Jan Atkinson reports a ‘solid’ 2019 for Osbornes’ private client department, coming in above target and smashing expectations for the sixth consecutive year. Over the last 12 months Osbornes has seen real growth in contentious cases relating to high value estates and trusts, and Atkinson remains a key contact for HNWs looking for a trusted advisor on wealth planning, high value estate administrations, international estates and disputed probate and trusts cases.
Atkinson’s clients are drawn from a global pool, with her 11-strong team specialising in cross-border work in HNW estates and trusts, both contentious and non-contentious. Having joined Osbornes in 1991, Atkinson is now part of the firm’s DNA, but it could have all been so different. As she tells Spear’s, ‘I had a false start as a history teacher at a girls’ school in north London. I then requalified as a solicitor and have never looked back.’
However, north London remains the place to be – with the 19-partner firm now established as one of the largest in the area. ‘We pride ourselves on providing high quality work in a relaxed, friendly and open atmosphere, always operating in a highly professional way,’ says Atkinson. ‘Our geographical location means we are very pricecompetitive in comparison with City and West End firms.’
Osbornes was founded over 45 years ago, and Atkinson has watched it go from strength to strength during her 25-year tenure. The firm now has a staff of around 120, with offices in Hampstead and Camden, Atkinson explaining that her private client team at Osbornes has ‘expanded tenfold’ since she joined the firm. And the growth looks set to continue.
Atkinson is a registered Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP) and a registered Contentious Trust and Probate Specialist (CTAPS). She is a well-known figure in the private client field, in large part as a result of her active role on the Law Society Private Client Section Executive Committee, her membership of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS). Her clients are also effusive. ‘I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you and your integrity’, one wills probate and disputed estates client wrote, adding, ‘I trusted you all along the way.’
Atkinson cites the legendary Ruth Bader Ginsburg (associate justice of the US Supreme Court) as an inspiration, while her favourite book is Pride And Prejudice (‘I have read it many times’, she tells Spear’s). Of a weekend, she can be found ‘on my horse or with a tennis racquet in my hand, trying to get as much exercise as possible.’