Congratulations to Emma Gray

Congratulations to Emma Gray

On Thursday, 4th April, 2019, Emma Gray, Associate Solicitor in our Private Client team, was recognised by the Devon and Somerset Law Society (DASLS) for the contribution she has made to her profession. Emma was ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Solicitor of the Year’ category of the DASLS 2019 Awards ceremony held at Exeter Cathedral.

“I feel honoured to have received this commendation and I would like to say a huge thank you to my colleagues at Everys for the support they have given me over the years,” said Emma. “I’m fortunate to work with such a great team and this award goes in part to them.”

James Griffin, Managing Partner, said: “We are very proud of Emma’s achievement at the DASLS Awards. She is a solicitor who always goes above and beyond what is expected and she truly deserved to receive this commendation.”

Emma is a Society for Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP) solicitor and a Dementia Friend. She is also the Chair of the Devon and Cornwall branch of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE). Emma is based at our Honiton office.

 

Honiton Dementia Matters Conference

Honiton Dementia Matters Conference

Many people, these days, will have some experience of dementia, whether that is via a family member or friend, or even themselves.  It is a devastating disease which, unfortunately, is on the increase.  There are a number of reasons for this, but longer life spans certainly increase the risk of it happening at some stage.

Charities such as BRACE and the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) work tirelessly to make people aware of the disease and its consequences.  In Honiton, BRACE and the Honiton DAA (HDAA) have joined forces in a joint venture to hold a one-day conference called “Dementia Matters”.  BRACE and HDAA have brought together experts from Everys Solicitors, Admiral Nursing, Dementia Research at Exeter University, and from BRACE and HDAA themselves.  Everys will be represented by Emma Gray, Associate Solicitor, who will be discussing Lasting Powers of Attorney, and Joan Pullin, Solicitor, who will discuss how to protect assets through the use of wills and trusts.

“Almost on a daily basis we read something new about dementia; whether that is trying to ward it off through brain training, healthy eating and quality sleep, or exciting developments from new research,” said Emma Gray.  “These are all positive things but, sadly, there’s no guarantee we won’t be affected by it, and many people are touched by dementia.  Sharing knowledge about what to do if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with the condition is what this conference is about because, for all of us, dementia really does matter.”

Joan Pullin said: “Everys is very excited about sponsoring this conference.  Receiving a dementia diagnosis can cause all sorts of anguish and anxiety for an individual and their family, and that’s why it’s vitally important they receive the help and information they need to ensure that they are protected financially.  I’m looking forward to meeting people at the conference and answering any questions they may have.”

The conference will be held on Friday, 3rd May from 10am until 3pm at The Beehive Community Centre in Honiton.  Tickets cost £10, although those with a dementia diagnosis and carers will have free entry to the event.  Any profit from the sale of tickets will be split equally between BRACE and HDAA.  A buffet lunch will be provided and there will be the chance to ask questions and meet others interested in, or affected by, dementia.

To book your place visit – www.alzheimers-brace.org/Event/hontion-dementia-conference

Two Newly Qualified Solicitors

Two Newly Qualified Solicitors

Everys Solicitors is pleased to offer its congratulations to Rosie Ridgers and Cameron Evans-Grainger, who have both completed their Period of Recognised Training and qualify as solicitors today, 1st April, 2019.

Rosie joined Everys in 2014 as a secretary in the Family team, moving into a paralegal position in Private Client before commencing her Period of Recognised Training in 2017. She now qualifies into the Private Client team based at Honiton.

“I am incredibly excited to be qualifying as a solicitor,” said Rosie. “It takes a lot of work to get to this stage but I have been so lucky to have the support of Everys behind me and to have the opportunity to learn from such experienced and well respected lawyers. I am really looking forward to my future career as a solicitor.”

Cameron joined Everys in 2016 as a paralegal in the Commercial Property department and has since undertaken his Period of Recognised Training alongside studying for the Legal Practice Course. Cameron qualifies into the Commercial Property team based at Exeter.

Cameron said: “It has been a tough couple of years working and studying, and I have had to make sacrifices but it’s been worth it.  I have enjoyed working at Everys and am grateful for the opportunity I have been given here. I am excited for what the future holds post qualification, and I’m looking forward to building my career with Everys.”

Cameron is based at the Exeter office.

James Griffin, Managing Partner said: “Rosie and Cameron have worked incredibly hard and we are very proud of their achievements. They are excellent lawyers and are an asset not just to their respective teams, but to Everys as a whole. We are pleased they chose Everys for their Period of Recognised Training and we wish them every success in their careers.”

Well done Rosie and Cameron; congratulations from us all.

The Future of Farming & Rural Business

The Future of Farming & Rural Business

Rural economies throughout Europe, not just the UK, have been neglected politically for years, and the people living and working in them are angry and upset for having been ignored. From Brexit in the UK, the “Gilets Jaunes” movement in France and the Five Star government in Italy, to the growing tensions in Spain, Austria, Germany and Eastern Europe, the status quo has been rejected.

From the UK perspective, whether or not we stay in or leave the EU, there will be change. That much is clear from the Agriculture Bill, Environment Bill and the Stacey Report, which sets out the direction of travel the government has in mind over the years to come.

Yet politicians cannot be blamed for all of the mess: globalisation has destroyed the cohesion of rural economies, benefiting the multinational companies and the metropolitan elites who share the spoils.  We have to rebuild that cohesion using all the tools of modern technology at our disposal. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that governments take notice of what we say and want and then act.  It’s no good, for example, government demanding the highest standards of animal welfare unless they make the large manufacturing companies and supermarkets pay farmers fair and proper prices for their livestock. Equally, it’s no good government demanding the highest standards of animal welfare if it is directly responsible for draining the life-blood out of the small abattoirs, many of which have gone out of business recently, only to support the largest abattoirs with grants out of the taxes we pay.

It’s up to us, collectively, to fight these inequities (and many more besides) and force the government to listen and act. Everys is starting down this road with a series of podcasts with farmers, rural businesses, scientists and others, so that we can all learn more about each other’s businesses, share ideas and support what we all demand.

Making these podcasts has been both fun and informative. Everys is also supporting the Sustainable Food Trust where it can, particularly in its campaign to halt the decline of small, low throughput abattoirs. Its reports make the case for changes to farming that, by and large, we all support. The link to their website is set out below.

There are six podcasts for you to listen to:

  • Sally and Roger Maynard farm near Exeter. They describe how they diversified their farming operations over the years into, amongst other things, the outdoor toy business, and discuss the important business principles that they consider key to success.
  • John Coles describes how he diversified into the meat trade, establishing a low throughput abattoir on his farm. There were 200 when he started 40 years ago; only four remain. The rapid decline in the number of small abattoirs is putting the niche, high-quality livestock producer out of business.
  • Steve Williams and Pete Woodham-Kay started a charcuterie business just over four years ago in Steve’s garage. They now have an industrial unit full of equipment required to cure, using “only salt and natural Exe and Clyst Valley air”.
  • Andrew Parr is the fifth generation to run the family’s oak bark tannery business in East Devon – the last oak bark tannery in the whole country. At the beginning of the last century, Devon had 160 such tanneries. Andrew supplies top quality leather to the Northampton shoe industry, saddlers and the French and Italian fashion houses.
  • Professor Michael Lee runs Rothamsted Research at North Wyke near Okehampton and he cogently sets out the scientific case for both keeping red meat as part of our diet – although less of it – and for drinking more milk. Indeed, he believes that the decline in milk consumption is already having profound effects on our health.
  • Catherine Broomfield writes for the farming and national press about countryside matters and argues that the Agriculture Bill will only work if every element of it is implemented.

Sustainable Food Trust – https://sustainablefoodtrust.org/

You’ve made an offer – what now?

You’ve made an offer – what now?

If you research house buying online you will find many websites and blogs give helpful advice on the practical aspects but don’t explain the process after you have found the property you want to call home. Instead, they often simply refer to the ‘complicated legal stuff’ when advising you to instruct a solicitor.

Essentially, you need a solicitor to assist you in making the property officially yours. It can be a confusing process filled with legal jargon and whilst the system can appear archaic and back to front (having to spend money investigating the property title, instructing a survey and obtaining mortgage finance before either you or the Seller commit to the purchase) this article is intended to help simplify what your solicitor is doing for you.

  • The Seller, through their solicitor, provides evidence they own the house, along with a plan showing the area they are selling, together with details of any rights the property enjoys or is subject to, and any obligations you will need to comply with whilst you live there;
  • The Seller also provides forms giving more practical details of the property (known as the Property Information Form) which includes information on such matters as boundary responsibility, alterations, occupiers, utility providers and a list of items they will be leaving at the Property (called the Fittings & Contents Form);
  • Your solicitor will check these forms and documents to ensure any relevant documentation to supplement or evidence the information is provided or obtained, and that the information does not reveal anything to cause concern;
  • Your solicitor will carry out relevant searches with Local Authorities, Water Companies, Environmental consultants and any other third parties to provide further information about the property, its services and locality held on various registers;
  • Your solicitor will make any further enquiries of the Seller arising from the information supplied, or ask for information omitted, or raise any enquiries or concerns that you may have; and
  • If you are buying with a mortgage, your solicitor will check the offer and that the property meets the lender’s criteria as suitable security.

This investigation period can take, on average, about four to six weeks, but varies on the expediency of the various authorities contacted and the seller themselves.  Once your solicitor is happy with the information provided, you will be advised that exchange of contracts is now imminent.  This is the exciting time when both you and the Seller commit to the purchase and a legally binding contract comes into force.  It is also when you pay over your exchange deposit.  Before doing so, your solicitor will provide you with explanations of their investigations and summarise the information for you in plain English.  This is when you can ask questions to make sure you understand what you are about to buy and any financial or other commitments you will become responsible for before you sign any documents.

Once you are happy you want to go ahead, the solicitor is satisfied the title is good and any issues have been resolved or managed, you then pay over the deposit money to your solicitor, sign the Contract, and any other forms, and agree a completion date with the Seller.  Typically, a completion takes place about two weeks after exchange to allow you to make necessary arrangements such as hiring removals, obtaining finance and contacting utility/web suppliers.

Once you and the Seller (and any other parties in the chain) are happy to go ahead, then the solicitors involved will agree an exchange of contracts on your behalf and the completion date (more excitingly known as the ‘move-in date’) will be agreed.  Although it might seem an anxious wait for confirmation the deal has gone through, you will be told the good news as soon as the solicitors have finalised the technicalities on your behalf.  All in all, a typical time line from the first steps above to when you can collect the keys is approximately two months.

Whilst the solicitor will still be busy carrying out the final pre-completion checks, arranging the transfer of funds and then attending to the post-completion formalities for you, your wait is nearly over – you will soon be a proud homeowner and can start planning that house warming party.

 (Based on a freehold purchase)

Author – Rachel Craddy, Associate in our Conveyancing Team, Exeter

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

Every year for the past 110 years, there has been a day dedicated to bringing awareness to the rights of women.  It is only since 1975, though, that the United Nations recognised the day and adopted 8th March as International Women’s Day (IWD).  Each year since, the UN has promoted a different theme for IWD and this year’s is #BalanceforBetter which is about creating a more gender balanced world in all aspects of life: education, health, work, pay, politics etc.

It all began in 1908 when a march was organised in New York which saw 15,000 women demand better rights.   The following year, the Socialist Party of America established “Women’s Day” on 28th February, 1909, and on 19th March, 1911, it became known as International Women’s Day with the date later changing to 8th March in Germany in 1914.  On that same day in 1914, there was a march in London in support of women’s suffrage, and in Petrograd, Russia, women textile workers went on strike, demonstrating in the streets.  Thereafter, 8th March became associated with International Women’s Day (IWD).

Probably because of its socialist beginnings, prior to 1975 the day was mostly observed by communist countries and socialist communities but that all changed in 1975 when the UN took up the mantle due to it being International Women’s Year, and now there are many events held throughout the world celebrating the day.

Although women’s rights have come a long way in the last 100+ years, change has been slow and there is still a considerable way to go.  According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2018, it will take the original 106 countries (that have been included in the report since it began in 2006) 108 years to close the gender gap in all areas.  The UK, however, has been steadily closing its gap.  We are currently ranked 15 out of 149 countries and we have reached 77.4% gender parity (Iceland is ranked number one with 85.8% parity).  If Britain were to  close its gap entirely, $250 billion (£190 billion) could be added to our economy.  That’s something for the government and business leaders to think about over their morning cornflakes.  In the meantime, the political empowerment gap across the 149 countries will take 107 years to close whilst the economic opportunity gap will take 202 years; so, just another seven generations until women can enjoy pay equality throughout the world.  Until then, we shall keep bringing awareness to the importance of gender equality, not just for women, but for the economic benefit of the country.

https://www.internationalwomensday.com/