Newport Office

01633 251801

Pontypool Office

01495 763333

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We provide expert advice on the purchase and sale of agricultural properties and land.

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We aim to understand your business and help you achieve your objectives in the most efficient and cost effective way.

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We have been providing legal services to people and businesses in South East Wales since the early 1800’s giving us in depth local knowledge and a distinct advantage when dealing with local legal matters.

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We aim to take the stress out of buying or selling your home so that your move goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.

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Everett Tomlin Lloyd & Pratt

Newport and Pontypool solicitors Everett Tomlin Lloyd and Pratt have been providing legal advice in South Wales for over 200 years. Our long history and teams of specialist lawyers give us expertise and a distinct advantage while dealing with local legal matters. We continue to grow constantly offering a wide range of legal services with many of our Solicitors becoming acknowledged specialists in their field. We now have over 40 lawyers and staff working from our offices in Newport and Pontypool.

In 2011 we became one of the few law firms in Wales to be awarded the Law Society Lexcel Accreditation for practice management and client care.

We have strengthened our agricultural and private client team with the acquisition of the well respected Usk practice of Jonathan Stephens and Co.

While Jonathan Stephens and his staff will be initially based at our Newport office, we have opened an additional office with meeting-room facilities in the town at Sessions House, the historic Grade 2-listed former courthouse in Usk.

Jonathan’s practice mainly dealt with specialist agricultural legal issues for clients throughout Wales and the West Country. Jonathan has earned praise from Chambers Directory Legal 500 which describes the practice he has run for 25 years as a “leading firm in the agricultural sector” with “a strong reputation for agricultural work”. Stephens is described as “vastly experienced” and “charming”.

Ashley Harkus, Managing partner: “We have been working more closely with Jonathan for some time now and I am delighted that he has agreed to bring his considerable skills and dedicated staff to join us. Jonathan is a well respected lawyer and recognised agricultural law specialist. We have been looking to strengthen our agricultural practice and have a presence in the Usk Valley for some time. All of our lawyers are looking forward to working with Jonathan, his clients and local businesses .”

Jonathan Stephens: “Having practiced in Usk for more than 30 years it was very important to me that my new firm was really committed to having a base in the area and looking after my clients. I’ve enjoyed working closely with the private client, litigation, residential and commercial property team at ETLP who have helped my clients over the last few years and I am confident that the time is right for me to take the next step and join the firm. I’m delighted my staff have agreed to join such a progressive and friendly firm and I now look forward to the future with our new colleagues.”

 

April 2014

From 22nd April 2014 the Children and Families Act 2014 makes it a requirement for separating couples to attend a Mediation Initial Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before issuing family proceedings (unless exemption applies).

At Mediate Together, are able to offer you a free assessment meeting (a MIAM).  If mediation is not successful and you wish to make an application to the Court, we will provide an FM1 form  to you for £75.00 plus vat.

Gill Partington and Lynne Chambers are trainedMediators who are also qualified family lawyers.  They can therefore ensure that the correct legal information is provided to you and any settlement proposals are realistic.

Mediation is available at both our Pontypool and Newport Offices.

Please contact us on Telephone number 01495 767351 or 01495 767358 for further details.

Protect your business with a Prenuptial Agreement

See our latest article in the South Wales Argus http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/business/11149152.Ensure….

medium_Lynne3_0If you’re a business owner planning to get married then you should give serious consideration to entering into a prenuptial agreement to protect your business assets writes Lynne Chambers specialist divorce solicitor with Newport and Pontypool law firm Everett Tomlin Lloyd and Pratt. Everyone enters into marriage hoping it will be a long and successful one and no doubt the last conversation you want to have with your intended when joyfully planning your forthcoming nuptials is how you will divide your assets if your divorce. The sad fact, however, is that over 40% of marriages in the UK end in divorce.

The breakdown of a marriage can be a very traumatic time emotionally but the financial consequences can also be devastating. As soon as you marry, your business becomes a matrimonial asset. Ideally, if the unthinkable happens and your marital bliss comes to an end, you will reach an amicable agreement with your spouse about how your assets should be divided and your business will survive unscathed. Unfortunately, however, this isn’t always the case and many divorcing couples find themselves embroiled in lengthy and complex court proceedings.

If you find yourself in this position the court could potentially make an order that substantially affects your business or even order you to sell your business. Many businesses have become insolvent when a sole owner or major shareholder has undergone a particularly tough divorce.

It is likely that you have invested a lot of time and money building up your business. It may even be a family business built up over generations. Imagine facing the prospect of that business being destroyed. If you’re a sole trader this would almost certainly be a huge blow for you during what is already a difficult time. If you have business partners or employees, however, the result could be far reaching and extend to those involved in your business and their families. It is therefore vital that you do your upmost not only to protect yourself but also to protect others involved in your business. A professionally prepared prenuptial agreement can offer business owners that protection by allow them to separate their business assets from their personal assets and preserve the assets they have built up prior to the marriage.

The usefulness of prenuptial agreements doesn’t only extend to business owners. A general prenuptial agreement can simply set out how the assets will be divided if you separate and therefore simplifies the process if the unfortunate event occurs. They can protect any pre-existing assets or preserve assets for any children you may have from a previous relationship.

If this is the case you may wonder why prenuptial agreements are seem relatively rare in the UK. The reason is that at the moment prenuptial agreements are only recognised at discretion of the courts and, although there has been an increasing trend in such agreements being upheld by the courts, they are not legally binding. This has deterred many otherwise astute business people from entering into a prenuptial agreement.

Thankfully, a change in the law is now on the horizon in the form of a recently published Law Commissions report which proposes that prenuptial agreements should be binding in English Law. If the Government is willing to adopt these proposals, the agreement will need to be a ‘qualifying’ agreement which means that certain safeguarding procedures must be followed. Firstly the agreement must be signed at least 28 days before the wedding so a last minute scribble on the way down the aisle won’t count! Also there must be no pressure exerted by either partner on the other and you must both give full disclosure of your financial circumstances. Finally, you must both receive independent legal advice. Other safeguards are likely to be set out in the proposed legislation to ensure undue hardship is not caused to either party and to protect the needs of future children of the marriage.

Be careful that your lawyer knows about of any change in your circumstances after the wedding as if this is not covered in the agreement you will need to have the change reflected in an amended agreement. e.g. if your business becomes a limited company or is floated on the stock market.

Entering into a prenuptial agreement can mean the difference between a quick resolution of financial matters if the relationship breaks down or lengthy, stressful and expensive court proceedings. An commercially minded family solicitor will be able to offer you specialist advice in this area and prepare your qualifying prenuptial agreement for you.

Lynne Chambers

Associate Solicitor Everett Tomlin Lloyd and Pratt

Legal Aid Cuts – April 2014

medium_GillP1 copy webFollowing cuts to the Legal Aid budget in April 2013, there has been a huge drop in the number of parties seeking legal advice for family matters such as divorce, contact and residence.  See Gill Partington’s article in the Business Section of South Wales Argus.

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/business/11133254.Solicitors_take….

Solicitors take action in the bid to help people gain access to legal advice following legal aid cuts.

Family courts at risk of collapse with children caught up in legal battles as warring parents turn up at Court without legal representation, warns Gill Partington, an experienced Family Lawyer and Mediator at Everett Tomlin Lloyd and Pratt.

Following cuts to the Legal Aid budget in April 2013, there has been a huge drop in the number of parties seeking legal advice for family matters such as divorce, contact and residence. Not being able to access legal aid has meant vulnerable women and children being left unprotected. Father’s being unable to see their children following the breakdown of their relationship and parties being left to struggle financially where their spouse has refused to sell the family home after breakup.

Despite the expectation that the majority of family disputes would be resolved through mediation, the take up has been virtually non existent with a 47% drop in the usual percentage of people attending.

The founder of LawyerSupportedMediation.com, Marc Lopatin previously commented that there had been “a collapse in mediation” and that ” the government is trying to sever the link between mediators and lawyers which is worrying because clients need advice.”

Gill Partington says “Every day we meet people who are no longer eligible for legal aid who desperately need advice.  When a relationship breaks down it is a very difficult time and people worry that they will not be able to afford the advice they need to resolve contact difficulties with their children, for divorce proceedings or to resolve  financial matters.”

Many solicitors firms are taking proactive action to assist people accessing legal advice. Experienced family Lawyer, Gill Partington says “In an effort to allow people access to advice we have set up a Free Family Legal Clinic at our offices on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons each week.  The clinic is open to all persons seeking advice on all manner of family matters, from divorce to financial matters and issues relating to their children. Since the cuts came into force, many family solicitors have been working hard to encourage people to seek the help that they need.  Myself and others have qualified as Mediators to help promote our services.”

Attendance at mediation prior to proceedings being issued is not yet compulsory but the government proposes that this requirement be made compulsory in April of 2014.

Gill Partington, Everett Tomlin Lloyd and Pratt, Solicitors.

January 2014

ETLP has a new Partner. ETLP are pleased to confirm that our head of care Kay Perrott has accepted our invitation to be a Partner. Read more about Kay’s appointment on page 6 of the Business Argus http://content.yudu.com/Library/A2oeq3/BusinessArgus210114/resources/ind….

November 2013

Gill PartingtonCHRISTMAS CONTACT Don’t leave it to the last minute ……..

Finding ways for children to spend time with everyone at Christmas can be stressful, particularly when parents are separated.   Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, all hope to spend a little time with the children at this magical time of year.

Planning ahead is important – leaving arrangements until the last minute can lead to tensions that may easily spill over when the handover for contact takes place.  At any time, but particularly over the festive period, it will be important to ensure that no arguments take place in front of the children.

If this is your first Christmas after separation, you may wish to keep to the old traditions – or you may prefer to find new ways to celebrate Christmas.   Don’t try to fill every part of the child’s day with visiting family – children need time to enjoy Christmas Day!

Some parents will be able to agree the time that children spend with each parent over the Christmas period, but if not we are here to help.

We offer an initial free assessment, followed by low fixed fees for mediation sessions – currently £49 per person per session.  Each session usually lasts approximately 1-1/2 hours.  Our mediators, who are also trained family lawyers, will be able to provide help to allow both parents to reach agreement over the arrangements for Christmas.   Mediation is a cost effective alternative to court proceedings.

If it is not possible to agree matters, or there is any risk of harm to a child, then an application to the court may be necessary.  We offer a free assessment meeting to discuss the best options available to you.  Legal Aid is still available in certain circumstances but, if Legal Aid is not available to you, we offer low fixed fee appointments.

The time that a court will take to deal with such an application will depend upon the urgency of the situation. However applications to Court to resolve Christmas contact should be made as soon as possible.  The later you leave the application, the more stressful it can be for parents.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss matters generally concerning your children please contact Gill Partington or Lynne Chambers on 01495 763333 or by e mail to gpartington@etlp.co.uk or lchambers@etlp.co.uk

June 2013

Jason_1_0Jason Pearce, has been appointed treasurer for the South Wales branch of the Society of Trust and Estates Practitioners (STEP)

STEP, founded in 1991, is the worldwide professional association for practitioners dealing with family inheritance and succession planning.

Jason, an Oxford University graduate and solicitor with over 15 years’ experience, qualified for full membership of STEP four years ago. He recently passed a further examination to be awarded the STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Disputes.

STEP has over 18,100 members based in 87 countries from a broad range of professional backgrounds, including lawyers, accountants, trust specialists and other practitioners in this area.

Members help families plan for their futures, specialising in a wide range of activities, from drafting a relatively simple will to more complex issues surrounding international families, protection of the vulnerable, family businesses and philanthropic giving.

The association works to improve public understanding of the issues families face in this area and promotes education and high professional standards among its members.

Jason is head of wills, probate and trusts at Everett Tomlin Lloyd and Pratt, solicitors, which has offices at Gold Tops in Newport and in Pontypool.

We have strengthened our Litigation team – February 2013

medium_deb ash and kirsten_2Debra Spedding has joined  Everett Tomlin Lloyd & Pratt.

Debra, a commercial litigator, started working for us after a total of twelve years with Eversheds and  Harding Evans. During that time Debra was recognised by the Legal 500 as being a leader in her field and became head of Harding Evans commercial debt recovery department.

Originally from Lincolnshire but now settled in South Wales with her family, Debra has been appointed as an associate solicitor based at our Gold Tops office.

Debra said: “I am delighted to have secured this position with ETLP, not just because they have a reputation as being a family friendly and forward thinking  firm,  but because they have expanded their business client base consistently over the last decade and wanted to be able to offer a more specialised service.”

“My overriding passion and commitment is to commercial litigation with the emphasis on building disputes and professional negligence work but I have wide experience of  all types of  civil litigation, including  neighbour and boundary disputes, contractual disputes, debt recovery and enforcement action.”

“I was attracted by ETLP’s ambitious plans and approachable and honest outlook towards their clients. This is an exciting time to be part of ETLP and I hope to be able to attract new clients to the business and play an active part in the development of the firm.”

Kirsten Tuck, the firm’s Head of Litigation said; “Debra’s appointment significantly strengthens both our team and the service we can give to our commercial property and business clients. We are delighted she chose to join us as we are aware that a number of firms were keen to recruit her.”

Managing Partner, Ashley Harkus, said: “We’re naturally delighted to have been able to attract a professional of Debra’s undoubted and proven calibre to join us. ETLP has ambitious growth plans and we see Debra, with her range of skills, as being able to play an integral part in helping us to achieve our goals.”