This month Finance Monthly had the pleasure of speaking to Jeremy Mills – a Notary who provides legal and tax consultancy services to individuals and business owners across the UK. Jeremy works with clients to help them structure their personal and business affairs, secure the financial future of their families and mitigate tax. Below he discusses why he became a Notary, his decision to set up his own company and the work that he’s been doing over the past four years.
How did the idea of Mills Keep come about and what was the process of setting up the company like?
The idea for my company was born out of my desire to consolidate today’s wealth and protect it for future generations for clients.
It was not enough for me, when working as a solicitor, simply to offer a quick fix solution for an individual issue. I wanted to look at clients’ circumstances as a whole and as a result, at Mills Keep we take pride in providing clients with overall strategic advice and assistance straddling all aspects of their personal and business affairs, built on strong, long term relationships with client as opposed to the transactional relationships experienced with most solicitors. By taking a comprehensive overview Mills Keep provides a holistic approach to individual issues, thus generating a plan for managing wealth overtime and establishing security for future generations.
Often a client may present with a requirement which on the face of it is satisfied with a single piece of advice but experience has shown this rarely provides the whole solution.
My main objective in establishing Mills Keep was to create a company that listens to the client, takes a broad view of their problem and agrees a strategy to move forward with, aligning priorities and end goals.
Invariably, an understanding of your clients’ affairs as a whole is the best way to provide advice which protects their assets, provides peace of mind and ultimately saves them time.
Why did you decide to become a Notary?
In many ways working as a Notary shares many similarities to practising as a solicitor, which I did for over twenty years – the key difference is that in addition to the legal advice that solicitors can offer, excepting certain aspects of litigation, Notaries can certify documents for use abroad. Notaries are a product of Roman law and their services are fundamentally entrenched in European jurisdictions, especially those closely based on Roman law.
I became a Notary whilst practising as a solicitor in a law firm due to an interest in the cross jurisdictional nature of Notarial work. Upon setting up Mills Keep I realised I could operate the company as a Notary, rather than as a solicitor, and still offer a full legal service to my clients.
And what have you been up to since setting up your business in 2013?
The last five years has been an exciting period of growth for Mills Keep during which time we have solidified our service offering to our clients, often driven by the desire to mitigate tax whilst restructuring and protecting assets and wealth. Mills Keep has developed a sophisticated client base with multiple and complex needs, to meet the demands of the prevailing socioeconomic climate. What would you say are some of the challenges of being a Notary?
I’d say that the biggest challenge, which in many ways is also a benefit, is that there are relatively few Notaries in the UK and consequently many people have a limited understand of what a Notary can do for them. So, when approached by clients, I usually need to explain that Mills Keep is much more sophisticated than a conventional law firm and highlight the fact that as a legal practitioner I can not only assist with all their legal needs but that I also provide overall strategic management of their affairs.