Join date: Apr 26, 2021

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I work with Commonhold and Leasehold Experts as a Consultant Solicitor and Head of Department for Private Client. I specialise in Wills and Lifetime Planning, Estate Administration, Powers of Attorney, Trusts, Tax and Court of Protection. I also occasionally take on locum roles for local and national law firms and Local Authorities, helping them to cope with busy periods and matters that are beyond their expertise.

I have over 10 years experience, which includes a variety of complex matters involving business property, agricultural property, international elements, significant tax considerations, contentious probate and contentious Court of Protection. As a former Trustee for Autism Sussex (part of the National Autistic Society charity), I developed a keen interest in working for vulnerable clients. I have previously worked with two Court of Protection Panel Deputies, dealing with the affairs of those who no longer have capacity and who were previously subjected to various forms of financial, emotional and physical abuse and neglect.

As a qualified solicitor, I have undertaken extensive training and continue to undertake training to ensure my knowledge is consistently up-to-date - most recently this includes an additional qualification in UK Tax for International Clients. I am a member of the Law Society of England of Wales, a full accredited member of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and a full accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly. I am also regulated by the SRA (Solicitors' Regulation Authority). I have been an active member of many committees throughout my career - the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society, the European Young Bar Association, and the STEP Mental Capacity SIG - helping to positively shape the profession for my fellow colleagues.

As well as continuing to practice myself, I am a tutor, lecturer and course author for various legal education providers, including The University of Law, The Open University, QLTS School and CLT (Central Law Training) International. In this role, I train and mentor future generations of lawyers, including solicitors, legal executives, will writers and probate advisors.

I am also an academic legal writer for various professional legal reference publications (including Practical Law and LexisNexis Legal). Within this role, I provide practice notes, guidance and precedent documents which are used by fellow Private Client Lawyers across England and Wales to assist their daily practice. The law is constantly evolving and I attend firms across England and Wales to provide training on new and updated precedents and practice notes.

All of these roles are on a self-employed/freelance basis and, whilst I absolutely love being my own boss and I enjoy the mix of private practice, academia and training, the one thing I do miss about being employed is the camaraderie of an office environment. It is for this reason that I joined Co-Women (and why I also regularly work from a co-working space in Hove) - being amongst a group of fellow female entrepreneurs is both a comfort and an inspiration!

Elin Dukes

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