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


Shared Parental Leave

Shared parental leave was first introduced in April 2015, but there has been a relatively low uptake. Recent cases have caused confusion over whether shared parental pay should be matched to maternity pay to avoid discrimination.

On 11 April 2018 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) handed down a judgment in the case of Capita Customer Management Limited v Mr Ali, concluding that a failure to enhance shared parental pay to match maternity pay does not amount to sex discrimination.  Employers can now breathe a sigh of relief that existing practices remain lawful.

Facts of the case

When Mr Ali's daughter was born in 2016, he took two weeks' paid paternity leave.  He informed Capita that his wife had been diagnosed with post-natal depression and had been medically advised to return to work to assist her recovery. Mr Ali was informed by Capita that he could take shared parental leave but he would only be entitled to statutory pay.  Mr Ali discussed this with his female colleagues who were entitled to an enhanced maternity pay scheme that entitled them to 14 weeks' basic pay followed by 25 weeks' statutory maternity pay.  As a male employee, Mr Ali's entitlement was two weeks' paternity leave on full pay and up to 26 weeks' additional paternity leave which "may or may not be paid".  On this basis, Mr Ali raised a grievance to say that it was discriminatory that men were paid statutory pay for shared parental leave whilst mothers on maternity leave received enhanced maternity pay. When his grievance was not supported, he pursued claims in the tribunal for sex discrimination.

First instance decision of the Tribunal

The first instance decision was discussed at our Annual Employment Law Update in September 2017. At that time the employment tribunal upheld Mr Ali's complaint of direct sex discrimination. The Tribunal agreed that Mr Ali could compare himself with a female employee who would have the benefit of full pay for the full 14 weeks. The denial of full pay amounted to less favourable treatment because of his sex.

Employment Tribunal’s decision on appeal

On 11 April 2018 the EAT overturned the Tribunal’s decision. It concluded that the Tribunal had made an error of law in finding that the circumstances of the father were comparable to a woman who had recently given birth. The primary purpose of maternity leave and pay is the health and wellbeing of the mother.  This differs to the purpose of parental leave which is for parents to care for their children. The EAT concluded that the Tribunal had applied the wrong comparator. The correct comparator was a woman on shared parental leave. Shared parental pay is available to men and women on equal terms; with no discrimination between the sexes (in ability to take such leave or in the payment).

Contact Us

If you have any questions on employment law matters please contact Angharad Ellis Owen (aellisowen@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717453).    Selene Holden (seleneholden@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717436) or Greg Jones (gregjones@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717446) or for more information on the services offered by Greene & Greene Solicitors please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow on Twitter @GreeneGreeneLaw.



Busy month for Greene & Greene’s Corporate Team

Following a highly successful 2017, Greene & Greene has had a prolific start to its 125th Anniversary Year. The firm’s specialist corporate team has been particularly busy, advising clients on a number of high-value acquisitions in various market sectors. 

 Deals completed in the last month include:

  • Working on behalf of international group Berlin Packaging on its acquisition of Hadleigh based packaging supplier, H. Erben Group. Berlin Packaging is a $2.6 billion global supplier of rigid packaging products and services to customers of all types across all sectors. Family business, H. Erben Group, supplies closure, packaging and packaging equipment and has dedicated operations in South Africa, the US and in the UK. It generated revenues of over £30million in 2017. Together, the combined company will have considerable geographical coverage throughout the world.
  • Advising the shareholders of Suffolk based, Box-it East Limited, on the sale to the Oasis Group, the fastest growing records and information management company in Europe.
  • Acted on behalf of the shareholders of i4innovation Ltd and its group of companies, a multi-disciplined design and manufacturing company providing services to customers in diverse industries, including Biotechnology, Medical Devices, Education, IT and retail on its acquisition by the Heathpatch group.  This latest acquisition will complement Heathpatch’s subsidiary company, Camden Boss, which designs, engineers, manufactures and distributes an extensive range of innovative electro-mechanical components, electronic housings and cabinet solutions.
  • Acted for Evogreen Limited, a supplier of sustainable energy solutions to educational establishments, local authorities and commercial businesses across the UK, on an investment by Downing, a London based investment manager.
  • Guided Nexus Group on its most recent acquisition of “Fast-Growing” Aspley Specialty - a Directors & Officers and Financial Institutions (DOFI) MGA. Nexus has established a strong position in the DOFI market with a wide range of market-leading proprietary products and has a particular specialty in the middle market investment funds sector. Greene & Greene’s involvement in this latest transaction follows on from its lead role in advising Nexus on its purchase of various businesses since 2011.

The Greene & Greene corporate team was headed by corporate acquisition specialists, Simon Ratcliffe, Andrew Cooper, Mark Daly, Neil Walmsley, Mark Williams and Natalie Stoter, and also included colleagues from the Commercial Property and Employment teams at the firm’s office in Bury St. Edmunds.

Simon Ratcliffe of Greene & Greene said:

“The demand for our services continues to increase and I am pleased that we have a number of exceptionally talented lawyers within the corporate team to assist our clients in achieving their various business goals from general company commercial matters, to reorganisations/restructurings, fundraisings and technical M&A work.”

If you have any questions with regards to the acquisition, disposal or reorganisation of a private company, or any other Corporate law matters, please contact: Simon Ratcliffe (simonratcliffe@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717426).

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


Greene & Greene welcomes New Partner to Dispute Resolution Team

Greene & Greene, is pleased to announce the appointment of Rob Adam as a new Partner in its Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team in the 125th Anniversary year of the firm.

A qualified solicitor since 1995, he has comprehensive experience of dealing with commercial litigation, contentious trusts and probate claims, insolvency matters, claims against professionals and property disputes.  

Prior to joining Greene & Greene, Rob Adam was Head of a large regional Dispute Resolution Team in East Anglia. Alongside Greene & Greene Senior Partner, Michael Batty, Rob is ranked as a ‘Leading Individual’ within East Anglia by independent legal guide The Legal 500 and  was recently described as a “Strong Litigator who is knowledgeable and efficient, and a good negotiator”.

Rob’s arrival cements Greene & Greene’s commitment and ambition to be the pre-eminent Dispute Resolution Team in the region.

Stuart Hughes, Managing Partner at Greene & Greene, said:

“Rob’s extensive experience in all aspects of litigation will further enhance the strength and depth of our tier 1 ranked dispute resolution team and the services that we can offer to our clients. We are delighted to welcome Rob to the partnership at Greene & Greene and wish him every success in his career with us here in Bury St. Edmunds”

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


What’s Up with a “Pre Nup”?

In his role as a specialist family lawyer with Greene & Greene, Stuart Hughes is often asked by clients about pre and post nuptial agreements.

Arguably one does not enter into a marriage expecting that it might end in divorce, however the statistics show that unfortunately many marriages do break down resulting in separation and Divorce. 

The Divorce and associated financial settlement can be both unpredictable and expensive, so, whilst not the most romantic gesture, a nuptial agreement can be of considerable benefit to both parties by providing a measure of clarity and certainty.

That said, the idea of a nuptial agreement regularly provokes a range of emotive responses.

To help, Stuart starts by explaining the following:

  1. If the agreement is fair, if certain established conditions are met and if you sign a nuptial agreement, then you should expect the court to hold you to it;
  2. A fair agreement arrived at with the benefit of sound legal advice can provide peace of mind and guard against expensive and unpredictable proceedings.  However it is always the hope and intention that the agreement will not be needed and the marriage will succeed.  The agreement should be put in place in much the same way as an insurance policy is taken out to cover unforeseen circumstances;
  3. An individual with inherited wealth, pre-acquired assets or an established asset base should consider a nuptial agreement.  The cost of preparing an agreement is minimal compared to the risk of and costs of proceedings; and
  4. A nuptial agreement can be entered into before the marriage (pre nuptial) or after the marriage (post nuptial).

Deciding on whether to enter into a pre or post nuptial agreement or even whether to have a nuptial agreement at all can be the hardest choice.

Many of the agreements drafted are in place to protect assets such as a pre-owned property, a business or farming estates that are typically brought to the marriage by one party.

It is also increasingly commonplace for parents (and indeed grandparents) to provide financial assistance to the younger generation in getting a foothold on the property ladder and a properly drafted nuptial agreement can protect the family wealth against future claims.

Asset protection is a key part of the work that Greene & Greene undertake for their clients and as is often said “prevention is better than the cure”.

Nuptial agreements form a significant part of the family team’s work and Greene & Greene is a leading firm in West Suffolk in preparing both pre and post nuptial agreements for clients throughout East Anglia and London, with particular expertise in respect of farming families.

If you need a specialist family lawyer please contact Stuart Hughes in the Greene & Greene Family Law Team for an initial no-obligation discussion on 01284 717493 or stuarthughes@greene-greene.com.  For more information on the services available at Greene & Greene please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow on Twitter @greenegreenelaw.

*This article was first published in the March Edition of Bury & West Suffolk Magazine


St Eds Tri - the Greene & Greene Triathlon Festival, 29 April 2018

We are delighted to be sponsoring the 2nd Bury St. Edmunds Triathlon Festival in support of Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS - Registered Charity No. 1168764) in our 125th Anniversary Year.

SARS is an incredible charity, run exclusively by volunteers who depend on fundraising and donations in order to help patients at the scenes of incidents.

The festival, being held at Abbeycroft Leisure in Bury St. Edmunds and organised by HaverSports, will see athletes take part in a variety of events including Triathlon, Aquathlon, and Duathlon and promises to attract a wide range of returning and new competitors.

A pool swim, fast cycle through village roads and flat run course make it ideal for novices, with a longer distance available for more experienced competitors.

Greene & Greene Triathlon Relay

Running alongside the main event we shall be hosting the "Greene & Greene Triathlon Relay" and would ike to invite local businesses to enter a team of three. Each member will do one discipline - one swims 300m, one cycles 22km and one runs 5km.

This event promises to be a great day out for the whole family to help raise funds for a vital local charity.

There is no entry fee for the Triathlon Relay but we ask that each team considers making a £125.00 donation to SARS.

Sponsorship forms are also available if you would like to help raise additional funds. 

If you are interested in entering a team please contact Jools Windermere here

To find out more about the Triathlon Festival please click on the following link:




New Rates & Limits

Various statutory payments, compensation limits and minimum awards change in April 2018.  

Notable changes include:

The new compensation limits 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 2018. 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 on employment law matters please contact Selene Holden (seleneholden@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717436), 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.

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