tel: 01502 533000
email: r-barley@nortonpeskett.co.uk
Office: Lowestoft

Robert Barley joined Norton Peskett Solicitors on April 1st 1997, having graduated with an Honours degree in Law from Trent Polytechnic (now Nottingham Trent University) in 1989.

He qualified as a Solicitor in 1993 and has specialised in Criminal Law throughout the majority of his career. He was appointed Partner in 1998 and joined the firm’s then Management Board in 2000. He is the firm's Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP) and has day to day responsibility for the running of the Criminal and Regulatory Department. Robert specialises in all aspects of Criminal Law and has not only defended clients but has also prosecuted for Government agencies. He has been Police Station Duty Solicitor qualified since 1994 and is a holder of the Higher Rights qualification enabling him to appear in all criminal courts. The department has been involved in many of the highest profile local cases during his time with Norton Peskett Solicitors but also appears in Courts across the country.

A few of the cases that he has led include:-

R v H and others – A Health and Safety at Work Act case involving the death of an employee and connected pervert the course of justice. He represented the Defendant Company Director together with the Company, securing a non-custodial outcome for the Defendant after a 2 week trial.

AE v B and others – A highly complex Contempt of Court case in the High Court. This related to credit hire arrangements involving car hire following road traffic accidents. The paperwork required an analysis of over 1.4 million documents, in addition to the Claimants evidence. It concluded in a 10+ week hearing in the High Ct in London and is believed to be amongst the largest, if not the largest, Contempt of Court case in the history of the civil justice system.

R v B and others – A complex murder involving a number of youths with issues around joint enterprise.

Trading Standards v P and others – A case brought by TS involving the wholesale fraudulent selling of telephone system contracts to businesses, schools, colleges and others around the region.

Trading Standards v L and others – A case brought by TS involving the sale of services relating to the prevention of cold calling of customers, securing an acquittal after 2 very lengthy trials.

R v C – A complex case involving allegations of sexual abuse within a family. The Defendant was acquitted after trial.

R v C – A murder of unusual depravity in Norfolk which required very careful and sensitive client management. The case involved major input from medical and psychiatric experts.

R v M – A domestic murder in which diminished responsibility was argued.

While born in Lowestoft, Robert spent the majority of his younger days travelling the world, living in Africa and throughout the Middle East with his parents. He has been known to jump out of planes, bungee jump and white water raft amongst other things, but is now married and has decided to calm down! He spends his spare time gardening, going down the pub, watching Ipswich Town FC, losing golf balls at his local course and exercising because he thinks it is good for him!

Services for individuals
Arrest and prosecution, Motoring offences, Regulatory Defence, Money Laundering and Contempt of Court.

 

 

 

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About Us

Edmund Norton founded the firm in Lowestoft in the early 1830's.

Initially, the firm practiced from addresses in the town's High Street.  In 1892 the firm moved to its present location, then known as Ivy Cottage.

The partnership gained its former name, Norton Peskett & Forward when William Brian Forward joined Frank Peskett in the practice shortly after the First World War.  From the early 1920's until 1948 Mr Forward was a sole practitioner, assisted by two long serving clerks.

Peter Cooper joined Mr Forward in the practice in 1948.  Peter practiced for many years and retired in 1987.

Derek Adkinson joined the firm as a Solicitor and Partner in the early 1960’s and was Senior Partner from 1987 to 1993. Anthony Ambrose replaced Derek Adkinson as Senior Partner when Derek retired in 1993.

On 1st January 1996 the firm changed its name to Norton Peskett. James Hartley became Senior Partner in 2005 when Anthony Ambrose retired.

Norton Peskett has enjoyed significant growth in recent years, both in terms of size and reputation and has provided legal services to the people and businesses in East Anglia for over 180 years. Since the early 1970's the firm has expanded considerably and now has a staff in excess of 100 in six offices in Lowestoft, Beccles, Gorleston, Gt Yarmouth,  Halesworth and Norwich. The practice continues to build on traditional core values of professionalism and integrity.

Since its foundation Norton Peskett as a firm has always prided itself on being part of the community. With its various offices throughout the area many Partners and staff have been members of voluntary organisations such as Roundtable, Rotary, Lions and Governors of local schools, giving back to the community their time and expertise in fund raising and charitable work.

As a highly regarded commercial and individual client law firm, our objective is to deliver clear legal solutions which precisely match your needs. Our business is based upon providing excellent service to our clients.

Access to justice

Back in the early years of the 19th century the English legal system had reached crisis. The court edifice was positively creaking. There were three common law courts, the Court of Exchequer, of King’s Bench and the Court of Common Pleas. In addition, if your case concerned equity, i.e. it was about trusts or you wanted an equitable remedy, such as an injunction, then you had to start separate proceedings in the Court of Chancery. This was all very expensive. However, getting through any reform was very difficult. Around the country were various local courts which supposedly provided access to justice for the ordinary man. However, these were inefficient and in some cases the clerks that ran them were plain corrupt. Attempts to change this landscape and introduce a universal civil court were met with strong objections from those who had a lot to loose. Such courts would, they said, dilute the majesty of the common law. The truth of course was that if they worked they would take business from the Common Law courts and from the barristers who had exclusive rights of audience in those courts.

Acquittals and enhanced record checks

chalkboard 620316 1920

If I’m acquitted will the alleged offence show on a DBS check?

An ordinary DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check reveals convictions and cautions. An enhanced check, required for many jobs, may reveal information held by the police such as intelligence, arrests, prosecutions and acquittals.

Surely an acquittal shouldn’t be on the check?

This was challenged in Court by "AR", he was a qualified teacher who had been working as a taxi driver when he was accused of rape. His defence was that there had never been any sexual contact with the complainant, although she had been in his taxi. He was acquitted. When he applied for a job as a lecturer the enhanced check revealed the acquittal and the details of the allegation.

Adoption

Information coming soon...

Adrian Buck

Adrian Buck

Adrian Buck
Accounts Manager

Alex Stephenson

Alex Stephenson

Alex Stephenson
Partner

Amanda Stephenson

Amanda Stephenson

Amanda Stephenson
FCILEx

Andrew Wardle

Andrew Wardle

Andrew Wardle
FCILEx

Annette Hall

Annette Hall

Annette Hall
Solicitor

Arrangements for children

Whatever the reason for the breakdown of your relationship you will want to make your children central to your decisions and protect them as much as possible from the effects of your separation. As hard as you might try however sometimes problems arise that you and your partner simply cannot agree on. Perhaps you cannot agree who the children should live with or how contact arrangements should work. Perhaps one of you wants to take the children out of the country or you cannot agree on schooling or other important issues.

These problems can arise at any time even long after you have separated. We aim to help you sort out these difficult issues by offering sensible, practical advice and support. Where necessary we can correspond with your partner or their Solicitors. We will advise you about Mediation and Collaborative Law if these are an option.

Where despite all of your best efforts you still cannot reach agreement you may have to ask a Judge to make a decision for you. We can help you through this process dealing with Courts and preparing all of the paperwork that you need. We can represent you in Court and advise you on your options.

Problems over your children can be amongst the most upsetting things to deal with on your own. We are here to support you.

Contact us to arrange an appointment.

Arrest and prosecution

If you are suspected of a criminal offence, having the right support and advice is where Norton Peskett can help. Making certain you are properly represented is what we do – from motoring offences to more serious and complex criminal offences.

Being properly represented when you are accused of committing a crime means you are treated lawfully. From public order offences to serious crimes – you need legal support when attending interviews, answering questions or providing the authorities, such as the police, with any evidence or information. If you are under caution, it is important to know what this means. And if the matter proceeds to a formal charge and possible sanctions, expert legal advice becomes vitally important.

Norton Peskett have specialist lawyers who can advise and represent you - at the police station, at the magistrates’ court or at the crown court. They explain the situation and use plain and simple English so you fully understand what is happening – and what he consequences might be. They successfully handle a wide range of cases providing you with a professional and skilled defence. If your case goes to court, our lawyers are thorough and diligent. We aim to provide you with the best possible defence – from the doors of the police station to those at the courthouse.

Contact us today on 01502 533000 and let us help you with your case.

Arson

fire 164027 1280

Arson is a confusing area of the law as there are a number of different offences to consider.

What are the different offences?

  1. Simple arson
  2. Arson, being reckless as to whether life is endangered
  3. Arson with intent to endanger life

Simple arson

This offence is one of causing criminal damage by fire; examples would be setting fire to a car in a field or to commercial premises. The offence is always treated very seriously and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

What could I get?

Minor damage could be dealt with in the magistrates’ court with a possible community order, more significant damage would be dealt with at the crown court and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. In most cases custody cannot be ruled out.

Barrister Action will affect Criminal Cases

justice

You may have read in the press that barristers are on strike, it is inevitable therefore that you may be concerned as to how this will affect your case.

Why are barristers on strike?

It is more or less agreed across the board now that the criminal justice system is on the brink of a major crisis. We have written before about disclosure failings, but there is also serious underfunding of police, prosecution and defence. This crisis has been brewing for many years, and we can now see the real risk of people being wrongfully convicted of criminal offences. The government has brought in to force a new remuneration structure for crown court advocacy that makes a criminal practice no longer sustainable. While some newspapers routinely peddle stories about 'fat-cat lawyers', the reality for most barristers is that they receive relatively modest pay for such a highly skilled job.

Recruitment is difficult for both solicitors and barristers as young professionals look elsewhere for careers, not just because pay and prospects are so woeful (publicly funded work has always been poorly paid in comparison with other areas), but because the working conditions are so poor. This means that soon society will not have the skilled professionals it needs to ensure a properly functioning justice system. For these reasons, barristers have decided not to work for the rates being offered. The bar is calling for urgent action to ensure that our legal system remains the best in the world.

Beccles

Phone

01502 718700

Email

enquire.beccles@nortonpeskett.co.uk

Address

Exchange Square
Beccles
Suffolk
NR34 9HP

Hours

Mon - Fri 09:00 - 13:00, 14:00 - 17:00

Bob Bryant

Bob Bryant

Bob Bryant
Chief Executive

Burglary and Self-Defence

burglar

The law of self-defence is again in the spotlight following the case of 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks who was briefly investigated after the fatal stabbing of a burglar who entered his property. Mr Osborn-Brooks woke in the early hours to find two men in his house and stabbed one of the intruders in the upper body, resulting in death.

So, what are your rights when dealing with an intruder?

Is revenge an option? There is no 'right of revenge' in English law, punishment, following conviction is meted out by the courts.

Can I defend myself or my family from attack?

You do have the right to use reasonable force to defend yourself. There is a mix of statutory and common law provisions that provide for self-defence.

Section 3 of the Criminal Law Act 1967 provides:

"A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large."

The government, with much fanfare, enacted section 76 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, to provide for a so-called 'householder defence'. Also, case law (common law) also defines the scope of this defence.

Business Sales and Acquisitions

The sale or acquisition of a business as a going concern can be a complex process.  We will assist with every aspect of the transaction providing sensible and commercial advice relevant to the specific nature of the business, and to assist the smooth progress of the transaction.  We will draft contract documentation, deal with due diligence enquiries, consideration and inclusion of appropriate warranties and indemnities,  advising in  relation to the transfer of employees, and any property to be transferred.

Business Services

In providing advice and assistance to you and your business we always consider your circumstances and tailor our advice to your business, offering practical solutions and explanations. Our experienced lawyers are able to provide you with prompt practical and straightforward help and assistance to all legal issues relating to your business.

 

Business Transfer

The decision to transfer a business is often straightforward. Ensuring the relevant legislation is not forgotten is where Norton Peskett can help.

There are certain legal requirements that have to be observed when a business is transferred. Failure to do so can cause problems and be costly. Employees are protected and you need to know what this means. What you can do in a transfer, and what you cannot. If you are being transferred, it helps if you know what should happen. Norton Peskett helps many businesses to plan and mange a transfer. Employee rights are paramount in avoiding litigation. Our expert lawyers can meet with you to listen to what your plans are. We explain what you need to do, and help make it happen. We always explain your options and the issues using plain English. And we clearly say what the likely timescales and costs are. And if a problem should occur, we are always on hand to help find you a solution. If you're involved in a business transfer, contact us today on 01493 849200 to see for yourself how we can help.

Buying and selling houses

There are many reasons for moving house but the one thing that everyone buying or selling a property has in common is that they want the process to be as smooth and as hassle-free as possible.

One of the most important factors in the success of your sale or purchase is having the right lawyer. Although conveyancing fees can be very similar from one firm to another, the service you receive can vary greatly. It’s therefore important to choose a lawyer who has your best interests at heart - you have a choice about which lawyer you use and don’t have to employ the one recommended by your mortgage provider or estate agent.

At Norton Peskett we make buying and selling property straightforward. We’ll keep the process on track, giving you clear timescales, eliminating delays and keeping you posted at every step. Our conveyancing fees are easy to understand and cover any necessary legal checks and searches. Our ‘no hidden costs’ promise means that when you receive conveyancing costs from us you’ll know exactly what they cover and won’t be billed for any unexpected extras. We’ll ensure that all your property documentation is checked and explained thoroughly and we can liaise with your lender, estate agent and other parties to ensure that there is clear and prompt communication between everyone at all times.

Whether you’re buying a property or selling a house, there are lots of things to think about. By trusting Norton Peskett to handle your conveyancing, you can relax safe in the knowledge that all the legal details are taken care of. That's why our clients recommend us to their friends and family. So whether you are buying a home or selling a property, for fast, friendly, local advice contact us today.

The Conveyancing Process

Selling:

Once you have a buyer for your property at an agreed price you will need your own Conveyancer to prepare a contract and supporting documentation for the Buyer’s Conveyancer.

We will answer questions raised by your Buyer and arrange for you to sign the contract in readiness for exchange of contracts. At this point a completion date (moving date) will be discussed. We will request a redemption figure from your mortgage lender to repay your mortgage and arrange for you to sign a transfer deed.

On the day of completion keys will be handed to your buyer directly or via your estate agent. Once we have confirmed that we have received the purchase money we will redeem your mortgage, pay your estate agent, any other fees and pay to you any remaining balance.

Buying:

When you have found a property to buy you will need to appoint a Conveyancer. As your Conveyancer we will request contract papers from the Seller’s Conveyancer. We will then carry out searches and make necessary enquiries with the Seller’s Conveyancer.

Once in receipt of all search results, replies to enquiries and the mortgage offer you will sign the paperwork in readiness for exchange of contracts. We will discuss with you details of the deposit to be paid once the moving date has been agreed. Between exchange and completion we will request your mortgage advance from your lender and carry out final land registry searches. If a deed of trust is required this will be prepared at this stage.

On the day of completion we will arrange to transfer your purchase money to the Seller’s Conveyancer so that the keys can be released to you. You are now free to move into your new house!

After completion we will pay any stamp duty to HMRC or we will notify them of the transaction if no stamp duty is payable. We will also apply to the Land Registry to register you as the new owner together with the registration of any mortgage.

On average this typically takes 6 - 8 weeks but can vary depending on your circumstances and those in your chain. We have completed in 2 days on a straight ‘cash buyer’ sale but then 6 months for a complex chain.

Buying at auction

Buying property at auction can be an exciting experience and is often a great way to get a good deal. However, it can also be a step into the unknown - particularly if it’s your first time. By talking to a legal expert before buying at auction you can approach the process with confidence and avoid costly mistakes. Norton Peskett can advise you on all the important aspects to consider before bidding at auction, helping to ensure that any property you do bid on will be a sound investment. We can also take care of all the legal practicalities of the purchase, from checking property ownership to arranging surveys and searches. Our friendly and knowledgeable lawyers will give you all the guidance you need to be able to enter the purchase with confidence.
With our help, buying a property at auction can be very rewarding. Call us to speak to a property lawyer.

Buying or Selling Property

We can assist and guide you through the process of buying and selling freehold or existing leasehold property including:

  • Preparing and considering contract documentation and ensuring provisions relevant to the property and the transaction are included.
  • Preparing or considering enquiries and where appropriate replies to enquiries relevant to the property and the proposed transaction.
  • Acting on behalf of lenders or dealing with enquiries raised from Solicitors instructed by lenders.
  • Advising on title issues and offering practical solutions to issues which are identified.
  • Submission of Stamp Duty Land Transaction Returns to HMRC.
  • Preparing documentation for transfer of parts of registered titles or plots in development of land and considering and including all relevant rights covenants and provisions required.

Buying Property Enquiry Form

Buying A Property Enquiry Form
If you are in the process of buying a house, it is likely that you will be researching residential conveyancing quotes and deciding which solicitor is right for you. Here at Norton Peskett we have a wealth of experience and we are happy to provide you with a quote to suit your specific needs. Please complete the form below and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Form by ChronoForms - ChronoEngine.com
Calvin Saker

Calvin Saker

Calvin Saker
Solicitor

Careers


Full time floating Legal Secretary/PA

A vacancy has arisen for a full time floating Legal Secretary/PA within the conveyancing department. The successful candidate will have the following attributes:-

  • Audio typing skills
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to use initiative
  • The confidence to liaise with clients
  • Ability to prioritise workload

A permanent contract is offered. Conveyancing experience is preferred although not essential.

Please apply via email or in writing enclosing a covering letter and CV (marked Private & Confidential if in writing) to:

Leanne Griffen, Norton Peskett, 148 London Road North, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1HF (email: l-griffen@nortonpeskett.co.uk)

 

We welcome speculative applications. Please send a covering letter and CV to Leanne Griffen, HR Manager, Norton Peskett Solicitors, 148 London Road North, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1HF or email: l-griffen@nortonpeskett.co.uk

Norton Peskett is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

 

Work Experience Placements

Unfortunately, we are presently unable to accommodate work experience placements. We have agreed to a number of placements this year and have no further capacity at this time.

 

 

 

 

Choosing a Solicitor - one chance to get it right

shaking hands

For many people, facing the prospect of criminal investigation or proceedings is a daunting prospect, one that can often inflict a heavy toll not just on themselves, but also on their loved ones. It is therefore essential that proper professional support mechanisms are in place at an early stage.

The Golden Rule

It is never too early to involve a solicitor. It is surprising just how many people put this off to a late stage in an investigation; some people are afraid of the cost (yet ironically legal advice is free at the police station), some think it might be seen as an admission of guilt (it isn't), and the greater group may simply be hoping it will all go away (sometimes it does, but often it does not).

The ‘Right’ Solicitor

It is a trite observation to state that you must choose the 'right' solicitor. However, if your case depends on legal aid funding, a wrong choice may not be easily remedied as courts will need good justification to transfer legal aid to another firm. If you are unhappy with your solicitor then the sooner this is resolved, the better.

Christine Stephenson

Christine Stephenson

Christine Stephenson
Assistant

Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Claire Fox
FCILEx

Client Survey Form

Client Survey Form

How did we do?

Norton Peskett Solicitors has a reputation for providing high quality legal advice and excellent client care. We are committed to maintaining the highest level of service and improving it where possible. One way we monitor our service is by asking our clients to complete this survey form. We would be grateful if you could help us by taking a couple of minutes to complete the form as fully as possible.

Please click here to complete our questionnaire

Client Testimonials

 

Client Testimonials

The best way to know whether we do what we say we will, is to hear from previous clients. After all, what better way is there to help you decide which law firm to choose?

Below is a sample of the many individuals that take the time to share their client feedback with us.

Regardless of who you are, you will enjoy the high level of care throughout your legal matter. 99% of clients would recommend us and over 95% think we are good or excellent. But don't just take our word for it.

  • "The services provided could not be better, we really appreciate the fact and the way in which they are delivered. A high calibre service, Thank You".
  • "Wonderfully helpful, friendly people who worked as a team and were always ready to listen and acted immediately upon any requests, changing a stressful and sad time into a positive experience".
  • "Paul was fantastic from start to finish. We had a frustrating time with the vendors solicitor basically being incompetent and I think this highlights what a great job Paul did for us in getting completed before the new year when it looked very very unlikely. We look forward to using Paul again with the purchase of our second property later this year".
  • "Excellent polite friendly informative and reassuring professional service at all times. Highly recommended and carry on as you are".
  • "Steven Knight, was always approachable, professional, and an excellent communicator. I was kept informed and up-dated at every stage, (of which there were many). Steven's tenacity and at times tireless dedication to my Conveyancing meant a superb outcome and his handling of my affairs was second to none. Whenever I phoned to answer enquiries that had been made by my purchasers, if Steven was not available to speak to me I was dealt with and given a 1st class service on his behalf. I would not consider any other firm of solicitors if I need any legal services in the future and would be more than happy to recommend Norton Peskett to anybody requiring legal services".
  • 2017

 

 

Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support

The Lowestoft office are holding a Coffee Morning on Thursday 11 February 2016.

Please come and join us for a cuppa and a slice of something delicious. We are hoping our staff will have their own bake off and there will be lots of home made cakes and bakes. With any luck there will be plenty of layers and not a soggy bottom in sight!

Cohabiting Couples

Did you know that no matter how long you have lived together as a couple the law will not give you the same financial and maintenance rights as a husband and wife? There is no such thing as a common law husband and wife and your separation cannot be dealt with in the same way as a divorcing couple.

You may need help around property ownership and trusts. Some of the law on this dates back hundreds of years. If you have children together this may affect the way financial matters can be dealt with too. In the same way if your partner has died without a Will you may find that you are left with little or nothing because of your unmarried status and that you need advice on the difficult issues around challenging a Will or claiming against an estate.

Happily we can probably make this complicated law a little more straight forward and guide you through to the best solution that we can.

If you are unmarried and have concerns about issues regarding your children it makes very little difference whether you were married or unmarried when it comes to children matters. If you would like to know more about dealing with problems concerning children click here Arrangements for children.

Collaborative Law

What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative Law is an innovative and relatively new way for separating couples to resolve their differences by removing from the Court room and shifting them into an environment of openness and cooperation. As part of the process you and your partner would each instruct a Collaborative Lawyer and the four of us would then work together to find solutions of the matters that need to be addressed whether these concern money, children or any number of other issues.

What is the process?

All parties (including Lawyers) sign a Participation Agreement committing us to the process. This records commitments to deal with each other openly, honestly and with respect to insulate your children from dispute and to lock out the Court until the process have been exhausted.

We then follow a series of meetings until agreement is reached on the matters that concern you.

One of the advantages of Collaborative Law is its flexibility. This means that there is no set procedure and it is open to the participants to agree the procedure they wish to use and the timescale within which they wish matters to be resolved.

Does it work?

The Collaborative Law process is extremely successful. The aim by using it is not only to achieve a settlement of issues that you wish us to address but also to rebuild and maintain the relationships between you and your partner in the future despite your separation. This is particularly important when you are continuing to co-parent. Both you and your partner will have invested considerable time and effort in reaching the agreement and so our experience is that Collaborative Law settlements are more enduring.

More information

You can find out more information about the Collaborative Law process at the Resolution Collaborative Law page here.

Collaborative Lawyers must undertake specialist training and accreditation. We practice in regional groups known as PODs. You can find out about our POD the Good Divorce Group here. Not all cases are suitable for Collaborative Law but we are always happy to discuss the suitability with you. We would generally do this at the out set of the case. If you would like to find out more about Collaborative Law please contact us.

Combating the Cyber thieves

High Profile hacking attacks on telephone and broadband providers have put cyber security into the public eye with Law firms in the front line of the growing threat. Over the past year 62% of law firms say that they have suffered a security incident, according to the latest figures from PwC. Steve Wilmott, director of intelligence at the SRA revealed that cyber criminals have caused substantial losses to 50 law firms this year ranging from £50,000 to £2 million. Government figures estimate cybercrime costs £27 billion a year.

Law firms are honey pots, targeted due to the amount of sensitive client data they hold. Heydrick Bond Gunning, CEO of Salamanca Risk Management warns that it is only a matter of time before a law firm suffers from a TalkTalk scale breach. Targeted scams can originate through e-mails containing attachments or links to websites infected with malware (malicious software that disrupts the firms computer operations) or servers giving hackers access to sensitive information.

To read the full report from Raconteur click here

Commercial Property

There are many types of commercial property and a wide range of legal transactions involving property which relates to a business.  Each property and transaction has its own unique considerations and requirements.

Our specialist commercial property team will work with you to understand your particular needs and to identify the issues arising in your transaction.  This allows us to provide tailored and relevant advice specific to your needs, the property and the circumstances arising.  Advice will be clear and succinct and offering practical solutions to issues arising allowing transactions to proceed smoothly.

Property forms a crucial part in almost every type of business, whether the property is a base for operations, land to be developed, office space or forms part of a rental portfolio.  At Norton Peskett we will explore and understand your business and aims and work with you to achieve your goals.

Company formation

When you launch a new company, it is the most exciting of times. Making sure the company is properly formed, or incorporated, is an important first step. At Norton Peskett, we have helped many people take this first step with confidence.

It  is important is that you form your company in the way that you intend. There are many different company structures in the UK – from a community interest company to a public limited company. Our lawyers help you decide what is best for you. Norton Peskett, aims to help get you ready to set up your company as quickly and as efficiently as possible. To start a company, you will need to have certain information ready such as the company name and address, details of the company officers through to share capital and shareholder details. We can assist you with every step. There are different ways to start a company. We help you decide which process is best for you depending upon the complexity of your business structure. If you want us to manage this process for you, our experienced lawyers can do this. All you need to do is wait for our regular updates. We make the process of turning your idea in to a business as simple as possible. At Norton Peskett,we know that you want to run as quickly as you can, so we take the baby steps for you. If you'd like to talk to us about how we can help you please call us on 01493 849200.

Complaints Procedure

Norton Peskett Complaints Procedure

We aim to offer all of our clients an efficient and effective service. You are welcome to send us compliments, complaints or suggestions but if you are unhappy with any aspect of our service you should feel free to raise the matter promptly with the Fee Earner with conduct of your case. We would much prefer that any misunderstandings are dealt with at an early stage than to have a client who is any way dissatisfied.

However should there be any matter which we cannot resolve, you may write to the firm's designated complaints handler, Mr J R Gibbons at the following address:-
Mr J R Gibbons
18 Church Plain
Great Yarmouth
Norfolk
NR30 1NF

j-gibbons@nortonpeskett.co.uk

Mr Gibbons will deal with your complaint within eight weeks, although this may be sooner if this is a relatively simple matter. You have 12 months to complain to us from the time that you realise that there is a problem. If you are not satisfied with the way that your complaint has been dealt with you are at liberty to contact the Legal Ombudsman at the following address:- 
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ

www.legalombudsman.org.uk

If for any reason we are unable to resolve the problem between us, then we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulations Authority (The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RN), who deal with professional conduct complaints, and complaints and redress mechanisms are provided through the Legal Ombudsman, who can be contacted at PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ, telephone 0300 555 0333 (+44 121 245 3050 if calling from abroad), minicom text phone user 18002 0300 555 0333, by email at enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk, or at www.legalombudsman.org.uk.

Any complaint to the Legal Ombudsman should be made within 6 months of the date of our substantive response to you but can be made 8 weeks after your initial complaint to us, whether or not the compliant is still outstanding.

Considering buying a flat?

The Law Society has recently published "Top tips for buying a flat" and "Questions to ask your solicitor" which are both aimed at consumers considering buying a leasehold property.

To read these helpful guides click here The Law Society - Consumer Guide to Buying a Flat

Contact Us

Information coming soon...

Contempt of Court

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The case of Tommy Robinson, or to give him his real name, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has brought this issue into the public eye, but what is it all about?

What is contempt of court?

The interesting thing about contempt of court is the many ways in which it can be committed. It can be civil or criminal in nature. This means that conduct that is not itself a criminal offence but is punishable by the court. Criminal contempt goes beyond simple non-compliance.

Give me some examples

In Yaxley-Lennon’s case, it was his reporting and commenting on a trial which was in progress with the potential to prejudice those proceedings. He had previously committed the same contempt by attempting to film defendants within the precincts of a court last year.

In a case in Sheffield, contempt of court was committed by protestors who had given an undertaking not to go within a safety zone erected around trees that were to be controversially felled.

Contracts and agreements

When you enter in to an agreement, you hope that everything runs smoothly. Having legal documents that ensure this is the case provides you with peace of mind. We are experts in drafting contracts and other agreements and can ensure that your interests are protected no matter what.

Norton Peskett knows the importance of a well-drafted contract. It sets out how your business works with another. Someone makes a promise. A promise to do something in return for consideration, as it is called. The law of contracts is at the heart of most business dealings so it is important to get it right. There are many types of contracts ranging from the simple to the more complex. Contracts can be a series of documents. What you want to ensure is that the other party does what they promise. If there is a problem along the way, you want to be sure that the necessary safeguards are in place. Safeguards that help protect you, your business and your reputation. In years gone by, a handshake sealed the deal. Today, Norton Peskett provides the same assurance to business owners everywhere. To ensure your interests are covered, contact us on 01493 849200 today.

Conveyancing Fees

These are the fees you pay your solicitor for carrying out the legal work for your property transaction. It may seem like a minefield but we're here to help. It can be tempting to just go for the cheapest quotation but an experienced professional that won't let you down is money well spent.

Every Conveyancing transaction differs depending on the property you are buying or selling and your circumstances. We recommend that you call us so that we can talk to you to discuss your particular situation. We can then give you an accurate quote as a fixed fee based on those circumstances.

Our qualified staff have many years of experience dealing with Conveyancing transactions. Please visit their profiles on our website to see their qualifications and experience.

You should also be aware that you are not obliged to use the solicitor suggested by your estate agent or bank. Please check the prices that they are charging you and then come and speak to us!

The legal costs for your property transaction can be split into two parts: the legal fees that your solicitor charges for doing the work and the disbursements which are associated costs your solicitor needs to pay to third parties. Below is a guide to our prices.

Sale of a freehold property

  • Sale legal fees £595 - £995
  • Our fees for arranging the funds transfer £25
  • Our fees for obtaining and deducing the title £15
  • Total VAT on our fees £127 - £207
  • Total of our fees (inc VAT) £762 - £1,242

As an example, if you are selling a property with a value of £250,000 the total price of our fees including VAT would typically be £762.

Purchase of a freehold property

  • Purchase legal fees £595 - £995
  • Our fees for arranging the funds transfer £25
  • Our fees in connection with the Inland Revenue form £75
  • Lawyer Checker report fee £10
  • Land Registry administration fee £15
  • VAT on our fees £144 - £224
  • Total of our fees (inc VAT) £864 - £1,344

In addition to the above you will need to pay for a conveyancing search package the cost of which is £176.40 direct from the firms search provider, poweredbypie. A Land Registry Registration fee and Stamp Duty may also be payable.

Purchase of a leasehold property

The purchase of a leasehold property is more complex and will also require you to pay general leasehold management expenses. These are paid direct to the Landlord and can vary from property to property. Norton Peskett cannot quote for this.

  • Purchase legal fees £895 - £1,750
  • Our fees for arranging the funds transfer £25
  • Our fees in connection with the Inland Revenue form £75
  • Lawyer Checker report fee £10
  • Land Registry administration fee £15
  • VAT on our fees £204 - £375
  • Total of our fees (inc VAT) £1,224 - £2,250

In addition to the above you will need to pay for a conveyancing search package the cost of which is £176.40 direct from the firms search provider, poweredbypie. A Land Registry Registration fee and Stamp Duty may also be payable.

Remortgage of a property

Please be aware that your bank may suggest that they can sort out your remortgage for you and add the fees to your mortgage. You do not have to use your bank's solicitor to do the remortgage. This could save you a substantial amount of money!

  •  Remortgage legal fees £295 - £400
  • Our fees for arranging the funds transfer £25
  • Land Registry administration fee £15
  • Our fees for obtaining and deducing the Title £15
  • Total VAT on our fees £70 - £91
  • Total of our fees (inc VAT) £420 - £546

In addition to this you will need to pay the following (please note that you will have to pay these disbursements whoever you decide to use)

  • Land Registry registration fee £40
  • Search insurance £40 (please note that some lenders will not accept search insurance and will require searches at a cost of £176.40)
  • Total cost £500 - £626

Abortive fees

We reserve the right to charge fees if your sale or purchase transaction becomes abortive. The charge will vary depending on the amount of work that has been completed and at what stage you have reached in the transaction. This will vary from £0 to the full legal fee we have quoted.

Disbursements

The most common disbursements associated with buying and selling a home are detailed below but there can be more that are specific to your house sale or purchase. If you are buying a leasehold property it can be more expensive as there are likely to be additional costs. For example, the lease itself usually 30 - 40 pages long has to be reviewed and enquiries raised with the landlord or managing agent.

Title Deeds

This is the legal title to the property. If you are selling your home you will need to get a copy of the Title Deeds, including a plan, that prove you own the property. The Land Registry is a goverment department which is responsible for recording the ownership of land and property in England and Wales. Registration is compulsory throughout the country whenever a property is sold or mortgaged. An official copy of the property title from the Land Registry usually costs £4 - £12.

Searches

Searches are a way of gathering important information about a property that you intend to buy and the area surrounding it. The minimum searches are as follows:-

  • Local search - These are arguably the most important type of search as they will look into information held by the local authority involving the property, including any prospective plans for  nearby development or roads. They will also show who is responsible for maintaining roads and paths adjoining the property.
  • Water and drainage search - This is submitted to the local water and sewerage undertaker and confirms whether the foul and surface water drain to a public sewer and whether the property is connected to a main water supply.
  • Environmental search - This search should establish whether the property that you are buying is built on or near contaminated land or water or on an old landfill site. The search should also show whether there is a risk of flooding or subsidence.

Property fraud fee/Lawyer Checker

Lawyers and the public are increasingly becoming subject to attempted fraud. We will check that the lawyer that we are sending money to is a real company. Lawyer Checker is a tool which allows us to check a particular solicitors' bank account details. The cost of this is currently £10 plus VAT.

Land charges bankruptcy search (one per buyer) and Priority search (searches before completion)

When you are buying a property your solicitor will conduct a search just before completion to make sure that no charges have been made to the title of the property since your offer was accepted.

Bank transfer or Telegraphic Transfer fee

The cost of this fee is currently £25 plus VAT. Mortgage companies require funds to be telegraphically transferred to them which guarantees funds reach an account on a certain day. If you are buying then funds need to be sent to the seller's solicitor and if you are selling then funds need to be transferred to your bank to redeem your mortgage.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

You must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you buy a property of land over a certain price in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. How much you pay depends on whether the land or property is residential and whether you're a first-time buyer. We will file the return and pay the tax on your behalf. Our fees for completing the Inland Revenue form are currently £75 +VAT.

Transferring ownership

On completion you have to pay the Land Registry a fee for transferring your name with your buyer's name. This fee varies depending on the value but the average is between £135 and £300.

Select your situation below to get a free conveyancing quote

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Convicted before a Magistrates' Court - Can I Appeal?

appeals

 

Many people convicted before magistrates feel aggrieved at the outcome, and wish to consider an appeal. A grievance may arise because they think that their case was not prepared correctly, or that the court reached the wrong result. For many people, a conviction could be a major barrier to employment or travel overseas, even where the offence itself is relatively minor. The court process is far from perfect. If you have a grievance, it is only right and proper that you consider your options.

 So, what can I do about it?

The first thing to remember is that you must act quickly as you only have 21 days from the date of sentencing to appeal your conviction - you should not delay in contacting us. If more than 21 days have passed, then get in touch as soon as possible as we can advise on 'out of time appeals'. When you contact us, we will also be able to consider whether other avenues of appeal, namely judicial review and appeal by way of case stated (both to the High Court) are more suitable.

Court of Protection

If a family member has become mentally unable to manage their own affairs for example, by sudden illness or accident or through gradual deterioration in their mental health and they have not signed an Enduring Power of Attorney or a Lasting Power of Attorney an application will need to be made to the Court of Protection.

The Court of Protection is a court specifically responsible for making decisions on behalf of individuals who lack the mental capacity to do this themselves. The Court will decide, based on the application, who is the best person to be appointed as deputy (the person legally entitled to manage the affairs of the person lacking capacity) and what level of supervision they need.

The deputy will be supervised by the court and will be required to submit accounts on a yearly basis.
 
The application can take some time to complete as a large amount of information needs to be included although the Court of Protection can make some restricted orders more quickly for certain urgent matters.

We can help you with

  • How and what you need to do to enable you to make an application to manage someone’s affairs through the Court of Protection.
  • What to do if you are concerned about someone and whether they are managing.
  • What to do if there is a dispute between family members or with the local authority (social services) regarding a person’s care or financial affairs.
  • How you can apply to make gifts or plan for future inheritance tax liabilities.
  • How you can apply to make a statutory Will for the person who lacks capacity of they don’t have one.

We are conscious of the often sensitive nature of our work. We offer a highly individual and efficient service and a member of our Private Client Team will be pleased to discuss with you how we can help you with the application and give you any advice that you require.

Craig Gosling

Craig Gosling

 Craig Gosling
 FCILEx

Criminal Defence

Our Partner led Criminal, Regulatory and Motoring Defence Department covers all aspects of criminal law and has been involved in many of the highest profile cases in our area.

Anyone who is being investigated or prosecuted, whether it be for the least serious motoring offence or the most serious criminal offence, ought to have specialist representation to prepare and present their case. With over 100 years combined experience our team will ensure that you are always appropriately represented with the right level of support for your needs.

We acknowledge that being arrested and/or taken to Court can be a very unfamiliar, stressful and daunting experience which is why our Team are always on hand to help. We ensure that we provide representation for anyone being questioned by the police 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and have advocates in the local Magistrates’ Courts and Crown Courts on a daily basis.

Irrespective of the offence you need to know what will happen, the strength of the evidence against you, the time it will take, your options, the cost of representation (including whether you are eligible for legal aid) and how best to ensure you receive the best possible result. Our Team is here to help you with each of these aspects. Our expert and experienced lawyers successfully handle a wide range and large number of cases annually providing professional, skilled and experienced representation. We will only ever speak to you in simple, plain English, making sure you understand what can be legally and technically complex and make sure you are kept up to date throughout your case. We are thorough and diligent with our ultimate objective being to ensure that you have been provided with the best possible representation whatever the stage of your case.

Motoring offences are a particular area of specialism for us. Losing your driving licence can have a serious impact on both your family and work life. The use of modern technology by the police on our roads means that more people are finding themselves in trouble, facing offences that can result in points, disqualification, fines and even imprisonment in some cases. Road traffic law is an increasingly complex area which can make defending yourself difficult especially when you are anxious about the potential consequences of your case. We can advise and assist you with representation at Court ensuring you get the best possible result from your appearance.

Contact us today on 01502 533020 (Lowestoft), 01493 849206 (Gt Yarmouth) or 01603 510905 (Norwich) and let us help you to help yourself with your case.

Team Members

James Hartley
Robert Barley
Annette Hall
Rebecca Utton
Debbie Reynolds
Calvin Saker
Don Wiggington

Data protection

In today’s world, information is everywhere. It is more available and accessible than it has ever been. How you manage other people’s information, or data, is subject to certain legal obligations. Norton Peskett  protects you by ensuring you protect your data properly.

The law requires you to protect other people’s personal information or data. Knowing what counts as personal data is important, as is how you manage or process this data, how you store it and what you need to do when you receive a ‘subject access request’. Showing that you are a responsible business is important. Data protection legislation can seem complicated. The language is unusual, confusing even. We understand that you just want to run your business. However, not knowing is not an excuse. Part-and-parcel of what we do at Norton Peskett  is to make this simple for you. We provide easy to understand advice on what you need to do, and how best to do it. To protect your business, contact one of our friendly, expert solicitors today on 01493 849200.

David Watson

David Watson

David Watson
Solicitor

Debbie Leech

Debbie Leech

Debbie Leech
Paralegal

Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds
Solicitor

Development Land

Our specialist commercial lawyers can advise in respect of development land and are experienced with acting for both landlords and developers including:

  • Contracts for the sale or purchase of land conditional on planning consent being obtained, or other conditions being satisfied.
  • Acquiring land for development.
  • Option Agreements for land including transactions imposing positive obligations upon developers to seek planning consent for development prior to exercising the option to purchase.
  • Overage Agreements – ensuring that landowners are entitled to receive further consideration in the future and sometimes many years after the sale has completed  if planning consent is obtained for development or other conditions arise which result  in an increased value of the land in the future.

Disclosure - The Hidden Truth

paperwork

When the Director of Public Proseuctions writes to a national newspaper and apologises for a prosecution failure in an individual case, you know that something significant went wrong. Before exploring that however, it might be a great pity that she chose to write to a newspaper and not the actual person wrongly accused of rape.

Anyway, what went wrong in the case of Liam Allan? Mr Allan was charged with multiple accusations of rape and sexual assault. In many respects, this would have been a classic and a challenging case for any jury. On the one side the complainant alleging that she was a victim of serious sexual crime, on the other a young man saying that it was all consensual. As most sexual encounters happen in private, we often face cases where mostly it is one word against another. Can there be smoke without fire? But what if the key to unravelling this case was sitting for all to see - requiring that people simply do their job. Well, that was the case here.

Discrimination at work

Being treated unfairly is unpleasant and upsetting. If that is because of a prejudice someone holds, Norton Peskett will support you to gain fair treatment or make a claim.

Discrimination is illegal, more than that it is abhorrent. Being treated differently because of your gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation or because you are pregnant or have a disability is totally unacceptable. When it occurs, there are procedures to challenge it. Any business or individual can be challenged as to why they allowed discriminatory behaviour to occur. And ultimately, they can be asked to explain this to a court called an Employment Tribunal.

Discrimination is upsetting. Dealing with the fallout can be tough. Our expert lawyers can help you make a claim or resolve a disagreement. Before proceeding to court, there are other procedures to explore with you. Norton Peskett can explain what discrimination is, how the law protects you and what options you have. We are clear about the likely costs, timescales and what outcomes may be achievable. Everything is explained without legal jargon.

To discuss your situation call us today on 01493 849200.

Dispute

Disputes are not pleasant. When two parties have a disagreement, it can often result in damaging behavior and allegations. No one enjoys falling out but sadly, it happens. At Norton Peskett, we work with you to find the best outcome - a resolution that avoids undue unpleasantness, unnecessary costs and prolonged anxiety and worry.

Disputes can arise for any number of reasons. You may have a boundary dispute with your new neighbour; a disagreement with family members over the terms of a will or perhaps it is the quality of workmanship carried out on your property by a builder. Whatever the reason, you want to trust your solicitor to achieve the best possible result for you. At Norton Peskett you will have access to some of the best lawyers in the UK.

Disputes are often seen as expensive and lengthy. At the outset, we advise you on what the costs may be of pursuing your matter. We promise to keep you updated on costs throughout so that there are no nasty surprises when your dispute is resolved. Our lawyers will negotiate on your behalf and try and resolve your disagreement as promptly as we can.

We may also be able to mediate with the other side. Mediation is a formal process which can often reach a speedier conclusion and may avoid taking matters to court. Your lawyer will discuss the best approach with you and you can then decide which approach is best for you.

Norton Peskett also offers Free first advice, which means that you can discuss your situation and options with us before deciding which approach is best for you. Once we know what your dispute is, our aim is a quick and successful resolution for you.

Disputes

Disputes are not pleasant. When two parties have a disagreement, it can often result in damaging behavior and allegations. No one enjoys falling out but sadly, it happens. At Norton Peskett, we work with you to find the best outcome - a resolution that avoids undue unpleasantness, unnecessary costs and prolonged anxiety and worry.

Disputes can arise for any number of reasons. You may have a boundary dispute with your new neighbour; a disagreement with family members over the terms of a will or perhaps it is the quality of workmanship carried out on your property by a builder. Whatever the reason, you want to trust your solicitor to achieve the best possible result for you. At Norton Peskett you will have access to some of the best lawyers in the UK.

Disputes are often seen as expensive and lengthy. At the outset, we advise you on what the costs may be of pursuing your matter. We promise to keep you updated on costs throughout so that there are no nasty surprises when your dispute is resolved. Our lawyers will negotiate on your behalf and try and resolve your disagreement as promptly as we can.

We may also be able to mediate with the other side. Mediation is a formal process which can often reach a speedier conclusion and may avoid taking matters to court. Your lawyer will discuss the best approach with you and you can then decide which approach is best for you.

We offer free 15 minute appointments but this is simply to let you know if we can help you and advise on costs. No substantive advice is given. We also offer a 30 minute fixed fee appointment which will include advice where it can be given for £75.00 plus VAT.

Divorce

Divorce is the legal procedure by which you bring your marriage to an end. Divorce is never automatic no matter how long you have lived apart. You will always need to apply to the Court for a divorce and to show reasons why you are divorcing. The most common reasons are your partner’s unreasonable behaviour or adultery. You may also be able to divorce on the grounds of separation if you have lived apart for at least two years. In most cases you will not need to go to Court and your divorce will be dealt with on paper.

We understand that the decision to divorce can often be difficult. It can be hard to accept that your marriage has broken down beyond repair and dealing with the Courts can be a daunting challenge. Let us help you with it.

We can take the weight off your shoulders. We will discuss how the divorce process works and the grounds which you might wish to use. We will arrange all of the paperwork and deal with the Court for you. We will guide you through the process and warn you of any problems and find a way around them.

We are able to deal with most straight forward undefended divorces for a fixed fee.

In short we hope to make your divorce as painless as possible.

Remember that your divorce does not result automatically in the settlement of financial issues between you and your spouse and there are other steps that you need to take to ensure your future financial security. Take a look at our Divorce Finances.

Divorce Finances

Dealing with the financial consequences of a family breakdown can often seem the most bewildering part of divorce or separation. What do you do about your home? How do pensions affect the situation? Should you be paying or receiving maintenance? How do you deal with business assets? What about inheritances or money that you had before your marriage? It can be hard to know where to begin.

Don’t panic

What you need is straight forward advice in understandable English and that is what we aim to give you. We cannot always promise to have a solution to what can often be a complicated financial situation the first time we meet but we can almost always tell you what we need to do to get a situation where we can!

We will explore what options to sort out your finances best suit your circumstances. We will look at Mediation and Collaborative Law if your case is suitable. We can talk about approaches to negotiation and how we can get to the bottom of your financial position where it is in unclear. We can tell you how to protect your assets.

We hope that in most cases it will result in an agreement being reached on financial matters but where that is not possible it can be necessary to ask a Judge to decide the issues for you. If that is necessary we will work with you to present the best possible case and to try to demystify the process for you.

But we are agreed on our finances

That is excellent news. Where you and your spouse agree on financial matters arising from your divorce you still need financial security. This is best achieved by asking the Court to record the financial settlement in a Consent Order. This document ensures that there is no misunderstanding about what has been agreed and in most cases guarantees that further claims cannot be made in the future.

In the case of Wyatt and Vince (2015) a wife was allowed to bring a financial claim against her husband 22 years after divorce even though the husband’s wealth had been created long after the separation. Had there been a Consent Order this would have been almost impossible.

We can arrange a Consent Order for you where agreement has been reached.

We will discuss our fees with you when we meet and in some cases may be able to agree a fixed fee.

Dogs - Avoiding a Death Penalty

dog

It is often said that there is no such thing as a dangerous dog, only a dangerous owner. While we often refer to 'dangerous dogs' in criminal law, the actual offences relate to dogs 'dangerously out of control'. Section 10 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 states that:

'A dog shall be regarded as dangerously out of control on any occasion on which there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will injure any person (or assistance dog), whether or not it actually does so.’

The penalties for 'dangerous dog' offences are severe, with imprisonment of up to 14 years available where death is caused, but what is not often understood is that an offence may lead to the destruction of the dog. In relation to some offences the court may order destruction, but in others, the court must order destruction unless assured (by imposing strict conditions) that the dog would not constitute a danger to public safety.

Domestic Violence

If you’re in a relationship that isn't working for you, either because you feel threatened or are with a violent or abusive partner, it can be difficult to know where to turn to for help - but it’s important not to suffer in silence. Asking for help is the first step to resolving the situation. We’ve got people you can talk to in complete confidence. We understand the feelings and concerns you have and make it our priority to support and help you through this difficult time. Domestic abuse, whether physical or psychological, is unacceptable in any relationship and no one should ever be made to feel scared or threatened in their own home. But we know that simply walking away from a violent partner isn’t always an option - particularly if children are involved or you don’t have access to your own finances. That’s why it’s vital to talk to someone you trust - a legal expert who can provide sympathetic but practical advice; explaining your options and helping you put an end to domestic abuse. We work quickly to understand your unique situation and make your safety our priority. If you are in immediate danger we can take swift action and, where necessary, we obtain court orders to protect you and your family from the abusive partner. You can talk to us in complete confidence. We’ll discuss your options and what outcome you would like as well as clearly explaining the ways in which the law can protect you from domestic violence. As well as providing legal advice, we can put you in touch with a range of organisations who can provide additional help and support. We keep you informed at every stage, explaining everything in straightforward terms and taking the right legal steps to protect you and your family. Domestic violence can take many different forms but in whatever way you are experiencing it, it’s important to ask for help as soon as possible. In these cases, you may be entitled to legal aid, as your partner’s income is not taken into account. If you feel that you are in an abusive relationship, pick up the phone and talk to us. It’s the first step to taking control of your situation so call us for a free and confidential chat.

Don Wigginton

Don Wigginton

Don Wigginton
Police Station Accredited Representative

Droning on

drone

Drones and the law

This article examines drones and the legal framework which governs their usage. It focuses on drones which are available to the public and looks at potential risks, the relevant law, one’s responsibilities as a drone owner and further caveats for particular types of drone use.

 

What are drones?

‘Drone’ refers to any object that can be flown without a human pilot. They can range from armed technologies used in military operations to smaller gadgets that can be purchased by members of the public. The latter category is the focus of this article. These items can be controlled remotely and may also be attached to a camera which provides a live-feed to the controller. They allow for educational, professional and leisure purposes. Various models are available which vary in size, speed, range and price.

E-commerce and IT agreements

Technology is now part of life - and business. It is hard to remember a time when businesses operated without the internet, emails or the use of other technologies including social media. A new and somewhat uncharted area of law Norton Peskett  can help you operate your IT and e-commerce solutions safely.

Much of business life is now carried out virtually. If your company sells a product or service more than likely you will sell using the internet. Legal documents are often shared electronically - sometimes only in this way. You need to know that however you operate your company’s legal rights are cared for. It may be setting up your web-based trading activities such as terms and conditions or an issue with a domain name, such as a dispute over ownership or use. You may need support with escrow arrangements or more complex matters such as software licensing and support arrangements. Whether you’re an internet entrepreneur, web developer, IT business or you simply use the internet to buy and sell, Norton Peskett’s specialist lawyers can guide you safely. You will receive advice specific to your matter - no matter how unique it is. You will receive down-to-earth pragmatic advice that is commercially focused. A complex and constantly evolving area of law it may be - but you can trust Norton Peskett  to understand your challenge and help you to know the right things to do. Norton Peskett  is the choice of business owners across the UK. For whatever their business life brings, they trust our advice. We promise to explain complex legal matters in plain and simple English. And it doesn’t get more complicated than IT and e-commerce law. You will know what to budget as we explain our costs upfront, so no nasty surprises. And we respond to every query the same day as we know your time is precious. Find out for yourself why business owners trust us to help them by calling us 01493 849200.

Elle Tillett

Elle Tillett

Elle Tillett
Legal Adviser

Emma King

Emma King

Emma King
FCILEx

Emma Sampson

Emma Sampson

Emma Sampson
FCILEx

Employment documentation and policies

Every business needs basic policies and procedures. Having basic rules in the workplace makes certain everyone knows what to do. Norton Peskett can ensure your employment documentation is taken care of.

Good administration makes running business more straightforward. Having written terms of employment, an employee handbook, proper policies and procedures - like ones that take care of discipline and grievance – ensures employees know what’s expected of them. And it makes sure you treat people fairly, consistently every time.

Norton Peskett helps you get the basics in place. We draft documentation that is bespoke to you. Everything we do is tailored - our employment lawyers make sure they understand your business to best support your needs. All prepared in plain, simple English - not legal jargon. Before we start work we explain likely timescales and costs. If your administration is out of date, we can update as we go. And we can help you train in new policies and procedures too.

To make certain your administration is sound, contact one of our expert employment solicitors on 01493 849200.

Employment Law

Everyone deserves to be treated fairly at work. But from time to time, things can go wrong. Workplace relationships may break down or perhaps you face the risk of losing your job. If you’re involved in a disagreement at work, it’s good to know there is someone you can turn to for advice.

Our employment law solicitors are here to help you deal with a wide range of employment issues and provide advice on everything from employment contracts to unfair dismissal. You can talk to us in complete confidence and gain reassurance from speaking to someone who understands your situation.

When you’re facing difficulties at work, it’s natural to have lots of questions and to be concerned about your job security but with our in-depth knowledge of employment law; we will describe all of your options clearly and simply. We’ll explain what rights you have as an employee and help you plan the best route forward to manage your particular situation. If you’re worried about the cost of using an employment solicitor, or are concerned about the consequences of seeking advice, don’t be! You can talk to us in complete confidence and we offer free, initial over-the-phone advice - so you’ll know from the start what your options are.

If you have an employment query contact us today for fast advice that's friendly and local.

Employment Law

Whether you’re newly established, expanding, or restructuring; having access to first-class employment law advice can really make a difference to the success of your business.

At Norton Peskett we understand that when running a business you need the peace of mind that you are fulfilling all your legal obligations as an employer. You also need the right processes in place to maintain a happy, motivated and productive workforce. And we know that you don’t want employment law issues to take up more time than they need to.

That’s why our employment law solicitors provide a comprehensive service that lets you get on with running your business. We can help with day-to-day tasks such as managing contracts and employment checks, or if you need one-off advice when something’s gone wrong, we’re here for you too.

We make employment law easy to understand and straightforward to implement. We know that every business is different and our employment solicitors will work hard to address the particular challenges you face. We won’t baffle you with legal jargon but will always be on hand to provide help and support when you need it, keeping you informed every step of the way.

So if you're looking for friendly, local employment law advice,give us a call. We offer a same-day response and with our free, initial, over-the-phone advice, you can talk to us in complete confidence and find out what your options are.

Employment tribunals

Workplace disputes can often feel like a drain on management time. Norton Peskett helps you to deal with them correctly, fairly and in a timely manner.

In almost every workplace, disputes between employers and employees can occur from time to time. As an employer, you’ll want to ensure that disputes don’t impact negatively on your business and wherever possible, it’s best to resolve differences directly with your employees. However, when disputes cannot be resolved internally, you may need to attend an employment tribunal.

Employment tribunals usually comprise a panel that includes an employment judge and two non-legal people who have experience in the world of business. Witnesses may be put forward for both the employer and the employee and after hearing the case, the panel will reach a legally-binding decision.

At Norton Peskett, our knowledgeable employment solicitors are here to guide you through the entire process. We’ll help you avoid a tribunal where possible by finding alternative ways to deal with disputes. And if you do need to attend a hearing, we will ensure you are fully prepared – supporting you with everything from documentation to obtaining witness statements. We’ll clearly outline all of your options and responsibilities from the start so that together we can plan the best course of action. We’ll make sure you and your business are represented fairly and will ensure you are informed and in control throughout the process. Employment law changes regularly and can sometimes seem complex but at Norton Peskett we explain everything in straightforward terms, clearly addressing any concerns you may have. If you’d like to have an informal conversation to find out what your options are, we offer a free, initial over-the-phone chat. So for confidential and friendly advice, contact us today on 01493 849200.

Entertainment licensing

Managing a bar, a club, a shop or a restaurant means you need to know about entertainment licenses. Norton Peskett  can help you whether you are applying for or varying one - or there is a problem connected with your business’ license.

Licensing can relate to a wide variety of different businesses and situations. Are you a shop or retail outlet that plays music for the public to enjoy whilst they browse? Or you run a bar or restaurant that offers beers, wines and spirits - maybe the occasional live band? Perhaps your café invites diners to sit on pavement tables to drink their coffee? Or you run a casino? Maybe you need a temporary license for a one-off event. Do you know about personal and premises licensing? If you need a license or want to review an existing one - or you have a problem - you need expert advice to deal with an appeal or a complaint. Our specialist lawyers offer clear, practical advice and our aim is for you to achieve the best possible result. We make sure we understand your situation - then we discuss options, costs and agree what actions to take. Legal matters can be complicated, we know. That’s why everything we explain is done using plain and simple language, not legal jargon. As we work on your matter, we will keep in regular contact with you to keep you up to date. And we encourage you to pick up the phone if you have any queries - for us, it's never an inconvenience to talk to you. Call us today to see how we can help you. We'll explain our free first advice service and get the ball rolling.

Environment Agency Clamping Down on Criminal Activity

 

environmentWEB

 

People who illegally dump waste have cost land and property owners millions of pounds in the last year, according to the Environment Agency.

The financial impact, which relates to the cost of removing waste dumped in fields and empty commercial properties lawfully, could be even higher if land is contaminated or insurance premiums rise as a result. Dumped waste is also a major fire risk.

What is being done?

In a bid to reverse this problem, the Environment Agency is reaching out to property and land owners, commercial property agents, trade associations and local authorities. Their aim is to warn of the dangers posed by waste criminals and advise them, their clients and their members how they can better protect themselves. It is likely that this increased level of activity will lead to more criminal investigations and prosecutions.

Jamie Fletcher, from the Environment Agency said:

“Waste criminals operate throughout the country, offering to remove waste cheaply and then dumping it in fields or empty warehouses. They tend to move to new areas as enforcement agencies become wise to their activities. We know it’s only a matter of time before they target us again so we’re sending out a strong message: Waste criminals are not welcome here and we’re doing everything in our power to deter and catch them.

Equality and Diversity

Equality and Diversity

We are committed to eliminating discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity within our policies, practices and procedures. This applies to our professional dealings with clients, all staff, other solicitors, barristers, experts and third parties.

We monitor diversity on an annual basis using ‘Survey Monkey’. Whilst staff are encouraged to take part in this survey it is not compulsory to answer all or any of the questions. The results are submitted to the SRA on an annual basis.

Our Chief Executive is responsible for implementing and monitoring our Equality & Diversity policy. He undertakes a review of this policy annually to verify it is in effective operation and ensures that appropriate action is taken in relation to any non-compliance identified under this policy.

We treat everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect regardless of:

  • sex (including marital status, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity and paternity);
  • sexual orientation (including civil partnership status);
  • race or racial group (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins);
  • religion or belief;
  • age;
  • caring responsibility; or
  • Disability.

Wherever possible, we take steps to promote equal opportunity in relation to access to the legal services that we provide, taking account of the diversity of the communities that we serve, in order to ensure that, subject to funding constraints, our services are accessible to all clients.  

We are committed to meeting the diverse needs of clients ensuring the services which we provide are accessible to all. We will take account, in particular, the needs of clients with a disability and clients who are unable to communicate effectively in English. We will consider whether particular groups are predominant within our client base and, where possible, will ensure that their needs are met.

We do not unlawfully discriminate in dealings with experts and third parties.

We treat all job applicants equally and fairly and do not unlawfully discriminate against them. We do this by ensuring that we operate an open and fair recruitment process, using selection criteria which do not discriminate, and making decisions based on individual qualities and personal merit. Promotion within the firm (including into the partnership) is made solely on merit.

We consider all employees to be equal and create a working environment which is free from unlawful discrimination. This applies equally to voluntary positions and anyone undertaking work experience with us. This will, for example, include arrangements for recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment, access to training opportunities, access to promotion and transfers, grievance and disciplinary processes, dress code, work allocation and any other employment related activities.

Information will be provided to all managers and supervisors on equality in relation to employees and recruitment including:

  • Recruitment selections;
  • Training promotion;
  • Disciplinary matters;
  • Dismissal.

All staff are informed of this policy as part of their induction and during annual equality & diversity update training. All staff are expected to pay due regard to the provisions of this policy and are responsible for ensuring compliance with it when undertaking their jobs or representing our firm.

We treat seriously all complaints of unlawful discrimination made by any of our staff, clients, barristers, experts or other third parties and will take action where appropriate. All complaints are investigated in accordance with our grievance or complaints procedure and the complainant will be informed of the outcome. We also monitor the number and outcome of complaints of discrimination.

Where acts of unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation and/or failure to comply with this policy by any member of staff are identified, we will ensure that our Disciplinary Procedure is followed and this may result in disciplinary proceedings being instigated.

We monitor, at least annually:

  • recruitment and selection (applicants, existing staff and partners);
  • promotion and transfer;
  • training;
  • terms and conditions of employment;
  • take up of benefits;
  • grievance and disciplinary procedures; and
  • Resignations, redundancies, and dismissals.

We provide equality & diversity information to the Legal Aid Agency as part of the application and billing process which is required in relation to staff and clients under the terms of the LSC Contracts. Note this is voluntary only.

We identify equality and diversity training needs as and when appropriate, and address them as part of our overall training plan. This includes the provision of annual update equality & diversity training. Our Equality & Diversity training and communication objectives are reviewed at least annually.

Please click here to read our latest Equality and Diversity report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity Release

Equity Release can be an important part of retirement planning allowing an increasing number of people to utilise capital tied up in their home to make their retirement more comfortable, to fulfil some of their dreams or to help their children or grandchildren when they need it most.

Historically Equity Release has a bad reputation following families being left with an inherited debt due to the mortgage on the property exceeding the value of the property. All Equity Release providers are now regulated and must provide a “no negative equity” guarantee meaning that these inherited debts can no longer occur.

Equity Release will allow you to release money from your property without having to downsize or make monthly payments. The actual amount you can release will depend on your age and property value (you have to be over 55 to be eligible).

There are two types of Equity Release schemes

Lifetime Mortgages    
The loan is secured against your property. You do not make any repayments, instead interest is rolled up to be paid when the scheme ends. You continue to live in your own home.

Home Reversion Plans    
You sell all or part of your home to the lender but continue to live in your own home. After your death or move into permanent residential care your home will be sold and the proceeds split between the lender and your estate.

Equity Release schemes are not right for everybody and it is important to discuss your individual needs with an Independent Financial Advisor who will be able to advise you on all your investment and income needs and discuss all your options with you. If following your discussion, you decide that Equity Release is the best option for you they will be able to discuss the two types of Equity Release and advise you on the best lender for your particular needs. We cannot give you financial advice but we can recommend trusted experts in this area and assist you with the legal process.

Please contact:-

David Watson (Lowestoft Office)
Tracey Jordan (Great Yarmouth Office)
Andrew Wardle (Beccles Office)

www.equityreleasecouncil.com

Estate administration

Information coming soon...

F1 in Schools Competition

Vulcan Racing

We are pleased to support Bungay High School and the Vulcan Racing Team competing in the annual F1 in Schools competition.

The group of Year 9 students must design and produce a model car of not less than 65g.  The pupils need to deploy their technological skills to design, manufacture and then race their minature Formula 1 car. To read more go to https://sponsorshipvulcanr.wixsite.com/vulcanraceteam

 

Family Law

If you are unlucky enough to find yourself in a relationship breakdown remember you are not alone. In 2013 the Office for National Statistics reported that 34% of marriages were expected to end in divorce.

It is quite normal to feel bewildered, confused and frightened at the challenges that face you and to wonder how you will deal with your and your partner’s relationship with your children, house yourself and deal with money and property in both the short and long term.

That’s where we come in.

Norton Peskett has one of the largest most experienced family departments in North Suffolk and South Norfolk area. Come to us to discuss your relationship breakdown and begin to take your future into your own hands again. We cannot promise to take away all of your worries with the wave of a magic wand but what we can promise is to give you sensible, practical advice and to make a plan to help you regain your confidence and rebuild your life. The chances are that however strange or difficult you think your situation is we have seen something similar. However baffled and confused you feel we like to think we can start you on your road back to your and your family’s recovery.

We can help you with any and all of the problems listed.

Fatal injury claims

Norton Peskett can advise you how to seek compensation when a fatal injury has been caused by the negligence of another person or company.

A wrongful death is a fatal injury that results directly from the negligence of another. That could be an individual or an entity, such as a company or business or a local authority or hospital. Making a claim for the death of a relative or loved one can be complex. It can involve court hearings and inquests and they can be long and drawn out. However if you relied upon that person financially, you have the right to seek financial compensation. You also have the right to seek justice for a death that should have been avoided.

Norton Peskett can offer advice and their experience will make your claim as straightforward as it possibly can be. Inquests can seem complicated, the law filled with legal and medical jargon. We explain everything to you in simple language. We keep you involved throughout and we we will answer any questions you have as promptly as we can. Costs and timescales are made clear at the outset – if anything changes, again, we will explain these to you.

Achieving the best possible outcome means seeking the financial compensation you deserve.

Fees

We will always talk to you about fees at our first meeting. This is not because we are greedy but because we are open and honest about our fee arrangements and do not believe that these should be a “nasty surprise”.

We offer free 15 minute appointments but this is simply to let you know if we can help and advise on costs. No substantive advice is given.

We also offer a 30 minute fixed fee appointment which will include advice where it can be given for £80.00 plus VAT.

Sometimes we can work for a fixed fee and we are always happy to give you a fixed fee quote if we can. Unfortunately not all work is suitable for a fixed fee. This is because we often cannot tell when we first meet whether your case will be completed in just a few weeks with a small amount of work or whether it will still be going on a year later and heading towards a lengthy Court hearing. In these cases we will work on an hourly rate which we sometimes call “pay as you go”. In these cases we will try to give you an estimate of the likely costs. Usually this will be a “best case” and “worst case” guidance.

In some cases we can offer you the choice of a fixed fee or “pay as you go”. We will look at both options with you in an honest and open way so that you can choose for yourself which approach best meets your needs.

We can offer monthly payment plans and in suitable cases we can even access loan facilities to allow you to pursue particular applications to the Court you might not otherwise be able to fund. We are Panel Solicitors for one of the main Litigation Loan companies, Novitas Loans. The company provide loans for family law proceedings in cases where the client owns a property against which the loan can be secured by a Legal Charge. These loans are best suited to a client who fully expects that at the end of their case the matrimonial home will be sold and they will be receiving sufficient funds from the sale to discharge the loan. The loan is not repayable until the end of the case. More information about Novitas is available on their website http://www.novitasloans.co.uk/novitas.html

Legal Aid is still available for cases where you have been the victim of domestic violence or if Social Services have been involved because your children are considered to be at risk.

We have set out below some of our typical fixed fees. We would need to agree a fixed fee quote with you before undertaking any work on a fixed fee basis so these might change because of your circumstances.

Divorce (with you starting proceedings): £475.00 plus VAT = £570.00

Divorce (your partner issuing proceedings): £250.00 plus VAT = £300.00

Mediation referral: £120.00 plus VAT = £144.00

Post Mediation advice: £300.00 plus VAT = £360.00

Financial Consent Orders: £750.00 plus VAT = £900.00

http://www.novitasloans.co.uk/novitas.html

Fees for Employment Tribunal Claims

As an Employee or Employer you may have the need for representation in an employment tribunal. The circumstances that lead to this decision are hugely varied and can be relatively simple to very complex. The tribunal could last from half a day to a week so the cost will also vary.

The only way to accurately estimate the cost is for you to come in and discuss your particular circumstances so that we can see firstly if it is worth pursuing and then what we estimate the cost would be.

Typically making a claim through to a hearing will cost around £3,000 and additional cost will depend on the length of the tribunal itself and will be based on an hourly rate of £205 plus VAT.

In many cases we are able to offer employees a no win no fee where you only pay our costs if we are successful.

Typically a matter takes 4 months from claim to tribunal, but of course this can vary depending on the complexity of you case.

Fees for Employment Tribunals Claims

As an Employee or Employer you may have the need for representation in an employment tribunal. The circumstances that lead to this decision are hugely varied and can be relatively simple to very complex. The tribunal could last from half a day to a week so the cost will also vary.

The only way to accurately estimate the cost is for you to come in and discuss your particular circumstances so that we can see firstly if it is worth pursuing and then what we estimate the cost would be.

Typically making a claim through to a hearing will cost around £3,000 and additional cost will depend on the length of the tribunal itself and will be based on an hourly rate of £205 plus VAT.

In many cases we are able to offer employees a no win no fee where you only pay our costs if we are successful.

Typically a matter takes 4 months from claim to tribunal, but of course this can vary depending on the complexity of you case.

Fees for Wills, Probate and LPA's

Many of us do not want to think that we may not have capacity to make our own decisions in the future or indeed that we will die. Planning ahead can make difficult times just a little easier for your family and give them and you peace of mind. We have given you guidance below on the cost of planning for the future and dealing with the estate of somebody who has died. We recommend that you call us or make an appointment to come and see us to discuss your situation so that we can advise what is best for you.

We would recommend speaking to us if you are considering using a Will Writer as you may be pleasantly surprised when it comes to comparing costs.

You should also be aware that you are not obliged to use a solicitor suggested by your funeral director or bank and they could be located many miles away. Again, please feel free to come and see us before making a decision. We are here to help.

Our qualified staff have many years of experience dealing with handling Wills, Probate and LPA's. Please visit their profiles on our website to see their qualifications and experience.

Below is a guide to our prices:

Wills

To write a standard single will or mirror pair involves you meeting one of our qualified staff to discuss your particular circumstances and what you would like to do. Your wishes will be included in a draft Will for you to check first.

  • Cost of a Single Will £150 plus VAT
  • Cost of a Mirror pair £225 plus VAT

You may be interested in protecting one half of your property for partners or spouse against care fees or providing a life interest Will. Please see us to discuss this. A typical cost for this would be £595 plus VAT.

A simple non-urgent Will can be drawn up in 5 working days. We will check that you are happy with the contents and make any amendments you may require. We will then arrange for you to sign and witness the Will.

We will store your Will free of charge in our own secure storage and provide you with a copy of the will to take away.

If your Will is more complex this will be charged on an hourly rate to be confirmed at the time (£165 - £205 plus VAT). We will give you an estimate of the total cost involved.

Lasting Powers of Attorney drafting and registration

Thinking that we may not have capacity in the future to make decisions about our health and welfare or financial affairs is something that many of us do not want to consider. Making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables you to retain control by appointing attorneys, people that you trust implicitly, to act on your behalf if you need assistance.

We recommend that any LPA's are registered at the time they are written. Otherwise it can take 3 months to get them registered, which may mean that your appointed attorneys will not be in control when you wished them to be. Note that LPA's cannot be used until they are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

We provide package prices including a discount when we prepare and register your documents; below are the prices (all subject to VAT at 20%):-

 

Lasting Power of Attorney Single Mirror pair
Property and Financial affairs or Health and Welfare (preparation only) £195 plus VAT £350 plus VAT
Property and Financial affairs or Health and Welfare (registration only) £195 plus VAT £350 plus VAT
Property and Financial affairs or Health and Welfare (preparation and registration) £295 plus VAT £495 plus VAT
Property and Financial affairs and Health and Welfare (preparation only) £350 plus VAT £525 plus VAT
Property and Financial affairs and Health and Welfare (preparation and registration) £495 plus VAT £750 plus VAT

 

When we register your Lasting Power of Attorney with the Court there is a fee of £82 per document payable in addition (VAT is not payable on this fee). You may find that you are exempt from this or qualify for a reduction. Our staff will be able to advise you more fully at your meeting.

Typically is takes 5 working days to prepare and 2 months to register your LPA.

Probate and Estates

Many of us have not administered an estate. You may be an Executor in a Will, a member of the deceased family where there is no Will and may not be sure what to do. Wills can be complex and it is possible that you could miss assets in the estate such as shares, premium bonds or bank accounts for example and you are liable for any losses. We have many years of experience of dealing with Probate and Estates and can make a difficult time easier for you. Please come and talk to us before you decide what you want to do.

Typically this is what we do:

From instruction and receipt of all documentation required we establish which assets make up the estate and make contact with all assets holders. We would ascertain what debts are to be paid e.g. funeral account. We anticipate being in a position to apply for the grant of representation within 6-8 weeks of instruction unless the matter is unduly complex and information is not easily forthcoming.

If we are dealing with administration of the Estate as opposed to purely dealing with the grant of Probate, once the Grant is received we will collect all assets (timescales are dependent on response of third parties). We will contact beneficiaries, check their identification and carry out bankruptcy searches. We will pay liabilities and make interim distributions to beneficiaries if appropriate.

We will arrange the sale of any property. We will account to HMRC regarding any tax arising (HMRC expect tax to be paid before any beneficiary!).

We can do part or all of the probate administration and would be happy to discuss with you what you want to do.

What does Probate cost?

Administration of an estate varies depending on the complexity so below we have given a guide:-

  • Apply for the Grant only £750 plus VAT
  • Straightforward estate (no property included) £1,250 - £1,750 plus VAT
  • An estate with a property and savings accounts £1,950 - £2,950 plus VAT

If the estate is more complex for example, inheritance tax is involved then we would charge you an additional hourly rate of £175 - £205 plus VAT per hour. We will quote you on the likely cost, so please do not be afraid to ask.

There are payments to 3rd parties which we will deal as follows:-

  • Probate Registry fees £155 + 50p per copy
  • Commissioner for Oaths fee (per executor or administrator) £5 - £7
  • Trustee Act Notices £180 - £220
  • Unclaimed Assets Register search fee (if applicable) £25
  • Bankruptcy search fee £2 plus VAT per person
  • Bankruptcy search depending upon foreign residence of beneficiary £500 (up to)

Potential additional costs

Valuation fees for property, contents, shares etc. will vary depending on the size of the property, number of shares etc. Therefore as an example:-

Estate Valuation fees on £200k property are currently £175 plus VAT

Valuation of shares dependant on number share holdings and the value of the shares. Cost will be confirmed by the stock broker. Typically this starts at £100.

Conveyancing fees are separate from the estate fees above (please see Conveyancing fees).

Don’t forget, if you are not sure please ask.

Financing

From time to time a business may need to raise finance or make new finance arrangements which involve a legal charge being granted over property in favour of a  lender as security. 

This situation can arise whether borrowing is a commercial mortgage, bridging finance, overdraft facilities or other lending requiring security.  The property may be owned by the borrower or may be in the ownership of  a third party such, as a director or personal guarantor to the loan.  We are approved by a number of commercial lenders to act on their behalf allowing the firm to act on behalf of both you and your lender where no conflict of interest arises.  We can also assist where the lender instructs their own solicitor and assist with dealing with the enquiries and requirements of the lender.

Fireworks and the Law

 fireworks

As we approach Bonfire Night, the night sky is brought alive by the vibrant explosions of noise and colour, but as always, lurking in the background is a risk that failing to deal with fireworks safely and responsibly can bring you to the attention of the police. Retailers who are thinking of supplying fireworks for the first time should ensure that they are sufficiently familiar with the complex rules that regulate the sale and possession of fireworks. Contravention of the rules can result in substantial fines being imposed, or even a prison sentence.

Fly-tipping - ensuring all polluters pay

rubbish 143465 1920

We all know that fly-tipping is an offence, but did you know you commit an offence if you pass waste to someone who isn’t licensed?

What do you mean by ‘waste’?

This article is referring to household waste, for example, excess rubbish that does not fit in your general collection bins.

How could I commit an offence?

You have a ‘duty of care’ to take all measures reasonable in the circumstances to ensure you only transfer waste to an ‘authorised’ person. Note that if a tradesperson working at your house produces waste, they are responsible for the removal and disposal.

Although most offences of fly-tipping are committed by someone paid to take the waste away rather than the person who produced the waste, this means that you commit an offence if the person you ask to take the waste is not licensed and illegally disposes of it.

Forensic Testing Scandal - Is Your Conviction Safe?

laboratory

New details have emerged about forensic testing deficiencies at two of the country's leading laboratories. Police are currently investigating the circumstances, and a number of people have been arrested.

Randox Testing Services (RTS) and Trimega Laboratories handle samples for some of the most high-profile criminal and family law cases, the accuracy of the tests being of paramount importance to people facing criminal prosecution for offences ranging from drink driving to murder.

Getting Tough on Public Disorder

riotpolice

The Sentencing Council, which is the body responsible for setting sentencing guidelines in England and Wales, has recently published proposed new guidelines in respect to public order offences.

What offences are covered?

The guidelines will apply to the following offences, all of which are to be found in the Public Order Act 1986:

  • Riot
  • Violent disorder
  • Affray
  • Threatening or provocation of violence and the racially or religiously aggravated counterpart offences
  • Disorderly behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress and the racially or religiously aggravated counterpart offences
  • Disorderly behaviour causing or likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress and the racially or religiously aggravated counterpart offences
  • Offences relating to stirring up racial or religious hatred and hatred based on sexual orientation

When will the guidelines come in to force?

The proposed guidelines are being consulted upon, so not until the end of this year at the earliest. However, what we tend to see is that judges look at consultation guidelines, even when they are not supposed to. It makes sense therefore that we keep a close eye on sentencing in this area of law.

Gina Mattioli

Gina Mattioli

Gina Mattioli
Solicitor

Gorleston

Phone

01493 652204

Email

enquire.gorleston@nortonpeskett.co.uk

Address

Old Bank House
66a Bells Road
Gorleston
Norfolk
NR31 6AF

Hours

Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:00

Government Signals Tough Sentencing Changes

knife

Over the last few days, the government has announced proposals to introduce new offences and increase sentencing for a range of other offences.

One of our criminal law experts, Rob Barley explains the proposals.

 Knife crime

Knife crime increased by 20% in the last year, prompting the government to look again at key legislation. Possession of a knife has in the same period increased by 23%.

New laws will make it an offence to deliver to a private residential address a knife sold online. All future online purchases will have to be delivered to a collection address where the age of the purchaser can be verified.

Offensive Weapons

Possession of offensive weapons in a public place is already a criminal offence, but changes to the law will see some 19 items, including flick knives and push daggers prohibited in private places as well.

The government is proposing some limited defences to these possession offences, such as for cultural, artistic or religious use, and exemptions such as museum displays.

Also, there will be a new definition of 'flick knife' to broaden the number of weapons that are classified into this category.

Government Snooping Ruled Unlawful

camera

In a legal challenge brought by the MP Tom Watson, and supported by campaign group Liberty, the High Court ruled that a major plank of the government's surveillance strategy is unlawful (Secretary of State for the Home Department v Watson MP & Ors [2018] EWCA Civ 70).

When Theresa May was Home Secretary, she brought before parliament the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers At 2014, and the current case was a challenge to that law. Initial proceedings were referred to the European Court of Justice who agreed with our courts that the powers were far too extensive. This case is the final judgment from the Court of Appeal.

Grants

Our aim is simply – to give something back

Our grants are modest in size (the maximum amount that you can apply for is £100 but we will consider applications up to £250 in certain circumstances). Grants are available to clubs, groups or organisations to support the local community and for specific purposes only. Most grants are made under the headings of:-

  • Education
  • Recreation
  • Buildings/Community Facilities
  • The Environment/Conservation
  • Health and Social Welfare
  • The Arts

To be considered for a grant, applicants must

  • be based in or working with beneficiaries in the postcode areas NR or IP (or within 25 miles of Lowestoft)
  • the applicant or project must have been in existence for at least 2 years

All applications must be on our standard form which can be accessed here.

The form is in Adobe PDF format. Please ensure that you have a version of Adobe that allows you to save a copy of the form with the information completed so that you do not lose any of your application. The completed application form should be sent, preferably by email to enquire@nortonpeskett.co.uk. Alternatively, the application form can be printed and sent to Mr Robert Bryant, Chief Executive, Norton Peskett, 148 London Road North, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1HF. All applications will receive an acknowlegment of receipt.

To apply for a grant you must fill in this form as fully as possible. Without accurate and complete information we may not be able to process your form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Yarmouth

Phone

01493 849200

Email

enquire.yarmouth@nortonpeskett.co.uk

Address

18 Church Plain
Great Yarmouth
NR30 1NF

Hours

Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:00

Great Yarmouth Office Official Opening

Norton Peskott Gt Yarmouth Opening 87

After a great deal of work during the last few months the official opening of our Great Yarmouth office took place on Wednesday 6 December in conjunction with Lacons Brewery. We officially poured the first pint of Lacons beer on the premises for 50 years!

Saracens Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In around 1900 there were approaching 300 public houses in Great Yarmouth. The picture above is of the Saracens Hotel at around the turn of the century (1900). The pub closed for trading on 9 December 1968. The Saracens Head was a Lacons Public House and following its closure it became the office of John Critoph and Co and then an insurance office in 1996 before Norton Peskett acquired the building in September 2016.

 

Guides

Information coming soon...

Gun Amnesty

pistol

A two-week gun amnesty begun on Monday 13 November across the UK. In this period people will have the opportunity to dispose of firearms and ammunition safely, with "no questions asked".

Who are the police reaching out to?

The amnesty is directed at two distinct groups of people, firstly those who know they are in possession of illegal weapons or ammunition, and secondly those who are perhaps innocent custodians of a weapon and possibly even unsure as to its legal status, but too frightened to do anything about it.

Halesworth

Phone

01986 872513

Email

enquire.halesworth@nortonpeskett.co.uk

Address

52 Thoroughfare
Halesworth
Suffolk
IP19 8AR

Hours

Mon - Fri 09:00 - 13:00, 14:00 - 17:00

Harriet Ransome

Harriet Ransome

Harriet Ransome
Senior Personal Assistant

Help to Buy Equity Loan

If you buying with the aid of the Help to Buy Scheme it is important to ensure your solicitor is familiar with the process and the complexities that this involves.

  • Available on new-build homes up to £600,000 in England and £300,000 in Wales
  • You need to have a minimum deposit of 5% of the property value
  • You will therefore only need to secure up to a 75% mortgage from a bank or building society
  • The UK Government will lend you up to 20% of the property value through an equity loan which can be repaid at any time during the loan term or on the sale of your home
  • The loan is interest-free for the first five years
  • There is a wide range of mortgage products available with this scheme so you can find something to suit your individual budget and requirements

Holiday Disputes

Information coming soon...

Holiday Disputes

If your holiday doesn’t go as planned and it is someone else’s fault, Norton Peskett can help you claim compensation or damages.

Holidays don't always turn out to be the relaxing break you've been looking forward to. Flight delays, lost luggage, poor quality or misrepresented accommodation, accidents and food poisoning can ruin a break. After the holiday, knowing if you have a claim, if a breach of contract has occurred, who should be held responsible and what steps you should take may seem as though it is more trouble than it is worth.

Norton Peskett ensure you complain effectively. We explain what procedures you need to follow. We ask lots of questions to make sure we understand all the facts - what was promised and what fell short of the required standard. We understand what you have done so far and plan with you what to do next.

Your options will be explained, as will likely timescales and costs. Once we start work on your claim, we promise to keep in regular contact and to answer any questions you have promptly.

To start the process of claiming for a ruined holiday call us on 01502 533 000.

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Your local solicitors in East Anglia

As a highly regarded commercial and individual client law firm, our objective is to deliver clear legal solutions which precisely match your needs. Our business is based upon providing excellent service to our clients.

Norton Peskett has enjoyed significant growth in recent years, both in terms of size and reputation and has provided legal services to the people and businesses in East Anglia for over 180 years. The practice continues to build on traditional core values of professionalism and integrity.

Since its foundation Norton Peskett as a firm has always prided itself on being part of the community. With its various offices throughout the area many Partners and staff have been members of voluntary organisations such as Roundtable, Rotary, Lions and Governors of local schools, giving back to the community their time and expertise in fund raising and charitable work.

Read our client reviews of Norton Peskett Solicitors.


Refund of Power of Attorney Fees - How to Claim

Under a new Government scheme, if you paid to register a Power of Attorney in England or Wales between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 you can apply for a partial refund. How much you get depends on when you paid the fees. You will also get 0.5% interest.

How to claim a refund

You can make a claim if you were the donor or the attorney but the refund will only be paid to the donor. To apply, you can claim a refund online or phone the Office of the Public Guardian's helpline on 0300 456 0300 and select option 6. It takes up to 12 weeks for your claim to be processed. There is currently no deadline by which you must apply.


Tread Carefully .....

Given the recent weather there has been a very high risk of slipping over and the question we are often presented with is "should the Council not have gritted the pathway/public car park?" Last year a case in this regard was taken to the Court of Appeal:- Cook v Swansea City Council [2017]. This case confirms that local authorities are not under a duty to ensure any areas they are responsible for are gritted each and every time there is a particular cold night, it in fact confirmed that a reactive system of gritting can be sufficient in certain circumstances.

In this particular case the injured party was caused to slip and fall on ice in a car park owned by the Council. This particular car park was outside, unmanned and open 24 hours a day. The Council would not automatically grit the car park in bad weather conditions but only in reaction to reports from members of the public about potentially dangerous conditions.

In considering the duty of the Council, the Court of Appeal carefully considered the costs and resources that the Council would have needed to ensure that the car park was gritted on days where there was snow and ice. The Court of Appeal considered that it would be too onerous for the Council to have gritted the car park on every one of these days. In addition, they also confirmed that the risk of snow and ice in cold weather was an obvious danger which people could reasonably be expected to watch out for and take care.

This case shows that just because there is ice or snow on the ground it does not mean that there are failings on the part of the occupier of land to ensure that people are reasonably safe when using their premises. Rather, the Courts will assess whether the system of gritting and inspection was reasonable in the circumstances. This judgment was fact specific and limited to the system of gritting that was reasonably required in a public car park that was unmanned and open to elements.

Read more

 

Housing disputes

Your home is important - a place where you should feel safe and secure. But when housing disputes arise your home can become a cause of anxiety. It’s therefore important to try and resolve housing disputes as quickly as possible and sometimes you may need legal help to tackle the issues you are facing. At Norton Peskett we have successfully helped many people resolve a wide range of housing disputes from problems with neighbours or landlords to dealing with tenancy issues or planning disputes.

When you talk to our expert lawyers, we will explain your rights and support you through the next steps. Together we’ll tackle any concerns you may have and act quickly to reduce the anxieties you are facing. Our property lawyers are here to provide the help and guidance you need. Our free first advice promise means you can chat to us about your own particular case with no obligations, so call us today so we can help you.

Inheritance and tax planning

Inheritance Tax is charged at 40% on the value of anyone’s estate above the nil rate band threshold (your tax free allowance) which, for the 2015/2016  tax year, stands at £325,000.00.

Historically, money passing between married couples or between civil partners has always been tax free however the effect of this “tax free allowance” is to postpone the payment of tax until the second spouse’s death. What this means, for example, for a couple with an estate worth £650,000 is that on the husband’s death where he leaves all his estate to his wife there is no tax payable. On the wife’s death the money in her estate would be taxed at 40% above the nil rate band threshold (£325,000) which would result in a tax bill of £130,000.

New rules, which took effect from the 9th October 2007 have changed the tax legislation to allow married couples or civil partners to transfer their element of Inheritance Tax free allowance unused on the first death to their spouse when they die. Accordingly married couples and those in civil partnerships now receive a combined tax free allowance of £650,000.00.

The new rules do not impose a time limit on these provisions so all widows and widowers will benefit from these arrangements no matter how long ago their spouse died. However, these new rules do not cover co-habiting couples or single people.

We made Wills with nil rate band Discretionary Trusts in to make the most of our IHT allowances, what should we do now?

If you made these simply to use your and your spouse’s nil rate band for tax saving purposes then these may now be obsolete and you should have new Wills made without these trusts included. However it may not be as simple as this as other factors may have to be taken into account.

When might I want to keep the trust I have set up?

Despite the changes in the law trusts can still have an important role to play in many people’s estate planning. For example, you may wish to ensure that money is passed on to children or grandchildren from a previous marriage. Or you may need a trust structure to ensure that assets are managed for minors until they have come of age. Or you may wish to have a large estate managed on behalf of your spouse. These can also be effective for protecting assets from being taken into account for care home fee assessment.

In all these instances we would advise that you discuss this with a member of our Private Client Team who will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your individual needs.

What can we do if our estate is worth over £650,000?

  1. Each year you can give away £3,000 free of Inheritance Tax or £6,000 if you did not make a gift in the previous tax year. A married couple giving a gift for the first time would therefore hand over £12,000.00 to their children in one year.

  2. If a gift is made on a regular basis out of your normal income and this does not affect your standard of living any amount can be given away Inheritance Tax free.
     
  3. It is possible to make further tax free gifts provided you survive for seven years after making the gift. If you die within those seven years and the gifts are valued at more than the nil rate band threshold they are taxable on a sliding scale.

 

Injury Claims

What you need to know about our Personal Injury Claims and Conditional Fee (No Win, No Fee) Agreements.

If you are injured in an accident which has been caused by the negligence of another party you may be entitled to compensation. The accident may have occurred on the road, at work, upon the property of another or in a public open space. In order to be successful in a claim for compensation we have to prove that:-

  • Your accident occurred within the last three years (different limits apply to children).
  • The responsible party owed you a duty of care.
  • The responsible party were in breach of that duty.
  • That the breach of duty caused your injury and subsequent loss.

If successful in proving these elements Norton Peskett can seek compensation for you. There are two types of compensation, the first being known as General Damages which are for the injury itself and the second called Special Damages which are the losses that you have incurred as a direct result of the accident. These can include loss of earnings, medication/treatment expenses, travel expenses incurred and any other related expense. We may also be able to help with rehabilitation should this be required.

Your injury may have left you unable to work and you may be worried about funding a claim. Norton Peskett understand this and we can offer advice acting on a Conditional Fee (No Win, No Fee) basis. What this means is that Norton Peskett will not charge for the work whilst your claim is on-going, but when your claim successfully concludes we will receive a success fee which will not exceed 25% of the compensation you are awarded inclusive of any VAT, meaning you are guaranteed to receive at least 75% of any compensation awarded to you. Providing we assess your claim as having prospects of success at 50% + and can continue to do so throughout the claim then we are happy to continue your claim on that basis. If during the course of the claim we consider that the prospects of success fall below 50% and on our advice the claim is discontinued we will not charge you for the work carried out. This means that there is no financial risk to you.

There are no hidden charges, as we will recover the main part of our fees from the Defendant when the claim is successful. We may, however ask you to take out a policy of After the Event Insurance which will offer protection from potential risks to you in certain circumstances and will ensure we can fund the disbursements incurred in bringing your claim. The premiums for such insurance are in the region of £200 and again are only payable upon successful conclusion of your claim and as such would be deducted from any compensation awarded to you. As the premiums are "self insured" they are covered in the event of an unsuccessful claim and therefore again there is no financial risk to you.

Norton Peskett have experience in a wide range of claims and can offer advice for personal injury, psychological injury and disease claims.

Norton Peskett offers free first advice, if you think you may be entitled to compensation or if you would simply like to discuss a potential claim then please contact our Personal Injury Department on 01502 533000.

Insolvency

Running your business is tough. There may be times when you hit a difficult period. Insolvency is not something any business owner wants to think about. The sooner you contact Norton Peskett  though, the sooner you can take positive steps to getting your business back on track.

Insolvency can happen for any number of reasons and can happen to any business too. Business insolvency can happen due to problems paying off debts as and when they fall due. Or it could be that your balance sheet is insolvent. Your liabilities exceed your assets. Whatever your situation, it doesn’t mean it is the end of the road. Norton Peskett  will help you think about the best action to take. We make sure you know what your legal duties are when insolvency occurs. Once we understand what it is you are trying to achieve, we work with you to achieve that goal. In simple terms, we explain your options and look at ways to rescue the company or, at the very least, its business. If insolvency is a risk for your business, please call one of our legal experts today on 01493 849200 The sooner we work with you, the quicker you can think about the future.

Investment and buy to let properties

More and more people are enjoying the rewards of investing in property. And buying-to-let is a great way to ensure that your property provides a regular income and strong return on your investment. The key to successful property investment is to do your homework and seek expert legal advice before investing in a property. At Norton Peskett we can help you with every stage of the property investment journey from choosing the right property to finding suitable tenants. We’ll also help ensure that your investment is sound and take care of all the legal aspects from arranging searches and surveys to drafting a tenancy agreement.
When buying-to-let there are different legal requirements to buying your own home so it’s always worth speaking with a lawyer that specializes in this area. Our property lawyers provide friendly, common-sense advice for all aspects of property investment and are experts in landlord and tenant law. We’ll explain what rights you have as a landlord and help you understand the responsibilities you have to your tenants. For first-time landlords, our advice is invaluable, providing the peace of mind that everything is in place. For advice about investment and buy to let properties, call one of our lawyers. We offer a free, initial over-the-phone chat, so you can find out about the process, timescales and costs with no obligations.

Is it Lawful to Hit a Child?

crying

Laws that criminalise unlawful violence date back to 1861 and are used every day in criminal courts to support prosecutions. Despite what might appear to be an obvious legal position, the question is often asked as to whether, despite those laws, it is permissible to 'smack' a child. The simple answer is that it is lawful to chastise a child by smacking, although the extent of that provision needs explaining in more detail below.

Perhaps surprising to many is the fact that the UK is only one of two places in the European Union that permits this state of affairs (the other being the Czech Republic). This week the devolved government in Wales launched a 12-week consultation, with proposals to outlaw all smacking of children. The minister for children and social care said:

"Our knowledge of what children need to grow and thrive has developed considerably over the last 20 years. We now know that physical punishment can have negative long-term impacts on a child’s life chances and we also know it is an ineffective punishment.

James Hartley

James Hartley

James Hartley
Senior Partner

Jo Bagshaw

Jo Bagshaw

Jo Bagshaw
FCILEx

Joanna Shad

Joanna Shad

Joanna Shad
Solicitor

Julian Gibbons

Julian Gibbons

Julian Gibbons
Consultant

Keeping Control of your Future

Norton Peskett are hosting a morning of chat and informal questions about Lasting Powers of Attorney and preserving capital and providing an income in association with Loveday & Partners, Independent Financial Planners.

10am - 12pm  Tuesday 25 September at The Waterside, Rollesby. Refreshements provided.

Logo Loveday Partners

 

 

 

 

To reserve a place please contact Rachael Hogg at our Great Yarmouth office (Tel: 01493 849200 or email r-hogg@nortonpeskett.co.uk)

 

Kelly Church

Kelly Church

Kelly Church
Solicitor

Kevin Dobson

Kevin Dobson

Kevin Dobson
Partner

Knife Crime - Sentencing Changes

stabbing

Knife crime is very much on the political agenda, with a number of stabbings having taken place over the last few weeks, resulting in deaths and injury, and no doubt the loss of liberty in due course for those responsible. Attention is now focussed on using deterrent sentences to discourage knife possession. The Sentencing Council, which is responsible for setting sentencing guidelines in England and Wales, has today issued a new guideline for knife crime offences.

What offences does it cover?

The guideline applies to offences of:

  • Possession of an offensive weapon in a public place
  • Possession of an article with a blade/ point in a public place
  • Possession of an offensive weapon on school premises
  • Possession of an article with a blade/ point on school premises
  • Unauthorised possession in prison of a knife or offensive weapon (adult guideline only)
  • Threatening with an offensive weapon in a public place
  • Threatening with an article with a blade/ point in a public place
  • Threatening with an article with a blade/ point on school premises
  • Threatening with an offensive weapon on school premises

The guideline does not cover situations where a knife or other weapon is actually used to harm someone. This would come under other offences such as assault or murder/manslaughter. Similarly, it does not include the use or possession of firearms which is covered by different legislation.

Landlords to Face Additional Punishment

 

housing

The goverment has announced that it intends to bring into force a number of provisions contained in the Housing and Planning Act 2016. From 6 April 2018 the Act will allow local authorities to apply for a banning order where a landlord has been convicted of a "banning order offence."

What is a banning order?

A banning order will ban a person from:-

  1. lettting housing in England,
  2. engaging in English letting agency work,
  3. engaging in English property mangement work, or
  4. doing two or more of these things.

Whether that person acts for himself or via a corporate body.

Lasting Power of Attorney

Have you ever thought about who would look after your financial affairs or make decisions about your personal welfare or health care if you are unable to do so either due to mental or physical incapacity?

As of 1st October 2007 The Mental Capacity Act 2005 revoked the Enduring Powers of Attorney Act 1985. It is now no longer possible to create an Enduring Power of Attorney or make changes to an existing Enduring Power of Attorney however if you have a valid Enduring Power of Attorney it will still be recognised and enforceable. Your Attorneys will still need to register the Enduring Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian if they have reason to believe you are, or are becoming, mentally incapable.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 introduces a new type of Power of Attorney called a Lasting Power of Attorney. In addition to making decisions about your finances you can appoint your Attorney to make important decisions about your medical treatment and long term health care.

Everyone over the age of 18 can make a Lasting Power of Attorney provided that they are capable of understanding how to make it, the choices that they can make and the power that it gives. It is very important that everyone involved understands the implications of a Lasting Power of Attorney and we can discuss this with you in detail.

As you will appreciate the person(s) that you choose to be your Attorneys is crucial. The person that you choose could be a member of your family, a trusted friend or a legal advisor and you can nominate different attorney’s to assume different responsibilities i.e. a legal advisor to deal with you financial affairs and a family member to deal with decisions relating to your personal welfare.

Lasting Powers of Attorney – Financial Decisions

The powers granted to Attorneys are similar to those under the former Enduring Powers of Attorney such as operating a bank account and selling your property.

Lasting Power’s of Attorney – Health and Care

This is a new power introduced under The Mental Capacity Act 2005 allowing you to choose a person who will have the power to make decisions about your health care and medical treatment e.g. where you should live, consenting to or refusing medical treatment and examination.

You can, if you wish, add restrictions and conditions to both types of Lasting Powers of Attorney where you would not wish the Attorney to have powers to act.

The new legislation states that all Lasting Powers of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used and an unregistered Lasting Power of Attorney does not give your Attorneys any legal powers. You can register the Lasting Power of Attorney while you are still capable or the Attorney can apply to register the Lasting Power of Attorney at any time.

We can advise you on setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney and on the application for registration. Please contact a member of our Private Client Team who will be pleased to help you.

Lasting Powers of Attorney required

A prominent pension provider has warned that retirees could be preventing their families from helping them manage their finances should they become too ill to manage their affairs themselves causing potential financial crisis. According to a recent survey, retirees using income drawdown to fund their retirement have not, in the majority, set up Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) whereby they can appoint trusted family members or professional advisors to access funds should they not be able to through illness or mental capacity. This means that even a wife or husband would be forced to apply to the courts by way of a Court of Protection application to take charge of their relative’s finances. More and more people have to make complicated financial decisions on their pensions into older age; the risk of sudden illness or dementia increases. Many retirees are unprepared for this eventuality. The pension provider advises that the time to set up an LPA is well before you need it, and they will be highlighting this to their customers.

Leanne Griffen

Leanne Griffen

Leanne Griffen
FCILEx and HR Manager

Leases

We are experienced with dealing with commercial leases, whether relating to offices, industrial units, retail premises, land or any other property.

We advise both landlords in respect of the drafting of lease agreements and also tenants upon the content of lease documentation and negotiation and perfection of the terms.

A lease is a complex legal document which governs the  occupation of a premises, and can impose a considerable burden on the tenant.  We will explain these obligations and requirements in clear and simple terms allowing clients to make commercial and reasoned decisions in relation to a leasehold transaction. We can provide a tailored service to suit your needs ranging from drafting lease documentation for landlords or considering and reporting to a tenant on the terms of a lease, through to dealing with the entire transaction on behalf of either party including the drafting of documentation, negotiating terms, dealing with enquiries and completion and registration where appropriate of the lease at Land Registry.

Legal Aid and litigants in person

I realised quite recently that I had not done any “networking” or marketing for a while. All lawyers need to be seen from time to time to remind friends, colleagues and clients that they still exist. This coincided with an invitation to a business lunch with our local MP and Chris Grayling. Mr. Grayling is well known to lawyers, as he is both Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor. In a sudden rush of blood to the head I booked myself onto the lunch and immediately prepared a number of questions for Mr. Grayling around access to justice, something any Lord Chancellor, traditionally a largely non-political role, should be fighting to protect and promote. A raft of measure over the last five years have seen huge reductions in legal aid, big increases in court fees and a massive rise in litigants in person in the courts. Those that financially qualify for either the limited legal aid which exists or for a reduction in the court fees payable have such a rigid means assessment process to go through that many give up or loose out because they are unable to provide the wads of documents demanded to prove that they qualify.

Legal health check for businesses

Norton Peskett can help you take some time to check the health of your business. Do you have the appropriate paperwork in place?  Where are you at risk and what needs an update are all questions we help you to answer.

Every business is aware they have certain legal obligations. Taking time to review your business and the law in a proactive way can be helpful. Is your business structure still right for you? Would a limited liability partnership be more apt? What happens in the event of a retirement or worse still, the death of a director or shareholder? Is your business lease due for review soon? What if key employees were to leave, what legal safeguards do you have to protect your business and to prevent them taking your customers or ideas? Conducting a legal health check can help you step back from your business. It can help you think how well protected it is. Norton Peskett can help you conduct a legal health check. You will be asked to share your documents with one of our expert lawyers. Options will be discussed, advice offered in simple terms without any legal jargon. If you decide to take action, likely costs, timescales and actions will be confirmed. And if no action is required, you can rest assure your business is in a healthy condition. To find out about the Norton Peskett legal health check, please get in touch on 01493 849200.

LIAR?

Uncover the facts LIAR W

Liar, ITV's new 6-part drama, is gripping the nation, with people already reaching conclusions as to whether Laura, played by the actress Joanne Froggatt (better known for her role as Anna Bates in Downton Abbey) is telling the truth when she accuses surgeon Andrew of raping her.

For most of us, this is highly watchable drama as we flip flop between whom we believe, our perceptions changed over time by the sophisticated script and device plots.

It is no surprise that some people have formed an opinion already, and recent research demonstrated that half of the jurors might reach a guilty verdict before even going to deliberate with other jurors.

We know that people are on occasion willing to change their minds, just as you might when the plot unfolds.

It is vital therefore that a strong case is advanced from the start, laying a solid foundation for a successful defence.

 

Life-changing injuries

Seeking compensation for an injury that has life changing consequences is where Norton Peskett can help.

Simple accidents can sometimes result in serious injury. If that accident could – and should – have been avoided, it is all the more distressing. A permanent disability or major condition can impact upon a person’s quality of life. It can also result in financial hardship and emotional trauma. Legal advice can help you or a loved one seek compensation for your losses - whatever they may be.

Norton Peskett can offer advice and our experience will ensure that you understand what needs to happen to make your complaint, the likely costs and timescales. We explain information simply – no technical or legal jargon. We will gather the facts and work out what happened and who is responsible. We promise to keep in regular contact and answer your questions as promptly as we can.

Lights, Camera, Action - Modern Policing

Body Worn CameraPolice forces across England and Wales are preparing for a rollout of "Body-worn Cameras", and the Government has announced that prison officers will shortly be assisted by this new technology.

What are Body-Worn Cameras?

BWCs are small recording devices, very similar to a GoPro, which allows for constant audio and video recording in an unobtrusive manner.

The evidence from these cameras can be used to support a prosecution, and some argue that with officers and others aware that their actions could be caught on camera, it will result in a positive effect on behaviour.

Is behaviour calmed when a camera is present?

It is usually accepted that we behave better when being watched, for example, we are less likely to speed past a roadside camera or get involved in unlawful activity.

In 2011, researchers at Newcastle University posted pictures of a pair of male eyes and the caption, "Cycle Thieves: We Are Watching You." Bike thefts decreased by 62 percent in those locations — and not elsewhere.

A study in Rialto California (USA) in 2012 appeared to show dramatic changes in police behaviour. Complaints against police officers were down 90% compared to the previous year. Critics, however, have been sceptical of this study, in part because only 54 officers participated.

That caution did not result in a slowdown of BWC deployment and by 2015 95% of US large police departments had deployed BWC or had committed to doing so.

Now, police forces in England and Wales are following suit.

Lina Virgin

Lina Virgin

Lina Virgin
FCILEx

Linda Ward

Linda Ward

Linda Ward
Personal Assistant

Lisa Oxborough

Lisa Oxborough

Lisa Oxborough
FCILEx

Lisa Simonsen

Lisa Simonsen

Lisa Simonsen
Partner

Litigants in Person

We know that not everyone can afford to pay for a Lawyer and that some people prefer not to do so. If you are acting for yourself in a family case you may feel as though you have fallen through the looking glass and into a strange world of Court hearings, complex forms and a whole new language. We would not be surprised if you felt completely overwhelmed by the complexity of the whole situation.

Perhaps you feel that you might just need a little help now and again to be able to understand what is going on better and to get the best results for you and your family.

We can help. We can give you advice to clear some of the myths and to help you with key points in the proceedings. We can offer a tailored “one off” service.

You can ask us to give you advice on a particular issue, prepare or check a document such as a Witness Statement, Financial Form or Consent Order. You might want us to help you prepare for a final trial or Court hearing. You might wish us to represent you at Court on a “one off” basis. We can do any of these things for you often on a fixed price. Once we have finished the work that we have agreed our commitment to each other ends and you are free to continue with no further fees from us.

Living Wills (Advance Decisions)

The Mental Capacity Act, when it came into force in 2005, provided the legal framework and put the law on Living Wills (now known as advance decisions and advance statements) on a clear statutory basis for the first time. This has helped empower people to make their own decisions and to make clear what actions carers and families can take. The rules relate, in particular, to Advance Decisions to refuse treatment, including the refusal of life sustaining treatment.  The act does not extend to provisions to take active steps to end a life or to force doctors to act against their professional judgement.

There are two types of “Living Will”, Advance Decisions and Advance Statements.
An Advance Statement is a general statement of your wishes and views. It can be used to reflect your religious or other beliefs (i.e. the refusal of blood transfusions) and can also include anything non-medical such as food preferences etc as well as any aspects of life that you particularly value. It should be used to help those involved in your care to know more about what is important to you. They should have regard to your advance statement but they are not legally bound by it. This is something that you can write yourself without legal assistance as it is merely a guide to those treating you and has no legal effect.

An Advance Decision is the only type of “Living Will” that is legally binding. All adults with
mental capacity can refuse treatment for any reason, even if such refusal may lead to their death.
An Advance Decision is used when you no longer have the ability to make your own decisions regarding your treatment, or in legal terminology, you “lack mental capacity” i.e. if you have a car accident or develop dementia. If you lack mental capacity then doctors have a legal and ethical obligation to act in your best interests. However, if you have made an Advance Decision and such decision is valid and applicable to the circumstances then doctors are bound to follow this even if they think it may not be in your best interests. An Advance Decision to refuse treatment must indicate what treatment you wish to refuse and the circumstances under which this refusal would apply in as much detail as possible.

An Advance Decision can only be legally binding if, when the document was made:-

  • The person making the Advance Decision had mental capacity to make the decision to refuse treatment and was over the age of 18.
  • The statement of intentions concerning future treatment is clear.
  • There was no undue influence or harassment from another person.

It is also important that:-

  • Your refusal was intended to apply in the kind of situation that later arose.
  • You understood fully the consequences of such decision in that kind of situation.

The general principle is that an Advance Decision is to be given to protect people who act in good faith providing guidance to both the medical profession and family as to their wishes as to what should happen in a certain set of circumstances.

An Advance Decision cannot be used to:-

  • Ask for anything that is illegal such as euthanasia or help to commit suicide.
  • Demand care that the health care team considers to be inappropriate in your case.
  • Refuse the offer of food and drink by mouth
  • Refuse the use of measures solely designed to maintain your comfort such as providing appropriate pain relief, warmth or shelter.
  • Refuse basic nursing care that is essential to keep you comfortable such as washing, bathing and mouth care.

You may wish to make an Advanced Decision if you have strong feelings about a particular situation that could arise in the future. You may wish to prepare an Advanced Decision indicating the type of treatment you would not want to receive in the future.

Making an Advanced Decision can also give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes should not be ignored if you are unable to take part in the decision making process at the relevant time. However, as you will appreciate this is an extremely delicate area and in some instances can cause upset and extreme distress to family members and friends. We would therefore recommend that if you wish to make an Advance Decision you discuss this with your family and friends so that they are aware of your decision. It is also advisable to discuss this with your G.P. and we will, on request, provide you with copies of your Advance Decision to give to your family, friends and G.P. to ensure that in the event of any of the circumstances arising there will be no confusion as to your wishes.

If you wish to make an Advance Decisions or you wish to discuss this further please contact a member of our Private Client Team who will be happy to assist you.

Lowestoft

Phone

01502 533000

Email

enquire.lowestoft@nortonpeskett.co.uk

Address

148 London Road North
Lowestoft
Suffolk
NR32 1HF

Hours

Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:00

Sat 09:00 - 12:30

Magistrates’ Court Closure

The government announced in July this year that it was consulting on plans to close 91 courts and tribunals in England and Wales which were “underused” to save money. The Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Family Court in Old Nelson Street was listed as one of the courts affected. The proposals have caused concern amongst those living in Waveney as the proposed closures will leave just one court in Suffolk. The consultation ran for 12 weeks until 8 October.

Norton Peskett partners Rob Barley and James Hartley based in Lowestoft have submitted their own counter proposal to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). They are asking the MoJ to carry out a separate consultation looking at Court provision on the east coast.

http://www.lowestoftjournal.co.uk/news/last_chance_to_save_lowestoft_magistrates_court_from_closure_1_4256215

Make a difference this Valentine by leaving an everlasting gift ....

Will Month Flyer Final

Our Halesworth office are supporting the "Leave an Everlasting Valentine's Gift" scheme by giving their time and offering a Will writing service for a donation to Cancer Campaign in Suffolk. This Will Month is taking place throughout February.

Cancer Campaign in Suffolk helps the residents of Suffolk before, during and after a cancer diagnosis. Set up in 1998, it is a local independent charity and all funds raised stay in Suffolk to help the local residents. During cancer they provide complementary therapies and counselling to help those with a diagnose through their treatment and life beyond cancer, both in the hospital and community through CCiS Caring for me. For further information visit www.ccisuffolk.org

If you would like to take part in this scheme please telephone 01986 872513 to make an appointment.

 

Making a will

It’s easy to put off making a Will, however, you should never underestimate the importance of doing so. This apparently insignificant document can have enormous bearing on your family after you’re not here to look after them.

If you die without a Will your assets are distributed according to the law rather than how you may like them to be and this could mean that your partner receives less, or that your assets may go to family members whom you may not wish to benefit. In addition to these there are many good reasons for making a Will and you should consider the following:-

  • A Will means you can decide how your assets are shared out and ensure those family members, friends or even charities that you want to benefit do.
  • If you are not married or in a civil partnership your partner will not inherit automatically – by making a Will you can ensure that your partner is provided for.
  • If you have children you can appoint a guardian so that arrangements such as where and with whom they will live can be made.
  • You can appoint between two and four executors over the age of 18 who you know and trust to deal with your affairs after your death. You may, if you wish, appoint Norton Peskett to be your executors.
  • You can minimise any tax liabilities that your estate may incur.
  • If you own a business consideration may need to be given as to what you would like to happen to your shares and assets.
  • If you own any property or your own, with someone else or abroad then you may want to give it to a specified person or give a child or relative the right to remain living in the property after your death.
  • Are there any specific items that you wish to give friends or relatives (i.e. jewellery, antiques, pictures etc)? If these items are not specifically given to anyone they will go to the residuary beneficiaries (the person(s) who receive what is left after all debts and any other monetary gifts have been paid).
  • You can plan for any care home fees that you may need to pay in the future and which may eat away a substantial part of your estate.
  • You can specify your funeral arrangements in your Will. Many people find discussing their wishes for their funeral particularly difficult and writing them down can make it easier for not only you but also those closest to you when organising your funeral at a avery emotional time.
  • A Will is also a final indication of your wishes and takes away any uncertainty about what you want to happen, in many ways this takes away some of the stress of dealing with a persons estate as your executors know they are carrying out your last wishes.

In order to make a Will you will need to provide us with the full names and addresses of anyone that you wish to appoint as an executor, guardian or beneficiary. We strongly advise, given the significance of these appointments, that you inform the persons nominated and your close family members, of your intentions/wishes.

Each individual's circumstances are unique. It is therefore important that you obtain advice that it specific and tailored to your needs which a member of our Private Client Team can provide.

What happens if you don’t have a Will?

If you do not have a Will you die Intestate (this is a technical term used in Law for someone who dies without a Will). It will take longer to sort out your affairs and could mean those close to you are unable to access any of your finances for some time after your death. There are rules for deciding who inherits your assets depending on your financial circumstances. If you require further advice upon this then do not hestitate to contact our specialist team.

Reviewing an existing Will

Reviewing your Will every few years is as important as making one in the first place. You may wish to change how your assets are to be distributed, or your family circumstances may have changed. We would recommend that you at least look at your Will every couple of years to check that it is still an accurate reflection of your wishes.

Frequently asked questions

Does your webpage tell me everything I need to know about making a Will?

No. This can be a complex area of law as each Will is individual and based on a unique set of personal circumstances. It has therefore been necessary to simplify greatly many points and this webpage should not be regarded as a complete statement of the Law. A member of our Private Client Team would be pleased to clarify any points contained within this webpage and provide any specific advice that you require.

Can I appoint my spouse/civil partner to be Executor?

Yes. Often married couples or civil partners leave everything to each other and appoint each other to be executors of their respective Wills.

You will need to consider alternative executors (we advise at least two) to act on the second death (i.e. when you are both gone).

How long will it take to prepare my Will?

We can prepare a draft Will for your approval within a few days of receiving full instructions from you.

Do I have to come into the office to give instructions?

No although a face to face meeting is usually better. You can give telephone or written instructions or email us. We can, if it is more convenient for you, visit you in your own home. We will need to see you at some stage to confirm your identity.

What happens next?

We will prepare a draft of your Will in accordance with your instructions and send this to you for your approval. If you have any questions we can happily deal with these – if necessary we can meet with you again to clarify any points. We will then need to see you in the office or at your home to obtain your signature to your Will.

Where should I keep the original Will

If you keep your Will at home you may lose it, accidentally throw it away or it could be destroyed in a fire so we like to keep original Wills for our clients and supply them with a photocopy. We make no charge for this service.

Managing your business

When you decide to run a business, there are times when you need a little help and support. Support with legal matters. Matters that help you take your business where you need it to go. Norton Peskett understands what this feels like.

That’s why Norton Peskett lawyers are specialists in their field. If you need advice on protecting your idea or design, our patent lawyers can help. If you are starting your own company, deciding on the detail of a contract, agreeing a joint venture or terms with a new shareholder, you can talk to our company commercial lawyers. Or if the business needs to restructure or has financial challenges, again, we can help. Norton Peskett  is the choice of business owners . For whatever their business life brings, they trust us to help. We promise to explain complex legal matters in plain and simple English. You will know what to budget as we explain our costs upfront, so no nasty surprises. And we respond to every query the same day as we know your time is precious. Our friendly, knowledgeable solicitors are here to provide all the help and advice you need, freeing you up to get on with running your business. So if you’re looking for legal advice to support your business, call us today on 01493 849200.

Mandy Sillett

Mandy Sillett

Mandy Sillett
Paralegal

Maria Waters

Maria Waters

Maria Waters
Paralegal

Marija Markovic

Marija Markovic

Marija Markovic
Solicitor

Matthew Breeze

Matthew Breeze

Matthew Breeze
FCILEx

Mediation

FAMILY MEDIATION

Family mediation is a process where an independent third party (the Mediator) assists couples to find options and reach proposals to resolve issues arising as a result of their separation, in particular children and finances.

Mediation can help married couples, unmarried couples and family members.

WHY MEDIATE?

  • Reduces hostility and tension
  • Helps you make informed decisions that are appropriate for your circumstances
  • Keeps communication open between you and your partner
  • Saves the cost of expensive court battles
  • Helps children by showing parents working together and resolving issues

WHAT HAPPENS IN MEDIATION?

The Mediator will provide a safe neutral setting for discussions and exploration of possible arrangements to suit you both.  Mediators can also give you information to help you decide the best way forward.

When you are both content with the decisions you have reached, your proposal is then approved by your Solicitor who completes the legal formalities.

The Courts now expect people to see a Mediator and consider mediation before taking a dispute to Court.

COSTS

Legal Aid is available.  They and any charges you may have to pay will be discussed at the first meeting.

MEDIATORS

Alexandra Stephenson is a qualified Mediator.  Mediators are trained to deal with emotional situations involving upset and anger.  Family Mediators understand that clients are dealing with complex financial issues and difficult emotional issues.

Mediation is available from all our offices.

If you would like to find our more please contact Alexandra Stephenson on 01986 835638.

Solicitors - Please click here to make an enquiry about mediation

Motoring Offences and Fees

Motoring law is increasingly complex, and difficult to navigate. Many driving offences carry significant penalties, including imprisonment. It is essential to have legal advice from the outset. This can include for the initial interview with the Police, or from the point of receiving a Notice of Intended Prosecution or Summons to attend Court.

Notwithstanding the worry of a conviction and sentence for the more serious offences, even the less serious matters can have a devastating impact on clients’ lives. For many people the loss of a driving licence will have far reaching consequences. Our highly experienced team can help guide you though the law, and procedure. If you have been charged, summonsed or requisitioned to attend Court for a motoring offence such as Driving without Due Care and Attention, Speeding, Driving whilst under the influence of Alcohol or Drugs, it is vital that you seek legal representation.

We can advise you in relation to the procedures the Police should have followed, the strengths and weaknesses of the Prosecution Case, the Court procedure, and the likely outcome. We can attend Court with you, and in some circumstances on your behalf. We will be able to advise you on all aspects of your case, and together with you decide on the best course of action.

In some circumstances Legal Aid will be available. Our team will advise you on this at the outset of your matter, and if you are likely to be eligible we will lodge an application on your behalf. If Legal Aid is not available, we can assist you on a Private Client basis. Each case is different; however as a guideline our charges are set out below.

Our highly qualified Solicitors and Representatives have many years of experience representing clients facing Motoring offences. We invite you to browse their profiles on our website to see their qualifications and experience.

Our solicitors all have significant experience, and charge an hourly rate of £205 plus VAT per hour. Work is charged on an hourly basis throughout your matter, with a costs estimate provided in writing at the outset and updated as your matter progresses. The complexity and time involved with your matter will determine the overall cost.

In some straightforward matters we are able to offer a fixed fee. Please call to speak to one of our team to discuss whether this is something we can offer in your case.

As a guide for an initial interview of up to one hour to understand your particular matter and discuss what the issues are the fixed fee is £150 plus VAT. At this point we can give you a quote to represent you in Court and to undertake any further work on your behalf.

If we represent you in our local Courts (Great Yarmouth or Norwich) our fixed fees for straightforward motoring matters are as follows:-

  • Single hearing Guilty plea and mitigation £300 plus VAT
  • Single hearing Guilty plea and exceptional hardship argument £750 plus VAT
  • Not guilty plea and subsequent trial lasting half a day £1,250 plus VAT
  • Not guilty plea, and subsequent trial lasting a full day £2,000 plus VAT

If you wish us to represent you further afield, we will be more than happy to do so and can always provide you with a quote beforehand. We can assure you that you will know how much it will cost before we go ahead.

In some circumstances we may be able to reclaim some of your costs, under what is called a Defendants Costs Order.

We realise that this may be the first time you have been asked to attend Court. It can be a nerve wracking, daunting and frightening experience with potential devastating consequences. We have many years of experience of dealing with such matters and can quickly help put things in perspective and set out the best course of action. We know not only what to say in Court but also, and perhaps more importantly, what not to say.

Should you wish to discuss your matter, please do not hesitate to call or email one of our team, who will be happy to assist.

Natalie Whitelock

Natalie Whitelock

Natalie Whitelock
Solicitor

Neighbour disputes

Having a disagreement with your Neighbour can seriously affect your home life – and the quality of it. Norton Peskett can help you tackle any Neighbour disputes promptly and effectively. Falling out with a Neighbour can often relate to issues with noise, children or anything that is shared – boundaries, fences, rights of way and car parking. Sometimes this can become serious. Physical threats, abusive or intimidating behaviour, even physical assaults or property damage can be the outcome. Whatever has happened, you need to know what options you have and how the law can help you achieve the outcome you desire. Norton Peskett deal successfully with all manner of disputes between neighbours. We work hard at the beginning to ensure we understand what the problem is. We discuss options – and what your desired outcome is. Likely timescales, costs and the chances of achieving the outcome you want are explained clearly at the outset. Throughout the process, we keep you informed making sure we use plain and simple English, not legal jargon. We look at alternative ways of resolving the dispute if appropriate - but if litigation is needed you can trust our expert lawyers. Choosing Norton Peskett means you'll work with legal experts you can trust so call us to see how we can help you.

New "Domestic Abuse" Sentencing Guidelines

abuse

A new domestic abuse sentencing guideline has been published today (22 February), giving courts up to date guidance that emphasises the seriousness of this offending.

What is domestic abuse?

There is no specific crime of domestic abuse - it can be a feature of many offences, such as assault, sexual offences or harassment. The guideline aims to ensure that the seriousness of these offences is properly taken into account when such offences are being sentenced and that sufficient thought is also given to the need to address the offender's behaviour and prevent reoffending.

Are there existing guidelines?

The new guideline replaces a domestic violence guideline which was published in 2006. A great deal has changed since then in terms of societal attitudes, expert thinking and terminology. Guidance for courts was therefore in need of revision to bring it up to date. 'Domestic abuse' is now the term used, rather than 'domestic violence', to reflect that offences can involve psychological, sexual, financial or emotional abuse as well as physical violence.

New Build Property

New Build

The conveyancing of a new build property is a more complex transaction than the purchase of an existing house or building, and many additional matters must be considered. At Norton Peskett our team is experienced at dealing with the unique challenges that these property purchases present.

How does the conveyancing process differ for a new build property?

When purchasing a new build property, you will often be faced with exchanging contracts and committing to the purchase before the property is built. You may be contracting to buy the property before construction has even begun, and often you will have only seen the show home and site plans. Having a solicitor who understands how new build contracts work is a big advantage when trying to achieve a smooth, trouble free transaction.

With builders having to rely on various factors such as contractors, supply of materials and weather conditions, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to offer you a fixed legal completion (moving in) date on exchange of Contracts. When the property is structurally complete and ready for occupation, the builder gives written notice to us that it is ready ("Notice to Complete"), and completion must take place within the period specified in the contract - usually 10 working days.

Builders will impose short deadlines in which you must exchange to ensure that you do not lose your reservation fee, and will sometimes offer incentives such as additional fixtures and fittings. It is important to instruct a firm who understands the complexities of purchasing a new build property, the deadlines that are involved and someone who can work with you, and the builder, to achive a successful outcome.

At Norton Peskett we understand the deadlines involved and can guide you through the process in plain English.

We are committed to:-

  • Achieving the builder's exchange deadline
  • Fixed price legal fees (no sale, ne fee)
  • Friendly, personal legal contact throughout
  • Face to face meetings to go through the Contract documentation with you if required
  • Liaising regularly with the on-site sales teams and the builder's legal team, as well as your mortgage lender and broker where applicable
  • Communication with all parties by post, telephone, email of text

What if I have a property to sell or the Builder is taking my property in part exchange?

Our team is used to working to tight deadlines but at the same time ensuring that the conveyancing for the sale of any existing property also progressess smoothly. On a part exchange the builder's solicitors must ensure that all legal aspects of your property are in order because they will then be reselling the property, of which they have no personal knowledge whatsoever. We are experienced in the unique requirements that part-exchange transactions can bring.

Call our dedicated New Build Team today on 01502 533005 or email newbuild@nortonpeskett.co.uk

New Partner Announcement

Norton Peskett Solicitors are delighted to announce that Paul Gregory has been appointed a Partner from 1 July 2016.

Paul Gregory PartnerPaul joined the firm in September 2002 having previously worked for another local firm for 9 years. He will continue to manage and work from the Great Yarmouth office.

As a qualified Chartered Legal Executive, Paul will make history by becoming the first non Solicitor Partner to be appointed at Norton Peskett since the firm was founded in the early 1830's. Paul is married, has two young children and enjoys spending free time with his family. He also likes to swim and attends the occasional football match!

Paul was born in Great Yarmouth and has always lived locally. He specialises in residential property law and has a vast personal knowledge of the local area which is always of great benefit when dealing with property and associated matters.

Nicholas Ambrose

Nicholas Ambrose

Nicholas Ambrose
Costs Draftsman

Nicola Mason

Nicola Mason

Nicola Mason
FCILEx

None for the Road

champagne

None for The Road

Christmas is in our sights and party season is underway. As night follows day, this time also coincides with a national police initiative concerning drink driving, as forces across the country prepare for a spike in the numbers of those tested and arrested for drink and drug driving offences. While these offences may not seem particularly serious when viewed against other offences, what is not often understood is the real impact that a conviction can have.

Research shows that loss of a licence leads in a great many cases to loss of employment, in turn to loss of housing as bills cannot be paid, and sometimes it is the final straw that breaks a relationship. The financial costs will be felt for many years thereafter as insurance premiums will be greatly increased.

Norton Peskett are now a Norfolk Trusted Trader member!

Norton Peskett became an accredited provider and Norfolk Trusted Trader member on 31 December 2015. The scheme is operated by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards Service and is available throughout Norfolk. The aim is to assist consumers in Norfolk make informed choices. For further information go to Norfolk Trusted Traders.

Norton Peskett has once again retained Lexcel accreditation

Norton Peskett with its five offices in Halesworth, Beccles, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft has once again secured the national Law Society's law management quality mark, Lexcel version 6.

Lexcel is developed specifically for the legal profession. It is an optional, recognised accreditation scheme for law firms and in-house legal departments which gives assurance that a practice meets high client care and business management standards.

To gain and retain Lexcel accreditation, the practice must undergo a rigorous initial then annual application and assessment process. This includes conducting background checks and an on-site visit from an experienced, trained Lexcel assessor.

President of the Law Society, Jonathan Smithers said: "Gaining and maintaining Lexcel is not an easy process. The application procedure is extremely rigorous. There are many facets of being a Lexcel accredited law firm, including excellence in client care. A commitment to customer service in an increasingly competitive legal services market is vital in order to stay competitive. Firms that make the grade should feel proud of their achievement.

"The scheme is a beacon of quality to clients and potential clients alike."

Norton Peskett have been recognised by Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research free Will

Norton Peskett, Great Yarmouth has been recoginsed by Cancer Research UK after facilitating over £230k worth of gifts from people choosing to leave a legacy to the charity in their Will.

Tracey Jordan from Norton Peskett's Great Yarmouth office was presented with a Bronze certificate to acknowledge the firms ongoing support. The firm have been offering the Free Will Service to people aged 55 and over in Great Yarmouth for the past 3 years, giving guidance and support for those wishing to write a Will or update an existing one. Craig Gosling from the firms Gorleston office was also thanked by the charity by joining the scheme, enabling to offer the schemes services to people in Gorleston.

As part of the service, Norton Peskett Solicitors gives guidance for those wishing to leave a legacy gift for Cancer Research UK.

The charity receives no government funding for its research and relies heavily on the generosity of people leaving gifts in their wills. Over a third of its research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer is funded through supporters leaving a legacy to the charity.

Norton Peskett show their support for Christmas Jumper Day

Staff showed their support for Christmas Jumper Day on Friday 18 December by raising funds for the national event, Text Santa. The event raises money for charities including Save the Children, Macmillan Cancer Support and Make-A-Wish UK.

Many staff wore their festive jumpers and did their bit in a Christmas knit. Cakes and sausage rolls were baked in aid of the event. The Yarmouth office alone raised £219 and sponsored Paul Gregory, Senior Residential Conveyancer and Office Manager to have his beard glittered! Thank you for being such a good sport Paul.

ChristmasJumperDayPaulGregoryGlitterBeard

 

Norton Peskett Sponsors Freethorpe U7's Football Team

Freethorpe U7 Football Team

Norton Peskett are sponsoring the kit for the U7 team which is crucial for the club to be able to keep costs down for the individuals thus allowing playing to be inclusive to all. Freethorpe FC's motto is "Football for all for life". They endeavour to "provide the opportunity" for all to participate in the great game of football in a modern, safe and friendly environment. They try to make this opportunity affordable to all whatever their background. The firms sponsorship has helped Freethrope FC launch this new team.

Our very own Matt Breeze, manager of the team is pictured above (top right). He has done a great job nurturing the young players and preparing them for their first season of playing matches.  

Norton Peskett sponsors Spotlight Musical Theatre Group

Scrooge production team

Norton Peskett are pleased to sponsor Scrooge! a show for all the family. The show runs from December 4 - 8 at Beccles Public Hall.  Tickets are available from the Beccles Public Hall or online at www.becclespublichall.org.uk

Norton Peskett supports the Papworth Trust 2016 will campaign

A campaign aimed at encouraging more people to start a will – while raising funds for disabled and older people in their area – has been hailed a success.

The ‘Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way’ campaign was organised by Papworth Trust in conjunction with solicitors across the East of England.

The will-writing service was supported by Norton Peskett’s Halesworth branch which raised £495.

Gavin Chappell-Bates, the charity’s major donor and legacy fundraiser, said: "This is the second year Papworth Trust has run a will-writing campaign and we would like to thank everyone who supported it."

"We were delighted to work with so many solicitors across the East of England and the final total raised from the campaign will make such a difference to the lives of the disabled and older people we support on a daily basis."

Claire Fox, from Norton Peskett, said: "We were only too pleased to support this worthwhile campaign, which has both a fundraising and awareness-raising message at its heart."

Norton Peskett is among a group of generous solicitors who have donated their time and services to Papworth Trust to support the charity’s work with disabled and older people, as well as their families and carers.


Papworth Trust offers essential support and care to disabled and older people, their families and carers. They help people of all ages to live independently in their own homes, to learn new skills, and to find and keep jobs that are right for them. To find out more about the charity please go to www.papworthtrust.org.uk.

Norwich

Phone

01603 510904

Email

enquire.norwich@nortonpeskett.co.uk

Address

23 Cathedral Street
Norwich
Norfolk
NR1 1LU

Hours

Mon - Fri 09:00 - 12:30, 13:30 - 17:00

Notarial Services

If you are carrying out any sort of business abroad, such as buying, selling, renting or leasing property or dealing with a will or inheritance, you will almost certainly have to present documentation to foreign authorities. For commercial transactions, perhaps involving companies, you will often need to prove the existence of a company, its articles and the identity of its directors as well as the fact that the directors are authorised to sign something on the company’s behalf. This is particularly important for companies setting up branch offices or agencies abroad, or wanting to open foreign bank accounts.

Almost all countries require these sorts of documents to be signed in front of a Notary Public in England.

A Notary’s job is not just to witness your signature. He must ensure that you understand the document and that it is in accordance with what you intend. He must confirm your identity. In the case where you are a director or secretary of a company, he must verify that you are duly appointed as a director or secretary and that you have authority to sign the document on the company’s behalf. This may require a check at Companies House and sight of a board resolution authorising the transaction. English law has particular rules as to how a company signs documents and the notary will ensure that these are complied with.

He will clearly explain all the requirements and answer any questions you may have. He can also arrange any necessary translations and will explain all the timescales and costs from the outset, keeping you up-to-date throughout every stage. Many documents also require legalisation at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and sometimes, depending on the country, at that country’s consulate.

The first step is to give us a call and if possible email us a copy of the documents which need notarising. You will have to have a face-to-face meeting with the Notary, when you will need to bring the document unsigned along with your identification.

Notarial services include:

  • Witnessing the signature and execution of documents
  • Authenticating contract documentation
  • Verifying company articles and certificate of incorporation
  • Authenticating documents for immigration or emigration purposes
  • Certifying documents relating to buying or selling a property abroad
  • Certifying identity documents, including changes of name, status, and good standing
  • Verifying and certifying copy education qualifications for work abroad
  • Legislation of documents through the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices or any other relevant embassy/consular office
  • Certifying the powers of directors
  • Declarations for marriage abroad
  • Powers of attorney
  • Bills of exchange and shipping protests
  • Taking oaths, declarations and statements for court and other proceedings abroad
  • Validating sponsorship declarations to support applications for visas or permanent residence
  • Arranging translations from foreign languages to English and vice versa

If you'd like more information about how we can help you, please call us and speak to our Notary Public.

Notarial services for business

When doing business abroad there will be times when you need to present documentation to foreign authorities. And because every country has its own legal system and unique requirements for official documents, it’s important to ensure your paperwork will be accepted in other countries. It may therefore be necessary to have the documents validated (notarised) by a Notary Public so that they will be accepted by a particular country’s authorities.

A Notary will witness your signature, confirm your identity and ensure that  you understand the contents of the documents. If acting on behalf of a company he will also verify that you have the necessary legal authority to sign. If you have documents that need notarising for use aboard, the first step is to give us a call. The Notary will arrange a time to meet you face-to-face and will explain what documentation and identification you will need to bring with you so the process can start as quickly as possible. The Notary will explain all the requirements and answer any questions you may have. We can also arrange translations and provide support to make your overseas business dealings run more smoothly. You’ll receive a full explanation of all the processes, timescales and costs from the outset and will be kept up-to-date throughout every stage. Notarial services for business include:

  • Witnessing and validating business and property documents
  • Authenticating and/or translating business documents (including intellectual property documents, tenders, contracts, bills of exchange and shipping protests)
  • Authenticating documents for use in foreign courts
  • Certifying educational and professional qualifications
  • Confirming the capacity of company directors
  • Validating documentation to open overseas bank accounts
  • Certifying identity documents (including changes of name, corporate status and good standing)
  • Legislation of documents through the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices, embassies or consular offices
  • Recording events or documents for use as evidence
  • Taking affidavits, declarations and depositions
  • Arranging translations from foreign languages into English and vice versa

If you would like to find out more, please call us on 01493 849200 or 07770 999690 to speak directly to our Notary Julian Gibbons.

November is Charity Will Month in our Halesworth Office

Our Halesworth office is showing it cares by donating its fees for Wills to charitable causes during the month of November 2016. The suggested donation level is £125 for a single basic Will and £200 for a pair of Wills. We are aiming to raise as much money as possible for 2 local charities.

Clients who wish to make a Will can choose for the costs of their Will to be passed to one of the following causes:

  • Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund which was set up in 1989 to support patients (registered with Cutlers Hill Surgery) at the end of their lives by providing extra nursing care, support and equipment to those who choose to die at home. The fund is also looking to build an Information & Support Centre based in Halesworth but will be open to everyone living in all the towns and villages within a 15 mile radius of Halesworth. It will offer support, counselling, benefits advice, holistic therapies etc. to people who have been diagnosed with a life limiting illness, as well as their families, friends and carers. www.halesworthhealth.org
  • World Land Trust, an international conservation charity based in Halesworth which protects the world’s most biologically important and threatened habitats. Since its foundation in 1989, it has funded partner organisations around the world to create reserves, and give permanent protection to habitats and wildlife. Your donation would be to the Action Fund which will then be allocated to any one of their conservation projects across the world as most urgently needed. www.worldlandtrust.org  https://youtu.be/DLu0cs_jZtQ

Making a Will is one of the most thoughtful and important things we can do to protect those we love. Yet fewer than half of people have made one. Most say they simply haven't got around to it and yet it can take years to sort out someone's estate if they die without a Will, and can cause significant problems for their families. Norton Peskett will be offering readers the opportunity to have a simple Will, professionally drawn up and you will be asked to consider making a donation to one of the above charities that reflects the fee normally charged when making a Will.

Limited appointments are available so book now to avoid disappointment.

For further information or to make an appointment to make a Will please contact our Halesworth office on 01986 872513.

 

Nuisance calls and the Information Commissioner's Office

large 895567 1920

Everyone has received a nuisance call, and they are a real nuisance to many, but how do your details become available, and what is being done about it?

Who are the ICO?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (the ‘ICO’) is an independent organisation that was set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promote openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. The ICO take various forms of action against organisations and individuals, and that can include criminal prosecutions.

What happens with a criminal prosecution?

Criminal prosecution has, historically, been taken under one of the two Data Protection Acts. Under this legislation, the maximum penalty for breach is a fine. There is also a separate financial penalty regime that can now result in very high financial penalties being imposed.

Offences related to state benefits

pound 414418 1920

There are two main offences that are prosecuted in relation to benefit fraud, one involves dishonesty, the other does not.

The dishonesty offence

It is an offence to dishonestly make a representation in order to obtain benefit, and this includes a dishonest failure to promptly notify a change in circumstances as well as making a claim that is dishonest from the outset.

The offence absent dishonesty

It is an offence to knowingly make a false statement to obtain benefit, again this can be in an initial claim for benefits or failing to give prompt notification of a change in circumstances.

Our People

Adrian Buck

Adrian Buck
Accounts Manager

Alex Stephenson

Alex Stephenson
Partner

Amanda Stephenson

Amanda Stephenson
FCILEx

Andrew Wardle

Andrew Wardle
FCILEx

Annette Hall

Annette Hall
Solicitor

Bob Bryant

Bob Bryant
Chief Executive

Calvin Saker

Calvin Saker
Solicitor

Christine Stephenson

Christine Stephenson
Assistant

Claire Fox

Claire Fox
FCILEx

Craig Gosling

 Craig Gosling
 FCILEx

David Watson

David Watson
Solicitor

Debbie Leech

Debbie Leech
Paralegal

Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds
Solicitor

Don Wigginton

Don Wigginton
Police Station Accredited Representative

Elle Tillett

Elle Tillett
Legal Adviser

Emma King

Emma King
FCILEx

Emma Sampson

Emma Sampson
FCILEx

Gina Mattioli

Gina Mattioli
Solicitor

Harriet Ransome

Harriet Ransome
Senior Personal Assistant

James Hartley

James Hartley
Senior Partner

Jo Bagshaw

Jo Bagshaw
FCILEx

Joanna Shad

Joanna Shad
Solicitor

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Julian Gibbons
Consultant

Kelly Church

Kelly Church
Solicitor

Kevin Dobson

Kevin Dobson
Partner

Leanne Griffen

Leanne Griffen
FCILEx and HR Manager

Lina Virgin

Lina Virgin
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Linda Ward

Linda Ward
Personal Assistant

Lisa Oxborough

Lisa Oxborough
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Lisa Simonsen

Lisa Simonsen
Partner

Mandy Sillett

Mandy Sillett
Paralegal

Maria Waters

Maria Waters
Paralegal

Marija Markovic

Marija Markovic
Solicitor

Matthew Breeze

Matthew Breeze
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Natalie Whitelock

Natalie Whitelock
Solicitor

Nicholas Ambrose

Nicholas Ambrose
Costs Draftsman

Nicola Mason

Nicola Mason
FCILEx

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Pam Hugill
Assistant

Paul Gregory

Paul Gregory
Partner

Rebecca Utton

Rebecca Utton
Solicitor

Richard Stone

Richard Stone
IT/Facilities Manager

Robert Barley

Robert Barley
Partner

Sophie Cooper

Sophie Cooper
Solicitor

Steven Knight

Steven Knight
Partner

Tanith Spray

Tanith Spray
FCILEx

Teresa Poole

Teresa Poole
Assistant

Tracey Jordan

Tracey Jordan
FCILEx

Pam Hugill

Pam Hugill

Pam Hugill
Assistant

Partnership and shareholders agreements

Setting up a business requires some thought on the most appropriate legal structure. Whatever the agreement, Norton Peskett  ensures the rights of those involved are properly taken care of.

There are several forms in which you can trade. Some are more complicated than others. Every business owner needs to consider which arrangement is the most appropriate for them. Partnership agreements are a popular way to form a business. There are different partnership agreements, so it helps to know the difference. Shareholder agreements set out certain agreements made between the business owners. These can be used to regulate ownership and voting rights. They can make provision for how capital contributions are to be made or how disputes between shareholders are to be resolved. At Norton Peskett, our knowledge of business agreements allows you to make the right choice. Our lawyers can be trusted to explain the benefits and risks of each. We explain matters in plain English, not legal jargon. Our aim is to make your decision the best one for your business. So if you’re looking for expert legal advice for your business, call us today on 01493 849200.

Paul Gregory

Paul Gregory

Paul Gregory
Partner

Personal Injury Blog

Tread Carefully .......

Given the recent weather there has been a very high risk of slipping over and the question we are often presented with is "should the council not have gritted the pathway/public car park. Last year a case in this regard was taken to the Court of appeal: Cook v Swansea City Council [2017]. This case confirms that local authorities are not under a duty to ensure any areas they are responsible for are gritted each and every time there is a particularly cold night, it in fact confirmed that a reactive system of gritting can be sufficient in certain circumstances.

In this particular case the injured party was caused to slip and fall on ice in a car park owned by the Council. This particular car park was outside, unmanned and open 24 hours a day. The Council would not automatically grit the car park in bad weather conditions but only in reaction to reports from members of the public about potentially dangerous conditions.

In considering the duty of the Council, the Court of Appeal carefully considered the costs and resources that the council would have needed to ensure that the car park was gritted on days where there was snow and ice. The Court of Appeal considered that it would too onerous for the council to have gritted the car park on every one of these days. In addition, they also confirmed that the risk of snow and ice in cold weather was an obvious danger which people could reasonably be expected to watch out for and take care.

Planning for your future

One of the greatest concerns we all have is our well being and the well being of our family as we grow older. We want to know that we will be well looked after. It is not always possible to personally provide all the care and support required and families often have to seek the help needed from elsewhere. With fewer younger people out of work who are available to assist and with an increasingly ageing population, the task of caring for us as we get older often falls to someone outside the family. More and more people are now asking themselves whether they will need to consider long term residential care.

We recognise that there are many people who worry about this and loosing their independence but don’t know what they can do to be best prepared to deal with this and who will need advice on how to protect their assets and how to cope with both the practical and financial changes that they may face.

We have a specialist team who are committed wholly to advising on such issues.

  • We can help you make a correctly drafted Will.
  • We can appoint the right people to carry out your wishes under a Lasting Power of Attorney.
  • We can advise you how to best protect your assets and ensure they stay in the family.
  • We can inform and advise you on whether you will be liable to pay Inheritance Tax.
  • We can advise you on whether you are receiving all the benefits that you should be.
  • We can advise you on what your rights are in terms of care in your home and how much you should be paying towards this. We can also help you with complaints regarding your care and challenging any funding arrangements for your care which you think may not be correct.
  • We can advise you about moving into residential care from how to pick the best home for you or your family member, checking that the contract for care is correct, advising you on funding arrangements including Deferred Payment Agreements and First and Third Party Top Up Agreements.
  • We can advise you regarding the process on discharge from hospital, what rights you have and what assessments should be completed before discharge.
  • We can also advise you on whether you or your relative should be entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare – see here for further details.

If you are thinking about giving your house away, we can

  • Advise you properly and help you understand what the advantages and disadvantages are.
  • Advise you on what can go wrong.
  • Advise you on the implications (if any) for your children.

If you are thinking about sharing accommodation with family either in a separate part of the property or as part of the household or considering making a joint purchase with other family members in order to provide shared accommodation there are legal and practical issues to consider. We are happy to discuss these with you and take any action necessary.

Retirement from work

If you are about to retire or have recently retired you will need to think about the financial changes and how you will fund your retirement.

We cannot give advice on your pension and investment arrangements but we can recommend trusted experts in this area.

Don’t leave it too late

We are often contacted by concerned family members following a sudden illness, accident or other event. We are often able to help but sometimes it is too late. We urge you to take early action to put your affairs in order. If necessary, we can refer you to other specialists, for example, accountants or independent financial advisers. We will work with those professionals to achieve your aims.

Home Visits

We recognise that our elderly clients may not be in a position to visit us at our offices. By prior arrangement, we can meet with our elderly clients at home or even in hospital.

Please contact a member of our Private Client Team who will be pleased to help you.

Prenuptial agreements

Planning a wedding is an exciting time - and also a time when you start thinking about your long-term future. You’re probably looking forward to a long and happy marriage but it’s also natural to wonder what unexpected twists and turns life might bring. That’s why, when planning a wedding or civil partnership, it’s a good idea to prepare for every eventuality. After all, none of us can accurately predict where life may take us in 10 or 20 years’ time. With a prenuptial agreement in place, you and your partner can enter into marriage safe in the knowledge that you’ll both know where you stand if you do choose to end your marriage in the future. Asking for a prenup certainly doesn’t mean that you expect your marriage to fail - and it doesn’t have to detract from the romance and excitement of your special day. With the help of our friendly and experienced solicitors, putting an agreement in place is a straightforward and sensible way to protect your future. And once it’s in place, you can get on with planning and enjoying your wedding day and your life together as a happily married couple. Prenuptial agreements, sometimes called premarital agreements, set out in writing what should happen to each person’s assets and finances if the marriage breaks down. It gives you both the opportunity to agree in advance what is fair - rather than one of you losing a large chunk of your assets in the event of a divorce. At Norton Peskett we’ve created agreements for many couples and our expertise provides the peace of mind that everything has been done correctly. With a proper agreement in place, your wishes are more likely to be accepted by the courts in the event of a divorce - which could save you thousands or even millions of pounds in the future. It is best to draft the agreement well in advance of your wedding day. This gives plenty time to get the agreement right and it will be looked on more favorably by the courts than an agreement that has been put together at the last minute. Creating a premarital agreement is straightforward and hassle-free. Our friendly solicitors will explain the process clearly and answer any questions you may have. We offer free, initial over-the-phone advice, so you can find out about the process, timescales and costs with no obligations. So for expert, confidential and friendly advice, contact us today.

Pricing

Norton Peskett Solicitors has a reputation for providing high quality legal advice and excellent client care. We are committed to maintaining the highest level of service and client satisfaction. We provide clear information about the services we provide and the costs involved.

Conveyancing Fees

Fees for Employment Tribunal Claims

Fees for Wills, Probate and LPA's

Motoring Offences and Fees Information

 

Contact us using the "Make an enquiry" form below or telephone 01502 533000.

Privacy Policy

Norton Peskett Privacy Policy

We are committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. This privacy policy explains how we use the information we collect about you, how you can instruct us if you prefer to limit the use of that information and procedures that we have in place to safeguard your privacy.

The information we may collect and how we use it

  • When you contact us you may need to give us your name, postal address, e-mail address and telephone number so that we can reply to you. We also need to know your credit card details when making an online payment to us so that we can process the payment.
  • The relevant information is then used by us to process your enquiry or payment and to communicate with you in general.
  • We may use aggregate information and statistics for the purposes of monitoring website usage in order to help us develop the website and our services. These statistics will not include information that can be used to identify any individual.
  • We, and our associated companies, may also wish to provide you with information about special features of our website or any other service or products we think may be of interest to you. We will only provide you with this information if you have confirmed that you are happy to receive it when sending your details to us. You will be given the option of receiving such further information when you contact us.

Our use of cookies and other information gathering technologies

  • We may use cookies from time to time on this site to monitor usage. We do not use cookies to collect any further personal information when you use this site.
  • It is possible to configure your web browser not to accept cookies. Please refer to your browser support for guidance on how to do this.

How we protect your information

  • The internet is not a secure medium. However we have put in place various security procedures as set out in this policy.
  • Our servers sit behind a firewall security system, are backup daily and held securely offsite. These hardware and software systems are monitored continuously.
  • The Company use encryption to protect the security of data transmitted to us. However if you supply information to us by other means such as email this is done at your own risk.
  • We keep your information confidential. Our internal procedures cover the storage, access and disclosure of your information. If you require any further information on these procedures please contact us

Sale of business

If our business is sold or integrated with another business your details may be disclosed to our advisers and any prospective purchasers and their advisers and will be passed on to the new owners of the business subject to terms of confidentiality no less onerous than those contained in this policy.

Updating your details

If any of the information that you have provided to us changes, for example if you change your e-mail address, name or payment details please let us know the correct details by sending an e-mail.

Your consent

  • By submitting personal information to us, including sensitive personal information, you consent to the use of that information as set out in this policy. If we change our privacy policy we will post the changes on this page so that you may be aware of the information we collect and how we use it at all times.
  • When you provide personal information about other individuals, you do so on the basis that the other individual has consented and agreed to the processing of the relevant personal data in accordance with this policy.
  • Owing to the global nature of the Internet infrastructure, the information you provide may be transferred in transit to countries outside the European Economic Area that do not have similar protections in place regarding your data and its use as set out in this policy. However, we have taken the steps outlined above to try to improve the security of your information. By submitting your information you consent to these transfers.

How to contact us

We welcome your views about our website and our privacy policy. If you would like to contact us with any queries or comments please send an e-mail.

 

Probate and Intestacy

The death of a loved one is always an emotional and distressing time. Unfortunately there are many things that have to be done.  We would be happy to assist you in sorting out the formalities relating to the administration of an estate, whether there is a Will or not. We are also experienced in those cases where matters are not so straight forward and we can guide you through this.

When someone dies they leave assets in their name, for example, a house, bank accounts, shares etc. Whoever holds the assets (Land Registry, Bank, Share Registrars) will usually want to see a Grant of Representation from the Court prior to releasing the assets.

There are two main types of Grant of Representation:-

Grant of Probate - Where there IS a valid Will

Probate is the legal procedure to decide whether a Will is valid. Where there is a Will in place that has an executor appointed who is able and willing to prove the Will an application is made by the executor for a Grant of Probate. Generally (unless the estate is worth less than £5,000.00) assets will not be released to the executor without sight of a Grant of Probate.

Grant of Letters of Administration - Where there IS NOT a valid Will

Where there is not a valid Will in place when a person dies the law states who is entitled to apply to the Court for the Grant of Letters of Administration. Once issued by the Court authority is given to the appropriate person to deal with the estate (known as the administrator). They have the same responsibilities as an exexutor.

If you are appointed as an executor or you are the person to extract a Grant in an intestacy the thought of carrying out these tasks may sound daunting and time consuming but we are here to help. We have an experienced team who specialise in the administration of estates, ensuring the whole process is completed smoothly and promptly. We can arrange for the probate valuations of all the assets as at the date of death and can also assist with the completion of the Inland Revenue Accounts, preparing the documents for extracting the Grant, collecting in the assets of the estate after the Grant has been issued, instructing genealogists to trace missing beneficiaries, selling the deceased’s property, preparing Estate Accounts and finally paying the money to the beneficiaries.

We offer a range of services to suit your needs from dealing with everything on your behalf to just submitting the application to the Court and are happy to work with you to discuss the best way that we can support you.

Proposed increase in sentences available for animal cruelty offences

animalwelfare

Proposed increase in sentences available for animal cruelty offences

The government is planning to introduce legislation which will increase the maximum custodial sentence for offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The current limit is six months’ imprisonment, but the new proposals would raise it to five years. This would bring England and Wales into line with other countries’ policies on animal cruelty and correct an issue of proportionality in relation to penalties available for other offences.

Offences covered by the Act

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes all of the following a criminal offence: causing animals unnecessary suffering (whether intentionally or not), improperly docking dogs’ tails, causing unnecessary mutilation, administering unauthorised poisons or drugs, participating in the organisation or facilitation of animal fights and failing one’s duty of care to particular animals. The Act adopts a wide definition of ‘animal’, to include any “vertebrate other than man.”

Provision for a disabled child

Information coming soon...

Rebecca Utton

Rebecca Utton

Rebecca Utton
Solicitor

Redundancy

When faced with redundancy it’s natural to have lots of questions. You’ll want to know if your redundancy is fair, how much notice your employers have to give you, and whether you are entitled to redundancy pay. Most employers handle the process properly and support their employees through this difficult time. However, if your employer is making redundancies and you feel as though you need help to ensure that you’re fairly treated, we’re here for you.

If you feel that you have been made redundant unfairly, then you’ll want to take action as soon as possible. It’s important to act quickly as you only have three months from the end of your employment to claim for unfair dismissal.

Our redundancy solicitors have in-depth experience of dealing with redundancy cases and will provide all the help and advice you need to ensure the best possible outcome. We’ll chat to you about redundancy law in a way that’s clear and easy to understand so that you can start to plan your next steps. With our help, you’ll quickly understand what you are entitled to and how to achieve the best outcome for your future.

If your case cannot be resolved directly with your employer then it may progress to an employment tribunal. If this proves to be the best course of action, we will support you through the process, helping you to understand your rights and entitlements at every step.

We offer a same-day response and with our free, initial, over-the-phone advice, it doesn’t cost you a penny to see whether we can help. So for fast, friendly employment law advice, contact us today.

Regulatory compliance

Complying with the relevant laws is important. Every business needs to be aware of their statutory obligations. At Norton Peskett, we make sure you know what they are and how to fulfill them.

You need to know the rules and regulations that apply to your business. There may be industry bodies that are specific to you. General regulatory compliance could include how you handle data, or ensuring the safety of your employees and customers. Environmental considerations may also affect how you do business. It is also important that you have robust processes in place. Employees need to be trained and you need to demonstrate good management too. Norton Peskett experts can guide you through the laws and regulations relevant to your business. We will explain them to you in a simple but practical way. We deal with every query promptly. You can be confident in the advice you receive. And as we explain our costs upfront - there are never any nasty surprises. Regulatory compliance can be a headache for many businesses. Working with one of our expert local solicitors will help to ease your worry, so give us a call today on 01502 533000.

Remortgaging

As a homeowner, at some point, you may wish to consider re-mortgaging – either to take advantage of a better mortgage deal or to release money from your property. With different mortgage providers offering different deals, you may wish to consider changing to a new lender. At Norton Peskett we make remortgaging as quick and simple as possible. We’ll guide you through the process, taking care of any paperwork and legal checks. We’ll also review the terms of your existing mortgage so that you don’t uncover any surprises further down the line. Our friendly lawyers are experts in all areas of property law but will always speak your language – not legal jargon, giving you the confidence that you’re making the right decision at every stage. With our free initial telephone conversation and no hidden costs policy, finding out more about your remortgaging options are straightforward. Call us today to arrange a chat with one of our lawyers.

Request for Driver Information

car dashboard

It may be an offence to fail to provide information as the identity of a driver when you receive a written request to do so from (or on behalf of) the police. If convicted, you face a hefty fine and 6 penalty points.

How long do they have to make the request?

A request must normally be served within 14 days of the offence being committed. There is case law where because a postal strike delayed the mail and it was delivered after the 14-day period, the offence was not committed. If you have any doubt as to whether the notice was served within the requisite time, please contact us for further advice. In some circumstances a valid request can be made after the 14-day period, so do not ignore a request simply because you believe it to be out of time – always seek legal advice.

How long do I have to reply?

From the date the notice is served you have 28 days to reply, or "as soon as practicably after the end of that period".

Residential property

At Norton Peskett we understand that one of the most important things in anyone’s life is their home. Whether you own a property or rent, we know that your home means much more to you than just bricks and mortar. Whether you’re buying, selling, investing, letting, or simply searching for your dream home, there will be times when you need a property lawyer to help everything run smoothly. Should you encounter problems with your property, having a knowledgeable property lawyer on your side is invaluable. Our experienced property lawyers provide a wide range of services to help safeguard your home or property investments. From tenancy agreements to advice on buying property at auction, we’re here to provide guidance and support whatever your circumstances may be. With no hidden costs, our friendly lawyers make property law straightforward and hassle free. We’ll explain all the processes clearly and answer any questions you may have. If you’re facing a housing or property issue, contact us and we’ll arrange for you to have a free, initial chat with one of our specialist property lawyers.

Restructuring and redundancy

When your business needs to make changes it may result in redundancies. Norton Peskett can help you restructure professionally and fairly.

Restructuring may look to make your business more successful. Or it may be required, unavoidable. Whatever the reason, it is important that those affected are treated fairly and proper procedures are followed. Informing employees and involving them throughout is less likely to lead to litigation when you take the final decision. If you think redundancies are likely or you’re planning some kind of reorganisation, Norton Peskett  expert lawyers can advise you on what you need to think about. Our advice is pragmatic and straightforward. We make certain we understand what you are hoping to achieve. We explain the likely outcomes, discuss options and make certain you know the relevant laws. Our advice is jargon free and we always say what our likely costs will be. Many other businesses have successfully worked with Norton Peskett to restructure. Choosing Norton Peskett means you will have access to some of the best lawyers in the UK. Contact us to experience this for yourself.

Richard Stone

Richard Stone

Richard Stone
IT/Facilities Manager

Road traffic collisions

An accident whilst driving can have serious consequences. If another road user was careless, reckless or negligent, Norton Peskett can help with any claim.

Having a driving accident is an unpleasant experience. The aftermath of the accident can add to the anxiety. Trying to assign liability to a reckless or careless driver or one who was just being plain stupid can take time. If liability is contested, legal advice is required. If you are injured, this needs expert guidance to seek proper compensation.

Norton Peskett will make sure you understand the process and guide you throughout. Costs, timescales and likely outcomes will be explained using plain and simple English. You explain fully what happened, so that we understand every detail. We investigate the circumstances of the accident, use specialists if helpful and look to secure the best outcome possible.

Robert Barley

Robert Barley

Robert Barley
Partner

Saturday Opening

We are open on Saturday mornings at our Lowestoft office from 9:00 to 12:30.

Call Lowestoft 533000 if you would like to make an appointment or just pop in. You can also drop off documents or pay a bill or arrange an appointment in person.

Services

Information coming soon...

Settlement Agreements

When your employment ends, it can sometimes involve a Settlement Agreement. Norton Peskett can explain what this is, help you agree one and make sure your rights are taken care of.

When the decision is taken to end an employment relationship, it can be a time of uncertainty. Disputes can arise over the decision to dismiss. Directors can fall out over future business strategy or investment decisions. You may feel your position is untenable or that your employer wants you to resign and is forcing you to do so. Alternatively, your employment may end due to restructuring of the company.

Settlement agreements are legally binding documents. Norton Peskett can explain what one is and what it means and more importantly whether you should you sign one. In return for an agreed financial amount, you are agreeing to waive any claims you may have. Your claim may have a higher potential value. We explain what your options are and if this is the best outcome. Terms need to be agreed and changed by us on your behalf. At every step, we use plain English, not legal jargon. If you sign, you know fully what you are agreeing to.

To help you resolve your dispute, and to talk about settlement agreements, call us today on 01493 849200.

Social Media Crime

smartphone 2123520 1920

With the ever-growing popularity of social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram it is important to take a step back and consider your use of them. You need to make sure that you and your children not only control the personal information that is put onto social media but also your behaviour on such sites.

Control your information online

Be aware of the potential for cyber-enabled fraud. Fraudsters can use information obtained from such sites to commit identity theft. Telling everyone about your forthcoming holiday may also be an advance initiation to a burglar – it is surprising how much information we reveal about ourselves over a period of time.

If you have children you also need to be aware of the dangers of persons contacting them and then grooming your child, building an emotional attachment to them with a view to a meeting for the purpose of sexual abuse or exploitation.

Many online games allow for messaging between users – do you know who your child is talking to?

Solicitor - A brand that you can trust

quality control

A solicitor is there to help advise you on the law, to guide you through difficult times, explain, advise and represent you. But who tells us what to do and ensures that you receive a proper service?

The Solicitors Regulation Authority

The SRA regulate solicitors and law firms in England and Wales, but what does this actually mean?

The SRA publish a Handbook that is made up of the Principles and a Code of Conduct. The principles say that we must:

  • uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice
  • act with integrity
  • not allow our independence to be compromised
  • act in the best interest of each client
  • provide a proper standard of service to our clients
  • behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in us and the provision of legal services
  • comply with our legal and regulatory obligations and deal with our regulators and ombudsmen in an open, timely and co-operative manner
  • run our business or carry out our role in the business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles
  • run our business or carry out our role in the business in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity, and
  • protect client money and assets.
Sophie Cooper

Sophie Cooper

Sophie Cooper
Solicitor

Sorry, seems to be the hardest word ....

 sorry

Or, at least it does according to Elton John.

But in criminal law, sometimes a simple act of contrition, genuinely felt and communicated, can alter a case outcome significantly. A timely admission and expression of sorrow can make the difference between a formal resolution such as caution or charge, and persuade the police to consider an out of court community resolution.

Restorative justice is a popular out of court disposal and preferable to almost all other outcomes when guilt is not in doubt. Research shows that the process has benefits for both victim and offender. Other out of court disposals such as driver awareness courses can also have an impact on an offender willing to address their behaviour; few leave undisturbed by the graphic images of a child hit by a speeding vehicle.

Steven Knight

Steven Knight

Steven Knight
Partner

Supporting the local economy

I have long been an advocate of supporting local business where possible. This is often easier to say than to put into practice. We can all be guilty of paying lip service to the idea; browsing in John Lewis or Waterstones and then ordering something on line (Amazon!) to save a few pounds. If as I do you both live and work in a small town, in my case Great Yarmouth, then keeping your business local has a greater importance than if you lived in say London or even Norwich. You don’t need a degree in economics to recognise than towns such as ours struggle in the present economic climate. Not only have we to put up with the general recessionary headwinds, but the drop in the price of oil coupled with the north sea oil and gas resources running down has lead to numbers of off-shore companies both laying-off staff and switching their operations elsewhere, often to Aberdeen. These prospects for a revival look bleak, with the cost of oil extraction now being more than it costs to extract shale oil in the US.

Tanith Spray

Tanith Spray

Tanith Spray
FCILEx

Targeting Drink Drivers

beer 3340680 1920

The government has announced its intention to use new roadside breathalysers, in a move that could see a further 6,000 convictions per year for drink driving. At the moment, the breath test procedure is in 2 stages, a person who tests positive at the roadside will be arrested and taken to a police station for a further test to be administered. This is known as the ‘evidential test’ and is the one that forms the basis of any prosecution decision.

The gap in time between the first positive breath test and the one administered at the police station may be significant enough to ensure that a person blows a negative reading – this is due to falling alcohol levels over time (although in some cases the reverse can also happen). While 'back calculation' laws are available, the evidence base is such that they are seldom used for this scenario. Arguably, therefore, some drink drivers go free. The legislation allowing for a definitive roadside evidential breath test procedure is already in place, but today the government has announced a competition aimed at device manufacturers, with the aim of ensuring that suitable devices are approved and in use by 2020.

Tenancy agreements and deposits

Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, it makes good sense to have a legally binding tenancy agreement in place. Not only will this highlight your rights and responsibilities but it will also help maintain a positive relationship between you and your landlord or tenant. A tenancy agreement is a contract between a tenant and a landlord. It should clearly explain what is expected of each party, providing everyone with the peace of mind that they know where they stand. As well as asking a tenant to sign a tenancy agreement, landlords are also legally entitled to request a deposit before letting a property to a tenant. The deposit provides security to the landlord but should be returned to the tenant at the end of the letting, providing that the terms set out in the tenancy agreement have been met. Landlords are now legally required to place the deposit in one of three government-backed tenancy deposit schemes. Norton Peskett offers expert advice regarding tenancy agreements and deposits for both tenants and landlords. So if you have a question or would like to find out how we can help, give us a call today. Our friendly and knowledgeable property lawyers are here for you and our free first advice promise ensures that it won’t cost you a penny to see how we can help you. With no hidden costs you can get answers to your questions quickly and easily.

Teresa Poole

Teresa Poole

Teresa Poole
Assistant

Terms and conditions of business

When you carry out business with another company, it is important to be clear on what terms this is being done. Many companies leave terms and conditions out until it is too late - when a disagreement arises. Norton Peskett  will ensure you do business on terms that suit you. Terms and conditions of business set out the contract between two parties. At the point a contract is agreed - when an offer is made and accepted - you should consider on what terms any work will be done. You should think about payment terms and how you would deal with a disagreement if a product or service is of an unacceptable standard. You also need to think about any implied terms too. Doing this at the right time allows terms to be incorporated into your contract. Norton Peskett helps you understand how to protect your business. We help you agree terms of business that protect your rights, and limit your liabilities. We explain matters simply and in plain English. We ensure you understand what you are agreeing to. If that is not your intention, we advise you on what you need to do. You can trust our lawyers to give you expert advice on what terms to include, and how and when to incorporate them in to your contracts.
Our friendly, knowledgeable solicitors are here to provide all the help and advice you need so, if you’re looking for legal advice to support your business, please call us today on 01493 849200.

The "Right to be Forgotten"

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Redemption has always been an important part of our justice system; you do the crime, you do time. Once your debt is paid, you should then be free to start again, without forever being haunted by ghosts of the past.

We all recognise that there must be limits to this principle, so if convicted of murder or rape, you are unlikely ever to be able to expunge the past. But for relatively minor offending, or offending so far in the past to render it irrelevant, one might expect that you could move on.

Before the internet age, moving on was possible, local news was soon forgotten, or people could move away and start again. But now, with the growth of online news and the ability of almost anyone able to publish almost anything, the picture is different. Powerful search engines such as Google ensure that if the information is out there, there is a method of finding it.

So, to counteract this, people now speak of a 'right to be forgotten', and this is where data protection laws are being utilised.

The Alexis Ruthven Trust

The Alexis Ruthven Trust have reached their target of £50,000!

 Alexis Ruthven Trust logo

In June 2015 The Alexis Ruthven Trust was created to raise £50,000 to fund building alterations to meet a little boy's basic living needs as well as further equipment he will need as his condition progresses. The discretionary trust was set up with assistance from David Watson at Norton Peskett Solicitors.

Alexis lives in Suffolk with his three younger sisters and has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive muscle wasting condition for which there is currently no treatment and no cure. Sufferers lose the ability to walk before their teens, and have a life expectancy of mid-late 20's.

Alexis is now enjoying his new ground floor bedroom and a fully accessible wetroom which has allowed Alexis to have greater independence while he's able to.

If you would like to read more about Alexis or donate go to alexisappeal.co.uk

The Hidden Peril of Drink Driving

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Many people convicted of driving with excess alcohol leave court with a pretty clear idea as to the length of their driving disqualification, but for a significant number, there is a shock further down the line.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no 'right' to hold a driving licence, merely by having passed a driving test, and not otherwise being disqualified. The Secretary of State for Transport has the right, where the circumstances justify it, to withhold a licence. One of the circumstances where this arises is after a drink drive conviction if the offender is deemed 'high-risk'.

Throwing Articles into Prisons

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It can be a temptation to family members, and to others perhaps for financial gain, to seek to convey articles into prisons. The chance of being detected is high and possibly for that reason many who might otherwise be tempted to do so, resist. Section 40CB of the Prison Act 1952 makes it an offence to throw articles into prisons, so propelling an item over the fence is no less of a crime than taking it inside the prison when visiting. It may also be seen as a much harder crime to detect. The reference to 'throwing' is however very misleading as it is defined in the legislation as meaning:

'doing anything from outside the prison that results in the article or substance being projected or conveyed over or through a boundary of the prison to land inside the prison.'

So, this covers not only throwing an article over a fence or wall, but also passing an item through a gap, and most commonly attaching an object to a drone and flying it in.

Time to Test the Brakes

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In December 2016 two men were convicted of manslaughter following an avoidable brake failure that resulted in the deaths of four people, including a young girl. Neither of the men drove the vehicle, but they were ultimately responsible, as the haulage boss and mechanic. One was sentenced to 7 ½ years, the other to 5 years and 3 months imprisonment. The case provides a stark reminder of the duty owed by vehicle operators, and one might have hoped that such cases would materially change behaviour.

A year on, it would appear that the situation has not improved as expected, and the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain this week called upon operators to change their approach to brake performance testing, commenting that '...despite the clear lessons from the Bath manslaughter case, operators are simply paying lip service to brake performance testing. In many cases, there’s too little recorded on the brake test to offer a meaningful assessment. In others, no information is recorded at all.'

Tracey Jordan

Tracey Jordan

Tracey Jordan
FCILEx

Transfer of title

Are you looking to transfer the ownership of a property from one person to another? Although this is a fairly straightforward process, it’s important that it is completed correctly to ensure everything progresses smoothly and to avoid unexpected problems in the future. Our expert property lawyers can help with every stage of a transfer of title, providing the support to complete your transfer efficiently and correctly. We’ll deal with the Land Registry and any mortgage providers on your behalf and ensure that all the necessary documentation is completed properly. We will also explain any factors that may arise from the transfer - giving you the peace of mind that all the legal details have been covered. We’ll keep you informed throughout every stage to help ensure that your transfer process is swift and straightforward. So if you’d like to chat with our lawyers about a transfer of title, call us today.

Trusts

A Trust is a legal arrangement whereby one party holds money and property for the benefit of another. The setting up of a Trust within a Will or during your lifetime can assist with:

  • assets passing into the estate of a beneficiary and adding to their Inheritance Tax liability
  • money being frittered away by those who cannot control money well
  • money being taken into consideration in a divorce
  • money being taken into account in respect of means tested benefits
  • money being protected for minors until they reach an appropriate age
  • money being taken into account for care home fees

There are a number of different types of trust all of which have their own advantages and disadvantages in terms of how they work and the tax implications. Because of this it is important that we meet with you to discuss your specific needs.

Once a Trust has been set up, in order to be successful, it has to be managed and we are able to provide the necessary support to enable this to happen. We can advise on:

  • Trustees duties and powers and the requirements of the Trustee Act 2000
  • Putting you in contact with an IFA who we know can advise on Trust Investments
  • Advice on Tax affairs and completion of tax returns for the trust
  • Assisting with the preparation of trust accounts
  • Arranging meetings of the Trustees on a yearly basis and the completion of minutes of these meetings in order to comply with the Trustee Act 2000
  • Dealing with the distribution of income and capital together with the required Deeds of Assignment/Appointment
  • Dealing with the retirement of Trustees and the appointment of new Trustees.

Please contact a member of our Private Client Team who will be happy to advise you in more detail on these matters in accordance with your own individual needs.

 

Unfair treatment at work

If you feel that you’re being unfairly treated at work, it can be a stressful and confusing time. The good news is, you’re not alone. Our employment law solicitors have helped lots of people in similar situations and can provide the help and advice you need to resolve issues quickly.

It’s important to act fast if you’ve been treated unfairly at work, particularly if you have been unfairly dismissed as you have just three months from the last day of your employment to make a claim. Once we hear from you, we can get things moving quickly - so the best advice is to get in touch as soon as possible.

Unfair treatment can come in many forms from being bullied to simply being treated differently from your colleagues. Whatever your situation, it’s natural to feel worried or concerned about what action to take for the best. That’s why we offer confidential, sympathetic support with free, initial over-the-phone advice and will explain all of the costs and timescales involved. We’ll chat with you to see whether you have a valid case and if so, we’ll support you to ensure you receive the outcome you deserve.

Our employment solicitors have a great deal of experience in dealing with the problems you may be facing. We will provide friendly, straightforward advice - answering your questions, explaining your rights and suggesting the best course of action for you to take.

We can provide unrivalled employment law knowledge. So for a friendly and confidential chat, contact us today.

What power do the police have to test my eyesight?

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There has been much ado in the press about police forces undertaking random checks on motorists and revoking licences at the roadside. So, what are their powers?

Can the police stop me?

Under section 163 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 a police officer in uniform has the power to require a driver of a vehicle on a road to stop. It is an offence to fail to comply with such a request.

Does the officer have to be in uniform?

To use this power the officer has to be in uniform. There is a common law power, however, for an officer not in uniform to request a vehicle to stop although there would be no penalty for failing to comply.

What to expect as a witness

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If you have provided a statement for the prosecution or for the defence you may be called to court to give evidence at the defendant’s trial.

Is there help available for me?

The Witness Service can provide assistance for any witness who has to attend court. This support can be both practical and emotional. They can provide information about the court process, show you the courtroom prior to the trial and assist with any expenses claim. If you are a prosecution witness the Crown Prosecution Service witness support unit will be in touch with you and will provide contact details for witness support. If you are a defence witness the solicitor representing the defendant can provide you with support and also provide the contact details for the local witness service.

What we will do on your behalf

We will ensure that the following documentation/information is obtained from the builder's legal team and will report to you accordingly. We will provide you with copies of the necessary paperwork at an early stage to ensure that any enquiries you may have can be dealt with promptly to ensure that there is no delay further down the line.

  • Planning permission - clearly we need to be satisfied that planning permission has been granted and will check whether any conditions have been or will be complied with.
  • Building Regulations consent
  • New home warranty - Most major developers subscribe to the National House Building Council (NHBC) scheme which offers a 10 year "Buildmark" warranty. Other developers may subscribe to similar schemes such as the Premier Guarantee Scheme or LABC warranty. The warranty is designed to cover defects in the property which arise within the warranty period. A new home warranty will certainly be a condition of any mortgage.
  • Estate Roads - The new estate roads, footpaths and sewers are likely to be adopted (become publicly maintained) at some point in the future but we will advise you as to maintenance and repair responsibilities until such time as this takes place.
  • Easements - the contract documentation must provide all rights required for your use and enjoyment of the property including rights of way over the estate roads/paths until adopted, rights in respect of services for example, water, drainage, gas, electricity and telephone. You will also need a right of access onto adjoining properties for the purpose of maintaining and repairing your own property and service media.
  • Restrictions / Covenants - these are usually imposed on new build properties and will affect not only your plot but all properties on the development. There will usually be restrictions against extending or altering the external appearance of the property, carrying on a business from the property and parking commercial vehicles and caravans outside. You will be responsible for complying with the covenants from completion and we will therefore ensure you are made aware of these obligations at an early stage.
  • If the property will have the use of common areas such as open spaces, play areas or shared private accessways, many developers will set up a Management Company to be responsible for future maintenance. If this is the case you will be required to pay an annual maintenance fee to the Management Company.

Throughout the transaction we will also liaise with you and the lender in respect of your mortgage offer to ensure that any conditions can be complied with, to include any additional requirements under the Help to Buy Scheme.

Why make a Will?

A Will is a tool that gives you control over what happens to your money, possessions and property after you die.

Providing for loved ones

Many people assume their possessions will automatically pass to loved ones. The fact is the only certain way to ensure that your spouse, partner or relative inherits is by making a Will. If you die without making a Will the intestacy rules apply in an arbitrary manner.

The intestacy rules do not currently recognise co-habitees who are unmarried and not in a civil partnership. For example if you live with your partner and die without a Will your partner will not automatically inherit any of your estate. The estate will pass to your surviving family – children, parents, brothers and sisters - your partner will have to make a claim, obtain separate legal representation and potentially fight in order to obtain a share in the estate. This can be distressing and expensive and can be easily avoided by the preparation of a Will.

Why was Ben Stokes found not guilty?

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Who is Ben Stokes?

He is the England cricketer who was charged with affray and acquitted by a jury.

But the video showed him hitting someone?

It did, his defence was that he was acting in self-defence, you can hit someone and still be not guilty of an offence in certain circumstances.

Will and inheritance disputes

Information coming soon...

Wills and Probate

The concept that making a Will is something just for the elderly or those who are unwell is changing as life is full of twists and turns and none of us can be sure what the future holds. That's why forward planning makes good sense and is important for any family or individual. With correct advice and the relevant legal documentation in place for your particular circumstances you can relax safe in the knowledge that your wishes will be carried out should anything happen to you.

At Norton Peskett our highly experienced Prvate Client Team offer professional, friendly and accessible advice to guide client's through, what can be, complex legal areas at a difficult and emotional time. We offer advice on a wide range of services which include:-

  • Making a Will
  • Probate, Intestacy & Administration of Estates
  • Disputed Wills & Estates
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Living Wills (Advance Decisions)
  • Inherittance and Tax Planning
  • Setting up a Trust
  • Equity Release
  • Court of Protection

Our Private Client Team are based across our offices and on hand to assist you, taking pride in providing an efficient, helpful and cost effective service. We appreciate that not all of our clients are in a position to attend our office and therefore we are able to accept instructions by telephone, letter or email. By prior arrangement a member of the Team can also come to your home or attend a client in hospital. For further information please contact our offices where we can arrange for you to speak with a member of our Private Client Team.

Work place injuries and disease

Having an accident at work may show that your employer has failed to carry out their responsibilities properly. Norton Peskett can help you with a claim if health and safety laws have not been followed.

Accidents happen - when they occur in the workplace, the question is whether it could have easily been avoided? Making a claim against your employer can be worrying. It is their legal responsibility to keep you safe at work. Has proper training been carried out? Are risk assessments regularly undertaken? If you suffer an injury that results in time off work or loss of income, you need legal guidance with any claim you make.

Claiming compensation for an injury is how Norton Peskett can help. We ensure we understand what happened and how seriously your employer carries out health and safety activities. Injuries can sometimes be mental, not simply physical. We talk with you, free of legal jargon, and agree what actions to take, likely costs and timescales. You may require further medical examinations but we keep in contact with you throughout. Our aim is to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Make an enquiry

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