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Sheffield lawyer appointed as Diocesan Registrar

Rachel Baseley from city law firm Wake Smith Solicitors has been appointed as Registrar for the Diocese of Sheffield and Legal Secretary to the Bishop of Sheffield.

Private client solicitor Rachel has spent the past year as Deputy Registrar and is promoted to the role following the retirement of previous incumbent and Wake Smith lawyer Andrew Vidler earlier this year.

Rachel has 18 years’ experience as a solicitor, primarily in the area of private client including the preparation of wills, capital taxes advice and planning, the creation and administration of trusts and applications to the Court of Protection.

Rachel said: “After 18 years practising primarily as a private client lawyer, I am privileged to serve the church in this exciting and fulfilling role of Diocesan Registrar. I am very much looking forward to continuing to work with the Bishop and the diocesan team at Church House, as well as clergy and parishioners throughout the diocese.”

The job of the Diocesan Registrar is to advise on legal matters which affect the diocese.  It is a wide ranging role, encompassing advice on marriage law for church weddings, the issue of legal permissions known as “faculties” for works on church buildings within the diocese and the preparation of documentation relating to matters such as the ordination and appointment of clergy and the consecration of churches and churchyards.

Rachel read English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford before obtaining her PGDipLaw and LPC at the College of Law in Chester.  She trained at a national law firm and qualified into their Landed Estates and Private Tax team in 2002. In 2005 she moved north to join Wake Smith’s Private Client team.

She is a member of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), having successfully passed the four exams comprising the Diploma in Trusts and Estates in 2006. For some years she was also an associate lecturer for the University of the West of England, lecturing on trusts and estates to aspiring solicitors.

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