ELM Legal Services

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by ELM Legal Services's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from ELM Legal Services is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.elm-online.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | ELM LEGAL SERVICES
Founder James Emsley
ELM Legal Services delivers will writing and estate planning
across the UK. In the firm’s 16 years, it has helped tens
of thousands of people to make “secure plans for an
uncertain future”. Founder James Emsley says that his team of
18 allow ELM to work across the country, building a rapport
with potential clients while always remaining attuned to what
is a sensitive subject. James talks more about ELM’s history and
discusses how data protection regulation has affected the firm
in recent years.
While studying for a law degree at the University of the West of England, I became
involved with a number of companies that were providing services in the private
client arena. I saw that with some direct marketing applied, the level of clients
being seen on a monthly basis could be increased. I had experience in direct
marketing from my days working on the telephone for large corporations such as
British Telecom, in both customer service and sales.
I then came across the largest provider, at the time, of this area of private client
work in Weston-super-Mare who were writing hundreds of wills a week via their
national network of consultants. The principal means of attracting clients was
through their use of the telephone to build a rapport with the client. They would
then pass that lead to the consultant in that area to contact the individual.
Following on from this introduction, I began my career as a will writer. Armed with
my law degree, the experience gained in the field and my knowledge of direct
marketing, I set about building a business that would provide outstanding customer
service, and whose aim was to enlighten the public to the potential legal pitfalls
when someone passes on – and the solutions.
Supporting relatives of the deceased
So many people had, and still have, little idea how complicated things can
become in a very short period of time when dealing with the affairs of the recently
deceased. Therefore, our mission has been to lighten the load for those that need
it and to prepare as many people as possible for the inevitable period of uncertainty
when someone dies.
Our small team of 18 provide the backbone for our consultants who are based
strategically across England and Wales to provide as much national coverage as
possible. We work very closely with our clients to ensure they are aware of all the
pitfalls from both a legislative perspective and a personal one. Building a rapport
is not easy and applying this to a sensitive subject such as death has to be handled
expertly to keep everyone at ease. To facilitate this, our consultants undergo in-
house training at least once every three months and all of our meetings with clients
AT A GLANCE
ELM LEGAL SERVICES
»Founder: James Emsley
»Established in 2004
»Based in Bristol
»Services: Will-writing and
estate planning
»No. of employees: 18
ELM Legal Services
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | ELM LEGAL SERVICES
Founder James Emsley
ELM Legal Services delivers will writing and estate planning
across the UK. In the firm’s 16 years, it has helped tens
of thousands of people to make “secure plans for an
uncertain future”. Founder James Emsley says that his team of
18 allow ELM to work across the country, building a rapport
with potential clients while always remaining attuned to what
is a sensitive subject. James talks more about ELM’s history and
discusses how data protection regulation has affected the firm
in recent years.
While studying for a law degree at the University of the West of England, I became
involved with a number of companies that were providing services in the private
client arena. I saw that with some direct marketing applied, the level of clients
being seen on a monthly basis could be increased. I had experience in direct
marketing from my days working on the telephone for large corporations such as
British Telecom, in both customer service and sales.
I then came across the largest provider, at the time, of this area of private client
work in Weston-super-Mare who were writing hundreds of wills a week via their
national network of consultants. The principal means of attracting clients was
through their use of the telephone to build a rapport with the client. They would
then pass that lead to the consultant in that area to contact the individual.
Following on from this introduction, I began my career as a will writer. Armed with
my law degree, the experience gained in the field and my knowledge of direct
marketing, I set about building a business that would provide outstanding customer
service, and whose aim was to enlighten the public to the potential legal pitfalls
when someone passes on – and the solutions.
Supporting relatives of the deceased
So many people had, and still have, little idea how complicated things can
become in a very short period of time when dealing with the affairs of the recently
deceased. Therefore, our mission has been to lighten the load for those that need
it and to prepare as many people as possible for the inevitable period of uncertainty
when someone dies.
Our small team of 18 provide the backbone for our consultants who are based
strategically across England and Wales to provide as much national coverage as
possible. We work very closely with our clients to ensure they are aware of all the
pitfalls from both a legislative perspective and a personal one. Building a rapport
is not easy and applying this to a sensitive subject such as death has to be handled
expertly to keep everyone at ease. To facilitate this, our consultants undergo in-
house training at least once every three months and all of our meetings with clients
AT A GLANCE
ELM LEGAL SERVICES
»Founder: James Emsley
»Established in 2004
»Based in Bristol
»Services: Will-writing and
estate planning
»No. of employees: 18
ELM Legal Services
23ELM LEGAL SERVICES |
LAW & JUSTICE
are digitally audio recorded, with the
recordings kept with the client file.
These sound recordings have proved
to be invaluable for training, provided
much needed clarity and are frequently
used by the drafting team to clarify
instructions which on paper could be
ambiguous or unclear.
Establishing a seamless journey
The other role of the team is to
provide a seamless journey for our
client from instruction through to the
attestation and beyond. As soon as
the instruction arrives, it is recorded
on the system and any obvious
anomalies are picked up at this point.
After it is clarified, it is passed onto
the legal team, who go over the
instruction yet again and confirm any
legalcomplications.
We are always looking to improve
the knowledge of the core staff and
as such, we are constantly creating
initiatives encouraging them to
participate in industry exams such as
CILEx and STEP, such as paying their
fees. To that end, two members of
staff have recently passed CILEx exams
and three others have started training
with both the IPW and CILEx. If they
want to learn and show willingness,
we will support them on their journey.
Adapting to data regulation
With the advent of the recent changes
imposed by GDPR, we have had to
look at our marketing department
and how we have historically
obtained leads. In the past, we have
relied exclusively on the use of our
contact centre to generate that
business and as such, the restrictions
imposed by the Privacy and Electronic
Communications Directive significantly
limited the available routes to market.
However, over time, it has whittled
out a lot of bad apples in various
industries who used this method of
marketing. Therefore, in the long
term, we have seen a growth in
available data in conjunction with an
increase in the quality of that data.
Another means by which we have
obtained new business and enhanced
our reputation is the hosting of free
educational seminars in and around
the Bristol area for anyone considering
this kind of planning. We take them
through the basics and proceed to
show how a family could be affected
with no planning in place. This
highlights clearly that leaving no will
can have awful consequences for those
left behind. These seminars have been
very successful and have generated
a lot of interest, which has led to
securing business in the areas in which
they have been held.
We are also running radio adverts,
which helps increase our brand
awareness in conjunction with our
direct marketing.
With a pivotal change in marketing,
and the increase in available software
for individuals to embark on a
career in will writing, we have found
the recruitment and retention of
consultants very difficult. Many do not
wish to come under the wing of an
established company but would prefer
to be completely autonomous.
For those starting out, this may seem
ideal, but the reality will be lots of
networking and interaction with
possible outlets of leads, which for
most will not result in even breaking
even. Nevertheless, some will be
tenacious and manage a one-man
operation effectively. We are looking
at ways and means of attracting these
tenacious individuals to our company
so that we can employ our marketing
resources for their benefit, with
the ultimate work and instructions
passing through our remit, benefiting
allconcerned.
Our educational
seminars have been
well-received
We are always
looking to
improve the
knowledge of
core staff

www.elm-online.co.uk

This article was sponsored by ELM Legal Services. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development