HampshireLegal THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE HAMPSHIRE LAW SOCIETY
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PUBLISHER Benham Publishing Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.benhampublishing.com ACCOUNTS DIRECTOR Joanne Casey
07 CPD Update
SALES DIRECTOR Karen Hall STUDIO MANAGER Lee Finney
09 Looking after your
MEDIA No. 1782
PUBLISHED June 2021 © Benham Publishing Ltd.
10 Happenings in
LEGAL NOTICE © Benham Publishing. 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 Media. No responsibility can be accepted for any inaccuracies that may occur, correct at time of going to press. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us. DISCLAIMER The Hampshire Incorporated Law Society welcomes all persons eligible for membership regardless of sex, race, religion, age or sexual orientation. All views expressed in this publication are the views of the individual writers and not the society unless specifically stated to be otherwise. All statements as to the law are for discussion between members and should not be relied upon as an accurate statement of the law, are of a general nature and do not constitute advice in any particular case or circumstance.
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Solicitors Indemnity Fund
For the September 2021 edition Advertising Anyone wishing to advertise in Hampshire Legal please contact Catherine McCarthy before the copy deadline. 0151 236 4141 email@example.com Editorial Anyone wishing to submit editorial for publication in Hampshire Legal please contact Alison Plenderleith before the copy deadline. firstname.lastname@example.org
Interesting facts you may not know
20 Calling smart law
22 Key considerations
COVER INFORMATION Image by Alexey Fedoren from www.depositphotos.com.
31st August 2021
16 Hampshire –
firms: the tech you DO need, and the one thing you DON’T
Members of the public should not seek to rely on anything published in this magazine in court but seek qualified Legal Advice.
05 President’s Review
for law firms when choosing legal software
25 Technology is
raising standards in conveyancing
29 Book Review 30 Notices Follow us on social media @hampshirelawsoc https://www.linkedin.com/company/hampshireincorporated-law-society/ HAMPSHIRELEGAL | 3
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President’s Review JUNE 2021
e continue to ease our way out of hopefully this final national lockdown. The 21 June removal of restrictions being delayed a further 4 weeks will no doubt provide further devastating consequences to many but we as a Law Society need to plan for full recovery. Over 44% of the UK population is fully vaccinated with numbers in the South above the national average. Cases appear to be on the rise but hopefully we can escape the worst of the Delta strain. It would be interesting to hear your plans for the rest of the year in terms of return to offices or increased home working. Many firms kept offices open whilst others continue to provide an excellent service working from home. In Conveyancing, the market did not fall or crash but the work kept going in residential and commercial transactions although with the tailing off of stamp duty benefits this may cause a slow down, plus the reduction in the number of properties coming on to the market. In litigation, the vulnerable and deserving people are being served, members of our profession, Solicitors and Barristers kept the Courts functioning and the rule of law is being upheld.
resulting economic impact and disruption to all of our lives, it has been very challenging to say the least. We had to start again with our plans and we had to do it quickly. I’m proud that HILS was able to do so by moving to a virtual world, providing training, development courses and other resources to help you navigate the lockdowns and the pandemic. At the end of the day, supporting one another has been how we have got through the last year or so. I have been grateful for your support and that of the HILS committee. For our Society, we have survived these difficult times and we must now activate and increase our activities in the coming months and years. This is the time to look forward with hope and aspiration of what is on the horizon. I therefore call upon all members to take part in our future activities, educational courses, and social functions of which we will notify you. We actively encourage you to send us articles, anecdotes, campaign issues, subjects for future seminars and anything else law related. ■
James Gleisner President Hampshire Law Society
Being President of this great Society is a demanding job at the best of times, but with the backdrop of a global pandemic and the HAMPSHIRELEGAL | 5
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CPD – TRAINING
Hampshire Law Society CPD Update O
ver the past 12 months we have successfully moved our CPD programme online and offered access to other free CPD from our providers, clients and local chambers etc. This has proved popular with many of you and is something we plan to continue to offer certainly in the short term. There are a number of other things in the pipeline including some more general legal updates and one day conferences (which will be face to face). If you can help in any way with speakers, topic suggestions or venue space, this all keeps out costs down and provides the opportunity to reduce our delegate rates. Please find below the final 2 webinars being offered by HILS this CPD year: PROBATE DISPUTES Date: Tuesday 29 June 2021 Time: 1500 – 1630 (questions from 1630) Venue: via ZOOM Speakers: Ms Kerry Morgan-Gould Kerry Morgan-Gould Kerry is a Partner and Head of the Trusts & Estates Team at Ashfords LLP. Kerry has been qualified for 12 years. She advises private individuals, charities and trustees in relation to all matters arising out of contentious Wills, Trusts and Estates. In addition, Kerry also advises clients in relation to contentious Court of Protection matters. 1. What is a Probate Dispute 2. Testamentary Capacity challenges including: Clitheroe v Bond – the Appeal 3. Fraud & Undue Influence 4. Issues to be mindful of that could cause you problems during the administration
NEWBUILD FOR CONVEYANCERS: CURRENT ISSUES Date: Tuesday 8 July 2021 Time: 1500 - 1630 (questions from 1630) Venue: via ZOOM Speakers: Mr Richard Snape Richard has been the Head of Professional Support at Davitt Jones Bould since 2002. He speaks at numerous courses for law societies all over the country, various public courses, in-house seminars within solicitors firms and has also talked extensively to local authorities and central government bodies. His areas of specialism include both commercial and residential property, in particular in relation to local government law, conveyancing issues, development land, commercial property and incumbrances in relation to land. Newbuild development is becoming a major part of the conveyancing process and is currently undergoing fundamental changes. The course aims to look at both pitfalls and current issues. Topics covered include: ■ The New Help to Buy Scheme ■ The New Model Shared Ownership Lease for all Affordable Housing ■ Latest on Ground Rents ■ Latest on Estate Rent charges ■ Extended Completion Date Problems ■ Planning Issues, including changes to Use Classes ■ Community Infrastructure Levy ■ NHBC Issues Fee Members £35.00 / Non members £50.00 To Book Register with Nicola at administration@hampshirelawsociety. co.uk for more information, book online or download the booking form from our website.
Fee Members £35.00 / Non members £50.00 To Book Register with Nicola at administration@hampshirelawsociety. co.uk for more information, book online at or download the booking form from our website. HAMPSHIRELEGAL | 7
Hampshire Law Society Contacts The following is an up-to-date list of committee members’ names and addresses and the sub committees to which they belong:
President James Gleisner Tel: 02380 447022 Email: email@example.com
Business Development Officer Alison Plenderleith Tel: 07429 523183 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contentious Russell Evans email@example.com Kevin Richardson
Deputy President Mo Aldridge Jasper Vincent 44 Queensway, Southampton SO14 3GT Tel: 023 8063 3225 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Law Society Council Members Nick Gurney-Champion (Hampshire & Isle of Wight) Biscoes 67 Union Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight PO33 2LN Tel: 01983 615615 Email: email@example.com
Non Contentious Matthew Robbins Nick Gurney-Champion Alex O’Sullivan
Deputy Vice President Tom Mitchell Trethowans Botleigh Grange Business Park, Hedge End, Southampton SO30 2AF DX 154120 Southampton 48 Tel: 02380 820465 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Honorary Secretary Ian Robinson Churchers Solicitors 13-18 Kings Terrace, Portsmouth PO5 3AL DX 2205 Portsmouth Tel: 0239 288 2001 Fax: 0239 286 2831 Email: email@example.com
Razi Shah (North Hampshire) Appleby Shaw Trinity House, 15a Trinity Place, Windsor SL4 3AS DX 3830 Windsor Tel: 01753 860606 Fax: 01753 860620 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Administrator Nicola Jennings Tel: 023 8044 7022 Fax: 023 8044 7022 Email: administration@ hampshirelawsociety.co.uk
Honorary Treasurer Tom Mitchell Trethowans Botleigh Grange Business Park, Hedge End, Southampton SO30 2AF DX 154120 Southampton 48 Tel: 02380 820465 Email: email@example.com
Complaints Mo Aldridge firstname.lastname@example.org
Immediate Past President Joe Robertson Email: email@example.com
Membership Sarah Coates James Gleisner Sarah Huck
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Education & Training Anthony Harris (Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org Tom Mitchell
PR (inc Social) Mo Aldridge (Chair) email@example.com Jonathan Rees Sarah Hallett Regulatory Adrienne Edgerley Harris (Chair) Adrienneedgerleyharris@gmail.com Ian Robinson
Follow us on Twitter @hampshirelawsoc Follow us on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/ company/hampshireincorporated-law-society/
Looking after your wellbeing L
iving and working through a pandemic has been extremely tough for all of us and as we slowly emerge from the other side, many of us are feeling stressed, burnt out, exhausted, and emotionally battered and bruised. We have all had a lot on our plates over the past year and legal professionals who have contacted LawCare’s support service during the pandemic have talked about the stress of juggling work and home schooling, feeling isolated at home, a lack of support from work, and this is before we add in the fear and anxiety caused by COVID-19 – and for many recovering from serious illness or mourning the loss of a loved one. Whilst working at home has been fantastic for some it does mean that the boundaries between work and home have become blurred for many of us, making it much harder to switch off from work. Many are working longer hours than ever before. Added to this is the strain of managing demanding clients who are frustrated, overwrought and stressed themselves, which can make interaction with them difficult to navigate. In addition to the challenges presented by the pandemic and profession itself, the type of person that often goes into the law can often have traits which hamper wellbeing. Legal professionals have high expectations of themselves and what they want to achieve in life and are often perfectionists, which means they find it hard to say no to people and any bump in the road can be hard for them to manage. They find it hard to ask for help, believing they should be self sufficient. All of this combined creates a perfect storm for poor mental health – stress, anxiety, and depression. Sometimes it may be hard to tell there is a problem. You may have got so used to working at a certain pace or feeling a certain way that you don’t realise you need to slow down or ask for help. It’s important to look after yourself or it can cause problems later both mentally and physically – your health is far more important than anything else, and being mentally healthy will mean you can do your best legal work. Acknowledge what a tough time you have been through, and may still be going through, and above all be kind to yourself over the next few months by prioritising your wellbeing.
Tips for wellbeing ■ Stick to a routine and have a clear boundary between work and home – avoid checking emails late at night for example. Research shows that working longer hours does not improve productivity. ■ Take regular breaks, including a lunch break, and try and get out for a walk every day. This may seem impossible but you will do better work if you do this, time spent in nature can renew our attention spans when they are flagging after an extended period staring at a screen. ■ To avoid overwhelm do one thing at a time and break complex tasks down into manageable chunks. Disable notifications and close your inbox so you can focus. ■ Breathe – if you can feel yourself getting anxious try taking ten deep breaths, inhaling for 5 seconds and exhaling for 10 seconds. It can make you feel calmer. ■ It’s easy to let healthy habits slip when we are at stressed but make sure you eat well, get to bed at a reasonable time and find time to do some exercise. These are essential basic requirements of staying mentally healthy. ■ Allow yourself to feel difficult feelings – focus on what you ARE feeling rather than what you SHOULD be feeling – suppressing your feelings and emotions won’t help. ■ Don’t rush back to old ways of working – hold off committing to a return to the office straight away. Make the new normal work for you rather than defaulting to what used to be. ■ Book some time off work. Most of us are exhausted from carrying the emotional load of the last few months – we all need time to rest, relax, recuperate and reset and something to look forward to. ■ Talk to someone. Talking your problems through makes a real difference and provides reassurance you are not alone. Reach out to a friend, family member, colleague or contact the free, independent and confidential LawCare support service on 0800 279 6888, email firstname.lastname@example.org,visit www.lawcare.org.uk. ■ If you are having trouble sleeping, having panic attacks, experiencing mood swings or have physical signs of stress such has headaches, digestive problems etc make an appointment with your GP.
LawCare is an independent charity providing free, confidential, emotional support to all legal professionals, support staff and concerned family members. You can call the helpline on 0800 279 6888, email email@example.com or access online chat and other resources at www.lawcare.org.uk. ■ HAMPSHIRELEGAL | 9
HAPPENINGS IN HAMPSHIRE
Law firm appoints new managing partner Mike Watson
rethowans, a leading South Coast law firm, has appointed a new managing partner.
Mike Watson, who has led the firm’s corporate team for more than 10 years and is part of the existing management board, takes on the position effective 1 April 2021. “I am proud to be appointed Trethowans’ new managing partner,” said Mike. “I have lots of positive ideas and initiatives for the firm, including enhancing our client service delivery by using market leading technology and continuing to attract the best legal talent, all whilst staying true to our roots and our culture. “We are heavily investing in our IT infrastructure to drive efficiencies for our clients. This will also ensure we continue to enable our lawyers to divide their time between the office and home beyond Covid-19. This will be the new norm and law firms need to embrace it.” The firm is also implementing a range of new wellbeing initiatives for staff, including an interactive wellbeing centre, where staff can access education, support and other tools to help with physical, mental and financial wellbeing.
Mike emphasised: “Trethowans has a special culture, in which employees are given the freedom to operate autonomously where possible and made to feel part of, and instrumental in, the success of the firm. “Our continued growth in the last 12 months is down to each and every person at Trethowans and the ongoing support from our clients. The feeling of being part of a growing and successful law firm, where every person and client is valued, is one of the reasons I joined and why we appeal to aspiring lawyers across the South of England.” Recruitment will be a key objective for Trethowans. The firm is opening a new 2,000 square foot Winchester office in April and is actively seeking to appoint ten new lawyers across the property, family, private client and agricultural sectors. Former managing partner Chris Whiteley, who has been instrumental in leading Trethowans from strength to strength over his six-year tenure, will become senior partner and continue to work closely with Mike on the firm’s management board. He added: “Mike is dedicated, hardworking and knowledgeable. Having worked with him for the last six years on the firm’s management board I am sure that he will do a fantastic job and wish him every success in his new role.” ■
Major new appointment for Trethowans
rethowans, a leading law firm based in Hampshire, has appointed Steve Cole as its new head of banking and finance.
clients’ needs across a wide range of financial transactions. Our objective is to become the leading banking and finance practice on the south coast.
Steve’s recruitment represents a major statement by the firm, reflecting its continued commitment to the provision of dedicated banking and finance services to support its varied client base. As a leading banking and finance lawyer in the region, Steve has built an excellent reputation from advising on a broad range of complex financial transactions for banks, other institutional lenders and corporate borrowers, in a career spanning over 20 years.
He continued: “I joined Trethowans because I was in search of a fresh challenge and have always admired the firm’s strong sense of culture, dynamism and identity. I spoke to many people before accepting this position and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The team has been incredibly welcoming and I can’t wait to get started.”
Steve will lead the banking and finance practice at Trethowans, with responsibility for service delivery to existing clients, development of new business and management of a fastgrowing team. “Trethowans are building an enviable team of purebred banking and finance lawyers. I am delighted to join the firm at a key stage in its development to head up this area of the practice,” said Steve. “As a dedicated practice area, members of the team focus all of their time on banking and finance matters, which means we have the breadth of resources and expertise to support our
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Mike Watson, Trethowans’ managing partner, said: “Steve is one of the most pre-eminent banking lawyers in the south and his recruitment is testament to the continued investment we are making in our banking and finance practice.” Nick Gent, Trethowans’ recently appointed head of corporate, who was influential in bringing Steve to the firm, added: “Steve’s team will not just be servicing the needs of lenders and borrowers, it will support other areas of the firm that require banking and finance expertise as part of the robust, holistic service we provide to clients. Steve is highly capable and I am excited to be working with him.” ■
HAPPENINGS IN HAMPSHIRE
Shoosmiths appoints new fintech specialist Prakash Kerai
eading technology and fintech lawyer, Prakash Kerai (PK) is the latest partner recruited to UK law firm Shoosmiths’ commercial team with an office in Solent. Over the last fifteen years, Prakash has advised on technology and fintech arrangements at a top 30 UK law firm, becoming its head of fintech. Prakash – who joins the firm from DAC Beachcroft – has a wealth of technology and fintech experience. He works with a range of clients such as technology buyers, frequently in financial services, and from technology and fintech scale-ups and SMEs – including challenger and disruptor brands. He has substantial experience as an in-house technology lawyer. He will work closely with commercial partner and head of technology, media and commercial practice, David Jackson and commercial partner, Joe Stephenson to further boost the firm’s
TMT team that is ranked Bank 1 by both The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners UK Guide. Prakash will also work closely with the firm’s financial services sector team headed by partner Stephen Dawson to support their financial services clients with their fintech needs. Prakash said: “It’s an exciting time to be joining Shoosmiths’ highly rated technology team – especially when the firm is launching a number of innovative projects with more being planned for the future.” David Jackson said: “As a noted fintech lawyer, I am pleased that Prakash is joining us with his passion for technology as we launch our eight Connected Services to help our clients with their legal and business requirements across innovation, contracts, corporate advisory, coaching and privacy and data.” ■
Superb Support from Southampton Legal Community
fter a disruptive year for charities, London Legal Support (LLST) is delighted that 15 organisations have already signed up to the Southampton Legal Walk on Monday 5 July. The 10k evening walk will navigate through the beautiful Southampton Common, offering walkers the chance to catch up with their peers in the early evening sunshine. The Southampton Legal Walk is part of a series of regional walks in the South-East of England organised by LLST that raise vital funds to help ensure people have fair access to justice in local communities. Local charities supported by the Legal Walk include Citizens Advice services in Southampton, Winchester District, Test Valley and the New Forest to name but a few. These services are in desperate need of additional funding, with many predicting a ‘tsunami’ of increased need for legal advice this year, especially as furlough and other enhanced covid-related benefits come to an end.
the need for continuing to fundraise and raise awareness of the work of frontline free legal advice agencies in the area. Access to legal advice is vital for vulnerable people in your local area to overcome poverty and distress caused by housing, employment, or debt issues. There is no sign-up fee and no minimum fundraising target to join the walk, so it couldn’t be easier to take part. Join in with your firm or organisation and enjoy a great summer walk, all to raise money for a meaningful cause! LLST is keen to build on the success of the 2019 walk at which an incredible £9,600 was raised for local frontline free legal advice services. Your support is desperately needed by so many in 2021 and beyond. Thank you to the teams already signed up and the supporters to help make the walk possible. We look forward to walking with you in July!
Simply sign up your team at: https:// College Chambers is delighted to be involved rebrand.ly/SouthamptonLW21 or email in the Southampton Legal Walk for 2021. the friendly events team at LLST for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. ■ After such a turbulent year, they understand HAMPSHIRELEGAL | 11
HAPPENINGS IN HAMPSHIRE
Trethowans opens new city office, creating job opportunities T
rethowans has opened a new 2,000 square foot office in Winchester to accommodate growing business demands.
The firm, which originally came to Winchester in 2015, has invested in new premises located on Jewry Street. The result is a modern, stylish and comfortable workspace befitting its clients and employees.
The firm is a multi-disciplinary practice offering a wide range of services to private individuals and businesses alike. The firm’s private client and property teams are, however, seeking reinforcements into the Winchester office (as well as other offices) due to the high demand created by a number of factors including the stamp duty holiday, increased divorce rates and an increase in awareness regarding estate planning.
What’s more, Trethowans is recruiting two senior lawyers to join its Winchester-based private client and residential property teams, who will help grow the business and serve people living in the local area.
Emma continued: “Our research indicates that people living in Winchester often go out of town to seek legal assistance, namely London, which is typically very expensive. We offer the same high-quality services but delivered locally at an affordable price.”
“We were planning to move to bigger offices last year before the pandemic struck and are delighted to now make those plans a reality as the lockdown restrictions start to ease” said Emma Wilders-Pratt, Partner – Family, who heads up Trethowans’ Winchester office.
Trethowans has been offering legal services to businesses and individuals in the south of England for over 150 years with offices in Southampton, Salisbury, Poole, Bournemouth and Winchester. ■
Jonathan joins Dutton Gregory Partnership
fter three years of outstanding enthusiasm and achievement since his arrival at the firm, Dutton Gregory is delighted to welcome family law specialist, Jonathan Whettingsteel, as the newest member of its Partnership.
With a decade of experience that has earned him the respect and enviable reputation from clients, colleagues and peers, Jonathan was drawn to Family Law from the very beginning of his legal career. After law sparked his interest as a teenager, Jonathan first studied the subject for A-level at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College and then decided to devote the following year to seeing if the working environment of a law firm was right for him. ‘I sent out over 50 letters asking for work experience, received a handful of replies and was fortunate to get an interview from Abels Solicitors in Southampton who were just about to advertise for a filing clerk,’ Jonathan recalls. During the year, Jonathan confirmed his ambition to pursue a legal career, proved his worth as an employee and continued to work part-time while he completed a law degree at Southampton Solent University, an LPC at Guildford College of Law and accepted a training contract where he experienced family, criminal, litigation and private client law. ‘After reflecting on all my studies and experience, I knew Family Law was for me,’ Jonathan says. ‘I enjoy meeting and working with people, have always been interested in their stories and find supporting people through what is often an emotional and difficult time, very rewarding.’ 12 | HAMPSHIRELEGAL
Jonathan qualified as a solicitor and made the move to Winchester in 2012 working as a Family Solicitor dealing with both private and publicly funded clients, as well as gaining professional accreditations from the Law Society. ‘Having lived in Hampshire all my life and grown up in and around the city, I have always had a huge affection for Winchester,’ he says. ‘As I approach the 10 year anniversary since my professional arrival, I really enjoy being part of its business, as well as family communities.’ Jonathan joined Dutton Gregory in March 2018, based in the firm’s Winchester office, became an Associate and was named Hampshire Law Society’s ‘Solicitor of the Year’ the following year, Senior Associate in 2020 and is now accepting the invitation to join the Partnership. ‘I knew of Dutton Gregory through meeting members of their Family Law team in Court, and they were always positive, polite and respectful – very much in line with the firm’s reputation, so when I was presented with the opportunity to join them, I was excited to pursue it.’ ‘At interview I was impressed by the firm’s ambition and future plans and knew I wanted to be part of it. Now, as a Partner, I am motivated to make an even bigger contribution to our future success.’ ‘Jonathan is a real ‘people person’,’ says Senior Partner, Robert Bolwell. ‘Not only is that evident from his choice of specialism and care for clients, but his enjoyment of networking, supporting colleagues and mentoring junior staff will make a fantastic addition to the Partnership. We are delighted he is joining us.’ ■
HAPPENINGS IN HAMPSHIRE
BDB Pitmans scores Charity goal by becoming Partner of Saints Foundation in Southampton
he Southampton office of leading law firm BDB Pitmans has scored a charity goal by becoming the official charity law partner of Saints Foundation, the long-standing charity of Southampton Football Club in Hampshire. As the official law firm Partner, BDB Pitmans will be providing the regional charity with pro-bono advice and further legal advice for the duration of the agreement. The Saints Foundation, who will be celebrating their 20th anniversary next year, aims to transform the lives of the local people by fulfilling their potential and encouraging them to be more involved, active and empowered in the community. Solicitors in the Southampton office of BDB Pitmans provide legal services across the Solent and central south region, including Hampshire, Dorset, the Isle of Wight, the New Forest and surrounding areas. As one of the longest established law firms in the region, BDB Pitmans is committed to supporting local communities, helping the non-for-profit organisations operating in the vicinity. Kate Parkinson, Senior Associate at BDB Pitmans and charity law specialist, comments: “We are delighted to be working with the Saints Foundation. Charity law is a specialist area and we look forward to using our expertise to support them in their future growth plans.”
Greg Barker, Head of Saints Foundation & Community Partnerships, comments: “We are extremely grateful to all of the team at BDB Pitmans’ Southampton office for selecting Saints Foundation as their chosen charity for the upcoming year. We are really excited to be working together, and the money raised from the partnership will no doubt make a huge difference to many of the individuals and communities that we support in and around the city.” ■
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© The Law Society, Chancery Lane, London by The wub, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 4.0.
Closure of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund T
he Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) will stop accepting new claims after 30 September 2021. Currently, SIF provides ongoing cover to firms once their mandatory six-year run-off period has elapsed. The closure means that solicitors may be personally liable for losses from any future claims that are made against firms that have been closed for more than six years.
It’s important that you understand what this means for you in order to protect yourself against potential future claims. This is a short summary – links to full details are available at the end. What you need to do You’ll need to start by reflecting on your risk exposure. The first thing to consider is areas of work. Some work areas are at greater risk of long-tail claims, such as residential conveyancing, wills and trusts, child personal injury, and matrimonial property. Secondly, you may be affected differently depending on whether a practice at which you were a principal or employee is now closed, and when the closure took place. Below we have outlined four groups of members which will be affected differently and suggest practical steps you could take. GROUP A: Firms that closed on or before 31 August 2000 These firms are currently covered by SIF. As they closed before the profession moved to purchasing insurance on the open market, arrangements will be made for them to receive ongoing cover after SIF has closed. Suggested action: If you fall into this group, you may not need to take any action.
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GROUP B: Firms that closed between 1 September 2000 and 30 September 2015 These firms are in SIF, or will be in SIF, by 30 September 2021. This is the group that we believe faces the greatest difficulties as a consequence of SIF’s closure. For some time now, we have been actively pursuing options for this group and continue to earnestly engage with the insurance industry to find a solution. However, there are currently limited alternatives available. Suggested action: 1. If you’re aware of any matter which could give rise to a claim and can identify the former client who was affected, consider contacting that client (or their beneficiaries) and encouraging them to register a claim with SIF prior to 30 September 2021. 2. Gather and keep whatever relevant paperwork you still have available relating to your practice and indemnity insurance records, including previous applications and claims. 3. If you had a good claims history and paid your excesses and run-off premium, consider approaching your former broker or underwriter to see if they’re willing to consider providing you with supplementary run-off cover. This would not have to be on the same terms as your original mandatory run-off cover. 4. If you were part of a traditional partnership, you may want to discuss with your former partners whether and how you would pay for any supplementary cover.
GROUP C: Firms that have closed since 1 October 2015 These firms have closed, and they will never benefit from SIF because it will stop accepting new claims before their mandatory six-year run-off period comes to an end. Unless alternative arrangements are made, these firms will be left without protection once their run-off cover expires. Suggested action: For former principals, we suggest that you take the practical steps outlined in points 2 through 4 above and preserve any records which may be of assistance in dealing with future claims. GROUP D: Existing firms Unless alternative arrangements are made, existing firms will be left without protection once their run-off cover expires. However, there are still precautionary measures that firms can take to reduce their long-term exposure. Suggested action: ■ Principals of existing sole practices or partnerships should consider incorporating as a limited liability company, as this will reduce personal exposure to claims arising from work carried out subsequent to incorporation. But you should take independent advice on this, as it may have other consequences for your practice.
■ Work to improve risk management systems, and carefully consider whether you should stop taking on any new work in areas with a higher risk of long-tail claims. Retain records of any such work you’ve done previously, or do in the future, in order to defend any claims that may arise subsequently. ■ Principals should also think about their likely need for supplementary run-off cover, and how they’ll pay for it. Consider setting aside funds now or start to implement a plan to help you to pay for your mandatory and supplementary runoff cover in the future. To find out more about the SIF closure and register for updates ■ Visit www.lawsociety.org.uk/SIF-closure for the full details on the closure of SIF, its impact on closed, existing and new firms, and practical steps to take for principals and employees. ■ Sign up or log in to My LS and add the ‘Solicitors Indemnity Fund’ topic. Select ‘Manage topics’ and search for ‘Solicitors Indemnity Fund’. ■ Register interest in receiving further information by calling the Support Centre of the Law Society of England & Wales on 020 7242 1222 and leaving your contact information, or email SIF@lawsociety.org.uk to be included in future updates.
Are you ready for the new way of working?
ow solicitors work has changed. Is your team prepared for the future?
None of us can predict what lies ahead, especially postlockdown. What is certain, however, is that the legal landscape has changed for good. Clients now expect a greater level of virtual options from their solicitors – and many solicitors wish to embrace a more flexible way of working, whether that be working fully remotely, in the office full-time, or a hybrid of both. That’s where Clio can help. Clio, an innovative and award-winning legal software, enables law firms of any size to work better and more efficiently from anywhere.
No matter your firm size or practice area, if you’re looking for a case management system that meets your new way of doing business, Clio can help you to: ■ Work from anywhere, securely, on any device Clio enables your team to stay organised, stay connected and manage cases – from anywhere, anytime. Whether using a Mac or a PC, iOS or Android, Clio ensures every detail from every matter is captured, so you – and your firm – never miss an important point. ■ Collaborate with your team from a distance, or from the next room Track every development in Matter Timelines and see who made what change and when. View new time entries, document uploads, and more – so you can be on top of every update as it happens. With Clio’s Microsoft Teams integration you can even create a new Team in seconds to discuss updates, questions, or blockers. ■ Give your clients the experience they now expect – and more Clio makes it easier for you to collaborate with your clients (and to get paid). Make any client meeting a Zoom meeting with one click from Clio, complete end-of-month billing in minutes, and share documents – and collect e-signatures – instantly. See for yourself how Clio can help you and your firm work from anywhere at www.clio.com/uk. ■
HAMPSHIRELEGAL | 15
Hampshire – Interesting facts you may not know
ampshire is the largest county in the South East and the 9th biggest in England (by area). In terms of population, the county ranks 5th overall. It is also regarded as the birthplace of modern fly-fishing, wind-surfing and bird-watching.
Hampshire’s Highclere Castle is the main filming location for popular ITV drama, Downton Abbey. Set within a thousand acres of parkland, the castle and its grounds also provided the backdrop for Jeeves and Wooster, starring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.
Winchester – once King Alfred’s capital, and the venue for the marriage of Queen Mary I to King Philip II of Spain – has been in the past crowned the best place to live in Britain by The Sunday Times. The cathedral city inspired John Keats to write his famous Ode To Autumn in 1819.
Portsmouth FC is a record holder for holding the title of FA Cup champions for the longest time. This was due to the outbreak of WWII – which resulted in the competition being cancelled for
Leckford Estate in the Test Valley was purchased by John Spedan Lewis in 1929, and has been farmed for over 87 years and is home to The Waitrose Farm. Leckford village itself comprises around 40 houses and cottages, which are occupied by present or retired employees of the John Lewis Partnership, and are painted in the partnership colours of green and white. In 1867 when she was only eight years old, Sweet Fanny Adams was brutally murdered by solicitor’s clerk Frederick Baker in Alton. A couple of years later, new rations of tinned mutton – introduced to sailors in Portsmouth – failed to impress the seamen, who suggested it might even be the butchered remains of poor Fanny Adams. “Fanny Adams” became national slang for mutton stew, and then for anything worthless…from which comes the current use of Sweet Fanny Adams or “Sweet FA”. Watercress has been grown commercially in Hampshire since the 19th century. Before modern production, the Arle in Alresford was one of the principal streams used for growing watercress. With the expansion of dedicated watercress farms fed by spring water, Alresford soon became the capital of watercress with large quantities being sent to London by stagecoach and later by train on what became known as ‘The Watercress Line’. King Alfred 16 | HAMPSHIRELEGAL
Winchester seven years after Portsmouth’s victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1939. Portsmouth was tasked with keeping the cup safe, and it was moved around the city before coming to rest at the Bird in Hand Pub, where it was kept under the landlord’s bed each night. Leading global fashion brand Burberry was founded by a Basingstoke draper. In 1857, 21-year-old Thomas Burberry opened a clothing outfitters in Basingstoke, providing innovative, functional outerwear. Farmers and sportsmen were the original market for Burberry’s famous trench coats, which have gone on to be worn by everyone, from rockstars to aristocrats. Lymington’s Taddiford Gap – one of 4 naturist beaches in Hampshire) is the most expensive area for nudists to visit in the UK. The Spitfire aircraft is a part of Hampshire history. Invented by R. J. Mitchell it was first flown from Eastleigh, Hampshire on the 5th March 1936. After it had completed its official trials, the RAF ordered 310 aircraft. This changed the game for Supermarine (British aircraft manufacturer), as prior to this, their biggest order stood at just 12 machines. In 1887 Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle wrote the original Sherlock Holmes story “A Study in Scarlet” in Southsea, Hampshire. The character Dr. Watson, was based on a real doctor who was president of Portsmouth’s literary and scientific society and was actually a friend of the author. Jonas Hanway from Portsmouth was the first man in London to use an umbrella, after getting inspiration from parasols used by women in Persia while on a business trip. For almost 30 years people thought he was ridiculous for walking around with a ‘portable roof’. In 1955, Southampton was the first town to sample fish fingers after they were made in Great Yarmouth. The Sotonian taste buds were considered to be just what Clarence Birdseye was looking for when his company wanted to try out the newfangled fish finger. At that time, Birds Eye was not sure whether customers would prefer cod or herring, so it was decided that the product, initially called “Cod Sticks”, would be trialled in Southampton while “Herring Savouries” found their way into the shops of south Wales. After the test period Cod Sticks were voted the top tasty treat.
Highclere Castle General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones planted a one acre site with Seyval Blanc grapes, which duly produced their first crop for wine-making in 1954. Keats wrote The Eve of St Agnes, and spent his last night in England, in Bedhampton near Havant. In 1819 he and a friend walked there from Chichester in late January, and Keats already troubled by the first signs of TB had to recuperate at The Old Mill, guest of the wonderfully named John Snooks. Coincidentally a year later the ship on which he was bound for Naples had to shelter from storms near Portsmouth, and Keats revisited the friendly miller, passing his last night in England – September 28 1820. Charles Kingsley had the idea for his book The Water Babies while staying in and fishing at Itchen Abbas near Winchester. The priest-professor-novelist was a regular visitor to the Plough Inn there, now The Trout. It is a caddis fly – the creature beloved of fly fishermen – that explains to the drowned Tom that he has become a water baby. The first known dry dock in history was built at Portsmouth, It was constructed in 1495 during the reign of Henry VII. The port’s links with royalty go back far further, however: it was Richard I who in 1194 granted Portsmouth its charter – he also had a dockyard built there. In 1622 the then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Abbot, while hunting at Bramshill Park near Yateley shot and killed gamekeeper Peter Hawkins with a crossbow bolt? Naturally the inquest found it was the gamekeeper’s fault. You’ll now find the Police Staff College at Bramhill House. ■
One of our greatest 20th century novelists, P.G. Wodehouse lived on various occasions in the Hampshire town of Emsworth; but that the house on Record Road where he resided was called Threepwood? He named two of his greatest characters, Lord Emsworth and his brother the Hon. Galahad Threepwood. The first English commercial vineyard of the modern era was established at Hambledon in Hampshire. In 1951 the MajorHAMPSHIRELEGAL | 17
Open Space or In Your Face? XXXXXXXXXXXX
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Regulated by RICS If you require assistance, please contact your Search Provider or alternatively contact FCI directly with your Report ID. Tel: 01732 755 180 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Web: www.futureclimateinfo.com
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see section 1.03
see section 1.04
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www.futureclimateinfo.com | +44 (0)1732 755 180 | firstname.lastname@example.org 18 | HAMPSHIRELEGAL
see section 1.07
see section 1.08
see section 1.09
The Fight for the Soul of Watership Down’s Woodland
iction could become fact if a planning inquiry goes in favour of developers seeking to build 1000 homes on farmland featured in the novel Watership Down. As Tim Champney, Managing Director of Future Climate Info explains, nearby Berkshire and Hampshire residents have been in limbo for years, uncertain whether the site would be built on and face a battle similar to the perils that the rabbits faced in Richard Adams’ famous novel. The inquiry into the proposed development of the Sandleford Park scheme to the south of Newbury has opened, with the developer Bloor Homes and Sandleford Farm Partnership appealing West Berkshire District Council’s decision to refuse the scheme. Another company, Donnington New Homes, has applied to build 440 homes on a separate part of the site. This is the latest in a long line of refusals dating back to when the land was first allocated for development in 2012. Plans for the 114 hectare site include an 80-unit care facility; creation of a new country park, a local community centre and more land for expansion of the Park House Academy School. “Contradictory” Proposals in the Wrong Place These were rejected in October 2020 in the grounds that the two developers had not worked together to make a “holistic” development and had delivered an “uncertain and contradictory” proposal. Protest group Say No to Sandleford said the proposals would “surround the ancient woodlands in a wall of concrete”, described by Richard Adams as one of the “loveliest woods in the south of England”. The developers had stated that there would be a 15m buffer between developed areas and ancient woodlands, although plans do suggest some encroachment, which could result in the loss of irreplaceable priority habitats. West Berkshire Council’s draft local plan states the 331 acre site would be suitable for 1,500 new homes and 1,000 homes “are deliverable” by 2037. And this is the tension at the heart of the proposal – badly needed homes, but are they in the right place? The council provided 14 reasons for their refusal, primarily around sustainability, that it could have “significant effects” on European Designated Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and on the impact on vehicular access and impact on existing roads. “Outrageous” road expansion plans Indeed, the road scheme has caused acute concern for existing residents living close to the western side of the site that it earmarked for the Donnington Homes’ development. Having initially withdrawn a road layout proposal they resubmitted one in February this year which has more explicitly stated that Warren Road, a peaceful tree and hedge lined residential street, is proposed to be widened to “provide access to the strategic allocation at Sandleford Park”. Under the new plans, the road – currently single lane – would be widened to six metres, with twometre wide footpaths on both sides. At the east end of the road, it would extend into the new estate, with Warren House being demolished to provide the access. The road is already close to primary and secondary schools, a busy petrol station and a local Sainsbury’s store. Local councillors have described the proposal as “outrageous” and that it would only accelerate the level of traffic, noise and pollution for existing residents.
Residents in Limbo The long suffering residents have already had to put up with the uncertainty over the development stretching over seven years since the first planning permission went in, that has affected the ability to sell their homes and clouded their day-to-day lives. In 2017, a number of additional housing developments in West Berkshire had been approved on appeal, which has meant that the council was no longer relying on the site to be able to demonstrate a five-year land supply, as required by national planning policy. But housing pressures have returned and if not here then it would need to fit somewhere to meet rising householder demand. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick called in the application for a final decision by his department, which is expected to close at the end of May 2021. A Nationwide Pattern Although well known locally, purchasers moving in from outside the area could be forgiven for not necessarily being aware of the development proposals at Sandleford Park, and the impact they might have if the appeal is won. Additionally, across the country thousands of developments are approved each year on less controversial landscapes which escape such scrutiny and can be a surprise to those who have recently purchased nearby property. By considering local Planning information ahead of exchange, solicitors and conveyancers can help raise their clients’ awareness of the potential for nearby developments which might impact the value or desirability of their prospective new home. You can see from the image extracts of FCI’s Premium Plus Planning Report of the area that the various submissions for the Sandleford Park development are highlighted clearly on the map and applications. The search pulls “live” planning data from the supplier at the request of each report, ensuring that the very latest available information is used to compile the search. Using FCI’s unique intelligent FCICapture technology, we seek to identify developments which, although lying outside of the search boundary. In this instance, as can be seen on the image extract, the FCICapture function has identified the large Sandleford Park development, despite it lying outside of the dynamic search radius, whilst not inadvertently identifying and reporting on a multitude of other smaller applications not relevant to the results. Alongside an assessment of potential issues including flood risk and contaminated land, access to this sort of information at the due diligence stage enables the homebuyer to make an informed decision. If such schemes exist nearby, it allows clients to consider the potential planning and traffic issues and loss of visual amenity that could affect their day to day lives after completion. The combination of all five assessments in one single search report offers them the complete environmental due diligence package. For more information, contact us on 01732 755 180 or email email@example.com. ■ HAMPSHIRELEGAL | 19
Calling smart law firms: the tech you DO need, and the one thing you DON’T W
hen we talk about the top technologies for smart law firms in 2021, what exactly do we mean? Legal practice management software? Online file storage? Cloudbased word processors? Scanners? VoIP phones? Time recording? Online payments? E-signatures? Zoom? In the modern world, law firms are expected to provide their services in the same way as every other business – at the push of a button. To meet the demands of their clients, law firms are investing huge amounts of time and resources in the smart technologies listed above, integrating every piece of software or device within their organisation from the ground up. But with hundreds of options out there, each as valuable as the last, identifying what technology your law firm actually needs can be difficult. Which begs the question: what tech DO law practices need?
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Remote working capabilities Let’s start with the obvious. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us all the value in being able to work remotely with zero obstructions. It’s no surprise that those law firms which had already invested in smart technology prior to the introduction of national lockdowns were the same firms which adapted quickest when employees were told to work from home. And when 97% of employees don’t want to return to the office full time, it’s important that you have the infrastructure available to support their new work habits in the future, whatever their working preferences – home, office or combination. This goes beyond simply supplying stationery, decent laptops or additional hardware. One of the unfortunate side-effects of people working from home was that the UK saw a 400% increase in reported cyber crimes during the first wave of the pandemic, so it’s crucial that you have a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy in place to protect your employees and your data. Encrypt your remote devices, install anti-virus software and, most importantly, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to secure your network from people who shouldn’t be in there.
Online payment processes Chasing fees from clients can be one of the most timeconsuming tasks at any law firm, but it doesn’t have to be. Using an online payment platform will make it as simple and as smooth as possible for clients to pay their bills first time, every time. Remember, what’s better for your client is also better for you, as more on time payments will improve your cash flow and help you budget more accurately.
they’re no longer needed. Be consistent – by using naming protocols and documenting defined procedures – and diligent with sticking to this process, and you will reap the rewards.
There are plenty of options out there, such as Legl, GoCardless or Invoiced. For the best results, choose one which integrates with whatever legal practice management software you’re using, just like we’ve integrated GoCardless (and soon Legl) with Quill.
Next steps All of these technologies are useful in their own right, but the question you need to ask yourself is whether it is right for you. Depending on the size of your firm, the strength of your infrastructure, the type of work you do, and how many employees are working from home, some tech will be more valuable than others.
Speaking of Quill… Legal software Using cloud-based legal accounts, document, practice and case management software like Quill is absolutely essential for performing all your law firm’s daily tasks whilst keeping you fully compliant. The very best legal software gives you all the tools you need to see a case through to completion, from signing initial contacts to locating crucial documents later down the line to submitting invoices. With accurate time recording and straightforward document management solutions, you can be more efficient with your time, and clients can see where their money is going, right down to the last penny. The sign of an effective legal software is that, once you start using it, you barely notice that it’s there. Legal software is the silent hero that works away in the background, removing the headache that comes with endless back-office tasks so that you can focus on doing what your law firm does best. Email and phone systems From a client’s perspective, this is the most important area you can invest in. It’s essential that your clients feel like you are there for them, which means having the communication infrastructure in place to make that possible. Older landline phones and copper internet connections have a tendency to break at the most inconvenient times, but that is no excuse in today’s day and age – especially when there’s fibre internet out there! When choosing your email system, it’s best to go with something that complements whatever word processing software or creative suite your firm uses (ie. Outlook with Office 365, Gmail with Google Workspace). But when it comes to your phone systems, you can be a bit more flexible. There are multi-line phones, cloud phones and PBX phones, but VoIP phones are probably the most popular as they allow you to run multiple lines and calls simultaneously over the internet. Each system comes with its own benefits, but again what you choose will generally depend on the demands of your business. And what’s the one thing you DON’T need? Paper Okay, we’ve cheated here a bit, as paper isn’t really a technology. But the point still stands – in a modern law firm, paper should be the last thing on your list! Going paperless is actually a lot easier than you’d first think. It’s basically just a case of storing all your important paperwork according to the same organising system as before, only instead of locking it all away in a labyrinth of filing cabinets, you can store, locate and edit it all from within one screen. When clients send in paper copies, scan them immediately, organise them accordingly and then shred and recycle the paper copies once
In the short term, this makes it quicker and easier to manage crucial documents. In the long term, it takes up less storage space, reduces operational costs, helps comply with data regulations and is a more sustainable solution in general.
Start with the essentials: quality legal software. Once your practice is running smoothly, that’s when you can start adding in all the bells and whistles which will take you from a law firm to a smart law firm. This article has been repurposed from the ‘Quill Uncovers: Secrets from real partners on the tech you really need’ webinar. View for free at www.quill.co.uk/blog/calling-smart-law-firmsthe-tech-you-do-need-and-the-one-thing-you-dont. ■ About Quill Quill helps law firms streamline and run their practice better by providing simple and easy-to-use legal accounting and case management software, as well as outsourced legal cashiering services. Get in touch for more information about Quill’s practice management software and outsourced legal services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Missing Wills Dorothy Ann Herald 15 Neville Gardens, Emsworth PO10 7XZ. DOB 17/02/1928. DOD 21/01/2021.
Want to feature in Hampshire Legal? For all advertising and business features in Hampshire Legal magazine, Catherine McCarthy is our Business Features Editor, who looks after our legal features. Please call 0151 236 4141 or email catherine@ benhampublishing.com. HAMPSHIRELEGAL | 21
Key considerations for law firms when choosing legal software T
he need to become a digital business has involved law firms adapting on a significant scale in the last 12 months. John Espley, LEAP (UK) CEO, talks about what is happening in legal technology and highlights significant considerations law firms should make when it comes to choosing software. A lot of change had taken place within the legal profession, in the move towards digitalisation, before the pandemic. The speed of change has accelerated during the past year and, more importantly, lawyers must be able to continue delivering outstanding customer service. Consumer trends have developed dramatically over the past 18 months, driving change in the way businesses operate, including law firms. Consumers are now more digitally aware. With working from home, and interacting online through technologies such as Zoom, the necessity for face-to-face meetings has gone. As a customer, we want instant answers to our questions and a fast speed of service, including legal services. The pace of change has forced law firms to digitalise the way they operate, creating an increase in the demand for technology and all elements of the solution offering. It is clear law firms need to become digital if they have not done so already. However, with so much to contemplate in the legal software market, what should lawyers consider when looking to either adopt a Practice Management Solution or change provider? Product, Product, Product The product itself is the key determinant of any purchasing decision you should make. It is the quality of the product, its features, and functionality, that ultimately your purchasing decision should be based on. After all, the product is what your staff will be using daily, so you must evaluate the expected efficiencies you stand to gain from using it. You must focus on what the product will provide to your practice, how your team will benefit from it and the value the product will add to your business in the long term. Innovation Make sure your chosen technology partner has a track record when it comes to innovation and avoid deciding on a solution based on the promise of future development alone. You want to choose a software provider with a proven history of development, that offers a feature-rich solution and re-invests in their software. Pick a provider that will help to future-proof your practice and meet your long-term digital requirements without the need to upgrade systems a couple of years down the line. Support Essential to the software you purchase is the support you receive. With the right solution, you will receive plenty of updates and additional features, so you need resources at hand, to upskill, provide product and usage information, and be able to ‘LiveChat’ with support when required. By improving the use of the software across your practice you help maximise the return on your firm’s investment. Habits have changed drastically in recent years, and in terms of accessing support, users do not want to be waiting on a phone but want access to resources straight away, retrieving answers for themselves so that they can continue with the job in hand.
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Previous experience The longevity of a supplier, with a background of dealing with law firms across the market, of all sizes, is important. A large client portfolio, working with start-ups to multi-branched law firms, catering for many different areas and style of law shows a proven track record and level of expertise, and the larger the provider’s user base the greater the feedback they receive, helping inform decisions on the software’s ongoing development. LEAP has a large number of firms from sole practitioners to SME practices with many users using the software, and for years has been developing and tailoring the software, working with those clients to improve the software and hone its features and functionality. Globally, LEAP has an annual R&D investment of more than £12 million. Value or price It is very tempting to be swayed by price, especially for start-up firms looking after their budgets, but for the long-term, a buying decision should be based on the value that the technology will deliver over a long period of time, and not just as a stop gap. Part of a software supplier’s value is not just the software available now but being able to envisage the future and continue to develop the solution to meet ongoing requirements. Longevity for the law firm is vital and partnering with a provider to support the firm’s growth is essential. At LEAP we expect to support firms to benefit from our software for at least 10 years, supporting their journey through good and bad times, and helping them grow and change in the future. What about the future? The reality is consumer trend is demanding change. Now more than ever clients expect to interact with their solicitor quickly and efficiently, in a digital format, and firms that don’t enable this will be left behind. Operating digitally and embracing new technology allows full communication and enables greater service. Also, the nature of competition has changed, as firms have digitalised, they have understood how it allows them to embrace a national client base. Law firms can serve their clients digitally wherever they are geographically in the world, and as that is the case why restrict yourself? You no longer need to share a location to practice law, with the right technology to support it everything can be done virtually. ■
Steven Vallery DISCOVERING THE EMOTIONAL BENEFITS OF FINANCIAL ADVICE No two individuals share the same goals or ambitions. Each person is unique, with their own needs, targets and budgets. So when it comes to managing your money, building wealth, securing your future and, above all else, drawing up an effective plan for fulfilling your investment objectives, professional financial advice should be tailored to your unique specific needs. FEELING LESS ANXIOUS Having access to financial advice is strongly linked to feeling more secure and less anxious about money. According to the survey, around 3 in 5 people who have received financial advice report that they feel financially more secure and stable, compared with under half of those who have not received any advice.
Time to look at the “big picture” your background, and can help you adjust to whatever life has in store. Those people who have an ongoing relationship and receive regular financial advice are twice as likely to report feeling in control of their finances as people who do not. ■
Managing Director S4 Financial Limited email@example.com
Only 1 in 3 people who have received financial advice report feeling anxious about their household finances, compared with over 40% of those who haven’t. FEELING MORE CONFIDENT One of the key practical benefits of financial advice is that it gives you access to expertise on topics that are complex. This provides you with more confidence and increased peace of mind. People who have received financial advice report feeling three times more confident about their understanding of financial matters and products than those who haven’t. For example, areas that some people find confusing concern retirement planning and understanding their life insurance and critical illness options. Among those who have not received advice, around 1 in 4 people say they would not know where to start when it comes to the different options available to them. Among those who received advice, that number is fewer than 1 in 12. FEELING ABLE TO COPE IN A CRISIS The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people feeling less stable in their financial situation. 35% of those who have not received financial advice report feeling anxious about their finances, while 65% see the value in being more prepared for unpredictable events in life. Financial advice helps you prepare, plan and navigate any future shocks or crisis. And while you can experience the benefits of advice after just one meeting, it’s essential to receive ongoing advice over the long term as your situation and life goals change. This means your adviser gets to know you and HAMPSHIRELEGAL | 23
Auction update O
nline auction sales had been with us for quite some time prior to the arrival of COVID in the spring of 2019, bringing with it the subsequent lockdowns and our sudden inability to hold traditional ballroom sales. Prior to that, online had been seen as something of a niche product, for use for properties outside of our core geographical area, or perhaps when a client had just missed a catalogue deadline and didn’t want to wait six weeks for the next one. While we already had our online “invention”, it could be said that necessity was certainly the mother of our turning to that invention, with no option other than to move everything online. There were, of course, concerns as to whether potential buyers would take to the new way of working and if of course the technology would work at scale. It quickly became clear that we needn’t have been concerned on either of those fronts. The technology, which continues to evolve, has proved to be very robust and in most cases, buyers seem to have taken to the new way of working like ducks to water. Many buyers have commented on how much more convenient it has been to be able to bid and buy online and not have to make a journey to a venue and to have to sit through the Lots they have no interest in, while waiting for their Lot to come up.
My prime concern as an auctioneer, used to standing on the rostrum and seeing bidding develop and on occasion get very heated, was whether the same patterns would develop online. My fear was that while sitting at a desk or perhaps at the kitchen table with a cup of tea, bidders would be in an altogether more considered and reflective mood when it came to commit to a bid, let alone, hopefully, plenty of bids. Again, I needn’t have been concerned. The bidding patterns have been as strong as ever and in many cases I think that bidders/ buyers, unable to see who they are bidding against have perhaps bid on long after they may perhaps have dropped out in an auction room. The result of all of this has been a success rate of around 85%, which compares very similarly with pre-March 2020 and strong prices continue to be the order of the day for sellers. Ultimately, there will come a point where ballroom auctions are again an option and hopefully something that will return, but it is very certain that online sales are also here to stay and will remain a very active sector of the property market in the future. ■
Rob Marchant FNAVA
Auctioneer, Clive Emson Auctioneers
The Leading Independent Regional Land & Property Auctioneers Covering Southern England
Selling land and property with skill, speed and efficiency Our upcoming land and auctions will be held on:-
> July 2021 - Catalogue available online from 9th July. Entries close 5th July > September 2021 - Catalogue available online from 3rd September. Entries close 30th August > November 2021 - Catalogue available online from 15th October. Entries close 11th October
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Telephone: 01489 564606 Website: cliveemson.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Legal - half page - H134mm x W183mm - July 2021.indd 24Hampshire | HAMPSHIRELEGAL
Join us on: 20/05/21 15:11:40
Technology is raising standards in conveyancing J
ohn Espley, LEAP UK CEO, explains how conveyancers are using the latest technology and the LEAP Best Practice Standard to enhance their customer service and to win new business. The UK housing market remains remarkably buoyant, due to government measures such as the Stamp Duty holiday and government backed 5% deposit scheme. As with all business, more and more property transactions are being undertaken online, and the development of new technologies is a key driver in enabling conveyancing firms to deliver excellent customer service. Throughout the pandemic conveyancers and clients alike are taking advantage of the service elements that digital conveyancing can provide. Technology allows conveyancers to bring transactions from instruction to completion whilst improving the speed, quality and accuracy of the customer service given. Onboarding a new client is one of the most arduous elements of the conveyancing process. Obtaining information for identity and anti-money laundering compliance checks and details regarding the property can significantly delay the process at the start of a transaction. A quick onboarding procedure for the consumer is of paramount importance to have a transaction up and running quickly. Self-service online tools allow the client to complete upfront property information online (such as the TA6) through an elegant, consumer-friendly interface which records the data directly back to the conveyancer’s practice management system. Such solutions hold the key to speeding up the initial stages of the client journey. By conducting the onboarding process online clients are interacting with the conveyancing firm digitally from day one. With a firm providing the client an online portal where they can access their matter documents, financial statements and even pay their bills, this sets the scene for the process to be undertaken digitally from beginning to end of the transaction. This reduces the length of total time taken for the transaction to
be completed, improving client satisfaction, the reputation of the firm and profitability. It also reduces input errors as the client is responsible for the accurate entry of their own data. By optimising the use of new technology, conveyancing firms are able to generate efficiencies at all stages of the property transaction. Prospective clients are seeing the adoption of such digital capabilities as essential when selecting a conveyancing provider. Progressive law firms are now building their brands and marketing themselves on the basis of providing this powerful end-to-end digital service. One commitment LEAP is making to its client base is the Best Practice Standard. Launched in 2017 over 140 firms using LEAP software have now achieved a quality standard in conveyancing, an accreditation achieved through their use of LEAP’s innovative technology and that of its integration partner InfoTrack, delivering outstanding service which brings many benefits to both client and a practice. Conveyancing firms accredited with the LEAP Best Practice Standard (BPS) take active steps to provide a high standard of service and adhere to best practice through the use of cuttingedge technology. Receiving regular, remote and independent audits ensures standards are maintained, improving communication, streamlining processes and generating cost savings and efficiencies to the benefit of their clients and in some instances the risk mitigation provided has been seen positively by insurers. LEAP client Mike Leeman of Bell Lamb and Joynson Solicitors comments “The LEAP Best Practice Standard gives our clients reassurance that we as a firm maintain independently assessed high standards, transparency and a modern technology-based approach to their conveyancing.” ■ HAMPSHIRELEGAL | 25
InfoTrack announces game-changing enhancements to Property Report, with automated reporting for SDLT, Environmental Search and Land Registry data
nfoTrack has released content updates to Property Report, the only search data-driven report on title solution in the market. Solicitors can rely on Property Report to provide content tailored to their Title Registers, Conveyancing Searches and Land Tax, in line with HMRC guidance. Solicitors select applicable tenure types including Freehold, Leasehold, New Build, Shared Ownership, and Underlease, and the report automatically inserts or removes components based on relevancy. The ability to extract data directly from complementary Title Registers means solicitors will no longer be required to copy and paste covenants, easements or Rentcharges. Pre-populating data from integrated Environmental Searches, Property Report also assesses the results’ risk ratings and any further hazards found in the vicinity of the property. Reporting on SDLT is a complex process – Property Report uses automation to relieve the burden from law firms. Extracting information from the SDLT draft, Property Report presents clientfriendly, pre-written content covering the tax due, relief claims,
and transaction details such as Linked Transactions and Shared Ownership options. For Welsh properties, the system includes new content for Land Transaction Tax, with Welsh postcodes recognised automatically. Adrian Noble, Managing Director at Key Legal, comments, “It is clear that the system has been designed with the conveyancer in mind and is a significant time-saving tool. I have been completely sold on the benefits of Property Report. The report can be entirely amended as required and is updated in real time so that you can actually see how your amendments will appear within the report.” Scott Bozinis, Chief Executive Officer at InfoTrack, says, “Using Property Report provides transparent communication channels with your client, including disclaimers to mitigate risk for your firm and keep the buyer fully informed. InfoTrack’s automation allows conveyancers to apply their expertise and review SDLT information before purchaser-approval. Reporting on SDLT and Environmental Search data is no longer a time-consuming and complex task.” ■
Quill named one of the UK’s 2021 best mid-sized technology companies to work for in the North West ■ Quill awarded ‘The UK’s 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work for’, ‘The North West’s 100 Best Companies to Work for’ and ‘Technology’s 50 Best Companies to Work for’ by Best Companies for the first time in 2021 ■ Guided by employee feedback, Quill was recognised for its people-first, client-focused culture and dedication to mental health well-being ■ Quill also upgraded to Best Companies 2-star status as ‘Outstanding to work for 2021’ in December 2020
“Quill’s multiple category wins is a testament to our mission-driven approach to business – over 40 years built on four foundational values: commitment to excellence, open and honest approach, respectful and supportive to each other and dedication to efficiency,” said Managing Director Julian Bryan. “We could not be more proud of how our employees have stepped up to support each other, our clients and our partners. It’s what makes our company a great place to be – and a great place for our clients to be,” concluded Bryan.
eading legal software and outsourced legal services provider, Quill, received three sought-after accolades from Best Companies, the organisation behind ‘The Best Companies to Work For’ lists, after already being awarded a 2-star Best Companies to work for status for its ‘outstanding’ approach to workplace engagement.
“We have a diverse team here at Quill and we are committed to employing the best and brightest people for the right roles,” added HR Manager, Corrine Blake. “I’m incredibly thrilled with this recognition because it is based on the actions we took and commitments we made many years ago and, more importantly, reflects what our employees are saying and experiencing as members of the Quill family today.”
This is Quill’s inaugural time being named in these prestigious lists, coming in at 52nd place in ‘The UK’s 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work for’, 56th place in the ‘The North West’s 100 Best Companies to Work for’ and 21st place in ‘Technology’s 50 Best Companies to Work for’ in 2021.
“One of the only things that has kept me going through this pandemic are the inspirational stories from organisations like Quill pulling together and uniting in a year like no other by supporting one another, the local area and wider community,” added Jonathan Austin, Founder and CEO of Best Companies.
Companies across Britain and Northern Ireland entered the survey process to determine the Best Companies to Work for in the UK. The survey, completed anonymously by employees, consisted of sections that examined leadership and planning; employee well-being and personal growth; corporate culture and giving back; employee relationships to leadership, supervisors and team members; and pay and benefits.
“Congratulations to everyone at Quill on their incredible achievements especially in these most challenging of times. Organisations like Quill have continued to focus on their employees and have been rewarded with an engaged workforce who tell us that this is a best company to work for.”
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To find out more about current Quill recruitment opportunities, visit www.quill.co.uk/about/careers. ■
Linetime integrates with InfoTrack so firms can manage their conveyancing business, digitally
inetime and InfoTrack have announced productivity enhancements to their two-way integration, enabling conveyancing departments to achieve end-to-end conveyancing, digitally. InfoTrack’s File Importer enables users to select files held within the matter to be accessed, removing the hassle of saving to desktop, renaming, and uploading. Preventing the risk of misplaced or misfiled documents, all results are returned directly to the matter in Linetime. Further enhancement ensures posting slips can be generated with the full transaction-related order information and posted directly to the client ledger on order or await approval on a line-by-line basis, reducing manual errors and missed disbursements. Built to optimise conveyancing workflows, the integration is already being embraced by Catteralls and Rogers and Norton Solicitors. Kerry Ridley, Practice Manager at Catteralls comments, “This integration makes life so much easier. It provides us with access to a suite of products that address the issue of time and resource. The Land Registry integration is particularly valuable. We were wary initially of promises relating to an integration, but the process was simple, and the results have been very positive for our firm. The smooth delivery was achieved by efficient communication with our case management provider. We have immediate access to property reports, Land Registry and SDLT services which is already saving us lots of time, and all costs returned to the ledger within Linetime reduces errors and missed disbursements.”
continues to be very busy, but the integration is saving our conveyancing and accounts teams huge amounts of time. We’re not having to re-enter information and with costs coming back to the ledger automatically it ensures we don’t miss any payments when billing, which will save us writing off expenditure going forwards. It’s a fantastic enhancement to the software, and between Linetime and InfoTrack, we can clearly see the benefits of performing end-to-end conveyancing processes digitally.” Speaking about the importance of integrations to firms, Scott Bozinis, CEO of InfoTrack says, “Firms working within a CMS must look to integrate, especially with the shift toward flexible working arrangements. More firms now operate early in the morning and late into the evening. Integrations by InfoTrack ensure activities by individual users are simple and accessible, but also recorded using automation, ultimately reducing errors and increasing productivity. These enhancements are fantastic for all parties progressing through a conveyancing transaction.” Adam Bullion, General Manager of Marketing at Linetime says, “Firms using the integration are experiencing the benefits across all aspects of the conveyancing journey from instruction to postcompletion. We have been particularly impressed with InfoTrack’s Property Report and eCOS; products which both solve a lot of challenges that firms have been facing for some time. These enhancements apply real value to InfoTrack’s offering within an integration, full of digital conveyancing products, meaning firms are focused on managing the business and not the software.” To find out more, visit www.infotrack.co.uk/integration/ ■
Bruce Faulkner, Director at Rogers and Norton Solicitors adds, “I wish this integration had been available years ago. Conveyancing
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Poppy’s second chance at love P
oppy’s owner first contacted her local rehoming centre and said she needed to hand Poppy, a four year old Chihuahua cross, over to us as she had sadly recently been given a diagnosis that she had a terminal illness. She was advised to apply for a free Canine Care Card and nominate a Dog Guardian; someone she trusts to sign over the care of Poppy to Dogs Trust should she need it. She’d then be able to spend the most time possible with Poppy and feel reassured that she’d be given the best possible care at Dogs Trust when they could no longer be together. When Poppy’s Dog Guardian contacted us to advise that her owner was now receiving palliative care and that they needed to activate her Canine Care Card, Poppy was collected by Dogs Trust the very next day. After a vet and behavioural assessment we decided the best place for Poppy would be a loving foster home. We were able to advise the foster carers of all the information we’d been given by Poppy’s owner regarding her life, diet and routine to enable us to make this transitional period as stress-free as possible for Poppy. Within almost no time, we were able to find very affectionate Poppy a lovely new home for her second chance at love. Poppy’s story is one of many we come across at Dogs Trust.
Many owners are growing increasingly worried about gradually losing their independence or their health deteriorating. Dogs Trust want to offer owners peace of mind that we will be there at this difficult time to care for and rehome their four legged friends should the worst happen. Therefore we’re pleased to announce that we have extended our Canine Care Card service. Dogs Trust will care for your dog should you move into a care home, become seriously ill or pass away. For more information on our Canine Care Card service and how to register your dog please type in this link www.dogstrust.org. uk/ccc where you will find our online application form and more information on our free service. If you have any queries regarding the Canine Care Card please email CCC@dogstrust.org.uk or call 020 7837 0006 and we will be happy to help. ■
Who’ll keep her happy when your client’s gone? We will – as long as your client has a Canine Care Card. It’s a FREE service from Dogs Trust that guarantees their dog a second chance a life. At Dogs Trust, we never put down a healthy dog. We’ll care for them at one of our 20 rehoming centres, located around the UK. One in every four of your clients has a canine companion. Naturally they’ll want to make provision for their faithful friend. And now you can help them at absolutely no cost. So contact us today for your FREE pack of Canine Care Card leaflets – and make a dog-lover happy. E-mail email@example.com Or call 020 7837 0006
Or write to: Freepost RTJA-SRXG-AZUL, Dogs Trust, Clarissa Baldwin House, 17 Wakley Street, London EC1V 7RQ (No stamp required) Please quote “334885” All information will be treated as strictly confidential. Service only available for residents of the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands & Isle of Man.
A dog is for life, not just for Christmas®
Registered charity numbers: 227523 & SC037843
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© Dogs Trust 2021
Simple Contract Law
Family Law leaves the EU
Stripping English Law of Complexity
A summary guide for Practitioners
n his new book, WatsonGandy has bravely done a complete about-turn on traditional dusty textbooks, writing an illustrated guide to English contract law that is fun to read, entertaining and succinct. Synopsis of Simple Contract Law: A brief introduction to English Contract Law:
This book provides an essential introduction to English contract law. Written by practising barrister and law professor, Mark WatsonGandy, whose infectious enthusiasm for the subject permeates the text, the book simply explains all the core concepts and leading cases and what the most common terms and conditions actually do. Whether you are a law student, businessman or an international lawyer, you will find “Simple Contract Law” to be an easy-to-read, concise, and informative first guide into the subject. Enlivened by the colourful back stories to the case law and with witty illustrations by Gordon Collett, this book is a welcome antidote to stale traditional contract law textbooks. “People don’t realise quite how important English contract law is for us all. English contract law has long been the preferred choice of law for international contracts – often even where the parties or transaction has no connection to the UK. The UK legal services industry is worth £60 billion to the UK economy; the UK legal services market is the largest in Europe and second only globally to the USA. Three quarters of those using London’s commercial courts during litigation come from outside of the UK” explains the author. “I wanted to write something which would cut through the complexity, to give an accessible overview of the law. A quick and easy-to-read guide like this is long overdue.” Simple Contract Law: A brief introduction to English Contract Law is available now for £9.95 on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3kbb6Q4. ■ Professor Mark Watson-Gandy K.S.G is a practising barrister at Three Stone Chambers in Lincoln’s Inn and has appeared in high-profile cases in the UK and abroad. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster and at the University of Lorraine in France. He was made a Knight of the Order of St Gregory the Great in recognition of his work as a barrister and law professor in 2007. In 2020, he was appointed as one of the UK Ministry of Justice’s “Legal Services are Great Champions” to promote English legal services internationally.
n appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor MA of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers, Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”, and Mediator. This new guide from the Family Law imprint of LexisNexis is most welcome at a time when so much confusion reigns in the world caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Any practitioner who is faced with trying to understand where we will be with family law matters on leaving the European Union on the last day of 2020 will be relieved to read this innovative sort work from Professor David Hodson OBE. We welcome the important additional section on public child law written by Maria Murphy for those specialists involved with local authorities. We feel that this short paperback will be highly relevant to all family law practitioners as a quick accessible guide to the law and practice which will apply on the UK’s final departure from the EU on 31 December 2020. The government has indicated that the UK will not be party to any further EU laws from January 2021, instead relying on existing international laws such as the Hague Convention, to which we will be a party in our own right. There will also be new provisions to cover issues of national law, where previously EU law existed. Inevitably, some court procedures will need to change once the final break with Europe has taken place. This invaluable title gives us an overview of the legal position and the practical issues which are judged to arise in all areas of family law, including the preparatory steps which lawyers should take in readiness for departure, to advise clients as effectively as possible in the future. The key topics cover the main substantive family law areas depending on what you are looking for: the governing laws; divorce; financial aspects including remedies; the Hague Convention 2007; the Lugano Convention; private children law; public children law; domestic violence; the service and the taking of evidence, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and legal aid; and potential areas of EU/UK future co-operation in the post-Brexit era. When we woke up early on that morning of Friday 24th June 2016, many of us were looking at a most uncertain future. Hodson’s “Family Law Leaves the EU” bridges an important gap for family law practitioners as we grapple with the post Brexit era whilst fighting a world pandemic. Thank you. Family Law leaves the EU: A summary guide for Practitioners is available now from www.lexisnexis.co.uk. ■
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– Private Client/Head of Department Required for busy Private Client Department in North Hampshire. Full time/Part time position. Necessary requirements: ■ 5+ years post qualification experience ■ Good communication skills ■ E xperience of case management ■ Good IT skills ■ Good management/supervision skills Real opportunity for progression for the right candidate. Please contact Debbie Smith at Barker Son & Isherwood LLP on firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form and job description.
– Commercial Property – Petersfield Office with possibility of remote working We are seeking a solicitor or legal executive to work in our busy Commercial department in our Petersfield office to assist with the growing commercial property workload of both partners in the department with a view to developing and managing your own caseload. Ideally you will be a solicitor or legal executive with 1 year+ PQE and have a broad range of Commercial Property experience from a leading regional practice. You will be capable of handling all aspects of commercial property work especially loans and secured lending, all aspects of Landlord & Tenant transactions including new leases, renewals and assignments and subletting, creation, release and variation of easements and covenants including restrictive and positive covenants.
– Petersfield or Midhurst Office with possibility of remote working We are seeking a solicitor or legal executive to assist in our busy Wills Probate & Trusts department with a view to developing and managing their own caseload from either our Petersfield or Midhurst office. Ideally you will be a solicitor or legal executive with 1 year+ PQE and have a broad range of Wills Trusts and Probate experience from a leading regional practice. You will be capable of handling matters concerning Will drafting, Estate Administration, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Trusts and Administration, Court of Protection applications and Inheritance Tax planning. You will have excellent academic qualifications, be IT literate and highly competent in MS Word, Outlook and Excel and have experience in a legal case management package (preferably DPS Outlook Office) although training will be given. You must be willing to be involved in client sourcing work and business development and be confident in promoting the firm’s values. You will be providing the highest level of service to our clients, which is tailored to their individual needs. You will also need to share our values of being ‘Open, Responsible and Fair’, which lie at the heart of what we stand for as a firm and which guide how we approach all aspects of our work. We can offer training opportunities and excellent career prospects for the right candidate as well as of course a very attractive remuneration package including the potential to earn bonuses if certain targets are met, a generous holiday allowance, certain staff discounts and an invitation to join a comprehensive private health insurance scheme. Please see our website for more information and to apply – www.macdonaldoates.co.uk/vacancies/ ■
Commercial Property Solicitor – Petersfield, Hampshire
You will have excellent academic qualifications, be IT literate and highly competent in MS Word, Outlook and Excel and have experience in a legal case management package (preferably DPS Outlook Office) although training will be given.
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join our well respected commercial property team to develop and grow this area of work. The successful applicant will join our highly skilled team providing a broad range of commercial and agricultural property work.
You must be willing to be involved in client sourcing work and business development and be confident in promoting the firm’s values. You will be providing the highest level of service to our clients, which is tailored to their individual needs. You will also need to share our values of being ‘Open, Responsible and Fair’, which lie at the heart of what we stand for as a firm and which guide how we approach all aspects of our work.
The ideal candidate will be keen to progress their career within a firm where client care is a priority. You will maintain your own heavy caseload from inception to completion, working largely independently but with a strong support team and departmental review system in place. You will have strong client relationship skills and be keen to develop your expertise of commercial property matters further.
We can offer training opportunities and excellent career prospects for the right candidate as well as of course a very attractive remuneration package including the potential to earn bonuses if certain targets are met, a generous holiday allowance, certain staff discounts and an invitation to join a comprehensive private health insurance scheme.
The successful applicant will have a minimum of 2-3 years PQE in a commercial setting although we will also consider applicants who have a mixed residential/ commercial background who wish to now concentrate on commercial property matters.
Please see our website for more information and to apply – www.macdonaldoates.co.uk/vacancies/ ■
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This is ideally a full time position but we would be prepared to consider part time for the right candidate. Competitive salary package. To apply please send a CV by email to angela.church@ burleygeach.co.uk ■
Shred paper-based conveyancing, completely.
Digital conveyancing is more secure than paper-based processes. Tear outdated paper-based conveyancing processes to shreds. Digital conveyancing means onboarding clients electronically with eCOS, integrating LMS for automation of priority searches and AP1 registration, digitally signing HMLR deeds, and accelerating and automating creation of your report on titles with Property Report. InfoTrack is the only platform that enables a completely digital conveyancing process, end-to-end. Give us a call or email us. But, please, don’t write a letter. InfoTrack; the home of digital conveyancing. Join the digital conveyancing movement with InfoTrack. Call us on 0207 186 8090 or visit www.infotrack.co.uk/nopaper
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