In association with St James’s Place, which has become the Law Society of Scotland’s strategic partner, providing financial planning expertise to Scottish solicitors and their clients

The Law Society of Scotland has created a five-year partnership with SJP, a UK-wide network of financial advisers, to help solicitors keep abreast of developments in wealth management and financial planning.

SJP will provide articles, practice area updates and CPD training for Scottish solicitors on all aspects of financial planning, including wills and estate management, trusts, tax planning,
retirement planning and financial wellbeing. Resources will be available for members as individuals, business owners and for use in advising clients.

SJP is a network of 4,556 financial advisers from around 2,500 firms across the UK, which collectively manage £154 billion in client money. The company was chosen following a tender process and it stood out for its focus on face-to-face interaction with clients, which it has retained since the company was launched in 1992. 

Solicitors have been met with growing demand from clients requiring specialised financial advice in areas such as family disputes or following personal injury settlements, alongside lifelong matters of growing and preserving wealth for the next generation. 

Family structures are often less simple than they were a generation ago, with “blended” families and remarriage common, while clients may have varied sources of income from businesses, property and international assets, which requires ongoing financial advice.

Getting to know St. James’s Place

We sat down with Rachel Stewart, Principal of an Associate Partner Practice, to understand more about SJP and the role of an adviser. 

Rachel retrained as a financial planner in 2019, following a nearly 15-year career in law, and set up her own SJP Partner Practice, Traprain Financial, based in East Linton. 

What made you want to become a financial adviser?

I’d worked as a lawyer since 2005, mostly on contractual law either in-house or in private practice, and I had studied stochastic modelling and worked with a pensions actuary service during my legal career. So, financial planning wasn’t a million miles away and an area that really interested me. 

What’s financial advice all about? 

For me, financial advice isn’t really about money at all: it’s about loved ones, preparing for the future, managing through sickness and health. 

But there’s a lack of financial education which prevents people from thriving through life’s challenges. Wanting to increase people’s understanding and confidence around their money is a big motivation for me. When working as a solicitor, it would have been valuable to understand financial planning in greater detail to provide a more holistic service to my clients. That’s what’s so exciting about this partnership. It’s fantastic to see SJP partnering with the Law Society to support members in their financial education and wellbeing journeys.

Why SJP?

Compared to other financial-planner networks, at SJP it’s clients who are absolutely first and foremost – which is the way it should be. 

During my work as a solicitor, I felt that many financial adviser firms missed out a crucial part in their interactions with clients, by not asking them what their motivations were and what they aimed for. 

Often, advisers were more focused on providing solutions in the form of specific products. 

So, I really like SJP’s prioritisation of face-to-face interactions with clients – as that’s the way you really get to know them and understand their goals. 

When I set up my business, I decided to align with SJP because of that ethos – and because clients know that they have support not only from my financial planning, but also the backing of a big, well-established, well-respected organisation.

For more information about the Law Society of Scotland and SJP partnership programme, visit www.lawscot.org.uk/sjp

Will writing involves the referral to a service that is separate and distinct to those offered by St. James’s Place. Wills and trusts are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The “St. James’s Place Partnership” and the titles “Partner” and “Partner Practice” are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.

Members of the St. James’s Place Partnership in the UK represent St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc registered office: St. James’s Place House, 1 Tetbury Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 1FP, United Kingdom.

Registered in England Number 4113955.

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