Introducing Hugh James Personal Legal Services
Clients especially appreciate the firm’s ability to bring “genuine City experience” to Wales and “would not hesitate to recommend them to a colleague or a customer.” Chambers UK “very good, professional and customer-focused” The Legal 500
Introducing Hugh James Personal Legal Services When you instruct a lawyer to advise on your personal affairs, you not only need someone who has first class legal skills and will give you the very best advice; you also need someone who is easy to deal with, who will help you negotiate the various possible courses of action and who will give you real support through the good times and the not so good times. Hugh James has over fifty years’ experience of providing legal advice on the significant events in our clients’ lives. Indeed, some of our clients have been with us throughout this entire time. We have over 30 lawyers devoted entirely to personal law as well as several specialist personal injury teams. Between them, they cover practically every area of law on which a private individual would need advice over the course of a lifetime. We offer all the quality and expertise you would expect from a leading law firm. Our advice ranges from the purely personal issues such as inheritance planning and divorce through to advice on employment issues
and the family business. We can also offer expert financial and tax planning advice, which means that you don’t need to go anywhere else to ensure that your affairs are organised as taxefficiently as possible. If you find yourself in a dispute or on the wrong side of the law, we can help with that too. In a nutshell, whatever your legal requirement, Hugh James can help. We can help you identify your goals, unravel complex issues and offer clear and pragmatic advice to help you achieve them. But it’s not just the very best legal advice that you can expect from the team at Hugh James. Our clients say that our quality
lies in our people’s ‘can-do attitude’, ‘exceptional capability, attitude and integrity’ and balancing of ‘attention to detail with an ability to see the bigger picture’. These qualities translate into the way we run our business, too. We’re still growing organically, inspired by our clients to explore new and better ways of delivering our services. And, as we work alongside you, you can be assured that we will be treating your assets and concerns with as much care as we would treat our own.
Alun Jones Managing Partner Head of Private Legal Services
Your home As well as being a refuge and a focus for your family life, your home is likely to be one of your biggest investments. You need to be confident that it is properly protected. We hear a lot these days about the “Bank of Mum and Dad” and, as the economy continues to struggle and the banks remain reluctant to lend, parents increasingly have to help fund their children’s first step on the property ladder. This is often done at the expense of their own retirement plans, depleting equity in the family home. There are ways we can help to structure such arrangements to provide the help young people need whilst protecting their parents’ future as well.
change with their circumstances: relationships change, family units wax and wane, family income rises or falls. Through all this, home ownership is often one of the key factors underpinning the stability and complexity of family life. You need therefore to ensure that your home is properly protected, and you need the very best legal and financial advice. We can help you make sure that you make the right choices at each stage and that you achieve the results you need. Our expert lawyers can:
At the other end of life, the funding of care arrangements for elderly parents creates its own pressures and the elderly parents’ home will often have to be sacrificed to pay for them. This is not always necessary and we can help you ascertain whether other forms of funding are available.
• help you purchase and sell your home; • advise on funding arrangements; • help you put in place trust agreements for the funding of your children’s homes; • advise on tax planning, will writing and other inheritance issues; • help recover wrongly paid nursing care fees; and • help you with property related disputes.
During the course of life, people’s requirements
“Very informative, personalised service and impartial recommendations. Offered complete service.” “It was nice to feel part of the process and not just another client.”
Your relationships Few things are more important than your relationship with your partner. Most of us aspire to spending our lives with someone we love and respect and some of us are lucky enough to sustain those relationships until we die. Sadly, life is not always like that. Relationships can come under pressure for all sorts of reasons and, if the problems can’t be resolved, they break down. Whether you are married or living together, the end of a relationship can have huge repercussions for all involved – not just the couple themselves but children and, sometimes, grandparents. You need a sympathetic and experienced hand to guide you through this difficult time and to help ensure the minimum collateral damage to both family and finances. You will want to know that, at the end of the process, you will be in the best position to move on with your life.
Our family team has a huge amount of experience in advising their clients sensitively and discreetly at such times. They can advise on co-habitation and pre-nuptial agreements as well as on divorce and separation. They can help you achieve a fair financial settlement to protect you and your family’s future. They will always adopt a positive and proactive approach to avoid further deterioration in relationships which are already under pressure. If there are children involved, we have specialists in child law who can guide you through residence issues and, if necessary, deal with incidents of child abduction.
â€œThank you, once again, for all your help and for dealing with my case (and me) with such sensitivity and kindness. I always felt reassured by it.â€? Mrs Little
Your wealth Most of us work hard to achieve success and itâ€™s important to protect your assets properly, whatever form they might take. It might be your home, investments or business interests here or abroad. It could be commercial property or farm land. It could be art or antiques. It could be a combination of any of these things. Lifetime events all have an effect: a new relationship, the birth of a child, school fees, divorce, a new job, an overseas placement, retirement â€“ any of these can impact on your assets. Whatever form your wealth takes, you need to ensure that you maximise it for your own lifetime needs and preserve as much as you can for the next generation. We can help you by advising on the most efficient tax structures and effective estate planning.
It is also vital to ensure that those you leave behind after your death are clear about your intentions. We can assist with that by helping you draft clear and efficient wills, to properly reflect your wishes. Regrettably, sometimes disputes do arise in relation to estates. In the most extreme cases, the courts are the only solution. For those who find themselves in this unfortunate position, we have great expertise and a strong reputation for assisting in estate and trust disputes in a sensitive but robust manner.
“This group is best known for its handling of contentious estates and probate, a focus that sets it apart from many other private client practices outside of London.” Chambers UK “I must say it has been a real pleasure dealing with you throughout this period so may I sincerely record my thanks for all your help, advice and involvement over the past few months.” Ms T Ward
â€œYou have made a difficult situation much easier for us and we would like to thank you for the thoughtful and friendly way you have dealt with matters.â€? Mr and Mrs B Jones
The future Tempting though it is to ignore the fact, we are all going to grow old. Increased life expectancy means that we are likely to have many years of retirement. If we are to enjoy those years to the fullest, we need not only to take care of our health but also our wealth. Good financial advice and careful tax planning can help ensure that you have enough to make those later years truly golden. Our financial services advisors can help you choose the right investments for you. Our tax experts can ensure that you pay only the tax that is properly due. Your requirements will be different depending on your personal circumstances and we will help you decide which particular arrangements will work best for you. The downside of our increased life expectancy is that there is a greater risk that we might, at some stage, suffer from reduced mental capacity. A properly constructed lasting power of attorney can ensure that your affairs will be properly managed even if you are no longer able
to do that. We have a Court of Protection team who can help with the appointment of a deputy to manage your affairs in the event there is no family member or friend willing or able to do so or where no lasting power of attorney exists. We can also help with recovery of any nursing care fees which have been wrongly paid. And we can carry on looking after your interests and those of your beneficiaries after your lifetime, right through the probate and estate administration process, ensuring that your last wishes are carried out to the letter. Whatever life stage you are at, proper planning can only benefit you and your loved ones.
Your business Family businesses have their own set of considerations which need to be taken into account. As well as the normal commercial matters such as finance, tax, commercial property, contracts, terms and conditions and employment issues, all of which we can help with, there are issues specific to owner-managed businesses. Whilst such businesses benefit from unique strengths - especially the close day-to-day involvement of an entrepreneurial proprietor they also face particular problems, such as:
• bringing in new expertise whilst keeping control of costs; • coping with growth; • handing down the business to the next generation; • exit strategies; • finding the right balance - managing business and personal finances to achieve maximum net worth; and • change of use of farmland. Our experience of working with owner-managed businesses is extensive. No matter how tough the problem, you can be sure we have handled something like it before and can give you the best possible advice.
“The firm puts a lot of effort into nurturing the relationship. I am impressed with their responsiveness, value for money and level of detail.” Chambers UK “a very strong team with experienced professionals giving London-type service at regional prices.” The Legal 500
Your job In an ideal world, your career follows an upward trajectory as you become more skilled and experienced. Your salary and responsibility increase over the years and, hopefully, your job provides a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment as well as the means for a comfortable lifestyle. Occasionally, however, our working lives can get a little bumpy. The market changes, management changes, expectations change, things don’t work out. The current economic
climate has led to considerable restructuring in the workplace to drive efficiencies and make savings. As a result, many people are finding that jobs they believed to be secure are no longer so. If your job is in danger, whether from restructuring, redundancy or a dismissal, we can help you manage your exit in a discreet and dignified manner and help you negotiate an appropriate settlement package to provide a financial buffer until you find another job.
Your health No matter how well we plan, sometimes things just donâ€™t work out as we would hope. The best-laid plans can be derailed by injury. Sometimes injury can be a temporary inconvenience; sometimes it can be a life changing event.
“exemplary” personal injury service Chambers UK “innovative and flexible to the demands of customers” and “very willing to get involved” Chambers UK
If you or a family member have the misfortune to suffer an injury which impacts on the quality of your life, you will need to ensure that the right support is in place. We can help with this. We can advise on any liability in the event that the injury was caused by negligence and we can help you recover compensation. We can help with claiming any benefits to which you might be entitled and with the rehabilitation process.
We have a national reputation for our personal injury and clinical negligence work and our focus is on ensuring that your current and future needs are taken care of so that you can live as full a life as possible. As well as a first class team of personal and clinical injury lawyers, we have a Court of Protection team and can provide a deputy to manage the affairs of those whose injury
has deprived them of capacity to do so for themselves. We also work closely with health and welfare professionals to ensure that you have the best team on your side.
If you would like to know more about how we could help, please call us on 029 2022 4871 to speak to the right expert for you.