Highly Commended: Theresa Howarth

On Tuesday 25th May 2021, professionals from across the conveyancing sector came together to celebrate the successes and achievements of the industry at The British Conveyancing Awards 2021.

The inaugural awards took to the virtual stage, and were led by the multi-award winning journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed. If you want a re-cap of the action, the recording is available to view here.

As part of our winner spotlight features, we want to shine a light on those who narrowly missed out on being crowned the winner, but have been highly commended for their efforts over the previous 12 months at this year’s event.

Today we profile Theresa Howarth from Howell-Jones LLP who was highly commended in the Conveyancing Practitioner of the Year category.

About the award

Working from home and without colleagues has taken away one of the best channels of learning which is talking to senior colleagues over the desk and asking for help. Here we are looking for someone who has been on a journey of self-development and significantly grown as a result, making them more valuable to the business and their clients.

This individual must demonstrate over the last 12 months:

  • A demonstrable personal development plan they have implemented effectively
  • How knowledge expansion has increased their business acumen
  • How they have done this against the backdrop of remote learning challenges
  • Personal stories where they have been able to problem solve as a result of their learning

Regarding Theresa’s submission, the judges commented: “I would say that Theresa deserves a special mention/commendation if it’s possible. She’s been thrown in at the deep end, and even assisted in a new office being opened. The questions have been addressed and the overall feel of the submission is that Theresa has coped and thrived really well. A very compelling entry.”

Emma Moore from Farnworth Rose Solicitors won the category with Claudia Gallo from Sort Legal being placed third.

How did you feel being highly commended in the Conveyancing Practitioner of the Year award?

I feel incredibly honoured and very pleased! Considering this is a national award, I was really chuffed to be shortlisted, so being highly commended makes me feel very happy indeed.

Tell us about your team and the services you provide.

As a firm, we support individuals and businesses and have offices across Surrey and London. As a conveyancing team, we provide a wide range of services from standard sales and purchases to shared ownership and help to buy. I’m part of a team of nine conveyancers, although in my office it’s just me and another partner ably assisted by two dedicated support staff.

How has your firm developed in the last 14 months and navigated the added complexity of the coronavirus pandemic and SDLT holiday?

We’ve adapted to homeworking for those that have needed it – either for medical reasons such as shielding, because they’ve had family to support or to self-isolate if necessary. This has meant new equipment, new software and training. Because of this we’ve been able to keep continuity and give our clients a high level of service.

So far as the SDLT holiday goes, we’ve been really well supported by management who have agreed a cap on the amount of work we’ve taken on. This means we haven’t been overstretched, something that’s important for the quality of our work and our individual wellbeing.

What’s next on the cards for you?

Surviving the stamp duty holiday has to be top of the list! Beyond that I’m really keen to further develop my experience and career. Every day is a chance to learn and I’d like to continue developing from the opportunities I have.

What advice would you give someone thinking of joining the conveyancing sector?

Do it! It can be very stressful, but it’s also very rewarding. Clients can occasionally be very emotional, but it’s so rewarding to help them get their dream home. As stressful as it is, I love it.

This is the very first British Conveyancing Awards, which recognises the herculean efforts of the industry, why do you think these awards are so important, especially after the last 14 months?

I think they’re important because they acknowledge all the hard work that’s part and parcel of our profession, especially in light of the exceptional circumstances resulting from the pandemic and SDLT holiday. As stressful as it has been, it’s nice to be recognised for all our hard work.

Everyone at Today’s Conveyancer congratulates all those who entered this year’s awards.

Join in the conversation #BCAwards2021

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