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Showing posts from March, 2014

Slippery slope for Bristol law students

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The University of Bristol’s law school is housed in the Wills Memorial Building which is the large castle-like building at the top of the hill in the picture.  Put another way, it’s perfectly positioned for students to sprint out of lectures and slalom their way down a water slide once lectures are over for the day.Why couldn’t studying law be more like that when I was a student, eh?  When the slide is set up for a day (yes, that’s all!) in the summer, let’s hope the road is properly closed to traffic.  I don’t want to hear of law students studying tort having their studies bolstered by first hand experiences of negligence claims!  Lucky that the Bristol Royal Infirmary is just down the road.

Maternity Employment Rights

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Guest PostIt’s not uncommon for a new mother to take up to several months off work after childbirth. However, prior to even considering this leave, it’s important to know the law and your legal rights as a working mother.Maternity leave rights
Maternity leave rights play an imperative part in employment law and whilst the basics of such leave may seem simple, the likes of redundancy and the nature of employment can make the entire situation a little more complex. If you’re unsure of anything or feel you’re being treated unfairly, it’s wise to seek a solicitor’s opinion.Statutory maternity leave
Eligible employees are entitled to up to 52 weeks of maternity leave. The first 26 weeks are classed as ‘Ordinary Maternity Leave’ whilst the last 26 weeks are often regarded as ‘Additional Maternity Leave’.Your eligibility may depend on a number of things, including how long you’ve worked for the specific company as well as previous work.11 weeks before the expected due date of your ba…

Drunk woman nearly killed stone dead

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(As distinct from being killed stone alive.)From BBC News 20/03/14:A Londonderry woman, who was captured on camera being left in a bus lay-by by two police officers while incapacitated, has called for the officers to be sacked.Bridget Mongan, 23, admits being drunk at the time, but said the officers should have left her on the pavement."My boyfriend was arrested and I got a bit upset," said Ms Mongan."I could have been killed stone dead. Because being killed can result in you being left in some other condition, of course. Ahem."I don't remember how I ended up lying on the road. I don't remember a whole lot," she added.That stands to reason, I guess.Assuming the officers did in fact leave Mongan floundering around in a drunken stupor at a bus stop, I’m surprised they’d be willing to take the risk. As well as potentially committing an offence under the Irish equivalent of the Road Traffic Act by causing danger to other road users, it’s also very likely t…

Australian Grand Prix organisers considering possible claim for breach of contract

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When I first heard an audio clip of the new Mercedes F1 powertrain running last summer, I knew trouble was coming. This year’s pre-season testing only reinforced that for me.Now that the first race of the season in Australia is behind us, there can be no doubt.
F1, as we knew it, is dead.For me, F1 is synonymous with the scream of a V10 engine which the sport adopted between the years of 1995 - 2005.  As a result, I wasn't particularly pleased when the regulations were changed for the 2006 season which saw a switch to V8 powerplants. But this year’s move to V6s has changed the sound beyond all recognition.The visceral scream of an F1 engine in full anger is such a fundamental part of the atmosphere and identity of F1, taking it away is unthinkable.But that's exactly what happened. The new engines have reduced the sound of the sport to something resembling an electric go kart formula. It's beyond disappointing; it's heart-breaking.In the wake of the first farcical Gr…

What Should the Public Know About the Jackson Reforms?

Have you heard of the Jackson Reforms? Although these reforms make a number of important changes to the way civil litigation occurs in the UK, most members of the public have never heard of them. Our own informal surveys have found that very few people are aware of the important changes these reforms make to the law.If we posed the same question to a crowd of lawyers, we would likely receive a very different answer. Although the general public is largely unaware of the reforms, the legal community has made a number of changes in response to them. Most lawyers will be able to confidently state that the reforms were implemented in April 2013 as the result of a one-year in-depth review into the costs of civil litigation that become a core tenet of the 2012 Legal Aid, Sentencing, and Punishment of Offenders Act. The 2012 act has resulted in serious changes to Civil Procedure Rules, with a major effect on the cost of civil litigation in the UK. The rules, which are difficult for many in th…

Annoying office habits (including those of lawyers)

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TV Channel, Dave, recently commissioned research into office workers’ most irksome habits.Here are some of my favourites (with their catchy names):Social Notworking – playing around on Facebook and Twitter to avoid doing work.Déjà Brew – offering to make someone a cup of tea when you know for a fact they’ve just had one in the hope they will decline. 
Lawyers tend to be very guilty of this in my opinion.Drainstorm – a poorly organised workshop, where everyone leaves feeling deflated.  Doesn’t that describe virtually every office meeting?Procaffeinating – making coffee or tea to delay getting on with real work.Tupperwarfare– fighting for space in the office fridge. 
Given the state of most workplace fridges, this ventures dangerously close to germ warfare!Human Desourcing – sacking people. 
Hah fricking hah.Jambivalence – ignoring a printer blockage in the hope that someone else will fix it.  Isn’t that what IT are there for?Google Naps – using Google to work out what time colleagues i…

Should I use a claims management company to make a PPI claim?

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No. No you shouldn’t. It’s as simple as that.PPI claims companies add no value whatsoever and the sooner they’re hunted to extinction, the better. Making a PPI claim is incredibly simple and any layperson who can fill in a simple form can do it themselves. And making a claim for PPI mis-selling yourself means you won’t have to pay out up to 25% of any compensation you’re awarded – unlike the situation with claims management companies. Thankfully, banks are spelling this out for potential claimants now. For instance, RBS letters say the following: Should you wish to complain we would urge you to complain directly to us, rather than using a Claims Management Company ('CMC') which may charge you up to 25% of any possible refund as a fee. We treat all complaints received directly from customers in exactly the same way as one from a CMC.I guess that’s progress.

Solicitors and continuing professional development

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The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have recently published a consultation seeking stakeholder views on reforming the continuing professional development (CPD) obligations on solicitors.You can have a butchers at the consultation entitled “Training For Tomorrow: A new approach to continuing competence” here.Given the ever changing landscape in which solicitors practise, the SRA feel that the rules on CPD are in need of a refresh.As the SRA put it:There can be no doubt therefore that continuing professional development […] is a necessary and important requirement for individuals and entities if they are to deliver competent legal services and meet their regulatory obligations.The SRA highlight that CPD is currently viewed as a necessary evil to which lawyers pay lip service (let’s face it – they’d much rather be fee earning or playing golf / shopping for shoes – delete as appropriate). They’re probably right about that.To try and make CPD more meaningful and relevant to individua…

Flood damage – what can I do?

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The UK is slowly emerging from its wettest winter since records began. Many people have had their homes and lives ruined by flood the unprecedented flood waters. Damage from flooding can be devastating, with the financial loss representing just a fraction of the misery and heartache that victims suffer. So what are your options if the worst happens and your property floods? More proactively, what can you do to minimise the risk and impact in advance? What should I do if my property is affected by flooding?
Homeowners are responsible for any repairs that are necessary as a result of flooding. You are also responsible for replacing any belongings that have been damaged as a result. Following flood damage, you should contact your insurer as soon as possible. All insurance companies keep records of customers, so losing your insurance policy documents in the flood should not prevent you from making a claim. If it's possible, taking photos of the damage (property and belongs) is a ve…

Why hello there, lovely legal readers

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You’re all looking radiant and delightful today. Apparently, it’s World Compliment Day, so thought I’d embrace it.