Legal Briefs: FBC Manby Bowdler; Lodders Solicitors; Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Awards double for FBC Manby Bowdler

THE Compliance team at FBC Manby Bowdler has beaten off nationwide competition to be declared ‘Team of the Year’ in the annual LawNet awards.

The team, which provides centralised, expert support and assistance to more than 90 fee earners and 165 employees across a range of compliance related issues, was selected as the winner for demonstrating the power of collaboration to improve processes, drive efficiency and foster a culture of compliance across the firm.

LawNet, which is a nationwide network of independent law firms, also recognised young achievers, innovative practice and community involvement from across the UK in the awards that were presented at a ceremony at The Belfrey in Sutton Coldfield.

Chris Marston, chief executive of LawNet, said: “The aim of our annual awards is to get to the heart of what makes an innovative law firm, underpinned by a commitment to excellence, and the winners were outstanding examples of that ethos.”

The win came on the same day as FBC Manby Bowdler was named Professional Services Firm of the Year in the inaugural Wolverhampton Law Society awards.

FBC Manby Bowdler Managing partner Kim Carr said: “It is superb that our compliance team has won this title when they were up against such a strong field from other high achieving law firms.”

FBC Manby Bowdler has offices in Wolverhampton and Willenhall as well as Shrewsbury, Telford and Bridgnorth.

Chancellor’s trusts decision hailed by Lodders

Eamonn Daly, Chartered Tax Adviser and partner, Lodders Solicitors THE decision by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement to shelve plans to introduce a single settlement nil-band rate on trusts have been marked as a ‘victory for common sense’ by Lodders Solicitors.

Eamonn Daly, left, a Chartered Tax Adviser and partner at the firm’s Stratford upon Avon office, said: “There would have been the complication of two distinct tax regimes running and changing the whole system of trust taxation in this way would have been like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
“The government has been consulting on simplifying trust taxation, and the proposal was that individuals would be entitled to one ‘settlement nil-rate band’ (SNRB) to be allocated between new trusts and additions to existing trusts after June 6, 2014, in order to calculate the inheritance tax (IHT) within them.
“Thankfully, these plans were dropped at the Autumn Statement and the situation will now continue whereby each trust will have its own nil-rate band in addition to the individual’s personal nil-rate band, which is the amount that can be gifted or left on death, IHT-free.”

HCR offers Jelf Group a will-writing service

Dawn Oliver, partner, head of private clients at Harrison Clark RickerbysALL staff at Jelf Group, including Jelf Employee Benefits, are being offered a will-writing service as part of their employee benefits package.  The service is being provided by Worcestershire law firm Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

An extensive communication programme is currently underway to promote the new service to staff which includes benefit days, education workshops, presentations, question and answer sessions, with further information posted on the company’s intranet.  Jelf’s and Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ experts have been on hand to answer specific questions.
Jo Thresher, head of money at work at Jelf Employee Benefits said: “In our experience HR professionals who have had an employee die in service know how hard it can be, and when there is no Will it can make a terrible situation even worse.  Getting a Will in place is one of the most important elements of protection planning, and as such it supports our Money at Work education service. The last thing we want is for people to leave it until it’s too late.”
Dawn Oliver, pictured, partner, head of private clients at Harrison Clark Rickerbys said: “There is a lot of confusion around writing Wills, for instance, many people wrongly believe that if they’re in a civil partnership (or a marriage) their estate will automatically be passed onto their partner, which might not be the case.  We’re here to help staff at Jelf understand their legal position and be confident that their wishes will be honoured, their money is given to whom they want and the decision is not left to anyone else.”