Published Articles

Paul Gill's picture

Retrospective CHC Appeals the Annual Deadline approaches

Many people living in nursing home accommodation may have inappropriately paid for some or all of their care fees.  The government imposed deadlines for lodging retrospective claims for reimbursement of care fees where a person should have been in receipt of Continuing Healthcare.

These deadlines now occur annually on the 31st March.

E.g. for periods of care from 1st April 2011 and 31st March 2012, the deadline for submission of a claim was 31st March 2013.

Fahmida Ismail's picture

You and the law - legal advice from Fahmida Ismail

Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News, 23rd December 2014.

 

Amanda Holland's picture

Legal Costs and how to fund them

One of the most frequently asked questions when instructing a lawyer is “what is it going to cost?”  Changes to legal aid regulations means that legal aid for family matters is only available in exceptional cases.  Generally that is where there has been domestic violence reported to a professional body, such as the police, within the last 2 years and in cases where there is a risk that a child is going to be abducted.  People who have suffered domestic violence do not always report it and so have little proof.

Karen Moores's picture

Pre-nuptial agreement saves millions

St Valentine’s Day is a popular date for marriage proposals and so it may be a good point early in the year to consider the current position in relation to Pre-nuptial agreements.  Following recent reports that pre-nuptial agreements are soon to be given legislative support, comes a case in which the current attitude of the courts towards pre-nuptial agreements has been made clearer.

It involved a wealthy couple who entered into a pre-nuptial agreement just before they married. The marriage proved short-lived, lasting around 15 months.

Fahmida Ismail's picture

You and the law - legal advice from Fahmida Ismail

Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News, 16th December 2014.

Q. I’m planning to sell my house, and I am concerned that I will be expected to disclose any disputes I have had with neighbours to any prospective buyers. The dispute in question ended nearly two years ago. Do I need to provide details of a situation that is now over?

Jade Linton's picture

What’s on the horizon for Employment Law in 2015

2015 is the year of significant legislative change particularly in the family care arena, below are some key changes which will come in to force this year.

APRIL 2015:

SHARED PARENTAL LEAVE & FAMILY FRIENDLY MEASURES:

Continuing Healthcare alert

Midlands Top Tier Award Winning law firm Sydney Mitchell LLP highlights the need for specialist legal advice when dealing with continuing health care and the affordability to pay for care in later life.

Fahmida Ismail's picture

You and the law - legal advice from Fahmida Ismail

Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News, 9th December 2014.

 

Q. My son was separated from his wife for ten years. Six months ago he died unexpectedly at the age of 42, at which point his wife threw everything into skips and sold the house for just £90,000. My son’s 14-year-old daughter from his first marriage was also turfed out and got nothing. How can this be right?

Fahmida Ismail's picture

You and the law - legal advice from Fahmida Ismail

Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News, 2nd December 2014.

 

Q. My father married a second time in 1998, and his wife died four years ago. He still lives in her house and he says she made a will leaving it to her daughter. The daughter is now talking about selling the house, saying my father, who is 86, could go into a home. Will he have to move out?

John Irving's picture

Court of Appeal overturns contract signed 'in blank'

Signing any blank form is asking for trouble, as a partner in a business who did just that recently found out. Her carelessness resulted in her having to go to court to put right a claim from a leasing company after a 'deceitful and pushy' salesman had filled in an order for thousands of pounds worth of office equipment the business did not want.

Fahmida Ismail's picture

You and the law - legal advice from Fahmida Ismail

Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News 25th November 2014.

 

Q. I worked for a firm for 15 years and was awarded a pay rise but a new managing director stopped the rise going through. I complained through the grievance procedure and the rise became conditional on me passing some exams. When I passed the exams I didn’t get the agreed increase so I resigned. Could this be classed as constructive dismissal?

Julian Milan's picture

Electronic signature binding, rules Court.

A High Court case which dealt with a longstanding uncertainty on the validity of 'e-signatures' in certain types of agreements was decided recently.

The case involved a professional musician who used a very valuable viola as collateral for loans and also for an advance made by a pawnbroker.

The viola was eventually sold for £230,000 and the dispute arose because the proceeds of sale were claimed in part by two different claimants, both of whom had advanced sums of money based on the viola being the security for the loan.

Fahmida Ismail's picture

You and the Law - legal advice from Fahmida Ismail

Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News, 18th November 2014.

 

Q. A property developer would like to turn our unadopted street into access to and from his flats. The street is currently a dead end serving ten houses. The developer wants to knock a wall down at the far end of the street and turn it into two-way traffic. What are our rights in this?

Jade Linton's picture

Obesity can be a disability

The European Court of Justice in FOA (Kaltoft) v Billund held that obesity can be a disability although discrimination on the grounds of obesity is not of itself unlawful.

The claim

The Claimant Mr Kaltoft, a clinically-obese child-minder for a local council in Denmark was dismissed on the grounds of redundancy. He brought proceedings against his employer alleging his obesity was a factor.

The decision

Karen Moores's picture

Sydney Mitchell presents £5500 to Charity

Leading Midlands Law Firm Sydney Mitchell has presented two cheques for £2,750 to Diane Watt of the Maria Watt Foundation and Eileen Rock of the Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity. The funds were raised by the firm over the last 12 months from its Annual Quiz, Charity Golf Day, and various other fundraising activities.

Karen Moores, Partner, Sydney Mitchell commented:

Mauro Vinti's picture

Value of joint policy not part of Estate

When a couple's relationship broke up, it was unlikely that either of them would have foreseen an argument over who should inherit the proceeds of a life assurance policy that would subsequently lead to an appearance in the Court of Appeal.

Linda Heyworth's picture

Sydney Mitchell Charity Quiz Night - 24 February 2015

On Tuesday 24th February, Sydney Mitchell will be holding its 7th annual quiz night. All entrants are welcome and teams will be competing for the title of Sydney Mitchell Quiz Team Champions 2015.  All funds raised from the event will go to our nominated charities.

The entry fee is £100 (plus VAT) for a team of four and the evening will include a buffet, cash bar and raffle.

Julian Milan's picture

Copyright cops' right to seizure confirmed

Breach of copyright can cause more than economic damage to the copyright infringer: it can constitute criminal activity.

Recently, a man accused of selling illicit television decoder cards on eBay failed in a judicial review challenge to the granting of a search warrant which led to a police raid on his home.

Richard Cooper's picture

Professional negligence - missed covenant triggers home buyers nightmare.

A woman whose purchase of a seaside home became a nightmare owing to a dispute with neighbours triggered by a conveyancing solicitor's negligence will receive some compensation for her loss – but not as much as she had hoped for.

The woman had paid £460,000 for the property, but her solicitor failed to inform her of a restrictive covenant which prevented her from making any exterior alterations without her neighbours' consent. She was in the midst of installing a swimming pool, organising an extension and making other alterations when her neighbours objected.

John Irving's picture

Data protection issues in the social housing sector

In 2012/2013, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) undertook nine advisory visits to social housing organisations in order to gain a better understanding of the data processing they undertake and the circumstances in which they operate, focusing primarily on information security and records management. This was followed up by a report, published in February this year, highlighting areas where social housing organisations should improve their compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), as well as areas of good practice.

Shilpa Roopen Unarkat's picture

Heads of Terms agreed between Landlord and Tenant before solicitor involvement can be costly!!

Heads of Terms are essentially the main heads of agreement between the Landlord and the Tenant which will be “subject to contract”.  The Lease will include these heads of agreement and therefore it’s important to ensure that the Heads of Terms aren’t heavily biased in favour of the Landlord.

If the Tenant hasn’t had the benefit of an agent acting on its behalf or it hasn’t spoken to its solicitor before agreeing the Heads of Terms, once the Heads of Terms are sent to the Tenant and its solicitor they are usually treated as being set in stone.

Fahmida Ismail's picture

You and the law - legal advice from Fahmida Ismail

Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News, 11th November 2014.

 

Jade Linton's picture

Culpability for misconduct not clear-cut where employee mentally ill (EAT)

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) overturned a tribunal's decision that an employee who was a paranoid schizophrenic was fairly dismissed for gross misconduct when he sexually assaulted female colleagues after stopping his medication without medical advice. (Burdett v Aviva Employment Services Ltd UKEAT/0439/13)

The Law

Section 98(2)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996, provides that a dismissal is potentially fair if it relates to the employee's conduct.  

Fahmida Ismail's picture

You and the law - legal advice from Fahmida Ismail

Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News, 4th November 2014

Q. My sister is in her 80’s and lives by herself with no family of her own. I’m concerned that her will leaves everything to my mother, who has been dead 17 years. What is the position where a will leaves everything to someone who is no longer alive?

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