• What do we do?

    From our City centre offices in Exeter, our expert Solicitors offer specialist legal advice to both the business and non-business client.

    Clearly our main purpose is to provide sound legal advice. However, as well as the legal aspects of a case, we will also take time to consider other non-legal matters which may be just as important. It is because you are put in direct contact with a Solicitor, who will see your case through from beginning to end and becuase we use plain English when speaking with you, that you can be confident that you are in control of things.

    So, no stuffy lawyers, no legal jargon, one main point of contact and a relaxed and informal atmosphere with a fabulous view of Exeter Cathedral. What are you waiting for? Choose Morgan & Pope for a comprehensive approach and advice you can rely upon.



  • Who are we

    Morgan & Pope Solicitors was formed on 1st October 2011 when 208 years' worth of experience were combined following the merge of Stephen Morgan & Co and Popes Solicitors (previously J. & S. P. Pope).

    We are a medium sized law firm based in Cathedral Yard, Exeter and you can expect to receive, as standard, exceptionally high quality legal services at a price you can afford. However, it is our friendly, non-stuffy approach to the law that sets us apart from the rest of the lawyers in Exeter and makes us a must when deciding who to instruct to deal with your everyday legal needs.


  • Why choose us?

    Our clients choose us because:

    • We provide sensible and comprehensive advice
    • We are friendly and approachable
    • We are efficient
    • We really do care



What is residential conveyancing?

The term residential conveyaning means the legal process of either buying or selling a house. The term applies whether you are buying or selling a house which you intend to live in, or have lived in, as your main house or if you are buying or selling houses as part of an investment portfolio (i.e. rental properties).

What is the legal process?

When selling a house, it is our job to draft and check all the legal paperwork in order to transfer the legal ownership of your property to your buyer. It is also our job to answer, on your behalf, any questions that are raised by your buyer or their Solicitor in relation to the legal Title to the property. We do this either by referring to the legal principles that apply or by asking you to provide answers to those questions which require personal knowledge of the property.

When buying a house, it is our job to check the legal paperwork that has been provided by the Seller’s Solicitor to ensure that you are obtaining a good legal Title to the property. We also carry out a range of searches which assist us in identifying any problems to do with matters such as Drainage and Water, Environmental and Planning matters. As part of our service to you we will provide you with a full report on Title so that you are in possession of all the information relevant to your new home.

Whether buying or selling a property, if you have a mortgage, we will ensure that the lender’s requirements are fully met, at no additional cost to you.

How long does it take to buy and sell a house?

There is really no definite answer to this question. We aim to complete transactions within 6 to 8 weeks. However, there are various factors which may mean that we either exceed this timescale or complete the matter much more quickly.

For example, if you are a cash buyer and are buying a property which is empty and where there is no chain (i.e. your seller does not have a related purchase) it could be entirely possible to complete the purchase within 4 weeks or less.

However, if you are buying with the aid of a mortgage and selling a property too, where both your buyer and your seller have related transactions and also have mortgages, the whole process could take much longer.

The basic rule is; the longer the chain and the more people in that chain who have mortgages, the longer the transaction will take to complete.

How do we charge?

We charge fixed fees for all property transactions and at the time of providing you with an estimate as to costs, we will also tell you how much all the searches, land registry fees and stamp duty land tax will cost too. That way, you can be certain that there are no hidden costs and can budget from the very beginning of your transaction.

Although we don’t make any profit from the searches that we undertake on your behalf, those costs do vary depending upon where your property is located as each Local Authority will charge a different amount.

Therefore, in order to ensure that the information provided by us is correct at the time you ask for it, we ask clients to telephone us (01392 274006), or to complete our online enquiry form to obtain an accurate no obligation estimate as to the costs involved with your transaction.

Other things to think about when buying and selling houses:

Although your main focus will, undoubtedly, be either completing the sale of your house of moving into you new home as soon as possible, you must also consider the following:

  • Do you need to update your Will?
  • Do you want to own your new home with your spouse or partner as tenants in common or as joint tenants?
  • Do you need to have a Trust Deed drawn up to reflect the different amounts of money you and your spouse or partner have invested in the purchase of your new home?
  • If you are buying your house with you partner and are unmarried, should you enter into a cohabitation agreement?

If you would like further information about any of the above, please telephone us on 01392 274006 and we can advise you as to whether the above apply in your circumstances and if so, provide you with a fixed fee.

Settlement Agreements




Settlement Agreements are legally binding agreements that set out the terms of a settlement between an employer and an employee (they used to be called compromise agreements).

Settlement Agreements came into force at the end of July 2013 as part of wider changes in employment laws.

The documents are usually given to employees when they are being made redundant or the business is being restructured.

However they are also offered to employees sometimes if an employer thinks he or she is performing badly in their job or where it might be best for both parties for the employment to end amicably.

Settlement Agreements tend to be used when employers are paying more than the statutory minimum entitlement. The benefit to the employer is that the Settlement Agreement gives the certainty of knowing there will be no dispute or claim afterwards.

You receive a sum of money in return for losing your job and employment rights and cannot bring a claim against your employer. The Settlement Agreement is the final clean break before you leave work.

Settlement Agreements vary but usually there are clauses that deal with:-

-       The claims to be settled.

-       The payment you would have received.

-       Tax issues.

-       Confidentiality.

-       An agreed reference from your employer.


Once you have signed the Settlement Agreement you are bound by it which is why the law insists that you take independent legal advice about the Settlement Agreement. Usually the employer will pay for this or make a significant contribution.

We can check if you are getting a fair deal and whether you may have any grounds for a claim against your employer (like discrimination or unfair dismissal).


An average to well negotiated settlement may be around 4 to 6 months salary including notice.

However inevitably it can be more or less as every situation is different.

We have set out below the typical types of payment you can expect to receive.

Salary and Benefits

You should receive your normal salary and benefits up to the termination date.

Some benefits may extend beyond the termination date, typically:-

-       You may agree additional health care cover.

-       A payment instead of notice.

-       Continued use of a company car.

Payment for untaken holidays

If you haven’t had all of your holiday before the end of your employment you should receive a payment for the unused days.

Holiday entitlement accrues on a monthly basis. For example if you leave half way through the holiday year you will have accrued only half your holiday. Deduct from this the holiday you have taken and you are left with the amount of days for which you should be paid when your employment ends.

Statutory redundancy payment

If you are being made redundant you will be entitled to redundancy payment. The amount depends on:-

-       Your length of service.

-       Your age.

-       Your rate of pay.

You can go online to calculate this.

Enhanced Redundancy payment

Some employers offer better redundancy terms.

Your employment contract and staff handbook should tell you whether you are entitled to this.

Payment instead of notice

If your employment is being terminated under a Settlement Agreement you may not have to work your notice period. Instead your employer may make a payment representing the amount you would have earned during your notice period.

Ex-gratia payment

This may be referred to as a compensation or termination payment. This represents an additional amount as an incentive for you to sign the Settlement Agreement.

The amount you should receive will vary depending on the circumstances and may be open to negotiation.

Ex-gratia payments are tax free up to £30,000.

Retention bonus

Sometimes your employer may want you to stay up until a certain date possibly to ensure there are enough staff to finish a project.

Legal costs

Your employer will usually contribute around £250 plus VAT towards you Settlement Agreement.

It is in the employer’s interest to make sure that you receive legal advice because a settlement agreement is only binding if you have taken legal advice on it.

Often the contribution will cover our fees which means there is no charge to you but if you want us to negotiate a higher settlement than your employer is offering you will probably have to pay us for this.

Can you negotiate how much you get

Sometimes you may be able to improve on the settlement proposal but typically your employer will have taken advice and will be offering either as much as or if not more than you would get by bringing a claim for redundancy or breach of contract/unfair dismissal. We will work this out for you and tell you how your legal rights compare with the package you have been offered.

How to deal with Foreign Property in your Will

From the 17th August a new EU law, Brussels IV, comes into place affecting anybody who owns property in any EU member state.

The introduction of Brussels IV means that anyone making a Will can now choose the law of their nationality to govern their whole estate instead of having to create a separate will for overseas assets. This will unify succession laws and relieve a lot of the stress associated with carrying out probate after the loss of a loved one.

Those living in the UK with holiday homes in any EU countries that have opted in for Brussels IV (all apart from UK, Ireland or Denmark) can elect for UK succession laws to govern their overseas affairs. This avoids ‘forced heirship’ laws in European countries such as Italy, Spain and France and allows the individual the freedom to leave whatever they choose, to whoever they choose.

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Wyatt v Vince - If in doubt sort it out!

This case seems to allow anyone without a completed financial order or settlement to bring a claim against their ex-spouse regardless of how long ago they divorced.

Whilst lawyers always try to ensure that financial matters are finalised and that neither party can bring a claim against the other in the future it is vital that those couples who do not have financial orders in place review their situation because they may now face claims based on wealth subsequently acquired after their divorce.

In this case Dale Vince married Kathleen Wyatt in 1981 when they were penniless new age travellers.

They separated in 1984 and divorced in 1992. Three years later Vince founded Ecotricity which is now one of the largest green energy companies in the UK. He is said to be worth over £100m.

He ex-wife took him to court 22 years after they divorced seeking £2m claiming that he left her destitute while he grew his business.

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Why is a Lasting Power of Attorney so Important?

Lasting Powers of Attorney are very important whether you are young or old. It is a fact that we just don’t know what is around the corner and it may be that you find yourself unexpectedly in need of assistance due to an accident or illness.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

(i) Property and Financial Affairs

(ii) Health and Welfare Issues

Each document will enable you to authorise someone or a number of people to make decisions on your behalf both when you have capacity (so perhaps you might just need some help to make certain arrangements) and also when you lack mental capacity (in which case your chosen Attorney/s will make the relevant decisions on your behalf).

It is important that you completely trust the person/people you have chosen to act as your Attorney/s. They will have access to all your personal information.

In addition to appointing main Attorneys, you can also choose to appoint replacement Attorneys. This allows you to extend the life of your Lasting Powers of Attorney to take account of a situation where your main Attorney’s may become unable to act on your behalf.

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What is mediation?

Although the most widely employed form of conflict resolution, it is arguable that mediation remains underrated in terms of its utility in resolving everyday disputes, as it is commonly linked with the resolution of family matters alone.


During mediation, parties to a dispute are encouraged, with the assistance of a neutral third party to resolve their issues and agree a mutually acceptable way forward. Successful mediation enables the parties to communicate their views and to formulate options instead of continually rehashing what have often become entrenched and hostile positions.


Indeed, although conflict resolution has traditionally been associated with an expensive, litigious court battle, following the implementation of the Family Procedure Rules 2010, even the Judiciary has begun to champion mediation as a viable and effective alternative to litigation.


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