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What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document in which you authorise a chosen person or persons (attorneys) to make certain decisions on your behalf, when you require support, for example should you become unwell or lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself.

To ensure your wishes are carried out, and that important decisions are placed in the hands of those you trust, making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is vital.  There are two types of LPA, Property and Financial Affairs, in which you can appoint attorneys to look after your property and financial affairs, and a Health and Welfare LPA, in which you can nominate attorneys to look after your social and health care needs, and if you choose to do so you can also enable your attorneys to make life sustaining treatment decisions on your behalf.

Why have a business LPA?

For business owners, whether they are partners, sole traders or company directors, unexpected incapacity (even if only temporary) can impact significantly on the business finances, potentially meaning that suppliers are not paid, staff are not paid, stock could not be purchased, business loans may go unpaid and no one else would be authorised to control the business account. You might think you could rely on family members or employees to deal with the running of the business, but they may not have the authority to do this and business colleagues do not automatically gain the authority to make decisions on your behalf.

A business LPA can be used if a business owner:
  • is overseas or on holiday
  • has had an accident that means they are temporarily incapacitated
  • has an incapacitating medical condition that means they are no longer capable of acting
What happens without a business LPA?

If a business owner does not have a business LPA in place and any of the above situations arise, an application to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy to act on their behalf may be needed, which can prove costly and take a significant length of time, exposing the business to a huge amount of risk.

Who is a business LPA  suitable for?
  • a sole trader
  • a person who is self-employed 
  • a director of a companyif a director’s incapacitation is not covered by the articles of association or memorandum of association
  • a partner within a partnershipif a partner’s incapacitation is not covered by the articles of association or memorandum of association

The LPA must be registered by the Office of the Public Guardian whilst the Donor still has mental capacity, to take effect.

A person can have a personal financial LPA, a health and welfare LPA and a business LPA, but should appoint attorneys that are suitable for each one separately.

A business attorney must be able to carry out the role and be someone suitable to undertake the responsibilities of the donor in a business LPA, and the donor should consider giving specific and detailed instructions on what powers a business attorney would hold.

Help and Advice If you would like to discuss making an LPA or would advice from a member of our team, we have offices in Newark, Sleaford, Lincoln, Grantham, Boston or Spalding where a member of our team would be happy to help

The post Do I need a business LPA? appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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The Employment Law Team are holding a Free Employment Law Clinic on Tuesday 26 February 2019 at the Sleaford Office.

The clinic is available for clients to attend between the hours of 10am to 3pm at:

32 Southgate
Sleaford
Lincolnshire
NG34 7RY

Clients visiting the clinic will receive up to 30 minutes of Free Advice from a member of our Employment Law Team.  Please bear in mind that our very popular clinics are operated on a booking basis only.  To reserve your appointment please contact our Employment Law Team on 01522 561020.

The Team are happy to advise on a wide range of Employment Law issues including:

  • Unfair Dismissal.
  • ACAS early conciliation.
  • Discrimination (sex, pregnancy age, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation).
  • Unpaid Wages.
  • Breach of Contract.
  • Unfair Constructive Dismissal.
  • Wrongful Dismissal.
  • Settlement Agreement Guidance.
  • Bullying in the workplace.
  • Raising a grievance.
How else can we help? If you would rather not wait for our clinic or simply want to book in for a longer and more detailed appointment with one of our Employment Law Solicitors please call 01522 561020 and we will be happy to arrange to see you at any of our offices in Newark, Lincoln, Spalding, Sleaford, Grantham or Boston.

The post Free Employment Law Clinic in Sleaford appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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The Victims Commissioner, Baroness Newlove, has today called for wholesale reform of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. In her report reviewing the scheme, which seeks to compensate innocent victims of violent crime, Baroness Newlove’s claims that the scheme is currently beset by problems including long delays, poor communication and uncertainty. All of these factors are causing stress for applicants which can retrigger their original trauma.

Our own experience of CICA aligns with that of the Victims Commissioner. Long delays, a lack of updates on our clients applications, the inability to speak directly to the case handler/decision maker, plus vague and sometimes bizarre decisions which fail to be justified by evidence, all reflect badly on CICA.

These issues result in reviews and Appeals, which cause further stress for the victims. You cannot even correspond with them via email, and calls are dealt with by a call centre. It all feels a little like a ‘tick-box’ exercise – an overly-complex and ill-thought out scheme seemingly designed to frustrate and discourage innocent victims of some of the most serious of crimes, rather than support victims via that all-important ‘human’ touch, supporting their emotional needs. This is unfortunately sadly lacking and we echo Baroness Newlove’s call for reform.

Help

Fortunately here at Ringrose Law we have huge experience in dealing with all kinds of injury cases, including Criminal Injury Compensation Authority claims. Please contact one of our experienced personal injury team if you have suffered injuries as a result of crime, a road accident, accident at work or in a public place. We can advise you fully and guide you through the claim process if we believe you have reasonable prospects of bringing a successful injury claim.

Our specialist team of advisors would be more than happy to talk to you and advise whether we should meet for a free consultation so we can properly advise you on your options. Please call us on 01522 561020 or call into one of our offices in Boston, Lincoln, Sleaford, Grantham, Spalding and Newark.

The post Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority criticised as victims forced to ‘relive’ traumatic events appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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In May 2017 the Prime Minister made a speech in which she referred to a ‘flawed’ Mental Health Act which often results in detention, disproportionate effects, and forced treatment of vulnerable people.[1]

Studies have shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetime.[2] Whilst there are many different mental health conditions, not all people who suffer from a mental health condition require detainment under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended 2007). When a person is detained under the Mental Health Act, it can be for a variety of reasons, if they have committed a crime and been given a hospital order (section 37/41) instead of going to prison or if they have become unwell in prison and have been transferred to hospital (section 47/49). In other cases, a person can be detained under the Mental Health Act if they have become unwell in the community and require professional treatment in hospital (sections 2 and 3). If a person is detained under the Mental Health Act and they do not agree with this, they are eligible to apply for a Mental Health Tribunal in their own right to contest their section.

What is a Mental Health Tribunal?

A Mental Health Tribunal has a legal duty to adjudicate on whether or not someone is to remain detained under the Mental Health Act.[3] A Mental Health Tribunal gives all professionals the chance to present different views in a formal environment. The burden is on the detaining authority to prove to the Tribunal panel that the patient has a mental disorder of nature and degree and is a risk to themselves, their health or others. The Tribunal panel also need to be satisfied that there the patient can receive appropriate treatment in hospital and being in hospital is the least restrictive option to the patient. The tribunal is not to act as a clinical team. It is a legal hearing governed by procedural rules, not a medical or multidisciplinary case conference. The patient is entitled for legal representation at the hearing and the patient themselves and their legal team are entitled to hear arguments and to challenge them.

What can Solicitor’s help you with?

Under the Legal Aid Agency guidelines, a person is entitled to legal representation for all steps leading up to and including a Mental Health Tribunal. This includes visits, legal documentation preparation, legal advice and legal representation. Whilst a person does not always require legal representation, it is advised to make sure a person has a fair and informative hearing and some cases a person does not have the mental capacity to represent themselves which means a legal representative can be appointed on their behalf under rule 11(7)(b) of Tribunal Rules.

 Your rights as a Nearest Relative of a patient

A Nearest Relative is a family member who has certain responsibilities and powers if a person is detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act. Restricted patients do not have a Nearest Relative.These include the right to information and to discharge in some situations. As a nearest relative, they can write to the hospital to apply for their family member to be discharged within 72 hours. The patient’s responsible clinician (Doctor) has 72 hours to agree or discharge or block it. If they decide to block this, they issue what is called a ‘barring certificate’, this stops the nearest relative from discharging their family member. After a barring certificate is issued, a ‘hospital managers meeting’ is organised. This is a meeting where the managers who are associates of the hospital consider discharge. The managers can agree to discharge, or they can agree to not discharge the patient. In the event the managers do not agree, the nearest relative can apply for a Mental Health Tribunal in their own right within 28 days of the Hospital Mangers Meeting.

How we can help At Ringrose Law we have a dedicated Mental health department, we can assist those under section or Nearest relatives proving support and advice. Please contact our Boston (01205 311511) or Lincoln (01522 561020) Offices for more information.

[1] The New Law Journal > 2017 Volume 167 > Issue 7766, October > Articles > Mental health law & the case for tribunals (Pt 2) – 167 NLJ 7766, p13

[2] https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

[3] The New Law Journal > 2017 Volume 167 > Issue 7766, October > Articles > Mental health law & the case for tribunals (Pt 2) – 167 NLJ 7766, p13

The post Mental Health and the Law appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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The Ministry of Justice has been accused of betraying those campaigning to ensure an equality of arms between bereaved families and the state at inquests.

After reviewing the current legal aid availability, the Ministry laws week  confirmed in its final Report that it will not introduce automatic legal aid when the state is represented.

The Ministry said

“Means testing serves to determine the allocation of tax payers money to those most in need.  This mechanism upholds the wider policy intention of the existing legal aid statutory framework of ensuring that legal aid is targeted at those who need it most. For the most serious cases in which legal advice or representation is justified.”

Inquest, a campaign charity, had called for automatic non means tested legal aid funding to families for specialist representation immediately after a state related death to cover preparation and representation at the inquest and all other legal processes.

The Ministry said in its Report that is considered the issue “in great detail”.

It is also looking to explore further options for funding legal support where the state has funded representation adding that

“to do this, we work closely with other Government departments”.

Families will  feel disappointed by this news for they will continue to face the same hurdles they did before with an array of Barristers against them at public hearings with them either having to represent themselves at a time when they will have to relive their grief or employ Solicitors or Barristers at their own cost to represent their best interests.

Help Should you require any assistance with representation at Inquests, please do not hesitate to contact any of our team members at Boston, Lincoln, Sleaford, Spalding, Grantham or Newark.

The post Fury over MOJ betrayal on Legal Aid for Inquests. appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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The Employment Law Team are holding a Free Employment Law Clinic on Tuesday 19 February 2019 at the Newark Office.

The clinic is available for clients to attend between the hours of 10am to 3pm at:

Ringrose Law

Sketchley House
11 Castlegate
Newark
NG24 1AZ

Clients visiting the clinic will receive up to 30 minutes of Free Advice from a member of our Employment Law Team.  Please bear in mind that our very popular clinics are operated on a booking basis.  To reserve your appointment please contact our Employment Law Team on 01522 561020.

The Team are happy to advise on a wide range of Employment Law issues including:

  • Unfair Dismissal.
  • ACAS early conciliation.
  • Redundancy.
  • Discrimination (sex, pregnancy age, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation).
  • Whistleblowing.
  • Unpaid Wages.
  • Breach of Contract.
  • Unfair Constructive Dismissal.
  • Wrongful Dismissal.
  • Settlement Agreement Guidance.
  • Bullying in the workplace.
  • Raising a grievance.

How else can we help? If you would rather not wait for our clinic or simply want to book in for a longer and more detailed appointment with one of our Employment Law Solicitors please call 01522 561020 and we will be happy to arrange to see you at any of our offices in Newark, Lincoln, Spalding, Sleaford, Grantham or Boston.

The post Free Employment Law Clinic – Newark Office appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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New legislation is being introduced that could make it easier and less painful for couples when it comes to divorce. Breaking up is hard to do but until now the law surrounding divorcing couples has been making it much harder by effectively forcing couples into attributing blame for things not working out.

The introduction of no fault divorces will mean that couples who want to end their marriage will no longer have to attribute blame or wait years for their divorce to be finalised.

The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 stipulates in England and Wales that a couple must either allocate blame for the breakdown of the marriage or if both couples agree, wait 2 years after separation to divorce.

If there is an absence of consent, or evidence of fault, Applicants must wait until they have been living apart for 5 years.

Critics claim that the law fuels acrimony in those already going through a difficult situation and may also encourage false allegations.

The Justice Secretary has now confirmed that this area of divorce law will be reformed.

So what does the new law mean for divorcing couples?

A no fault divorce will make a substantial difference for couples looking to divorce.  Under the current law, if you have separated for less then 2 years, then the only option for a divorce is either one party to admit adultery or their unreasonable behaviour.

Often, this means that parties are forced to use the fault based ground to seek a divorce when the separation may have otherwise been reasonably amicable.  In essence, couples are forced into a form of blame game with often exaggerated grounds to assist the Court.

No fault divorces will avoid the needs for the parties to use inflammatory grounds to seek a divorce, potentially simplifying the process and keeping their costs down.

The change will modernise the divorce process which should help protect the parties from unnecessary hostilities in resolving any related issues.

The process should become simpler, less stressful and remove any possible conflict which in turn decreases costs and allows the parties to move on without one part being blamed.

The new legislation comes as it was revealed that more than 400 people filed to divorce their spouse in the period  between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve with a significant number also making the Application on Christmas Day itself.

Help If you would like any assistance with the process of divorce, please do not hesitate to contact any of our specialists in the family team at Boston, Lincoln, Spalding, Sleaford, Newark and Grantham.

The post New Family Legislation appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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The Law Society of England and Wales has said a move to ease some of the hurdles restricting access to justice for hundreds of thousands of people is a shift in the right direction. Responding to the government’s crucial post-implementation review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), Law Society president Christina Blacklaws said:

“This post-implementation evaluation is long-awaited and comprehensive and represents the first time in over twenty years that we have seen wide-ranging government proposals to improve the system rather than to make further cuts.”

“This review is important because legal aid is crucial to ensure that the protection of the rule of law is a reality for all and provides a lifeline for the vulnerable with social welfare law problems.”

“Successive governments have restricted access to justice and the most severe constraints were implemented in April 2013 when – as part of the LASPO reforms – hundreds of thousands of people became ineligible for legal aid. The sweeping cuts have had a detrimental impact on wider society. They have led to growing numbers of people representing themselves in court and increased pressure on wider public services.”

“The Law Society contributed heavily to the Ministry of Justice’s evidence gathering process ahead of the publication of this vitally important review.”

“The proposals reflect a considerable number of the recommendations we put forward. The Ministry has accepted the case for changes in relation to the legal aid means test, exceptional case funding and early legal advice, and has committed to further work as to what those changes should look like. There are also to be specific changes immediately in relation to migrant children, special guardianship orders and the telephone gateway for discrimination, debt and special educational needs. There is much to be welcomed.”

Christina added:

“We hope these changes will make it easier for ordinary people to qualify for legal aid and access essential help and support.”

“However, welcome as this further work is, the government must give urgent attention to amending the means test thresholds because the current levels are preventing families in poverty from accessing justice; and remuneration rates for solicitors undertaking this vital work must be reviewed for civil as well as criminal work, to address the medium term viability of the system. As a first step, they should be uprated in line with inflation ahead of further work to make the system sustainable.”

Christina Blacklaws said:

“If people cannot access advice or protect their rights, then effectively those rights do not exist. The proposed plan signals hope that fewer people will be denied justice simply because they cannot afford it.”

“We support the government’s proposal to improve access to justice through better use of technology. The proposed technology fund indicates a recognition that securing commercial funding for access to justice solutions continues to be challenging.”

“We look forward to working with the government as they put these proposals into action.”

The post Easier access to everyday Justice appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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We are looking for a Commercial Property Legal Secretary ideally with experience in Commercial or Residential Property. You should have excellent IT and Typing skills as well as strong communication skills as you will be dealing with clients over the phone and in person.

To be successful for this role you will present a professional image at all times to clients and collaborators, be well presented, confident and have first class communication skills.  You will be hard working and able to work to tight deadlines.

The position is full time and is based in Boston.

Activities will be varied and will include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Typing legal documents.
  • Managing files using the case management system (Proclaim)
  • Opening, closing and maintaining files
  • Liaise with clients and contacts both on the phone and in person.
  • Drafting Land Registry forms and requesting searches
  • Requesting redemption statements.
  • Drafting completion statements and invoices.
  • Administrational duties such as file management and archiving.
  • General administrative support
Experience Required:
  • Proven experience in a legal secretarial practice within a residential conveyancing department preferred; ideally with 6 months experience
  • Exceptional and accurate typing skills, with a typing speed of 65+ wpm
  • Proven IT skills including Word, Outlook and Excel
  • Outstanding inter-personal and communication skills; good written skills are essential with close attention to detail
  • High standard of organisational skills required for file management, diary management and admin assistance
  • Ability to use initiative
  • A friendly, positive and pro-active approach
Desirable skills:
  • A knowledge of Proclaim case management system advantageous
Benefits include:
  • Company Pension Scheme
  • 25 days annual leave
  • Staff discount
  • Annual Holiday Sale/Purchase scheme
  • Perkbox membership
For further information contact careers@ringroselaw.co.uk

The post Commercial Property Legal Secretary – Boston appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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Congratulations to Nerina Farmer, Director at Ringrose Law, who has recently been appointed to the Head of Wills & Probate for the firm.

Nerina has been a Director of the firm since 2006 and has held a senior role in both the Wills & Probate and Residential departments for nearly 20 years. Nerina is located at the Grantham Office. She has developed a very good reputation locally for her excellence in delivering first class legal services to clients.

Nerina’s appointment is part of the firms ongoing strategic development, following the recent appointment of David Heath to Operations Director.

Nerina is delighted to take on the role of Head of Wills & Probate and looks forward to managing the team located across the County.

“I am already enjoying the opportunity to make a difference to our clients by helping them secure peace of mind for the future. Running the team going forward is an excellent opportunity. We already have an outstanding reputation across the County for helping our Wills & Probate clients, and I hope to continue to grow on this.”

Paul Cooper Senior Partner welcomes Nerina to her new role. “Nerina has a strong track record in dealing with complex matters that make an important difference to clients’ lives. We congratulate Nerina on her new role as Head of the Wills & Probate team and look forward to supporting her in developing the department going forward.”

Nerina is based at the firm’s Grantham Office. To make an appointment with Nerina or a member of the team please contact 01476 590200.

The post Head of Wills & Probate at Ringrose Law appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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