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WELCOME: Michelle Jenkins-Powell and Graeme Quar of business lawWELCOME: Michelle Jenkins-Powell and Graeme Quar of business law firm Graeme Quar & Co, which has offices in Fareham and Petersfield, Hampshire. Michelle has been brought in to offer a new in-house service for wills and estate planning for businessmen and women.

 

Business law firm Graeme Quar & Co is to open up a new division.

The firm, which has offices in Fareham and Petersfield, is rolling out the service for wills and estate planning to existing and new clients across the region.

Michelle Jenkins-Powell, a solicitor with a background in accounting, has been recruited by founder and managing director Graeme Quar to head up the venture.

Previously with Gosport-based Donnelly and Elliott Solicitors, Michelle will operate out of a newly-leased office within the same business park where the Fareham office is – Furzehall Farm, Wickham Road.

Graeme said: “My colleagues and I are were continually receiving requests from trusted clients to advise them legally on wills and the complex world of estate planning.

“In the past, because we only specialise in business law, we’d pass the work on to other legal firms.

“However, it was clear that we could develop this peace-of-mind service in-house, once we had the right person in place. That person is Michelle, who is an expert in this particular field.

“With the launch of the division, it means we can offer clients the one-stop service they have been asking for.”

In its 20th year, the 17-strong firm advises companies, small-to-medium enterprises, partnerships and sole traders. The other office is at Lyndum House, 12 High Street, Petersfield.

Michelle lives locally and is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

She is the latest appointment at Graeme Quar & Co, which has had two years of record growth, with a 89% increase in staff numbers over the same period.

The others are Kate Bradbury, a specialist in franchise agreements and other commercial contracts, Robert Harris, a consultant solicitor with 40 years’ experience in commercial property, corporate law consultant Lorna Palmer and Michael Dalton, a senior commercial property and business solicitor.

 

Graeme’s trek for Send A Cow

October 19th, 2013

As many of you will know, we’re long-term supporters of agricultural development charity Send a Cow. Graeme has been one of its Ambassadors for over 10 years, and has visited projects in Rwanda, Lesotho and Kenya to see its life-changing work in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.

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To mark its 25th anniversary in 2013, the charity is organising a trek to the summit of Ethiopia’s highest mountain, Ras Dashen – at just under 15,000 feet (4,550 metres), the tenth-highest peak in Africa. Graeme is one of the small team making the ascent, and has set himself the ambitious target of raising £100 for each of the charity’s 25 years – £2,500.

Graeme’s been training all summer for his 10-day adventure, which will involve walking for up to 10 hours a day. He’s setting off on 30 October, so you still have plenty of time to make your donation to this fantastic cause. There’s a JustGiving page for online pledges at http://www.justgiving.com/trekgraeme – alternatively, please call in at the office, or post your donation to our Fareham address.

To find out more about Send a Cow and its amazing projects, please see the charity’s website, www.sendacow.org.uk

Quite often I advise clients who have a situation that is becoming difficult, but in which they do not yet want to involve lawyers. I am therefore advising in the background.

Sometimes the other party only seems to want to communicate by telephone, and seems reluctant to write letters or e-mails. This makes me suspicious that the other party does not want there to be a record of what he has said, even that he may wish it to be deniable .

In such situations, the advice that I give clients is two-fold. first, they should keep a log of phone calls : date and time, other party to the call, what was discussed and agreed, that sort of thing . Second, following a telephone call they should send a simple e-mail to the other person : ” following our conversation, I confirm that we agreed …”

If such an e-mail is sent , then unless there is a fairly prompt reply correcting any misunderstanding , it is going to be difficult for the other party to deny that the e-mail is an accurate record of what was agreed , particularly if the denial is only made several months later in the course of court proceedings .

This kind of evidence will assist considerably in helping the judge decide what was said .  There is now some corroborative evidence and it is no longer a case of it simply being one person’s word against the other’s.

30 years in the law!

October 4th, 2013

On 3 October, Gabor Kovacs celebrated 30 years as a solicitor. ‘I never had a grand career plan; left to my own devices, I’d probably have studied modern languages, but I don’t know what I’d have done with them!’ he confesses. Fortunately for us, he chose to study law at the University of Leicester, then completed his articles with a West End firm.

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After 15 years in London, including a stint with a major City firm, Gabor moved to Hampshire in 1998 and, in his own words, ‘never regretted it for a moment’. Reflecting on his three decades in the law, Gabor says: “Attitudes to, and of, lawyers have changed. Lawyers can no longer command respect simply because of their status: we have to earn it, and we’re challenged far more. The days when lawyers made clients feel they were doing them a favour by looking at their file this month are long gone – and that’s a good thing.”

The biggest change, though, has been brought about by technology. “When I started out, everything was still done by letter. With email, all the exchanges between clients and lawyers that used to take a fortnight or more can be done in a day.”