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.

West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Birmingham

Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Sydney Mitchell LLP is ‘one of the strongest of the smaller city centre firms in commercial litigation’, and thrives under the leadership of Dean Parnell, who is ‘very experienced and sensible, with sound judgement and a particular skill at negotiating very good deals for his clients’. Parnell is an experienced mediator and is also qualified to act as a supervising solicitor for search orders. The practice represented clients in a number of multimillion-pound claims and noted an increase in injunctive relief, SWAP claims, shareholder disputes and civil fraud. Kamal Majevadia, who co-heads the team with Parnell, has ‘good technical knowledge and is particularly good at insolvency, restructuring and financial professional negligence cases’.

Debt recovery

Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s ‘very efficient’ team has a ‘light touch’ and is led by Kamal Majevadia, who is ‘adept at spotting the wood for the trees and combines this with a user-friendly sense of humour for very experienced officeholders such as liquidators, who are his staple clients’. Majevadia’s recent caseload includes acting on behalf of the administrators of Blakemores in relation to the collection of several large debts from former clients. Another name to note is insolvency specialist Leanne Schneider-Rose, who leads on debt recovery matters for business lenders such as AIB Group (UK) and West Bromwich Commercial. The practice also acts for secondary lenders on mortgage repossessions.

West Midlands: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery

Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s practice offers ‘exceptional value for money’ and is also noted for its ability to ‘quickly grasp the instruction and work with the officeholder to implement (and refine as necessary) the strategy’. Practice head Leanne Schneider-Rose has a loyal following of lenders and insolvency practitioners, such as AIB Group and Smith & Williamson, and wins praise for her ‘attention to detail and thorough approach’. In one example, Schneider-Rose acted for a bankrupt in the Court of Appeal in a claim against receivers for breach of duty regarding a property owned by the bankrupt.

West Midlands: Human resources

Employment

Employment - ranked: tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s diverse practice ‘punches above its weight’. The practice acts for employers and individuals in contentious and non-contentious matters, and Birmingham-based team head Dean Parnell attracts praise for his ability to ‘focus on solutions rather than conflict for the sake of it’. He represented an individual in a complex disability discrimination and victimisation claim against their employer, as well as a shareholder who was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct following a health and safety audit. Jade Linton is ‘a superstar and a joy to work with’; she acted for an individual in sexual harassment and sex discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010, which was complicated by the fact the claimant and respondent had previously been in a relationship. She also handled a whistleblowing claim brought by a high-ranked executive whose employment was terminated due to suspicions of fraudulent activity. Associate Tina Chander left the firm to join Wright Hassall LLP.

West Midlands: Insurance

Clinical negligence: claimant

Clinical negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP is ‘a small firm that really punches above its weight’, and clients rate it for ‘having the skills and knowledge to handle a vast array of negligence and personal injury matters’. Mike Sutton leads the clinical negligence practice; he ‘has an excellent manner with clients’ and his experience ‘allows him to focus on the key issues in the early stages of a case’. Sutton is representing the wife of a man who died of a pulmonary embolism following the hospital’s alleged failure to appropriately treat him during the post-operative recovery period. Stephen Jesson acted for a claimant seeking compensation in light of the alleged delay in diagnosis of cancer, and is acting in a group claim filed against a consultant urological surgeon for alleged improper treatment of prostate cancer.

Next generation lawyers

Stephen Jesson - Sydney Mitchell LLP

Personal injury: claimant

Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP acts for local clients on a wide range of personal injury work – much of which consists of multi-track claims – and ‘has a strong reputation in the West Midlands’. Team leader and ‘very tenacious lawyer’ Mike Sutton ‘does not shy away from difficult, complicated or messy cases’; he recently represented a man who suffered career-ending injuries following an accident at work, and acted on behalf of the family and financial dependents of a man killed by careless driving. Other key names include Stephen Jesson, who assisted an elderly client in her claim against a restaurant which allegedly failed to provide the duty owed by the manager to a disabled customer.

Professional negligence

Professional negligence - ranked: tier 4

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP handles high-value and complex claims regarding property and banking issues for clients such as Hertford Solutions and West Bromwich Building Society. The ‘commercially astuteDean Parnell has ‘technical knowledge that is second to none and is a solicitor you would want on your side’. He leads the practice with Kamal Majevadia, who is singled out for insolvency, restructuring and financial cases. Assistant solicitor Sundeep Bilkhu supports the partners with regards to negligence claims against solicitors and construction professionals, and recently represented a professional client in a case against his governing body for allegedly failing to adequately represent him in court resulting in significant liability costs. The ‘hardworking and responsive’ Preena Lal is also recommended.

West Midlands: Private client

Contentious trusts and probate

Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s contentious trusts and probate team is based in Shirley and demonstrates ‘sound knowledge of the law, which it applies for the practical benefit of the client’. The team, led by Kamal Majevadia (who ‘is very thorough and applies a good commercial approach to his cases’) handled an Inheritance Act dispute in which a significant portion of the assets was held overseas. Solicitor Hayley-Jo Lockley supported the team in obtaining a grant of probate, forcing the removal of caveat and removing an individual from the deceased’s property, and led on the advice on the recovery of monies due to a client as per the deceased’s will. Tracy Creed is also a key contact.

Family: Birmingham
Family: Birmingham - ranked: tier 3

 

Sydney Mitchell LLP

At Sydney Mitchell LLP, Karen Moores leads the firm’s family team alongside Mauro Vinti, who works out of the Shirley office. The partners are supported by legal executive Jayne Gregg, who is ‘very positive and firm with her advice’. Recently, the team represented clients in the Birmingham family court in connection with financial remedy and child arrangement proceedings. Solicitor Teresa Mannion joined the firm in Shirley from Alsters Kelley LLP...

Personal tax, trusts and probate

Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s clients find the wills, trusts and probate team, led by Tracy Creed, to be ‘extremely professional and efficient in all engagements and dealings’. The practice has substantial experience acting on behalf of vulnerable elderly clients in connection with care work and funding. Solicitor Ravinder Sandhu (whose ‘knowledge in this field is wide and deep’) recently assisted a client with the removal of an executor from an estate, and handled the administration of an estate according to a will, which was complicated by unclear paternity links and genealogical evidence. Clients also recommend ‘very good and helpful’ solicitor Nicholas Bennett, who is based in Shirley and acted for clients with regards to locating missing wills and applications for grants of probate.

West Midlands: Public sector

Health

Health - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmigham)

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s public-sector healthcare practice is headed by Fahmida Ismail in Birmingham, closely supported by consultant Tony Harris, who splits his time between Birmingham and Shirley and acted for a retiring senior partner with regards to the cancellation of his GMS contract and the negotiation of his retirement agreement. Areas of expertise include advising on sales, acquisition and mergers of GP practices, partnership disputes, and LIFT and non-LIFT projects. Harris and Ismail recently advised on the changes to partnership agreements in the context of retiring and incoming partners and the re-mortgaging of freehold surgery premises through a complex borrowing scheme requiring safeguarding and indemnity clauses to protect each individual partner. In another mandate, Ismail oversaw the retirement of a GP partner who wished to remain an owner of the leasehold premises. Associates Stewart Coles and Roy Colaba recently represented a GP partnership in connection with the lease of its surgery premises, while Dean Parnell handled a commercial dispute between dentists working in the same practice where the relationship had completely broken down but a fee-sharing agreement remained.

West Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Birmingham

Commercial property: Birmingham - ranked: tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s team includes the ‘knowledgeable, prompt and efficientStewart Coles, who has particular expertise in dealing with property transactions involving pension schemes, and regularly acts on behalf of SIPPs and SSASs on the purchase, sale and leasing of commercial premises. Coles also represents clients in the retail and hospitality sectors and in 2016 he advised investors on a number of hotel acquisitions. Head of practice Div Singh and finance specialist Fahmida Ismail are the other main contacts.

Property litigation

Property litigation - ranked: tier 6

Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)

At Sydney Mitchell LLP, senior solicitor Sundeep Bilkhu is a ‘good driving force’ for cases and continued to be particularly active in landlord and tenant issues for lenders and receivers: Bilkhu represented Hertford Solutions in enforcing a possession order against a tenant in occupation, and also acted for a receiver in obtaining vacant possession of a property following the borrower’s default of a legal charge. In other highlights, the team is defending Property Link Midlands in a claim alleging breach of a landlord repair covenant in a lease. Kamal Majevadia heads the practice.


 

21 lawyers are recommended in The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2017 editorial (listed below)

WEST MIDLANDS

Dispute resolution - Commercial litigation - Birmingham
- Dean Parnell
- Kamal Majevadia

Dispute resolution - Debt recovery
- Kamal Majevadia
- Leanne Schneider-Rose

Finance - Insolvency and corporate recovery
- Leanne Schneider-Rose

Human resources - Employment
- Dean Parnell
- Jade Linton

Insurance - Clinical negligence - claimant
- Mike Sutton
- Stephen Jesson

Insurance - Personal injury - claimant
- Mike Sutton
- Stephen Jesson

Insurance - Professional negligence
- Dean Parnell
- Kamal Majevadia
- Preena Lal
- Sundeep Bilkhu

Private client - Contentious trusts and probate
- Hayley-Jo Lockley
- Kamal Majevadia
- Tracy Creed

Private client - Family - Elsewhere in the West Midlands
- Jayne Gregg
- Karen Moores
- Mauro Vinti
- Teresa Mannion

Private client - Personal tax, trusts and probate
- Nicholas Bennett
- Ravinder Sandhu
- Tracy Creed

Public sector - Health
- Dean Parnell
- Fahmida Ismail
- Roy Colaba
- Stewart Coles
- Tony Harris

Real estate - Commercial property - Birmingham
- Div Singh
- Fahmida Ismail
- Stewart Coles

Real estate - Property litigation
- Kamal Majevadia
- Sundeep Bilkhu

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

 

 

 

Midlands award winning law firm Sydney Mitchell LLP is delighted to see the high calibre of short listed candidates for the Solihull Chamber SME 2017 Award.


Shortlisted for the Outstanding Small Business of the Year are:

  • Open Study College
  • CMA Video
  • Oaks Consultancy and
  • Stickee Technology

Kam Majevadia, Partner at Sydney Mitchell and Executive Member of the Solihull Chamber commented:


We are proud to sponsor the award for Outstanding Small Business of the Year.  It is a great way give recognition for the hard work undertaken by local businesses in Solihull.  We have some amazing companies in the region and look forward to hearing all about their achievements over the past 12 months.


The Winners will be announced at the Awards event at the Hilton Metropole in Solihull on 19th October. Good luck to all.


Sydney Mitchell LLP has offices in Birmingham City Centre, Sheldon, Shirley and facilities in Sutton Coldfield.


Other sponsored categories in the awards include:

  • Outstanding Small Business of the Year - Sponsored by Sydney Mitchell
  • Outstanding Start-up Business of the Year - Sponsored by One Design
  • Outstanding Business Person of the Year- Sponsored by A2B Radio Cars
  • Outstanding Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by Solihull College 
  • Solihull Business of the year - this award will be selected from the winners of the above awards for the exception of Business Person of the Year and Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by Birmingham City University

 

Top Tier Legal 500 law firm Sydney Mitchell LLP held their ‘Movers & Shakers’ Networking Event in October at Ginger's Bar, Purnell's Bistro, owned by Michelin starred Glynn Purnell.  The events are invitation only and cost £22 + eventbrite fees to attend and includes 2 drinks and food.

Head of Family Karen Moores, Partner, Sydney Mitchell regularly welcomes 50 Midlands’ professionals to the event.  Karen commented:

Our aim is to bring together Midlands’ professionals at an informal event where they not only experience the excellent food produced by Glynn and his team but can also build on their professional relationships.  We are extremely pleased with the overwhelming support for the event.

Law firm Sydney Mitchell LLP has offices in Birmingham City Centre, Sheldon and Shirley.

The next event is on 5 Decemer 2017.  For information and invitations, please email l.heyworth@sydneymitchell.co.uk

Link to photos from the October Event on Google+

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/116306612658183054473/+SydneymitchellCoUkOfficial

 

Sydney MItchell LLP help Talash Hotels Group expand their portfolioBirmingham law firm Sydney Mitchell LLP has aided Talash Hotels Group in their recent expansion with the purchase of Mercure Goldthorn Hotel, Wolverhampton.  The hotel was purchased from Aviva Investors for an undisclosed sum.

Brothers Sanjay and Ravi Kathuria are pleased with their latest acquisition commenting: 

The Mercure Goldthorn Hotel is an excellent hotel with great opportunities for development.  Geographically it fits into our existing portfolio perfectly, and we are excited about the potential for this hotel, and for the wider Wolverhampton area which will be seeing some major redevelopment in the coming years.

As the sixth acquisition in the last 13 months, we are pushing ahead to expand our portfolio and reach our target of 20 hotels by 2020.  Stewart Coles and Roy Colaba of Sydney Mitchell have been excellent throughout, and helped to make this a very smooth and successful transaction.

Sydney MItchell LLP help Talash Hotels Group expand their portfolioStewart Coles, an Associate in the Commercial Property team at the Birmingham office of Sydney Mitchell LLP commented:

It has been great to work with Sanjay and Ravi over the last few years and see them grow into what is now one of the most active and rapidly expanding hotel groups in the region.  We are delighted to have been able to assist them with their latest acquisition, and knowing the drive and ambition that they have I am confident that they will make a great success of this hotel, and that the group will continue to go from strength to strength.

Finance was provided by Allied Irish Bank (GB). Mark Duggan and Morgan Keating advising from Allied Irish Bank.

The Talash Hotels Group is based in Leamington Spa and now has 13 hotels in their portfolio.

 

Picture 1 – Roy Colaba, Associate Solicitor, Sydney Mitchell LLP; Sanjay and Ravi Kathuria Talash Hotels Group, Stewart Coles, Associate, Sydney Mitchell LLP

Picture 2 – Mark Duggan, Alied Irish Bank, Sanjay and Ravi Kathuria Talash Hotels Group, Stewart Coles, Associate, Sydney Mitchell LLP, Roy Colaba, Associate Solicitor, Sydney Mitchell LLP and Morgan Keating, Allied Irish Bank.

For further information, please contact:
Linda Heyworth, Senior Marketing Manager
Tel – 0121 746 3300   Mobile: 0777 279 5041
Email – l.heyworth@sydneymitchell.co.uk

About Sydney Mitchell:

Sydney Mitchell is a Midlands based award winning law firm, with offices in Birmingham City Centre, Sheldon and Shirley with additional facilities in Sutton Coldfield. Offering a range of specialist legal services for both businesses and individuals, Sydney Mitchell is listed in the Top Tier of the Legal 500, Lexcel accredited and won the Law Firm of the Year in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011 and 2008 (5-15 partners) in the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards.

The firm’s specialist teams include employment, commercial property, company and commercial services, litigation and insolvency. Private client teams include family law, residential property, dispute resolution and wills and probate, tax and trusts and personal injury.

About the Talash Group

The Talash Hotels Group offers a collection of thirteen individual character hotels in Warwickshire, Derbyshire, the West Midlands and the north-west.

The Directors care passionately about the business; providing hotel facilities and services through continued investment and delivering tailor made yet flexible, value for money services in all areas.

The Talash Group has been substantially invested in, with a highly creative philosophy which is profoundly evident when entering each property. The Talash Group own and operate hotels in Royal Leamington Spa, Coventry, Risley, Crewe, Wigan, Telford, Walsall and Wolverhampton. These centrally located hotels have strong travel links to all major areas both regionally and nationally.

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 ...

 

Going abroad on holiday or to live is becoming a common occurrence for many children. Parents may be offered positions abroad, either for a specific time or with endless possibilities of a permanent move. Likewise, grandparents may have chosen to move to a warm climate with a more relaxed way of life and promises of frequent long holidays for their family.

Although these changes can be viewed with a mixture of excitement and fear, if both parents agree, then their children can explore new vistas.

However, if the parents are no longer residing together there are many issues which may arise that need to be addressed. Karen Moores, family law solicitor explains the legal implications of taking your children abroad if you are divorced or separated.

Taking a child on holiday

The necessity to obtain permission to take a child out of the UK is not commonly known. It often depends on what Children Act Orders have been made, if any, and applies whether it is a day trip to France, a fortnight to Florida or the whole of the school holidays with relatives in Pakistan.

Consideration should first of all be given as to who has parental responsibility. If both parents have parental responsibility and there are no Child Arrangement orders (residence orders) or other restrictions in place, then neither can take the child on holiday outside the United Kingdom without the written consent of the other parent or any other party with parental responsibility. If consent is refused, an application to the Court will need to be made for permission.

The situation is different where one parent has a Child Arrangement Order. A person with a Child Arrangement Order (Residence Order) can take a child abroad for up to a month without the written consent of the other parent. However, it is good parenting to endeavour to agree the arrangements in advance; if consent is unreasonably withheld then an application may be made to the Court.

If the mother alone has parental responsibility and there are no child arrangement orders concerning the child, permission is not strictly needed by her to take a child abroad on holiday. However, again it is responsible parenting to consult and reach agreement with the other parent. Of course this does not stop a father without parental responsibility applying for parental responsibility and then objecting to the temporary removal of the child.

In almost all cases it is best to agree holiday or similar arrangements in advance to avoid misunderstandings, problems with contact, accusations of abduction and other applications to the Court. In the normal course of events permission for a child to go abroad is invariably given by a Court. Often details are required stating where the child will be staying, giving the date of departure, return and details of flights along with contact telephone numbers. If however there are suspicions that the child will not be returned, especially if the child is going to a non Hague Convention Country, then security will be necessary.

If grandparents and other family members want to take a child abroad, permission will be needed from both parents with parental responsibility and not just from one parent.

All of these issues may be dealt with at the local Court, however, if the approved holiday requires consideration of the law and procedures in foreign countries, then a Judge of the High Court may deal with such applications as consideration will need to be given with regard to putting in place specific orders. This may include mirror orders, notarised agreements and significant sums of money placed in a bond to be released upon the child's return. There have also been cases where family members, not just the person taking the child abroad, have been required to enter into a solemn declaration guaranteeing the safe return of the child.

The Court would also look at the risk of non return along with the magnitude of the impact on the child of any non return. It is therefore evident from previous Judge's decisions that they take account of each individual circumstance, the age of the child and detailed protective steps if there is a significant fear of non return after a trip abroad.

For further information and questions on taking your child/children abroad, contact us today.

Concerns of abduction

It is not unusual, particularly in families with international connections, for either parent to be anxious that the child will not be returned. These doubts may arise prior to the child leaving on holiday or indeed where the parent and child are returned late after a contact visit or if it has been difficult to get in touch with the other parent at any stage. If there is an immediate risk, port alert will be required. If there is time to secure an application to the Court for an order prohibiting the removal of the child from the jurisdiction without notice being given to the other parent, this should be done quickly as it can be crucially important to prevent the child leaving the UK. Any delay in an application can result in the child being taken out of the jurisdiction and may then result in great difficulty in locating the child and securing their return.

Nevertheless, if it is known that the child has been taken to a Country within the European Union there are considerable resources and facilities in place to track and locate a child in the hope of securing a return before departure to the rest of the world.

Abduction is known as a failure to return a child after an agreed period abroad. As stated above there are protective steps which can be taken if there is a fear of a non return after a trip abroad and legal advice should always be sought promptly to address anxiety about any concerns of an abduction. Information such as names, addresses, photographs and descriptions of people and places where it is likely that the child could be taken should be gathered as soon as possible. Clearly, this evidence may only be available if there is a reason to suspect that the child is being taken to other family members or friends who reside abroad.

If you have any concerns about abduction and need some legal advice on the issue, contact our family team.

Relocating abroad

A parent needs the permission of the other parent or a Court Order to take a child permanently abroad. This is known as a relocation application or leave to remove.

In some cases it is appropriate to oppose the relocation application but in others it may be wise to consider putting energies into legal representation to ensuring very good future contact before the relocation proceeds. If there are well thought out plans, with good reasons given to the Court for relocation, they will generally allow relocation. This however, does not mean that a parent opposing relocation of their child should immediately give up.

When considering opposing relocation applications it is essential to consider all aspects of a child's life. The Court will hear evidence as to the child's educational progress, family and support network, activities that they are involved in along with the impact of losing contact with the wider family. Consideration will also be given by the Court as to what more could the one parent offer the child if they continue to reside in this jurisdiction. If the child is to remain in Europe where the country has signed up to the appropriate conventions, there will be certain protection and enforceability of orders for contact. Even if a child has been permitted to go abroad, certain safeguards can be put in place to ensure that good contact continues. This may include extended staying contact during the school holidays and consideration as to travel arrangements, the use of emails and web cams.

Enforcement is another important issue that is required to be looked at before a child leaves the jurisdiction as often if there is a breach of an agreement or an Order these may have no validity abroad and may therefore not be relied upon. Therefore notarised agreements, mirror orders, bonds, religious oaths and other safeguards to ensure compliance with arrangements should be considered. Contact Orders made in England may not automatically be recognised or may require separate Court procedures and all of this must be done before departure.

A mirror order is an order made in the courts of the country of relocation.  This is identical to the order made before the UK courts. Therefore the advantage for the left behind parent is that because the order becomes an order of the foreign state, local enforcement is available.

There are therefore many issues that have to be considered as far in advance as possible. Legal advice from a Solicitor, preferably who has experience in such matters, should be taken so that due consideration may be given to all the possibilities that may arise and precautionary measures put in place.

Many children go abroad on holiday to visit family and friends or indeed to emigrate and it is a positive experience for them. Ultimately wherever the children is residing, it is usually in the best interests of that child to have regular, quality and contact with both parents. If this is an issue that you require further assistance or advice on please contact us today.

A great professional networking event with over 60 attending the Sydney Mitchell LLP ‘Movers & Shakers’ Midlands event at Ginger’s Bar, Purnell’s Bistro in Newhall Street, Birmingham.

Sydney Mitchell Movers and Shakers professional Networking Event

Tracy Creed, Partner said:

"An excellent turnout; the relaxed relationship building event always receives superb comments from those attending and the delights delivered by Glyn Purnell and his team are always well presented and tasty."

Sydney Mitchell specialist teams include employment, commercial property, company and commercial services, litigation, insolvency, licensing and gambling law. Private client teams include family law, residential property, dispute resolution and wills and probate, tax and trusts and personal injury.

Law firm Sydney Mitchell LLP has offices in Birmingham, Shirley and Sheldon.

News and Event pictures can be seen by clicking on the Google+ links below

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/116306612658183054473/+SydneymitchellCoUkOfficial

goo.gl/dCXF3T

 

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