Author Archives: Jacky Holmes

Eastbourne Newsletter – August 2019

The next Eastbourne lunch will be on 20th September 2019 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, sponsored by Humphrey & Co - Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Humphrey & Co


Recent figures provided by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) show that in the tax year to 5 April 2019 HMRC increased their investigations into inheritance tax (IHT) paying estates by some 25%. Such investigations are carried out to ensure executors have reported the full extent of the deceased’s estate as well as checking that the correct reliefs and allowances have been claimed.

It is considered that this growth in investigations is at least partly attributable to the complexities of the residence nil-rate band (RNRB). This relief was first introduced in April 2017 and by 6 April 2020 there will be potential for up to £175,000 of RNRB to be claimed, with a possible doubling up of this relief for some couples to £350,000. This is a potential saving of up to £140,000 in IHT on some estates.

As executors have a responsibility to deliver a correct IHT account to HMRC, if an investigation uncovers errors resulting in underpaid IHT then, as well as interest on unpaid IHT being due, there can also be penalties imposed by HMRC on the executors.

Our Trust & Estate Support Services (TESS) team are probate regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales with substantial experience on assisting executors with completion of IHT forms and calculating the IHT tax due. They can also advise on the responsibilities of executors as well as guidance to lay executors on how to administer estates.

For further information please contact Amanda Eade or Sue Pocklington on 01323 730631.



 Our Trust & Estate Support Services (TESS) team are taking a stand at the Good Life Show in Eastbourne on Thursday 26th September. The show is open to visitors from 10.30am to 3.30pm, in the new Welcome Building at the Devonshire Quarter.

The lifestyle show covers many areas of interest and brings together a wide range of exhibitors with an appeal to people over the age of 50.

The TESS team will be on-hand to offer further information on their services including:                 

  • Inheritance Tax
  • Probate Applications
  • Estate Administration
  • Trust Administration
  • Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney

Further details can be found on the Good Life Show website at


Worthing Newsletter – August 2019

The next Worthing lunch will be on 14th August 2019 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at Casa Ciro sponsored by Bennett Griffin - Book here

There will be a guest speaker from Turning Tides at this lunch speaking about their charity event in September called Go the Distance!

Book onto upcoming dates here:


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Bennett Griffin

100 Not Out! | SIGNIFICANT STATISTICS – Part 1 of 10: Planning for Later Life

With each Blog in this series our Team and I will:

1. Highlight a hopefully interesting and significant STATISTIC
2. Provide a little COMMENT from our professional and personal experiences as later life specialist Solicitors
3. Suggest an ACTION that is achievable and beneficial
4. Identify a RESOURCE that we hope is useful
5. Answer a FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION on the particular topic

Our aim is to raise topics in an interesting, succinct, but informative way, in areas where “we often don’t know what we don’t know” but would benefit from knowing. Hopefully, after we engage with the series we will be better informed and empowered to take action and have a clearer plan and resources in place for a fulfilled, fun and less anxious later life.

100 Not Out

With the success of the English and Welsh cricket team winning the World Cup on Sunday it was interesting that no batsman reached the iconic “100 Not Out” on the day. However, Do you think you’ll reach “100 Not Out!”?

Only couple of months or so ago, I had a significant Friday that made me ask the question and do some investigating.

1. I had the funeral of a client who had been in her 102nd year
2. I was liaising with her long-time friend who is in her 105th year
3. I had my Solicitor visit with a Client I am Deputy for who was 100 that very day

So, do you know how many people in England and Wales are “100 Not Out”?

STATISTIC #1 – According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2017 there were 14,430 centurions! That number has nearly doubled in only 15 years when there were only 7,800 in 2002.

So, how is that figure going to develop in the coming years and could you be someone who celebrates the big “100 Not Out” in the future?

Well in 2017 there were 565,340 people aged between 90 and 99.
By 2060 there will be over 1,000,000 of us in England and Wales over 100!

This statistic has some obvious and significant implications:
 There will be much greater strain on the NHS
 There will be greater demand for care services and care housing
 There will be continued pressure to continue to work for longer

In our experience as Later Life Legal specialists we see:
 Too often clients react to a crisis of health rather than proactively planning with an up to date Will, appropriately drafted Powers of Attorney, Statements of Wishes and “This is Me” statements
 That the earlier you consider and plan for later life the more options there generally are for care funding, providing for the family, mitigating tax, minimising family disputes
 The benefits from documenting preferences can be vitally important and empowering to ensure person centred care in later life

1. Speak with your nearest loved ones to start to discuss and then document your personal wishes and preferences for later life care, finances and fun!
2. Review your key legal documents with a specialist later life lawyer who has relevant experience of acting as Attorney, Deputy, selecting and finding later life care and empowering individuals

1. Contact Ian Macara for our simple and clear Guides to recording your preferences for both Care Decisions and Financial Decisions since our clients have told us that they are often a helpful start to meaningful conversations
2. When considering a Later Life Legal Advisor look for accreditations for expertise and quality such as Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP) “Intergenerational Planning”, Dementia Friend Champions, Action on Elder Abuse members, Court of Protection Panel Deputies (only 71 in England and Wales) – We have them all!

FAQ – In the coming blogs, I’ll be exploring some other significant statistics with the intention being that they help us plan to make informed decisions and take positive action to plan for later life. If you have any particular questions that you would like my specialist team of lawyers to answer then please do email or direct message me and we’ll do what we can to incorporate them into the series.

NEXT TIME – How many people have a Power of Attorney, at what age are they typically made and why are they so important?

Bennett Griffin

Hove Newsletter – August 2019

The next Hove lunch will be on 10th September 2019, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, at the Ginger Pig Pub, sponsored by Whitespace & ViiSana - Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:




Viisana logo


ViiSana | We’ve rebranded!

Since we started back in 2015, we’ve offered life and health insurance with a difference, and our mission was simple – to encourage our clients to take small steps to a healthier life whilst protecting themselves, their families and their businesses.

We’ve learnt a great deal along the way, winning awards as we have gone – recognising the unique approach we take in the market. Our offering has developed and strengthened, and as a result of this we have decided to refresh our brand and logo’s, so that they truly reflect what our business has to offer.

Why the change?

Our brand lies at the heart of our business and is derived from the Spanish term ‘Vida Sana’ – to lead a healthy life. As we continue to add new products to our proposition, we felt that our brand needed capture our mission – to help our clients take control of their lives, health and wealth.


There is no change to our ownership, and we remain a privately-owned family run business.


Our vision

Our new logo represents our promise to help clients make life-changing decisions to reduce potentially life-changing risks. We want to present our brand clearly, without ambiguity and for it to demonstrate our offering in a straightforward way. We believe that we have achieved this with a logo and strapline that reflects our maturity as a company and is bold and clear, representing the company that stands behind it.

If you have any questions regarding the changes or indeed feedback, please do let me know.  For more news on this and other exciting developments, please follow us on social media; Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or visit our website

Brighton Newsletter – August 2019

The next lunch is on the 1st of October at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM, sponsored by Harvey John - Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Harvey John

Harvey John have the pleasure in sponsoring ‘Brighton Ladies Lunch’ held at The Grand Hotel, Brighton across 2019 in collaboration with Ladies Lunch Club and Consortium

In recognition, we continue our ‘Women in Business’ blog series to highlight the achievements and careers of inspirational business women. This month, we are joined by Nicky Goldsbrough.


Just as we saw with Julie Kapsalis last month, Nicky keeps herself very busy! A Chartered HR professional and Treasurer and Committee member of Sussex CIPD; Nicky also Chairs the British Ports Association HR & Employment Network and is a significant driving force in the Women in Maritime Taskforce, tackling gender equality within the maritime sector. Nicky currently sits on the Board of Shoreham Port as Director of Corporate Services.


Nicky, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule and joining us today. Can you start by telling us about yourself, background, and your current role?

I am currently the Director of Corporate Services at Shoreham Port, a medium sized port on the South Coast of England. I have a broad remit but most of my efforts go into the people-based strategies, namely building a unique and high performing culture that fit’s the ethos of the Port. Shoreham is not the biggest port, but it wants to be the best and this starts and ends with the people it employs, who are at the heart of the business.

Additionally, I Chair the British Ports Association HR & Employment Network, which aims to facilitate greater collaboration and sharing of best practice between ports. We work on everything from industry wide salary benchmarking through to maritime careers promotion.

Another passion of mine is ensuring that the maritime industry is open to all and I champion opportunities for women in the sector, tackling gender equality. I am currently leading on the introduction of a unique maritime recruitment aid that enables increased diversity in the maritime workplace and it is the first initiative of its kind in the world.

For a couple of years, I have been the Treasurer and a Committee member of Sussex CIPD – helping to connect over 400 members, delivering a wide-ranging events calendar and sourcing high level speakers.

Outside of work I love being in the great outdoors, travelling as much as I can and most importantly spending time with friends and family.

What a range of work you’re involved in! So how did you get where you are today, working in and championing for the maritime industry, and who has helped you along the way?

I ended up working in a port through chance but have never looked back! I’ve grabbed every opportunity, worked hard and most significantly, had the support and guidance of key people – notably my current Chief Executive. He has taught me the power of networking which has opened up a whole new world. I’ve also had the benefit of an outstanding mentor which has been a game changer. I’ve kept close to those that have inspired me and tried to learn as much as I can from them.

Networking certainly seems to play a large role in building bridges for development. Thinking about all the ‘ladies’ events that encourage women in business, why is gender balance and having a more diverse workforce important, especially in senior management teams?

Achieving a balanced workforce at all levels will undoubtedly improve culture, behaviour, outcomes, profitability and productivity. Any industry that chooses to overlook and fail to include people because of gender, when seeking talent and expertise is making a huge mistake.

Diversity of thought is incredibly important and essential to future success. It is especially important in senior management as that sets the tone for the rest of the organisation. For example, at Shoreham Port the Board and leadership team has great gender diversity, spearheaded by a female Chair. Consequently, it’s no surprise that Shoreham Port has recently become the first port in the UK to achieve certification under a stringent diversity Charter (the Women in Maritime Charter). The Port has ambitious plans for the future and a desire to be a leading example to others in the sector striving for an inclusive employment culture that inspires a productive, innovative and dynamic workforce. This is supported from the top down, from the diverse senior management team.

That’s fantastic, I’m sure the Chair must be very proud of her team. So how did you get there? What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organisations?

The following strategies are extremely helpful irrespective of gender but can certainly help females with confidence building and becoming more prominent.

  • Mentoring – Having a mentor has made an immense difference to my career. Mentoring has given me time to sense check my next moves, openly and honestly reflect on challenges, be supported and work out what makes me tick. It’s been absolutely invaluable.
  • Practice public speaking – Many women I speak to find public speaking off putting and shy away from it. It will only get easier with practice and there is great reward in pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Start small and build up, and trick your body into believing it’s having fun – power posing is back: see the Amy Cuddy TED talk.
  • Network, network, network – both inside and outside your organisation.

There’s definitely a pattern of networking here! It seems to be becoming more and more prevalent in successful business. What’s your biggest bugbear in the corporate world?

Snazzy words that don’t mean anything! I believe in keeping it simple and cutting out the jargon.

OK, so let’s cut to the chase. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?

Knowing when to ask for help. It’s easy to not realise you need help when you are in the thick of things. Ruthless prioritising will only get you so far. My biggest lesson so far has been realising when to shout out for support. Knowing who to ask for help is relevant here and one of the great benefits of networking is that you have plenty of people you can call on when you need a favour – but be prepared to reciprocate.

Well I’m sure this interview will certainly be helpful for many of our followers. What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Timing is everything and there is always an element of luck in being in the right place at the right time, however when you are – be ready. One opportunity often leads to another so grabbing that first opportunity and making the most of it is key.

Being ready is great advice, you’ve clearly grabbed life by the horns. If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Be kind to yourself – work-life balance is so important! Take time to pause, reflect and refocus.

Well said!

Thank you so much, Nicky, for your time and for sharing your experiences with us today. We wish you all the best in all your current and future ventures

Nicky can be followed:

LinkedIn Profile -

Twitter - @nickygold

Eastbourne Newsletter – July 2019

The next Eastbourne lunch will be on 19th July 2019 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, sponsored by Humphrey & Co- Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Humphrey & Co


 Your organisation may have an annual Christmas party for staff, but the tax rules also allow staff parties at other times of the year which are a tax-free benefit if certain conditions are satisfied.

 The exemption applies to an annual party (for example, a Christmas party), or similar annual function (for example, a summer barbecue), provided for employees and is available to all employees or available to all employees at that location, where the employer has more than one location.  If the employer provides two or more annual parties or functions, no tax charge arises in respect of the party, or parties, for which cost(s) per head do not exceed £150 in aggregate. For each function the cost per head should be calculated. The cost per head of subsequent functions should be added. If the total cost per head goes over £150 then whichever functions best utilise the £150 are exempt, the other is taxable.


Worthing Newsletter – July 2019

The next Worthing lunch will be on 14th August 2019 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at Casa Ciro sponsored by Bennett Griffin - Book here

There will be a guest speaker from Turning Tides at this lunch speaking about their charity event in September called Go the Distance!

Book onto upcoming dates here:


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Bennett Griffin

Family Breakdown – Where to Start?

Upon a relationship breakdown, when faced with a mix of emotions, upset and anxiety, it is often difficult to know where to start in terms of sorting out the most pressing worries (“…will I be able to stay in my own home and if so, how will I manage to pay the bills?…what about child care and the school runs?…), let alone trying to get your life back on track! There will undoubtedly be concerns as to how the immediate finances will be sorted out, and how the property and financial issues will be resolved. Answers to the following questions are likely to be sought.

• Do I need to record our separation?
• Should I divorce/dissolve my marriage/partnership or should I separate? What are the implications?
• What is to happen to the family home? Should it be sold, and if so, how should the proceeds be divided? Should it be transferred to one or other of us, or retained in joint names, and if so, upon what terms?
• What is fair?
• What should happen to the contents of the family home?
• Who should pay the outgoings on the property in the short term? What will happen in the longer term?
• Should maintenance be paid and, if so, how much?
• Should maintenance be paid for the children and, if so how much?
• How should pensions be dealt with?
• How do we divide the other capital assets?
• What happens to the family business? Do I have any claims over it?
• How do we resolve the practical issues about the children’s day to day care? Who will be responsible for taking and collecting them from school, and after school clubs?
• How much time should the children spend with each of us?

All of this needs to be considered, most usually, at a time when you are trying to cope and come to terms with the realization that your hopes, expectations and aspirations for the future have been dashed.

Having an initial meeting with a Solicitor is often key. A good Family Solicitor will be able to advise you as to your rights, and will consider with you the options that are available to you in your particular circumstances. Such a meeting will enable you then to identify and decide upon the method you wish to adopt in an attempt to sort out and resolve the issues between you.

There are several possible routes available to separating or divorcing couples when wanting to achieve a solid outcome and they are rarely mutually exclusive, but can be summarized as follows.

Do it Yourself – the two of you sit down and try and work out the issues between you. Having a Family Solicitor in the background to give advice and support, or to help problem solve at times of impasse may prove invaluable.

Mediation – this is where the two of you sit down with an impartial third party (the Mediator) to assist in helping you reach your own agreed and informed decisions. The Mediator will facilitate the discussions between you, will provide information and will assist in helping you to explore options. If you are successful in formulating mutually acceptable proposals for settlement, the Mediator will draw up a Memorandum of Understanding, which can then be referred to your family Solicitor to incorporate into a legally binding form.

Collaborative law process – both you and your spouse/partner instruct collaboratively trained lawyers. The parties and lawyers work together in a series of face-to-face meetings to resolve the differences. There is usually an agreement not to take the matter to Court, and to commit to the collaborative process.

Arbitration – this is where the parties, usually with the assistance of Solicitors, appoint an Arbitrator to resolve the differences between them. This can involve a hearing before the Arbitrator, or sometimes the parties elect to have the issues decided upon following written submissions. The Arbitrator’s decision is final.

Lawyer negotiation – this is generally known as the more traditional route and involves an exchange of Family Solicitor correspondence in an attempt to negotiate terms of settlement.

Court – this is usually the method of last resort. However, there may be circumstances where a timescale and structure is required to bring about an early resolution, (particularly where one party is slow or reluctant to engage in negotiations for whatever reason) and so an application to the Court will be made. Where an application is made to the Court, negotiations will continue alongside the proceedings. If agreement cannot be reached during the course of the proceedings, the matter will ultimately be set down for hearing before a Judge who will determine the issues between the parties.

Bennett Griffin LLP have a strong family team, and so please do not hesitate to contact Jackie Mensah (01903 229914 – ) or Jackie Gifford (01903 229903 – ) should you require advice or assistance.

Hove Newsletter – July 2019

The next lunch is on the 6th August at the Grand hotel in Brighton, sponsored by Harvey John - Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:


ViiSana logo


White space


Who is Whitespace and what do you do?

Whitespace is a Brighton-based creative agency specialising in design, web and marketing. We founded the business after having worked together in various guises for the last 12 years so we have a really solid and collaborative working relationship. Each of us leads one of our three focus areas.

Some clients come to us for just one of our services, others are keen to use all three. We are really focused on our areas of expertise – we don’t try to be all things to all men, instead we do what we do well and are supported by an exceptionally strong network of collaborators and friends in the industry.


How did the three of you come together?

We worked together as heads of department in the same company before forming Whitespace.

Steve and James also previously worked for years on web and app projects, while Milly was James’ client collaborating on various successful designs and marketing projects.

“We recognised we could build something together that we could be proud of and haven’t looked back”

All of us share the same core values, creative approach and love of good design. We each have our individual specialisms and strengths. We recognised we could build something together that we could be proud of and haven’t looked back!


What makes Whitespace special?

Our clients tell us that they love the fact that Whitespace is owner-managed and that we’re personally involved with each and every project and client, from concept to delivery.

We have a personal, down-to-earth approach which seems to resonate well with our clients.

And, of course, good, thoughtful design underpins everything we do. We pride ourselves on listening carefully and truly understanding a brief before even thinking about putting pen to paper to start the design process.


What type of businesses do you help?

We work for such a wide range of business, large and small. Some of the organisations we have helped this year include the Green Party and Brighton University, both of whom we have ongoing relationships with. We work with charities such as Grace Eyre, a number of publishers including William Reed, OX Mag – and Sussex Business Times!  We’re currently working on a brand new website for Mayo Wynne Baxter.

It’s a diverse mix and we don’t operate on a sector-specific basis. To us the brief is more important than the sector. And chemistry with the client is really important to us too.


Give us an overview of one of your favourite projects

There are so many! One piece of work we’ve really enjoyed working on this year has been supporting the Green Party’s recruitment drive to gain new members. We developed a web page, predominately for mobile users, which incorporates a radial dial giving users the freedom to pledge whatever amount they feel appropriate for their membership (rather than being constrained to certain brackets).

The Green Party’s main website includes fairly static web pages, so we were keen incorporate video, lots of colour and dramatic images to drive up engagement levels. We also included elements such as testimonials from real people talking about what the party meant to them, to capture the essence of the party.

The web page produced a much higher percentage of people pledging more money. We’re so pleased that the average donation was significantly increased – and the client was too! This campaign is a classic example that shows how clever, considered design can drive hard return on investment for clients.

Talk us through your own branding. What’s behind the name Whitespace?

 We chose on the name Whitespace as it perfectly reflects our clear, simple way of thinking, our creative approach and love of good design.

The term whitespace is a significant one in the design industry.  It is at the heart of good design and helps strike a balance between positive and negative spaces and is key to aesthetic composition.

The three accent colours represent our three core areas of expertise: design, web and marketing.

“We pride ourselves on listening carefully and truly understanding a brief before even thinking about putting pen to paper to start the design process”


Talk us through some key industry trends

The concept of ‘Responsive Logos’ has been around for a little while now but is certainly gaining momentum. In a modern world, where screens come in all shapes and sizes, logos that can adapt and make best use of the available space really stand out.


Your logo no longer has to be a one size fits all solution – it can move, evolve scale and engage with the device and even your location like never before.

Getting it right can elevate your brand and has huge potential benefits from a creative and marketing perspective.


28 Foundry Street



01273 258000


Brighton Newsletter – July 2019

The next lunch is on the 6th August at the Grand hotel in Brighton, sponsored by Harvey John - Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Harvey John

In collaboration with Ladies Lunch Club and Consortium, Harvey John have the pleasure in sponsoring ‘Brighton Ladies Lunch’ held at The Grand Hotel, Brighton across 2019. In recognition, we are delighted to announce a new blog series titled Women in Business to highlight the achievements and careers of inspirational businesswomen.

To kick us off, we’re thrilled to be joined by Julie Kapsalis. Julie is the Group Managing Director of Chichester College Group, a Board Member of Coast to Capital LEP and Chair of Chichester Chamber of Commerce.


Julie, thanks for joining us today. Can you start by telling us about yourself, background, and your current role?

My name is Julie Kapsalis and I am a workaholic. I am Managing Director of Chichester College Group (CCG), a Director of Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, Chair of Chichester Chamber of Commerce Industry and Board Member at the Institute of Economic Development and Gatwick Diamond Business. I am also mother to Hektor (aged 8) and Felix (aged nearly 7) – they are my proudest achievements. My greatest weakness is not being able to say ‘no’. I have also recently taken up showing sheep and am an avid darts fan (but that’s another story).

I began my career in marketing and PR, working for clients including Scottish Courage and Procter & Gamble. I then moved (randomly) to work in economic development at the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), managing a portfolio of contracts including Business Link and Finance South East.

I have continued to work in economic development for the past 15 years with a particular focus on enterprise, skills, and social inclusion. I was very proud to serve as an advisor to the UK Government’s task force on women’s enterprise and recently contributed to the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship.

I was also privileged to fulfil a long-held ambition to work on the London 2012 Olympics and managed a major legacy programme to encourage volunteering and community engagement in sport. My current role at Chichester College Group (CCG) – the largest training provider in Sussex – is my most diverse yet. I oversee a portfolio of commercial businesses including an Examination Board, chain of childcare nurseries, commercial training, apprenticeships, and international education. I am particularly proud of my work on building international partnerships in Japan and China.

That is certainly a long and impressive list of commitments. How did you get to where you are today?

I got to my current position(s) through the support, wisdom, and friendship of the most wonderful network of people. I am a great believer in networking and having a mentor and executive coach. These three channels have been fundamental in helping me learn, develop, and overcome hurdles. I’d cite three examples:

  • The former CEO of SEEDA, Pam Alexander, taught me resilience, mental toughness, and how to prepare and deliver on major speeches and chairing meetings – ensuring quality briefings, knowing your audience and political positioning. Even ten years after working with her, I still find myself thinking ‘what would Pam do’ and this helps me – especially in difficult situations or when I question my own ability.
  • My mentor is John Peel – former Chair of Coast to Capital and CEO of Varian. John is the best connected person I know and has taught me the power of networking, reciprocity, and a passion for place based regeneration.
  • My executive coach is Kiki Maurey and she keeps me focused, motivated, and always thinking two jobs ahead of where I am now. She is challenging, thought provoking, and generally awesome.

All three of these people helped me at key crossroads in my career. This included particular challenges post children, redundancy, and career changes. There were times when I was ready to give up on my career – especially given the crippling cost of childcare, but they all kept me focused, grounded, and believed in me – even when I didn’t believe in myself.

I was told once that it’s a lonely place being an MD and totally see the benefit of an executive coach and a close-knit advisory team. Have you experienced any challenges as a woman in business during your overall career – if so, could you share them?

My biggest challenge has undoubtedly been (and remains) juggling being a mother and sustaining/growing my career. At the core of this constant juggling act has been the cost and availability of childcare. I chose to return to work when my children were still young and the nature of my job meant that the only childcare option that worked for me was employing a nanny.

I had the most wonderful nanny, who supported me and was part of our family for almost four years, but this came at a huge financial cost.

In 2014, Merryn Somerset Webb wrote an excellent piece on the cost of childcare in Money Week. Her research showed:

“A good live-out nanny who will cover her employer’s hours at work and her travel will want around £600 to £700 a week in her pocket after tax. Let’s say we find a cheap one at £560 a week. Once you have included her income tax and national insurance (NI), and the additional employer’s NI, that comes to £826 a week. That’s £42,952 a year out of your own net salary. So, to break even on childcare alone with a live-out nanny, the mother has to make just over £60,000.”

This is a cost that I know only too well – although personally, I have always considered this an investment in my children and my career. But there have been many occasions where I have questioned whether it was financially worth my while pursuing my career and returning to work.

One of my problems was that I always wanted to pretend I was superwoman and could do it all and was always too proud to ask for help or admit I was struggling. I had no problems building a network of business contacts but was terrible at building a network of ‘mummy networks’ – in fact ‘rhyme time’ at the local library was and remains my greatest fear. It has taken me almost eight years to build a network of fellow parents on whose support, friendship, and supplies of red wine I can depend on.

With a young family too, I can certainly relate to ‘rhyme and red wine time’! What is your experience of leadership on a Board? And how, in your opinion and experience, do female leaders differ from male leaders?

I was once told that if you are just one woman on a board, you can be labelled as ‘the troublemaker’, if there are two of you then ‘double trouble’, but three or more is a tipping point that shifts culture and changes attitudes and convention away from just being a minority interest.

My personal opinion is that this is absolutely true although it has taken me a number of years to feel confident enough to call out and challenge a lack of diversity (in all areas) on Boards.

I was very pleased when Tim Wates, Chair of C2C LEP, asked me to become the Board’s diversity sponsor and for his support in recognising that our board needs to reflect the population that it represents. Making these changes, however, are not easy and take time and work in developing our networks, our contacts, and our pipeline. We need to understand what the barriers are to more women applying to join boards. Is it where/how we advertise, the times we meet, how we promote role models, and having mentors who champion us, believe in us, and support us?

Some of my personal bugbears are…Board meetings that are always scheduled in the school holidays or overrun late into the evening, appointment panels with zero diversity of gender or ethnicity, and being the lone ‘troublemaker’.

I’m proud to say that over half the team at Harvey John are women and they absolutely all play a pivotal role in the continued success of the business. What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

It has taken me a while to be brave enough and confident enough in my abilities to give this advice but it is simple….

‘Be yourself’

I no longer make any apologies for the fact that I have to leave early for a Year 3 play at school or that my suit may have a snot stain on the sleeve (not my nose but my son’s!) or that I use an Avengers notebook in meetings. If you work with me, you get me, warts (snot) and all. I now wear my heart on my sleeve and I think that authenticity is important. When I travel overseas on business now, I love the fact that, in many cases, I no longer exchange just the obligatory branded pen set, scarf or business card holder but that frequently I am exchanging small personal gifts for my children and the children of my colleagues. This is especially the case with other female business leaders who are mothers. We are teaching and enriching the lives of our children through international friendships and sharing of our cultures. I know that my husband misses our children just as much as me when he travels but the onus still falls on me (wherever I am in the world) to remind him that Wednesday is ‘swimming’ and Friday ‘PE’….

I think most people reading this would have been exhausted just at your introduction alone! How do you balance being involved in so many companies / projects at the same time?

Meticulous diary management and red wine.

Red wine is never far away is it? What would you say is your secret to success?

Working in roles that I am passionate about and having a family who support me.

My mother is probably my most important role model and rock. She keeps me grounded but is always there to help – she’s the only person who still makes me feel like I’m 15 (I wish!) and tells me off because I’ve dyed my hair a stupid colour or am being a diva.

No comment on the hair dye, I’m long past having a comment on that subject! If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Believe in myself and live in the future, not the past (still haven’t cracked the last one).

You have a great story to this point but I’m sure there’s a lot more to follow. What do you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

To make a difference to the local area where I live and work, and to try and be a role model to encourage more women onto Boards and leadership roles. I am passionate about seeing people succeed in education and business.

Above all, I want my sons Hektor and Felix to be proud of me and I want them to achieve their ambitions and dreams – currently to be a wrestler and professional gamer!

Well looking at what their Mother has achieved, I’ll be sure to look out for their successful careers in their very specialist chosen fields!

 Thanks very much Julie for being the trailblazer for our Women In Business blog series and obviously for your time which is clearly very precious! We wish you every success with the following chapters of your career.


Julie can be followed:

Twitter: @juliekapsalis


Worthing Newsletter – June 2019

The next Worthing lunch will be on 12th June 2019 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at the Ardington Hotel sponsored by Bennett Griffin - Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:


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Bennett Griffin

Tenant Fees Act 2019

On 1st June 2019 the new Tenant Fees Act 2019 came into force. There are now fees which landlords and agents may once have charged to the tenant which can no longer be claimed. The new Act applies to ASTs entered into on or after 1st June 2019 but will apply to all ASTs with effect from 1st June 2020. There is a raft of items which cannot now be charged to a tenant such as:

• charging the tenant a ‘set up’ fee for a new tenancy;
• if your AST allowed you to charge the tenant to carry out an inventory check or charge a check out fee, these can no longer be charged to the tenant; and
• any fees associated with a third party referencing service cannot be charged.

With regards to tenancy deposits, a maximum of the equivalent of 5 weeks rent can be taken (where the annual rent is less than £50,000), this applies to all fixed term contracts which are renewed from 1st June 2019 onwards.

The above are just a few of the fees affected. For the complete list, examples and information go to the government guidance published available at:

In addition, a new Form 6A section 21 notice has come into force which must be used for all ASTs from 1st June 2019. A section 21 notice cannot be served until an unlawful fee has been repaid.

A new How to Rent guide which has been published and must be used for all new and replacement tenancies (where the original tenancy predates 31st May 2019). Be aware that if the incorrect edition is provided to a tenant, a section 21 notice cannot be served until the tenant has been provided the current edition.

Brighton Newsletter – June 2019

The launch of the Brighton Lunch on Tuesday was very successful!


The next lunch is on the 6th August at the Grand hotel in Brighton, sponsored by Harvey John - Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Harvey John

How do you cut through the white noise of recruitment? You lower the volume. 

At Harvey John, recruitment is far from a transactional service. It’s about fostering long-term partnerships within our core markets. Quality over quantity.

Specialising in Accountancy, Tax, and Legal since 2004, Harvey John are an international recruitment firm with two offices in the heart of Brighton and a team of 15 individual skill-sets, each united by a shared vision of how recruitment should be.

By immersing ourselves in every corner of these markets, we maintain an incredibly niche expertise, enabling us to simplify the most complex of searches. And whether that assignment takes us across Sussex, London, Europe, Asia, or the Americas, our deep sector knowledge – paired with our multi-faceted methodology – means that we provide local solutions on a global scale.

And so, by lowering the volume, we strip ourselves from unnecessary pressures and, in turn, become a trusted partner to companies worldwide.