Adkirk Law is a leading UK Law firm. We offer a niche practice with experts in serious fraud, regulation, police misconduct, residential conveyancing and more complex transactions such as leasehold extensions.
Our team has over 25 years’ experience these niche areas and we operate nationally. Should your requirements go beyond these fields we partner with other experts across the country to ensure a full service can be offered.
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Financial advisers and organisations involved in the finance industry across the region who may be under investigation by the financial regulators for no apparent reason are being warned to seek legal advice.
Rachel Adamson, head of fraud and regulatory at regional niche law firm Adkirk Law with more than 25 years’ experience in her field, is advising independent organisations and individuals to be careful when the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) start an investigation because of alleged breaches of the regulations.
She said: “The original alleged breach may not be serious at all, and in many cases may not represent an actual breach. It may be that one of the organisation’s processes may need amending slightly.
“The investigations can take time to resolve and distract individuals and companies from their core business. Taking good advice can be the difference between being able to carry on in business or being prosecuted and/or closed down in the most serious of cases.
“A current trend for the FCA is to investigate the unregulated market selling investments such as mini-bonds. The best way to describe this is an IOU written to the investor by the company for a fixed rate of interest over a fixed period of time.
“It is essential that those investment companies promoting deals like this only promote to the exempted categories of high net worth investors and those known as sophisticated investors. There are many unregulated companies raising money for property developers in this way and it is these companies who are the focus of attention for the FCA.
“It is absolutely essential that these unregulated companies do not give any financial advice as they would then be in breach of the regulations and open to enforcement action.”
Over the last year, the FCA has undertaken an extensive programme including investigating more than 80 cases of regulated activities potentially being carried out without having the right FCA authorisation and assessing over 200 cases of financial promotions that appeared not to have complied with the FCA rules.
Rachel Adamson has defended a number of cases recently brought by the FCA as well as defended cases brought by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the Serious Fraud Office, HM Revenue and Customs and Trading Standards.
Adkirk Law is a leading UK Law firm offering a niche practice with expertise in serious fraud, regulation and police misconduct, acting for many high-ranking police officers accused of wrong-doing.
Housebuyers still want the personal touch despite the move to remote digital property deals, says North West conveyancing leaders Adkirk Law.
Linda Kirk, director of conveyancing at the regional law firm, said: “The market in the region and further afield is busy with some deals still being completed from pre-lockdown and pent-up demand, but the big message from clients is to keep it personal.
“Most purchases are largely handled remotely and efficiently, especially coming through the pandemic, making sure progress is made despite the restrictions.
“Today’s technology provides a platform which allows our clients to manage key documents and verification of identity via a secure portal in the comfort of their own homes. This has been instrumental in our conveyancing process during restrictions.
“We have remained open throughout due to our technology and flexibility for remote working to service our clients and that’s how we will continue to operate. Our clients tell us how they appreciate the communication to make the experience personal.”
Linda said going forward clients appreciate feedback, mobile phone discussions and an ongoing explanation of what is happening to clarify the process during uncertain times.
Those selling a property since mid-May have good reason for refusing to be bartered down - house sales agreed have been up to 54 per cent higher and six per cent up on the same time last year in a recent report by TwentyCI.
Towns in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West dominated a list of the top 10 most in-demand areas compiled by Rightmove, with Wigan, Rochdale, Wilmslow and Scarborough in the top five.
The new-build housing market is helping to lead the property sector back to pre-lockdown levels of activity across the region, according to conveyancing specialist Adkirk Law.
Linda Kirk, director of conveyancing at regional law firm Adkirk Law, said: “New build properties offer a 75 per cent loan to value mortgage for those buying on the Help to Buy scheme and those mortgages have still been available even when the lenders changed their criteria in lockdown. We’ve seen plenty of activity in this part of the market.
“We need to see whether this is sustainable through this next period and beyond for the longer term but there is certainly a feeling of confidence currently.”
Linda added: “First-time buyers may still be facing the barriers of access to finance and the flexibility of mortgages available but lenders should see the benefits of being more flexible in these circumstances.
“We need to see a stable market through this time for all concerned and the lenders can help ease the situation for many prospective buyers, particularly younger people, through the coronavirus crisis and beyond.”
Help to Buy is the government scheme designed to help people purchase a new property with just five per cent deposit by way of an equity loan from the government of up to 20 per cent. The aim of this scheme is to increase the supply of new homes in addition to the number of lower deposit mortgages.
For first time buyers, the 75 per cent mortgage for a new build property is an easier route to the housing market, while lenders are reluctant to release standard 95 per cent mortgages.
The property portal Zoopla has reported a surge in the number of people making active enquiries, with demand exceeding lockdown levels, while housebuilders including Taylor Wimpey have said they are seeing ‘more sustained demand.’