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Legal Advice by Emma Plant

When it comes to buying or selling your property, it can be an extremely stressful time.

Your house is probably the most valuable asset that you will ever own, and you want to be sure of a good job. Some may choose to carry out their own conveyancing without the need of a solicitor, however this can lead to complications and delays, especially if you don’t have a legal background or understand the legal terminology.

Selling a property can be a minefield when it comes to understanding the rights, covenants and obligations which are contained within your title documents. By instructing a solicitor, you can rest easy knowing that they will fully check the transfer of legal title from one person to another and will highlight any issues with you in order for you to make an informed decision on whether to proceed with your property sale or purchase.

There are many solicitors specialising in property law, whether they be based in the local area, further afield or even online, but with so much choice available how do you decide which solicitor is right for you?

One of the major factors for most people will be cost, but you should always beware a false economy! Often the cheapest option is to use an online conveyancer or solicitors who are out of the area. These options may appeal, especially to those who have busy lives and can’t get to their local solicitors. An electronic transaction conducted without ever seeing your solicitor might seem very convenient, but the high volume, low overheads approach of companies is often their biggest failing.

When it comes to selling your home, some things should be more important than cutting corners where costs are concerned. Using online conveyancers or out of area solicitors are likely to have no local knowledge of the area, you will be unlikely to ever meet your solicitor face to face and in most cases are allocated a team, not an individual qualified solicitor. This can make getting an update on your sale or purchase a difficult and frustrating process, and often leads to delays. If either of the above is your chosen option then we urge you to be cautious.

Using a local firm which knows the area ensures that you have the freedom to drop in on your solicitor, sign paperwork or provide documents at your convenience, while also ensuring that your matter is in capable hands. A face-to-face, personal approach is particularly useful if you are working to a deadline and need to avoid unnecessary delays, especially as most documents in conveyancing require a “wet” signature, (the real thing!) and scanned copies are often not acceptable.  A local solicitor also has local knowledge and will have carried out a number of transactions in your area, helping you avoid pitfalls that could easily derail an online transaction.

Thomas Horton Solicitors LLP has been offering outstanding legal services for over 150 years

Deborah Honick joins Thomas Horton

Deborah has joined Thomas Horton as part of the Commercial Property Team.

Deborah qualified in 2004 and has worked at a Commercial firm in Birmingham and in-house for a Local Authority so has experience from the Client’s perspective too. Deborah’s experience includes general commercial leasing including lease grants, lease renewals, assignments, variations, options, licence to assign and change of use, licence for alterations, licences to underlet, rent review memoranda and surrenders and general management advice together with acquisitions and disposals of general commercial property.

Deborah’s spare time is occupied by running around after her two young children.



Congratulations on qualifying as a Solicitor, Naomi

We are delighted to announce that Naomi Grace Whitfield has accepted the invitation to join us as Solicitor in our Corporate Department, and is admitted by The Law Society as a Solicitor today.

During her time as trainee solicitor Naomi has excelled in all of the departments that she has worked. Most recently she has shown a natural aptitude for business law and for dealing with business clients.

We hope this is the beginning of a long, happy and fulfilling career for her here at Thomas Horton LLP.

Congratulations on qualifying as a Solicitor, Naomi!

Naomi-Grace Whitfield Team Photo

Olivia Benner joins Thomas Horton

Olivia Completed her LLB Law degree at Keele University in 2011 and undertook LPC whilst working as a paralegal in 2013 -2014.

Olivia obtained a Training Contract and worked in various areas of law including: Wills and Probate, Conveyancing , Family – public and private law, and is a Fully Accredited Police Station Representative.

Olivia was admitted as a Solicitor in May of this year and joined Thomas Horton in September 2017 as a Solicitor in the Care Department.

Helena Palomino gets specialist paralegal qualification

After 15 years working in law firms and 11 years assisting commercial property solicitors as a PA and legal assistant, Helena Palomino decided to further her career by undertaking a specialist paralegal qualification in commercial property.

On 16 January 2017 Helena qualified and on 31 August 2017 she attended her graduation ceremony at the Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

Helena is now a Fellow of The Institute of Paralegals and a member of the Professional Paralegal Register.

Well done Helena


Heleena Gandham joins Thomas Horton LLP

Thomas Horton are pleased to announce that Heleena Gandham has joined our Commercial Department at Bromsgrove.

Heleena worked for a commercial firm for 8 years after completing her law degree and Legal Practice Course. Heleena specialises in employment, litigation and insolvency law.

Having worked on a wide variety of cases across different areas of law, Heleena has gained a broad knowledge and she always strives to meet or exceed client’ s expectations and to achieve the very best possible outcome on her cases.




Experienced Receptionist required for Bromsgrove office


We require an experienced Receptionist to join our Bromsgrove office.

Whilst the position of Receptionist will be on a part-time basis, full-time hours will be considered for the right person as this role can be linked to that of a general float secretary. A full, clean driving licence is essential for this role, together with the flexibility to provide cover at multiple offices as and when required.

Current or previous experience of working within a busy, fast moving environment is essential. You should have a pleasant personality, the ability to manage and prioritise situations in a timely and effective manner, excellent typing skills and the ability to work as part of a team. In addition, previous experience of utilising case management systems would be advantageous although training can be provided.

Salary will be dependent upon experience.

Please send your C.V together with a covering letter including salary expectation to Mrs Veronica Newton at

Closing Date: Friday 15th September 2017

Congratulations on qualifying, Laura-Faye

We are delighted to announce that Laura Faye Trainor has accepted the invitation to join us as Assistant Solicitor in the Care Department, and is admitted by The Law Society as a Solicitor today.

Laura-Faye has shown through her positive attitude, hard work and commitment to the department and the LLP, that her appointment is well deserved. We hope this is the beginning of a long, happy and fulfilling career for her here at Thomas Horton LLP.

Congratulations on qualifying as a Solicitor, Laura-Faye!

Laura Faye Trainor

Nabjit Kaur Dubb joins Thomas Horton LLP

Thomas Horton are pleased to announce that Nabjit Kaur Dubb has joined our conveyancing Department at Bromsgrove.

Nabjit joined the legal profession in 2004 after successfully completing a Law LLB (Hons) Degree and Legal Practice Course.

Nabjit pursued her career in Residential Conveyancing as a Paralegal in 2006 working for a Redditch based firm in 2007, qualifying as a Solicitor in 2016.

Nabjit has already started to receive a volume of positive feedback for her clarity of approach, good communication and use of ordinary language rather than legal jargon so that clients can understand what can often be a frustrating if not daunting process.



Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? But this is the sad reality for Mrs. Tini Owens, whose application for divorce was rejected by the Supreme Court on Friday 24th March 2017

Mrs. Owens is seeking to end her 39 year marriage on the basis of unreasonable behaviour, she made 27 allegations in her divorce petition about the way her husband, Mr. Hugh Owens, treated her, including that he was “insensitive in his manner and tone” and said she was “constantly mistrusted” and felt unloved. Mr. Owens defended the petition, asserting that the troubles the couple faced had been exaggerated by his wife, and that he felt they ‘had a few years left’ together to enjoy.

Mrs. Owens’ petition was refused by a Family Law Judge, and her appeal has also now been rejected, with Judges ruling that her allegations were “of the kind to be expected in marriage” and that Mrs. Owens’ application was “an exercise in scraping the barrel”.

Unreasonable behaviour, the ground upon which Mrs. Owens sought to divorce, is a substantive test, meaning that the behaviour need only be unreasonable to that particular person regardless of how others might feel. The casual disregard the Court appears to have shown Mrs. Owens, deeming her “more sensitive than most wives”, is unlikely to endear the Family Courts to their female patrons, and their dismissal of the substantive element of unreasonable behaviour lends further weight to the argument that Family Courts are lagging behind modern times, especially when it comes to their attitude towards gender roles.

This judgement is also likely to bring the fault based divorce into further disrepute, with many Family Law specialists already believing that the Court’s current requirements to apply for divorce are old fashioned and overbearing. In the 21st Century, should the Courts restrictive processes be allowed to impose upon people’s lives and freedoms in this way? Mrs. Owens no doubt feels very hard done by, forced to remain in a loveless marriage by an institution charged with upholding justice and civil liberties.

If you are concerned about navigating a tricky divorce, or are worried about what this ruling might mean for you, rest assured that here at Thomas Horton, we pride ourselves on staying ahead of the curve, and equipping ourselves to give our clients the best advice and service possible.

Call our Family Department today on 01527 839417 to discuss your options moving forward, and how the knowledge and expertise of 150 years of legal services can benefit you.


Naomi Grace Whitfield

Family Department