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Richard Howard

Sutton-in-Ashfield, United Kingdom


Operates Nationwide

6 Testimonials
0 Case studies
0 Articles

Summary

Practice Areas:

  • General (Private Client only)
  • Administration of Trusts
  • Court of Protection
  • Deputyship
  • Power of Attorney
  • Probate
  • Wills
Fidler & Pepper Solicitors
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I have been involved in law for about 12 years, but I have been practicing ‘Private Client’ law, including Probate, Estate Administration and will work for 10 years.  A team with decades of experience also backs me, including a Solicitor with over 16 years’ experience, and a Will Writer with over 20 years.

 

I, personally, am a slightly unusually experienced Solicitor.  I have a Masters in French law, which gives me other skills some other lawyers don’t have.   I am a member of the Private Client Section of the Law Society too.  I have worked in other industries, and this allows me different perspectives.  We also have other members of our Department who have worked in other industries, such as HMRC, which gives us some neat tricks, such as methods of communicating with HMRC, which can speed things up for us.  It makes us a uniquely skilled team.

 

We are a specialist Firm nowadays, covering all areas of Private Client work, and residential Conveyancing.  The areas overlap frequently, which allows us to offer a rounded service.  These two areas are our sole services, which allows us to focus on continually improving them.   Our experience, and friendly nature, means we have two things we can offer:

  • Practical advice – we are good at the legal bit, but because we are experienced, we are also good at the other stuff, the little tips that will make the job that bit smoother.
  • Most of the work we do in our Department is very emotive.  We will be understanding, and compassionate, and we will listen.

   

We work very hard to streamline our processes, using our excellent IT capabilities.  We create relationships with organisations so that we can better use their services to speed things along – for example, some of our staff recently spent time at a District Probate Registry to see the process from their side, and see if we could work more closely together.

 

We are very lucky with our level of technology, it belies our size really.  The majority of our clients are remote – probably 75% of our Probate work is carried out that way.  It allows us to be much more efficient, but we retain our personal touches and feel.  We have various services that make things smoother and easier for the client to understand and follow:  an online case tracker, video call services where necessary and prompt email response times.  It means that clients don’t need to take time out of their lives to attend meetings with us – the whole thing can be carried out at home, or work, or by using their smart phone, whatever suits them best.

You are welcome to ask us absolutely anything and things you do understand too!  There will be no such things as silly questions, we are here to help and support.

 Our average time is 8.5 weeks to obtain a Grant of Probate.  To put that in perspective, on any taxable estate it takes a minimum of 8 weeks just to get HM Revenue & Customs to give you clearance to apply for a Grant of Probate.  Therefore, we think we move pretty quickly.

We encounter many common problems – no Will, or a poorly prepared Will.  No information about the estate, or no contact with family.  However, there are always solutions.  It just takes experience, and clear thinking.  That is definitely a strength of ours – guiding people through difficult times and difficult decisions.

We pride ourselves on using plain English – we even went to the extent of putting all of our staff on an external training course some years ago.  We are all normal people, who speak very plain English, and we like to think that most people find us approachable and easy to talk to.

We regularly review our letters and communications too, to make sure they continue to meet our high standards, but also to include feedback we get from clients and other organisations.  We feel strongly that this sets us apart from other Firms of Solicitors, being so approachable and easy to communicate with, but also the way continuously evaluate ourselves.

I personally enjoy the satisfaction of concluding things smoothly – a good job well done, and a satisfied client.  It is such a difficult area, it is important that practitioners in this area are very sympathetic, and patient.  In terms of specialisms, we are extremely efficient when dealing with cases of all kinds.  We have contacts in foreign jurisdictions; we have experience with farmland and agricultural relief, businesses and their reliefs.  We have a member of our team who objectively reviews each case to ensure everything is correctly considered – and since he used to work for HM Revenue and Customs, we tend to catch / deal with more tax problems than most.

However, our real specialisms are very common circumstances – transferrable nil rate band applications, taxable estates and non-taxable estates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Employment

Fidler & Pepper2006 - 2010

Specialising in property law, specifically commercial property, leasehold, and residential property transactions. The experiences here have allowed me to have a better practical understanding of land matters. In lots of ways this helps me to advise clie

Experience

I run a very experienced, efficient, and forward thinking Private Client Department.

We can help people with various different legal matters, including Wills, Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection, care fees advice, and trusts.We also have a very skilled, efficient, and resourceful Probate team too, which is used to completing matters as quickly, and cost effectively as possible.Everything we do as a Department, and as a Firm, is designed to make sure our clients get the best possible service, and in the best possible way.

We are a friendly group, very easy to talk to, and we don't use complicated language - or legalese as we call it!  We aim to be easy to understand, so that clients know exactly what is going on, and can make decisions if they need or want to.

 We pride ourselves on delivering an outstanding service to all our clients. We always ask for client feedback to assess the service we have provided, and to ensure we are regularly improving on our legal processes.

We are over 130 years old as a Firm, but are very much at the forefront of technological advances in the legal arena.  We have all kinds of technological advances which help us accomplish all of this, and usually without the client ever needing to visit our offices.  There is more about all of this on our website, but quick examples of our award winning services are:

1.  our case trackers (which allow people access to their cases electronically, so they can see exactly what we're up to and what needs to be done), and

2.  our video call services (which allow clients to hold meetings with us via Skype or Facetime or other video based systems, so clients don't have to leave home or their office or hospital bed or poolside lounger to get advice, make a Will or Power of Attorney, or just check how their matter is being progressed).

Based in North Nottinghamshire, our costs are usually extremely competitive on a national level, and also at a local level.  The vast majority of our work can be carried out for a fixed fee, so clients have peace of mind and know there won't be any hidden costs.

Education

De Montfort University

University

2004 - 2006

Legal Practice Course

Sheffield Hallam University

University

1999 - 2003

Law Degree

Universite de paris XII

University

1999 - 2003

Maitrise en Droit Francais

Masters in French Law

Testimonials

Excellent Service

Richard is a breath of fresh air. Forward thinking, driven, commercially minded and focussed on providing an excellent service for his clients. He is prepared to go out of his way to reach the people that can genuinely benefit from his support and expertise.

Daniel Hamilton-Charlton,

Brighter Law Solutions 

 

 

Client Testimonial

Client testimonial

Client Testimonial

Client Testimonial

Client Testimonial

Case Studies

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Press Cuttings

Nottingham Post

http://www.nottinghampost.com/notts-law-firm-fidler-pepper-on-how-it-is-absorbed-in-creating-technology-for-clients/story-30216181-detail/story.html

 

Fidler & Pepper thinks of itself as a go-ahead firm of lawyers initiating its own technology to help clients.

Managing partner Mark Slade likes nothing better than writing software that keeps the practice in the vanguard of legal IT.

He has been absorbed in technology on behalf of the firm for 20 years. His latest innovation, all aimed at underpinning legal processes, is designed to improve client services.

Now Fidler & Pepper has entered the science & technology category of the Nottingham Post Business Awards.

For instance, in 2014, Fidler & Pepper integrated its internal IT systems directly with the Land Registry.

"We were one of only 12 other law firms who had achieved this level of integration out of 9,000 firms in England and Wales," said Mr Slade.

 

"Feeding information direct to the Land Registry means we can spend more time servicing and helping our clients and reduces the time and administration for our staff.

 

"We now have full integration with the Land Registry Business Gateway, which helps us reduce errors and highlight issues more quickly and reliably."

For years, Fidler & Pepper has taken part in campaigns to encourage people to make a will. Many delay making one and it does not appear at the top of their "to do" list, said partner Richard Howard, who heads up the private client department.

Using his own research and experience of clients, Mr Howard has launched an initiative to help..

He said: "Aware that we live in a world that is powered by technology, we have combined my research with the concept of using video technology such as Skype or FaceTime, from which was born Video Call Wills.

"The service gives that extra flexibility to those that need a will but couldn't find the time, take time off work or, for health reasons, get to a meeting at our offices."

 

Instead, it is face-to-face meetings using the internet.

Mr Howard said Fidler & Pepper uses innovation and technology as a USP (Unique Selling Point) to stand out from its competitors.

Last year, the practice, which has offices in Mansfield and Sutton-in-Ashfield, ran a multi-channel, integrated marketing campaign to launch the new service.

 

Mr Howard was pleased with the initial uptake in Video Call Wills. "It's very early days but what we've seen is that people have welcomed the flexibility that Video Call Wills offers and it has given people access to this service where previously they would not have had this."

Mr Slade added: "Technology has always been central to the Fidler & Pepper strategy in setting itself aside from its competitors and delivering great service to its clients.

"In 1996, Fidler & Pepper was the first firm of UK solicitors to offer online conveyancing quotes. In 1998 we were the first UK solicitor to offer an online case tracker to our clients and in 2000 we were the first UK solicitor to offer automatic text updates."

Read more at http://www.nottinghampost.com/notts-law-firm-fidler-pepper-on-how-it-is-absorbed-in-creating-technology-for-clients/story-30216181-detail/story.html#UdsLJIdv2usjzEAE.99


Mansfield Town Centre
Wills initiative from Fidler & Pepper Solicitors

Posted On: 12/07/2016 01:36:00

 

Innovative law firm Fidler & Pepper Solicitors is hoping to reduce the number of people without Wills - by harnessing the power of Skype.

 

Skype is a web-based service that allows people to call, text, or make video calls using a mobile phone, a desktop computer or even web-enabled televisions.

 

Richard Howard, a partner at the firm who specialises in Wills and probate matters, believes that using this technology will help convince more people to make a Will.

 

According to Richard, a large proportion of the UK still don't have Wills, and one of the reasons for that can be just finding the time.

 

Richard said: “Despite the fact that making a Will is one of the most important things people can do,  it is so easily put off. People may have other things to think about, or they can’t take time off work to go and see a solicitor to make the Will. Some people are bed or house bound, and can't attend a solicitor’s office.

 

“We visit a lot of our clients in their homes, and they feel more comfortable having those kinds of conversations in a secure environment.

 

“Skype allows people to contact us from wherever suits them: at lunch in the office, from home, wherever, but you still get the face-to-face contact that you need to be able to talk freely about personal affairs, with experienced and qualified people.”

 

Richard added that Wills can sometimes be contested, if it is found that they have not been made properly or that communication has been an issue. With Skype, the lawyer and the client may not meet, but they can see face to face.

 

All people would need to do is schedule a meeting with a Fidler & Pepper solicitor, who will then contact their Skype account to give a free, no-obligation consultation.

 

Visit www.fidler.co.uk to find more details of the firm’s services, and to arrange a Skype appointment, email rhoward@fidler.co.uk or call him on 01623 448318.


Mansfield 2020

http://www.mansfield2020.com/news/business-news/skype-wills-initiative-from-fidler-pepper-solicitors

 

Wills initiative from Fidler & Pepper Solicitors

Innovative law firm Fidler & Pepper Solicitors is hoping to reduce the number of people without Wills - by harnessing the power of Skype.

Skype is a web-based service that allows people to call, text, or make video calls using a mobile phone, a desktop computer or even web-enabled televisions.

Richard Howard, a partner at the firm who specialises in Wills and probate matters, believes that using this technology will help convince more people to make a Will.

According to Richard, a large proportion of the UK still don't have Wills, and one of the reasons for that can be just finding the time.

Richard said: “Despite the fact that making a Will is one of the most important things people can do, it is so easily put off. People may have other things to think about, or they can’t take time off work to go and see a solicitor to make the Will. Some people are bed or house bound, and can't attend a solicitor’s office.

“We visit a lot of our clients in their homes, and they feel more comfortable having those kinds of conversations in a secure environment.

“Skype allows people to contact us from wherever suits them: at lunch in the office, from home, wherever, but you still get the face-to-face contact that you need to be able to talk freely about personal affairs, with experienced and qualified people.”

Richard added that Wills can sometimes be contested, if it is found that they have not been made properly or that communication has been an issue. With Skype, the lawyer and the client may not meet, but they can see face to face.

All people would need to do is schedule a meeting with a Fidler & Pepper solicitor, who will then contact their Skype account to give a free, no-obligation consultation.

Visit www.fidler.co.uk to find more details of the firm’s services, and to arrange a Skype appointment, email rhoward@fidler.co.uk or call him on 01623 448318.


Mansfield 2020

http://mansfield2020.com/news/business-news/warning-as-illprepared-businesses-are-failing-to-plan

 

Warning as ill-prepared businesses are failing to plan

Businesses could be heading for a catastrophic downfall because many are failing to plan what would happen should a business owner be taken ill.

That’s the message from Richard Howard, a partner at law firm Fidler & Pepper Solicitors who specialises in Wills, probate and business powers of attorney.

Richard says he has never come across a company that has had in place business powers of attorney.

He said: “Most businesses plan for the future, strategy, recruitment, finance, all with a view to having a smoothly run, and successful, business.

“But, whilst a health issue for a business owner is something that cannot usually be predicted, it is something that can be prepared for. If a business owner is unavailable for an extended period of time, be it for a couple of months, or indefinitely, what will happen?

“Bank mandates might become invalid. It might be that there is no one who can sign contracts, instruct debt collection, or pay salaries.

“The biggest risk to a business is the bank. If a business owner has a health issue that makes it impossible for them to make decisions for a period of time, it can make the bank very nervous. And that can lead to them asking for repayment of any debts the business may have.”

Richard says people should create a Business Power of Attorney specifically tailored for their business in order to ensure that the people they want to be involved will be involved.

He said: “Business owners can choose people who can make decisions on their behalf while they are incapacitated.

“It might be as simple as appointing the other business owners, or it could be an Accountant, or other adviser.

“It will allow the appointed people to sign documents, communicate with banks, and generally carry out the business owner’s duties on their behalf to make sure the running of the business is not affected.”

Without such a legally-binding agreement in place, to make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated business owner, someone will need to get a court order, which can take around six months.

Richard warned: “If the bank isn’t prepared to wait, it may have disastrous consequences, and could even lead to the closure of a business. Costs for those kinds of court orders typically run into the thousands of pounds.

“Whilst ever the business owner remains incapacitated, the court will also charge annual fees. And if you want to make any significant decisions on behalf of the business owner, the court will require you to apply for another court order - with a further six-month wait, and further costs.”

For more about business powers of attorney, email rhoward@fidler.co.uk or call 01623 451111.


News Journal

http://www.news-journal.co.uk/business_news/warning-ill-prepared-businesses-failing-plan/

 

Warning as ill-prepared businesses are failing to plan

Posted on 24th Oct

 

Businesses could be heading for a catastrophic downfall because many are failing to plan what would happen should a business owner be taken ill.

That’s the message from Richard Howard, a partner at law firm Fidler & Pepper Solicitors who specialises in Wills, probate and business powers of attorney.

Richard says he has never come across a company that has had in place business powers of attorney.

He said: “Most businesses plan for the future, strategy, recruitment, finance, all with a view to having a smoothly run, and successful, business.

“But, whilst a health issue for a business owner is something that cannot usually be predicted, it is something that can be prepared for. If a business owner is unavailable for an extended period of time, be it for a couple of months, or indefinitely, what will happen?

“Bank mandates might become invalid. It might be that there is no one who can sign contracts, instruct debt collection, or pay salaries.

“The biggest risk to a business is the bank. If a business owner has a health issue that makes it impossible for them to make decisions for a period of time, it can make the bank very nervous. And that can lead to them asking for repayment of any debts the business may have.”

Richard says people should create a Business Power of Attorney specifically tailored for their business in order to ensure that the people they want to be involved will be involved.

He said: “Business owners can choose people who can make decisions on their behalf while they are incapacitated.

“It might be as simple as appointing the other business owners, or it could be an Accountant, or other adviser.

“It will allow the appointed people to sign documents, communicate with banks, and generally carry out the business owner’s duties on their behalf to make sure the running of the business is not affected.”

Without such a legally-binding agreement in place, to make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated business owner, someone will need to get a court order, which can take around six months.

Richard warned: “If the bank isn’t prepared to wait, it may have disastrous consequences, and could even lead to the closure of a business. Costs for those kinds of court orders typically run into the thousands of pounds.

“Whilst ever the business owner remains incapacitated, the court will also charge annual fees. And if you want to make any significant decisions on behalf of the business owner, the court will require you to apply for another court order – with a further six-month wait, and further costs.”

For more about business powers of attorney, email rhoward@fidler.co.uk or call 01623 451111.

- See more at: http://www.news-journal.co.uk/business_news/warning-ill-prepared-businesses-failing-plan/#sthash.spK57ehd.dpuf


Achievements

Awards

This solicitor hasn't added any award details yet

Associations & Memberships

Private Client Section of the Law Society - since 2013

An organisation for specialist Lawyers in the area of Private Client

MALA - Mansfield Area Law Association - since 2011

Organisation created to represent local Solicitors, from arranging training, campaigning, and networking. Former Vice Chairman until the birth of our second child in 2016 meant something had to give!

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