We’re in a recession – what does this mean for the property market?

3rd September 2020

Earlier this month, we witnessed the UK officially enter a recession for the first time since 2009. Certain sectors such as the services, retail and hospitality have been hit harder than others, but how is the housing market holding up?

House prices are usually forecasted to plummet during a recession, yet in the past couple of months there has been a steep rise in property sales. Read more…

Update on Housing Possession Proceedings

18th August 2020

The five-month ban placed on all housing evictions in March has led to an anticipated surge in the number of possession proceedings expected to take place from 20th September.

To cope with the heavy backlog of cases, a temporary amendment has been made to the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 which alters the usual process for possession proceedings. These changes will be introduced on 23rd August 2020 and will remain in place until 28th March 2021. Read more…

HM Land Registry now accepting electronic signatures

13th August 2020

HM Land Registry recently confirmed that it will now be accepting witnessed electronic signatures for transfers of property ownership, leases, mortgages, and other property-related dealings.

Together with the recent addition of cryptographic and biometric identity checks, the news means that the entire conveyancing process can now be conducted electronically. This couldn’t come at a better time with many conveyancers and property professionals still working from home. Read more…

Proud Sponsors of Okehampton Drive-In Cinema Screening

6th August 2020

Gilbert Stephens Solicitors were pleased to sponsor the drive-in cinema screenings of the iconic musicals, Grease and Rocketman, on Friday 24th and Friday 31st July. Both screenings took place at the Okehampton Show Grounds where people gathered to enjoy the film from the comfort of their own vehicles.

On arrival, guests were pleased to be handed one of our green cotton bags, with a Gilbert Stephens pen and notepad inside. Read more…

Cloud Video Platform (CVP) technology to be implemented across all civil and family courts

24th July 2020

The Government has announced that Cloud Video Platform (CVP) technology will be rolled out across all civil and family courts, following its successful launch in many Crown and Magistrates courts across the UK.

The implementation of CVP forms a part of the HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) recovery plan which encourages justice to be delivered as usual throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more…

Kim McDonald, Partner at our Exeter office, returns from maternity leave

17th July 2020

Gilbert Stephens Solicitors are very pleased to welcome Kim McDonald, Partner, back from maternity leave.

Kim is a Partner in our Litigation Department and as well as dealing with general civil litigation matters has a particular interest in all aspects of employment law, acting for both applicants and respondents in Employment Tribunals. Kim advises employers and employees and regularly provides her expertise in relation to grievances, disciplinary matters, the redundancy process, and settlement agreements. Read more…

Update on the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill

15th July 2020

On 25th June 2020, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation bill concluded its long journey through the House of Commons and obtained Royal Assent.

Whilst many family law solicitors and divorcing couples are delighted to see the bill finally become a law, they have been told to expect further delays whilst changes to the court forms and online portal are implemented. Robert Buckland, Lord Chancellor, has informed MPs that any couples seeking a no-fault divorce will have to wait until autumn 2021. Read more…

Temporary stamp duty holiday introduced to revive property market

8th July 2020

This morning, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a temporary holiday would be placed on stamp duty land tax for all property sales up to the value of £500,000, rising from its previous threshold of £125,000. This payment holiday will take immediate effect and run until 31st March 2021.

The change has been warmly welcomed by home buyers and those who work in real estate, property development, among other related industries, and are reliant on a buoyant property market. Read more…

New Beginnings

3rd July 2020

Private Client Solicitor at our Exeter office, Alyson Coulson, joined the firm in March 2020. In this blog, Alyson reflects on her first few months at Gilbert Stephens Solicitors and her experience of starting a new job amidst a devastating pandemic.

It has now been four months since I arrived in Exeter for my first day at Gilbert Stephens, shoes polished and new pencil case in hand. I’ve started new jobs before, but I have to say that this is the most unusual probationary period that I have ever had. Within a month we were in lockdown. My revised commute is a short walk across the landing and every day is Bring Your Dog to Work Day. Read more…