Author Archives: Jacky Holmes

Eastbourne Newsletter – November 2020

The next Eastbourne lunch will be held virtually on the 27th of November 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Book here

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Humphrey & Co


The Government is introducing legislation on 28 September 2020, which will have retrospective effect from 31 January 2020, to allow people to use video-conferencing technology for the witnessing of wills being made.

The legislation recognises that:

  • An increasing number of people have sought to make wills during the Covid-19 pandemic, but for people shielding or self-isolating it is extremely challenging to follow the normal legalities of making a will – namely it being witnessed by two people.
  • In response to this the law (the Wills Act 1837) will be amended to state that whilst this legislation is in force, the ‘presence’ of those making and witnessing wills includes a virtual presence, via video-link, as an alternative to physical presence.

The legislation will apply to wills made since 31 January 2020, the date of the first registered Covid-19 case in England and Wales, except:

  • cases where a Grant of Probate has already been issued in respect of the deceased person
  • the application is already in the process of being administered

The legislation will apply to wills made up to two years from when the legislation comes into force (so until 31 January 2022), however this can be shortened or extended if deemed necessary, in line with the approach adopted for other coronavirus legislative measures.

The Ministry of Justice’s advice is that remote witnessing should be used only in an emergency when conventional witnessing is impossible, and extreme caution is required when using it.

The type of video-conferencing or device used is not important, as long as the person making the will and their two witnesses each have a clear line of sight of the writing of the signature.

Witnessing pre-recorded videos will not be permissible – the witnesses must see the will being signed in real-time. The person making the will must be acting with capacity and in the absence of undue influence. If possible, the whole video-signing and witnessing process should be recorded and the recording retained. This may assist a court in the event of a will being challenged – both in terms of whether the will was made in a legally valid way, but also to try and detect any indications of undue influence, fraud or lack of capacity.

Our Trust and Estate Support Services team can provide support and guidance both to private individuals and professional people in relation to Wills, LPAs, Probate and Estate Administration. Our trust and estate partner, Sue Pocklington and the TESS team are all members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Further guidance can be found here:

Hove Newsletter – November 2020

The next Hove lunch will be held virtually on the 12th of January 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Book here

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Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic

Stepping out with confidence in skin that you love – the game changer in flawless skin. Rebalance, Repair, Restore.  The pigmentation journey

The summer appears to be officially over and Autumn has descended.  Whether you have loved or hated lockdown, for the most part the weather has been beautiful and for many of us we have managed to spend a large part of it outside.

However much most of us love the sun, too much plays havoc on our skin.  We have had an increase in enquiries about people wanting to ‘fix’ their pigmentation and achieve a flawless complexion. 

Firstly, what is pigmentation and how is it caused?

Pigmentation is a global concern affecting millions of people all over the world.  90% of people over 50 present with hyperpigmentation and it is the most common reason for visiting a skin therapist.  It can have a major affect on confidence which in turn can lead toa decrease in quality of life and psychological implications.

Pigmentation is a natural defence against the solar radiation.  Melanin is the pigment found in the skin that gives us a tan and skin colour.  Melanocyte cells are responsible for the production of melanin and are found in the basal layer of the epidermis (in other words the base layer of the upper skin layer).  Melanin travels to the surface of the skin, where it accumulates and pigmentation becomes visible.

There are many factors that can cause hyperpigmentation.  These include:

  • Sun
  • Ageing skin
  • Tissue inflammation
  • Hormone changes
  • Photosensitising medications
  • Certain chemical agents
  • Genetic predisposition

There are four main types of hyperpigmentation:

  1. Melasma.  Dark spots which are irregular with blurred edges.  Tend to be symmetrical.  Superficial melasma is clearly visible on the skin whilst deeper melasma tends to be more of a shadow.  Caused by hormones, sun, medications, chemicals and genetic factors.
Melasma on skin

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  • Post-Inflammatory Hyerpigmentation.  This is caused by an inflammatory process caused by a lesion or aggression such as wounds and burns.  It is more common in medium and dark skin types.
Post inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

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  • Lentigo (liver spots).  Caused by sun and skin ageing.  These are oval spots with defined edges and are mainly found over 50 in sun exposed areas.
Age spots on hands

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  • Ephilides (freckles).  Typical of light skin types and can appear anyway.  Usually caused by genetics and sun damage

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How we can help treat pigmentation in clinic

We have various methods that can help in improving the appearance of hyperpigmentation.  It can be an unstable condition and will always require managing well to try and prevent the reappearance.

The treatment that I most love is called Cosmelan.  In a Covid world, this is the best as we get the quickest results with the minimum amount of contact.  Once you have had the procedure, it’s all about how we manage it at home.  Which, of course, we hold your hand (in a socially distanced way) throughout the process to ensure that you are following the correct protocols.  The winter months are the perfect time to address pigmentation concerns with treatments and products.  However, despite the sun being less of an onslaught, we do have to remember that UV radiation is around us all the time in our lights and computer screens, so we need all year round UV protection.

Cosmelan is a peeling treatment that works to exfoliate the skin to remove the superficial pigmentation. The ingredients in the products not only peel, but contain a whole brigade of antioxidants that work to repair skin, Tyrosinase inhibitors that limit enzyme activity that leads to the over production of melanin, lightening ingredients, soothing and healing ingredients We can’t necessarily remove everything and of course, results will vary from person to person but personally I think the results are staggering and here are the results from a treatment that we did just before we went into lockdown.

Before and after Cosmelan Procedure

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If you want to see more details about Marianna’s journey with this we are posting all about this on our Facebook page.  You will be able to see videos and we will also be holding a live Q&A session on Monday  12th October at 6.30pm.

We do have other options available, such as homecare and other in clinic treatments if Cosmelan isn’t for you.  You are welcome to book in for a Full Skin Analysis where we can go through our Rebalance, Repair, Restore programmes and lead you to step out with confidence in skin that you love

Brighton Newsletter – November 2020

The next Brighton lunch will be held virtually on the 1st December 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM, sponsored by Commonhold and Leasehold Experts – Book here

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Commonhold and Leasehold Experts Limited

The Autumnal air!

The nights are drawing in, the air is turning cooler and we ask ourselves – where has the year gone! Spring is well known for being the “cleaning” season and we like to think of Autumn as the “reflection” season (before we hit “silly” season). It has been an unprecedented year for all of us, but rather than focusing on the doom and gloom, we have taken this turn in the weather to reflect on how much we have achieved this year. We are proud of what our small team has been able to do during these challenging times, including the running of our pro bono service to help leaseholders in need – the team has rallied around to help nearly 300 leaseholders this year without charging and we hope that we can continue as we head into the depths of winter.  

The LLC is a proud advocate of women in business and the fact that there are just as many businesses now as there were before Spring (we refuse to use the word), is testament to how we much we have all achieved. We know from our regular meet-ups that we have all coped in different ways and it hasn’t been easy, but for our part, we are grateful to have such a wonderful group around us. We may not necessarily spend our time chatting about business, but having a conversation about anything resembling normal during these exception times means a lot. As we reflect on what has been an odd year, the fact we are still here should be applauded. We look forward to seeing you at the next event!    

Eastbourne Newsletter – August 2020

The next Eastbourne lunch will be held virtually on the 25th of September 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Book here

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Humphrey & Co

Coronavirus hub

Humphrey & Co continue to keep abreast of the updates issued by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in relation to financial support and initiatives relating to the Coronavirus Pandemic; key updates with web links can be found on our Coronavirus Hub
You may also like to follow our social media channels:

Brighton Newsletter – August 2020

The next Brighton lunch will be held virtually on the 6th October 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM, sponsored by Commonhold and Leasehold Experts – Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:


Commonhold and Leasehold Experts Limited

Support for the team

We are delighted to welcome Elin Anthony to our team!

Elin is a recent law graduate from the University of Bristol, and joins the team as a legal secretary. Elin hopes to progress through the firm to attain the qualifications needed to become a solicitor. Elin has undertaken a lot of pro bono work throughout her education and will therefore be a welcome addition to the team, who offer a pro bono scheme for leaseholders in need of legal advice. Elin lives locally to the head office in Wales, and will be working alongside Mari and Hannah in the conveyancing team. Elin is particularly delighted to join the team as she is a keen horse-rider, and will have the opportunity to use Mari’s horses based at the head office!

Hove Newsletter – August 2020

The next Hove lunch will be held virtually on the 8th of September 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Book here

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Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic

How to treat problem skin and acne successfully without resorting to medication

Problem skin and acne blights many a person’s life and it is a condition that we see much of in the salon. It isn’t a condition that affects only teenagers but many adults also suffer with this debilitating condition.  It is believed that ¾ of people between the ages of 11 – 30 will have acne at some time. 

The skin is the largest organ of the body and is there to protect us and our inner organs.  Because it is the outer organ, it is the most visible and when the skin is compromised it affects us both physically and mentally.   

Human skin has tiny holes in it called pores.  These are connected to sebaceous glands which produce oil (sebum).  This oily fluid carries dead skin cells up to the surface of the skin, and when they become blocked, spots occur that cause a blockage of oil under the skin. 

Propionibacterium acnes is a type of bacteria that lives in the skin.  There are different strains of the P.acnes bacteria and these can aggravate an immune response that cause acne. 

What causes it?  There is no definitive answer and there could be one cause or a variety of causes.  Environmental factors can contribute, so it is important to look at this when we perform a consultation.  We need to know the conditions that you are faced with every day so that we can address this if necessary.  Links have now been made to a high GI diet (high in carbs and sugar) and dairy products can have a direct effect on acne. 

Hormones are believed to be a contributing factor, particularly a rise in the Androgen levels.  This can cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge, producing more oil, breaking down the skin cell wall within the pores and causing a rise in bacteria. 

Most make-up on the market have a high chemical content.  These chemicals can aggravate the skin and block the pores. 

Genetic factors can also contribute as can some medications. 

In regards to treatment, at this time no-one can claim to cure acne!  But we can give it a helping hand.  By completing a thorough consultation, looking at all the factors that may be contributing to the condition, we can make recommendations based on our findings. 

Vitamin A is known to be successful with helping with this condition.  Most medications prescribed by the doctors are formed from Vitamin A (Retin A)  Unfortunately, whilst they can be highly successful, they have a myriad of side effects, including making the skin super sensitive and play havoc with our mental health. 

Environ products contain the highest form of Vitamin A that you can find in a cream before going onto medications.  This form of the vitamin is a form that is naturally found in the body, but when absorbed into the skin converts to Retin A, but without any of the harmful side effects!  This has got to be a winner. 

Feeding the skin from the inside is equally important and this is where we can approach it with Skin Accumax from the Advanced Nutrition Programme.  Containing a patented mix of Vitamin A and DIM (a nutrient found in Broccolli), clinical trials have been carried out which demonstrate the success of this supplement. 

Mild skin peels using either our Mesoestetic pharmaceutical range of peels, really help to sterilise the skin and again has huge benefits.  Salycylic Acid has a very deep and purifying effect on the skin. 

Finally, it can also be worth looking at food intolerances, and we can guide you towards tests that can show you which foods you are intolerant to, and then this can help with making some lifestyle changes. 

If you would like to find out more, then please call us and make an appointment for a full skin analysis where we can talk you through your options. 

Hove Newsletter – July 2020

The next Hove lunch will be held virtually on the 8th of September 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:


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Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic

Do you want to Face the World with confidence with skin that you love?

Our bespoke Rebalance, Repair, Restore skin programmes will help you do just that.

What does this mean?

Rebalance:  We look at treating the whole you.  Skin health starts from within and if your gut isn’t functioning well then this can really show on the skin.  Skin specific probiotics are important to really ensure optimal gut health and prepare it for receiving other oral skincare.  Skin isn’t just about feeding it from the outside.  We need to address it from the inside too as skin care applied topically can only reach so far into the skin.  By feeding it from the inside too we can reach the skin from both sides.  Topical skincare is massively important too, especially of cosmeceutical grade, which means that it can reach the deeper layers of the epidermis.  We also look at your diet and lifestyle to assess any triggers for skin conditions.

Repair:  By treating the skin with this holistic approach means that we aid in repairing it.  By using pharmaceutical grade ingredients in our treatments and skincare we can offer so much more than a facial that simply makes you feel good for a few days.  The ingredients we work with have been proven to work on a cellular level within the skin which bring about dramatic results.

Restore:  By following this process we can restore your skin into the skin that you have been dreaming about and this also works on restoring your confidence.  Win, win.

We are now able to offer face treatments from the beginning of August so if you would like to find out more about our Rebalance, Repair, Restore programme then please do call us on 01273 270709 and we can book you in with one of our Aesthetic Therapists for a full skin analysis using our Observ Skin Scanner.  We can then guide you through your bespoke programme to achieving skin that you love.

Eastbourne Newsletter – July 2020

The next Eastbourne lunch will be held virtually on the 25th of September 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:



Humphrey & Co

Summer Economic Update

On 8th July, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak made a speech entitled “Summer Economic Update” where he unveiled further Government supports and he unveiled the Government’s plan for jobs which he described as the “Second phase in in the Government’s economic response to the crisis.”

Here are the highlights and we will update you on the details in the next news update as the Government publishes the specifics of the support measures.

You can also keep up-to-date by visiting our Coronavirus Hub where we have produced a table of Key Dates for Coronavirus Business Support Schemes. or follow our social media accounts:




The “Plan for Jobs” PDF can be seen here: DOWNLOAD PDF


The CJRS ends in October and the Chancellor looked to cushion expected redundancies with the announcement of a Job Retention Bonus (JRB). The new scheme will give employers £1,000 for each previously furloughed employee they retain and keep in employment until January 2021, as long as they are paid at least £520 a month. Further details of the scheme are expected later in July.


In order to support people finding jobs, the Chancellor announced the Kickstart Scheme, which will provide £2 billion to support the creation of “high quality” six-month work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

The Government will provide employers that offer the placements funding equivalent to 100 per cent of the relevant level of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for 25 hours a week. It will also cover the associated Employer NICs and minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions.

Rishi Sunak also outlined additional measures, including funding for traineeships and employers that hire new apprentices, as well as funding for several careers and job-finding programmes.

The apprenticeships funding will provide £2,000 to employers in England for every apprentice hired under the age of 25 and £1,500 for each newly hired apprentice aged 25 or older. This funding is in addition to schemes already in place to support employers in taking on apprentices.


The Chancellor outlined a VAT rate cut for the Hospitality and Tourism sectors from 20 per cent to five per cent. The measures relate specifically to food and non-alcoholic drinks and to accommodation and admission to attractions, with further details expected to be published later.

The VAT rate change comes into effect on Wednesday 15 July 2020 and will be in place temporarily until 12 January 2021.


The “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme will provide a discount of 50 per cent of up to £10 a person on eat-in meals, including non-alcoholic drinks, at participating establishments on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the month of August.

Restaurants, cafes and pubs can sign-up for the scheme on a new website on Monday 13 July 2020.


There is a temporary cut in Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) from 8 July by raising the nil-rate band from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31 March 2021. The Treasury estimates that, as a consequence, around nine in 10 people buying a main residence will pay no SDLT.

Further details can be found on SDLT changes here:


If you purchase a residential property between 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021, you only start to pay SDLT on the amount that you pay for the property above £500,000. These rates apply whether you are buying your first home or have owned property before.

You can use the table to work out the SDLT due:

Property or lease premium or transfer valueSDLT rate
Up to £500,000Zero
The next £425,000 (the portion from £500,001 to £925,000)5%
The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)10%
The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million) 12%

From 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021 the special rules for first time buyers are replaced by the reduced rates for additional properties 

Higher rates for additional properties

The 3% higher rate for purchases of additional dwellings applies on top of revised standard rates above for the period 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021.

The following rates apply:

Property or lease premium or transfer valueSDLT rate
Up to £500,0003%
The next £425,000 (the portion from £500,001 to £925,000)8%
The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)13%
The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million) 15%

New leasehold sales and transfers

The nil rate band which applies to the ‘net present value’ of any rents payable for residential property is also increased to £500,000 from 8 July 2020 until 31 March 2021.

The following rates will apply:

Net Present Value of any RentSDLT rate
Up to £500,000Zero
Over £500,0001%

Companies as well as individuals buying residential property worth less than £500,000 will also benefit from these changes, as will companies that buy residential property of any value where they meet the relief conditions from the corporate 15% SDLT charge.

On the 1 April 2021, the reduced rates shown in the above tables will revert to the rates of SDLT that were in place prior to 8 July 2020.

As outlined above we will keep you up to date with these and other measures as the Government releases further details. Please talk to us if you need any help during this time.

Brighton Newsletter – July 2020

The next Brighton lunch will be held virtually on the 4th August 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM, sponsored by Commonhold and Leasehold Experts – Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:


Commonhold and Leasehold Experts Limited

Expanding in difficult times

We are delighted to welcome Jude Owen and Elin Dukes to our team this month!

CLE was set up two years ago with a view to the team working from home and on a fully flexible basis. CLE recognised that in changing times, not all lawyers were keen to work in a formal office environment during the usual working hours. Since setting up, CLE has grown having attracted like-minded lawyers. Whilst the pandemic has been a negative experience for all of us, it has made many lawyers reassess their own positions and career goals. This has prompted us to engage in discussions with various lawyers over the last few months and to assess our own direction of travel. With the country facing some tough months ahead, we decided to take a leap of faith and expand our team while we can.    

Jude joins the team as a property litigator, having qualified as both a barrister and solicitor. Jude has extensive court and tribunal experience on a range of matters. Jude works with Mari in Wales but has already taken on a healthy case load from across the country. Once the courts reopen properly post-pandemic, Jude will be putting her advocacy skills to good use. Jude also assists Mari with the running of CLE’s pro bono clinic, which gives advice on property-related disputes to those who cannot otherwise afford legal advice.

Elin joins the team as a wills and probate solicitor and will be responsible for setting up CLE’s new wills and probate department. Elin works from West Sussex but will be working closely with Hannah, our conveyancer in Hertford. Elin joins us part-time initially as Elin also acts as a visiting lecturer for the University of Law and as a freelance writer for various publishers working on textbooks, practice notes and mock examination questions.     

The team at CLE are pleased to be joined by two exceptional lawyers and look forward to working with them.  

Hove Newsletter – June 2020

The next Hove lunch will be held virtually on the 14th of July 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Book here

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Sarah Hurst Skin Clinic

Time to Talk – My story regarding mental health

Today is “Time to Talk” Day.  It’s a day that encourages everyone to talk about mental health.  I feel that it is so important to talk about this, as it is an illness that there is still so much stigma surrounding, yet it is just that, an illness and it affects one in four of us.

My own life has been surrounded by mental health issues including my own and others around me.  I was a massively under-confident teenager, scrabbling around trying to make sense of the world and this affected my ability to make friends and my self esteem.  As i grew up I drew on my experiences to make me into a stronger person.  For others, it’s not so easy.  My partner has always suffered with depression and my children have as well.  I can tell when James is low, and it’s not always easy as he can deflect his feelings over and be irritated easily.  I’m glad that I (sometimes) recognise it, as it allows us to talk about it more openly and him to sometimes acknowledge how he’s feeling himself.

For my children it has been a constant battle.  With my daughter I don’t really remember a time when she wasn’t depressed, which is sad in itself.  She has suffered with this all her life and this has really affected her ability with friendships and introversy. She was bullied at school.  There is a question mark around Borderline Personality Disorder. She has recently gone through a very dark period in her life.  I credit the picture to her as it is one of her passions, and he is now on a brilliant journey finally studying her passion of art at university and bringing it to life.

With my son, it’s been difficult, because unlike my daughter who is much more open, he is very closed off.  I guessed from around 14 that he had depression, but he would never admit it to me when I asked him about how he was feeling.  He was introverted, yet despite having friends he never really went out of his way to socialise with them. He lacked motivation with most things.  He’s so bright and went off to university to study Chemical Engineering, but after going through some traumas he didn’t complete his degree and eventually came home.  He has battled through some really hard times, and he still has some way to go.  He is however working in a very good job (though possibly not his passion, which he hasn’t really worked out yet), putting his life in order and planning an amazing trip away travelling.

I am so proud of all of them.  There is no quick fix to mental health but talking is a start.  Find someone you trust and open up to them about your feelings.  It’s not a demon you want to face by yourself. #TimeToTalk