WE ARE HIRING!!

Receptionist/Administration assistant – Temporary full time role

JNP Legal is a fast growing and forward thinking High Street legal practice with three offices. Our main office is located within the borough of Merthyr Tydfil and our branch offices are in Nelson, Caerphilly County and Llanishen, Cardiff.

We currently employ around 50 members of staff. We are one of the premier law firms in South Wales. The firm recognises that the quality of its service to clients depends directly on its directors and staff and strives to provide the sort of working environment that will enable you to do your best in all your duties for the firm. JNP Legal actively encourage staff development and wishes to be an employer of choice for top quality legal advisors and support staff.

Our vision is to be the leading High Street Legal Practice and we want the best people in place to achieve this. Our continued success is built entirely on the talented people who work here, so employee development is important to us because everyone is a valued member of the team, and we want every individual to have the skills and capabilities to achieve both your own personal goals and our business goals. We want good people to join our company, to help our company continue to go from strength to strength.

The services we provide are mainly procured by individual clients and small companies within the locality. Our mission is to provide quality legal services at a price people can afford, ensuring access to justice for all. Our clients are people and small businesses throughout South Wales who are in need of a broad range of legal services. They require solicitors who are accessible and able to provide expert advice on their legal matters affordably.

The Role

We are currently looking for a temporary, full time Receptionist/Administration assistant to work within our busy Merthyr Tydfil office. You may also be expected to cover occasionally at our Llanishen or Nelson office.

As a Receptionist/Administrator in our busy offices, you’ll ensure things run smoothly behind the scenes. By providing excellent client care and administration, you’ll help our solicitors to really focus on our clients.

Ideally candidates should possess practical experience within a similar role, however full training will be provided. Whilst some of your tasks may be repetitive, the ability to make a difference to our solicitors and clients makes this an extremely important role. The role would therefore suit someone who has a genuine interest in helping our clients receive an exceptional service at the time when they need it most.

The successful candidate will be the first point of contact our existing and prospective clients have with the practice and therefore must project an image of professionalism and approachability to the public. You will deal with all enquires made by the public, including clients, potential clients, organisations and professional bodies, regardless of how such enquires are made.

This is a temporary full time role. The candidate will be required to work Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm each day (with an hour for lunch).

Key tasks associated with the role:

• Deal with all enquiries into the office quickly, accurately and appropriately
• Responsibility for the running of the reception and waiting room areas
• Dealing with telephone calls, faxes, deliveries, recalls from storage
• Archiving of files
• Collection and distribution of faxes and telephone messages left, to the appropriate department
• When required to assist in general office administration at the direction of the managers of the practice,
• fee earner, senior support staff or director by whom instructions are given
• Filing, scanning documents, faxing, photocopying, preparation of court bundles, opening and closing files on computer databases, ordering stationary, running errands, dealing with incoming and outgoing post, contacting clients by telephone, covering at other offices if required.

Personal Specification:

• Excellent client care and organisation skills.
• Honesty and integrity
• Ability to work as part of a team with excellent inter-personal skills.
• Ability to meet deadlines and targets.
• Has a passion for excellence and can enthuse others to have the same
• Strongly determined and shows tenacity when facing challenging situations and feedback.
• Self-starter, capable of operating at a level well beyond day to day direction.
• Excellent attention to detail
• Confidence in liaising with senior colleagues regarding requests
• Accuracy and efficiency
• Good standard of education including GCSEs (to include English and Mathematics at C or above)
• Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office systems and an interest in IT systems would be a distinct advantage.

How to Apply and Salary information

Working hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday with an hour for lunch. This is a temporary role for a minimum of 1 month initially. We are offering National Living wage for this role – currently £8.21 per hour.

To apply for this position please send us a copy of your CV and covering letter to Cairan@jnplegal.org.

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Probate Delays

The implementation of a new IT system which makes it possible to submit probate applications online has been causing significant delays. The Ministry of Justice has stated that there have been problems both with the Probate Registry’s new software, and also their printing systems.

When an application is submitted for probate, the usual turnaround time is 2 weeks. However, the recent delays have seen applications taking up to 15 weeks to be processed.

The Law Society, along with The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Solicitors For The Elderly (SFE) have been routinely meeting with HMCTS to review matters, with the last review being held on 10 September 2019.

Click here to read the Law Society’s article in full.

If you have concerns about an estate which involves you or your family, or have any questions about obtaining a Grant of Probate, please contact our team of experienced private client lawyers on 01443 450561 who will be able to guide you through the process as swiftly as possible.

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My offer has been accepted but how long will it take before I can move into my new home?

Once an offer has been accepted, the estate agents prepare the sales particulars,  which include details of the Property being purchased,  the agreed price and the Seller and Buyer’s solicitors. Once this is sent out to both parties, the solicitors can begin  the conveyancing process which will include carrying out identification checks and obtaining completed client care documentation from their client.

Once  the Buyer’s solicitors have received the Contract papers, the transaction generally can take between  6 and 12 weeks to ‘complete,’ which is when the balance of monies is paid, the keys collected and the Buyer can physically move in. This timeframe can be shorter or longer depending on the circumstances of each transaction.

Conveyancing  transactions can be complex and there are a variety of factors affecting the amount of time  it can take to complete. These can include the following:

1.The nature of the Property and transaction. For example, if the Property if Freehold or Leasehold, a new build, unregistered or if it is a probate sale. For example, Leasehold transactions typically take longer than Freehold ones due to the fact that there are additional parties involved, such as the managing agents and Landlord; further documents to review and advise on, including the Lease and Leasehold  information pack; further enquiries to raise and additional complexities to consider arising  out of the Lease.

Another example is new build Properties where there is quite often a very short time scale imposed to exchange contracts, for example, four weeks from receipt of papers by the Buyer’s solicitors, but the completion date is not fixed but  ‘on notice.’  The notice is given by the Seller’s solicitors,  typically providing 10 working days’ notice ,  which may mean there is a long period of weeks or even months in between exchange and completion with an uncertain completion date. In another example, the purchase of  ‘unregistered’ land may have an impact on timescales where there are missing title deeds or where there is purchase of a Property from an Executor of an Estate and the  Grant of Probate has not yet been issued by the Probate Registry.

2.Mortgage finance. If you are buying with a mortgage, it is important to submit all the requested  information to your Lender as early as possible to complete the application and for the Lender to arrange their valuation in order for the mortgage offer to be issued.  Although the issuing of the mortgage offer usually  runs alongside the transaction  and generally does not in itself cause a delay,  there may be other issues arising once the offer is received that may need  to be reported to the Lender and resolved. For example,  where a valuer has identified a loft conversion at the Property but there  is no evidence of Planning and Building Regulation Consents being obtained.

3.Surveys. If you are carrying out a Survey on the Property, for example, a Homebuyers or full Structural Survey, issues may be identified requiring further investigation. Often there may be direct negotiations  via the estate agents between the Buyer and Seller , for example, if the Survey has identified a damp problem, electrical works required or  a rodent infestation. Further reports and investigations may be required and the Seller may agree to carry out work to remedy issues identified in a Survey  prior to exchange of contracts.

4.Searches. The usual searches on the Property include the Local Authority Search,  Water and Drainage search and the Environmental search. Other searches may also be required which are region specific, for example, a Coal Mining search. There may be issues arising from the searches  that require investigation and resolution before proceeding to an exchange of contracts.  For example,  a contaminated land issue in an Environmental search; the Local Authority Search revealing that the road accessing the Property  has not been adopted by the Local Authority and therefore is not maintainable at public expense or  the Water and Drainage Search  showing that a sewer or drain is located underneath  part of the Property.

5.Complex transactions. Once the title documents are received from the Seller’s solicitors, they may reveal title defects or  issues with breaches of  restrictive covenants or  rights of way that need to be dealt with. This may  include making enquiries with the Land Registry to clarify the position, obtaining indemnity insurance and reporting to the Lender.

6.Source of Funds. It is important for the Buyer  to ensure funds are in place and they have provided detailed evidence of accumulation and source of funds to their solicitors as early as possible  together with details of any gifts being made towards the purchase price. Third party gifts may also need to be reported to Lenders where there is mortgage finance in place and if required it is important to do this as early as possible.

7.The length of the Chain. The Seller’s related transaction and the length of the ‘chain, ’ where  multiple people are buying and selling and are all reliant on each other may have a big impact on the timescale of the transaction. There is an increased risk of unexpected delays where this is a long chain and there is no control over how quickly other parties progress their own transaction.

8.Slow responses to enquiries. The time the Seller’s solicitors take to respond to enquiries will affect the process and if slow and unresponsive, can cause significant delays. In Leasehold purchases, third parties such as  managing agents may take some time to respond to additional enquiries  which can cause further delays.  It is recommended that you instruct a firm, such a JNP Legal,  that has been awarded the conveyancing quality scheme certification,  ‘CQS’ which means they are accredited by the Law Society as having  been able to  demonstrate they have the skill and expertise to provide quality residential conveyancing advice.

Although the above examples explain how various  factors can delay the conveyancing process,  it is still important to try to agree and communicate any  expected timescales with the other side,  if possible, to work towards at the start of the transaction so that all parties expectations can be managed and  to reduce the risk of frustration  being caused at  a  later date.

At JNP Legal we provide expert legal services by qualified conveyancers to ensure your property transaction goes as smoothly as possible. Our transparent pricing structures will identify all the payments involved in the conveyancing process without any hidden extras or paying referral fees to a third party.

JNP Legal are leading law specialists who can assist you with all your legal needs. We have qualified solicitors who can provide you with a advice and assistance to ensure you legal needs are fully serviced.

We are open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm in our Merthyr Tydfil (01685 350421), Nelson (01443 4560561) and Llanishen offices (02920 763211). We also open on Saturday morning 9am – 12pm in our Merthyr office for your convenience.

Contact us on 01443 454915 or 02920 767072 for a conveyancing quote or email us – House@jnplegal.org. You can also visit our website www.jnplegal.org where our self-service conveyancing portal will allow you to obtain a no obligation quote when it suits you.

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Be vigilant and organised warning as 6500 house moves anticipated for Friday 30th August

The month of August is always a busy time for our Property Team at JNP Legal. This year however, it is expected to be an even busier time. The date of Friday 30th August is set to be the most popular day to move house this year, according to research carried out by The Home Owners Alliance.

Statistical data from Reallymoving.com has revealed more than 6,500 moves are expected on 30th August 2019 – which is almost four times more than average. Some 175,000 homeowners will move on a Friday over the course of the year with 28% of completions taking place on a Friday. Completing on a Friday gives home owners time to settle into their new homes before starting work again on the Monday.

The Homeowners Alliance is warning people to be extra vigilant and to ensure they are well organised if they intend to move this Friday 30th August in view of the anticipated surge in moves.

The Homeowners Alliance have said “Many homeowners like to move during the school summer holidays so their children can settle down in time for the new academic year, the start of September across most of the UK.

It may appear sensible to move on a Friday, so you have time to unpack and settle in over the weekend before heading back to work, but we advise people to be exceptionally careful if they move on a Friday. On this particular Friday, 30th August, with even more moves expected to be happening than usual, it’s paramount that people are as organised as possible.

“Of course delays can occur at any time, but issues with transfers of funds are more likely to happen on a Friday when banks, conveyancers and removal firms are stretched to the limit as it’s the time when most housing deals tend to complete. On the last Friday of the month bank money transfers can get overloaded and it’s peak time for conveyancing fraud. If there are delays in transferring funds, you may have to spend the weekend in a hotel or on friends’ and families’ sofas.”

Rob Houghton, CEO of reallymoving, further comments on the difficulties of moving house in a busy period. He said:

“Moving on the busiest day of the year isn’t for the faint-hearted, especially with the August bank holiday also happening that week, pushing more moves onto the remaining four days. Ensure your solicitor and everyone in the chain knows you’re working towards that date and book your removals firm well in advance, so you only need to confirm as soon as you exchange. It’s best to ask them to come to your house to assess the volume of your belongings. This ensures you have the right sized van and number of team members on the day of your move.”

According to The HomeOwners Alliance study, 115,000 moves are delayed every year. Reasons for the delays can include problems caused by funds not being cleared, or sellers leaving their property later than they should.  Home movers can end up paying £500 or more and one in seven are having to pay in excess of £1,000 in charges because they have cancelled the removal van or have been forced to stay in a hotel.

With conveyancing scams already widespread within the legal industry, the month of August presents an even greater opportunity for cyber criminals to attempt to scam unsuspecting clients and legal practices. JNP Legal will be extra vigilant and alert to preying fraudsters when transferring house purchase money. Our due diligence team are on high alert at present to ensure your property move does not fall foul of any fraud or cyber crime. The ever-increasing sophistication of fraudsters has meant that JNP Legal have to continuously review transactions within our Property Teams so please don’t be worried or anxious if we contact you for additional information or documentation to verify information. We are ensuring both your transaction and our practice is kept as safe as we can.

Some of the potential cyber attacks JNP Legal are alert to relate to Conveyancing scams, which are a type of email modification fraud. These are widespread within the industry due to the significant amount of money passing between law firms and their clients. Criminals intervene and falsify emails between clients and law firms, resulting in bank details being changed and money being transferred to hackers instead of onto us. JNP Legal pride ourselves on keeping our clients’ money safe and will always do our best to keep your transaction secure.

These types are scams are also known as ‘Friday afternoon Fraud’ or even ‘Monday morning Fraud’. Fraudsters will target first thing Monday morning due to staff just starting their working week or on Friday afternoons when the JNP Legal accounts team are usually busy transacting funds. Our accounts team are fully trained on cyber fraud and are always on high alert for any suspicious activities.

You can be confident that your move really is in safe hand here at JNP Legal. Whether you are a first time buyer or a property investor JNP Legal can assist you. If you’re looking to buy or sell any kind of property, our conveyancing team of fully qualified solicitors and conveyancers can help to make the process as easy as possible whilst eliminating the risk of encountering any nasty surprises further down the road.

Our conveyancing team will be happy to provide you with a quotation. Our transparent pricing structures will identify all the payments involved in the conveyancing process without any hidden extras or paying referral fees to a third party.

Contact us on 01443 454915 for a quote or email us – House@jnplegal.org. You can also visit our website www.jnplegal.org where our self-service conveyancing portal will allow you to obtain a no obligation quote when it suits you.

JNP Legal are leading law specialists who can assist with all your legal needs in a discreet and professional manner.

We are open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm in our Merthyr Tydfil and Nelson offices and to ensure maximum convenience to all of you that may need our help and guidance on a Saturday morning 9am – 12pm in our Merthyr Tydfil office.

We offer home visits to those clients who are unable to attend our offices in person and we pride ourselves on offering first class client care.

If you need assistance in relation to any of the issues raised in this blog please call us on 01685 350421 or 01443 450561 or E Mail: Law@jnplegal.org and we will do our very best to provide you with the legal assistance you require.

Motor Insurers’ Bureau Claims

Whilst it is compulsory for all vehicles to have motor insurance not all drivers comply with this legal requirement. Where such drivers are involved in road traffic accidents with other vehicles and are at fault, this potentially leaves others injured and without recourse to an insurer for the liable driver. There are also unfortunately times where drivers who have been involved in accidents leave the scene without exchanging details with an injured person.

In such circumstances the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (‘MIB’) may be able to assist. The MIB is a non-profit making company which has entered in to agreements with the UK Government to compensate victims of road traffic accidents where the liable driver is uninsured or untraced. The funds used to compensate victims are from contributions made by motor insurers in the UK. Every motor insurer in the UK must contribute to the MIB. The MIB website states that it is estimated that uninsured and untraced drivers kill 120 people and injure 29,000 every year.

The MIB is an insurer of last resort and this means that investigations will firstly need to be made to ascertain whether an insurer for the driver / vehicle can be identified first before a claim is submitted to the MIB. If no insurer is found for the driver, or the details of the driver / vehicle are unknown, a claim can be submitted to the MIB for consideration.

There is a scheme specifically for uninsured drivers and a scheme for untraced drivers. The scheme for untraced drivers is relevant where a person has been a victim of a ‘hit and run’ accident where the liable driver fails to stop following an accident and the innocent victim does not have any details of the driver / vehicle registration number.

There are specific procedural requirements to comply with when submitting a claim to the MIB and it is therefore important to seek advice if you have been injured as a result of a road traffic accident and are considering making a claim for personal injury.

If you require assistance with making a personal injury claim please do not hesitate to contact our specialist solicitors at JNP Legal on 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil Office), 01443 450561 (Nelson Office) or 02920 763211 (Cardiff Office) or contact us via e-mail on pi@jnplegal.org.

JNP Legal are leading law specialists who can assist with all your legal needs in a discreet and professional manner.

We are open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm in our Merthyr Tydfil and Nelson offices and to ensure maximum convenience to all of you that may need our help and guidance on a Saturday morning 9am – 12pm in our Merthyr Tydfil office.

We offer home visits to those clients who are unable to attend our offices in person and we pride ourselves on offering first class client care.

If you need assistance in relation to any of the issues raised in this blog please call us on 01685 350421 or 01443 450561 or E Mail: Law@jnplegal.org and we will do our very best to provide you with the legal assistance you require.