Interview with Lucy Percy from Head and Heart Estate Planning
Earlier this month, Legally Yours intern Anastasia Patralis met with Lucy Percy from Head and Heart Estate Planning to learn more about Lucy’s career journey, her passion for wills and estates, and what inspired her to start her own firm.
- What has been your career trajectory?
From a young age, Lucy Percy always knew that she wanted to be a lawyer. During the final year of her Bachelor of Laws and her year of Practical Legal Training, Lucy worked full-time at a union. Lucy thoroughly enjoyed industrial law, but she was deterred by the narrowness and adversarial nature of the practice area.
Lucy knew that she wanted experience in a private practice. Once Lucy obtained a job at a general practice law firm, she became immediately passionate about wills and estates, as she was fascinated by hearing clients’ unique stories.
- What inspired you to start your own firm, Head and Heart Estate Planning?
When Lucy became pregnant with her third child and her son was starting school, she found it difficult juggling her work and school hours. For the first term her son was at school, Lucy was working from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm, and she found that her workdays were too short.
From a practical perspective, starting her own firm provided Lucy with flexibility to manage her family commitments while not being confined to standard work hours.
Marketing and Business Development
While working at the busy general practice, Lucy did not get an opportunity to perform marketing and business development tasks. Lucy always knew that she wanted to gain marketing experience, and developing her own firm was a fantastic way for Lucy to develop new skills and create her personal brand.
Scope for Growth
Being an employee of a firm caps the potential for growth. By opening her own firm, Lucy was able to build her own business and grow her professional career significantly more than she would have as an employee.
- What is your personal brand?
Head and Heart Estate Planning aims to deliver personal and meaningful client services, particularly through the innovative use of technology and digital marketing. Through creating online resources and utilising video conferencing software, Head and Heart Estate Planning offers clients significant flexibility to work with their busy schedules.
Moreover, as a mother and wife, Lucy has placed herself at the centre of her brand to empathise with her clients. The brand identifies with families – Lucy describes her target client as couples with either school-aged children or young adult children. Lucy’s focus is helping her clients balance their obligation to each other, while also making sure children are financially cared for when they grow up.
As a mother and wife, herself, Lucy knows what her client wants as they are the same things that she wants: “I know my client inside out because it is me, my friends and my family.”
Following the death of a loved one, family relationships can become fractured, particularly in the event of financial disputes. Lucy’s approach to estate planning is also focused on not relying on the surviving spouse to do the right thing. By establishing a robust legal framework early, Lucy aims to ensure partners are able to balance their obligations to each other and their children.
“My promise to clients is that I help families create a loving and secure future for their children. The secure part of that is making sure that we have enough inheritance and we’ve done all the right legal things to protect it. But the loving part is that if a parent re-partners, or if a parent and a child are not the same type of person, I want them to be free to move on and have an easy relationship without money being a factor.”
- What are the highlights of your career journey so far?
Relationships with other lawyers. Lucy has developed strong bonds with other female lawyers and greatly admires her peers.
Each and every client. Lucy loves her product and what she delivers. “Only boring people get bored” – Lucy enjoys every client interaction and the uniqueness of their situation. “I love hearing their stories and thinking I really helped them.”
- What led you to joining the Legally Yours network?
Lucy developed a strong connection with the CEO of Legally Yours, Karen Finch, and says that she was motivated to join the network based on a high level of personal trust in the people behind the brand. Lucy describes Legally Yours as the liaison between the community and lawyers, enabling greater connection and engagement.
Additionally, although she undertakes a significant amount of digital marketing herself, Lucy also values the additional stream of marketing she is able to achieve through the Legally Yours network.
- Do you have any advice for younger lawyers, particularly in relation to establishing your own firm?
Young lawyers wanting to establish their own practice often plagued with imposter syndrome and are afraid they lack the technical skills to work alone. However, Lucy recommends burgeoning sole practitioners hire experts where needed, in order to bolster their business.
When Lucy started Head and Heart Estate Planning, she had only four years post-admission experience, and seeking expert help initially was a way to gain one-on-one coaching and strengthen her skills in a niche area of her practice.
“As long as you can market and sell your product, and you’re happy to absorb the cost, go and pay for advice.”
When starting out, Lucy also recommends that sole practitioners have one product and perfect it.
“Get really confident, make sure you’re not putting your clients at risk. Once you’ve done that, then you can do more.”
That being said, it can be more difficult to obtain work than some people think. Nevertheless, Lucy’s final piece of advice is to simply get started. “If you can market yourself, have a go at being a sole practitioner…I don’t think people should wait until they have a magic number of post-admission years of experience.”
If you would like to “Talk with Lucy Percy” or ask for Lucy’s advice, please click this link here.