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Divorce rates rise in New Year as couples seek legal help

A STAGGERING one in five couples will seek some form of legal advice this January which could result in divorce. Statistics show divorce rates are set to rise in the month of January and continue up until the end of March in what has become a recognised post-Christmas trend. There’s no doubt that pressures on relationships can intensify during what can be a stressful time of the year. But there’s another aspect – that many see the new year as a fresh start, a chance to wipe the slate clean as many individuals don’t want to remain in the same place physically or mentally for another year. Another reason for the statistical increase might be the fact that if post-Christmas seems like a fresh start, the run-up to Christmas can be…

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Whiplash accident claims to be curbed by law next year?

GOVERNMENT plans to curb whiplash claims by 2020 is causing concern to personal injury lawyers who say the public will be disadvantaged should the new legislation be introduced as proposed. The changes would mean the public only receiving a nominal sum for whiplash claims if any. Sweeney Miller Law is among law firms monitoring the implications of legislation aimed to reform the system which will reduce compensation for claimants, even those who may be unable to work for months. The Civil Liability Bill has passed through the House of Commons and will introduce a fixed tariff for whiplash damages, complemented by a rise in the small claims limit from £1,000 to £5,000 for road traffic accident-related personal injury claims and from £1,000 to £2,000 for other personal injuries claims, such as public and employer’s liability. The small claims limit change means legal costs…

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Back of the net! Sweeney Miller supporting Grassroots Football

Sweeney Miller Law is proud to sponsor a number of causes in the local community – and one of our favourite causes is local football! Here are some of the budding footballers we are supporting at Red House Farm Football Club in Newcastle sporting their new kit. We hope the new jackets will keep the youngsters warm during the cold frosty winter so that they can focus fully on developing their football skills!    

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Mental Health First Aid course helps create happier, healthier workplace

MANAGEMENT at Sweeney Miller Law have been undergoing Mental Health First Aid training In order to recognise and deal with potential staff problems as they arise. The two-day course, delivered by Tim Ford of Live Well Training, covers mental health issues such as stress, depression and anxiety and gives guidance in spotting the signs and being proactive. It also looks at ways of maintaining and promoting good mental health in the workplace. Tim Ford of Live Well Training Company co-founder Paul Miller said: “The course has been brilliant, really eye-opening and I would recommend it to all companies out there. “It is good in the way it challenges preconceptions and it supports ways to make sure that people feel happy and secure in the workplace. It also leads to a better…

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Charity Shoebox gets off on the right foot

Christmas is a time for joy and celebration, but it is also a time to be thankful and to remember those less fortunate than us. Keeping in with the Christmas spirit, staff at our Newcastle office arranged a charity shoe box collection with essential items and a little treat to support some of those in need. The shoebox idea proved to be a great success and we wanted to give a special mention to our lovely Kierra for organising the initiative!

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North East Landlords Association Meeting – Next meeting Tuesday 27th November

CALLING ALL NORTH EAST LANDLORDS – The next NEL meeting will be on the 27th November at Bede Tower, Sunderland from 5.30pm onwards. The highly popular event is a must for any property investors or wannabe property investors. Our very own David Smith will be one of the speakers at this event to talk about passing down the family wealth to the next generation. Tickets are free but spaces MUST be reserved here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/north-east-landlords-november-meeting-tickets-46611046896

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Sunderland to host meeting of North East Landlords’ Association this week

THE North East Landlords’ Association is to hold its first meeting in Sunderland this week, giving landlords and associated businesses across Wearside the chance to get the latest updates in the property market. The meeting will take place this Tuesday, November 27th from 5.30pm-9pm in the Bede Tower in Burdon Road, Sunderland (SR2 7EA) with a host of interesting talks and advice seminars. On the fun side, there will be the ‘Brucey Bonus Landlord Quiz’ hosted by Bruce Haagensen. But other talks include: ‘How to Spot Common Defects in Houses’ by Rob Harrison, ‘Cyber Security – Why it is Vitally Important for Landlords’ by Nick Atkinson, ‘Protecting Your Wealth’ by David Smith. There will also be an update on local and national issues of interest to landlords.

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How do conveyancers help me sell my house?

If you’re looking at selling your property, you might not realise just how much a conveyancer can help. Although you won’t be the one shelling out thousands for the property, it doesn’t mean you don’t need legal help. By selling your house, you’re transferring equity, which is heavily protected and governed by law. This (inevitably) means there’s a lot of important paperwork to be completed! The conveyancing process must be completed correctly, or you risk costing yourself a lot of time and money. In this article, we explain exactly what a conveyancer will do in order to help you sell your property. Identity Check As soon as you accept an offer on your property, it’s time to involve a conveyancer. Their first job will be to complete an identity check on you, which means your sale will comply with anti-money laundering regulations…

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I’m facing redundancy. What should I do?

Facing redundancy is undoubtedly a nerve-wracking situation. Legally, you do have rights. If you think these are being breached, you may be able to take your claim to an Employment Tribunal. In this article, the Sweeney Miller team looks at what to do if you’re facing redundancy. Make sure it’s fair First, you need to find out if your redundancy is fair. You’re probably feeling shocked at the news, but it’s important to stay proactive and protective over your own rights. When employers select people for redundancies, their decision must be objective. This means that, unfortunately, the amount of time you’ve worked there will no longer factor in on their decision. However, they cannot make redundancies based on “protected characteristics”. These are: Race Disability Gender reassignment Pregnancy/maternity leave Age Sex Marriage/civil partnership Sexual orientation Religion/belief Additionally, your employer cannot make a redundancy…

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Do I need a shareholder agreement for my new startup?

Good job! You’ve incorporated your brand new startup, and now you’re looking to grow your business. Hopefully, you have a few shareholders already. Your next step is to consider creating a shareholders’ agreement. We know it might seem unimportant at the moment, but making a shareholders’ agreement is a vital step in protecting the fate of your business. Also known as a founder’s agreement, a shareholders’ agreement will regulate how company changes are made in the future.   What is a shareholders’ agreement? A shareholders’ agreement is a legal contract, agreed to by all company shareholders, as a precautionary measure regulating the way they conduct business. It can form a basis for the procedures that should be followed should any unforeseen issues arise between your stakeholders and the company itself. This protects the success (and consequent value) of your company. Plus, there’s no…

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Call for Home Office Not To Get Data Protection Exemptions

Exempting the Home Office from new data protection rules could lead to miscarriages of justice, the Law Society of England and Wales and the Bar Council have warned. 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 ordetention. “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…

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