Interview with a Specialist – Leon Dawkins (Property & Conveyancing)

Leon Dawkins, Yorkshire born conveyancing specialist, joins the highly acclaimed residential and conveyancing team at Howells Solicitors, based at their Rotherham office on Ship Hill.

We catch up with Leon to discuss his experience, his views on the industry and what makes Howells an attractive firm to work for.

Hi Leon, can you tell me a little bit about what you do at Howells and what makes you stand out?

“I can get you into the house you want, help you sell your current one and deal with all the legal challenges around that.

It sounds cheesy, but I’m great at explaining things to clients in ‘real’ terms, breaking things down and making the process simple – the key is to make sure that you get rid of any of the client’s worries and anxieties. I always say ‘there are no stupid questions’. This is one of the biggest purchases of your life, ask questions.

What’s your experience, where have you worked before Howells?

“Funny enough I started out studying politics at Manchester University, and decided I was more interested in Law and completed a conversion course at Leeds Becketts University.

I completed my training contract at a boutique law firm, focused on dealing with conveyancing and Property related matters. Prior to that  I was working in the personal injury field  having worked at various  personal injury solicitors and working in house for an insurer dealing with fraudulent claims. This will bring me to my 12th year working in the legal sector. I enjoyed working in residential and conveyancing the most and was excited when I saw the post at Howells”

I’m guessing it can be challenging at times?

“Yes, as tensions are running high due to the investment made with property, some cases can be challenging. I once had a client who called at Christmas time, wanting to move into a property in Mayfair within the week. I explained this was a near impossible task due to the fact the property was a lease and it was the Christmas period. However I worked hard and managed to get the client into the property within 10 days, which was stressful but fantastic for the client.”

What’s been the most challenging part of your career so far?

“Gaining my initial training contract. Not many firms are eager to give you the opportunity and are only focused on hiring specialists with experience. However it made me more determined and passionate to reach my goal.”

What’s happening in the world of property and conveyancing at the moment which you feel is important?

“Communication and understanding the clients point of view. I’m passionate that understanding each client as an individual and not having a systematic approach is the key to standing out in this industry, and too many firms are not good at this. Having this approach is proven to make the clients experience with the conveyancing process easier.

I would also highlight communication and relationship building being key to success in the industry. Having good relationships with estate agents can make the world of difference to the client experience; it can make it smoother and stress free. As my dad has owned estate agents and property development firms, I understand how a relationship between a legal professional and a property professional works.”

Why have you chosen to join the team at Howells?

“One of the issues with law firms these days is that they have opted for a corporate image which can create a systematic client process because of this. This can make getting hold of a legal specialist difficult and large firms can lack the quality communication with a client.

Howells however are a large firm, but they’re not corporate. They offer a very personal service to each client, and looking at the feedback from clients, it’s all about the personality and client care that what makes Howells special. This is why I knew I wanted to join.”

Leon is based at Howells Solicitors in Rotherham and looking for new opportunities in the area. To book a meeting with Leon call 01709 364000 or email at [email protected]