I was born and raised in North Devon. After obtaining a Law Degree at Nottingham, I became a trainee and then Assistant Solicitor at the then Toller, Oerton & Balsdon Solicitors in Barnstaple. I joined Chubb Bulleid as an Assistant Solicitor in 1990 and became a partner in the old Chubb Beresford firm in 1992 and I have been Finance Director since the mid-1990s.
My main specialisation is Wills, Trusts and Probate. I manage our Probate Department and have considerable experience in Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax planning generally. I also undertake general commercial property work in the Wells Office meaning general landlord and tenant and the sale and purchase of high street businesses. I also do some residential conveyancing. In summary I am a trust and tax lawyer with experience of all major private client and property work.
I would like to think that my main attribute is practicality and common sense. I believe I have an ability to communicate and I have come to realise over the years that communication is indeed king!
My main concern is to ensure that our clients receive a good and excellent service from us. That starts and ends with not only the ability to do the job but to effectively communicate regularly throughout the process and to make sure we achieve all that we set out to do. Making sure our clients know at all times that we are available for them is essential.
Prior to working with Chubb Bulleid I started my employment life as an Assistant Solicitor with a firm in Barnstaple, North Devon. I am married with five children ranging between late 20s to 13 years of age. Family life is very important to me. I have immensely enjoyed having five children at home and I am very proud of them all and more of the fact that they all interact together and wish to continue the Cussell family ethos. We still holiday together, meet at least once a week and our children see each other as friends as well as family. Grandchildren are now starting to appear! The first being baby Rayne in April 2018.
My hobbies include golf, rugby, music, walking and cycling. I manage to play golf at least once a week socially with my friends. We have membership with Bath Rugby and so I regularly attend the games. Walking has always been something I have been interested in, coming from North Devon and enjoying the beautiful North Devon coastline. Indeed some years ago now in 2010 I spent a month in the Aumla District of Nepal helping to build a health centre on behalf of the Nepal Trust and raise funds through the local Rotary Club.
I am also associated with Rotary. I have recently taken up cycling and recently completed with my wife and 13 friends a sponsored cycle ride from Wells Cathedral to Notre Dame in Paris raising £9,000 for defibrillators in Wells and an Indian Orphanage for charity.
I have been an active member of the local Rotary Club in Wells for 25 years. I have been its President twice (most recently in 2017/18). I find Rotary a fantastic way of offering service back to the community and a good platform to not only offer service but to raise funds for important local and international charities.
Dogs or cats – Dogs – We have always had a family dog. Our current family friend is Bella a 4 year old Cockapoo. I am actually allergic to cat’s hair and their rather solitary life style does not fit with my idea of a family pet.
First single bought – American Pie by Don McLean. I seem to recall it cost me 47p from the local Boots store in 1971!
Favourite Film – There are so many to choose from. I am a great lover of the cinema. Slightly tongue in cheek (my wife despairs of my watching old cowboy films) but I have to say The Searchers – John Wayne set in Monument Valley, Utah is up there amongst the best of the cowboy films.
Dream Car – At the moment I would have to say a VW Camper Van. I have just acquired one and I am about embark on my mini-sabbatical (four weeks) with my wife and youngest son on a tour of Britain! It has already been earmarked as the Cussell Family Adventure Van!
If you could travel back in time, what period would you go to – This is a very difficult one. It would be lovely to be able to be a fly on the wall in almost every century. I am greatly impressed by our Victorian industrialists, it would be great to see Brunel at work. I would equally love to have been a ‘cool dude’ in the 1950s following Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the jazz artists of that time.
Favourite Book – Actually when I was a child I remember being absolutely riveted by the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I could not put it down. Not particularly fashionable but I do recall it really got me reading.