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Congratulations to Jo Melvin, Antonia Roberts, Nicola Ritchie and Katherine Millman who took part in the 10k Plymouth Legal Walk last night, raising funds for the South West Legal Support Trust.


Howard and Over will be taking part in the Plymouth Legal Walk on 3 October 2016.

Plymouth Legal Walk is a 10km walk around Plymouth to raise funds for free legal advice charities in Plymouth.

For more information please go to

Howard and Over are pleased to confirm the appointment of Katherine Millman as a partner of the firm. 

Katherine specialises in Private Client matters including probate, wills/estate planning and powers of attorney.

Jo Melvin and Katherine Millman promoted to Associates of the Firm

South West law firm, Howard and Over Solicitors, have promoted two of their lawyers, Jo Melvin and Katherine Millman to become associates of the firm.

Jo joined the firm in 2007 and is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives.  She has worked in residential conveyancing for 30 years with half of that experience being post qualification.  She aided in the expansion of the residential conveyancing department in the Ivybridge office and now heads it up, as well as being head of the New Homes Team for all three of the firm’s offices.  Jo has a wealth of experience in all aspects of residential property including residential sales and purchases (all values), freehold and leasehold property, new builds, shared ownership, help to buy, leases, transfers of land, transfer of equity and remortgages, matrimonial transfers, easements and auction sales and purchases.  She has lived and worked in and around the South Hams area for the last 31 years and so has a huge local knowledge.

Katherine joined the firm in 2012 as a recently qualified Solicitor and has since expanded the private client department in the Ivybridge office to become head of Private Client over all of the firms’ offices.  Katherine specialises in all aspects of private client work including Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate matters.  Since joining Howard and Over, Katherine has become a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly and has also been awarded their Older Client Care in Practice Award.

The move will see Jo and Katherine play a more senior role in shaping the vision and continuing the growth of Howard and Over Solicitors.

Jo said: “As we grow our services, staff numbers and client base, we are continuing to ensure that we provide a friendly and efficient service to our clients which is the reputation that has allowed us to be able to develop the firm in the first place.”

Paul Mossop, senior partner at Howard and Over Solicitors said: “Katherine and Jo have played a key part in helping the firm expand and the partners are delighted to welcome them as associates of the firm.  We are also very excited by the new additions to the team and look forward to a promising future together”.

Expansion at Ivybridge

The firm has now introduced Rebecca Ellerbeck, a Solicitor specialising in family issues to the Ivybridge office, as well as Nicola Ritchie, a trainee Solicitor who is currently working alongside Jo in the Ivybridge property department.

Jan Millar, managing partner of Howard and Over said: “I am delighted to welcome Rebecca and Nicola to the firm.  As a high street firm it is important that we continue to offer a high level of service for family work as well as conveyancing services and Rebecca and Nicola will add expertise and enthusiasm to our already successful team.”

Howard & Over are supporting a petition to increase the payment made to spouses or parents of children under 18 who have been killed as a result of negligence.

Follow this link for The Herald Express’ coverage of the tragic case of Ben Sewell who was killed in an accident at work: 

No sum of money can ease the pain of losing a loved one, but it cannot be right that the Government can collect a fine and costs amounting to £75,000 and the family receive only £16,000. Ben’s parents were prevented from claiming the additional bereavement award of £12,980 because Ben was over 18 although he lived with them full time and had no other dependents.

The level of the bereavement award and the fact that it is not even available to parents of young adults like Ben is a disgrace.

This travesty will continue until the law is changed. By signing the online petition  we hope to force a parliamentary debate on the issue and ultimately bring about a change to the law.

We are grateful for your support.

For more information on Fatal Accident Claims and other Personal Injury Claims; contact our approachable Personal Injury Team on 01752 556606.

Did you know that we partake in the Cancer Research UK Free Will Scheme ?  Met with Roz from Cancer Research UK today who indicated that for £1 donated to them 82p is spent on research.

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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.

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.

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