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06

2013

November

Spot the ball competition winner

06 Nov 2013

 
We had a great time at the recent Golden Years Roadshow at Pudsey Civic Hall. We had almost 100 entries in our spot the ball game.
 
The competition tested everyone’s cricketing eye - in fact no-one guessed the correct square! Three entries where all within one square of the ball so they entered a hat with the winner being drawn at random.
 
Congratulations go to Mrs Marianne Gacesa, pictured below, who was drawn as our lucky winner. Marianne receives vouchers worth £50 from Bentley’s butchers of Pudsey.

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30

2013

October

Head of wills and probate featured in The Times

30 Oct 2013

 
Over the last 12 months we’ve been busy advising our customers on all manner of legal issues, from buying and selling houses, through to our recently launched mediation service, which aims to amicably resolve family issues by avoiding lengthy and costly court proceedings.
 
However, last week, Andrew Gullett, head of wills and probate, had the opportunity to share his advice on a much larger scale by contributing to an article in The Times on the subject of writing a will.
 
The article “Make a will – it shows you care about your family” raises awareness of "Free Wills Month – a scheme which aims to encourage people aged 55 and over to contact participating solicitors and receive a free will in exchange for a charitable donation.
 
Andrew, who has written several pieces on the subject of wills, was approached by a Times journalist to give his insights into why more than two thirds of the UK do not currently have a will, and how taking advantage of the Free Wills scheme can assist in leaving a legacy and help your family avoid complications after you have gone.
 
We’re proud to have Andrew on our team and it’s great to be in a position where we can share our legal knowledge with a national audience.
 
If you missed the article and are a subscriber to The Times website, you can read the article here, or alternatively, download the PDF below.

 

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25

2013

October

The Golden Years Roadshow: ball games, biscuits and a 24-carat audience

25 Oct 2013


We had an absolutely terrific day last Friday at The Golden Years Roadshow. Being our first roadshow, we didn’t know quite what to expect but it exceeded our expectations in every way. We had ample time and opportunity to mix with the audience that came in to Pudsey Civic Hall that day and our thanks go to the organisers for bringing everyone together.

Lovely folk

We met some genuinely lovely people who clearly care a lot about their loved ones, extended families and friends. We fielded questions on wills, property trusts and lasting powers of attorney and we hope that many of the people we met will pop in for a cup of tea and a more detailed, free initial consultation at one of our Pudsey based offices.

Our Head of Wills and Probate Andrew Gullett did a very thought provoking talk on property trusts and we hope the audience found this useful and that it answered a few of their questions. Andrew is available on 0113 254 9733 or can be emailed by clicking here and would love to hear from you if you are seeking quality legal advice.

Fun with biscuits and balls

The day wasn’t all about the serious stuff though. It was predominantly a fun event and as such we decided to run a Spot the Ball competition. Being a proud sponsor of Pudsey St Laurence Cricket Club (which is also a member of our Cash for Clubs scheme), we had plenty of photos of them in action to choose from. Placing the ball wasn’t an easy call but we had just under 100 entrants, 3 of whom were very close indeed to that ball! The winner is to be announced next week and will be given £50 worth of award winning Bentleys Butchers vouchers for their competitive efforts. A good choice of voucher we thought ahead of Christmas.

As a thank you for visiting our stand, we also offered a gingerbread man and lost count of the number of thoughtful grandparents taking the gingerbread man away for a grandchild rather than eating it on the spot! Luckily we had over ordered - Greggs did well that day! So we were able to offer more to attendees and exhibitors alike to dunk in their tea at the refreshments stand, at the end of a very worthwhile day.

Stand up for Cancer

We were also delighted to be “collared” by Radio Aire and photographed with them. They dropped in to the roadshow as part of their campaign to support Stand Up to Cancer. On that day, they were asking people to spend a day standing up to raise money for cancer research. They almost certainly raised some funds, as we and our fellow stand holders were on our feet all day long!

I would like to say a big thanks to Declan and his team at The Golden Years Roadshow for a well run and fun event. We’ll definitely be there next time with more fun activities in which to engage local people as well as to be on hand for any legal questions they may have.

Best wishes

Andrew Cummings
Director

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25

2013

October

Spooks and sparklers, not slips and trips

The darker nights are closing in now; it’s time to wrap up warm and prepare for winter.
 
At this time of year, we often see an increase in the number of people suffering trips and falls. A big factor is the lack of light, and also the effect the bad weather has on the pavements and roads.
 
Spooky but safe
 
With Halloween approaching now is the time to ensure any visitors on the 31st stay safe. If you already have an outside light, then check to see if the bulb needs replacing; if you don’t and your path is not particularly well lit, then consider extra lighting for the evening – carved pumpkins with LED candles will illuminate the path as well as being suitably spooky. Also make sure that any obstructions such as scooters are moved.
 
Beware on Bonfire Night
 
Some of the worst injuries we see are burns, and with Bonfire Night following so closely, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself and your family safe.
 
Most injuries happen at private or family displays, with children being far more likely to be injured and incidents involving sparklers are amongst the most common (according to www.saferfireworks.com).
 
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents recommends that the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend an organised event where there will be a proper display and safety area, so all you and your family need to worry about is wrapping up warmly. The two main events in Pudsey are:
 
Pudsey St Lawrence Cricket Club, Tofts Road, Pudsey – 8thNovember at 6.00pm
 
Bramley Park Fireworks Display, Bramley Park, Westover Road – 5th November 7.30pm
 
Have fun and stay safe!
 
Kerry Dervey
Head of Personal Injury

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07

2013

October

Pudsey Legal attends Brand Yorkshire

07 Oct 2013

 
Last week saw the annual Brand Yorkshire conference held at Pavilions of Harrogate, home of the Great Yorkshire Show. The event was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the incredibly strong brand that is our county of Yorkshire.
 
Brand Yorkshire helps businesses in our region develop and grow. They’re passionate about Yorkshire, its people, its potential and its companies – beliefs we share about our local community.
 
Pudsey Legal were in attendance at the event and were privileged to hear from a wide variety of exciting and thought provoking speakers on topics ranging from marketing and branding to twitter to the quite remarkable Nina Joy who gave a truly inspirational speech on her life journey following her cancer diagnosis. Nina’s courage, enthusiasm and zest for life is a wonderful lesson for us all – she is a true maverick.
 
For further details visit www.brandyorkshire.com and www.ninajoy,com 

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26

2013

September

National accolade for Pudsey Legal

26 Sep 2013

 
We are delighted to announce that Pudsey Legal were recognised at the inaugural Modern Law Awards at London's Dorchester Hotel on 25th September.
 
Some of the biggest and best law firms in the country attended the ceremony all with their fingers crossed in the hope of picking up some much coveted silverware.
 
From a field of high calibre nominations, we made the final shortlist in our category only to be pipped at the post, proudly coming away with the ‘Highly Commended’ award.
 
To be recognised by a team of judges at the very top of the legal and business community, and in an incredibly competitive and national field, is an achievement of which we can all feel very, very proud.
 
We’re not resting on our laurels though, we are all staying very focused to see if we can go one better next year!
 
PS. We're still keeping our fingers crossed for the forthcoming Yorkshire Lawyer Awards in October where we have also made the final shortlist.

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20

2013

September

What a relief!

Recent changes to the Civil Procedure Rules have had a major affect on the way lawyers manage court cases.
 
The rules are designed to reduce costs and speed up the court process particularly by making sure that court deadlines are met.
 
Surely this makes perfect sense? After all, timetables are there for a reason and surely should be adhered to?
 
Before the rules, there existed a tendency to view Court directions and deadlines as a ‘guide’ rather than a rigid timetable. Indeed, in 2012, Lord Justice Jackson referred to “a culture of toleration of delay and non-compliance with court orders”.
 
Under the new rules, if a party fails to comply with the rules or deadlines, they are entitled to ask the court for ‘Relief from sanctions'.
 
The Court must then consider all the circumstances of the case to allow it to consider the request, including the need:
 

  • For the litigation to be conducted efficiently and at proportionate costs
     
    and
     
  • To enforce compliance with rules, practice directions and orders
     

Indeed, since the new rules came into effect, a flurry of cases has demonstrated that the courts were now taking a much more robust view with cases being routinely dismissed for non-compliance.
 
Yet, there are occasions when deadlines simply cannot be met and, let’s be honest, mistakes can be made – after all, we’re only human.
 
The High Court has recently signalled a more common sense approach to the issue - one involving a simple human error and the other involving a document being served two days late.


In Wyche v Careforce Group PLC, Mr Justice Walker granted relief, ruling that the court could make allowance for human error. It was relevant whether the error was inadvertent or deliberate. Here the errors had been inadvertent, they had been speedily remedied, and they had not affected the scheduled trial date.
 
In Rayyan Al Iraq Co Ltd v Trans Victory Marine Inc, Mr Justice Andrew Smith found that an oversight which led to the claimant’s solicitors serving particulars of claim two days late was in all the circumstances the clearest case for allowing an extension of time.
 
He noted the courts approach to the new rules, but held that this did not mean relief should not be granted where that would be disproportionate and also give one party an unjustified windfall.
 
However, the moral of the story

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16

2013

September

Pudsey Legal join the Grandparents' Association

16 Sep 2013

Pudsey Legal is delighted to announce their membership of the Grandparents' Association.
 
The association has been celebrating the joys of grandparenting for 25 years and works with government, local authorities and charities to highlight the needs of the 14 million grandparents in the UK.
 
Grandparents are playing an increasing role in the care of grandchildren. It is estimated that grandparents who provide childcare do so for 15.9 hours per week.
 
The association provide fantastic support on the real issues faced by grandparents not only in the  unhappy situations when families split up but also on issues ranging from benefits advice to planning fun activities with grandchildren during summer holidays.
 
Here at Pudsey Legal we are proud to support the Association.
 


“The Grandparents' Association provide a vital support network. In times of emotional upheaval within families, all too often grandparents needs are overlooked and the association seeks to promote the very important rights of grandparents.”
 
Farzana Ishaq,

Head of Family Law
 

 
Mediation plays a vital role when family breakdown prevents contact with grandchildren. Farzana is a qualified family mediator and promotes this as “a crucial way of resolving issues in a non-confrontational manner which puts the needs of the parties above all else and seeks to find workable solutions which are agreed by all parties.”
 
To find out more about mediation, or our range of family law services, please call Farzana on 0113 254 9733.

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16

2013

September

To let or not to let? That is the question.

As we know the housing market is currently seeing real signs of recovery. Mortgage lending is increasing and, with the help of various government schemes, first time buyers are now beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.
 
However the buy-to-let market is also still booming with figures showing over 15,000 buy-to-let loans were made in July, a rise of 12 percent compared to June.
 
With interest rates still at record lows, now seems to be a good time to consider buy-to-let as an investment strategy. However be warned; rates will surely rise at some point so careful planning and budgeting is key.
 
Entering the buy-to-let market is very much like starting your own business. If you were going to the bank for a start up loan, would the bank expect to see a realistic and robust business plan which projects a return on investment?
 
We know the answer to that question so it is advisable to approach the buy-to-let market on a similar basis – make sure you are armed with all the facts and approach it with your eyes wide open.
  
Top tips include:
 

  • Understand the market if this is your first venture. Understand the pros & cons and potential gains & risks.
     
  • Prepare a detailed business plan. This may convince both you and the bank that your venture will succeed (or fail).
     
  • Identify your market eg. Where do you want to buy? Who is your target tenant?
     
  • Research everything you can about the area eg. schools, transport links, population.
     
  • Shop around for the best mortgage deals.
     
  • Consider whether you want a ‘ready to move into’ property or a ‘DIY project. If the latter, a good rule of thumb is developers guide where the final value of the finished home should be at least 20% more than the original cost plus refurbishment.
     
  • Consider your role as a landlord – are you hands on or do you employ a lettings management agency.

 

  
As a last thought, remember the old adage – Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
 
Once you’ve done all this – good luck!

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09

2013

September

Wills and charitable donations

Wills and charitable donations

We all know the importance of making a will.
 
Here at Pudsey Legal, we’ve been helping our community plan for the future more and more and this has prompted us to think about the charitable donations which some people choose to leave in their wills.
 
Many charities would not exist without these legacies. It is estimated that, whilst 74% of the UK population support charities, only 7% currently leave a legacy to them in their Will.
 
Legacy income is currently estimated to be worth almost £2 billion a year. If donations can grow by just 4%, this could raise an extra £1 billion for UK charities.
 
With this in mind, the organisation, Remember a Charity, was formed in 2000 and now has over 140 of the UK's favourite charities working together to encourage more people to consider leaving a charitable gift in their will, once they've looked after their family and friends.
 
This year's Remember a Charity Week takes place from 9 - 15 September 2013 and will see charities across the country taking part in their own activities to urge people to pick the right moment to think about leaving a gift to charity.
 
Do remember that gifts to charities are exempt from Inheritance Tax. Plus if you give at least 10% of your estate to charity the rate of inheritance tax applied to your estate will be reduced from 40% to 36%.
 
Full details can be found by clicking the logo above.
 
Still on the subject of Wills, here's one statistic which is of particular surprise:
 
Did you know that 67% of people questioned did not know where to find their parents’ wills?

  
If your will cannot be found, your estate is distributed under the rules of Intestacy which may not be in the way you had wished. So, ensuring that your family can find your will when you have passed on is essential.
 
This is why we have subscribed to the Certainty National Will Register.
 
We hold your will safely and, whilst it cannot be seen by anyone else, we digitally record its location on the wills register so that benefactors are able to locate it when the time comes.
 
Finding your will ensures your last wishes are respected and that your estate can be distributed the way you had planned.
 
Rest assured that, at Pudsey Legal, you will always receive sympathetic, caring and friendly advice when taking this important step. 

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28

2013

August

Pudsey Live at Home Summer Fair

28 Aug 2013

 
Our charity of the year, Pudsey Live at Home held their annual summer fair on Saturday 17 August and this gave us the opportunity to present the cheque from our Hare & Hounds Challenge.

A fantastic total of £1,533.70 was raised by the event and our photo shows director, Paul Kaye, presenting the cheque to PLAH manager, Pat Manning.
 
 

“We’re hugely grateful to Pudsey Legal for their efforts to raise these funds which will go a long way to funding all we do here, including our celebrations for International Day for Older People on 7th October and our Christmas Party on 23rd December 2013.”
 

Pat Manning,
PLAH Manager

 

 
Paul, a keen runner, posed as the ‘Hare’ in the challenge in May. Over the 46 mile route, he was hotly pursued by the rest of our team, the ‘hounds’, on bikes.
 
The fair was extremely well attended and raised further money for PLAH through various stalls from home made cakes to books and bric-brac.
 
Prizes donated for the raffle included a free will and we are looking forward to meeting the lucky winner shortly.

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22

2013

August

When relationships break down

It’s a sad fact of life that relationships break down.
 
This can be an emotional and upsetting time which can often become acrimonious leading to lengthy and expensive court proceedings to deal with issues such as finances eg. how property is split or who will care for the children.
 
When this happens, figures produced by the government do not make for happy reading. For publicly funded (legal aid) cases they estimate that:
 

  • The average cost of resolving property and financial disputes through the courts is £4,000
     
  • The average time to resolve the case through the courts is 435 days


However, the government’s recent changes to the legal system have resulted in legal aid being withdrawn for many family matters and as a result separating couples may now be required to pay the costs themselves.
 
 Happily, there is an alternative...
 
Introducing mediation
 
Mediation is a process which brings couples together to explore issues in an open and non confrontational environment. Trained mediators give impartial guidance and help you understand what matters to you, helping you make your own choices to arrive at practical and mutually agreed solutions.
 
Resolving unhappy situations in a non-hostile manner brings obvious benefits including:
 

  • Enables parties to communicate in a safe and secure environment
     
  • Enables communication  channels to remain open
     
  • Reduces tension and hostility
     
  • Saves costs of what can sometimes be expensive court battles
     
  • Helps you make informed decisions that are right for you
     
  • Helps children, who see parents working together
     

Indeed, practically those same government statistics show that:
 

  • The average cost of resolving property and financial disputes through the mediation is £500
     
  • The average time to resolve the case through the mediation is 110 days
     

These are staggering differences and you can be sure that, here at Pudsey Legal, we warmly welcome mediation as a way to amicably resolve differences at these difficult times.

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15

2013

August

Pudsey Legal - double award nominees!

15 Aug 2013

 
Hot on the heels of our recent shortlisting for the Yorkshire Lawyer Awards, We're delighted to now announce that we have also been shortlisted for the 2013 Modern Law Awards.
 
These national awards aim to celebrate and identify sparkling talent and success in entrepreneurship, market development, business management and best practice in the modern legal services arena.

​The awards ceremony takes place at the end of September and, as with the Yorkshire Lawyer Awards, we’d like to thank all who have made our being shortlisted possible.
 

 
“We’re delighted to be nominated for these awards in our first year trading as
Pudsey Legal. We’ve worked really hard over the past year to make sure that we have all the relevant accreditations and training in place and that we’re helping our local community – as well as doing our day jobs!
 
It’s been a challenging but rewarding year and we’re looking forward to whatever the future holds.”

Nigel Beck,
Pudsey Legal Director
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07

2013

August

Handling the legal affairs when a loved one dies

As a solicitor specialising in probate, death is something I encounter on a pretty much daily basis. Although a very natural part of the cycle of life, it is always very hard when you lose someone close to you. It is only natural for the person left behind to feel lost. We all have own way of coping with death and, quite frankly, we don’t know how well we will cope until it has happened to us.
 
The last thing someone in these circumstances wants to be bothered with is dealing with the administration of the estate of the person who’s died.  The vast majority of people I see are widows, as statistically, it’s you ladies who tend to live longer. It is also often the case that the husband was in charge of managing the finances. I certainly know this is true for my parents.
 
So, how could we at Pudsey Legal help you, should you find yourself in this unenviable position? Well basically we can obtain a Grant of Representation (probate) for you and the cost of doing this is a lot more affordable that you may expect. Our fixed charges start at £499 plus VAT and disbursements, and can include a HOME VISIT. Probate can normally be obtained within 3 to 4 weeks of you instructing us.
 
We can also handle the full administration of the estate for you and, in most cases, we will be able to provide you with a fixed price at the outset of the matter, for your own peace of mind.
 
People do sometimes choose to obtain the probate themselves but before you make this decision please bear in mind the fee payable to the Probate Registry will be more than if you had used a solicitor (£110 as opposed to £45) and you will also have to make a personal appointment to visit your local Probate Registry, so it will be a lot more time-consuming than using a solicitor.
 
Some points to note:
 

  • Probate is not normally required for small estates of under around £15,000
     
  • Probate may not be required if everything has passed to the surviving spouse and all assets are in joint names
     
  • The Grant of Probate is effectively a court document giving the executor power to administer the estate
     
  • Consider whether being charged a percentage of the value of the estate to deal with probate is cost effective

 

A Final thought
 
We live in an age where people are extremely price conscious and are increasingly able to cut out the professional in favour of a DIY job. My adage has always been to leave things to the experts. Would I fit a carpet myself or change the alternator on my car? No way!
 
I have seen many clients who have tried to do legal work themselves and it has all too often proved to be a false economy, as mistakes had been made which cost them time and money, which far outweighed the initial saving in legal fees – a salutary lesson for us all...
 

Andrew Gullett
Head of Wills & Probate

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05

2013

August

Pudsey Legal Shortlisted for Yorkshire Lawyer Awards

05 Aug 2013

 
We're delighted to announce that Pudsey Legal has been shortlisted for the Yorkshire Lawyer Award.
 
The awards have been honouring excellence within the region’s legal profession over the past decade and it's clear from the mounting nominations that legal excellence is something Yorkshire has in abundance.
 
Being shortlisted as a finalist is a real accolade as the number of entries this year has been reported as the highest ever, with the judging panel only putting forward those entries they considered to be potential winners.
 
We'll find out if we have won our category in October, but would like to thank all of our dedicated staff, our clients and those who have supported us over the past year as we have grown our business and endeavoured to offer quality legal advice in and around Pudsey.
 

 
“We are extremely proud to have been shortlisted for this award which reflects the hard work undertaken by all at Pudsey Legal in the last few months.
 
We are keeping our fingers crossed for an early first birthday present when the winners are announced in October.”


Nigel Beck,
Pudsey Legal Director

Contacts

Telephone
0113 254 9733

Pudsey Legal
Cringlebar House,
415 Bradford Road, Pudsey,
Leeds, LS28 7HQ

 


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