Chesterfield, United Kingdom
I am an experienced private client lawyer and am responsible for the Wills and Probate department at Spencers Solicitors. I provide clients with a wide range of services with my focus being on Probate and Estate Administration work.
I treat all of my clients with empathy and respect and pride myself on providing expert advice without using confusing legal jargon. My clients appreciate my pleasant and friendly manner as well as my professional and practical advice and assistance. I fully appreciate how difficult it is for families to deal with these matters at an already distressing time and I am passionate about being able to help clients deal with their loved one’s estates at such an already difficult time.
I am happy to represent clients from all over England & Wales; although I love meeting clients face to face, I understand that such meetings are not required for probate work, and can carry out the work and assist clients just as efficiently and effectively by telephone and email communication.
Chartered Legal Executive in the Wills & Probate department
I was a volunteer for Inspire the Future - an organisation which connects thousands of teachers with volunteers who will go into schools and colleges and speak about their job and their path to qualification.
I am responsible for all of the Wills and Probate matters at Spencers Solicitors.
I am a private client lawyer whose background was historically Personal Injury Law. However, in 2007, having found myself regularly discussing trusts and Wills with my clients and assisting other ans their families with obtaining Grants of Probate/Letters of Administration and dealing with their loved one's estate, I decided to convert to Wills & Probate Law, obtaining a CLT Certificate in in Will Drafting and a CLT Certificate in Probate and Administration of Estates. I was now able to more fully assist clients in this area and advise them on all matters connected to Wills and Probate.
I now lead Wills and Probate work at Spencers Solicitors and provide clients with a wide range of services, from drafting a Will, to putting in place Powers of Attorney and dealing with more complex matters such as contested Wills and Probate issues.
I fully appreciate how difficult it is for families to deal with these matters at an already distressing time and I am fully committed to helping client's and families get through the process.
I love having face to face contact with clients and treat all of my clients with empathy and respect. Clients can have appointments at our offices, their home or work or by their bedside.
1999 - 2003
I am a Chartered Legal Executive. I am a lawyer who has followed one of the prescribed routes to qualification set out by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). Chartered Legal Executives. Chartered Legal Executives train to the same level as a solicitor but we study fewer subjects overall. A wide base of law is covered in the first two years of study and then in the last two years of study I chose what subjects I wanted to specialise in and concentrated solely on them.
"We found Samantha extremely friendly and approachable. The offices are easy to access with comfortable meeting rooms. The whole process of having our Wills drafted was straightforward and speedy."
Mr & Mrs Hollinshead – Chesterfield
"I would definately recommend Spencers Solicitors especially Samantha Ibrahim who was excellent. Everything was clearly explained in a friendly and helpful manner."
Ms Allen - Chesterfield
Very Smooth. Lovely Lady. We would defiantly use Spencers again. Thank you."
"First class and helpful at all times."
Miss Hyde – Hereford
By Samantha Ibrahim
These powerful words sum up, so succinctly, what many among us have to bear each day.
Every year the lives of military personnel are torn apart by the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - a condition brought on by the harrowing experiences of war and combat.
So when this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day came around on 10th September, my thoughts turned to the thousands of servicemen and women who resort to suicide as a result of PTSD.
After reading a recent blog about PTSD charity Surf Action for ex-servicemen and women (written by Spencers Solicitors Director John Spencer), I realised that PTSD sufferers can rebuild their lives with the right help and support.
The piece revealed how former serviceman Rich Emerson, had his life turned upside down when the government and NHS failed to properly support his condition.
But when he discovered surfing, the new energy and direction it gave him helped him get his life back on track. And now he’s put everything into setting up Surf Action - an organisation that helps more veterans to overcome PTSD in the same way.
It just seems to me that if a programme like this was available for all of our veterans, we’d be hearing far more positive stories of recovery.Hope for those with PTSD
There are many varied and very effective ways people have found to cope with PTSD, some less 'traditional' than others. While there are many former troops who feel properly supported by the government and NHS, it’s at least somewhat comforting to know there are dedicated individuals like Rich Emerson are out there - who commit their entire lives to aiding the recovery of sufferers.
Alongside this we hear plenty of heart-warming success stories that suggest alternative therapies can help sufferers discover a new sense of purpose and energy, which they can use to rebuild their lives.
From sport therapy to writing, it seems there are many ways to handle PTSD and return to living a normal healthy life.Trauma-sensitive yoga
Take yoga for instance.
David Emerson, a US veteran of no relation to Rich, has been using it for the last ten years to help fellow veterans deal with psychological trauma. Since then more and more yoga centres have classes specifically for ex-servicemen.
It works because it’s calming and gives participants something to focus on. It helps people to ‘reclaim their body and regain control’ - giving them a restored sense of personal power that is essential to the healing process.
“Preliminary military studies have found that the calming effect of yoga can assist PTSD patients in dealing with the hyper vigilance, flashbacks, depression and anxiety common to the condition. For veterans with traumatic amputations, yoga can help strengthen muscles and increase flexibility.” - David Emerson, Co-Author of Overcoming Trauma through Yoga
Trauma-sensitive yoga concentrates on breathing, moving, strengthening, stretching and resting. Being able to control all of these things can only help in times of panic and anxiety.
Yoga, along with other meditative exercises such as Reiki and Tai Chi are being used more and more to help servicemen suffering from PTSD in the US.
To me all of this suggests that we should be following suit in the UK - why do we not actively look to provide this opportunity (or similar opportunities) to our veterans?Writing
Other veterans use writing as an outlet for what they’re going through. The lines at the start of this blog were written by an ex-serviceman who remains unknown, he continues:
Writing helps break the cycle, and untangle the cobwebs trapped in the mind. Talking about war is difficult - writing, therefore, gives veterans a voice where they can express how they feel through poetry, autobiographies and prose.
He ends his poem:
PTSD is a state of mind, which leaves our minds in a state.
An Iraq war veteran recently expressed in Psychology Today exactly why writing was such a powerful healing mechanism for him.
”Writing has given me power over the conflict that is now inside me every day. Because I write, people can read what military go through long after the media and everyone forgets.”
Another Iraqi war veteran Brian Turner has gone on to prove ex-servicemen can even become extremely popular poets. His collection Here, Bullet is one of the most powerful books about America’s War on Terror to date.
I believe writing, in any form, can be one of many ways for our ex-servicemen to express how they feel and deal with their traumatic experiences.
If something as beautifully simple as writing can help save a life, even if it’s just one, then we should be looking to encourage this kind of therapy at least on a national scale.
Yet we currently offer very little in the way of psychological support for returning troops. At the moment we’re failing to keep our soldiers safe - BBC’s Panorama revealed that in 2012 more UK soldiers and veterans lost their lives to suicide than on active duty. Clearly, more needs to be done to help UK charities like Surf Action save our soldiers.
Not talking about it does not mean that it does not exist and it will not make it go away.
They’ve fought for our country; it is time our country fought for them.
What do you think? Do you know of any more recovery methods? Please share your thoughts and insight in the comments below.
Samantha Ibrahim is a Chartered Legal Executive at Spencers Solicitors with over 14 years’ experience in personal injury law. Samantha has dealt with a wide variety of case types including acting for victims of sexual, physical and psychological abuse.
Ibrahim: most employers don’t see health and safety as a burden
It is almost impossible to please everyone. For this reason, when new legislation is implemented, one can invariably expect both negative and positive responses. Whether they are happily welcomed or merely tolerated, amendments to the law are generally built around intelligent and positive intentions. There are some laws, however, that are just simply wrong.
A very clear example of a bad law would be the recent addition of section 69 to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill. For the past century, the law stated that if an employee is injured at work and the employer is found to be in breach of a health and safety statutory duty, the employer will be held to be liable for the injury and compensation can be claimed.
I believe this to be completely fair. However, this concept of strict liability has now been rejected, and workers will have to prove that the accident arose out of negligence. The practical effect of this change will be to:
The removal of this long-standing policy is born out of David Cameron’s determination to cut ‘red tape’ and throw out all unnecessary regulations that pose ‘a burden to businesses’. When it comes to health and safety, I don’t see anything wrong with a bit of red tape if it is designed to protect the health and wellbeing of employees (and quite frankly, referring to workers’ health as a ‘burden’ is just plain rude).
Workers and trade unions have justifiably challenged the implication that their health and safety is unnecessary. The official motto of the We Love Red Tape Facebook group is: “The problem with work is not red tape, it’s bloody bandages.”
With 611,337 workers killed, injured, or developing a work-related illness in a single year, it seems these campaigners may have a point.
It is worth pointing out that only 87,655 of these people received any form of compensation, according to Hazards magazine. This number that completely invalidates the argument that there is a so-called ‘compensation culture’, which is also driving this policy.
This negative portrayal of workers is not only unfair, but also unnecessary. The truth is that most employers believe in human rights, they take out insurance for their employers, and don’t see their health and safety as a burden.
As Baronness Ford expressed at the House of Lords last year: “I never got up in the morning wondering how to get around the health and safety regime, wishing that employment law was weak, looking to dilute people’s human rights.” And this is true for the majority of employers.
The key to a successful business is employees and employers working together, in a happy environment. Section 69 will only be detrimental to this relationship, creating tension in the workplace.I understand it is difficult to please everyone, but who exactly is this bill aimed to please?
Samantha Ibrahim is a Chartered Legal Executive at Spencers Solicitors with over 14 years’ experience in personal injury law. She deals with a wide variety of case types including accidents at work, occupiers’ liability claims and industrial diseases
Fellow – the highest level of membership in CILEX
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives is the professional association which represents more than 20,000 trainee and practising Chartered Legal Executives.