Each year we receive an increasing number of queries regarding property rights for unmarried couples There are of course a number of laws dealing with division of property owned by a married couple but that falls under matrimonial law Here we are looking at property rights for unmarried couples, including situations in which the property is only in one of the two people’s names and/or where there is dispute as to how much of a property each has rights to
I do not deal here with how to protect your rights when buying as an unmarried couple as this is a property law matter whereas my practice is that of civil litigation I would however strongly advise seeking advice on this particular issue from a property law solicitor at the time of purchase
This article rather focusses upon what happens when a couple splits up, particularly, as is most often the case, where there is an argument that one contributed more than the other
Firstly we will look at the law, then we will explore what needs to be done
Whilst there is no codified legal system for dividing property owned by…
Injuries at Work – the most common place for injuries
Injuries occur in the workplace more frequently than you might think Reading this, perhaps you’re sat at a computer screen with a cup of tea in hand and believe that the chances of injuring yourself at this workspace are slim Quite the contrary – no matter the workplace; an office environment, or a building site, the chances of injuring yourself at work are high, regardless
In the UK alone, 555,000 self-reported non-fatal injuries were made during the 2017/18 fiscal year With 71,062 non-fatal injuries being recorded by employers for the same period Of the 555,000 non-fatal injuries reported, 420,000 led to up to 7 days absence, with 135,000 leading to over 7 days absence As a cost to business, this time has a real impact on the delivery of work missed due to work-related injuries
Don’t slip or trip your way to an injury at work
The highest percentage of injuries at work come from slips, trips and falls on the same level, contributing to 31% of the total number of injuries reported during this period However, this is a report that has…
Bury, Greater Manchester A Great Place to Live
Bury is a popular bustling town within Greater Manchester It is surrounded by local towns and within a very easy commute of Manchester City Centre due to its excellent transport link; including the M60 and M66 motorways and the Metrolink
The town has benefitting from millions of pounds of investment and continues to do in retail, business, and the college making ait a popular town to work, study and live in
Traditionally part of Lancashire, Bury is also a borough Greater Manchester, and due to this is both referred to as Bury Greater Manchester, and Bury Lancashire by Trip Advisor
Bury as a town, is known for a relatively lower crime rate in respect to it’s bordering towns, with 180,806 residents and is surrounded by several Georgian and Edwardian villages
Photo credit – burytimescouk
Of the 180,806 residents within the town, 77% are employed Relatively speaking, the cost of living in Bury is also lower than that of Manchester, and is comparatively better than many of the UK’s towns that reside…
In my previous blogs (Part I and Part II), I discussed the need to establish if there was a duty of care or statutory duty, and if so, was the law broken / duty breached, whether the breach of duty caused any loss and whether the harm was foreseeable
Finally, I will discuss the issue of determining what loss, and types of loss, the negligence caused
5 What loss did the negligence cause?
This is known as “quantum” or how much something should be worth
In personal injury there are legal guidelines set by senior judges as to how much certain injuries should be worth and lawyers will also look at recent cases involving similar injuries to see what the judge in those cases awarded
There are many types of losses that can be claimed such as injuries, financial losses, future work problems, loss of enjoyment of a holiday
If the injuries are minimal however then a principle known as “de minimis” might apply What this means is that the losses are so minor they do not merit an award of compensation This can arise in noise induced hearing loss cases as an…
In my previous blog, I discussed the need to establish if there was a duty of care or statutory duty, and if so, was the law broken / duty breached?
Within this blog I will discuss whether the breach of duty caused any loss, and whether the harm was foreseeable
3 Did the breach of duty cause any loss?
This issue is referred to as “causation”
Sometimes there will be a situation in which although a law was broken, it did not make any difference to the outcome An example would be a doctor who fails to send someone with signs of a serious medical condition to hospital but later, before harm is done, the patient decides themselves to seek emergency care and the problem is detected in time The GP may be held negligent, but the negligence, or breach of duty, did not cause any loss and therefore there is no claim
There is though a subtle division on this point being that sometimes it is necessary to divide causation up into two smaller questions:
a) Did the breach of duty cause the accident (often referred to as “legal causation”)?
b) Did the accident cause…
Recently I observed a relatively senior judge confusing himself regarding the principles of personal injury law I will return to his mistake at the end of this blog but, in working out where he, and it has to be said, many others, became confused, I had to take a step back and break down the principles of negligence and personal injury law, namely:-
- Is there a duty of care or statutory duty?
- Was the law broken / duty breached?
- Did the breach of duty cause any loss?
- Was harm foreseeable?
- What loss did the negligence cause?
I will discuss the points 1 and 2 in this blog, points 3 and 4 in part II, and point 5 and summize in part III
1 Is there a duty of care or statutory duty?
For a law to be broken there must of course be a law; however, not each and every part of our society and daily lives are governed by laws made by Parliament It is true that Parliament makes many laws; examples would include The Defective Premises Act 1972, The Highways Act 1980, The Occupier’s Liability Act 1957, The Manual…
In an article featured in today’s Law Society Gazette it was revealed that personal injury claims have fallen by 20% The Ministry of Justice has confirmed this is the smallest number recorded since 2011 and was 20% below the same period last year
The Ministry of Justice attributed the decrease to a change in the costs rules regarding holiday illness claims as well as changes regarding road traffic accidents injuries
The Gazette reports that these figures are consistent with other evidence which indicates personal injury claims are falling and that this is before the government’s upcoming further reforms are brought into place
I have blogged previously about the government’s upcoming reforms to road traffic accident cases and the potential ramifications upon access to justice
Much of the insurance industry’s rationale behind pressing for the reforms has been the supposed need to halt an alleged ever-increasing rise in personal injury claims The data featured in the Gazette clearly contradicts this rationale however as it can be seen that the number of claims is falling year upon year and it is now at its lowest since 2011
Many legal commentators have been critical of the…
Part 36 Offers – Case Law
In the recent conjoined appeals of Hislop v Perde and Kaur v Ramgharia Board  EWCA Civ 1726 the Court considered the question of whether indemnity costs should be ordered against a defendant who accepts a claimant’s offer late
Part 36 Offers Explained
For those not in the know, Part 36 offers were originally introduced as a way to encourage parties to settle cases wherever possible, thereby minimising the costs of litigation The methodology was that if a party accepted an offer beyond 21 days after the offer was made (well, technically, served upon them) they would face costs consequences The traditional consequence was deemed to be “indemnity costs”, in contrast to the traditional “standard costs”
Rule 44 of the Civil Procedure Rules defines “indemnity costs” as meaning the winning party will receive all of their costs apart from costs which have been unreasonably incurred or unreasonable in amount The difference between that rule and “standard costs” is that with standard costs the Court will also not allow any costs which “have been disproportionately incurred or to be disproportionate in amount”
Essentially, the costs will always be higher on…
The Asphalt Industry Alliance has produced its Annual Local Authority Maintenance survey (ALARM) This provides a detailed picture of the condition of our highways
Whilst it is reported by the Department for Transport that local highway maintenance funding for English authorities is now the highest its been in over a decade, one can arguably question whether it is too little, too late?
Highways teams in England and Wales report that the gap between the funds they received in 2017/18 and the amount they actually needed to keep the carriageway in reasonable order is approaching £556 million which is a shortfall of £33 million for every authority
As a Personal Injury Solicitor based in Bury, we are often approached by those who have suffered unfortunate injuries as a result of potholes in the road Potholes are symptomatic of poorly maintained roads and potential underlying structural issues
Under the 1980 Highways Act, local authorities have a responsibility to maintain the highway so that it is free of danger to road users
A standard defence to those claims is for the local authority to say they repair the potholes once they are reported to them
History of the Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win No Fee)
Up until the 2000s the system used to be that if you used a solicitor you would receive a monthly bill for their fees Generally, the loser pays the winner’s costs, so if you won your case you received your compensation (known as “damages”) and reimbursement of your legal expenses as well
Following government reviews in the late 1990s it was appreciated that this system could prevent people less well off from pursuing legal matters because even if they had a good case they could not afford to bring the case A decision was made to introduce a new system being the “conditional fee agreement” or more commonly known as “no-win-no-fee”
With no win no fee, the solicitor does not require you to pay a monthly bill but keeps a record of the costs spent on the case If the case wins the solicitor can recover those costs from the losing party; if the case does not win the solicitor has to cancel their bill and therefore makes a loss
The no win no fee system therefore transfers the risk from the client…