At Tollers we are passionate about supporting the local communities we serve and are always keen to get involved with as many good causes as we can. With Easter upon us, the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Group enlisted the help and generosity of the Tollers teams, by asking those who were able, to donate an Easter Egg in order that they could be given to a local charity or cause.
The three main Tollers offices then selected three worthy causes to donate the eggs too.
Tollers Corby office decided to support Kettering General Hospital – which since the start of the pandemic has been hard hit with COVID patients.
On Tuesday, Tollers trainee Lauren Hamper met with Lorraine Devereux, a Community Fundraiser, at Kettering General Hospital. Lauren delivered a box full of Easter Eggs (pictured below) to Lorraine, who then pass the eggs on to the Harrowden C ward.
The Harrowden C ward at Kettering General is one of the main COVID wards within the hospital. Since the start of the pandemic, the ward has been at full capacity with COVID-positive patients. The CSR group thought that the staff on this ward in particular needed a little something to help them smile and thank them for all of their hard work. Shaun Mullen, the ward manager of Harrowden C, passed on his thanks and said “I really want to express my gratitude to the staff at Tollers, for thinking of us all”.
The Tollers Northampton office decided to support another local cause – The Cynthia Spencer Hospice in Northampton. Cynthia Spencer specialises in caring for people that require palliative care across Northamptonshire. The hospice provides inpatient care, outpatient services and even wellbeing groups in the North of the county. Tollers wanted to give the staff a small gift to show their appreciation for all of their hard work, as well as hopefully bring a smile to some of the hospices patients. On Wednesday, Rebekah Clarke for Tollers Trusts and Estates team in Northampton met with Colin, one of the volunteers at Cynthia Spencer and delivered a bumper basket full of chocolate goodies.
Tollers Stevenage office participated in Mather Marshall’s Easter Egg appeal. Mather Marshall, a local Stevenage estate agent, asked locally based businesses across Stevenage and Hertfordshire to get involved and donate as many Easter eggs as they could. Tollers solicitor, Shane Taylor, played the Easter bunny and delivered 43 Easter Eggs to the Mather Marshall office. The Easter Eggs collected between all of the businesses in Stevenage are being distributed between the Lister Hospital and Watford General Hospital and will be delivered to children who are unfortunately spending Easter in hospital.
As a firm, we are thrilled to have supported our local communities and hopefully raise a few chocolatey smiles!!
More about Tollers…
Despite the political dramas last week, the Government’s controversial proposal for Social Care Reform passed the House of Commons by a small majority.
Further to our article of 13th September 2021, which provided an overview of the proposed ‘Building Back Better’ reform, the new updated summary from the Government now highlights the fact that the proposed “care cap” of £86,000 does not apply to all of the fees one might be expected to pay for “care”. The summary indicates that a notional rate of £200 per week will be applied nationally for “daily living costs”, which represents rent, food and contribution to heating and bills. This would be paid by those receiving care, in addition to the care element of their fees. Only the care element will count towards the proposed “care cap”.
Further clarity is provided also in respect of the effective date of October 2023 as the summary now suggests that all those who are already receiving care prior to this date will also benefit from the new proposals. However, any fees paid prior to the effective date will not count towards the cap. Their contributions will simply be monitored from that point onwards.
This also means that anyone receiving care which they have arranged themselves in their own homes will also benefit from the new proposals. It will be a task for the Local Authorities to identify those individuals ahead of October 2023 so that their care contributions can be monitored effectively.
The updated Government summary can be found here:
Adult social care charging reform: further details – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
At this stage, it is too early to say what the end result may be for the proposed reform. As the bill now moves forward to public consultation in the New Year, Tollers will be watching closely and will be providing further updates to ensure that our clients are kept fully up to date as the bill progresses.
If you have any questions regarding the Social Care Reform Bill and how it may impact you or your loved ones… Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 and speak to our highly experienced Elderly and Vulnerable Client Law team who are on hand to guide you through.
As we have all seen in the press this last year has seen some major stamp duty changes which have, in turn, had a significant impact on those of us in conveyancing.
We started the year on the basis that the Stamp Duty threshold would be reducing from the highest that we have seen in at least 20 years, from £500,000 back to the standard level of Stamp Duty starting at £125,000 in March of this year. This meant that the majority of conveyancing matters would have needed to complete by the end of March 2021 for the buyers to benefit from the Stamp Duty holiday.
However, as the more keen-eyed of us will recall, the Chancellor changed his mind in March and extended the Stamp Duty holiday until the end of June for properties valued up to £500,000 in the April Budget.
It was also here that some misunderstandings ensued, as the Chancellor had actually extended the Stamp Duty holiday for properties up to the value of £250,000 until the end of September, but this had not been made clear in the media. Therefore, clients were becoming concerned that they would not benefit from the Stamp Duty holiday if they did not complete purchases of properties valued between £125,000 and £250,000 by the end of June.
The changes to the Stamp Duty thresholds meant that an unprecedented number of transactions were taking place across the profession and coincidentally meant a backlog on mortgage offers being issued and search results being returned, especially with the added complication of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing.
All the conveyancers within Tollers, along with their teams, stepped up to the plate and took on the challenge of the Stamp Duty changes as they took place.
Whilst there were some difficulties in searches being delayed and mortgage offers coming in later than expected Tollers conveyancing solicitors rose to the occasion and dealt with the challenges that came their way to ensure clients could move when they wanted to.
Tollers are now looking forward to the Autumn Budget and any changes to Stamp Duty that may be made, but are hoping that after this last twelve months, the Chancellor may leave any future changes to the Stamp Duty to next year at least.
Our residential property solicitors based in our main offices of Northampton, Corby, Stevenage have been helping clients across the East Midlands, the United Kingdom and internationally with all of their property matters. If you have a property query and would like to chat with a member of our conveyancing team…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 or make an online enquiry here.
What is Stamp Duty?
As a Firm, Tollers have always strived to support our local community. As part of this each year the firm’s Corporate Responsibility Committee takes the time to identify a worthy Charity to support for the coming year. No easy task normally, however, given the last year it was even more difficult than normal. Following much discussion, the Firm is delighted to announce that this year we have selected Northamptonshire Community Foundation and Stevenage Community Trust as our new Co-Charities for the coming year.
Chair of Tollers’ Corporate Responsibility Committee, Tonina Ashby, said “Following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the series of lockdowns that have ensued, the committee felt it was important to support a charity whose focus was to provide funding and support to people in need, as well as organisations and smaller charities within the local community. As a regional law firm with two of our core offices in Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire, we felt that Northamptonshire Community Foundation and Stevenage Community Trust provided all of this and more and that each would be a worthy candidate to be our Co-Charities of the Year.”
Northamptonshire Community Foundation
Northamptonshire Community Foundation (NCF) supports a variety of smaller charities and organisations which usually “fly under the radar”, allowing the public to support the issues close to their hearts. This in turn allows lesser-known organisations to benefit from support where they may otherwise miss out. Their mission is to provide a unique channel for donors to engage with their local communities and with each other.
This year, NCF celebrates its 20th year of support in our local community. Tollers would encourage individuals to celebrate with NCF with their own sponsored event with the theme of “20” (for example, a 20-mile cycle). They are also supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to improve the quality of life and wellbeing for all.
Stevenage Community Trust
Established in 1990, Stevenage Community Trust (SCT) is a similar independent charity, based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, providing funding and support to a variety of local groups, charities and individuals in need.
SCT has given out grants of over £1.4million since their inception and benefitted 20,000 people in the last year alone. More recently, SCT has held a “Stevenage Helps” appeal to support those adversely impacted by COVID-19, including food banks and individual families.
Both of these charities offer a broad range of support to the communities they support by providing grants to individuals, social groups, organisations and other charities.
They predominantly support those who are disadvantaged, vulnerable or in need, as well as supporting community projects for schools and sports clubs. They also work to raise awareness of important issues such as poverty and to support and develop local areas, parks and facilities for us all to enjoy.
Examples of those who have benefitted from these charities include social groups, support groups, scout and girl guides, older people, trips for carers, family fun days, hospices and support for domestic violence organisations.
For more information about the charities and the vital support they provide, you can visit their websites via the links below.
Stevenage Community Trust
Northamptonshire Community Foundation
Tollers look forward to supporting these fantastic charities to raise much-needed funds. We will, throughout the coming year, be running internal fundraising events, as well as encouraging our staff to take the opportunity to volunteer at the many events the charities will be running during the course of the year. We will keep you all posted and updated as we go…
Exceptional People, Exceptional Service, Exceptional Delivery…at the heart of everything we do…
About Tollers Solicitors – Leading Regional Law Firm
The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Action Week is taking place this year between 17th-23rd May 2021. It is an opportunity for individuals, organisations and other charities to show their support for people living with Dementia and to raise awareness of the condition. Alzheimer’s Society indicate that statistically, as many as one in three people born in the UK will eventually develop Dementia.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, one quarter of all COVID deaths in the UK are made up of individuals with Dementia. They indicate that the Coronavirus crisis has highlighted issues with the social care sector which need to be addressed. This year, Alzheimer’s Society are leading Dementia Action Week with a focus on campaigning for reform of the social care system, which the Alzheimer’s Society considers difficult to access, unfair and costly.
Tollers is a volunteer Dementia Champion with Alzheimer’s Society. We delivers Dementia Friends information sessions in the community and “virtually” online. These sessions are FREE and aim to dispel myths and to improve the awareness and understanding of Dementia.
Tollers’ EVCU team are already Dementia Friends. Becoming a Dementia Friend is simple, easy and informative. You can do your part to make your community that little bit more Dementia Friendly. For more details, you can visit the Dementia Friends website: https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk
If you would like to show your support for Dementia Action Week, why not arrange a Dementia Friends information session with your colleagues, friends or family? Perhaps you would prefer to get involved with a fundraising event? You could even Talk to Tollers if you are considering leaving a legacy or gift to the charity in your Will.
For general information and dementia support, or for ideas on how you can get involved with Dementia Action Week, visit the Alzheimer’s Society website: Dementia Action Week | Alzheimer’s Society (alzheimers.org.uk)
Find out more about Tollers Elderly and Vulnerable Client unit here: Elderly And Vulnerable Clients | Tollers Solicitors – Talk to Tollers
Tollers take great pride in supporting local organisations and charities wherever possible, having been established locally in 1877, we have deep roots in Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas.
With that in mind Tollers are delighted to have been able to sponsor a fresh new makeover for the Northamptonshire Association for the Blind’s (NAB) mobile sight centre (pictured) and to celebrate 125 years of the charity.
The mobile sight centre makes it easier for individuals with disabilities to access valuable information and products, by taking these on the road to various hotspots around Northamptonshire.
The NAB provides a range of support and services county-wide, including exercise and dance classes, telephone befriending and primary school education programmes.
Tollers are also proud to offer a free Will scheme in association with the NAB, to help raise valuable funds and awareness of NAB’s services. Under the scheme Tollers will provide a simple Will (and mirror wills) free of charge and encourage a voluntary donation or legacy to be made to NAB in return.
Tollers Partner and Head of the Elderly and Vulnerable Client Unit, Tonina Ashby said “We are delighted to be able to develop our relationship with NAB. Tollers’ origins are here in Northamptonshire and so we are always keen to support local organisations and charities and to help where we can.”
Making a will is often associated with retirement planning. However, this is not just a document to be considered for older people. Making a Will is particularly important at any milestone of your life (getting married, buying a property, having children, getting divorced, remarrying) and can provide your family with certainty and security when you have gone.
If you are interested in making a Will and supporting a good cause in the process, please contact Tollers today on 01604 258558, quoting “NABWEB”.
In the meantime, check out the Nab website for details of products and services: https://nab.org.uk/ and see if you can spot the Mobile Sight Centre as it resumes its travels around the county.
Making A Will
At Tollers we understand that although the impact of the Coronavirus crisis means that the UK economy finds itself in the most challenging of times, there are still reasons to be optimistic and to celebrate.
Over the period of lockdown Tollers Solicitors has taken robust measures to protect its staff while at the same time enabling them to continue to provide our clients with professional advice from their home offices. Our teams have adapted and refined their working practices in order to continue to deliver the highest levels of service to our clients ensuring that they remain contactable at all times by telephone or e-mail.
Having spent time considering the potential impact of the current crisis on the business and making adjustments and alternative arrangements to address those impacts. Tollers management team have also found time to look further down the line when the outlook may be brighter for all and have taken decisions to ensure the strength of Tollers Solicitors business in the future.
With this in mind the Tollers Board are delighted to announce the following promotions within the firm.
Sharon Brown – (Head of Trusts and Estates South) – Promoted to Partner
Tonina Ashby – (Head of Elderly and Vulnerable Client Unit) – Promoted to Partner
Danielle Sher – (Commercial Property) – Promoted to Partner
Kirstie Brownbill – (Trusts and Estates) – Promoted to Senior Associate
Chris Lucas – (Trusts and Estates) – Promoted to Senior Associate
Victoria Graham – (Dispute Resolution) – Promoted to Associate
James Willoughby – (Trusts and Estates) –Promoted to Associate
The Board would like to extend its congratulations to all of the individuals who have achieved promotion. The recognition is richly deserved.
Duncan Nicholson, Managing Partner says:
“As a Firm we are constantly looking to the future and growing our talent from within. These promotions, although made during a time when we are all experiencing uncertainty, only goes to reinforce Tollers’ commitment to its people and to their development.
Coronavirus is a challenge to us all. At Tollers, even in times of crisis we strive as a Firm to support our clients and our local communities ensuring that they have access to high quality commercial legal advice. In order to achieve that it is imperative that Tollers has the right people in the right positions at the right time.
Our people are our future and we remain committed building to strong teams that will take Tollers and our clients forward into the future”.
Tollers believe in Exceptional People. Exceptional Service. Exceptional Delivery…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558, for all your Business and Personal legal requirements.
Even with Covid – 19 It’s business as usual at Tollers, although in a new way. The Firm has done everything it can to ensure our staff can work from home and continue to provide the wide variety of legal services we offer.
Whilst we are adjusting to this new way of working during the lockdown period Tollers Conveyancing teams have adapted their working practices to ensure that our clients can still have access to all of our ‘Buying and Selling a Home’ services. They have found that many people have queries they require answering and in order to assist we have highlighted some of the key questions our conveyancing department are being asked at this time.
Can I still obtain a quote and instruction pack whilst the stay-at-home Covid-19 measures are in place?
Yes, Tollers can provide you with a quote and instruction pack via email.
We provide each client with a dedicated Conveyancer and support team with a fixed quotation for our services right from the start. We do not operate on a call centre basis and you will deal with the same team members during your transaction. https://www.tollers.co.uk/conveyancing-solicitors/
We also recommend you do not accept verbal quotations. Quotations obtained over the telephone may appear rather different when you compare the hard copy documentation.
What documents do I need to provide when selling my house?
We are advising all clients to be prepared for when the restrictions are lifted by completing the Property Information Form. We also advise that you locate any certificates in relation to any works done to your property during your ownership or by the previous owners. Obtaining and providing these certificate at the start of your transaction can avoid any unnecessary delays later on.
Guidance on how to complete the Property Information form can be found here: https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-services/advice/articles/transaction-forms/
In regard to Leasehold properties, we recommend that you make contact with the Management Company/Agent or Freeholder to obtain as much information as possible, we often find this can cause delays during a transaction and with the stay- at- home measures currently in place obtaining the necessary documentation could be delayed further.
Can contracts still be issued to my buyer’s solicitors?
Title deeds for registered properties can be digitally downloaded from the Land Registry Portal. Due to Tollers continued development of our case management system we can email contracts and supporting paperwork direct to the buyers solicitors.
Are local authorities still working to provide local authority searches?
It is Toller’s policy to submit official searches on all conveyancing matters. Personal searches are used by many other firms because they can cost less than official searches, however they do not offer you, as the client, the best protection. Personal searches also require an individual to attend the local authority which would be difficult with the current restrictions in place.
At Tollers we use an online search provider so our searches can be sent and the results received electronically. Reports can then be emailed directly to our clients.
Due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) we are experiencing some delays with the certain local authorities. As at Friday 17th April 21 local authorities in England had closed their local search departments.
Mortgage offers – can they still be issued?
Over the last year more and more lenders have become digitally enabled so mortgage offers can be issued electronically via an online portal. Due to the stay-at-home measures currently in place surveyors may only undertake valuations on properties that are unoccupied.
Tollers conveyancing offices are registered with Lender Exchange and LMS to enable us to digitally receive mortgage offers from the lenders that currently subscribe to these portals.
Tollers are working hard to ensure our clients’ needs are met and transactions are not delayed during these difficult times. We have a skeleton staff situated at all of our offices to forward any post to the necessary conveyancing teams in order to ensure that the delays for our clients are minimised as much as possible.
If you have any questions regarding Buying or Selling your Home, Equity Release or Re-Mortgaging…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 and a member of our Conveyancing Team will contact you to provide further advice.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 25th March 2020. It brings with it some temporary but important updates to the Care Act 2014, Mental Health Act 1983 and to NHS Continuing Healthcare.
NHS Continuing Healthcare
The National Framework sets down guidance for the completion of assessments for continuing healthcare. Continuing healthcare or “CHC” as it is more commonly known, enables a person to receive free care, fully funded by the NHS in certain circumstances.
Under the Coronavirus Act, all CHC assessments have been put on hold. This is due to the reduced capacity and higher demands placed on the NHS at this time.
As a result, new or extended support packages provided during the Coronavirus crisis will be funded under CHC until a full assessment can be made. This allows people who are potentially eligible under the scheme to be discharged from hospital with maximum efficiency and minimal administration.
Mental Health Act (1983)
Detention under Sections 2 and 3 of the Mental Health Act has been made more flexible under the Coronavirus Act. As a result, detention can now be made on the advice of one doctor, as opposed to two. This amendment was made in response to the increased demand on Doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This amendment has been made to ensure that those most in need of support at this time can continue to access services for treatment.
Local Authorities have a huge number of statutory duties under the Care Act 2014. In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Coronavirus Act seeks to lift some of these restrictions to ensure greater flexibility for the Local Authority to prioritise help for those most in need.
Local Authorities are now able to choose the people and the needs they ought to prioritise during the COVID-19 restrictions and they are currently not duty-bound to meet all needs as they would ordinarily have been under the Care Act 2014. They have the power to decide whether to undertake an assessment of a person’s care and needs and whether to undertake financial assessments during this crisis.
Most Local Authorities will be seeking to prioritise those needs assessments which are absolutely critical at this time.
Registration of Deaths
The Coronavirus Act has made the registration of deaths more efficient and straightforward, in order to meet potential for high demand whilst reducing face-to-face contact for registrars and people alike.
As a result, deaths may now be registered over the phone or “by other means” as determined by the Local Authority.
In addition, Funeral Directors are now being permitted to register the death of a person for whom they are instructed to carry out the funeral. This is an extension of the usual categories of people who are able to register a death.
If you would like more information on the impact of Coronavirus and how this affects you, Talk to Tollers Elderly and Vulnerable Client team on 01604 258558 and they will be happy to assist you.
Get On Your Bike Kettering: Tollers have teamed up with KLM taxis to be headline sponsors for the Cycle for Cransley Sportive that will take place on June 28th 2020.
The sportive raises much-needed funds for Cransley hospice in Kettering.
This event grows in popularity each year and offers routes to cater for all abilities;
- Cransley family fun spin – 10 miles £10
- Cransley Cruise – 25miles £15
- Fun filled fifty -50 miles £20
- Cransley Grand Fondo – 63miles £25
- And even a 30mile off-road route – £20
The sportive starts from Kettering Rugby club which will also host fun activities and attractions for all the family.
For more information and details of how to enter please head to https://www.cransleyhospice.org.uk/event/cycle-cransley-2020/
Get On Your Bike Kettering
Tollers also sponsor Kettering Cycling Club’s adult leagues and pictured below are the winners receiving their trophies from Tollers’ managing partner, Duncan Nicholson. The winners receive a trophy, a winner’s jersey and gift vouchers.
Tony has been the person to beat for some time but in 2020 swept up all the club’s male senior titles.
The highlight of his year apart from winning the Tollers trophy was taking part in the Tour of Cambridgeshire this year where he came 3rd in his age group and this qualified him to represent Great Britain in the World amateur championships. Tony came home 4th in his age group IN THE WORLD! And 1st GB rider in his age group.
Remarkably the year started with Sue struggling to find fitness but it all started coming together in the May day 10TT on the B10/43 when she came home as Joint winner with a time of 24.31 and that gave her 6 months of holding The Jane Travers Memorial trophy.
Then June saw her first PB of the year and the new KCC 15 mile TT Club record of 34:33 on the summer flying fifteen event in Hampshire.
In July she secured another PB securing the KCC 10 mile TT Club record with a 21:49 in the VTTA London & Home counties event and coming first lady on the day.
Also in July she secured a new PB for a 50 crossing the line at 2:00:58, slicing almost 6 minutes off her previous time and secured the KCC 50 mile TT Club ladies record for a female.
The RTTC National 25 mile championship event was next in her sights and sure enough, she crossed the line in 56:44, giving her an all-time PB and slicing a tad more time off the KCC 25 mile TT Club record.
Although her sights were set on the 30 mile distance there were no further races in the season. Sadly that will have to wait till this season.
On the spur of the moment she entered her first ever 100 mile (AS YOU DO!) in the first week of September on the A100/4, the B.D.C.A. event brought the biggest smile of the season with a fantastic first ride of 04:09:43.
Being her first ride it was a PB, and also secured the KCC 100 mile TT Club record
This ride also set a new Veteran Women’s Record for 100 miles for 56 year olds breaking a long-standing record held by Carol Gandy.
Sue also received a certificate from the Best British All-Rounder Competition to certify that she was placed 12th in the 2019 women’s competition after competing in road time trials over 25,50 and 100 miles the average speed of her performance being 25.089miles per hour.