Sydney Mitchell is recognised in the Top Tier of the Legal 500 and ‘punches above its weight’ for contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm is recognised for thoroughness and good commercial approach to cases.

Sydney Mitchell has again been recognised as a Tier 1 firm for its Contentious Wills and Probate work; handling a variety of high-value complex cases.

In total the firm has obtained recommendations in 13 areas of legal practice; Contentious Probate, Commercial Litigation, Debt Recovery, Insolvency and Corporate Recovery, Employment, Clinical Negligence, Personal Injury, Professional Negligence, Family, Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate, Health, Commercial Property and Property Litigation.

The firm’s clients have made some excellent comments on the work undertaken by the legal teams.

Div Singh, Senior Partner, Sydney Mitchell commented:

    We have an excellent result again this year with the firm maintaining its ranking in Tier 1 for our Contentious Probate work.

    We were especially pleased for some of our young solicitors Hayley–Jo Lockley and Preena Lal who have been recognised for their hard work and dedication. Our clients and referrers have made fantastic comments on the work we have undertaken including…

    ‘One of the strongest of the smaller city centre firms in commercial litigation’;  ‘experienced and sensible with sound judgement and a particular skill at negotiating very good deals…; ‘superstar and a joy to work with’; ‘very tenacious …’ ‘attention to detail and thorough approach’.

    What more can you ask for than recommendations from your clients for the excellent service received for work undertaken by our legal teams.

The joint heads of the Dispute Resolution team, Dean Parnell and Kamal Majevadia were recognised for their high-value and complex claims undertaken with Dean recognised for his “technical knowledge that is second to none and is a solicitor you would want on your side’ and Kamal ‘… is very thorough and applies a good commercial approach to his cases’.’

Leading Midlands Law firm Sydney Mitchell is ranked in 13 Legal 500 categories and has won Birmingham Law Firm of the Year 4 times in the last 9 years.

A full breakdown of the Sydney Mitchell recommendations and comments on Legal 500 are shown below.

Legal 500 2017 - Link - http://www.legal500.com/firms/3216/746

 

 

 

The NHS has admitted a second massive data loss with over 162,000 documents going missing, on top of 702,000 documents that are already known to have been lost in February 2017.

The revelation that even more records related to patients’ health have been lost came to light during a parliamentary inquiry into the loss of the original 702,000 documents. NHS managers have now admitted the loss of a further two tranches of missing medical papers, which has left MPs “dumbstruck”.

The latest lost documents are thought to include child protection notes treatment records and plans, drug plans and the results of various kinds of diagnostic tests. it is not yet known if the patients involved are at risk.

The National Audit Office found that NHS Shared Business Services (SBS), (the firm co-owned by the government that lost the documents) first recognised in January 2014 that patients may have come to harm as a result of what was at the time a fast-rising backlog of undelivered paperwork. However, despite staff raising concerns, the firm did not alert the department or NHS England until March last year – over two years later. SBS was then “obstructive and unhelpful” to NHS England in the inquiry it then instigated, the NAO found.

During an evidence session of the Commons public accounts committee, which is investigating the original data loss in February, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, a Conservative committee member, said: “You tell us the bombshell that whilst on a trawl of local trusts you find another 12,000 and then you found another 150,000 [missing] items….Until you have sifted through them, you don’t know if there is a serious case out there where someone is dying because the notes haven’t been transferred…”

An NHS England spokesperson said: “These new cases have come to light as a result of our determination to leave no stone unturned and all these documents will be returned to GPs for clinical review where needed within the next 10 weeks. People should be reassured that despite reviewing over 97% of the records that SBS failed to process not a single case of patient harm has been identified.”

Adam Hodson, a specialist clinical negligence solicitor with the law firm, Sydney Mitchell, said, “This is another shocking revelation in what is already a very disturbing state of affairs for the NHS. Nearly a million patient documents have been lost, which has the potential to compromise the safety of thousands of patients. It is entirely feasible that this patients will come to harm as a result of this blunder, and the NHS must work quickly to rectify their mistakes to protect the public.”

If you are concerned by the content of this story or wish to discuss the medical treatment that you have received, please contact Adam Hodson on 0121 698 2200, email a.hodson@sydneymitchell.co.uk

Following a consultation, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunal have issued revised guidance on the amount of compensation payable for injury to feelings in discrimination cases (the 'Vento' bands).

In future, the guidance will be subject to revision on an annual basis, without the need for further consultation, with the first review taking place in March 2018.

The Presidents consider that, for the time being, the Retail Prices Index (RPI) is the appropriate measure of the rate of inflation to be applied.

Applying the formula adopted by the Presidents, the new bands for awards for injury to feelings are as follows:

  • Lower band – between £800 and £8,400. Awards in this range are appropriate where the act of discrimination is an isolated or one-off occurrence;
  • Middle band – between £8,400 and £25,200. Awards in this range are made in serious cases but where an award in the top band is not merited; and
  • Top band – between £25,200 and £42,000. Awards in this range are made in the most serious cases, such as where there has been a lengthy campaign of discriminatory harassment. Only in exceptional circumstances will a compensation award for injury to feelings exceed the upper limit.

The Guidance will apply to claims presented to the ET on or after 11 September 2017.

The response to the consultation can be found on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary's website. 

For further advice please contact Jade Linton on 0121 746 3300, email j.linton@sydneymitchell.co.uk or fill in our online enquiry form

If you take appointments as a Receiver or make such appointments then this seminar will be of interest to you!

Speakers

Our Senior Partner Div Singh will be opening the Event introducing our speakers:

  • Leanne Schneider-Rose, Partner, Restructuring & Recoveries department
  • Sundeep Bilkhu, Solicitor, Property Litigation

Key Objectives

The objectives of this seminar include –

  • How to appoint a Receiver and how to ensure that you have been properly appointed
  • Steps to be taken following an appointment
  • Powers of a Receiver
  • Duties of a Receiver
  • Dealing with moveable assets and animals on or at the property
  • Issues with tenants

You are invited to join us after the seminar for a light buffet and refreshments and the opportunity to speak to the team and ask any questions.

This is a FREE event. Please book now to avoid disappointment as places fill up quickly.

We very much look forward to seeing you there.

Eventbrite booking link – to book on line

Believe it or not Performance Management is not a 30 minute appraisal once each year reports Jade Linton Associate Solicitor at Sydney Mitchell LLP. 

When used correctly Performance Management is an effective HR tool helping employees to do a job well and achieve the goal they were employed to do, help you run a thriving a profitable business.

A common mistake made by businesses is to ignore underlying issues which, if left unresolved, can turn in to huge litigious problems making matters difficult for the employee, difficult for staff and difficult for business. 

Jade Linton Employment Law Associate Sydney Mitchell LLP 0121 746 3300A forward thinking business will ensure its line managers are equipped and empowered to manage staff effectively and fairly.  People are often promoted to management because they have the technical skill required for business but technical prowess alone does not make a person capable of managing people.  

Capability is aimed at improvement not punishment and businesses should not use performance management as a tool to engineer problematic staff out of the business under the guise of poor performance.  Various cases reveal dismissing an employee for poor performance when performance was not the real reason for dismissal is likely to render the dismissal unfair. 

An effective performance management culture (and not just a policy on page 259 of the Handbook) should ensure the right people occupy the right roles and employees facing genuine difficulties are supported.  After all, a happy workforce is the driving force behind any profitable business and employers should be more concerned about ‘presenteeism’ than they are 'absenteeism'.

Jade added:

Get it right at the outset and save yourself the cost, distress and embarrassment of an expensive Tribunal claim.  Plan, discuss and work together with your key employees to make a day in the office a positive and profitable experience.

My HR Forums have helped many businesses share their views in a confidential and friendly arena aimed at identifying how practices can be improved to the benefit of all concerned. Find help before you need help!

Jade Linton can be contacted on 0121 746 3300 or email j.linton@sydneymitchell.co.uk

HR Forum - Sydney Mitchell LLP - Jade LintonJade runs a series of HR Forums aimed at HR Professionals and HR Managers - the next FREE event is on 28 September - with Guest sponsor is Stephen Gallacher – Gallacher Wealth Management

to be held at James's Place House, Blythe Valley Park, Solihull

You can book on this using this Eventbrite Link

 

If you take appointments as a Receiver or make such appointments then this seminar will be of interest to you!

Speakers - Sydney Mitchell Receivers' Event

Our Senior Partner Div Singh will be opening the Event introducing our speakers:

  • Leanne Schneider-Rose, Partner, Restructuring & Recoveries department

  • Sundeep Bilkhu, Solicitor, Property Litigation

Key Objectives

The objectives of this seminar include -

  • How to appoint a Receiver and how to ensure that you have been properly appointed

  • Steps to be taken following an appointment

  • Powers of a Receiver

  • Duties of a Receiver

  • Dealing with moveable assets and animals on or at the property

  • Issues with tenants

You are invited to join us after the seminar for a light buffet and refreshments and the opportunity to speak to the team and ask any questions.

This is a FREE event. Please book now to avoid disappointment as places fill up quickly.

We very much look forward to seeing you there.

SYDNEY MITCHELL LLP

click here to book ...

 

Family partnerships can be highly effective vehicles for running businesses, but that depends on good relations being maintained. In one High Court case in which ties of blood were sadly not enough to prevent discord, a father and son engaged in a bitter dispute over ownership of a hotel and campsite.

The father ran the business in partnership with his son and daughter-in-law. After a breakdown in relations, they agreed that the partnership had been dissolved, that its affairs should be wound up by a receiver and that its assets and liabilities should be divided between them.

The father and son were, on paper, equal joint tenants of the property which formed the main asset of the partnership. However, the father argued that this did not reflect the true position and that he was the beneficial owner of 80 per cent of the property. He launched proceedings seeking a declaration to that effect.

Ruling against him, however, the Court compared his thoroughly unreliable evidence with the convincing testimony of his son. Even if the father had contributed more to the property’s purchase price, it had been agreed between them at the outset that they would hold it in equal shares. The son had entered into the transaction on the faith of that agreement.

For any further advice, please contact Kamal Majevadia 0121 746 3300 email, k.majevadia@sydneymitchell.co.uk or fill in our online enquiry form.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect on 25 May 2018 and will affect many businesses in the UK. The UK's decision to leave the EU will not have any immediate effect on the application of the GDPR.

The legislation imposes significant record-keeping requirements for any organisation that processes or controls personal data and the penalties for breaches are significant. The definition of personal data is wider than under the current legislation and the GDPR requires organisations to show how they comply with it.

In addition, specific information will need to be given to those who whose data is held. See the ICO website for further details. 

The Information Commissioner's Office is publishing a series of updates which provide guidance for organisations that will have to comply with the GDPR.

The most recent update (January 2017) contains guidance on:

  • Data portability
  • Lead supervisory authorities
  • Data protection officers

Firms that breach the GDPR may pay a heavy penalty. Contact us for guidance on complying with its complex requirements.

Please contact Roy Colaba on 0121 698 2200 email, r.colaba@sydneymitchell.co.uk or complete our online enquiry form.

The Trade Union Act 2016, which makes a number of changes to the way in which industrial action is organised, came into force on 1 March 2017.

The Act amends the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, including Section 226 on the requirement to hold a ballot before any trade union action.

Under the new regime, a majority vote in favour of industrial action will only be regarded as having the support of a ballot if at least 50 per cent of those entitled to vote did so. Different rules will apply, however, before industrial action in 'important public services' can go ahead; these include the health, fire, transport and border security sectors, plus public education provision to those aged under 17. In such disputes, a further test is to be applied whereby 40 per cent of all eligible union members must vote in favour of the industrial action for it to be legal.

An overview of the Act and information on further changes can be found here

For further advice please contact Jade Linton on 0121 746 3300, email j.linton@sydneymitchell.co.uk or fill in our online enquiry form

Last year, the Court of Appeal upheld the view of the Employment Tribunal (ET) and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that the Working Time Regulations 1998 can be interpreted so as to conform with EU law in respect of holiday pay (British Gas Trading Limited v Lock and Another).

Mr Lock's normal pay included a commission based on sales in the previous month, and this represented on average more than 60 per cent of his remuneration. As he could not achieve sales whilst on annual holiday, this meant that his pay for the month following was lower than usual. His claim for unlawful deduction from wages was upheld by the ET and the EAT.

In dismissing British Gas's appeal, the Court affirmed the position that holiday pay of just basic salary on its own is not sufficient if this is not the worker's normal remuneration, which was defined in British Airways plc v Williams and Others as remuneration that is 'linked intrinsically to the performance of the tasks which the worker is contractually required to carry out under his contract of employment and in respect of which a monetary amount is provided'.

The Court was, however, at pains to stress that its function was to do no more than deal with the current appeal and its ruling was confined to the particular facts of Mr Lock's case. Different facts might result in different outcomes. In addition, the Court was silent on the appropriate reference period for the calculation of the holiday pay.

The Court acknowledged that its decision leaves unanswered questions, but said that 'nothing in this judgment is intended to answer them'.

British Gas had sought leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal's ruling but permission has been refused by the Supreme Court.

The case will therefore be remitted to the ET to calculate the level of compensation payable.

If your business is affected by recent decisions regarding holiday pay and you would like advice on your individual circumstances, contact us.

For advice on any employment law advice, please contact Jade Linton on 0121 746 3300, email j.linton@sydneymitchell.co.uk or fill in our online enquiry form if you need further assistance.

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