Workplace

THE PROBLEM

Curabitur aliquet quam id dui posuere blandit. Praesent sapien massa, convallis a pellentesque nec, egestas non nisi. Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Proin eget tortor risus.

Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Donec sollicitudin molestie malesuada. Curabitur arcu erat, accumsan id imperdiet et, porttitor at sem. Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim. Proin eget tortor risus. Pellentesque in ipsum id orci porta dapibus. Cras ultricies ligula sed magna dictum porta.

Mauris blandit aliquet elit, eget tincidunt nibh pulvinar a. Vestibulum ac diam sit amet quam vehicula elementum sed sit amet dui.

THE SOLUTION

Early objective advice on recovering your money is essential.

At Legal Studio we take the time to understand you and your business so we can provide you with expert, practical advice on your case. We don’t do bulk, generic or one size fits all responses.

We also understand the need for cost effectiveness, Whether it’s the method of recovery pursued or an early frank conversation regarding fees; we’re happy to talk.

Get in touch now to discuss your options and a commercial solution to your problems.

Key Lorem Ipsum

Quisque velit nisi, pretium ut lacinia in, elementum id enim. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Donec velit neque, auctor sit amet aliquam vel, ullamcorper sit amet ligula.

Filter By



PROPERTY INVESTMENT NEWS

Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Donec velit neque, auctor sit amet aliquam vel, ullamcorper sit amet ligula.
Clare Young  featured in a great article in the Yorkshire Post by Ismail Mulla about the reasons behind her move to Legal Studio Solicitors and the trend of lawyers becoming Consultant Solicitors during the Pandemic. 

Clare says: “It has brought into focus what you think is important in your life”.

Clare specialises in Private Client Services and can assist you with:
  • Making a Will;
  • Making a Lasting Power of Attorney;
  • Creating a lifetime trust to protect property and other assets for children;
  • Inheritance Tax and ways in which you might reduce your tax bill;
  • Declarations of Trust to protect unequal contributions when buying property;
  • Probate to sort out the estate of a loved one who has died.
Clare says:

The peace of mind brought about by knowing that have put your affairs in order is immeasurable.  By ensuring that you have a valid Will in place in the event of your death and that you have appointed trusted people to act on your behalf if you become physically or mentally incapacitated, you can rest assured that your loved ones will not be left with any difficulties later on in life.  If you have accumulated some wealth during your lifetime, you are likely to want to preserve that wealth for the benefit of the next generation and our expert advice can assist you to achieve this.

2021 53 22
Clare Young
Are you, looking for a Paralegal position with the genuine prospect of securing a Training Contract? Well, we’re hiring at Legal Studio.
 
There will be admin work. You’ll be expected to help out with a variety of tasks for Ian, Matt, Louise and the wider team. Some of them will be boring. But we can promise you that the job won’t be. As a business focussed on our team enjoying work, you’ll be integral to making sure that they get what they need, when they need it. And they can be pretty demanding. So you’ll need to be organised, methodical and efficient. But by doing so, you’ll get to learn the ropes from experienced, characterful and genuinely nice lawyers. Plus, as you grow into the role, we’d like to think you’ll develop you own case load too, whilst always having access to supervision (be that virtual or physical).
 
You’ll start on a salary of £18,000, with 28 days annual leave (plus Bank Holidays) and genuine flexible working as standard. And, if you progress as we hope and expect you will, once you’ve been in the role for a year we’d expect to offer you a Training Contract to continue your development. Finally, whilst no one truly knows what’s going to be happening this year with offices etc. this role will be a hybrid one, split between the office and working from home.
 
So, if you’re interested, please send your C.V to ian.mccann@legalstudio.co.uk along with the answer to these two questions:
  1. Why do you want to work for Legal Studio; and
  2. Would you rather have sausages for fingers or fishfingers for toes and why? (thank you John James for that one).
 
Closing Date for Applications: 6 April 2021
2021 40 22
Ian Mccann
Legal Studio featured in Legal Futures on 9 March 2021 following the recent study by Arden Partners predicting that in five years’ time, a third of solicitors would be working as consultants.

Whilst that number is high, even half that level of growth would see a massive expansion.

Legal Studio Consultant numbers have grown from 10 to 16 in the past year and the stated aim is to move that to  “a consultant a month” from now on.

Chief executive Ian McCann said the only limit was the firm’s “culture and character”, which he wanted to maintain.

“We treat our consultants as our clients. We are genuinely interested in what their aims and ideas are, and we listen to them.”

Mr McCann said that to celebrate relaxation of the lockdown and the ability to meet a single person outside for a chat, every consultant had been sent a recyclable coffee cup this weekend, with a bag of locally hand-roasted coffee, branded as Legal Studio Catch-up Coffee.

2021 10 10
Matthew Dowell
Name: Glen Salt

Area of Law: Commercial Property
 
Why did you become a Consultant Solicitor?
 
Following the death of my old boss, I realised I needed a change. I was always good at the client work but never really enjoyed all the practice management, training and marketing stuff that came with the responsibilities of partner.
 
Why did you join Legal Studio?
 
I was originally planning on working full time in house for an existing client.  This then turned into a part-time job so the Legal Studio model enabled me to combine both roles and the best of both worlds.  I have been with Legal Studio now for nearly five years and would never consider going back into private practice and have no regrets about the decision I have made.  The last 12 months have been difficult for everyone but I have been fortunate to have a broad spread of clients who have kept me busy.
 
What do you do in your spare time?
 
I have a young family with two daughters still at school so weekends are taken up with the family (including the dog). When I can I like to hack my way around a golf course and I try and watch as much sport as possible; cricket and rugby being the preferred choices but I'm not fussy and will watch most sporting events. I have also just got my motorbike licence and new motorbike so sometime can be seen out and about.
 
2021 01 22
Glen Salt
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
It is currently impossible to say when and how the coronavirus lockdown will be eased. However, one Government strategy paper sets out a potential path back to work for those currently unable to do so. Of course, this has not yet been formally adopted and so should be treated with extreme caution, but any inkling as to how things might develop in the future is perhaps useful at this most extraordinary time. The main features of such a policy might be as follows:

-Employers would not be forced to maintain social distancing of two metres but encouraged to do so where possible.

- Where such social distancing would be impossible, other measures should be introduced such as screens, additional hygiene procedures and use of personal protective equipment.

-Employers would also be encouraged to stagger arrival and break times, minimise the use of equipment or office space, and avoid changing worker rotas.

-Home working would be encouraged as far as possible as it is already.

-Vulnerable workers such as those who are pregnant or over 70 would need to be placed in the ‘safest possible’ places in the workplace.
 
The likely approach of the government seems less one of enforcement but informal guidance. However, the approach of the HSE and local authorities will need to be watched closely. The underlying law of keeping workers and those affected by business activities safe ie doing as much as is reasonably practicable, will not change and employers will need to be very wary, not only of enforcement action, but also potential civil liability. The government approach will also have huge ramifications for the insurance market and employers will need to consider their policies and coverage very carefully.

We will keep you updated when we know more………………………
 
2020 00 07
Edmund Conybeare
There are certain key updates from the HSE at this unprecedented time:
  1. RIDDOR- A report regarding coronavirus need only be made under RIDDOR in the following circumstances:
 
  1. An unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
  2. A worker has been diagnosed as having the virus and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
 
  1. Home Working- Many more people are now working from home due to the lockdown. A risk assessment for home working will be required and employers should be aware that they have the same health and safety responsibilities for home workers as any other worker.
 
  1. Road Transport-There are two major health and safety issues relating to coronavirus for this vital industry. Firstly, drivers must have access to welfare facilities and it will not be lawful for customers to deny them access. Secondly, the driver’s hours rules have been temporarily relaxed to ensure key supplies are maintained. More about the latter tomorrow.
 
  1. HSE approach- The HSE has not stopped working. Its staff remain contactable and will continue to engage with stakeholders. It has said that it will take a flexible and proportionate account of the risks of the pandemic. It will suspend some targeted inspection activity, and will keep regulatory activity not requiring site visits as normal as possible. It will continue t investigate work related deaths, the most serious incidents and reported concerns. It will still take action to ensure compliance with the law, and while it will work remotely as much as possible, it will mobilise to site where necessary.
 
  1. First aid cover and qualifications- Adequate first aid cover will still need to be maintained in the workplace. Reduced cover may be appropriate with more workers working from home. Sharing first aid cover with another business is a possibility, and provision has been made for first aid certificate extensions and interrupted first aid training.
 
Much more information is available on HSE and local authority websites. If you are unclear about your health and safety responsibilities at this very difficult time and require advice on any health and safety related issue and/or interpretation of the above, contact Edmund Conybeare on 07739 463571 or at edmund.conybeare@legalstudio.co.uk.
 

 
2020 39 08
Edmund Conybeare
In the current crisis, the government have relaxed the driver’s hours rules in certain circumstances. These rules are in place to protect road safety, safeguard working conditions for drivers, and reduce the risk of drivers being involved in fatigue related accidents.

Currently, the EU drivers’ hours rules have been relaxed until the 21st of April 2020 for carriage of goods by road. No further extension has been currently granted and operators should keep a close eye on developments. The following relaxations of the rules are designed to help with the supply of vital goods such as food and medicines during the current outbreak and should be used only where absolutely necessary:
  1. EU daily driving limit extended from 9 to 11 hours.
  2. Reduction of daily rest requirement from 11 to 9 hours.
  3. Lifting the weekly and fortnightly driving limits from 56 and 90 hours respectively, to 60 and 96 hours.
  4. Postponement of the requirement to start a weekly rest period from 6 to 7 twenty-four hour periods. Two regular weekly rest periods or a regular and reduced weekly rest period will still be required within a fortnight.
  5. Daily breaks of 45 minutes after 4.5 hours driving are extended to the same break after 5.5 hours of driving.
  6. Drivers using 2.  above can still interrupt their daily rest by up to an hour to embark or disembark from a train or ferry.
  7. Relaxations 1.  and 4.  above cannot be used at the same time.
The relaxations are not limited to specific sectors or journeys but be warned, as stated above, their use must be deemed ‘necessary’ in the context of the current outbreak. Tacho charts/printouts must be endorsed by the driver in the usual way applicable to emergencies to explain the reason for exceeding the usual legal limits. And be warned, the DVSA are likely to crack down heavily on operators taking unlawful advantage of these relaxations.

All this may seem very technical, and comes from a former DVSA/VOSA prosecutor, but is vital information for transport operators, and offers considerable opportunity for those involved in supply chain management and customers involved in the supply of key goods.

We will keep you updated with any changes in the legal position. For further guidance, ring Edmund Conybeare on 07739 463571 or email him at edmund.conybeare@legalstudio.co.uk
 
2020 39 08
Edmund Conybeare
What can and can’t you do during the current pandemic? The basic law is that you cannot leave your home without ‘reasonable excuse.’ But what is a ‘reasonable excuse’? The following are reasonable excuses:
  1. Shopping for basic necessities such as food or medicine.
  2. To take exercise. In Wales this is once a day by law, but in the remainder of the UK it remains only a guideline, and to do so more often might be inadvisable but is not illegal.
  3. Seeking medical assistance or to escape a risk of harm. This is particularly important for those in danger of domestic violence.
  4. Providing care or assistance to a vulnerable person, providing emergency assistance, or donating blood.
  5. Travelling to work or to carry out voluntary services when it’s impossible to do so from home.
  6. Attending the funeral of a member of your household, a close family member (or in specific circumstances, a friend).
  7. Fulfilling legal obligations eg attending court or participating in legal proceedings.
  8. Accessing critical public services including childcare or education, social services or victim support.
  9. Allowing children of separated parents to move between both households.
When outside home, a safe distance of 2m should be kept from anyone not a member of the household.
If the police believe the rules have been broken, or their instructions refused, they can issue a fine of £60 (reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days). The fine doubles on each repeat offence. However, we are told they will apply their ‘discretion and common sense,’ in applying the restrictions. Quite what this means in policing terms is anyone’s guess. The attempt by British Transport Police to secure a conviction under the Coronavirus Act against a lady found loitering at a train station but not suspected of having the virus raises serious concerns about how these powers will be used.

It should be noted that local authorities eg trading standards officers will also be responsible for compliance and businesses failing to shut down as set out in the list on the government website under ‘Closing certain businesses and venues,’ will be subject to fines and potential closure.
All gatherings of more than two people have been banned save for those who live together, or the gathering is essential for work purposes.

All weddings, baptisms and religious ceremonies have been halted, apart from funerals, but see above for the restrictions on the latter.
 
If you or your business needs advice about any of the coronavirus restrictions, contact Edmund Conybeare at Legal Studio, edmund.conybeare@legalstudio.co.uk or on 07739 463571.
 
2020 56 07
Edmund Conybeare
This is the law that underpins the current lockdown of people and businesses. All the measures in the new law are time limited to two years, and not everything is legally in force. It contains extensive emergency powers for the government, and the legal measures in the Act can be suspended and reactivated later. Notably the Act’s provisions can be extended or ended, depending on the latest scientific advice.
 
Here at Legal Studio we don't wish to blind you with the law. Below are some key parts of the new Act, but there are several others which may affect your daily life or particular business activity.
 
  1. New unpaid statutory leave for emergency volunteers (Sections 8 and 9).
  2. Powers to restrict attendance at schools and childcare premises (Sections 37 and 38).
  3. Provision to allow companies that have paid statutory sick pay for an employee suffering  from coronavirus to recover some or all of that payment (Sections 39-44).
  4. Powers to screen and isolate potentially infections persons across the UK. Police or immigration officers can force people to stay in certain places and to be screened/assessed (Section 51).
  5. Powers to prohibit or restrict public events and gatherings, and to close premises (Section 52).
  6. Provision for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where employees can contact HMRC for a grant to cover 80% of salary for people not working, but furloughed and kept on payroll (Section 76).
  7. Provision to protect residential tenants from eviction during the coronavirus outbreak (Section 81).
 
If anyone has any legal questions about the new law, what their legal position is in the current situation, how the new law should be interpreted, and/or what rights/entitlements they have, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone. We are happy to provide free initial advice to help anyone at this most difficult time.

Please contact us if you’d like more information about the issues raised in this article and/or or to find out more about the various legal services that we provide.
 
2020 29 06
Edmund Conybeare
Legal Studio's message is 'Where different works.' But is this just groovy law firm marketing designed to make us look good? Surprisingly, for all you cynics out there, it isn't. If you are an established solicitor who is looking for a different career pathway in these troubled times, read on...........

I left an established conventional law firm in 2011. Since that time, I have been a self-employed home-working consultant solicitor with no monthly salary and no fixed hours. The transformation in my life has been astonishing. I have been able to devote time to my clients in a way that means they get the best of me. I can work in a more relaxed and flexible way, while continuing to fight their corner as hard as I have ever done. I can relax when work is slow and cope when work is frenetic.

I am a happier lawyer because I keep more of what I earn and can spend more time with my gorgeous but demanding family (three girls aged 9, 13 and 14 if you are asking). If I am happier, it translates into the quality of service I give clients. I can essentially work where I want, when I want, and can therefore cater better to their legal needs.

I am different and work in a different law firm. Better for clients, better for me. If you doubt it, talk to me or my colleagues. I dare you to pick up the phone to Legal Studio and take the first step ............... you won't regret it, and it might just change your life. It did mine.
2020 56 02
Edmund Conybeare
Our employment law specialist Nathan Combes has produced a FREE temporary homeworking policy which has been put together with current events very much in mind.

Standard homeworking policies do not really cover off issues such as working from home and childcare (given the closure of schools) and self-isolation/social and social distancing etc.

If you would like to receive a copy then please contact Nathan by email at
nathan.combes@legalstudio.co.uk
2020 10 26
Nathan Combes
With many people self isolating there are practical problems cropping up, not least how to collect monies and pay for day to day items.
 
If someone has a lasting power of attorney registered in respect of their property and financial affairs, then this can be used by the person who made the power (referred to as "the donor") and they can instruct their attorney to go to the bank etc for them.
 
If however you do not have a lasting power or attorney in place, then all is not lost. There is a "general power of attorney" that you can put in place immediately to enable someone to assist you. This is a very limited document in that it will allow your appointed attorneys to carry out that specific task set out within the power (such as obtaining your monies and purchasing day to day items). General powers of attorney can be time limited or revoked in writing. Therefore, this may be suitable if you would like assistance throughout the isolation period only.
 
For further information please contact Helen Forster by email at Helen.Forster@legalstudio.co.uk
 
2020 52 26
Helen Forster