Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Michelle makes the grade

A Telford woman who joined Martin-Kaye Solicitors as a legal assistant is celebrating after achieving a professional qualification.

Michelle Poulton has worked for our firm for ten years, and has studied to become a Licensed Conveyancer alongside her day-to-day duties. She is now a member of our Domestic Conveyancing Team, and is working with clients all over the UK.

“My role has included working on re-mortgages, right to buy cases, equity release schemes and transfer of equity. I’m really pleased to have achieved my formal qualification and to be working with such a professional and forward-thinking company.”

Martin-Kaye’s Private Property Department employs over 35 staff, and the team use the very latest technology to ensure they deliver the highest quality customer service. They combine the IT and systems technology of a larger firm with the accessiblity of a smaller local firm so that clients get the best of both worlds.

Pic: Michelle Poulton who has qualified as a Licensed Conveyancer at Martin-Kaye Solicitors

New face joins Alpha team

Our business protection scheme for Shropshire employers has proved so successful that we've taken on extra staff.

The Alpha project, which is based at our offices in Euston Way, is the first of its kind in the UK, and has beaten all targets in its first two years.
Now, with interest still increasing on a daily basis, the team has taken on a new adviser – Claire Williams.

Alpha is a comprehensive 24-hour business support package with particular emphasis on employment and Human Resources support, and the scheme also provides insurance protection against claims.

Claire said: “I have worked previously for two Human Resources and Employment Law consultancy services with over 2500 clients.
My clients have been from all kinds of sectors including football clubs, large retail organisations, care homes and security firms.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge of being part of the Alpha team, and to building on my legal qualifications to develop my skills still further.”

Claire will be closely involved in the Alpha project’s advice to employers service, which offers face-to-face legal advice and assistance with HR policies and practices.

Companies who sign up to the all-in-one Alpha package also receive legal expenses insurance against fees, costs and tribunal awards; legal representation at any employment tribunal; legal updates; training workshops; and direct access to the entire Martin-Kaye Commercial Department, not just the employment team.

Alpha includes discounted legal services for each member business and their employees too – no matter which department they need help from – including conveyancing, wills, divorce, and other personal issues.

To find out more about the Alpha project email or visit

Pic: Claire Williams – the newest recruit in the Alpha Team at Martin-Kaye Solicitors

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Swine flu threat looms

Shropshire companies are more likely than ever to see swine flu in their workplace this winter – and bosses are being urged to make sure they don’t pay the price. New figures show that with swine flu at its current level, experts say it’s probable that employers will encounter at least one case on their premises.

And Tina Chander, a Solicitor in our Employment Law Team, has warned that if companies do not take precautions, they could be held responsible for spreading the disease.

“Employers have a duty of care to protect their staff from reasonably foreseeable dangers, and contracting a contagious disease can fall into this category. But even if another employee did catch swine flu after coming into contact with it at work, they wouldn’t automatically be able to bring a claim against your business.”

Tina said the infected person would need to prove that they did actually contract the illness in the workplace, and that the company failed to prevent this from happening.

“But of course, this would be difficult to do – if they use public transport to get to work, or a family member has the virus, this obviously introduces another possible source of infection. And if you’ve put sensible measures in place to reduce the infection spreading, they will struggle to argue that it was your fault that they caught it.”

If the virus does strike your workplace, Tina said there were a number of steps to take to minimise the risk of further infection.

“If someone starts showing signs of swine flu, send them home straight away, and insist they stay there until they’ve recovered or a medical diagnosis confirms they’re clear of the illness. Increase cleaning procedures and use antiseptic wipes where possible, and remind your staff how important it is to wash their hands and dispose of tissues properly. You could also suggest short-term flexible working arrangements with employees working from home if possible.

“Taking measures like this will strengthen your position if anyone does try to claim against you, as they will have to prove they caught the virus at work and that you failed to stop the infection spreading.”