Monday, 14 October 2019

Personal injury experts in the county town

A Shropshire law firm is extending the reach of its personal injury team by offering support from its newly-opened Shrewsbury office.

Experts from Martin-Kaye Solicitors, which also has offices in Telford and Wolverhampton, will now be available at the office in the county town to deal with clients and their claims.

Partner and Head of the Personal Injury Department, Alison Carter, said the move would make it more convenient for clients from the Shrewsbury area with advice available in the heart of the town in Bellstone Court.

“There are three of us who handle personal injury claims and we work with clients who have suffered personal injury as a result of a road traffic incident, an accident at work or in a public place, or other accidental injuries that may be eligible for compensation – we don’t however handle medical negligence claims.”

Mrs Carter specialises in claimant personal injury work and has managed Martin-Kaye’s team of specialist lawyers since for over 20 years. She is a member of APIL – the organisation that promotes full and fair compensation for all types of personal injury claimants – and she is a member of the specialist Law Society Personal Injury Panel.

The other members of the personal injury team at Martin-Kaye are Chartered Legal Executive Sarah Mears and Associate Solicitor Alison Thornton.

Mrs Mears has worked for Martin-Kaye for 20 years and she vets new claims within the department. She is also a member of the Shropshire and Mid-Wales CILEX branch.

Mrs Thornton, who is an Associate Solicitor, worked for a number of large regional and national firms before joining Martin-Kaye in 2003, and she has successfully negotiated many different types of claims including fast-track and multi-track cases featuring road traffic injuries, industrial injuries and public liability.

“Our team has over 20 years’ experience in dealing with personal injury claims and we have won millions of pounds in compensation for thousands of clients,” said Mrs Carter.

“We’re looking forward to working more closely with clients in the Shrewsbury area and to delivering similarly impressive results to those we’ve achieved for our Telford-based claimants.”

Pictured: From left, Alison Carter, Alison Thornton and Sarah Mears at the Martin-Kaye office in Shrewsbury

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Lawyers take their advice on the road

Employment law experts from a Shropshire legal firm are set to share their knowledge far and wide with businesses across the UK.

The lawyers from Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Telford, Shrewsbury, and Wolverhampton, already host regular interactive employment advice seminars in the local area.

And now they’re expanding their reach and organising their first ever event in Leicester as a direct result of client interest and business enquiries.

The Top 10 Blunders seminar will take place at Leicester Tigers on Thursday, October 10, at 12noon, and will be hosted by the firm’s employment law specialist, John Mehtam.

He said the aim of the event was to share invaluable information to help employers protect their business from escalating employment tribunal claims.

“We’ve been pro-actively working with businesses all over the UK to help them navigate the minefield of the constantly changing world of employment law. This seminar has been organised following a flurry of interest from companies in the Leicester area after our targeted and structured marketing campaign, and we’re all looking forward to meeting new business connections and potential clients.”

Mr Mehtam said statistically the number of employment tribunals was increasing at an unprecedented rate – there has been a 500% rise since the Government abolished the fees that employees needed to pay to bring a claim.

“In many cases, employees are bringing claims that stand little chance of succeeding, but employers have to take them all seriously and they need to be sure they’re complying with all the relevant legislation.”

Mr Mehtam said he would be sharing his advice to help businesses avoid the most common pitfalls and so they could learn from other employers’ experiences.

“We will include suggestions on how to tackle some of the most common workplace and HR issues including sickness absence, dismissals and poor employee performance, and how to avoid the issues in the first place. With employers short on time, it’s almost impossible to keep up-to-date with ever-changing legislation, so our seminars offer clear, concise information in a time frame that suits our busy delegates.”

Businesses who would like to attend the seminar should contact June Noto on 01952 525951 or email junenoto@martinkaye.co.uk 

Monday, 16 September 2019

Check the copyright rules on design

Employers should be wary of agreeing to allow staff to create company promotional material if it’s not in their actual job description - that's the warning from Andrew Oranjuik, from Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Euston Way, Telford.

“It may be tempting to accept an offer from one of your employees who enjoys design in their spare time – after all, wouldn’t that be much more cost effective than taking on an external creative firm to create a new logo for your business?

“But in fact, copyright law says the designer of any kind of promotional logo is the legal owner, unless it was created by an employee in the course of their employment. So if the person is employed as a designer in your firm and they create the logo during their normal working hours, the logo itself would be owned by the employer.

“If they don’t work in a design or creative role for your company though, you could find yourself in an extremely tricky situation.”

Mr Oranjuik said if the employee owned the logo and at some point they then left the firm on bad terms, it could lead to serious difficulties.

“You could find your firm held to ransom over the logo, with the employee demanding a large fee to transfer the logo, or they could refuse permission for it to be used at all. This in turn could lead to an expensive rebranding exercise with all the associated work involved and the cost of making changes to your company’s website, stationery, and promotional literature.”

Mr Oranjuik said employers should check the employee’s contract to see if it contained an intellectual property clause – this would prescribe the ownership of any copyright that’s created during their employment.

“If there isn’t an intellectual property clause, or the contact doesn’t cover the current situation, you should agree ownership of the logo in writing – and don’t just rely on a verbal agreement, as that risks becoming your word against theirs.

“You’ll need to agree a form of payment for signing over their legal rights to the ownership of the copyright too, but don’t ask them what amount they’d like. Just include a nominal amount of perhaps £1 – and if they query the figure, you can always negotiate or decide not to go ahead with the design process.”

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Chris joins the Shrewsbury team

A Shropshire law firm has welcomed a new residential conveyancer to the team in its Shrewsbury office.

Chris Lloyd has joined Martin-Kaye Solicitors and will be based in the county town at the company’s most recently opened branch.

“I’m very pleased to have joined such a progressive and forward-thinking practice, and everyone has been extremely welcoming,” said Chris. “It’s been great to have the support of such experienced and knowledgeable colleagues while I’ve been settling in, and I’m really enjoying getting to know the ever-increasing number of clients.”

Chris graduated in 2011 and completed the vocational part of his training at Aberystwyth University.
He completed a training contract at a high street firm in North Wales, and has also worked for another Shrewsbury legal firm before he joined Martin-Kaye.

His role will include residential conveyancing – buying and selling freehold and leasehold properties, new builds, transfers of equity, and remortgages.

Martin-Kaye Partner Simon Wagner, who leads the Shrewsbury team, said Chris had already made a strong start to his career with the firm.

“Chris has fitted seamlessly into the team and his commitment and enthusiasm for his new job has been impressive to see. We’re looking forward to introducing him to existing and new clients, and to the contribution he will make to the smooth running of our newest office.”

Pictured: Chris Lloyd – the new residential conveyancer at Martin-Kaye Solicitors in Shrewsbury

Thursday, 29 August 2019

"Cyber" space raid on bank account details

Shropshire couples going through a divorce must resist the urge to use covert methods to find out if their former partner is hiding assets during the process.

That’s the warning from Gemma Himsworth, who leads the family law team at Martin-Kaye Solicitors in Telford, who said couples must handle the financial side of the process properly and resolve their disputes fairly.

Her words of caution follow a case in the USA where a former air force intelligence officer was in the midst of a bitter separation and parenting dispute.

“The officer was surprised that her estranged spouse still seemed to know all about her spending and her bank accounts – and after speaking to her bank, technology revealed the accounts had been accessed by a computer network in space.

“Her spouse was a decorated NASA astronaut on a six-month mission on the International Space Station, and she insisted she was simply monitoring the couple’s finances that were still intertwined. She said she had continued to use the password that she had previously used, and never heard from her estranged partner that the account was now off limits.”

Mrs Himsworth said although this was an extreme case, there were lessons to be learned for all couples going through a divorce.

“Both sides in a divorce are obliged to reveal the full extent of their personal finances – both at the start of the case and throughout the entire process. And it’s no good trying to hide your assets to protect them from your spouse as the consequences could be extremely serious – you could even face a prison sentence.”

Mrs Himsworth said the case from the USA showed that with today’s modern technology, nothing was secret and legal representatives had more information at their fingertips than ever before.

“It’s vital that both sides give full and frank statements about their financial position, because by claiming to have less than you actually do have, you would be depriving your former partner of their fair share.

“Both spouses must be open about their circumstances for the entire course of the court proceedings so there will be no opportunity to siphon off assets once the case has begun – and indeed any attempt to hive off any assets at any point could also lead to a custodial sentence.”

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Law firm helps hospice to deliver counselling service

Staff from a Telford law firm have joined forces with a local children’s hospice to create a new counselling service in the area.

The team at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Euston Way, have supported Hope House for many years by holding regular fund-raising events and activities.

And now, counsellors from the hospice’s counselling and bereavement team are using space at the law firm’s headquarters to deliver their first Telford-based support sessions.

Alison Carter, a partner in the law firm and head of the personal injury team, has been a key supporter of the new initiative and has been instrumental in working with the hospice team to make the sessions happen.

“We are very pleased to be supporting Hope House by offering the space within our offices for counselling as it’s clear that the service was very much needed in the Telford area.

“Thanks to our central location with plenty of convenient parking right outside the door, families can access the support they need in difficult times more easily.

“And if by offering this space we can help to take away just some of the stress and worry they are facing so they don’t have to travel so far, then that’s an excellent result.”

To raise funds for Hope House, staff at Martin-Kaye have taken part in all kinds of fund-raising projects including dress down days, cake sales, raffles, and sponsoring a race at a horse racing night.

Hope House offers a range of services including respite and end of life care at its two hospices and/or within the family home, and support such as counselling and advocacy.

Counselling and bereavement support is offered to hospice families and to those in the community who have been affected by the death of a child or young person under the age of 25 at the time of death.

They need to raise over £6.5 million every year to maintain their services and receive just one month’s funding per year from statutory bodies.

Following referral, bookings for the counselling and bereavement sessions at Martin-Kaye’s Telford office will be managed by the Hope House team.

To find out more visit: https://www.hopehouse.org.uk 

Pic: Alison Carter – partner and head of the personal injury team at Martin-Kaye Solicitors in Telford – prepares the space for the Hope House counselling sessions


Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Clock is ticking on settled status scheme

Employers must protect their business by ensuring overseas staff can continue working for them no matter what happens over Brexit.

That’s the warning from employment law specialist John Mehtam from Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Telford, who is urging company bosses to take action as soon as possible.

“The EU Settlement Scheme is now open for applications from European Union, European Economic Area and Swiss nationals, and their non-EU family members living in the UK.

“The Government has introduced the initiative as part of its Brexit negotiations, and anyone whose status matches the criteria will have to apply to the scheme in order to continue living here.”

Mr Mehtam said if there is a Brexit deal, individuals would have until June 30, 2021 to apply – but if there is no deal, the deadline would be brought forward to December 31, 2020.

“If your employee has been a resident in the UK for five continuous years or more, they will be eligible for settled status under the scheme. But if they’ve been a resident for fewer than five continuous years, they will be eligible for pre-settled status that may be converted to settled status at the five-year point.”

Mr Mehtam said employers were under no legal obligation to inform employees of the scheme, and it was each individual member of staff’s responsibility to make their own application.

“But clearly, it’s in an employer’s interests to ensure that relevant staff can continue to work for them going forwards, no matter what happens over Brexit. So it’s important that company bosses act fast if they want to maintain their workforce and ensure their legal status is confirmed.

“Online application is free, and staff will need to prove their identity and their residency statistics in order to complete the process. Don’t let your staff leave it too late – if they play a key role in your business, you need to encourage them to apply in good time to make sure they can stay.”