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With Stones Solicitors LLP, you can be sure that the legal advice you receive is reliable, realistic, practical and, above all, tailored to your precise needs.

Our Expertise

The Stones Team offers expert advice across a broad range of legal issues, and we have exceptional abilities in the areas listed opposite. Along with our vast experience, this expertise has ensured we remain one of the top legal firms in the South West.

We will stand firm for your business

No two businesses are the same, so we take time to get to know our clients to achieve the best results. Theory is fine, but one size doesn’t fit all.

We will look after you

It takes more than the basics to do a job properly. We ensure the legal service we provide to clients is exactly what you need.

Clients tell us they value our experience and expertise, and feel we are firmly rooted in the real world. They appreciate our ability to listen to their situation, and understand the issues they face.

Companies, organisations and private individuals in Exeter and throughout the South West are turning to Stones, because they know we offer a service as unique as they are – we don’t believe in one size fits all.

Stones Solicitors LLP is recognised by the two leading independent directories, Chambers and the Legal 500, as a Leading Practice and providing first class advice to both businesses and individuals in the South West, as well as providing niche services to clients on a national basis.
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Our Expertise

Having a team of solicitors who truly understands the challenges you face can make all the difference. Our areas of expertise offer a service from multiple legal disciplines with an in-depth knowledge of your industry, because we know when it comes to legal advice that one size doesn’t fit all.

Agriculture & EnvironmentAgriculture & Environment

The legal expertise of the Stones’ agricultural sector solicitors is highly valued and widely used by farmers, land owners, farm tenants and mortgage lenders throughout Devon and the Southwest.

We offer a ‘joined up’ service with our colleagues in employment and corporate and commercial law - and work closely with banks, accountants, specialist independent financial advisors and land agents to offer a ‘one stop shop’ to the agricultural community.

Our Agricultural Centre of Excellence is based at our Okehampton office in the centre of Devon’s farming community. We have developed an outstanding reputation for our ability to understand the needs and provide solutions for this specialised market.

We are frequently asked to address issues such as buying and selling farms or farm land, negotiating rights of way including water and drainage agreements and access for telecommunications, restrictive covenants on farm land and the renting of farm land. Buying stables, paddocks and other rural property as well as estate planning are also busy areas for us.

Devon farmland is renowned for its high quality, and remains a buoyant market. We have seen an increase in overseas interest, with more investors buying agricultural land for existing portfolios and newcomers to the farming industry. All our agricultural legal practitioners have strong local connections with Devon and Cornwall, and are able to provide you with tailor-made agricultural legal advice.

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Buying & Selling Farms or Farm Land

Our specialist agricultural solicitors understand the local marketplace and offer a comprehensive legal package when it comes to buying and selling working farms or farm land.

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Rights of Way, Water & Drainage Agreements & Telecommunications

Granting third-party rights over land can be a trap for the unwary.

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Restrictive Covenants on Farm Land

Restrictive covenants are promises made under deed which restrict the use and enjoyment of land.

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Renting Your Farm Land

The concept of a farm business tenancy was introduced by the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995, which offers a degree of protection to tenants of agricultural land. Stones’ agricultural sector solicitors offer specialist legal advice on all aspects of renting your land to others.

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Buying or Selling Stables, Paddocks & other Rural Property

‘Lifestyle acquisitions’ are an important feature of the local rural economy. Stones’ team of specialist solicitors is highly experienced in providing legal support for these rural property transactions.

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Estate Planning

Our agricultural legal team work closely with the firm’s Private Client Department and local accountants to provide the technical expertise needed to ensure you maximise agricultural property relief and make the right succession planning decisions.

    Travel & TourismTravel & Tourism

    Stones' team of solicitors has significant expertise and experience providing legal advice for both the national and international travel and tourism industries.

    Our team of expert travel and tourism lawyers provide practical legal advice on travel insurance, employment and buying and selling ‘facilities’ such as hotels, holiday parks and golf courses. Our team will be happy to help you with travel and tourism legal issues including -

    Our understanding of the travel and tourism industries is enhanced by our location in one of the UK’s leading tourism areas.

    Quotes from Chambers 2014. "Stones has significant experience in the international travel arena.  Stones are very good at picking up the phone and being helpful.   They offer good client service but are also realistic and are good at managing the clients' expectations. Bronwen Courtenay-Stamp is praised by interviewees for her industry knowledge.  She also has expertise in winter sports claims, acting for both claimants and defendants.   Ian Brown is very efficient.   He processes claims quickly and in a cost-effective manner."

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    Travel Insurance

    Stones' specialist team of Travel and Insurance solicitors provides responsive, commercially practical legal advice and solutions on issues in this complex area of law.

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    Travel & Tourism Employment

    Stones' team of Travel and Insurance solicitors has significant experience providing legal advice and support on employment issues in the travel and tourism industry for both local and national businesses.

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    Country Sports & Pursuits

    Stones' team of expert travel and tourism lawyers provides legal advice and services for tourism businesses specialising in country sporting pursuits, such as horse riding, shooting and fishing throughout the South West.

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    Sports Clubs & Organisations

    Stones' specialist solicitors provide legal support for a variety of sporting organisations, ranging from cricket and hockey clubs to national governing bodies of sport. Our work has ranged from the acquisition of land for pitches to drafting governing documents.

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    Caravans & Mobile Homes

    Stones' team of lawyers can provide expert legal advice on the full range of issues covering caravan parks and mobile homes, including purchasing, development, planning and sales. Our location in the South West means we have developed unrivalled expertise in this area.

    Hotels & Tourist Businesses

    The Commercial Property and Company Commercial Teams of specialist solicitors at Stones have a wealth of expertise in providing legal advice for hotel and tourist businesses.

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        HealthcareHealthcare

        The legal expertise and experience of Stones’ team of specialist healthcare solicitors is available to a broad spectrum of healthcare operators, including GP practices, vets, dentists, independently operated hospitals, domiciliary care, supported living and independent foster care agencies.

        Our team will be happy to provide legal advice on business structures for GP practices and other health care organisations, setting up companies and partnerships, acquisition and disposal of freehold and leasehold healthcare premises, employing staff and writing and negotiating supplier contracts with goods and services providers.

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        Business Structures

        Stones’ specialist healthcare solicitors have a wealth of expertise and experience providing legal advice to GP practices and other healthcare professionals, in relation to structures available for their businesses.

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        Companies & Partnership

        Stones’ healthcare team can prepare partnership agreements tailored to your specific business and the individuals involved. Our agreements provide clarity and reassurance to current, outgoing and incoming partners, and help avoid misunderstandings and disputes.

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        Property Acquisition & Disposal

        Stones' specialist healthcare solicitors have the expertise and experience needed to deal successfully with the acquisition and disposal of freehold and leasehold healthcare premises – from clinical sites to residential homes. We can help you avoid the pitfalls and offer sensible, pragmatic legal advice tailored to your business.

        Staff

        Every employment law situation is unique. The expertise and experience of our lawyers in the healthcare sector allows us to be ahead of the game in terms of drafting contracts of employment and dealing with disciplinaries, grievances and the employment aspects of strategic and transactional issues.

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        Contracts

        The current ‘NHS market’ provides an opportunity for healthcare professionals to develop business ideas. Stones can provide expert legal advice on the contractual elements of documenting these newly generated income streams.

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        Real Estate & Residential DevelopmentReal Estate & Residential Property Development

        We have a team of specialist solicitors advising property developers on land purchase, planning, development and sale of residential property.

        Our team can provide expert legal advice on all aspects relating to the sale and purchase of real estate and residential property development including –

        Our Real Estate and Residential Property Development Team of lawyers has the expertise and experience to deliver the legal advice you need to achieve your goals a cost-effective way.

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        Land Acquisition & Disposal

        The Stones’ team of residential property development solicitors has many years’ experience of working with developers to ensure a successful outcome for their projects. Our legal advice and support is available throughout the whole process and includes identifying potential problems that may impact on the future sale of new homes.

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        Joint Ventures

        Our residential property development solicitors have extensive experience providing legal advice on joint venture development contracts. These complex arrangements allow developments to proceed with both the developer and landowner benefitting from the proceeds of the sale.

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        Site Set-up

        The Stones’ team of specialist property solicitors has acted for a significant number of local and regional developers, over many years, dealing specifically with the legal aspects of site set-up.

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        Planning Applications

        Our specialist property solicitors’ legal expertise in drafting and negotiating planning documents ensures a proper balance between the demands of the local authority and the requirements of the developer.

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        Financing Property Developments

        The Stones’ team of property solicitors deals with all arrangements required for the financing of sites, including the recent ‘Get Britain Building’ scheme.

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        Plot Sales

        Our team of specialist property solicitors oversees plot sales, on a daily basis. These include freehold sales of individual plots, leasehold flats, shared equity arrangements and sales of affordable homes to housing associations, normally through development agreements or building contracts.

          Social HousingSocial Housing

          Stones’ team of social housing solicitors have been providing expert legal advice in the social housing field for over 27 years. We act for Registered Providers of Social Housing across the South of England.

          Our social housing legal expertise has been recognised by the two leading independent guides to the legal profession, the Chambers Guide and Legal 500. Our team of dedicated social housing lawyers are enthusiastic, approachable and experienced in their field. We deliver a cost-effective, quality service, and work with our clients to achieve practical and innovative solutions. We are flexible in our approach and adaptable to our clients’ requirements and time pressures.

          Quote from Chambers 2014  "Stones staff have in-depth knowledge of social housing, and are willing to respond appropriately to clients' wishes.   James Menzies is knowledgeable and a good team leader.  He works hard and genuinely cares about the social housing world.  In summary, he's someone who can be trusted to do a job well" according to impressed clients."

          We have experience in all major areas of legal work of interest to social landlords, but in particular, we have expertise in the areas of social housing site acquisition, stock transfer and plot sales.
           

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          Site Acquisition

          Stones’ team of social housing solicitors acts for Registered Providers, providing legal advice on social housing site acquisitions and development, including Section 106 and non-Section 106 sites.

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          Stock Rationalistions

          Our social housing team provides comprehensive legal support to our Registered Provider (RP) clients on high profile, internal and external social housing stock rationalisations, including stock swaps. We also have a streamlined service available for the disposal of surplus RP stock, including at auctions.

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          Plot Sales

          At Stones, we pride ourselves in the efficiency and approachability of our shared ownership plot sales staff. Our emphasis is on a proactive approach in order to service our clients' needs. This includes the provision of weekly updates on the progression of all ongoing sales.

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            Private ClientPrivate Client

            Stones’ private client team of solicitors can provide expert advice on how best to protect your assets and wealth - for your future, and for future generations of your family.

            We will ensure that, when you die, your estate will pass to your named beneficiaries in a seamless and tax-efficient manner. Our estate planning advice will incorporate the mitigation of inheritance tax and capital gains tax, where required, and may be based around your will, or the creation of a will trust. By using other forms of trusts, we can place assets outside your estate, which may generate inheritance tax savings and protect your assets from being assessed for long-term care.

            Our wealth management expertise incorporates financial planning, investment portfolio management and a number of aggregated financial services. High net worth individuals, business owners and affluent families can call on our wealth managers to coordinate retail banking, estate planning, legal resources, tax professionals and investment management. By incorporating powers of attorney, can also help your family manage your wealth in the future.

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              Business & Commercial Services

              Some things in business just have to be done, whether it’s employment contracts, IP protection or shareholder agreements. But each business is different, so we get to know our clients and offer bespoke, real-world legal advice.
              There may be set requirements, but one size doesn’t fit all.

              Company CommercialCompany Commercial

              Stones’ team of company commercial solicitors works with clients on all corporate and commercial matters.

              We take the time to understand your objectives, before providing the expert legal advice you need to negotiate commercial contracts, successfully.

              The team has a wealth of experience in providing corporate legal advice for start-ups, joint ventures, partnerships, reorganisations, company administration, shareholder disputes, mergers, acquisitions and disposals, buy-outs and investments. We can advise on the organisation’s structure including limited companies, partnerships & LLPs, charities & not for profit. We also advise businesses and investors on financing an organisation.

              We act for buyers and sellers, applying our expertise to terms and conditions relating to goods and services, outsourcing agreements, distribution, franchising, agency, joint ventures, intellectual property, information technology and data protection.

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              Business Merger, Acquisition & Disposal

              Our specialist commercial solicitors will provide comprehensive legal advice, guiding you through every stage of the process of acquiring or disposing of a business, whether by way of shares or assets and goodwill - from agreeing heads of terms to completion of the purchase or sale.

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              Companies, Partnerships & LLPs

              Our company commercial solicitors provide cost-effective legal advice for entrepreneurial businesses – concentrating on those areas where we can genuinely add value.

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              Finance for Businesses & Investors

              Stones’ commercial solicitors provide a full range of legal advice and support services for commercial clients, banks and other financial institutions on finance and fundraising.

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              Commercial Contracts & Agreements

              Commercial agreements take many forms, and can range from your standard terms and conditions of sale or supply, to framework agreements for specific customers and bespoke commercial contracts. Our company commercial solicitors provide comprehensive legal advice and support for clients entering into all commercial agreements.

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              Information Technology (IT), Data Protection and Media

              It is important, and company websites need to be compliant with data protection. You need to ensure you have the correct privacy policies, cookie policies and terms and conditions in place, and that they can be easily found by website visitors. Our team can help make sure everything is correct, so you can focus on maximising the opportunity presented by e-commerce.

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                  Commercial PropertyCommercial Property

                  Businesses need property and often, timing is everything. At Stones, our job is to provide the legal expertise to help you assess any proposals quickly and, once you have made your decision, to act effectively to get the deal done as smoothly as possible.

                  We will advise you on buying & selling freehold property, taking or granting leases, financing commercial property and all other aspects commercial property transactions.

                  Quote from Chambers Guide 2014   "Stones is a good firm to deal with."

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                  Buying & Selling Freehold Property

                  Whether you are buying property for your own business use or for development, our team of commercial property solicitors has the right people to give you legal advice and guide you through the process, ensuring you have the information you need to make the right decisions.

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                  Taking or Granting Leases

                  There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to commercial lettings - whether the lease is for a small industrial or shop unit, or a large multi-occupancy site. That is why our commercial property solicitors offer bespoke legal services and advice for landlords and tenants.

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                  Financing Commercial Property

                  Our commercial property solicitors work closely with institutional lenders and private banks, and are used to dealing rapidly and securely with acquisition finance, refinance, debentures and guarantees on a range of investment and business property portfolios.

                    Employment Law & HREmployment Law & HR

                    The Stones Employment and HR team of specialist solicitors provides ‘no-nonsense’, commercial, legal advice in a world where businesses are burdened with ever increasing, evolving regulation.

                    We understand that your workforce can be your biggest asset, but that the right advice and guidance is required at the right time to avoid, or reduce, liability.

                    Our team serves a local and national client base, providing advice on all areas of HR from setting up standard contracts and policy documents to operational and strategic plans. These range from redundancy and TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) regulations, through to everyday decisions involving absence, performance, disciplinary and grievance management. We also provide advice on issues ranging from breach of contract to whistleblowing and employment tribunals.

                    The Stones Employment Team has a national client base, ranging from owner managed, multi-site businesses, to charities and local authorities. We act for clients across a variety of sectors, including leisure and tourism, healthcare, manufacturing, charities and professional service providers.

                    We also offer an increasingly popular, fixed-fee arrangement for access to day-to-day legal advice from our solicitors, together with regular legal updates. The approach provides the peace of mind that comes with the ability to plan and budget for business expenses.

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                    Advice & Guidance

                    Our Employment and HR team of specialist solicitors provide responsive, commercial, tailored, legal advice on maternity, flexible working, absence and performance management, disciplinary and grievance, holiday pay, home working and all other employment-related issues.

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                    Contracts & Policy Documents

                    Our team of employment solicitors can provide legal advice including the drafting and negotiation of directors’ service agreements and consultancy agreements.

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                    Disciplinary & Grievance

                    We offer 24/7 access to a lawyer who can provide, commercial, responsive legal advice on a wide range of subjects, from managing a disciplinary, to dealing with a grievance, or series of grievances.

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                    Employment Tribunals

                    The Stones team of specialist employment solicitors can manage an employment tribunal claim for your business from start to finish, or provide legal advice and support at discrete stages.

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                    Redundancy & TUPE

                    Carrying out a redundancy exercise, restructuring, or being involved in a Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) transfer can cause significant problems for employers, particularly in collective consultations.

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                    BOLDER Scheme

                    We also offer our increasingly popular, fixed-fee arrangement for access to day-to-day legal advice from our solicitors, together with regular legal updates.

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                        Travel & InsuranceTravel & Insurance

                        Our team of Travel and Insurance specialist solicitors provides responsive, commercially practical legal advice and solutions for the cost-effective resolution of issues in this complex, fast-changing area of law.

                        Our lawyers represent a variety of clients, both corporate and individual, including insurers, underwriters, claims handlers and legal expenses insurers. Our expertise is recognised by several high-profile insurers for whom we act as panel solicitors.

                        We act for both the insurer and their policyholders in compensation claims and in a defendant capacity, when necessary. We provide legal support on insurance policy wording, claims handling and breach of contract claims. We also deal with recoveries for insurers, our subrogation and recoveries solicitors help travel insurers and assistance companies improve the recovery of insurers’ outlays.

                        For matters such as public liability, we have an experienced team of solicitors providing a round-the-clock service to clients who need instant action. Our specialist solicitors also provide advice on legal expenses insurance.

                        Our travel and insurance team has been established for over 20 years and is listed by Chambers Guide to the UK Legal Profession as one of the top law firms in the travel sector. We have an international network of specialist lawyers and experts which we can call on, when the need arises.

                        Quote from Chambers 2014. "Stones has significant experience in the international travel arena.   Stones are very good at picking up the phone and being helpful.   They offer good client service but are also realistic and are good at managing the clients' expectations.   Bronwen Courtenay-Stamp is praised by interviewees for her industry knowledge.  She also has expertise in winter sports claims, acting for both claimants and defendants.    Ian Brown is very efficient.  He processes our claims quickly and in a cost-effective manner."
                         

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                        Public liability advice

                        Our specialist solicitors fight liability claims made against individuals and insurers brought in both the United Kingdom and abroad, in relation to a wide range of matters, such as road traffic accidents, marine incidents, fires, assaults, and skiing and snowboarding liability. We deal with both large loss and small claims.

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                        Subrogation & Recoveries

                        Stones understands that, in challenging economic times, it is important that insurers achieve prompt, economic recoveries.

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                        Our specialist solicitors provide advice on legal expenses insurance to insurers, underwriters, claims handlers and specialist providers of legal expenses insurance.

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                            Litigation & Dispute ResolutionLitigation & Dispute Resolution

                            Stones’ team of business Litigation and Dispute Resolution solicitors is a well-balanced unit - combining the experience of age with the enthusiasm of youth. We understand that business litigation can be stressful, time consuming and expensive.

                            Our aim is to swiftly identify your problem, advise on the law and suggest the most cost-effective way of resolving the dispute - whether by negotiation, mediation, or the issue of court proceedings. We will work within agreed financial limits, and, for some elements of our work, we are happy to negotiate fixed fees.

                            Where appropriate, we will consider working on a ‘no win - no fee’ basis, otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), or alternatively, a discounted CFA, where we work at a reduced hourly rate, with the balance, plus an additional success fee, if the outcome is successful.

                            Our litigation and dispute resolution solicitors cover a broad range of issues including -

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                            Contractual Disputes

                            Our specialist contract solicitors will advise on the terms that go to form the contract, whether any of the terms have been breached and what the financial consequences of that breach may be.

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                            Professional Negligence Claims

                            Stones’ team of business litigation and dispute resolution solicitors is well versed in the area of professional negligence, particularly in relation to claims against other solicitors.

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                            Landlord & Tenant

                            Stones’ team of Property Litigation solicitors provides legal advice and services for a broad range of clients, including landlords, tenants, property developers, retailers, investors and charities.

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                            Building Disputes

                            Building disputes come in all shaprs and sizes. Our solicitors have the expertise to cut to the chase and offer pragmatic solutions, whatever the size of the dispute.

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                            With the ever-increasing pressure on land, disputes over the precise ownership of land are becoming much more common. Our commercial property solicitors regularly provide legal advice on boundary disputes and have significant expertise in the area of the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

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                            Insolvency

                            Our solicitors provide insolvency legal advice and assistance for insolvency practitioners, professional advisers, directors, partners and individuals in corporate, contentious or non-contentious situations.

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                            Local Authority Rates

                            Our solicitors act for local authorities in respect of the enforcement and collection of council tax and non-domestic rates. We provide legal advice on appropriate methods of enforcement, including charging orders and the service of statutory demands, as a prelude to filing bankruptcy and winding-up petitions.

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                            Insurance Cover

                            Our insurance industry solicitors provide insurers with specialist legal advice on a diverse range of issues, taking into account the likely stance of the Financial Ombudsman Service.

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                            Debt Recovery

                            If your business is owed money by individuals or businesses, our debt recovery solicitors can provide the legal advice and guidance to help you deal effectively with the debt recovery process, while reducing the associated time, stress and inconvenience.

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                            Mediation

                            Stones' team of Litigation and Dispute Resolution solicitors deal with all forms of commercial mediation. Our legal services include preparing cases for mediation and representing our clients throughout the process.

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                                Private Client

                                Modern families are often complex, so issues relating to your personal life, home and work need a bespoke approach. Only by spending time with our clients can we make their lives easier. We may have seen similar situations before, but we know one size doesn’t fit all.

                                Residential PropertyResidential Property

                                Based in the West County, Stones’ team of property solicitors has extensive experience in property conveyancing and raising finance for both urban and rural properties.

                                We offer a comprehensive service for clients buying or selling houses and flats, developing land, acquiring investment property or resolving property disputes. We can also advise on the right choices when it comes to raising finance in the most appropriate way for your particular purchase.

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                                Buying & Selling

                                We deal with the sale and purchase of all types of houses, whether freehold or leasehold, in the town or in the country.

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                                Developing your land

                                Our team specialises in helping landowners seeking to maximise the development potential of their land.

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                                Investment Property

                                We act for all types of investors who are buying property as part of their portfolio.

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                                Disputes

                                We have considerable experience of dealing skillfully with property disputes. Problems over boundaries, rights related to access or services and covenants are common, and our team focus on finding practical, cost-effective solutions which, otherwise, can become litigious, extremely stressful and costly.

                                  Life PlanningLife Planning

                                  Stones’ solicitors provide life planning advice for private clients on all aspects of managing and administering their individual and family affairs, at all stages of life.

                                  Our specialist lawyers can help in planning your estate to protect your wealth for the future and planning for retirement and business succession. We can also administer your financial affairs, when appropriate, for example, when you are ill, and, ultimately, plan for the passing on of your estate to your beneficiaries.

                                  You can depend on our expertise across a whole range of specific legal issues, including wills, trusts, tax advice and planning, and sympathetic understanding and informed advice in situations involving elderly clients and power of attorney.

                                  Our can advise on all aspects of life planning including -

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                                  Supporting Documentation / Glossary

                                  Wills

                                  Every family's affairs are different, and every will we draft is specifically designed to take your personal circumstances and wishes into account.

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                                  Trusts

                                  Stones can provide detailed advice on appropriate trust structures to manage funds for the benefit and protection of your beneficiaries.

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                                  Tax Planning

                                  Stones’ experts can show you how to arrange your affairs so you mitigate your tax liabilities, and pay as little tax as possible.

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                                  Elderly Client Issues/Powers of Attorney

                                  We often think about making wills to protect our family. But have you made arrangements to look after your financial and other affairs, if you are unable to do so?

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                                  Court of Protection

                                  Stones can provide advice, and make the appropriate application to the Court of Protection, when an individual loses the mental capacity to deal with their own financial affairs, and arrangements have not been made in anticipation of the situation.

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                                  Care Fees Planning

                                  Sadly, many people end their days in a care home. We can provide sympathetic, but realistic, advice help you make plans to anticipate this possibility.

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                                    Dispute ResolutionDispute Resolution

                                    Stones' team of private client Litigation and Dispute Resolution solicitors is a well-balanced unit - combining the experience of age with the enthusiasm of youth. Our experienced solicitors understand that litigation for private individuals can be stressful, time consuming and expensive.

                                    Our aim is to swiftly identify your problem, advise on the law and suggest the most cost-effective way of resolving the dispute - whether by negotiation, mediation, or the issue of court proceedings.

                                    We will work within agreed financial limits, and, for some elements of our work, we are happy to negotiate fixed fees.

                                    Where appropriate, we will consider working on a ‘no win - no fee’ basis, otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), or alternatively, a discounted CFA, where we work at a reduced hourly rate, with the balance, plus an additional success fee, if the outcome is successful.

                                    Our solicitors cover all aspects of dispute resolution including -

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                                    Contract Dispute

                                    Our specialist contract solicitors will advise on the terms that go to form the contract, whether any of the terms have been breached and what the financial consequences of that breach may be.

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                                    Professional Negligence

                                    It is unfortunate that, sometimes, professionals, get their advice wrong and this can cause a private individual to lose money. Professional negligence claims can involve services you have received from solicitors, accountants, investment advisors and architects.

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                                    Landlord & Tenant

                                    If you are a landlord, problems with tenants can be time consuming and, potentially, expensive. At Stones, we have a clear understanding of the practical issues landlords face and can advise on the best method of obtaining possession as quickly as possible, or recovering rent arrears, or both.

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                                    Disputed Estates

                                    Individuals are living longer, and making wills when they are older. This can raise the issue as to whether the person making the will really knows what they are doing.

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                                    With the ever-increasing pressure on land, disputes over the precise ownership of land are becoming much more common.

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                                    Insolvency

                                    At Stones, we provide insolvency advice and assistance for insolvency practitioners, professional advisers, directors, partners and individuals in corporate, or personal, contentious or non-contentious situations.

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                                    Debt Recovery

                                    If you are a private individual owed money by other individuals or businesses, Stones can help you deal effectively with the debt recovery process, while reducing the associated time, stress and inconvenience.

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                                    Mediation

                                    Stones' Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team are experienced in dealing with all forms of private mediation. We prepare cases for mediation and represent our clients throughout the process.

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                                      Family Life Family Life

                                      With members of the team being variously members of the Family Law Panel, Mediation Panel, Law Society Children Panel and having specialist accreditation with Resolution (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association) we offer a wealth of experience in assisting in the resolution of the many issues which can arise following the separation of married couples, at what can be one of the most stressful and emotional times.

                                      The team undertakes privately funded work in the areas of Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnerships as well as any financial, property, children and injunctive issues that may arise.

                                      Legal aid in this area of work is now restricted to an extremely small number of cases following government changes to eligibility in April 2013, being available only if Domestic Abuse/Child Protection, falls within a strict criteria and has been present during the preceding 24 months (in addition to financial eligibility).

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                                      Children

                                      With extensive experience in all childcare related matters, Stones team of childcare solicitors is uniquely placed to advise and sensitively support clients in the process of adopting children or, making provision for children in the event of a relationship break down.

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                                      Child Adoption

                                      Our team of childcare solicitors have extensive experience helping clients through the legal process of adopting a child. We also act for clients who are looking at the alternatives to adoption such as, a ‘Residence Order’ or ‘Special Guardianship Order’, that the law provides.

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                                      Child Residence & Contact

                                      Stones’ team of childcare solicitors is highly experienced in helping clients achieve the best for their children in the event of a relationship breakdown. Where and with whom the children live, now termed ‘child residence’ by the law, will be the primary concern for all.

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                                      Parental Responsibility

                                      Having ‘Parental responsibility’ as set out in law, entitles you to make or be involved in making the critical decisions that will affect a child’s welfare and future. Without this status, you may be excluded from such decisions. Our childcare solicitors have extensive experience helping clients achieve parental responsibility. They also understand that changes in family circumstances, particularly where children are involved, can be a daunting and stressful time.

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                                      Financial Applications on Behalf of Children

                                      Financial applications on behalf of children can have complex and wide reaching implications that should be fully appreciated by all parties. Our team of childcare solicitors, who have extensive experience helping clients to achieve the best for their children in the event of a relationship breakdown, will ensure that you are in the best position to make informed choices.

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                                      Grandparents

                                      If disputes over children cannot be resolved through negotiation or mediation, applications can be made to the court. We can help with all types of application, including Contact Orders, Residence Orders, Prohibited Steps Orders and Specific Issues Orders.

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                                      Domestic Violence & Abuse

                                      Stone’s team of childcare solicitors includes specialists in domestic violence and domestic abuse. They have extensive experience of rapidly stopping violence and abuse within the home and ensuring that it does not occur again.

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                                        Employment LawEmployment Law

                                        The Stones Employment Team also provides advice to individuals. We have expertise in drafting and negotiating service agreements, compromise agreements and, where necessary, working closely with our Corporate / Commercial Team colleagues to provide advice in relation to directorships, share schemes and other related matters.

                                        We understand the importance of delivering responsive, situation-sensitive, cost effective advice, in the right manner and at the right time.

                                        You may need advice on, employed or self-employed status, compromise agreements, bonus disputes or other contractual matters. We have extensive experience in advising senior executives on exit strategy and termination package including finances, restrictive covenants and other key issues.

                                        You may also require advice on your rights and duties as a director, or help with boardroom disputes or confidentiality.

                                        You may require advice around family-friendly rights, discrimination and bringing Tribunal proceedings.

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                                            Administration of EstatesAdministration of Estates

                                            We can provide sensitive and efficient help with all legal, tax and administrative arrangements, following a death - from initial steps to final accounting and distribution.

                                            Our services include applications for grant of probate, and letters of administration where there is no will. We will also ensure that full advantage is taken of all reliefs and tax planning opportunities, such as deeds of variation.

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                                              Personal InjuryPersonal Injury

                                              Stones Personal Injury Team has the experience and expertise to deal sympathetically and professionally with compensation claims for personal injuries - from minor to fatal - arising from accidents in England and Wales.

                                              Our solicitors can advise on all aspects of personal injury including slips and trips, road traffic collision injury claims, work accidents and occupation health, and injuries involving animals. Our services also include assisting at coroners’ inquests.

                                              We are dedicated to obtaining the maximum amount of compensation, quickly, efficiently and without fuss. All injury claims are on a ‘No Win-No Fee’ basis, and you will receive 100% of any compensation award. Generally, to be eligible, we have to be in a position to issue court proceeds with three years of your accident happening or you illness being diagnosed.

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                                              Slips & Trips

                                              Stones can act on your behalf for all types of slip, trip, or fall compensation claims. These are claims that are not due to an accident at work, or road traffic accident, and can be made against public authorities, shops or anywhere that isn't your place of work.

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                                              Road Traffic Collision Injury Claims

                                              Our dedicated Road Traffic Accident Injury Team can handle claims for incidents involving drivers, passengers, cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, livestock and farm animals, cars, taxis, lorries or any other motor vehicles involved in a collision on the highway.

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                                              Work Accidents and Occupation Health

                                              Workplace personal injury, accidents and illnesses resulting from working activities and environments continue to rise despite health and safety regulation. Stones has a proven track record conducting personal injury claims arising from accidents, injuries and illnesses associated with the workplace and will provide the professional help and advice you need to obtain personal injury compensation.

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                                              Animals

                                              Our dedicated Livestock Injury Team has extensive experience of obtaining compensation for injuries caused by livestock, horses, cows, dogs, cats and, sometimes, wild animals.

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                                                Our People

                                                We’re innovative professionals, not puppets. We’re here for you, and will tailor our approach to your needs, using our knowledge, skills, experience and expertise to make sure you get the best possible result.

                                                Anne Clark

                                                HR Manager

                                                James Browne

                                                Partner & Head of PI

                                                Bronwen Courtenay-Stamp

                                                Partner and Head of Travel Tourism & Insurance

                                                Helen Honeyball

                                                Partner & Head of Private Client

                                                David Howell-Richardson

                                                Partner and Head of Childcare

                                                Paul Keeling

                                                Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution

                                                James Menzies

                                                Partner and Head of Social Housing

                                                Lynn Onyett

                                                Partner - Commercial Property Team

                                                Chris Rundle

                                                Partner and Head of Commercial Property Team

                                                John Turnbull

                                                Partner and Head of Employment

                                                Hugh Winterbotham

                                                Partner and Head of Real Estate

                                                Ian Brown

                                                Partner

                                                Peter McLean-Buechel

                                                Head of Construction

                                                Louise Boden

                                                Associate

                                                Andrew Lovett

                                                Associate

                                                Amanda Rainford

                                                Partner

                                                Charlotte Reavey

                                                Associate

                                                Lee Jordan

                                                Solicitor

                                                Clive Williamson

                                                Associate

                                                Frank Cook

                                                Partner

                                                Eleanor Rayner

                                                Associate

                                                Mark Alford

                                                Solicitor

                                                Scott Cann

                                                Solicitor

                                                Matthew Fearnside

                                                Solicitor

                                                Jemma Cotton-Hunt

                                                Associate

                                                Rebecca Cox

                                                Solicitor

                                                Nicola Janus-Harris

                                                Solicitor

                                                Kathryn O'Reilly

                                                Solicitor

                                                Sandy Powell

                                                Solicitor

                                                Maria Dunn

                                                Solicitor

                                                Hayley Prideaux

                                                Solicitor

                                                Nicola Johnston

                                                Solicitor

                                                Nicky Challice

                                                Paralegal

                                                Jayne Deasy

                                                Legal Assistant

                                                David Harris

                                                Litigation & Client Care Manager

                                                Nichola Hedditch

                                                Legal Executive

                                                Andrew Luxton

                                                Conveyancing Executive

                                                Nigel Mills

                                                Conveyancing Executive

                                                Kirsty Rawcliffe

                                                Legal Assistant

                                                Justyna Peacock

                                                Paralegal

                                                Gary Voysey

                                                Legal Executive

                                                Caroline Hudson

                                                Paralegal

                                                Mandy Stroud

                                                Paralegal

                                                Gemma Bungay

                                                Paralegal

                                                Joseph Leigh

                                                Paralegal

                                                Laura Strong

                                                Paralegal

                                                Belinda Jeffery

                                                Senior Administrator

                                                Andy Fisher

                                                IT Manager

                                                Adrian Richards

                                                Chief Operating Officer

                                                Jon Tuckett

                                                Finance Manager

                                                 
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                                                Join Us

                                                You deserve a great future. Talented people need to be nurtured and allowed to develop in their own way, not restricted or shaped into something they don’t want to be. So if you’re looking for an exceptional career opportunity, join a law firm that knows one size doesn’t fit all.

                                                Why StonesJoin Us

                                                Talented people deserve to be nurtured and allowed to develop in their own way, not restricted or shaped into something they don't want to be. So if you're looking for a great future, join the law firm that knows one size doesn't fit all.

                                                We have a high retention of employees thanks to our core business values; open, trust, deliver.

                                                Open: because we involve our staff in the development of the business

                                                Trust: because we trust them to perform to their best ability, and because they trust us to support them in that

                                                Deliver: because together we deliver, for our clients, for ourselves, and for the wider economy and community

                                                There’s a real sense of family at Stones, and in the true sense – we support each other and in return we get great professional development and a real opportunity to strike the right work/life balance. And all located in one of the most beautiful areas in the world! - Michelle Colridge, Legal Secretary

                                                 When you join Stones, you will be joining one of the most popular and successful legal businesses in the South West.

                                                VacanciesVacancies

                                                There are no vacancies at present.

                                                Working for StonesWorking for Stones

                                                We are passionate about the people we employ: we know that they are the most important asset of our business.

                                                We understand the demands of working in a legal practice but we want people to enjoy working with us and feel part of an extended family. This is an open, friendly and collaborative environment, and we feel the work life balance offered by Stones allows employees to enjoy what there is to offer in the South West.

                                                Stones is an Equal Opportunities Employer and Investor in People.  We offer an excellent working environment, and regard training and development as being vital to the future success of the firm.

                                                 

                                                "The great thing about working at Stones is that the support and administration staff are made to feel as valued as the lawyers. We are given opportunities to train and develop our skills, and move around within the business.”  - Mandy Marshall, Receptionist
                                                 

                                                Training & Development

                                                Our commitment to staff is total and we encourage personal and professional development at all levels.

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                                                Equality & Diversity

                                                Stones are committed to creating and maintaining a work culture where equality and diversity are the signs of our commitment to all employees and the standard of service that our clients can expect from us.

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                                                TraineesTrainees

                                                We take our responsibility to our trainees very seriously, which is why we can offer one of the most effective trainee contracts in the region. We very much see trainees as a vital investment in our future, and indeed many go on to develop long and fulfilling careers with us.

                                                Stones Solicitors LLP is a leading South West Law firm with a strong reputation for delivering expert legal services to its wide ranging client base. Each year we are looking for the next generation of lawyers to join our dynamic team.

                                                If you are committed to a career in law, you may be struggling to decide which firm is right for you, who offers the best training, the best environment and the right opportunities.  Read on to hear from our current trainees.

                                                Trainee Solicitors are selected by attendance at a competitive assessment day which is held in March/April followed by second stage interviews for the shortlisted candidates.

                                                Please see timetable below for 2016 applications:-

                                                • Applications for 2016 training contracts accepted until Tuesday 20 January 2015;
                                                • Assessment Day for 2016 training contracts will be held in March/April of 2015;
                                                • Training contracts offered by the end of June 2015.

                                                Stones Solicitors will only be accepting applications for 2016 training contracts through the online Trainee Application Form. 

                                                Here’s what some of our trainees have to say:

                                                “The training contract programme that Stones has to offer is second to none. As a trainee I have been able to run my own case load, assist with high value cases and develop my knowledge and skill set to enable me to have a flying start to my career as a solicitor! I have had the chance to deal with a range of challenging and varied matters within each of my seats during my two years and I am looking forward to continuing this development throughout my career as a solicitor. As a trainee you are actively supported in your development by having a training partner and a team head to oversee your work on a day-to-day basis, ensuring that if you ever have any questions there is always somebody to ask. Stones are a great firm to work for and in addition to their training programme they actively encourage you to get involved in networking and professional development courses to develop your wider skills in this profession.  As part of my training I had the opportunity to take part in a dual UK and USA mediation programme allowing me to become an accredited mediator in the UK and USA. - Nicola Johnston,  Solicitor (Stones Trainee 2011-2013)

                                                 

                                                I was one of the first people to come through the Associate Development Programme, and the support I received from the firm was superb. And it has not stopped there – I continue to benefit from all the professional development resources Stones has to offer. There’s a real sense that, if you have ambition, the firm will back you all the way.” - Ian Brown, Partner

                                                Trainee Application Form

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                                                Work ExperienceWork Experience

                                                We understand that it is hard to enter the legal profession without relevant work experience.

                                                At Stones we are pleased to offer a number of work experience placements throughout the year. If you are currently studying for A levels or at University and interested in a career in law, then please contact us.

                                                We try to offer placements wherever possible, but due to the high demand for opportunities we do limit the number available.

                                                Please send your CV and a covering letter to the HR Manager outlining your interest in a work placement with Stones. Placements are offered on a first come first served basis, so please apply early.
                                                 

                                                Recruitment AgenciesRecruitment Agencies

                                                Recruitment Agencies Information

                                                All recruitment efforts are focused on resourcing suitable, high-quality candidates outside of agency use in the first instance. Therefore we politely request that agencies do not forward CV’s in respect of the roles shown on this website or on a speculative basis. If and when agency involvement is required the HR Manager will contact you directly.

                                                Stones Solicitors will not recognise any CV submissions related to unsolicited applications and no agency fees will apply. Where an agency forwards us an unsolicited CV, we will not accept liability for commissions or other charges if we subsequently employ that candidate whether directly or through another agency. Where your correspondence contains a disclaimer indicating otherwise, our policy prevails.

                                                If you wish to be considered as a supplier to Stones Solicitors please send an introductory email to eleanorwilson@stones-solicitors.co.uk prior to sending any CVs. 

                                                Apprentices 1st October 2014

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                                                Employment Law Update 30th September 2014

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                                                Restrictive Covenants 4th February 2014

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                                                E Newsletter January 2014 29th January 2014

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                                                Zero-Hours Contracts 9th January 2014

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                                                Inheritance Tax Planning 8th January 2014

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                                                Starting a Business 7th January 2014

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                                                Underpaid Holiday Pay - a ticking time bomb for businesses.

                                                22nd October 2014

                                                Earlier this year a case in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) exposed a weakness in the Working Time Regulations (WTR) of 1998, when an energy salesman from British Gas took his employer to court claiming that his holiday pay should also reflect any commission he might have made.

                                                Most employers calculate their employees’ holiday pay in line with their basic pay, in line with the WTR. However, the ruling by the ECJ has pulled the rug from under this practice by finding that holiday pay should indeed reflect commission as well as basic pay. This means the potential for backdated claims from employees going back to 1998 – costs which could cripple some businesses and even see others go under.

                                                A tribunal in Leicester will sit in February to deliberate on how to interpret the ECJ ruling and its decisions.

                                                Other cases in other courts are deliberating whether other supplementary payment schemes, such as overtime, should also be treated in the same way.

                                                What options do employers have to deal with this looming situation?

                                                Firstly, employers should not group claims for commission and overtime together. While the Leicester tribunal has provided clarity to the situation regarding commission, that about overtime is still uncertain.

                                                On overtime, most employers should wait to see how things develop, and use that time to make provision for payment claims – both backdated and in the future. Unfortunately, most experts in this field are advising business owners to prepare for the worst.

                                                While claims could be made going back to 1998, they can only be made if there has been no break in the chain of underpayments in that period. This means that, in most cases, employees cannot bring historical claims against former employers, because their change of job would have broken that chain.

                                                Employers also face the problem of what constitutes a ‘week’s pay’ for the purpose of calculating holiday pay. What is the correct reference period for averaging pay? Which ‘remuneration’ should be taken into account?

                                                While the environment around underpaid holiday pay remains so uncertain, employers have two options: to wait and see what the various rulings will bring, while trying to prepare for the worst; or introduce changes now which may minimise future claims.

                                                Employers would be prudent to take legal and financial advice to assess their position to reduce the risk of damage to their business.

                                                For further information and advice please contact John Turnbull on 01392 666777 or e mail johnturnbull@stones-solicitors.co.uk

                                                 


                                                 

                                                Exeter Office

                                                Linacre House
                                                Southernhay Gardens
                                                Exeter
                                                EX1 1UG

                                                DX Address: DX 8306 Exeter
                                                Tel: 01392 666777
                                                Fax: 01392 666770
                                                Email: mail@stones-solicitors.co.uk

                                                Okehampton Office

                                                21 Fore Street
                                                Okehampton
                                                EX20 1AJ

                                                DX Address: DX 82500 Okehampton
                                                Tel: 01837 650200
                                                Fax: 01837 650201
                                                Email: mail@stones-solicitors.co.uk
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