What to Look and Check for with Employment Law Solicitors

Employment Law in the Workplace

In the current work and employment marketplace, I am seeing more and more legal cases being brought to court under the banner of employment law. No matter how careful employees and employers are, there are still a few instances where things can go wrong at work. If this does happen, then it’s a realm within which employment solicitors are well-versed; but you do need to make sure that you select the correct and fully qualified legal representation if a case does get to the legal stage. Here is some advice on how to work with employment solicitors.

  1. Only select employment law solicitors that have experience in working with trade unions.
  2. Check to see if they have been recommended by the Chamber and Partner’s best lists and as an added bonus, are they listed in the Legal 500.
  3. Have they taken on cases which set the standards and best practice at the various authority organisations such as the House of Lords, Court of Appeal, and the Employment Appeal Tribunal?
  4. Will they work on a no win no fee basis or are will you have to pay a lot of money up front to use the services of their employment solicitors?
  5. Are there any example cases on their website? (for an example of what I mean check out this employment law solicitors in Cheshire Crewe).

When to Work with Employment Law Solicitors

There are a number of different scenarios in which you should enter into an agreement with a solicitor to take on your case from either an employee or an employer perspective. For example if you are a worker then it might be because you have been sacked, perhaps treated unfairly or discriminated against in the workplace (think racial abuse or sexual harassment). Alternatively it could be that your employer owes you some money. No matter what grievance you have, an employment solicitor will be able to advice on your legal and statutory rights.

The list of potential cases include (but are not limited to):

  • Disciplinary hearings between the worker and company
  • Grievances from the employee’s side
  • Employment tribunal cases and proceedings
  • Settlement and/or compromise agreements

How Much Should it All Cost?

Depending on where you live, the costs of working with an employment law solicitor can vary wildly. Some will agree to work on a no win no fee basis, but if you are an employer they will probably only work on a money up front basis due to the liquidity and funds availability you would have over a standard worker. Regardless of costs, you should at the very least be able to get a free telephone consultation before you start so that you can get an idea on how the work.

It’s worth noting that in many cases it is possible to apply for something called legal aid. Your solicitor will advise you on whether this is possible for you depending on your financial circumstances.

Conclusion on Employment Law

It’s a very muddled legal system at the moment, particularly in the United Kingdom. Employment law solicitors are ten a penny, but finding a good one is a skill in itself. Stick to the guidelines I laid out near the top of this post and you should stand yourself in good stead for working with a good one.

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How to Make a Claim Against a Personal Injury Solicitor for Negligence

Unhappy client for a personal injury solicitor

Please note: This blog article was supplied by the team at Personal Injury Solicitors Southampton and does not necessarily reflect my own personal views.

If you have suffered an accident and have sought the advice of a personal injury solicitor, then the majority of the time you will be represented professionally and they will help you to get the best from your accident claim.  However, there can be times when a personal injury solicitor does not quite perform to the standard that you would expect.  If you are unlucky enough to have experienced this kind of disappointment then you can look to the services of a professional negligence solicitor to help claw back any financial losses you might have incurred due to bad advice.

Personal Injury Solicitors Ethical Duty

When personal injury solicitors represent their client, then it is their legal and ethical duty to inform the client how much they could potentially win as part of their accident claim.  If the lawyer has given you inaccurate advice that devalues how much you could win in compensation (or even if they make an error) then this could be viewed as negligent behaviour.

At Personal Injury Solicitors Southampton we’ve worked very hard to ensure our reputation and working practices, so thankfully have never had this happen to us.  But what if it happened to you?  What can you do in order to stand the best chance of success in a potential legal mine-field?

Making an Official Complaint

The first thing that you should do if you have suffered financial loss during an accident claim is to make an official complaint via your personal injury solicitors own complaints procedure. All solicitors have these, for example at our firm Southampton Personal Injury Solicitors, ours can be found on our website.  If you do this it will let the solicitor have a look at the complaint and let them respond correctly.  If you are not happy with the response then at this time you can refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.  If the Ombudsman rules in your favour then he can request a small, but limited, figure of compensation to be paid to you by the personal injury solicitor concerned.

Using a Qualified Claims Company

However, if the claim looks like it’s going to be large one, then the Legal Ombudsman will more likely than not recommend that you instead use a fully qualified negligence legal firm.  They will be able to help you to make a proper and professional claim against the personal injury solicitors that have misrepresented you.

Choose a Personal Injury Solicitor Carefully

Of course, you might not have to go through any of this process if you pick your personal injury firm carefully before hand.  We recommend that you talk to us at the Southampton Personal Injury Solicitors website as we have a great reputation on the south coast for providing quality services with near perfect customer satisfaction rate.

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Some Strange Personal Injury Claims Reported in London

Great Photo of London at Night

I have worked in some of the largest cities in the World during my legal career.  In that time I’ve seen some downright weird personal injury claims being reported.  In Los Angeles there was the guy who claimed to have fallen onto a bottle of Coke – I will leave the rest of the story to your imagination. However, nowhere has ever seemed to top London when it comes to the strangest personal injury claims that I have heard of.  Many of these won’t be in the public domain, and some have been passed down to me by colleagues and peers who work in the legal profession in the United Kingdom so I cannot guarantee that they are true – however, they might you chuckle to yourself.

Editor’s Note: If you are someone living and working in London and have had an accident yourself then here is a page about London injury and accident claims.  I recommend these guys as have worked with many of them in the past.

Weird London Personal Injury Claim – Story #1

In Islington, North London, a pub landlord was somewhat of an insomniac.  Whilst in bed at night he could not sleep so decided to take a large gulp from his sleeping medicine.  The only thing was, he had picked up the incorrect medicine bottle and drank some white spirit (he was decorating that week).  He was rushed to hospital and made a full recovery but amazingly enough managed to make an accident claim nearly totally fifty thousand pounds!

Weird London Personal Injury Claim – Story #2

A young man was returning from a nightclub after a night out on the tiles.  As he left the nightclub he was handed a flyer for another event… literally seconds later he saw his friend crossing the road and went to mock salute him as a friendly greeting.  In his inebriated state he forgot he was carrying a flyer and the corner of the thick paper stabbed him in the eye.  He won around three thousand pounds for this strange personal injury claim in London.

Weird London Personal Injury Claim – Story #3

In the late 1990s an office worker in Canary Wharf was playing Blind Man’s Bluff with his colleagues.  This horseplay resulted in him slipping and falling near the photocopier meaning he was off work for half a year.  Thankfully he was covered and this personal accident claim resulted in him being the lucky recipient of eight thousand pounds.

Want to Hear More Mad Stories?

If you are interested in joining the associate of personal injury lawyers so you can hear more silly stories like this then I can recommend this link.  The association holds regularly meetings and conferences for personal injury claims lawyers (including meetings in London) where you can get together with other legal eagles in the industry.

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How to Become a UK Personal Injury Lawyer

blog1

Author’s Note: I recently became a personal injury lawyer and thought some of you might find this interesting.  This is the route I took to qualification.  There are other ways in which you can become qualified, but generally speaking this is the most common and popular route if you want to find employment.

A person can suffer from personal injury at any time. It can occur due to an accident in his home, on the road, or even at home. These injuries occur because of several reasons. Negligence by a surgeon during the course of an operation can cause such injuries. Even a faulty machine in the hospital can result in such injuries. One cannot avoid the fact that road traffic accidents also occur every day. While some of them results in death, others cause permanent disability to the individual.

That’s why hiring a reputable personal injury lawyer is the best way to claim and get compensation from the person responsible for the accident. These solicitors charge contingency fees (no win no fee) from their clients… typically a percentage of the compensation money awarded by the court. There is a huge demand in the UK and London for such solicitors. However, an individual needs to have certain qualifications to earn the right to join the ranks of the best personal injury lawyers in London.

The Educational Process & Qualifications Needed

Acquiring a law degree is the best way to qualify to practice as a lawyer in the UK. However, this does imply that those who have acquired a degree in some other educational stream, such as science or commerce, cannot qualify as a solicitor. In such a situation, the individual will need to complete the common professional examination or a graduate diploma in law. The SRA qualified lawyers transfer scheme regulations allows qualified lawyers from a different country to carry on their practice in UK.

Before you apply for a law degree, you should ensure that you have a strong academic record. This will help you to beat the fierce competition for such a degree. You can opt for a full time course or even pursue the course online. You can search the websites of different universities to find out the type of courses they provide. If you stay in a small town, and do not have the cash required to stay in a hostel, then you should enrol in a university that offers online law courses.

It takes less than a year to complete a full time educational programme. However, if you opt for a part time educational programme then it will take around two years to complete it. Overseas candidate should have a good knowledge of English. Apart from that, they should also be conversant with English legal system. Candidates interested in becoming a personal injury solicitor should secure 40% marks in all subjects.

The Personal Injury Lawyer Degree

The solicitor degree, awarded to successful students, has a validity of seven years, which is renewable by completing refresher exams successfully. Even those who do not have any degree can become a solicitor. However, they have to complete examinations that are academically challenging and require a lot of time to complete as well. Everyone interested in becoming such a solicitor has to complete the LPC. This is necessary for those who want to qualify as a solicitor in UK. It also helps them to develop skills required for working in a solicitor’s firm. Once you complete the course, you have to work in a solicitor’s firm as a trainee solicitor. This can take up to two years. However, those who have legal experience can complete it in eighteen months.

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Why I’ve Not Updated the Blog in a While – Fatherhood!

Fatherhood

I’ve not been able to update the Operation Dreamseed blog as much as I would have liked over the past couple of months… and there’s a really good reason for that… I am now the proud father of a baby son. Little Frederick arrived at 1807 on the 10th of May and as you can imagine this has really taken up a ridiculous amount of time for me and my partner. I am not going to post any photos online of him as that’s not my thing – check my Facebook if you want photos (friends only). Needless to say though, we are both extremely tired, but mother and baby are doing very well.

I think when fatherhood happens, it is a huge life changer. Before I was definitely very selfish, although didn’t realise it at the time. For my partner and I it’s been a huge wakeup call with new responsibilities and things that we have to do – things we used to take for granted are now very much placed on the back-burner – and that probably means a lot of my blogs and website projects will take a back seat for a while whilst I get my role as a father moving.

Anyway, I will try and blog in the future, but please don’t expect too much insight at the moment as I am fully pre-occupied with a mini-version of me who doesn’t give much respite!

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How Lettings Agents Need to Be Aware of the Law Regarding Deposits

Apartment Block

I have a couple of family members who work in the estate agency and lettings agents business, and they often ask me for off the record legal advice when it comes to managing the properties of their tenants and various legal scenarios that come up in this profession from time to time as you can imagine.

Here’s an outline of some cursory advice that I would give to any letting agents who are either already in business of thinking about starting up. There’s also a fantastic guide on the Mint Letting Agents website which I also recommend as additional reading.

Letting Agent Deposits

It’s very common for letting agents to ask for a deposit from the new tenants. This is very normal practice and is set against any future issues that could arise – for example failure to pay rent, damage to the property, or any other breaches of the tenancy agreement. If you are a letting agent then make sure that you have this written up correctly by a professional solicitor or legal firm so that it is watertight.

What you must be aware of though is that any letting agent who takes money from a tenant as a deposit, has to place it into a deposit protection scheme – any only those that have been authorized by the government body. More information on that here. This was a rule that came into enforcement in April 2007, yet it’s surprising just how many letting agents are still not adhering to this legislation by law.

According to the Housing Act of 2004, this deposit is not the letting agents; it remains 100% the money of the person renting the property so it’s illegal to use that money for any other reasons. If there are any disputes then these will need to be referred to the Alternative Dispute Resolution services – this should always be tried before any official and costly court proceedings are considered.

Penalties for Letting Agents by Law

If the letting agent does not work to this legislation, and uses the deposit for their own means, then there are certain legal avenues that the tenant can take via a solicitor. These include items such as;

  • Landlords are not allowed to use Court Orders to gain entry or possession of the property until or unless the deposit has been properly protected using the outline guide previously referred to.
  • The full deposit will have to be returned swiftly by the letting agent or the landlord.
  • Compensation might have to be paid to the people renting your property. This can often be triple the actual deposit amount so can be quite a large compensation payment.

So to conclude, being a letting agent can be a very rewarding and fruitful career and business. However, as I’ve touched upon here, you need to be so careful when it comes to the law and your legal obligations regarding the deposit scheme. I’ve seen many letting agents fall foul of this down the years and thankfully the friends of mine running their own agency are fully aware of their responsibilities.

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Reasons to Have an Auto Accident Attorney for Car Accident Lawsuits

Car Accident

Are you planning to file a car accident lawsuit on your own? Before you do that, think about hiring an auto accident attorney to help your case. An attorney is definitely an added cost, but the benefits provided far outweigh the expense. Here are just four reasons why you need an auto accident attorney to dear with car accident lawsuits.

Better Knowledge of the Law and Process

Not everyone knows insurance and accident laws, but they have a huge impact on your lawsuit. Federal and state laws apply, and your attorney can not only help interpret them but also apply them to your lawsuit and compensation claim. Unless your case is an open-and-shut one where you would clearly win, you need an attorney to help you navigate the law and process. For instance, do you decide to file a lawsuit or settle? This is one of the first questions asked, but it is still a difficult question with many factors involved.

You Would Be in a Better Position to Present Your Case

When you hire an attorney, you are in a better position to defend and present your case in a court of law. Without an attorney, you would not only have to spend your own time and effort fighting your case, but you would also feel the pressure of your opponents. If the case goes into an out-of-court settlement, you would have far less negotiating power without an attorney. If the insurance party does not handle your claim well, your auto accident attorney could sue the company for bad faith on claims.

It may seem easy, but people without the years of education and experience are quickly overwhelmed by litigation. You have little chances of winning a lawsuit if it comes up at a small claims court because unrepresented parties are at a huge disadvantage in the current system. If you plan to pursue any kind of litigation, you need an attorney to show you the way.

You Have Someone to Talk to About the Process

A car accident lawsuit can be very frustrating for every party involved, but your attorney will help you through every step and on all the important matters of your lawsuit. When you hire an attorney, you hire someone who you can ask questions or doubts about the process at any time. Without one, you may have to rely on your own investigation and your friends to give you information on the legal process, none of which is recommended.

You Have Someone With Experience

Not every car accident lawsuit is the same, especially when insurance companies are involved. Each company operates different. Some of them are strict and never settle cases, and others are more lenient and open to negotiations. The former is more difficult to deal with than the latter, but you need experience to identify each kind of insurance company and party. You should also know what actions to take after involved in a car accident. If you have a complicated lawsuit with insurance companies that have limits on liability policies, you need a car accident attorney to help you.

Author Bio:

Derek Langley is a freelance writer interested in writing articles related to law. Most often he writes articles for auto accident attorneys.

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A Lawyer’s Perspective on Court Testimony when Technology is Part of a Case

GPS Tracking Technology

The progressive nature of smaller and smaller technology has led to an increase in criminal cases that have electronic tracking involved. You will probably be familiar with cases that have involved defendants being tracked using GPS, or law enforcement agencies using cell phone signals to aid location.  However, when it comes to testifying, police officers are not qualified to talk about how electronic tracking works – so who should testify?  And additionally, is any testimony of the lay witness variety or should it be classed as expert testimony?

For guidance, it’s worth looking at a recent case.  In the State versus Jackson (2013) there was some relevance to GPS tracking.  The case concerned the sexual assault on a lady by a man who was wearing a GPS ankle tag.  The ankle tag was a requirement due to his involvement in a pre-trial for un-related charges.  During the trial for the sexual assault the guy in charge of electronic monitoring showed himself up to not really know what he was doing, with little to no understanding of the technology involved.  The fact that the court of law decided to approve this testimony instead of speaking with a qualified technical expert is very important.

Generally speaking, and use of technology in a court room can be difficult – mainly due to the fact that the technology can change so rapidly.  Technology is constantly advancing and the law can sometimes struggle to keep up with the rapid pace of change. In my view it needs to be addressed, as on many occasions I’ve seen jurors who know more about the tech involved than the deciding judge which can’t be right surely?

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Examples When Office Workers Can Use Personal Injury Solicitors

An Office

Personal injuries sustained at places of work are typically associated with careers that deal with hard labor or heavy duty machinery.  Injuries that occur within normal working environments are usually costly or uncomfortable to the victims, although they are usually less severe therefore less publicized.  Injured people could be entitled to file third party suits if they were responsible for the injuries that they sustained.

Injuries that stem from an incident within office jobs can affect the mental and physical well-being of the victim. Some examples of injuries caused by standing or sitting for extended periods in office environment are Carpal Tunnel syndrome and also a multitude of back problems.  Stress, which is an ailment affecting the mind is one of the most common illnesses that occur within the office setting.

Stress can make medical physicians request a worker to be placed on medical leave of absence – just like victims of physical injury. Stressed workers can ask for medical benefits or worker’s compensation.

It is unfortunate that most of the people who take leave from their employments due to stress are considered to be ineligible for medical benefit or compensation programs.  This is mostly when the company program does not include stress as part of personal injury benefits or when the stress level is not severe enough. In such instances, it is beneficial for injured parties to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Office injuries that cause permanent handicap to victims are few and far between thankfully – unlike those that occur at manufacturing or construction industries – but they are still covered under personal injury law.

There are permanent injuries such as spinal or Carpal Tunnel injuries that occur in office settings but most victims do not realize that personal injury law also provides them entitlement to compensation for pain and suffering.  Those who get personal injuries when working at an office should seek help from qualified personal injury solicitors as they might be able to win them some compensation.

Most personal injury solicitors pursuing third party lawsuits base them on negligence of other employees or contractors on site. Such instances in office settings could be for example; leaving top drawers of filling cabinets open along busy corridors or failing to place visible warning signs for things like wet floors.  Office workers who sustain injuries from such instances give victims an entitlement to sue.

Office job injuries may be uncommon but are still entitled to third party lawsuits. However, most of the funds handed to victims as compensation or benefits are barely enough to cover bills during the time spent away from work.

The right thing for victims to do is to contact an experienced personal injury solicitor to help decide if a party is entitled to additional funds through third party lawsuits and chances of success that the suit has.

The solicitor of lawyer that you choose will determine the fate of you third party suit when representing you in court. It is therefore important to do a thorough search so as to find a personal injury solicitor who has lots of experience and also a good track record with personal injury cases.

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