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Making a will for your pets

Caring for your animals from beyond the grave Perhaps the simplest, and most often overlooked method, is to make a Will. Despite the ease of having a Will prepared, in research conducted in 2011 found that only 25% of the United Kingdom’s population have even considered preparing a Will. Why make a Will? In this age of austerity and the availability of ‘Do-it-yourself Will Kits’ at local stationary shops, some people are tempted to draft their own Wills, oblivious of the pitfalls involved in doing so. It is therefore always a good idea to take professional advice when making a will especially if circumstances are even just slightly out of what was once perhaps assumed to be the ordinary. For example: Anyone who owns a property, land or has business interests overseas; Anyone who has children under the age of 18, especially if you…

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Sweeney Miller on the ball for ref’s team

Sweeney Miller, one of Sunderland’s biggest law firms, has kicked off the latest sponsorship drive by the Sunderland and District Society of Association Football Referees with a £200 donation. The cash has been used to purchase essential TV and sound equipment for the association to use during its regular meetings when guest speakers update its members on technical issues, rules changes and best practice. The association, which is affiliated with the National Referees Association, formed back in 1906 to look after the welfare of referees and to give them help and guidance. The Sunderland association has 96 members and is the third largest in the England.  It represents referees who officiate over children’s football and amateur games right up the Football League, with members working in the Championship, Leagues One and Two, and the Vanarama National…

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Sweeney Miller fundraisers step out for charity

Runners Gemma Brown, Jemma Rackstraw, Damien Todd and Sarah Taylor are in training for the run on May 1st which this years starts at the new Keel Square. The 10k route takes in the city centre, St Peter’s riverside and Roker before returning to the finish line. Sweeney Miller has a tradition of local fundraising and every year raises thousands of pounds for local charities. Sweeney Miller founding partner Paul Miller said: “All the staff at Sweeney Miller get involved in our fundraising efforts and once again the team have stepped up to boost funds in the local area. “St Benedict’s offers crucial care at a difficult time and we are happy to once again offer our support.” St Benedict’s Hospice has provided specialist palliative care to the people of Sunderland and surrounding districts since 1984.  Hundreds of…

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Mike makes the grade at Sweeney Miller

The firm, with offices in Newcastle and Sunderland, has a policy of successfully training its own staff as well as attracting experienced lawyers to the team as it continues to expand. Former University of Sunderland law graduate Mike Cattermole joined Sweeney Miller in 2011 and this month has successfully qualified as a solicitor after achieving the required amount of on the job training and experience. Mike has qualified in the wills and probate team and working with Melanie Finlay brings to the role a breadth of knowledge and experience in not only private client matters but also litigation. Commenting on his appointment, Mike said: “I am delighted to have been kept on at Sweeney Miller following the completion of my training. It is a very exciting time for the firm and I am thrilled to be…

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Sweeney Miller win compensation for South Tyne student

The student lacerated his leg when he fell on a protruding bolt while playing at the bike and skate park in South Shields The case was vigorously defended by Council who blamed the dangerous bolt on vandals pulling out the fencing. But solicitors at Sunderland and Newcastle-based Sweeney Miller successfully argued that despite carrying out weekly health and safety inspections at the park, the Council failed to notice the protruding bolts over several months and failed to replace the broken fencing. The issue of liability remained in dispute and so court proceedings were pursued which led to the student receiving £5,155 in compensation for his injuries. Head of Civil Litigation at Sweeney Miller Lindsey Christie said: “There was a clear lack of care in this case with inspections failing to spot the danger over a protracted period of time – in this case…

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Free buy to let tax advice event

North East law firm Sweeney Miller Solicitors and tax specialists Tait Walker have joined forces to hold an urgent seminar to explain the imminent tax implications. The important changes were announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and will affect any individuals who own buy to let properties. At the seminar, which takes place at Newcastle Falcons Rugby Ground on Tuesday 1st March, experts will explain how to prepare for the changes. They will consider these changes from a taxation and regulatory point of view and discuss what they mean for your property portfolio. What will be covered? The increase of 3% in Stamp Duty Land Tax from April 2016 and its impact on buy-to-let-investors; Changes to tax relief for loan interest (restrictions on mortgage interest reliefs from April 2017); The abolition of the “wear & tear” allowance from 2016; Changes to the reporting and…

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Sweeney Miller school road safety poster competition

Pupils at St Mary’s Primary School in Sunderland showed their artistic side to help promote road safety in the city. The school children joined forces with city law firm Sweeney Miller who challenged them to design a poster to spread the road safety message. Lindsey Christie of Sweeney Miller with winners Emelia Fishburn-Parkin, Finn Cole and Alexander Campbell. Members of the Sweeney Miller team gave hundreds of pupils from St Mary’s a talk on road safety before inviting them to get creative. The talk was given during Road Safety Week, the UK’s flagship road safety event, before Lindsey Christie from Sweeney Miller called back in to the school to judge the pupil’s efforts. The winning poster was designed by Emelia Fishburn-Parkin of year 6 who came up with her own slogans Arrive Alive and Stay Safe. Emelia was overjoyed to…

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