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We offer professional advice for businesses and individuals alike, in many legal areas. 
 

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Legal Studio offers practical advice, great value for money and a personal service for businesses like yours.
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Legal Studio tailors advice to your personal legal issue.
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If you need legal representation, we can help.

We specialise in many legal areas, including:
  • Professional Negligence;
  • Cohabitation claims;
  • Criminal investigations;
  • White collar crime.


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If your business needs legal representation, support or advice, we can help.

The areas in which we specialise include, but are not limited to:
  • Dispute resolution;
  • Contracts and commercial;
  • Regulatory;
  • Commercial property.


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OUR LATEST NEWS

It is 16 September 2019, and my email signature has changed… it is official I am a Trainee Solicitor at Legal Studio!

My training at the firm has encompassed Property, Commercial Litigation, Private Client and Personal Injury. Unlike a traditional training contract, I work in these different areas at the same time rather than taking seats. Therefore, I ensure that I organise my week depending on what work is taking priority or if there is a crucial deadline. I do enjoy working this way as it means that my working week is never the same and I am able to see matters through to the very end whereas if I was only working in a specific department for 6 months, it is unlikely I would get to see the end result (especially on more complex litigation cases) which is often highly rewarding for both you and the client.  

Over the year I have attended hearings on behalf of clients, managed my own files, taken over the firm’s social media pages and attended networking events on behalf of the firm. I have been given great responsibility which has enabled me to grow in confidence both as a person and lawyer. One of my trainee highlights is winning my first application hearing that I attended on my own with client which I never have thought would have been achievable by me a year ago.  I am still eager to continue learning and I am very excited to see what the future holds post qualification!

If you are due to start your training contract or are in the process of applying, the best advice I can give is to take every opportunity that comes your way as there is always something to learn from and do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it, it will benefit you in the long run!
 
2020 23 16
Mollie Wood
The New Divorce Law

From Autumn 2021, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act will finally bring change to divorce law.

As the law currently stands, couples who want to divorce in England and Wales must rely on one or more ‘facts’ to prove that their relationship has irretrievably broken down. These facts are:
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • 2 years separation with the consent of both parties
  • 5 years separation 
As only one party can petition for divorce, this can often lead to an acrimonious situation where the other party is “blamed” for the marriage breakdown, even though it may have been a mutual decision to separate. This can be difficult when the parties remain in each other’s lives because they have children. They could decide to wait and separate on the ground of two years separation with consent, but that can could lead to a delay in finalising financial claims which effectively prevents them from moving on with their lives.

As a result of this unsatisfactory situation, there have been long standing campaigns from family law professionals to change the law, which had been unchanged since 1973.

A recent catalyst for change was the widely reported case of Owens, which reached the highest court in the country in 2018. In that case, Mrs Owens had sought to petition for divorce relying on her husband’s “unreasonable behaviour” as the fact to prove that the marriage had irretrievably broken down. She had initially tried to keep the “allegations” as neutral as possibly, to try and reduce the conflict. However, when Mr Owens stated he would defend the divorce, Mrs Owens sought permission from the court to amend her allegations to include 27 allegations, her position being that whilst each allegation taken alone may seem minor, the cumulative effect was such that she could not be expected to live with her husband. The judge hearing the case described her allegations as “flimsy and exaggerated” and her divorce petition was dismissed. Her appeals to both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court were unsuccessful, however it was noted by the Supreme Court that the outcome was less than satisfactory. She therefore had to wait to divorce based on 5 years separation (it not being possible to rely on 2 years separation as her husband’s consent would have been required). It was clear that the law needed to change.

Under the new law, separating couples will no longer have to rely on one of the ‘five facts’ to prove the ground for divorce – the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship. Instead, the new law will encourage a more constructive approach to separation.

The new law will introduce the following changes:
  • Introduce joint applications where the couple both agree that the relationship has irretrievably broken down;
  • Applicants will still be able to submit a sole application if their partner does not agree;
  • Remove the ability to defend a divorce, dissolution or separation;
  • Remove the requirement to reply on one of the 5 facts;
  • Introduce a new minimum period of 20 weeks from the start of proceedings to the ‘Conditional Order’ (currently called the decree nisi).
For advice on divorce and financial settlements, please contact specialist family law solicitor Angela Lally for a free initial chat.
 
2020 00 07
Angela Lally
One of the most common misconceptions I come across when dealing with divorce and finances cases is about bringing to an end financial claims. I have had many conversations with clients who think that the divorce itself brings the financial claims to an end – it does not.

Even years after divorce, your assets could be at risk unless you sort out the financial claims within the divorce process. When you separate from your spouse, you can make a claim financially in respect of the assets. Financial claims can include a claim against a house, savings, pensions or income (spousal maintenance). Sorting this out is straightforward if you have agreed how the finances are to be dealt with. It involves filing an agreed order at the court (called a consent order), and providing to the court some basic information about your finances.

So for example if you have sold the house, divided the proceeds and you have decided to leave each other’s pensions and income alone, this can be included in a consent order to provide that there is a clean break. Without doing this, even after the decree absolute has been made, the financial claims remain live and are not time limited (although delay can have an impact on the success of a claim).

You should still consider having a consent order even if you do not currently have any assets … who knows what may happen in the future? You may receive inheritance or win the lottery! The consent order is like an insurance policy – it means that you have protection against claims in the future.

If you have done your own divorce, it is still possible to instruct a solicitor to prepare a consent order. The consent order can be filed at court any time after the decree nisi has been pronounced.

At Legal Studio solicitors, I can provide you with a free initial assessment to see whether a consent order is right for you and how to put it in place. I also offer fixed fees if you want to go ahead with a consent order.

Please contact specialist family finances solicitor, Angela Lally, for more information.
 
2020 00 16
Angela Lally