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


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.


Preparing payslips

We just wanted to make you aware that the Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018 was laid before Parliament yesterday (8th February 2018) and is due to come into force on 6 April 2019.

It requires payslips to state the number of hours being paid where wages vary according to time worked; either as an aggregate number of hours or as separate figures for different types of work (or rate of pay).

If you have any questions regarding employment law 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.


Power of Attorney Registration Fees… Are you due a refund?

Last year the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) admitted to charging excessive fees for registering Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) and Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) for the period 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2017.

The fees charged (£130 per document from April 2013 to September 2013 and £110 per document from October 2013 to March 2017) were well above the costs the OPG incurred in processing the applications.

Government agencies are not permitted to make a profit unless they have specific legislative authority.  The amount owed is estimated at £89 million and a scheme is now in place to refund those that have overpaid.

The refund can be claimed online and the process takes around ten minutes.  You can expect to receive the funds in around 12 weeks if approved.

Who can claim a refund?

The claim must be made by either

  • The ‘donor’ - the person who made the power of attorney; or
  • An ‘attorney’ - appointed by the donor in an LPA or EPA.

The refunds are payable to the donor, even if the claim is made by the attorney.  You only need to make one claim per donor, even if you registered more than one power of attorney, but refunds can be payable for multiple registration fees. 

Please note that Greene & Greene cannot claim a refund on behalf of a client, even if we were involved in the preparation and/or registration of a power of attorney.

How much you will get?

How much you get depends on when you paid the fees.

When you paid the fee

Refund for each document registered

01/04/2013 – 30/09/2013

£54 plus 0.5% interest.

01/10/2013 – 31/03/2014

£34 plus 0.5% interest.

01/04/2014 – 31/03/2015

£37 plus 0.5% interest.

01/04/2015 – 31/03/2016

£38 plus 0.5% interest.

01/04/2016 – 31/03/2017

£45 plus 0.5% interest.

If you applied for a remission when you made your application and paid a reduced fee, you will get a reduced refund.


Mr & Mrs. Smith made Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs and for Health and Welfare in August 2013 but did not register them. 

In July 2016 Mr Smith began to lose capacity and he decided to register his Lasting Powers of Attorney so they would be available to his Attorneys to use in the future.

The refund due to Mr Smith is £90 (plus interest), being £45 per document.

How to claim

Claims can be made online via the following link:  https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund

In certain cases it may be necessary to claim by phone.

If you have any questions relating to Lasting Powers of Attorney please contact Martine Swaep (martineswaep@greene-greene.com ~ 01284 717458).

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


Introducing Stuart Hughes as our new Managing Partner

We are pleased to announced the appointment of Stuart Hughes as our new Managing Partner, in the 125th year of the firm.

Stuart joined Greene & Greene in July 2012 and is a specialist family lawyer and Head of the Family & Matrimonial Department. Stuart has over 20 years of experience specialising in Family Law and is well regarded for his ability to handle all aspects of relationship breakdown, divorce, separation, finances and disputes concerning children. He is an accredited Family Law specialist, member of Resolution, Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer.

“I am very much looking forward to my additional role at Greene & Greene and would like to thank Simon Ratcliffe, who has done an excellent job as Managing Partner for the past three years. Thanks also to my fellow partners for their support and their vote of confidence.  We have just begun our 125th anniversary celebrations, having originally been established in Bury St Edmunds in 1893, and the team of 80 lawyers and support staff have big plans for the year ahead.  This is an exciting time for the whole firm.”

Simon Ratcliffe, will continue in his role as the Head of Greene & Greene’s leading Company Commercial team, specialising in the acquisition, disposal and reorganisation of businesses.  The team advised upon transactions with a total aggregate value of circa £1bn during 2017.

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

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