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Claire Read’s Path to Legal 500 Hall of Fame

Claire Read’s sustained professional prominence matches her acclaimed reputation. As a Partner of Essex based law firm Birkett Long, Claire’s induction into the Legal 500 Hall of Fame is a testament to her remarkable standing and that of her firm.

As the Head of Birkett Long’s Private Client Department, Claire’s expertise and guidance help her four teams across as many offices continually foster innovation.

Specialising in wills, inheritance tax mitigation, trust creation, and estate administration, Claire extends her services to clients with overseas property. Prior to her Hall of Fame entry, Claire had been recognised as a leading individual in the Legal 500 directory for several years. She holds full professional memberships in the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Solicitors for the Elderly. Additionally, she is the deputy chair of the Essex branch of STEP and serves on its disciplinary panel. Claire is on the Mid Essex Local Business Strategic Committee and has become a sought-after speaker on BBC radio, providing legal advice to listeners, and offers seminars to professional groups.

Claire’s journey into law commenced when she began as a legal secretary in 1990. This experience sparked her interest, leading her to qualify as a solicitor in 2000. Reflecting on her career to date, Claire finds satisfaction in assisting clients during probate proceedings and offering complex tax and trust advice, which has led to substantial savings for her clients and their families.

Beyond her professional commitments, Claire supports local charities. She has been a trustee of the Essex Community Foundation for eight years. She served as the honorary solicitor for the Mid Essex Hospital Charity Trust, as well as through work supporting MENCAP, Age UK, and Pride.

Claire’s elevation to the Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights her dedication and client-focused approach. For 33 years, The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms worldwide. Its comprehensive research programme is revised and updated every year to bring the most up-to-date vision of the global legal market.

Claire shared her thoughts on this milestone Hall of Fame achievement, offered insights into her career journey, and offered advice for aspiring solicitors: “It was a tremendous honour, particularly as the Legal 500 recognition comes from the feedback of my clients. I am especially proud to be Essex’s only Hall of Fame Personal Tax, Trusts, and Probate Solicitor.”

When asked about the key to her success in leading her teams to Tier 1 rankings in The Legal 500, Claire highlighted, “Delighting clients and fostering a motivated and highly skilled team have been fundamental to our achievements.”

Reflecting on the accomplishments that led to both personal and team recognition, Claire said, “Attention to detail and unwavering client focus have been critical. The Legal 500 has acknowledged our commitment, and I’m grateful for the acknowledgement.”

Claire’s journey into law began unexpectedly, as she explained, “I stumbled into law by accident, starting as a legal secretary in 1990. This experience ignited my passion for the profession, and the rest, as they say, is history.”

When asked about her proudest accomplishment, Claire shared, “This accolade and the establishment of a highly regarded and successful team from the ground up rank among my proudest achievements.”

Claire emphasised the essential qualities of a solicitor: “dedication, organisation, hard work, and a genuine desire to help others are indispensable. A passion for the law also greatly contributes to success.”

In closing, Claire offered valuable advice to those starting in law, stating, “Resilience is paramount in the early stages of your career. Explore various areas of law to discover your passions before making a definitive choice.”

Claire Read’s commitment to her profession is exemplary, and her recognition in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame is well deserved.

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