Berry and Lamberts’ newest solicitor offers continuity for clients of this established firm
Dhruva Patel’s office bridges the two halves of Berry and Lamberts’ premises in Sevenoaks town centre. As the firm’s latest recruit, she takes lawyerly pride in herself being a bridge between the old and the new.
Lamberts solicitors have been here for more than a quarter of a century. The warren-like buildings date back to the 1600s and have the self-consciously ironic address of 1, The Shambles. It’s the sort of place that speaks of attention to detail. Walk in off the street and you are assured of a friendly welcome far removed from the cold, formal surroundings of most solicitors’ offices.
If the oak beams hint at Dickensian tradition, however, Dhruva is in every sense a thoroughly modern lawyer. Her family arrived in Britain after the Ugandan Asian expulsions of the late 1960s. Like so many, they became successful small business people and Dhruva grew up above a shop in Hastings. The local comprehensive school did her proud and she went to university and later to law school with an impressive clutch of GCSEs and A Levels.
Then began what she describes as “an absolutely invaluable experience” volunteering in her local Citizen’s Advice Bureau, working on reception at a local law firm before progressing rapidly through the ranks to qualified solicitor at partnership level. Although only in her early 30s, she has already packed in volumes of knowledge and experience in her chosen field, these days categorised as ‘Private Client’.
“It’s about planning for the future,” she says. “Wills and Powers of Attorney may sound a bit dull, but they are absolutely vital the moment you acquire any assets or you experience a life changing event.” Dhruva is passionate about the need for Lasting Powers of Attorney – giving a relative or close friend the ability to manage your affairs if it gets to the point where you can’t.
“It’s like an insurance policy,” she says.
“You hope you’ll never need it, but knowing it’s there gives you real peace of mind.” Berry and Lamberts pride themselves as a family friendly firm for whom continuity is the key. Part of that involves transparency over fees.
“We’ll tell you in advance what the costs are likely to be,” says founding partner Clive Harvey. “It can be as little as £250 plus costs for a Will service and only around double that for a Lasting Power of Attorney.”
“I want people to be conscious of the need to come back to us, to update the provisions they’ve made,” says Dhruva.
“When your circumstances change, so should your Will, and I’m here to help. I know I go further on a personal level. It takes time, but it’s what makes us at Berry and Lamberts stand out in the legal world.”
Look out for further features on the people at Berry and Lamberts.
Berry and Lamberts
7 Dorset Street, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1LJ
01732 460 565