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Solicitors since 1809

Bedford 01234 303030 | Ampthill 01525 750750

The Partners

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Philip Elliott

I qualified as a solicitor in 1996 and have specialised in family law ever since. I lead the family law department of Sharmans. I am also a qualified mediator.
I specialise in dealing with the financial issues arising from divorce and separation including acting for clients of high net worth. Increasingly I am also consulted in respect of pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements. I am also experienced in the law relating to children (including cases with an international element), domestic violence and cohabitee disputes. This experience is recognised by The Law Society which has appointed me to be a member of the advanced tier of the Family Law Accreditation Scheme.

I am a member of Resolution which is a body which encourages individuals to reach agreement through compromise and negotiation, which helps to avoid conflict and also keeps the costs down for clients. I have also been accredited by that organisation as a specialist in the field of dealing with and resolving financial issues.
I am also a qualified collaborative lawyer. This approach builds upon the principles of compromise referred to above in order to achieve a fair solution for all. For more information on Collaborative Law in the local area, please visit www.bedscollaborativelaw.co.uk

I have been a partner since 2006 and am the firm’s Compliance Officer for legal practice.

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Ann Pryer

I qualified as a solicitor in 1989, and have worked in private practice since then. I joined Sharman Law in 2007 becoming a partner in 2008.

I specialise in all aspects of Probate, Trusts, Wills and estate planning, as well as Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection work, each year I deal with perhaps 80 – 100 wills. These can be simple and straightforward or can involve complex family arrangements with foreign properties and business interests. I deal with about 50 estates each year. Some are non- taxable, for example where estates pass directly to the surviving spouse, but others can involve complex IHT calculations requiring input from numerous experts to assist in negotiations with HMRC.

I aim to be sensitive and pragmatic when working with my clients, many of whom need advice and support whilst dealing with difficult events in their lives.

I am head of our firm's Private Client department as well as being a member of the Law Society's Private Client Section, giving me access to the latest developments in this area of law.

If you would like some help, please email me and I will let you know if I can assist you.


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Simon Parrott

I have lived in Bedfordshire for all my life, and studied at Bedford Modern School. I qualified as a solicitor in 1987 and have practiced in Bedford since then. I now lead our commercial team and deal with commercial property transactions and also disputes for private and commercial clients.

My experience covers the purchase, sale and leasing of commercial properties and advising on development sites. I also deal with agricultural land matters and agricultural leases. As far as disputes are concerned, my main specialisation is dealing with disputes involving property, particularly landlord and tenant disputes in relation to both residential and commercial properties. I regularly give talks and presentations on property topics to property owners.
















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Steve Williamson

I qualified as a Solicitor in 1977 and have practised in Bedford throughout my working life.

Initially, I undertook general legal work for clients, but ultimately I have specialised in property work. I handle a large volume of conveyancing transactions, including the sale and purchase of houses and apartments, re-mortgages and transfers of equity. I also deal with more complex transactions including land deals which often involve option agreements and conditional contracts, shared ownership leases and unregistered titles.

Apart from assisting individuals with selling and buying property, I also act for a number of investors who often require quick timeframes to complete transactions in order to comply with their agreed terms.

I also act for property developers with the acquisition of land, putting together sites and then dealing with the plot sales, which often involve further documentation such as deeds of easement, road agreements etc.

I am often asked to advise on legal packs for property auctions and to prepare legal packs for clients selling at auction.

Apart from this, I give advice on a miscellany of issues involving property including covenants, easements boundaries etc.

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Jonathan Copper

For many years I have predominantly practised family and civil law. I qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives in 1997 and in 1999 qualified as a solicitor.

I have experience of all types of litigation including housing, commercial, dispute resolution, disputed wills and probate, insolvency and debt recovery.

I have successfully concluded a case in the Supreme Court, which clarifies the law surrounding harassment: Hayes v Willoughby. My experience in family law is recognised by the Law Society.






















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Mel Lawrence

I am a solicitor specialising in commercial property transactions. I deal with a variety of commercial property work including landlord & tenant issues (drafting and advising on leases, lease renewals, assignments and sub-letting), business sales and purchases, portfolio management and dilapidation settlements.

I have lived in Bedfordshire for the past 20 years and qualified as a solicitor in 2006. Having undertaken most of my training in residential and commercial property, I specialised in commercial property from the outset. I joined Sharmans in April 2014 and I am based in our Bedford office. I take a practical approach to matters and find that clients appreciate my professional yet friendly approach.