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A South African in Chester

Posted on April 5th 2023

Blog by Bronwen Hutchinson, Conveyancing Assistant

I arrived in the United Kingdom from South Africa in February 2022. On our first day in Chester, we decided to explore the beautiful city. One of the first landmarks that we saw as we made our way along the street and out of the subway tunnel was the Oliver and Co building with its distinctive curve and bright signage. My youngest son turned to me and said,  “Look Mom, Oliver & Co Solicitors, maybe you could work there!” We’d left our old lives behind in South Africa and were essentially starting from scratch.

What would life have in store here?

As a qualified South African solicitor and conveyancer, I wondered what life here would have in store for me? I knew that I would not be able to work as a solicitor in the U.K without studying to convert my degree, but would I like the law here? Would I want to practice? I put the idea to the back of my mind and the next few months saw us navigating the area, getting our boys settled into university and school, finding a house to rent etc. Every time I’d pop into the city, I’d see the Oliver and Co building, and I’d started to hear the radio adverts on the local station advertising the company. I decided to google the firm and was impressed with the website, the client reviews, the range of departments, service offering and the history of the company. I also saw that they were looking for an assistant in the conveyancing department. I sent my CV and after a successful interview, began working there the following week! 

Humbling experience

Being a part of Oliver & Co has allowed me the opportunity to learn and grow. It’s been a humbling experience for me. Uncomfortable at times, as change is never easy. Olivers has a collaborative approach to working. Everyone in the conveyancing department works as a big team. There is a wealth of knowledge and a real willingness to help not only clients but each other. Everyone is hard working from the secretarial staff, the assistants, fee earners and solicitors. They all pull their weight and its wonderful to work in a department like this.

People do care

As different as things are from Africa to the UK, some things remain the same – providing a good client service grows business. Clients want to know that they are in safe hands and that their solicitors care. People at Olivers do care and they work as though the company belongs to them, even before the exciting news that Oliver & Co was transitioning into an employee owned trust. Owning a piece of the company that employees put their hard work into every day is just the cherry on top! 

Call and speak to a member of our team on 01244 312306