About us

Greene & Greene is a long established firm of solicitors based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Our lawyers advise individuals and businesses based all over the UK.

We regularly attract new clients who have been using firms in London, but now receive a more cost efficient and more personal service from us here in Bury St Edmunds.

agr (1) Agriculture & Farming (9) Arbitration (2) Articles (11) Bribery Act (1) Business (36) Business Law (2) Charity (1) Charity Fundraising (9) Children Issues (10) Cohabitation (11) Collaborative Law (4) Commercial (8) Commercial Property (12) Compromise Agreements (5) Consumer (3) Contracts (2) Copyright (1) Corporate and M&A (18) Corporate Finance (7) Debt Recovery (2) Defamation (1) Development Rights (1) Dispute Resolution (46) Disputed Wills (6) Divorce (13) Divorce and Separation (25) Education (1) Employment (43) Employment Advice (23) Employment Law (26) Employment Rights (14) Employment Tribunal (15) Environment Agency Prosecutions (2) Environmental Law (5) Expert Witnesses (1) Family Businesses (6) Family Law (32) Family Mediation (9) fFamily Mediation (1) Freedom Workshop (1) GDPR (1) General (13) Health & Safety (2) Inheritance Tax (2) Insolvency & Bankruptcy (1) Insurance (3) Intellectual Property (4) Landlord & Tenant (7) Lasting Powers of Attorney (4) Lawyers (3) Legal Update (6) Letter of Claim (2) Marriage (11) Motoring (12) Pension (1) Personal Affairs (12) Personal Injury (9) Pre-nuptial Agreements (5) Professional Advisers (4) Professional Negligence (3) Profile (2) Property (18) Property Disputes (18) Redundancies (7) Renewable Energy (2) Residential Conveyancing (7) Scams (1) Selling (1) Selling Company (1) Seminar (2) Small Claims (1) SME (1) Social Media (2) Tax (4) Tax Planning (6) Terms and Conditions (2) Trusts (6) UKELA (1) Unfair Dismissal (5) Wills & Estates (12) Wind Farm (2) Workshop (2) wWills & Estates (1)



Monthly Archives


A year of equal pay

It is a century since women first won the right to vote in Britain. Let us honour that brave generation by making this the year we win equal pay.” Carrie Gracie, Journalist.

The Equal Pay Act 1970 was introduced 48 years ago to ensure equal pay for men and women who do equivalent or ‘like’ work, yet women are still earning less than men. 

The Government has pledged to ‘end gender pay gap in a generation.’  Consequently, gender pay gap reporting is now mandatory for all organisations with 250 or more employees.

We predicted that one of the consequences of publishing the gender pay gap would be an increase in grievances about pay which in turn could result in equal pay claims; our prediction was right!

Last year the BBC published a 10.7% gender pay gap. As a result, according to BBC Women, a group of about 150 broadcasters and producers made complaints about equal pay.  

Carrie Gracie, who worked as the China Editor for the BBC learned that in the previous financial year, the two men earned at least 50% more than the two women”.  She maintains that “this is not the gender pay gap that the BBC admits to.... It is pay discrimination and it is illegal.” The BBC maintains that there were differences between roles which justified the pay gap. Carrie Gracie resigned as a result of a “dismayingly incompetent and undermining grievance process which still has no outcome.” It is said that the BBC have commissioned PwC to conduct a pay audit of all ‘on-air’ staff. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has also recently announced that it will consider whether further action against the BBC is required.

The BBC is not however the only organisation which has identified a gender pay gap.  Based on the data published to date (of approximately 500 organisations); PwC themselves have a high gender pay gap, with a 33.1% difference in women’s pay compared to men. Based on published data, the highest is Phase Eight with a 64.8% difference. Virgin Money, Ladbrokes Coral and Easy Jet have all been in the news recently as a result of their high gender pay gap.

The pressure for transparency and equal pay is growing; is your business ready for this change?




 Contact Us

If you have any questions on gender pay gap reporting, equal pay or employment law generally please contact Angharad Ellis Owen (aellisowen@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717453) or Greg Jones (gregjones@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717446).

For more information on the services offered by Greene & Greene Solicitors please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow on Twitter @GreeneGreeneLaw.


Divorce - Don’t leave me this way

Act One – cupid strikes

Zoom, just one kiss and then my heart went boom. Girl (or boy) you look wonderful tonight. You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, it’s true. I have never had such a feeling of complete and utter love. Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married. Love is all you need.

Final Act – the end

I hate you so much right now. Shoot that poison arrow. What’s a matter you? Got no respect? Argh… shaddup-a you face! You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille. D.i.v.o.r.c.e

If, like us, you are more than a little sceptical of the myriad of headlines announcing that today, tomorrow or whenever is ‘D-Day’ and the soundtrack to your life is most definitely not songs selected by the self-serving writers of the press but you have issues with your relationship, then why not talk to someone who…

  • Listens to you and will help you find solutions that are best for you and your family
  • Will steer you towards a collaborative (non-confrontational) approach to addressing the issues that arise on a relationship breakdown
  • Are members of Resolution – first for family law – and who follow their code of practice
  • Have specialists who can offer Mediation, Collaborative Law, Round Table discussions and (if required) court based solutions.

If you require any further advice regarding divorce or separation please contact Stuart Hughes (stuarthughes@greene-greene.com or call direct on 01284 717493)

For more information on the services offered by Greene & Greene Solicitors please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow on Twitter @GreeneGreeneLaw.


Update on Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Employers with 250 or more employees have until 4 April 2018 to publish their gender pay gap reports. To date, only 502 employers (out of an estimated 9,000) have reported on their gender pay obligations.

If you require any assistance in order to comply with your obligations under Gender Pay Gap Reporting (GPGR) please get in touch with our Employment Team.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (ECHR) has launched a consultation on its proposal to use enforcement powers to take action against employers who do not comply with the requirement to publish information on their gender pay gap.

The consultation for the planned approach to enforcement will run until 2 February 2018.

In summary the ECHR’s proposal includes:

  • Encouraging overall compliance, such as posting the number of compliant and non-compliant employers on social media before and just after the compliance date.
  • Promotion of enforcement work in order to encourage other employers to comply with the GPGR.
  • Informal action and cooperation is the preferred option but formal enforcement action will be pursued where employers do not comply.
  • In 2018/19, the intention is to focus enforcement work on employers who do not publish the information required by the GPGR. If they have the capacity to do so, they may also take action against employers for publication of inaccurate data.

Further information about the proposal and responding to the consultation are available by following the link below.


Contact Us

If you have any questions on employment law please contact Angharad Ellis Owen (aellisowen@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717453) or Greg Jones (gregjones@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717446). For more information on the services offered by Greene & Greene Solicitors please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow on Twitter @GreeneGreeneLaw.


Tribunal Claims up by 64% 

The Ministry of Justice published the tribunals’ quarterly statistics on 14 December 2017. In the period of July to September 2017 the number of single claims received increased by 64% to the highest rise in the past four years. By way of comparison, the increase in claims in the previous quarter (between April and June 2017) was only 2%. This sharp increase can only be as a result of the abolition of tribunal fees on 26 July 2017.  This culture change highlights the importance for employers to follow fair procedures and make sound decisions when it comes to their employees.

Contact Us

If you have any questions on employment law please contact Angharad Ellis Owen (aellisowen@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717453) or Greg Jones (gregjones@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717446).

 For more information on the services offered by Greene & Greene Solicitors please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow on Twitter @GreeneGreeneLaw.


Employment status – raising the stakes!

On 29 November 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivered a judgment in the case of King v The Sash Window Workshop, which concluded that a worker was entitled to backdated holiday pay from the start of his appointment.  

Mr King had worked on a self-employed, commission-only contract. Upon his retirement Mr King sought to recover payment for annual leave from the start of his appointment, a total of 13 years.  

Mr King was determined to be a worker. The Court of Appeal sought a preliminary ruling from the ECJ. The ECJ found that there should be no limitation imposed on the right of workers to claim backdated holiday pay where they have been denied the right to take or be paid for annual leave.  The ECJ judgment will now be considered by the Court of Appeal. 

The ECJ observed that it was beyond Mr King’s control that he was not able to exercise his right to paid annual leave before his retirement.  This situation was distinguished from workers who have accumulated entitlement to paid annual leave due to sickness absence (which is limited to a carry-over period of 15 months). Interestingly, the ECJ commented that an employer that does not allow a worker to exercise his right to paid annual leave must bear the consequences.

This decision is going to be particularly relevant to those in the gig economy or those where their employment status has been wrongly labelled and they have been denied the ability to take holiday.

This could open the flood-gates to lengthy backdated holiday pay claims for those in the gig economy and is another blow to the likes of Uber.  The Deduction from Wages (Limitation) Regulations 2014, which limits any claim for unlawful deduction from wages (including holiday pay) to two years of back pay, is likely to be challenged in light of this ECJ ruling.

Employers who are concerned about the employment status of their workforce need to re-assess the potential exposure to the risk of lengthy backdated holiday pay claims.

Contact Us

If you have any questions on employment status or employment law generally please contact Angharad Ellis Owen (aellisowen@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717453) or Greg Jones  (gregjones@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717 446).

For more information on the services offered by Greene & Greene Solicitors please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow on Twitter @GreeneGreeneLaw.


5 Top Tips when Purchasing a Property

Purchasing a property is exciting, but it is undoubtedly a stressful time. Conveyancing Solicitor, Jemma Jones from Greene & Greene, explains how to take the stress out of your purchase by providing several tips to help your transaction run smoothly

1)   Be Prepared

You will, of course, have already considered how you are going to finance your property purchase.

If you are financing the purchase with a mortgage, you may need to seek the advice of a financial advisor or a bank to check that you are able to obtain sufficient funding. 

Perhaps it is the bank of mum and dad or another relative providing assistance.  If so, they will need to have any necessary funding available for use.  You will also need to think about whether the assistance will be a gift, a loan or will they become a part owner of the property? 

More often than not, a deposit of 10% must be paid on entering into the purchase contract.  You should have this ready for use.  If you are also selling a property the deposit may come from further down the chain but please note you may be required to “top up” the deposit to the full 10% if the deposit is less.

You will be required to provide identification to your solicitor.  This should be dealt with at an early stage to prevent holding up the transaction.

2)   Have a Survey Undertaken

The conveyancing process is based on the principle of “buyer beware” and, generally speaking, after exchange of contracts you will have no recourse to the seller for any defects in the property.

A full structural survey should be carried out if it is a period or listed property, if it has been subject to alterations or if alterations are planned.  In other cases a Home Buyers Report may be appropriate. A Surveyor can advise on the type of survey most appropriate to you.

3)   Read and Keep all Documents

During the transaction your solicitor will report to you on all aspects of the purchase, including searches, plans and the title to the property. 

As your solicitor is unlikely to have visited the property you are purchasing, you should check any plans of the property are correct and that any rights or restrictions on the property do not restrict what you would like to do at the property.

You should also retain any certificates or guarantees that you receive during the transaction as you will need to provide these to any purchaser when you sell the property.

4)   Be Patient

The average conveyancing process takes approximately 6 weeks to get to the point of exchange of contracts (when you become contractually bound to purchase the property) and then a further 2 weeks or so to completion.  If you are purchasing a leasehold property, the timescales may be slightly longer.

 Should you be in a chain, any completion dates will need to be agreed by all other buyers and sellers in the chain.  It is important that you communicate with your solicitor in order that you are kept updated on progress.

5)   Choose the Right Solicitor

In order to have your matter dealt with smoothly it is important to have the right legal team behind you.  An experienced and approachable firm who provide an efficient and personal service will help keep the process as stress-free as possible.  You should be able to speak directly with the person dealing with your matter, who should be a qualified practitioner and able to advise you on all aspects of your transaction.

If you would like a no obligation quotation in respect of your purchase or any other conveyancing transaction please contact us at mail@greene-greene.com or call 01284 762211.  For more information on the services offered by Greene & Greene Solicitors please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow on Twitter @GreeneGreeneLaw

* This article previously appeared in the Winter 2017-18 edition of Rooftops Magazine.