The Official Journal of THE HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY
SAVE THE DATE
The National Local Law Society Conference 2019
Inside this issue:
HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY
■ Commercial Conveyancing ■ Compliance ■ Happenings in Hampshire
QUILL DOCUMEN NTS We’r e e not just legal accounts
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Contents PUBLISHER Benham Publishing Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Tel: 0151 236 4141 0151 236 0440 Fax: email@example.com email: www.benhampublishing.com web:
Officers President’s Review
Local News 6-17
Happenings In Hampshire
ADVERTISING AND FEATURES EDITOR Anna Woodhams
18-19 Legal Awards 2019
GRAPHIC DESIGNER John Barry
20-21 Hampshire Law Society -
ACCOUNTS Joanne Casey
Training CPD Events
MEDIA NO. 1647 PUBLISHED
22-23 Helping you find cancer care services in your area This too will pass
© The Hampshire Incorporated Law Society Benham Publishing
Why we don’t require you to carry out any property inspections...
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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.
Land and Property 27 29
Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.
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 member 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.
34 35 36 38
A love that lasts forever A lesson learned...
When is an asset search needed?
Wills and Probate
Members wishing to submit material please contact the Editor, Alison Plenderleith, before copy deadline.
New SRA rules – The problem with ‘guidance’
COVER INFORMATION Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth.
18th April 2019 18th October 2019 30th January 2020
Japanese Knotweed - The Plant That Can Cost your Clients Thousands How Searches have changed so much, from someone who’s lived it!
Members of the public should not seek to rely on anything published in this magazine in court but seek qualified Legal Advice.
Summer Autumn Winter
The new transparency rules two months on Commercial Development: Opening up Brownfield Land Opportunity
DISCLAIMER The Hampshire Incorporated Law Society welcomes all persons eligible for membership regardless of Sex, Race, Religion, Age or Sexual Orientation.
Firms that shape their company culture create better client experiences, increase staff loyalty and enjoy greater business success
What might 2019 have in store for the SIPP market? Productivity Improvement in the Legal sector
10 reasons to use document management software
Book Review 43 45
CPAG: COUNCIL TAX HANDBOOK EUROPEAN ENERGY LAW REPORT VOLUME XII
Anyone else wishing to advertise or submit editorial for publication in Hampshire Legal please contact Anna Woodhams before copy deadline.
Hampshire Law Society is focussing on improving its presence on Social Media Please follow us on Twitter @hampshirelawsoc
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0151 236 4141
And LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/hampshire-incorporated-law-society/
HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY CONTACTS The following is an up-to-date list of committee membersâ€™ names and addresses and the sub committees to which they belong:
Business Development Officer
Mr J. Robertson
Lanchet Cottage, Stuckton, Fordingbridge SP6 2HF Tel: 07429 523183 Email: email@example.com
Deputy President Mr J. Gleisner Trethowans Botleigh Grange Business Park Hedge End Southampton SO30 2AF DX 154120 Southampton 48 Tel: 02380 820465 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Vice President Miss M Aldridge Jasper Vincent 44 Queensway Southampton SO14 3GT DX 2005 Southampton Tel: 023 8063 3225 Email: email@example.com
Law Society Council Members Nick Gurney-Champion (Hampshire and Isle of Wight) Biscoes 67 Union Street Ryde Isle of Wight PO33 2LN Tel: 01983 615615 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Razi Shah (North Hampshire)
Mr I. Robinson
Appleby Shaw Trinity House 15a Trinity Place Windsor SL4 3AS DX 3830 Windsor Tel: 01753 860606 Fax: 01753 860620 Email: email@example.com
Churchers Solicitors 13-18 Kings Terrace, Portsmouth PO5 3AL DX 2205 Portsmouth Tel: 0239 288 2001 Fax: 0239 286 2831 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Honorary Treasurer Mr T. Mitchell Trethowans Botleigh Grange Business Park Hedge End Southampton SO30 2AF DX 154120 Southampton 48 Tel: 02380 820465 Email: email@example.com
Immediate Past President Miss K Colmer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrator Nicola Jennings 92 Chessel Crescent Bitterne Southampton SO19 4BS DX 52766 Bitterne Tel: 023 8044 7022 Fax: 023 8044 7022 Email: email@example.com
Hampshire Law Society is focussing on improving its presence on Social Media Please follow us on Twitter @hampshirelawsoc And LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/hampshire-incorporated-law-society/
James Gleisner firstname.lastname@example.org
Education & Training
Anthony Harris (Chair) email@example.com Kristina Colmer Alison Plenderleith Nicola Jennings Joe Robertson Milly Bygrave Moore Blatch (Co-opted)
Litigation & Disputes Resolution
Russell Evans (Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org Wendy Hewstone (Co-opted) Steven Wood (Co-opted)
Roderick Hursthouse Alison Plenderleith Deglan Rowe
Matthew Robbins Simon Whipple Nick Gurney Champion
Joe Robertson (Chair) email@example.com Simon Whipple James Gleisner
Mo Aldridge (Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org Kristina Colmer Alison Plenderleith Nicola Jennings
Adrienne Edgerley Harris (Chair) Adrienneedgerleyharris@gmail.com Roderick Hursthouse Ian Robinson
Kristina Colmer (Chair) email@example.com Sarah Hallett Mo Aldridge Alison Plenderleith
Student University Liasion Russell Evans Russell.firstname.lastname@example.org
President’s Review Winter 2019 At the time of going to print it seems a little late to say Happy New Year; however, as this is the first edition of 2019 – Happy New Year!
am delighted and honoured to have been elected as President of Hampshire Law Society for 2018-19. Immediately after the AGM, at which I was elected, we heard from David Parkinson, CEO of Wines GB about the exciting growth in wine production in the south of England. Indeed, in our own county land is being purchased for vineyard plantation and English Sparkling Wines are now winning blind taste tests against brands from across Europe, including Champagne. 2019 looks set to be an active and special year in the life of Hampshire Law Society. Last October we were successful in bidding to host the National Local Law Society Conference. My particular thanks to Nick Gurney-Champion and Alison Plenderleith for attending the 2018 Conference in Leicester and winning the bid for Hampshire to be the next host.
this year will be supporting the President’s chosen charity which is Dementia UK I also draw members’ attention to our extensive programme of lectures and training towards the back of this magazine. If you are not receiving regular email updates then please get in touch with Nicola Jennings. Finally, I would like to thank outgoing President Kristina Colmer, who gave birth to baby Iris during her term of office, and also to Rod Hursthouse who stepped down as Secretary at the AGM after many years in various Officer roles. We will continue to benefit from his knowledge and wisdom as he continues to serve on the Committee. ■
Joe Robertson President, Hampshire Law Society
We can confirm that the 2019 conference will be held in Portsmouth from 19 - 20 September. Full details will be circulated to members very shortly. We hope to attract interest from local law societies from right across England and Wales and I know that Nick is working on an extensive programme of excellent speakers together with a conference subcommittee. None of the above is to take away from our annual dinner and awards on 6 June to be held at the Ageas Bowl Hilton. We have booked Eddie the Eagle Edwards as our after dinner speaker who promises to amuse and inspire us with tales of his heroic experiences. (See page x for details) Other events in the calendar are the charity quiz on 14 March and committee dinner on 28 February. If you would like to make up a team at the former, please book early. Our events
Happenings in Hampshire
An interview with the President of Hampshire Law Society –
Joe Robertson What prompted you to enter the law as a profession? I have always been inherently interested in the role the legal profession and the courts play in maintaining an orderly and civilised society. Whenever we look at civil conflict around the world the legal system is either failing or lacks independence from those in power. On a more practical level I felt that my own skills were matched to the demands of negotiation originally in my family law career and now in my work with Dementia UK. What are the biggest professional challenges we are all going to face in the next 12 months? I would ordinarily defer to Nick GurneyChampion (one of our Law Society Council Members) on this one! From Nick’s report at our AGM in November it sounds like significant changes to the way in which solicitors are regulated will be a big change. All sorts of businesses will be able to offer legal services that could not do so before with the aim of introducing competition, offering choice for consumers and driving down prices. What prompted you to become President? I got involved in HILS when I moved from practicing in London and joined the Committee soon afterwards. I was impressed by what HILS had to offer and wanted to do more to engage younger lawyers and law students in the county. What is the one main issue you want to tackle during your tenure? HILS has over 1,000 members and I want us to grow the Society further and better engage with those members we have. We need to speak louder about all the things HILS membership has to offer. One exciting prospect for the coming year is the National Local Law Society Conference in September which we will be hosting for the first time in Hampshire. What are you most looking forward to in your role of President? Probably the National Local Law Society Conference. The main conference will be on 2021 September at The Royal Maritime Club in Portsmouth. We are in the process of putting together an exciting programme with some excellent guest speakers. What qualities are required for this job – personal and professional? Good networking skills and an ability to harness the best skills from those on the Committee. We are fortunate to have a mix of young and experienced members for the year ahead. We
are currently working on a Business Plan that will help give the Committee some direction and give us some measurable goals to aim towards. You have an interest in politics, why is that? Politics is the process whereby law is made and so why would a practitioner of law not be interested in that process? I am however, looking forward to the end of the Brexit process and a return to politics as normal – if there is such a thing! When we read headlines such as the Daily Mail’s “Enemy of the People” referring to judges upholding parliamentary sovereignty it makes me very glad we have a strong independent judiciary who are not at mercy to the whim of populist politics. What do you expect to be the most rewarding aspect of being President? Having the opportunity to shape the Society over the next 12 months and embed some changes that last into the future. There is also the social side. Last week I was invited to attend the Royal Anticultural Society regional annual dinner with guest speaker John Sergeant. The two highlights in our programme will be our own annual dinner on 6 June and National Local Law Society Conference in September. What do you like to do in your spare time? I am a keen sailor so in the summer most of my spare time is taken up on the water. I used to sail in the winter too but less in recent years. Being a father of a three month old baby takes up most of my spare time now! What book did you last read? I last read Call for Jeeves by PG Woodhouse while we were waiting in hospital for my son to be born. Three months later and I have not had a chance to read another book! What football team do you support? I am not an avid football fan but do keep up with news in the Premiership. When I was growing up Manchester Utd were winning everything so I like to see them do well in any title race. Locally I am more Pompey over Southampton! ■
Joe Robertson President, Hampshire Law Society
Happenings in Hampshire
Lady Brenda Hale, President of the Supreme Court – Talk at Southampton University 1st May 2019
e are pleased to announce that Lady Brenda Hale, President of the Supreme Court will be coming to enlighten us with her presence and some erudite words in the New Year. As with Lord Briggs, this Talk will be open to Hampshire Law Society Members via prior registration the details of which will be announced in due course. For now save the date in your diary.It promises to be another wonderful evening with an anticipated drinks reception.
Thursday 14 March
Are YOU ready for
THE BIG QUIZ 2019?
If you fancy testing your brain power and memory and H enjoy competing against your colleagues and fellow
H The entry fee is £17/head (or £102 for a team of 6). There will be prizes for the champion team and consolation for the losers.
solicitors, then come along to the Hampshire Law Society quiz night. Teams of 6 which can be made up of colleagues or friends will compete against each other in 6 rounds of questions (which will not be on legal topics). Teams can be made up on the night if you are short on numbers. There will be spot rounds, a cash bar and a pie supper included during the evening. The event which will be held at the Dancing Man pub and brewery in Town Quay is open to all. Please enter as many teams as possible.
Please contact Nicola for more information and to book your table HAMPSHIRE LEGAL
Happenings in Hampshire
Pic: L-R Kimberley Davies, Mihiri Gajraj and Emma Earp
Trethowans takes another strong step to address gender balance Trethowans has announced a trio of new female partners as it continues to tip the national trend when it comes to women in senior roles.
wo existing employees have been promoted while a new member of staff has joined Trethowans in a partner role. The roles are based at Trethowans’ offices in Bournemouth, Poole, Salisbury and Southampton and demonstrate Trethowans’ commitment to addressing gender imbalance. Previously a senior associate within the family team, Kimberley Davies is now a partner - based in the firm’s Poole and Bournemouth offices. Specialising in all aspects of family law, she is also a qualified family mediator. Helping clients with divorce and dissolution, children law matters, financial cases, separation agreements and cohabitation agreements, Kimberley also has expertise in dealing with assisted reproduction - including donor, co-parenting and surrogacy agreements. She also has experience in private law adoptions, both domestic and international. Kimberley is pleased to be part of such a friendly and dynamic firm: “I joined Trethowans in May 2017 to launch a family law service in Poole and then in Bournemouth,” she said. “This presented an exciting opportunity for me to develop a team already established in Wiltshire and Hampshire. To be made a partner at such a progressive firm is very exciting and I look forward to being part of Trethowans’ future development.” Also promoted from senior associate, Mihiri Gajraj joined Trethowans in June 2015, and will now act as partner for the firm’s Southampton and Salisbury private client teams. She has experience of a wide range of work within this area - including tax planning, creating trusts, administering trusts, tax
calculations, preparing wills and powers of attorney, and probate and estate administration. Mihiri is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners - the gold standard in this area of law - and sits on the local committee. “I love the fact that the firm is forward-thinking and full of people who are a pleasure to work with,” she said. “Due to the excellent client service we provide, I have the opportunity to work with fantastic clients, I’m proud to be a partner in a firm that is growing and has so much opportunity ahead.” Emma Earp is a new addition to Trethowans. She trained and practised in London before moving down to the South Coast. Emma specialises in banking, acting for both lenders and borrowers on a wide range of transactions, from regional to international. She advises on a variety of matters including term and revolving loan facilities, letter of credit facilities, security structures and intercreditor arrangements. Emma’s new role will see her play a key part of the banking team at Trethowans’ Bournemouth office. She said: “I’ve joined Trethowans at a really exciting time as the Bournemouth office expands its offering. I can’t wait to be a part of that growth.” Trethowans is ahead of the curve when it comes to the number of female partners and lawyers it employs. According to figures from the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority), women make up to 48 percent of all lawyers in law firms**. By comparison, 77 per cent of Trethowans’ lawyers are female. ■
Vision and values of Paris Smith attracts top talent The firm, has attracted five new lawyers to the firm.
elen Brown, a partner with Manchester and Cheshire firm, Slater Heelis, has joined Paris Smith's Commercial Dispute Resolution team. She brings with her a wealth of experience in commercial dispute resolution across all sectors of business, acting for regional and national businesses across a range of sectors. Experienced solicitors Alison Jones and Tamsin Simmonds have joined the firm as Associates specialising in Commercial Property. Both have joined Paris Smith having worked for London firms. Tamsin strengthens the firm's commitment to serving and advising both charities and educational establishments, having acted for organisations in both business sectors as well as being chair of trustees of a charity foundation. Paris Smith, has also been joined by a senior planning officer from Winchester City Council. Jane Rarok has worked in local authority development
management for over 18 years and has significant experience and expertise in urban and rural planning with a particular specialism in planning within National Parks. Dispute Resolution paralegal, Alex Cooper, has elected to start a new career in the legal profession following seven very successful years in the asset finance industry where he worked for both a funder and as an independent broker. Alex was awarded the LeasingWorld Next Generation Award in 2016. Peter Taylor, managing partner at Paris Smith, said: “It never fails to give one an extra spring in one’s step when highly talented people come to work with you who share the firm's vision, values and clear sense of purpose. I’m absolutely thrilled that Helen, Alison, Tamsin, Jane and Alex have decided that Paris Smith is the right place for them in their careers. They will bring fresh ideas, their own energy, professional expertise and experiences as well as commercial acumen to our growing team at Paris Smith.■
Happenings in Hampshire
Bezos Amicable Divorce Strategy Could Save In Legal Fees and Protect Their Family Relationships Advises Lawyers Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos’ divorce, announced on Wednesday in a tweet, highlights the pragmatism of the world’s richest man.
ith a net worth of over $136 billion dollars Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos could be facing the world’s largest lawyers’ divorce bills. Instead, in Jeff Bezos’ tweet he stated that he and his wife, Mackenzie, had come to a joint decision to divorce after 25 years of marriage. Importantly he made it clear that the couple intends to remain friends with wonderful futures ahead, as parents and partners in ventures. The couple’s statement suggests that they intend to work together to resolve their divorce claims against each other. This is very reminiscent of the ‘conscious uncoupling’ of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, the words chosen by Gwyneth in 2014 to describe their joint decision to divorce and has led to an amicable relationship moving forward. Sahil Aggarwal, divorce lawyer, Moore Blatch, comments; “Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos’ indicated approach to their divorce is especially relevant in the lead up to
Family Mediation Week - 21st to 25th January. Mediation allows couples to discuss issues between themselves with the aid of an impartial mediator, helping to facilitate negotiations while still benefiting from legal advice alongside but without the conflict. It gives couples control to make decisions together in a more harmonious environment than traditional divorce proceedings. It can also save thousands of pounds in legal fees. “It’s therefore easy to see from the couple’s statement and their intention to remain “partners in ventures” that they might choose mediation to settle their divorce. Such a high profile case could also pave the way for many other couples to choose mediation as a way of settling their divorce.” Sarah French, mediator and divorce lawyer, Moore Blatch, adds: “As a mediator I regularly see couples work together to reach a financial settlement and agree a
parenting plan, if applicable, which makes the work very rewarding and saves the family lots of money in legal fees, which would otherwise be spent on costly and stressful litigation. The approach of Mr and Mrs Bezo would definitely lend itself to mediation, which requires a level of trust and a desire to resolve things in a constructive and conciliatory fashion for the benefit of themselves and their family”. ■
Jasper Vincent Solicitors Welcome New Head Of Family Law Jasper Vincent Solicitors are delighted to welcome Amanda Adamson as Head of their Family Law Department based at their Segensworth office.
manda is a Senior Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives having commenced her career in 1998 when she trained with Coffin Mew before moving to AWD Law. Amanda is able to bring to the firm a wide range of experience in family law and can provide advice on all aspects of the field. Amanda undertakes a wide variety of family law work, including divorce, financial settlements, property disputes between cohabitants, all children matters to include contact and residence disputes, financial arrangements for children, removal of children from England and Wales, prenuptial agreements, and domestic violence orders.
Amanda has acted for company directors, armed forces and police personnel and even internationally based clients. As an Accredited member of Resolution, Amanda is committed to following a code of practice which strives to deal with family problems in a constructive, non-confrontational and cost effective manner that is most likely to result in an out of court settlement instead of lengthy and stressful legal proceedings. However, she is not afraid to adopt a robust approach if this is required. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys photography, walking her dogs and going to the theatre.
‘We are extremely pleased that Amanda has joined the Jasper Vincent team. We feel the depth of her knowledge and her skill set will be a real asset to the firm and it is fantastic to have a fresh new approach to growing the Family Law Department. We are excited for the future opportunities that are now on the horizon’ Mo Aldridge – Partner at Jasper Vincent Solicitors. ■
Commercial Conveyancing CPD Thames Water Property Searches are hosting an informative and interactive legal CPD providing essential information and updates by leading industry experts.
Date: Thursday 28 February 2019 Venue: Metro Bank Plc, 1 Southampton Row, London, WC1B 5HA Time: 9:00am - 4:00pm The event is designed to inform commercial conveyancers and solicitors on recent developments in the conveyancing industry, incorporating a range of topics from leading organisations and speakers including: • Hannah Mackinlay – propertylaw.guru • Groundsure Location Intelligence • Lawyer Checker • Thames Water Property Searches To reserve your space at the event, please email: email@example.com Quoting reference ‘FEB28HL’. Limited spaces available. www.thameswater-propertysearches.co.uk The property search experts
Happenings in Hampshire
Verisona Law Maintains Legal Rankings Specialist legal services in niche sectors of marine and sports offered by Portsmouth firm, Verisona Law, have maintained top positions in the latest edition of one of the profession’s largest and most prestigious independent guides, The Legal 500.
fter a busy year of assisting individuals, corporations and organisations with contracts, environmental planning, and the construction, acquisition, operation and disposal of ships, shoreside properties and businesses, Verisona Law’s Marine Law team has impressed officials behind this year’s Legal 500 with its 'high-quality instructions and advice'. Consultation in yacht construction, representation in technical, contractual and professional negligence disputes, and advice such as that given to caravan site operator St Hermans Estate Company on the impact of a planned coastal path in Hayling Island, have all contributed to firm’s ‘excellent’ service for ‘Shipping’ in the South East Transport section of the guide.
Pic: Tim Reynolds
Legal expertise and success, as well as training as an engineer and boatbuilder, have seen Director, Tim Reynolds praised for his ‘superb service’ as a leading individual in the sector and credited as being 'outstandingly knowledgeable', a 'great negotiator' and nurturing relationships with clients for whom he ' fights their corner with determination'.
Verisona Law’s support and advice to clients including Portsmouth Community Football Club and Hampshire Professional Golfers Association, as well as a variety of individual sports professionals, have seen the firm feature in the legal guide for Sport for a fourth year in succession, cited as 'punching above its weight' in giving an 'excellent service’ with ‘extremely helpful industry knowledge'. Chairman Michael Dyer, who heads the sports team, is noted for combining 'experience and knowledge with a sensible, practical approach' and Managing Director, Sue Ball is recommended as 'excellent' for employment issues. ‘We are delighted to have maintained both our presence and position in the Legal 500,’ says Sue. ‘We have some of the region’s best legal talent in a variety of specific areas which come together to provide wideranging expertise with personal, attentive service.’ ■
Moore Blatch wins British Legal Award with ground-breaking legal process Escalate completes clean sweep of legal honours Escalate, the ground-breaking dispute resolution process for SMEs, was awarded the hotly contested ‘Legal Services Innovation Award’ at the prestigious British Legal Awards last night – completing an unprecedented clean sweep of the major national legal awards during 2018.
osted by Legal Week, the glittering awards ceremony was attended by over 1,000 lawyers and serves as a showcase for the achievements of the legal sector. This latest recognition means that Escalate has now won three major national legal awards this year. In addition to last night’s honour, Escalate has been recognised as ‘Best Collaboration Initiative’ at the Lawyer Awards and for ‘Excellence in Business Development’ at the Law Society Excellence Awards. Escalate was also named ‘Innovation of the Year’ at the British Accountancy Awards. Escalate helps SMEs to achieve a prompt settlement to a wide range of commercial disputes, with fixed fees payable only on a successful outcome and no upfront costs. Mark Osgood, Partner and Head of Asset Recovery, Moore Blatch said: “We were driven by a desire to create a service that would tackle the issues that SMEs encounter when they try to get access to justice – long lead times, high upfront costs, considerable uncertainty. We knew that the solution would need
to be innovative and rely on collaboration between a number of professional services firms. The result was Escalate. “We’re incredibly proud that our peers in the legal sector have recognised this once again, with Escalate being cited for innovation, collaboration and business development at the legal industry’s most prestigious award ceremonies this year. That’s a unique achievement, reflecting Escalate’s genuinely groundbreaking approach. “This is reinforced by the demand that we’re seeing from clients for the Escalate process – we’re already helping businesses to recover more than £40 million that’s locked up in commercial disputes. “Given the interest in Escalate, we’re looking to expand our network of partner firms and increase access to justice for more SMEs. If you’re interested in finding out how you and your clients could benefit from using Escalate, please get in touch.” ■
Happenings in Hampshire
New appointments strengthens Dutton Gregory’s Residential Property offering in Southampton Dutton Gregory, is strengthening its residential conveyancing service in Southampton.
ollowing the success of the firm’s merger with Page Gulliford & Gregory in April 2018, Dutton Gregory continues to expand the team in its Southampton office with two new appointments and welcomes Associate Solicitor Nicky Marsh and Executive Nikki Todd to its Residential Property team. Associate Solicitor Nicky Marsh has over 15 years’ experience in residential conveyancing across the full spectrum of residential property matters including everything from straightforward sale and purchases to the more technical and detailed matters and is well known for providing a fast and efficient conveyancing service to her clients. With over 20
years’ experience and a highly regarded reputation for client care, Executive Nikki Todd has also recently joined the Southampton-based team. Looking ahead, Paul Sams is confident about the quality, efficiency and support clients will continue to receive from his team at Dutton Gregory, saying: “The team has been going from strength to strength, with innovative working practices and a real zest for getting the job done for clients in a strong stable environment. I only see more great things from usin the future and we’re delighted to welcome like-minded people, such as Nicky and Nikki, to the firm.” ■ Pic: L-R Nicky Marsh, Nikki Todd
Local solicitors fundraising success for Mencap Brain Chase Coles Solicitors, have raised an enormous £1,269 for Basingstoke Mencap by hosting a recent Christmas fundraising evening and have enabled the local charity to continue to develop their Greenfingers Project.
taff and colleagues from across the area came together for an evening of festive fun and fundraising. Many local businesses had donated spectacular prizes for the Grand Draw and these certainly caught the attention of the generous guests who enthusiastically supported this fantastic cause. Thanks to these efforts, Basingstoke Mencap will now be able to purchase a ‘craft shed’ where service users can expand their horticultural and woodwork skills. This will extend the opportunities for adults with learning difficulties to learn new skills and benefit from teamwork and the outdoors at the inspiring Mencap site in South Ham.
David Lister, Mencap Vice-Chair, says “I would thank you once again for the kind support of Brain Chase Coles and the generous donation. We look forward to this exciting development and our ability to provide improved facilities for our service users in 2019.” The evening was supported by the Basingstoke Mayor, Cllr Sean Keating who is promoting Basingstoke Mencap as part of his charitable work this year. Lady Colman, President of Mencap, said “thank you for all your efforts to have hosted such a memorable fundraising evening.” ■
Happenings in Hampshire
Eric Robinson Solicitors
Announces Property Shake Up A new ‘Real Estate Team’ at Eric Robinson Solicitors has been created to ensure the consistency, efficiency and growth of the law firm’s numerous services for property developers, investors and home owners.
‘From new build and residential conveyancing, to commercial leases and investment properties, we were finding an increasing number of clients in need of more than one of our property services, so felt it more sensible to create one coherent structure across the firm,’ explains Senior Associate, Ben Upward, whose record and expertise in commercial property transactions for the past seven years has led to him being asked to head up the new department. ‘I will be working with fellow Associates in residential conveyancing and housing development who will each be taking responsibility for specific teams across our nine offices and reporting back as a Board to ensure consistency and efficiency across the firm.’ The Real Estate Team, which employs over 50 people, will see conveyancing specialists Jo Fleming and John Stephens lead teams across Eric Robinson Solicitors’ Southampton branches, Gareth Fullbrook cover North Hampshire,
Berkshire and London, and Kevin Lewis manage the national ‘new homes’ team located at the firm’s new offices in Botleigh Grange Business Park. ‘From the client and public viewpoint, there will be no change to our services and ways of working,’ says Managing Partner, Craig Petrie. ‘The purpose of the Real Estate Team is to demonstrate our experience, flexibility and support for clients across the entire property sector and our ability to encompass and adapt to the needs of an ever-changing marketplace.’ ■
Happenings in Hampshire
Exciting times for Blake Morgan's Family team Blake Morgan's South Coast family team has celebrated the end of 2018 and embraced the start of 2019 with change by expansion, recognition and Dropping The Boss, head of team Simon Burge, from a perfectly airworthy aeroplane by way of his first skydive!
n the autumn, the team celebrated Tier 1 recognition in the Legal 500. The team were delighted with this great result which they attribute to the diverse range of work that they do and the specialist expertise that has been brought into the team as they have grown throughout the year. Partner and team manager, Simon Burge, also celebrated individual success in Chambers with his Band 1 ranking. With an increasing demand for family law services and non-court dispute resolution options, the team welcomed Jennifer Williamson as Senior Associate, from nearby Stowe Family Law in Winchester. Jennifer is an accredited Resolution specialist and collaborative lawyer, who has practised family law for the last 10 years, including a focus on cases with international issues and complex financial matters. Commenting on her new role, Jennifer said "I am thrilled to be joining my new colleagues at this exciting time, to be helping the firm's clients and contributing to the team's future success. I am looking forward to working in the region's most experienced full-service firm, with its unrivalled ability to provide joined-up, seamless advice and representation to clients needing input from specialists in a variety of disciplines". She continues, "From my first few months here it is evident that our united approach, across all teams and business groups, focussing on delivering excellent service and results for our clients, really delivers. This is a very exciting place to be!" Separate, but key to the firm's ethos and personality, is supporting charity and individuals in need. This year, the Southampton Office's chosen charity is the Countess Mountbatten Hospice. The Hospice has been caring for adults facing life limiting illnesses and their families, for over 40 years. It costs over £6million a year to deliver this service, with only limited NHS funding, so most of the costs are met via donations and voluntary funding. Blake Morgan's successful charitable events for the Hospice so far this year have included a spooky Halloween cake sale, a bustling Christmas fete and a donation station. Things are, however, about to get even more exciting, when Partner and head of the family team, Simon Burge, performs a skydive on 12 July 2019! Simon will be jumping from an aeroplane at 15,000 feet above the beautiful Wiltshire countryside. To add to the spectacle, Simon will be in fancy dress - the more money he raises, the better the outfit…! Simon would be thrilled to receive support via sponsorship at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simonburge-skydive, so roll up, roll up, whether Simon is your friend, colleague, respected opponent or just someone you'd like to see pushed out of a plane! ■
Go somewhere new with your marketing and achie ev ve more
Explor p e your marketing options during a free meeting with Brevity’s Founder and CIM Fellow, Kaia Vincent
Mark keting for Hampshire Solicitors
01256 536 000 www.brevity.marketing HAMPSHIRE LEGAL
Happenings in Hampshire
Pic: Left to right: Peter Taylor, Managing Partner at Paris Smith, Dr Chris Tufnell, Chairman at Royal Agricultural Society, Geoff Holt MBE, Chairman & Chief Executive at Wetwheels, Lady Edwina Grosvenor, Philanthropist and Founder of One Small Thing, and Nick Vaughan, Senior Partner at Paris Smith
Paris Smith LLP brings region’s charities together to connect at annual conference Regional law firm Paris Smith LLP held its fifth annual Charity Forum conference recently bringing together 300 delegates from the regions charities to share advice and ideas.
eoff Holt MBE DL and Lady Edwina Grosvenor were among the keynote speakers sharing their experiences in the charity sector at the event at Southampton Football Club, which this year had the theme of ‘Leadership and Governance with Integrity’. The firm, currently celebrating its 200th anniversary, created the Charity Forum in 2012 to champion the free exchange of information and ideas between chief executives and trustees of charities. This enables charities to overcome barriers and find tried and tested solutions allowing charities to become more efficient and effective. Nick Vaughan, Senior Partner and Head of Charities at Paris Smith said: “The Charity Forum has proven an invaluable source for charities over the years and allows organisations to consider other’s experiences and create a real community of sharing to benefit
everyone where possible. It’s free to join the forum and our annual conference is also free of charge, providing a wonderful opportunity to be inspired by others and apply it to improve various aspects of a charity’s business.” The conference concluded with the inspirational Lady Edwina Grosvenor, founder and chair of One Small Thing, sharing her vast experience and passion for prison reform, where leadership is crucial to enable change. Paris Smith was earlier this year announced as runner up for the UK ‘Best Charity Law Firm’ award in the 2018 Third Sector Awards for its Charity Forum. The Third Sector Awards recognises those who give back to the community, and celebrates organisations and social leaders from across the sector. ■
A new year starts with a new image for Warner Goodman LLP Warner Goodman LLP as welcomed in 2019 by unveiling their new, vibrant and modern image. Ed Voller, Managing Partner, explains the journey the firm has been on and why now is time for a change. “As a firm, whilst we have a history dating back for 160 years, we are very aware of the importance of staying up to date in order to meet the demands of our clients,” begins Ed. “We realised over a year ago that our website had started to look old fashioned and did not provide the user friendly experience that people expect and so, with this in mind, we began our journey to revitalise our online presence. Whilst working on our new website, we also realised it was time for a change to our brand image as well. We had looked the same for over 10 years and over that time we had evolved, as had the market, and so now is the perfect time to embrace that change and to have an image that more adequately reflects who we are as a firm incorporating all of our services for individual and commercial clients”. After several months of research which included all members of staff and clients of the firm, six brand values were developed to form the basis of their new image.■ Dan Thompson (Marketing Partner) and Ed Voller (Managing Partner)
Happenings in Hampshire
Hampshire Law Society is delighted to be hosting the National Local Law Society Conference in 2019 It will take place in Portsmouth on the 19 – 20 September
or more than 800 years Portsmouth has been at the centre of the UK’s military shipbuilding industry. The city was given its first royal charter by King Richard I but grew as a naval base during the reign of Henry VII and then by his successor Henry VIII, who is regarded as the founder of the modern British navy. It is still home to almost two-thirds of the Royal Navy’s surface ships. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard houses some of the rarest ships and relics in the world including the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s flagship which sunk in 1545 and was famously raised from the seabed of the Solent in 1982, HMS Victory, Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar and HMS Warrior, Queen Victoria’s magnificent warship and the first iron hulled warship built in 1860. It will come as no surprise that Hampshire Law Society is keen to make the most of Portsmouth’s waterfront setting, embracing its maritime history and proposes to hold the 2019 conference in this vibrant city
which has undergone somewhat of a renaissance in recent years. Opening drinks & canapes will be held within the historic dockyard, provisionally on HMS Warrior. The conference will be held at the Royal Maritime Club located just 200m from Portsmouth Historical Dockyard and within easy walking distance of both Portsmouth Harbour railway station and Gunwharf Quays outlet shopping centre where the iconic 170m tall Spinnaker Tower is located. There is good priced accommodation available at the Club or alternatively a Premier Inn is just next door. Subsidised parking is provided in the dockyard carpark opposite the venue. The Gala Dinner will be held either at the Royal Maritime Club or at one of the other renowned venues within the Historic Dockyard depending on the level of sponsorship received. We are delighted to have secured Simon Weston as our after dinner speaker well known for his heroic actions and motivational style. ■
SAVE THE DATE!
On Thursday 19 and Friday 20 September Hampshire Law Society is delighted to host
the National Local Law Society Conference 2019 Royal Maritime Club, Portsmouth 19 September – Welcome drinks at an iconic venue 20 September – Conference followed by Gala Dinner The President of the Society Simon Davis will be in attendance. The after-dinner speaker will be the inspirational Simon Weston Full details to follow soon
Bringing together all your commercial requirements
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Happenings in Hampshire
Conveyancing Assistant, Mark Stocker wins InfoTrack’s trip of a lifetime to Australia Conveyancing assistant, Mark Stocker of law firm Stephen Rimmer LLP has won a trip to Australia after being drawn as the lucky winner in InfoTrack’s Take me to Australia promotion.
nfoTrack users were invited to take part in a live draw held by webinar on Tuesday 15th January, where Marks name was drawn at random. Mark says the prize will be a fantastic opportunity to visit a new country. Entries were automatically generated when clients used services including SDLT, AP1, eCOS, Indemnities and UK Corporate services through the InfoTrack platform. Mark will enjoy flights to Sydney and Darwin, accommodation and a number of exciting activities that can only be experienced in Australia. InfoTrack have promised a generous amount of spending money to ensure he and a friend enjoy their prize.
Adam Bullion, GM of Marketing at InfoTrack comments “We’re thrilled to announce the winner of our Australia Prize draw. As with our previous winners, I have no doubt Mark and his plus one will have an incredible experience in Australia. Growth in the promotion’s popularity has been evidenced with entries tripling this year. We’re happy to announce we’ll be giving another lucky winner the chance to head to Australia in 2020, when we launch the promotion once again later this year.” Mark says “I was certainly over the moon but also speechless as it took most of the day to sink in. It was just an unreal feeling of elation and wow! I’m looking forward to seeing Sydney and its famous icons like the Sydney Harbour bridge and the Opera House.” ■
New Head of Family Appointment at Lamb Brooks Basingstoke law firm, Lamb Brooks are delighted to announce the key appointment of a new Head of Department. Rob Parker takes on the role of Head of the Family Law Team this November.
ob commented, ‘I am thrilled to be appointed as the Head of Family Department at Lamb Brooks. The needs of modern families are rapidly changing, and I look forward to offering our clients the highest level of care and service tailored to their unique circumstances and ensuring our dedicated team stays at the cutting edge of family law services.’ Rob is a specialist family lawyer, with expertise in the full spectrum of family law matters, including divorce, separation, finances, child
arrangements and prenuptial agreements. He is a Recommended Lawyer in the Legal 500, the who’s who guide to the legal profession, and is singled out for praise in the 2018 edition published last week: ‘A stand-out lawyer, always conscientious and meticulous, and who considers a case from all angles.’ Managing Partner, Andrew Lowe commented on Rob’s position “Rob is a great addition to our team and will be a valuable asset in leading the Family Department forward.” ■
Andrew Lowe (Managing Partner) and Rob Parker (Head of Family Department )
Hampshire Law Society
LEGAL AWARDS 2019
Hampshire Legal Awards 2019 Nominations are now open for the Hampshire Law Society Legal Awards 2019 Firms and individuals from the Hampshire legal sector are invited to nominate their firm, themselves (don’t be shy!) or colleagues in one of four categories (see below for details). So if you work with a talented rising star or an inspirational leader or you consider your firm to be the best to work for then please let us know before 10 May The nominations will be judged by an experienced panel of judges, comprising of leading figures from law, business and academia with the winners being announced on 6 June 2019 at the Annual Dinner and awards ceremony at the Hilton Ageas Bowl,
As usual there are 4 categories Firm of the year – large (15 or more partners) Firm of the year – small Lawyer of the year Junior lawyer of the year All nominees will receive an acknowledgement and the opportunity for a photograph and short profile of themselves or their firm in the Spring or Summer issues of Hampshire Legal. Entries will be shortlisted if required and all unsuccessful entries will receive a consolation prize.
JUDGING CRITERIA Solicitor of the Year: More than 5 years PQE
Judges will be looking for • Involvement in interesting, demonstrable evidence of one or challenging or new areas of law more of the following: • Dedication to your clients • Support for the profession which may include non-fee earning work/activities • Contribution to the community including pro bono work
Junior Solicitor of the Year:
• Excellent standards of work • Dedication to the role and profession • Professional development • Contribution to client relationships and business development • Contribution to the community including pro bono work
Law Firm of the Year: a) Large(15 or more partners) b) Small
• Training initiatives and accreditations received/being worked towards (e.g. Conveyancing Quality Scheme) • Growth in reputation • Appreciation and recognition by clients • Dedication to development and welfare of staff • Client initiatives that you feel have set the firm apart from others • Contribution to the legal community • Recognition received from other firms • Contribution to the community including pro bono work
ALL ENTRIES MUST BE COMPLETED ON THE OFFICIAL ENTRY FORM THE FORM IS AVAILABLE FROM NICOLA JENNINGS ON firstname.lastname@example.org IT IS ALSO AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE
HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY
Hampshire Law Society
LEGAL AWARDS 2019
ANNUAL DINNER AND AWARDS 2019 Thursday 6 June 2019 Hilton Hotel at the Ageas Bowl, Hedge End
Hampshire Law Society warmly invites members and their guests to the 2019 Annual Dinner and Awards, the leading black tie event in the local legal calendar, on Thursday, 6th June. This memorable evening will take place at the prestigious Hilton at the Ageas Bowl. Pre-dinner drinks will be served with the opportunity to do some beer tasting from a local micro brewery and Hampshire food producers. This will be followed by dinner in the Ballroom, a sumptuous 3 course meal prior to the entertainment and presentation of the Legal Awards 2019. Following the dinner, we will award the winners of the 4 categories. Please get your nominations in by the 10 May.
A quality after dinner speaker has been booked. Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards is Great Britain’s first Olympic Ski Jumper. Eddie was ranked 55th in the world which qualified him as the only GB applicant for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. With the UK firmly backing the plasterer from Gloucestershire, Eddie took to the slopes followed by a whirlwind of international press and media. Eddie competed in the 70m and 90m jump events, but unfortunately came last in both events. Although he did not win an Olympic medal, he did win a place in the hearts of spectators all around the globe. This was ultimately due to his lack of success, but more importantly his pure determination and ‘have a go’ attitude. The estimated time for carriages is 11.00pm
If the 2018 event is anything to go by, the 2019 dinner should provide an ideal opportunity to entertainguests and colleagues plus plenty of networking at this prestigious venue. There will be fundraising and a raffle in aid of the President’s chosen charity
Price £50.00 per head Table of 10 £475.00 Kindly sponsored by
HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY – CPD EVENTS Private client Update Professor Lesley King is Private Client Practice Head at the College of Law, Bloomsbury This seminar is likely to include: • The latest news on the Trust Registration Service • The implications of the new DOTAS Regulations for private client practitioners • The latest cases on I(PFD)A 1975 • The recent run of proprietary estoppel claims • Any news from the review of IHT undertaken by the Office of Tax Simplification and any relevant tax points from the Autumn Budget • The latest on BPR in the light of the appeal in Vigne and the First Tier Tribunal decision in PRs of Graham v HMRC  UKFTT 306 (TC).
Court of Protection Margaret Pine-Coffin, Pump Court Chambers is an experienced child care practitioner. She deals with all aspects of child care applications. Her specialisation is in cases involving serious injury to a child or children and where there may be a parallel criminal investigation. Margaret has also appeared in the Court of Protection in cases concerning decisions about the welfare of the person involved. Margaret represented the local authority in Re X, Y and Z  COPLR 364
SDLT Review 2019 Paul Clark has been a commercial property solicitor for over 40 years. He is an expert on many aspects of commercial property law and is a popular and engaging speaker. SDLT REVIEW 2019 In this three-hour session Paul Clark will deliver two 90-minute presentations
1. SDLT on commercial leases Although the rules have hardly changed since 2003, it is time for a refresher. • How does one calculate net present value and work out SDLT on rent? • What about lease variations? • How are linked leases taxed? • What about agreements for lease? • How is overlap relief applied? • What SDLT is payable on periodic tenancies?
2. A residential SDLT surcharge checklist The residential surcharge rules are anomalous and often unfair. In the past few months Paul has prepared a checklist, which will be introduced in the second session. It also includes first-time buyer relief. • What dwellings count for surcharge and FTB relief purposes? • The two exemptions in detail • Problems with marriage, civil partnership and infant children • The effect of the three-year limits • Multiple dwellings
Tuesday 26 February 2019
Tuesday 12 March 2019
Tuesday 2 April 2019
Criminal Law Update
Civil Litigation Update
Employment Law Update
April 2019 20
The speakers will be from No 18 Chambers.
Tuesday 14 May 2019
Gary Self has been described in the Legal 500 as being "Highly technical and commercial with excellent advocacy skills" and "very good, one of the best on the Western Circuit for employment" and further by Chambers UK 2014 as ‘ a leader in the field’ of Employment matters.
HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY – CPD EVENTS Family Law Update
DJ Simmonds former solicitor and member of the children panel appointed as a DJ in 2010 as a DJ of the principal registry of the family division and transferred to the western circuit in November 2015. At the PRFD he undertook all forms of family work to include complex children and money. • Legal update, children and money • When contact isn’t working, tips & traps • Other topical issues
Richard Snape is a consultant with Davitt Jones Bould. He is a renowned speaker on all aspects of Real Estate Law and he lectures nationwide to a wide audience including local law societies, solicitors firms, local authorities and government departments. As a specialist speaker to property lawyers and property professionals, Richard has a reputation for delivering practical advice in an entertaining and engaging way. Conveyancing continues to undergo major changes and the course will aim to look at the most important changes and their effect on the conveyancer.
Tuesday 4 June 2019
Tuesday 18 June 2019
Property lecture Edward Denehan is yet again recommended by Chambers and Partners (2015 Ed.) for Real Estate Litigation. “He is a very robust advocate, who has a good way of speaking in layman’s terms and is able to get his message across.” “He is pretty impressive when he is on his feet.” He is also recommended for Property Litigation in the Legal 500 and has been for many years. The 2014 Edition describes him as having ‘An impressive understanding of restrictive covenants affecting land.’
Tuesday 16 July 2019
Unless otherwise notified all lectures take place at the Holiday Inn, Leigh Rd, Eastleigh SO50 9PG from 13.45 – 16.45. There is free parking at the venue. The programme will be regularly updated once additional information received distributed via email and in the quarterly magazine. You can find more detail on each lecture on our website www.hampshirelawsociety.co.uk email@example.com PRICING 1.5 hour lecture - £55.00 (Non Member £70.00) 3 hour lecture - £90.00 (Non Member £130)
Members can take advantage of our CPD Smart Scheme Book multiple places and receive greater discounts Book a total of 10 places and save a total of £180.00 against the individual booking fee Terms and conditions
Total no of places booked
• All applications will receive a written confirmation of booking
• Payment is required with the registration form. No places can be reserved without payment
• Booking is subject to availability of places
• Delegates may be substituted at any time with an appropriate additional payment for any non-members
• Venues are checked for accessibility
• HILS accepts no responsibility for the views or opinions as expressed by the speakers, chairman or any other persons at the event • HILS reserves the right to alter the venue, programme and the speakers at any time • Smart scheme is applicable to both individual and company bookings who are members of HILS • The smart scheme rate only applies at the time of booking and is not retrospective
HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY
• Claiming the discounted rate remains the responsibility of the claimant however HILS will try to ensure that you are charged the appropriate fee once the required level of booking has been reached HAMPSHIRE LEGAL
Helping YOU find cancer care services in YOUR area Unsure about cancer support and advice services in your area? You’re not alone. Photo: Jonathan Dimbleby
ew research has revealed that people in London aren’t aware of what support services are available to help them after a cancer diagnosis. For example, over half of people living in the region weren’t aware of emotional support services, such as talking therapy or support groups, while nearly three quarters also weren’t sure about the availability of practical or financial support in their region. However, a new resource is now available to help. Charity Dimbleby Cancer Care has recently launched the cancercaremap.org, an interactive directory that can help you find local support services. Developed over the past year, the map features everything from NHS centres, charity and community led groups to local businesses offering special discounts. “Five years ago, a friend asked me to find cancer services for his wife. I realised very quickly that this was frighteningly difficult to do, and that there was no comprehensive resource to help me,” explains Jonathan Dimbleby chair of Dimbleby Cancer Care and creator of the map. “We wanted to create our own site to ensure that nobody facing cancer, goes without the care they need; all you would need is an internet connection and a postcode.” You can find out more about the map, or let the team know if there’s a service in your area you would like to add, here: cancercaremap.org,
This Too Will Pass Photo: Paul Gilbert
n the last few years it would be impossible to be unaware of issues of well-being and mental health. We are all lucky that there is more understanding, more resources and more acceptance than perhaps at any time before. However if we have made such good progress why do we need yet another book? I am certain that this is not just “another book” and my hope is that you will read it, change because of it, and then recommend that others read it so that they may change too.
“This Too Will Pass” is a new book by Richard Martin describing his personal struggle with anxiety and depression.
Before becoming ill, Richard was a city based employment lawyer for 20 years, a partner at Gouldens/Jones Day before joining Speechly Bircham where he ran the employment team and sat on the firm’s managing committee. In some respects Richard’s story is not so remarkable - Professional man suffers burn out, gets therapy and recovers – but Richard’s story is absolutely compelling. The autobiographical style is raw, honest, funny, human, real, charming, emotional, sad and hopeful. The narrative draws you in, it is both comfortable and unsettling at the same time, it informs but never lectures and it provides a space to think deeply, but not to dwell helplessly. Richard writes beautifully and if you know him already you know he is a lovely man; however a beautifully written book by a nice man, may still not be a reason enough to buy it, so let me say this one thing to try and persuade you. We are all vulnerable and we all love people who are vulnerable too. Despite there being more awareness now than ever before, we are still in the foothills of understanding with a mountain to climb. If you are not sure how precious and fragile your mental health might be, or the mental health of people you care about; if you are not sure where to look to know more, or how to start the conversation with friends or colleagues or loved ones; and if you need something real and not theoretical to help clarify your own thoughts, then please, please read this book. A remarkable man, a compelling story and truly important contribution to one of the most important issues of our time.
Paul Gilbert LBC Wise Counsel is a leading and hugely respected coach, mentor and adviser to the in-house legal profession
Why we don’t require you to carry out any property inspections…
ue to the particularly niche nature of our insurance, we’re aware that our customers do not always know the full extent of the information regarding the property - particularly as solicitors, executors, attorneys or deputies. As such, we have created our product with ease of use in mind, with just four questions being asked about the property to be covered: Photo: Wayne Shinn
Our product is designed so that it’s easier for solicitors and executors to insure unoccupied properties on behalf of their clients. It’s also suitable for clients to insure their homes through us directly when moving into care or back in with family members.
• Postcode • Approximate year of construction • Number of bedrooms • Type of property (closest match) We’re different from many other unoccupied home insurance providers, in that we don’t require any proof of inspections to provide cover for a property. It can be highly inconvenient to have to return periodically to a property, particularly when, as the solicitor or executor, you may not be located near to the property being covered, or have to arrange for someone else to carry out the inspections. Many standard home insurance policies will cover the property for around 30 to 60 days before the cover becomes void or reduced. As
our product is designed for properties that may be unoccupied for longer periods of time, the cover can last for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months, whichever is most suitable. With this in mind, we felt it was unnecessary to ask our customers to keep checking back to the property - particularly at a time when they’ve got much bigger concerns on their minds, such as moving a beloved family member into care, or during probate. Not requiring inspections simply means that more time is spent on more important things. We’re also aware that circumstances change, which is why we offer pro-rata returns on 9 and 12 month policies. As usual, terms and conditions apply, and you can find more information, including all the details of our product at: www.unoccupieddirect.co.uk. Alternatively, send an email to one of our team members, and we’ll be more than happy to help with any queries: firstname.lastname@example.org. ■
Wayne Shinn Business Development Executive
Really, the ere’s no inspection n requiremen nt With our Unoccupied d Property Insurance, w we don’t require you to visit the home - even during gw winter
VISIT www.unoccupieddirect.coo.uk 24
Firms that shape their company culture create better client experiences, increase staff loyalty and enjoy greater business success As 2019 gathers speed, smart solicitors’ firms are exploring new ways to take their business above and beyond client expectations. Simply providing good quality legal services used to tick all the boxes when it came to the attraction and retention of a strong client base.
hilst clearly this remains a vital component of your success, the traditionally linear client journey has been replaced with a more circular, customer-led process – more like a flywheel than a funnel. The momentum of that flywheel comes largely from the client experience. Memories are made of this Creating a memorable connection with your clients is about more than just finding the practical end solution to their legal issues. Yes, they’ll be satisfied if you help them win compensation or settle a dispute at work, but if the experience of working with your firm along the way is remarkable that’s when they’ll recommend you to others - and return in future themselves. So, how do you create a client experience that sets you apart from your competitors? Demonstrate what makes your firm unique! Every firm has an individual blend of skills, experience, personalities, principles and philosophies that forms the culture in which they work and informs the inimitable way in which they communicate with clients. Getting to know you You’re solicitors dealing with complex cases and different characters every day, so you’ll have become wise to the myriad quirks of human nature. But how do you step back and get perspective on your own personality – and on a collective level? Work together! Include staff from all parts of the firm, not just senior staff. The fundamental rule of defining your true company culture is that you do it as all together, as a team. By identifying what’s special about your firm, you can turn it into your USP - your brand - and use it to shape a client experience with more depth and longevity. After all, your culture exists whether it’s designed or not – so why not acknowledge it and make it work for your business? 3’s the magic number Brevity Marketing can provide instructions for a simple and fun team exercise that will carefully draw out 3 core values that represent your business culture e.g. for Brevity Marketing we agreed on the words ‘adventurous’, ‘balanced’ and ‘real’. You might think about words such as ‘accountability’, ‘commitment’ and ‘integrity’ and discuss how are they evident in the way your firm works. We strongly recommend that you simply stick to 3 words when defining your values. Any more than this and it gets confusing and difficult to remember, defeating the object somewhat. Keep a note of those words that nearly made the cut though, because our copywriter will develop a statement to elaborate on each key word and they often can be used within that. Your firm can use your chosen trio of words and the accompanying statements to stay focused on how you want to represent your brand to the outside world. The power of authenticity Beware the pitfalls - this is not just an exercise in word play. Some businesses make the mistake of establishing their culture purely by concentrating on what they think customers want them to be – not who they are… “Business leaders have to learn that identifying a culture is not about plucking a few words out of a thesaurus just because they sound right,” says Brevity’s Director and CIM Fellow Kaia Vincent.
“Culture has to be collectively defined by the entire workforce. Employees will only truly understand what it means to work for your firm and embody the culture if they have been a part of its evolution. Have an open and honest discussion about who you truly are and what you stand for – only then will your values genuinely chime throughout your business in a way that benefits growth. “Most businesses now operate in highly competitive environments, so by correctly defining your culture, you will naturally differentiate yourself from the crowd and this becomes a much more powerful proposition.” The benefits don’t end there Identify and express your values and you’ll see clients with shared beliefs select your firm over your competitors because your culture resonates with their own ethos – but there are advantages far beyond an increased caseload. A strong company culture will also attract, motivate, focus and retain great staff who will be the face of your brand and provide a consistently outstanding experience for all those clients. Brevity has worked with numerous businesses who have incorporated their values into their recruitment and performance management process, acting like a filter to find and keep talent with a compatible personality as well sought-after skills. It can also act as a shield to encourage those who may not be a good fit to seek employment elsewhere. What results from this internal equilibrium is business stability, employee loyalty and subsequently a consistent customer experience that’s beneficial to your overall business. Second nature Defining your company culture and the associated values and behaviours might feel rather new at first, or perhaps slightly awkward if you’re not used to working in this way. However, if it’s a joint effort and true to who you are, it will start to flow like second nature and it’s well worth the effort when you add up all the benefits: • a stronger identity for your firm, uniquely positioning you in the marketplace • values that resonate with your key audience and attract repeat business and word of mouth recommendations • more compatible team members with unified direction and a shared sense of purpose • an improved and more strategic decision-making process, consistently cross-checked against your values • less time recruiting and re-recruiting the wrong people Establishing your core values will have a positive impact on your business from the inside out. Take time to choose the words you can live and breathe as a team; acting like a compass for everything you do. Do you want to learn more about how to shape your firm’s culture, create a better client experience and see your business thrive? Brevity Marketing is here to help for a one-off project or as a monthly marketing resource. Call us on 01256 536000 or email email@example.com
Land and Property
The NEW transparency rules – two months on With two months now passed since the new transparency rules came into play, the conveyancing industry has had time to digest the changes and decide the measures they need to implement.
At the outset, there was an understandable degree of uncertainty. Initial conversations with our customers revealed that conveyancers’ main worries were around the amount of work involved, how the new regulations will be policed and the risk of having to take their website down if not compliant. The good news is that some of these concerns have started to be alleviated. The CLC (Council for Licenced Conveyancers) and SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) have confirmed that they are treating this postregulation period as transitional and, that they are currently collaborating with the conveyancers rather than strict policing of the new regime.
• Personal details. The new rules state that customers should no longer have to provide their personal details to get a quote. If you’re using an online estimate generator which requires personal details for a result, please be aware that this now makes your company noncompliant. According to the new regulation, you also have to display cost information on your site in a different format. These details should be accessible without providing personal details, for instance sample prices based on a variety of property values.
The regulators strongly believe that conveyancers should view more transparency in the industry as an If you’re still working towards compliancy, opportunity rather than a burden. Greater keep in mind that there is no need to panic clarity will help you set expectations and nor do you need to carry out a complete improve your interactions with customers. overhaul of your systems. Instead, spend Conveyancers can build further some time looking at the information and competitive advantage by demonstrating assets you already have, and work out how the skills and experience of their staff on they can be adapted to meet the new their website. As a result, customers requirements. benefit from an increased understanding of the value for money they are getting and Do check that you are clear on the key they can make it part of their decisionessential actions that you need to take: making process when choosing a law firm. • Price of services It is crucial that details about what your prices do and do In a nutshell, start with the resources you already have and work your way up from not include are displayed as clearly as there, rather than worrying about additional possible on a prominent page on your software. It’s also key to be ready to ask website. If you don’t have a website, for help when needed. Quick and useful make sure clear pricing details are support can come from multiple sources, included in any marketing materials you whether it’s the SRA and CLC or your give to clients. conveyancing provider. • Complaints handling Provide a clear explanation of how potential complaints will be handled so users know what Geodesys to expect.
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R uested by: Req
Grid Reference: E: 123456 | N: 123456
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Professional Opinion on 1.ENVIRONMENTAL
No further recommendations
4.ENERGY & INFRASTRUCTUR TURE
No further recommendations
No further recommendations
4.20 Power Stations
uted Areas Air Quality Index: Some Pollut (See 1.25)
This page should always be read in conjunctio on with the full report. The Professional Opinion indicates the potential risks and any other potential issues associated d with the property. The results should be disclosed to client and/or lender and/or insurer as appropriate. A ‘Pass’ is g given if no p potential p property p y spec p cific risk has been identified. A ‘Pass with Considerations’ is given where there are potential hazards in the locality to bear in mind d, or if there are features nearby which some clients might consider could affect them. A ‘Further Action’ is given if there is a potential t property specific risk and a further action is advised.
In the event of a request to review the Professio ional Opinion based on additional information, or if there are e any technical queries, the professional advisor who ordered the report should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 01732 755 180.
Regulated by RICS If you rre equire assistance, please contact your Search Provider or alternatively contact FCI directly with your Report ID. Tel: 01732 755 180 | Email: info@futureclimateinfo einfo.com | Web: www.futureclimateinfo.com
Land and Property
Commercial Development: Opening up Brownfield Land Opportunity The Government has announced new funding to speed up the house building process, aiming to overcome the roadblocks from potential contamination on brownfield land.
Chris Taylor, from Future Climate Info, is one of only a small number of SiLCs (Specialists in Land Condition) in the UK. He provides an assessment on how this renewed focus on brownfield incentives will extend to commercial property due diligence. What funds have been announced? Barclays Bank has announced that they are working in partnership with the Government to offer finance to small and medium-sized housing developers. The £1 billion Housing Delivery Fund aims to support developers to make confident choices on site viability. Homes England, which is committing £125m to the funding pot, will administer the scheme and provide funding between £5m and £100m for new homes, including social housing, retirement living and apartments to rent. The funds form part of the promise to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. In addition, the £1.3 billion Land Assembly Fund will be also used to acquire land that needs work and prepare it for the market. The £630 million Small Sites Fund is designed to get the right infrastructure in place to help public landowners and local authorities that are struggling to build on land in their area. Approaching Brownfield with More Confidence James Brokenshire, the new Housing Minister, recognises that developers face many perceived obstacles when it comes to seeking permission to develop on brownfield sites. The aim is to de-risk the viability concerns from potential historic contamination. Brownfield Land has been a priority in land use zoning by Local planning Authorities (LPAs) for a number of years, but it has been boosted by reinforced guidance within the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) earlier this year. There are strong economic and social arguments for revitalising urban centres and placing higher density affordable dwellings for residents that can walk to work or use public transport to minimise traffic and pollution loads on cities. These initiatives are all to be welcomed, as they prevent sprawl and make good use of sites that can often be over-hyped in terms of their potential contaminative risk. With renewed funding vigour, commercial property lawyers and their developer or investor clients, should approach site viability on the basis of what can be achieved, rather than what can’t.
Combining Risk Data with Solutions This means an even handed approach to land quality due diligence ahead of site acquisition to fully understand a site’s historic use. But it also means a realistic assessment of how significant any contaminative risk really is, its proximity to sensitive receptors and the level of remedial work which may be necessary. A combination of desktop risk assessment and options for more detailed investigation including soil testing and gas monitoring is a good starting point. However, as sites get more complex, contaminated land insurance can be used to provide greater certainty to the transaction, helping the client to make an informed decision. In the event, that remediation is required, some companies can now use data and insurance to provide fixed fees, thus taking the uncertainty away from open ended contracts. We know that Government funding will not be a blank cheque for remediation, whatever the situation. Developers need assurance that other mechanisms like tailored contaminated land insurance, built on specific site risk assessment, is there to support when they them when they need it. Future Climate Info’s commercial environmental reports provide a comprehensive, yet concise and clear assessment of site history, potential for contamination and, as a result, follow-on options for more detailed testing or insurance provision. There are very few SILCs (Specialist in Land Condition) in the UK, but property professional including commercial property lawyers and their clients may find direct access to this expertise invaluable in unlocking the true potential of brownfield sites. The Government is seeking imaginative solutions to overcome obstacles in the planning and financing of brownfield projects. We are all about matching this with easy, intelligent commercial environmental risk solutions that keep the transaction going and provide support to unlock funding and planning consent quicker. For more information on Future Climate Info’s Commercial Environmental Risk Reports, Site Survey and Insurance Solutions, visit www.futureclimateinfo.com contact us on 01732 755 180 or email us at email@example.com
Japanese KnotweedThe Plant that Can Cost your Clients Thousands The chances are you already know everything there is to know about ‘Japanese Knotweed’, given the regular news coverage it seems to receive. The main reason: Japanese Knotweed is a highly destructive plant that is difficult to kill and can cause thousands of pounds worth of property damage.
G What is Japanese Knotweed?
iven its fearful reputation, would you be surprised to hear that figures suggest only 1/5th of people can correctly identify it!
Japanese Knotweed was introduced to Britain in the 1800s by Victorians, who used it as an ornamental garden plant, oblivious to the risks we now know. It is an invasive perennial plant that if left to grow and spread, can cause major structural damage to property. Growing up to 2m in just one season, its roots can also spread to 7m underground.
Why is it so dangerous for property? Japanese Knotweed can grow through gaps in houses (floors/cracks in walls/concrete) and into drains, causing significant damage to properties. The presence of Japanese Knotweed may not only reduce the value of a property but can also lead to enforcement of remediation works being carried out for the treatment and removal of the plant. Whilst it is not against the law for the plant to grow within your property/land, it is against the law to plant or cause Japanese Knotweed to grow in the wild. If a property owner allows the plant
to spread and cause a nuisance to somebody else’s property, they can be prosecuted or given a community protection order. A property owner can be served a notice under one or more of the following: -The Environmental Protection Act 1990 -The Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Police Act 2014 -The Infrastructure Act 2015
How can a GCS Legal Indemnity Policy help your clients? Our ‘Japanese Knotweed’ Policy has been specifically designed for the situation where a residential property may be served one or more of the notices mentioned above concerning the presence of the plant and the subsequent remediation works that may follow. The premium for this policy is just £40 (incl. IPT) for £20,000 Limit of Indemnity. This policy is available exclusively through GCS Online. Head to gcsonline.gcs-title.co.uk to register and start issuing today. All our Online policies can be issued within minutes and cover can start immediately.■
gcs-title.co.uk/HM 01435 868050 firstname.lastname@example.org
Legal Inde I mnitty Insurance a an made de e eas asy with GCS online
Whether your clients’ need co c ver for Residential or Commercial property, our Online se ervice Obtain quotes in seco onds and issue policies in minutes
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The knowledge you need, the service you value.
For over 20 years, Geodesys has been perfecting its comprehensive suite of conveyancing search solutions to clients throughout the UK. Today our bespoke service â€“ including impartial advice, EU-compliant due diligence, secure file management and dedicated support â€“ provides total peace of mind and total compliance every time.
Geodesys. All you need to know. Call 0800 085 8050 Email email@example.com
How Searches have changed so much, from someone who’s lived it! In 1987, Andrew Prismall, now Managing Director of HW Conveyancing Searches, walked into his new job in Cardiff City Council Local Land Charges Department. He found a huge pile of paper (search requests) with a “system” of dog eared cards, huge maps, (the Land Charges Register) and a photocopier and typewriters to process those searches of that Register. These “LLC Searches” took 12 weeks to go through the “process” and no one could move home without one. They came in with a cheque and were left with the results sent by second class post. He asked “why does it take so long, and aren’t people complaining?” Antiquated working practices were mostly to blame, but the sheer volume of the late 80’s housing boom didn’t help. The word “gazumping” was invented, bribes offered and, no, people were not happy. The delays caused lots of purchases to fall through or higher prices demanded by impatient sellers. But, presumably, things got better with a housing slump and new technology? Correct on both counts. The inevitable slump left a lot of home owners with the dreaded negative equity. But, the increased income during the boom allowed for investment to computerise the Register and the processing of Searches. Andrew managed this project. Big changes? Yes, in 1990 Drainage information was taken out of the Search. Drainage reports were now ordered from a water authority. In the late 90’s, personal searches had really taken off and environmental reports started to be added to a conveyancers tasks. By then, Andrew was Searches Manager for a personal search firm. He had the idea of a cost reduction if all 3 reports were ordered together. A reduced price for the bundle of reports, and “search packs” were born.
So now there are 3 searches per transaction? Mostly, but since 2000, the amount of different searches available expands over 2 pages. The conveyancer has the opportunity to cover their purchaser’s interests for flood, mining, energy, nearby planning and development to name just some. And it keeps on evolving…. In 2018, HMLR started centralising the national register. By now, Andrew has established his own personal search company “HW Conveyancing Searches” and is Chairman of the national search trade body (IPSA) and is heavily involved in the HMLR project. All personal searches are now fully insured and regulated by the PCCB of which Andrew is a Director. Andrew reflects on all these changes positively: “The LLC Search is the bedrock of our business. It covers so many very important issues: Highway adoption, protected trees, road schemes, planning histories and policy etc. But all the new searches since have just added to the consumers protection in a very good way. BEFORE you buy, you can find out if you will get flood insurance and whether there are sinkholes, new railways, wind farms or minerals workings. The list is endless and can only be good, far preferable to the USA system of insurance.”.
Andrew Prismall, M.D. HW Conveyancing Searches Chairman IPSA (search industry trade body) Director, Search Code Board Member, HMLR External Advisory Board
New SRA rules – the problem with ‘guidance’ I
We know that the new SRA rule book (‘Standards and Regulations’) will be with us sometime this year, probably the Spring.
t will be massively slimmed-down and simplified, with two separate codes of conduct for individuals and firms. However, the main substance of the conduct rules is largely unchanged. The format of the new rulebook is the next logical step in the drive towards principles based regulation. PBR is polarising: you either love it for the flexibility of interpretation, or hate it because of the inherent lack of certainty. Although it is an impressive feat of pruning and editing, the regulator’s obsession with reducing pages necessarily means losing all incorporated guidance. The SRA says that it intends to publish a whole suite of new guidance (e.g. ethics guidance, checklists, case studies, toolkits and videos) to accompany the rules, which will sit outside the rules. This could cause practical headaches. Firstly, our search for ‘the truth’ will be more of a challenge. We will have to look in multiple locations for the right answer. It will also be less certain - how will we know we have found all of the relevant guidance? For example, the 14-day rule in the current Accounts Rules is going. Great news, on the face of it. But what if the SRA issues guidance that money earmarked for costs should be transferred within 14 days?
You could take the view that it’s just guidance, and so not mandatory. But would you really want to argue that position to an SRA investigator, or tribunal? If the guidance sets the SRA’s expectations, then firms will be reluctant to depart from that. In effect, creating a de facto rule.
Most solicitors will want to check whether there is a corresponding piece of guidance to a rule. Does that mean trawling through entire toolkits? How do we know that something pertinent is not hiding somewhere at the end of a webinar? Have you missed an important tweet on the topic? The SRA may also decide to amend guidance at a moment’s notice, and since it is not a rule change, it can entirely sidestep the consultation process. So we'll always have to keep up to speed with guidance changes. And perhaps print or save anything of particular use, in case it disappears. Separate guidance that look like rules will make things much less certain for practitioners. By Jonathon Bray Jonathon Bray advises law firms on risk management and compliance, and helps ABSs get authorised www.jonathonbray.com
When is an asset search needed? Is there a situation in which it is justified not to do an Asset Search on a probate matter? If there is a will, you need to be sure that all assets have been identified and distributed; but this is also true where there is no will to be found.
ealistically, you can never be certain about what assets your client actually holds until you have undertaken a thorough and comprehensive search. This applies equally whether a will already refers to multiple accounts and shareholdings, or if your client seems to be a less fortunate elderly person in a home, or in sheltered housing with no sign of any assets at all. What is to say that some of a wealthy clientâ€™s shares didnâ€™t fall by the wayside on a share conversion or when the building society became a bank? How can you tell if, whilst in sheltered housing, your clientâ€™s forgotten high yield savings account hasnâ€™t been accruing a healthy interest? Many solicitors currently approach asset tracing as an additional service to seek out in those circumstances in which there have been whispers of a particularly broad portfolio of accounts and/or shareholdings, or perhaps when there is evidence of a property having recently been disposed of prior to a clientâ€™s death, but the funds do not show in the most recent current account statement. There are many circumstances where a client may not have updated their address with the bank or closed an account upon opening a new one, and this is exactly why there is such a need to ensure that assets have not been forgotten or missed. An executorâ€™s duties, as defined by s25 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925, include a duty of care to collect all of a deceasedâ€™s assets and to pay all liabilities. However, there are few firms offering a single search bringing together dormant bank accounts, shares, the Land Registry, postal redirections and even credit searching; Fraser and Fraser claims to have
the only comprehensive service on the market. â€œIt is surprising how often we find assets which no one else â€“ the solicitor, the family or the home â€“ knew about, and with so many categories of assets possible, it is hardly news that something might go amiss to even the most organised Testator or solicitor. All you have to do is fill in one simple form with as much information as you have at your disposal and leave the rest to usâ€?, says Neil Fraser, a partner at Fraser and Fraser. â€œHaving had the contacts established already for our own work, it made sense to open this service up to all solicitors, not just those we are working with. We are confident that there is no one else on the market offering quite the same coverage â€“ and we look forward to sharing the knowledgeâ€?. At a time when beneficiaries are increasingly keen to ensure full value is extracted from their inheritance or to hold someone liable for a failure to do so, it would be reasonable to consider making commissioning a comprehensive asset trace a habitual part of the probate routine. It stands to reason that ensuring that all the assets brought together for a probate, really does mean that all of the assets have been identified and located, and this should become a standard part of administrating an estate; and in the case of a will, a quick search might ensure that all of a Testatorâ€™s property is successfully allocated, without leaving any partial intestacies or other surprises lurking later on. For further information about Asset Search, contact Fraser and Fraser on 020 7832 1400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Research and Estate E Administration n Services 50 years of providing specialist research and estate administration support services. 7UDFLQJPLVVLQJEHQHČ´FLDULHVLVWKHKHDUWRIRXUEXVLQHVV7KURXJKH[SHUWNQRZOHGJHDQGZLWKLQWHUQDWLRQDOFRQQHFWLRQVZH FDQČ´QGWKHPLVVLQJQH[WRINLQDQGDVVLVWZLWKDOODVSHFWVRIHVWDWHDGPLQLVWUDWLRQZLWKVSHHGDQGDFFXUDF\ Contact us today to see how Fraser and Fraser can assist you.
fraserandfraser.co.uk or call: 0207 832 1400
Wills and Probate
A love that lasts forever Every year, we care for around 15,000 dogs at our 20 rehoming centres across the UK. It’s only with the help of our wonderful supporters that we can give these dogs the love, care and attention they deserve while finding them the right home.
of their married life rescuing and caring for neglected and unwanted dogs.
A third of our funds come from gifts included in supporters Wills. One such supporter, Dr Thomas Preston, has very kindly pledged to leave a legacy to Dogs Trust in his Will. He and his beloved wife, Pat, spent 40 years
Pat had always had a strong bond with dogs, having lived with them for much of her life. She couldn’t bear to see them injured or illtreated. Sadly she passed away in 2014, leaving behind Tom and her darling dogs. It was their shared belief that every dog deserves a long, happy life that led to her making the incredibly generous decision to leave us a gift in her Will. Dogs Trust promises to never put down a healthy dog. Please help us keep this promise by considering leaving us a gift in your Will.
roviding expert veterinary care, specialist rehabilitation equipment and training facilities doesn’t come cheap. Not to mention all the vital everyday necessities like food, bedding and heating. Dogs Trust receives no government funding, which means we wouldn’t be able to run our 20 state-of-the-art rehoming centres without the generous donations from our supporters.
The leader in case management. I chose Clio primarily because itâ€™s in the cloud and therefore accessible from anywhere and secure. â€“ Rachel Roche, Solicitor & Managing Director, Roche Legal, York, United Kingdom
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Sign up for a free trial today at clio.com/uk Call us +44-800-433-2546 ext. 155 to schedule a demo!
Wills and Probate
A lesson learned... S
he had always been a charitable person and while her story did not work out for her let it be a lesson to us all.
Pic: L-R Matthew Brennan and Ken Brennan (My Paper Vault)
Peter Baker found himself in a position where he had to look after his mother’s estate. She had a short illness and was not able to finalise all her affairs before she passed on.
Peter and his mother had a few years previously sat down and had a chat about her passing on one day and subsequently wrote a will together. Peter had a copy of the will, but when it came to search for the original, he struggled to find it. After turning his mother’s house upside down he found her will. However it appears that in previous years, one of his kids had found it, and drawn all over it. Worse yet had torn the bottom of the page off destroying the signatures on the will. Peter understood that the threshold of his mother’s estate was £325 000 pounds which is tax exempt, the remainder of the estate was £175 000 which was subject to tax. His mother wanted to leave a donation to a local care home, “because not all elderly people are as well off as I am”, She used to say regularly. The copy of her will listed her donation as £100 000 and this would drop her Inheritance tax down to 36%. The donation would be tax exempt and so her final Inheritance Tax bill should have been £27 000. However because her will was destroyed, the care home as per the laws of intestacy received nothing and the full amount of £125 000 above the threshold was charged at 40%, which meant her inheritance tax bill was £70 000. It took Peter months to sort out and there were hidden costs all along the way. What galled Peter the most was knowing his mother’s final wishes were not respected. The law must be applied fairly across the board and this is where My Paper Vault comes in so handy. We offer a fully insured and comprehensively protected storage facility for wills and all life documents. We make a copy of these documents available online, that can be changed and edited online as needed. We have a clear policy on how these documents can be accessed after death, so no one is left uncertain. We also send out a notification to the executors reminding them bi-annually of their responsibilities as executors. Our online facilities have a top-notch security algorithm that is often tested to protect your information and offer you peace of mind. *This is a fictitious story based on how Intestacy works. Peter and his mother are fictitious characters but the law is real.
What might 2019 have in store for the SIPP market? The government is focused on delivering Brexit and has little time to consider significant legislative changes in the short term. However, if the economy takes a turn for the worse, the Chancellor may feel the need to follow his predecessors and return to pensions for another slice of the pie.
f that happens, we might see, further cuts to the Annual Allowance and Lifetime Allowance. In the longer term, we might also see the introduction of a system of flat-rate tax relief, although this is far harder to achieve than many of its supporters readily admit. Our wish list of changes would include: 1. The removal of the tapering of the Annual Allowance; it significantly impacts on the amount high earners can save for retirement and introduces massive complexity 2. An end to the Lifetime Allowance; it’s horribly complex and the range of protections (also equally impenetrable to the average investor) mean the amount of tax raised is limited anyway; in 2016/17 the Lifetime Allowance raised just £102 million (Source: HMRC / FT Adviser) small change compared to the £41 billion spent on pension tax-relief (Source: HMRC / FT Adviser). One thing firmly on the agenda in 2019 though is Automatic Enrolment. April will see contributions from both employers and employees rise a final time (for now at least). Furthermore, many businesses are approaching the third anniversary of their staging date. This means people who previously opted out of the scheme are automatically re-enrolled. For many, this will be a timely nudge to reconsider their retirement provision. For others, who have reduced Annual Allowances or protection from the Lifetime Allowance preventing them from accruing future pension benefits, being re-enrolled and failing to opt out (something easily overlooked) could have significant unintended consequences. If needed, it’s another example of where professional advice will add significant value and prevent clients from making potentially costly mistakes.
Something you may not know about SIPP’s Almost all financial advisers know that a SIPP can buy an office block, a factory or industrial unit and also have a good knowledge of the types of property that a SIPP can’t buy. However, there’s a grey area. One where some advisers are unsure of the rules. What are we referring to? - Land. S4 discussed this matter with Jonathan Lochery at I.P.M. SIPP Administration and they scoured there book of properties to find seven examples of unusual land that can be bought in a SIPP. 1. Fishing lakes: The adviser’s client works in the fisheries industry. His SIPP purchased land with a lake. It then signed a lease (with rent set at a market rate) with the client’s company for use of the land. 2. Woodland: We administer SIPPs that own woodland, which is subsequently used for diverse activities such as paintballing and growing Christmas trees. 3. Farmland: The most common type of land we purchase, either on the open market or from the farmers themselves, releasing money from their pension scheme while allowing them to retain control of the land. 4. Equestrian use / stables: We work with several jockeys who own stables and fields in their SIPP, which are then leased back to their equestrian business.
5. Polo club: Continuing the equine theme, we recently purchased a polo club. 6. Golf club: We also have a client whose SIPP owns a golf course and clubhouse, which is leased back to his business, again for a market rate rent. 7. Sports facilities: In the past, we have worked with a client whose SIPP included a small stadium and other open spaces. Most investors won’t want to buy a fishing lake, stables or a golf course in their SIPP. However, those who do might not think using their SIPP is an option but they could. It’s also worth remembering that a SIPP can purchase land jointly, perhaps with the client themselves, their company or another pension. As you may know, a
SIPP can also borrow money to help fund the purchase;
Rules for purchasing land in a SIPP In the meantime, here are four things to remember when purchasing land in a SIPP: 1. The land must be income producing: The SIPP must be able to generate a rental yield from the land and a formal lease needs to be in place. Furthermore, the rent must be set at a market value rate, even if the tenant is connected to the SIPP member. 2. It must have access to a public highway: Often overlooked, especially when it comes to farmland, this rule helps preserve the land’s resale value on the open market and avoids a SIPP acquiring a landlocked asset. 3. No residential usage: Unsurprisingly, land purchased in a SIPP can’t have any element of residential usage. So, land close to a member’s main residence must have an independent commercial value that will benefit the SIPP. It is important to note that we would not agree to the purchase of land, for example, at the side of the SIPP member’s house, to personally use as a paddock as genuine commercial use (even if a market rent is set). 4. Beware potential contamination: Land near any kind of industrial sites, such as a coal mine, refinery, fuel storage etc, should be considered at risk of contamination. While it is unusual for a purchase not to proceed, environmental tests may be required to satisfy HMRC requirements before the purchase can be completed. Naturally, this increases costs and could delay the purchase. SIPP rules mean there will always be types of property which can’t be bought in a SIPP. An Advisers job is to ensure that investor’s needs are met within HMRC’s rules. As always take professional advice to see what your options could be, decisions taken are then taken from an informed position.
Steven Vallery S4 Financial Limited – email@example.com and Jonathan Lochery I.P.M. SIPP Administration Limited – firstname.lastname@example.org
Productivity Improvement in the Legal Sector
common approach to productivity improvement is tried and tested in many sectors and is based on Operational Excellence, i.e. the ability to run an effective â€˜operationâ€™ (function or department). It success needs employees to have simple tools and techniques to make problems visible, encourage people to continuously â€˜fixâ€™ them and to address issues that cross departments and internal teams without the silos of reporting lines and departmental structure from hampering creative solutions. Systems and technology can help this but the way we arrange resources (people, process and systems) together can limit the productivity output we might have been able to achieve if we donâ€™t understand process, behaviours and technology and redesign how they work as a â€˜systemâ€™. Simple ways to create the culture of continuous productivity improvement: â€¢ Process map the â€˜one best wayâ€™ of performing a process and standardising on the best customer outcome â€¢ Define what we mean by rework (failure demand â€“ extra work created because of something we didnâ€™t do right the first time or neglected to do), measure it and reduce it. â€¢ Workload management of daily, weekly and monthly tasks/cases so it is visible, the team communicate regularly to track, allocate and reprioritise the work to ensure staff with the right skills are matched to the right type and priority of work. â€¢ Organise the people around the work rather than the organisation chart. Multiskilled, multifunctional teams of people supporting specialist skilled â€˜expertsâ€™ (lawyers). Pooled skills, level workloads and flexibility to match resource to customer demand. Productivity improvement, getting more output per hour worked without increased human effort, can be achieved through: â€¢ Better work design and resource organisation â€¢ Process redesign, quality feedback loops, better controls and improved standardisation on the one best way â€¢ Staff training in wider skills, increasing employee engagement and motivation â€¢ Higher staff utilisation through elimination of non-value-adding activities â€¢ Automation, improved use of technology and software supporting the operational design Combined, they lead to better customer experience, reduced operational costs and increased profit. ChangeWise has experience in all aspects of service productivity improvement and has developed a comprehensive operational assessment approach that quickly identifies the key factors that enable an efficient and effective operation. By examining critical business and support functions, processes, company policies, organisational structure, culture and key performance metrics we can identify your company's strengths and weaknesses, provide insight, pinpoint priority areas and make recommendations for improvement. â– Call Mike Williams on 07866 537 580 to find out more.
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to use document management software Photo: Julian Bryan
Digitisation is the process of moving from “paper” to ”data”. Businesses of all types, law firms included, are embarking upon projects to introduce electronic working and achieve their paperless office goals for a whole multitude of reasons. The primary vehicle for doing so is document management software (DMS).
ake Quill’s Interactive Documents as an example of DMS software that’s been designed specifically for the legal profession. A key component of Quill’s Interactive Cloud suite, the system comprises case management and legal accounting functionality on top of document management capabilities. That means it delivers an expansive range of benefits to clients who are effectively able to implement one fully integrated, easy-to-use application to manage their entire business whilst at the same time eliminating paper-based processes. In this latest instalment of helpful tips from Quill, here are ten good reasons to choose DMS in your practice… 1. Improve efficiencies The main driver is usually wanting to work smarter and be more productive. After all, the less time you spend creating, storing, sharing and searching for documents, including sending and recovering archived files, the more time you spend earning fees. Or performing any other task pertinent to managing and growing your business. 2. Expand profits Following on nicely from #1, any DMS worth its salt allows time recording capture when producing, sending, uploading and receiving documents and correspondence. By doing so, claim back all monies due and maximise your earning potential. 3. Save money Not only can you generate more revenue, you can save money too thereby boosting your bank balance even higher into the black. With DMS, reduce your overheads by paying an affordable monthly subscription for a cloud-based set up which is £tens-of-thousands less than in-house servers, bulky storage cabinets and associated office space, and off-site archiving solutions. 4. Increase mobility By logging in via the internet, access your documents (and contacts, matters and finances!) from any place, at any time, on any device. Your staff instantly become more mobile and you establish closer links between multiple sites. 5. Collaborate better Share documents internally with a central store of everything filed according to live and complete matters. Circulate documents to third parties by utilising convert-to-PDF and zip-and-attach features. 6. Enhance accuracy Introduce business automation by setting up popular document templates, automatically populating with database content, and assigning tasks and diary notes with relevant documents for yourself and others. That way, avoid data input errors and never miss important case actions.
7. Tighten security Exploit your cloud provider’s industrial-strength security measures, ISO certifications and state-of-the-art technologies to become more resilient. Apply user authentication and role-based authorisation at application layer for even further protection. 8. Introduce business continuity If your DMS supplier has sound emergency planning and disaster recovery processes already in place, you automatically inherit these simply by becoming a client. That’s your business continuity strategy sorted. 9. Rely on on-demand support It’s naïve to assume that you’ll never suffer any technical hiccups. Even the most robust systems go awry occasionally. Technical support team working hours, out-of-hours emergency contact details and target-to-repair times will be defined in your Service Level Agreement. 10. Enjoy automatic software updates Another huge advantage of a virtual environment is the ability for software enhancements to be automatically implemented without any intervention on your part. Be confident that you’re always running the latest software release, avoiding any disruption, downtime or upgrade charges. It goes without saying that these benefits are satisfied by Interactive Documents. Quill’s DMS add-ins are the bridge that interfaces between Word and Outlook on the one hand with Interactive Cloud on the other. To put this into perspective, once an email has been initiated from a case, all subsequent emails in the conversation are automatically saved to Interactive and time is recorded without any further user intervention. Similarly, document templates can be mapped to standard and custom fields from Interactive by embedding Quill’s unique itags within the firm’s templates and precedents. And when it comes to sending documents to clients, users have the choice of using a native document format or finalising the format through conversion to PDF. As if these ten reasons aren’t incentive enough, where Quill’s concerned, there’s an additional reason… experience true one-stopshop support. You see, with Quill, as well as getting one application to cater for all your practice management requirements, outsourced services are readily available too. Select from cashiering, payroll and typing assistance for a complete back office infrastructure with one convenient point of contact for your every business need. To find out more on Quill’s Interactive Documents software, please visit www.quill.co.uk/documents, email email@example.com or call 0161 236 2910 ■
Managing Director, Quill
COUNCIL TAX HANDBOOK 12th Edition. By Alan Murdie and Paul Moorhouse ISBN: 978 1 91071 544 4 CHILD POVERTY ACTION GROUP (CPAG) www.cpag.org.uk
“NEEDED MORE THAN EVER” SAID A RESIDENT TO US AS COUNCIL TAX RISES BITE FROM 2019 An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers and Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”
his new, 12th edition, of CPAG’s “Council Tax Handbook” for 2019 arrives at an important time for the history of this form of taxation. In our view, the book will be of great value to taxpayers, advisers and administrators as well as elected councillors dealing with personal cases at a time of change. The title has been rightly described as “the most widely used practical guide to all aspects of the council tax in England, Wales and Scotland” and it remains an invaluable resource for all affected by this tax. It has been fully updated and covers recent changes to the legislation, case law authorities and both court practice and procedure.
The Appendices are particularly important for unrepresented parties fearful of what they may face when up against a local authority. We found Appendix 3 particularly helpful setting out the standard content of a letter requesting an adjournment in the Magistrates’ Courts, and always remember to serve a copy of the local authority as well. Murdie and Moorhouse have included information for undergraduates covering student halls of residence, and advice concerning empty or second homes. The greatest benefit of this annual handbook concerns essential guidance on all aspects of how council tax collection is enforced, including methods used for recovery in view of the highly privileged position local authorities enjoy. The many practical examples of issues which arise involving the administration of council tax will be of great help to the general public. We found the comprehensive guide to council tax
reduction schemes of great help and comfort to those worried about where they stand when they face any form of conflict with those in local government. The handbook explains the following issues which may arise, including those who is liable and who is exempt from paying council tax; how homes are valued for tax purposes and how valuations can be changed; the position of students; discounts and the new reduction schemes; the extensive powers of local authorities; and finally, tax collection, appeals, enforcement and bailiffs’ powers. The book has been fully cross-referenced for local government case-law authorities and regulations. Murdie and Moorhouse have filled it with lots of everyday examples of problems, making it an indispensable guide for a range of readers including taxpayers, advice agency staff, housing and consumer advisers, lawyers, local authority administrators and anyone else needing to understand the council tax and its application. Always ensure you have the most recent edition of the handbook as both law and practice do change. The handbook was published on 4th December 2018. The law described in this handbook was correct at 1st October 2018. ■
by Elizabeth Taylor and
Phillip Taylor MBE
of Richmond Green Chambers
S SU U P E R CHARG RGE
Y YO O UR U R WORKLOA AD Ta ake off time. Lots of time. Slash the time it takes to do post- completion tasks to just five minutes, thanks to supercharged InfoTrack technology that pre -populates data fields and submits and manages results for SDLTs and AP1s. It’s intuitive. It’s easy to use. And your workload? Yo ou’ll charge through it.
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Faster and Smarter
EUROPEAN ENERGY LAW REPORT VOLUME XII Editors Martha M Roggenkamp and Catherine Banet ISBN: 978 1 78068 672 1 INTERSENTIA www.intersentia.com
ENERGY SUPPLIES POST BREXIT: THE NEW ‘EUROPEAN ENERGY LAW REPORT’ RINGS AT LEAST A FEW ALARM BELLS An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers and Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”
hen first you switch on the lights in your home or office, it may or may not occur to you to wonder where the energy for this instant availability comes from. The awkward answer - if you live and work in the UK - is that the bulk of the UK’s electricity supply is imported, as this latest European Energy Law Report from Intersentia makes clear. UK residents, who get their electricity bills from EDF, for example, won’t need too much convincing on this point, recalling that EDF means ‘Electricite de France.’ How then and in what way will UK consumers of energy be affected by Brexit? There’s no one answer to this one as the longer-term results of Brexit will be revealed only in time. But on opening this Report, you are presented with the first of its thirteen chapters (from 17 expert contributors) which offers up a scary title: “Brexit and its Impact on the Energy Sectors. Pulling the Plug?” by author Silke Goldberg. Dr. Goldberg, a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, offers a carefully research analysis of the possible and probable impact of Brexit on the UK in respect of energy sources. The facts involved are of course, interspersed with quite a lot of speculation, as anything to do with Brexit is fraught with uncertainty. Nonetheless, certain facts speak for themselves. As we are reminded by Dr. Goldberg, ‘…the UK electricity market is highly interconnected,’ relying as it does on electricity flow from France, from where the UK imports up to 2GW. (Gigawatts). While admitting that physical disconnection of the UK and EU electricity markets is highly unlikely, Dr. Goldberg warns that
‘Brexit may still negatively impact on energy trading and therefore on UK energy security, as the UK is a net importer of electricity.’ As an overview of - in the words of the editors - ‘the most important developments in the field of international, EU, and national energy and climate law,’ this book has certainly done its job, the common thread throughout being ‘the promotion of renewable energy sources.’ Divided into five parts, then book covers such matters as, of course, EU energy law, including case law…renewable energy production, particularly cross-border issues and dispute resolution…and energy consumers and “prosumers”. (The book explains what this means). Of interest are the sections on capacity markets and mechanisms which include a chapter on capacity markets in Great Britain. Also note the final section on promoting the use of sustainable gas and security of gas supply, with reference to EU and German perspectives. Mitigating the effects of climate change also looms large as a topic of note in what is an impressive Report, which should certainly attract the attention of environmental lawyers as well as the general reader seeking authoritative commentary on energy matters and the inherent legal issues.
The publication date is cited as at 20th November 2018. ■
by Elizabeth Taylor and
Phillip Taylor MBE
of Richmond Green Chambers HAMPSHIRE LEGAL
Dutton Gregory Solicitors
Burley Geach Solicitors
are seeking a
are seeking a
Clinical Negligence Lawyer
Family Solicitor PQE 3+ years
Department: Clinical Negligence Location: Bournemouth Hours: Full time - 35 hours
Salary: Competitive Location: Petersfield/Haslemere
We are looking to recruit a Lawyer for our Clinical Negligence department based in our Bournemouth office. Our firm has one of the largest clinical negligence teams on the south coast encompassing AvMA Law Society, APIL and Society for Clinical Injury Lawyers panel members. You will either be a solicitor or a legal executive with up to 3 years PQE gained working as part of a clinical negligence or personal injury team. The workload is interesting and varied. You will initially be responsible for managing your own low to mid value caseload including all aspects of medical, dental and clinical injuries. You should have the ability to work on your own initiative and with minimum supervision, and a keen enthusiasm for business development. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone who is looking to expand their knowledge in Clinical Negligence. ■
Fee Earner (5+ Years PQE) Department: Private Client Location: Chandler’s Ford Hours: Full time - 35 hours We are recruiting for an experienced Fee Earner for our Chandler’s Ford office to join our expanding team. You will work alongside our existing team which has a wealth of knowledge and experience in handling all Private Client matters including: Wills, Estate Planning, Estate Administration and Powers of Attorney. You will run your own caseload of files and have all round experience in Private Client law. You will also play an active role in the continued development of the practice by networking and participating in marketing events. This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious solicitor to join an energetic and fast growing law firm. ■ Please contact
MISSING WILLS Mr Arthur Daniel Cecil Ricketts 50 Spring Vale, Hoprndean, Waterlooville PO8 9DB DOB 04/01/1904 DOD 15/07/1987
Mr John Charles Elford 9 Leigh Park, Lymington SO41 9JZ DOB 10/04/1961 DOD 30/10/2018
Burley Geach Solicitors LLP is a leading provider of legal services with offices in Hampshire and Surrey with an excellent reputation for delivering legal advice which is tailored to the individual needs of our clients. Our well respected family department is now seeking to appoint an experienced solicitor with a minimum 3 years PQE. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate a proven track record within family law and have an open and friendly approach with clients. Full Resolution membership is preferable. The work consists of all aspects of private family law, financial remedy, divorce, children matters, pre-nuptial and cohabitation matters with an emphasis on finances. The successful candidate will work initially from the firm’s office in Haslemere (up to 1 year maximum) before transferring to Petersfield. You will work independently but will be expected to contribute to, promote and develop the family team to ensure the continued success of this department. This exciting opportunity to further your career with a wellrespected progressive firm comes with excellent long term prospects and competitive salary package. ■ Application Email Address:
Residential Property Lawyer PQE 3+ years Salary: Competitive Location: Haslemere Burley Geach Solicitors LLP is a leading provider of legal services with offices in Hampshire and Surrey with an excellent reputation for delivering legal advice which is tailored to the individual needs of our clients. Our conveyancing department is now seeking to appoint an experienced solicitor for its office in Haslemere. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of working within a busy residential property department. They will provide a full range of property advice to a wide range of clients including net worth clients. They will contribute to and benefit from the support of a strong property team, but will be expected to work independently. The successful applicant will assume responsibility for an existing caseload and be encouraged to build and maintain appropriate contacts to promote and develop property work in Haslemere. ■ Application Email Address:
Locum available for Family / Matrimonial Work: Miss Vivien Manfield admitted 1981, Resolution Accredited Family Specialist January 2006 – January 2011, based in Winchester, has been doing locum assignments since 1993 and is available for full or part time assignments. ■ Tel: 01962 853930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and c.v.
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The Official Law Magazine for the Hampshire Law Society. This month's edition features the latest news from around the Hampshire law scene.