Our community is at the heart of our firm and has been for over 175 years. It is a fundamental part of our business and all of our partners and the majority of our other staff live within the Peeblesshire area. Indeed, most even grew up here.
The majority of our clients live and work in our local area, and, in our view, it is one of the best places to do so. We therefore feel it is important that we, as a business, give back to the community who supports us.
We do this in various ways:-
For several years now we have waived the fees which we would normally charge clients for notarising or certifying documents in order that clients can instead make a donation to our chosen charity partner. Last year we supported the Peeblesshire Youth Trust in this way and raised for them over £500. This year we are raising money for the Peeblesshire Foodbank SCIO.
Applying to study law at University can be a daunting decision. The application process is usually very competitive and it is also a subject which for many students involves a step into the unknown. Little or nothing of law is taught at school and it can be difficult for school people to obtain the relevant work experience in the legal sector where there are strict standards of confidentiality. However, one of the most rewarding things we do as a practice is facilitate the education of future lawyers from our local area. We try to offer work experience to people from our local schools who are seeking to study law at University, thereby giving them an insight into the work of solicitors in practice. This relevant experience helps to also demonstrate a student’s interest in the law which may assist their university applications. One of our partners even started their legal career with some work experience at Blackwood & Smith, quite some years ago now!
Further, one of our solicitors is also a judge for the Law Society of Scotland Donald Dewar Memorial Donating Tournament, which pits Scottish schools against each other in a debate format culminating in the final usually held at the Scottish Parliament. We are delighted to say Peebles High School were in the final of the 2017/2018 tournament.
We are regularly asked to donate to or sponsor local causes, events, persons or organisations. While we are unable to contribute to all such requests, we do our best to contribute to as many as possible. Over the last few years we have donated to or sponsored local events and charities, as well as a number of organisations, including everything from silver bands to youth sports teams.
Pro Bono Work
We are regularly instructed by local charities as well as local festival organisations. We do our best to offer advice to these charities or organisations at either a discounted rate or even on a pro bono basis.
We are proud to participate each year in Will Aid. Will Aid is a special partnership between the legal profession and nine UK charities whereby every November we waive our fee for writing a basic Will. Instead we invite our clients to make a voluntary donation to Will Aid which go to the charities for their much needed vital work. Will Aid proves to be very popular with our clients and on the most recent occasion we prepared over 90 Wills, raising more that £4,000 for charity.