News & Events
Find out more about what Bright Solicitors are up to and what's currently happening in the industry.

Devon Sports Awards 2018

  • Posted: 16-04-2018
  • Bright

We are delighted to have been informed that we are the winner of the category ‘Business Contribution to Sport in the Community’ for the Devon Sports Awards 2018. The management and staff at Bright Solicitors have been keen to get involved with a number of sporting activities over the past few years including a charity fundraising 100 mile cycle/run challenge in France, boxing, football, rounders, half marathon & 10k & raft racing to name just a few.

GDPR Newsletter

  • Posted: 19-01-2018
  • Commercial/Business

GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulations. These regulations originate in the EU and will replace the existing Data Protection Act.

• They will come into force on 25th May 2018

• Brexit will have no effect on the GDPR – the Government has committed to ensuring they take effect in the UK.

• Main purpose – giving data subjects (individuals) greater control over their personal data.

• Affects all businesses holding personal data – not just client/prospective client data but also eg employee data.

Christmas & New Year Opening / Closing Times 2017 - 2018

  • Posted: 18-12-2017
  • Bright

During the festive season, our offices will close at 5pm on Thursday 21st December and will resume normal opening times with effect from Tuesday 2nd January 2018. We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

If you have arrived on this page from our email newsletter. Your email has been automatically submitted into our prize draw. You will be notified in the New Year if you are the prize winner.

Not subscribed to our newsletter? You can sign up at the bottom of this page or any page on our website.

Plymouth 10k Water Sponsor & Running Team

  • Posted: 09-10-2017
  • Bright

Sunday saw the Bright Team running 10k while also helping out on the water stations supplying the water to all the runners at the event. Congratulations to all the Bright runners and everyone else who took part!

Plymouth Albion Corporate Membership Package

  • Posted: 09-10-2017
  • Bright

Plymouth Albion launched their new corporate membership package and we are proud to announce that we are their first corporate member.

Pictured: Andy Sewell with Man of the Match Jamie Salter

Debt Collection Protocol, Are You Ready?

  • Posted: 22-06-2017
  • Debt Recovery

On 1 October 2017 a change is due in the way that businesses deal with an individual, including a sole trader, who pays them late.

The Ministry of Justice have put in place a formal protocol for collecting overdue funds from an individual. The protocol is expected to be followed by all parties prior to issuing a claim form with the idea that the issuing of a claim is a last resort. We expect the court to be heavily critical of those parties that do not follow the protocol and rush out and issue a claim form without following the procedure. We would also expect the court to look to creditors to follow the spirit of the protocol for the collection of commercial debts though the protocol does not extend to them it would be wise to certainly consider the protocol when taking steps on any business to business debt.

Guarantees Explained...

  • Posted: 22-06-2017
  • Commercial/Business

Often the words “Guarantee” and “Guarantor” get thrown around without much, or enough thought at all but we must always consider how serious entering into a guarantee can be. So, what do we mean when we talk about guarantees? Well, a guarantee is essentially a contract promising to meet the liabilities of a third party in the event that that party fails to perform its obligations under an initial contract made between that third party and another. The classic example is a landlord and tenant situation – the landlord, Benny leases his property out to Tommy who wishes to run a coffee shop. Benny is nervous about how successful Tommy will be and concerned that he will be unable to make the monthly rental payment of £3,000 and therefore requests that Tommy has a guarantor. Tommy asks Sammy, his best friend to give a guarantee.

Five Common Trade Mark Myths

  • Posted: 12-06-2017
  • Commercial/Business

MYTH: I already have trade mark protection as I have registered my company name at Companies House and/or I have purchased a domain name for my business.
FALSE: Neither registering your name at Companies House nor purchasing a domain name provides trade mark protection. These are different systems with different laws. The only way to obtain trade mark protection is to register at the Intellectual Property Office.

MYTH: If I register my trade mark it gives me exclusive protection and no one else can use a trade mark with the same name or similar name.
FALSE: A trade mark is protected in relation to the goods and services it is registered in. Another trader may use a similar or identical trade mark provided the use of that trade mark is not for similar or identical goods or services and there is no confusion in the market place.

MYTH: Placing the letters TM after my trade mark provides protection and means my mark is registered.
FALSE: This provides no protection and legally has no meaning. Once your trade mark is registered you can use the mark ® next to your trade mark to let other traders know that your trade mark is protected.

MYTH: Once my trade mark is registered I have protection throughout the world.
FALSE: Trade mark protection is geographical, meaning that if you have a trade mark registered in the UK your protection is limited to the UK. If you intend to trade in the EU we would recommend obtaining an EU trade mark which will provide protection in all 28 EU countries, although once Brexit occurs it is likely that the UK will no longer be covered by a EUTM.

MYTH: I must already be using my trade mark before I can register it.
FALSE: You have 5 years in which to put your trade mark into genuine use from the date of registration. When you apply to register your trade mark you will be asked to sign a declaration stating that you intend to use your trade mark. You have 5 years to give effect to that intention. Failure to not genuinely use your trade mark can cause your mark to be removed from the register freeing up names for other traders to use.

Raewyn Tuffery

Solicitor (New Zealand Qualified)
Bright (South West) LLP

Britain's Ocean City Half Marathon 2017

  • Posted: 24-04-2017
  • Bright

After a long and challenging Half Marathon, the runners are wobbling around the office this morning. Congratulations to all of you. You did amazing and we are very proud!

If you didn’t already know, we were Water Sponsors for this event. We will also be Water Sponsors for the Plymouth 10k later on this year. We hope to see as many of you as possible taking part!

Statutory Demands

  • Posted: 16-03-2017
  • Debt Recovery

With the recent increase in court fees Statutory Demands are becoming more and more frequently used when recovering debts from individuals or companies. The threat of what might happen once a statutory demand is served is so great that the debtor should take the service of the demand very seriously and deal with it promptly.

Bright help secure technology deal

  • Posted: 13-02-2017
  • Commercial/Business

ESSA Technology will become part of Surrey-based Jenoptik Traffic Solutions UK, which is a subsidiary of the German business Jenoptik AG, bringing to the UK and international markets a wide range of end to end security, monitoring and enforcement applications.

New office for expanding Bright Solicitors

  • Posted: 10-02-2017
  • Bright

Bright Solicitors are pleased to announce that their Commercial Business, Commercial Property & Investor Property teams are shortly to be moving into new offices.

Additional space has been taken next to Bright’s original offices allowing these three teams to be all together but still connected to the other legal service teams for residential/new homes conveyancing and for private clients.

Well done Louisa & Connie!

  • Posted: 20-12-2016
  • Residential

“Thank you very much to Louisa and Connie for taking care of our conveyancing for our recent house move.
They made a stressful process very easy for us and explained everything very clearly. Communication and speed of dealing with the next step was fantastic.
We will be recommending to anyone we can.”

- Rob & Jade

Christmas / New Year Opening Times

  • Posted: 12-12-2016
  • Bright

During the festive season, our offices will close at 5pm on Thursday 22nd December and will resume normal opening times with effect from Tuesday 3rd January 2017. We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Cornish Pasty – Tasty Today, Gone Tomorrow

  • Posted: 09-12-2016
  • Bright

The humble pasty may be under threat after the successful Brexit vote on 23 June 2016.

The Cornish Pasty along with 73 other British foods have protection under the EU Protected Foods Act. This Act offers producers the ability to protect their goods often related to the quality and the region of production by giving them what is known as Protected Geographical Indication status (PGI).

Caffe Nero – Not Enough

  • Posted: 25-11-2016
  • Bright

The European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has refused to register the trade marks:

and ‘CAFFE NERO

As you will know this is a large and well known coffee house based throughout the UK, and in Europe. The reasoning given by the EUIPO is that Europeans, especially Italians would understand the words Caffe Nero to mean “black coffee”. In order for a trade mark to be registrable it must be distinctive and not be descriptive. As the words are descriptive, the trade mark has been refused registration.

"Who reads the small print anyway..." they say

  • Posted: 24-11-2016
  • Commercial/Business

Have you bought anything online recently? Had your vehicle serviced? Applied for a new credit card? We are constantly purchasing goods and services and entering into contracts left right and centre – but how many of us honestly spend the time to carefully read through (and understand) the terms and conditions?

Residential property lettings – update on recent income tax changes

  • Posted: 24-11-2016
  • Residential

Clearly the recent changes announced will affect many residential landlords, in particular those with high levels of gearing or with mortgages at high interest rates. Landlords should now be calculating the projected effect of the above changes on their future tax position in terms of net yield and ongoing financial viability. Anyone who is concerned as to how these changes may affect their financial position should take early tax advice as to their options to potentially mitigate the anticipated increases in tax bills, e.g. incorporation.

Plymouth Solicitors to dress as Santas to mark their 10th anniversary

  • Posted: 14-11-2016
  • Bright

A legal firm in Plymouth have put together a team of 20 employees and family members as young as two years old, to dress up as the gift giving, festive character and run through the streets for charity.

Bright Solicitors on Millbay Road, want to “give back to the community” on their 10th anniversary year by taking part in Saltram Rotary’s Plymouth Santa fun run.

Click here to see the full story.

Is your business really protected?

  • Posted: 26-10-2016
  • Commercial/Business

Many of our clients, when we start discussing Intellectual Property with them, ask……’do I really need it’? Or they say…’surely my business is protected enough already’.

Brexit will not effect growth of Solar Farms

  • Posted: 30-09-2016
  • Commercial Property

The appetite for lucrative solar farms is set to remain strong despite Brexit and Government funding cuts, a leading expert says.

Lawyer Adrian Beddow, who recently joined Plymouth firm Bright Solicitors, says South West farmers are keen to turn land over to electricity generation and well-heeled investors, some from the City others from abroad, are hovering.

Read more at http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/brexit-won-t-effect-growth-of-solar-farms-says-expert/story-29754287-detail/story.html#P8WORKZjfILDKFgo.99

LFS Conveyancing Awards Results

  • Posted: 15-09-2016
  • Bright

We recently attended the LFS Conveyancing Awards 2016 in Birmingham. Bright Solicitors was nominated for the ‘Small Conveyancing Firm of the Year’ award and the ‘Regional Conveyancing Firm of the Year’ award.

City & Waterfront Awards Voting

  • Posted: 10-08-2016
  • Bright

Voting has begun for The Herald’s City & Waterfront Awards 2016.

Please take the time to vote for us in the two categories we have been nominated for. These categories are ‘Best Customer Service’ (Neil Adams – Bright Solicitors) and ‘Professional Services Business of the Year’ (Bright Solicitors).

You can vote here: https://northcliffe.wufoo.com/forms/z1s8zyk600irbkg/

We thank you all for voting!

Welcome Adrian!

  • Posted: 18-07-2016
  • Bright

Adrian Beddow
Head of Commercial Property
Partner

We welcome Adrian who joined us at Bright Solicitors on the 18th of July. He has joined as the new Head of Commercial Property and also a Partner for the business.

You can see his profile here.

Trade Mark Services

  • Posted: 11-07-2016
  • Commercial/Business

Colloquially known as a brand, logo, business name or trading name etc. They can include words, images or combination of both, sounds, smells and even shapes. It is important to note that registering your company name with Companies House does not provide you with trade mark protection. Unless you register your trade mark with the Intellectual Property Office you are not protected, other than through a process known as passing off. Passing off is difficult to prove and costly; therefore registering your trade mark with the IPO is preferable.

Scam Awareness Month

  • Posted: 05-07-2016
  • Bright

Since 2009 Land Registry has prevented frauds on properties valued in excess of £80 million. No system can be 100% fraud-proof, but by working together we can help more people understand what they can do to protect themselves.

JOB VACANCY: Legal Assistant – Commercial Department

  • Posted: 18-05-2016
  • Bright

We are currently looking for a full time Legal Assistant to provide essential support to our Commercial Department in our Plymouth Office. This is a busy and varied role and a flexible attitude is essential, along with the ability to handle multiple tasks and work within deadlines.

Deadline: 25th May 2016 at 12noon

Changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax Rates for Additional Residential Properties

  • Posted: 05-04-2016
  • Residential

On the 1st April 2016 the Government introduced a higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax for second (or third or fourth etc) properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Clients wishing to purchase property in addition to their main residence will be liable to pay a 3% higher rate of Stamp Duty. This will affect purchasers of all additional properties, such as buy-to-let properties and second homes. The higher rates will also apply to purchases of residential property by companies.

Customer Complaints

  • Posted: 02-03-2016
  • Commercial/Business

Following a raft of changes to consumer law over the last couple of years, 2016 has started with the next instalment for businesses to consider when engaging with customers.

With effect from the 15th February 2016 the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform was live and will be actively enforced. Businesses need to update their terms and conditions in order to comply with the terms.

Brain Tumour Research ‘France 100 Mile Challenge’

  • Posted: 29-02-2016
  • Bright

On Friday 22nd April, 16 of us set off from Plymouth via Brittany Ferries to Roscoff in France. One team of 9 cyclists (plus Martin Wood with vehicle support) will then cycle on predominantly a cycle trail 100 miles down to Concarneau. A team of 5 runners will also be attempting this challenge.

"Bought & Sold a house... Within 2 Weeks!"

  • Posted: 26-02-2016
  • New Homes

Kevin, who has lived in Plymouth for over 20 years, added: “We’ve had a wonderful experience and Linden Homes took us through the whole part exchange process step-by-step. The recommended solicitors, Bright Solicitors, were also fantastic, especially working to such a tight timescale so close to Christmas.

“I just can’t believe that we bought a new home and sold ours – all within two weeks!”

April 2016 sees reform for UK Consumer Law

  • Posted: 02-02-2016
  • Commercial/Business

As the new year is the time for re-evaluating our lifestyles, ditching the endless gorging of the festive period in favour of dieting and exercise regimes, so too is it the perfect opportunity for businesses to reflect on the recent legal changes affecting the methods and practices they adopted and appraising what, if any, improvement plans need to be put in place.

The Importance of Making a Will

  • Posted: 30-01-2016
  • Wills, Trusts and Probates

As solicitors who have practised in the area of Wills/Probate for the past 20 years, we have come across several situations where people have died, without leaving a Will and it has caused all sorts of problems. There is a general assumption that if you are married, involved in a civil partnership or simply co-habiting with someone, then that person will inherit the whole of your estate on your death. That is not necessarily the case.

Discretionary Will Trusts

  • Posted: 20-01-2016
  • Wills, Trusts and Probates

Sometimes, particularly where you have complicated assets and/or family situations, it is difficult to know how to word your Will. For example, where you have business interests, the value/structure of the business can change from time to time, which makes it difficult to judge what the position will be when you die. There can also be family issues, for example, if you have young children, you will not know, at the time of making your Will, whether any, all or none of them will become involved with your business. Added to that, the rules of Inheritance Tax are constantly changing.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

  • Posted: 20-01-2016
  • Wills, Trusts and Probates

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) were introduced in 2007 to replace Enduring Powers of Attorney. There are two different types of LPA: one dealing with property and financial affairs, and the other with health and welfare issues.

What is probate and when is it needed?

  • Posted: 20-01-2016
  • Wills, Trusts and Probates

One of the most common misconceptions we come up against when speaking to clients is that probate is not needed because the person who has died has got a Will. This, however, is not the case.

The term Probate actually defines the legal process of dealing with a person’s estate after they have died, even when they have left a valid Will. Those trusted with this probate role are referred to as Executors, not to be confused with executioners! If there is no valid Will then Letters of Administration are required. Both of these procedures define legally who is entitled to deal with the affairs of the deceased and it is the Probate Registry which oversees these procedures and they issue a court document appointing who is entitled to deal with the affairs. This is commonly referred to as the Grant of Probate.

Creating and Administering Trusts

  • Posted: 18-01-2016
  • Wills, Trusts and Probates

During your lifetime, you will want to retain the greatest amount of control over your estate. You will also wish to ensure that your estate is preserved for the next generation when you die and in order to do this you may wish to think about creating a trust.

Probate and Estate Administration

  • Posted: 18-01-2016
  • Wills, Trusts and Probates

Do you need help with estate administration?

When someone close to you dies, there is often a lot to do, at what can be an emotionally draining time. One task that needs to be considered at an early stage is the sorting out of the deceased person’s financial affairs.

Succession and Estate Planning

  • Posted: 18-01-2016
  • Wills, Trusts and Probates

Making sure your assets pass to the right people in the right way is not always easy. Whether you are considering making a will or thinking about gifting assets, effective tax and trust management is an essential way to protect your assets and control what happens to them during your lifetime and when you die.

If your assets (your home, possessions and financial investments) exceed the inheritance tax free limit of £325,000, known as the nil rate band, when you die anything over the limit will be taxed at the rate of 40%. Therefore, if your estate is valued at £500,000, inheritance tax to the sum of £70,000.00 would be payable to the Revenue (unless specific exemptions apply).

Court of Protection

  • Posted: 18-12-2015
  • Wills, Trusts and Probates

We have an expert team with vast experience in this field who understand all about capacity issues and how they can affect you and your family.

If a person has not made a lasting power of attorney and has an unexpected car accident, is involved in an injury at work or becomes unable to manage their affairs through old age or illness, a friend or family member will need to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a Deputy to have the legal authority to manage their affairs.

Powers of Attorney

  • Posted: 18-11-2015
  • Wills, Trusts and Probates

Bright Solicitors recommend that in addition to making a will, making a lasting power of attorney is just as important when planning for your future. Losing mental capacity and being unable to make your own decisions is something that we all hope will not happen to us. But, for many people it will and this may be due to an unexpected car accident, injury at work, disability, stroke or the onset of an illness such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Changes to Inheritance Tax with effect from 6 April 2012

  • Posted: 01-09-2015
  • Wills, Trusts and Probates

With effect from the 6th April 2012, the Chancellor has introduced a reduced rate of Inheritance Tax.
If you leave 10 per cent or more of your estate to charity on death, the rate of inheritance tax on the part of your estate that is chargeable will be reduced from 40 per cent to 36 per cent.

These proposals broadly mean that for deaths occurring on or after 6 April 2012, estates that include charitable legacies of at least 10 per cent of the net estate will benefit from the reduced 36 per cent rate.
Inheritance tax is currently only paid on estates worth more than £325,000. An estate of £1m therefore would currently see beneficiaries receive £730,000 with the taxman taking £270,000. If, however, 10 per cent of that estate above the £325,000 threshold is given to charity, the beneficiaries would only receive £713,800 and the taxman would take £218,700. The charity in this instance would receive £67,500.

Pension wise

  • Posted: 24-08-2015
  • Commercial/Business

The government has announced the launch of ‘Pension wise’ which will offer free and impartial guidance to people on the new pension freedoms which comes into effect in April.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Andrea Leadsom has unveiled the name and logo of the new pensions guidance service.

Government wants suggestions for Budget 2015

  • Posted: 24-07-2015
  • Commercial/Business

HM Treasury is encouraging groups, individuals and representative bodies to submit their ideas for consideration in advance of Budget 2015.

HM Treasury has also published guidance on the correct procedure for making a representation, which advises that ‘representations should contain policy suggestions for the upcoming fiscal event and explain the policy rationale, costs, benefits and deliverability of proposals’.

Government publishes guidance on new 'Fit for Work' service

  • Posted: 24-06-2015
  • Commercial/Business

The Government has published guidance on its new Fit for Work service, which aims to help tackle the problem of long-term sickness absence.

The service is being introduced to facilitate the return to work of employees who have been off sick for a period of four weeks or more. The new service will enable employers to refer their employees, with the employee’s consent, for an occupational health assessment. Following the assessment, a return to work plan will be created, including recommendations for employers on how to assist the employee with getting back to work.

Accelerated Payment Notices

  • Posted: 24-05-2015
  • Commercial/Business

HMRC have announced that they have secured almost all of the disputed tax due from the first group of tax avoidance scheme users to receive Accelerated Payment notices (APNs). An APN forces the taxpayer to make payment to HMRC of tax currently under dispute within 90 days of being issued with a notice. APNs are being introduced to counteract the perceived cash flow advantage for the taxpayer of holding onto the disputed tax during an avoidance dispute.

HMRC warn of phishing email scam

  • Posted: 24-04-2015
  • Commercial/Business

HMRC are warning taxpayers to be wary of the latest in a long line of email phishing scams that claims taxpayers have ‘made mistakes while completing their last tax form application’.

Strong demand for National Savings 'pensioner bonds'

  • Posted: 24-03-2015
  • Commercial/Business

The National Savings & Investments website and helpline are experiencing a high volume of enquiries following the launch of their 65+ Guaranteed Growth Bonds which are being referred to as ‘pensioner bonds’.

The bonds are available for a period of one or three years. The taxable bonds offer savers interest of 2.8% over one year and a fixed annual interest rate of 4% over three years with a minimum investment of £500. Investors are restricted to a maximum investment of £10,000 in each of the two products offered.