The move by Stockport based Gorvins to appoint a non-solicitor to partner within its legal department has changed the path of 160 years of history at the firm.
Kerry Sharples, Deputy Head of Residential Property has been made a partner of Gorvins solicitors – the first non-solicitor in the firm’s one hundred and sixty-year history to hold such a position in any of the company’s legal departments.
The appointment follows Kerry’s recent qualification as a Licensed Conveyancer – after spending a record four short months studying for the relevant examinations: a Level 4 and level 6 Diploma in Conveyancing Law and Practice. Both diplomas are typically completed in eighteen months. This must be combined with 1200 hours of practical experience. (According to the website of CLC – the specialist property law regulator)
The partners at Gorvins also wished to give recognition for Kerry`s work within the firm in relation to the level of business development, training provision and her extraordinary knowledge of residential property law.
Her appointment is also testament to the determination of someone who left school at sixteen and who was unable to go to university, and to the firms continued ethos of developing its people to their full potential.
Kerry, mother to 23 year old Qais, believes her appointment as partner sends out an encouraging message about how anyone can achieve their goals if they have enough determination and also work for the right firm prepared to adapt to ensure they can provide excellence in given fields:
“The traditional route to partnership is via a degree, completion of the legal practice certificate and training contract and then specialisation. That is still important but this appointment also shows how there`s scope for developing excellence in a given area of law without taking this path.
“I am absolutely passionate about what I do. It’s the only area of law which has ever held any interest to me. It isn’t just about ensuring absolute knowledge in a complex field. More significantly I really feel the enormous difference you can make to people after a successful transaction.”
After joining Gorvins in 2013, Kerry quickly advanced from assistant to senior case manager and trainer in the Stockport firm`s residential property conveyancing department and assisting Lorraine Lockie, Partner and Head of Department, in managing the team of sixty-five.
She began studying for the licencing conveyancer exams in January 2019 and qualified in May 2019. Licenced conveyancers ensure that all documentation, contracts and financial arrangements associated with buying or selling a residential or commercial property or piece of land are in order. They are authorised and trained to do all that a solicitor can do in a conveyancing transaction and have the same legal authority to act, simply within one specific area of law.
“Many people buy or sell their homes at significant times in their lives – it may be for happy reasons or because of divorce, bereavement or financial difficulties. The area of residential property isn’t about deals which drag on for months. It’s about quick, effective solutions. I’m not looking for problems, I’m always looking for solutions. And believe me there is no greater joy than getting that call from a client expressing their happiness at the completion of a deal.”
Lorraine Lockie, Partner and Head of Residential Property said
“I recognised from first talking to Kerry that she loved what she did and was determined. Kerry loves passing on her knowledge to others and has great commercial acumen. She will make a great partner and asset to the firm.”