The McKenzie Law Story
The owners of McKenzie Law Solicitors, Niels and Vicki McKenzie met at The College of Law in Chester in 1993. Niels set up the practice in 2007 to provide expert and practical legal advice to individuals and businesses. We are fortunate to get lots of repeat work from clients and we are always pleased to welcome new clients. We are thrilled to say that TEN years on the firm is going from strength to strength with clients valuing our boutique, specialist legal services.
Meet Niels McKenzie LL.B (Hons) DEJF, Director & Solicitor
I am originally from Cheshire and later moved to Uppingham in Rutland. I studied Law French at Birmingham University and The Universite de Limoges. After training with a large Birmingham Law firm my first job post qualification was with the French giant Michelin where trips to Paris were in stark contrast with the Stoke tyre factory. Before setting up McKenzie Law I also worked as a commercial solicitor for Tarmac and for 3 years was Head of Legal for Enviros, an international Environmental Consultancy company which was later sold to Alfred McAlpine PLC. I have lived in Shropshire since 1996.
Providing legal advice to the boards of large companies you soon learn that people in business want practical legal solutions not an in depth legal analysis – that’s something you do in your own time before you offer up a solution that works. This philosophy underpins what I do now; smaller businesses are not that different from larger ones. I work closely with businesses and professional practices to structure their constitution and legal affairs to best effect.
I particularly enjoy business sales and purchases and dealing with commercial contracts. Protecting investments, adding value and limiting liability is what it’s all about.
Here is what my clients say about me and the commercial team:
Meet Vicki McKenzie LL.B (Hons) TEP, Director & Solicitor
Five years with McKenzie Law have gone quickly. It was liberating to start work here in 2012 with an almost blank page and think creatively about the best way to do things for clients, rather than just doing them in the same way.
I took a risk leaving a large and long established law firm to join Niels at Mckenzie Law and I am glad that I did. We have come a long way in a relatively short period of time. We have a dedicated team of specialised lawyers dealing with Wills, Trusts and Probate here. We are fortunate to act for lots of local clients and also people from London and further afield. We particularly value the referrals we receive from fellow professionals who put their confidence in the team here.
The new work which we continue to receive and the positive testimonials that clients readily give when we complete their work tell us that we are doing lots right. Achieving the Law Society’s Lexcel Legal Practice Quality Mark in 2013 was a significant milestone for us, as was taking on new client number 700.
This said, none of us think that McKenzie Law is the finished article. This means that we all work hard and strive to continue to improve the practice. There is no complacency here, we all genuinely care about doing our very best for everyone we deal with and this is what we are building our reputation on. We aren’t about being the biggest law firm and we doubt we will ever be able to say that we are the oldest!
When I joined McKenzie Law I set out to create expert, friendly, niche legal services for private clients who valued personal advice, continuing the ethos created by Niels for his business clients. It is very rewarding when people tell us that we are succeeding with this and that we are not just like all the other law firms.
I began my career with FBC solicitors (now fbc Manby Bowdler) in Wolverhampton where I enjoyed an excellent training (thanks in very large part to Ian Fallon). I stayed with the firm for 7 years before deciding to work closer to home in Shrewsbury, so that I could more easily juggle family life and my career. In 2003 I joined Wace Morgan in Shrewsbury. I became a partner there in 2007 working alongside Peter Stewart and then became head of their Private Client Department in 2010 when Peter retired. I managed a team of 14 staff and learned a lot. Ultimately and by 2012 the lure of the family firm was too strong and I joined Niels in McKenzie Law.
Being a STEP member and so acknowledged as an expert is very important to me, particularly at a time when lots of unqualified and unregulated people are offering legal services. My membership of Solicitors for The Elderly keeps me very much in tune with issues that affect older clients.
Here is what my clients say about me and the private client team:
Meet Catrin Davies, Legal Assistant
I joined McKenzie Law in August 2018, having relocated from Cardiff to Shrewsbury to be closer to my family. I have found Shrewsbury to be a warm and welcoming town and I already feel at home here!
I am really enjoying getting to know our clients and building on my experience and existing legal knowledge. When I decided to move to Shrewsbury, McKenzie Law was the first firm I contacted and the one I most wanted to work for. The team here are exactly as advertised; friendly, approachable and extremely knowledgeable. Working for a small legal practice brings opportunities that one doesn’t encounter in a larger city practice, and I very much value the chance to make my mark and experience real job satisfaction.
I originally read Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Durham. When I graduated in 2005 I worked in music licensing and copyright until discovering the law in 2012 and embarking on my new career. I found myself studying again alongside my day job. After some interesting roles in the areas of conveyancing and family law, in January 2014 I joined a well-established residential conveyancing team at a large law practice in Cardiff.
As my legal studies progressed I developed an interest in Wills, Trusts and Probate and decided that this was the area in which I would like to specialise and in early 2016 I took on the job of assisting the private client lawyer I worked with in Cardiff. By summer that year I was taking Will instructions from clients under supervision. As a busy Cardiff city practice with a diverse client base the firm was a great place to gain wide experience in Wills, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection matters. Alongside this work I was able to continue with some select residential conveyancing for my private clients. I continue with this balanced workload at ML.
I am now an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, shortly to become a graduate member, and I hope to qualify fully as a lawyer in 2020.
In my spare time when I am not being a busy auntie to my young niece, I volunteer for the charity Independent Age and enjoy live music and canoeing.
Finally, Meet the Whippets Freddie and Morris!
Freddie was born in All Stretton, and is part of the Myndoc pedigree line (so no, not a rescue dog which is often the first question). He is a key part of the McKenzie Law team. He works hard on our marketing strategy and regularly visits our older clients in care homes. He enjoys putting our clients at their ease.
Outside the office Freddie enjoys his walks (and sprints) in The Quarry, at Earl’s Hill and Attingham Park. His main hobby is chasing squirrels (if only he could run up trees). His absolute favourite place is the Warren beach in Abersoch, North Wales.
Morris arrived from Caersws in 2014 as part of the Firm’s commitment to succession planning (no, Freddie isn’t his Mother, which is the alternate first question). He has almost completed his training contract with the firm and his major strengths remain his good looks and confidential waste shredding!