As the country started to emerge from the deepest recession in living memory, the firm looked forward to a busy year with great enthusiasm and optimism.
During 2013 more than 500,000 enterprising Britons were on track to start their own business, according to StartUp Britain. However, the day-to-day reality of running your own business can be more sobering as up to 20 per cent of new businesses will fail in the first year.
Jeremy Blatherwick, commercial lawyer at Tallents in Newark offered some simple legal advice to help start-up businesses stay on track for success:
We advise all our clients to have written contracts in place with their customers, suppliers and employees, whether they deal with them face to face, or via the telephone or the internet. It gives a peace of mind that is always underestimated until it’s really needed. Get it right before it’s too late.
As the UK housing market started to show signs of recovery, Kerry Baldwin from Tallents in Newark offered advice on choosing the right conveyancing solicitor. She advised:
House buying is expensive and it can be all too easy to cut corners, but when it comes to conveyancing, this is one area where you shouldn’t just pick the lowest price. A local law firm will always have an advantage since they are likely to know and have a good business relationship with the estate agent or builder selling the property. If things don’t quite go to plan, this relationship could prove invaluable in getting things sorted and the house sale back on track quickly.
The staff at Tallents were delighted to learn that in March they were one of the first legal firms in the UK to be accredited to the Law Society’s new Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS).
Jeremy Blatherwick, Senior Partner at Tallents said:
The Wills, Trust and Probate team has worked to the highest standards to ensure they were amongst one of the first law firms in the UK to be accredited to WIQS. I believe this accreditation reassures clients that Tallents will always offer a high standard of practice and a commitment to deliver excellent client care and service.
Employers faced additional changes to the auto-enrolment pension scheme as the government altered pension lifetime allowances.
Stephanie Whitchurch, an experienced employment lawyer at Tallents recommended that employers reviewed individual employment contracts to:
Take steps to ensure they understand how placing employees into an employer pension auto-enrolment scheme could jeopardise their existing pension arrangements.
Farmers were urged to seek advice on partnership agreements to protect the benefits of the partners and the future of their farming business.
Alistair Millar, agricultural law partner said:
Without any agreements in place at all, farming business relationships are governed by a 124 year old agreement, the Partnership Act of 1890. The Act has not been significantly amended since it was written and the provisions of the Act will affect the future of the farm without an alternative agreement in place.
Vili Chung, a commercial and residential conveyancing solicitor at Tallents in Mansfield reviewed the relaxing of the permitted development rules concerning which building developments required planning permission.
The relaxing of required planning permissions is great news for businesses who had wanted to expand, but were previously held back by planning restrictions. However, there are still a number of regulations that must be met, so legal advice should be sought before any building work commences.
As of 30th June, the government gave employees additional rights to request flexible working. Employers have a duty and obligation to consider the flexible working request of any employee who has over 26 weeks’ continuous service in a reasonable manner.
Janine Lawton, employment lawyer commented:
Failure by employers to comply with the new obligations could result in compensation of eight weeks’ pay (currently capped at £464 per week) being awarded, but employers should also be mindful not to discriminate when considering requests to work flexibly.
Legal advice is available from Tallents to help employers through the regulatory changes.
Tallents confirmed its commitment to the community by renewing its agreement to be the Principal Sponsors for the Palace Theatre Newark for another three years.
Said Alistair Millar:
The Palace Theatre is as ingrained into the community fabric of Newark as much as Tallents Solicitors is. 2015 will be very exciting for the Theatre as they enter into a collaboration with the new National Civil War Centre next door and Tallents is delighted to be able to continue to support them.
July marked one year since the launch of the weekly free family law clinic on Tuesday evenings at Tallents’ Southwell office.
Partner Andrew Stout commented:
We knew it was often very difficult for some people to attend appointments during office working hours and we wanted to offer a more flexible arrangement to our potential clients by opening a free drop-in family law clinic. Over the last 12 months, we’ve managed to help people with family law issues who work, or are otherwise occupied during the day, to receive clear, unbiased family law advice at a time that suits them. Due to demand, we’re delighted to confirm that this free clinic will continue to offer valuable family law advice during 2015.
Mark Hawkins, partner and family lawyer at Tallents Solicitors in Mansfield, explained how consent orders offer divorcing couples a clean break and a fresh start.
Cuts to legal aid in divorce proceedings during 2013 have meant many divorcing couples try to ‘DIY divorce’ in order to save money but if specific financial matters are not legally settled at the time of divorce, then it is possible for either spouse to make a claim on the other in the future. A consent order will give both couples the certainty that the divorce and everything else has been dealt with on a full and final basis.
Seven years on since the smoking ban came into effect in July 2007, the sight and smell of smokers in public buildings and enclosed workplaces in the UK is now a distant memory. However, while indoor venues are now tobacco free, many of those trying to quit smoking are increasingly turning to e-cigarettes as an alternative.
Janine Lawton, employment solicitor at Tallents in Newark looked at the issues for employers that the growing popularity of e-cigarettes is bringing and recommended that: “Employers should update their smoking at work policies to deal with the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace and communicate this clearly to employees.”
Break clauses are often a cause for confusion and disputes between landlords and tenants.
Tom Gibbons, commercial lawyer at Tallents in Newark said:
Commercial leases can be fraught with issues for landlords and tenants alike. It will always make sense to consult a commercial lawyer before entering into or granting a lease, and again before serving a break notice; the costs of getting sound advice from the outset are likely to be substantially lower than the costs of having to resolve a dispute further down the line.
This month traditionally sees a large number of property sales and purchases.
Alistair Millar, partner at Tallents in Southwell explained the conveyancing process in detail to help buyers stay in control:
We would always advise our clients to stay in touch with their seller and the estate agent throughout the buying process to make sure that any small issues are dealt with quickly. Your conveyancing solicitor will always let you know if they spot anything that’s likely to slow the purchase down.
Ann Farnill, Head of wills, trust and probate at Tallents Solicitors explained the key changes to the intestacy laws and how these will affect the distribution of your wealth after your death. The key changes to the intestacy rules give new inheritance rights to: spouses and civil partners, adopted children and unmarried fathers. These changes will be applied in the absence of a valid will.
Separating partners should be especially aware of how the changes affect them. If you have separated but not divorced, and die without a will, then your estranged partner will inherit everything from your estate. If you die leaving children behind, then they could inherit more than your children.
Care proceedings can be a very scary and confusing time for parents and guardians alike.
Mark Hawkins, partner and family lawyer at Tallents in Mansfield offered both support and explained the care proceeding process in detail. He said:
Our specialists in Family and Child Care law at Mansfield and Newark are here to help parents and carers through this stressful process. When you contact us, we will listen to the specifics of your case and work with you to find the best solution for your children and you to the problems you are facing.
For the fourth successive year, Tallents is sponsoring the Newark Palace Theatre’s Pantomime Charity Gala Night.
Alistair Millar commented:
Tallents has been deeply involved in the community spirit of Newark for over 240 years now. I hope that the people of Newark and the surrounding areas are able to support and help this event and will enjoy welcoming back Bernie Clifton in the fantastic Peter Pan pantomime that the Newark Palace Theatre is showing this year.
Tallents is preparing for a very busy time ahead and looking forward to continuing to serve the people and businesses of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire during 2015.
Tallents Solicitors has been a successful legal firm for 240 years and our commitment to delivering the best service possible to our clients is as strong as it was in 1774. The people, businesses and communities of North Nottinghamshire can be assured of our commitment to them and their legal needs for many years to come.
Tallents offers clients advice and support on a wide range of legal services, as this review of their year shows. Check the new website (www.tallents.co.uk), or follow Tallents on Facebook (www.facebook.com/tallentssolicitors) or Twitter (@TallentsSols) to keep abreast of key legal issues that may affect you or your business, or make an appointment with one of our talented lawyers to discuss your personal circumstances.