Colchester and Clacton–based solicitors, Thompson Smith and Puxon (TSP), are pleased to announce the appointment of Fiona Ashworth as Head of the firm’s Wills and Estates team.

Fiona, who was born in Colchester, has long established links with the town. Her Father David Cannon is a former Mayor (1998), and she attended Colchester County High School for Girls. Farming is also in her blood; Fiona grew up on a farm and is married to a farmer.

Fiona completed both her Law Degree and her Legal Practice Course at Anglia University. She then trained with a Colchester law firm and was admitted as a solicitor in 1999. During her training Fiona worked in Wills and Probate, and on “elderly client” matters and decided that this was the area of the law that she wanted to focus on. Fiona adds “I am a people person. I enjoy dealing with families, helping to sort out their succession planning issues, and being able to help them at times which are very often upsetting and stressful suits my personality.”

Since her qualification Fiona has worked with two leading local law firms. She has extensive experience, advising clients on their wills and succession planning, probates, Powers of Attorney (LPAs & the registration of EPAs), the administration of estates, tax and trust matters and Court of Protection applications. She has developed a particular specialism working with elderly clients and is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), an independent national organisation of lawyers who provide specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers. Fiona is also a qualified member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). STEP is the leading worldwide professional body for practitioners in the fields of trusts, estates and related issues. STEP members help families to plan for their long term financial future, providing expert advice on how to comply with the often complex law and tax rules surrounding trusts, estates and inheritance.

Fiona’s farming background has also helped her to develop an agricultural client base. She is a past Trustee of the Essex Federation of Young Farmers Clubs and is also a council member of the Essex Agricultural Society.

Fiona said “I am honoured to be able to accept this post with TSP and I am very much looking forward to leading and developing the Wills and Estates team. TSP is a very strong firm with an excellent reputation in Colchester and the surrounding areas and I am excited as it is a firm I have always wanted to work for. I am also looking forward to working in the town in which I grew up.”

TSP Consultant Solicitor, Graham Wilson who advises the firm’s substantial portfolio of agricultural clients in connection with property, as well as related taxation and commercial questions, said “On behalf of the directors of TSP I would very much like to welcome Fiona to the firm. We are delighted that Fiona has accepted our invitation to join us and wish her every success in her new role. There is no doubt that Fiona will be a real asset to the firm. Personally, I am really looking forward to pooling our knowledge and resources and being able to offer our clients, both old and new, a comprehensive, high standard service.”