Background – The Legal Landscape in Northern Ireland

A large proportion of solicitors in Northern Ireland are sole practitioners and small partnerships.

Because of this, there are very few dedicated private client practitioners, or specialists of any kind – most firms are still made up of general practitioners, although this is slowly changing.

A Northern Ireland STEP Branch launched in 2007 and now has over 140 members. STEP provides members and non-members alike with top-quality CPD and a NI-specific Diploma course. This has helped to improve private client-focussed training across the profession.

The experience of English charities in dealing with NI estates is mixed – in particular the speed of the administration process is sometimes an area of concern.

The administration of estates and property transactions are responsible for a large percentage of the total complaints and negligence claims brought against solicitors in NI each year.