“15 Minute Wonders” 27 November 2014

On 27 November Neil Howlett of Harris is one of the experts providing “15 Minute Wonders” from 3-5.30pm at Frome Rugby Club. This is a brilliant concept started by South West FD which brings together five speakers (including three from Frome) on a range of topics relevant to business owners, directors and entrepreneurs. The trick is that they each have only 15 very focused minutes to give you all the relevant information you need without any the waffle! Come along and learn something valuable for free.

      • Neil Howlett will talk on Intellectual property – what you need to do  This will probably include Albert Einstein, the Rolling Stones or a sweater (possibly two) – if you don’t know why they are important you need to come.
      • Online Security Basics: conducting banking and accounting online safely from Adam Harling at Netitude;
      • Jenna Yhearm from Gumption Social Media on A guide to using LinkedIn for you and your business; and
      • Future Business with Jerry Davison;
      • Using alternative finance to increase working capital from Tim Jones at Start Point Finance;

This is a free event. There is more information, event timetable and booking link on the South West FD website.

Funds raised for St Margaret’s Hospice

We are delighted to confirm that a total of £690 was raised by generous donations from our clients who participated in the St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice “Make a Will Week” in 2013.

Harris & Harris will be taking part again in the scheme in the week commencing 15th September 2014. Under the scheme, we waive our usual fee for preparing a Will in return for the client making a donation to the hospice.

The hospice has confirmed that total donations under the scheme in 2013 have exceeded £23,000.

You can find out more about the hospice by visiting their website:

http://www.somerset-hospice.org.uk/

If you are interested in booking a place under the scheme, please contact our Wills, Probate and Trusts department:

http://www.harris-harris.co.uk/what_we_do/wills_probate_trusts/

 

Will Aid 2013 – Several Thousand Raised for Charities

We are pleased to announce that the firm has already raised  £3,370 for Will Aid’s 25th Anniversary charity scheme and anticipate the total will exceed £4,000 . We have taken part in the scheme for a number of years and in 2013 public interest was at an all time high for us, and as a consequence we have raised almost double our total for the previous year.

Will Aid offers an opportunity to have a professionally drawn Will in exchange for a donation to help people in need and all over the world. This money is shared by nine well-known UK charities: ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland). In 2012 over £2 million was raised nation-wide and it is hoped that the final 2013 figures will exceed this.

Will Aid brought a successful conclusion to a fundraising year. In addition to Will Aid, Harris & Harris raised almost £1,000 by supporting the St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice “Make a Will Week” in September, the Somerset Wildlife Trust “Will for Wildlife Week” in October and the “Wetlands and Wildfowl Trust Will Month” in November. The firm would like to express thanks to all those clients who took part in the various schemes and whose generous donations will make a difference to so many lives.

We hope to continue our support for all the above charities in 2014. If you are interested in any of these charitable schemes please contact the Wells office on 01749 674747, or the Frome office on 01373 463366

New Year’s Resolutions

When Frome Chamber of Commerce ran the first year of Discuss & Do events for entrepreneurs Johnny Martin was one of the speakers, as well as doing his usual seminars at The British Library.

His newsletter this month says :
“January can be a pretty tough month for trading after the hump of Christmas – unless you happen to be a fitness coach or selling diet supplements…so as well as reviewing your marketing plans, use the time to make sure you have all your business arrangements properly documented.  In my experience more cash is lost because of unclear and undocumented business arrangements than any other reason.”

As lawyers you’d expect us to agree, but sadly it’s true. New contracts don’t have to be expensive. We can review what you have; if it is satisfactory we will tell you, if we think it needs upgrading we can do that and will give you a price for that.

If you’ve got a slow period post Christmas here’s something useful you can do that will pay dividends.

If we can help please contact us.

If you want to see more of what Johnny has to say (he’s not a lawyer) see his blog.

Free employment advice service from ACAS

You don’t always need to pay for help with legal problems. Harris & Harris is always here – it may be cost effective to pay us for advice if the issue is serious or complex. However, there is free help available about employment problems from Acas, and they offer guidance on many everyday employment law issues.

Acas have a free online advice service for employers and employees who want answers to work related questions. It’s a good place to start. Sometimes Acas will give you the reassurance you want. If they can’t that’s the time to contact us. Acas will usually recommend that you get legal advice if they think you will need it.

Acas Helpline online offers 24 hour free advice and guidance on rights at work and employment law. Employers, employees and HR managers can receive an instant response to their work related questions and the service can help users feel more informed before a conversation with an Acas helpline adviser.

Helpline online answers over 600 of the most frequently asked workplace questions on topics ranging from maternity and family friendly rights to absence and bullying and harassment.

Available since June 2013, employers and employees have already used the service over 50,000 times. The top three questions so far are:

  • How can an employer change the terms of a contract when an employee does not agree to the change being made?
  • How can an employee raise a grievance?
  • What are the different types of dismissal?

The Acas Helpline team develop and improve the content to reflect the feedback received.

Acas Chief Executive, Anne Sharp, describes it as being an addition to their range of workplace advice services. To access helpline online visit www.acas.org.uk/helplineonline. You can also speak to an Acas helpline adviser on a whole range of workplace issues on 08457 47 47 47 from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturday.

If you need more than Acas can provide please contact Neil Howlett or Andy Hambleton.

Charity Moat Boat Race 2013

The ‘swans’ of team ‘Harristocrats’ took part in the 2013 Moat Boat Race at the Bishops Palace, Wells. On a glorious summer day, thirty rafts took to the chilly waters of the Bishops Palace Moat in home-made rafts to compete for glory in front of a record crowd.image13

Despite a massive effort from the team to paddle a raft constructed from steel and plastic containers the Harristocrats were unable to make the finals and compete for a podium finish. A great day was enjoyed by all involved and plans are now afoot for a new lighter and quicker raft for next year’s race!

The team would like to say a massive thank you to all involved and especially to all the kind sponsors. The money raised is being donated to The City of Wells Lions Club and St Margaret’s Hospice.

The raft was crewed by Joshua Eva, Andy Hambleton, Christopher Mullett and Joe Stradling.

Footage from two of the races can be viewed at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9euZIv8B_Ew

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gtk-sKkJDYc