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Aileen, who qualified as a solicitor in 2011, joined the TSP Wills and Estates team in July 2015. She advises clients on a broad range of private client matters and is based in our Colchester office. Aileen is the Director of Aileen Hirst Ltd, a corporate partner in Thompson Smith and Puxon.
Aileen started her career as a city foreign exchange dealer but following a break to raise her children decided that a career in the Law was for her. She completed her Law Degree at the University of Essex before passing her Legal Practice Course with distinction at Anglia Ruskin University. Since her qualification in January 2011 Aileen has worked on a broad range of private client matters and advises TSP’s clients on their wills, lasting powers of attorney, trusts and estate administration. In particular, as a qualified member of Society of Trust and Estate Practitioner’s (STEP), she advises the firm’s clients on trusts and estate planning. 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. Aileen is also a full accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).
Thompson Smith and Puxon has, for a number of years, been highlighted by the Legal 500 as a Leading Firm in this practice area and Aileen is a Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer. Aileen is also noted as a Legal 500 Rising Star. In 2020/21 the Legal 500 said:
Preparation of wills, administration of estates and enduring powers of attorney are all handled by the ‘diverse and knowledgeable’ personal tax, trusts and probate team at Thompson Smith and Puxon. In addition, it provides specialist legal advice to the friends and family of the elderly, particularly in relation to Court of Protection applications. Team leader Fiona Ashworth is a specialist in the agricultural sector and is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Solicitors Aileen Hirst and Sarah White are accredited members of Solicitors for the Elderly while Robert Ashworth is recommended for succession planning, with an emphasis on farming clients.
In 2019 the Legal 500 Said: “Thompson Smith and Puxon’s ‘impressive’ private client department is ‘very well versed in dealing with complex matters’ which include all aspects of wills, inheritance tax planning and the administration of estates. Led by standout practitioner Fiona Ashworth, who clients describe as a ‘real asset to the firm‘, the team is proficient in handling high-value and often uniquely challenging transfers of inter-generational wealth. The agriculture sector has traditionally been a strong client focus of the firm. Aileen Hirst acts for high-net-worth clients and advises on trust planning and estates. Sarah White and Robert Ashworth are also recommended.”
In 2018 The Legal 500 said “The ‘thorough, efficient and reliable’ private client department at Thompson Smith and Puxon ‘exhibits a high degree of professional experience and capability’ with ‘a caring and considerate side’ and a willingness to ‘go the extra mile’ in order to ‘provide a comprehensive and timely service’. Focus areas include will preparation, probate, trusts, tax and succession planning, registering enduring powers of attorney, and Court of Protection matters, as well as asset preservation relating to long-term residential or nursing care requirements. A large proportion of clients have a business or agricultural background. ‘Sharp-minded, sympathetic and hardworking’ Fiona Ashworth, who ‘has a wealth of experience’, leads the practice from the Colchester office and is a main contact for elderly and farming clients. In October 2017, ‘friendly and persevering’ Robert Ashworth and ‘conscientious, sympathetic and efficient’ Aileen Hirst, who ‘has a practical grasp of problems and solutions’, joined Clacton-based Sarah White at associate level. Clients further recommend ‘exceptionally professional and caring’ solicitor Adina Milleare.”
Aileen is married with two sons and in her spare time she enjoys cycling, walking and skiing, as well as holidays to France. Aileen says “I really enjoy this area of law. It is very rewarding to get to know my clients and to advise them so they can plan for their future, or to support families during difficult times.”
To find out more about the Wills and Estates services that Aileen can offer click here.
Aileen is a Dementia Friend, an Alzheimer’s Society scheme which aims to raise awareness of what it’s like to live with dementia and how people living with it can be helped. Find out more about the scheme and how TSP is involved here.
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