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A day in the life of ... Ally Tow

Sep 20, 2019, 05:00 AM
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What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?

As head of probate disputes at Boyes Turner LLP, I do not have a typical day. My days can vary from meeting with clients and taking instructions or perhaps witness statements, to drafting relevant letters of claim or letters of response, attending court hearings and/or liaising with barristers over claims.

How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?

I have only been head of probate disputes for about the last two years. When I qualified in 1996, I dealt with all family cases including probate disputes but over the years began to specialise more and more just in probate disputes.

Any memorable stories from your career so far?

I have been very fortunate to have a varied and detailed career dealing with far too many clients’ cases to mention.  However, my first application to remove a trustee is particularly memorable as my client and her two brothers got into a physical fight whilst waiting for a court hearing to start! More recently, I have been involved in a very complicated dispute (ironically another application to remove a trustee) the background to which concerns the validity of a complex tax avoidance scheme in Belize.

What is the best and worst part of the day for you?

The best – when a client takes the trouble to thank you for your hard work. The worst – admin! Both for regulatory and internal compliance reasons, the amount of administrative tasks that I now have to undertake has increased tenfold since I qualified. It is the bane of my life!

What keeps you motivated?

A desire to do the very best that I can for my clients.

Tea or coffee?

Tea but only first thing in the morning. After that water only.

What would you say to anyone thinking of a career in your field?

If you not afraid of hard work and can listen and empathise with people as well as multi-task and juggle several cases all at the same time, it can be a very rewarding and interesting practice area so go for it!

What song do you listen to the most?

I have diverse and varied tastes when it comes to music but if I had to choose one song it would have to be Angels by Robbie Williams.

Who inspires you within the world of family law?

It has to be my former supervising partner - I worked with him for over 30 years. He taught me you could never be over-prepared and the importance of detail!

How do you enjoy your time outside of work?

I like to work out and enjoy socialising with family and friends. I also enjoy travelling but my greatest passion is being a season ticket holder at Reading Football Club.

What book would you recommend to others?

It would probably depend on what I am reading in the moment but my most recent favourite book is The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. It is a wonderful humourous depiction of his escapades thereafter!

What would be your alternate career?

A mounted police officer! It was the only thing I wanted to be as I was growing up.

If you could change one thing about the family justice system what would it be and why?

I would introduce rules to make it easier for claims/defences without merit to be struck out at an earlier stage.
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