Shepherds Bush Office
The family of a woman strangled by her former boyfriend has called on the home secretary, Theresa May, to set up a public inquiry similar to that was done in Stephen Lawrence case to examine why victims of domestic violence were still not getting sufficient protection from the police and other government agencies.
Those who are having difficulties in making their mortgage repayments and are facing the danger of becoming homeless can avail financial help to stay in their homes under the Mortgage Rescue Scheme.It becomes the last resort after all other avenues, of making repayments easier, have been exhausted but one has to talk to their lenders first. The application is made through one’s local councils.
The family of a man who died of cancer but whose life insurance payout was refused on the grounds that he failed to disclose pins and needles have won their fight against Friends Life, after the financial ombudsman ruled that the insurer was wrong to cancel his policy.
Employers from 6th April are required to move a new way of reporting Pay As You Earn (PAYE) in real time, sometimes called Real Time Information (RTI), where they report to HMRC each time they pay employees, rather than annually. This updates the PAYE system so that it is quicker, easier and more accurate.
If everything goes according to Justice Secretary Chris Grayling’s plans he would ensure foreign businessmen pay higher fees to litigate in British courts.There had been a recent spurt in foreign businessmen litigating in British courts especially the Russian oligarchs who pursued their multimillion pound disputes in British courts, under a review announced on Tuesday.
A landmark case would become a precedent in setting a better anti discrimination rights for agency workers when an Employment Tribunal awarded a woman over £35,000 for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal in a case which was backed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
The Child Support Agency (CSA) which was the sole body entrusted to deal with the collection of maintenance payments for children whose parents had taken divorce, is being replaced by the new Child Maintenance Service.
The new civil procedure rules has been published yesterday and it imposes a tougher system on lawyers who fail to comply with case management orders. A senior lawyer from a law firm said that the lawyers who apply for relief from sanctions under the new rules would no longer be able to take advantage of a list of mitigating circumstances.
Ownership of leasehold property is fixed for a period of time and if anyone owns a leasehold property they have a legal agreement known as ‘lease’ with the landlord who is also at times known as the ‘freeholder’. The agreement carries the clause of the duration of ownership of the property.
The Employment relations minister Jo Swinson has announced a package of measures aimed at reducing the number of workplace disputes that end up at employment tribunal.A twelve month salary cap on unfair dismissal compensation awarded by employment tribunals has been unveiled under the plans.
UK’s tax credit system set up by the previous government for lower paid employees was draining money’ and was open to abuse because of less checks on tax credit welfare claimants than for other welfare applicants says, the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.
Accident claim lawyers have criticised the government plans to raise the small claims limit on whiplash cases or include all RTA cases to £5,000.A Ministry of Justice consultation is being held on the issue which would compel all whiplash victims to represent themselves.
Women say that they have been treated unfairly by their employers because of pregnancy and employment maternity issues. It seems in fact that there were some areas in the employment law where the employers fell short fulfilling their duties possibly inadvertently.
In a internet restriction case the Court of Appeal ruled that banning anyone from the internet was an unreasonable restriction.Two appeal court judges ruled that access to computer at home had become a basic human right and it would be unreasonable to impose restriction on people.
Government’s revival of one of Margaret Thatcher’s flagship policies, the right to buy a council house, with much fanfare appeared to have been stalled with only one in 25 families having had said that they would like to purchase their homes doing so , according to a survey.Only one in 25 families have really managed to do so the survey has revealed.
If everything goes according to the plans of Liberal Democrats then the inheritance tax on property would be scrapped in exchange for a new mansion tax on large houses The proposals would exempt people from inheritance tax on properties where owners agreed to pay more council tax.
Scotland’s Information Commissioner has raised concerns against the plans of Scottish Government to reform freedom of information law which proposes to keep any communication between ministers and the royal family a secret.Rosemary Agnew who is due to give evidence to Hoyrood’s Finance Committee has said that the proposed reforms were not only in direct conflict with the public interest but was also a “worrying precedent”.
Legal reformers have suggested a ‘divorce formula’ which would decide how to split assets between splitting couples.The proposal have been put forward by the Law Commission which would end the long standing presumption that former spouses share the proceeds of their marriage equally.
The research, which worked in partnership with Llamau, a charity working with young homeless people in South Wales, found that youngsters living on the street were particularly vulnerable in terms of mental health conditions.They also found many had shown symptoms of more than one psychiatric disorder.
From September 1, 2012 the rights of squatters would be scrapped and a new law would take over where anyone invading private homes would face six months in jail.The police until now were helpless from evicting squatters as soon as they moved in due to the civil nature of the issue and the home owner’s had to get a civil court order to get the squatters evicted which was time consuming, expensive and stressful.
A Prison Reform Trust report has revealed that some English and Welsh jails held double the number of people as many they should.There were nearly 7,300 more inmates than they were designed for in the prisons of England and Wales, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Prison Reform Trust.Despite slowing down of the prison population in recent times, some jails had twice as many inmates as they were supposed to, the analysis of official statistics found.
A figure from the Home Office has shown that police believed no crime had taken place following 11 percent of rape complaints.In other words the police chose not to investigate rape complaints more often than any other type of violent crime, as one in nine allegations were written off.
A new rule which has come into force since yesterday would restrict the so called ‘chuggers’, charity street collectors, from standing near shop entrances, on the high streets, among other restrictions The rule is going to bring smiles to the nagging shoppers who had to routinely had to cross the road to avoid the charity muggers where as others would argue that a valuable source of funding for charities could be choked by the new rules.
The reforms by Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) to move people from sick benefits into work has come to some criticism when the contract between the government and Atos, the private firm engaged to carry out fit-to-work medical assessments, has been found to be weak and underpinning the DWP.The National Audit Office (NAO) said the DWP had failed to penalise Atos for non-performance and had also not set targets which were sufficiently challenging.
Simon Crisp, 36, was jailed indefinitely for public protection after he was found guilty of trying twice to convince a 15 year old boy to perform a sex act online and for sharing sickening images of children with other perverts. The London Appeal Court had heard.The indefinite jail sentence which is akin to a life sentence was given to him at the Preston Crown Court in March after increment evidence in the form of computer equipment was seized from the paedophile’s home in Fleetwood, Lancashire.
After a boy killed his foster carer the Scottish Association of Social Work has urged professionals to reassure would-be foster parents. Dawn McKenzie of Hamilton, who was fostering a boy, was killed by the 13 year old. The boy, now 14, has not been named due to legal reasons has been sentenced to seven years for killing his carer.
Lord Darzi, and health policy expert who was Gordon Brown’s health minister said that families need to ensure care for their elderly relatives and get the care they needed rather than completely relying on the NHS and local councils.He said that the state should demand people take greater responsibility for the health and social care of themselves and their families.
In a move to help pharmaceutical firms to help develop new drugs to tackle conditions like dementia, millions or medical records of people are going to be sold off to these Pharma companies.The Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to change the NHS Constitution to allow patients data to be released for research.
A report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons, said in a report that prisoners on remand in England and Wales were being treated less well than convicted inmates and that improvements should be made to give a fair treatment to them while reducing costs.Nick Hardwick, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, said in his report that the rule that remand prisoners should not be housed with convicted inmates was not being observed in practice.
Almost one million people will be forced to work unpaid for six months if a new government work scheme is extended across the country, a think-tank has said.A pilot of the community action programme (Cap), Under the Department for Work and Pensions has been completed which is to be rolled out to other areas after an announcement this autumn, people on jobseeker's allowance for longer than three years must work for six months unpaid or have their benefits stripped from them.
An initiative by a range of partners in Hull including Hull City Council is to give gym passes as sentences to offenders who have been convicted of alcohol induced offences if they complete court orders and keep out of trouble for three months.According to the Hull Citysafe the pilot is intended as a diversionary tactics for offenders, but critics say that taxpayers should not be paying for offenders to spend their time in the gym.
A Supreme Court ruling has confirmed that asylum seekers need not lie of their political beliefs as an excuse to claim asylum. People often lie about being prosecuted in their country, for their political beliefs, while seeking asylum in the UK. The ruling has confirmed that the principle was applicable to political non-believers as well as to political activists.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned that ‘opt out’ class action as proposed by the government would spark a new litigation industry’ around competition law and could discourage inward investment and growth.Businesses needed incentives like reduced fines to take recourse in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which was the quicker and cheaper way of providing collective solutions.
The Scottish Law Commission has launched a consultation on proposed changes to unfair terms and conditions hidden in the small print of contracts affecting consumers.The commission wants the contract to be simpler. The commission said competition for customers, fuelled by developments such as price comparison websites, meant some traders were hiding the true cost of a contract in the small print.
Under an extraordinary expansion of UK legal jurisdiction being negotiated with the Central American country Honduras would mean cases originating in Honduras would end up before the Privy Council in Westminster. The Central American state which has the highest homicide rate in the world was preparing to send appeal cases to the judicial committee of the Privy Council (JCPC).
The charity Mind has said that the mental health strategy called ‘No Health Without Mental Health’ has so far failed to improve the position of the patients.The strategy by Government launched more than a year ago has not been implemented by the NHS which was failing people with mental health problems the charity had warned.
After Bob Diamond, Chief Executive of Barclay’s none too impressive testimony before the treasury select committee, members accused him of being calculative and deliberately misleading the Parliament. Following the testimony the senior MPs have been discussing to bring in new powers which would make lying or misleading MPs during parliamentary committees a criminal offence.
Under a new proposal, charging guidelines for criminals arrested for minor offences like minor assaults, theft and fraud could escape prosecution with prosecutors taking no further action on suspects, if they believe it is not proportionate to take them to court.This is the biggest shake-up of charging guidelines for 20 years. Factors like cost and the length of trial would be taken into consideration before deciding whether the offender should be charged.
Those prisoners who have been sent in for sexual offences will have to undergo mandatory lie detector tests on release from jails to prevent any re-offending. Sex offenders who pose high risk of committing further abuse will be recalled to prison or face a change of their parole conditions.The prime minister’s office wants such compulsory tests for all high risk sex pests after a successful trial was done in the Midlands.
Michael Walsh, 85, fell from a balcony at the BMI Shelburne Hospital in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire after being left on his own despite being confused after an operation.On 14 February 2009, Mr Walsh had walked through unlocked doors in his room and fell off the balcony and contacted pneumonia from the injuries he received and died the following day the Avlesbury Crown Court heard.
The new head of Northern Ireland Prison Service Director General Sue McAllister said the service needed to build up its intelligence about illegal substances through better relations between warders and inmates.Prison Ombudsman Pauline McCabe wanted more to be done to tackle the problem of illicit drugs following the death of Aaron Hogg, 21, who was found dead in his Maghaberry Prison cell in May last year after taking a cocktail of drugs.
As a part of the Government’s Employment Law Review and following the Ministry of Justice’s consultation with businesses and the public, some of the fees to be charged would be lower than initially proposed.Under the plans, from summer 2013, mediation by a judge is to cost £600 rather than the £750 proposed in the 2011 consultation. The lower fee to take the administratively simpler 'level 1' claims to a full hearing will be £390, which would be only £160 if settled before the hearing fee is payable.
It was a known fact but has been given an official stamp to it. The pensions enjoyed by the state workers are twice the size of those of their private counterparts it has been revealed by the Office for National Statistics.This is despite working for fewer hours, and earning 30 per cent more than their private counterparts on an average.
A government panel of experts is said to be considering whether socio-economic rights could be included in the hugely controversial existing Human Rights Act. The inclusion would mean the right to claim benefits and enjoy a comfortable standard of living on the taxpayers money would become a human rights law. It would allow the unemployed to take the government to court if ministers did not provide a minimum standard of living.
The plan would mean the elderly could apply for a government backed loan to fund their care needs but the loan amount will have to be re paid by the children or relatives of the loved ones after they pass away. The children might have to sell their parents home to clear the loans along with an interest on the loan. The government has said the rate of interest would be nominal and not commercial.
The present practice of councils having their own eligibility criteria for social care and in turn restricting free care to only to those deemed to be more in need is going to be done away with.The different threshold being set in by councils has created 152 different systems across England and more than 80% of the local authorities are taking advantage of such loophole to limit free care like home helps, meals on wheels and the installation of stair lifts to a very few deemed the most in need.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, has said that he was concerned about the prevalence of internet pornography which was affecting teenage relationships with increasing incidents of violence.The top prosecutor has warned that emerging research has shown that the exposure of young people to all sort of material was leading to a lot of abuse within teenage relationships.
The government has planned to provide, some big cities in England outside London, noteworthy extra powers and money in return for promises to work towards reducing youth unemployment, promote economic growth and speed up revival.There are six cities in line to benefit with the proposed scheme which would be announced by the Cities Minister Greg Clark.
Those who come into the higher tax rate bracket and have not yet completed their self-assessment forms would have to declared any untaxed income they had earned before 2010 and those who are willing to come forward will only face a reduced penalties of £200, as well as a fine amounting to 10 per cent of their unpaid tax.
Two people with mental health problem whose names have been withheld on their request have applied for judicial review of the controversial Work Capability Assessment (WCA) a computer led test which determines the eligibility for sickness and disability benefits.Their lawyers have requested the court that the computer led test was discriminatory against people with mental health problems as it was a very stressful process of undergoing the 20 minute assessments with strangers.
Governments ‘open data’ plans would divulge huge amount of information which would concern about public services covering health, education and crime which would allow patients scrutinise the success rate of treatment by local GPs including their track record on cancer treatment.
The Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying (HPAD) which had called for the British Medical Association to take a neutral stand on the issue of issue of ‘assisted dying’ were left disappointed after the BMA in its conference have voted against the plea for assisted dying which they likened to murder.
A graduate who was made to work for her jobless benefits as a shelf stacker in Poundland claimed the scheme as ‘forced labour’ which breached her human rights and went to the High Court asking to declare the Government’s back-to-work programme as unlawful. Cait Reilly, 23-year-old said she had to give up a voluntary post in a museum to take the placement but was promised a job interview if she completed two weeks training at Poundland. However, it never happened she said.
A new study by Cambridge University on children committing crime has said that children commit crime because of lacking morals and not just because of their environment they live in.The study was conducted on 700 young people in Petersborough for over a decade and discovered that most adolescent crime was not just a youthful opportunism.
The European Court of Justice has ruled that the worker who became ill during their holidays can have more time off to make up for it.It would mean that those who fall ill during their annual leave would be able to get additional days off for the days spent incapacitated.
After the victim, of Edward Putman the £4.5million Lottery winner, planned to launch compensation claim against her offender Vera Baird former Solicitor General called for all sexual offender to be forced to declare any significant changes in their financial position so that victims could claim compensation from them.The woman, who was 17 at the time of the 1991 attack, had come to know about his life-changing win, in 2009, only when he was taken to court for benefit fraud.
Professor Les Iversen, chairman of the Advisory Council on the misuse of Drugs, has recommended that teenagers who possessed small amount of drugs or banned substances like cannabis would not be criminalized and rather should have their driving licenses confiscated or be sent to an awareness course which was already being done by the police who were imposing fines and warnings for cannabis possession.
It said the scale of neglect of the NHS in mental illness was in scandalous proportions with only quarter of those requiring treatment actually getting it.The report urged for appointment of special cabinet minister and says 'millions wasted' through lack of proper treatment
The reason given by the Transport Minister Mike Penning was that the current fines were not creating an impression of seriousness to such offences.He added that in future too careless driving could also be included under fixed penalty offence with an option of remedial training. Educational courses for other offences, such as not wearing a seatbelt, could also be offered.
The official figures show that half of the jobless people who were told to do unpaid work were ready to forfeit their benefits than forego their undeclared earnings.The minister told the Mail that he sat through an interview with a young man in a job centre who was working for a few hours a week below the benefit threshold. He was working in a night club and had missed the previous weeks signing on interview and when told that he was going to lose weeks benefits he just shrugged.
The law which gives elderly the right to sue if they have faced age-discrimination by NHS staff is to become operational from October this year.The ministers are to announce the plans which would give the elderly patients right to legal action if they are refused operations, tests and scans which are routinely offered to the younger patients.Patients or their relatives will also be able to go to court and claim compensation if they have been treated without dignity on hospital wards.
The scheme known as ‘two strikes and you are out’ would force the jobless benefit claimants to work without wages if they do not turn up for two interviews or drop out of work programme. They shall have to work up to 30 hours a week or their benefits would be stripped out of them. The Job Centre staff has been given the power to force anyone claiming unemployment benefits to work mandatorily in the work programme to get them the feel of working nine to five.
According to an official figure many young adults were not saving enough for their retirement the special report has suggested that the earlier they started saving it would be better for them.By not saving for a pension when they were young they condemning themselves to poverty in their old age. The figures show that the number of women aged 22 to 29 in the UK who were signing up for workplace pension had fallen for four years in a row showing a sharp decline in any age group.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) argues in its report that more information should be made available to the victims of crime in England and Wales.The thinktank said it would be possible through online access to their cases.
MPs have warned that hitherto playground taunts, calling someone fatty would be deemed a hate crime.A report by the all party parliamentary group on body image suggested that the government should consider ‘appearance based discrimination’ to be considered on par with race and sexual discrimination.
Ministers have been forced to back down over the vast extension of the secret justice system which would be scrapped today.There was a huge outcry by civil rights groups, MPs and lawyers, against the moves to hold sensitive inquests behind closed doors which the government has decided to drop all together. As far as civil cases are concerned the judges and not the politicians will be empowered to approve or refuse a request for a secret hearing.
Ministers have decided that unemployed who are being paid benefits will have to earn it by doing unpaid community work under the governments cleanup drive.As it is the job centre staff was already empowered to force the jobseekers who were suspected of shirking work, to spend 30 hours a week trimming hedges and painting schools for the £67.50 weekly allowance they receive.
In an international case of child exploitation photographs of children were shared on a number of sites including Facebook. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) said that six arrests were made in England.
A report from the Work Foundation think tank has warned of a long term problem of youngsters Not in education, employment training - ‘Neets’, aged between 16 and 24, who have never made successful steps from education into employment.
The figures given by the local authority adoption scorecards based for 2009-2011 show a widespread delay throughout the adoption process the Department of Education had announced.It said that hundreds of children who entered care had to wait on an average 20 months before moving in with their adoptive parents which was six months late than the time limit set out in the national guidance according to the official figures released today.
David Cameron has postponed reforms to funding elderly care, prompting concern that millions of pensioners and disabled people will be “condemned to a miserable existenceThe Queen’s Speech which promised for a “draft Bill” to be drawn up in the next year to modernise the legal framework for care homes and home-help services has all but left the hopes of millions of pensioners dashed.
Prison inmates who work outside the jail premises in the community before their release have launched a High Court battle to keep a bigger share of their wages claiming that much was being diverted to victim support.Their lawyers today challenged the legality of the way Justice Secretary Ken Clarke was operating rules governing deductions from pay packets.
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) a think tank has said that the UK unemployment was going to rise from its current 8.3% to almost 9% by the end of the year causing perman
When anyone declares bankruptcy of their business, his or her assets such as home, income and possessions, can be used to pay off their outstanding debts. A declaration of bankruptcy involves official scrutiny of the bankrupt’s financial matters and he or she is placed under a number of restrictions.
Following the 2011 London riots there was something of a furore in the coalition government over what were seen as draconian measures on the part of Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister, and his decision to administer tough justice to the perpetrators. One of the ‘draconian’ measures the Housing Minister announced was the ordering of ‘visitors from hell’ from their social housing if they were in it, which brought a backlash upon him from the Liberal Democrat ranks in the government. Legal experts were also quick to voice their concerns that the government’s response was, in some cases, out of all proportion to the seriousness of the offences perpetrated by individual rioters caught on CCTV and arrested afterwards.
When someone is found guilty in the UK of having committed benefit fraud against the taxpayer and the state, the seriousness of the fraud will be the determining factor in setting the level of punishment. In less severe instances, the accused may get off with a fine, whilst in more severe ones a custodial sentence could be handed down and the accused sent to prison for a certain period of time. For crime solicitors, this is a particularly busy area.
The Care in the Community at Duncan Lewis Solicitors deals with the care people receive in their own homes, institutional accommodation or from health and housing services. The Duncan Lewis Care in the Community Department provides valuable advice to clients about services available to them. These include the elderly, young adults with physical, learning or other disabilities, people with mental health needs, drug or alcohol problems and asylum seekers. The team assist carers with benefit entitlements, obtain support for children in need from Local Authorities and asylum seekers attain housing or financial support. Duncan Lewis & Co is amongst a handful of firms who have been awarded a Legal Services Commission franchise for Community Care work.
Duncan Lewis solicitors can advise in relation to the assessment and service provision for children in need, including respite care and home adaptations. We can also help in: • Gaining the support you need from the NHS and other Social Services and continuing care for your return home • Adapting the home for the disabled or elderly • Judicial Review representations, where we can take the Local Authority to Court • Advice with Ombudsman Investigations for minor disputes
The Community Care team in conjunction with the immigration team at Duncan Lewis can help with assistance to receive access to housing and provisions to meet basic needs, along with section 55 applications.
Our solicitors can take proceedings against Health and Local Authorities who fail to carry out Community Care Assessments or provide adequate care once a need has been assessed. We can assist when public services have been withdrawn.
Duncan Lewis solicitors can also assist with Community Care Assessments and review of services for individuals with drug and alcohol abuse problems; disabilities; mental health problems; elderly; HIV patients; rape victims and care plans. To book an appointment with one of our Duncan Lewis solicitors or to refer clients to our firm, please contact our New Client Co-ordinators on 0800 740 8081 Duncan Lewis has offices in the following locations in London and the Home Counties:- Duncan Lewis – Clapham Junction Duncan Lewis – Dalston Duncan Lewis – Harrow Duncan Lewis – New Cross Duncan Lewis – Romford Duncan Lewis – Shepherds Bush For more information please visit the Duncan Lewis home page at www.duncanlewis.co.uk Duncan Lewis is the trading name of Duncan Lewis (Solicitors) Limited.
A month ago, the government announced plans to wipe £350m off the legal aid budget and if carried through, over 500,000 of the most vulnerable members of our society will no longer have access to justice. That's 25% of those currently able to do so, denied the democratic right first outlined in Magna Carta eight hundred years ago: 'we will not deny or defer to any man either justice or right'.
Only the cynical would doubt that the government had the best of intentions in raising the age of both parties to a marriage from 18 to 21 with the stated aim of tackling the acknowledged evil of forced marriage.
The Duncan Lewis Debt Department is experienced in helping resolve all your debt related issues. Our knowledge has helped clients recover money owed to them and aided clients who face debt related problems and require financial restructuring. Duncan Lewis solicitors are experts in all matters relating to insolvency and work closely and effectively with Insolvency Practitioners, in order to provide a one stop shop for all your needs. If debt problems are impacting on your life or your business, Duncan Lewis solicitors team’s advice can benefit you in any of the following areas: • Defending a debt claim reaching an arrangement with your creditors • Recovering money owed to you • Creditors claims prior to insolvency • Liquidation and attending creditors meetings • Insolvency Proceedings against both companies and individuals • Company and individual voluntary arrangements. These are agreements in which your creditors provide you with an opportunity to pay off debts over a certain period of time • Unsecured loans, (Hire purchase, conditional sale agreement, and consumer credit agreement) • Secured Loans • Statutory Demand • Charging Orders • Bankruptcy • Mortgage Arrears If any of these issues are affecting you, your business or you need advice on any other financial matter, please contact Duncan Lewis New Client Co-ordinators on 0800 740 8081 to put your money matters back in order. To book an appointment with one of our solicitors or to refer clients to our firm, please contact our New Client Co-ordinators on 0800 740 8081 >Duncan Lewis has offices in the following locations in London and the Home Counties:- Duncan Lewis – Clapham Junction Duncan Lewis – Dalston Duncan Lewis – Harrow Duncan Lewis – New Cross Duncan Lewis – Romford Duncan Lewis – Shepherds Bush For more information please visit the Duncan Lewis home page at www.duncanlewis.co.uk Duncan Lewis is the trading name of Duncan Lewis (Solicitors) Limited.
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