Pagan Osborne paralegal wins top award

(L-R): Dougie Vipond of BBC Scotland, Donald Walker, assistant editor, The Scotsman, Mark Harris of Pagan Osborne, Catriona Shearer, BBC Scotland

A legal worker who began his career as a teenage executries assistant has been named Scotland’s Paralegal of the Year at the Scott + Co Scottish Legal Awards.

Mark Harris, of Edinburgh and Fife-based legal company Pagan Osborne, collected the accolade at the annual awards, an event celebrating the country’s best performing legal individuals, teams and firms.

Edinburgh-born, he began working in a law firm at 19 and just a year later embarked on studies for The Society of Law Accountants in Scotland Diploma, alongside his full-time job.

He gained his diploma in 1988 and since then has focused on the administration of trusts and executry estates, an often complex and demanding area of the law.

Over the last 30 years he has dealt with hundreds of estates, trust administration, curatories, guardianships, personal client work, active powers of attorney and personal tax work. He joined Pagan Osborne as an executry paralegal in 2012 and is described by the legal company as a pillar of the team.

Pagan Osborne chief executive Alistair Morris said: “As one of the top performers in the company Mark is the go-to person for peer support and training. He is heavily involved in many internal training sessions and initiatives, one of which saw a rise of almost 18 per cent in time recording and chargeable hours.”

“He has also been instrumental in spearheading the innovation of a new international probate and confirmation service.”

“He gets most satisfaction in ensuring his clients feel supported, giving them one less thing to worry about during their bereavement, something which is borne out in the feedback he receives in consistently exceptional commendations from clients.”

Mr Harris was presented with the award at the awards ceremony last week, which also saw his Pagan Osborne colleague Amy Alexander recognised as a finalist in the Rising Star of the Year category. She joined the commercial and business services team in April 2014 as a newly-qualified solicitor.

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