Friday, 25 May 2012

Trivial rows are not enough

Couples should not be allowed to divorce over trivial matters - that's the message from Nadia Davis, who leads our family law team.

"Most divorces rely on unreasonable behaviour or adultery as the basis for the case. This means that what many people consider to be normal squabbling between a couple is often elevated to seem more serious, and everyday family difficulties can be exaggerated in a bid to prove either the husband or wife is guilty of unreasonable behaviour.

"If there is anything which is going to set a difficult tone right from the very start, it's having to make allegations about how the other person has behaved. And in fact, in the cold light of day, most people agree that it takes two for a relationship to go wrong, and see that it's better in the long-run to focus their energies on the more important issues, such as the children and the finances."

Nadia's call comes on the back of a case where a woman whose husband of 20 years divorced her for unreasonable behaviour.

"The woman appealed against the ruling and said her husband should never have been granted a divorce just because she threw out his packed lunches and took a fuse out of the washing machine," said Nadia. "She said it was just normal squabbling between a husband and wife and not proper grounds for separation, but the court rejected her appeal.

"This is unfortunately typical of the kind of evidence that is used to build up a case for unreasonable behaviour so that a divorce can effectively be rubber-stamped.

"It would be far better for couples to concentrate on resolving their difficulties in a more positive and constructive way, rather than creating an uncomfortable and confrontational setting from the outset," said Nadia.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Overseas links in place

Martin-Kaye LLP Solicitors looks set to build strong links with companies on the other side of the world, thanks to an international networking organisation.

Stuart Haynes from our Commercial Department attended the latest Integrated Advisory Group (IAG) meeting in Bratislava.

Fifty delegates from 20 countries were at the event, and members heard there was a great deal of interest from companies in the Asian Pacific rim area who were keen to join.

Martin-Kaye Solicitors were one of the founder members of the network which began in 1989, and which now has 67 members from across Europe, north and south America, and the Middle East. It's made up of lawyers, accountants and tax advisers from 31 countries, and hosts three meetings a year in a different city each time.

"To hear there are potential recruits from within the Asian Pacific rim who are very keen to join us is excellent news," said Stuart. "The IAG meetings already give us access to the very best professionals from all over the world, and to see the group expanding into new countries means we have even more potential business opportunities."

Altogether 17 potential new members from Asia have signed up to attend the next IAG meeting as observers, with a view to joining the group in the future.

Other discussions at the meeting included the economy, global corporate investigations and international renewable energy structures. And special interest groups met to discuss international and cross border issues covering litigation, employment, commercial, corporate and intellectual property.

"Our membership of the IAG means we can handle even the most complex international cases from right here in Telford, which is not only convenient for our clients - many of whom have bases overseas - but more importantly, it also reduces their legal costs," said Stuart.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Royal Charter for legal professionals

Professionals from across Shropshire and mid Wales chartered their very own boat to celebrate the award of a new Royal Charter.

Around 40 members of the local branch of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) enjoyed an evening on the Sabrina boat in Shrewsbury to mark the rare event.

Branch vice-chairman, Sophie Davies, from Martin-Kaye LLP Solicitors, said they wanted to celebrate the award in style and so decided to "charter" the boat to link in with the occasion.

"It really was a fantastic event, and we're very grateful to everyone who helped to make it such a success, particularly our sponsors No.5 Chambers and Solicitors for the Elderly," said Sophie.

Members of the group were also joined in their celebrations by the organisation's chief executive Diane Burleigh and vice-president Nick Hanning.

A raffle was held on the night, which raised £150, and the proceeds will go to the ILEX benevolent charity.

Pic: Celebrating the Royal Charter are, from left, Diane Burleigh (CILEx chief executive), Nick Hanning (CILEx vice president), and organisers Sophie Davies (Martin-Kaye LLP Solicitors) and Nicola Pearce (Wace Morgan Solicitors)

Friday, 11 May 2012

Tough-talking proves popular

Shropshire businesses packed out a presentation by one of the UK's toughest talking commercial barristers.

Mohammed Zaman QC is renowned for his intimidating cross examination skills and gave the seminar in conjunction with Martin-Kaye LLP Solicitors. The event was held at our offices and the topic was "The Techniques of Persuasion".

Our senior partner, Graham Davies, said: "Mohammed is widely regarded as one of the leading 'silks' in the UK, and his presentation shared the many alternatives that are available rather than resorting to expensive court proceedings.

"As well as the various options, including mediation, Mohammed also gave us a humorous insight into the art of negotiation, and highlighted the do-s and don'ts.

"We were delighted with the number of people who attended the presentation, but not surprised as Mohammed is such a popular speaker. His message was that if clients take advice quickly and use the alternative options available, they can avoid expensive court action. Many of the delegates were not only thoroughly entertained but collected some useful advice and tips for the future."

The presentation was open to both members and non-members of Telford Business Partnership, and is one of a series of events organised to share topical business tips with businesses across the local area.

Pic: At the presentation are, from left, Mohammed Zaman QC and our senior partner, Graham Davies, who is also chairman of Telford Business Partnership

Friday, 4 May 2012

Royal seal of approval

Professionals in Shropshire and Mid Wales have received a siginificant boost in status after their organisation received a Royal Charter.

This is a rare event today but the award dates back to the 13th century, and the Charter has been granted to The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx).

This means members of the Institute who are appropriately qualified will now be known as Chartered Legal Executives.

To celebrate this new status, the Shropshire and Mid Wales CILEx branch have organised a charter party. They've "chartered" the Sabrina boat in Shrewsbury on Friday, May 11, when they will be joined by the organisation's Chief Executive Diane Burleigh and Vice President Nick Hanning.

The event is sponsored by No.5 Chambers and will include a buffet and disco from 7pm to 11pm.

Anyone who would like to join in the celebrations should contact Sophie Davies at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, The Foundry, Euston Way, Telford, on 01952 525 966