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The Unforgotten (55s)

Most of us have turned a bit square-eyed during the lockdown.

Once the working day is over, we swap laptops and phones for gazing at the flat screen, given that we can do precious little else these winter evenings.

One particular drama has made a welcome return. The fourth series of The Unforgotten is based on the premise that a group of people who were all potentially implicated in a grisly crime deep in the past, are each investigated, individually discounted or, finally, nabbed. (It’s worth a watch).

The title (not the subject) nagged at me as it’s the converse of a theme my colleagues at Punter Southall Aspire have been busily pushing forward: the Forgotten 55s.

The Aspire team believes, with some justification, that there’s a gap in the advice market for those in their 50s and, in particular, 55. In the argot, this is known as the “at-retirement” sector – for those who suddenly find themselves closer to that time than they thought.

It might mean considering retirement, adjusting our hours or starting afresh. One thing’s for sure, there are plenty more options in front of us than simply hanging up our hat.

So Punter Southall Aspire markets its Mid-Life Review, aimed at helping employers support their staff in this bracket, who have traditionally been somewhat overlooked.

We’ve always believed in a fresh approach and have deployed the Forgotten 55 concept in service of launching our latest new business.

Punter Southall Law was formed to complement how large City law firms are configured. I believe it offers opportunity to benefit both legal professionals and their clients.

Senior, skilled lawyers can find themselves in a career quandary even as they accumulate the reputation and experience attractive to clients.

Bluntly, more new partners being created can mean those who have already achieved this position reach a crossroads. Do they become a consultant, join another firm or strike out on their own?

No doubt it makes sense from a commercial perspective but is puzzling if, as a client, you cherish the expertise and long-standing relationship you may enjoy with a trusted adviser who may no longer be available in the way they once were.

We thought we would offer an alternative worth remembering.

Punter Southall Law is already trading and attracting lawyers of repute, together with their clients. It’s a platform for them to do what they do best.

We also see it, partly, as a potential solution for City law firms assessing the shape of their future partnership framework and how we might act as an alternative platform for senior colleagues who are assessing their own options as a result.

Our new business has been made possible by changes to regulation which mean law firms no longer have to be owned only by lawyers. Instead, they can work on a consultancy model within a framework known as an alternative business structure (ABS for short) which may have shareholders who aren’t lawyers as providers of capital.

Incidentally, there are other successful consultancy model firms out there but none concentrating on providing a collegiate platform specifically for former senior lawyers from major City firms, with the unique opportunity of being an integral part of an innovative, long established professional and financial services group.

We’ve thrived by adopting a fresh approach in sectors where we see a chance to do things a bit differently and I believe this latest step connects sophisticated advice to demand in a 21st century setting.

Our new colleagues will be able to add their voice – and further detail - by posting on this blog in the coming weeks, so look out for further updates.

In times of trouble – in this case, an economy flexing under the economic pressure wrought by the pandemic - people increasingly turn to wiser heads to help set a direction. It’s something we’ve not forgotten.

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We’ve thrived by adopting a fresh approach in sectors where we see a chance to do things a bit differently.

The view ahead

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Steve Butler, CEO at Punter Southall Aspire reflects on 2020 and looks ahead to what 2021 might have in store.

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After 40 years of experience in the pensions world, I'm sharing my insights.