Warner Goodman

Claire Battye

Claire Battye is a Director of the firm. She specialises in all aspects of Property Law but with a focus on Commercial Property. Claire joined the firm in 1998 after having spent over 10 years with Larcomes Solicitors in Portsmouth where she qualified in 1992. She left school in 1984 and started working immediately as an Office Junior in a law practise. Over the years she has progressed through the ranks studying whilst working and has turned her hands to most of the jobs in the office and qualified as Legal Executive first, and then took the road to the Solicitors Finals Exam at the Law College in Guildford where she passed with First Class Honours. Having taken the non routine route to qualification as a Solicitor the experience gathered over these years has proved invaluable. In May 2000 Claire successfully brought about substantial growth to the residential team, which is now strong and self sufficient and thriving. She has the same drive and determination to build the commercial property team in this office, so that all aspects of any commercial transaction can be dealt with in house. The intention is to provide a first class service to clients and keep one step ahead of other major competitors in the market place.

Claire Battye : Warner Goodman
Members: Claire Battye, Emma Lee, Joe Taylor, John Blake

Emma Lee

Emma Lee is a licensed conveyancer with Warner Goodman LLP. Emma has 5 years experience and can be contact by phone: 02392 776550 or by email: emmalee@warnergoodman.co.uk.

Members: Claire Battye, Emma Lee, Joe Taylor, John Blake

Joe Taylor

Joe is a trainee solicitor specialising in Commercial Property at Warner Goodman LLP, having worked in law since he was 19. Joe deals with acquisitions and commercial leases for investors, developers and traders, portfolio management, secured financing and complex residential transactions. Joe can be contacted by email (joetaylor@warnergoodman.co.uk) or phone (023 9277 6522).

Members: Claire Battye, Emma Lee, Joe Taylor, John Blake

John Blake

John has been undertaking conveyancing work in and around the Portsmouth area for over 25 years. John still enjoys the feeling and satisfaction of a job well done when helping someone achieve their move in a timely and relatively stress free manner. He strives to provide the sort of service he would want if he were moving home. Having fostered good working relations with other local firms of solicitors and with local estate agents and mortgage brokers, he is now able to work with others to help achieve a positive response to any particular problem. John is on the Portsmouth Property Association committee and regularly contributes to the Property Guide Expert View column.
When not working John enjoys cycling playing golf and tennis and generally keeping as fit as he can. He is learning the guitar but is some way off giving his first concert.

Members: Claire Battye, Emma Lee, Joe Taylor, John Blake

Make a date for pop-up property show

Anyone seeking information or advice on any aspect of the property world should make a beeline for a brand new event this spring.

The inaugural Property Information Show is being held at historic Portsmouth Guildhall on Saturday, March 5.

The event – running from 10am to 4pm – is open to the public and entry is absolutely free.

It is being organised by Portsmouth Property Association (PPA), the ‘voice of property’ in the city and member firms and others will be on hand to offer comprehensive help and expert advice on all property matters.

The PPA is an umbrella organisation with membership numbering around 150 industry professionals in a single recognised body.

Organiser John Blake, of legal firm Warner Goodman LLP, said: “This really is a one-stop shop covering all aspects of the property world.

“If you are going to have anything to do with property in 2016 you ought to get along. It is an ideal place for research and advice.

“It is unlikely that you would be able to make contact with so many industry professionals in such a short space of time anywhere else.”

John added: “The industry is ever-changing and laws and regulations are often updated – so this show is also hugely relevant to people who consider themselves experienced in property matters, such as private landlords and people intending to buy and let a property.”

The show, sponsored by The Portsmouth News and supported by Radian Housing, Portsmouth City Council and local developers, will include latest news on housing associations, help-to-buy schemes, HMOs, rent licences and the property market in general.

Professions represented at the Guildhall venue will include estate agents, ‘help to buy’, letting agents, surveyors, housing associations, solicitors, auctioneers, accountants, mortgage and insurance brokers, property managers and search agents.

The show will be arranged as a series of stalls with the industry professionals on hand for one-to-one chats with attendees.

There will also be a charity aspect with Portsmouth charity Central Point – a day centre in Kingston Road providing advice and support for homeless people – set to benefit from donations and offers of practical help.

Members: Claire Battye, Emma Lee, Joe Taylor, John Blake


You will no doubt have heard that following yesterday’s budget the starting threshold for a first time buyer of residential property paying stamp duty has been raised from £125,000.00 to £250,001.00.

This applies until 25th March 2012. A first time buyer in this instance is a person who has not previously acquired a freehold or leasehold interest in residential property in the UK or an equivalent interest anywhere in the world. Buyers buying together must both qualify in this manner. Where one joint buyer has previously owned property then they do not qualify.

A person who inherited a property does not qualify, nor can someone buy on behalf of another person, the property purchased must be bought by the first time buyer for use as their only or main residence. It is proposed a new layer of duty will be introduced in April next year, applicable to property purchases in excess of £1 million and the rate applicable will be 5%.

John Blake
of Warner Goodman LLP and PPA committee member

Members: Claire Battye, Emma Lee, Joe Taylor, John Blake

Stop Building Boxes

The Secretary of State for Department for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles has called upon house builders to stop building boxes and start building homes that reflect regional differences.  He said “I don’t want little boxes looking the same in Aberdeen as, say, Portsmouth”. This got me thinking.  A lot of people I know would expect to be able to pick out from a set of stereotypical photos of people, a French man and from a series of stereotypical photos of houses, his French house and similarly perhaps the Eskimo and his house, a Chinese person and their dwelling etc etc and given a series of stereotypical photos a matching game could be played with some success.  One could construe each person has a house that has evolved to suit their needs, given their location.

That then are the fundamental needs that vary between Aberdeen and Portsmouth that would lead to significant differences in design of the respective areas housing that Mr Pickles alludes to.  Sitting in a traffic jam in Kingston Upon Thames I noted my 1930’s Portsmouth property was replicated in a few roads, as it is in Havant and I dare say many other Towns and Cities across Britain in much the same way as a given builders ‘Royal Oaks Type’ property is likely to be built in Aberdeen and Portsmouth and every City in between. Given a field in which to build and a blank piece of paper on which to design a property, to a budget, would that house look the same in both locations? I dare say it might.  In the past the ‘Granite City’ housing would make use of locally available materials thereby reducing costs but with better infrastructure enabling materials to be move freely around the UK those regional differences perhaps no longer exist.  Is there or should there be such a thing as a Portsmouth property and if so what is it and how does it vary from that in other Towns and Cities. I am sure we could all design our own houses, dream houses and more practical houses which I suspect would incorporate all the usual facilities but would we draw something different to the Aberdonian undertaking the same exercise. Sadly I think not

John Blake : Warner Goodman
Members: Claire Battye, Emma Lee, Joe Taylor, John Blake

Value For Money


I have learnt that the one question a prospective
client knows to ask a  is ‘how much will it cost?’. If the average
person only buys a property every 14 years then their knowledge of process and
understanding of what to expect will be limited. Everyone knows to ask ‘what
will it cost?’ but actually the property lawyers’ own charges in relation
to the overall cost of move is a very small fraction. What  property
lawyers’ term as ‘disbursements’ are usually set prescribed charges that will
not alter from firm to firm and will include Stamp Duty and Land Registry fees.
If those charges do not alter as they are prescribed by Government Agencies it
is just the fees of the  property lawyer  themselves that will vary.

A more important question to ask when thinking of
instructing a  property lawyer  to act for you on your
house move is ‘what will I get for my money?\’. Some  property
lawyers view the house buying and selling process as a conveyer belt service
where they simply intend to get you from one end of the conveyor belt to the
other with out your matter falling off the conveyor belt and becoming more
problematic to them than they had hoped or budgeted for.

A house purchase is very possible the largest financial
transaction you will be involved with in your personal life and so to a large
extent to be governed simply by cost would be wrong. Far more important would
be to have a good working relationship with a person you can relate to,
offering a service that suits you from a location convenient to you.

It is important to ascertain what the cost would be but this
is not the most important question. I would rather know what I will receive by
way of service than save a few pounds in what is acknowledged to be one of
life’s most stressful experiences, moving home. To have one contact at a
particular firm who will take a particular interest in you and your
transaction, someone who will contact you and update when there is news and
work proactively in trying to make things happen in a timely manner. Someone
that you can contact when you need them and is pleased to hear from you and who
will then use all the modern forms of communication available to progress your
matter is worth more than saving a few pounds.

Members of the Portsmouth Property Association are able
to provide details of service standards and solicitors’ locally have agreed
forms of protocol they have adopted to ensure they work together to achieve
clients aims and to avoid any problems.

Members: Claire Battye, Emma Lee, Joe Taylor, John Blake