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

Fantastic news Sydney Mitchell has won Law Firm of the Year in the 5-15 partners' category in the Birmingham Law Society Awards 2018. A great achievement!  Thank you to all the partners and staff who made this achievement possible.

Winners Birmingham Law Society 2018 law firm of the year 5-15 partners categoryPartners Fahmida Ismail, Sarah Archer, Kam Majevadia, Tracy Creed, Dean Parnell and Mauro Vinti accepted the award on the night presented by Emma Jesson and the category sponsored by Tony Rollason (Landmark Information Group).

Fahmida Ismail commented:

What an excellent result, recognising the hard work contributed by every single person in the firm in making us exceptional and being recognised by the Birmingham Law Society as Law Firm of the Year.

We are all extremely proud to continue to serve our clients to the highest standard.  Birmingham has such a lot to offer businesses and individuals and Awards like this just continue to show that we have great quality firms and people here in Birmingham.

Sydney Mitchell 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, contentious probate, tax and trusts and personal injury.

Sydney Mitchell previously won this award in 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and it is a fantastic result that the firm has won the award in 2018.

Well done to all the winners in the Birmingham Law Society Awards 2018  - full list link attached

http://www.birminghamlawsociety.co.uk/2018winners

If you would like help on any legal matters, please call 0121 698 2200 or email enquiries@sydneymitchell.co.uk or fill in our online enquiry form

Winners Birmingham Law Society 2018 law firm of the year 5-15 partners category

Sydney Mitchell LLP is pleased to announce their chosen charities for 2019 are Age UK - Solihull and the Buddy Bag Foundation; two great Midlands charities that have been selected by staff for its fundraising activities.

Sydney Mitchell Charities - fundraising - Lorraine Hart, Age UK-Solihull; Karen Moores, Partner, Sydney Mitchell; Sarah Archer, Partner, Sydney Mitchell; Karen Williams, Founder Buddy Bag FoundationSydney Mitchell invited the charities to meet partners and staff at their offices to hear more about the charities and what they are hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.

Lorraine Hart, Fundraising Manager at Age UK Solihull said:

We're so grateful to have been chosen as one of Sydney Mitchell's two chosen charities for the coming year. 

It was great to meet the Birmingham, Shirley and Sheldon teams and to see their enthusiasm for supporting us both through fundraising and volunteering and to hear about their own experiences of seeing the challenges faced by older people. 

We look forward to working with the teams to our mutual benefit.

Karen Williams, Founder of the Buddy Bag Foundation added

Buddy Bag Foundation would like to thank Sydney Mitchell for choosing us as their Charity of the Year.

Together, we can raise awareness and essential funds to continue to provide Buddy bags to children in emergency care.

Together, we can make a real difference.

Karen Moores and Sarah Archer, Partners at Sydney Mitchell commented:

We are pleased to support such worthy charities. Both were put forward by staff in our recent staff survey.

It is great to be helping both young and old and we are looking forward to engaging with the local community to provide support to both.

*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 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.

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.

 

Picture:

Lorraine Hart, Age UK-Solihull; Karen Moores, Partner, Sydney Mitchell; Sarah Archer, Partner, Sydney Mitchell; Karen Williams, Founder Buddy Bag Foundation

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

Midlands Legal 500 and award winning law firm Sydney Mitchell LLP is delighted to announce their new Head of Employment Law Emma – Louise Hewitt. Emma joins the team in Birmingham from Standley & Co, Solicitors.

Emma has extensive experience in a variety of employment matters for both individuals and businesses ranging from SME's to large global multi-site organisations. She has led a variety of complex tribunal cases and advises on all aspects of employment law including settlement agreements, redundancies, unfair dismissal and discrimination cases.  She has specialist experience in high value terminations, executive service agreements and post termination restrictions. Emma has advised a number of organisations on HR matters and delivered HR training courses to business owner, managers and directors.

Emma-Louise Hewitt commented:

I am really pleased to be joining such a well-regarded Firm that has been established for over 200 years.  The Firm has a fantastic reputation and its Legal 500 status and Law Firm of the Year 2018 award speaks for itself.  I am looking forward to working with a forward thinking firm to achieve the best results for its clients.

Dean Parnell, Joint Head of the Dispute Resolution Team, added:

We are delighted with Emma’s appointment which will add further strength and depth to our existing team.  Emma brings a good range of experience to this role which will be of immediate benefit to our clients; it is certainly an exciting time for the employment team at Sydney Mitchell.

Emma is based in the firm’s Birmingham office.

In her spare time Emma enjoys a good book and run, but more importantly spending quality time with her family.

Tactical manoeuvring designed to ensure that big money divorce cases are heard in England, where judges are perceived as being more generous, does occur. In one case, however, the High Court cleared a wife of any such cynical conduct.

The former couple were both German nationals, but had lived in England for some years prior to the breakdown of the marriage following the wife’s discovery that the husband had had an affair. She petitioned for divorce in England, just over a month before her husband lodged a parallel petition in Germany.

In arguing that the divorce proceedings should take place in Germany, the husband claimed not to have been properly served with the English petition. He also asserted that the wife’s petition was an abuse of process in that, at the time it was issued, she held no genuine belief that the marriage had irretrievably broken down. She was alleged to have lodged the proceedings simply to ensure that the divorce would proceed in England in the event that a divorce proved necessary.

In rejecting those arguments, however, the Court found that the wife had clearly been shattered by the discovery of the husband’s affair. Her petition was genuine and was designed to be served immediately and to bring the marriage to an end. A delay in serving the petition was largely due to an administrative error and the husband was fully aware of the English proceedings before he lodged his own petition in Germany. In the circumstances, the English courts had jurisdiction to consider the wife’s petition.

Please contact Karen Moores on k.moores@sydneymitchell.co.uk for advice on this or other related Family Law matter.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service has produced revised guidance on overtime which takes account of recent court decisions that have indicated that all overtime worked should normally be included when calculating a worker's statutory holiday pay entitlement for the four weeks' annual leave required under the EU Working Time Directive (WTD). The exception to this is overtime that is worked on a genuinely occasional and infrequent basis so that it does not qualify as 'normal remuneration'.

The guidance examines the following topics:

  • The difference between voluntary, compulsory and guaranteed, and compulsory but not guaranteed overtime;
  • Ensuring compliance with the Working Time Regulations 1998 as regards how much overtime can be worked;
  • Pay when working overtime;
  • Overtime for part-time workers; and
  • The impact of overtime on holiday pay calculations.

There are also links to further information on working hours, the National Minimum Wage and calculating holiday pay.

Whether a worker is required to work overtime depends on their contract of employment. The precise terms governing the practice should either be included in the contract itself or set out in the staff handbook.

As the statutory leave entitlement in the UK is 5.6 weeks, many employers find it easier to also include overtime when calculating holiday pay for the extra annual leave over and above the minimum entitlement under the WTD, even though they are not legally obliged to do so, as it makes the process simpler and easier to understand.

The detailed guidance can be found at http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4249

For help or advice on this or other related employment law matter, please speak to Samantha Glynn on 0121 746 3300 s.glynn@sydneymitchell.co.uk

 

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.

Legal help and advice on Children dispute matters 0121 698 2245Leading Midlands Law Firm Sydney Mitchell gives a helping hand to parents who are feeling the pain when faced with the prospect of losing their children.

The family department in the Birmingham office has expanded their team to provide help and advice to families that are faced with complexities involving disputes regarding children.

Amanda Holland, Associate Lawyer in the City Family Team comments:

The idea came about because our family team became increasingly frustrated at being unable to help parents who were not eligble for Legal Aid but clearly needed some level of legal assistance, but were unable to afford the costs involved in our dealing with the whole case.

So they gave up and tried to represent themselves which often left them at a disadvantage or in some cases parents gave up completely and lost all contact with their children.

The client can chose which package they need to suit their budget and which stage of the process they need help with.  This could simply be help completing court forms.  Alternatively, it might be assistance at court.

The Family Team based at Sydney Mitchell’s Birmingham office are: Amanda Holland, Nigel Mears and Miranda Buttler.

Miranda Buttler, Legal Assistant, added:

This innovative package for clients will make legal advice more accessible in bite size chunks. The office is in the heart of Birmingham City Centre and within walking distance of the Family Court at Birmingham.

Sydney Mitchell Private Client teams include family law, residential property, dispute resolution and wills and probate, contentious probate, tax and trusts and personal injury. Sydney Mitchell’s corporate teams include employment, commercial property, company and commercial services, litigation and insolvency.

More information about this service... click here

For help and advice on this or other related Family matter contact Amanda Holland on 0121 698 2245

Legal help and advice on Children dispute matters 0121 698 2245

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