After spending more than 33 years working in the field of residential property administration for various law firms across Hull and the East Riding, you’d have to assume Shelley Sugden knows her onions.
But the mum-of-one from the tiny village of Humbleton, in Holderness, remains modest: “Well yes I have been doing this job since I left school but I wouldn’t call myself an expert! It is nice to feel so familiar with the tasks, and I don’t get bored of them despite covering the same kind of work for so long. Things do, of course, evolve and I’ve had to learn a new computer system at James Legal, but I’m completely comfortable with all the procedures.”
And Shelley, who spends four days a week working in the firm’s Hull office, is quick to praise her co-workers. She said: “Jess and I do a similar role, and she’s brilliant – she’s really tech-savvy and willing to help with anything. As a newcomer, it’s great to feel so welcome and supported, everyone is so helpful and there’s always someone to ask if I have any questions.”
CEO Nick Miller had worked with Shelley previously for about eight years at another firm, and was quick to snap her up for the growing James Legal team when she became available in April 2021. Shelley added: “I’d always enjoyed working with Nick and it’s really nice that he recognised I would fit in here at James Legal. I knew as soon as I arrived for my interview that this would be a lovely place to work. The atmosphere is relaxed, everyone is friendly, it’s just unlike anywhere else.
“I think law firms can have a reputation for being stuffy and stressful, but it’s not like that here. Nick knows how to get the best out of people, he understands that it’s easier to be more productive if you don’t feel overly pressured.”
Essential conveyancing support
As an assistant to the property team, Shelley focuses on the residential side of conveyancing and her duties include assisting with transactions, providing progress updates to clients, estate agents and other solicitors, performing ID checks, conducting property searches, dealing with registrations at the Land Registry and handling post-completion paperwork.
“You do get to build up a rapport with clients and agents, which is nice,” Shelley added. “There’s a lot to do and the work is quite varied, so I’m always busy.”
Outside of work, Shelley likes spending time with her partner and her grown-up daughter, enjoying long walks in the rural East Riding countryside, and keeping fit with circuit training classes down at the gym.