He has steered the people of Spalding through the legal pitfalls for 40 years.
House purchases and sales, divorces and disputes, solicitor Patrick Skells (61) has dealt with them all during his time in the profession.
Patrick says: “The legal problems may be similar, but the clients can be very different, which makes the job interesting.”
Born in Gosberton in 1955, after attending Spalding Grammar School Patrick went to Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham where he obtained a BA Law degree.
His career began in January 1977 working for Peter Frost & Co in Spalding. After a spell with Crusts, he joined B Smith & Co which subsequently became Knipe Miller & Co.
Patrick continued to work for Knipe Miller & Co for 25 years until that firm merged with Chattertons in 2011.
Patrick says: “In January 2017 I will have been continuously employed in the legal profession in Spalding for 40 years without interruption.”
His work has changed, from litigation and family law, gradually becoming more involved in private client work. Patrick now undertakes exclusively private client work, including wills, probate, administration of estates, powers of attorney and Court of Protection matters, and leads the private client team at Chattertons’ Spalding office.
However, he has witnessed bigger changes, such as the use of electronic communication, to the point the firm is starting to move towards having paperless files.
The profession has had to adapt to changes to relationships – such as civil partnerships and same-sex couples – and the way that affects people’s legal status.
There is also the issue of Government cut backs on Legal Aid, which Patrick says leaves some people unable to afford to employ expert help for their problems.
Patrick has no intention of retiring, but plans to gradually cut back his working hours so that he has more time for hobbies, such as gardening, and playing snooker and bridge.
He also has a number of charity commitments. He is clerk to Spalding Town Husbands, clerk to two educational trusts and chairman of Trustees for Age UK Spalding & District.