciting new opportunity that South Somerset District Council has offered in partnership with Yeovil College.

Yeovil College and South Somerset District Council have joined forces to offer sixteen lucky people the opportunity to enrol upon a free Higher National Diploma (HND) in Business, which usually costs in excess of £4000. Out of the students participating on the course, nine are from a mix of local small companies to large engineering and retail businesses. There are two from South Somerset District Council, two from Yeovil College, two from other public sector organisations and one from a local charity.

The course allows people to develop business and management skills alongside areas of specialism, from Marketing and Communication to Customer Care and People Management. This opportunity is perfect for those that have commitments to their jobs but wish to pursue a higher level of education. The course offers two options for students whereby after the first two years there is a stepping off point which will allow learners to graduate with the HNC qualification or continue into the third year to achieve the full HND. This then can be ‘topped up’ with a final year to achieve the full degree.

Sara Reeves, Curriculum Area Manager for Business at Yeovil College, said: “We are delighted to launch this exciting initiative in partnership with South Somerset District Council, where together we will fund sixteen free places within our HND Business qualification, with an option to progress to the full degree. We are committed to upskilling the people of South Somerset, and retaining talent within the local area, and this is a perfect example of how working as part of a strong partnership can achieve this.”

Councillor Jo Roundell Greene, portfolio holder for economy at South Somerset District Council, said: “This partnership with Yeovil College will give students the business skills they need to enhance their contribution to the local economy. Building our skills base is very important for the future and SSDC’s sponsorship of these college places will benefit individuals, businesses and the wider economy of South Somerset. Providing this training opportunity aligns with one of the Council's corporate values which is - to support people and communities to enable them to help themselves.”

Katie Whitty, Apprenticeship Coordinator at Yeovil College, joins the team of sixteen and is excited about her future: Katie said: “I am really excited to be starting my SSDC sponsored Business HND with Yeovil College! In my role as an Apprenticeship Coordinator, I am hoping that it will enhance the provision currently given to employers by having a better understanding and appreciation for the way in which their businesses work. I believe this course will equip me with the tools I need to deliver a first-class service to our employers, as well as the learners and potential Apprentices I work with. By learning more about strategy and decision making, I should be in a better position to advise employers on how to shape their businesses by educating their workforce through Yeovil College.”

Maxine Wilson, an employee at South Somerset District Council who has enrolled on the course, said: “I'm really thrilled to have been given the opportunity to take part in the HNC/D Business course. For me personally and professionally, this came at the right time as it coincides with my move into the newly formed Strategy and Commissioning team. The course units will correlate with the new varied areas of work I will be involved in and I will be able to use my practical experience in my assignments. The course will help me to develop new skills which I can utilise at SSDC now and in the future.”

<![CDATA[BRAND NEW SPANISH A LEVEL SET TO LAUNCH AT YEOVIL COLLEGE.]]> Yeovil College are excited to announce the launch of their brand new Spanish A Level, launching in September 2019.

The new A Level will be taught and delivered by Noemi Garcia, direct from Barcelona. This course is a fantastic opportunity for students interested in modern foreign languages to continue their studies in the language, at a higher level. Yeovil College have deliberately employed a Spanish native to lead on this programme, allowing true authentic Spanish to flow through the classroom. Noemi will guide the students through the Hispanic language, looking at its culture and history, whilst touching upon personal experiences Noemi has encountered whilst living in Spain. Teaching and Learning will be delivered in Spanish, enabling students to become truly fluent and confident in the language.

Students will be able to study the brand new course alongside two other A Levels of their choice at Yeovil College’s Kingston Sixth Form Centre, located on their centrally based campus in Yeovil. Spanish complements many A Levels, including English, humanities, business and the Science based subjects, depending upon end goals. John Evans, Principal of Yeovil College, said: “Being able to offer Spanish A Level to our learners on the back of our successful Spanish Night School classes, means we are now able to offer another strand to our A Level provision and increase the language skills of those within the local area. We introduce this A Level on the back of impressive results – 100% A Level pass rate for three successive years and the highest attaining College in the county, in fact top five in the country, for full A Level value added attainment. More-over we are delighted to be able to do so via a native Spanish teacher – we believe that this truly differentiates us.” Noemi Garcia, Spanish A Level Lecturer, said “The launch of the brand new Spanish A Level is very exciting for me as I will get to see the students develop in confidence as they learn such a special language. This really is a fantastic opportunity for anyone wishing to study Spanish A Level in the Yeovil area, and I cannot wait to meet all the new students in September.”

For more information about the course you can visit Yeovil College’s next Information Evening on Monday 10 June, 5-7:30pm or visit

<![CDATA[Clarke Willmott in Taunton up for a brace at DASLS Legal Awards]]> The Taunton office of national law firm Clarke Willmott LLP has been shortlisted in two categories at the 2019 Devon and Somerset Law Society (DASLS) Legal Awards.  The office, which has eight teams listed as top tiers in the Legal 500 and Chambers directories, is shortlisted for the Law Firm of the Year Award (11+ partners).

In addition, Kayleigh Linford, Commercial Team Supervisor in Clarke Willmott’s Debt Recovery team, has been shortlisted in the Rising Star category.

Kate Gardner, partner and head of the Taunton office, said: “DASLS is an important organisation for the legal profession and we are delighted to have been shortlisted for Law Firm of the Year and this is a credit to all who work in the Taunton office.”

Kayleigh, who joined in 2014, has risen swiftly through the ranks and now has direct accountability for more than 80 clients and a team of case workers.

Phil Roberts, Partner and joint Head of the Debt Recovery team said: “Kayleigh has worked incredibly hard. She is a valued and popular member of the team who always has a smile on her face and is loved by her clients. Her short-listing for this prestigious award is the perfect recognition of her all-round professionalism and drive to be the very best she can be.”

Kayleigh, a graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), said: “Clarke Willmott has provided great support to me and my efforts to progress my legal career and I enjoy working with my colleagues every day to deliver the best possible service to our clients.”

The awards, designed to showcase the most talented legal professionals across the two counties, will culminate in a glittering ceremony on April 4 in the beautiful and historic setting of Exeter Cathedral.

The Taunton office previously won the DASLS Law Firm of the Year award in 2017 which followed a win at the Somerset Business Awards in 2012 for Business of the Year.