H&R Hughes Solicitors LLP

Putting Your Interests First

Heathfield: 01435 890 101

27a High Street, Heathfield, TN21 8JR

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Practice News

December 2018 - future head office

We are delighted to announce that we have bought the former Natwest Bank building in Heathfield as our future head office.This purchase will enable us to provide much needed space for our growing number of lawyers , and more ( and more suitable ) rooms within which to meet clients, along with space for training.

Senior partner Hilary Hughes comments : “I am really excited about what this building will provide us with once refurbished .It will give the right environment for our lawyers staff to work more efficiently in suitable premises, and within which to meet with clients.This is a major investment for the firm and demonstrates our continuing commitment to our many valued clients and our first rate lawyers and staff-as well as the town of Heathfield as a whole”

May 2018 - New partner

The partners are very pleased to announce that Dee Benians, who has been with the firm for over 2 years, has joined the partnership.

Hilary Hughes comments: "Dee has gone from strength to strength and her pro active approach has been welcomed by everyone in the firm and clients alike.We are excited by the expertise she has already brought to the firm and by what the future holds for the firm as a whole as we continue to build on our solid foundations"

She has the traditional values that we share of putting her clients’ interests first.

August 2017 - New private client solicitor

We are delighted to announce the arrival of Ruth Weaver, a private client solicitor, with over 25 years experience is soon to join the firm from a Kent practice.

Ruth has wide experience in dealing with all aspects of private client legal work and particularly complex probates, powers of attorney and the legal aspects of care for the elderly.

She has the traditional values that we share of putting her clients’ interests first.

August 2017 - New Lawyer for our busy Residential Property Team

We are delighted to announce that David Millward will be joining the firm on 2 October. For several years David has been with a South Coast practice specialising in leasehold and freehold residential properties. David brings years of experience looking after people buying and selling their own homes and those looking to invest in flats and houses


May 2017 - Stamp Duty Land Tax

The effect of Government changes last year to Stamp Duty Land Tax and particularly to the tax applicable to residential properties continues to cause difficulties both for people looking to move home and for those looking to buy houses for purposes of redevelopment.

A much higher amount of Stamp Duty Land Tax is usually payable on the house or flat you buy if at such point you own any other residential property.

What is not so well known is that the higher rate also applies if you already own any interest in any other property anywhere in the world. So buyers with a holiday cottage or flat eg in France or Spain or further afield (-or even just a share in a holiday home) are caught – as, in most cases, are those with any residential investment property or even a small share in a residential investment property anywhere in the world.

Relief is available for people who buy and sell their own homes on the same day , and a reclaim of tax is possible if you sell one home within a fixed period of buying the other one.

For developers: buying a house to knock down and redevelop also automatically triggers the higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax.

Difficulties arise in assessing the correct Stamp Duty Land Tax where the property in question is “mixed use” (perhaps comprising a farmhouse, with a range of small business units and farmland).

Stamp Duty Land Tax is a “self-assessment” tax so it is up to the taxpayer to “get it right” or potentially face heavy fines and penalties from HMRC later.

May 2017 - Community Infrastructure Levy comes in in Wealden

Community Infrastructure Levy has now been adopted (with effect from April 2016) by Wealden District Council.

It is a tax, by any other name, calculated on a “square foot basis” for most types of new build development.

On a typical new family home the person who implements the planning permission in question is likely to face a Community Infrastructure Levy bill from Wealden District Council of £20,000 or more (dependent on size, location and some other factors).

There are very few exceptions.

May 2017 - Development in Wealden District Council – the impact of Ashdown Forest

Development in the Wealden area continues to be hampered by European legislation designed to protect areas such as Ashdown Forest.

High levels of nitrogen oxide have been demonstrated to cause major harm to the flora and fauna of the Forest and its long term well being.

As a result the Council have imposed wide ranging restraints on the potential for development in areas including Crowborough, Jarvis Brook, Uckfield and much of the northern part of the district.

Policies designed to ensure that traffic movements across the Ashdown Forest are limited is driving the areas within Wealden District where development is more likely to be permitted to the south and in particular to the areas around Hailsham and Polegate.

April 2017 - Probate Fees put on hold

As a result of a sustained challenge the Justice Secretary, Lynn Truss, has had her proposals to raise probate fees by 1000% put on hold or withdrawn. Seen by many as a callous attempt to further “tax the dead” it was clear that the revised probate fees bore no relationship to the costs being incurred by the Probate Registry in administering what in many cases was seen to be simple paperwork.

The legal profession have welcomed this “about turn” by the Government.

December 2016 - Baby in Waiting

Leanna Byrne is on maternity leave from Christmas 2016 and we extend every good wish to her on the birth of her baby, and look forward to seeing her back again!

During her absence Clare Lane is assisted by locum, Sarah Brain, and by legal support assistants Kellie Sallows and Clara Boyland.

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