PLG & the Law Society – A Brand-New Collaboration

Wednesday 3rd July 2024, this was when ‘the button was pressed’ and PLG officially started collaborating with the Law Society as Probate Property Specialists.

Given how prestigious the Law Society is, this collaboration has felt like a huge achievement, and one we are incredibly proud of.

The truth is, I am a lad from a council estate with a relatively humble education. I have never stepped foot inside a university, and I do not claim to be something or someone I am clearly not.

I have not always had it particularly easy and following a ‘situation’ with someone I trusted a few years ago I was left with clinical depression and anxiety which took years of work to overcome and bounce back from.

What I am though, is resilient (and possibly a bit stubborn too!). If I believe in something, I WILL make it happen.

What many people may not realise, is why I got into property. It was in fact following the death of my grandad.

My family are from the southeast and my nan took over the dealings of the estate with the family solicitor, and liaising with the estate agent.

Unfortunately, the agent who she instructed was nothing short of a criminal in the way he treated my nan, giving shocking advise and not working in her best interest at all.

I thought that if I could help someone going through a similar scenario then what happened would have at least been for something, and good could come from it.

Almost 30 years later I have achieved this and am working directly within the world of probate with a business partner who shares my passion for service delivery to professional executors, and / or solicitors’ clients directly.

It is almost like this path was written in the stars for me.

It has been 10 years since I introduced the idea of providing specialist property support aimed exclusively towards the legal sector, and where I knew there would have to be a lot of research to do before it could be launched (if it would work at all!), it was my time spent with solicitors and industry leaders that actually taught me what my idea would look like in practice.

Enter Gill Steel.

It was time spent with Gill that allowed me to fully understand the compliance elements associated with being a Private Client Solicitor, so in addition to the services I thought professional executors would want I also had to understand what they needed in order for them to actually be able to work with me.

So, armed with my knowledge, passion, and new understanding – along with having the best sounding board possible (sorry Gill, that sounds less of a compliment than it is!), I spent days on end, month after month, meeting with solicitors in cities and towns throughout the country.

What I saw almost immediately, is that the same problems were popping up.

IHT Compliant Valuation Reports:

RICs surveys, they can be quite expensive can’t they.

When it comes to valuing a property for IHT purposes though, you have had no other option, so the relevant estates have had to pay out usually a minimum of £500+VAT just to acquire a formal valuation.

One matter I was involved in saw a RICs fee of almost £6K. There had been a dispute between the beneficiaries on the value of the property (located in West London), so I was drafted in to provide a valuation.

Our valuation report was £150+VAT at the time, and upon reviewing the RICs and our report, council decided that ours was correct.

Quite the difference between £6K and £150.00.

Over the years our reports have evolved, and now also compliant with the following:

  • Section 160 Inheritance Tax Act 1984
  • Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992
  • The Charities Act 2011 / Section 119 Report

In addition to the PLG IHT Valuation Report, we also offer the PLG ‘Agent’ Report which is not suitable for IHT purposes but is delivered quicker and costs less than our full report.

PLG IHT Valuation Report: £175+VAT – Usually issued within 48 hours of access to the property.

PLG Agent Report: £125+VAT – Usually issued within 48 hours or receiving the relevant information we require.

Estate Agents & Property Sales:

It is important to stress that I have no issue with estate agents, I worked within the property market as an agent myself for many years and very successfully. However, as in many industries, not all estate agents work with their clients’ best interests at heart. In fact, if I had a pound for every time an estate agent introduced an offer to me by saying “my client would like to offer you £….” when the facts are that the buyer is not the client, the seller is. Call me sceptical, but there seems to be an urgency to persuade a seller to accept an offer to secure a fee, over providing the correct guidance and advice to the seller.

Then there is the contract which completely restricts you and ties you to the estate agent for a minimum amount of time, not ideal if you do not receive the results you were promised (how many times have you been told to put a property on for one figure, only to be advised to take an offer lower than the asking price by some significant difference as soon as one comes in?).

Finally, there is the communication. There is either radio silence whilst nothing is happening – this can include viewer feedback if no offer has been made, or excessive phone calls once an offer has been made asking if a decision has been made.

As property is usually the largest asset within an estate, there is a huge amount of focus on it. Getting this right is hugely important.

What if there is a reciprocal business arrangement though? You do not want to lose the conveyancing work that comes in, but what if a beneficiary asks you the question “why have you chosen that specific estate agent?”.

You may have heard stories yourself about how bad things can get and how quickly, but I have one first hand experience where this problem arose.

A solicitor in the southwest had been working with me for around a year at the time of this incident. Our relationship had been a successful one, with PLG adding real value to what the law firm were doing and the service they were providing to their client base.

One of the estate agents in the town said they would appreciate the next property that came in to be given to them on a sole contract basis. As there was a reciprocal relationship in place, the solicitor agreed.

He called me and explained that this was a one off and would not be the norm moving forward.

A few days later the sole beneficiary came in and questioned why that particular agent had been selected, and he asked the question “do you have a business arrangement in place where you receive work from them?” – when the solicitor confirmed there was, the beneficiary declared that he did not believe that the solicitor was acting in his best interest, but instead the best interest of the law firm. Long story short, the solicitor had to surrender his position as appointed executor.

So, What is the Answer?

Compliance and collaboration work well when put together properly. With our way of selling property, we can make the following promises:

  • We always achieve the highest price for every property we sell. Usually securing anywhere between 3% & 7% higher than the local market average (based on the information provided by local estate agents for comparable property sold).
  • As we act as the seller of the property we have complete jurisdiction over the agents, meaning that we can dis-instruct and make changes if the agents are not performing to the standards we demand.
  • We are an independent company which means there are no estate agents that we cannot work with, so if your client does have an agent/s they prefer for us to work with we can do so.
  • There is no tie in period with us, so if you are not happy with what we are doing for you, you can walk away at any time by simply emailing us. We do not charge any ‘cancellation fees’ either.
  • You receive weekly reports that demonstrate exactly what we have the estate agents doing to secure a buyer, full viewer feedback, and any recommendations we may have.

The above enables you to provide evidence as to why you are making the decisions that you are and gives you a full compliment of documentation that can be presented if ever required. Also, we are able to liaise with your clients directly, so they have access to the PLG team meaning they are receiving the same advice we are giving you, first hand.


The more common issues I came across were:

  • It is so expensive.
  • There must be a set amount of money paid up front.
  • There are questions we need to answer that we can’t as we have never been to the property.
  • There are so many terms and conditions that need to be adhered to.
  • Trying to make a claim is a nightmare.
  • We have been left unable to claim due to a technicality.
  • We were miss sold and the product we thought we had put in place did not exist.

I am pretty sure you have all experienced at least one of the above, possibly more, and maybe more than once.

There have been many occasions where I have spoken to solicitors and been told that they had taken a policy with a property company offering a ‘solution’ to the insurance problem, only to be told a claim was not going to be processed as the policy T’s & C’s had not been followed.

Where does that leave you when this happens? If nothing worse, it is certainly a pain and just adds more work to what is already a huge pile!

So, How Can PLG Help?

By making things straight forward – it is as easy at that.

We teamed up with one of the worlds largest insurance brokers, who set up a policy for us via one of the UKs leading insurance companies.

  • This is a blanket policy, meaning it is our own policy which we add your property to.
  • We can add your property to our policy immediately and withdraw it just as quickly too.
  • You pay as you go on a month-by-month basis.
  • There are no drain downs or inspections required (although we highly recommend that you do take these services).
  • All claims are made via our team, so one call into us and we can guide you through the process.


My goal has always been to be the best that I can be in whatever I am doing.

I believe in hard work, honesty and being fair – I had these morals installed into me from a very young age. This is just part of my DNA.

PLG do not enter ourselves for awards as a company, or as Managing Directors or Business Owners. If we were to win something, it would be presented almost out of the blue with it happening through the recognition of our clients.

Our focus is on our pledge that we are striving to put an end to executor stress.

Gaining the recognition of the Law Society and the invitation to collaborate with them means as much to us as any award we could ever receive. Why? Because it means that Helen and I are achieving exactly what we set out to.

Darren Leggett – Co Owner of PLG

M: 07510 529710



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