News

Welcoming the Armed Forces Charity to Gilbert Stephens Solicitors

21st June 2019

It was a pleasure to welcome Clive Richards from the Soldiers’, Sailors’ & Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA), to Gilbert Stephens Solicitors Exeter office. Dana Mulligan, Marketing Manager for Gilbert Stephens met with Clive and was pleased to introduce him to some of the staff members at Gilbert Stephens.

This meeting came soon after SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity, were presented with the Lord Mayor’s charity cheque. SSAFA were the Lord Mayor’s chosen charity for the last Mayoral year, which saw the centenary anniversary of Armistice Day, the end of the First World War. Read more…

Darts Farm Classic Car Show 2019

18th June 2019

Last Sunday, Gilbert Stephens Solicitors attended the Darts Farm Classic Car Show. The event was organised by The Estuary League of Friends; a charity based in Exeter which aims to improve the quality of life of those in need of care within the community. Estuary was established in 1987 and provides services for people living in and around Topsham, Countess Wear, Ebford, Exton, Digby, Wonford, The Rydons, Clyst St George, Cat & Fiddle and Clyst St Mary.

This was Gilbert Stephens’ first year at this event and we were very impressed by the turn out! Despite a few showers throughout the day, the car show was a great success with hundreds of people arriving to appreciate more than 250 vintage cars and motorcycles from all over the South. The event was a great family day out with live music and family shows to keep everyone entertained. Read more…

YPN Shake It Up

17th June 2019

Last Thursday evening the newest cocktail bar in Exeter, Pink Moon, hosted the Young Professionals Network (YPN) bimonthly networking event. The YPN is an organisation established by Gilbert Stephens Solicitors with the aim of creating opportunities where various like-minded young professionals can mingle and build connections in and around Exeter. With a growing network of over 300 members from a variety of different sectors, last Thursday’s cocktail making was the perfect activity to draw together an array of different skill sets.

The evening kickstarted with a selection of bellini’s, seaweed-seasoned popcorn and black olives in Pink Moon’s luxurious downstairs seating area. Kingsley Crocker, General Manager of Pink Moon, then led the cocktail making demonstration, instructing YPN members on how to make the famous Mojito and ‘Pink Moon’ cocktail. Four people were assigned to each cocktail making station, taking it in turns of two to make the cocktails. Kingsley says “although technique and precision are essential ingredients to a great cocktail, a fantastic cocktail is down to the theatrical experience. Bartenders will hit pendant lights and shake drinks to entertain their audience”. Read more…

Tenant fees ban is now in force

14th June 2019

The Government’s ban on letting agent fees is now in force. Sukhi Mills, solicitor from our Exeter office, tells us more about what this means for tenants and landlords.

This news has been welcomed by millions of people across the UK as a fairer system for tenants. As of 1st June 2019, anyone entering into a new tenancy agreement or renewing an existing one cannot be charged for ‘unfair fees’ including credit checks, referencing, inventories, guarantor forms or administration charges.

Any landlords or agents charging these fees are now breaking the law and could face serious penalties, incurring fines of up to £5,000 for a first offence. If they break the rules again within five years, they face an unlimited fine. Read more…

Ottery St Mary Pixie Day

14th June 2019

The annual Ottery St Mary Pixie Day will be taking place on Saturday 22nd June and Gilbert Stephens Solicitors are pleased to continue supporting this event. Pixie Day is an annual fixture in the Ottery St Mary calendar and is a tradition revived in 1954, dating back to events which are said to have occurred five hundred years prior.

Legend has it that the town was once occupied by pixies, but they were ousted by the building of the Church and the (to them intolerable) noise of the Church bells. Since then the town has become enchanted with the possibility of the return of the pixies. Once a year, children from the Guides and Scouts of the town enact this by playing the part of the Pixies, who inflict their revenge on the community by ‘imprisoning’ the bell ringers.

Pixie Day will consist of an afternoon fete with stalls and entertainment before the main event, the ‘Pixies’ Revenge’, which takes place in the town square followed by an evening of food and entertainment. In previous years this entertainment has included displays of Morris dancing, a coconut shy, tombola and skittles.

Pixie Day along with the Ottery St Mary Tar Barrels in November, are two signature events during which the rich history and mythology of the town is celebrated, bringing local children and the activities of the Guides and Scouts to the fore. Gilbert Stephens understands how significant this event is to the fabric of the local community and is pleased to be a part of its continued success.

Acknowledging the importance of this annual event, Terry Bastyan, Managing Partner at Gilbert Stephens Solicitors, notes that “Pixie Day is more than just an opportunity for a party, it is an important day in the Ottery St Mary calendar. Pixie Day brings together residents both young and old, whilst recognising the rich traditions of the town. We are proud to continue supporting this event and look forward to another successful day of celebration and entertainment”.

We will be giving out balloons in the square, so come along and see us!

You can find out more about Pixie Day on the Ottery St Mary Info website.

Ottery Help Scheme Fundraising Event

13th June 2019

At Gilbert Stephens Solicitors we are committed to supporting local charities and good causes. On Tuesday 28th May, we were very happy to be able to support the incredible work of the Ottery Help Scheme at their Fundraising event held at the magnificent gardens of Cadhay House in Ottery St Mary between 10am – 2pm.

It was the perfect day for the half term family fun event, which attracted young families and locals alike, wishing to enjoy the fun while raising some money for the charity. The day included a delicious BBQ, stalls with homemade cakes, cream teas and other sweet treats. There were two bouncy castles that were very popular with the children as well as face painting and crafts for all the family.

Dana Mulligan, Marketing Manager at Gilbert Stephens Solicitors represented the firm handing out goodies and green Gilbert Stephens flags to the children.

The event was organised and run by Ottery Help Scheme which was founded in 1992 to provide much needed support to local residents who are experiencing times of illness, periods of difficulty, or life-changing circumstances through uniting and mobilising the goodwill of the community.

It was great to see that many local businesses, including ourselves, contributed a prize for the Tombola. We donated a Cream Tea for 2 at The Clock Tower in Connaught Gardens, Sidmouth. Hopefully this will be enjoyed during the coming summer months.

The entry fee was £1 for adults and 50p for children and all proceeds made on the day went to the Ottery Help Scheme.

Dana Mulligan said, “It was a privilege to see such strong community spirit and we hope that this event has helped to raise both awareness and funds, as the charity continues to go from strength to strength, offering more and more necessary services in response to the community need.”

Retirement interest-only mortgages (RIOs)

12th June 2019

There are many different mortgage options for homeowners to make the most out of the money tied up in their property. Hayley Martin-Herkt, Mortgage Adviser from Gilbert Stephens Financial Services, talks us through the retirement interest-only mortgage option.

Retirement interest-only mortgages (RIOs) are a relatively new set of products designed to help older borrowers who may struggle to get a standard residential mortgage. They allow you to borrow against your property and only pay back the interest (and not the loan itself) each month.

RIOs are very similar to standard interest-only mortgages but there are some key differences. Read more…

Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club hit the beach!

4th June 2019

It was an exciting weekend on Sidmouth beach, as the Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club hit the beach for their first outdoor training session of the season on Saturday 11th May 2019. The club members and their coaches moved from the swimming pool to the waves to test out the skills they had been learning.

Gilbert Stephens Solicitors are proud sponsors of Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club and have recently provided their new 2019 kit for the club members. The club gives young people in Sidmouth and the surrounding areas an opportunity to learn safety skills, improve fitness and enjoy fun activities and competitions in a supported, social environment. Read more…

What is a lifetime mortgage?

4th June 2019

Hayley Martin-Herkt from Gilbert Stephens Financial Services tells us about the options for lifetime mortgages.

A lifetime mortgage is a type of equity release and can be a major component of planning for the future. It is a popular way to access tax-free money that is tied up in your home, be releasing some of the equity as either a cash lump sum or a regular income over a fixed term.

This allows you to enjoy some of your hard-earned money that would otherwise be tied up in your property. Some people take out a lifetime mortgage to fulfil a lifelong dream, invest in home improvements or just to make life that little bit more comfortable financially. Read more…