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Debra Burton STEPs Up To The Mark

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STEP up to the mark: TBI Associate achieves world renowned professional qualification in Trust Disputes and helps others in need.

Associate, Debra Burton, a specialist in Contentious Probate has recently attained a Distinction in the STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Disputes. STEP is a world wide professional body for those solicitors involved in advising in private client and family matters and its courses are known for being very challenging.  Lawyers from all over the world can apply to  do the course, with few achieving the highest  mark of a  distinction.   

Debra says “I am very pleased to have achieved this qualification, especially achieving a distinction in an  area of law that I was not familiar with at the beginning of the course.  It was several months of hard work but it has paid off as it has certainly enhanced by legal knowledge in this specialist area” 

The STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Disputes is added to Debra’s growing list of qualifications in this specialist area of law. In 2014 she successfully completed the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ATAPS) Education Course and became an Associate member of that professional organisation.  Debra will be applying for full membership of ACTAPS in September 2016  along with her Affiliate membership of STEP. Her dual successes with ACTAPS and STEP means she is one of only a handful of solicitors in the North East to attain both qualifications in the area of Contentious Probate. 

Debra is also giving back to the legal profession that has provided for her by becoming the Tees Valley Area Representative for the SBA

( The Solicitors’ Charity). The SBA is an independent charity working for solicitors both past and present and their families. Every year SBA helps hundreds of people of all ages who are in serious financial need as a result of illness, accident, redundancy or other adversity.  “Serious financial need” is determined by using research produced by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s ‘Minimum Income Standard.  SBA provides grants and interest-free loans (usually secured), support with career transition and access to bespoke personal insolvency advice. 

Debra says: “I am very excited and honoured to be appointed an Area Representative of the SBA. This is a wonderful long standing charity that really helps those solicitors and their families in times of financial need. Having reached a certain level in my legal career, I thought it was time that I gave something back by helping my fellow legal professionals who may not have been so lucky. Financial hardship can happen to anyone, irrespective of their profession, especially in these challenging economic times.  Many solicitors may not be aware of the SBA and the great work that they do so by becoming an Area Representative and helping to raise awareness of the SBA then hopefully the charity can help even more solicitors and their families.”

If anyone would like to learn more about the SBA please visit  or call in confidence on 020 8675 6440.