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Congratulations to duo of solicitors qualifying at Sweeney Miller Law

The Sweeney Miller team warmly congratulate Steph Rutherford and Niamh Farrell on recently qualifying as solicitors in Sweeney Miller Law’s Residential Conveyancing team. Steph (pictured left) graduated in 2017 having undertaken her LLB(Hons) and Legal Practice Course at the University of Sunderland. She then joined Sweeney Miller Law in 2018 as a paralegal. From there she commenced her training contract at the firm leading to her qualification as a solicitor in July 2022. Working in the Sunderland Residential Conveyancing department, Steph deals with sales and purchases with a particular focus on auctions. After graduating from the University of Sunderland and completing her Legal Practice Course, Niamh (pictured right) joined our firm in 2018 as a paralegal. She then completed her training contract, again qualifying as a solicitor in July 2022 in the Residential Conveyancing department based at the…

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What the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act Means for Newbuild Flat and House Owners

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act bans ground rent charges for newbuild flats and houses in England and Wales, protecting millions of leaseholders from huge increases every year. There are generally two types of residential property ownership – freehold and leasehold. Freehold means the owner has total ownership of the property including the land that it is on. With leasehold property, the homeowner does not own the land it is on, but instead has a long lease for that land. Ground rent is a charge, often paid annually, that leaseholders pay to the owners of the land that the property is on, the freeholder. Leasehold ownership is common with blocks of flats and many newer housing developments. Leasehold property reform The Act was confirmed in the Queen’s Speech on 10 May 2022 and the first phase of the reforms came into force…

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Sweeney Miller Private Client Solicitor Achieves STEP Certificate in Trusts & Estates

Solicitor Gemma Brown, who is based at our Sunderland Office and specialises in Private Client work, has recently gained the STEP Certificate in Trusts and Estates (England & Wales). The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) is global professional body made up of lawyers, accountants, trustees and other practitioners that help families plan for their futures. STEP promotes high professional standards and education for its members. Full STEP members, known as Trust and Estate Practitioners (TEPs), are internationally recognised as experts in their field, with proven qualifications and experience developed following a rigorous process of studying and examinations across several specialist and challenging modules. This Certificate provides a background and introduction to trust and estate practice giving practical knowledge of the law and procedures involved. Attaining the Certificate means that Gemma, who qualified as a Solicitor in 2018,…

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Congratulations to the winner of the 2022 University of Sunderland and Sweeney Miller Law Best in Commercial Award

Law (LLB hons) Degree graduate, Chloe Stephenson is the very first recipient of a new law prize developed jointly between Sweeney Miller Law and the University of Sunderland. The award recognises students gaining the best grade in the Commercial Law module of the Law Degree. Sweeney Miller Partner and Head of Conveyancing at the firm’s Sunderland Office, Damien Todd presented the Award at this year’s summer graduation ceremony. As part of her Award, Chloe receives a two-week paid work placement with the firm, and a £1,000 cash prize. Commenting on her achievement, Chloe said: “To be graduating from Sunderland with not only First Class Honours in Law, but also the Sweeney Miller Commercial Law prize, is almost unbelievable to me. I never thought I would be the one to receive such an award. It also means the world to me to be…

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Sweeney Miller Law Conveyancing Partner, Irenna Pietruszka Features in Northern Insight Magazine

An interview with Irenna Pietruszka, Partner and Head of Conveyancing at our Newcastle Office, features in this month’s edition of Northern Insight Magazine. The article is part of the Magazine’s ‘In Conversation With’ series exploring Irenna’s role at the firm, her team, her career path, proudest business achievements and what she does to unwind outside her busy working life. Whilst she has her own caseload dealing with a mix of sales, purchases, freehold, leaseholds, new builds, right to buys and more complex property matters, Irenna also supervises the rest of the residential team in Newcastle, helping to develop her conveyancing colleagues. The full article can be found here.

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Specialist Private Client Solicitor at Sweeney Miller Law, Gemma Brown explains the importance of having an up to date Will.

What is a Will? A Will is a legal document that lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death. Who should make a Will? Everyone aged 18 or over who owns property or has savings and/or investments should make a Will. What happens if I do not make a Will? If you do not have a Will then the Intestacy Rules will dictate who will inherit your money, property and possessions and these people may not be the ones you wish to inherit anything from you. If you are cohabiting but are not married and you do not make a Will, then your partner will not benefit from your estate. If you have re-married your children from a previous marriage or relationship may not benefit at all on your death. If you are married and do not have any children then…

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Legal Update for Landlords

Experienced property lawyer and Sweeney Miller’s Managing Partner, Surbhi Vedhara provides an overview of some of the latest regulatory requirements for landlords, summarised below. Renters Reform Bill A white paper published in June 2022 sets out the Government’s plans to improve the rights and conditions for millions of renters. This new blueprint for reform aims to end the injustice of unfit homes and protect renters from rising cost of living, including: A ban of Section 21 ‘no fault evictions’. A tenancy will only end if a tenant ends it or a landlord has a valid reason, defined in law. A single system of periodic tenancies, so tenants can leave poor quality housing without remaining liable for the rent or move more easily when their circumstances change. An end to arbitrary rent review clauses, giving tenants stronger powers to challenge…

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North East Landlords Event – Thursday 16th June

You’ve asked us to be kept informed of our next event. The date has now been set and it is Thursday 16th June 2022. We are back at Northern Football Club again and tickets will be being released soon! Meanwhile block the evening out in your diaries! We have already confirmed Newcastle Council will be speaking on their plans for Licensing. Martin Wardle will be covering the VAT implications of property conversions and developments. Our usual suspects will be on hand also including Coversure Insurance, Sweeney Miller Solicitors and Approved Mortgages. Finally don’t forget you can help to support the North East Landlords by becoming an affiliate member of the NRLA – if you use THIS LINK they will help provide essential funds to NEL to keep these meetings running as well as you getting all the excellent benefits you need to succeed in…

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Congratulations to Irenna Pietruszka on her Partnership Promotion

Head of Sweeney Miller’s Residential Conveyancing Team in Newcastle, Irenna Pietruszka, has been promoted to Partner. Based at Sweeney Miller’s Gosforth offices in Bulman House, Irenna supervises the Newcastle residential property team. As well as her management responsibilities, Irenna also has her own client caseload. She has extensive experience in complex sales, purchases, remortgage, transfers of equity, right to buys, new builds, shared ownership properties and transfers. Irenna gained her Law degree and legal qualifications at Northumbria University, following which she worked at several North East law firms before joining Sweeney Miller in 2018 where she has contributed to the rapid growth of the firm’s conveyancing department. Irenna joins Sweeney Miller’s senior leadership team with fellow Partners Surbhi Vedhara, Jess Fenwick, Damien Todd and Michael Storey. Commenting on the promotion, Managing Partner Surbhi said: “We are all delighted at the news of Irenna…

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Sweeney Miller’s 20th Anniversary – Front Page News in Northern Insight Magazine

Celebrating our 20th anniversary in business, Sweeney Miller Law features on the front page of the May 2022 edition of Northern Insight Magazine. The article focuses on the firm’s decision to scale, including the strategic and tactical steps it has taken to achieve its growth ambitions, ranging from developing and ensuring the wellbeing of its team, to the move to new offices in Newcastle and the building of a robust senior leadership team. With a headcount now approaching 80 and an increase in turnover of 65% since 2018, the article highlights the firm’s achievements since it’s foundation in 2002. In the article, Managing Partner, Surbhi Vedhara comments: “I am so proud of what every member of the Sweeney Miller team has achieved in the last four years, from ensuring that excellent service standards were maintained throughout the pandemic, attracting fantastic new clients…

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Sweeney Miller Finalists in Trio of Northern Law Awards Categories

The Sweeney Miller Law team are delighted at the recent announcement that the firm is a finalist in not one, but three categories at the 2022 Northern Law Awards. Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the firm is particularly proud of being a finalist in the Law Firm of the Year (1-5 Partners) Category. The additional categories that the firm is shortlisted for are Team of the Year – Residential Property and Team of the Year – Commercial Property. The Northern Law Awards have been cancelled due to the pandemic for the last two years, with the most recent ceremony taking place in 2019. The Awards are a celebration of the exceptional legal talent in the region and showcase the industry’s successes. The Awards ceremony takes place on the evening of 23rd June 2022 at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead. For the Law Firm of…

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