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North East property investors supported by Sweeney Miller

The launch event was held on Thursday, May 17th at the NatWest Offices, One Trinity Gardens, Broad Chare, Newcastle. Explaining the mission of the new group, a spokesperson said: “We are setting up a landlords’ group with a few other professionals in the area. “The idea is that we will hold events aimed at investors buying residential and commercial properties and talk about the various trends in these areas. “So our message to landlords is this – would you like to see a Landlord Association that has all the benefits that a National Association can offer but with a local presence engaging with local Councils on your behalf? “If so, you are going to be interested in our new Landlord Association which will be run by local people for the benefit of local Landlords. “The new organisation will look to meet the needs of all Private Landlords…

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Call for Home Office Not To Get Data Protection Exemptions

Like thousands of other firms across the country, Sweeney Miller has been ensuring compliance with new GDPR rules due to come into force before the end of May 2018. But the Law Society has pointed out that The Data Protection Bill currently before Parliament exempts the Home Office from personal data requests, That has prompted Law Society president Joe Egan to warn the Bill will undermine the ability of British and EU citizens, as well as other non-UK nationals, to challenge unlawful deportation or detention. “Recent events have shown how important it is to be able to scrutinise Home Office decision making,” he said. “The GDPR and Data Protection Bill are based on accountability and transparency and the proposed exemption completely flies in the face of these principles. “Anyone seeking their own personal data from the Home Office could be denied access without justification…

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Need for the vulnerable to be legally protected is highlighted

In an unprecedented judgment, Mr Justice Charles, vice president of the Court of Protection, placed responsibility on the government to ensure each vulnerable individual whose liberty is considered in the Court of Protection has appropriate representation when their case is considered. Law Society vice president Christina Blacklaws said: “The judgment shines a light on a largely hidden area of our justice system where people suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s or a learning disability wait indefinitely for their cases to be heard because of a lack of funding for representation.” “People can be deprived of their liberty, their movements closely supervised and restricted and they may be given medication and other treatments to control their behaviour. “These restrictive arrangements may be in the individual’s best interests, but authorisation from the Court of Protection is needed to ensure the vulnerable person’s rights are adequately protected.” The…

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Public access to home-buying information welcomed by Sweeney Miller

The suggestion was made by the  Law Society of England and Wales argued in response to a consultation by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The Law Society believes making clear and concise information available at the right time could speed up the entire home buying process. And Sweeney Miller is all in favour of efforts to help the public understand what is often a very complex process. Paul Miller said: “Buying or selling a house can be a time-consuming and complicated business and occasionally it can be very confusing to the public who are unsure of exactly what the process entails. “In such circumstances, any moves which give the public a greater understanding of what is involved is to be welcomed. Paul’s words were echoed by Law Society president Joe Egan. He said: “Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions people…

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Domestic violence legal aid changes are welcome and will benefit victims

From January 2018, time limits preventing victims of domestic violence from obtaining legal aid for court proceedings will be scrapped. These restrictions have been heavily criticised, not least by the Law Society, and have left large numbers of women confronting abusive ex-partners without representation. The restrictions will also be relaxed to accept evidence from victim support organisations. Paul Miller, senior partner at Sweeney Miller, said: “The decision by the Government to move in this direction can only benefit the public and in particular those who have suffered domestic violence and seek their day in court. The move is also long overdue, according to Law Society of England and Wales president Joe Egan. He said: “The government’s decision will make it easier for victims to provide evidence and to qualify for legal aid.

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Law Society Warnings Need To Be Heeded, Says Sweeney Miller

The Law Society has warned of a ‘wild west’ outcome if two consultations put out by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) are taken up. And Paul Miller, of Sweeney Miller, said: “It is good that the Law Society is raising these issues now because any proposed changes to legal services need to be considered very seriously. “The risk is that changes can do more harm than good and impact not only on the quality of legal services in our country but also negatively impact on clients.” Law Society president Joe Egan said: “Under the guise of improving access to legal advice, the SRA is proposing changes to its handbook that can only put consumers at risk and undermine trust in legal services. “We are gravely concerned the SRA is ploughing ahead with proposals that would see solicitors subject to entirely different regulations depending…

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Prevention better than cure when it comes to injury claims, Sweeney Miller

Solicitors are regularly brought in to resolve disputes where injuries have been caused by negligence or lack of safety precautions, either in the workplace or the public environment. But much litigation could be avoided if there was greater emphasis on avoiding accidents in the first place. And the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has been leading efforts by organising a series of events around Injury Prevention Day in August. Lindsey Christie, head of litigation at Sweeney Miller, said: “Prevention is better than cure and the more people are made aware of simple and sensible precautions that can be taken, the better. “That is particularly important on the roads where drivers should avoid things like tailgating for example.” Brett Dixon, APIL president, said: “We want to see fewer people injured needlessly. “We are dealing with a continued onslaught in relation to soft-tissue injury claims but…

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End of employment tribunal fees welcomed by Sweeney Miller

The ruling will offer hope to tens of thousands who might want to take their employer to a tribunal for bullying or discrimination but were put off by the fear of having to fork our four-figure fees. Paul Miller said: “This is a common sense decision and is to be welcomed. In our view, those who look to go down the employment tribunal route do not make the decision lightly. “And if they do have a legitimate grievance it’s wrong that they would be put off because they can’t afford the fees that existed up to to this point.” The Sunderland and Newcastle firm of solicitors take a stance which is reflected nationally by the Law Society. Law Society president, Joe Egan, said: “This decision is a triumph for access to justice, and a resounding blow against attempts to treat justice as a…

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Air Flight Delay Compensation Claims – Key Advice

The chaos at Heathrow and Gatwick earlier this year, where an IT failure left tens of thousands stranded, has raised public awareness passengers can claim money back if flights are delayed more than three hours. Claims can be made up to six years after the date of the delayed flight but Sweeney Miller solicitor Lindsey Christie warns that without the proper  paperwork, there could be some turbulence during legal action. “When it comes to making a claim it is much quicker and easier if you have the paperwork to back it up – your flight tickets, your boarding pass, anything which gives clear proof that you were supposed to be on the flight that doesn’t take off on time,” Lindsey explains. “Too often we hear of people who may have legitimate claims but can’t lay their hands on the tickets or proof that…

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Help with compromise agreements offered to Sunderland University, Sunderland College staff

The law firm is experienced in compromise agreements – a special contract drawn up for when employees leave companies – and Lindsey Christie of Sweeney Miller will provide legal advice on compromise agreements for the fixed fee available, which is paid by the employer. Lindsey said:“We’re aware that there might be a lot of people in the Sunderland area looking at leaving their current employment who will have to complete a compromise agreement. “If you are being made redundant or leaving your job and looking for a solicitor to advise and sign your compromise agreement with your employer, we are here to help. “We’ll arrange an appointment as soon as possible for the fixed fee payable by your employer on your behalf.” Anyone who wants further information should contact Lindsey on (0191) 568 2050 or email:  lindsey@sweeneymiller.co.uk.

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Race 4 Grace charity-raising Fun Day is backed by Sweeney Miller

On Sunday, April 30, the 5k Race for Grace Obstacle Challenge is expected to attract hundreds to Herrington Park. And Damien Todd, conveyancing solicitor from Sweeney Miller’s Sunderland office will be taking part alongside colleague Faye Brown. Damien said: ““I am taking part in the Sunderland 10k for Grace House but when I heard about the 5k Race for Grace Obstacle Challenge I thought it sounded great fun. “And once my colleagues heard  I was taking part they wanted to take part too with their friends and family.” The Grace House Appeal started in 2003, and since then over £5m has been raised to care for and support some of the most disadvantaged and socially excluded children and young people. Sweeney Miller solicitors Faye Brown and Damien Todd with four-year old Isla Carpenter, who will all take part…

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