Friday, 10 August 2018

Meet The Lawyer - Georgina Catlin



I am really interested in health and wellness and try to adopt daily routines where I can.  These encourage me to stay motivated when approaching work/life challenges or to stay calm when life becomes stressful.  This might include meditating or listening to a motivational speaker in the car on the way to work.  I am very family orientated and I love spending time with my twin sister, whether it is supporting my 6ft 5 rugby playing brother on the edge of a rugby pitch, or going for long country walks. Although we are very much a Rugby family, I do occasionally put my Man United hat on when watching the football with my partner! 


Family Law - which can be very broad and covers most issues that arise as a result of a relationship breakdown.  This could range from a divorce or separation and the associated financial issues that need to be resolved, or alternatively dealing with issues in relation to child care arrangements.


I initially studied Law and Criminology at University but I soon realised that my passion was for the Law and not the intricacies of how and why people broke the law!  Upon graduating, I began working for ABD as a Family Law Secretary in order to gain legal work experience and commenced studying the Graduate Diploma in Law part time.  I developed a keen interest in Family Law and thereafter began training as a Solicitor whilst completing my LPC part time.  I am due to qualify in November 2018 and hope to continue my role as a Solicitor in the Firm’s Family Law Department.  

Tall.  Approachable. Conscientious. Understanding. Positive. 

Having the opportunity to see my client’s positive reaction immediately after a successful outcome at a Financial Court Hearing.


Many of my colleagues inspire me on a day to day basis.  Although on a more personal note, I would have to say my Mum as she has fully supported me at all stages of my life and career so far.


I love to eat good food and drink good wine whilst socialising with my partner, friends and family.  I also enjoy exercising, which mainly involves early morning running outdoors or attending gym classes in order to burn off the food and wine! I love the outdoors and really enjoy wandering around beautiful gardens and going to the theatre.  When I am not doing the above, I enjoy watching a good old action film with a bar of chocolate whilst relaxing at home with my partner. 

Tuesday, 7 August 2018


We asked Andrew Douglas, Partner at Awdry Bailey & Douglas Solicitors who specialises in elderly care, for his views on this issue?                                                                

Surely elderly care is always free?  There are only two situations where Long term care is totally free, meaning that people should not pay for their care at all. The first situation is if a person qualifies for NHS Continuing Healthcare (“CHC”). In this situation the NHS pays for everything including board, lodging and medical treatment. To qualify a person must have a primary health need determined by the nature, intensity, complexity and unpredictability of their medical condition.  This type of funding is not for life and is reviewed regularly. The bar for qualifying is high. The second situation is if a person has been detained in hospital under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983 meaning that upon discharge if the same condition applies they are entitled to free aftercare whether rich or poor.

Is elderly care ever partially free? Again there are two principal situations where this arises. Firstly if a person does not qualify for CHC but as part of a follow up assessment qualifies for Funded Nursing Care.  This means no matter how rich or poor they get a payment towards their nursing costs in a registered nursing home or a residential home registered for nursing.  The rate is £155.05 per week. The second situation arises where but for certain disregards a person’s house would be used to pay for their care.  The disregards include where a person goes into care but leaves behind in their house a spouse, partner or former partner provided they are not estranged or a relative over the age of 60.  There are other disregards.

If not free or partially free what then happens? Firstly your income is taken into account to include state pension and occupational pensions.  Then your capital is taken into account to include your house assuming none of the disregards referred to above apply.  You are then treated as a private funder and have to pay for your long term care assuming your total savings exceed £23,250.

To know more and for a free appointment to find 
out answers to the questions that need answering 
 email Andrew Douglas or his  team on 
or simply call on 0800 072 8636.
Alternatively visit our website


Monday, 6 August 2018

Could Civil Partnerships be on the horizon for all couples? In the meantime, what can the rest of us cohabiting couples do to protect our finances?

The Supreme Court recently ruled in favour of Rebecca Steinfield and Charles Keidan, whereby a panel of 5 Supreme Court Justices declared that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 is “incompatible” with their human rights and amounts to discrimination.   
Steinfield and Keidan believe that the institution of marriage is sexist and patriarchal and sought a judicial review of the Civil Partnership Act 2004, as it does not permit couples of the opposite sex to enter into civil partnerships.  As we already know, the Civil Partnership Act 2004 provides same sex couples with the same legal rights afforded to married couples upon dissolution or divorce.  
Time will only tell as to whether the Government will act upon the ruling and amend the current legislation one way or the other.   
In the meantime, according to the office of national statistics, cohabiting families were the second largest family type in the UK at 3.3 million families last year. So, what steps can cohabiting couples currently take to protect their financial position?
Here are a few suggestions which could avoid the need for costly Court Proceedings:
  1. Cohabitation or Separation Agreements – These are contractual agreements that record the parties’ intentions regarding the finances of their relationship while they live together and also if the relationship breaks down.  It is important that such documents are drafted correctly to avoid their validity being called into question.    
  2. Declaration of Trust – if you have made an unequal contribution towards the purchase of a property, you may wish to consider recording the contribution by entering into a Declaration of Trust recording what should happen to the proceeds of sale if the property is sold.   
  3. Make a Will – If you do not make a Will your estate will pass under the rules of Intestacy which will mean that your cohabitee will not benefit in any way which may not accord with your intentions. 

For more information or if you would like to book a free initial consultation, call Georgina Catlin at ABD Chippenham now on 01249 478333. 

Thursday, 2 August 2018

The Wolf Run Just Giving Page for Starlight Children's Foundation

    As you may have seen in our recent training pictures here a team from ABD are signed up to tackle the woods, obstacles, lakes and fields of the hardcore 10k The Wolf Run.

Designed to challenge mental and physical strength and skill, the team consisting of David Turley, Samantha Travella, Jess Arnold, Emily Poynton, Caroline Brailey, Nadine Cook, Madison Stormes-Moreno, Charlotte Lea, Nicolle Phillips, Helen Edwards and Alistair Everett will be fundraising for Starlight Children's Foundation

    Starlight are a fantastic charity supporting seriously and terminally ill children all over the country during their time in hospital and hospices. Starlight aim to distract children from the pain, fear and isolation they may feel during this time through support, boost boxes full of toys and games to distract them, and organised hospital pantomimes and plays. 

    Starlight say that a little fun and distraction can go a long way and help brighten even the darkest days, and one of our members of staff Madison found this completely true when her daughter was supported through her illnesses:

    "Starlight were absolutely incredible when my daughter was seriously ill in hospital and for all her out patient visits. I honestly don't think she would have come out of it as well as she has had it not been for Starlight. They got her through every procedure that she was awake for and provided her with such amazing play therapy in between. They're amazing!" 

    We want to fundraise for Starlight so that they can keep providing this invaluable helping hand to ill children to make sure that childhood continues inside the hospital and children aren't left feeling anxious and alone at these difficult times. Please do visit our JUST GIVING page and donate anything you can. We are truly grateful.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018




I am commercial solicitor working in ABD’s Marlborough office. I have a particular interest in business law and always love a challenge.


I work primarily in commercial law, which incorporates both commercial property and corporate commercial matters (business law). I do also however undertake additional work in high value and complex residential property matters and certain areas of Data Protection Law.


Even before I began my A-Level in Law, I knew that it was the career I wanted to pursue.

After leaving school I completed my Law Degree at the University of Plymouth. I then completed my Post-graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at Bristol Law School (University of West England). This was shortly before I came to work at Awdry Bailey & Douglas.

During my time at ABD I initially began training with both the commercial and litigation departments and, after undertaking litigation work for approximately 7 months, moved from ABD’s Devizes office to Marlborough to focus solely on commercial work. Alongside my work at ABD, I have also completed a Masters Degree in Advanced Legal Practice, focussing on complex and protracted contract disputes and contract formation.

Practical – There will always be a need to look beyond the purely legal aspects of a matter in order to find practical solutions. 

Realistic – I have found it very important to manage my clients’ expectations and, particularly when negotiating, this is important to ensure that a reasonable and realistic approach is taken. 

Modern – the law is ever changing and it is important not only to stay up to date with this, but in a more practical sense, to take advantage of technological advances such as electronic submissions and registrations to ensure efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Diligent – given the significance in law of matters as seemingly insignificant as the type of punctuation used, I take a meticulous approach to my work.
Positive – involving solicitors can be fairly daunting, even for regular clients. I always try to keep a positive outlook and to inspire the same in my clients.


My career highlights to date have certainly been my involvement in a number of very high value cases, both for company purchases and sales and in respect of development work on a number of sites in the UK. I found it immensely rewarding to be entrusted with such significant work and to have been able to undertake this alongside a team of hardworking and competent colleagues.


Though a fictional character, I have always been inspired by Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. I can recall reading an article in the Law Society Gazette whilst at university which extolled the virtues epitomised by Atticus Finch revolving largely around his patience, practicality, honesty and integrity.


Outside of work, I am a regular gym goer, hiker and have a particular interest in martial arts. I trained in Mixed Martial Arts for several years whilst at school, earned my black belt in Tae Kwon Do at 16 and continue to practice occasionally alongside my more recent interest in Aikido.

I am an amateur coleopterist (i.e. I collect and study beetles) with a particular interest in African flower beetles. I have been doing this for at least the past 5 or 6 years and have a formidable collection of Asian and African beetles. I have not however collected any specimens for over a year as I now prefer to photograph beetles instead.

I am also an avid reader and enjoy reading both fiction (generally fantasy) and non fiction (specifically Naval History) books.

Monday, 16 July 2018

New Local Charity Support Announced

Awdry Bailey & Douglas are proud to announce Greatwood as its local charity of the year 2018/19. Greatwood is a Marlborough based charity that, via equine facilitated learning, uses rescued and rehabilitated former racehorses to help educate disadvantaged children and young people with Special Educational Needs.

With offices in Marlborough, Devizes, Chippenham and Royal Wootton Bassett, Awdry Bailey & Douglas supports one local charity in Wiltshire each financial year and is exploring the possibility of a longer term partnership with Greatwood.  

After the Greatwood charity was founded in 1998, the rescue and rehoming of former racehorses began to develop into more, and the innovative and educational programme Horse Power was developed. Designed for young people aged 5-24 with cognitive, physical, emotional and social challenges or disabilities, Greatwood aims to make a real difference to the learnersfuture lives and careers as well as facilitating their social mobility. Over the last 11 years, they have educated in excess of 2,000 disadvantaged young people from Wiltshire and adjoining counties.

Tim Hotchkiss, a partner at Awdry Bailey & Douglas saw the work that they do firsthand. “I could not have been more impressed with the Greatwood site at Rainscombe Hill Farm and their innovative methods of using former racehorses to educate children and young adults. It is the dual charitable purpose of caring for both young people and animals that is so endearing to me and our members of staff. At Awdry Bailey & Douglas, we recognise that beyond providing legal advice and expertise to our clients, we have a responsibility to actively engage with and contribute to the wider community in our local area. Our staff are passionate about supporting our local communities and raising money for charity. They are very much looking forward to getting involved in every aspect of the work that Greatwood do, including fundraising events throughout the year, supporting their annual Charity Race Day at Newbury Racecourse and getting stuck in to corporate volunteering at Rainscombe Hill Farm as regularly as possible.“

To find out more about Greatwood please visit their website

Friday, 13 July 2018

Summer Ball 2018

ABD decided to do things a little differently this year, with a “Golf themed” Summer Ball.  The Ball was held at the picturesque venue of Wellington Barn with members of staff having the opportunity to test their crazy golf skills late into the night on the mini golf holes.  The winning team even managed to win a days extra holiday for their members of staff with other guests winning Amazon vouchers. 

Welcoming drinks were offered on arrival which were much needed after such a scorching day of sunshine. 

Once seated, the whole room engaged in a Charity Auction.  The following prizes/services were auctioned by Tom Paget and Alexander David and ABD are proud to announce that the auction managed to raise an outstanding sum of £515.00 for the fantastic charity that is the Starlight Children’s Foundation

There were some fun and great lots on offer:   
  1. Tim Hotchkiss and Alexander David’s garden and cleaning service – offering a lawn       mowing and car cleaning service.
  2. David Turley’s DIY – Dave has offered one whole day of his time to help out with those DIY jobs which you simply don’t get round to doing. 
  3. Nicola Hunt - our resident artist unveiled an original artwork which was snapped up.
  4. Alistair Everett in Fancy Dress  – Alistair shall be wearing a fancy dress costume around the Firm’s Chippenham Office or at the Firm’s Sport’s Day.

Stay tuned for future updates as the members of staff begin carrying out their chores and tasks!

Following on from the auction, all guests had the opportunity to win several luxury raffle prizes.  These included a trip for two to the Shard followed by a meal at Marco Pierre White’s City restaurant and Laurent-Perrier luxury pink champagne with two flute glasses. 

 All guests then indulged in a delicious 3 course dinner courtesy of Clever Chefs and went on to dance the night away on the dance floor. 

Many people also took advantage of the fun photo booth by ‘striking a pose’ whilst using various different props.

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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Prenups … Sharing more than an intimate meal for two…

As unromantic as it may seem, over the past 12 months Peter Berry at Awdry Bailey & Douglas has dealt with more enquiries about Prenups than during the last 10 years.

Why are so many people looking at Prenups?

More than ever before, people are choosing to marry later in life. The number of weddings for men aged over 50, and for women aged 35 to 39 years has increased substantially. The figures for over 65s have increased by over 40%!   

For younger couples, social attitudes are changing and the number of family businesses and people who are self-employed continues to grow.  

So why might a “Prenup” be on your wedding planners list?   

Do you:

Own your home?
Run a business?
Have a pension?
Have savings?
Have children from a previous relationship and possibly grandchildren too?

Have you:

Received an Inheritance from your parents, or relatives?
Invested in rental properties, or made long term financial plans?
Sold your business, and looking to enjoy your hard earned cash?
Been divorced before, and worked hard to rebuild your financial security? 

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then you should think about a Prenup. Starting a conversation about this is never going to be easy. Fears of arguments and embarrassment are entirely understandable. However, talking through the reasons often opens up a depth of conversation about feelings, wishes and about family. 

A Prenup is worth a lot more than the paper it’s written on. 
If the agreement is drafted by a specialist and adheres to legal requirements, you should expect to be bound by its terms as long as it is fair. 
At #ABDlaw we can help you prepare a prenuptial agreement that can stand the test of time. 
Contact Peter Berry on  01672 518620, or via email on where he will be happy to offer a free until consultation or or visit our website.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Awdry Bailey & Douglas are proud to now be a Business Partner of WiRE (Women in Rural Enterprise).  

WiRE is a national business support network; promoting, supporting and developing its membership of rural businesswomen. Grown from an academic research project based in Shropshire, WiRE is now a national membership organisation, widely recognised as a dynamic and positive force within the economy of rural areas and as the voice of rural women’s enterprise in the UK.

Awdrys recently hosted a legal clinic for WiRE members covering aspects of Family, Employment and Commercial Law in order to provide members with a general overview of important considerations for business owners. Three members of the practice spoke:

  • Georgina Catlin (Family Law) discussed the wide ranging topic of family law to include ways of protecting your finances      both pre and post separation/divorce;
  • Jessica Arnold (Commercial Law) provided an overview of the various ways in which a business can be structured and discussed the key risks and benefits that individuals and companies should consider when deciding what business structure is right for them; and 
  • Maxine Nutting (Employment Law) then talked about factors businesses and individuals need to be aware of in terms of whether their workforce or contractors may actually be considered employees and what that could mean for you from a legal perspective if something goes wrong.

Maxine Nutting from the Employment Team discussing the issue that 'workforce' and 'contractors' could potentially be considered as 'employees' in the eyes of the law

The Clinic also provided members with an opportunity to ask questions on an informal basis and many members took advantage of this opportunity.  

Following this, the group then enjoyed a cookery lesson hosted by The Farm Cookery School in Bromham and were able to feast on their creations over a networking lunch.

For further information about WiRE and their members please read our profile

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

The Wolf Run - Autumn 2018

Woods, obstacles, lakes and fields... WILD RUNNING. Yes call us crazy, but a team of staff here at Awdry Bailey & Douglas has taken the plunge and signed up to participate in the hardcore 10k run across raw natural terrain, otherwise known as The Wolf Run.

The team will tackle a series of tough obstacles in the September run, both man-made and natural. They'll have to run, climb, jump, wade, crawl and swim through the course which is designed to challenge mental and physical strength and skill.

Weekly training has been going well so far, with everyone surviving Practice Manager Dave Turleys gruelling regime! We have new additions joining each week and hope to continue the training group after the run has been completed. 

The wolf pack post training session - still smiling!

The team are honoured to be raising money for a charity that we work closely with at Awdrys, Starlight Children's Foundation - dedicated to brightening the lives of children and teenagers suffering from a serious illness. 

Friday, 22 June 2018

Family Businesses - Avoiding the Pitfalls

Twice in the last week alone, our Commercial Team have been asked to assist with problems involving family businesses. It can be extremely difficult for those involved and sadly the emotional stress can often result in family breakdowns. 
Frustratingly for us as advisors, it nearly always comes down to the same simple issues which are easily avoidable, so here are a few tips which you should follow:
1) Understand your duties as a director
It is quite common in family businesses for family members to be appointed as a director even though they may have little or no involvement in the business. This is often suggested by accountants for tax reasons. 
However, as a director it is essential that you know what is going on with the businesses on a day to day basis, especially where finances are concerned. Directors have certain duties and, in some circumstances, you may be held personally liable where those duties are breached. 
If you are a director of a family business:
  • It is therefore essential that you understand your duties as a director and take them seriously. 
  • Take the time to understand the finances of the business and make sure that obligations, especially to HMRC and the banks, are being met.
  • If you are not able or willing to be involved, consider resigning, as personal liability cannot be escaped by pleading ignorance.

2) Be open
Family businesses often rely too much on trust, with people being left to their own devices without the checks you might expect in a normal organisation. When the business faces a challenge, this trust can become an enormous burden, often resulting in problems being covered up or understated, whilst attempts are made to fix the situation. 
Unfortunately the others may be unaware of the problems until debt recovery letters arrive, perhaps from a supplier, HMRC or even the bank looking to repossess the family home. By this point it is often too late to save the business and sadly, the sense of betrayal can lead to the breakdown of the family relationship too. 
To avoid this:
  • Meet regularly to review the finances and ensure obligations are being met. 
  • If there are problems, share them. There is more chance of a successful outcome if everyone is working on a solution. This is the benefit of having a board of directors.
  • Implement checks to ensure that tasks are carried out properly and do not leave important jobs to one individual 
3) Agree it, document it
Family members often come to arrangements between themselves that are not documented. This may take the form of a loan or the transfer of shares and property. Because of the close family relationship, people often feel it unnecessary to document the arrangement and, 9 out of 10 times there will be no issues. 
However, what if the unexpected happens? How do you prove whether the transfer of money was a repayable loan or a gift, or that money paid was actually consideration for a property which has yet to be transferred? This can become a big problem in the event of divorce or death as it may have a significant affect on the distribution of assets. 
It is therefore important to take advice and document agreements properly. This may also provide important evidence when it comes to paying tax. 

4) Tell your advisors everything
Finally, there is no point seeking advice unless you tell your advisors everything. Accountants and solicitors can often help, but only if we know the full picture and understand precisely what you are trying to achieve. By withholding information you can create big problems. 
This was the case recently where we advised on a family situation. Money had been spent on taking advice from an accountant and a solicitor but both had been told one thing, whereas the family had actually agreed completely different terms behind closed doors. 
The tax saving they thought they had made paled into insignificance compared to the liability for other taxes they had not considered. Furthermore, following the death of one director, the others then disagreed over the term of the deal they had made and, because the terms agreed were completely different to the terms recorded in the documents, the agreement could not be enforced. 
No doubt the advisors could have found a solution that worked for everyone had they been given the full details and significant tax liabilities could have been avoided.
Whilst these examples may seem unlikely, they will be all too familiar to those of us advising family businesses on a regular basis. 
By understanding your obligations, meeting regularly, sharing problems, documenting agreements and taking proper advice, you may reduce stress, save money and grow your business all without risking the most important thing, which is the relationship with your family. 
If you require advice on any of these issues please get in touch with Tom Paget in our Commercial Team on 01380 722311.

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Thursday, 21 June 2018

Wasps Legends Rugby Golf Classic 2018

Awdrys Partners Tim Hotchkiss and Alex David attended the Wasps Legends Rugby Golf Classic 2018 in La Manga, Spain from 14-17 June in support of the Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation.  

L-R: (left to right) – Antony Bulley (MD of Strakers), Alex David, Tim Hotchkiss and Matt Powell (former Saracens, Harlequins Worcester scrum-half)
The Foundation is the fundraising element of the Wasps Legends Past Players Network and supports a charitable project each year that is close to the heart of the Wasps Legends teams, with small grants awarded to chosen charitable projects throughout the year and a main grant awarded annually.  

L-R: Tim Hotchkiss, Matt Powell (former Saracens, Harlequins Worcester scrum-half), Alex David and Antony Bulley (MD of Strakers) 

L-R: Tim Hotchkiss, Matt Perry (former Bath, England and British & Irish Lion full back) and Alex David

This is the second time that Tim and Alex have attended the Golf Classic.  The event involves three themed nights (as can be seen from the fancy dress in the photographs) and two rounds of golf with the chance to play with a rugby legend on each of those days.  Approximately 150 guests attended and a thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all, with initial reports confirming that well over £100k has been raised following this event alone. 

L-R: Tim Hotchkiss and Alex David with former Wales and British & Irish Lion No.8, Andy Powell

L-R: Alex David, Antony Bulley (MD of Strakers), Tim Hotchkiss and Peter Scrivener (founder of Wasps Legends and Trustee of the Charitable Foundation and former Wasps No.8)

Thursday, 10 May 2018


We asked Andrew Douglas, Partner at Awdry Bailey & Douglas Solicitors who specialises in elderly care, for his views on this issue?

Surely it must be BREXIT?   Because it gets all the headlines BREXIT will almost definitely be what DC is most remembered for? It is my belief however, that running a close second will be DC and his government’s unfulfilled pledges in respect of Social Care.  

Why do you say that? People may well recall that when DC won his last election in 2015 the Tories were saying that people would only have to pay for the first £72,000 of their elderly care costs. This was known as the “CAP”. The flag ship for the CAP at the time was the Care Act 2014. Shortly after DC was elected as Prime minister this pledge was broken (17.07.15 to be precise) and in December 2017 Jackie Doyle-Price, Health Minister said it would not be reintroduced.  

What does DC say about this? Recently DC was interviewed by the FT Weekend and stated that he was disappointed at his government’s record on Social Care and that the CAP was not capable of being pursued. His disappointment was because he thought that with the support of insurance products which the insurance industry were not interested in the CAP could have been a long term solution to the ongoing crisis in social

What is the future? Nobody of course knows, but there is irony in what DC has reportedly said.  This is because a green paper on the future of social care is to be published by the government in the summer and prior consultations have resulted in some insurers and in particular Royal London Mutual saying there is a potential important role for the insurance industry. 

What is best to do? Understand the existing rules under The Care Act 2014 and proceed accordingly. Waiting or doing nothing in relation to social care is not the best option. This approach only results in people not being organised and paying more.

To know more and for a free appointment to find out answers to the questions that need answering  email Andrew Douglas or his  team on or call on 0800 072 8636.  Alternatively visit our website