Experienced leadership steers Thursfields through the challenges of lockdown

A top Midlands law firm is rising to the multiple challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown thanks to its experienced leadership.

Nick O’Hara, the managing director of Thursfields Solicitors, has just celebrated 41 years at the company, and has no intention of letting the current pandemic stop the company’s expansion.

He began his career as a trainee solicitor at Thursfields and since then has held many different roles, climbing the ladder to lead the company since 2008.

Recalling how times have changed, Mr O’Hara said: “My original contract of employment at Thursfields required me to own a suit comprising a black coat and waistcoat with striped trousers.

“You may be forgiven for thinking this was a contract from Dickensian times, but in fact this was the state of play in 1970s law firms.

“The world has moved on so much since then, as has the legal sector, and Thursfields has only continued to grow by making sure it keeps up with those changes.

“That ongoing flexibility proves crucial at times of uncertainty like we’ve experienced in recent weeks, when being ready and able to take the long-term view can be so valuable.

“Economic crises come and go, markets and regulation change and shift, and yes, one day soon, a new normality will return once the current restrictions are lifted.

“This is exactly when the practice of constantly learning pays off, always expecting the unexpected, and preparing to adapt to whatever comes. That approach really is the key to survival and future success in business.”

Mr O’Hara explained that Thursfields was currently assisting many of its small and medium-sized business clients to make sure they also adapt to cope with the current pandemic.

He said: “For any business owner at this time, the impact of COVID-19 and market uncertainty is likely to require a re-think of their business planning.

“In the short term, it’s about making sure the finances stack up and communicating well with clients and colleagues alike.

“In the medium term, it’s about looking at what opportunities may have presented themselves and being sufficiently agile as a business to respond to changing market forces. 

“The professional services sector is perhaps more traditional than most, but unexpected circumstances, like a recession or a pandemic, force the pace of change, and that disruption in the marketplace can often lead to a positive outcome for those who embrace it.

“As a progressive law firm, we had already embraced flexible and agile working. The recent pandemic just required us to scale up our efforts which, thanks to our dedicated IT colleagues, we were able to do at pace.

“Lawyers have had to adapt their interaction with clients, making use of virtual meetings and more electronic communications, but this has been well received and clients have appreciated the speed and efficiency of working this way.”

Mr O’Hara added: “The main thing is that Thursfields can advise on whatever our clients need – from Wills to commercial property contracts, from employment to family law, and from corporate decision-making to matrimonial disputes.

“And while the entire marketplace adapts, our experts continue to provide guidance in agriculture, charities, energy and healthcare sectors, as well as in new homes, retail and leisure, and telecommunications.”

Contacts for legal advice in all areas can be found at www.thursfields.co.uk.

Ends (546 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Steve Dyson at ASAP PR – 01789 490786.

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in six offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Solihull and Birmingham.

Fast growing Black Country laser cutting company doubles space, with advice from Thursfields

Thursfields Solicitors has helped a fast growing Black Country business take on more space as it prepares to continue its expansion plans.

High Speed Lasers Ltd in Stourbridge offers a sub-contract laser cutting and metal folding service to a growing number of clients across the UK manufacturing sector, predominantly in the automotive and aerospace industries.

The business was founded by director and shareholder Simon Wyatt in 2007 and has experienced sustained growth over the years, now employing 40 staff, with a turnover of approximately £6 million.

Stewart Coles, a senior associate in Thursfields’ commercial property department, said: “High Speed Lasers operates from a 20,000 sq ft facility on LCP’s Stourbridge Estate, and has now taken a ten year lease on an additional 2-bay unit in the same block.

“This has given them a further 22,000 sq ft, more than doubling the space available to them, and we also dealt with an extension of the lease on their existing premises.”

Simon Wyatt of High Speed Lasers Ltd said: “We are now investing in new machines which will enable us to offer new products and services, both to our existing customers and to attract new business.

“High Speed Lasers is intending to continue to grow and thrive, despite the current situation, and this new financial commitment, with the rent on the new units over £115,000 per annum alone, shows our confidence.”

“Stewart Coles at Thursfields Solicitors immediately understood our plans and his expert advice enabled us to take on a further 22,000 sq ft while simultaneously negotiating an extension of the lease on our existing premises – which was exactly the result we wanted.”

Stewart Coles said: “We work hand in hand with our clients and their plans, and with cooperation from all parties we were able to work swiftly, completing both leases in around three weeks from instruction. 

“It’s very much business as usual for Thursfields’ commercial property team and our clients. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on many businesses, but used positively the lockdown has given business owners the opportunity to step back and assess their property needs.”

• For business property legal advice, contact Stewart Coles, on scoles@thursfields.co.uk  or telephone 0345 2073728.

Ends (364 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk

Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Simon Penfold at ASAP PR – 01789 490786.

www.thursfields.co.uk

Twitter – @Thursfields

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in six offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Solihull and Birmingham.

Thursfields warning of tight deadline to pay Capital Gains Tax

Property owners selling homes at a profit have less than a month to complete before a new Capital Gains Tax (CGT) regime comes in that means the tax must be paid within 30 days.

Thursfields Solicitors is reminding sellers that new rules introduced by the Finance Act 2019 mean that CGT must be paid much quicker than previously. 

Julian Field, director of residential conveyancing at Thursfields Solicitors, said: “For property sales before 6 April 2020, capital gains are reported in personal tax returns for the year in the which the sale took place.

“This could mean the seller had up to 21 months to report the gain and pay the CGT.

“However, from 6 April 2020, the gain must be reported and the CGT paid within 30 days of the sale being completed.”

Failure to comply will trigger an automatic penalty and incur interest on the unpaid CGT. The new rules also apply to trustees of trusts for UK residents that dispose of UK residential property.

Mr Field said: “The new rules apply to disposals of residences, holiday homes, residential lettings and inherited homes that are not used as main residences throughout the period of ownership.”

However, there are exceptions to the 30 day deadline including where the legally binding sale contract was made before 6 April 2020, if principal private residence relief is available, or the disposal was made to a spouse or civil partner.

There is no CGT to pay if the capital gain is within the annual CGT exempt amount £12,000, the property was sold at a loss, or the property is outside of the UK. 

Mr Field said: “HMRC is launching a new online facility for reporting and paying CGT in April 2020, which can be used by UK residents and non-UK residents selling qualifying property from 6 April 2020, but the message is clear.

“If you can complete your sale before that date, you can buy yourself some time to pay CGT – as you will need to declare by 31 January 2021.

Ends (337 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk

Tel: 01905 677066 

Or 

Steve Dyson at ASAP PR – 01789 490786.

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields 

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in six offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Solihull and Birmingham.

Local family buy and relaunch historic pub, helped by Thursfields

An early 19th century rural pub in the Midlands has been bought and relaunched by a local family, helped by Thursfields Solicitors.

The law firm advised partners Gareth Clowes and Luise Middleton on the purchase of The Bell Inn at Pensax, a village in north-west Worcestershire. 

The venue has been a traditional pub since the early 1800s and the new owners, who already live in Pensax, took over from the retiring landlord to ensure it remained a community local rather than a chain franchise.

Gareth and Luise are assisted in running the business by their daughters, initially Lauren and now Primrose on a full-time basis.

The Bell Inn now serves over 20 home-brewed ales and employs seven part-time local staff, plus an apprentice chef who is just 17 years old.

Gareth said: “We’re really grateful to Thursfields for giving us expert legal advice throughout the process that helped us to seal the deal.

“We’re determined to keep the traditional feel of the pub by not ripping out the character, serving a traditional menu and a selection of real ales.

“It will be family run and at the heart of the local community, although we’re also keen to move with the times and are already hosting regular live music nights and other events.”

Emma Hughes, an Associate Solicitor in Commercial Property department at Thursfields’ Worcester office, handled the purchase transaction for The Bell Inn.

She said: “This is a lovely pub and it was great to work with such a passionate local family who are determined to run it as a community business.

“They were a pleasure to work with and we look forward to seeing The Bell Inn thrive under their ownership.”

Ms Hughes’ was assisted on the deal by Samuel Mills, a graduate at Thursfields who’s training to be a Chartered Legal Executive.

The Bell Inn regularly supports members of the community and local charities, and recently raised money for a charity that supported a customer who had a bone marrow transport.

On 20 March, they are also running an event which will raise money for Endometriosis UK which has affected several people in the local community.  

The pub will also host a summer beer festival which takes place on the last weekend in June.

Ends (361 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Steve Dyson at ASAP PR – 01789 490786.

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in six offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Solihull and Birmingham.

Farmers face some of the biggest changes to agriculture since the Second World War says Thursfields’ new head of agriculture

Thursfields Solicitors has appointed Jon Clifford (pictured right) as a director and Head of Agricultural and Rural Affairs to lead the firm’s legal advisory services to the farming community and landed estates.

A Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association, he will lead a team of lawyers able to advise on all aspects of rural issues including land ownership, tenancies, commercial property, energy and telecoms, employment, dispute resolution and wills and estates.

He is also a member of the Property Litigation Association and, along with Thursfields’ managing director Nick O’Hara, of the Country Landowners’ Association.

Jon has lived on the Worcestershire/Herefordshire border for almost 20 years advising farmers and landowners across the Midlands and beyond.

Nick O’Hara said: “Thursfields is delighted to welcome Jon to lead our agricultural and rural affairs offering. This is an area that is going to see increased focus post-Brexit as the future of farming is revealed in coming months, and Thursfields is ready to support our clients in this sector.”

Jon said: “This is an exciting time to be joining both a fast growing law firm and taking charge of Thursfields’ legal services to the farming and rural community.

“Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has just unveiled what many believe to be the most fundamental changes seen in the UK since the 1940s. 

“This is part of the changing face of agriculture and our clients expect a fast, flexible and knowledgeable response from their advisers.

“Among the many challenges facing farmers is how to help make the UK more self-sufficient, and this means all of us asking ourselves ‘where exactly does our food come from?’ I heartily support the current interest in food, its source, and the effect production is having on the environment. But how many consumers of avocados, for instance, stop to think that their lunch was probably flown here from South America; or that production of the base product of almond milk is causing major environmental issues in California?

“In this country we have grass, we have rain, and we have sunshine. Natural resources the envy of most other countries. We also have some of the highest food productions standards in the world. There are huge pressures on agriculture from a wide variety of lobbies and we have to find a way through that is both sustainable for the environment and economical for farmers too.”

Jon cited a recent speech on zero carbon farming by Professor Richard Pickard, visiting professor at the Royal Agricultural University and Emeritus professor at the University of Cardiff, who provides scientific advice for the communications media, government and a variety of institutions.

” Professor Pickard told delegates at the recent Pershore Conference that many plant-based proteins may be imported to the UK with substantial food miles, adding to carbon emissions. Some popular plant-based alternatives are packed with artificial ingredients, making them unhealthier than natural, lean cuts of meat.”

Jon added: “The challenge to the farming industry is not only to work towards zero carbon but also to continue to make the case for UK farming and the benefits of eating ‘local. How is it helping the planet if healthy, high quality, locally produced food is passed over in favour of something shipped halfway round the World, and where the method of production falls way below the standards insisted upon at home?

“Add to this housing pressures on some areas of the green belt and there is clearly much to be done to reinforce the case for sustainable UK farming.”

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in six offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Solihull and Birmingham.

Ends (524 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Steve Dyson at ASAP PR – 01789 490786. 

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in six offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Solihull and Birmingham.

Thursfields advises on purchase of former Northampton care home

Thursfields Solicitors has advised the purchaser of a former care home in Northampton which will now be adapted for supported living 

Senior associate Stewart Coles, a commercial property lawyer in Thursfields’ Halesowen office, led the team which advised CJS (Northampton) Ltd on the purchase of Trinity House, a Victorian former nursing home.

Care homes specialist Salim Lalani, a director of CJS Care (Northampton) Ltd which has acquired the property with vacant possession for £710,000, will now oversee a six month conversion of the building into 14 flats to provide supported living accommodation.

He also owns Stepping Stone Care Homes which has three other similar facilities in the Northampton area.

Stewart Coles said: “We were introduced to Mr Lalani by the selling agent Redwoods Dowling Kerr due to our reputation and expertise in dealing with care homes.

“The buyer was given a short ‘exclusivity period’ in which to exchange contracts, meaning that we had to act quickly to get the deal done within the required timescales. We were instructed at the end of October, exchanged contracts on 22 November and completed on 16 December.

Mr Lalani said: “Thursfields quickly understood the deal and the time constraints and Stewart Coles kept us in touch with the process through to completion, demonstrating their understanding of the particular requirements of the care home sector.”

Stewart Coles added: “In recent months, we have completed four care home-related transactions and currently have a further seven transactions underway, with several more in the pipeline.

“Care homes and the legal issues that surround them are an area where Thursfields has developed a particular expertise and we have a growing national reputation in the health care sector.”

Ends (278 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Andy Skinner at ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257

www.thursfields.co.uk

Twitter – @Thursfields,

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in six offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Solihull and Birmingham.

Thursfields advice as ‘Divorce Day’ looms in the New Year

The annual rise in calls from couples making the difficult decision to separate is about to hit the UK on Monday 6 January, according to Thursfields Solicitors.

An expert at the Midlands leading law firm was commenting as the festive period comes to an end and what’s known as ‘Divorce Day’ – the first working Monday in January – arrives.

Shane Miller, director of the Family department at Thursfields, said: “Couples who might have been struggling with their relationship often try to keep things together over Christmas for a variety of reasons.

“Whether it’s for the sake of their children, to give the relationship one last chance or simply to avoid awkward conversations at a time that’s supposed to be about togetherness, they try to hold on throughout the festive season.

“But in contrast, the New Year is often thought about in terms of fresh starts, people looking ahead and developing their own life goals, and finally taking steps towards what they want for their long-term futures.

“At the same time, the inevitable stress of the holiday period can reveal cracks in relationships or expose uncomfortable issues that couples may have been trying to ignore.

“For all these reasons, things can come to a head, resulting in what the legal sector refers to as ‘Divorce Day’ when the Christmas and New Year celebrations are over and there’s a sudden increase in couples seeking divorces.” 

Miss Miller said that for couples facing those first steps of separation, there are many issues they need to carefully consider.

She said: “While divorce law will change in the near future, the only current legal basis for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of marriage in one of five different ways.

These are unreasonable behaviour, adultery, two years’ separation by consent, five years’ separation and two years’ desertion, and these routes have to be thought through from the very start.”

Miss Miller added: “In short, if anyone is serious about seeking divorce they need to seek legal advice early as it’s a complex and challenging decision for anyone to make.”

Anyone wanting to discuss separation or divorce can contact Miss Miller on 01562 820575 or at smiller@thursfields.co.uk.

Ends (359 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Steve Dyson at ASAP PR – 01789 490786. 

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in six offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Solihull and Birmingham.

Crowe report finds UK’s leading law firms are leaving the door open for cyber attacks

Findings of Crowe’s new report, Fraud and cybercrime vulnerabilities in the legal sector, reveal the extent to which law firms are at risk of cybercrime

  • 91% of firms exposed to having their website addresses spoofed.
  • 80.5% of firms were running at least one service, such as web server, with a well-known vulnerability which could be exploited.
  • 23% of firms had at least one expired, revoked or distrusted security certificate.
  • 21% of firms had at least one service using software which was out of date or no longer supported by the developer.

The majority of law firms are likely to be at serious risk of cyber-attack, according to a new report from national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe.

New research produced by Crowe, in conjunction with KYND and the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies, has uncovered the extent to which the top 200 UK law firms across the country have significant unaddressed cyber risks.

The research follows Crowe’s 2019 Law Firm Benchmarking report, in which nearly half (43%) of all participants rated fraud and cybercrime as a business risk critical to their firm.

Given that the firms analysed are likely to have substantial budgets to build cyber resilience, the findings will also make worrying reading for the other 10,000 (approx.) UK law firms which may not have the same resources.

The report found that 182 of the 200 firms analysed are exposed to having their email addresses spoofed and used to send spam, phishing or otherwise fraudulent emails, resulting in exposure to malware and ransomware, as well as the phishing of clients and employees.

Also uncovered were vulnerabilities including expired, distrusted or revoked certificates, software with publicly disclosed weaknesses and domain registration risks – all of which could be avoided with the correct processes in place, causing a reduction in financial and reputational losses.

21% of firms analysed in this research were found to have at least one service using software which was out of date or no longer supported by the developer. The report draws on the lessons of the May 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack, which cost the NHS £92 million in total. Had the NHS kept their software updated, it could have been protected against the exploitative malware, and the losses could have been avoided.

Sue Daye, Professional Services Partner in Crowe’s South West office, said: “Our report shows that 91% of the UK’s top 200 law firms are at risk, so it is reasonable to assume this risk is likely to be far greater among small to medium sized firms.

“Many South West law firms may lack the scale and resources of bigger firms and are encouraged to seek specialist help to evaluate and reduce their vulnerabilities.

“While many have invested significant resources into countering threats of money laundering and scamming, they may, at the same time, have left the door open to cyber-attacks”.

Jim Gee, Partner and Head of Forensics and Counter Fraud Services at Crowe, said: “It is clear is that there is an epidemic of fraud and cybercrime in the UK, and this research proves that law firms are, perhaps surprisingly, still seriously exposed.

“For an industry that is so closely associated with diligence and detail, the results are likely to come as a shock. Firms would do well to review their resilience. Cyber criminals need only a sliver of vulnerability to fraudulently gain access to valuable and sensitive data; are the UK’s law firms leaving the door open?

“The cyber landscape is becoming increasingly complex and keeping pace with the evolution of cyber threats is becoming ever-more challenging. Therefore, independent verifications can prove invaluable to expose vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers and implement processes to prevent such activity and reduce cyber risks.”

Louis Baker, Partner and Head of Professional Practices at Crowe, said: “In this report, we have identified and measured the risks to the top 200 law firms, which are likely to have substantial budgets to build cyber resilience.

“Therefore, the likelihood of smaller firms not included in this study being vulnerable to unaddressed threats is significant and should be seriously considered by their management.

“Irrespective of size or location, law firms attract cybercriminals due to the large amounts of client money, data and sensitive information they hold.

“Given that our 2019 Law Firm Benchmarking report found that fraud and cybercrime was ranked by participating firms as a critical business risk, it is vital that law firms address the reality of the threat, evaluate their vulnerabilities and put adequate protections in place.” 

Ends (731 words)

Contacts:

Miriam Sherwood, Senior Marketing Manager (Regions), Crowe. Tel: 0121 543 1900

Notes to Editors:

About us
Crowe is a national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm offering global reach and local expertise. We are an independent member of Crowe Global, the eighth largest accounting network in the world. With exceptional knowledge of the business environment, our professionals share one commitment, to deliver excellence.

We are trusted by thousands of clients for our specialist advice, our ability to make smart decisions and our readiness to provide lasting value. Our broad technical expertise and deep market knowledge means we are well placed to offer insight and pragmatic advice to all the organisations and individuals with whom we work. Close working relationships are at the heart of our effective service delivery.

For more information, visit: www.crowe.co.uk

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Crowe industry recognition

    • 11th largest firm in the UK by fee income (International Accounting Bulletin UK Survey, December 2018).
    • Top charity auditor (Charity Financials Audit Spotlight report and Charity Financials Audit Survey, 2009 – 2019)
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Huge arguments faced by families because of lack of Wills, Thursfields warns

Millions of families across the UK could face huge arguments because most people have not made a Will, Thursfields Solicitors has warned.

The comments from the leading Midlands law firm come after a new survey found that 68 per cent of UK adults are what is known as “intestate” – equivalent to nearly 28 million people.

Meanwhile, the survey found that 70 per cent think their families will easily split their assets after they are gone.

But Katherine Ellis, a senior associate solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team at Thursfields’ Kidderminster office, explained that no Will means estates are left to the mercy of the intestacy rules – which may be contrary to the deceased’s actual wishes.

Ms Ellis said: “This research shows how people are under the misapprehension that their family will easily agree decisions regarding their estate, but we’re increasingly seeing this is far from reality.

“Contentious issues range from who should take responsibility for overseeing the administration of the estate, to funeral arrangements and whether the deceased would have wished to be buried or cremated.

“In other cases, friends and certain family members who, in absence of a Will, the law does not recognise as beneficiaries receive no benefit from the estate.

“Instances can also arise where distant relatives whom the deceased had little or no contact have an automatic legal entitlement to benefit from an estate, but a non-blood relative who was far closer to the deceased, such as a cohabitee, does not.

“There are potential legal avenues available to explore in such cases, but it is a complex area of law with stringent timescales. Anyone who finds themselves in such situations should seek specialist legal advice as a priority.”

The survey, published by Remember a Charity, also found widespread confusion about how complicated it is to sort out a Will, and who inherits if you die without one.

It said a third of people assume their partner and children will automatically inherit, and a similar number believe they only need a Will if they are very wealthy.

Ms Ellis added: “It’s important that people appreciate the need to make a Will, irrespective of the value of their estate, as they will surely want all their wishes respected.

“But if anyone ever doubts that what a deceased clearly wanted is not happening, Thursfields has expertise in cases like these and can help.”

Anyone with estate issues can contact Ms Ellis on 0121 647 5419, extension 5419, or at kellis@thursfields.co.uk.

Ends (411 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Steve Dyson at ASAP PR – 01789 490786.

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Stourport-on-Severn, Solihull and Birmingham.

 

Midlands furniture company quadruples workforce after help from Thursfields

A Midlands furniture designer and manufacturer has more than quadrupled its workforce in the last two years after an expansion assisted by Thursfields Solicitors.

JDD Furniture Ltd, founded by Walsall schoolfriends Joe Duffell and James Mercy in 2009, specialises in bespoke, high-quality furniture for modern, open plan offices. 

The company supplies furniture throughout the UK and worldwide, with London being a key market, with all of the furniture designed and manufactured in the West Midlands.

Rapid growth has resulted in the company opening a London showroom in Clerkenwell last year and it has now invested in an extra warehouse in Brierley Hill, with Thursfields advising on both property deals.

Mr Duffell, co-director of JDD, whose head office and design studio is on Carver Street in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, said: “We’ve been really pleased with the detailed and accurate advice supplied by Thursfields throughout our recent expansion.”

Mr Mercy added: “This growth has seen us increase our staffing from five to 20 employees in the last two years, and we now feel confident on continuing this progress in the next few years.”

Stewart Coles, a senior associate solicitor in the Commercial Property team at Thursfields’ Black Country Hub in Halesowen, said: “We’re delighted to have helped this successful company, run by two young and ambitious owners who are passionate about what they do. 

“We acted on the acquisition of the company’s leasehold premises in London last November and have advised on the lease of the new warehouse in Brierley Hill this summer.

“It was essential that the lease negotiations were concluded quickly so that JDD could meet its customers’ needs, while ensuring that the company was adequately protected.    

“We were able to turn things around swiftly and get them into the new warehouse within the tight timescale that was required.”

Mr Coles added: “The company has grown substantially in the last couple of years and is expected to continue to grow, with the London showroom proving to be very successful in generating business.

“This is the sort of fast-moving scenario where Thursfields can use its skilled legal teams to act quickly and efficiently for its clients.”

Nicola Pearce, a solicitor in Thursfields’ Commercial Property team, assisted Mr Coles on the JDD project.

Ends (371 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Steve Dyson at ASAP PR – 01789 490786.

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in seven offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Stourport-on-Severn, Solihull and Birmingham.