At the BLS AGM held on Tuesday 26th November, Ben Tarrant of TLT was elected to succeed Ashley Palminteri as President of the Society.
Ben is a partner in the real estate team and is a member of the retail sector team. Ben joined TLT in 2003 having previously worked at a City law firm. Ben has 10 years experience in acting for major national retailers on property acquisitions and disposals and undertaking estate management work on the landlord and tenant side.
Ben is also active in the healthcare sector having acted for several UK banks and operators on care home developments and acquisitions and has also acted for a number of GP surgeries on development or property management matters, in particular the construction of additional buildings on GP surgery sites, lettings to pharmacies and other on site health services.
So what else can BLS members discover about our new President. We asked Ben:-
Why did you become a Lawyer?
I did work experience with a solicitor in Hampshire when I was 14 years old and even at that age I was really impressed with his ability to deal with difficult people and solve their problems whilst keeping a cool head. I decided then that I wanted to be like him. 23 years later I can say that the fundamental role of a solicitor has not really changed but a solicitor needs to be so many other things now.
What do you see as the future of the legal profession in Bristol?
There are very mixed prospects. I know that there are manyfirms and practitioners in Bristol who are seriously struggling and may find it very difficult to remain in business past 2014 due to a combination of LASPO reforms, ban on referral fees, portal for PI claims, issues with PII cover. I don’t think we yet know how things will look in 12 months time. I only hope that is is not as bad as predicted as we cannot allow people not to have proper access to a local solicitor and the justice system. On the other hand the legal services sector is one of the strongest performers in the UK at the moment as we emerge from recession and that must bring opportunities for Bristol. I think that we will see more entrants into the Bristol market and some of the existing firms will expand. I would like to see the ways in which people can start a career in law being expanded and for firms to embrace alternative career paths.
What advice would you give a newly qualified lawyer?
Make sure you have a career and business plan from day one and that you become the best lawyer, sales person and manager you can.
Where is your favourite place in Bristol?
Planet Pizza on Gloucester Road. I love Saturday afternoons eating pizza and playing table football against my 5 year old son whose main mission in life is beating me at everything at all costs. I think that Gloucester Road is one of the most unique places on earth. You seldom see such a unique range of shops and cafes/restaurants so strongly supported by locals.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Kalkan, Turkey for first class hospitality, food and scenery.
What is your most surprising skill or interest?
I can drive a tractor……for 30 miles…..it is a long story and surprised me too at the time.