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.

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Monthly Archives

Wednesday
Mar012017

Free Residential Property Law Update

                  

Join our expert lawyers, Jonathan Mathers (Agriculture & Residential Property), Ansa Khan (Residential Property) and Natalie Stoter (Private Client & Taxation) on Thursday 16th March at Denny Bros Conference Suite, Bury St. Edmunds for this informative seminar updating you on the latest property law issues.

Areas to be covered include:

  • A review of the last 12 months;
  • Property Fraud;
  • Incoming energy efficiency rules;
  • Issues for buy-to-let investors;
  • Stamp duty exemptions & reliefs; and
  • Looking forward to 2017/18.

You will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers on any property law issues that may be of specific interest to you.

Denny Bros Conference Suite, Kempson Way, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, IP32 7AR

8.30am                Registration & Continental Breakfast

9.00am                Seminar followed by Q & A session

10.30am              Refreshments & Close

To book your free place(s) at the seminar please email joolswindermere@greene-greene.com.

Please contact us if you are unable to attend this seminar but would be interested in joining us on an alternative date or running an in-house property update for your leadership team.

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

Thursday
Feb232017

New compensation limits in force from 6 April 2017

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2017 has recently been laid before Parliament and will increase the compensation limits and minimum awards that are payable under employment legislation from 6 April 2017.  

Notable changes include:

  • an increase to the limit on compensation for unfair dismissal from £78,962.00 to £80,541.00
  • the limit on a week’s pay for the purposes of calculating, among other things, statutory redundancy payments and the basic award for unfair dismissal, will increase from £479.00 to £489.00      
  • guarantee pay during lay off or short-time working will increase from £26.00 to £27.00 per day
  • the minimum basic award will increase from £5,853.00 to £5,970.00 in cases where a dismissal is unfair because the reason (or principal reason) for the dismissal is connected to: health and safety matters, acting as an employee representative, being a trade union representative, or performing functions as a trustee to the occupational pension scheme.

The basic award compensates employees for loss of job security and is calculated using the same formula as the statutory redundancy payment which is based on the employee’s age, length of service and weekly pay (subject to the above statutory limit).

The new rates take effect where the ‘appropriate date’ for the cause of action (such as the date of termination in an unfair dismissal claim) falls on or after 6 April 2017. Where the appropriate date falls before 6 April, the old limits will still apply, irrespective of the date on which compensation is awarded.

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

Friday
Feb172017

What our partners get up to in the evening…

On Sunday 26th February two of our partners will be switching off their emails for a few hours to perform with the Bury Friendly Orchestra. Chris Thomson, a cellist, and Andrew Cooper, a trumpeter, will be playing to a packed house at the Apex, an award winning music venue that has hosted the likes of Mumford & Sons, Lulu and the European Union Chamber Orchestra.

Chris and Andrew spend their days giving legal advice to businesses but at night both are keen musicians. As well as trumpeting with the orchestra Andrew plays cornet with brass bands in Littleport and Waterbeach. His bands compete with others in national leagues. When Chris is not on his cello he plays Saxophone with the Bury St Edmunds Concert Band, he will be playing in their “Hollywood meets Broadway” concert in Bury’s Theatre Royal on March 18th.

Chris says “playing live music is said to stimulate the brain, increase memory capacity and aid concentration. All good stuff for a lawyer; it ought to be tax deductible. That said neither Andrew nor I can recall how we got in to music in the first place so maybe the jury is still out”.

Tickets for the orchestra’s concert can be booked in person at the Apex, on the phone 01284 758000 or via the following link: https://www.theapex.co.uk/whats-on/event/3184/bfo-concert. Tickets for “Hollywood meets Broadway” can be booked in person, on the phone 01284 755127 or via: https://www.theatreroyal.org/shows/bury-st-edmunds-concert-band-hollywood-meets-broadway/  

For more information on the services offered by Andrew, Chris and others at Greene & Greene please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow them on Twitter @GreeneGreeneLaw.

Wednesday
Feb152017

Reforms to the Taxation of Termination Payments

Often an employer will pay a lump sum to an employee on severance of the employee’s contract, commonly known as a “termination payment”.  Historically how such termination payments are taxed has often caused confusion for employers, employees and their advisors.

Following an HMRC consultation in summer 2016, draft legislation was published in the 2016 Autumn Statement reforming the taxation of termination payments.  The changes (which will apply from 6 April 2018) have been introduced by the UK government in order to simplify the taxation of termination payments and close those loopholes in the existing legislation that incentivise employers to structure arrangements in a manner in order to minimise income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

The key proposals are as follows:

1.  £30,000 tax free threshold 

  • Current legislation states that employees may receive the first £30,000 of any termination payment free of income tax and NICs.
  • As of 6 April 2018, employers are required to account to HMRC for employer NICs liability (currently at a rate of 13.8%) on any termination payments over and above the £30,000 tax free amount. 
  • This measure is clearly aimed as a deterrent for employers to structure their payments which should be treated as “earnings” as termination payments in order to avoid an employer NIC charge.  Employees will continue to benefit from the employee NICs exemption for payments associated with the termination of employment.
  • The draft legislation does not outline the way in which the employer NIC will be collected.  However, HMRC has stated in its policy paper for the draft legislation that it is anticipated that the charge will arise and be paid in “real time” rather than at the end of the tax year in which the payment is made.

2.  Payments in lieu of notice (a “PILON”) 

  • Under current legislation, the taxation of a PILON can vary depending upon its nature, for example, a PILON can be contractual or paid as damages for loss of notice. 
  • Irregularities in the legislation have meant that in certain circumstances, PILONs have been regarded as “earnings” for tax purposes, and therefore able to fall within the £30,000 tax free exemption received in connection with the termination of employment.
  • In order to simplify the legislation, from 6 April 2018, all PILONs will be treated as “earnings” and will be subject to income tax, employer’s and employee’s NICs, no matter how the employee’s employment contract is drafted or whether payments are structured in some other form, such as damages.

If you have any questions in relation the taxation of termination payments, please contact Natalie Stoter on nataliestoter@greene-greene.com or 01284 717462 (Direct), or in relation to termination payments more generally, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Greene & Greene employment team visit www.greene-greene.com and follow @greenegreenelaw

Monday
Feb132017

Government Review of Fees in Employment Tribunals

Angharad Ellis OwenAngharad recently joined Greene & Green and is a Barrister specialising in Employment Law. In her first of many blogs to come she summarises the recent Government’s review of the introduction of fees in the employment tribunal.

Sir Oliver Heald, Minister of State for Justice states "there is no doubt that fees, alongside the introduction of the early conciliation service, have brought about a dramatic change in the way that people now seek to resolve workplace disputes. That is a positive outcome, and while it is clear that many people have chosen not to bring claims to the Employment Tribunals, there is nothing to suggest they have been prevented from doing so".

Review

The Government’s review concludes that the original objectives for introducing fees (in 2013) have broadly been met.   Those who use the employment tribunal system are contributing around £9 million annually in fees, transferring a proportion of the cost of the employment tribunals from taxpayers to users of the employment tribunal system.   

Following the introduction of fees there has been 'a sharp, significant and sustained fall’ in claims being presented.  In the first year after the introduction of fees there was a fall of 78% in the total number of claims presented. This fall has been much greater than originally expected. However, this is seen as a positive outcome by the Government.  

The Government accepts that the fees have discouraged some people from bringing employment tribunal claim; although it states that there is no conclusive evidence that they have been prevented from doing so.  In order to help those on low incomes (who are more likely to struggle to pay the fees) the Government proposes to increase the income threshold for a fee remission at broadly the same level of someone earning the National Living Wage.

Judicial Review

UNISON applied for a judicial review of the introduction of fees. In the Court of Appeal UNISON argued that the statistics (showing a drop in the number of claims submitted) demonstrated that fees were making it very difficult for a large proportion of claimants to enforce their rights. The case is due to be heard by the Supreme Court in March 2017.

If you have any questions in relation to employment tribunal proceedings or generally please do not hesitate to contact Angharad Ellis Owen on 01284 717453 or email aellisowen@greene-greene.com.  

Friday
Feb102017

New Partner at Greene & Greene Solicitors

Tim Mendes da Costa, a member of the Commercial Property team has been promoted to Partner having joined Greene & Greene Solicitors who are based in Bury St. Edmunds in 2014.

Tim qualified as a solicitor in 2006 and was previously a Partner with a firm in London.  Clients have been impressed with Tim’s “diligence, thoroughness and sound advice”.  He specialises in both commercial and high-value residential property transactions and acts for a broad range of clients, from individual purchasers and sellers, to developers, landlords, lenders and investors.

Chris Thomson, Senior Partner at Greene & Greene, said:

When Tim Mendes da Costa joined us two years ago, we quickly realised that he would be a valuable member of the Commercial Property team.  Greene & Greene has a long standing reputation for delivering the service our clients expect and deserve and Tim’s new role as Partner will only strengthen that.”

For further information please telephone Jools Windermere on 01284 717430, visit www.greene-greene.com and follow @greenegreenelaw.

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