Swindon solicitors celebrate milestone in Old Town’s regeneration

Francis George Solicitor Advocate in Swindon are celebrating the successful preparation and negotiation of the £35m project that will revitalise one of the town’s most historic areas.

After years of careful negotiation with Swindon Borough Council, establishing an agreement to renovate the former Locarno ballroom in Old Town, the project is now entering the transformative phase.

Steve Rosier, the Project’s Director, said: “It’s been seven years since Francis George started on this project. They’ve worked on the framework and demonstrated how landowners and local authorities can work together to apply transformative change.”

“The next steps,” said Mr Rosier, “are to finalise the joint venture agreement with the land owner and make an agreement with the builders.”

In 2020 the Grade II listed building, which is to become known as The Exchange, will reopen its doors as a hub for shops, restaurants, bars, bistros, a boutique cinema and niche shops.

And Mr Rosier believes that if Francis George Solicitor Advocate had not gone out of their way to keep costs down, then the contracts may not have been completed at all.

Maintaining competitive pricing has always been important at Francis George Solicitor Advocate, and The Exchange negotiations, all in accordance with the planning brief, demonstrate the bespoke service applied across all their property conveyancing and commercial matters.

Estimates by Francis George Solicitor Advocate point to significant commercial and residential growth in light of the development; 30% increases may well be observed in valuations.

The vision, shared publicly on www.theexchangeswindon.co.uk, is to make a significant difference to not only the iconic building, but also the surrounding High Street, Wood Street and Market Square. The area is to become friendlier for people to live, work and enjoy, with entertainment and sustainable street markets also to be encouraged.

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Francis George Solicitor-Advocate’s £1,000 donation takes total to £3,000 for Prospect Hospice

Francis George Solicitor-Advocate raised £1,000 for Prospect Hospice in September. The donation takes its total to £3,000 for the hospice over the last three years.

The leading Swindon law firm raised the funds by donating the fees from every joint and mirror will it prepared throughout the calendar month. The firm has been running this initiative every year since 2014 and plans to continue the campaign.

A mirror will allows couples such a husband and wife and people in civil partnerships with similar wishes to make near-identical wills. These enable them to appoint people they both trust to act as their executors when they die.

Francis George Solicitor Advocate charges £200.00 + VAT to prepare a mirror or joint will. In September, clients were able to pay this fee direct to Prospect Hospice or to the law firm for full onward donation.Francis George, the firm’s founder, said: “We’re delighted to support the invaluable facility Prospect Hospice provides to the people of Swindon and the surrounding area. We’d also take the opportunity to remind people of the importance of properly prepared will. This is critical as any grey areas in a person’s will could affect who inherits either all or part of their estate. If the small print is not crystal clear, the courts could interpret your will contrary to your wishes. In a recent example of this, the family of a physicist lost out on £750,000 due to ambiguous wording in the deceased’s will.”*

 

A Higher Rights Advocacy, Francis George Solicitor-Advocate gives clients the equivalent service to that of a barrister. Advising from the start of a case to the finish, the firm’s team works with a range of bodies, from the Small Claims Court to the Supreme Court.

 

Prospect Hospice supports a community of 300,000 people in Swindon, Marlborough and north Wiltshire and the villages of Lechlade and Fairford in Gloucestershire. In 2014-15, it cared for and supported almost 6,400 people, as patients, carers and family members through a range of services developed to bring care, comfort and confidence at life’s most difficult time.

 

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* http://www.bpslaw.co.uk/family-fails-to-inherit-after-dispute-over-will-and-uk-assets/

Francis George Solicitor-Advocate helping crisis-hit people in Swindon

Francis George Solicitor-Advocate has made its office available as a regular contribution point for the charity, Swindon Foodbank.

The leading Swindon law firm confirmed the arrangement following the success of its foodbank last Christmas and the collection of one tonne of donated food so far this year.

Swindon Foodbank helps people struggling to pay for everyday essentials, such as food.

With one person in six in Swindon living close to the edge of their finances, there are an estimated 30,500 income deprived people living in the town.* These people have no safety net when a crisis, such as sudden illness, relationship breakdown, redundancy, or a large unexpected expense, hits. The result is real financial hardship and a struggle to put food on the table.

Francis George, founder of Francis George Solicitor Advocate, said: “We’re huge supporters of Swindon Foodbank and all it does for the town. Like so many towns that are prosperous on the surface, Swindon has many people who need our help. As a local business, we want to play our part in helping the less fortunate among us.”

The firm has received many kind donations from clients, staff and the general public. One contribution, from a generous passer-by, included so many food items the collection box overflowed.

Francis George Solicitor-Advocate welcomes all donations, from tinned goods to food hampers. To make a donation, simply take your contribution into reception at:

Francis George Solicitor-Advocate
16 High Street
Old Town
Swindon
SN1 3EP

Based in the heart of Swindon’s Old Town, Francis George Solicitor-Advocate specialises in litigation, pre-litigation and non-contentious work. The firm provides pragmatic and practical legal advice on subjects such as conveyancing, commercial contracts and probate and wills to clients across the UK.

As a Higher Rights Advocacy, Francis George Solicitor-Advocate gives clients the equivalent service to that of a barrister. Advising from the start of a case to the finish, the firm’s team works with a range of bodies, from the Small Claims Court to the Supreme Court.

For more information on Francis George Solicitor-Advocate, visit www.francisgeorgesolicitor-advocate.com.

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http://www.swindonfoodbank.co.uk/about-us

Francis George Solicitor-Advocate raise almost £1,000 Barnardo’s

Francis George Solicitor-Advocate raise almost £1,000 Barnardo’s. The firm, which is one of Swindon’s leading, is looking to achieve £2,000 for the charity.

Emma George, head of finance at Francis George Solicitor-Advocate, will run the London Marathon on Sunday 24 April this year in a bid to raise funds for the vulnerable children and young people’s charity.

To support her fundraising, Francis George Solicitor-Advocate has had a series of events. They hosted a sold-out quiz night at Pig on the Hill pub in Swindon and a coffee morning at their Old Town office.

Having run the Brighton Marathon in 2014 and the London Marathon in 2015, raising funds for leukaemia and lymphoma research charities respectively, Emma knows what she’s let herself in for. She’s aiming to complete this year’s 26.2 mile run in around four hours.

Explaining her choice of charity for this year’s marathon, Emma said: “I worked with vulnerable children and young people, both in care and leaving care, in my twenties and saw the amazing contribution Barnardo’s made to so many of their lives. It’s a charity I understand well and respect hugely, so it’s a real pleasure to support its work.”

Emma, a geography graduate from Hull University, qualified as a CIMA Accountant in 2001. She has provided financial, business and IT support to Francis George Solicitor-Advocate since the firm opened.

Barnardo’s transforms the lives of the most vulnerable children across the UK through a range of services, campaigns and research studies.

It believes it can bring out the very best in every child whether they’ve experienced child poverty, sexual exploitation, disability or domestic violence.

A Higher Rights Advocacy, Francis George Solicitor-Advocate gives clients the equivalent service to that of a barrister. Advising from the start of a case to the finish, the firm’s team works with a range of bodies, from the Small Claims Court to the Supreme Court.

To contribute to Emma’s fundraising, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=emmamgeorge

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Francis George Solicitor-Advocate expands with three senior appointments

Francis George Solicitor-Advocate, one of Swindon’s leading law firms, has continued their impressive growth with three new appointments to its senior team.

Kim Thurston, Senior Conveyancer, Rebecca Withington, Probates and Wills, and Miriam Soteriou, Litigation Paralegal, joined the firm in April 2015.

Bringing over 35 years’ experience, Kim Thurston has joined to head up the conveyancing team at Francis George Solicitor-Advocate. She joins the firm from Withy King Marlborough, having previously held roles at Gabbitas Robins Solicitors and Fendom Dawson Towner, both in Marlow.

Kim was a police officer with Thames Valley Police for two years and a magistrate for three and a half years.

Speaking about her appointment, Kim said: “It’s wonderful to be leading the conveyancing team at Francis George Solicitor-Advocate. The firm has a close-knit, family orientated and relaxed environment and is committed to compliance. I’ve worked in a variety of roles, but coming to Francis George Solicitor-Advocate feels like coming home.”

Rebecca Withington, an expert in Probate and Wills, joins Francis George Solicitor-Advocate from The Co-operative Legal Services, where she worked as a specialist Solicitor. She previously worked for Bristol based Henriques Griffiths as a Paralegal and Trainee, completing a training contract with them. A qualified Probates and Will’s solicitor, Rebecca is known for her considerate nature with clients.

Litigation Paralegal, Miriam Soteriou, also joins Francis George Solicitor-Advocate from The Co-operative Legal Services. Here, she joined the family law team having previously worked as a legal advisor. Miriam attained a Law degree at Oxford Brookes University in 2012, before completing her Legal Practice Course at the University of the West of England. At Francis George Solicitor-Advocate, Miriam will work across a broad range of legal services assisting Asif Robbani in the Litigation Team.

Welcoming the new appointments, Francis George, founder of Francis George Solicitor-Advocate, said: “We strive for excellence and the arrivals of Kim, Rebecca and Miriam are part of that goal. This is an exciting time for the firm. We’ve been growing at a phenomenal rate and these additions to our already successful team will further enhance the service clients can expect from Francis George Solicitor-Advocate.”

Francis founded the firm in 2007. It specialises in litigation, pre-litigation and non-contentious work including conveyancing, commercial contracts and probate and Wills, providing pragmatic and practical legal advice on diverse issues to clients across the UK.

Francis gained his higher rights qualification following experience in civil and family law litigation. A member of the Law Society’s Expert Family Panel and a member of Resolution, a group of family lawyers, Francis supports clients in a friendly, non-confrontational way.

As a Higher Rights Advocacy, Francis George Solicitor-Advocate gives clients the equivalent service to that of a barrister. Advising from the start of a case to the finish, the firm’s team works with a range of bodies, from the Small Claims Court to the House of Lords.

For more information on Francis George Solicitor-Advocate, visit www.francisgeorgesolicitor-advocate.com, follow on Twitter and like on Facebook.

Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme

Francis George, solicitor-advocate in Swindon has secured membership to the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme – the mark of excellence for the home buying process.

Francis George, solicitor-advocate underwent rigorous assessment by the Law Society in order to secure CQS status, which marks the firm out as meeting high standards in the residential conveyancing process.

Law Society President Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said that the Law Society introduced CQS to promote high standards in the home buying process.

“CQS has established itself as the quality mark of the home-buying sector and enables consumers to identify practices that provide a quality residential conveyancing service. With so many different conveyancing service providers out there CQS helps home-buyers and sellers seek out those that can provide a safe and efficient level of service.”

Valerie Chitty, Partner, Head of the Property Department says: francis george, solicitor-advocate is delighted to have secured CQS status. Buying and selling a home can be a stressful time. Choosing a solicitor to help in that process just got easier. By looking for a CQS firm like francis george, solicitor-advocate the public can seek out a firm that has proved its commitment to quality.

“The overall beneficiaries will be clients who use francis george, solicitor-advocate when buying a home. They will receive a reliable, efficient service as recognised by the CQS standard.”

The scheme requires practices to undergo a strict assessment, compulsory training, self reporting, random audits and annual reviews in order to maintain CQS status. It is open only to members of the Law Society who meet the demanding standards set by the scheme and has the support of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Building Societies Association, Legal Ombudsman and the Association of British Insurers.

For more information on the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme visitwww.lawsociety.org.uk/cqs

Or contact the CQS Unit on 020 7316 5550 or CQS@lawsociety.org.uk.