A SOLICITOR from Sixpenny Handley who has retired after a career spanning five decades says it has been a “privilege and hugely rewarding”.

Michael Catchpole, who retired on March 30, was admitted to the Law Society in 1975 and on the day he qualified as a solicitor become a partner at a London law firm Witham Weld.

After working in London for a number of years he and his wife Caroline decided they wanted to live and work in the country and moved to Sixpenny Handley. It was then that Michael worked at Trethowans in Salisbury where he was a partner in the firm.

Throughout his career Michael has specialised in private client law dealing with wills, estate planning, inheritance tax as well as private and charity trusts.

He later joined Wilsons where he continued to do private client work.

“It was a huge privilege. I have always enjoyed my clients and getting to know them,” added Michael who says he will miss them but the time had come to retire.

He says his job has always thrown up “stimulating legal problems” which is a part of his career he has also loved.

“The mental challenges and legal problems I will miss that an awful lot,” said Michael.

“It has been stimulating when a client has a problem and then working hard to get the very best outcome for them.”

The 72-year-old says he has been “very lucky” during his career in that his clients have stayed with him - transferring with him when he has moved to different firms and later when he set up his own firm. Many, he says, have become friends.

Following a heart attack Michael, who was in his late 50s, decided to set up his own business, Catchpole Law in 2009, which he says was a “huge” but also “rewarding” challenge.

Seventeen months ago he merged Catchpole Law with Humphries Kirk.

“I’ve always felt happy about continuing to work and that’s what I have done. I have enjoyed it,” said Michael. “I don’t think you go on working unless you really enjoy what you are doing and the people you are with.

“It has been very stimulating and rewarding setting up my own firm and employing people and acting for clients and private legal services.

Michael was born in Malaya where his father was the District Officer and from an early age he used to fly back to the UK on his own.

“Not many children had the experience of flying from the Far East,” said Michael who says he actually dreamed of becoming a pilot when he was a boy because of these experiences of jetting around.

Michael and his wife Caroline, a retired a nurse, have three children and eight grandchildren who he says will “keep him on his toes” during his retirement, which will give him more time to spend with his family.

He also hopes to do some travelling and also wants to put back something into the community he lives in by helping local people with any queries/problems they might have of a legal nature.

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