Dominic Richmond

Savers and the Changing Economic Climate

We have all been made aware of the changing economic climate in recent months. Interest rates have risen to 1%, their highest level since 2009, inflation is at a 30-year high and is likely to hit 10% by the autumn.

The war in Ukraine has driven up fuel and energy prices and as a result many households are reducing their spending which in turn has a negative impact on growth.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has said that there has been “a material deterioration in the outlook for UK economic growth” and “the effect of this is a real risk that the UK could find itself in a period of recession”.

But what does this mean to those who have savings or investments and what actions should they be taking?
With inflation at such a high, those with savings (be they cash holdings, ISAs or pension plans) should review their financial plans with an independent expert to fully understand how this climate has affected performance.

Whether it is rising prices or the war in Ukraine, taking time to assess your finances against such a backdrop will allow you to better understand if your money is working hard enough for you and if you are on track to achieve your financial objectives.

If you would like a free initial consultation with one of our Independent Financial Advisors, simply click on the “Speak to our Experts” button, call 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk

Please note: This article is provided for information only and must not be considered as financial advice. We always recommend that you seek independent financial advice before making any financial decisions.

Levels, bases of and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change and their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you have invested.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Taxation advice.

Kainat Jones

Making a Power of Attorney in Dementia Action Week

Making a Power of Attorney in Dementia Action Week

Dementia Action Week runs 16 – 22 May and is a national event that sees the public coming together to take action to improve the lives of people living with dementia.

When a person receives a dementia diagnosis, this doesn’t automatically mean they cannot make important decisions. However, as their symptoms worsen, they may no longer be able to make decisions about their finances, health or care. We refer to this as losing mental capacity. If you are concerned about losing mental capacity, you may wish to take steps now to protect yourself.

In this article, we look at how someone you trust can make decisions on your behalf or how you can help a loved one living with dementia protect their rights for a time when they lose mental capacity.

Mental capacity – explained
In short, mental capacity means that the person can understand, remember, and use information to make important decisions about their life. Mental capacity can be difficult to ascertain; some people are perfectly able to make daily decisions such as what to eat and what to wear but struggle with financial or health decisions.

Only a healthcare professional can determine whether a person has lost mental capacity. The assessment is not solely based on the person making a strange decision or a single mistake or misremembering a few details but later remembering the correct information.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 protects and empowers people who may have lost mental capacity to make decisions about their care and treatment. The Act also states that where a decision must be made on behalf of a person who has lost capacity, this decision must be made in their best interests. There is a checklist to help decision makers decide.

Dementia and making a Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to do so for yourself. This person is called your attorney. Your attorney can be a family member, a close friend or you could even appoint a professional, for example a solicitor, to be your attorney. You can appoint more than one attorney and even replacement attorneys.

To set up a Power of Attorney, you must have the mental capacity to do so, so it is important to do this as soon as possible if you have received a dementia diagnosis.

Do you need a Power of Attorney if you are married?
It is essential to understand that no one has the power to make decisions on your behalf if you have not set up an LPA. Your spouse or civil partner cannot automatically deal with bank accounts or pensions or even make decisions about your care if you lose mental capacity. As a result, even if you are married or in a civil partnership, setting up an LPA is essential.

If you are interested in making a Power of Attorney in Dementia Action Week and would like a free initial consultation with one of our specialist Wills & Probate team, simply click on the “Speak to our Experts” button, call 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

Brittany Green

What our recent recruits think – Brittany Green

We have been on a huge recruitment drive as our business has grown over the past two years. So, we have gathered the thoughts of several recent recruits to give any potential applicants an insight into what it is like to apply for a role and to join our team.

First up is Brittany Green who joined our Conveyancing team as a Legal Assistant in January 2022. We asked Brittany:

Why did you decide to apply for a role with us?
I’m from Chester and want to qualify as a solicitor locally. Cullimore Dutton was always on my radar, and I was already aware of its strong reputation. I was following the firms’ social media and saw a recruitment post on LinkedIn which led me to the careers page on your website. The Legal Assistant role in Residential Conveyancing really interested me so I applied.

How did you find the recruitment process?
Really straight forward and simple. I submitted my CV and cover letter just before Christmas and was invited for a Zoom interview with Director and Head of Property Sarah Davies and Managing Director Andrew Wright in early January. Andrew and Sarah were both really friendly and were open about what Cullimore Dutton could offer me.

The process was also really quick, my interview was held within a week of Sarah contacting me and I was offered the role the following week, starting three weeks later.

Brittany’s story is an impressive one as she is midway through her law degree having just completed her second year. The fact that Brittany was prepared to take on the role with all the associated pressures alongside her degree studies is testament to her ability and competence. Sarah has also shown a huge amount of faith in Brittany by offering her the role alongside her studies, but she is confident that Brittany will succeed in both.

I was very open with Sarah and Andrew about the fact that I am still studying, but that I was very keen and eager to join Cullimore Dutton. The support I have received has been amazing. Sarah and the team have been really accommodating around my studies, allowing me to be flexible with my hours switching between part-time and full-time when I have needed to focus on my studies.

What have you enjoyed so far about our business and your role?
I’ve enjoyed settling in and getting to know my team, everyone is really friendly and approachable. As a team we work hard, but all get along and the environment is friendly and relaxed. It’s great to be in a real legal environment while studying the theory at uni, everyday I am seeing the direct correlation between my studies and the law in practice. I’ve loved getting to grips with my role and where its fits into our team. One thing which I have really learnt is managing client relations and developing trust and a rapport with clients. This is something that you can’t really study, you can only learn those skills through developing real relationships with clients.

What have you learnt that will remain with you throughout your career?
The importance of being in a team and playing your part to ensure everything progresses as it should. I’ve always thought of myself as a team player, but until you are part of a legal team and you see how much is actually going on at any one time, you don’t fully understand how vital yours and everybody else’s role within the team is. It’s crucial that your team communicates well, something which we are really good at!

What are your hopes and ambitions for your career?
To qualify and become a solicitor. I feel that I have taken a great first step with this role.

Join Brittany
We are currently recruiting for several positions, so if you are interested in joining Brittany and the rest of our team visit the careers page of our website where you will be able to view our available roles and apply.

Andrew Wright

Taking steps to establish Chester as the go-to city for professionals

We were delighted to host our first get together of local business leaders on Tuesday, to discuss how to establish Chester as the go-to city for professionals.

We were joined at the dinner by senior business leaders from many sectors across Chester including Architecture, Banking, Town Planning, Financial Services, Insurance Services, Legal Services, Marketing, Property sales and lettings and Recruitment.

The event was hosted at Bollicini, Chester and I would like to thank Bollicini for their fine food and great service which contributed greatly to the success of the event.

Following arrival drinks, and a short scene setting introduction from myself the group sat down for discussions over dinner with the key topics being:

  • What outcomes would we like to achieve as a group to support Chester to become the go-to city for people to work in? and
  • How do we facilitate a job shadowing scheme amongst Chester Professionals to promote a more collaborative business community?

From the discussions there were several comments shared, key questions raised, and a series of proposals were captured and presented back to the group.

Comments included:

  •  “Are there any other models out there of cities who have gone through a similar process?”
  •  “Could Chester become a leader in ‘Green technology?”
  • “Do we understand the barriers that make doing business in the city more difficult, can we identify them and start to do something about them?”

Key Questions we need to answer:

  • What does Chester need for a successful and sustainable future?
  • How do we create ‘one voice’ for Chester?
  • How do we establish Chester as the go-to city for professionals
  • What is brand Chester?

Proposals:

  • Set up a professional services shadowing scheme where we learn from each other
  • Host a Chester careers event
  • Create a masterplan and a vision fit for a 21st century Chester

Next Steps

I truly believe we are at the start of an exciting new period for this fantastic City as we all emerge from the challenges of the previous two years. We want this group to be ambassadors for positive change across the city and plan to ensure we have a vision for Chester as a vibrant, 21st century city.

We have now begun the process of consulting further with members of the group on their priorities for the project and we will be meeting again on 24 May to begin the process of turning these aims into actions.

If you are a Chester Business professional and would like to register your interest in the scheme, email Andrew.wright@cullimoredutton.co.uk

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones promoted to the role of Paralegal

We are delighted to announce that Jessica Jones has been promoted to the role of Paralegal here at Cullimore Dutton and will take up the position with immediate effect.

Jessica joined our Property team in June 2021 as a Legal Assistant, having graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2019 with a degree in Law.

Jessica will take up her new role in our Utilities team under the guidance of Director and Head of Utilities Stuart Hill. Stuart stated: “Jessica is a diligent and dedicated colleague who has throughout her time with us demonstrated a commitment to providing the highest standards of client care and a real desire to learn and progress. This promotion, which comes in less than a year, is reward for Jessica’s hard work and enthusiasm.”

Jessica’s appointment to this position follows three other recent promotions within our team with Paralegals Jesca Knott and Patricia Taylor alongside Legal Assistant Francesca Crank all being awarded training contracts and taking up the role of Trainee Solicitors within the last 12 months.

These appointments are clear examples of the career pathway which is available to all our team and further demonstrates our commitment to changing the lives of our Colleagues, Clients and Community. We hope many more of our colleagues follow in their footsteps and advance through our career pathway during their time with us.

We would like to wish Jessica every success as she begins this new chapter of her career and offer her our continuing support.

Good luck Jessica.
The Cullimore Dutton team

Andrew Wright

Finding your why

LinkedIn – the world of so-called business experts, the fake it ‘till you make it specialists and the wannabe millionaires. That said some of the content on LinkedIn is very good and it is where I came across Simon Sinek and the concept of Finding your Why and setting audacious goals.

At around the same time we had just established our new board of Directors (what do you do in a pandemic, set up a new board and management structure – because there wasn’t enough change going on during that period!)

On establishing our new board, we undertook the usual analysis of where are we at, what we needed to do blah blah blah. All of which was needed and positive steps to take but we had an over whelming feeling that there had to be more to running a business than this. Being blunt, what we had done was good from a business management and governance perspective, but it was not very inspiring. This was when I remembered the concept of Finding your Why by Simon Sinek (www.simonsinek.com), in other words, why do you do what you do?

Finding your why
Pondering on that question, we found that we had no good answer. Making money yes but that certainly is not our why or very inspiring – making money is what every business must do to survive. Our desire was to build a business that we are all proud of, which meant it could not be just about making money.

We mulled over this question for some time. We spoke with colleagues, with business contacts, and with friends about Cullimore Dutton to understand what impact our business has on our clients and colleagues. What did we do that they valued?

We also spoke with clients and took the time to review our client feedback in detail. One client had commented on how the work we had undertaken on their behalf had made a positive change in their life. It that moment the idea of Changing Lives for our Clients, Colleagues and Community was born.

We wanted to build a business that we could all be proud of, and what better way of achieving this than by changing the lives of our colleagues, clients, and community in a positive way.

Why is this important?
This belief in changing lives is like the source of a river from which everything flows; the values of our business, the culture we wish to establish, the continuous improvements we can make which support the development of our colleagues. This in turn leads to a better service for our clients and ultimately through doing this we can support our community by offering our time, or our financial resource to help those who may need it.

So, from our experience why has finding your ‘why’ been so important

  1. It has given our business a vision that all colleagues can help work towards.
  2. It has helped shape the values and culture we wish to have as a business.
  3. Our goal setting has become easier and our ambitions bigger, as we work towards achieving this vision.
  4. In summary we have one vision that we are all working towards.

Finding our why is not only helping to shape our business, but also helping us to change lives.

If you would like to arrange free half hour consultation with one of our expert team, please contact us on 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk.

Cullimore Dutton team to take on the Chester 10K in support of Cancer Research UK

Twelve Cullimore Dutton heroes are preparing to take on the MBNA Chester 10K this weekend to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

Our team are fundraising for Cancer Research UK as it is a charity that is very close to all of us here at Cullimore Dutton. Cancer Research UK is a fabulous charity which pioneers life-saving cancer research to help beat cancer and we have a number of colleagues who are either facing or have already battled with cancer. We are running the Chester 10K to show our love and support for them and to raise funds for this fantastic cause.

Our team of life changing heroes includes: Francesca Crank, Sarah Davies, Sarah Gill, Chloe Halpin, Stuart Hill, Jessica Jones, Rhodri Roberts, Llinos Sutton, Patricia Taylor, Mandy Watts & Andrew Wright. Look out for our team if you are either running or attending the 10K, you will be able to spot them in their snazzy new running shirts.

If you would like to show you support you can donate via our JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cullimoredutton10k, your generosity really will help our heroes to make it across the line… (even if some of them are walking at that stage).

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity.

Good luck to our heroes and anyone else running the 10K on Sunday.

 

We’ve changed – Introducing our new website