Meet the Wills, Trusts & Estates Team with Jonathan Grogan
What is your role in the team and how long have you been at Sintons?
I am an associate solicitor at Sintons dealing with all aspects of contentious trust and probate. I originally joined the firm in October 2017, and then came back in 2021 after a short period at another firm in Northumberland.
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 there in contentious trusts and probate matters and dealt with a wide variety of cases, both nationally and internationally, including some particularly high value and complex work.
What attracted you to Sintons?
I had developed my work in the contentious field to quite a high level and in 2017 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. Since coming back to the firm in 2021, my role has once again involved specialising in contentious work, which I have really enjoyed and I am now able to use my non-contentious experience to great effect as it has given me a huge amount of additional insight and technical knowledge.
What does your role involve?
I deal with all aspects of wills, probate and trust disputes. I also get involved in contentious applications to the Court of Protection. I obtained full membership with STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) while previously at Sintons and whilst focusing on my non-contentious work. I have been a full member of ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists) for a number of years.
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.
What have been your personal highlights to date?
I have really enjoyed getting back into contentious work and have realised just how rewarding it is to get a good result for our clients. For example, we took a particularly complex case to a mediation just before Christmas 2022 and achieved a really satisfactory outcome. I love getting to know clients, as well as work with other colleagues, including the various barristers and other professionals who we have strong relationships with.
The award-winning Wills, Trusts & Estates 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 in different capacities for a number of years 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 disputes with the highest standards of personal service and whatever the value or complexity involved, 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 and it was nice to be welcomed back into the team and the wider firm in 2021. 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 love reading, gardening, running, and now training our new Border Terrier, Dora. I also enjoy getting away with my family (and Dora) to our cottage in North Northumberland, which offers some much-needed tranquillity and downtime in the most beautiful of surroundings.
In conjunction with my role at Sintons I am currently training to become an Anglican priest and plan to serve the Church of England once ordained on a voluntary, part-time basis.