Following the success of AL-HQ Law & More at the British Wills & Probate Awards winning Will writing firm of the year (south) and the Community and Charity Champions award, we spoke to Yasmin Hoque to learn more about their journey to success.
How did you get into estate planning? / What made you go into estate planning?
Me and Syed were both originally qualified in corporate roles in the banking and legal industry. Syed started out working for the Royal Bank of Scotland which included Natwest plc services and I completed my training contract to qualify as solicitor with a top 50 UK law firm BLM LLP, now merged with Clyde & Co. We were both busy progressing our own careers and once children came along, we gave up the lengthy commutes into London to work on a freelance basis locally in the Hampshire area. It was not until the pandemic hit and we were both forced to work together in lockdown and juggle childcare by taking turns with ‘office time’ that there was a real synergy for us to become business partners too. We noticed a common theme in our approach to solutions which is that we were providing faith based and culturally sensitive advice to our clients and this is what was unique and developed from our own personal journey through faith following the completion of the Hajj pilgrimage in 2012. Putting our heads together we recognised a real opportunity to bring a specialist vision to the estate planning industry. Merging the legal and financial qualifications, training and knowledge that we already had developed over the years working for others, in 2021 AL-HQ Law & More was born with me taking on the private client services and Syed focusing on financial matters, and we have not looked back since!
How has your career in estate planning developed along the years?
Collectively we have over 20 years of experience in the industry, I qualified as a Solicitor in 2010 although starting out working in commercial litigation and medical negligence law for defendant insurers and hospital trusts, I found my time outside of work in advising my family and friends on religious and cultural matters was the most rewarding use of my legal knowledge and skills. Likewise Syed was granted Chartered Banker status in 2018 but it was his law degree and legal knowledge which he found most enjoyable to share. In his financial advice he would often guide clients through faith-based learning for creative solutions. I landed into private client law due to the lack of law lecturers in this field and during 2018 whilst on maternity leave, I took up the challenge offered to teach modules in Wills, Succession and Probate Practice on a freelance basis. Having enjoyed the academic side I became a consultant solicitor for local and international law firms to develop and undertake existing private client services for conveyancing law firms. Syed also secured freelance roles to support estate planning services through his financial network where he was able to bring the unique faith-inspired outlook to ensure clients took early action on Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney services. Through AL-HQ Law & More we both also devote time to mentoring schemes, webinars and educational workshops to highlight a genuine alternative way of working to inspire the younger generation into the estate planning industry and provide user friendly resources.
Why did you join the best foundation and how has it helped your business? We looked at the reasons behind why the Best Foundation was set up and all of the values and aims were very much aligned with our own. It is important that the estate planning industry has a strong and expert-led voice to campaign for changes to make improvements for future generations and also collectively review what is working well in the industry to then support the new generation entering this field of practice. We wanted to join like-minded professionals to be part of the movement to deliver the best standards with the best interests of the clients in mind. We are also a modern, digital and forward-thinking practice, but we also value and respect the benefits of what has worked traditionally. It is very helpful for our start-up business to know there is a trustworthy network of successful, industry leading and expert advisors to hand with a genuine willingness to be supportive, collaborative and enabling us to access professional development resources and technical advice as we grow our services. Our aims are to take on challenging cases, deliver the highest standards of quality and inspire others to become leaders in their fields of expertise.
Tell us about your business?
AL-HQ Law & More is now an award-winning faith-inspired legal practice, which provides the full spectrum of estate planning services to ensure all clients are able to make an informed choice and take action to put in place the essential life planning documents. Our vision is one where each individual feels comfortable and able to address life planning questions and takes ownership of their wishes to become leaders of wealth management, and each person deserves tailored estate planning opportunities. We would like our clients to be empowered with financial and legal options factoring in all of their wishes, including religious and cultural matters because people are diverse, and it is essential for their well-being to have these wishes written down into legally binding instructions. Our services ensure that clients are not leaving matters up to others or leaving matters open to dispute, excessive post-death costs and potentially avoidable hardship for loved ones. We consider estate planning starts from the moment you are an adult, fit and healthy and able to plan your future and it is a journey that continues on until your time is up. It is not something to leave for ‘later life’. As such we take a unique approach to include initiatives that work on raising awareness of the importance of having a Will in place and Lasting Powers of Attorney at the earliest opportunity. As a company we are committed to giving back to local, national, and global communities and charities where need is the greatest. We are focused on working for the common good, putting people before profits and ensuring we are actively exploring opportunities where we can make a positive difference and inspire others to gain rewards. To promote cycles of goodness it starts with each individual and then expands up to organisations, businesses, and charities to implement the changes that everyday people need and want.