Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Updates of Legal Affairs…

Royal Navy announces job cuts

September 30th, 2011
Royal Navy rear admiral command flag

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In a move where the Government is contemplating to do away with 5000 jobs from Navy by 2015, has  commenced shedding off jobs by issuing redundancy notices from today. Some of them to receive the notices are serving with the NATO’s Operation Unified Protector over the seas ofLibya.

The government stated that all those who are engaged in operations preparing for operations and on operational leave will not be affected.

Total number of jobs that are on the chopping block is around 1020 and the Royal Navy will announce the members who have been selected for redundancy.

Though voluntary redundancy scheme was launched there were few takers which has led 350 personnel to be removed forcibly.

Some are suggesting given the present global scenario specially for the people who had served in the Libyan campaign such reduction would hamper the overall effectiveness of the Navy in times of global turmoil and would lower the morale of the Navy.

The people supporting the job cuts argue that though a hard decision the Navy has to work with its allies and partners for an effective global reconnaissance.

The employment scene in the defence and its allied sectors doesn’t look rosy with the recent job cuts at BAE and now the Navy announcing further cuts. With the government intent to reform the gloomy economy and keen to implement its austerity measures in all sectors this is just the beginning.

Duncan Lewis is one of very few firms who are able to assist clients under the Legal Help scheme. If eligible, Legal Help is available to advise and assist a claim in the Employment Tribunal. There is no Legal Aid for representation at Employment Tribunal hearings but it is available for the Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal.


Quarter day rental payments making the retailers nervous

September 28th, 2011
TZUM department store, Sofia

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Come 29th September will see retailers paying their landlords three months rent, in advance. The retailers are already nervous over special offers being doled out to attract the customers.

Several retailers were forced into administration including fashion chains, department store chains and home wares.

Though the pressure on retailers is huge they are hoping for the good. The banks may extend companies struggling with more credit to carry on their trade over the Christmas season which is known to be Golden Quarter for retailers. But after December a spate of administration is being seen after the banks tighten their noose over the retailers.

R3 president Frances Coulson said over the last quarter rent day identified many businesses that had survived the recession but did not have funds to meet their rental obligations.

The present cash crunch situation not seeing any improvement very soon the quarter day rental payments are making the retailers running for cover. They are not seeing any improvement in retail sales even the traditional Christmas sales boost may not help the ailing retailer as spending was likely to be depressed Mr. Coulson said.

Many retailers, including Sir Philip Green, the boss of Top Shop and Bhs, have campaigned for landlords to allow stores to spread their rental payments throughout the year.

Duncan Lewis offers a thorough and professional conveyancing service, providing excellent value for money with a friendly and approachable legal team always ready to assist.


Defense giant BAE Systems to “Lay Off” workers affecting thousands

September 27th, 2011
Eurofighter Typhoon

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In the wake of governments cuts in defence spending thousands of workers in the defence sectors are going to be laid off or lose their jobs.

These job losses are mainly at the Aircraft division of BAE located at Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire and Brough inEast Yorkshire.

The BAE in a statement said that the Company informed its staff about the review in its operation across its businesses to make the company efficient and effective.

Which means austerity measures to be carried out which includes the removal of workers.

The union chief’s were irate that the workers were kept waiting to be told of their job losses. The Union officials were unanimous in blaming the government and its defence cuts for the job losses.

Earlier this year the company had stated that around 2000 workers would be leaving their employment on their own and shift to other jobs of the company. But 450 compulsory lay off’s across several military sites was imminent they said.

It is being assumed that 900 jobs at Brough, 820 at Warton and 560 jobs at Samlesbury would be cut along with hundreds more at smaller BAE sites.

The shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy said at a time when employment was hard to come by it was devastating for Lancashire and Yorkshire and also toUKmanufacturing.

Duncan Lewis is one of very few firms who are able to assist clients under the Legal Help scheme. If eligible, Legal Help is available to advise and assist a claim in the Employment Tribunal. There is no Legal Aid for representation at Employment Tribunal hearings but it is available for the Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal.


Property on terraces sees the largest price rise over the decade

September 27th, 2011
Single-family home

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Compared to the detached homes the terraced properties over the decade have seen a rise in its sale by 34% from 31% while the detached home has seen a decline in its share from 21% to 14% a research report indicated.

TheHalifaxsaid that the average increase of terraced properties has increased to 68.4% by £151,332 in the preceding 10 years into the second quarter of 2011.

The report revealed that the demand for the terrace property over the detached homes has been rising as terrace was cheaper than the detached homes the fact that even during rising property prices the terraced properties were 45% cheaper than the detached homes the average terraced property costs around £177,740 where as an average home costs £273,173.

Demand for such properties has been favourable due to its affordability quotient an expert atHalifaxopined. The price rise in homes through the 2000’s has seen most of the home movers being priced out of the upper end of the UK Housing market

Other sections in housing which has seen rise in value are the bungalows and the semi detached properties.

Londonhas seen little gains, compared toScotland, Yorkshire andHumberwhich accounted for larger share, of price rise in all sorts of property over the decade.

Moving home is a trying time for all involved. With so much to worry about, choosing the right conveyancing solicitor is crucial to easing the whole experience. Duncan Lewis offers a thorough and professional property service, providing excellent value for money with a friendly and approachable legal team always ready to assist.

Mental health will be no 1 health problem in the world and needs to be addressed at the work places too.

September 23rd, 2011
Mental Health Awareness Ribbon

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“Fit for work” a pilot scheme has been throwing light on the need for help to people who are working in various capacities.UK itself is seeing the effects of mental health problems coming to light, as most of the referrals, to fit for work scheme are pertaining to mental issues.

Medical diagnosis and treatment of the problem is not the only solution but different strategies have to be chalked out to address the needs of the patients it was argued.

“Mental health is a very large challenge to us in theUK,” said Dame Carol Black who is leading the independent sickness absence review, she also raised the severity of the issues in theUK.

She said that there were no policies to tackle mental health at the work place including non work related issues which she said must be included.

Dr Fikry Isaac, vice president of Global Health Services at Johnson and Johnson, said that the mental well being was not just related to work and companies need to act also on non-work related issues.

The issues have to be dealt with a holistic approach he said as people tend to carry work problem to home and vice versa. He added that interventions have to be designed based on root causes of their problems.

Professor Dee Edington of theUniversityofMichigansaid that specialists have to be trained on 21st century issues which are based on behavior in health and strategies around culture and improving culture and environment in organizations.

He concluded by saying that the focus must be primarily on mental health which is going to be the major issue in the future.

Mental Health Law is highly specialized and an area in which Duncan Lewis has operated a successful department for several years. Duncan Lewis is the largest provider of mental health legal aid services and their team can arrange appointments at any hospital at short notice and, while based inLondon, routinely assist clients at locations across the country.

Debts making a hole in the pockets of many!

September 22nd, 2011

On an average a person is spending £322 a month to pay part of his debts. According to Moneysupermarkets.com it amounts to £9 billion of the whole country’s bill. This does not include mortgage payments. It also says that quarter of the average income of a worker is spent to pay the debts arising out of credit cards, overdrafts and other loans.

The head of loans at Moneymarkets.com Mr. Tim Moss says that with the increase in cost of living and squeeze on the resources every pound has to be spent wisely but before one starts saving the existing debts especially the costly ones like any credit card balance should be paid first. It pays to clear debts / loans as interest charged on loans are always higher than the interest given for savings.

 He also advised to consolidate several types of loan into one single loan.

However prudently a person borrows, he or she is doing so on the assumption about the future. If that individual’s circumstances change this leads in many cases to debt. At Duncan Lewis the Debt department aims to improve the quality of your life by advising and assisting you with your debts. The team at Duncan Lewis gives you the confidence by taking action to stop bailiffs or county court judgments being issued and that it is never too late to get help.

A study says Children and young people to suffer the most by “legal aid reform”

September 20th, 2011

The governments proposed cutting in legal aid from various cases related to immigration, medical negligence, family breakdowns and welfare benefits, to the tune of a massive 350 million pounds, is going to see a cascading effect on 200000 children and young people of UK. A research conducted by campaign group Sound Off for Justice suggests 6000 children less than 18 years and 69000 young people between 18 to 24 years age are going to lose Legal Aid under the proposed reforms.

A further 140,000 children from the lower income families would be affected by the withdrawal of Legal Aid from the parents, of which 68000 young people belong in family breakdown cases.

Children and Young people constitute a major section of the population who are homeless and unemployed are going to face undue hardship for want of free legal aid. The campaigners say that reforms in legal aid will create lots of problems to the government as it’s found that in the long run 8 pounds or taxpayer’s money is saved on every pound spent on legal aid.

Sue Berelowitz, the Deputy Children’s Commissioner, also felt that such move would affect the underprivileged section of the society mainly teenagers and young adults. She also said the Ministry of Justice has been warned of the danger involved in reforms in legal aid as those affected includes children and young people who are injured or who are in need of educational support, will be left fending for themselves in absence of free legal aid services through professionals.

The proposed reforms could face a stiff resistance in the Lords.

Duncan Lewis are the largest legal aid civil practitioners in the country, who also offer a very high-quality and cost-effective service to privately-paying clients.

Planning reforms confusing and vague which would set off deluge of cases before the court of Law?

September 19th, 2011

The MP’S have been warned that the controversial planning reforms bill would bring in many drawn out court battles due to its vagueness. The proposals are so are confusing with its definitions that it is bound to end up in the courts it is feared.

The proposed planning reforms are meant for boosting the economy help out housing and removing any red tape. But the main benefactors of the reforms would be the developers who already hold several sites across the countryside.

“Presumption in favour of sustainable development” is the catchphrase of the proposed planning reforms but the experts say that it is so blurred that it is going to end up with legal problems.

The regional policies strategies are being planned to be replaced by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The legal experts opine that the policy doesn’t have anything special to expedite or simplify the housing sector rather it would only create more fuel for arguments.

There are some conservative back benchers who are trying to take the matter with the ministers to make some amendments to the draft policy.

Experts believe Projects which are economically important and generate employment should be given credence and residential development in itself would not spur economic growth.

Experts believe that reforms with such vaguely interpreted policies are only going to bring wind fall to the community of lawyers who stand to gain as more appeals, more enquiries and legal challenges would result of the bill.

The Housing team at Duncan Lewis represent clients on a range of issues.  Their housing solicitors are trained to ensure all clients receive the highest level of assistance.

Police award £20000 for arresting a student on false charge of being a terrorist.

September 16th, 2011

On May 14, 2008 police arrested Mr. Rizwan Sabir 22, a Masters student of NottinghamUniversityon suspicion of possessing extremist material. The material downloaded was an edited version of the Al Qaeda Training Manual from a USgovernment website for his postgraduate research. The manual was ‘well established as a document used for research in the field of counter-terrorism policy’, was also referred to in standard textbooks which was widely available to any layman.

Mr. Rizwan Sabir was confined for six days before he was released without any charges. On his release Mr. Sabir told ITC Central News that it was the most terrifying ordeal he ever had to go through and that the bureaucracy was against him and used police force as a show of power. Mr.Sabir who is of a Pakistani, said that he had to go through such pain and humiliation as he was an Asian and a Muslim.

Mr. Sabir proceeded against Nottinghamshire Police for false imprisonment and breaches of the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Human Right Act1998 Mr. Sabir claimed thatNottingham police had false and concocted information on its record that he had an earlier conviction on offences relating to terrorism which had put him to stoppages and searches by the police authorities. TheNottingham police admitted to have conducted such search on one occasion under a mistaken belief on part of their officer.

The Nottinghampolice settled the matter by; amending certain record which went against Mr. Sabir as was alleged by Mr.Sabir, and awarded a monetary compensation of £20000.

Though the money was very modest the aim of Mr. Sabir was to get his name cleared of the criminal charges which would have made his life a living hell. Through his grit and determination Mr.Sabir successfully defended and absolved himself of the stigma of being a terrorist.