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 – jnm@bennett-griffin.co.uk ) or Jackie Gifford (01903 229903 – jg@bennett-griffin.co.uk ) 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.

Hove Newsletter – June 2019

The next Brighton & Hove lunch will be on 9th July 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



If you’ve not come across us yet, ViiSana is a life and health insurance broker – but with a BIG difference. Life insurance is normally a pretty dry subject – focussing on what happens if someone dies or becomes ill.

Whilst we are deep subject matter experts in this area, we chose to do it differently. We focus on helping thousands of customers to live life to the full – by encouraging them to live a happy, healthy life.

In simple terms – we sell a product and then try as hard as we can to make sure it is never used… That said, there is a very serious side to what we do. We pride ourselves on advising our customers on the most suitable financial protection packages to put in place if the worst really does happen.

The business is run by Paul Ollerton, his wife Lisa, and his brother James, with a team of 25 who advise, manage and administer the relationships with customers. The team has a wealth of experience in the wellness sector, as well as an extensive knowledge base in the general business and financial services space.

We’re incredibly proud to say that Lisa has recently become a finalist in two categories, Financial Adviser of the year, South East and Woman of the Year, protection advice for the COVER Women in Financial Advice Awards which is taking place on 3rd July.

If you’d like to know more or wish to speak to us contact Lisa on 07595893192.

Eastbourne Newsletter – June 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

Probate changes

New Style Grant of Probate

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has introduced a new style Grant of Probate to add more counter-fraud measures to this system.

The new style Grant now includes:-

  • A hologram
  • A digital seal instead of an embossed seal
  • A digital signature instead of a ‘wet’ signature
  • A telephone number for people processing the document to check its validity

The old style Grants of Probate will remain valid and whilst the original of these contained a copy of the Will the new ones no longer do so, although a copy can be requested from the Probate Registry if required.


Statement of Truth

Following changes to the Non-Contentious Probate Rules there is now no need to swear an oath before a Solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths to lead to the issue of the Grant of Probate. Instead, a Statement of Truth can be signed by the person making the application.

This will make the process simpler and these can be prepared and completed by us as part of our Probate service.

As Humphrey & Co is licensed to carry out Probate work we are now able to apply for Grants of Probate or Letters of Administration in estates.

In addition to this, we can offer advice and help on the administration of estates along with preparing estate accounts and attending to the administration period tax matters.

If you are nominated an Executor of an estate, or have recently been bereaved and require assistance on any of these aspects, then please take a look at our Probate FAQs for further information or contact a member of our Trust & Estates Support Services Team.

Link to Probate FAQs 


Worthing Newsletter – May 2019

The next Worthing lunch will be on the 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

Finding the “hygge” (and the hug) in divorce. Big, friendly changes in the law announced today.

I have just finished reading two tutorial type books about the family and how we can all make things just a little better for one another, even through difficult times, by essentially being less critical and simply kinder to those closest to us. The first book is by Marie Tourell Soderberg and is all about the art of “hygge”, a Danish word which resonates with many Scandinavians and translates as a warm, cosy enjoyment of the moment and the small things in life. Making the best of what you have and being grateful for it. “Hygge” can be added to anything: the first coffee of the day is my hygge –coffee. Lovely.

The second life-guide is “The Sixty Minute Family”, by Rob Parsons and looks at what is special to us as individuals and family units and again, how we can cultivate that just by being a whole lot more “present” and nicer on a daily basis. He talks of the “January love”, meaning it is easy to love someone in June (sunny times), but being at least civil to that person in January (dark grey chill) is the real test. He states that good relationships are where you “…don’t dig up dirt from the past”.

So, these considered works link rather nicely to the Government’s announcement today that a softer, more respectful way of divorcing is going to be possible. The “no fault divorce” will be for those who don’t want to wait for a period of two years’ separation and certainly don’t want to start slating their husband or wife in the divorce petition, just because the law requires it. The blame culture of divorce is pretty unhealthy for us all, but especially any children who are caught in the middle.

The new legislation follows years of pressure from senior judges, lawyers, politicians and members of the public. The family lawyers ethics group ”Resolution” launched a major campaign a few years back and I recall a slightly fresh, but pleasant photo shoot on windy Worthing Pier, clutching a “No conflict divorce!” banner.

Justice Secretary, David Gauke, has said that the current 50-year-old divorce law sadly promotes “…hostility and conflict between parents” and that “…I have heard on many occasions that our divorce laws, as they stand, serve as an encouragement for some separating couples to grossly exaggerate their behaviour-based claims so that they don’t fall foul of the rules.” This is my experience also. I remember acting for a wife who wanted to bring the marriage to a close because she and her husband had “just drifted apart”. However, as the limitations of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 meant that they either had to wait two years from separating or effectively make up hurtful allegations about one another and plonk it in an “unreasonable behaviour” petition. Both agreed that they could come up with stuff about the other, but how would that help anyone ultimately? So, the soft behaviour petition went in and was immediately rejected, as per advice to my Client. What followed was a fresh petition with amplified conduct points, and it was accepted by the Court, of course. They got their divorce, but the journey there was not what they had envisaged.

Alongside the need for less drama at an already sad and stressful time, a significant factor is that of fulfilling the best interests of the family in terms of resolving the finances immediately and the being able to “move on”. When you want out, you want out. (My apologies to all “remainers”, but this does fit here!) Divorce allows for a Consent Order to be lodged with the Court, enabling a final closure to all matters. But two years’ separation and no divorce until that time has elapsed can mean postponing a full conclusion to all issues, and a Separation Agreement is not an enforceable Order, as helpful as it is. Pension sharing Orders cannot be made without divorce proceedings and cannot be implemented without decree absolute in the divorce.

As family lawyers, we have had to apologise to our Clients for the law in this area. I have routinely omitted the reference to “unreasonable” for several years now. For Resolution trained lawyers such as myself and my highly experienced colleague Jackie Gifford, the focus has been on keeping the heat down and not encouraging an unnecessarily messy and unkind process, whilst trying to tick all the boxes to get past “go” on the divorce board.

This 21st century divorce will enable couples to divorce without making accusations of bad behaviour, by giving notice that a marriage has broken down irretrievably.
It will also remove the ability to contest a divorce. Contested divorces are pretty rare in any event, but when they occur, it is often about control and denial. Interestingly, there will be a minimum time frame of 20 weeks between petition for divorce and couples being issued decree nisi, the first Order, which confirms that the divorce is definitely happening. The cynical part of me thinks that all the (centralised) family courts will exhale collectively with relief as to a relaxed time frame/business as usual.

What it this does provide is a buffer to those who might be concerned that the new law will make divorce too quick and easy. By the way, from my legal life experiences, there has never been a “quick” divorce or indeed one that has taken less than six months, where there are children and or finances to look after. The definition of “easy” is highly subjective in this emotional context.

As a Collaboratively trained family lawyer, this all makes sense. Much of our work is about pacing. The “hygge” part of me says that these changes allow for reflection, calm and dust-settling and perhaps even reconciliation. Now, that is big and friendly and fittingly celebrated with (another) hygge-coffee.

Jacqueline Mensah is an Associate Lawyer at Bennett Griffin LLP and is the Immediate Past President of the Worthing Law Society. To gain from Jacqueline’s 15 years of family law expertise, please call on 01903 229914, for a confidential chat.

Eastbourne Newsletter – May 2019

The next Eastbourne lunch will be on 17th May 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

Tax Rates for 2019/20

A copy of our 2019/20 tax rates card is now available to download here.

Many of the figures are fundamental to our business and personal lives. We are sure that you will find it a useful point of reference throughout the coming tax year and below we have listed just a few examples of how it can be used.

Personal tax rates

The personal allowance is increased to £12,500 from 6 April 2019. We have also summarised the income tax rates and bands which apply to all types of income

Buying property

If you buy a property in the UK the tax you pay is different depending on where you live. Stamp Duty Land Tax applies in England and Northern Ireland, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax is payable in Scotland and Land Transaction Tax in Wales. The amount and availability of First-Time Buyers Relief vary depending on where you live.

Asset sales

If you sell an asset such as land, capital gains may be due. Our tax rates highlight the main rates and reliefs so that you can consider the tax bill that may arise.

Rates for businesses

If you run a business, obtaining the right allowances on equipment that your business buys can affect the tax that your business has to pay each year. The Annual Investment Allowance has increased from 1 January 2019 to £1,000,000 per annum. We have summarised the main allowances that are available.

 Rates for employees

There are increases in the percentage of charges for company car benefits again this year. Our website explains how these are computed to help ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.

Travel is a daily part of business life. If you drive your own car on business, HMRC allows certain tax-free mileage allowances to be paid. If you are paid less than these rates, you may be entitled to a tax refund. Our website highlights the rates.

These rates are intended for use as a quick point of reference. Should you require any further information, have a simple question or require detailed advice we are only a phone call away.