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

As you will have seen in the news, Danny Baker was sacked after tweeting a picture of two people holding hands with a small chimpanzee dressed in a suit with the caption “Royal baby leaves hospital” moments after Harry and Megan revealed their son. This just demonstrates the danger of social media and the impact that it can have, not only in relation to the subject matter of the post, but also on the employee who posted it and as well as the employer.
 
Social media is now used every day, both for business and pleasure. However when you mix the two, they do not always go hand in hand. Many people are too quick to respond to posts or post without fully thinking it through or considering how it could be perceived by others.
 
Whilst I am not suggesting that there is no such thing as free speech or the right to have your own opinion. For employers, there needs to be sensible guidance for employees to understand what is acceptable and what is not acceptable conduct on social media. Many employees forget that what they post on social media can be seen by colleagues and customers, as well as the rest of the world. All it takes is one comment to lead to a complaint which can then lead to a potential dismissal. This may be even more prevalent where the employers name is listed on the employees social media account as their employer. This can also lead to the employer being bought into disrepute.
 
What can be learnt from this you ask? Well employers should have in place a social media policy that deals with what is and what is not acceptable conduct on social media. With a clear policy in place everybody knows where they stand and what is deemed acceptable or not. This will save embarrassment for both the employer and the employee, as well as reducing the risk to the employers reputation.
 
Well, I wonder if Danny Baker learnt anything from this?
 
For legal help or advice on employment law matters, contact Emma-Louise Hewitt, Associate, Sydney Mitchell LLP 0808 166 8827
 

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 Arrangements 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 Arrangements Order. A person with a Child Arrangements Order that provides for a child to live with them (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 on holiday 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.

New Legislation has been put before Parliament which, if implemented, would introduce a new banded charging scheme for fees for obtaining a grant of Representation.

At the moment, families pay a flat fee on estates worth over £5,000.   Under the present scheme an application by an individual costs £215 and by a solicitor £155, however a new tariff is to be introduced imminently which will see the fee for estates of more than £2 million rise to  £6,000

The new scheme has been decided upon by the Government after the 2016 consultation produced a majority of more than 90 per cent against the proposal to link the cost to the value of the estate.  Back in April 2017 plans to change the application fees were shelved but are now back on the agenda albeit in a slightly different format.

On the plus side, those with smaller estates will benefit from the estate value below which no fee is charged rising from £5,000 to £50,000. The proposals are expected to remove 30,000 estates annually from the charge for probate, but to raise an additional £250 million overall.

The fees will depend on the amount the estate is worth: 

  • Estates worth less than £50,000 will pay nothing, meaning estates worth between £5,000 and £50,000 will save £215 compared to the current system
  • Estates worth from £50,000 up to £300,000 will pay £250, a rise of £35
  • Estates worth from £300,000 up to £500,000 will pay £750, a rise of £535
  • Estates worth from £500,000 up to £1 million will pay £2,500, a rise of £2,285
  • Estates worth from £1 million up to £1.6 million will pay £4,000, a rise of £3,785
  • Estates worth from £1.6 million up to £2 million will pay £5,000, a rise of £4,785
  • Estates worth more than £2 million will pay £6,000, a rise of £5,785

To discuss how to make sure as much of your estate as possible goes to those you would like to benefit from it, contact Lucy Bluck or a member of the private client team on 0808 166 8870 l.bluck@sydneymitchell.co.uk or speak to Debra Lourenco to arrange an appointment on the same number.

The legal ownership of property is not always the same as the beneficial ownership and disputes can arise when no documentation is executed to show the two are different. Such was the case in a recent dispute which occurred after a couple who had two children but never married broke up. The male partner worked in the IT industry and earned the greater part of their income. The female partner was a midwife, who switched to part-time working then gave up work to look after their young children.

The couple had moved to Hampshire from London, buying a property for £740,000 financed largely by the sale of the male partner's property and a joint mortgage of just under £500,000. The female partner paid £39,000 to assist in the purchase, which was registered in joint names.

When the couple broke up, the ownership of the property was disputed. At the heart of the dispute was whether they intended to purchase it as joint tenants, as the female partner contended, or as tenants in common, as the male partner asserted. If they had purchased it as joint tenants, the value would be split between them equally. If they had purchased it as tenants in common, it would be owned in unequal shares corresponding to their respective contributions to its purchase.

Among the evidence given was that the male partner said in a conversation in a pub, "We are now 50:50 owners but that means you owe half the debt as well." The ownership of the property was recorded at the Land Registry as being a joint tenancy, this being consistent with the advice of the solicitor who acted on the purchase that in the event of either partner's death, the title in the property would pass to the survivor.

At the original hearing, the judge ruled that the value of the property should be split equally. The male partner applied for permission to appeal, arguing that whilst he would have been content for title to pass if he died, while he was alive he would not have accepted a 50:50 split on a sale as he had provided more of the capital for the property's purchase. He also contended that the evidence presented at the first hearing could not displace the assumption that the ownership would be in the ratio of the respective partners' contributions.

In refusing the right to appeal, the High Court placed emphasis on the fact that the male partner did nothing to show that it was intended for the beneficial interest he had in the property to be different from the legal interest.

The moral of the story is that if you are buying a property with someone else and the legal title rests with all the buyers, you must ensure that if the beneficial interest is different, the appropriate documentation is put in place.

We can advise you on any aspect of property purchase and make sure that any necessary agreements are dealt with.

For advice on all aspects of the law relating to family law matters, contact Karen Moores on 0121 700 1400, email k.moores@sydneymitchell.co.uk; for property related matters contact Adam Oleskow a.oleskow@sydneymitchell.co.uk or complete our online enquiry form.

The process of divorce in the UK has for many years been seen as rather long-winded and tending to produce more conflict than need be. One of the reasons for this is that the grounds which demonstrate an 'irretrievable breakdown' of a marriage – the justification for a legal divorce – effectively apportion blame for the breakdown. This can cause the debate to become more argumentative than is necessary.

The Government launched a consultation last year and changes to the system were proposed to bring in 'no fault' divorce. These have met with overwhelming approval.

The Government has therefore promised to introduce legislation in the next Parliamentary session, which begins in May.

Says Emma Gray,

While we wait to see the detail of the legislation, the proposals are broadly to be welcomed and should allow the negotiation of care arrangements for children and the financial settlements to be conducted in a less confrontational way than is often the case.

For help or advice on the new rules and how it will impact on your divorce, please contact Emma Gray on 0121 746 3300 or email e.gray@sydneymitchell.co.uk.

More articles on this topic...

https://www.sydneymitchell.co.uk/news/no-fault-divorce-become-law

 

 

Proving negligence and that someone has suffered injury, loss or damage can be tricky, but the real challenge often lies in establishing the causal link between the two. The Court of Appeal confronted one such issue in a so-called ‘wrongful birth’ case.

The case concerned a woman who was concerned that she might be carrying the haemophilia gene because a relative suffered from the condition. She underwent a blood test at her local medical centre and was reassured when told that she did not have haemophilia. The GP who gave her the results of the test accepted that she had breached the duty that she owed her patient, in that the test did not establish, one way or the other, whether the woman was a carrier of the gene.

The woman became pregnant four years later and gave birth to a baby boy who suffered from both haemophilia and autism. The GP’s lawyers accepted that, had she been aware that she was a carrier, the woman would have opted to terminate her pregnancy and the boy would not have been born. On that basis, a judge awarded her £9 million in compensation, that sum representing the additional costs involved in bringing up a child with haemophilia and autism.

In upholding the GP’s challenge to that ruling, the Court noted that the woman had asked to be tested solely for the haemophilia gene. The fact that the child had also been born with autism was a matter of chance and the risk of that occurrence had not been increased by the GP’s negligent advice. The ruling meant that the woman was entitled only to the extra costs associated with rearing a child with haemophilia. Her compensation was, by agreement, reduced to £1.4 million.

For help or advice on this or other clinical negligence matter, please speak to Adam Hodson on 0808 166 5638 or a member of the Personal Injury Team.

Rise of the machines at work - accidents at work - roboticsThis phrase has become notorious and conjures images of machines taking over a complacent society walking blindly into self -inflicted destruction as machines potentially become the new super predators.

This rise of technology and digital transformation among businesses of all types has led to the widespread automation of key processes in order to make workplaces as efficient as possible. With this, the rising adoption of robotics in industry means that health and safety issues are growing increasingly complex.

Manufacturing is one sector in which the use of robots is becoming increasingly widespread, but retail and healthcare have also experienced a rise in this type of operations. Robots are able to carry out tasks deemed too dangerous for humans to perform, such as lifting or moving heavy objects or handling dangerous substances. There are also new wearable robotic devices in use that can reduce the risk of injury or aid the rehabilitation of staff members who have been injured.

In scenarios where robots work alongside humans, there are a series of risks that need to be mitigated. For instance, many factories have installed cages and guards to avoid unwanted interaction between humans and fixed robots. However, with new developments in technology creating robots that can move autonomously around a workplace, new risks arise.

Cited as the first human killed by a robot, Mr Robert Williams was an assembly worker at Ford’s Flat Rock plant in Michigan. He was crushed to death by the arm of a one-tonne robot on the production line on 25 January 1979. The court concluded that he was struck on the head due to inadequate safety measures. Whilst this incident occurred some time ago, accidents like this will only increase as manufacturers and society seek to increase automation and rely upon ever changing technology.

More recently a 21-year-old, was part of a two-man team installing the stationary robot in a car plant. The young man was struck by the robot's arm and pressed against a metal plate, he unfortunately died of his injuries soon after. An argument arose and it appears the technician was apparently inside the cage when the accident occurred. According to a statement released by the manufacturers, the robot did not malfunction. However, would this accident have occurred(????) maybe, but we would contend the robot was merely fulfilling the task without regard, thought or conscience to those around and herein lies the problem. Machines fulfil their function without compassion with the end justifying the means in terms of their function. Time will tell if this aspect is ever addressed.

However, mechanism (?) should have been put in place and it was incumbent on his employers to do so. Risk assessment procedures should be carried out to ensure they account for the full range of potential hazards posed by the use of robots. Common causes associated with accidents involving robots should also include human error, control errors, mechanical failures, environmental effects, malfunctioning power sources and improper installation. In addition, employers should look closely at their employees’ skill set, as skills required to work with robots are likely to be different and more technical.

It is therefore surprising no Health and Safety legislation exists in relation to the specific use of robots in the workplace but a more generalised obligation does exist on employers to take reasonable measures to make sure their employees are kept safe

The benefits offered by the use of robotics and automation in the manufacturing industry are plentiful; however, it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that everything possible is carried out to minimise the associated risks.

In the event that you have been injured whilst at work please contact our Personal Injury team on 0808 166 8827 for advice.

Appointing loved ones as executors of your will may seem the natural thing to do, but there are very good reasons why it is often wiser to appoint professionals. A case in point concerned two sisters who fell out bitterly after one of them arranged for their father’s burial in the back garden of his home.

The father left his estate equally to his daughters and appointed both of them as his executors. Following his death, aged 80, the older sister and her son arranged for his remains to be buried in his garden with due dignity. The younger sister objected that this had been done without consulting her and that her sibling had also refused to inform her of the exact location of the grave.

The unusual circumstances of the burial contributed to a deterioration in the sisters’ relationship. Although it was eventually agreed that their father should be exhumed and laid to rest in a churchyard beside his wife, the siblings continued to disagree as to how that should be achieved. They also failed to see eye-to-eye in respect of the administration of the estate and, in particular, the sale of their father’s home.

After the younger sister launched proceedings, the High Court found that her older sibling had misconducted herself in her role as executor. It was expedient and necessary to remove her from that office. Given the strength of bad feeling between the siblings, the Court also directed the younger sister’s removal and the siblings’ replacement as executors by two independent and experienced lawyers.

For help and advice on matters such as this please contact Samantha Hughes on 0808 166 8827 or email s.hughes@sydneymitchell.co.uk

Everyone has a story of a “bad divorce”.  It usually involves lots of legal costs, stress, court proceedings and hurt feelings. 

Is it possible to have a good divorce?  Here are some tips which may help:

  • - Choose a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution.  We abide by a code of practice which says we will do everything we can to ensure that you and your former spouse remain on good terms whilst at the same time providing you with specialist family advice.
  • - Unfortunately we still need to say why the marriage has broken down to start divorce proceedings.  Hopefully that will change with the campaign for a no fault divorce, but in the meantime if possible agree on the reasons why the marriage has broken down and avoid “fault”.  If you have been separated for 2 years and both agree, then you don’t need to set out lots of details of the other party’s bad behaviour or adultery – just say you have been separated for 2 years and you both agree.  If that is not an option, don’t set out pages and pages of bad behaviour and don’t name the other party if adultery is the reason the marriage is at an end.
  • - Start with the commitment to reach agreement on money and child arrangements.    Consider the collaborative process.  This is all about you and your lawyers working together in one room to try to sort out arrangements for money and children. 
  • - Put yourself in the shoes of your child.  How would you feel if you couldn’t see your Mother or Father?  How would you feel if your Mother or Father made nasty comments about each other to you?

Divorce is hard.  I am not convinced that you can have a “good” divorce, but I do think you can have a “better divorce”.

Please contact Amanda Holland a.holland@sydneymitchell.co.uk on 0808 166 8827 to discuss this or other related family law matter.

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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

 

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