Welcome Alyson Coulson, new Solicitor at our Exeter office!24th April 2020
Gilbert Stephens Solicitors are delighted to introduce our newest team member and Solicitor at our Exeter office, Alyson Coulson.
Alyson joined Gilbert Stephens in February 2020 and deals with a wide variety of Private Client work to include Wills, Powers of Attorney, Inheritance Tax Planning, Court of Protection matters and trusts. With a particular interest and expertise in working with families affected by learning disabilities, she is able to ensure that proper Wills, trusts and Powers of Attorney are put in place for the whole family. She is also a Dementia Friend.
We asked Alyson a few questions to get to know about her typical working day and what she finds the most challenging working in law.
What does your working day usually look like?
An early start (the best time of the day), powered by porridge and tea. I spend the first hour of my day clearing emails and checking my appointments and tasks for the day. Then onto a variety of tasks including typically some will or trust drafting, client meetings and phone calls, and trying to balance estate accounts.
Why did you choose Private Client work as your specialist area, and if you had to choose another, which would it be?
I don’t think I would want to do anything else in the law. I’m not ruthless enough for litigation and I’m also too short. We had a running family joke that I’d turn up at Court and the judge would say “please stand up when addressing the bench, Miss Coulson,” to which I would reply, “I am standing up, your honour…”.
What do you like about working at Gilbert Stephens Solicitors?
They have been very friendly and welcoming. I am loving the buzz of working in Exeter which has special family connections for me.
What do you think are the most important qualities for a Solicitor to have?
In Private Client work, empathy and being able to listen and not just hear. We deal with people at very difficult times in their life and sometimes, all they want is to know that someone is listening. Other than that, a sense of humour helps. It can be emotionally draining work and being able to find something that raises even a small smile for you or for your client, can help.
When did you know you wanted to work in law?
From about the age of 16.
What do you find most challenging about your work?
The mental gymnastics of some of the tax legislation that we have to deal with. Whoever thought of the evil that is “double grossing up”? Bring on the simplification of tax!
Do you have any ambitions, professional or personal, that you would like to pursue in the future?
To master double grossing up obviously. But also, to carry on with my work with families affected by learning disability. It has been the most rewarding and best part of my career and I am in awe of those families who fight so passionately for their loved ones. #wouldntchangeathing.
Personally, I want to finally get the measure of the AGA in our new house so that I can stop burning stuff, and to pick up learning to play the piano again which I gave up at about the age of 10.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
My friends and family, the countryside, the beach, my dogs, and the arts. A weekend filled with dog walks and long chatty lunches followed by a trip to the theatre is my idea of heaven.
Gilbert Stephens would like to wish Alyson the best of luck in her work. We are very happy to have her on the team and look forward to seeing her accomplish her goals.
If you would like advice on Wills, Powers of Attorney, Inheritance Tax Planning, Court of Protection matters or trusts, get in contact with Alyson at or call 01392 424242.