Hunts law firm survives worst recession effects
THE legal profession is not immune from the effects of the recession, with major redundancies in the large corporate firms in London as a result of the downturn in corporate activity, but the provision of legal services by long-established High Street fir
THE legal profession is not immune from the effects of the recession, with major redundancies in the large corporate firms in London as a result of the downturn in corporate activity, but the provision of legal services by long-established High Street firms of solicitors to the local community soldiers on. Leeds Day of Huntingdon, St Ives and St Neots are no exception.
The firm has for many years been a supporter of The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business of the Year Awards and is this year once again sponsoring the Business Person of the Year 2009 category. "We are delighted to continue our support for these prestigious local business awards," said senior partner Bruce Elam.
"We are very much part of the local business community and, while some areas of work are less active, there has been some recession-related increase in activity.
"Leeds Day's litigators are seeing increased activity in debt recovery services, particularly with larger firms delaying paying bills until smaller company suppliers shout loudly or issue proceedings.
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"But the fact that such action usually brings immediate results suggests that the larger firms are simply holding smaller ones to ransom, rather than cannot pay," Mr Elam told The Hunts Post. "In many case there is no defence," he added.
It is a sad reflection on market conditions, but the firm's employment partner, Andrew Roberts, is much in demand.
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The firm is also having success in recovering rents from commercial tenants who had sub-let premises to defaulting individuals or companies.
On the residential property front, things were looking up. "The first quarter on residential property was pretty grim, but the second quarter has been much more buoyant. We retained managerial staff through the recession and we are weathering the storm.
"My expectation is that the requirement for compulsory Home Information Packs could slow the market down and there is evidence that sellers are being more realistic about asking prices. Some agents are not accepting an interest from potential buyers who have not yet put their own homes on the market.
"The impact of compulsory HIPs is yet to work through, but I think it will have an effect on sellers," Mr Elam said. "In my view, the sooner HIPs are abolished - apart from the Energy Performance Certificates - the better. They are an unnecessary encumbrance to the housing market.
"With people living longer, wills and probate work is an expanding area," he added. And, as some older people become mentally infirm, there was a greater need for Lasting Powers of Attorney to be drawn up and for the appointment of a "Deputy" by the Office of the Public Guardian to manage the affairs of people who could no longer look after them.
"Appointment as Deputy is a role we can undertake to support families," Mr Elam said.
Leeds Day is looking forward to the start of the guided bus services between St Ives and Cambridge, scheduled for late summer - "guide your way to Leeds Day," as Mr Elam put it.
The official opening of the firm's new St Ives office, near the bus station and opposite Waitrose at 11 Station Road, will take place on Friday, June 26.
"I think the busway will bring further prosperity to St Ives. It is a two way thing, and we may be able to attract further business from Cambridge."
INFORMATION: Leeds Day offices are at Godwin House, George Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3ND, telephone 01480 454301; 1a South Street St Neots PE19 2BW, telephone 01480 474661; and 11 Station Road, St Ives, PE27 5NH, telephone 01480 464600; law@ leedsday.co.uk; www.leedsday.co.uk