Friday, 17 August 2018

Meet the Lawyer - Ellie Mewse

Ellie Mewse - over to you...

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a Chartered Legal Executive (FCILex) and work in the Royal Wootton Bassett office. I’ve worked in both private practice and for Local Authorities as a Lawyer. I’ve been working in law for nearly 20 years now but qualified as a Fellow in January 2013.

What area of law do you work in?

I specialise in Property – mainly residential conveyancing - but have also worked in Commercial Property. Whilst at a Local Authority I also used to prepare the S38 Agreements, S278 Agreements etc – so a bit more commercial as well as Right to Buy properties.  

Tell us about your journey to the law?

I started working in a law firm when I left school as a junior secretary. I quickly progressed to a paralegal role before deciding to go to University in Newcastle (Northumbria) where I studied Business Management and Marketing. I worked in a law firm close to the University part time throughout my degree and after my degree quickly realised I should have just stuck with Law! A firm in Newcastle paid for my ILEX training. I then decided to move back South to be nearer family and continued my studying down here.

What are 5 words a client would use to describe you?

Diligent, Friendly, Approachable, Positive/Go do attitude and Blonde ;) (joking)

What would say has been your career highlight to date?

Qualifying as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Legal Executives has definitely been a highlight. Making new friends – having work colleagues that I can now call good friends.  Also, outside of work having to attend the Court of Appeal in relation to a personal Right to Manage case and acting for ourselves – we were successful.

What/who inspires you?

My grandparents. My grandfather (a builder) came to the UK during the Holocaust from Czechoslovakia. He met my grandmother (an architect) and together they built a house… they then went on to build a number of properties in and around Dorset and formed a building company. They had nothing, worked hard and were successful. Hard work pays off and I completely believe in this attitude.

What do you enjoy to do outside of work?

Outside of work I love spending time with my son and family. Most weekends are spent watching my son play football or taking him to parties! Other than this I love to travel to new places. Having now ticked off most of Europe,  Australia and parts of America - next on my bucket list is Chile.

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.