BTMK is pleased that once again, Head of the Employment Team, Fiona McAnaw is quoted in The Sun today discussing Labour’s proposals on zero-hours contracts.
Tel: 01702 339222
BTMK is pleased that once again, Head of the Employment Team, Fiona McAnaw is quoted in The Sun today discussing Labour’s proposals on zero-hours contracts.
On 26 March 2015 changes to the tenancy deposit scheme under the Deregulation Act 2015 came into force. This legislation aims to redress the balance in relation to the tenancy deposit rules originally brought in by the Housing Act 2004.
Landlords across the country will no longer be at the mercy of the decision in the case of Superstrike v Rodrigues in which the Court of Appeal decided that when a contractual tenancy became statutory (as they invariably do) the landlord needs to comply with the tenancy deposit rules again. The main outcome of the ‘Superstrike problem’ meant that Landlords were often left with no alternative other than to return the tenant’s deposit before serving a s21 notice and recovering possession.
BTMK would like to congratulate Charlotte Fedarb for completing her Family Law Panel and becoming an accredited member of the Law Society’s family law panel!
BTMK are regularly instructed by Landlords wishing to recover possession of tenanted properties. In order to ensure that possession is recovered in the most cost effective and timely manner it is critical that the correct actions are taken in relation any deposit received straight from the outset.
Landlords currently find themselves in a precarious position due to recent Court decisions which are due to be addressed by forthcoming legislation.
Since 6th April 2007 Landlords in England and Wales have been required, under Section 213(1) of the Housing Act 2004, to place a deposit taken upon the commencement...
The Sun employment editor has been in touch again for another ‘top tips’ article for the employment pages. Check out today's Sun!
Five ‘top tips’ focus on attaining a good work/life balance, and what might be crossing the line in terms of emailing after working hours.
1. Track your time
When you can access work from home it is easy to lose track of how many hours you are working. For one week, record your time and make your employer aware if your hours of work are excessive. Do not be afraid to ask for help if you have too much to do.
2. Contractual hours
BTMK recently acted for an individual in the financial services industry in a £1,000,000.00 claim brought against him following the sale of his business. Our client sold his company to a purchaser and then worked with them as a consultant. He continued to service his clients and his consultancy agreement was renewed annually. After 5 years and following the expiry of his final consultancy agreement he left and set up a new company with another colleague. His clients, some of whom he has been looking after for his over 40 years, followed him and moved their business over to our client’s new venture.
The Claimant issued proceedings against our client for just under £1,000,000.00 plus interests and ...
In 2010 we were instructed to bring a personal injury claim for a lady who suffered a nasty injury to her arm in an accident at work. Her employers denied liability for the accident from day one and liability remained denied until this year, when in the light of expert evidence obtained from forensic engineers, liability was finally accepted just days before a 2 day trial. A tremendous amount of work went into the preparation of the case, including a personally attended site inspection in Manchester, it was this tenacity that ultimately led to our client being properly compensated.
After the admission of liability the defendants claimed that we had overvalued our client’s injuries and refused to accept our settlement proposals.
Tony Briscoe and Rachel Ellison of BTMK Solicitors Ltd acted for the liquidator in Park Associated Developments Ltd and another v Kinnear and others where the High Court considered the effect of a transfer of property executed by the directors of a company after the company had gone into liquidation.
The High Court ordered the rectification of the register of a number of plots of land, to re-register a company in liquidation as proprietor, under paragraph 3 of Schedule 4 to the Land Registration Act 2002 (LRA 2002). The company was the original owner of the plots of land. However, after the company went into liquidation, its former director and secretary purported to execute transfers of the plots to themselves, on the company's behalf.
The High Court held that, as the directors lost office upon the company's compulsory liquidation, they could not execute valid transfers on behalf of the company. Consequently, the subsequent registration of the director and secretary as registered...
Getting a new job can be daunting. Here are 5 tips to look out for before starting your role.
1. Check for restrictions
Many employment contracts contain restrictions which come into force when you leave and may affect your ability to accept other offers of employment. Commonly your contract may prevent you from dealing with or soliciting business from your old employer’s customers for a period of time after you leave.
2. Give the correct notice
Your current contract will tell you how much notice you must give. Be careful not to commit to a new start date that would place you in breach of contract.
3. Bonus rights
Consider the timing of your resignation. Many incentive schemes specify that bonuses or commissions will only be paid if you are in employment when they fall due.
Did the bank wreck your business?
Have you suffered losses as a result of your bank's actions? Here are some formal steps you could take
Many of you will have seen the BBC Panorama episode titled “Did the bank wreck my business?” which was broadcast on 1st December 2014.
Some of you will be wondering whether further investigation should be undertaken against your current or former bank to try and hold the bank accountable for the way in which they may have treated your business during and after the financial crisis beginning in 2008.
Chancellor Osborne has announced a major reform to SDLT. The previous, regularly criticised, 'slab tax' has been axed and replaced with a new method, resulting in savings for 98% of home buyers.
The previous system, whereby the tax payable simply jumped at each threshold level, often leading to conveniently priced properties, meant that encroaching the threshold by the merest sum would result in a vastly higher tax bill. For example a property being purchased at £250,000 would have incurred a SDLT sum of £2,500 whereas a property being purchased at £250,001 would have incurred SDLT of £7,500.
The new system is graduated, much like that of the income tax system. From midnight last night the height of the first rung of the property ladder has been reduced for many families, young professionals and the like.
In the run up to Christmas, stores are busier than usual. For retailers, this means they need to be extra vigilant that customers do not slip or trip on their premises. Here is how to protect yourself.
It can happen so quickly:
Nitin Khandhia, partner in the litigation team at BTMK and Lee Emptage, partner in the company / commercial team at BTMK were both guests of Barclays Bank and Grant Thornton at the exciting new DP (Dubai Port) World / London Gateway infrastructure project at Stanford-le-Hope.
A series of presentations were held demonstrating the phenomenal scale of the new project and demonstrating how the new London Gateway Port will soon become one of the leading ports in the world. The project is expected to create over 20,000 new jobs across Essex and particularly in South East Essex as the project is developed to its maximum potential and capacity. The presentations were then followed by a detailed coach tour of the entire site emphasising the use of automation and technology to make this the world’s most technologically advanced Port.
The project is particularly interesting for South East Essex and Southend in particular...
Whilst at work your employer owes you a duty of care and must take all reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable accidents. If your employer breaches this duty and you are injured as a result you could be entitled to compensation.
I am currently instructed by a carer in a personal injury claim against Essex County Council where they breached their duty of care by switching my client’s panic alarm off leading to a terrifying ordeal and serious injuries.
Read the full story in the London Evening Standard
If you have a personal injury enquiry, Stuart can be contacted on 01702 238531 or email@example.com
A Court of Appeal decision provides a stark reminder that restrictive covenants must be carefully thought through and worded, with rigorous consideration given to the underlying intention and drafting of the clause. The Court of Appeal overturned the High Court's decision to read words into a non-compete covenant and held that the only interpretation available was the one that rendered the covenant useless.
In its view, the employer had simply not thought through the extent to which its chosen words would in fact provide adequate protection. An employer cannot rely on a court to rewrite a poorly drafted covenant and remedy its bad bargain.
This checklist explains what restrictive covenants are...
It appears that a number of firms have entered the ‘under settlement market’ or are gearing up to do so. There are questions over whether this reflects a genuine desire to ensure that those affected are properly compensated for their original injuries/losses or whether it is an attempt by some firms to replace conventional personal injury work which they now regard as uneconomic. I fear it may be the latter and that, once again, some lawyers are failing to put the injured person at the heart of the process.
I have long held the view that the injured person is better served by a personal relationship with his/her lawyer rather than being exposed to the ‘factory’-type claims process. In fact, in all probability, it is that type of process that has created the ‘under settlements’ which some (perhaps the same firms) are now seeking to exploit.
Read the rest of the article here
Employers may be required to take action if employees complain that it’s too hot to work
The current summer heatwave has renewed the debate about safe working temperatures, and the indications are that climate change will bring more frequent episodes of extreme weather, leading the UK to experience more hot spells.
Current legal position
It is a common misconception that the law currently provides for a minimum workplace temperature. In fact, the law does not set either a minimum or a maximum temperature for workplaces. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 specify that the temperature in all indoor workplaces should “provide reasonable comfort”. How the regulations are applied...
In a recent case the High Court has ordered indemnity costs following a continuing and unreasonable failure on the part of a Defendant to engage with mediation before then accepting a Part 36 offer late following trial. In Garritt-Critchley, the Defendant constantly failed to engage in any settlement discussions or mediation in relation to a dispute regarding the issue of shares. This was on the basis that the Defendant was:
"extremely confident of their position and [did] not consider there [was] any realistic prospect that [the claimant] will succeed, the rejection [was] entirely reasonable"
The Government recently published its “Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill”.
But there are two measures in the Bill that are likely to be of particular interest to our company clients and directors.
The proposed abolition of corporate directors; and a requirement on all UK companies to maintain a register of those people who have significant control over the company.
Abolition of corporate directors
I joined BTMK 9 months ago as a paralegal and in that time I have completed a 6 month seat in the Civil Litigation department and I am currently sitting in the Private Family department.
Throughout the past 9 months I have learnt so much and really built on the skills I learnt at university. From the very start I have had the opportunity to see clients, go to hearings to observe and even given the responsibility to represent clients at hearings, all of which is invaluable experience for my future career and has really boosted my confidence.
I have found BTMK to be a great firm to work for and I have really enjoyed myself...
Businesses should take note of an Employment Appeal decision confirming that covert recordings made by an employee of the public and private discussions of the panel at her grievance and disciplinary hearings could be admitted as evidence at a final hearing.
Whether conversations that are covertly recorded are admissible in evidence at any subsequent tribunal hearing will be at the discretion of the tribunal. It is therefore important for employers to keep in mind that, in these days where many employees will have the ability to covertly record proceedings on a mobile phone, care should be taken that all discussions at, and relating to a hearing, are appropriate.
For a checklist setting out how business should respond if an employee...
We are delighted to announce that Lee Emptage has been invited to join the partnership at BTMK Solicitors.
Lee undertook his training contract with the firm and qualified as a Solicitor in 2005 into our Business Law department after immediately proving himself to be an extremely capable corporate & commercial lawyer.
Over the following 9 years Lee worked hard to become the commercial and property lawyer of choice for a large number of high net worth individuals and successful businesses throughout Essex and nationwide.
His clients consistently praise his expertise, efficiency and his pragmatic advice.
I love films and therefore I was delighted we were able to sponsor the Southend Film Festival.
I believe it’s essential that wherever possible businesses allocate some of their marketing budget to supporting events that benefit the community, after all its our community too.
Brand awareness is important to us but when we sponsor events like the festival it goes beyond advertising, we want to play a part in keeping Southend great.
The organisers did a fantastic job and the festival was a real success story for Southend, bringing people to the town from as far away as the USA!
With people living longer and data protection measures getting tighter it has never been more important to put in place provisions for what will happen if you or a member of your family loses mental capacity. Who is going to deal with your affairs?
Whilst the preparation of the documents is quick and hassle free with BTMK, Lasting Powers of Attorney are now taking up to 14 weeks to register at the Office of the Public Guardian so getting the ball rolling early has become more important than ever.
If you are concerned about a loved one or want to plan for your own future, feel free to call me on 01702 238531 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The case of Tummond, R (on the application of) –v- Reading County Court may have cast yet more confusion over the legislation relating to tenancy deposits. However, it may also provide a small ray of light for landlords as a result of the decision in this case.
At present a landlord is obliged to lodge the deposit with a tenancy deposit service and serve their tenant with the ‘prescribed information’ within 30 days of the tenant paying the deposit. Landlords are acutely aware of the sanctions for non-compliance with this legislation which include having to pay compensation to the tenant and, sometimes more punitively, being unable to rely on a Section 21 Notice ...
I’m currently doing all that I can to assist a local family who have previously brought a claim in the High Court against an NHS Trust following severe complications during childbirth leading to the Claimant in this matter, who is a minor, suffering permanent brain damage.
These types of claims are always complex and require specialist expertise. However this case presents even more challenges given that a decision has already been made by the High Court rejecting the family’s claim.
I am working with our head of clinical negligence, Alan bacon. We are considering the paperwork and whether or not there are sufficient grounds to bring an appeal.
Claims involving negligent care of the elderly are difficult and require specialist expertise. Clearly something went wrong at Elizabeth House but gathering enough evidence to prove that its owners are liable is still going to require further work. I am representing the family in their late father’s personal injury claim on a no win no fee basis, so if the claim fails I will not charge a fee.
The family is bringing the claim because they do not wish the care home to get away with the poor care provided to their father, and for this poor care to be given wider attention. The family hope that as a result of their action , standards in the home will be raised to , and maintained at, an acceptable level.
Get the full story here from the evening echo
We are currently involved in a tragic case where a person has remained unconscious for over a year as a consequence of head injuries suffered in a road traffic accident.
For the purposes of the resulting claim we have obtained an assessment from a neurologist as to the prospects of the person regaining consciousness.
On this subject, the Lancet medical journal has now published the results of a trial suggesting that there may be a reliable way to assess whether such patients are likely to wake up.
In the hospital trial, brain scans using PET (position emission tomography) identified hidden levels of consciousness in a third of patients who had been unresponsive and diagnosed as in a vegetative state for more than 12 months.
Well done Emma!
Nitin and Adam in the news!
Read what Vicky has written
BTMK once again appeared in the national news with a Page 8 article relating to substantial litigation arising out of a solicitors' fraud and breach of undertakings case.
Members of the BTMK Litigation & Dispute Resolution Team presented to a group of Essex Local Authorities in relation to the practical aspects of dealing with the unlawful eviction of tenants.
BTMK are delighted to announce the appointment of two new trainee solicitors commencing 3rd September 2012. Kristie Willis and Kerri Dixon-Jones both begin their training contracts with BTMK at the beginning of September and takes the firms' current quota of trainee solicitors to four.
The Olympics now appear to be taking shape despite the recent security debacle and some are even suggesting a heat wave starting next week.
Southend Echo included an Olympic supplement with yesterday's edition and we were proud to feature in the supplement.
As part of BTMK's continuing corporate and social responsibility (CSR) policy, the firm recently took part in the King John School Industry Day.
BTMK are delighted to announce that the firm has been re-awarded its Lexcel Accreditation. Lexcel is the Law Society's law management quality mark and is developed specifically for the legal profession.
BTMK were recently invited to contribute an important feature to Essex Life Magazine's Wedding Supplement in relation to pre-nuptial agreements.
The BTMK Fun Run held at East Beach was once again a great community day and provided an ideal distraction to families who were not able to compete in the Half Marathon.
Despite the vagaries of British Summertime, BTMK's Golf Day 2012 held at Boyce Hill Golf & Country Club was an unprecedented success.
BTMK and Hays Recruitment, both based at offices in Clifftown Road are to present a joint breakfast event by invitation to local business on a range of topical legal issues.
BTMK are very proud to have been nominated for a number of awards in this year's Design Week 2012 Awards.
Take a look at the showcase here
BTMK are extremely proud to be the official solicitors to the National Federation of Demolition Contractors and to many of its full and associate members.
Nitin Khandhia, a partner in our Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team has recently co-authored an important article dealing with the crucial aspects of the Law of Economic Duress with Philip Newman, a barrister at 42 Bedford Row Barristers’ Chambers
BTMK's partners and staff are delighted to announce that their Lexcel Accreditation has been reconfirmed by The Law Society.
BTMK's Joanna Powell has written an extremely informative article about the Equality Act 2010. The article, which was published in the January edition of Inside Construction, deals with the changes to law on discrimination following the implementation of the Act
BTMK are sponsoring the Havens Hospices Christmas Card Appeal in 2011 in place of sending Christmas Cards to clients, contacts and friends of the firm.
BTMK had a strong presence at the annual AGM and pre-Christmas Lunch for the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC) at the Royal Horseguards Hotel at Whitehall, London on Friday 11th November 2011.
BTMK have been acting for many GP practices for years, from small one or two partner surgeries to the more modern super-GP surgeries which offer many of the specialist services which can be expected as healthcare practices evolve and start to compete with those in the USA and other parts of Weste
BTMK's commercial team have been instructed to advice on a huge regional refinancing deal worth £35,000,000.
BTMK have agreed to provide sponsorship to William Meade, the Senior Clerk at Old Square Barristers' Chambers based in London.
BTMK have reached an agreement to co-sponsor an exciting GP networking and commercial event at Browns Hotel, London on 12th November 2011.
BTMK have once again been profiled in the 2012 Edition of Chambers & Partners' Student Guide.
BTMK wishes a very happy Diwali to all those who celebrate this auspicious festival today, 26th October 2011. Diwali is the festival of light and is recognised as the most important celebration in the Hindu calendar.
BTMK's 8-strong golf team found success at Westerham Golf Club on Saturday 22nd October 2011 when they once again took on the challenge of 42 Bedford Row Barristers' Chambers based in London.
Essex Life Magazine have once again announced their annual "Essex Richest 50" in November 2011's edition of the publication released just a few days ago.
BTMK hosted members of the Natwest Commercial Team based in Essex for breakfast earlier this morning at our offices in Clifftown Road, Southend-on-Sea.
Come and read what Design Week had to say about BTMK's exciting new brand strategy.
Come and help BTMK to meet a social networking challenge.
BTMK's annual golf challenge match against 42 Bedford Row Barristers' Chambers will once again take place at Westerham Golf Club, Kent on Saturday 22nd October 2011.
This year sees the largest line-up for the yearly event, with both BTMK and 42 Bedford Row sporting teams of 8 in what promises to be a feisty contest.
There's a relaxed vibe in the office today at BTMK. The firm is once again supporting the Jeans for Genes charity which aims to change the world for children with genetic disorders.
BTMK are very pleased to have been invited by the National Federation of Demolition Contractors ("NFDC") to present a series of talks at their Annual Luncheon at the Royal Horseguards Hotel on 11th November 2011.
BTMK continues to offer its immensely popular fixed fee system for dealing with landlords' possession actions for residential property.
BTMK provided two speakers to present a series of discussions on the new Agency Workers Regulations which came into force on Saturday 1st October 2011. Joanna Powell, a solicitor in the Employment Law Team at BTMK and Orlando Holloway, an employment barrister at 42 Bedford Row Chambers in London spoke on the introduction of the new regulations, the way in which they will affect employers and recruitment agencies, when the new rights will take effect (and how) and the penalties for any non-compliance.
BTMK is extremely proud of the diverse nature of its clients. By acting for a varied commercial and business client base, spanning sectors such as property, finance, manufacturing, construction and of course our personal clients, we gain a real understanding of the work that our clients do.
Come and "like" BTMK on our Facebook page and keep up to date with everything happening in the world of BTMK
BTMK reprentatives now hold 5 of the 8 committee positions in relation to the JLD (Junior Lawyers Division) in our region.
BTMK have been retained to act on behalf of many local and London-based property agents to assist with the "Olympics Letting" schemes which are becoming popular as this huge sporting event approaches.
BTMK's Johanne Turner recently negotiated a high value settlement which was covered in the local press recently. A mother has been awarded a seven-figure sum in compensation after suffering life-changing injuries in a head-on collision.
BTMK have been invited to present at a regional Employment Law Seminar at the Radisson Park Inn Hotel on 4th October 2011 in Southend-on-Sea, in conjunction with Hays Recruitment.
BTMK are very proud to to be involved with the continuing development and expansion of London Southend Airport.