Wednesday, 24 December 2008

What Better Christmas Present - Track your Missing Millions!

a million pounds
Originally uploaded by

Do you have a dormant bank account? That is, an account that has been unused for 15 years?

If so, please read Tracking Down the Missing Millions

You never know, Christmas present could be more lucrative for you than Christmas past!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Know Where you Stand Register your Land

Latimer Hinks, the Darlington-based law firm, is encouraging more people to register their land to help identify and protect what they own, as government figures show that currently only 65% of land in the UK is registered.

Although registration of land is now compulsory when it is sold, this hasn’t always been the case. This means many properties across England & Wales are still unregistered.

Having land registered usually provides the ultimate guarantee of evidence of ownership. It is also the most effective way to bring all documentation up to date and allows easy access to details online.

Benefits of registration

  • greater security of title
  • better protection against claims of adverse possession
  • administration of estate is in good order
  • land can be passed on more easily without the title deeds having to be continually examined.

    Further information can be found in the full press story Darlington Solicitors Urge Landowners to Register

Thursday, 18 December 2008

As the Credit Crunch Continues Business Acquisitions Are Still Being Made

We hear it every day, on the news, in the paper, on the internet.... there is a credit crunch. Businesses are becoming insolvent. Employees are being laid off. Doom and gloom abounds.

So it's refreshing to hear of a business man spending money by purchasing a business and keeping existing staff in employment!

Nick Poole, Partner at Latimer Hinks was recently involved in the purchase of a large domiciliary care business in Redcar for long-standing Client, Glenn Pickersgill.

Glenn, a local entrepreneur re-launched the business as Heritage Healthcare.

Here is the full story: Latimer Hinks Supports Entrepreneur's Return to the Care Business

Photo: Nick Poole, left. Ethel Iveston, centre and Glenn Pickersgill, right

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Social Media Risks + Benefits

Web 2 - definition

Web 2 is basically a massive networking utility which enables you to share and take information from all over the world.

Ten years ago you may have been aware of everything that mattered.
Five years ago, you had to be really selective about what you took in.
Today, it's impossible.

Users must be selective about what they "take in". Businesses must be selective about what information is freely available about them.

Social media networks can be abused as Virgin Atlantic recently found via Facebook use. As a result 13 Virgin Atlantic staff were sacked (thanks to

Virgin Atlantic considered the behaviour "totally inappropriate" and that the posting of the comments broke its staff policies.

Used correctly Facebook and similar sites can be used promote your business effectively - and at no cost (apart from time). A MUST in todays economic climate.

So, how do businesses protect themselves.

In order to combat this behaviour from employees it is time to ensure that staff internet policies are "Facebook ready". Ensure you have correct policies on place to protect your business and your reputation.

You may want to read previous posts by Social Networking Guineapig -
Social Networking Sites + Employment, do they mix?
Blogging - the Risks

Monday, 8 December 2008

Businesses - How to Get Paid Faster

Following the government’s recent pledge to settle suppliers’ invoices within 10 working days of receipt, Mark Gardner of Latimer Hinks Solicitors provides advice on "how to get paid faster"

You'll also find a useful Debt Recovery Ten Point Plan here.

Great advice for the current economic climate!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Social Media - what it's for and what's next

Following on from my attendance at The Art of Marketing: 08 I came across the following detailed article on a Social Media Presentation from The Online Marketing Blog.

I found it an extremely interesting read - I have already put into practice the "Trifecta" (only I didn't realise that what I had been doing actually had a name!).

I also previously set up a Twitter account but I'm afraid I haven't taken it any further - I think perhaps I may need to revisit this.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The Art of Marketing, Social Media and Social Networking

On Monday I attended a conference entitled Marketing 08: the Art of, it was held at the Sage, Newcastle (fantastic venue!) and hosted by Business Link.

The conference will act as a forum to share knowledge and best practice and hopefully help attendees inject creativity into their marketing plans.

It was a very informative day out. Publicity king Max Clifford was the keynote speaker - very interesting and entertaining. Max considers his job is to "promote and protect" his Clients.

Max has an enviable position - he does not and has not advertised his services, people/businesses come to him! To become a Client of Max's you'll need £20,000 minimum per month (for 6 months!)

Amazing - and all of this on the back of developing the Beatles brand!

The Digital Dialogue session for the day included:
Social Networking (Ian Green of Green Communications)
- an overview of social networking and how it influences media, culture and society globally.

Ian asked the audience of approx 340 if they used Facebook for personal use - majority of people raised their hands, and for business use - dramatically less raised their hands.
He also enquired as to how many had blogs for business and I was shocked to see around less than a 1/4 raised their hands.

Latimer Hinks use social networking to a great extent and seem to be (going by the number of hands raised/not raised) quite forward thinking. We use LinkedIn, Facebook, Blogger and something Ian didn't mention - social bookmarking, Digg, Reddit, Flickr, FurlIt, Stumble.
All of those mentioned are free resources and in this time of financial unease, something businesses should consider using.

Here is a link to Ian's slides
Here's a couple of blog posts i've already made on the subjects
Social Networking Sites and Employment, do they mix?
Social Bookmarking
Social Media Starfish - available media
Web 2, RSS Feeds and their benefits

The second speaker was E-marketing Design (Ian Gibbons of Mobious)
how this new online medium offers a new landscape for creativity.
Ian spoke in numbers -
  • there are 25 million online in the UK with an average of 31.1 hours a month in front of the internet.
  • £3.5 billion online media spend.
  • £110 per second spent by brands online.
  • Ads have 4 seconds to capture a visitors interest.
  • Today one edition of the Sunday Times contains more information than a 17th Century man faced in a lifetime.

Ian suggested visiting the IBA website for a creative showcase gallery of online ads.

All in all it was a very informative day and to summarise - embrace RSS feeds, blog, bookmark, network socially and "look outside of the box" - try it, apart from time it's all free!!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Free Presentation for Commercial Landlords & their Advisers

Latimer Hinks will be hosting a FREE presentation for Commercial Landlords and their Advisors (we're even throwing in breakfast!) on Tuesday 25th November at Newcastle United Football Club and Tuesday 2nd December at Leeds Town Hall

New Rules on Distraint, Forfeiture and Rights of Re-entry

Soon the Landlords traditional remedy of distraint will be replaced with Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) and bailiffs will become "enforcement agents".As well as the change in terminology the procedure could become more complicated.

This fundamental change represents the most radical change to the Law of Distraint for over a century.

However the news for Landlords is not all bad. The new procedure gives rise to a number of practical issues for enforcement agents, their Clients and their Lawyers

Latimer Hinks and National Enforcement will be holding the presentations to highlight the changes which affect Commercial Landlords and will compare them with the existing regime through case studies.

Mark Gardner, Latimer Hinks will cover current options available to Landlords with defaulting tenants
§ County Court & Higher Court Remedies.
§ Enforcement Remedies through the Courts
§ Winding up, Bankruptcy
§ Claims in Guarantors
§ Distress & Forfeiture

Andy Coates, National Enforcement will speak about the change in "self -help remedies"

If you would be interested in attending either of the presentations please email me . For further details click here

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Networking Power - Ross & Brand Scandal

The Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand telephone scandal has hit the news big style.

Russell Brand has resigned and the BBC will be discussing whether Jonathan Ross should be sacked.

It all started out with prank calls to Andrew Sachs - Russell and Jonathan stepped over the line.

Initially 67 complaints were received by the BBC, but once the Daily Mail began their campaign to have the pair sacked the complaints rose to 18,000 upwards.

The power of Web 2, social networking and the press! You may not have heard the original radio show at the time, but there are links, sound bites, video and media coverage available for anyone to listen to and read.

They are then passed on through networks, word of mouth etc to a global audience - an audience that has the opportunity to complain - if that is what they wish to do.

I can see the number of complaints rocketing - time will tell.

Full story

Apology 27th October

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Web 2: RSS and Readers - their benefits

Too Many Social Networks
Originally uploaded by M. Keefe

Lawyers still consider websites and email newsletters the most appropriate way to stay up to date with current news. Many have embraced Social Networking, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogging etc - they are trying.

However, RSS feeds and Readers will change the way lawyers use the internet - once they understand what an RSS feed is and how it can be of benefit.

I came across RSS feeds through Common Craft. They produce very straight forward videos - in plain english (which is what many lawyers are accused on NOT doing). The videos have obviously been produced with a target audience in mind - "technophobes"!

For a basic, no frills video check out RSS In Plain English and Google Reader In Plain English

I must admit, once I discovered RSS and Google Reader there was no going back! Everything I want to read is on my desktop, it saves SOOO much time. If you like an item, it can be highlighted or "starred". You can even forward the information via email, add notes etc etc.

When redesigning the Latimer Hinks website I made sure that part of the site was available to download as an RSS feed, along with our blogs of course.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Madonna's Divorce provides PR Opportunity

On The Radio.
Originally uploaded by Neuenschwander.

Here at Latimer Hinks, fee earning work is obviously a priority - easpecially in today's financial climate.

However, current affairs often provide an need for "immediate" action and the recent Madonna/Guy Ritchie secenario provided the opportunity - it will also enable Judith to show herself as an "expert" on divorce matters!

However, these opportunities can also backfire a little. Yesterday morning we had arranged for Judith Middleton, our divorce partner here at Latimer Hinks to be interviewed on Radio BBC Tees today in connection with what was initially going to be Madonna & Guy Ritchie's Split.

BUT as everybody knows, yesterday afternoon they released a statement indicating that they were to DIVORCE!

Judith's interview will now need to take a slightly different approach.

Here's the link to BBC Radio Tees

Judith will also be speaking with Alpha Radio later today.

It's all good fun!

For further divorce trivia/insight/lighthearted views see Judith's Divorce Blog

Thursday, 9 October 2008

County Durham & Tees Valley Charity Awards 2008

The awards provide an opportunity to recognise charities, and their unsung heroes for their outstanding work. This is the second year that Latimer Hinks and Horwarth Clark Whitehill have hosted/sponsored the awards.

Photo 1 - Anne Elliott - Latimer Hinks, Pauline Wilson - NASSL, Peter Rowley - Darlington Building Society, Lauren Robinson (Darlington on Disability), Peter Olsen - Horwath Clark Whitehill
Photo 2 - Heather O'Driscoll (HCW) Anne Elliott, Dawn Carney Cash for Kids, Peter Olsen (HCW)

The event took place at Middlesbrough Football Club, with nearly 200 attendees.

Local businesses, charities and individuals were represented - the event was a great success, if not somewhat emotional.
The winners were:

Durham & Tees Valley Charity Awards Podcast
Press Release - Three Darlington Charities Scoop Top Awards

Check out the Podcast here

Monday, 6 October 2008

Planning for the Future! Do's & Don'ts

[oPeN yOuR eYeS]
Originally uploaded by *Clara ~ Fermina*
Many people, even now don't like to talk about future planning with a solicitor.

People generally feel comfortable planning most events - they can talk about moving house, building an extension, booking a holiday, but when it comes to protecting their assets and the mere mention of wills - they literally quake at the knees!

Latimer Hinks held a presentation this week on Protecting your Family - planning for the future! The talk opened my eyes.

Did you know, if you and your spouse/partner have a joint account and your spouse/partner becomes unable to handle their affairs your bank can freeze the account?

In effect you would not be able to draw money or pay bills. The bank’s view is that a joint account operates with the consent of both parties so if one party cannot give that consent then the account cannot be operated.

Imagine if you and your partner/spouse have only one joint account with all of your money in and that account was frozen because one or the other of you loses capacity leaving you with no access to money?

BUT if you have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place authorizing someone (perhaps your other half) to deal with your financial affairs in the event you are not able to do so this would solve the problem.

For all those who were clever enough to make an Enduring Power of Attorney before October 2007 these documents are still valid however, no new ones can now be made and the alternative is to make a Lasting Power of Attorney instead.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document you sign, which enables whoever you appoint as your Attorney to deal with your financial affairs in the event of incapacity in the future (usually mental incapacity but can equally apply to physical incapacity).

Many people think that their other half would be able to deal with things for them in this circumstance but unfortunately, without a Lasting Power of Attorney (or former Enduring Power of Attorney) in place this is simply not the case.

Without the legal formality of a Lasting Power of Attorney no one would be able to gain access to your finances or pay bills on your behalf leaving your finances in a mess and your family distressed at a time when they are already going through the trauma of seeing someone they love lose their capacity.

Do you really want to leave this to chance?

Here are some do’s and don’ts tips for making Personal Affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney .

DON’T - just rely on the thought that “it won’t happen to you” or “someone else can deal with it if you can’t”. Think of an LPA as an insurance policy that you hope you never need but make anyway “just in case”.

2. DO - have the LPA registered straight away. This ensures that if the document is needed urgently you do not have to wait for the whole registration process to be completed. Having the LPA registered also gives you piece of mind that the document does not contain any errors as it is checked and approved at registration and any errors can be put right at this stage.

3. DO – appoint a second Attorney either to act with the first or as a replacement especially if your first Attorney is the same age as you. This ensures that should the first die during your lifetime there is a “back-up” to take over.

4. DO – seek advice from a Solicitor if you are considering making an LPA as LPAs can be complicated and if you attempt to do it yourself you may not know whether or not it will work until it is too late (i.e. you have lost capacity and cannot make another one).

5. DO – make an LPA if there is/are any family member(s) you really would not trust or want to look after your financial affairs as they could end up being that person if you do not choose someone yourself whilst you are capable or doing so.

6. DO – make an LPA if you are aware of animosity or conflict within your family (such as your children not get on) as leaving the decision up to them could result in them not agreeing and an independent person or solicitor could end up being appointed instead.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Social Networking for Lawyers

Everything you needed to know about Social Networking for Lawyers - the What, Why & How by Carolyn Elefant.

A very indepth report which will help everyone on their road to embracing Web 2:0 - well worth a read.

I picked up this link via KM Space - many thanks

Monday, 22 September 2008

Legal 500 - the bible of the legal business recommends Latimer Hinks

The Legal 500 is the most widely used legal directory in the UK and is considered to be "the bible of the legal business". The Legal 500 ranks law firms in terms of their expertise and performance.

Latimer Hinks has once again achieved recommendation.

Agriculture and Estates Latimer Hinks has a well-established practice which deals with a range of complex matters including environmental land use. Anne Elliott is ‘ very good’.

Personal Tax & Probate Also recommended is the ‘ very able’ Latimer Hinks

Commercial Litigation Mark Gardner at Latimer Hinks provides a comprehensive service

Corporate and Commercial - Latimer Hinks in Darlington retains the confidence of the market, with Nick Poole attracting praise.

To view our partner profiles, click here

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Have you Planned for the Future?

Do any of the following questions concern you:

  • Have you made a Will/reviewed an existing Will in the last 18 months?
  • Do you want to ensure that the Revenue does not take part of your estate on your death?
  • If you had to go into a nursing or residential care home are you concerned that your house and assets might be used to pay the fees?
  • Have you considered what would happen if you were ill and unable to handle your own financial affairs?
  • Would you like to have a say in the medical treatment and care you receive?

If so, you may be interested in coming along to our free presentation
"Protecting your Family - Planning for the Future" - Tuesday 30th September, Darlington Dolphin Centre @ 2pm

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Debt - It's Got to be Faced!

Social Networking Guineapig has returned from a very sunny holiday to the wet, miserable, soggy weather here in the UK. She's not a happy guineapig!

Whilst on holiday there was a constant reminder of the UK's Credit Crunch, the Debt Disaster. It was everywhere, news, newspapers, conversation - doom and gloom abound.
A holiday break is the last place you want to be informed of credit disasters. We holiday to relax and unwind - all pressures of credit and debt left safely at home. BUT, your head cannot stay buried in the sand (or the snow as the photograph portrays!). These problems must be faced - by businesses as well as individuals!
Business debt problems can be compounded by late payers. Mark Gardner, Partner at Latimer Hinks Solicitors provides a Debt Recovery Ten Point Plan to help protect and prepare businesses for late payers.

For quite a few young folk, this recession is probably the first that they have faced whilst in control of their own finances - a frightening prospect. Mark again advises on these issues and what to do to protect yourself before your debt spirals out of control.

Monday, 18 August 2008

It's That Time of Year Again - thank goodness!

Just to let you know - Social Networking Guineapig will be temporarily unavailable. She has undertaken a new role which starts tomorrow as a "sun worshipper" in the Algarve.

The new position has arrived just in time as I thought I was beginning to notice the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (even though we are still in the middle of Summer)!

I imagine she's not the only one...rain, rain go away!!!

Disaster Plans - Make Sure You Have One!!

On Friday last week there was a fire at the King's Hotel in Darlington.

Latimer Hinks Solicitors is "sandwiched" between the King's Hotel and other businesses.

It's a very strange layout. Latimer Hinks has been situated in Priestgate since 1872, we're kind of like a tardis, we look small on the outside, but once inside you find a warren of rooms and floors.

The back of Latimer Hinks faces out onto some of the rooms within the King's Hotel, there is a square of land inbetween Latimer Hinks and the back of the Kings Head (only accessible by our fire exits and a small walkway from the main street). Part of the Kings Head also goes above some of our offices - a flyover.

The fire was an event which was obviously out of our control and at one point was out of control for the fire crew!

See the full story here - if you look at the top right of the photo you can just see the square of land at the back of the Latimer Hinks offices - that's how close we were to the fire!

Priestgate had to be evacuated and the Latimer Hinks Disaster Plan put in place. Luckily the fire started in the early hours and by 7am calls were made to staff asking them not to turn up from work.

Judith Middleton was in charge - you'll find Judith's comments here

If you don't have a Disaster Plan, think about writing one. You'll find some useful information here.

Luckily, no-one was hurt. Guests from the King's Head got to stay at the local leisure centre and the wedding reception that was arranged for that day was also transferred to the Dolphin Centre.

So, all in all businesses, wedding and hotel guests had a lucky escape thanks to the Fire Brigade and the various Disaster Plans that were in operation that day.

Oh, and Latimer Hinks did not sustain any damage, although my room smelly very "sooty"!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Promoting Business Through Social Networking

Increasingly, businesses are turning to social networking websites to find new customers.

The current financial climate sees businesses "cutting back" and are now looking for alternative ways to market the individual, as well as the firm.

Social networking is the solution - it provides a low cost/economical way of reaching potential Clients and target markets.

Latimer Hinks Solicitors actively encourage social networking and are members of sites such as:

LinkedIn, Women into the Network, Facebook.

These sites have added bonuses. LinkedIn provides a "question" section where you can ask LinkedIn users for advice. I have asked questions and have been overwhelmed with responses from all over the world. I posted a blog a while back on How to get the Most out of LinkedIn, take a look, it's well worth the time.

Women Into the Network, this group also organises "get togethers", presentations, information days etc. You get to meet the people you have been networking with "in the flesh". As well as this you can post press releases, events etc all free of charge. These are also sent directly to members inboxes! How's that for reducing promotional costs!

Facebook - I think that the majority of people already know about Facebook. I use it to "push" press releases and blog entries which then directs traffic to the Latimer Hinks website.

The website is4profit has written the published the following article:

Market Slowdown Firms find Customers via Social networking

So, if you are trying to beat the recession and need to look for alternative methods of promotion have a go at social networking! All it costs is your time...

Monday, 4 August 2008

Credit Crunch becomes Factor in Britain's Divorces

Originally uploaded by Ape Iron

We're all feeling the financial squeeze - the credit crunch!

The increase of energy, petrol and food prices combined with a shortage of credit is stretching couples to the limit and many are separating as a result.

Judith Middleton, family partner at Latimer Hinks has seen an increase in divorce work over the summer holidays - which usually provide a lull in divorce enquiries. For the full story click the link below.

Judith Middleton Warns of Post-Summer Divorce Peak

Monday, 28 July 2008

Blogging Benefits - identify yourself as an Industry Expert

Blogging, like any marketing or networking activity is about building your brand. With lawyers and other professionals that means showing your expertise, engaging in conversations about your expertise and publishing your expertise.

Blogs allow all of this and certainly do a better job than most firm's rather static websites.

Over in America a new study by eMarketer shows a further benefit - 38% of reporters rely heavily on blogs for finding new story ideas and 29.5% use blogs to locate experts in particular fields. Reporters will search Google blogs to find an area of interest - they will then call/get in touch with the author of the blog.

This is great FREE publicity -it obviously takes time, effort and considerable patience to set up your blog, but this far outweighs the benefits.

So, if you have not yet started to blog, now is the time to consider the idea. Your name in print identifying you as an industry expert should be enough to "spur you on"!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Latimer Hinks Website goes to Word Press

We have a new website!

When I originally started this blog I began to travel on a very steep learning curve.

I learned about Technorati, Feedburning, Widgets - all of which seemed to be a foreign language to begin with! But by trial and error, alot of patience and a willingness to learn Social Networking Guineapig started to reap a few rewards (for which one was being shortlisted in the North East Digital Awards for Best Use of Blogging)

Anyway, since then I have been involved with the redesign of the Latimer Hinks website. I wanted the new website to be:
  • interactive
  • user friendly
  • easily amended

After discusions with our design company - The Ad Agency, they suggested a website which would basically be (non technical speak here) a Word Press Blog with a Website Front.

This means that:

  • news releases can be bookmarked more easily through bookmarking buttons.
  • All content can be changed by me, I can add/delete pages/images etc - at no agency cost
  • I can (and have) claimed the blog on Technorati and i'm about to "burn a feed"
  • There is already an RSS button for people to subscribe to.

Hopefully, all of this will encourage an increase in our postition when it comes to search engines.

I may even get to grips with adding some widgets - eventually!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Promotion Through Good Old Snail Mail

Good old mail shots as a method of promotion are often forgotten. Web 2 and social networking has a lot to answer for... but I've recently sent letters to businesses/organisations offering FREE presentations on a variety of subjects.

One of the main advantages of using "Snail Mail" is that in some cases email is becoming less effective. Spam filters will block anything that remotely looks like a marketing ploy.

Snail Mail should also make our offer "stand out" - we have taken the time and expense to mail the offer, the reader will appreciate the effort.

The other reason is "burnt fingers"- in the past i sent out an email campaign (see entry Tale of 1000 emails) and it was a nightmare week. Computers crashed, we received claims for compensation etc etc.

On this occasion our target audience (carer support organsiations) will appreciate "snail mail" - and i won't have to worry about 1000+ emails appearing in my inbox overnight.

The FREE presentations can be tailored to the businesses/organisations requirement. At the moment we will be keeping the presentations within the North East/North Yorkshire area - but who knows, if they are successful we could maybe hold some online.

Topics include:
  • Wills
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Longterm Care Issues
  • Asset Protection
  • Trusts
  • Public Guardianship Office (Court of Protection)
  • Affairs of the Elderly/those with Disabilities

The aim of the excercise is to educate people of legal issues which may affect them and in turn offer advice/solutions on issues that may be of concern.

The presentations will provide the opportunity to :

  • create awareness of Latimer Hinks Solicitors
  • raise the profiles of fee earners involved
  • show Latimer Hinks as knowledgable in the above areas

My first mail shot has been sent to groups providing help and advice for carers. I shall keep you informed of the progress.

If you know of an organisation/business that may be interested in educating it's members/employees on any of the above subjects please contact me, we can tailor our presentations to suit your requirements.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Photoshoots & Weather - they don't mix!

It's been said, never work with children or animals - well i can certainly say never try for a dry/sunny photoshoot in July in the UK - it ain't gonna happen!

I had to arrange a photo shoot with three charities, a bank and solicitor from Latimer Hinks in order to present money raised from the Latimer Hinks Charity Ball

I thought it would be ideal to hold the shoot outside Wynyard Hall - fabulous building.

When we arrived, the heavens opened. So we took the opportunity to take a few pics inside.

Then, the rain stopped so all 7 of us traipsed outside. We'd just managed to get the correct pose when again the heavens opened - a quick dash back in and the rain stopped.

We thought we'd give it one more try, by this point we were looking quite bedraggled (everyone took it in good spirit) - and hey presto out popped the sun. We dashed to position and finally managed to get an outside photo. (That's me in the front, i always manage to get the silly posing jobs!)

All in a days work! - Latimer Hinks Hands Over £10,000 to Three Charites

Charities present:

Monday, 7 July 2008

How to get the Most out of LinkedIn

When Social Networking Guinepig first came to fruition I mentioned a few social networking sites which I joined to help me on my journey to Web 2 - one of which was LinkedIn.

This is a great networking site which has loads of potential. It provides the opportunity to build relationships with professionals all over the world.

You can even use LinkedIn to ask a question. These questions are answered by members with expertise or experience in the particular area you seek to find more information on.

LinkedIn can be a little daunting to begin with.

Common Craft (I am a great fan) have developed a video for LinkedIn which helps you "get the most" out of LinkedIn

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Fred Burton Continues to Enjoy Fame After Retirement

72 years at Latimer Hinks and Fred finally retires... but he's never been busier!

Not only has Fred featured in The Daily Mirror, The Northern Echo and on ITV News - the Sunday Telegraph are hoping to have a magazine insert featuring lives of people who have retired.

We still aren't sure if he's the longest serving employee (for one firm) in the UK. The question was asked in the Nothern Echo interview so it will be interesteing to see if we receive any responses.
Colleagues at Latimer Hinks wrote a special newsletter for Fred. It makes for interesting reading

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Should Pre-nups be Legal in the UK?

Originally uploaded by Jakeymeyers

A prenuptial is a contract between two people about to marry that spells out how assets will be distributed in the event of divorce or death. It usually lists the assets and debts of both parties, and also states what each person's property rights will be after the marriage ends, either through divorce or death.

If a couple divorces, a prenup helps a lot in dividing the assets smoothly between the two. A pre-nup allows the couple to spell out what they expect from each other financially, and creates a more harmonious union with fewer conflicts, now and in the future.

Pre-nups are not binding in the UK although judges can take them into account during divorce proceedings - as seen here Should you Bother with a Pre-nup?

BUT... The Law Commission is to consider plans to bring the legal system in England and Wales in line with other countries. It will look at whether pre-nups should be upheld by the courts and under what circumstances.

Judith Middleton, partner at Latimer Hinks welcomes the plans and look sforward to less acrimonious divorces in the future - Darlington Lawyer Welcomes Move to Make Pre-nups Legal

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Rosie Gets Around - Agricultural Committee Member to Diabetes Fundraiser

Rosanne Green, a solicitor here at Latimer Hinks has been selected as a committee member for the Agricultural Law Association:The Next Generation (ALATNG) regional committee.
The Next Generation caters for younger professionals by arranging mixed technical and social events which allow members of all professions to meet each other - an ideal platform for networking and sharing knowledge.

Rosie is very busy at the moment, committee member for ALA: The Next Generation AND she is also training to run the New York marathon for Diabetes UK

Latimer Hinks has a great reputation for raising money (Record Amount Raised at the Charity Ball) and Rosie is running in the 2008 New York Marathon to raise money for Diabetes UK.

Rosie has Type I Diabetes which means she is insulin dependent – which makes training for a marathon quite a challenge!

If you'd like to sponsor Rosie or find out more about her training challenges please visit Just Giving.

Click if you would like to find out more about Diabetes UK

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

72 Years Working - Fred Burton Finally Retires from Latimer Hinks

Monday night we had a retirement "send off" for an extremely long-standing employee.

Latimer Hinks Solicitors has been around since 1872. Fred Burton started work with J F Latimer & Hinks (as it was previously known) in 1936!

Fred finally retired last night in 2008 aged 88! 72 years of employment - what an achievement!

Many of Fred's past colleagues came along to join the present Latimer Hinks team in saying goodbye. As you can imagine, it was quite a lengthy list!
Our local newspaper, the Northern Echo came along and wrote:

Fred Stepping Down after 72 Years Working for Legal Firm.

Since the publication of the article Tyne Tees TV have arranged to interview Fred here at Priestgate (Latimer Hinks) and the Daily Mirror are contacting Fred for a telephone interview.

It's been a long time in coming but Fred is certainly having his "Andy Warhol"15 minutes of fame!
Photo: Tim Haggie, Managing Partner of Latimer Hinks with Fred Burton

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Durham & Tees Valley Charity Awards - call for sponsors!

If you have been reading this blog you will know that Latimer Hinks and Horwath Clark Whitehill are jointly sponsoring the Durham & Tees Valley Charity Awards.

Blog entry here

The awards celebrate the acheivements of the "unsung heroes" of the charity sector - we give them a well deserved "pat on the back!"

We're looking for sponsors of certain categories - cost of sponsorship is £1000 and includes a table of ten (for the dinner), press publicity, opportunity to present an award and of course to choose the winner of your sponsored category - i'm sure you will agree that for £1000 + VAt that the sponsorship opportunity is very reasonable (remember it does include a table for 10).

The remaining categories are:
  • Children's Charity of the Year (ideal for businesses such as Mothercare, Toys r Us etc)
  • Animal Charity of the Year (any vets or feed suppliers out there?)
  • Disability Charity of the Year (perhaps car sales, disability cars/vehicles etc)
  • National Charity - Local Branch
  • Fundraiser of the Year (any business organisation could support this and perhaps even nominate)
  • Business Supporter of the Year (perfect for a bank!)

If you would be interested in sponsoring, or know of any business/organisation that may be interested, please contact me by my blog or by calling 01325 341507 and asking for Andrea

It's our chance to say "thanks" - you never know when you will need help from charities/hospices etc.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Bloggers Code of Conduct Required?

Originally uploaded by Hackintosh

Blogging is becoming more and more popular. There are now over 94 million blogs worldwide (according to Technorati) and according to recent research (conducted by YouGov) bloggers are unaware of their legal position when posting online.

Only 5% of users are clear of their legal rights and responsibilities when posting comments.

77% are uncertain or unaware of where the law stands

33% have read the legal terms and conditions for posting comments

42% think bloggers should be held to the same standards as journalists when publishing information. But of those who blog 27% belive they should be subjected to the same rules.

34% of bloggers would be opposed to a bloggers code of conduct - 32% would support it

Here is a suggested bloggers code of conduct from Tim O Reilly.

We bloggers should be aware of the need for care when using the internet at work and the importance of individual responsibility in posting messages online.

A blogger who posted offensive messages about a police officer's newborn baby and wrote about his perceived mistreatment at the hands of the police and the Crown Prosecution Service was prosecuted under the Telecommunications Act relating to the sending of an electronic message.

Employers are also unaware of their legal rights as to what they can object to in an employee's blog. Employers warned to be wary of blogs

Social Networking Guineapig has tackled this previously Blogging - the risks.

Consider carefully what you want to say in your blog, and as mentioned in the Code of Conduct, don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person! Blogging can be fun, addicitve and educational - let's try to keep it that way.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Social Networking Guineapig is on holiday!

Social Networking Guineapig will be offline until June 10th.
Now I know that for blogging to be successful that posts must be made on a regular basis... but I intend to steer clear of all technology relating to the web.
I'm having a "chill" week!
Chat to you soon - SNG xx

Latimer Hinks Sponsors Teddy to go to the Arctic

St Teresa's Hospice based in Darlington is organising the most northerly teddy bears picnic - to be held in the Arctic!
Latimer Hinks is supplying and sponsoring a teddy to represent Latimer Hinks in the Arctic. He's travelling with a name badge with all his contact details (just in case he wanders off)! At this very moment he is patiently waiting in reception for the Teddy Taxi and the start of his great adventure. Hopefully we'll receive some photos of him in the Arctic.

It's a fun charity event and so far the Arctic Teddy Bears Picnic has raised £20,000 for St Teresa's Hospice

Further information can be found at Teddies to the Arctic

And.. just to let you know, Social Networking Guineapig will be offline while travelling to Tunisia for a well earned rest - will catch back up with things on the 10th June

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Record Amount Raised at the Charity Ball

What a fabulous night we all had!

The venue, Wynyard Hall is absolutely stunning and our guests were all impeccably turned out.

The telephone has hardly stopped ringing since Monday. Guests have called, left messages, sent cards etc - everyone seems to have had a good time!

The casino and tombola attracted a lot of attention and the auction (led by Simon Bainbridge of Smiths Gore) went by extremely quickly - Smiths Gore won the signed Falcons Rugby Shirt

We were donated a wonderful last minute print by Dave Pringle of Arte Couture (fashion for walls - see pic). A lady from Suma Hairdressing purchased it for her salon - i'm sure it will look great.

I've provided links below so that you can see photographs of the venue, event and guests.
KJB Photography (password LHSB)

Oh! nearly forgot we raised a total of £10,000. HSBC generously donated £1000 through their community fund (so many thanks for that)!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

No Award at the North East Digital Awards

Thursday night last week saw Judith Middleton (Judith's Divorce Blog) and Social Networking Guineapig at the North East Digital Awards 2007.

The awards were held at the Hyena Club. We wandered in after taking a sip of complimentary bubbly and sat ourselves near the exit as it was VERY warm.

The awards were billed to provide a networking opportunity but the set up in the Hyena Club did not lend itself to this. There were very long tables packed very closely together. Once you were sat down, you were basically "stuck".

Food was served - in a box, fish, chips and mushy peas - again not ideal for networking. Fish and chips were followed by...cheesecake (and I wondered why I had indegestion!)

The awards were late to start but when they did it was all over and done wit in about 20 mins.

Social Networking Guineapig did not win an award - here is the press and list of the winners. Winners were provided with a paper certificate. Woohoo! The overall winners received a small glass trophy/award which was not given to them when they were initially called on stage. The glass awards made an appearance at a photo opportunity at the close of the awards.

I did expect a slightly more glamorous ceremony where we would learn why the winners were made winners - this is what would interest me.

All the above apart, congratulations to all of the winners and a pat on the back for all those shortlisted. You never know, they may "glam" it up for 2009!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Celebrity Couples & Amicable Divorces

Half of marriages in England and Wales could end in divorce - usually a hostile divorce!

It's time to look at how "switched on" celebrity couples seek an amicable alternative to bitter divorce battles such as the Heather Mills and Paul McCartney case.

Many celebrity couples are embracing collaborative law or mediation to resolve their differences.

Robin Williams Divorce

Chantelle & Preston Divorce

Abramovich Divorce

Chris Evans & Billie Piper

Judith Middleton, Partner at Latimer Hinks provides further information here - Celebrity Couple & Amicable Divorces

More information can be found hereDivorces_ How You Can Work It Out

Thursday, 15 May 2008

North East Digital Awards - Time Out of the Office

Social Networking Guineapig (shortlisted in the awards for best use of blogging) and fellow blogger Judith (of Judith's Divorce Blog) will be attending the North East Digital Awards Ceremony today at the Hyena Club in Newcastle.

Apparently there is a VJ playing. I thought the invitations had a typo error, but on clarification it seems, they haven't! According to Wikipedia as VJ is a performance artist who creates moving visual art on large displays or screens.

I'm sure it will be interesting to watch, but it certainly makes me feel old!

I remember DJ's - my attendance at discos and raves seem so far back in the past that the details are hazy... but, I can now try to impress my neices with my up to the minute knowledge of VJ's and feel like a citizen of the 21st century!

Wish the Social Networking Guineapig luck!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Latimer Hinks Launches HIPs Services

You either love them or hate them but it looks like Home Information Packs are here to stay.

Since 14 December 2007 every home put on the market, no matter what size, must have a Home Information Pack.

The pack brings together key information needed by buyers and sellers at the start of the process and ensures that details regarding energy efficiency are made available every time a property is sold.

Latimer Hinks is now one of a small number of law firms throughout England and Wales currently providing HIPs.

Prices start from £275 inc VAT

Click to check out further information on Home Information Packs

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Racey Donations for the Latimer Hinks Charity Ball

The Latimer Hinks Charity Ball is nearly upon us! I'm spending my days chasing guest lists, wine lists, donations - basically running around like a headless chicken.

I could do with a speedy sports car (preferably a convertible now that the weather has warmed up) to collect donations for the ball.

Talking of cars S G Petch and Teesside Audi have been very generous the have donated weekend use of two fabulous cars!

We're using the Mazda RX8 as a first prize in the casino. The top 4 gamblers will receive a prize and the Mazda will be first.

Teesside Audi have donated an "Audi of your choice" - yes, of your choice! I think i'd have to go with the Audi TT cabriolet (and no kids would be allowed). This prize has been placed into the auction and will be "auctioned off" with a game of golf, lunch, spa treatments and dinner at Headlam Hall near Darlington.

SG Petch and Teesside Audi are going to "place" their cars in front of Wynyard Hall - i'm sure they'll look spectacular!

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Latimer Hinks to Recognise Unsung Heroes - who would you nominate?

Once again Latimer Hinks Solicitors and Horwath Clark Whitehill (accountants) are jointly sponsoring the Durham and Tees Valley Charity Awards.

This is the 2nd year of the Charity Awards with the first being extremely successful.

The Awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of dedicated fundraisers throughout Durham & Tees Valley.

We’re looking for nominations for the following awards:
· Local Branch of National Charity
· Local Charity
· Volunteer of the Year
· Fundraiser of the Year
· Business Supporter of the Year
· Animal Charity
· Elderly Charity
· Children & Young People’s Charity
· Disability Charity

So, f you have a charity in mind that you would like to nominate take a look at the website Durham & Tees Valley Charity Awards for guidlelines and further information. Also see our press release Local Charities to be Recognised

The charities have of course, got to be in it to win it - so thinking caps on - who would you nominate?

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Johnny Wilkinson, Matthew Tait - the whole Newcastle Falcons Squad in one room - a great day out of the office!

A while back I contacted Newcastle Falcons in the hope that they could help in providing an auction prize for the Latimer Hinks Charity Ball.

I was, to say the least very excited to receive an invitation to attend a Charity Signing Day at the Falcons Stadium. The invitation extended to one other person attending so I "dragged" along Rosie (one of our solicitors with a keen interest in rugby).

The whole squad were there to sign (including the guys who played for England - Johnny Wilkinson, Matthew Tait...etc). They were all sat at tables and we had to work our way around following the t-shirt on it's way - it was such hard work - not!

It was quite hectic and I would imagine that there were around 100 people in the room waiting for signed memorabilia.

Rosie and I decided to purchase the black home shirt and proceeded to walk around the tables. The rugby shirt moved quicker than us and when we arrived for the last player's autograph our rugby shirt was nowhere to be found!

We were shocked! This was after all a Charity Signing Day to benefit charities and someone had taken not one shirt but at least 4 others. Disgraceful!

We all tracked down the staff and explained the situation. After much searching we were all provided with a different rugby shirt that had already been signed.

This rugby shirt will provide a great auction prize which of course we hope will sell for "lots of money" (i haven't a clue how much) and... it was a great day out of the office!

However, this not the only sports donation that Latimer Hinks have received.

We also have 2 signed footballs, one for Middlesbrough FC and the other Newcastle UFC and we are very grateful for all.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Women & Blogging - what would you give up?

Recently BlogHer and Compass Partners co-sponsored a US study that provides insights into women who blog and women who read blogs.

36.2 million women write and read blogs every week and of these approximately half
consider blogs reliable source of information.

I find this fact a little unsettling. Blogging is more about exchanging thoughts and opinions than about facts. You're free to say what you want to say in the way that you want to say it.

It is great to take on board others opinions, they can show a subject from a different angle - but unless you are reading a blogger with authority on a subject (see Judith's Divorce Blog) then what you are reading should not be assumed to be correct.

Here are some light hearted results from the survey - women would give something up to keep the blogs they read and/or write:
- 55% would give up alcohol
- 50% would give up their PDAs
- 42% would give up their i-Pod
- 43% would give up reading the newspaper or magazines
BUT, some things are sacred … only 20% would give up chocolate!

You'll find the full survey here and a link to the actual presentation

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Social Networking Guineapig Made the Shortlist!

Frank in a hat
Originally uploaded by mushyp

Just thought i'd let you know.... Social Networking Guineapig has been shortlisted for the North East Digital Awards. We're in the Digital Users/Marketing/Best Use of Blogging category.

Entrants were responsible for "getting votes" and social networking sites provided the opportunity to reach a wide audience in a limited period of time.

So thank you to all who "took the time" and voted! I'll let you know how we get on after the Awards Ceremony 15th May 2008.

That week will be hectic - the Latimer Hinks Charity Ball takes place the following evening, so lot's of preparing to do before hand!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The Power of Social Networking - $700,000 in 4 days

Originally uploaded by Dmitry Kolchev

Social Networking can be an extremely powerful tool for businesses. It's becoming an important part of everyday life, and this is set to continue. Facebook, LinkedIn, Bebo etc will have to work hard to retain their position in this fast paced industry as new Social Networking sites evolve.

I have recently used Social Networking sites to promote Judith's Divorce Blog and Social Networking Guineapig's entries into the North East Digital Awards - we should see in a months time how effective this has been.

The Latimer Hinks Charity Ball has also been promoted via this method - and it's working. Businesses have contacted Latimer Hinks to offer prizes, free services etc - and of course social media promotion will be of great benefit to the charities.

Although the above efforts have been relatively successful they pale into insignificance when you read about 19 year old Michael Treinen who is fighting for his life. He needs a $500,000 bone marrow transplant. With only a few days to raise money to cover the costs, the Treinan family turned to email, asking friends and family to donate $20 within three days and forward the email to 20 friends.

Four Days; $700,000 Social Networking Works.

This is such a powerful "spirit lifting" story that i just had to share it -you can count on friends, and friends arethe basis for the majority of Social Networking sites - this is why they are so successful!

Monday, 7 April 2008

The Breeds of Social Networkers - which are you?

According to MSN us Social Networkers have different breeds/classifications. I thought this quite interesting and wondered... Which Breed are You?
  • Alpha Socialiser
  • Attention Seeker
  • Follower
  • Faithful
  • Functional
Turns out i'm a Functional (although the majority of this group is male). I'll consider myself a Minority Functional

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Latimer Hinks Image Update - due to expansion

Latimer Hinks have been a part of Darlington life since 1872. We are 5 - 8 Priestgate in the centre of Darlington and are slowly edging our way into 4 Priestgate (which is the cream building to the left).

Due to this expansion we need to update our "shop front". Windows, fascias etc for each of the buildings are all different and we need to look at a design that will "marry" all of the buildings.

I'm having meetings next week with a few signmakers - I shall let you know how we get on!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Relaxing Donations for the Latimer Hinks Charity Ball

Anyone for a massage?
Originally uploaded by Kevin Day

We're holding an auction, a prize draw and a tombola at the Latimer Hinks Charity Ball.

I have contacted many local businesses for support and they're coming up trumps! It seems they consider that our guests are in need of relaxation and pampering, here are some of the prizes:

  • Headlam Hall - golf, lunch, swedish back and neck massage, use of spa facilities and a 2 course candle-lit dinner
  • Blackwell Grange Hotel - 1 night of pure indulgence for 2, accomodation, 3 course dinner, full english breakfast, complimentary spa treatment + use of hotel leisure facilities
  • Whinstone View Luxury Lodges - overnight stay (with outside tub) + meal in the Bistro

Numerous bottles of wine have also been donated along with magnums of champagne (we are a boozy lot!) - i'm sure they will go down well!

Thursday, 27 March 2008

North East Digital Awards - call for help - only 1 day to go!

Originally uploaded by Hackintosh
After the 28 March, entries into the North East Digital Awards will be judged. The entries with the most votes will be shortlisted – and a winner selected from that shortlist by the judges.

Both Judith's Divorce Blog and Social Networking Guineapig were entered a couple of weeks ago into the Digital Users, Best Use of Blogging category.

We are responsible for "getting votes" for our blogs. So much for being shy - we've got to get out there and shout about what we're doing!

So, this is our last call for help, our last stand! - take a look at our entries and if you like what you see, please take the time to vote.

We'll keep you updated with our progress. Apparently it may take up to a month before the winners are announced.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

The Charity Ball is "drifting" on

Madame Tussauds - X Factor
Originally uploaded by emertont

I've finally managed to book a band - what a carry on!
Guests will consist of local high net worth businesses/banks etc so i was looking for a sophisticated, great sounding band/group.

The agencies very kindly sent CD's to help with the decision process. One particular agency The Dixon Agency provided a DVD which was a great help as you can see how the band perform, and of course, what they look like!

Our Boardroom on Wednesday morning was similar to Simon Cowell's X Factor with our Marketing Partner, Anne Elliott and our postroom staff (Louise, Lisa and Maureen) the judges (and very harsh judges at that!). Anne very easily morphed into the role of Simon - some of her quotes consisted of "...outfits far too sexy, could give someone a heart attack", "look just like all the other boy bands"... and on and on.

Eventually votes were cast and the winners were...Young Drifters -they sound great and look even better, especially with their co-ordinated dance moves.

That's one more job ticked off the Charity Ball list... now time to concentrate on getting people there!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

North East Digital Awards - 2nd Entry!

Not to be left out, Social Networking Guineapig decided to submit an entry to the North East Digital Awards in the Digital Users/Best Use of Blogging section

Here's the blurb from their site:
The North East Digital Awards celebrate high-quality innovation, media professionalism and technical excellence in the digital world. Want to know what that really means? Our easy to navigate web site will provide you with all you need to know about the awards and their categories.
Its easy to browse, won’t give you convulsions, isn’t mission impossible and, fingers crossed, won’t self-destruct in five seconds! You can vote, interact, submit an entry or source a supplier.

Latimer Hinks now have two blogs in the running with only 10 days to go. Why not take a look, and if you like what you see - make a vote!
Social Networking Guineapig and Judith's Divorce Blog - Thanks

Monday, 17 March 2008

We've Entered the North East Digital Awards!

Way back in November 2007 I attended a Stilletto Bootcamp, just for ladies. It was a digital awareness presentation.

As the session drew to a close and as I was asked if Latimer Hinks would be interested in publicity for our blogs/digital presence. Apparently for a law firm in the UK we are quite forward thinking and progressive! I said we would be VERY happy to.

I finally have acted on this advice and entered Judith's Divorce Blog into the North East Digital Awards. The section is Digital Users/Marketing Awards/Best Use of Blogging.

At the moment there are only 4 entries and only 11 days to go, so we have left it a little late. But, with the help of some useful blogging and social networking skills we may still be in the running.

So, if you feel inclined to cast a vote, please do. Obviously the more voters the better - it will also encourage the North East Digital Awards organisers to consider the same awards for 2009.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Legal Blogs - Why are they undervalued?

Charley With iBook
Originally uploaded by Hackintosh

Judith Middleton (partner at Latimer Hinks Solcitors), Anne Elliott (partner) and myself write blogs. All are very different.

Social Networking Guineapig follows the success of Judith's Divorce Blog and Anne's Tax Planning Blog as well as providing the opportunity to flag up events, press stories which Latimer Hinks publish.

We are a 9 partner firm and so far I have only managed to recruit 2 partners in this blogging experiment.

I recently came across an article from KMSpace - Why are legal blogs undervalued? It's well worth reading, there are also links to other articles of interest.

Here is my blog on Why Blog - the advantages

The reasons that Latimer Hinks have developed blogs as an added marketing initiative are given below in a quote from KMSpace (we seem to be on the same wavelength!)

Blogging, like any marketing or networking activity is about building your brand. With lawyers and other professionals that means showing your expertise, engaging in conversations about your expertise and publishing your expertise. Blogs allow all of these. And certainly do a better job than most firm's rather static websites.

Once you start a blog it's interesting (and addictive) to monitor how much traffic is directed to the firm's website. Traffic that would not have arrived there probably by any other means.

All you need to do is "give it a try". It's free and your marketing budget will stretch further!

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Latimer Hinks Summer Ball Charity Ball Launch

Monday was the "get together" for Latimer Hinks Charity Ball photoshoot. We all met at Wynyard Hall on a beautiful bright sunny day. One could almost imagine sunbathing in Wynyard's private gardens.. until you stepped out of the car and realised it was FREEEZING!

So cold in fact that the photo shoot was moved indoors.

Attending the photoshoot was Jeff Winter, an ex premiership football referee and Graham Mack, radio show host for TFM radio.

The idea was that Jeff would be taking "bookings" for the ball. Yes, I know... cliche/been done before etc etc. It's alot better than the last shoot where on an extremely windy day I had to stand with a plate of salad with mozzarella sprinkled on top.

The mozarella did not stay on top for long!

The Charity Ball is in aid of three very worthy charities.

Here's the main story Local Charities to Benefit from Law Ball

Make A Child Smile (the TFM/Magic Radio charity), County Durham Foundation and Great North Air Ambulance.

Photo, left to right: Jeff Winter, Me and Anne Elliott (Latimer Hinks), Graham Mack (TFM), Kate Brown (County Durham Foundation) and Lynne Simmons (Great North Air Ambulance)

Here are other posts about the Ball

Summer Charity Ball & Relationship Building , Knowledge Sharing Through Social Networking

Monday, 3 March 2008

We have our very own Imelda Marcos

Clinkard deal 08
Originally uploaded by fiveto8priestgate

I recently sent Neil Stevenson (on the right, Jonathon Mankin, Clinkards on the left) to a photo shoot at Clinkards (an extemely nice footwear store). Neil and Nick Poole (both partners at Latimer Hinks ) worked on an acquisition matter which they turned around in double quick time!

I met Neil returning from the photoshoot clasping three very large Clinkard bags. Little did I know - there was a sale on!

He seemed extremely happy with his purchases and not in the slightest bothered that he had to take time out of the office to attend the shoot...I wonder why??

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Confessions of a Blogger

Originally uploaded by aabomb

Bloggers the world over preach on how to make a blog successful. I have committed what I feel to be the No.1 sin.

My only excuse is that I have been SO busy. I am organising for Latimer Hinks (as well as all my other duties):
1) A Bi-annual Charity Ball (Friday May 16th)
2) A Trustee Presentation (Thursday 27th Feb)
3) An Annual Dinner (Friday 29th)

The No.1 Blogging Sin that I have committed is....

Not Blogging! It has been over a week since my last blog.

Blogs must be regularly updated to hold interest. I even wrote Top Ten Blogging Tips - and consider the list as a Top Ten Commandments.

For some reason I have placed "regularly updating" at number 9 - i think i need a rewrite!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Trustees, Tax & Investment Presentation, 27th February

Yes, I know it's a boring title. One of the rules of blogging is to have a "snappy" title but i'm afraid that on this occasion the importance of the content outwieghed the "creative element".

With effect From 6 April 2008 enormous tax changes will be introduced and implemented. Those changes are going to impact on all taxpayers, including Trustees.

Latimer Hinks is holding a presentation on the 27th February to update Clients and Trustees on a number of tax and trust related matters.

If the content of the presentation is of interest, please contact us to book your place.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Knowledge Sharing through Social Networking - It Works!

As mentioned previously we are holding the Latimer Hinks bi-annual Charity Ball in May this year.

I decided that I would try to use social networking to my advantage, hence my first post about the ball.

Since this post I have received calls from:
  • a photographer who will come along on the evening free of charge, sell photos and donate 10% of the profits to the charities concerned.
  • an auction expert, he will supply auction items and organise a silent auction free of charge. Any profit made above the cost of the item will go directly to the charities

This will all be a great help. The companies can come in and professionally "do their thing". I will then have more time to see to the other aspect of the evening.

It's all getting very exciting! We're even looking at lighting the outside of Wynyard Hall. It is after all, a spectacular building.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Summer Charity Ball and Relationship Building

Every two years Latimer Hinks organise a charity ball and this year it is to be held at the magnificent Wynyard Hall, Tees Valley on May 16th 2008. It's an absolutely stunning venue and we have sole use - very prestigious!

The ball provides the opportunity to support the local community and for 2008 we have chosen three very worthy charities to support
  • County Durham Foundation - providing a way for individuals, companies and trusts to have their own charitable funds, held in their name, to make grants to projects or individuals of their choosing

  • Great North Air Ambulance - providing emergency medical cover for the North of England using helicopters to transport time critical injured or ill patients

  • Make a Child Smile - supporting local children of Tees Valley, North Yorkshire & County Durham who are either sick or under-privileged

In 2006 we raised nearly £10,000 and intend to dramatically increase the figure for 2008

Hopefully I can call on contacts made throughout the year through networking events in the hope that they will support/sponsor the ball. I can also seek advice from a massive knowledge base.

Yesterday I spoke with Mike Challands of MT Print who I met at a very tasty networking breakfast. Mike is not only going to advise me on banners/displays etc he has also offered to provide the design and print of tickets, program etc in return for a few tickets to the ball!

Mike will benefit from exposure to around 300 high net worth business representatives at the event and will obviously have his quality print work on show and acknowledged AND we can pass the money saved on print to the charities.

This is what relationship building/networking is all about - we don't necessarily need to give business on every occasion but we can provide opportunities to expose new contacts to our networks.

If anyone reading this would be interested in sponsoring/supporting the charity ball, please let me know.

We have yet to book a band, music (we would like string quartet or similar). Donations of champagne etc for a sponsored reception would be gratefully received. We are looking for auction prizes, raffle prizes - the list goes on!

If you or your business would like exposure/ackowledgement at this prestigious black tie event, talk to me (you can use comments) and i will call you to discuss on suggestions further.

Don't forget it's all for good causes!

Press from previous balls 2006, 2004. More Charity Ball photos