Launch of York and North Yorkshire ILEX branch

July 22, 2010

On the 3rd July 2010, the launch of the York and North Yorkshire ILEX branch took place in the Bellmont Suite of Betty’s Tearooms in York.

ILEX, the Institute of Legal Executives, is the professional body representing around 22,000 qualified and trainee Legal Executives, and is recognised by the Ministry of Justice as one of the three core routes to becoming a qualified lawyer. Membership of ILEX is a valuable asset in helping develop legal careers and provides access to a range of member benefits and services.

We have been working on getting an ILEX branch up and running to cover York and North Yorkshire as there had not been one for quite sometime. So once the committee had been organised, we were able to organise the launch of this new branch to promote it’s start and raise our profile. The new branch will provide an opportunity for regular meetings, social activities and support for qualified and trainee Legal Executives in the York and North Yorkshire area”. said Serena Ferguson, legal executive in Crombie Wilkinson solicitors litigation department at York.

Launch of York & North Yorkshire ILEX branch

Our branch launch was very well supported by a number of local dignitaries, including Richard Watson the Sheriff of York, and group members with their guests including David McGrady the President of ILEX and Jennifer Bartram, the first woman president of the Yorkshire Law Society”.

If you would like more information about the York and North Yorkshire ILEX branch please visit

To find out more about ILEX generally, please visit


Effective Debt Collection – the basics

July 2, 2010

Crombie Wilkinson SolicitorsIn the current economic climate maximising your turnover alone isn’t enough. All businesses need to have efficient and effective procedures in relation to the collection of money owed by customers. The late payment or non-payment of debts can cause huge damage to any business, large or small. In some circumstances the failure to collect a number of small but significant debts in itself, may cause a business to fail. Furthermore a failure to collect in debts quickly can lead to unnecessary cash flow difficulties. An effective method of debt collection is therefore a fundamental cornerstone of any commercial enterprise.

If a customer has failed to make payment of an invoice, there are several ways to try and recover the debt. The appropriate action to take will depend on the size of the debt and your ability to prove that you are owed the money.

The need for debt collection in the first place can be reduced by invoicing effectively. Businesses should make sure invoices are accurate and ensure the payment terms are clearly set out, showing the date by which payment is due.

If an invoice has not been paid, the first and most basic step is to contact the debtor by telephone or by writing to remind them that payment is overdue. Do not delay making this contact! In any letter it’s important to include the following information:

  • Provide the date by which you expect to receive payment (e.g. give the debtor seven days only to pay)
  • Advise the debtor that interest will become payable on the outstanding debt
  • Request the debtor to state what issues, if any, the debtor has with the invoice/goods or services provided that might explain their non-payment
  • Provide details of what action you will take next if payment isn’t received by the specified date.

If the debtor ignores your correspondence you may wish to consider obtaining professional help. A basic letter from a solicitor can be a very cost effective and quick way of recovering outstanding debts. It is reported that as many as 71% of debtors make payment upon receipt of a solicitor’s letter. Usually for a fixed fee, a solicitor will write to the debtor on your behalf.

If the debtor fails to settle the debt after you have written to them and/or they have received a solicitor’s letter; or if they dispute the debt, there are still options available to you before considering taking action through the Courts. Court proceedings to recover debts can be time consuming and expensive, especially when compared to the value of the debt you are trying to recover. Other alternatives to court action include independent arbitration, mediation and ombudsman schemes – known collectively as ‘alternative dispute resolution’ (ADR).

If despite all your efforts, the debtor still refuses to make payment or seeks to avoid payment on spurious grounds, consideration should be given to taking action through the Courts. You can claim interest at 8% per annum on the debt amount from the date payment became due.

Ensuring debts are quickly and effectively followed up as soon as they become overdue can avoid the need for more time consuming and costly action for you and your business further down the line. There is overwhelming evidence that the longer the invoice remains unpaid the less likelihood there is of recovery!

If you would like to know more about what you can do to recover outstanding debts, please do not hesitate to contact Neil Largan, Head of Dispute Resolution at Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors on 01904 624185 or visit

New legislation for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

June 10, 2010

Crombie Wilkinson SolicitorsThere is a new law (which came in to effect on 6 April 2010) which is very relevant to Landlords and buy-to-let investors.

If you buy a house that is not currently used for letting, and you wish to let it out to three or more unrelated people (e.g. students) who share basic amenities, then the new rules mean that you have to apply for planning permission for ‘change of use’.

Excluded HMOs such as student accommodation provided by specified educational establishments and HMOs of more than six residents, continue to be unique.

These new planning regulations are not retrospective so only landlords who wish to accommodate three to six unrelated tenants within a previously unshared property after the 6th April date will be affected.

The changes will enable Local Authorities to assess and manage the impact of HMOs. If they are concerned about the impact of high concentrations of HMOs, they can introduce local policies to limit the number of HMOs in a particular area, or impose conditions in planning permissions to address specific issues. It is unclear how Local Authorities will treat properties that have already been HMOs for some time.

Since the permission may be turned down then this means you could buy a house and not be able to rent it out. It could also devalue the house. The change is expected to lead to a large number of planning applications so find out as soon as possible what you need to do with any residential properties you let as HMOs or want to let as HMOs.

Quick overview on who is likely to be affected:

The changes do not affect you if –

On 6th April 2010 your residential property was previously let to more than three unrelated tenants.

After 6th April 2010 you are considering letting your property to less than three unrelated tenants – even though in the past you have let it to four or five unrelated tenants. You may be required to get the planning permission however if you subsequently want to let the property to three to six unrelated tenants in the future.

The changes do affect you if –

After 6th April 2010 you wish to accommodate three to six unrelated tenants within a previously unshared property.

The changes may affect you if –

You let your residential property to more than six unrelated tenants. If the HMO has been occupied by more than six people for less than ten years the local planning authority may require planning permission.

The Order does not contain transitional provisions and it is unclear whether C4 planning permission is required for relevant HMOs where a landlord enters into agreements for lease prior to 6 April 2010, but grants the leases after 6 April 2010.

For more information, please contact Duncan Morter, Head of our property team on 01904 624185 or visit

DCLG announcement of new use class for HMOs.

Rollits converts to Limited Liability Partnership – Conversion brings greater opportunities for growth

May 27, 2010

Rollits Solicitors Hull & YorkRollits, one of Yorkshire’s leading law firms with offices in Hull and York has unveiled a major restructuring which sees it convert to a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).

Managing Partner Richard Field said: “May 2010 heralds a new chapter in Rollits history when we will change from a traditional law partnership to a Limited Liability Partnership. We believe this move will provide us with the right corporate structure for its future development and make us more nimble in embracing new commercial opportunities that arise for the firm as well as adapting to the changes in the legal landscape arising out of the Clementi Review and the Legal Services Act 2007.

”Our intention is that the change will be seamless and that our clients will notice little change. We will continue to deliver the high quality legal advice and service that our clients have come to expect and appreciate.”

Rollits has 22 partners at the firm and delivers a range of legal services which include Banking and Finance, Contracts and Commercial, Dispute Resolution, Property, Corporate, Corporate Finance, Corporate Recovery and Insolvency, Employment and Pensions, Family and Matrimonial, Mediation, IT and Information, Planning Construction and Development, Private Capital and Regulatory.

The firm also boasts many sector specialisms which include Agriculture and Horticulture, Banking and Finance, Charities and Social Enterprise, Construction Engineering, Education, Family and Owner Managed Businesses, Food Manufacturing, House Builder and Development, Local Government, Manufacturing (Non-Food), Retail, Social Housing and Transport and Logistics.

The firm’s partners were recently praised in the latest edition of UK Legal Experts as some of “the leading lights in the UK legal profession”.

The Limited Liability Partnership Act was introduced in 2000 and allowed professional and service partnerships to become LLPs and remove the unlimited liability of individual partners. Many of the major City legal and accountancy partnerships have converted to LLP status over the last few years.

For further information contact Pat Coyle, Rollits LLP on Tel: 01482 323239 Email: or visit

Welcome to the York Solicitors Blog

February 24, 2010

Blogs, news, opinion and comment from lawyers and solicitors in York from , the local legal directory.

If you need to find a solicitor in York, use our solicitor search at or alternatively bookmark and use the Local Legal Directories application on Facebook.

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Rollits advise in Tasty Pasta King Deal

December 9, 2009

Rollits, Hull, York, Pasta KingCommercial law firm Rollits advised the management team in their £13m buy in of Pasta King (UK) Ltd (“Pasta King”), which provides pasta meals to schools and other sectors.

Pasta King provides meal solutions comprising mostly pasta with fresh sauces. The meals are served hot from “pasta bars” that are loaned out free-of-charge to the customer base. As a healthy and tasty food offering, Pasta King has become very popular in secondary schools nationwide. It satisfies new Governmental standards on salt, fat, fibre and vegetable content.

Pasta King provides a quick, convenient, off-the shelf solution for caterers faced with an ever narrowing choice of menu options to offer to students.

In addition to its dominant position in the UK secondary school market, Pasta King has a growing presence in universities, business and industry and the leisure sectors.

Nasim Sharf, corporate partner, who led the team at Rollits, said:
“Rollits was pleased to work again with Howard Farquhar and Mike Cole who have become MD and Chairman of Pasta King. Howard and Mike have a great track record and bring proven quality to Pasta King. This deal was backed by NBGI Private Equity and HSBC. Rollits’ expertise and experience of private equity deals were put to good use in ensuring this deal was completed sensibly and in the tight timescale”

Howard Farquhar, new MD of Pasta King said:
“Pasta King has a very strong position in secondary schools. We want to build on that with improved merchandising, marketing and product development not only for further growth in the education sector but also to significantly increase our presence in other markets.”