Firm News and Articles

Welcome to our latest news and blogs page. Click to read the latest articles below or browse by category on the right.

SME Solicitors donates to Neonatal Unit

Wed, 22 Jul 2020  Firm News

SME Solicitors has completed a year of fundraising for the Neonatal Unit at Worcestershire Royal Hospital by donating £1200 to the Unit.   SME Solicitors fundraised for the charity throug...

Stamp Duty Holiday

Wed, 08 Jul 2020  Legal

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has today announced a Stamp Duty holiday on properties up to the value of £500,000.00. Stamp Duty will not be payable on any sole property purchase...

Redundancy Fact Sheet

Thu, 02 Jul 2020  Legal

During these unprecedented times of a national pandemic which have crippled the economy, many businesses are facing tough decisions ahead, one of which may be to consider redundancies. It is importan...

COVID-19 - Lockdown divorce

Tue, 09 Jun 2020  COVID-19 Information

There has been much comment in the national or even international press about the effects of lockdown on relationships when so many people have been forced to spend so much time close together. Appare...

No second bite at the cherry

Tue, 09 Jun 2020  None

Sometimes a final hearing doesn’t go as the client wanted. And sometimes the client will ask whether an extra little bit of information might have made a difference then wants to try to put that...

The duty of disclosure

Tue, 09 Jun 2020  None

It doesn’t take too much imagination to think of situations in which a party to financial proceedings might be tempted to explain just the parts of his or her case that are helpful, to miss bits...

COVID-19 – Employment Law Update 5: Furlough Leave and Annual Leave

Tue, 26 May 2020  COVID-19 Information

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Leave) and Annual Leave A highly discussed topic currently is whether employers can compel employees to take annual leave whilst they have been furloughed.&...

Inheritance Tax Update

Thu, 21 May 2020  Firm News

Since April 2017, many estates in the UK have benefitted from an additional Inheritance Tax Allowance called the Main Residence Nil Rate Band.   Estates of individuals who have direct descendan...

COVID-19 - The Impact on Commercial Contracts and Commercial Loans

Thu, 30 Apr 2020  COVID-19 Information

Many businesses will be concerned about the impact of COVID-19, and any subsequent economic and social changes, on their commercial contracts. Now more than ever is the time to update your terms and c...

COVID-19 - Supporting Your Business

Thu, 30 Apr 2020  COVID-19 Information

Our experienced Business Services team understand that these are unusual and demanding times for your business. We can assist you during this time by providing straightforward and pragmatic advice on ...

COVID-19 - Employment Law Update 4: Coronavirus Act 2020 - Treasury Direction to HMRC

Wed, 22 Apr 2020  COVID-19 Information

Coronavirus Act 2020 - Treasury Direction to HMRC On 15 April 2020 the Treasury published Directions for HMRC under powers conferred by the Coronavirus Act 2020.   The Directions provide gu...

COVID-19 - Employment Law Update 3: Job Retention Scheme - Treasury Direction

Thu, 16 Apr 2020  COVID-19 Information

The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 The Government announced on 27 March 2020 that employees who are not able to take their annual leave due to COVID-19 will now be able to c...

COVID-19 - Changes to insolvency laws to deal with Coronavirus pressures

Tue, 31 Mar 2020  COVID-19 Information

On Saturday 28th March Alok Sharma, the UK Business Secretary announced new plans to protect businesses from the normal threats of enforcement. Under the plans, the UK’s Insolvency Framework wi...

COVID-19 – Making Wills and LPAs remotely

Tue, 31 Mar 2020  COVID-19 Information

We are in very unsettled times, and circumstances seem to change daily. At SME we understand that there is still a very real need to execute Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, particularly for key ...

COVID-19 - Employment Law Update 2: Self Employment and Furlough Leave

Mon, 30 Mar 2020  COVID-19 Information

The Government announced on Thursday 26 March 2020 that they will be providing grants to all those who are self-employed and are eligible up to the value of £2,500 per month under the Self-Emplo...

COVID-19 - Arrangements for Separated Families

Thu, 26 Mar 2020  COVID-19 Information

Michael Gove has clarified that parents are permitted during this lockdown period to travel between each other’s houses in order for children to spend time with both parents. It is recommended t...

COVID-19 - Employment Law Update 1: Furlough Leave

Thu, 26 Mar 2020  COVID-19 Information

The Government announced on Friday 20 March 2020 that they will be providing assistance to all UK employers to obtain access to financial support to help to prevent employees from being made redundant...

COVID-19 - Do I need a Will and how would I do it during self-isolation?

Thu, 26 Mar 2020  COVID-19 Information

No one likes to think about making a Will.  If we are young, death seems too far away and as we get older the idea of planning for death becomes more and more unpalatable.  The thought of wh...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - what are they and why are they so important?

Wed, 25 Mar 2020  None

We all know how important it is to have a Will prepared.  A Will ensures that your assets go where you want them to, and allows you to make decisions about your funeral wishes or who would look a...

Brexit and Family Law

Wed, 29 Jan 2020  None

Resolution has provided a short guidance to the international aspects of family law and how they will be affected by Brexit, this is a summary of what they have said: “Brexit briefing January 2...

Samaritans Brew Monday

Mon, 20 Jan 2020  Events

Blue Monday?  What Blue Monday?  We are joining in the Samaritans Brew Monday here in our offices.  SME staff and Partners are taking a tea break (with cake obviously!) to highlight the...

Family Mediation Week

Fri, 17 Jan 2020  Events

The week of 21-25 January is Family Mediation Week.  Family Mediation is an area which can be a helpful aide to separating couples and in which we have expert solicitors and extensive experience....

Opposite-Sex Couples to Enter into a Civil Partnership

Tue, 12 Nov 2019  Legal

Opposite-sex couples should soon be able to enter into a civil partnership instead of marrying. The House of Lords have approved regulations, which are intended to commence on 2 December, which would...

Divorce survival pack

Tue, 01 Oct 2019  Legal

There is such a huge difference between the immensely powerful feelings experienced at the beginning of a relationship compared with the immensely powerful but almost opposite feelings experienced at ...

Worcester Fashion Show

Fri, 20 Sep 2019  Events

Will Cadbury and Ellen Conry took to the catwalks as models in the Worcester Business Improvement District fashion show in aid of the Worcester Breast Unit Haven on the 19th of September, we were thri...

Tenant Fees Act 2019

Wed, 31 Jul 2019  Legal

On 1st June 2019 the Tenant Fees Act 2019 came into force.   The purpose of the Act is to restrict the types of payments that Landlords and letting agents can demand from tenants.  The Act...

Work experience at SME Solicitors

Tue, 23 Jul 2019  General & Guest

We regularly welcome work experience students to SME Solicitors and really enjoy their input and the chance to showcase what we do across our different teams in the hope of inspiring them to enter the...

Facebook and Slander – What constitutes slanderous remarks on Facebook?

Thu, 13 Jun 2019  Legal

A hot topic in the courts at the moment is people claiming that comments made on Facebook constitute slander. In a very recent case that went all the way to the Supreme Court the concept of the reaso...

Top Ten Tips for settling a dispute

Tue, 11 Jun 2019  Legal

If you are involved in a dispute then you may wish to settle it as quickly and efficiently as possible.  It is therefore important that you understand how to manage the dispute to reach a favoura...

Residential Lettings – are you up to date?

Thu, 06 Jun 2019  Legal

On 1 October 2015 the Deregulation Act 2015 came into force and changed the rules and procedures relating to the eviction of tenants.  The implementation of the Act made a number of signifcant ch...

The Enforceability of County Court Judgments

Thu, 30 May 2019  Legal

Prior to the issuing of proceedings you must think carefully about the financial stability of the defendant.  Whilst you may succeed in law will you be in a position to enforce a Judgment?  ...

Debt Recovery letters - Don't ignore them

Thu, 23 May 2019  Legal

If you receive a letter or written document which sets out a claim or complaint don't ignore it. It is often fear of the unknown that causes us to put it to the bottom of the pile; deal with it later;...

Credit Control

Thu, 09 May 2019  Legal

Credit control can often be a time consuming exercise that detracts you from the day to day running of the business but as this article will explain it is an essential part to cash flow and growth.&nb...

Rights by prescription

Thu, 25 Apr 2019  Legal

Can a simple notice protect you from a claim of right by prescription? Over the years there has been much debate between land owners as to the nature and effect of easements arising by way of prescri...

Penalty Clauses – A change in the law

Thu, 18 Apr 2019  Legal

Historically the law surrounding penalty clauses was based on there being a genuine pre-estimate of loss.  Clauses of this nature were often found in contracts by reference to liquidated damages;...

End of the meal ticket?

Thu, 28 Feb 2019  Legal

Although divorce law has for many years required the courts to consider terminating the financial dependence of one spouse on the other there have nonetheless been many cases in which ongoing orders f...

Employment Law Update

Wed, 20 Feb 2019  Legal

This is an update in relation to forthcoming changes in Employment legislation and also the outcome of one particular case in the Employment Tribunal concerning Age Discrimination.  It does not c...

Child Support Regulations 2018

Wed, 13 Feb 2019  Legal

On 29th November 2018 the Government changed the Child Support Regulations back to enable the CMS to take into account a Non-Resident Parent (NRP) assets for child support payments. This is particular...

Employment Law - Brexit Update

Wed, 30 Jan 2019  Legal

Brexit is due to take place on the 29th March 2019 unless the Government decides to postpone this until July at the latest.  The text of a draft Withdrawal Agreement that was reached in November ...

County Court and High Court Judgment and their effect on individual’s credit ratings

Fri, 25 Jan 2019  Legal

Every judgment made against an individual in the High Court or County Court is entered on the Register, Reg.8 of the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines Regulations 2005.  However, there are...

Brexit and Data Protection - Deal or No Deal Implications

Tue, 15 Jan 2019  Legal

Background The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became applicable to all EU member states on 25th May 2018. The UK passed the Data Protection Act 2018 which also came into force from 25th Ma...

Family law developments in 2019 - sharing and financial contributions on divorce

Tue, 08 Jan 2019  Legal

In the majority of cases contributions are not specifically taken into account unless they are “stellar” or there is a major reason to include them. As such this is not a factor for most d...

Meet the divorce lawyers in the Cotswolds

Thu, 03 Jan 2019  General & Guest

Read full article here: https://www.cotswoldlife.co.uk/business/meet-the-divorce-lawyers-in-the-cotswolds-1-5817919 My aim as a family solicitor is to help people who are going through what can ...

Family Mediation at SME

Thu, 13 Dec 2018  Legal

Family Mediation at SME What would happen if you and your other half split up?  What would happen for the children?  What about the house? Would you want to be able to sort out as possible ...

Christmas Spirit at SME!

Tue, 11 Dec 2018  Events

Now it’s almost the middle of December, staff here at SME Solicitors are all getting in the spirit of the season!  The decorations are up around our 2 Worcester city centre offices and are ...

How to avoid divorce over Christmas!

Tue, 11 Dec 2018  Legal

1 .        Don’t be unrealistic about what Christmas will bring to your family or relationship. It can be a magical time but it won’t perform miracles. 2  ...

Divorce Survival Guide - Part 3

Wed, 28 Nov 2018  Legal

The third in a series of articles suggesting ways to survive divorce or separation in a positive way.   3          Understand your Now, Where and Ho...

Divorce Survival Guide - Part 2

Tue, 13 Nov 2018  Legal

The second in a series of articles suggesting ways to survive divorce or separation in a positive way.   2) Stay Positive   Some days you will be up and some days you will be down. That ...

Divorce Survival Guide - Part 1

Tue, 30 Oct 2018  Legal

The first in a series of articles from SME Solicitors suggesting ways to survive divorce or seperation in a positive way.   1) Have Patience   Not always easy. If your partner has not be...

Are you really married?

Thu, 25 Oct 2018  Legal

For a marriage to be legally recognised in England and Wales you have to have complied with certain formalities (see my previous article about the differences between marriage and living together). I...

SME supports a great debate

Wed, 24 Oct 2018  Firm News

PRESS RELEASE SME Solicitors is again sponsoring the RGS Worcester debating team for the coming academic year.   RGS Worcester and SME Solicitors have a long-standing relationship going back m...

No Deal Brexit Maintenance

Mon, 22 Oct 2018  Legal

Joanna Gardner explains that the Government has published an article explaining how family law cases would change if the UK leaves the EU with ‘no deal’ In the article she summarises...

No Deal Brexit Gen Family

Thu, 11 Oct 2018  Legal

Joanna Gardner explains that the Government has published an article explaining how family law cases would change if the UK leaves the EU with ‘no deal’ In the second of three articles sh...

No Deal Brexit Divorce

Thu, 04 Oct 2018  Legal

Joanna Gardner explains that the Government has published an article explaining how family law cases would change if the UK leaves the EU with ‘no deal’ In the first of three articles she...

Newly qualified solicitor Ellen Conry taken on by SME

Tue, 02 Oct 2018  Firm News

We are very proud about Ellen Conry qualifying as a solicitor.   Read the article on Worcester News!   https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/business/16908824.newly-qualified-solicitor-el...

Congratulations to Ellen for qualifying as a Solicitor!

Tue, 18 Sep 2018  Firm News

We would like to say a big congratulations to Ellen Conry, as we're proud to share that on the 17th September she officialy qualified as a solicitor!  A huge congratulations on this fantastic ac...

Government review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

Wed, 08 Aug 2018  Legal

The Home Office has annouced it will be launching an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The review will be led by Frank Field MP, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Maria Miller MP. It is anti...

Stuck in a marriage she can't get out of?

Wed, 08 Aug 2018  Legal

There has been a great deal of press comment about the judgment of 25 July 2018 concerning the case of Mr and Mrs Owens. Mrs Owens was refused a divorce based on allegations about her husband’s ...

Mills v Mills

Wed, 18 Jul 2018  Legal

The Supreme Court’s decision published today in the case Mills v Mills will be a partial victory for Mr Mills as the Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal’s decision that ...

GDPR – Business to Business – Do you need to do anything?

Tue, 10 Jul 2018  Legal

Many of our business clients supply to other businesses. We have noticed there is a misconception in those cases that they do not have to do anything to comply with the Data Protection Act 2018. The s...

Do you need a Brexit contract review?

Thu, 05 Jul 2018  Legal

Timeline Whilst no agreement has yet been reached yet between UK Parliament and the EU member states, Brexit is fast approaching. Our government has until a long stop date of 13th December 2018 to ...

Failure to provide reasonable financial provision under a Will

Thu, 03 May 2018  Legal

Increasingly we are seeing fragmented families with several relationships and children from different relationships over the course of people’s lives.  This can leave a real muddle after de...

SME SOLICITORS GUEST BLOG POST

Fri, 13 Apr 2018  General & Guest

European Structural & Investment Fund Sub-Committee It is quite a mouthful so we call it ESIF for short! But what is it? And why is there one in Worcestershire? You will, no doubt, be familiar w...

From Uncertainty to Certainty

Thu, 29 Mar 2018  Legal

From uncertainty to certainty One of the biggest things that worries clients facing family breakdown is the fear of uncertainty. What is to happen about the children?  What's going to happen abo...

David Denovan-Smith ACTAPS Accreditation

Wed, 21 Mar 2018  Firm News

We're proud to announce that David Denovan-Smith from SME Solicitors is duly registered as a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists. David Denovan-Smith has recently b...

Monitoring an employee’s personal emails may be a breach of human rights

Thu, 08 Mar 2018  Legal

The recent decision in the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) highlights the risk to employers who choose to monitor employee’s emails. In the case of Barbulescu v Roman...

Border In A Box Wins £12,000 Worcestershire Innovation Prize

Wed, 07 Mar 2018  General & Guest

An innovative gardening solution from Pershore wins the WINN ’Make It Happen Challenge’ An innovative way to get the gardens of Worcestershire blooming has won the WINN ‘Make It Hap...

Honesty is always the best policy

Wed, 07 Mar 2018  Legal

Although it may be tempting for an employer to try to “soften the blow” when dismissing an employee, they should be aware that doing so may have serious implications. In the recent case of...

The Appointment of Executors/Administrators

Mon, 26 Feb 2018  Legal

When being asked to deal with the administration of an estate, the first important factor is to find out if the deceased person left a Will.   On being advised that a deceased person has left a...

The Use of Signage to Prevent Easements Arising by Prescription

Mon, 26 Feb 2018  Legal

Car parking wars A legal easement (a right to use land that you do not own) can be created by long use also known as ‘by prescription’.  One element necessary for creating an easemen...

Claim a Refund of LPA Registration Fees

Tue, 13 Feb 2018  Legal

Are you married/in a civil partnership or living together? Do you know your rights?

Tue, 13 Feb 2018  Legal

Are you married/in a civil partnership or living together? Did you know; There is no longer such a thing as a common law marriage. It was abolished by the 1753 Marriage Act? Several misconceptions e...

Did you know? Are you married/in a civil partnership or living together? - Part 9

Mon, 12 Feb 2018  Legal

WHY DOES IT MATTER? What different rights do parties who live in England or Wales who are married in a civil partnership and people who are not married/civil-partners, or don’t have a legally v...

Did you know? Are you married/in a civil partnership or living together? - Part 8

Mon, 12 Feb 2018  Legal

WHY DOES IT MATTER? What different rights do parties who live in England or Wales who are married in a civil partnership and people who are not married/civil-partners, or don’t have a legally v...

Did you know? Are you married/in a civil partnership or living together? - Part 7

Mon, 12 Feb 2018  Legal

WHY DOES IT MATTER? What different rights do parties who live in England or Wales who are married in a civil partnership and people who are not married/civil-partners, or don’t have a legally v...

Did you know? Are you married/in a civil partnership or living together? - Part 6

Mon, 12 Feb 2018  Legal

WHY DOES IT MATTER? What different rights do parties who live in England or Wales who are married in a civil partnership and people who are not married/civil-partners, or don’t have a legally v...

Did you know? Are you married/in a civil partnership or living together? - Part 5

Mon, 12 Feb 2018  Legal

WHY DOES IT MATTER? What different rights do parties who live in England or Wales who are married in a civil partnership and people who are not married/civil-partners, or don’t have a legally v...

Did you know? Are you married/in a civil partnership or living together? - Part 4

Mon, 12 Feb 2018  Legal

WHY DOES IT MATTER? What different rights do parties who live in England or Wales who are married in a civil partnership and people who are not married/civil-partners, or don’t have a legally v...

Did you know? Are you married/in a civil partnership or living together? - Part 3

Mon, 12 Feb 2018  Legal

The requirements in England and Wales for a marriage to be recognised as valid . This article is not designed to cover every aspect of matrimonial law, but here are a few things you should be aware o...

Did you know? Are you married/in a civil partnership or living together? - Part 2

Mon, 12 Feb 2018  Legal

The requirements in England and Wales for a marriage to be recognised as valid . This article is not designed to cover every aspect of matrimonial law, but here are a few things you should be aware o...

Did you know? Are you married/in a civil partnership or living together? - Part 1

Mon, 12 Feb 2018  Legal

This is the first of a series of short pieces about marriage and the different rights for married people/civil partners and people who are not married but live together as couples. There is no longer...

Legal Marriage - DID YOU KNOW?

Thu, 08 Feb 2018  Legal

There is no longer such a thing as a common law marriage. It was abolished by the 1753 Marriage Act. Several misconceptions exist in relation to marriage and when people live together: Some people...

DID YOU KNOW? A Leaseholder has a right to occupy premises for the term set out in the lease.

Thu, 08 Feb 2018  Legal

A Leaseholder has a right to occupy premises for the term set out in the lease. As the length of the lease decreases so does its value. It is, however, possible to extend the lease. “Qualifying...

Are you a supplier? Do you have a Retention of Title Clause?

Thu, 08 Feb 2018  Legal

It is a familiar tale where a supplier transfers goods to a buyer and then the buyer fails to make payment.  If the buyer subsequently becomes insolvent there is very little recourse. The ad...

The importance of negotiation

Thu, 08 Feb 2018  Legal

A recent case between warring neighbours in Somerset is a valuable reminder of the importance of negotiating property disputes.    In brief, Mr Shorltand and his partner had no direct acce...

Mediation

Thu, 08 Feb 2018  Legal

The Court of Appeal has sent a strong warning to parties who drag their heels on mediation.   In the recent case of Thakkar and another v Patel and another [2017] EWCA Civ 117 the Court was ask...

Time is of the Essence

Thu, 08 Feb 2018  Legal

In the supply of goods and services time can be a critical factor.  If a supplier fails to deliver the goods or services within a specified time frame this can often lead to protracted disputes a...

Claire Bentick, Solicitor

Thu, 08 Feb 2018  Firm News

Claire qualified as a solicitor in 2008 and bring a wealth of experience to our dispute resolution team, having spent the early part of her career at a Midlands based law firm.   Claire underst...

Land Tribunal Summary Note

Thu, 08 Feb 2018  Legal

The Land Registry (“LR”) and the First Tier Lands Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) resolves a number of property related disputes.    When an application is made to the LR...

The end of Employment Tribunal fees

Thu, 08 Feb 2018  Legal

In 2013, the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order was introduced. This order changed the rules on making a claim in the Employment Tribunal, the result of which was that those...

The importance of retaining title Deeds

Thu, 08 Feb 2018  Legal

What are title Deeds? Title Deeds are documents that show the chain of ownership and dealings for land and property. They include Conveyances, Legal Charges, Grants of Probates and Leases. They can a...

Claim a Refund of LPA Registration Fees

Thu, 08 Feb 2018  Legal

The Office of the Public Guardian has recently announced that they are offering a refund of registration fees.  This relates to Lasting Powers of Attorney that were registered between 1st April 2...

More Success at SME Solicitors

Tue, 30 Jan 2018  Firm News

SME Solicitors is pleased to announce the promotion of Deputy Diocesan Registrar and Commercial Property lawyer Jack Smith to Associate. As a solicitor within our ecclesiastical department Jack advis...

We are proud to be sponsoring The Droitwich Half Marathon

Fri, 26 Jan 2018  Events

We are proud to be sponsoring the Droitwich Half Marathon! So dust off your running shoes and come join us on Sunday 4th March.   
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