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Divorces – the real impact

There are always divorces in the headlines. The celebrities and the mega rich airing there private lives in the press. Each day we seem to see a media led battle over their financial fortunes and personal misfortunes.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5078277/Mr-West-End-settles-1-1BN-divorce-battle.html

In the real world

What about the rest of us just fighting to keep our sanity and trying to save our relationship or keep the family together. What if, despite our best efforts, we can’t keep things together? We really need to speak to someone who will:

  • take the time to consider the issues
  • provide an easy to understand assessment of the legal situation
  • avoid blinding you with ‘legaleze’ and jargon.

Mark Hagyard

Mark Hagyard is an experienced and driven lawyer. After his military service in the Marines, seeing active duty and being seriously injured in the Falklands conflict, Mark retrained as a solicitor.

He loves the challenge of his work and can provide guidance and legal support to those facing the emotional roller-coaster of a relationship breakdown.

Family Law

With his corporate experience he is also able to deal with cases that have a business element. In these circumstances a separation or divorce can have serious implications for the financial stability of the firm.

Business & Divorce

How much will it cost?

We promise to be up front about our costs and we will also discuss what payment methods are available. We understand that the costs for legal services can be a real worry for clients so click on Legal Fees to find out more.

Contact us now on Free phone: 0800 0272 005 or 01535 662644 for a free initial enquiry or to arrange a convenient first appointment.

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Personal Injury – The Personal Touch

It’s the personal injury phone call that we all dread – ‘Have you been hurt in an accident?’. No-one wants to receive unwarranted or nuisance calls but who do you go to if you have a legitimate claim following an accident or where you have suffered due to medical negligence.

At WTW Solicitors, based in Keighley, West Yorkshire we pride ourselves on offering a individual and down to earth approach to Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence claims.

Our experienced and successful litigation team have been dealing with various and varied cases for many years. Cheryl Huckle is the most recent recruit and is offering her expertise in this area to both new and existing clients.

Cheryl Huckle

Cheryl is extremely easy to talk to and very approachable. These factors should help to put you at ease when the things you need to talk about can be emotionally upsetting as well as physically tiring.

Specialist Areas

The areas of Personal Injury & Accident Claims our team specialises in are:

  • Clinical Negligence (Medical Negligence)
  • Industrial Disease
  • Cosmetic Surgery inc. breast implants
  • Accidents at Work
  • Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs)
  • Tripping/Slipping Accidents
  • Occupiers Liability Accident
  • Accidents in Supermarkets, Leisure Centres & Gyms
  • Accidents in Nightclubs & Public Houses
  • Needlestick Injury (Sharps Injury)
  • Horse Riding Accidents
  • Accidents involving Animals
  • Failure of Inflatable Safety Vests/Equestrian Air Vests
  • Faulty & Defective Products
    • Electrical items
    • Children’s dressing up clothes – not meeting fire safety regulations
  • Sporting Injuries
    • Poorly maintained or faulty equipment
    • Poorly  maintained surfaces
  • Criminal Injury Compensation Authority Claims
    • For individuals who have been physically or mentally injured because they were blameless victims of violent crime in England, Scotland or Wales.
    • Rape victims
    • Acts of Terrorism – e.g Ariana Grande Concert – Manchester, Borough Market – London
  • Motorcycle Accidents (motorcyclist injury claims)
  • Cycle Accidents (cyclist injury claims)
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Sporting injuries

Why should I use your Personal Injury team?

Lisa Wood has built up the Personal Injury side of our business and has over 10 years experience and an amazing success rate of approximately 95%. Many of her cases come from referrals from other clients.

Cheryl Huckle joined us in May 2017 from Michael Lewin in Leeds. She is an experienced Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence practitioner and looking forward to meeting new and existing clients.

Lisa and Cheryl live in the Keighley area and are very much part of the local community.

Both Lisa and Cheryl undertake work on a No Win No Fee basis.

Free Initial Enquiry

Lisa or Cheryl would be delighted to explain how they can help deal with the personal injury issues you are facing. For your free, initial enquiry, please:

 

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WTW Solicitors – Moving News!

WTW Moving News

Moving news – well the contractors are inside the new building and on with various works which started last week and should finish at the end of the month.

The final external works will be the signage, lighting and car park layout.

The removal company will then start moving everything we need from our current premises.

The team can’t wait to see the changes. Once we are settled in we will organise an official opening so that we can show off the new home of WTW Solicitors and Michael Bower Equine Law.

 

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Halloween – Top Tips to avoid unnecessary Accidents

Most children (and lots of adults) enjoy dressing up during Halloween, so make sure you follow these safety tips for a happy, safe and enjoyable night.

Only Choose flame-resistant materials

It’s very likely that your child will be around candles and lanterns during Halloween. Ensure that you pick a costume with a label that says ‘flame-resistant’ and always look for a CE mark.

CE mark

Pick a Halloween costume that is made out of one material

Costumes made of several types of material react differently to fire and can sometimes fuel a fire. Picking one type of material should mean it burns more slowly.

Wear your own clothes underneath the costume

Due to the fact that dressing up costumes are classed as toys, they don’t go through the rigourous safety testing in the way that everyday clothes do. Having a layer of clothes underneath a costume gives them an extra layer of protection.

Ditch the capes!

Anything that trails or hangs is a fire hazard.

Choking hazards

Avoid wearing items around the neck.

Buy suitable face paints

Look for a CE mark and always check that the ingredients are in plain English. All face paints marketed at children must be FDA approved, so check the labels!

Burns and in severe cases , scarring can result from the purchase of counterfeit or fake products.

Accessories and props

Look for the CE mark and make sure that there aren’t any sharp edges to swords or wands.

Wearing masks

Check that the eye holes are big enough for your child to see through. Ask them to take them off when walking near or crossing a busy road. Always check for the CE mark.

Stay visible!

If your child is wearing a dark costume, ask them to wear a glow stick around their wrist or give them a flashing lantern or spooky torch.

If they are walking near busy roads, make sure they don’t shine torches in the face of drivers and direct them onto the ground only.

These boots were made for walking

Don’t let your little ones wear unsuitable footwear for going out. Most shoes that come with a costume are not suitable for walking around outside. Trips or a fall resulting in a grazed knee or elbow will most certainly put a dampner on their night. Ensure that they wear something robust, but comfortable.

Does it fit?

Buy, or make a costume that fits the person wearing it. Having something that is too long, flimsy, billowing or too big  can create a trip hazard or even more serious, catch on fire if it comes into contact with a flame.

Of course we don’t want to be party poopers. We say have fun, but use your common sense!

If the worse does happen, make sure you all know how to stop, drop and roll.

Stop drop roll - fire safety - Halloween

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Keighley News Article – 27.01.1989

One of WTW’s clients kindly handed in a Keighley News article on Turner & Wall from 1989. It really is a bit of a blast from the past.

Keighley News Article – 27.01.1989

Published on 27.01.1989 it details the recruitment of four ‘young’ solicitors including our very own Michael Bower (Director, Solicitor, Litigator & Equine Law Specialist). Only looking a just little bit more youthful we might add!

Turner & Wall Solicitors

Included in the article is a little bit about the firm’s history:

“It’s a far cry from the late 1920’s when Wilfred Turner and Harry Wall set up as solicitors using a couple of rooms in Arcade Chambers (Keighley, West Yorkshire), then a multi-occupancy office block.”

“Although Mr Turner died in 1940 and Mr Wall in 1966, the original company name was retained and Turner and Wall has thrived.”

WTW Solicitors – Looking Ahead

Of course things have moved on a lot since 1989. the firm has moved premises and there have been a number of staff changes. Further positive changes are due:

  • With another move planned (to 6-12 Devonshire Street) in the very near future.
  • Ongoing recruitment.
  • Continuing investment in technology.

As has always been the case WTW provide solicitors and legal experts who specialise in certain areas of the law, and who want the best possible outcome for their client.

 

 

 

 

 

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Cohabiting Disputes – ToLATA

Cohabiting Disputes

Questions 1

In proceedings under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA 1996), does equitable accounting only apply to the period after cohabiting parties have separated, or can the court consider the whole period they lived together at the property?

Question 2

Where a couple jointly own a property, but one party has paid all repayments in relation to a registered loan during their relationship, can that person argue under TOLATA 1996 that they should have an enhanced share of the sale proceeds?

Equitable Accounting

Equitable Accounting is the process where adjustments are made to the division of the sale proceeds of a property. This is done following an assessment of the parties’ shares, in order for there to be fair split of the assets. This tends to be a discretionary exercise.

House split

Occupation Rent

Occupation rent is defined as:

  • A matrimonial or joint tenant (tenants in common) property compensation claim.
  • This is based on an allegation that one spouse or joint tenant ought to be debited the value of her or his exclusive occupation of the family or jointly-held home.
  • The other party has often had to find alternative premises due to a dispute between the parties.
  • In matrimonial situations this is a more difficult area to assess particularly where the person who has remained in the property has had custody of the children.

Any discretion in relation to occupation rent should be exercised in accordance with sections 12–15 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, rather than the older cases. However, the outcome will often be the same.

Common Arguments for Compensation

Other than occupation rent, the most common arguments for compensation are in relation to:

  • payment for improvement works to a property or
  • repayments on a mortgage.

Should the other party benefit from a share of the increase in equity that results from the other’s payments, without also assuming the burden of contributing to the expense in question?

Mortgages & Home Improvements

For example:

  • If one party had paid £10,000 off the mortgage following the separation, they would argue that they should have £10,000 more of the equity.
  • If one party had carried out improvement works that enhanced the value of the property by say £10,000 following the separation, they would argue that they should have £10,000 more of the equity, or a refund of the cost of the works prior to division (whichever was the lesser).
  • Where a mortgage is in joint names, both parties are also jointly and severally liable to repay it as a matter of contract. A party who discharges the other’s liability for a secured debt is therefore classed as the ‘prima facie’. I.e. They have an obvious and undoubted interest in the property.
  • In this situation they entitled to be reimbursed by them in ‘quasi-debt’/contribution. The position would apply to both payments of mortgage capital and mortgage interest.

In the case of Clarke v Harlowe, the court held that an account would usually be taken from the date of separation. Accordingly, extensive home improvement works (£90,000) made prior to separation by one party counted for nothing. The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal in Wilcox v Tait.

It is easy to see the sense of this:

  • An expectation at the time of purchase that the parties would thereafter contribute to the mortgage equally, might soon be superseded.
  • One party might have to give up work to look after the children, or a relative, by reason of which they could no longer make the financial contribution that was originally envisaged.
  • Similarly, one party might pay the mortgage whilst the other paid the bills, or for holidays, cars or provided some other quid pro quo. In these circumstances their contributions (directly and indirectly to the mortgage) could be taken to be broadly equal.
  • The court should not readily embark on a detailed examination of the parties’ relationship and finances or attempt to draw up a balance-sheet of contributions (unless that had been expressly agreed).
  • Any occupation rent claimed by the party not in occupation is often equated in practice to their liability to contribute to the mortgage, so that those sums cancel out.

In summary:

  • There is no black and white answer as this is a discretionary exercise, however equitable accounting usually only applies to the period following separation.
  • The court is likely to be reluctant to attempt to formulate a ‘balance-sheet’ of the parties contributions to the mortgage during their relationship save in the most egregious circumstances.

Michael Bower can provide a straight forward assessment of your situation. Contact him direct on 01535 687084.

As a director and Litigation Specialist he has had lots of success with ToLATA cases. Please see our testimonials on the WTW Solicitors website and on our facebook page.

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Cancer Support Yorkshire – Fire & Ice Walk – 23rd November

Cancer Support Yorkshire Fire & Ice Walk

Fire & Ice Walk for Cancer Support Yorkshire

We are hoping to raise more money for Cancer Support Yorkshire, our Charity of the Year by taking part in the Fire & Ice Walk taking place on Sunday 12th November.

Our lovely Lee Kirby has already volunteered to take part – brave fella.

The event details:

  • Sunday 12th November 12.30pm – 5.30pm at Bradford & Bingley Sports Club
  • After specalised training you will not only be able to talk the talk, you will be able to conquer your fears and walk the walk!
  • £15 per walk or £25 to do both.
  • No minimum sponsorship
  • Commemorative T shirt for the first 50 people to raise over £100.

 

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Criminal Record – Child Contact

Can a father who has a criminal record for drug related offences still have contact with his child and is there any guidance on what will be considered by the court where there is a criminal record?

28/07/2017

Produced by Lexis PSL in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk

Section 1 of the Children Act 1989 provides that the paramount consideration for the court is the welfare of the child. Where a court is determining any question with respect to the upbringing of a child, it will have at the core of any decision what is in the child’s best interests.

When considering making orders regulating with whom a child lives or spends time with, the court will therefore consider what is best for the child having regard to the welfare checklist set out in Children Act 1989, and not what is best for the parent.

However, in 2014 following the Children and Families Act 2014, a number of new subsections were inserted into Children Act 1989.

This also provides that the court is to presume, unless the contrary is shown, that involvement in the life of the child by a parent will further the child’s welfare.

Involvement

‘Involvement’ is defined by Children Act 1989 as being involvement of some kind, either direct or indirect, but not any particular division of time. The purpose of this presumption was to direct courts that some form of involvement should be directed unless there was reason not to do so.

The Children Act, provides that ‘parent’ for the purposes of the presumption includes any parent that can be involved in the child’s life in a way that does not put the child at risk of suffering harm.

Court Discretion

There is a wide discretion for the court to consider what orders to make, having regard to the welfare checklist, and with the welfare of the child being paramount.

This basically means that the court will approach each case individually and consider whether any order that it is asked to make meets those statutory criteria.

Given the scope of this discretion, neither statute nor case law tends towards prescriptive rules relating to categories of cases where contact will or will not be ordered. Each case will turn on its own facts, as has been repeatedly emphasised by the higher courts.

Drug Related Offences

As a result, a conviction for drug-related offences is not of itself a bar to contact. However, depending on the nature of the conviction, this will be one of the factors that the court and Cafcass (The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) will take into consideration in respect of safeguarding and welfare.

  • This may mean that, due to the nature of the offence, ultimately a court will decide that the presumption of involvement is rebutted, or that any contact should be limited to indirect contact—gifts or cards for example.
  • However, it may also mean that there is no bar to contact whatsoever, if the conviction is historical and/or the nature of the offence was minor.
  • The case could also fall between those two extremes, with the court requiring contact to be supervised and for there to be regular hair strand drug tests, combined with undertakings not to use or be under the influence of drugs when with the children.

As each case will turn on its own facts, there is limited guidance to be drawn from reported case law relating to criminality; however, the existence of a criminal record will be highlighted in the initial safeguarding checks contained within the Cafcass (The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) safeguarding letter, and depending on the nature of that record may then be relevant to the recommendations made to the court and the orders consequentially made.

If you further guidance on the issues raised in this article then please contact Mark Hagyard on 01535 687070.

 

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Council House Building Programme announced by Teresa May

New Council House Image

In her leader’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference, Teresa May announced that Local Authorities will be given the power to commence building new council house stock.

BBC coverage quoted May as saying:

Hailing plans to “reignite home ownership” in Britain, she said the government plans to invest an additional £2bn in affordable housing, taking the total budget up to almost £9bn.

If ministers made the land available and gave young people the skills to build the houses, she challenged house builders to ensure they “build the homes our country needs”.

The BBC’s assistant political editor Norman Smith said the focus on council housing underlines Mrs May’s readiness to intervene and use the public sector to build houses in a way not seen since the 1950s. “

Source: BBC News

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41493370

 

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Charity of the Year – Cancer Support Yorkshire

Well the staff at WTW are really putting in some effort to raise money for our charity of the year, Cancer Support Yorkshire.

Cancer Support Yorkshire

Food always goes down well so for the second time this year we are having a foodie week. Members of the team have treated us to savoury and sweet delights each day. These have so far included chilli, buffet goodies, carrot and chocolate cake. We still have sweet & sour chicken, Indian delights and afternoon tea to come.

An increasing waistline and lighter pockets is a small price to pay!

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