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We are pleased to announce that we have strengthened the teams in our Newport and Cardiff offices. 

Karis Jones, an Assistant Solicitor specialising in private and public law children matters has joined the Matrimonial and Family department in the Cardiff office.

Joanna Ingles has returned to the practice as a Licensed Conveyancer in our expanding conveyancing team in the Newport office, and Catherine Jones a Legal Assistant again in the Newport office.

Originally from Monmouth, Swansea University graduate Karis Jones gained a distinction for her LPC and completed her training at Graham Evans & Partners in Swansea. Karis will be joining the Family Law and Matrimonial Team providing her expertise for legal matters concerning children for both private and public law cases.

Licensed Conveyancer Joanna Ingles has returned to Howells Solicitors to strengthen the expanding residential conveyancing team in the Newport office. Having previously worked for Howells for seven years before moving to a competitor, the Newport born, Swansea University graduate kept in touch with the Howells team.

Joanna explained, “I enjoyed seven years with Howells earlier in my career and but felt I needed a change, I enjoyed and benefitted from my time working at another practice, but when Howells got in touch to invite me back, I was keen to accept their offer.”

Catherine Jones has been appointed as a Legal Assistant to provide administrative support in the Newport office.

Mark Hobbs, Managing Partner of Howells Solicitors is pleased to welcome the new appointments. He said, “The practice is continuing to grow and we need to make sure that we are able to maintain our high standards by recruiting the right calibre of candidate. Karis, Joanna and Catherine all have the expertise and experience  to enable us to continue to deliver these.”

 

by Tristan Lewis

You may be aware that since April 1st 2013, the Law surrounding Personal Injury has changed. Not only has it changed the way that firms can get clients, it also has implications for you as the client.

The Jackson Reforms mean firms can no longer pay referral fees for client details and so the way clients come to the firm has changed. Thankfully, we at Howells have never heavily relied on referral fees or claims management companies to get clients through the door. We pride ourselves on being a friendly, efficient firm and find that clients choose Howells following recommendations from previous clients as well as word of mouth. Clients also benefit from us being a local practise and the knowledge that we are always available to help at any stage during the case. In order to help clients through what can be a difficult time financially, we are offering a £500.00 advance on your damages once liability has been admitted. This means that when liability has been admitted by the other side, we will send you a cheque for £500.00 which will then be deducted from your final settlement figure on conclusion of your claim. More...

Claire Davis, Partner at Howells Solicitors and Director of Solicitors for the Elderly welcomes the announcement last week that the Welsh Government intends to improve end of life care for terminally ill people.

From both personal and professional experience Claire recognises the importance of terminally ill people having equal and proper access to round the clock services to ensure that their final days are spent in comfort and with dignity.

Commenting on the announcement, Claire said, "Many older people and their families are exposed to substandard care when it is most needed. This is not limited to terminal illnesses such as cancer but include the later stages of Alzheimer's disease where access to proper round the clock and specialist services would alleviate the lack of choice currently experienced in where and how people should die."

Claire continued, "It is often important to have a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney in place to ensure that the wishes of the older person, who may no longer be able to speak for themselves, are represented & followed with some legal weight behind them. Many older people would prefer to die at home and, currently, my experience is that older people die in hospital confused, scared and without the proper care they deserve. I hope this move puts an end to unnecessary admissions for those we should be protecting."

 

by Tristan Lewis

Mark Hobbs, Managing Partner of Howells Solicitors is very critical of the announcement by the Welsh Government yesterday to scrap ‘New Buy Cymru’ just weeks before its scheduled launch.

Designed to assist first time buyers by giving them access to a 20% interest free loan for the purchase of a new property, New Buy Cymru’ was going to be similar to the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme announced in the recent budget by the UK Government.  

Following the announcement of the scheme it was widely praised as a measure to further kick start the construction part of the economy and at the same time to help younger purchasers get on to the housing ladder.

Mark said, “I think it has been widely acknowledged that any scheme that assists young first time buyers onto the housing ladder is sensible and aside from the social consequences there is also the impact that this has upon the wider economy. Following the about turn by Welsh Government we now have the ludicrous situation that buyers of new build properties just 20 miles or so away on the English border can gain the support of the English scheme but no one in Wales will.   This seems to be grossly unfair on the population of Wales and represents a missed opportunity in kick starting the economy and encouraging construction and the creation of jobs.”

He continued, “Howells experience suggests there is significant pent up demand in the first time buyer market and that the implementation of a scheme such as ‘New Buy Cymru’ would be successful and popular and would result in Wales being treated no less favourably than England.   I do hope, that the Welsh Government will look again at this concept and realise that the decision made is not in the best interest of the Welsh people and consider reinstating the original proposal”.

 

by Tristan Lewis

Michael Winner was a national treasure, and report of his recent death was sad news indeed. He was a man of many talents, enjoying successful careers in cinematography, television, and culinary journalism. He also helped to found the Police Memorial Trust. 

It comes as no surprise then that the tributes have been flooding in.  I for one will never forget his catchphrase: "calm down dear, it’s only a commercial", coined in the Esure adverts.

Anyway, whilst we remember the man, spare a thought for his widow, Geraldine. 

Articles in leading papers, such as the Sunday Times, suggest that Geraldine has been left penniless by Michael's death. At first blush, one might assume that Michael has left Geraldine out of his will. More...

With effect from 15th February 2015 EU Regulations on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) allow consumers who bought our services online to submit their complaint via an online complaint portal.

We are required under the regulations to provide our clients the following information:-
  1. Link to the ODR platform - please follow the following link for further information (http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr).
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes andrea.c@howellslegal.com