2018 has been a successful year for Barrett & Co and a year of great change with office moves, new starters, Trainee Solicitors qualifying and numerous new clients coming through our doors.
We have been extremely grateful to all of our clients that have shared their views about us on social media and websites providing us, at last count, with 79 Google Reviews and an average rating of 4.8 stars! If you would be willing to share your experience with others on Google we would be very appreciative. Please click here or search our firm name in Google which should guide you to our review page. Thank you in advance.
We have also been included on the “Three Best Rated” websites for all possible categories: Family, Property, Employment and Debt Recovery.
Barrett & Co try every year to get involved with activities and fundraisers in order to raise money for Charities both local and further afield. This year we undertook the Reading Legal Walk, had dress down days for Red Nose Day and Children in Need, wore our Christmas jumpers and organised a Christmas hamper raffle in aid of Save the Children.
Dispute Resolution Update
Chris Miller progressed from being a Trainee to join the Dispute Resolution department. Chris mainly deals with debt collection and contract disputes, but also gets involved with property disputes, insolvency, bankruptcy and contentious probate matters.
We have been successfully involved in a record number of Court appearances (in a very short period of time!) which has allowed us to develop our skills further in various areas of litigation such as landlord and tenant matters and general dispute resolution. We have also become increasingly busy within our contentious probate team which is growing exponentially across both the dispute resolution and private client teams.
Private Client Update
The Private Client team has over the course of 2018 not only continued to grow but has continued with our charitable work; including maintaining an ongoing relationship with the Will Aid scheme which saw, in November, solicitors drafting Wills in return for our normal fees being donated to charity by our clients. As we continue to grow and thrive, we welcomed our new Trainee, Charlotte Corcoran, to the team and look forward to February 2019 which will see a new Solicitor join us to provide even further assistance to our clients.
With changes to current legislation and guidance being introduced in 2019, including the potential impact of Brexit, we look forward to continuing to work with our clients in 2019 with this in mind, and also keeping you up to date with articles in our monthly newsletter.
Property & Commercial Update
The Property and Commercial team has experienced staffing changes this year, waving goodbye to two of our younger members of staff, Rob Jefferies and Imran Choudhary. Both Rob and Imran started as trainees with Barrett & Co and, having qualified as solicitors, have now moved on to larger firms. We wish them both well.
The Department has also welcomed our newest recruit, Miriam Carr – a specialist Commercial Property solicitor. Miriam comes to us via Horsey Lightly and Eric Robinson Solicitors and has a wealth of commercial property experience.
The Department continues to be busy in both the Commercial Property and Company & Commercial areas and to handle a full range of work – from share-capital restructurings to purchases of development sites and (almost) everything in between.
Conveyancing Department Update
The Department continues to bed-in the new Conveyancing team – Alan Warnes (Legal Executive), Richard Ince (Solicitor) and Maxine Rendell (Completions Executive) with valued help from Legal Support Assistants and trainees – and to promote the benefits of our Perfect Portal system (which celebrated its first anniversary this year and provides on-line quotations and updates on the progress of matters to both clients and Estate Agents). We have also focused on building relationships with local estate agents to ensure a smooth conveyancing transaction for all involved.
Despite rumours of a down turn in the housing market due to Brexit uncertainty, the Department continues to be busy – with particular increases in activity in the areas of leasehold and new-build conveyancing. We continue to handle transactions involving a massive range of properties (both by type and by value) and to remain of the view that, whilst it is important that transactions should proceed smoothly and rapidly, it is equally important that, where there are problems, these should be pointed out, explained and properly addressed.
When making what is for many people the largest investment decision of their life (even more so when a good part of that investment is paid for with borrowed money) it is essential that proper advice be obtained.
Family Department Update
The Family Law department has had a very positive year assisting many clients through separation and divorce. We have had a number of successful Court cases this year not only involving financial disputes but also with regard to children. We keenly promote dealing with matters as amicably as possible and continue to work our department to the needs of our client and their children. We have also undertaken a number of mediations this year and continue to promote the benefits of alternatives to Court including mediation and collaborative law. During the course of 2018 we have been supported by our trainees including Eleanor Pearson and our present Trainee, Nicholas Buckle. Our plans for 2019 include expanding the department in order to support and assist our clients further.
2018 saw further debate around fault or no fault divorces – legislation is planned but it will be interesting to see if this does become law in 2019. We will keep you updated with relevant articles in our monthly newsletter.
We all look forward to continuing to work with you over 2019!