I do my best work when I am helping clients to avoid or minimise the risk of claims against their assets in the future. It's a bit like playing chess and thinking 5 moves ahead – you need to think "what if X occurs". I get the most satisfaction when a client comes in saying "I've got a problem, X has just happened" and I am able to reply "Don't worry, I covered that for you in the documents a few years ago".
I help people who are buying or selling businesses, or who are entering into arrangements with other people in the course of their business. I prefer to work with clients who are building their wealth, being positive, creating things – not looking over their shoulder into the past and arguing over past issues.
I do a lot of work advising people about the creation and maintenance of their wealth, and ultimately how to protect passing that wealth on to the next generation. Many families are now faced with situations where the risk of a challenge against their Will (after their death) is a concern – I can help those clients to prepare for such risks arising and help them to structure the ownership of their assets to reduce or eliminate such risks. I can also help them to prepare Wills in situations where they have a child who is disabled, or to prepare Wills to protect their assets for "their own bloodline" if a child is bankrupt, or where a child is going through a family law property settlement. I see a lot of "blended families" where the partners have different children from different marriages – I can offer advice about alternative ways to structure things to deal with those issues.
I really enjoy being able to help families across the generations, knowing what to anticipate and having the background knowledge of their asset ownership structures to be able to give proactive advice to them.
Some years ago a toothless old retired (and not at all wealthy) ex-farmer from a very small community nearby came in to see me and said "Rob, I'm your best client".
I enquired of him "Jack, what makes you say that?"
He replied "My grandparents were clients of this firm, my parents were clients of this firm, I'm your client, I've made sure that my children are clients of yours and I'm going to make sure that my grandchildren become clients here too".
I agreed – "Jack, you are my best client".