Shropshire Lawyer April 2024

Page 1


Improve your law firm’s productivity with LEAP Essentials

LEAP goes the extra mile to keep your firm constantly updated, ensuring you have the most accurate and timely information at your fingertips. Discover LEAP’s five essential features that will make your firm more productive and profitable:

Draft all documents and letters inside LEAP

Access a library of up-to-date court and government forms

Add your own documents to the library

Save time with Recurring Matter Templates

Unlock automation by entering all matter details in LEAP

Visit our website to find out more

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Our Ref: NO/0024/24 Dear Brian Sale Of Property Dr Brian Hetherton 19 Ellison Street Stockton Heath. Cheshire. WA4 2UL Access a library of Up-to-date forms Add your own Documents
SHROPSHIRE LAWYER 3 CONTENTS PUBLISHER Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: Web: ACCOUNTS DIRECTOR Joanne Casey SALES DIRECTOR Karen Hall STUDIO MANAGER John Barry MEDIA No. 2008 PUBLISHED April 2024 © The Shropshire Law Society Benham Publishing Ltd. LEGAL NOTICE © Benham Publishing Limited. None of the editorial or photographs may be reproduced without prior written permission from the publishers. Benham Publishing would like to point out that all editorial comment and articles are the responsibility of the originators and may or may not reflect the opinions of Benham Publishing. No responsibility can be accepted for any inaccuracies that may occur, correct at time of going to press. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us. DISCLAIMER The Shropshire Law Society welcomes all persons eligible for membership regardless of sex, race, religion, age or sexual orientation. All views expressed in this publication are the views of the individual writers and not the society unless specifically stated to be otherwise. All statements as to the law are for discussion between members and should not be relied upon as an accurate statement of the law, are of a general nature and do not constitute advice in any particular case or circumstance. Members of the public should not seek to rely on anything published in this magazine in court but seek qualified Legal Advice. COVER INFORMATION Photo of David Mermod, X-Press Legal Services CONTENTS 04 04 President’s Foreword 05 Your Committee 07 X-PRESS RELEASES CALENDAR OF CPD TRAINING SESSIONS 08 News 12 NAVIGATING CONVEYANCING'S SNAGS 13 Navigating Turbulence in Residential House Sales: Tax Strategies for Property Solicitors 16 4 ways technology is changing the face of private client practice 17 Solicitor firms invited to boost business and give back to charity in 2024 Will Aid campaign 18 Book Review NEXT ISSUE JULY 2024 Advertising Anyone wishing to advertise in the Shropshire Lawyer please contact Catherine McCarthy before the copy deadline. 0151 236 4141 Editorial Anyone wishing to submit editorial for publication in the Shropshire Lawyer please contact @ShropLawsoc 12 08 07

In this issue of the magazine, we continue to showcase our local talent and the fantastic work which is ongoing at Shropshire law firms and within the business community.

As we enter spring, trainees across the county enter their March seat, which for many is their final seat before qualification. This is an exciting time for the profession, and seeing new faces join the local legal community and go from strength to strength is certainly one of the areas of which we are most proud, with local firms regularly recognised for the strengths of their training programmes.

President’s Foreword Spring 2024

See inside for news on upcoming CPD events and the 2024 Will Aid Campaign.

Should you have any articles which you would like to include in our next addition, please contact us at

Lucy Speed

Your Committee


Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, Chapter House North, Abbey Lawn, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 5DE


Hatchers Solicitors, Welsh Bridge, 1 Frankwell Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY3 8JY

Victoria Pugh


Hatchers Solicitors, Welsh Bridge1, Frankwell, Shrewsbury, SY3 8JY,

Robert Adams

Wace Morgan Solicitors, 21 St Mary’s Street, Shrewsbury, SY1 1ED

David Raymont

MFG Solicitors

Padmore House, Hall Park Way, Telford

Jenny Bromwich

Shropshire Family Law, 47 Whitehall Street, Shrewsbury, SY2 5AD

Mark Turner

Aaron and Partners, Lakeside House, Oxon Business Park, Shrewsbury, SY3 5HJ

Samantha Roberts

FBC Manby Bowdler, Juneau House, Sitka Drive, Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury, SY2 6LG

Samantha Millea

PCB Solicitors, Trevithick House, Stafford Park 4, Telford, TF3 3BA

Charlotte Nutting

Roy Thornes Solicitors, Crossway, 156 Great Charles Street, Queensway, Birmingham, B3 3HN

Gemma Williams

Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, The Business Quarter, Eco Park Road, Ludlow, SY8 1FD

Christine Rimmer

Hatchers Solicitors, Welsh Bridge1, Frankwell, Shrewsbury, SY3 8JY

Hannah Harrison

NFU Mutual, Mutual House, Shrewsbury Business Park, Sitka Drive, Shrewsbury

Zoe Smith

ORJ Solicitors, Blount House, Hall Park Way Telford TF3 4NQ

Katie Hughes-Beddows

Aaron and Partners, Lakeside House, Oxon Business Park, Shrewsbury, SY3 5HJ

Hannah Fynn

Aaron and Partners, Lakeside House, Oxon Business Park, Shrewsbury, SY3 5HJ

Nicola Davies

Agri Advisor, Glynton House, Henfaes Lane, Trallwng, Powys, SY21 7BE

Gemma Hughes

Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, Chapter House North, Abbey Lawn, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 5DE

Rachel Davenport

Clarke’s Solicitors 21 High Street , Newport, Shropshire TF10 7AT


Ready to Break Free from Your Legal Software Provider?

Are you feeling trapped with a legal software provider that keeps raising their prices? Clio has great news for law firms currently using another legal software solution. Switch to Clio early and save big! For a limited time, we are offering a discount equivalent to your contract's remaining value. This means that you can enjoy up to 6 months off annual subscriptions. Plus, attend a demonstration of Clio and get a £/100 gift card! Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to switch to a more affordable and efficient legal software provider.

Make the Switch to Clio & Save Up to 6 Months on Your Annual Plan

Break Free with Clio - Your Cost-Effective and Flexible Solution

Affordable flexibility: Choose a plan that fits your needs and budget with no long-term commitments. Our monthly billing cycles ensure that you only pay for what you use. Say goodbye to being locked into expensive contracts that don't align with your firm's requirements.

Transparent pricing: At Clio, we believe in transparency. There are no hidden fees or surprises. Our plans start from just £49 per user/per month, making it easy for you to budget and plan ahead.

Worry-free migration: Switching to a new software provider can be daunting, but with Clio, you can rest easy. We handle the migration of your existing data and set you up in a way that works seamlessly for your firm. Our award-winning, dedicated support team ensures a smooth transition with zero downtime.

Join the thousands of Solicitors who trust Clio "We love Clio. It's the best practice management software we've ever used. The service and support are second to none. We almost want to keep Clio secret -- it's our unfair advantage over the competition."


"Switching from Leap to Clio was our best decision since founding the firm. Clio is the most cost-effective and intuitive case management system for growing law firms." -

"From how the system operates to the integration to customer service, to cost, it's just a Clio win across the board." -

Switch to Clio Now and Save

We're offering law firms using another legal software solution a discount equivalent to the remaining value of their contract. This means you can get up to 6 months off annual subscriptions. Take advantage of this limited-time promotion. Contact us today.


is a limited-time offer. Proof of contract is required to qualify for the discount. T&Cs apply. To learn more, visit the website, or scan the QR code to learn more. ■


X-Press Legal Services is inviting local conveyancers to take advantage of its 2024 CPD calendar which includes some free training sessions.

The largest independent property search company in England and Wales, X-Press Legal Services set an annual record in 2023 for delivering CPD events and webinars to conveyancers.

Over 5,000 conveyancing professionals participated in its packed calendar of training events last year. These engaging sessions featured presentations from industry experts including Richard Snape, Stephen Desmond, Kate Burt, David Keighley and Ian Quayle.

A far cry from dull conference centres, X-Press CPD events are designed to be both educational and enjoyable. Recent venues have included regional landmarks such as Cheltenham Racecourse, Trent Bridge Cricket Club and Hencote Vineyard in Shrewsbury.

David Mermod, owner of X-Press Legal Services Central commented: “We are delighted to have supported so many hardworking conveyancers last year and our ambition for 2024 is even greater. Staying abreast of an industry that is constantly evolving is not easy and our CPDs are specifically designed to bring conveyancers up to speed on the latest legislation, guidance and issues impacting the profession.

“As attendance proved in 2023, there is a real appetite for our CPD events, particularly those hosted in person where conveyancers can network with their peers. We are already busy filling our local CPD calendar for 2024 and would recommend conveyancers sign up soon to avoid disappointment.”

Upcoming events in the region include:

• 24 April – Hencote Vineyard, Shrewsbury

• 18 June – Hellens Manor, Herefordshire

X-Press Legal Services continues to set the benchmark for quality, reliability, and expertise in the property search and conveyancing industry. With a widespread network and a comprehensive suite of services, the company remains at the forefront, catering to the diverse needs of its clients nationwide.

With 27 offices across England & Wales, X-Press Legal Services is the largest independent property search franchise network. Its local office owners provide conveyancers with a wraparound service including residential & commercial searches, pre & post completion services, cyber security, and compliance products. The company delivers thousands of searches and reports to the conveyancing sector annually and works with over 500 legal practices.

Upcoming CPD events can be found and booked online at – sign up now!

For further information contact David Mermod on 0330 159 5365. 

David Mermod

AShropshire law firm has welcomed a newlyqualified solicitor to its residential property team - a former trainee who "found her calling" helping people buy and sell their homes.

Leanne Jones joined Lanyon Bowdler two years ago and experienced three seats of training with the firm before qualifying as a solicitor in March.

Leanne graduated from the University of Chester in 2018 and completed her LPC LMM in 2019. She worked as a paralegal in a credit hire/personal injury firm before joining Lanyon Bowdler as a trainee in September 2022.

She said: "I have been training and studying for just over 10 years and still can't believe that I have been able to achieve this amazing milestone of becoming a solicitor, but I am very excited to continue and grow as a lawyer with the help of Lanyon Bowdler.

"I enjoyed being a trainee and experiencing three completely different seats - private client, family and residential. The seat changes exposed me to different areas of law and have further enabled me to work alongside, assist, and learn from various experienced lawyers across Lanyon Bowdler.

"The seats have pushed me outside of my comfort zone on many occasions, such as when I have needed to attend various court hearings in family law to assist clients and counsel.


"Working in private client law further enabled me to help and support clients who were very vulnerable and upset, when they instructed us to deal with the estate of family members who had passed away.

"Even though I enjoyed both of these seats, I found my calling in residential, which is the department I have qualified into, and I am looking forward to progressing my career and assisting future clients with purchasing and selling their homes.

"In previous roles, I also had the opportunity to train new starters and I enjoyed watching them develop and grow and build on their confidence with my support. In the future, I would love the chance to supervise trainees and play an important part in their trainee journey - helping them achieve their goals in the profession."

Praveen Chaudhari, partner and head of Lanyon Bowdler's residential property team, said: "Leanne has made an important contribution to Lanyon Bowdler since she joined us as a trainee two years ago.

"She has worked really hard, is always committed to the best interests of our clients and has taken advantage of every opportunity to learn and develop. We congratulate her on qualifying as a solicitor and wish her well for the future." 

Leanne jones


AShropshire law firm is highlighting the need for businesses to have proper procedures in place to help reduce bad debts and improve their cash flow.

Liam Holyhead, Lanyon Bowdler’s new debt recovery manager, said it was essential that firms safeguard their interests by performing their due diligence correctlyensuring they stay on top of their finances and keeping the business on track.

Prior to joining Lanyon Bowdler, Liam worked in housing and leasehold management, specialising in anti-social behaviour, service charge recovery and disrepair, and then debt recovery.

He said: “I am delighted to have joined Lanyon Bowdler and really enjoy my new role. It is always a great feeling when you’re able to achieve a good result for the client, especially when posed with a particularly difficult set of circumstances that involve some problem solving.

“With that in mind, I thoroughly enjoy working within a role that challenges me every day, and enables me to learn, grow and develop as a lawyer and a manager.

“The world has changed substantially since the Covid-19 Pandemic almost four years ago and it's evident that almost everyone has felt the crunch of the cost of living crisis and rising interest rates.

“In this climate, I would urge businesses to consider their credit control processes and whether they are performing correct due diligence procedures in order to help reduce bad debts and improve their cash flow.

“Having a robust credit control department can aid in mitigating risk to businesses as this greatly assists in getting payments in promptly on a more regular basis.

“My future plans for the department are centred on the development of our staff and ensuring we can continue to provide the best service to our clients. Personally, I am really looking forward to continuing my development with the firm.”

Brian Evans, Lanyon Bowdler managing partner, said: “We are delighted to welcome Liam to the firm - he has already made a significant contribution in the short time he has been here, and we wish him well in his future career with us.”

Liam Holyhead


top employment law expert in Shropshire is highlighting changes to the way compensation is calculated in tribunal cases.

The changes come into effect on April 6 and will see the Government introduce an annual increase in compensation limits for employment tribunal awards and other statutory payments - meaning the prospect of additional costs for employers.

John Merry, senior partner at Lanyon Bowdler and head of the firm’s employment team, said the planned changes would mean the maximum compensatory award for ordinary unfair dismissal would increase from £105,707 to £115,115 and the limit on a week’s pay would rise from £643 to £700.

He said: “These are important changes and something that people should be aware of, but it is important to remember that the context of the maximum compensatory award is that the limit on these awards would actually be the lower of an amount equal to the employee’s basic annual salary and the stated maximum.

“The limit on weekly pay is applied in a number of contexts, including basic awards for unfair dismissal, statutory redundancy pay and awards of compensation that are made due to an employee not having been issued with written particulars of employment that comply with statutory minimum requirements.

“This means the maximum possible basic award or statutory redundancy payment will increase to £21,000, while statutory guaranteed pay, which applies when an employee is laid off or subjected to short-time working, will increase from £35 to £38 per day.

“The announced changes reflect inflation rates and will affect dismissals that occur on or after April 6 - meaning successful unfair dismissal claims could result in a greater cost for employers.”

If anyone has any questions or concerns or is looking for professional advice, they can contact the Lanyon Bowdler employment team on 0800 2945926 or email 


A£170 million cash injection into the justice system has been cautiously welcomed by a Shropshire legal expert.

Sue Hodgson, head of family law at Lanyon Bowdler, said the investment announced in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget was positive - but only if it was used in the right way.

During the Budget, Jeremy Hunt said, “too many legal cases, particularly in family law, should never go to court,” adding, “it would cost us less if they didn’t.”

The Government is pledging to invest £170 million into non courtbased legal resolution, digitising the court process and reducing re-offending. The investment will include £55 million earmarked

for family courts to shorten waiting times by offering more online guidance and earlier legal advice.

Sue Hodgson said: “I welcome any funding into a service which is currently in need of reform and it is good news that families going through the worst times will have resources for alternative dispute resolution.

“No-one wants to go to court, however I worry that there is always a place for court resolution particularly in cases of high conflict and where there are risks and welfare concerns for the child.

“It’s vital that the Government doesn’t lose sight of the overall need for justice whilst seeking much-needed efficiencies and cost savings.” 



An event in Shrewsbury to celebrate inspirational people who battled back from life-changing brain injuries has been declared a major success.

The Thriving After Brain Injury conference was hosted by Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors at Theatre Severn and attracted people from all over the country.

A range of speakers described their own experiences of living with a brain injury, while others outlined the latest technology aiding rehabilitation, and therapy techniques.

One of the headline speakers was Jack Rutter, who suffered a traumatic head injury after being attacked outside a nightclub and went on to captain the GB football team at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

He explained to the audience how stepping out of his comfort zone enabled him to achieve great things, saying “the only disability in life is a bad attitude”.

Meanwhile, Shropshire-based neuropsychological rehabilitation specialist, Andrew Worthington, talked about how positive psychology could help people flourish after a brain injury, and other speakers outlined technology and therapy advances.

Beth Heath, head of clinical negligence at Lanyon Bowdler, hosted the conference and said it was an inspiring day.

“We were delighted with the turn-out, with almost every seat in the auditorium full, and people were fascinated with every speaker,” she said.

“We heard from Jack Rutter and Alex Danson, a former Olympic hockey player forced to retire due to a serious concussion injury, who had very different stories to tell but were equally as uplifting.

“The technical insight from speakers like Hannah Wright, of Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital, who talked us through the rehabilitation challenges faced by patients, and Mike Gomm, of Steve Martin Associates, who described the very latest assistive technology which is helping people gain more independence, was superb.

“The feedback we have received from delegates has been fantastic, with people enjoying the blend of specialist knowledge and inspirational personal experiences.

“We would like to thank all of the speakers and event sponsors for their support, as well as everyone who took the time to be with us for the day.”

As well as raising awareness, the conference donated funds to the Hereford Adaptive Cycling Group and the Peeps charity, which supports people affected by a lack of oxygen to the brain during birth known as HIE (hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy).

Event sponsors were ARAG, Frenkel Topping Group and No5 Barristers Chambers. 


Zoe Smith, Head of Commercial Property at ORJ, looks at three of the potential pitfalls of commercial conveyancing.

Contracting out

We are seeing more landlords ‘contracting out’ to give them greater flexibility over who occupies their commercial property and for how long.

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (1954 Act), tenants who lease a commercial property usually benefit from statutory rights to renew their lease at the end of the lease term. A landlord can only refuse in limited circumstances set out by the Act.

That is unless 'contracting out' is put in place when the lease is first agreed. This is where the landlord and tenant reach an agreement to exclude the statutory rights under the 1954 Act. If contracting out is in place, at the end of the term the landlord may choose to renegotiate on price, find a new tenant or take ownership of the property themselves.

Contracting out is usually the decision of the landlord as it gives them greater flexibility as to how long they lease their property. It also provides certainty for both landlord and tenant and means the landlord does not need to remember to serve any notices on the tenant in order for them to be legally required to leave at the end of the lease.

Both landlords and tenants should seek expert advice when they are agreeing a lease – particularly when contracting out is involv involved. We can talk you through the pros and cons and help with agreeing contracts.

Repair Obligations

It’s vitally important that tenants are aware of their repair obligations when they enter into a new lease. Failure to do so could cost tens of thousands of pounds.

Conventional commercial leases require the tenant to “keep the property in good and substantial repair”. This wording, though, can be vague and open to interpretation and can be based on several factors such as the age of the property, its character and where it is located. It is therefore important to look at the condition of the property and consider the proposed extent of the repairing obligation. For example, what condition is the roof


in? Many leases are full repair leases meaning that the tenant is responsible for repairing and maintaining the full extent of the property including the roof; if the roof is not in good condition then you as the tenant could find yourselves having to pay out a lot of money to repair it.

I'd therefore urge caution, particularly if the building is old or even listed. A tenant could find themselves being served with a Schedule of Dilapidation and being required to put the property back into good repair - even if it was in disrepair at the start of the lease.

I would recommend tenants insist on a Schedule of Condition, which accurately records the state and condition of the property with photographs and descriptions at the time of the lease being agreed. Make sure that the lease sets out exactly what structures fall within the responsibility of the landlord, and what is the responsibility of the tenant.

If the property is fairly dilapidated from the outset, tenants certainly shouldn't agree to enter into a full repair obligation. Don't take chances - speak to the experts before putting pen to paper.

Service charges

Service charges are paid by the tenant to the landlord for the services the landlord is obliged to provide under the terms of the lease, which can include maintenance and repair and management costs. Charges can vary from year-to-year depending on the costs the landlord incurs.

Service charges can go up or down without any limit - but it is only recoverable if it is reasonable. A landlord can be asked to prove expenditure and a leaseholder can challenge the reasonableness of the charge.

Due to the ambiguous nature of what is reasonable, disputes are inevitable and common. We have good experience of working with both landlords and tenants when disagreements arise. It is important for both sides to act properly and to record all correspondence.

ORJ is a leading expert in commercial conveyancing. Speak to us today to ensure your rights are protected – whether you are a landlord or a tenant. 

Zoe Smith

Navigating Turbulence in Residential House Sales: Tax Strategies for Property Solicitors

I n residential property sales, turbulence can arise from various factors, including economic downturns, changing market trends, and alterations in tax laws. As a property solicitor, navigating through these challenges requires a multifaceted approach, blending legal expertise with strategic tax planning.

As the property market has slowed down in recent months, it becomes imperative for property solicitors to offer additional value to clients, keeping them engaged and onboard with your support.

This article provides valuable tax strategies that can help your clients navigate uncertainties effectively and diversify your services against competition.

By integrating a strategic tax planning offering into your legal services, you can empower clients to make informed decisions, minimise tax liabilities, and ultimately enhance their satisfaction with the property sales process. A proactive approach to tax management protects clients' financial interests and strengthens your position as a trusted advisor in the ever-evolving landscape of residential property sales.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Planning:

• Timing: Advising clients on the optimal timing of property sales can significantly impact their tax liabilities. Assessing current CGT rates and potential future changes can guide decisions on when to sell.

• Principal Private Residence Relief (PPR): Ensuring clients understand the eligibility criteria for PPR relief and assisting in documentation can help minimise CGT liabilities, especially if they own more than one property.

• Lettings Relief: For clients renting out their property, exploring lettings relief options can reduce CGT liabilities, subject to meeting specific conditions.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Optimisation:

• Structuring Transactions: Advising clients on the most tax-efficient way to structure property transactions, such as through joint ownership or purchasing through a corporate entity, can help mitigate SDLT liabilities.

• First-Time Buyers Relief: Keeping abreast of any reliefs or exemptions available for first-time buyers can result in significant savings on SDLT, particularly for clients entering the property market for the first time.

• Multiple Dwellings Relief: An SDLT relief that should be considered where a client is acquiring more than one dwelling in a single or linked transaction. However, following the budget this month, multiple dwellings relief is being abolished from 1 June 2024, so the property completion date is important to consider here.

Inheritance Tax (IHT) Mitigation:

• Lifetime Gifting: Encouraging clients to consider lifetime gifting of properties to beneficiaries can reduce the value of their estate for IHT purposes, provided they survive the gift by seven years.

• Trusts: Exploring the use of trusts as a vehicle for property ownership can offer potential IHT advantages, although careful consideration of the associated legal and tax implications is essential.

Incorporation Relief:

• Transfer of Property to Corporate Structures: Advising clients on the tax implications of transferring residential properties into corporate structures, including potential incorporation relief and ongoing corporation tax considerations.

Keeping Abreast of Legislative Changes:

• Continuous Education: Staying updated on changes to tax legislation and property regulations is paramount for property solicitors. Regular professional development ensures they can provide clients with the most accurate and up-to-date advice.

In conclusion, turbulence in the residential house sales market presents both challenges and opportunities for property solicitors. By integrating strategic tax planning into their legal services, solicitors can empower clients to navigate uncertainties effectively while minimising tax liabilities. Ultimately, a proactive approach to tax management protects clients' financial interests and enhances their overall satisfaction with the property sales process.

WR Partners have a Tax Consultancy team, specialised in helping both professionals and their clients, if you would like to discuss any of the topics mentioned in this article in more detail please reach out to our team by emailing or calling 08000 664 664. 

Expert Financial Services Tailored for Legal Businesses

Are you seeking expert financial services tailored specifically for legal entities? Look no further than WR Partners, a distinguished firm of Chartered Accountants, Business Advisers, and Tax Consultants specialising in legal practices.

At WR Partners, we have assembled a dedicated team of professionals with a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges faced by legal businesses.

Our suite of services is meticulously designed to address your unique financial needs:

WR Partners offer accounting, auditing and business services including; tax advisory, consultancy and payroll. 08000 664 664

Tennis Ad.indd 1 14/09/2023 16:29:15


AWelsh-speaking clinical negligence specialist has become the latest partner at a law firm working with clients across Shropshire and North Wales.

Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors have offices in Shrewsbury, Telford, Hereford, Oswestry and Conwy, and the firm has kicked off the new year by welcoming Laura Weir as a new partner.

Laura joined Lanyon Bowdler's award-winning clinical negligence team in 2020, returning to her native Wales following a successful career in London.

She is a fluent Welsh speaker and her knowledge of the Welsh healthcare system is of great benefit to her clients when dealing with a range of legal claims.

Laura said: "I am delighted to have become a partner of the firm, and feel as passionate as ever about supporting people in claims arising from delays in, or failure to diagnose, refer or treat a range of serious conditions resulting in a significant injury.

"I have a particular interest in brain, spine and birth injury claims, as well as cases arising from the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

"Although based in Shrewsbury, I work closely with the team in Conwy and am always happy to help with any clients who prefer communicating in Welsh."

Brian Evans, managing partner of Lanyon Bowdler, said Laura's promotion was richly deserved. He added: "Laura has been an extremely valuable member of the team since she joined us in 2020, and we are delighted to welcome her as a new partner."

Please visit for help with any legal queries. 

Laura Weir


Visitors to Shropshire Business Festival will be able to raise legal queries with an expert as lawyers from an award-winning law firm attend the event this year.

Shropshire Business Festival takes place at Wrekin College in Wellington on April 11, and Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors will be there to give advice and deliver a seminar on clinical negligence claims.

The free-to-attend business festival is organised by Shropshire Festivals with hundreds of business leaders expected to attend, and follows on from a hugely successful event last year.

Amanda Jones, marketing director at Lanyon Bowdler, said the firm would be hosting a special 'Lawyers Lounge' at the event.

She said: "The festival is a big date on the calendar and we are delighted to be supporting it again this year.

"In the Lawyers Lounge we will have Edward Rees, Abi Croft and Liam Holyhead, the three of them will be there to chat with those starting a business, or business owners, about managing debts by having a strong credit control process in place and ensuring the right legal documents are in place, such as partnership agreements and business lasting powers of attorney.

"Visitors are able to just pop along and see one of the team on the day, or they can book appointments ahead of the event.

"The festival runs from noon until 7pm and there will be so much going on throughout the day. Subject areas include tourism and hospitality in Shropshire, business start-up, general business and networking.

"The Lanyon Bowdler team always enjoys the chance to meet people in an informal setting and if anyone would like to book an appointment in advance, they can get in touch by emailing us at"

One of the seminars on the day will include a talk on medical negligence by a member of the Lanyon Bowdler team, and new at the festival this year will be the opportunity to enjoy business talks from Silent Seminars, who are sponsoring the concept at the event.

Visitors will be given headphones to tune in to a live business talk whilst on the move, maximising their time at the event.

For more about the festival, visit https://www. and for more about Lanyon Bowdler visit


4 ways technology is changing the face of private client practice

While traditionally perceived by many as slow and antiquated, private client practice is, in reality, an area of law that is required to move quickly, with an increasing number of practitioners being asked to serve a broadening section of society and their evolving needs. Society and the world we live in are changing at a rapid pace, and so must the technology practitioners use and the service they deliver, in order to stay relevant.

Legal Technology is revolutionising the delivery of estate planning, probate, lifetime planning and will preparation services by:

Centralising digital matter files in the cloud

Providing a single, secure, and searchable electronic matter is central to streamlining private client practice. It offers one fully searchable digital file containing all data, documents, and emails related to that matter, easily accessible within the cloud. Granting practitioners the ability to access up-to-date matter information and documentation from any location streamlines client service, enhances collaboration, and minimises duplication of work, errors, or inaccuracies.

An additional benefit of having a single digital matter file with upto-date client and matter information is the ability to generate and complete documents with ease, by merging the captured details into letter templates and court and government forms quickly and consistently.

Automating complex tasks

Leading legal software providers are offering intuitive technology that simplifies the day-to-day life of a private client practitioner. They are developing innovative productivity tools to complete time-consuming tasks, such as estate account and inheritance tax automation. Technology streamlines the collection of estate data and the generation of IHT forms, applying up-to-date legal rates and calculations in line with updates to legislation and cost changes.

Enabling wills and LPAs to be drafted in minutes

Critical to the profession in terms of technology is highly automated specialist will writing software. Such software includes up-to-date clauses maintained by experts, enabling practitioners to create both simple and complex wills, as well as lasting powers of attorney, with ease. The fast and accurate production of wills and LPAs is pivotal to a successful private client practice, improving client service and saving valuable practitioner time.

Allowing powerful system integrations

We all know that practice management software is pivotal to the success of a private client practice, but how the software integrates with other technology to add value to private client practitioners is

something to consider. Tools to further streamline processes might include verification of identity and funds, document collaboration, time recording, online payment and eSignatures.

As practitioners face growing and diverse clientele with everchanging needs, adaptation is crucial. This dynamic shifts in society necessitates innovative technology in order to remain relevant, revolutionising estate planning, probate, lifetime planning, and will preparation services.

About LEAP Estates

LEAP Estates occupies a unique position in the legal software market, providing specialist software for probate solicitors and estate planners.

With powerful features and functionality, the innovative solution provides everything you need to manage your client’s wills, LPAs and estates efficiently, including case management, accounting, document assembly and management, will building and legal publishing assets in one integrated cloud solution.

For more information, please visit or follow LEAP Estates on LinkedIn ■


Solicitor firms invited to boost business and give back to charity in 2024 Will Aid campaign

Now’s the time for solicitor firms to sign up to participate in this year’s Will Aid campaign – which brings a host of opportunities including attracting new clients, boosting your reach and helping seven of the UK’s best-loved charities too.

Will Aid is an annual charity Will-writing scheme that sees hundreds of solicitors donate time in the month of November to write basic Wills. Instead of charging their usual fee for writing basic wills, solicitors invite clients to make an upfront donation to Will Aid with the donations benefiting the Will Aid partner charities.

It has been running since 1988 and has encouraged more than 350,000 people to write their Will with a regulated and insured solicitor and, in so doing has raised more than £24 million in donations, and many millions more in pledged legacies.

Boost to business

Helping others and supporting the local community is one of the main reasons why law firms sign up to take part in Will Aid each year.

But there are a whole host of business benefits to being part of Will Aid – such as meeting new clients, boosting staff morale, and raising your solicitors’ local profile.

In 2023, there were 323 mentions of Will Aid in local and national press, on TV and radio, and in online publications – giving amazing exposure to those firms who helped people gain peace of mind by getting a Will professionally drawn up, while supporting charities as well.

Attracting new clients

There are always more people wanting to participate in Will Aid than there are available appointments, and as well as faceto-face sessions, firms can also offer remote appointments –meaning Will Aid is an effective way to widen the client network.

And the Will Aid team make it easy for you to take part. There is an easy-to-use and fully secure online dashboard to help solicitors keep track of where they are with each enquiry, and it’s up to firms to decide how many Will Aid instructions they take.

Helping people at home and beyond

Lauren Smith, from Sheffield and Doncaster-based Taylor Bracewell, said the firm has been part of the Will Aid scheme for more than 10 years and found the process straightforward and worthwhile, attracting hundreds of clients a year.

"Taking part in Will Aid says that your firm has the interests of people right at its heart,” she said.

“Whether that’s clients who want to put their affairs in order and provide for their loved ones with a professionally written Will, or those people who depend on the support of some of the UK’s best-loved charities.

“Our involvement with Will Aid sent out that powerful message, and it was heard loud and clear. We attracted almost 300 new clients in 2023 as a result.

"The number of Wills you choose to write is up to you, so you always feel in complete control of your workload and calendar. I was surprised how easy it was to inform the Will Aid team that we were at capacity.

“In fact, they were incredibly helpful in supporting us every step of the way – whether that was helping us keep track of enquiries through their secure online dashboard or sharing PR materials with us to help us promote our involvement."

A golden opportunity

Will Aid Campaign Director Peter de Vena Franks added: “We are always looking for firms to come on board to help fulfil enquires as appointments for Will Aid get booked up extremely quickly, and each year, we receive far more demand than we can fulfil.

"Participating solicitors regularly see Will Aid clients return for additional services and have even been highlighted in the national and regional press for their incredible work.

“We encourage solicitor firms, new or returning, to sign up to Will Aid 2024 and use this opportunity to support some of the UK’s best-loved charities, all while welcoming new clients and boosting the profile of your business.

“Participating in Will Aid is simple and beneficial for all involved. If your firm has any questions before registering for this year, please do not hesitate to get in touch via our website, one of our team members will be more than happy to assist.”

Top tips

• When you take part in Will Aid, the number of new clients you take on is completely up to you.

• Just let the Will Aid team know when you are fully booked, and they will take you off the list.

• You can also choose to be on our remote list and reach clients all over the country. Listing your firm on the remote list gives prospective Will makers the chance to find and contact you, no matter where in the UK you’re based, so you can grow your client base even further.

• We have a secure online dashboard to help you keep track of where you are with each of your enquiries, as well as PR materials to help you promote your involvement with Will Aid.

Ready to win some new clients and change lives for the better?

To take part in Will Aid, follow these simple steps: Call the Will Aid team on 0300 0300 013 or visit ■


Housing Law Handbook


5th Edition

The Access to Justice Charity


An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor MA of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers, Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”, and Mediator T here can scarcely be a housing lawyer in England who does not have a copy of ‘Housing Law Handbook’. First published in 2008, this now well-known and highly regarded work of reference by dedicated author Diane Astin, has rapidly acquired a reputation for its authority, reliability, and practicality. Certainly, it has become a necessity for those grappling with the complexities of this often bewildering and essentially sensitive area of law.

And now -- the Handbook has emerged in a new and updated fifth edition which references the almost seismic events that have impacted on housing issues, within which, as the author reminds us, recent events have wrought certain profound changes: first Brexit and the impact of global warming, then the COVID-19 pandemic and most recently, the tragedies and economic uncertainties caused by the war in Europe.

Such has been the impact of these events that fundamentally, incomes have fallen, while prices and the costs of housing have relentlessly increased. The author points out that ‘although the levels of poverty in the UK have worsened in recent years, the main provisions of housing law have not changed significantly in thirty years.’ For lawyers and advisers then, this Handbook provides a reassuring source of information and authority within an undeniably complicated legal landscape.

The Handbook’s twenty-one information-rich chapters include such areas as occupiers’ rights: basic principles... unlawful eviction and harassment by landlords... disrepair and housing conditions -- action by occupiers and local authorities... and much more, including at least seven chapters which cover homelessness, social housing, and community care. The final chapter on civil proceedings -- which includes two appendices -deals with such areas as the Civil Procedure Rules and costs, as well as ‘the usual steps in a civil claim’.

Case law abounds, with all cases boxed and highlighted to aid accessibility. And in this updated edition, recent judgments and key legislation are discussed, including the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, Tenant Fees Act 2019 and Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.

As a formidable reference resource, the Handbook is reassuringly written in a user-friendly way in keeping with the publishing traditions of the LAG. Very easy to navigate it is too, with a detailed table of contents, extensive footnoting, numbered paragraphs throughout and a twenty-five-page index. Also note the forty-eight pages of tables: of cases, statutes, and statutory instruments, plus an alphabetical -- and very handy -- list of abbreviations.

For all busy lawyers or advisers dealing with the often-daunting complexities of housing law, this book is an essential purchase. Note also, that it is applicable to English law only. ■

Migrant Support Handbook


The access to justice charity


An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson

Taylor MA of Richmond Green

Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers, Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”, and Mediator

Is there a new law text out there that is more topical than this? Not to mention more vital than this? Probably not -- although many may well argue the point. It is indisputable, however, that mass migration, whether legal or illegal, has become an international problem, particularly for the UK -- and in the view of many -- it is a problem that is well-nigh insoluble.

It is fair to say, however, that immigration lawyers in particular -- as well as anyone involved in, or committed to, achieving viable solutions to the problems inherent in migrant support -- will welcome the publication of this book by the Legal Action Group.

Authors Shu Shin Luh and Connor Johnston have noted that the book (conceived some six years ago) was painstakingly researched and written to ‘replace the irreplaceable’ “Support For AsylumSeekers” by Sue Willman and Steve Knaffer QC, published by LAG in 2009. It is sobering to recall how much and how quickly and relentlessly the world has changed since then -- making the problem of asylum seekers ever more acute.

The publication of this book is therefore all the timelier. And certainly, the almost insoluble complexity of its subject matter is reflected in its more than 1,2000 pages of scholarly and thorough research presented (in the tradition of the LAG) in a clear, accessible style; accessible, that is, not only to lawyers, but to anyone interested in, or involved with, this detailed and certainly controversial and difficult subject, which has occasioned so much debate.

With its focus on the welfare and legal rights of migrants, the book provides in-depth coverage of, for example, housing and welfare, benefits, NHS access and provision and social services, as well as support for failed asylum seekers with reference to special cases; notably unaccompanied children and -- most heart-rending of all -the victims of human trafficking.

This is a handbook you could almost call encyclopaedic. Certainly, it offers specialists in this wide-ranging and many-faceted and complex area of law, a gateway to further research. Note that the first 150 or so pages contain tables of cases... statutes... statutory instruments... immigration rules... and a table of European and international legislation. Also, for a volume its size, it is remarkably easy to navigate, containing as it does, copious footnotes, a detailed table of contents and an even more minutely detailed index of at least 115 pages. A handy handbook? Absolutely.

As immigration -- both legal and illegal -- will undoubtedly emerge as a prime issue during elections and beyond, this scholarly yet eminently readable volume will prove indispensable, not only to practitioners, but to anyone interested in the wide-ranging issues inherent in this undeniably difficult area of law. ■


Charging Orders On Land Practice and Precedents

2nd Edition


An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor MA of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers, Reviews Editor, ‘The Barrister’ and Mediator

“ Charging Orders on Land” has now arrived as a second edition from Falcon Chambers for 2024 -- an event which will certainly be welcomed by counsel embroiled in the specifics of charging orders, which, more often than not, present special problems. What we have here is a highly specialised and quite narrow area of law in which attention to minute detail is all too often imperative. The precedents at the back of the book are of great assistance to those involved in drafting orders.

Fortunately for practitioners and judges dealing with the challenge of changing orders, this distinguished text published by Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, presents up to date and authoritative help in what is now regarded as the definitive work on the subject.

Editors Cecily Crampin and Michael Ransom are assisted by nine contributors from Falcon Chambers, known as the set which specialises in land law and landlord and tenant work. Practitioners seeking guidance from this new and updated edition can be confident that they are in good hands. For example, there’s a new chapter on insolvency regimes, plus the inclusion of new CPR procedures and precedents.

This then, is an ample and detailed compendium of practical advice and guidance on ‘the enforcement of money judgements by means of obtaining a charging order.’ Initially, this may sound straightforward, except that all too often it isn’t, as any number of complications can occur within the various stages of enforcement on which there is a special chapter. Also read the chapter on priorities and problems and note the specialist advice on sanctions, tenanted property, overseas entities and much more, including the new chapter on corporate and personal insolvency.

Certainly the book can be depended upon to explain or clarify the various -- and seemingly endless -- snags and contingencies that frequently occur within this particular category of law, including (probably the most frequent of all) the cases which come under the heading of ‘Personal Circumstances: the family home’ which typically is balanced against the claims of the judgment debtor’s spouse... or possibly former, or divorcing spouse... or ‘any children who live in the property to be shared.’

It is also carefully pointed out that sometimes in such cases, the charging order can be withheld, or the interest of one party, for example, can be transferred to the other. Small wonder then that, in the opinion of quite a few practitioners, the concept of the charging order all too often presents a serious impediment to selling a house and clogging up the already stretched housing market.

Considering the often complicated and sometimes controversial area of law, it is reassuring for the busy practitioners that this comprehensive and carefully researched legal text is easy to navigate. The table of contents is almost minutely detailed, and the extensive appendices offer more than 100 pages of statutory material and precedents -- an invaluable resource which will be of special interest to counsel charged with drafting orders. Also note the tables of cases, statutes, and statutory instruments, plus tables of European conventions and other material.

Any practitioner involved in this highly specialised area will find this comprehensive and carefully researched legal text well-nigh indispensable. ■

Turnaround Management

2nd Edition

Unlocking and Preserving Value in Distressed Businesses


An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor MA of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers, Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”, and Mediator

I f you are a lawyer with a corporate client -- or clients -- facing financial distress and ultimately insolvency, you need this book, published recently by Globe Law and Business.

Note the usefully descriptive subtitle: ‘Unlocking and Preserving Value in Distressed Businesses’. This says it all, you may say, but as its processes are linked to a complex area of law, there is a lot more to be said, especially when multi-jurisdictional complications emerge.

With lengthy and detailed experience in this specialised area of consultancy, author Alan Tilley provides a broad range of authoritative advice, aimed specifically at those who are confronted with the undeniably challenging task of advising and managing companies teetering on the sharp edge of insolvency, with its intimidating spectrum of possible consequences.

The book and the wealth of advice therein is aimed primarily at those who find themselves in the role of turnaround manager. Such a role, as the author explains ‘usually involves operating in an executive rather than a consultative role’ and as such, ‘exposes the professional to the risks of personal liability.’ You have been warned.

However, no need to despair -- as Tilley adds that operating through a limited liability entity, with a properly constructed engagement contract reduces the risks. Proper professional performance is the ultimate guarantee of risk avoidance.

Anyone in the legal profession or accountancy and/or financial services, might well wonder how this increasingly obvious need for ‘turnaround management’ got started and whether or not it is proving itself effective.

The author’s positive answer is that turnaround management is becoming ‘increasingly recognized as an important part of business’ and that the understanding of its obvious benefits is growing. Tilley is confident that the concept has more than likely evolved as a result of the influence of Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code of 1970, which is based on the concept of ‘giving entrepreneurs a second chance’ primarily by creating the concept, so called, of ‘debtor-in-possession’ (DIP) -- usually by means of a restructuring plan while the company is protected from creditors. Better results for shareholders certainly loom large here as a distinct possibility.

Although a complex subject, ‘turnaround management’ is explained in this book with admirable clarity, covering as it does, the risks involved, as well as the potential rewards. Based in the author’s 40-plus years of experience in this field, the consultancy, advice, and guidance contained in this compact volume is high-value indeed. Note too, the handy appendix which contains over 20 pages of useful guidelines and policy recommendations.

With its international orientation, as well as its straightforward advice, this book should be considered as an essential purchase for business and law professionals worldwide. ■


Ready to break free from your legal software provider?

Make the switch to Clio & save up to 6 months on your annual plan

Are you tired of feeling locked in with a legal software provider that keeps hiking up their prices? We have good news for you! If you’re using other legal software solutions, switch to Clio early and enjoy substantial savings.

With affordable, flexible, and transparent pricing, join the thousands of satisfied solicitors who trust Clio for practice management software.

Visit or scan the QR code for details. Limited time offer. T&Cs apply.


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.