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Thursday, 29 January 2015

What to do if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver

road-asphalt-with-yellow-stripe-1434678-mBeing involved in a road traffic accident can be a very traumatic experience, especially if the accident was not your fault. However, it can be made even worse if you discover that the other driver is uninsured or if the other driver is untraced having left the scene of the accident without exchanging details with you or you are unfortunate to be the victim of a hit and run then there are ways though in which you can still recover compensation with the help of a solicitor.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Selling your business: how to choose a legal adviser

Business ColleaguesIf you’re looking to sell your business then it’s important to take legal advice from the outset, even before the start of negotiations. Finding a reputable law firm can be difficult but these tips will help you make your decision. Just as your business needs an accountant, one of the first services you will need is that of a lawyer. Striking the balance between quality of service and what’s affordable is crucial.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Rollingsons launches lease extension calculator

The first question we are asked when we talk to people about extending their lease is usually " How much will this cost me?" and before spending money on a formal valuation we recommend you use a lease extension calculator to give you a guide as to the likely premium you might have to pay. We are delighted to say that we have now launched our own calculator which can be found on our website.

Website Blocking Orders Against ISPs Offer Powerful Protection For Brand Owners

In the last few years, numerous blocking orders have been obtained by music and film copyright owners pursuant to section 97A of the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988. This significant legal development has resulted in Internet Service Providers (ISPs) preventing their customers from accessing peer-to-peer file‐sharing websites. Such websites allow users to select and download various files from an organised directory of content.

In the recent case of Cartier International AG & Others v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Others [2014], the High Court concluded that blocking orders may also be sought in respect of websites selling and advertising counterfeit goods, although there is no statutory equivalent to section 97A. This decision has paved the way to imposing more burdens on ISPs, as it is the first time that blocking orders has been awarded to brand owners in this way.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Maternity allowance for self-employed mothers

baby-1216321-mBeing self-employed has many perks, however when it comes to planning a family it is important that you know what to expect. Unlike expectant mothers who have an employer, self-employed workers do not recieve Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP).

Statutory Maternity Pay is designed to support pregnant employees during their maternity and is only available to mothers who are currently on an employer’s payroll.

Time Limits For Bringing Contract Or Negligence Claims

The Limitation Act 1980 is a law that places statutory time limits on the issuing of court claims. According to the act an action must be commenced within the appropriate time limit otherwise it invalid and cannot be issued. It is important to note that once the claim form is lodged at court the limitation time limit no longer applies and the case can take as long as necessary to be resolved.

Friday, 23 January 2015

International surrogacy laws called into question

happy family walking along the beachFollowing the recent situation surrounding Gammy, the baby allegedly abandoned to its surrogate mother in Thailand,  the rules governing international surrogacy have been called into question.

The surrogate mother, Pattaramon Chanubua, alleged that a couple from Western Australia abandoned Gammy when they discovered he had Down’s syndrome, but took his healthy twin sister. The Australian couple have denied knowledge of Gammy, now seven months old, insisting that their surrogate daughter didn’t have a brother, and that they had experienced issues with the surrogacy agency they went through. They since confirmed that they were aware of Gammy’s existence but his surrogate mother refused to hand him over.

Motoring Fraud Case Conclusion Reassuring For Insurers

The speedy decision in Aziz v Ali & Others towards the end of 2014 was a reassuring one for insurance companies that have to deal with thousands of fraudulent personal injury claims every year.

The contempt of court hearing brought by the victim insurance company consolidated several separate claims arising from separate incidents. In each instance, a ghost accident was created to claim for compensation for injuries sustained in the apparent accident.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

What are the common reasons to sell a company?

Senior male leaderIf you are selling your business and it is making a profit then it will have a value. However, even if your business is not making a return it may still have a value if it has the potential to earn.

Before you sell your business you need to be clear about the reasons why you are selling, as this is one of the questions prospective buyers will ask. Being transparent about your reasons will increase a buyer’s confidence in you and may even help you to achieve a better price.


Retirement is one of the most common reasons for selling a business. Many business owners looking to retire want to release the value built up in their business, maybe to act as part of their pension. A benefit of selling due to retirement is that you will have an idea as to when you want this to happen which will help you to plan in advance and to get the best possible price when you do sell.

What are ‘Unless Orders’ And How Do They Secure Litigants’ Compliance?

Litigating parties sometimes question what happens if the other party simply refuses to obey the court. Reassuringly the courts possess an inherent power to regulate and control the procedural regime in order to streamline the courts’ administrative process whilst carrying out substantive justice.

The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) provide for case management powers to make directions and sanction non-compliance with these directions. In order to secure compliance with directions, especially in the absence of an alternate effective remedy, the court employs ‘Unless Orders’, also known as ‘Hadkinson Orders’ which emerged in the case of Hadkinson v Hadkinson [1952]. 

These coercive orders are passed against parties in contempt or those who fail to comply with a previous court order within deadline. Unless Orders preclude a party from proceeding until they cease their disregard of the court’s authority and agree to abide by the stipulated directions.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Contracting With The Correct Party: Misnomers And Contractual Mistakes

If you find an error in a contract it is important to know if that error can be rectified without disrupting the entire agreement. A misnomer, or an inaccurate use of a name, is capable of ruining a contract and carries the possibility of making a contract unenforceable. Based on the misnomer principle a court can determine the meaning and the legal effect of a contract where mistakes are made but past use of the doctrine has not provided a great deal of certainty as to how the courts will interpret it in specific cases.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Notice requirements for taking maternity leave

pregnant-woman-1-1251196-mWhether you are an employer on an employee, it is good practice to know what is expected of you during pregnancy, the details of which we explained in our recent guide. It is also important that both parties are given adequate notice when an employee decides to take their maternity leave as this can help prepare for their absence from work and pave the way for a smooth transition.

Monday, 19 January 2015

What to do if you have been injured in a cycling accident

cyclistsCycling has many benefits, not only is it a great form of exercise and a way of saving money on fuel, it is also a cunning way of avoiding traffic especially in big cities, and as such it has become an increasingly popular way to travel.

Unfortunately, with the growth in cycle users has come a rise in the number of cycling accidents. Unlike car users, who benefit from the added protection of seatbelts, airbags and steel frames, cyclists are considerably less protected.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Parental orders for international surrogacy

imageSecure parentage in the UK requires a parental order following international surrogacy. A parental order is official documentation to reassign parenthood fully, giving parental responsibility to the intended parents, and removing any parental status from the surrogate permanently thus confirming British nationality.

As with any issued parental order the court has to assess the application, but with detailed scrutiny on the following issues:

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

What to do if you have been involved in a car accident

Unless you’ve been involved in a car accident before then you might not know what to do. Most likely you will be in a state of shock and having some knowledge of how to react might be a great help to you. What's more, if the accident you were involved in was not your fault then there are some important steps that you will need to follow.

The first thing you should do in a car accident is stop. Under the Road Traffic Act (1988) a driver has a duty to stop their vehicle, report the accident and give any information that is requested.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Landlords – failure to protect your tenants deposit could cost you more than money!

There has been a significant increase in landlords who want to obtain possession of their property who did not protect their tenants deposit at the commencement of the tenancy. The deposit must be returned to the tenant before a Section 21 notice requiring possession can be validly served which can result in significant delay.

Claiming For Injuries When Already Injured

The 2014 case of Reaney v University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust explored the issue of negligence in relation to additional injuries caused to an individual who was already injured. It is a helpful example of how the courts are likely to approach the award of damages in such cases.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Preparing your business for sale

Diagram on tableSo you’ve made the decision to sell you business, but how do you get your affairs in order to begin the selling process?

Historic accounting is one of the most important factors in determining the current profitability of a business and establishing its sale price. Future earnings and potential risks also need to be analysed and considered, such as loss of customers. A business that relies on just a few customers may be considered as high risk and ultimately less valuable.

Supreme Court Guidance For PPI Mis-sellling Claims

The recent Supreme Court decision in Plevin v Paragon Personal Finance Limited [2014] gave some guidance on how the concept of unfair relationships can be relevant to mis-selling in relation to payment protection insurance claims. The case concerned the application and interpretation of section 140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 which allows the court to reopen an unfair credit agreement.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Is Maternity Leave Available For Surrogacy?

A woman was recently denied maternity leave by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the basis that she had her baby using a surrogate mother. The claimant was employed by the NHS Foundation Trust, whom she believed discriminated against her. Her claim was based on the grounds of sex and maternity discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. However the employment tribunal in Newcastle, England, held that the right to maternity was held only by the natural birth mother.

The ECJ then reaffirmed the stance. It held that Member States do not have to provide maternity leave if the woman has not actually given birth, and that doing so ‘does not constitute discrimination on the grounds of sex’. The woman had been entitled to pay leave but was deemed to have ‘no legal right to paid time off for surrogacy’.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Bringing a child back to the UK after international surrogacy

imageBringing a child born through surrogacy abroad back home is often the first priority for UK parents.

Bringing a surrogate child back from India

Surrogate children are often born stateless in India, and so British parents are firstly expected to apply for British citizenship for their surrogate child. Parents can also apply for an entry clearance visa; this is where the intended parents have applied for a parental order and met with various other conditions in order to be granted entry clearance on a discretionary basis.

Does Settlement In Multi-Party Actions Protect Against Costs?

A recent Court of Appeal judgment has highlighted the complexities surrounding settlement arrangements in multi-party actions, especially where one party continues to trial. In Dufoo v Tolaini and others [2014], all claimants were ordered to contribute to costs, despite two having reached settlement with the defendant before the case went to trial.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Is Your Businesses Prepared For Shared Parental Leave?

Following a recent study, it is estimated over a third of workers under the age of 34 planning to have children are intending to utilise the new right to share parental leave. Shared Parental Leave is available to workers whose babies are due on or after 5 April 2015, or to those workers who adopt a child on or after 5 April 2015. The new system will empower mothers and fathers, and partners and adopters, in order to choose exactly how they want to split or share the time off work they are eligible for following the birth/adoption of their child.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The Pros And Cons Of The Recent Whiplash Reforms

Due to the increasing number of frauds committed in relation to whiplash claims, the Ministry of Justice has pursued a radical reform agenda. The impact of the reforms has been focused primarily on the soft tissue injuries that are caused by motor vehicle accidents. The changes will bring the need for fixed cost medical reports instead of the normal practice followed now where the insurer and the claimant firm can refer to any GP and the injured party need not go through any medical examination. The reforms have changed the rules so that practitioners providing medical reports are independent and cannot be incentivized by the claims process.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Making the decision to sell your business

iStock_000008581545XSmallDeciding to sell your business can be a tough decision, so before you do anything you need to think very carefully about your options in order to be certain that you are making the right choice.

If you’ve come to the conclusion that selling your business is the only viable option for you then ensuring a profitable sale is paramount - a developed business will be attractive to prospective buyers.

Here are some important questions you need to ask yourself when making a decision about selling your business.

National Sperm Bank Opens in Birmingham: Do You Know Your Legal Rights?

The number of sperm donations has increased from 239 in 2004 up to 586 in 2013 but this growth has still failed to keep up with the ever-rising demand for sperm. Exacerbating the issue, there are privately run sperm banks in the UK but opting for this route is costly and hence unfeasible for many of those in need. Most private donations used by private fertility clinics are also made overseas.

This has given rise to the ‘Viking babies’ phenomenon with fertility clinics being overly reliant on imported sperm from Denmark and other countries such as the US. Nonetheless the opening of the new sperm bank in Birmingham in 2014 seeks to not only meet the demand, but also eradicate some of the existing issues. Whether it is for single women, infertile women, same sex couples or to meet the interest of all ethnicities in the UK, the new development hopes to ‘revolutionise access to donor sperm’.

Friday, 2 January 2015

UK law and its approach to surrogacy

imageThe laws of surrogacy in the UK remain controversial and restricted. Whilst surrogacy is legal in the UK, the law does not recognise surrogacy as a binding agreement on either party. The law also states that no surrogate may receive any form of payment during or after the surrogacy agreement and that intended parents are to pay only reasonable expenses incurred by the surrogate.

Strict regulation means that English law states that the surrogate woman who gives birth, whether she is genetically related to the child or not, is regarded as the legal mother of the child, who holds the absolute right to change her mind following the birth (S33 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008). If the surrogate woman is married then her husband, whether he is genetically related to the child or not, is regarded as the legal father of the child. So until parenthood is transferred to the intended parents via a parental order then, in law, the birth-mother (and her husband if she is married) is always treated as the legal parent.

Bigger Fines Likely for Health and Safety Failures

In the past year, there have been 133 fatal injuries at work and 70 members of public were injured in accidents associated with work. However, because there are not enough past cases, fines given out have been deemed unclear and too lenient, which has led to concerns that organisations and individuals are not taking their responsibilities to the public seriously enough.

As a result, the Sentencing Council is seeking to revamp the sentencing criteria for those found guilty of committing health and safety violations, corporate manslaughter or food safety and hygiene offences. The consultation on this matter started on 13 November 2014 and will remain open until 18 February 2015.