Newly-merged firms take elderly under their wing

TWO LONDON firms which have joined forces are forming a pioneering “elderly” unit specialising in pensioners' legal work.

The new department will be one of the key development areas following the merger of Steel & Shamash and George & Co. The firm retains the Steel & Shamash name.

Steel & Shamash keeps its previous four partners, led by human rights lawyer and electoral law expert Gerald Shamash. George & Co's Nigel George, ex-leader of the Law Society's Sole Practitioners' Group, becomes a consultant.

George, who will develop the elderly work under the leadership of partner Janice Kaufman, brings the clients of his former practice to Steels.

The firm believes the elderly unit is a natural spin-off from Steels “social” business, which includes housing, mental health and childcare.

Kaufman said: “The reason we are trying to develop this is we see it as a natural follow through from things like housing and mental health which we have been doing before.

“Many of the problems are very similar, and we believe Nigel is a very good person to cross that divide.”

George said typical business would be handling the legal work on clients' estates and representing them if they were unhappy about facilities in sheltered accommodation.

He has been holding talks with groups which represent the elderly, to tell them about the unit. “What I am bringing to the firm is marketing skills,” he said. “We are making elderly people aware of the various laws that effect them.”