Eurojuris News


Meet Debenhams Ottaway LLP – An Award Winning Law Firm

Meet Debenhams Ottaway LLP – An Award Winning Law Firm

This month, we talk to Susan Glenholme, Managing Partner and Head of the Private Wealth Team at Debenhams Ottaway LLP in Hertfordshire, UK. Susan tells us about the law firm’s heritage, business development, private wealth services, and the importance of client trust.

Debenhams Ottaway LLP’ s history in Hertfordshire stretches back over 250 years. With close long-term business relations, experience, and strong roots in the community, the multi-service law firm has successfully preserved its heritage while facing today’s challenges.

Advancement, new requirements, change, and growth have played a significant part in the firm’s recent development indeed: ‘we actively pursue change to ensure we are a leading, modern, client-focused law firm’. That also applies to the firm’s staff as over half of the partners are female. Such gender diversity in senior leadership is quite remarkable, and it certainly makes Debenhams Ottaway LLP different.

At the moment, the law firm is setting up a new office space in London. This step will expand the firm’s geographical reach of their operations and complement the two offices in St Albans and Radlett with 11 partners and over 120 staff. Past growth has enabled Debenhams Ottaway LLP to successfully expand and diversify its client base. ‘In London, we look after a different type of client, such as young entrepreneurs and innovation-driven businesses.’

Primarily, the law firm is an individual private client firm serving a variety of private clients and a number of high net worth clients based in Hertfordshire and across the UK. The work includes advising on all aspects of wills, probate, tax planning and estate administration, ranging from ‘probate only’ applications for small estates to complex and high-value estates. The private wealth team gives legal advice to many families that have been a client for generations. ‘In many cases, we have looked after the grandparents, and we now look after the grandchildren. That is why our client relationship is of particular importance.’

In her position as Head of the Private Wealth Team, Susan advises clients with international assets as well. ‘We tend to recommend our clients to make a will abroad in the respective country. With Eurojuris, we hope to have trusted partners at an international level.’ The same applies to the firm’s litigation work for large companies. ‘We have referred a lot of work to lawyers all around the world. Now, it will be valuable to get to know our colleagues in the network. The goal is to develop relationships with people we can work together and cross-refer effectively to assist our clients in the best possible way.’

On the 1st of May of this year, Susan was appointed as managing partner. This new role besides her client work covers a number of tasks including the development of all business areas, the management of all business operations as well as the IT, HR and finance functions. This vital task requires knowledge of all areas. Because Susan has been with the law firm for 20 years she is confident about the future, ‘This new role is exciting. Throughout my career, the partners have always supported my professional advancement. I was encouraged to have fresh ideas and run with them. Now, I feel very passionate about this new challenge.’

Supporting the work of the managing partner, Debenhams Ottaway LLP also employs a business development manager, Mr Gary Innes. At the firm’s business development academy, led by Susan, lawyers receive skills beyond the legal knowledge, such as ‘winning work’ and networking. ‘We take our client relationship as well as the training for our lawyers very seriously because we want to make sure that we are the best at what we do.’

Notably, the law firm has been shortlisted for and won a variety of awards, such as the Law Society Excellence Awards for Excellence in Private Client Practice and also the Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards. The law firm places ‘great emphasis on ensuring that its legal expertise and client service are of the highest standard to provide reassurance to its clients’. ‘We are very proud that we won awards for the quality of our services. It also helps to raise our profile in general. But most of all, we take our training and expertise very seriously because the clients are placing their trust in us.’

For Debenhams Ottaway LLP, the trust of its clients is the most important aspect. ‘The fact that we have been around for over 250 years gives our clients stability. Our colleagues at Eurojuris will hopefully get to know us on this basis. We are looking forward to meeting and working with them!’

Susan is your contact person at Debenhams Ottaway LLP. Go ahead and contact her anytime!


Contact details:

Susan Glenholme, Managing Partner
Debenhams Ottaway LLP
T: 01727 735636



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