About Us

Woman Reaching Book From Shelf

Although long-established, Hart Reade is a modern firm of solicitors with a track record for providing helpful and reliable legal advice to clients for many years. We are pleased to serve the communities of Eastbourne, Meads, Polegate and Hailsham in East Sussex.

At Hart Reade we always put our clients first, and pride ourselves on being ‘Always Approachable’.

Why use a solicitor?

Most of us will need expert legal advice at some point in our lives. The law can be complicated, so it is crucial to choose a professional you can trust when dealing with your affairs, and making those important decisions in life.

Solicitors are experts when it comes to the law, and how it will affect you. Our solicitors have many years of knowledge and experience. We shall always listen to your needs and requirements, and will explain matters to you clearly and logically, ensuring that you are able then to make the best decisions.

Hart Reade solicitors are members of the Law Society, and are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) – number 0050799. The SRA are an independent regulatory body which ensures solicitors act ethically, and in a professional manner.  Solicitors are required to abide by the SRA’s professional code of conduct.

In order to qualify, Solicitors are trained and rigorously tested as to their competence and knowledge of the law. In the modern era, when legal processes have become ever more complex, they tend to specialise in one particular area which allows Solicitors to provide in-depth advice to their clients, whilst still having an all-round understanding of the law. Once in practise, they adhere to the SRA’s Continuing Competence scheme. This requires all solicitors to plan and record their training to ensure they remain up to date with any changes in the law, as well as remaining competent to practise. Solicitors also have to apply to the SRA every year for the renewal of their Practising Certificates, which authorises them to continue practising for the year ahead.

Hart Reade are also fully insured (professional indemnity insurance) with an ‘A’ rated insurance provider, just in case something goes wrong. This enables you to feel confident when placing your affairs in our hands.

Firms regulated by the SRA are required to collect and report workforce diversity data.  Further information on our equality and diversity reporting is available upon request.

What is a Chartered Legal Executive?

As well as our Solicitors, Hart Reade also employs Chartered Legal Executives. A Chartered Legal Executive is a lawyer who has qualified via the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx).

As a general rule, our Chartered Legal Executives are specialists in particular areas of law, and are able to undertake the same work as that undertaken by our solicitors, in whichever area of work they are engaged in.

All Chartered Legal Executives are regulated by CILEx Regulation which enforces professional standards, which includes their continuing professional development.

Hart Reade is a departmentalised firm of solicitors, so that we can ensure that the expertise and advice which our clients receive from whichever department they consult with, whether for property or commercial advice, or business advice or advice in relation to the elderly, or maybe in respect of marital problems; is the best we can provide in most, if not all, situations which are likely to arise. This legal help will be provided by our Solicitors and our Chartered Legal Executives working alongside each other within our respective specialist departments.

Areas of Law

At Hart Reade our Solicitors and Legal Executives are organised into departments ensuring specialisation and maximum efficiency.

Family Law Department:

Divorce, Civil Partnerships, Finance, Separation, Pre-nuptial Agreements and Children.

Property Department:

Property Conveyancing and Residential Property Law.

Private Client Department:

Probate (Administration of Estates), Will Writing, Powers of Attorney, Management of Affairs and Trusts and Tax.

Civil Litigation Department:

General Litigation (including Court cases), Dispute resolution, Challenging Wills and Employment Law.

Commercial Department:

Business Advice, Business Transfers, Commercial Property Law, Employment Law, Commercial Litigation and Landlord and Tenant issues.

Why use Hart Reade?

We have a long and proud history of providing a high quality legal service to the communities we serve.

Hart Reade was established in 1910 by Eastbourne solicitors Alfred Hart and George Reade. A Polegate office was established in 1943, followed by the Hailsham office in 1984. Our newest office in Meads Street, Eastbourne opened in 2014.

Over the years, we have embraced new technologies and utilised modern training to deliver a professional service at a cost which is affordable, and proportionate to the matter in question.

We understand the market, with the majority of our Partners and staff living locally, in the communities we serve. Our knowledge, and our contacts, helps us to add value to and improve our service to our clients – both business and personal.

We have a vibrant team of qualified professionals and a dedicated support staff, both committed to helping you to achieve your aims.

Accreditations

Hart Reade is an accredited member of Lexcel – The Law Society’s Practice Management Standard. We secured, and have retained, this accreditation since 2004. This Standard demonstrates our commitment to client care and to staff development, both of which are of prime importance to us, and are the foundation for the continuing success of our firm.

Lexcel is only awarded to firms of solicitors who meet the highest management and client care standards. As a Lexcel accredited practice, we undergo rigorous independent assessment every year, to ensure we meet the required standards of excellence in all areas including client care, case management and risk management. You can therefore be assured that your matter will be handled with care and professionalism.

We are also accredited members of the Law Society’s ‘Lawyers for your Business’ scheme, and its Conveyancing Quality scheme. We are also members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners. Our Family department are all members of Resolution – first for family law. Three of our family team are qualified collaborative lawyers. A number of our Private Client team are qualified members of STEP – the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

Built on firm foundations, we always strive for excellence in the services we provide.

Clear information on costs

We will ensure you have as much information as possible about our charges – at the outset. An initial indication of costs for certain areas of law can be viewed on our Fees and Pricing page. We will always provide you with an estimate of our fees, and will do so without charge either by telephone, email or at a free initial appointment. Upon instruction, we will set out all the details clearly, in writing, and provide you with a copy of our Terms of Business. We will always act in a clear and transparent manner.

Client Identification and Anti-Money Laundering

Anti-Money laundering regulations require that we obtain evidence of identity, not only in the case of clients who are new to the firm, but also for existing clients.

We are also required to comply with other anti-money laundering law and regulations, which we take very seriously.

When you instruct us, we will ask you to produce to us your original Passport or Photographic Driving Licence, and a recent (within the last three months) utility bill. If you do not have these, then there are alternatives we can discuss with you. It is helpful if you can bring these documents to your first appointment, as it will speed up the initial processes.

In all transactions, we undertake an online Anti-Money Laundering search additionally, to confirm your identity.

To protect our clients, we work closely with the National Crime Agency.

Free Legal Appointment

Our Family Law Department offers a free 30 minute ‘no obligation’ appointment, in which we shall discuss your case with you in general terms, and will give you some preliminary legal advice. We shall also discuss costs with you, and will advise you of the payment options available.

Safe Storage

The firm provides a safe custody service to clients in respect of Wills, Deeds and other securities, and no charge will be made to clients unless prior notice, in writing, is given of a charge to be made – from a future specified date.

Accessibility

All our offices are able to provide wheelchair access. We are also able to provide home, nursing home and hospital visits, where appropriate.

The Eastbourne, Hailsham and Polegate offices have car parks available for clients to use when visiting for appointments.

Documents can be provided in large print if requested.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs.