Sydney Mitchell is recognised in the Top Tier of the Legal 500 and is ‘very strong’ and ‘probably the best in central Birmingham outside the large National and International Firms’ for dispute resolution and commercial litigation matters.

Sydney Mitchell has again been recognised as a Tier 1 firm for its Contentious Wills and Probate work; with a ‘driven professional team’ led by Kamal Majevadia 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.

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

Div Singh, Senior Partner, Sydney Mitchell commented:


“What an excellent result again this year for Sydney Mitchell, with the firm maintaining its ranking in Tier 1 for our Contentious Probate work and in particular Kamal Majevadia being singled out as a ‘leading individual’”.


Many of our talented solicitors have been named throughout for their hard work with our ‘client care second to none’.


It is great to see new team members being recognised, David Lydon, Adam Hodson, Samantha Glynn, Hayley-Jo and Gemma especially have shone through this year. Our clients and referrers have made fantastic comments on the work we have undertaken including…


‘solid, well respected team’, ‘can-do attitude’ ‘an approach to client care that is second to none’, ‘caring straight-to-the-point’ and ‘manages expectations’.

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

Dean Parnell is recognised as “very experienced and sensible; ...calm and reassuring, firm but not aggressive and tactically astute negotiator who secures good deals for his client’ and  ‘…strong on shareholder disputes and claims relating to directors’.

Karen Moores, Head of the Family Team, is recognised for her ‘compassionate’ and ‘understanding’ manner.

Leading Midlands Law firm Sydney Mitchell is ranked in 13 Legal 500 categories and won Birmingham Law Firm of the Year 2018.

END

Legal 500 information links are included below:

West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 4

Sydney Mitchell LLP is ‘very strong’, and for some ‘probably the best in central Birmingham outside the large national and international firms’. The practice handles a range of matters, many of which with fraud elements, with clients ranging from international businesses, trade bodies, regional businesses and individual executives. Dean Parnell, whose expertise includes acting as a supervising solicitor for court-ordered searches, on top of being ‘very experienced and sensible: he is calm and reassuring, firm but not aggressive, and a tactically astute negotiator who secures good deals for his clients’, is ‘particularly strong on shareholder disputes and claims relating to directors’ – he represented a foreign company on recovery of losses from director-level frauds. Kamal Majevadia acted for an engineering company concerning unpaid invoices for engine components – he also handles cases concerning alleged fraud.

Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP ’s workload includes a number of matters acting for finance providers concerning lending secured on residential property, plus matters concerning social care fees, vehicle finance and unpaid invoices. Kam Majevadia  heads the practice, with solicitor Hayley-Jo Lockley  a name of note below partner level. Gemma Parker is a key legal executive. Clients include West Bromwich Commercial.

West Midlands: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP's Leanne Schneider-Rose  advised an insolvency practitioner on gaining access to and possession of a sports and leisure club, and handled several cases concerning the sales of care homes from administration. Section 216 cases and personal bankruptcy are also areas of expertise.

West Midlands: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP  is 'a solid, well respected team' that is 'a very popular locally' with 'a reputation that is growing nationally'. Dean Parnell  leads the team and is 'very popular with clients', and has 'a "can-do" attitude'.  He has a broad expertise in employment, and acts on behalf of employers and very senior employees. Also recommended is solicitor Samantha Glynn, who specialises in contentious issues.

West Midlands: Insurance

Clinical negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP  handle a range of clinical negligence claims, with 'an approach to client care that is second to none'. Mike Sutton  heads up the team and 'very well respected locally'. He is assisted by senior personal injury executive David Lydon, Adam Hodson  and  Stephen Jesson.

Personal injury: claimant
Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 4

Sydney Mitchell LLP is 'a small team that has built up considerable experience', whose 'approach to client care is second to none'. Mike Sutton  leads the team and is 'very well respected locally within the profession'. He specialises in handling road and work accidents, and recently represented a client who suffered from complex regional pain syndrome due to falling from a ladder. David Lydon recently joined the firm from Pearson Rowe Incorporating Springthorpes and has a similar focus on work and road accidents. He recently acted for an individual who required amputation to due to injuries suffered by his fingers while at work. Also recommended is solicitor Adam Hodson.

Professional negligence - ranked: tier 4

Sydney Mitchell LLP 's litigation team is highly active in professional negligence cases, most notable against in the areas of legal services and construction. Sundeep Bilkhu is a key figure with extensive experience in negligence relating to property transactions.

West Midlands: Private client

Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Sydney Mitchell LLP

The 'driven' and 'professional' Sydney Mitchell LLP is led by Kamal Majevadia who is a 'caring, straight-to-the-point person' who 'tells it like it is' and 'manages your expectations'. He is particularly known for disputes on estates with a cross-border or commercial aspect. Shirley-based Tracy Creed  is also a key figure, with notable strengths in probate, trusts and estate planning.

Family: Birmingham - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP

The 'excellent' Sydney Mitchell LLP  focuses on complex matrimonial disputes and childcare arrangements. Karen Moores is a key contact and is known for her 'compassionate' and 'understanding'  manner. Mauro Vinti is also recommended and advises on all aspects on relationship breakdowns.  

Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

The 'excellent' Sydney Mitchell LLP  is particularly strong in dealing with elderly client issues, with additional expertise in wills and estate planning, powers of attorney and administration work. Tracy Creed leads the team and has extensive experience in probate and trust matters.  Also recommended is Shirley based solicitor Nicholas Bennett , who focuses on will and probate issues, and solicitor Ravinder Sandhu, who is experienced in wills, trusts and probate issues.

West Midlands: Public sector

Health - ranked: tier 3

Sydney Mitchell LLP focuses on GP mergers, disputes, leasing and tax issues. Fahmida Ismail leads the team and is heavily involved in property and finance matters pertaining to GPs and medical practices. Consultant solicitor Tony Harris is active on Primary Care Commissioning and extending existing GP premises. Consultant solicitor Dean Parnell works on commercial disputes and employment issues.

West Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Birmingham - ranked: tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP’s team handles a range of multimillion-pound deals. Consultant Georgina Walsh in Shirley handles work concerning purchases and sales of development sites... At partner level Div Singh , who is based in Birmingham, also handles buy-side deals, often involving title issues. Fahmida Ismail is also a key contact.

Property litigation - ranked: tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP

At Sydney Mitchell LLP, associate Sundeep Bilkhu handles a range of commercial property disputes, frequently acting for landlords. Highlights include representation of a landlord in a dispute over the unauthorised removal of a stud wall, which was initially thought to have caused £30,000 of damage but triggered a subsequent order from the local authority to demolish and replace the buildings. Other work concerns boundary restrictive covenant disputes and Party Wall Act matters. In Shirley, Kam Majevadia handles trespass to land matters concerning residential developments, including Court of Appeal cases.


Our lawyers are recommended in The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2018 editorial (listed below)

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

Dispute resolution - Debt recovery
- Kamal Majevadia
- Hayley-Jo Lockley
- Gemma Parker

Finance - Insolvency and corporate recovery
- Leanne Schneider-Rose

Human resources - Employment
- Dean Parnell
- Samantha Glynn

Insurance - Clinical negligence - claimant
- Mike Sutton
- David Lydon
- Adam Hodson
-Stephen Jesson

Insurance - Personal injury - claimant
- Mike Sutton
- David Lydon
- Adam Hodson

Insurance - Professional negligence
- Sundeep Bilkhu

Private client - Contentious trusts and probate
- Kamal Majevadia (leading individual)
- Tracy Creed

Private client - Family - Birmingham
- Karen Moores
- Mauro Vinti

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

Public sector - Health
- Dean Parnell
- Fahmida Ismail
- Tony Harris (Deceased)

Real estate - Commercial property - Birmingham
- Georgina Walsh
- Div Singh
- Fahmida Ismail

Real estate - Property litigation
- Sundeep Bilkhu
- Kamal Majevadia

A huge amount of property in the UK – especially commercial property and purpose-built buy-to-let properties such as student accommodation – is owned through the medium of overseas entities, usually in well-known tax havens. Such arrangements are also often accompanied with relatively high levels of service charges which have the effect of making the UK tax yield quite low.

Under such arrangements, the beneficial owners of the property are not public knowledge. There is also a widespread belief that such structures are used to ‘clean’ money derived from criminal activity and tax evasion.

In order to exercise some control over this, a Bill is passing through Parliament which will make it necessary for the beneficial owners of land registered at the Land Registry to be disclosed.

Failing to comply will be a criminal offence (punishable by fines and/or imprisonment) and there will be restrictions on the use or sale of land of which the beneficial ownership is unknown.

The legislation is expected to come into force in 2021.

For help and advice please contact Shilpa Unarkat, s.unarkat@sydneymitchell.co.uk  on 0808 166 8860.

Sydney Mitchell shortlisted for Medium Law Firm of the Year in the The Law Society Legal Awards

Sydney Mitchell are proud to announce that the firm has been shortlisted for Medium Law firm of the Year.  The awards will take place in London on 17th October.

The judges were extremely impressed with the quality of nominations this year. The success stories received featured a remarkable number of inspiring achievements demonstrating the outstanding skills, experience and determination that continues to drive our profession.

Sydney Mitchell are proud to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award. 

We thank our staff for their hard work and excellent service levels that result in our nomination for such awards.

Well done to all for reaching the shortlist.  To put this into context there are 10,500 law firms in the UK so it is a real accolade to be shortlisted.

Good luck to all firms at the Awards in London on 17th October 2018.

 

Sydney Mitchell Charity Golf raises £2600 for charity - 3rd Place - Sydney Mitchell Fahmida Ismail TeamA glorious sunny but windy day saw our highly skilled golfers raise a fantastic £2600 for local Midlands’ charities. Ladbrook Park Golf Course was in excellent condition with Midway Care Group winning the competition.

Eastcote Wealth Management came in a very close 2nd place and Fahmida Ismail’s Sydney Mitchell team in 3rd place.  It was an exciting completion with Mulligans, Jokers and a yellow ball thrown in to keep players on their toes.

Freedom Technical won the Yellow Ball competition; the longest drive was won by Andy Chubb of Insol Group and the nearest to the pin winner was Richard Hales of Green Office Technologies.  Unfortunately no one won the £5000 Hole in One Prize on the 12th however Angela Harrison was the first to get on the green with an impressive drive.

Our two Midlands’ charities will benefit from the £2600 raised on the day; Age UK Solihull* and the Buddy Bags Foundation**.

Div Singh, Senior Partner at Sydney Mitchell commented:

All players showed their generosity in supporting the fundraising and a special thank you to Automated Systems Group who sponsored the 18th hole and to Ladbrook Golf Club for donating a four-ball for the raffle.  £935 was raised from the mulligans and raffles alone.  It is great to be able to raise much needed funds for Age UK Solihull and the Buddy Bag Foundation.

Lorraine Hart of Age UK Solihull commented:

We are really grateful to Sydney Mitchell for organising the Charity Golf Day and would like to thank everyone who supported this event and for selecting Age UK Solihull for their charity this year.  Everyone needs help in later life, and it is great to be able to give that much needed support to older people in the Solihull Borough.

Alison Bird of the Buddy Bag Foundation, added:

The Buddy Bag foundation was set up to help children fleeing violent situations, often having to leave home quickly, without the chance to collect basic items.  Often children arrive in emergency accommodation with just the clothes they are wearing.  Every penny raised by charity goes to creating the Buddy bags that are given to children affected by situations beyond their Control.  Each bag costs £25 and contains the basic toiletries, pyjamas, socks, underwear, book, picture frame and a small teddy bear to provide a little comfort for them.

We thank the generosity of the players and Sydney Mitchell for supporting our Charity.

*Age UK – Solihull provides help and support to older people in the borough of Solihull. The Vision of Age UK Solihull is of a world where older people flourish and our Mission is to improve the lives of all older people in the borough. Most of our services are provided free. All the money we raise stays in solihull to help pay for our services which include information and advice, companionship and practical help.  Find out more at www.ageuksolihull.org.uk.

**The Buddy Bag Foundation was created in response to the rising number of children who enter emergency care after fleeing violent situations at home.  The Foundation helps restore a sense of safety and security into a child’s life during a traumatic time.  By providing these children with a few essential items, the charity can help make the transition into emergency care a little easier.  Over 48000 children require emergency accommodation each year in the UK.  Founder Karen Williams launched the Buddy Bag foundation in 2014 after being inspired by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation in Australia. www.buddybagfoundation.co.uk

Sydney Mitchell LLP is a Legal 500 Top Tier firm based in the Midlands with over 100 employees. 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.

Pictures

Sydney Mitchell Charity Golf raises £2600 for charity - Winners Midway Care Group

Winners – Midway Care Limited; Matt Harrison, Lee Harris, Ian Brown and Angela Harrison with Div Singh, Sydney Mitchell and Kam Majevadia

Sydney Mitchell Charity Golf raises £2600 for charity - Eastcote Wealth Management 2nd place

2nd Place - Eastcote Wealth Management; Jonathan Hearn, Trevor Law, James Carty, John Ruddick with Div Singh, Sydney Mitchell and Kam Majevadia

Sydney Mitchell Charity Golf raises £2600 for charity - 3rd Place - Sydney Mitchell Fahmida Ismail Team

3rd Place – Sydney Mitchell; Fahmida Ismail, Aamer Janjua, Asif Din, Mohammed Shoiab with Div Singh, Sydney Mitchell and Kam Majevadia

Sydney Mitchell Golf Event Freedom Technical - Yellow Ball winners

Yellow Ball winners – Freedom Technical; Mark Reynolds, Baljit Singh, John McCormack, Narendra Patel

About Age UK Solihull

Age UK – Solihull provides help and support to older people in the borough of Solihull. The Vision of Age UK Solihull is of a world where older people flourish and our Mission is to improve the lives of all older people in the borough. Based at The Core, Central Library Building, Solihull, B91 3RG and in Chelmsley Wood Library. 0121 704 7840 info@ageuksolihull.org.uk Charity number 1055887

About the Buddy Bag Foundation

The Buddy Bag Foundation was created in response to the rising number of children who enter emergency care after fleeing violent situations at home.  The Foundation helps restore a sense of safety and security into a child’s life during a traumatic time.  By providing these children with a few essential items, the charity can help make the transition into emergency care a little easier.  Over 48000 children require emergency accommodation each year in the UK.  Founder Karen Williams launched the Buddy Bag foundation in 2014 after being inspired by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation in Australia. hello@buddybagfoundation.co.uk

www.budybagfoundation.co.uk @buddybagsuk Charity No. 1164916

If people are injured by uninsured drivers on private land, are they entitled to compensation? In a landmark decision, the High Court has answered that question with a resounding yes.

The case concerned a pedestrian who was walking across a private field when he was struck and catastrophically injured by an uninsured 4x4 vehicle. The driver had proceeded from a public road onto a footpath, before ploughing through a barbed wire fence into the field and colliding with him. He suffered a broken neck and was left quadriplegic.

He launched proceedings against the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB), an industry body which, by virtue of the Uninsured Drivers Agreement 1999, compensates those who are injured by uninsured drivers. The MIB accepted that the driver was fully liable for the accident. However, it argued that it had no liability to compensate the pedestrian because the accident had neither been caused by, nor arisen from, the use of a vehicle on a road or other public place, within the meaning of Section 145 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

In ruling on the matter, the Court rejected arguments put forward by the man’s lawyers that the driver’s use of the vehicle on the public road, before he entered the field, was sufficient to meet the statutory test. Their plea that the Act should be interpreted in a manner that rendered the MIB liable also fell on fallow ground. Such an interpretation would go against the grain and thrust of the legislation.

The pedestrian, however, won the argument under European law. The Court found that Directive 2009/103/EC created a directly effective, precise and unconditional obligation on the UK government to ensure compulsory insurance of motor vehicles, including those used on private land. The Court also broke new legal ground in ruling that the MIB is an emanation of the state, and that the Directive is therefore enforceable against it.

The decision meant that the MIB was obliged to pay the pedestrian at least Euros 1 million in compensation, that being the minimum level of cover required, per victim, by the Directive in respect of personal injury. The Court would hear further argument as to whether the European principle of equivalence required that cover to be unlimited.

For help and advice contact Mike Sutton, m.sutton@sydneymitchell.co.uk on 0808 166 8827.

Many blocks of flats are managed by a residents' association, which has the great advantage of affording tenants democratic rights of self-determination. However, as a decision of the Upper Tribunal (UT) showed, such bodies bear onerous, and often complex, legal responsibilities that can only sensibly be tackled with professional advice.

The case concerned a block of 33 flats that had a history of disrepair. The tenant of 13 of those flats was a property company that had not paid service charges for six years since management of the block was taken over by a residents' association from a professional property management firm. That had contributed to the association's accounts showing a growing annual deficit.

After the association launched proceedings, the First-tier Tribunal found that – in respect of one of the company's flats – interim service charge demands served by the association had not complied with the terms of the lease, principally because they were not accompanied by certificates of annual expenditure. The validity of the demands was nevertheless upheld on the basis that the association's errors were not of the essence. The company was ordered to pay £8,840 in service charge arrears.

In ruling on the company's challenge to that ruling, the UT agreed that the demands were valid, but cut the amount of service charges payable by the company almost in half. The association had failed to show that the demands – four of which were in precisely the same sum – were based on genuine and considered estimates of likely expenditure in the succeeding year. The evidence indicated that actual expenditure was about 50 per cent of the sums demanded. The arrears payable by the company were, in those circumstances, reduced to £4,558.

If your block of flats is being badly managed, contact Sundeep Bilkhu, (s.bilkhu@sydneymitchell.co.uk) for advice regarding what you can do on 0808 166 8827.

Judgment debtors sadly often try to wriggle out of payment – but judges will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that court orders are obeyed. The Court of Appeal made that clear in tightening the noose on a businessman who was determined to avoid honouring a bank debt of over $300 million.

The businessman, domiciled in Monaco and described as an ultra-high-net-worth individual, traded in equities and foreign exchange through a company of which he was the sole shareholder and director. The bank launched proceedings after the company failed to meet margin calls and obtained judgment against it for $243 million. With interest and over $36 million in legal costs added, the total judgment debt came to more than $320 million.

During the course of the ensuing enforcement proceedings, a judge had observed that the businessman was someone who was prepared to do what was necessary to avoid paying the debt. The bank claimed that he had failed to comply with a court order requiring him to disclose documents relating to the company’s financial position and sought his committal to prison for contempt. A judge accepted jurisdiction to consider that application.

In dismissing the businessman’s appeal against that decision, the Court noted the powerful public interest in upholding the authority of the courts and the effective enforcement of court orders. The inherent judicial power to commit those in contempt to prison derives from the common law and has never been fully regulated by statute or rules of court. The power is extra-territorial and the businessman’s procedural complaints about the judge’s impeccable ruling were implausible.

For help and advice please contact Gemma Parker on 0808 166 8827

One of the most valuable reliefs from Inheritance Tax (IHT) is Business Property Relief (BPR), which allows the transfer of qualifying business property from the deceased's estate at a nil value for IHT purposes.

The rules on what constitutes business property are many and complex and the principal exclusion from availability for BPR is where a business is an investment business – or put precisely, where its activities 'consist wholly or mainly of dealing in securities, stocks or shares, land or buildings or making or holding investments'.

One big area of contention is that of furnished holiday lettings, which can qualify for favourable treatment with regard to other taxes. However, HM Revenue and Customs see holiday lettings as easy pickings for IHT purposes and will routinely claim that they are investments in land, rather than businesses per se.

By and large, HMRC have been successful with this argument, but not always. The key to the decision will lie in the level of services that are provided with the letting. In a recent case in which the guests were provided with several services, including a pool and sauna, the Upper Tribunal agreed that it was a business.

A number of similar cases are pending and it will be interesting to see just how close to operating as a hotel (albeit one with weekly lets) the business must be to qualify for BPR.

Watch this space.

For help and advice please contact Lucy Bluck, l.bluck@sydneymitchell.co.uk  on 0808 166 5638.

Around three in 1,000 babies born in England suffer brain injury at or soon after birth, due to lack of oxygen during delivery. Early research indicates promising results for a new test - Broadband near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) - that could help doctors assess brain damage earlier and tailor treatment to prevent deaths and reduce the potential for life-long disabilities.

More details on BBC News:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45522794

For help and advice on matters such as this please contact Adam Hodson on 0808 166 8827.

 

 

Royal Assent has been given to the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018

The death of a child is truly traumatic for any parent and the effects can be devastating and long lasting. No bereaved parent should be put in the difficult position of desperately needing time away from work to grieve but instead having their request for time off rejected by their employer. Whilst many employers do act with the compassion and sensitivity needed at such a difficult time, there are still many employers who do not demonstrate the appropriate level of understanding so this will go some way to help.

This new legislation is due to come into full force by April 2020 and provides a right to two weeks of time away from work for those employees who have sadly lost a child under 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.  

All the detail will appear in supporting Regulations (not yet published) which will contain, amongst other things, details of how much remuneration will be payable during the leave.

Put the date in your diary, more information will follow when additional details are published.

For legal help or advice on this or other related Employment Law Matters please speak to Emma-Louise Hewitt e.hewitt@sydneymitchell.co.uk 0808 166 8827

Pages

UK Top Tier Firm 2017 Lexcel Practice Management Standard Birmingham Law Firm of the Year for 2011 Resolution Collaborative Family Lawyer The Law Society Accredited in Family Law Conveyancing Quality Scheme

 

Subscribe to Legal Updates