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  • University of Law to launch Hong Kong campus in first international gambit
    The University of Law (ULaw) has pledged to open its first international campus, in Hong Kong, by spring 2019. The new campus will receive its first student intake the following September and will initially offer a portfolio of postgraduate courses. A spokesperson for the institution said that courses will be taught in English; but would not […]
    Richard Simmons
  • TLT moves Belfast office to River House for further expansion in the NI legal market
    TLT is gearing up for further expansion in the NI legal market as it moves its Belfast office to River House, the impressive landmark building in the Cathedral Quarter. The move evidences the commitment of one of the UK’s fastest growing law firms to the NI market. It also signals the firm’s ambitious plans for […]
    Madhulika Pasricha
  • Weil makes up for last year’s London omission with three City promotions
    After promoting no-one in London last year, Weil Gotshal & Manges has announced its highest number of City promotions in three years. The US firm has made up three new partners in London out of a total of 11 globally. James Bromley will be a partner in the private funds practice, while Alexander Martin will join the […]
    Lucy Harley-McKeown
  • No5 Barristers’ Chambers defends in Leicester explosion murder trial
    Two counsel from No5 Barristers’ Chambers are part of the defence team in a murder trial following the deaths of five people in an explosion at a shop in Leicester. It is claimed that Aram Kurd, Hawkar Hassan and Arkan Ali had hoped to claim a £300,000 insurance payout after the explosion, which destroyed the […]
    Madhulika Pasricha
  • No5 Barristers’ Chambers prosecutes a murder trial
    No5 Barristers’ Chambers’ David Mason QC and Samantha Crabb are prosecuting a murder trial in which it is alleged a wealthy businessman ‘totally lost it’ during a drink and drug-fuelled ‘rough sex’ session with his young lover, leaving her to die at the bottom of the stairs. John Broadhurst, 40, is alleged to have murdered […]
    Madhulika Pasricha
  • Mayer Brown’s global promotions hit seven-year high
    Mayer Brown is to make up 34 lawyers to partner next year, its highest global round since 2012 when 39 promotions took effect. Four City partners have been made up; employment lawyer Giles Bywater, banking and finance lawyer Merryn Craske and litigators James Morris and James Whitaker. Morris trained at Nabarro and Craske at Baker McKenzie, […]
    Richard Simmons
  • Revealed: Slaughters’ expected fees for Wonga’s collapse
    Slaughter and May is in line to pick up a pay packet of £700,000 for its work advising on the administration of payday lender Wonga, falling in line with fees already paid to legal advisers on retail restructurings. The firm was drafted in when Wonga collapsed into administration under a mass of compensation claims at […]
    Gabriella Kane
  • Deloitte legal arm to launch early next year with a “Big Bang”
    Over 10 months since announcing its intentions to launch a UK legal arm, Deloitte is gearing up for an official opening at the start of next year with a team of 60 lawyers, The Lawyer has learned. The big four accountancy firm, which currently has a team of 50 practising lawyers and 125 fee-earners, is getting ready […]
    Cristiano Dalla Bona
  • British Heart Foundation’s GC on working for a charity in a climate of media scrutiny
    After a spate of scandals at other charities, GC Richard Macmillan can give BHF a clean bill of health after a thorough policy review The post British Heart Foundation’s GC on working for a charity in a climate of media scrutiny appeared first on The Lawyer | Legal insight, benchmarking data and jobs.
    Rachel Moloney
  • Ogier launches new online wills portal for faster making of wills by Jersey residents
    Ogier has launched a new online wills portal to make the process of making a will quicker and more cost effective for Jersey residents. With an estimated 60%* of British residents, including Islanders, without a will, Ogier wills specialist Victoria Grogan says that the firm has launched a new wills portal to make the process […]
    Madhulika Pasricha

Fixed Fee Divorce or Fair Priced Divorces

Divorce is at it’s highest in our history. It is becoming more common. Feeling as though the world is limited.

Our Barristers’ understanding of the Divorce is ever growing. With our Specialist Barristers providing Advice for fixed fees or fair fees.

For the initial conference, our Specialist Divorce Barristers can advise you on initial steps to getting divorced.

For the initial meeting or call with the Divorce Barrister, the fee will be £500 + VAT. This will be a decisive meeting or call. Take control or let the barrister take control.

With our litigation authorised barristers who can act as a solicitor. This will help you keep cost down. With a barrister who can act as your solicitor can give you a cost-effective approach to your divorce. A barrister is programmed to know the procedures better than other lawyers.

When your spouse is agreeable with the divorce, this is referred to as a “non-c0ntested divorce”. It is much simpler and can be organised for a Fixed Fee.

What about when one spouse does not agree with the Divorce?

This is referred to as a “Contested Divorce”. Will you need an initial meeting? Yes. With the initial meeting or call you will be given advice unique to your situation. With a fixed fee. Thereafter you will be able to asses the cost ahead. More importantly, the advice will probably give you a clear perspective.

Divorce is emotional. A barrister will provide you with a legal understanding of your position.

When a spouse is contesting the divorce. It is important you have a Barrister to provide you with legal advice and guidance. Our Specialist Divorce Barristers can offer you a fixed fee or a fair priced hourly rate. This may range from £150 + VAT to £300 + VAT. All barristers are procedural experts and will offer you an expert opinion on the areas they specialise in.

What if the divorce is complicated?

There will be couples who have complex issues involved. Perhaps a property. It could be an international divorce. A high net value divorce. Our Specialist Barristers will be able to provide legal advice and procedural opinion. A good lawyer will offer you solutions.

Decree Absolute? What about the Financial Commitment?

A decree absolute is the legal end of a marriage. This does not conclude the financial commitments. You will still need a financial order.

Our Commitment to Fair Pricing

We are committed to Fixed Fees and Fair Prices.

Wherever possible we will be seeking routes to save you cost. Our cost-effective methods will be outlined to you.

Contact us now: 0203 6037 914

 

 

 

 

 

Direct access to barristers: “No Surprises”

 

Will the barrister tell me what the fees are in advance?

When I am instructed on your case, I like to keep everything as simple as possible. The worst thing in the world is when a client turns to me and says, (after a piece of work has been done) “ oh, I wasn’t expecting you to do that.” Or “ I wasn’t expecting to have to pay for that service.”

I often find that the easiest way to run a case, and to organise a case for someone, is to break it down into manageable sections, and come to an agreement with them before any work is done, about what work is actually being done , and what that work will cost.

Organising in advance like that will mean that no one is surprised by any fees. So everything and all the work done is arranged good time prior to the work being done, and for a fixed fee that won’t catch you by surprise.

Free Initial Consultation – Stuart W Stevens

Well, of course, one of the other benefits is that if you do come to someone and you don’t know whether you have got a case, most people, most barristers I shall say who do Public Access work and are Public Access qualified will sit down and give you a free consultation at the beginning just to access whether you’ve got a case and give you the initial advice. In many occurrences and instances, people will come to a barrister, say “ Do I have a case?” and after looking at it, examining it, they may not have a case. It is one of the first steps in any event. If you are on the fence about whether or not to bring a case, why not use the 15 minutes, half an hour, even an hour of discussions just to see whether that is the case, you can continue with that.

Understanding Inquests, with Stephen Harvey QC – ShenSmith Barristers

 

What is an inquest?

Inquests and public enquiries are unlike ordinary court hearings, because, as their name implies, they are inquisitorial proceedings, whose primary purpose is to investigate a situation and to arrive at a conclusion. Whether that conclusion concerns the cause of someone’s death in the case of inquest, or a government appointed inspector’s recommendation to a government body, in a relation to a matter of public interest.

Why are inquests held?

Inquests are held in order to establish the cause of death in situations, where the death are not natural causes. Those who become involved in inquests are obviously the bereaved of the person, who has very sadly died, and the person who may be found have been wholly or partially responsible for that death. For example, the driver of the car involved in an accident, in which the decease died. Whichever side the individual is on, they will undoubtedly have a vested interest in the outcome; whether it’ll be an inquest or enquiry, the adversarial skills of an experienced barrister in cross-examining witnesses and making speeches (what lawyers call submissions) to the coroner in an inquest, the inspector of an enquiry, can make or break the case.

Can I bring a barrister into an inquest?

The huge advantage of being represented in either type of the hearing is that the experienced advocate can bring a professional and objective detachment to the case; unaffected by understandable emotion affecting those, who are personally involved, and unaffected by any personal agendas. The independent and experienced advocate is able to put the most persuasive case before the hearing to the very best advantage of the side that he is representing. It cannot be overstated that effective representation during the course of the inquest in particular, can be pivotal if not determinative as to the likelihood of any subsequence proceedings, particular of a criminal nature.

Can an inquest lead to a prosecution?

If a prosecution does follow, then the way which the evidence unfolded and was addressed before the inquest, can itself have a very real and direct bearing upon any subsequence trial. There may also be consequential civil claims by the estate of the decease person, or an injured employee who’s seeking damages. In both inquests and enquiries, continuity of representation is obviously a vital element. And if the case becomes a criminal prosecution, it will involve considerable adversarial skills being required before the jury.

How can I prepare for an inquest?

I have the resources of a team of highly experienced investigators from a variety of backgrounds, who can assist under my direction with the preparation of any case that goes before an inquest. I can assist you with the selection and briefing of any necessary experts that are required.

What Is The Difference Between Litigating And What Barristers Normally Do?

Barristers Wig & Gown - ShenSmith BarristersWhen the Bar’s public direct access scheme first appeared, it was designed to enable lay clients who could manage their case without the assistance of a solicitor to instruct a barrister directly. It was not intended to let barristers perform the role of solicitors. Barristers were prohibited from “conducting litigation”, which included going on the court record as acting for a client and being the court’s and opposition solicitors’ point of contact for the client. Since 2014, however, barristers who attain the right to act in a “dual capacity” may carry out the functions of a solicitor as as well as a barrister (subject to the rule that barristers may still not hold client money on account). This means that clients can now enjoy a legal “one stop shop” – something which has traditionally been available only in other jurisdictions, such as the USA – for a more streamlined and responsive service.

Does This Mean I Have To Pay The Barrister To Do Everything A Solicitor Would Do, On Top Of The Barrister Work?

Instructing a barrister in a dual capacity does not mean that you have to instruct them to do everything. It is open to the client to continue to do things such as filing documents at court themselves. The scope of the barrister’s work is defined in a client care letter – just as it would be under a normal direct access instruction – so you can be flexible in what responsibilities you want them to take on. You can feel your way as you go, increasing or decreasing the barrister’s responsibilities according to how you get on with managing your case, or leave everything in their hands for a period, because you are going on holiday or have another commitment which requires your attention, then go back on the court record as acting for yourself. If you want a barrister to go on the court record as acting for you, it is likely that they will require an up front contingency payment to cover any work which they may be required (but not specifically instructed) to do as a consequence of being on the court record, though any balance will be refundable at the end of the barrister’s period of instruction.

What Advantages Does The “One Stop Shop” Model Have Over Using A Barrister And A Solicitor?

One stop shop litigationBy instructing a barrister in a dual capacity, you will effectively be instructing a solicitor in sole practice who has specialist training and experience in the barrister’s traditional functions: advice; drafting; and advocacy. This means that, every time any of those three services is required, time and money will be saved, as there will be no need for a solicitor to draft instructions to the barrister and wait for them to read those instructions (and and accompanying documents) and revert. Similarly, if the barrister needs more information from you, they can just ask directly, speeding things up and saving costs.

Top Tips when Taking Formal Legal Advice, from barrister Dirk van Heck

 

Top tips for formal legal include:

  • It is cost-effective to ‘front-load’ your advice, and get a senior barrister at an early stage.
  • A written legal advice is advisable, because it will be complete, coherent, and you can refer back to it to see what the terms of reference are.
  • You can change your barrister at any stage for someone you gel better with, although it is better to stick with a barrister once you have started, as he will have the background knowledge of the case.
  • Watch the video for full details.

Seatbelt Rules under the Road Traffic Act 1988

Is it an offence to not wear a seatbelt?

A driver who doesn’t wear an adult seatbelt commits an offence against the rules for seatbelts made under the Road Traffic Act 1988 (“RTA 1988”). Similarly, for someone aged 14 years or more, to sit in the front or back of a motor vehicle, without an adult seatbelt commits to an offence.

Who commits offences for not wearing a seatbelt?

Only the person failing to wear the belt commits an offence. So if the driver is wearing a belt, and his front seat passenger isn’t, the passenger commits to an offence, but the driver doesn’t.

At what age are you liable to an offence for not wearing a seatbelt?

However, please note that if the front seat passenger is under 14 years of age, and is not wearing a belt, then the driver does commit an offence, whether he, the driver is wearing his seatbelt or not. These rules apply, assuming that there are adult belts fitted to the vehicle in question.

What are the penalties for not wearing a seatbelt?

The penalty for breaching these rules for an adult is level 2 fine maximum of £500. These offences are not subject to penalty points.

 

Understanding Drink Drive Penalties – ShenSmith Barristers

Transcription:

 

It’s an offence under section 4(1) of the Road Traffic Action 1988 (“RTA 1998”) for a person to drive, or attempt to drive mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place, while unfit to drive through drink or drugs.

So what’s driving?

99 out of 100 times, there is no issue; but what if you’re pushing the car? Then it’s a question of fact for the court, as to the degree, and extend to control of the movement and the direction of the travel of the vehicle. For example, if someone is pushing a car, it might be held to be driving; it could depend on whether or not his hand was on the steering wheel through the window as he pushed it, and so on and so forth.

What’s the definition of a mechanically propelled vehicle?

Well, that includes a car, a motor bike, a tractor and so on.

What about a road or other public place?

Well, a road includes any road or other public high way, including bridges. For example:

  • a pub car park during opening hours, and sometimes afterwards would be a public place.

  • A place to which the public has access, such as a pub festival car park, the fields that would be a public place.

What is a private place?

Well, that might be your own garden or drive.

What is “Unfit to drive?”

What does that mean? How is that assessed? Well, for example, if an officer saw somebody swerving from one side of the road to the other for no apparent reason, that could be used to support the inference the drive was unfit to drive.

What’s the penalty for driving whilst unfit?

Well, the penalties include:

  • 6 months prison;

  • an unlimited fine;

  • disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months is obligatory, unless the court finds especial reasons exit. And if the court doesn’t disqualify, then it would still endorse between 3 and 11 penalty points on your driving licence.

 

Understanding the risks of losing your driving licence

 

Transcript:

 

If you are at risk of losing your driving licence, and you are wondering whether to instruct a lawyer, ask yourself: if you had lost your driving licence, and you had to pay to get it back, how much would you be prepared to pay?

You may well find that instructing a barrister is much more cost effective than you would have expected. Not only that, you can pay by way of fixed fees, so you will know your budget in advance.

One example I can give you, is that a client of mine who emailed me saying,“If I am convicted, I will lose my job. If I lose my job, I will lose my home, and if I lose my home, I will lose my custody application for my child from my previous marriage.”

So if your driving licence is at risk, do ring for a no-obligation, free consultation with a lawyer, and see whether we can save your driving licence.