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Press releases

It’s ‘Girl Power’ at Gomer Williams Solicitors!

Posted By Robert Lloyd

It’s very much a case of ‘Girl Power’ at Gomer Williams Solicitors in Llanelli and Pontarddulais.

The legal firm has announced five new directors for the business – all women!

The exciting move sees the five promoted from their current roles as acting heads of departments.

Juliet Philips-James, senior director and owner of Gomer Williams Solictors, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to acknowledge the hard work of our senior staff members.

“We have a very healthy gender balance throughout the firm, but it is worth acknowledging the success of our five new women directors.

“There’s no glass ceiling at Gomer Williams solicitors and it is refreshing to see women empowered in this way. The five are all promoted on merit and they will all bring individual skills to the business – talents which will help the firm of Gomer Williams go from strength to strength.

“The promotions recognise the hard work of individuals and also act as a benchmark for the rapid growth of the business over the last 18 months – a testament to the hard work of all our employees.”

The five new directors are –

  • Sarah Lewis – Head of Conveyancing
  • Trina Wilkins – Head of Civil Litigation
  • Kate Clarke – Head of Wills and Probate
  • Laura Sherwood – Head of Crime
  • Lucy Williams – Head of Family

Gareth Gwyndaf Jones, senior director and owner, at Gomer Williams Solicitors, said:  

“2019 marks the 100th year of Gomer Williams and we are excited for the year ahead.

“We pride ourselves on the development of our staff members and the announcement of five new directors comes with a great sense of achievement.

“As one of the longest-established continually-trading companies in the area, we offer traditional values with a fresh approach.

“It’s been a delight to see the fresh-thinking applied to the business by our staff. Congratulations – Llongyfarchiadau – goes to all staff members and good luck wishes go to our new directors.”

About the new directors:

Sarah Lewisjoined the practice in 2017, bringing valuable expertise and extensive experience in the field of conveyancing and property law. Having built an admiral reputation, Sarah continues to receive referrals and recommendations from clients across the UK, which is testimony to the quality and efficiency of her service.

Trina Wilkinshas a particular interest in contentious probate. She is a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS). She is experienced in dealing with Inheritance Act Claims, Will challenges, estate administration disputes, trust claims and disputed Court of Protection matters.

Kate Clarkehas vast experience in wills and probate and residential conveyancing. She specialises in elderly client work and is particularly sensitive to their needs. She has worked in a variety of small local practices and larger international firms and has a wealth of experience in her field.

Laura Sherwoodjoined Gomer Williams in 2013 and is very popular with clients. She is a proven strong advocate both at the police station and in court. Laura’s knowledge of the law and approachable personality is such that she is regarded as one of the ‘go-to’ criminal lawyers in the South Wales. 

Lucy Williamsis a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and practices within our busy Family Law Team. She works with individuals and families across the region to provide compassionate, clear and confident legal solutions to a variety of family and childcare law issues. Lucy is a real success story for Gomer Williams. She started with the firm as a legal assistant and has flourished through the ranks to now become a director. 

About the Gomer Williams centenary:

Gareth Gwyndaf Jones, senior director and owner, at Gomer Williams Solicitors, said:  

“We are very much focused on the future development of Gomer Williams and looking forward to some special celebrations for our centenary year.

“We take pride in the fact that Gomer Williams is widely-regarded as a fresh-thinking problem-solving law firm which can combine traditional values with a fresh approach.”

Gomer Williams Solicitors plan to support various causes within the local community during the firm’s centenary year

The firm sponsors Welsh Premier League football side Llanelli Town AFC (The Reds), Garden Village AFC. The business also works with the Maggie’s cancer care unit in Swansea.

Juliet Philips-James is on the board of Threshold, the domestic abuse charity in Llanelli, and is the legal columnist for the Llanelli Star and Llanelli Online. 


Group of five (left to right) – Laura Sherwood, Kate Clarke, Lucy Williams, Trina Wilkins and Sarah Williams.

Group of seven (left to right) – Juliet Phillips-James, co-owner, Laura Sherwood, Kate Clarke, Lucy Williams, Trina Wilkins, Sarah Williams and Gareth Gwyndaf Jones, co-owner.

About Gomer Williams:

The firm of Gomer Williams was established in Llanelli in 1919, making it one of the oldest continually-trading companies in the area. The firm celebrates its centenary in 2019.

In 2017, Gomer Williams Solicitors acquired Randell Lloyd and Martin Solicitors (also known as RLJM). The acquisition made Gomer Williams one of the largest firms in Llanelli, with offices in John Street (the historic home office) and Murray Street (the former RLJM office).

The company mission is to provide the people and businesses of Llanelli and West Wales with competitive, high quality legal services.

In 2018, Gomer Williams Solicitors opened an office in Teilo Street in Pontarddulais.

The firm employs 32 people and operates across the full range of legal services in both English and Welsh. The firm is accredited to the Lexcel legal practice quality mark.

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Press releases

Ospreys team to play Worcester Warriors

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The Ospreys team to play Worcester Warriors at Liberty Stadium on Saturday 12th January 2019, KO 3.00pm, is as follows:


15 Dan Evans 14 George North 13 Cory Allen 12 Scott Williams 11 Keelan Giles 10 Luke Price 9 Aled Davies 1 Gareth Thomas 2 Scott Baldwin 3 Alex Jeffries 4 Lloyd Ashley 5 James King 6 Olly Cracknell 7 Justin Tipuric (Capt) 8 Sam Cross

REPLACEMENTS – 16 Scott Otten 17 Rowan Jenkins 18 Gheorge Gajion 19 Will Griffiths 20 Rob McCusker 21 Tom Habberfield 22 Sam Davies 23 Owen Watkin

Alex Jeffries makes his European debut

The following players were unavailable for selection due to injury:

Dan Baker – Knee; Adam Beard – HIA; Tom Botha – Stinger; Bradley Davies – Knee; Ma’afu Fia – Achilles; Rhodri Jones – Shoulder; Lesley Klim – Hamstring; Dan Lydiate – Elbow; Nicky Smith – Ankle; Kieran Williams – Groin

Ospreys Head Coach, Allen Clarke, said:

“After the Pro14 derbies our attention now turns to the Challenge Cup against the team who sit top of our group, two points above us. 

“As ever, the theme of the week has been to concentrate on ourselves, striving to improve as individuals and as a team. There were many positives in the win over Cardiff and we were satisfied with the performance; However, we know there are areas of the game were we can become even better.

“We’re working hard to deliver consistent team performances and Saturday is another opportunity to deliver in front of our home support.”

Forthcoming Fixtures 

Sat 19 Jan – 2.00pm (Local) – Pau v Ospreys – Stade Municipal de Hameau

Fri 24 Jan – 7.35pm – Glasgow v Ospreys – Scotstoun

Fri 15 Feb – 7.35pm – Ospreys v Ulster – Morganstone Brewery Field

Fri 22 Feb – 7.35pm – Ospreys v Munster – Liberty Stadium

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Press releases

Pivac calls on Scarlets to express themselves in Tigers Euro clash

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac has called on his players to express themselves to keep their winning start to 2019 going in Saturday’s Champions Cup clash against Leicester Tigers at Parc y Scarlets.

Gareth Davies is back in at scrum-half after a rest, forming a half-back partnership with Dan Jones.  Johnny McNicholl stays at full-back, with Paul Asquith and a recalled Steff Evans completing the back-three. With Jon Davies rested after playing 11 of the last 12 games, Kieron Fonotia comes into the midfield alongside Hadleigh Parkes.

After appearing for the first time at the back of the scrum last weekend, captain Ken Owens sticks at number eight, as the whole pack remains unchanged from last week’s victory against Dragons.  Josh Macleod returns to take a place in the 23.

Commenting ahead of Saturday’s game head coach Wayne Pivac said: “We’ve turned over a new calendar year with a much-needed win on the weekend. What we’ve talked about during the week is putting on a performance at home that we’ll be proud of. We’ve got a pretty good home record over the last couple of years and we’d like to maintain that. They’re a great side with a great record in this competition so there’s a lot to play for. If we look back at the first fixture we played at their place, we gave them a 10 point start in both halves.  We were able to claw that back, but we weren’t able to finish the game off. There’s no pressure on us for points to qualify, so it’s really about guys going out there to express themselves. Personally, I hate losing, and so does everyone in this squad, and we’ll be doing everything we can to get a result.”

Turning his attention to the Guinness PRO14, Pivac gave hope of a successful end to the season for Scarlets: “We’re looking at that competition now, the PRO14, and looking at Edinburgh’s run-in, Treviso’s run-in and Ulster’s run-in, and we’ve got a reasonable run-in. We know we’re going to have some players coming back off the injured list so we’re pretty excited about that and pretty upbeat. We were really happy to get that win on the weekend which keeps us alive in the PRO14 and it’s about working hard together.” 

Speaking of captain Ken Owens’ performances this season following his recent move to number eight, Pivac said: “Ken has been a top performer. Every week his stats, his work rate, the enthusiasm he brings to the game, the physicality he brings, is top drawer and we can’t fault his work. He’s leading from the front whatever jersey you put on his back and he’s a true warrior and this club is very, very proud of him and what’s he’s achieved. He’s carrying niggles but he’s putting the team first, which is what we’re about.” 

Scarlets team to take on Leicester Tigers at Parc y Scarlets, Saturday 12th January, kick-off 17:30;

15  Johnny McNicholl, 14 Paul Asquith, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12  Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies, 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Josh Helps, 5 David Bulbring, 6 Ed Kennedy, 7 Dan Davies, 8 Ken Owens © 

Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Tom Price, 20 Josh Macleod, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Steff Hughes, 23 Ioan Nicholas 

Injuries: James Davies- foot, Leigh Halfpenny- concussion, Will Boyde- ribs, Rhys Patchell – hamstring, Jake Ball – shoulder, Lewis Rawlins – shoulder, Steve Cummins – shoulder, Uzair Cassiem – shoulder, Blade Thomson – concussion,  Angus O’Brien – knee, Aaron Shingler – knee

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Mark Jones

Blog posts

The latest Clay Shaw Butler Money Matters column

Posted By Robert Lloyd

By Mark Jones, director of Carmarthen-based Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants and business consultants. The Money Matters column appears in the Pembrokeshire Herald, the Carmarthenshire Herald and the Llanelli Herald newspapers.

Over the festive period, the Money Matters column has managed to avoid using the dreaded ‘B’ word . . . Brexit!

But it cannot remain on the shelf for very long. Brexit is still very much front and centre when it comes to the economy.

The Government has published a collection of documents in preparation for the scenario of the UK leaving the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement – the so called ‘no deal’ Brexit.

The guidance states:

‘The Government does not want or expect a no deal scenario.

‘However, it is the duty of a responsible Government to prepare for a range of potential outcomes, including the unlikely event of no deal.

‘In the event of leaving the EU without a deal, legislation will be necessary to ensure the UK’s Customs, VAT and Excise regimes function as intended after the UK leaves the EU and so, on a contingency basis, HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs will lay a number of Statutory Instruments (SIs) under the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018 (TCTA) and the EU Withdrawal Act 2018 (EUWA).’

As always, the team at Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants will endeavour to keep you informed of the latest developments.

Meanwhile, you can access the Government’s latest Brexit guidance documents on the following website – https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/customs-vat-and-excise-regulations-leaving-the-eu-with-no-deal

Lending to British consumers grew at its slowest pace in nearly four years in November and the number of mortgage approvals fell.

That’s the news gleaned from the latest Bank of England (BoE) data. The data points to signs of a pre-Brexit slowdown in the economy.

The annual growth rate in unsecured consumer lending slowed to 7.1 percent from 7.4 percent in October, the BoE figures showed, the slowest increase since March 2015.

There have been signs from many retailers that British consumers reined in their spending in late 2018, faced with the possibility of the country leaving the European Union without a deal to smooth the economic shock.

Prime Minister Theresa May faces a make-or-break vote on her Brexit plans in the week starting January 14th, little more than two months before Britain is due to end its membership of the EU.

A survey of Britain’s dominant services industry suggested the economy grew by just 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with the previous three months, as uncertainty about Brexit mounted.

The BoE said the number of mortgages approved for house purchase fell to 63,728 in November, the lowest figure since April and down from 66,709 in October.

The figure was below all forecasts in a Reuters news agency poll of economists.

Britain’s housing market weakened in 2018 with major mortgage lenders reporting price growth at a five-year low.

The Nationwide said that prices fell in December by the most in monthly terms since mid-2012 and rose at their slowest annual pace in nearly six years.

The BoE data showed net mortgage lending, which tends to lag behind approvals, at £3.453 billion in November, up from £4.089 billion in October.

BoE Governor Mark Carney warned last month that in the event of a “disorderly” departure from the EU — which is not the central bank’s base-case scenario — house prices could slump by 30 percent as part of a broader economic shock.

The central bank has also said demand for consumer lending had been subdued by Brexit uncertainty, but might ramp up again once the situation is clearer.

Figures for November alone showed a £924 million net increase in consumer lending, slightly weaker than economists’ forecasts.

You can find out more about money matters on the Clay Shaw Butler website (under our news for business section) – 


We have a strong and experienced team with great local knowledge all geared-up to helping you get the very best from your finances – whether that is as an individual or as a business.

We stay ahead of the game by putting great store by continual professional development for our staff.

With Investors In People status at Clay Shaw Butler, we care passionately about making sure our staff have all the tools they need to serve you, our customers.

Weblink – http://www.clayshawbutler.com

The team at Clay Shaw Butler can be contacted on 01267 228500.

The team at Clay Shaw Butler are on Twitter. Look for @clayshawbutler.

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Press releases

Bridgend switch for Ulster match“absolutely critical”

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Head Coach Allen Clarke issued a rallying cry for Ospreys supporters to get behind their team after the Guinness PRO14 Round 15 game v Ulster was confirmed for the Morganstone Brewery Field.

The fixture, on Friday 15th February (7.35pm KO) has been switched to the home of Bridgend Ravens for “performance reasons”, to give the players a maximum seven day recovery and turnaround between Rounds 15 and 16 at a time when the Ospreys squad is expected to be depleted due to international calls during the Six Nations.

With the Swans at home on Saturday 16th February, it meant the Liberty Stadium was only available on the Sunday, which would have left the team with a reduced five day turnaround leading into the clash with Conference A leaders, Munster, the next weekend. 

A week later the Ospreys head to Galway to take on Connacht, who currently sit just one place behind the Ospreys in Conference A, the two teams level on points but the Irish province just outside the play-off spots in fourth only by virtue of the Ospreys having one more win at this point.

“I would plead with our supporters to support us, get up there in full voice, get behind their team and really motivate us to deliver again in a really important game against Ulster” said Clarke.

“For performance reasons, and solely performance reasons, it’s really important we go to Bridgend. When you look at it from a squad perspective, we either play Ulster and Munster Sunday/Friday, or we have the luxury of going to Bridgend and play Friday/Friday.

“Those couple of days extra for recovery, to recharge our batteries, to get our homework done, are absolutely critical to us. We know it’s a defining period of our season, to keep us firmly in contention for the play-off places, it’s really important that we are at our optimum best, physically and mentally, so that the boys can go out and perform in three massive games for us, against Ulster, Munster and Connacht. That seven day window is going to be priceless to us in terms of delivering the performances that we need.”

Tickets for the game at the Brewery Field are priced at just £10 (adults) and £5 (U16s)*.

Season members can gain admission on the night simply by showing their 2018/19 membership cards at the turnstile, as you would at any regular home game at the Liberty Stadium.

We have also introduced a family ticket for this game, giving 2 adults and 2 children admission for £25, available in advance only.

In addition, you can purchase tickets for the Ulster and Munster matches as part of a two game bundle, priced a just £20 for adults, £7 for U16s, available until the Munster earlybird deadline on Friday 8thFebruary.

Match tickets can be purchased now at www.ospreysrugby.com/buytickets, in person at the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office between 10am and 6pm, Monday-Saturday, or via the ticket hotline during the same times on 01792 616400 (select Option 1).

Premier Club members and disabled season members will be contacted directly regarding specific arrangements for this match. Please note that because of limited seating at the venue and high demand, it is anticipated that grandstand tickets will not be available on general release.

*All tickets subject to a booking fee of £1.55 online and £1.00 by phone or in person.

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Press releases

Carmarthenshire Council Chief Executive Mark James to retire

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Carmarthenshire County Council Chief Executive Mark James has announced his decision to retire.

Mr James, who has served the council for 17 years, will retire later this year when he turns 60.

He has spent over 40 years in local government, taking up post in Carmarthenshire in March 2002 and previously serving as Chief Executive at Boston Borough Council.  He has also worked in Westminster and Barnet in London.

His service to local government saw him awarded the CBE in the Queen’s 2012 New Year Honours.

Carmarthenshire County Council will now begin the process to recruit a new Chief Executive before Mr James leaves in June.

“It has been an honour and privilege to lead a great team of officers at Carmarthenshire over the last 17 years,” he said.

“The Council has delivered so much over that time including the development and regeneration of Carmarthen Town Centre, Eastgate and Y Ffwrnes Theatre in Llanelli town centre, Machynys, Parc y Scarlets, Pemberton, Burry Port Harbour and Xcel Bowl. We have delivered new care homes, £250m of new schools all over the county including Bro Dinefwr and QE High, a new leisure centre in Carmarthen, business and retail parks in Cross Hands, invested £220m modernising our 9000 homes and became the first in Wales to build new council homes since the 1980s, and so much more.

“I have been delighted to be part of this exciting regeneration of our County. I want to pay tribute to the many Councillors who have helped to shape this programme of development and to thank them for their support and confidence.”

He added: “Having been a Chief Executive for over 23 years, it is now time to hand over the reins. Whilst it is a rewarding and satisfying job, it is also highly demanding and all-consuming.  I wish my successor all the very best and know that the fantastic team of officers at the Council will continue to deliver first class services and developments for Carmarthenshire.”

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the Council, said: “Mark has been a great leader and ambassador for Carmarthenshire.  He has delivered so much in his time as Chief Executive and we will miss him enormously. 

“I thank him for his tireless dedication to the County and for his unstinting and selfless work to regenerate Carmarthenshire. We owe him a huge thanks and gratitude for all he has done over the past 17 years.”

Cllr Mair Stephens, Deputy Leader of the Council, added: “Mark has truly been Mr Carmarthenshire. Over the years he has shown how much he cares for Carmarthenshire – whether that be just recently personally visiting and supporting residents and businesses in the communities affected by floods, or working tirelessly to secure millions of pounds to transform our schools and towns and create employment for local people.

“His guidance and dedication is something we have come to rely on.  He will be a hard act to follow, but we wish him all the very best. He leaves with our enormous thanks for a job very well done.”

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