Meet the Private Client Team with Jonathan Grogan
What is your role in the private client team and how long have you been at Sintons?
I am solicitor at Sintons dealing with all aspects of private client advice and I have a background in contentious matters. I joined the firm in October 2017.
Tell us about your career to date…
I studied at the London School of Economics and qualified as a solicitor in 1996. I did my training in London and moved to the North East initially for a role in a law firm in Durham but then moved to Womble Bond Dickinson, where I spent over 15 years of my career. I specialised in contentious trusts and probate matters and dealt with some hugely complex work.
What attracted you to Sintons?
I had developed my work in the contentious field to quite a high level and felt I needed a new challenge. The non-contentious side appealed to me more at this point in my career, and the opportunity to join Sintons presented itself. Sintons has a great reputation in the legal marketplace and a very good team, so I was keen to be part of that and to develop my knowledge in a new field of private client work.
What does your role involve?
I deal with all aspects of wills and probate work and am handling an increasing amount of work with trusts. I already have associate status with STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and am working towards full membership. I work closely with the rest of the team, as well as with other departments within the firm, to ensure clients receive the outstanding personal service for which Sintons is well known and highly regarded.
Very few solicitors have dual capability in contentious and non-contentious private client work, so I can use my previous experience to benefit Sintons and our clients. I still have some involvement with contentious work and retain my membership of ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists). I often work closely with Emma Saunders at Sintons, a specialist in contentious matters, although non-contentious work is the primary focus of my role here.
What have been your personal highlights to date?
The ongoing learning process in my new role has to be a highlight for me. In my previous role I knew how to contest wills and attack trusts but had not specialised in drafting them, and now I can use my experience to help safeguard against future issues or potential problems you can see may arise. It is very interesting to look at everything I’ve learnt so far from a completely different angle, but it’s a great experience.
The private client team is one of the most highly-rated in the North of England. What are the advantages of being part of it?
Sintons has a reputation for quality of work whilst having a sympathetic and practical approach which makes it the firm of choice for so many people. Having worked here for over a year now, I can honestly say that is true. There is a very down to earth, family feel to Sintons, and clients like being advised by people they can relate to. There is very significant experience here and it is great for me to be part of. Our team handles the whole variety of private client matters with the highest standards of personal service, be it a basic will or a highly complex matter, the approach is the same and the focus is absolutely on the client at all times.
How does Sintons differ from other firms you have worked in?
I have been very impressed by the friendly, collegiate atmosphere here, I’ve been warmly welcomed into the team and the wider firm. Although it is a growing firm with many nationally-renowned departments within it, its very personal and warm nature has not been lost. I also think it is a big advantage how Sintons operates from one site and everyone is in one building, it aids close co-operation and enables you to have face-to-face meetings with colleagues whenever the need may arise.
What are your interests outside of work?
I am a keen pianist and am actively involved in the musical life of my local church, Holy Trinity Church in Jesmond. I also love getting away with my family to our cottage in North Northumberland, which offers some much-needed tranquillity and downtime in the most beautiful of surroundings.