Promotion News at Band Hatton Button

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Reading Time: 2 minutes Leading Coventry law firm Band Hatton Button has announced the promotion of two of their lawyers to Associate…

Update Your Will Week

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Half of Wills in the Midlands are out of date – Coventry SFE accredited Solicitor calls for residents to review their Wills ahead of “Update Your Will Week”

Research commissioned by Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) has revealed that over half (51%) of people living in the Midlands who have a will haven’t updated it for more than five years, meaning nearly half of wills made in the area are likely to be out-of-date. Of those, over a third (35%) haven’t updated it for over 7 years, and over a fifth (22%) haven’t dusted it off in more than a decade. 

Having an up-to-date and well drafted will is crucial in ensuring your wishes are carried out in the way you’d like when you die. 

This year, SFE, a membership body representing over 1,600 solicitors specialising in working with older and vulnerable people, has launched “Update Your Will Week” (28th March – 3rd April) in a bid to raise awareness of the importance of updating your will regularly. 

Michelle Gavin, Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate at leading Coventry law firm Band Hatton Button recommends that a will be reviewed and updated every five years, or when a major change in your life occurs that impacts you or your loved ones, such as divorce, marriage, a new birth or even death in the family. SFE’s research has revealed that almost a third (31%) of people in the midlands with a will have had significant changes to their lives and circumstances since they drafted it.

Michelle Gavin has warned that an unchecked and outdated will could cause severe implications for your loved ones after death – including missed inheritances and higher inheritance tax fees: “Many people assume that once you have drafted a will you don’t ever have to review it, and that your wishes will be carried out as you wish them to be posthumously – but unfortunately, that’s far from true.

“If you remarry, for example, your will gets revoked. Or if you marry into a family and have stepchildren that you’d like to inherit your assets – this won’t happen automatically unless you stipulate it in a new will. All these details are crucial to avoid family disputes – which we know can be very distressing for your loved ones.”

In fact, SFE’s research revealed that:

  • Only 16% of brits realise that remarrying invalidates a will. 
  • Less than a third (31%) of people realise stepchildren won’t be included in your will unless you stipulate that separately.
  • 17% of people wrongly think you can update your will by making changes on the original document and initialling them.

The findings have also revealed that 54% of people in the midlands don’t have a will in place at all – a worryingly steep figure. Michelle Gavin has highlighted that one in ten British families (11%) have been caught out by a ‘bad will’ – a will that is out of date or badly drafted – for example missing out on inheritance or their childhood home being sold without their knowledge. 

Michelle Gavin: “It’s great to see that many people living in the Midlands have a will in place – but we need to see a higher will uptake, and for those that have a will in place, it’s paramount that they review these frequently.

“I’d strongly recommend that people in the area look for their local SFE accredited solicitor.”

To find out more, or to find your local SFE accredited solicitor, visit:  

About Solicitors for the Elderly:

SFE was founded in 1996 and is a national organisation of more than 1,600 lawyers in the UK who support older and vulnerable people. SFE members receive expert training and best practice guidance to keep them up to date with developments in the sector. 

Survey data (commissioned by SFE):

  • In March 2022 YouGov polled 4,487 British adults for SFE (of those 2,943 are aged 40+). Of those, 1,861 have a will in place (40% of the total number polled).
  • In 2020 SFE polled 1,005 British adults aged 40+ to see if they had a will in place – 65% said they did.

Changes to Rent Arbitration

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Reading Time: 3 minutes The relevant period for protection from forfeiture following the Covid pandemic ends on 25 March 2022 however…

Senior Partner Hand-Over

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Reading Time: 2 minutes Leading Coventry law firm Band Hatton Button has elected a new Senior Partner.  In April 2022, Nick Button will hand over the role of…

Christmas 2021 Opening Hours

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As the clock ticks down to Christmas, please find our opening hours below.

This year our offices will close at 5.00pm on Thursday 23rd of December, and we will re-open at 9.00am on Tuesday 4th of January.

We wish you all a safe and happy Christmas, and best wishes for 2022.

Celebrating our Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 performance

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Reading Time: 2 minutes We are celebrating another fantastic year of rankings in the latest editions of The Legal 500 UK, Chambers & Partners UK and Chambers & Partners High Net Worth.

Triple Award Win at Warwickshire Law Society Legal Awards

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Reading Time: 2 minutes Leading Coventry law firm Band Hatton Button solicitors is celebrating triple awards success at the 2021 Warwickshire Law Society Legal Awards…

The Legal 500: The Leading Law Firm in Coventry

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Band Hatton Button LLP have maintained their status as the leading law firm in Coventry. 

They are the most ranked firm in the prestigious Legal 500 Directory of recommended law firms and lawyers in the United Kingdom.  The firm has been recognised in 6 categories (Wills, Trusts and Probate, Family Law, Commercial Litigation, Commercial Property, Debt Recovery and Employment).  All of these departments have maintained their ranking from the previous year but with Commercial Litigation now moving up from Tier 3 to a Tier 2 ranking.  In addition, Tracy Cross, Head of Family has been ranked as a legal individual which is a credit to Tracy’s tremendous ability, dedication and professionalism on behalf of all her clients.  Her work in collaborative mediations and difficult and complex childcare cases particularly stand out.

Mark Moseley, Managing Partner at Band Hatton Button said:

The Legal 500 is one of the most prestigious guides in the UK as it attracts so many visitors and is a vital tool for us to be able to generate extra work and also help us keep an eye on our competition.  Despite the pandemic our business matched the previous record year’s turnover of £4.5M which has been driven by excellent quality caseloads across the vast majority of our departments which in turn is driven by the excellent reputation of our lawyers.  The results in this year’s Legal 500 clearly reflect the quality of the services we continuously provide.  No other firm in Coventry has as many entries as we do”.

Congratulations Helen Stott!

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Congratulations: Helen Stott has successfully completed the Older Client Care in Practice (OCCP) Award

Band Hatton Button is delighted to announce that Helen Stott has become an Associate Member of SFE having passed the Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) Older Client Care in Practice (OCCP) award with flying colours in April 2021. 

The OCCP Award is not about legal training, its focus is on demonstrating and building good client service and communications for older and vulnerable clients by being able to communicate and translate legal expertise into clear explanations and guiding them through the process sensitively.

SFE is an independent, national organisation of professionals, such as solicitors, barristers, and chartered legal executives, committed to providing the highest quality of legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers.

Helen is a Solicitor in our Wills, Trusts and Probate team, who works alongside her colleagues Michelle Gavin, Lisa Moseley, Charlotte Macalister and Keri Wood who are fully accredited members of SFE.

Colin v Cuthbert: the importance of protecting your IP from lookalikes

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M&S have lodged a well-publicised intellectual property claim in the High Court against Aldi to protect Colin the Caterpillar. M&S allege that Aldi’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake is a copy that infringes their trade marks for Colin the Caterpillar. 

Trade marks are signs that distinguish your businesses’ goods or services from others in terms of words, designs, numerals, packaging or shapes. If you register a trade mark you can stop other people from using it without your consent, and a registered trade mark is, arguably, the most powerful right available for brand owners to rely on. 

Lookalike products copy the look of a product and its packaging, but not the brand name or logo. It is for this reason that lookalike products are difficult to deal with; they avoid the typical registered intellectual property rights relied upon by brand owners who often register brand names but rarely product designs. However, if you register a trade mark which protects the packaging designs (which M&S have) there is scope to claim trade mark infringement if a lookalike product, like Cuthbert, emerges in the market. 

M&S’s claim is brought under section 10(3) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 which affords brand owners of well-known trade marks protection against lookalikes that take unfair advantage of, or are detrimental to, the distinctive character or repute of a well-known trade mark. This can be a powerful tool for tackling lookalikes provided that the brand owner can demonstrate that they own a mark with reputation i.e. that Colin the Caterpillar is so well-known that consumers would recognise it as being an M&S product without any cues. 

Whilst this is easier for large corporations like M&S, the same cannot be said for smaller businesses. Despite the fact that M&S may be able to demonstrate Colin’s reputation given that Colin the Caterpillar is so iconic, trade mark cases are especially difficult when based on shapes and designs of products. For example, Toblerone successfully protected their famous triangle shaped chocolate, but Nestle were unable to protect the shape of the four fingered KitKat bar.  

It will be interesting to see whether M&S will be successful. Aldi’s current packaging has Cuthbert behind bars, and we will have to wait to see if he can break free. 

Chloe Lovelock – Paralegal – Corporate & Commercial Team