• Zep Bellavia

Lockdown: A week in the life of Bellavia & Associates

With Craig Shipp settling in as Head of Litigation in our now five-strong team, I have been able to enjoy helping in a wide variety of legal matters and with most court hearings, now held via video or telephone. I have been able to deal with most of them personally rather than delegating, due to the time saved by not travelling to and waiting for physical hearings.

Highlights at Bellavia & Associates over the last week include:

  • Completing the swift sale of a financial services company.

  • Advocacy in a Crown Court complex planning matter (via video link, of course).

  • Many employment matters from Covid-related matters, from legal support in grievance processes to engaging with the Employment Tribunal in ongoing maters including one for a huge international company.

  • Several insolvency-related matters ranging from personal liability issues including personal guarantees, and director’s disqualification proceedings, to advising creditors following the recent collapse of another long-standing well-known brand.

  • Preparing for a number of imminent Court hearings in family matters.

We are so lucky and grateful to be delivering a seamless service to our wide range of clients and to be able to still provide free initial urgent guidance and advice to those in need.

My voluntary work as Chair of the Newport Now BID enables me to support many local businesses and people, although I had to miss the fortnightly video update for the Board last week due to client Court deadlines. Our focus is now on helping businesses evolve in readiness for their post-Covid futures.

Craig continues to love the variety of litigation matters he is now handling and assisting with, whether that be the large number of debt recovery matters, the contested Wills or the property disputes.

Cash recovered at this time is so important to our clients and there is no doubt that cash has become more difficult to extract in these challenging times – our no win no fee service is popular with many companies who particularly love it when our Third Party Debt Orders result in freezing cash in their debtors bank accounts! The Court fee invested of only £110 is often well worth it.

New instructions include representation in a £1m-plus demand, advice on many Covid-related issues, new Wills, Powers of Attorney, Trusts, solicitor’s negligence claims, termination of key finance agreements, boundary disputes, lease for a new restaurant, property sales and acquisitions ranging from a £1m-plus property to buying a lowish-value but key plot of land,.

We do miss the face-to-face interaction with our clients, friends and contacts at the moment and so look forward, together with the rest of the world, to the relaxation of the current restrictions.

However, with our new investment in IT, Microsoft Teams and our offices means that our future, working from separate offices at home and linking up seamlessly with our Associates, is to continue to provide the very best client service at affordable prices.

I am proud to still be able to use my 35 years-plus of legal experience in case work and managing more than £100m worth of legal services helping people and businesses, and delivering cost-effective, successful legal solutions at the same hourly rate as an eight-year qualified solicitor. Legal services may not be cheap but the right legal advice is usually invaluable.

In uncertain times, you can be certain of Bellavia & Associates.

Zep Bellavia is Managing Director of Newport-based solicitors Bellavia & Associates.

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