• Office
  • Faviell House
  • 1 Coval Wells
  • Chelmsford
  • Essex
  • CM1 1WZ
  • Tel: 01245 453800

The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms        The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Claire Read

Partner, Head of Private Client Department

I care about clients and finding a solution that is right for them. I constantly deliver on the friendly and personal approach! I break down complex tax areas into understandable language. I am based in our Chelmsford office, and am available for a free 15 minute chat over the phone on 01245 453835.

I specialise in trusts, administration of estates, and tax planning for the elderly, vulnerable and disabled. I first chose the area of probate because I got a real sense of satisfaction in knowing that I was helping someone in a time of need. Losing a loved one is so difficult, and knowing that I am helping and taking the burden off them is fulfilling. Today my work area is much wider than when I first started, with complex tax and trust advice. I love knowing that, with my tax planning advice, I am saving the client (or their families) lots of money.

I am Head of the Private Client Department, a Partner, TEP (Trusts and Estate Practitioner – STEP), and a Solicitors For the Elderly member.

I am a trustee of The Essex Community Foundation – a grant-making organisation that supports lots of different charities across Essex. As a Trustee, I visit different organisations that have received a grant and see the positive impact that sometimes a small sum of money can make in the community. It really is quite humbling. I am also an Honorary Solicitor for Mid Essex Hospital Charitable Trust - I attend meetings and provide legal advice whenever needed.
Click here to listen to me live on the Ronnie Barbour show on BBC Essex.
  • LLB (hons)
  • LPC Dip (legal practice diploma)
  • MA in Medical Ethics and Law
  • Deputy Chair of the Essex branch of STEP - what is STEP?
  • Solicitors for the Elderly
  • Essex Community Foundation trustee
  • Honorary solicitor for Mid Essex Hospital Charitable Trust

Between working full time, and being a mother to two children, there does not seem to be lots of free time. However, some of my free time is taken up by being a Trustee of the Essex Community Foundation and raising their profile so that charities all over Essex can benefit. I enjoy swimming and try to swim twice a week. I love food and make a mean chocolate and fresh cream cake (according to my husband!). My favourite holidays are skiing holidays with toboggan runs that my whole family can enjoy racing down. Finally, I love all things Disney and fast roller coaster rides.

Wills, Trusts and Probate Team - South Essex

We provide practical solutions, in an easy to understand way, by bringing together specialisms from different legal areas for a joined-up approach.

We are always happy to speak to our clients about their matter, without them feeling afraid of charges being incurred immediately. We put the client first and ensure that we can help them before we charge!

What our clients say

  • Claire has been extremely courteous, keen and professional and it is been a pleasure to instruct her. She is a great asset to Birkett Long and I shall be very happy to recommend her to other people.
  • Claire Read's 'positive "can-do" attitude' assists her in her mitigation, trust creation and administration work, which sometimes contains international aspects.The Legal 500
  • My husband died suddenly and unexpectedly. Birkett Long - Claire - kept in constant contact, helping me dealing with my husbands estate. I cannot praise them enough for their compassion and efficiency. I would recommend them wholeheartedly.
  • Thanks for the time and direction you have both provided myself and my family over the last few days. It is genuinely appreciated. It's exactly the reason why I engage and will continue to engage Birkett Long in any legal issues I/We have.
  • Your staff, clearly led by its partners and senior leaders such as yourselves seemingly develops a culture that is not only at the peak of professionalism but both caring and human. It's a rare balance in my experience.
  • Found all staff including receptionists, legal assistants and solicitors very friendly and very efficient. They kept us up to date with all aspects of the work being carried out on our behalf. Many thanks.
  • Birkett Long acted for us in the preparation and formalising of a Declaration of Trust which they carried out in an expeditious and timely manner consistent with our instructions and budget - I would as you might imagine therefore recommend them to others who require professional advice.
  • Claire Read's team works 'promptly, reliably and without fuss'.The Legal 500 2014
  • Birkett Long provide a practical approach to this sensitive work and ensure great attention to detail. They are prepared to go the extra mile to assist their clients.Client testimonial from the Legal 500
  • My husband and I have recently dealt with Claire Read, Chelmsford office, to compose our new Wills. From the start, she was very efficient and friendly, giving us advice on all matters however complicated. We ended up with our Wills composed exactly as we required. We could not have received more attention and help than what she gave us. We will have no hesitation in recommending Claire, and your Firm, to friends and relatives in the future.