Monthly Archives

October 2017

Staff Spotlight Tara Arnold

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Our Staff Spotlight gives you a snap shot of the lives of our workforce and the individuals that make Barnes and Partners the legal firm that it is.

Every month at Barnes and Partners we take votes across our offices to nominate one of our exceptional staff for the Staff Spotlight. This is a way that we can celebrate their fantastic qualities internally and give you a glimpse into what makes them tick. Once a winner is announced internally we provide a spotlight on that member of the team, something we call our “Staff Spotlight.”

Our winner this month is from our team at Enfield Head Office, Trainee Solicitor, Tara Arnold.

Her colleagues describe her as a “dedicated, hardworking, exceptional employee” and say of her that she “always has time for everyone, always there to lend a hand whether inside her job remit or not, and nothing is too much trouble…”

This is Tara’s life at Barnes and Partners in her own words:


Tara Arnold Staff Spotlight


I have been with Barnes and Partners for 5 years this November. Barnes and Partners offered me my first job in my legal career for which I am ever grateful. I left University with my Law degree thinking there were lots of jobs with great firms out there, but I soon realised that wasn’t necessarily the case and finding the right firm for me would not necessarily be easy. I have learnt so much, and have always been well supported by all my colleagues throughout my time here, and have made many friends for life. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me along the way.

 I started at the Ware Office with Andrea as an Administrator. I was responsible for everyday duties such as answering the telephone, dealing with outgoing and incoming post, typing etc. Then in April 2016 I started my Training Contract, initially doing my Conveyancing seat in the Ware office, and then in July 2016 I moved to the E-Move Department at the Enfield Office. I am now in the Probate and Wills Department working alongside the lovely Kim Boylett.

My day usually starts with checking my emails and the morning’s post. I then have a catch-up with Kim to discuss anything that has arisen overnight or arrived in the post. We check through the diary to see which clients we are meeting that day and ensure everything is prepared ready for the meeting. Each day is varied, and no two client meetings are ever the same. We experience every type of emotion throughout the day, and I am usually worn-out come 5:30pm. But, whatever has happened during the day, we always manage to have a laugh. I get a real buzz knowing we have helped a client or their family during such a difficult time in their lives. I assist by drafting Wills, and Lasting Powers of Attorney and the dreaded HMRC Inheritance Tax Accounts Forms, amongst other things.

 In terms of my personal life, I bought my first house just over two years ago, and have nearly finished decorating everything imaginable, so I am looking forward to finally being able to relax in my home knowing there is nothing left to do! (Well for the time being anyway). I love going to the cinema and get such enjoyment from spending time with my family. I do love travelling abroad too, as it is the one place I can truly switch-off, being far away from everything! 


Thanks for sharing with us Tara.

Tara is an asset to our firm and to our clients – you!

If you have a question for Tara or any of our Wills and Probate team at our Barnes and Partners Solicitors Enfield branch then please don’t hesitate to get in touch –

0208 370 2800

Buying at Auction – Are you Prepared?

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Buying property at auction is a great way to buy property – you can get a great deal through an exciting and vibrant process. But, for some, buying property at auction can be an overwhelming and a confusing process.


buying a property at auction conveyancing hammer


Unlike usual conveyancing transactions whereby contracts are legally binding upon exchange, at auction the contract is effectively exchanged with a successful auction bid! So raising that baton and a nod of the head in the frenzy and excitement of the moment has lasting consequences. Something can seem immediately more attractive when it is in demand but what can you do to ensure that you are cool, calm, collected and most importantly prepared for a property auction?


Below are some key factors to consider:


  1. What can you afford?


If you are a cash buyer then this is straightforward, however, if a mortgage is required then matters can be more complex. When a successful auction bid is made a completion date is inserted into the contract. You must have sufficient funds to complete otherwise you will fail to complete and will be in breach of contract (this is another topic for another day!).


We recommend prior to the auction that you consider contacting a mortgage broker or the lender directly to ensure that mortgage finance is likely to be available based upon your circumstances – don’t forget the majority of lenders will require a valuation to be undertaken so that will need to be arranged ASAP.


  1. Do you really want it?


This may seem a bizarre question – if you have made a bid, then of course you want it! But what background checks have you done? Have you seen the property (you would be surprised to note the amount of people who bid for a property without having even seen it)? Is it suitable for your intended purposes – if you are going to rent the property is there a demand? If you are going to live there have you visited the area at different times at different days for example to ensure the area is the one for you? Take a look at our blog here for more on this.


  1. Have you had the legal title to the property checked?


This is where Barnes & Partners can assist. We understand that timescales can be tight when considering buying a property at auction. At Barnes & Partners we are able to consider the auction papers and advise if there are likely to be any problems to buy, finance the property or re-sell the property for example:

  • To Buy

Auction contracts can and usually do contain additional clauses that are not normally found in conventional conveyancing contracts between a seller and a buyer. There may be a provision, for example, whereby the buyer is under a duty to pay 2% (this figure is variable and therefore may be higher!) of the purchase price upon completion as contribution towards the sellers legal fees. This can be costly if you are unaware beforehand and may have effected your bid had you known.

  • To Finance

The Seller may have owned the property for less than six-months. This will immediately make the property less attractive should mortgage finance be required as most lenders will not lend in these circumstances.

  • To Re-Sell

Some properties are offered at auction for a reason. It could well be that the property is only suitable for cash buyers only for example due to a short lease on a property or an incomplete title making the property harder to sell on the open market


Once you have bought a property at auction you will generally require the services of a solicitor to complete the transaction on your behalf. At Barnes & Partners we are able to offer a comprehensive service to complete the transaction, attend to payment of stamp duty on your behalf and register your title to the property.


                  We wish you successful bidding and good luck!


Nicola Payne, Partner, Conveyancing


Please get in touch with us on 0208 370 2800 to speak to one of our Conveyancers.