Published Articles

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?

Jade Linton's picture

Maternity Leave and Redundancy Dangers

At what point does the duty to offer a suitable alternative vacancy arise, in respect of a woman whose role becomes redundant while she is on maternity leave? 

In Sefton Borough Council v Wainwright UKEAT/0168/14, the EAT considered this point.

Amanda Holland's picture

Family Law - Dispute resolution week

Monday 24th November marks the start of alternative dispute resolution week. 

In the recent case of J v J - Mostyn J was extremely critical of the legal costs which the parties had incurred.  The parties spent £920,000 nearly 32% of their assets on legal costs. 

Public funding (legal aid) is only available in very few exceptional cases and families are looking at alternatives to the court making decisions about children and finances. It is not surprising that alternative dispute resolution methods are increasing in popularity.

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, October 2014.

Q. My mother has made a will leaving her house to be shared between me and my sister. I am married and have my own home, while my sister still lives with my mother. If my mother died and my sister moved her partner in, what right would I have to force a sale?

Leanne Schneider-Rose's picture

Travel company collapse to cost those who assisted dishonesty

When a company fails, who can be held accountable is not always restricted to those who directly caused the collapse. Sometimes, those who assisted them can also be ordered to compensate creditors.

Thousands of holidaymakers, who were left stranded abroad when a travel company went bust without warning, stand to be compensated after the High Court ordered the company's former boss and others who assisted him in his dishonest designs to pay millions of pounds in compensation.

Ravinder Sandhu's picture

Conversion of civil partnership

It is sensible for a couple to ensure that they have valid wills once they start to cohabit and share their assets.

However, it is regrettably not well known that marriage revokes an existing will (unless the will was specifically made in contemplation of the marriage), so if a couple decide to get married, their existing wills will lapse and they should write new ones. The same has been true for couples entering into a civil partnership since the Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into effect.

Mauro Vinti's picture

Child Maintenance Service - new charges

On 30 June 2014, a one-off application fee of £20 was introduced for registering with the Child Maintenance Service.

This application fee will not apply to clients who:

Dean Parnell's picture

Business women must pay for breach of non-compete covenant

A businesswoman who made more than £3 million from the sale of her shares in a social care company – and then promptly set up in rivalry with it in breach of a non-compete covenant – is facing a substantial damages bill.

Kamal Majevadia's picture

Economic surge contains risk warning

With the Institute of Chartered Accountants having revised its business investment forecast for the next twelve months sharply upwards – a predicted growth rate in investment of 8.2 per cent in the spring has now been revised to 8.8 per cent – it is clear that there will be substantial contracts in the offing for many businesses.

Although this represents good news in principle, the 'recovery phase' of the economic cycle is always the most risky as companies seek to finance greater working capital requirements and cash flow is normally tight.

Nigel Mears's picture

Document disclosable when no dispute

When an informal conversation over dinner in a restaurant that included a proposed agreement between a divorcing couple did not lead to a settlement, the court was faced with a decision as to whether matters discussed during the conversation could subsequently be disclosed in evidence.

The circumstances arose when a couple who were divorcing had met for dinner to discuss the settlement of their financial affairs.

Jade Linton's picture

National Minimum Wage for apprentices to rise by more than £1

During his speech to the Liberal Democrat conference on 6 October 2014 Business secretary Vince Cable has said he plans to increase the current National Minimum Wage for 16-17 years by more than £1 an hour, from £2.73 to £3.79.

If his plans go through this will be the first rise in the National Minimum Wage since the recession began.

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, Sep 2014. 

Q. What are the rules on pension-sharing in divorce cases? Can I claim half of a pension my husband contributed to before we were married? He joined a new pension scheme when he got a new job. We have no children.

Amanda Holland's picture

A cautionary tale

When a relationship ends the temptation can be to leave the property without dealing with any financial claims which may arise.  If you are married, those financial claims remain open until a court order is made to bring those claims to an end.  This can mean that a spouse benefits from any increase in the value of assets including shares, pensions and property.

Div Singh's picture

Top Tier for Sydney Mitchell in the Legal 500

Leading Midlands Law firm Sydney Mitchell is Top Tier in the Legal 500 once again.  It has been a superb year for the firm which also won the Birmingham Law Society Law firm of the year for 2014.

The firm has obtained recommendations in Corporate and Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Debt Recovery, Insolvency and Corporate Recovery, Employment, Clinical Negligence both claimant and defendant, Personal Injury, Family, Personal tax, trusts and probate, Health, and Commercial Property.

Amanda Holland's picture

Complex divorces to be made simpler

All too often, the wrangling over the financial arrangements on divorce turns out to be lengthy, expensive and a cause of anxiety and anger.

In order to reduce these negative aspects, Mr Justice Mostyn has released a statement outlining procedures designed to enhance efficiency in the disposal of financial remedy cases to be heard by a High Court judge.

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