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Leading legal firm expands as new solicitor joins team

October 21st 2020

A LEADING legal firm has welcomed a new solicitor to its growing team.

Michelle Hayes, 33, has joined the wills, probate and inheritance department of Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors and will be based at the company’s Rosehill office in Carlisle.

Originally from Bolton, Michelle is looking forward to the new challenge.

She said: “Cartmell Shepherd is a well-established law firm which is embedded in the community and I’m excited about developing my legal career with them.”

Michelle qualified as a solicitor on January 1 this year after working in the legal profession for more than a decade. After studying law at Lancaster University, she worked in defendant costs litigation for several years before deciding to pursue a career in private client work.

Michelle said: “The costs sector within the legal industry was changing and I wanted a role which would allow me to work directly with clients on a personal level, as opposed to corporate companies.

“I therefore changed sectors and accepted a role as a paralegal in the private client department of a firm in Bolton. I really enjoyed the work and decided to pursue qualification as a solicitor in private client law. I studied the Legal Practice Course at BPP Manchester while continuing to work full-time”.

Michelle went on to secure a training contract in Manchester, completing the professional skills course at BPP Manchester.

She is now an affiliate member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and is working towards her full diploma having completed the Advanced Certificate in Estate Administration.

STEP is the top professional qualification for wills, trusts and probate solicitors. Michelle said: “It is the gold standard for private client work and Cartmell Shepherd has an excellent reputation for solicitors achieving the highest standards in it.”

Michelle and her partner Stuart moved to Cumbria from Manchester earlier this year to be closer to the Lake District. The couple enjoy walking and climbing and were regular visitors to the area from their home in Manchester.

Michelle said: “We love being outdoors and have spent a lot of time in the Lakes over the years. Stuart is a climber and introduced me to the sport, and we both also love hiking on the fells, especially on routes we haven’t explored before.

“We wanted a different lifestyle from city living so it made sense to move to Cumbria. We love being here, you get such a sense of peace being in the countryside.”

Michelle and Stuart are living in the Eden Valley but are due to move shortly to a house near Ullswater where the lakes and fells will be on their doorstep.

Since moving to Cumbria, the couple have welcomed a rescue dog, Remus, into their home, which provides another reason to head into the hills.

The couple are members of the Scout Association and, before COVID-19 restrictions, volunteered on away days and weekends. “It’s vital that young people get to experience independence, responsibility and adventure, away from academic pressures, and the Scouts encourages and supports that.”

After moving to Cumbria, Michelle worked at Burnetts Solicitors in Carlisle before joining Cartmell Shepherd. “I met the team at Cartmell Shepherd and it felt like the right place for me. I’m looking forward to starting work with them and their clients.”

Peter Stafford, managing director of Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors, said: “We are delighted to welcome Michelle to the business to further grow our expanding team and to support our clients with the best possible advice, expertise and service.”

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