ONE of Cumbria’s leading legal firms has appointed a new director, as its farming and agriculture department moves from strength to strength.
Mark Jackson becomes the youngest member of Cartmell Shepherd’s board at the age of 35, bringing the number of top table representatives to nine.
With a desire to focus on traditional values whilst implementing the most up-to-date legal practices, he is looking to further grow the agriculture and rural property team which is already considered to be one of the best in the north of England.
Mark, who has 13 years of industry experience, said: “Becoming a director in a legal firm has always been my ultimate aim.
“I am pleased to join the board and to help influence the direction of the firm as it continues to evolve and grow.
“I enjoy what I do and genuinely feel that the culture and values at Cartmells echo my own. What motivates me is helping people achieve their aims, whether that is buying a farm for the next generation, dealing with partnership or tenancy issues or, at the other end, assisting with the issues that arise on retirement for a farming business.
“My aim is always to provide an excellent level of service and to make the process as stress-free as possible for clients, with a team operating across the farming and agriculture sector we are on hand to help wherever we are needed.”
Cartmell Shepherd has six offices across Cumbria and Northumberland, with the agricultural team operating out of Carlisle and Penrith, but covering a huge swathe of northern England.
The business is well-known and has its roots in the firm Little & Co which was formed in the early 19th century and became Reed, Graham & Little in 1926. In 1965 it merged into Little & Shepherd, which was formed from Reed, Graham & Little and Blaymire & Shepherd, becoming Cartmell Shepherd in 1989 following a merger with Cartmell, Mawson and Main.
The company deals with all aspects of law, but Mark predominantly acts for the firm’s rural and farming clients.
“I think it is important to understand clients’ aims and objectives, both short-term and long-term,” he said. “That will usually mean getting out in the car to see them; talking things over across their kitchen table, and understanding where the family wants to be in the near future but also in several decades time.
“As a solicitor, I think that personal and professional relationships with people are so important and they are not built overnight. They take time, and you need to build that relationship and trust with your clients and the many other professionals you deal with.
“I think clients are looking for someone dependable, who takes a long-term approach as well as focusing on the matter in hand.”
With a young family and a house full of boisterous border collie dogs, life outside of work is equally busy for Mark, but that does not abate his determination to help his fellow directors as they grow and evolve the Cartmell Shepherd business.
“In terms of my part of the business, the agriculture team, we have plans to grow and increase our ability to serve our client’s needs, whether that is in Cumbria, or further afield.
“I am very proud of the progress many of our trainee solicitors have made and we have some real talent to bring on. It might seem strange at age 35 to be so concerned with bringing on the next generation of solicitors but I think that’s vitally important for the region.
“I would foresee that if we are not already, we will become the pre-eminent agricultural legal team in the north west of England. That’s what the aim has to be.”