Frequently Asked Questions

Accidents

But taking Legal Action can be Expensive

There are various ways of funding your case. You may already have legal expenses cover through your household or motor insurers and this may meet the cost of pursuing your claim. Alternatively if you are a member of a Trade Union they may be prepared to fund your case.

If you do not have any of the above you can pay the legal costs yourself as the case progresses. However most of our clients prefer to fund the case by way of a Conditional Fee Agreement, often known as a "no win no fee" agreement.

No Win, No Fee

We can look at dealing with your personal injury cases under a Conditional Fee Agreement. This means that if you win your case you must pay our costs but you should be able to get the majority of your costs paid by your opponents. If you lose, you pay nothing.

We recommend that the agreement is backed by insurance and our Personal Injury Specialist will discuss this with you in more detail during your first appointment.

What next?

We would be pleased to discuss any possible claim with you. If your claim has a reasonable chance of success we will be happy to represent you and we will guide you through the whole process.

We have offices in Devonport, Plymstock and Ivybridge and we are happy to see you at the office which is most convenient to you.

In the event that you cannot travel to one of our offices due to your injuries we may be able to visit you at home.

Business

Is there anything I need to worry about before putting my business premises on the market?

Yes, unfortunately there are quite a few things you need to consider before placing your business on the open market if you hope to achieve a successful sale. Some requirements, like the Energy Performance Certificate, are needed before any businesses premises can even be marketed. But there are other matters, which most small business owners do not discover until the transaction is all ready underway, leading to unfortunate and avoidable delays. For example:

a. Apportionments – How are you going to apportion the sale e.g. between Goodwill, Property and Fixtures and Fittings? This should be considered carefully as the apportionment will have Tax consequences.

b. Asbestos Survey – this is a legal requirement under the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002. A lot of small businesses owners are unaware of the obligation until a potential buyer’s solicitors ask to see the report.

c. Fire Risk Assessment – this is also a legal obligation that some business owners are not aware of until it threatens to slow down a transaction.

Even when a buyer has been found there are certain matters which should be considered right at the start of the transaction to prevent delay. For example:

Planning Permission – what if your potential buyer intends to change the use of the premises? It can take at least eight weeks to obtain planning consent for change of use, and in a buyer’s market this is as much of a concern for the seller as it is for the buyer and could result in the transaction falling through. These matters should be discussed right at the start of a transaction. 

I’m entering into a new lease of business premises, what are the things I need to look out for?

There are lots of important aspects to a business lease that may not come to light until some years after the transaction has completed, and when the consequences could have a severe impact on your business, some of these are as follows:

a. Rent – you need to check if VAT is included or excluded, the frequency and type of rent reviews. Is there any rent-free period? Is a rent deposit required?

b. Term – is it suitable for your business needs? If it is too short, you may find you’re forced to look for new business premises. If you have just started a new business venture, you may not be ready to tie yourself to a long-term liability.

c. Break Clauses – who is the break clause in favour of? It may be in favour of the Landlord and what appeared to be a ten-year term could be terminated after only three years.

d. Assignment – Can you assign the lease, and if so are there any conditions? e.g. Do you need to sign a personal guarantee? Do you need the Landlord’s consent?

e. Repairing/Insuring – who is responsible and how extensive are the obligations? You do not want to find yourselves entering into a lease of a premises which is in a poor state of repair, to find yourself with the inconvenience and expense of extensive remedial work because of your repairing obligations or a failure to agree a Schedule of Condition.

Note: This analysis may contain information of general interest about current legal issues, but does not give legal advice.

Family Matters

What will it cost?

We have launched a FamilyLite service with the aiming of making costs affordable based on an hourly rate of £75 + vat.  This is available for clients with assets below £250k.  More details can be provided on request.  

In addition to this we have a range of flexible arrangements in relation to costs and we will agree fixed fees for an agreed piece of work.  For example, a straight forward uncontested divorce under FamilyLite will cost £550 plus VAT.  

 

How can we Help?

* We are happy to receive enquiries by email or telephone.  

* We offer an initial 20 minute free meeting in order provide generic advice together with some idea of likely costs and options available to you.

* Free Advice Clinic at Scott Business Park at the Jan Cutting Centre on Friday Mornings (by appointment only)

Litigation

What does it cost?

Litigation can be very expensive, but there are various different methods of funding that can ease the burden:

  • Legal Expense Insurance-for those clients who already have insurance in place
  • No Win –No Fee (Conditional fee agreement)
  • Legal Aid
  • Private Funding

Moving Home

What does it involve?

Well, quite a lot. Once a buyer is found, the solicitors deal with detailed enquiries while the buyer sorts out the finance. Once all this is sorted a completion date is agreed, contracts are exchanged and in due course the property and the purchase money change hands.

We can do it all from preparing the contract to final registration. At every stage we will advise you on what to do, what you should accept and what you should not. We’re with you all the way.

What does it cost?

We don’t claim to be the cheapest but the best rarely is. Our fees are fair and realistic. You will know upfront what will be the cost, with no nasty surprises later.

What next?

If you are planning to buy or sell a property it is much the best plan to get us involved from the very start. We will give you advice that is clear, professional and in YOUR interest, not driven by hopes of extra commission or deals behind the scenes.

We will be with you every step of the way to answer your queries or concerns and keep you informed at every stage of the process. Get us involved from the very start and you will notice the difference!

Wills

What is Estate Planning?

Well, of course making a Will is a priority. If you don't have one the law sets out what happens to your estate and you might not like the results of this. Make a Will and YOU decide where your money goes.

Also a Will can:

  • reduce Inheritance Tax
  • shield your home from care fees

Other things you need to consider:

  • Power of Attorney
  • Living Will

We also specialise in this work and also:

  • administration of estates (probate)
  • trust work
  • tax advice
  • probate litigation

What does it cost?

We don't claim to be the cheapest but the best rarely is. Our fees are fair and realistic. You will know upfront what the cost will be with no nasty surprises later.

What next?

We are ready to deal with any matters of this kind for you and guide you through the whole process.

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Howard and Over is the trading name of Howard and Over LLP registered number OC361850
Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No 557653