Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Legal

Law firm Bromleys has been honoured at the Pride of Tameside Business Awards for the third year running.

The firm won the Professional Services Business of the Year accolade for the second consecutive year, having also picked up the Corporate Social Responsibility prize at the 2017 event.

More than 300 people attended this year’s awards ceremony at Dukinfield Town Hall which was hosted by TV and radio presenter Andy Crane.
In their citation, the judging panel said of Bromleys: “The judges were impressed with how this business has looked at what they need to do to be top of the game and are doing it successfully.
“The entry displayed great commitment to Tameside by doing everything right.”

Bromleys, a four-partner firm based in Ashton-under-Lyne, provides legal services to individuals, families, business owners and partnerships across Tameside and Greater Manchester.
The latest accolade adds to Bromleys’ awards success over recent years. In addition to honours at the Pride of Tameside Business Awards, Bromleys was named Law Firm of the Year – Small at the 2018 Manchester Legal Awards.

The firm has also retained Investors in People Gold status and the Law Society’s Lexcel quality mark and Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation.
Bromleys is heavily involved in the Tameside community. It sponsors Curzon Ashton FC, runs free legal surgeries at venues across the borough and has a referral system with Tameside Council and Citizens Advice to give more people access to legal advice.

The firm also set up the Tameside Women in Business networking forum.
Senior partner Mark Hirst said: “I am exceptionally proud of the dynamic team we have at Bromleys. To gain recognition at this prestigious event for three consecutive years is a clear demonstration of the quality of our work and solidifies our reputation as an accessible, caring and efficient provider of legal services.
“It also underlines our commitment to the local community and we are proud to play our part in helping businesses in the area to grow and prosper.”

Law firm Bromleys has been shortlisted for two accolades at the 2019 Pride of Tameside Business Awards

Bromleys is in contention to win the medium-sized business of the year award and to retain the professional services business of the year title.

The awards will be presented at a gala dinner at Dukinfield Town Hall on Thursday, October 24.

The ceremony comes a week after The British Wills & Probate Awards, in which Bromleys is a finalist in the Court of Protection team of the year category.

Mark Hirst, senior partner at Bromleys, said: “October will hopefully be another month of celebration for the firm.
“Having won the corporate social responsibility prize at the 2017 Pride of Tameside Business Awards and being named professional services business of the year in 2018, it is a tremendous boost for everyone at Bromleys to be shortlisted for two honours this year.
“This achievement reflects the efforts of the entire team in contributing to the success and growth of the practice, as well as our commitment to providing the best-possible service to clients.”

Bromleys has scooped a string of awards in recent years. In addition to its success at the 2017 and 2018 Pride of Tameside Business Awards, the firm was named law firm of the year – small at the 2018 Manchester Legal Awards and was shortlisted for the private client team of the year accolade earlier this year.

Bromleys Solicitors has agreed a deal to be the official home shirt sponsor of Curzon Ashton FC for the third season in a row.

The Tameside law firm’s logo appears on the royal blue shirts worn by the first team, who play in the Vanarama National League North. The shirts also feature an image of the Manchester worker bee on the back.

Curzon Ashton – nicknamed The Nash – play at the 4,000-capacity Tameside Stadium in Ashton-under-Lyne and are managed by Mark Bradshaw.
The first-team squad has been boosted by a dozen summer signings, including midfielder Isaac Sinclair, 18, son of former Manchester City and England star Trevor, and striker Callum Saunders, 23, whose father is former Wales international Dean.

Bromleys has increased its sponsorship for this season and senior partner Mark Hirst said: “Our firm is passionate about giving back to the community and we are proud to be supporting the club for the third year running.
“Curzon Ashton cannot survive on ticket sales alone. In order to attract key players, the club needs backing and investment from local businesses such as ourselves.
“It’s much more than just a football club. There is a real sense of community spirit about the place, with many volunteers giving up their time to help out.
“In addition, the club hosts a range of initiatives that cater for groups such as armed forces veterans, people with disabilities, the homeless and schools, and has a walking football programme. It is at the heart of the community and we are pleased to be playing our part in helping it to remain so.
“We wish the club all the best for the season ahead.”

 

Curzon Ashton commercial director Paul McHugh said: “We are absolutely delighted to be continuing our partnership with Bromleys Solicitors, which will see them be our official home shirt sponsor for the third year running.
“We hope to be as successful on the pitch as our partnership has been off it. With 12 new signings strengthening the first-team squad, it’s an exciting time for the club.”

The Bromleys-sponsored kit worn by the first team last season is being worn by the treble-winning under-18s for this campaign.

A specialist team at law firm Bromleys which acts for vulnerable people has been shortlisted for a national accolade.
Bromleys’ 11-strong Court of Protection team acts for clients who lack the mental capacity to manage their own property and financial affairs due to reasons such as injury, illness or old age.

The team, headed by partner David Hilton, is a finalist at The British Wills and Probate Awards, which will be presented at a ceremony at The Belfry Hotel & Resort in Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham on Thursday, October 17.

The category recognises law firms that support the most vulnerable members of society by showing a compassionate and empathetic approach to client care and the highest standards of technical excellence.

David said: “Being shortlisted for this award is a great achievement for the team. It is the first year of the category and we have beaten off stiff competition from much larger firms to get this far. adding,“It recognises the continued hard work and efforts of the department, and bolsters our reputation as a leading Court of Protection specialist firm on the back of our most successful year to date.”

Bromleys’ shortlisting follows a string of recent awards successes for the firm, including being named professional services business of the year at the 2018 Pride of Tameside Business Awards and law firm of the year – small at the 2018 Manchester Legal Awards.

Bromleys was also shortlisted for private client team of the year at the 2019 Manchester Legal Awards.
In addition, Bromleys has retained Investors in People Gold status and the Law Society’s Lexcel quality mark and Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation.

Laura Stansfield, the head of Tameside law firm Bromleys’ Wills, Probate and Planning for the Future department, is blazing a trail after becoming a fully- accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly.

She is the only Tameside-based member of SFE, which is a national association of independent lawyers who are acknowledged as experts in dealing with the legal issues faced by older clients.
Laura acts for clients across Tameside as well as beyond the borough in areas including Saddleworth, Manchester, Wilmslow, Altrincham and Alderley Edge.

As part of the process to become a fully-accredited member of SFE, Laura passed rigorous assessments and received specialist training in working with older and vulnerable clients and understanding their needs.

Her areas of expertise also include lifetime planning, drafting wills and powers of attorney, inheritance tax planning, succession planning for business owners and arrangements for future care.
Laura said: “The SFE accreditation shows that an independent body recognises that my clients receive the best-possible expert service.

“SFE membership also demonstrates that I have a real breadth of experience, enabling me to advise on unusual situations and circumstances.”

Mark Hirst, senior partner of Bromleys, said: “Laura’s achievement is excellent news for her, the firm and our clients. “It sets her apart from her peers and recognises that she has the expertise to deal with any eventuality and put in place the right processes to ensure the well-being of our elderly clients, providing peace of mind to them and their families.”

Could you make your own will?
The simple answer is ‘yes’. However, more importantly, should you?
Wills & Probate specialist Sue Darlington at Bromleys Solicitors LLP says:
“In my 20 years’ experience I can recall seeing less than a handful of ‘do-it-yourself’ wills which are problem-free.
Most do not do what they are supposed to, by reason that the wrong legal words and phrases have been used. Many are not valid because the formal requirements about signing have not been met.
Wills made through solicitors are tailored to suit individual requirements and advice will be given about various options to help you plan for the future.
Our advice is to always consult a professional who has the training and experience to ensure your wishes are followed and your will, if challenged, is as watertight as possible.”

How we can help:
Should you need to review your will or need advice in making a will, please contact our experts to arrange your free initial meeting.

Contact our expects:
Laura Stansfield at lstansfield@bromleys.co.uk
Sue Darlington at sdarlington@bromleys.co.uk
Susanne Furness at sfurness@bromleys.co.uk
You can also contact us on 0161 330 6821 or, you are welcome to attend any of our free legal surgeries – no appointment necessary.

Often pensions are considered one of the largest assets for divorcing couples so it’s imperative that the fairest settlement is achieved.

The long-awaited guide to the treatment of pensions on divorce, was published on 11 July 2019 by the Pension Advisory Group (PAG) which is a multi-disciplinary group of professionals specialising in the field of financial remedies and pensions on divorce.

The report sets out best practice to legal practitioners, financial experts and judges working in this field to encourage fairer settlements for their clients and reduce any risks to the professional managing the settlement.

The guide is a result of a need to address the variation of financial settlements across England and Wales and to provide clarity as to valuations, sharing or offsetting of pension fund assets, tax issues and potential interactions with mean-tested benefits.

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, said of the guide “I am extremely grateful to the Pension Advisory Group who have worked hard to produce guidance which de-mystifies this area and establishes clear ground rules for the proper approach to be taken in every case.”

Hilary Woodward from Cardiff University said “The aim of this guide is to help judges and practitioners navigate their way with more confidence through the tricky field of pensions on divorce, and ultimately improve the fairness of outcomes for those going through divorce,”

                                                    How we can help

Should you need any advice in relation to pensions on divorce, or any other family matter, please do not hesitate to contact our expert family team on: 0161 330 6821 or email:
Keith Bull – kbull@bromleys.co.uk
Alternatively, you are welcome to attend any of our free legal surgeries.  No appointment necessary.

In recent years, there have been conflicting authorities as to whether it is possible to sever parts of restrictive covenants which are unreasonable, if the balance of the covenant is reasonable.

The starting position is that unreasonable restrictive covenants are void and unenforceable. The grey area was what happened if only part of a covenant is unreasonable. Can the unreasonable element be severed and the balance of the covenant enforced?

The recent case of Egon Zehnder Ltd vs Tillman the clarified the position. The Supreme Court has restored the old test that was originally set the Court of Appeal in 2007. The position now is that the unreasonable part of a covenant may be severed if:

The unreasonable provision can be removed without the need to add or to modify the wording of what remains;

The remaining terms continue to be supported by adequate consideration (which will normally apply in run-of-the-mill cases); and
The removal of the unreasonable provision does not change the character of the contract so that it becomes the sort of contract that the parties had not intended to enter into at all.

In this case the company, a head-hunter, employed Ms Tillman. Her employment contract said:
“you shall not without the prior written consent of the company directly or indirectly, either alone or jointly with or on behalf of any third party and whether as principal manager, employee, contractor, consultant, agent or otherwise howsoever… directly or indirectly engage or be concerned or interested in any business carried on in competition with any of the businesses of the Company…which were carried on at the Termination Date or during the period of 12 months prior to that date and with which you were materially concerned during such period.”
Ms Tillman’s employment finished in January 2017. She commenced employment with a competitor in May 2017. She argued that the non-competition covenant went further than was reasonably necessary to protect her former employer’s interests. She argued that it prohibited her being “interested” in a competing business unreasonably stopped her from holding even a minority shareholding in a competing business.

The Court of Appeal held that the restriction was in unreasonable restraint of trade, refused to severe the words “or interested” from the remainder of the clause, and therefore the whole clause was unenforceable.

The Supreme Court held that this was the wrong approach. Adopting the test above, the words “or interested” could be severed without the need to add or modify the wording of the remainder. The balance of the clause was therefore enforceable because the removal of those two words generated no major change in the overall effect of the restraint.

If you have any queries regarding restrictive covenants, their enforceability, or the drafting of the same, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts, Mark Hirst or Rachael Frankland.

For advice relating to the above, or indeed any other corporate law matters, please contact our experts:

Rachael Frankland – rfrankland@bromleys.co.uk

Mark Hirst – mhirst@bromleys.co.uk

By telephone on 0161 330 6821 or, you are welcome to attend any of our free legal surgeries – no appointment necessary.

Where a person has been promised an interest in a property and has upon reliance of that promise incurred expenditure or made sacrifices that he would not otherwise have made, the law provides a remedy in circumstances when it would be unconscionable or inequitable for the person to benefit.  Recent cases to come before the courts considering the principal of ‘proprietary estoppel’ (meaning creating a proprietary interest in land in the absence of correct formalities) include farming businesses.

One such high profile decision awarded most of a family farming business to the family’s youngest daughter.  In this situation the parents had four children, the father having died in 2014 leaving his entire estate to his wife, the mother of the four.  The youngest daughter then brought a claim that promises had been made, denied by her mother,  to her that the farm would come to her when both parents retired.  The court found in the daughter’s favour. The decision is likely to force her elderly mother to sell the home which she has occupied for 40 years to pay the award to her daughter.

In a similar case, wills were made by the parents leaving the farm property and business between two sons.  One of the sons worked long hours on the farm for low pay continuously for over 30 years.  This son was in partnership with his father but following a fall out this partnership was dissolved.  The son was also given notice to quit the cottage in which he lived.  The parents then created new wills in which the son was disinherited.

The court found that there had been an assurance or promise by the parents upon which the son relied, the son having acted to his detriment and been encouraged in his belief without correction.

How we can help

Though many cases that come before the courts relate to farms the principle applies in many situations.

Should you need to make a claim, our experts are highly experienced in this particular area of law and we can also assist if you are defending a proprietary estoppel claim.

Contact our expects:

Laura Stansfield at lstansfield@bromleys.co.uk

Sue Darlington at sdarlington@bromleys.co.uk

Susanne Furness at sfurness@bromleys.co.uk

Mark Hirst at mhirst@bromleys.co.uk

You can also contact us on 0161 330 6821 or, you are welcome to attend any of our free legal surgeries – no appointment necessary.

 

Staff from O’Donnell Solicitors are currently training for a series of fundraising runs to support their nominated charity of the year, Emmaus Mossley.

Nine staff members from the O’Donnell team will be participating in the upcoming Tour of Tameside, a four-day festival of running, which takes place between 13 and 16 June. This is the third year that a team from O’Donnell Solicitors has taken part in the event and 2019 will see even more O’Donnell’s staff taking part than ever before.

James O’Donnell, Director and Head of Commercial, said: “This is another exciting year for the firm and for the Tour of Tameside, an iconic event taking place throughout Tameside. It is a pleasure to be a sponsor of this iconic event but also to be taking part and helping this fantastic local charity.

“Training was interrupted for me due to injury, however I am still hoping to run stages 1 and 4 with at least two staff members running the full 4 stages of the event and others taking part in the other stages. It is a very tough event, but our firm’s staff has the strength and determination to achieve their personal goals and at the same time give back to an extremely worthy cause.”

Director James O’Donnell will be joined by CO Directors Rebecca O’Donnell, Anthony Jones and Claire Egerton together with PA, Claire Kinder, PA Natalie Wright and Receptionist Emma Jones.

Emmaus Mossley supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a home and work in a community setting. The charity runs a social enterprise in Mossley, selling donated and upcycled furniture, household goods, clothes and vintage wares.

Alison Hill, Director of Emmaus Mossley, said: “We’re extremely grateful to the staff from O’Donnell Solicitors for selecting Emmaus Mossley as their charity of the year. Our community wishes team O’Donnell well for their training and for the upcoming Tour of Tameside event.

“The partnership with O’Donnell Solicitors will not only help to raise awareness and funds to support Emmaus Mossley, it will also give opportunities to our beneficiaries who could benefit from some legal support.”

The Tour of Tameside event, which was originally founded by marathon legend Dr Ron Hill MBE in 1983, was re-launched in 2015 and has been growing in popularity year on year. With four different events over four days, each with a different running route and type of terrain. The Tour is designed to challenge participants both physically and mentally, whilst still offering something for runners of all abilities.

 

To find out more and donate to O’Donnell’s Tour of Tameside fundraiser visit: https://www.wonderful.org/fundraiser/touroftameside-cdca642c

To find out more or support Emmaus Mossley head to www.emmaus.org.uk/mossley.

If you would like to get involved or donate an item, please call 01457 838608 or visit the store at Longlands Mill, Queen Street, Mossley OL5 9AH.