Stephensons' Trust Company
Stephensons operates its deputyship services through a trust company, Stephensons Trust Corporation. We were one of the first solicitor firms in the country to set up a trust company and it has been appointed as a deputy now on numerous occasions by the Court of Protection. Indeed as one of the first firms to make applications we assisted the Court of Protection to draft the appropriate practice directions in relation to the appointment of trust companies as part of an early group application.
Local authorities and the Court of Protection have the security of knowing that the trust company, unlike an individual deputy, will not die, become ill or change jobs. It therefore provides a higher level of consistency and longevity than an individual personal appointment.
The actual legal work is still carried out by the competent and experienced lawyers at Stephensons who work on behalf of the Trust Corporation. The Trust Corporation directors are partners and experienced Court of Protection practitioners at Stephensons. It is important for a local authority to know that as solicitors the Trust Corporation directors are all regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and of course bound by the codes of conduct that apply.
The directors and the Trust Corporation are covered by Stephenson’s professional indemnity policy and the usual security bonds apply, giving full protection to the incapacitated person and their funds.
Stephensons are an appointed interventions agent for the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and the Council for the License Conveyancers and we frequently undertake interventions for those regulators. In order to secure those contracts Stephensons succeeded in a rigorous tendering process. This should reassure local authorities that Stephensons are not only trusted by regulators, but also very familiar with the codes of conduct and processes that govern solicitor’s activities.
Stephensons provides numerous legal services to public authorities and has the fully documented policies necessary to undertake that work including on bribery, modern slavery, apprenticeships, GDPR, etc. We have also been appointed to the Crown Suppliers framework which again means that our compliance with the necessary legal and other obligations required to undertake work for public bodies has been tested and met. We are, in that regard, a “safe pair of hands” for public bodies with all of the appropriate safeguards in place.
We have invested very heavily in IT and our able to provide reports or management information as appropriate.
Stephensons adhere to the OPG professional deputy standards which are used as guidance and a touchstone in their activities in these areas. The firm and its Trust Corporation have comfortably passed the standard supervision visits by the OPG.