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Welcome to our Blog

Welcome to our blog. Using this area we will keep you up to date with all the news and views of John Hodge Solicitors.

Latest Posts

Stamp Duty Holiday - What Has Changed and How Might It Affect You?

James Gass
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From 8th July 2020 the majority of purchasers in England and Northern Ireland will either pay no – or at the very worst, a reduced amount of Stamp Duty Land Tax (‘SDLT’) when completing their property purchase.   The temporary...

New Divorce Laws

Stewart Castle
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The Divorce Reform Act 1969 enabled people to end marriages that had “irretrievably broken down” without having to prove fault. Couples could end marriages after two years of separation, if both parties desired divorce, or five years if only one...

Force Majeure Clauses in Contracts

Stephen Mackie
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The current pandemic crisis has raised the profile of Force Majeure clauses in contracts. As set out in a recent blog, these are contractual terms, almost always in the standard written terms and conditions of the party to the contract that is doing the...

Coronavirus (Covid - 19) and Breaking Contracts

Stephen Mackie
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Coronavirus (Covid – 19) and Breaking Contracts The Covid-19 pandemic is not the first time the UK has had an emergency that has put a strain on those with contractual obligations who worry  about how they are to meet those obligations. The law...

Rentcharges - What are they and how might they affect you?

James Gass
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Most legal professionals view Rentcharges as an annoying quirk of a bygone era and while they may well be correct it is essential that you are aware of the implications of owning – or buying – a property which is subject to a Rentcharge. ...

Commercial Debt Collection (Cash is King)

Stephen Mackie
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Are debtors crippling your business cashflow? After all “turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, but cash is King”. John Hodge Solicitors have vast experience of helping local businesses with debt collection. We have been providing services locally...

Relocating to the UK - a Foreign Qualified Lawyer's Guide.

Nick Cooper
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Shortly after we began our relationship my (now) fiancee, who grew up in Sussex before travelling and then settling in Australia, made it clear that she hoped to return to the UK someday – and that she wanted me to come with her. At first I felt some...

Financial responsibilities of an attorney

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Financial responsibilities of an attorney Dealing with the financial affairs of a loved one can be difficult, especially when you need to comply with serious legal responsibilities. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) applied for court orders...

Burnham-on-Sea Legal Advice Clinic

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Help is now at hand for the residents of Burnham-on-Sea having opened our doors for a free legal advice clinic at the Pier Suite, Manor House, Manor Gardens on Saturdays from the 2 nd November 2019 from 10am until 2pm.  Each Saturday morning one of our...

The Cost of Settling

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Are the costs consequences of not accepting an offer to settle about to change?   In financial remedy proceedings ancillary to divorce, the general rule is that each party is responsible for their own legal costs and the court will only make a costs...

15% Success Fee (or less)

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When dealing with personal injury claims, most solicitors will offer to work for you on what is known as a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. This means that, should your claim not succeed, you would not normally be charged for the work. However, when you...

Absent freeholders or landlords

Mark Wright
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Absent freeholders or landlords When a landlord is absent, the leaseholders might think “happy days” with benefits such  as quiet enjoyment of the property without the interference of the landlord or the lack of expensive service charges. ...

Personal Injury success fees too high

Stephen Mackie
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If you have made a Claim for injury since 2013 using solicitors who charge a success fee that is 100%, you might be due a refund. A success fee is the amount a solicitor can charge for winning under a no win no fee agreement (technically known as...

Dramatic Increase in the cost of obtaining a Grant of Probate

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Dramatic Increase in the cost of obtaining a Grant of Probate With the Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order 2018 passing through the House of Commons Delegated Legislation Committee in February, the cost to obtain a Grant of Probate is due to change...

Attorneyship - The importance of preparing Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney (H & W LPA)

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Whilst people are now becoming more aware of the need to provide for someone to look after their financial affairs if they lose mental capacity to cope, and are putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs, the uptake for...

If you have been dismissed from your employment, what should you do?

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There are a number of steps that need to be taken if you feel you have been unfairly dismissed from your employment. It is important that you take the steps promptly as the time limit for bringing a claim is only three months from the date of the...

Your Local Motorcycle Accident Specialists

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Let’s be clear from the outset. We will not pretend that we are specialists in motorcycle accidents and then send you a standard questionnaire asking you to confirm whether you were driving a car, riding a bike or ‘other’. We will know what...

Why use a local conveyancing solicitor when buying a property...

Mark Wright
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In recent years licensed conveyancers have grabbed a share of the market. There are though several disadvantages to using an out of the area conveyancing house as opposed to a local solicitor. Conveyancing houses tend to operate from out of town call...

Is Divorce or Separation on the Horizon in the New Year?

Stewart Castle
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If a relationship is already under pressure then Christmas and the New Year season can serve to bring matters to a crisis.  It is true to say that Family Solicitors find the New Year and January to be a busy time.  This may be for a couple of...

PRIORITISE THOSE YOU CARE ABOUT IN 2019: make it your New Year's Resolution to make sure you have a tax efficient Will!

Sara Anthony
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We all know that changes in our family and financial circumstances may need to be reflected in our Will but all too often we forget to review this important document and to seek specialist advice that protects our loved ones. There have been significant...

Our separation is all agreed so why do I need legal advice?

Jon Topham
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Everything is agreed in my separation, I don’t need legal advice right? Wrong! A recent case highlights the dangers of proceeding based on a verbal agreement on separation. A couple who had married in 1986 and had two children agreed to...

Why do I need to instruct a Family Solicitor?

David Starkey
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It is normal that where a marriage has broken down, there is usually at least one party feeling angry, sad, disappointed, or a mixture of all of those things.  It is therefore very easy for a divorce, and any associated financial or children related...

Chronic pain

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Those who are in pain need solicitors who listen, understand and know how to act. Pain is an issue that is poorly understood by many medical practitioners let alone lawyers. Modern pain 'syndrome' evidence started to be documented as long ago as the...

Divorce and Money separated

Stewart Castle
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A recent pilot divorce administration system run in the South West Regional Divorce Centre in Southampton, under which contested financial remedy proceedings are ‘de-linked’ from the main divorce proceedings has proved a success. Under the...

The Most Serious of Injuries

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The most serious of injuries All injuries are serious, however, sometimes the worst can happen and you or a loved one might be unlucky enough to suffer multiple broken bones, serious spinal or head injury or even suffer injury resulting in death. When the...

How to formalise your relationship outside marriage.

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How to formalise your relationship outside marriage. The Court of Appeal has rejected a claim by a heterosexual couple that their civil partnership be recognised.  The law provides civil partnership only for same sex couples whilst it now provides...

Resolution

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The Family Team at John Hodge Solicitors are all members of or prescribe to the code of conduct of Resolution an organisation, which represents 6,500 family justice professionals who are committed to supporting couples to reach constructive solutions to...

Home Buyers Beware

Stephen Mackie
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Home Buyers Beware If you have bought a leasehold house (not a flat) from a developer in the last 6 years, you should check that the cost of buying out the freehold is as you were led to believe by the developer. If not then you may have a claim against the...

Holiday Time

Stewart Castle
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HOLIDAY TIME   At lot has been reported in the press recently about taking children out of school during term time for a holiday but what about time away during the official holiday period where parents are separated – particularly holidays...

SETTLED YOUR INJURY CLAIM, BUT UNHAPPY WITH THE SETTLEMENT?

Stephen Mackie
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Have you settled a claim for injury compensation in the last 6 years, but not then recovered from your injuries as expected? Or, have you settled a claim and been disappointed with the amount you received? There are many ways in which you might not have...

When Professionals are Negligent

Stephen Mackie
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All professionals try to avoid mistakes. It is only human that on occasions they do make mistakes. Here in England and Wales most professionals are well insured so that their clients are not left out of pocket if a mistake has been made. Increasingly,...

What to do if your Solicitor Goes Bust

Stephen Mackie
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  There have been significant changes in legal services over the past decade. Governments of all main parties have tried to extend the type of commercial provider that can offer  them. Foreign law firms have been buying up traditional firms to...

Court Fees on Divorce Increase from 21 March 2016

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As a Family Lawyer I would say that I am pretty un-shockable, but I must admit that the Government’s 34% increase in the Court fee on divorce has been quite a surprise. We knew that it was being considered and was likely to take effect at some point;...

Consultation could lead to huge increase in Probate fees

Emma Radford-Shayler
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The Ministry of Justice has proposed a dramatic change in the structure of probate court fees. Currently, these court fees are fixed for all estates when applying for a grant of representation using a solicitor at a flat rate of £155. The proposed...

Make Your Will Week

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In an ever changing financial and social setting, making or reviewing a Will has never been more important.   In recognition of this, John Hodge Solicitors is proud to support Weston Hospicecare by participating in their “Make Your...

Put Children First

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Put Children First Each year around 240,000 children in the UK experience the separation of their parents. More than one in three children will see their parents split up before they reach their 16th birthday. When parents split up, children can often...

New Laws - Smokers, Bankruptcy, Landlords, Employers:Self-employed and You

Stephen Mackie
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Here are a few new laws introduced 1 st October 2015: Smoking in private vehicles that are carrying someone under 18 is illegal, as is buying e-cigarettes for them. You cannot be made bankrupt unless the creditor asking for the Bankruptcy Order is owed...

Bristol Family Law Clinic

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John Hodge Solicitors are pleased to announce that we are now offering a Family Law clinic at our Bristol office on the third Saturday of each month between 10.00am and 2.00pm, commencing on Saturday 17 th October 2015. There is no need to make an...

When Divorce Is Not the End

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When divorce is not the end. All family lawyers will have anecdotes of clients who, even after difficult divorces, will reunite with their former spouse.  This can have some unintended consequences. Some reunited couples will of course remarry, and...

The Importance of Financial Orders upon Divorce

David Starkey
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The case of Wyatt and Vince has recently highlighted the importance of obtaining an Order dealing with financial matters during divorce proceedings. Mr Vince and Ms Wyatt met as students in their early twenties and married in 1981. The pair had a son...

Maintenance on divorce

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Maintenance on divorce; how much and for how long? One of the questions we are frequently asked by newly separated clients is how much maintenance they should either pay to or receive from their spouse.  Where the maintenance is being paid in respect...

Selling your house and speeding up the process

Gareth Richards
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Selling your house – speeding up the process Once you have found a buyer for your home, you will no doubt hope that the sale goes through quickly.  Delays are often attributed to the legal process, and yet nowadays (with electronic ...

Litigant in person seminar

David Starkey
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Many people have never set foot inside a court building and wouldn’t dream of doing so without a lawyer to guide them through the process. However, more so than ever before, people are having to represent themselves in family court cases. If you find...

Unmarried Couples

Stewart Castle
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Unmarried couples - How does my position differ from someone who is married? If you are married or in a civil partnership and your relationship breaks down then you can claim maintenance, lump sums, and other financial provision including  pension...

Client credit with Iceberg

David Starkey
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At John Hodge Solicitors we understand that clients facing divorce or financial disputes following the breakdown of a relationship are likely to be experiencing a period of emotional and financial turmoil.  We are therefore delighted to announce that,...

Wedmore Family Law Clinic

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Wedmore Family Law Clinic If you have a question or concern regarding any aspect of Family Law and live in Wedmore or the surrounding area, John Hodge Solicitors is now offering a Family Law clinic each Tuesday between 9.30am and 4pm.  With no...

What if you do not have a Will

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What if you don’t have a Will? From 1 st October 2014, anyone who dies without leaving a Will (known as dying “Intestate”) could be affected by the new Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Act 2014. Although none of us like to think...

Weston Hospicecare Wills Week

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Supporting Weston Hospicecare - “Make Your Will Week” 2014   John Hodge Solicitors were delighted to be asked once again to take part in Weston Hospicecare’s – “Make Your Will Week” which took place on the 3 rd...

Dispute Saturdays - Free Consultation Clinic

Stephen Mackie
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On the third Saturday of every month, one of our dispute lawyers will be at our office at Tivoli House on the Boulevard in Weston Super Mare for people to drop in and talk for free about a problem they have. Our home page has the exact location.  ...

Saturday Free Consultation Clinic

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Every Saturday, one of our lawyers will be at our office at Tivoli House on the Boulevard in Weston Super Mare for people to drop in and talk for free about a problem they have between the hours of 10am - 2pm. Our home page has the exact location.  ...