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News & Blog

Latest news and views from Marchants

Nick Aspley


Two leading local law firms, Hopkins Solicitors and Marchants Solicitors, have announced a business deal that will help both firms to accomplish their future growth plans. The deal was completed on the 1st of October, 2018.

For Marchants Solicitors in Mansfield and Kirkby-in-Ashfield, the deal allows the existing staff to carry on with business-as-usual, but offers them a strong platform of additional support from Hopkins to help them achieve growth within their private and business client base.

Marchants will be retaining both its offices in anticipation of growing its legal team of experts and will continue to trade under the Marchants name, as an official trading name of Hopkins Solicitors LLP. Nick Aspley from Marchants will be joining the Hopkins team as a Partner, and his former partner Mike Cummins has chosen to retire.

For Hopkins Solicitors in Mansfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield and Nottingham, the deal gives them the opportunity to acquire a reputable like-minded law firm and to help them grow into the Kirkby-in-Ashfield area. This will be reinforced by the re-opening of the old Sutton-in-Ashfield’s Market Tavern as Hopkins brand new Sutton-in-Ashfield town centre office (due to open in winter 2019).

Nick Aspley, Marchants Partner, said: “We have made a mutual business decision to amalgamate Marchants Solicitors with another reputable long-standing local firm, Hopkins Solicitors LLP.”

“Our search for a new business partner was simple, having known Hopkins over many years and knowing a number of the Hopkins Partners personally, we know they hold the same values and high levels of quality service as Marchants. Hopkins were keen to help us ensure we could continue to keep our doors open and our dedicated staff employed.”

Martyn Knox, Hopkins Managing Partner, said: “We welcome the opportunity to shape the continued growth and success of our respective legal firms and look forward to continuing to support the members of our local communities, both as clients and employees.”

“Although the ownership of Marchants is changing, the existing Marchants business will continue to operate under the same name, from the same offices with the same friendly knowledgeable staff.”

“We are very proud of our long-standing 100 year history, which allows us to support our local personal and business communities with their legal matters. We believe that our local expertise and our honest commitment to high standards is what allows us to not only provide a personal approach to legal services but to truly make a difference to improve people’s lives.”

For more information about Hopkins Solicitors contact Tammy Butler, Marketing Manager on 01623 468 468 or

Nick Aspley


The government has announced a consultation with a view to changing how you can get a divorce. The Justice Secretary, David Gaulke, has said the current divorce law is “out of touch with modern life.”

Currently to get a divorce you have to prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down due to one of five “facts” as they are called, which are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, two years separation with consent or five years separation without such consent or (rarely) desertion.

The proposed changes, initially leaked earlier in September, include making the “irretrievable of marriage” the only ground for a divorce.

In 2016 there were 106,713 divorces of which 45% were on behaviour, 27% on agreed two years separation, 15% on five years separation, 11% on adultery.

The consultation closes on 10th December 2018 and a response by the government is due by 8th March 2019,

Nick Aspley Family Law Partner at Marchants Solicitors, now part of Hopkins LLP, with offices in Mansfield, Kirkby in Ashfield, Sutton in Ashfield and Nottingham commented “Reform is long overdue. The blame game must stop. The recent case of Mr and Mrs Owens got a lot of publicity to emphasise the point. The highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, was not able to give Mrs Owens, aged 68, a divorce from her husband of 40 years on his behaviour. The law has to change. Couples must be able to begin their process of separation in an amicable and constructive way, supported by the law, not hindered by it.”

For advice on these, or any family law issues, please contact Nick Aspley at

Debra Higgins


The General Data Protection Regulation 2017 has been introduced to ensure that all personal data we collect from you in order to conduct our business and help you, is processed accurately, confidentially and securely and used in a fair and legitimate manner.

We have therefore updated policies and procedures including our privacy policy which can be read here

For any further assistance with this please contact Debra Higgins on 01623 655111 or email

Nick Aspley


Many divorces, especially those after a long marriage, include money normally paid by the higher income earner in the marriage to support the lower income earner after the divorce. These payments are known as spousal maintenance payments normally paid by the husband to the wife.

In 2012 Kim Waggott, aged 47, divorced her husband, William Waggott, aged 53. They had lived together since 1991, married in 2002 and separated in 2012. They had one son aged 8.
 Both had agreed to the principle of an equal division of the capital assets and pension provision but not the level of maintenance.

Mrs Waggott was awarded a capital settlement of £9.76 million and spousal maintenance payments of £175,000 for their joint lives or until she remarried.

In November 2017 Mrs Waggott asked the court to increase the amount of maintenance. She wanted a share of her former husband’s bonuses accrued after the divorce and an increase of the amount of maintenance to £190,000 per year.

Mr Waggott challenged that the maintenance should not be paid for life. He suggested payments should stop after 5 years in February 2021 and she should not be able to apply to extend this term – effecting what is known as a “clean break.”

In April 2018 the court rejected Mrs Waggott’s case and supported Mr Waggott and imposed a 5 year maintenance order that would stop on 1st March 2021.

The court said that Mrs Waggott should be able to adjust without undue hardship to her maintenance stopping in 3 years time. How and why?

  1. By investing  around 10% of her initial capital sum and receive the interest on this sum as income.
  2. She would still have £6.35 million in capital.
  3. She could obtain employment from late 2019 and, presumably,  after her child had completed his full time education.
  4. At aged 60 in 2028 she could draw on a pension of £75,000 p/a.

Nick Aspley Head of Family Law at Marchants Solicitors in Mansfield and Kirkby in Ashfield, commented: “While this is a big money case the principle is potentially applicable to every case where spousal maintenance is awarded.  The family court may be less generous in the future in relation to lifetime awards of maintenance. It is said that there are also regional variations and there has been recent press speculation about this issue.  The law is the same for all of us not just the rich!”

For advice on these, or any family law issues, please contact Nick Aspley at

Nick Aspley


The recent death of Sir Ken Dodd on 11th March 2018 has brought into focus the rights of a couple that live or cohabit together compared with a married couple.

Sir Ken lived with his partner, Anne, for 40 years before marrying her 2 days before he died – why?
Reports suggest he has assets of over £7 million pounds. Inheritance tax is payable at 40% of the value of an estate over £325,000. He therefore was looking at a potential tax bill of over £2 million pounds. By marrying Anne as his spouse, no tax is paid.

In 1989 he was famously acquitted from a £1million tax bill having told the judge he had £300,000 cash under the bed in suitcases!

Also, by marriage she becomes a Lady!

It is not known if Sir Ken made a will. If he did not, then Anne, as his surviving spouse, gets everything under the rules of intestacy as he had no children.

Had he  neither made a will nor married Anne she would have received nothing as there is no such thing as “common law man and wife” – despite being together for 40 years.

Lessons to Learn

All cohabitees are vulnerable and therefore must get advice as to how to protect their wealth and loved ones in the future. The law is the same for all of us not just the rich!

For advice on these, or any family law issues, please contact Nick Aspley at

Nick Aspley


Here are 5 tips to start the new year and protect your wealth in 2018

  1. Make a will or update your current one. If you live together but not married your partner will get nothing without making a will. There is no such thing as common law man and wife! If you are thinking of separating and/or remarrying plan for the future.

  2. Consider a pre-marital agreement commonly referred to as a “pre-nup.” If you are marrying again and/or you have significantly more assets and wealth than your fiancée, protect them by entering into a pre-marital agreement. Certain safeguards have to be put in place for such agreements to be effective.

  3. Consider a cohabitation agreement. If you are thinking of moving in with someone and living with them such agreements are binding and can avoid costly legal battles if you separate.

  4. Create a power of attorney. Most of us are living longer than our parents which increases the chances of becoming ill. You can plan for the future by ensuring someone or those that you trust can manage your affairs when you are no longer able to.

  5. Check your nominated beneficiary under your pension. If you are thinking about separation make sure you check with your pension provider who is to benefit if you were to die before and after you take your pension.

It is very easy to put these things off and hope nothing happens. But it will! By making plans now, at an affordable cost, you are protecting your wealth and planning for the future and potentially saving far more of your hard earned cash in expensive legal costs should things go wrong.

For more help and advice on these issues contact Nick Aspley on 01623 65511 or at

Nick Aspley

The Bank of Mum and Dad - some considerations

Parents in the UK are spending £6.5 billion pounds this year helping their adult children get on the property ladder up from £5 billion last year. Ranked alongside mortgage lenders this puts them in the top 10 of lenders in the country.

However, if their children divorce or separate from a cohabiting relationship what are the implications?
Potentially serious. There is a risk that the property could be claimed by the other party in a divorce and financial settlement or when a cohabiting relationship breaks down. Parents may not get their money back.

Issues to consider

Is it a gift or a loan?

If a loan, consider entering into a formal written document to confirm the agreed terms and  safeguard the loan repayments by securing an interest in the property. A restriction might be entered on the property title so that any future sale would need the parent’s consent.
If a gift then read on!

Getting married or going to cohabit together?


Have no rights when their relationship ends unless children are involved. Property rights are sorted out by property and trust law not family law.

Cohabitees need to decide if they are to purchase a property as joint tenants (the other owner will automatically own the whole property on the death of the other) or tenants in common (defining each share in the property).

If either or both are providing a deposit from their parents as a gift then consider entering into a declaration of trust to state what proportions they will own the property to reflect the greater contribution by one through their parent’s gift. If there is no declaration then the court will assume the property is shared equally.
If there is no express declaration of beneficial interests in the property a party might argue later that the ownership of the property has changed.

Married Couples

The family home is usually the largest or one of the largest assets of the marriage. Generally, in most cases the net sale proceeds would be divided equally unless the parties and/or children’s needs should be met by some other arrangement, irrespective of one party for example paying more of the initial deposit on purchase.

If one parent is considering gifting some money towards a property purchase either before or during a marriage consider entering into a pre-marital or post marital agreement (often referred to as a pre or post nuptial agreement) to ring fence the gift. Both the parent and spouse will need to take specialist property and family law advice before proceeding with the purchase.

Additional Mortgage Requirements

If the children are getting a mortgage then they will need to let the lender know about any contribution being made by the parents. The lender will want to make sure that it is safe to lend!


Wills should either be made or updated to ensure that the original gift is passed back to the parents if the child dies rather than to the other party proving the property is held in tenants in common. The other party might be able to make a claim under the law surrounding inheritance but successful claims are rare.


Both parents and children need to take independent legal advice from an experienced conveyancer and a specialist family lawyer before proceeding with the property purchase.
Please contact Nick Aspley at for advice on all family law issues.

Nick Aspley

Tuesday September 5th 2017 - 'D Day'

So called “D Day” in the media is referred to at the beginning of every year when couples often decide to separate and a large number of divorces begin. However, September 5th 2017 is when the new style divorce petition has to be used to start a divorce.

The law profession was notified on 17th July 2017 of the change which became operative on 7th August 2017 with both the current and new style divorce petitions being accepted by the court. So, not a long time to get used to the new petition and during the school summer holidays!

The changes are reflected in the look and style of the new petition which is called an “application for a divorce, dissolution or (judicial) separation.” There are no separate notes for guidance but some shorter notes are provided on the righthand side of the form. Overall it should be simpler to complete but this is not reflected in any reduction in the court fee which remains at £550 although it costs the court around half of this sum to administer a divorce.

The Office of National Statistics has recently published new data on divorce rates. The number of divorces (101,055) in 2016 fell by 9% compared with 2015.  Divorces have continued to decline in the last few years as more couples are choosing to live together. However there has been an increase in the so called “grey or silver divorces” with the average age of a divorce has increased year on year. More men are divorcing over 50-60  and more women divorce at 45 and younger. Last year the “median” age for a divorced man was nearly 46 and 43 for a divorced woman.

The increase in age of divorcing men could be a result of a number of factors including the children having left home, increased financial independence and living longer. divorce family separation. Or simply more men wish to "trade up" while still feeling young and active.

For help and advice on your divorce or separation contact Nick Aspley on 01623 655111 and at
Nick Aspley

Divorce – automatic equal asset split no longer fair?

Mrs Sharp has just successfully appealed an order in the High Court that her husband should not have half of the total matrimonial assets of £5.45 million and that it was fair that he should have a reduced capital of £2million down from £2.725 million or 37% of the total assets. 

The Court of Appeal have ruled that the general principle of a couple sharing their assets should not apply in the case of Mr and Mrs Sharp. They were married for 4 years and lived together for a short time before marriage. They had no children. Both earned around £100K annual salary at the beginning. However, Mrs Sharp earnt substantial bonusses as a city trader totaling £10.5 million whereas Mr Sharp, who worked in IT, received trivial bonusses in comparison. Mr Sharp took voluntary redundancy and they bought two properties together.

Why didn’t Mr Sharp get his half?

The lead judge, Lord Justice McFarlane, said that “in all cases the nature and source of the parties’ property are matter to be taken into account when determining the requirements of fairness.”

Mrs Sharp’s case was that their marriage was a short, dual career and childless one. They structured their finances a particular way (not shared equally) and she generated significantly more income than her husband without any contribution from him. It was fair that she kept most of the assets.

Mr Sharp’s case was that a short marriage was no less a partnership of equals than a long one. He said it was settled law that all matrimonial property is treated subject to the sharing principle unless there was any special contribution or truly non matrimonial assets.

The judge agreed with Mrs Sharp. Her bonuses were “way beyond the level of her previous earnings purely as a result of her employment …without any contribution from the husband.” He referred to the short dual career marriage and accepted her case was that she kept her capital separately. These factors justified a departure from the sharing principle.

Some commentators have suggested that this decision could lead to more bickering in a divorce over the finances and it poses more questions than answers. For example, what is a “short marriage?” Others have said that pre-nuptial agreements should be used more often to avoid expensive court costs.

All cases are different. What is beyond doubt that most divorces are settled on the basis of needs particularly where children are involved. It is usually best to seek advice from an experienced family law solicitor at the outset to provide comprehensive and realistic advice so that you can sort out your divorce without huge cost, both financially and emotionally. 

For help and advice on your divorce or separation contact Nick Aspley on 01623 655111 and at

Supporting OneWalk… Equal, Safe & Living Life – 22 June

Marchants are supporting a walk in Mansfield Town Centre on 22nd June 2017 at 11am to show our support for people with learning disabilities.

The walk will start outside the Town Hall in Mansfield and will follow a 1.2 km circuit around the town centre. People with learning disabilities face particular challenges and find it difficult to access society, businesses and services that others navigate easily. 

Nick Aspley, Partner said “We are delighted to support this walk. As a business located in the town centre for well over 100 years we have helped people with learning difficulties over the years. They face particular challenges in their everyday life and we, as a community, need to show that they are welcome and have our support.”

The walk is also supported by the Mansfield District Council, Mansfield BID, Nottinghamshire County Council and the local Police Commissioner Paddy Tipping.

Nick Aspley

For richer, for poorer...divorce reduces retirement income

An annual study by the insurer Prudential shows that for this year expected annual income for divorcees will be £16,300 compared to £19,400 for those who do not get divorced - a decrease of more than £3,000 per year.

The study also highlights that those who are divorced are more likely to have retirement incomes below the annual minimum income standard for pensioners of £9,712 (or £186.76 per week) as set by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. 21% who have divorced expect their income to be lower compared with 13% who have not been divorced.

Debt is also a serious problem with 32% of those who have been divorced expect to retire with debt compared with 21% who have not been divorced.

The only age group where divorce rates are rising according to the Office of National Statistics is women over the age of 55 with most having already retired or have planned for their retirement.

Nick Aspley, Head of Family Law at Marchants Solicitors commented “Divorce is usually one of the worst experiences people go through in life and it does not get any easier the older you get. Your pension can be the biggest asset of your marriage along with the family home and it can be a complex exercise in trying to split your pension. The nearer you get to retirement the more important your pension is, and the consequences on your future financially will be more significant especially for women over 55. In an age when our personal debt has increased substantially these statistics do not surprise me.

You need to take specialist, independent legal and financial advice.” 

For help and advice on your divorce or separation contact Nick Aspley on 01623 655111 and at

Nick Aspley

Ryan Giggs - football genius or just a damn good footballer?

Ryan Giggs is divorcing his wife, Stacey Cooke, after 10 years of marriage which is less half of the 23 years he spent with Manchester United as a footballer. They have 2 children.

Throughout his one club career, which of itself is a significant achievement, he won 34 trophies including 13 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions League trophies. He is probably the most decorated footballer of all time certainly in England and Wales if not the whole world. He played over 1,000 games in his career.

It is reported that he has a £40 million fortune and his wife is seeking half of it. He is to argue that he deserves special treatment because of his footballing genius and that his wife should get less than half.
Will he succeed?

The family court has a wide discretion based on statutory criteria as to how assets should be divided. Prior to 2000 usually ex-wives of wealthy men did not succeed in sharing the assets. However, in the case of Mr and Mrs White in 2000 the House of Lords decided “that each party is entitled to an equal share of the assets of the partnership unless there is good reason to the contrary.” This has become known as the “yardstick of equality.”

Since then it has been a struggle for usually wealthy husbands to argue that the assets should not be shared despite their “exceptional or special” contributions to the marriage which should mean they should keep the lion’s share of the marital wealth and depart from the “yardstick of equality.”

Recently the Laura Ashley Chairman Khoo Kay Peng had to pay his ex-wife over £64 million having spent (with his wife) nearly £9 million in legal costs.

A private equity millionaire Randy Work had to pay his ex-wife £72 million despite most of the marital wealth being created by him.

These are huge sums of money, less than the fortune of Ryan Giggs. He has an uphill struggle in convincing the family court that his wife should not share his fortune.

Watch this space…….

For help and advice on your divorce or separation contact Nick Aspley on 01623 655111 and at

Nick Aspley

Brexit and Mrs Owens - one can, one can't

While the United Kingdom has triggered a divorce from the European Union poor Mrs Owens cannot divorce her husband after 39 years of marriage. She has failed to convince the Court of Appeal that she can divorce her husband on the basis of his unreasonable behaviour towards her. It appears that although she is stuck in a "loveless and unhappy marriage" she may have to wait until 2020 when she will have been separated from her husband for 5 years to get a divorce.

Who knows, she may get a divorce before the United Kingdom.

As our top judge Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, said "ought the decision whether or not a marriage should be dissolved to be one of the parties which the State is not in a position to question?"

The whole experience for both Mr and Mrs Owens must have been a terrible one having their dirty washing aired in court quite apart from the costs involved. At a time where court resources are stretched are such cases a good and proportionate use of those resources?

The Law Society, Resolution (the family solicitors organisation) some of the judiciary and MP's have called for the divorce law to change. Is it now time for no fault divorce?
Parliament, over to you.....

For help and advice on your divorce or separation contact Nick Aspley on 01623 655111 and at For more information log onto

Nick Aspley

Can you really defend a divorce?

This is what Hugh Owens, aged 78, has done up until now. His wife, Tini Owens, aged 65, is challenging the refusal of Judge Robin Tolson in Oxford of refusing her application for a Decree Absolute last year. They have been married for 39 years.

There is one ground for a divorce that the marriage has irretrievably broken down supported by one of five "facts." The most common "fact" is unreasonable behaviour as it is usually a simple process to follow. Not in this case, as Mr Owens successfully argued last year that his marriage had not irretrievably broken down.

This is a rare case. The barrister for Mr Owens has said that " as the law stands, unhappiness, discontent, disillusionment are not facts which a petitioner can rely upon as facts which prove irretrievable breakdown."
The barrister for Mrs Owens has said "It is extraordinary unusual in modern times for a court to dismiss a petition for divorce."

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, who is the top family judge, and is considering the appeal by Mrs Owens, with judgment to come at a later date, said "It is not a ground for a divorce if you find yourself in a wretchedly unhappy marriage - people may say it should be."

So, watch this space. Whatever happens how can you describe the state of their marriage especially in the middle of lengthy and costly litigation?

Most divorces take around 6 months and are agreed. Surely it is now time for the no fault divorce which is supported by many judges and other organisations in the family justice system including the Law Society?
For advice on divorce and other family issues please contact Nick Aspley at or call 01623 655111.

Nick Aspley

New Year 2017 Resolutions

Happy New Year to you all. Here are 6 New Year Resolutions that you may like to think about.

  1. Make a Will. If you are not married and made no will your partner gets nothing. Even if you made a will some time ago it may need reviewing. Make sure your loved ones and family get what you want. Plan ahead.
  2. Create a Power of Attorney. We are all living longer and getting more sick. If you lose the capacity to do things that you would normally do make sure you have appointed someone who you trust to make decisions and act on your behalf before it is too late. Prepare for the future.
  3. Marriage or relationship over? Unfortunately if you are in this position you need to know your rights and options for the future. We can help you decide.
  4. Moving House? New year, fresh start? We can help you plan ahead and ensure your biggest financial commitment runs as smoothly as possible.
  5. Had an accident? Winter and bad weather can lead to more accidents at this time of year. Let us help you to get what you are entitled to.
  6. Fixed Fee Advice. Remember we offer fixed fees wherever possible to ensure you can budget accordingly and know how much it will cost with no unexpected big bills later on.

    Don’t take our word for it look at our testimonial page!

Nick Aspley

The Help and Support for Separated Families Mark

Marchants Solicitors have been awarded The Help and Support for Separated Families Mark which is government initiative designed to help and support parents who are separated or who are separating. It demonstrates that we are committed to helping parents work together to resolve their disputes and focus on the interests of their children.

Nick Aspley Head of Family Law at Marchants Solicitors, said “We are the only firm with offices  in Mansfield and Kirkby in Ashfield who have been awarded this mark, and it again demonstrates our commitment and service to clients who are going through tough times particularly during this time of the year. Christmas is always a difficult time for families for all sorts of reasons and we have always helped clients to try and think of their children when they are separating.”

For more information including fixed fees that may be available to you contact Nick Aspley at

Nick Aspley

Archers' child name disputes - what can be done?

Any Archers fan will have listened in the last few weeks to the situation of Rob and Helen Titchener calling their son by different first names. This is quite rare as usually the argument is over a child's surname but what is the law?

At birth, a child must be registered in accordance with the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 within 42 days of the birth. The child's birth certificate is then issued giving identity to the child. Where the parents are married the duty lies with both. One married parent may register the birth as Helen did in the Archers before Rob was able to.

Where the parents are unmarried the duty is the mother's alone. The father's details can only be registered if either both parents attend together or a statutory declaration has been made or a relevant court order. If there is a dispute what happens?

All those with parental responsibility should be consulted. If an unmarried father is not registered as the child's father he does not have such responsibility and has no right of consultation. Consent should be sought preferably in writing.

Therefore if an unmarried mother registers or changes a child's surname without consent of the father and he finds out, he can apply to the court for determination of the child's surname. If there is a Child Arrangements Order in force as to whom a child should live with, then an application for permission to change is made under Section 13 of the Children Act 1989. If not, then an application is made for a Specific Issue Order under Section 8 and he could also apply for a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent a child's surname being changed.

The welfare of the child will be the court's paramount consideration. The change, or registration of, a child's surname "is a profound and not merely a formal issue." 
A change of surname has been permitted by the court to protect children from the possibility of abduction by the father and, in a rare case, where it would have been detrimental to the children if the father had tracked them down.
The birth can be re-registered if the child's natural parents have married each other since the birth or where it is agreed that the father's details are added.

A deed poll or a change of name deed is evidence of a child's change of name. A deed poll is enrolled with the Central Office of the High Court. A solicitor can help in drafting either document.

For more information contact Nick Aspley at

Nick Aspley

I want a divorce and am going after your inheritance

As part of their divorce settlement it was agreed that Mrs Randall would keep the first £100,000 of her mother’s inheritance with the remaining balance split equally between her and her husband.

However Mrs Randall’s mother left exactly £100,000 to her with the remaining balance of her estate of around £150,000 to Mrs Randall’s children. Mr Randle brought a claim challenging the validity of the will wanting to get his £75,000 share in accordance with the agreed divorce settlement.

Without getting into the complex legal arguments that took place, the court last week gave Mr Randall the green light to bring a probate claim to set aside the will. Time will tell if he is ultimately successful or not. Watch this space.

This case reminds those couples going through a divorce (or are about to) is on what basis does the divorce court take into account future inheritance?    

In any divorce the court has to take into account a menu of factors in deciding what is a fair financial settlement and one of those factors is “a financial resource which one of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.” This potentially includes an inheritance.

The assets that Mr and Mrs Randall had were modest and they wanted to avoid a costly 2 day final hearing. The agreement was that Mrs Randall kept the sale proceeds of the house while Mr Randall had the prospect of a capital sum from her inheritance to supplement his small pension fund. Both had solicitors acting for them and know that the agreement could not in any way bind Mrs Randall’s mother as to the terms of her will. The risk was to avoid potential care costs in her old age.

Nick Aspley, Head of Family Law at Marchants Solicitors in Mansfield and Kirkby in Ashfield said “ultimately each case falls on its own facts under the court’s discretion as to what a fair settlement is. For example, if a case is based on the need of one party the court may look at a claim on an inheritance. However as a judge said in the case of Mr and Mrs Robson in 2011 “judges should be cautious and not invade inherited property unnecessarily.” 

Find out more by contacting Nick Aspley at or ring 01623 655111.

Nick Aspley

Building construction / repairs and maintenance

You may from time to time be involved in disputes either as a consumer or as a contractor/subcontractor.  If a dispute or claim occurs we can provide a fixed fee package which could include negotiation [to help maintain the relationship] Alternative Dispute Resolution [Mediation] or if necessary litigation.

If this is an area in which we can assist please do not hesitate to contact Debra Higgins on 01623 655111 or email

Nick Aspley

Negligent care of the elderly

As can be seen in recent cases there have been unfortunate incidents where the elderly have been subject to either neglect or abuse from both nursing and residential homes.  If you have reason to believe that anyone receiving care is either being neglected or abused you may be entitled to compensation, similarly if you have been the victim of an unprovoked act of violence you may be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.

Please contact Debra Higgins on 01623 655111 or email who can assist further.

Nick Aspley

Slips and Trips

Many slips and trips are caused by derelict pavements.  The local Authority have a duty to ensure that roads and pathways are inspected regularly and to repair any defects within a reasonable time.  If you find yourself the unfortunate victim of either a slip or trip you could be entitled to compensation.

Please contact Debra Higgins on 01623 655111 or email who will be happy to assist.

Nick Aspley

Contested Wills and Estates

The death of a loved one is never easy.  But often after a death in the family arguments can arise over what has and what has not been left.  Members of the family may believe that they have been left insufficient financial provision or that a Will is not valid or that the Testator did not have the mental capacity to make a valid Will or was unduly influenced. 

We can offer fixed fee packages to review any potential claim that you may have. For further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Debra Higgins on 01623 655111 or email

Nick Aspley

Dispute Resolution

You may from time to time be involved in disputes either as a consumer or as a contractor/subcontractor.  If a dispute or claim occurs we can provide a fixed fee package which could include negotiation [to help maintain the relationship] Alternative Dispute Resolution [Mediation] or if necessary litigation. 

If this is an area in which we can assist please do not hesitate to contact Debra Higgins on 01623 655111 or email

Nick Aspley

Employer and employee help

Although at Marchants we do not have a specialist employment solicitor we can direct you to a specialist firm of solicitors who will provide solely employment advice.

  If you have a dispute with your employer or are an employer looking for advice please contact us as soon as possible for details.  Please note that most employment claims have very short time limits so it is essential that you contact us straightaway.

Please therefore contact the office on 01623 655111 for further information.

Nick Aspley

Industrial disease

A number of workers and former workers have unfortunately been subjected to either substances or working practices that have put them at risk of developing an industrial disease. 

If you have been affected by deafness, vibration white finger, been exposed to asbestos or any other recognised industrial disease then please do not hesitate to contact Debra Higgins on 01623 655111 or email who will be happy to provide a free preliminary assessment.

Please note that many workers who have been exposed to asbestos may have had that exposure as far as 40 or 50 years ago but you may still be able to claim.  Similarly if you are the relative of a former worker who has tragically died through an industrial disease you may still be entitled to claim on behalf of their estate namely if it is within three years of the date of their death.

Nick Aspley

Professional negligence

Although often we receive well founded advice sometimes professionals get it wrong.  If you believe that you have received negligent advice from a professional, including other solicitors, please contact us.  We can then review the advice given and confirm whether we agree or provide an alternative solution.  We can also give you an opinion on any claims you may have especially if a firm of solicitors have refused to take on your action or claim on a no win no fee basis.

Please contact Debra Higgins on 01623 655111 or email who will be happy to assist.

Nick Aspley

Have you been involved in a road traffic accident?

In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a road traffic accident it is important that you stop at the scene, contact the Police and ambulance service if anyone has sustained injury and obtain, if you are able, the third party’s details and details of any witnesses.

You should also be aware that if you submit a claim for damage to your vehicle to your own insurance that your personal details will be passed on to claims handlers who will contact you to persuade you to pursue a claim for any injuries you have sustained through them.  Please note that the claims handlers are unlikely to be local or specialist solicitors.  Therefore in the event that you do sustain injury in a road traffic accident please contact Debra Higgins on 01623 655111 or email who is a local specialist personal injury solicitor to handle your case.

Nick Aspley

Debt Recovery

From time to time you may find yourself in a position where either you or your company are owed some money by an individual or another company.

You may find yourself in the unfortunate position where you may need the services of a specialist solicitor in order to recover the debt that you are owed.  At Marchants we offer an effective debt recovery scheme for a fixed fee pay structure which is agreed with you from the outset.  This starts from as little as £100 plus VAT.  If you are having problems recovering debts then please do not hesitate to contact Debra Higgins on 01623 655111 or email

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