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Domestic Abuse is not always physical as people would suspect.

Controlling and Coercive Behaviour now forms a large part of Domestic Violence which can now be actioned through Police Involvement.

There is a growing awareness around the signs of coercive control – the emotional and psychological abuse of a partner, through threats and restrictions, as well as physical violence. .

A new law was made on coercive control, which was introduced at the end of 2015,  after a Home Office consultation – and can carry a jail term of up to five years. The law – which has been praised by domestic charities – can help victims achieve justice and will hopefully instigate cultural change around this lesser-known side of domestic abuse. Although it was only used five times between December 2015 and March 2016, there are now signs that emotionally abusive behaviour is being recognised and taken seriously.

It’s more than just one argument

Emotional abuse happens over a sustained period of time, where the perpetrator repeatedly controls their victim.

When we are talk about domestic violence it’s not the case that one argument crosses the line and it becomes an abusive relationship It’s a pattern in the relationship, where one partner is controlling and there’s an ongoing sense of fear.

An abuser wants to scare their victim With domestic violence, partners behave in a way that’s designed to intimidate, frighten or coerce their victim’s behaviour

When a victim is frightened of their partner and treads on eggshells out of fear of their reaction, that’s a problem.

  • It’s abuse if you feel frightened of your partner and you’re worrying about the consequences of what externally might be relatively minor things.
  • If they get angry at the slightest thing.
  • If you have to do everything their way.
  • If you’re worried and feel like your behaviour will set them off’.

A one-way street

An abuser will not think about their partner, and generally puts themselves first.

Perpetrators of domestic violence do it because they feel entitled to behave that way. They think their partner is there to meet to their needs and they’re entitled to take whatever they want.

If you think you may be a victim of Domestic Abuse please do not hesitate to contact a member of our family Team right away who could assist you in obtaining your protection. We have offices in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Newark, Sleaford and Spalding.

The post Controlling Behaviour and Coercive Behaviour appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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The area relating to grandparental rights to spend time with their grandchildren particularly when their parents have separated has long been a thorny issue to resolve; more so where the parents do not agree with the child seeing their grandparents.

This area was considered in a Bulgarian case decided under EU law Case 335/17 concerning the concepts of rights of access and concerned the grandmother’s rights of access to her grandson.   Judgment was delivered on 12th April 2018.

With regard to the Member States of the EU it was established that the Courts of the child’s habitual residence have jurisdiction (power) to decide such a matter. Such a case cannot be analysed independently of the fundamental issue: the primary importance of the best interest and welfare of the child enshrined in the Children Act 1989 as amended and the importance of maintaining contact with his or her grandparents provided this was not contrary to the child’s interest or welfare.

This is encompassed in Article 7 of The Charter “right to respect for his or her private and family life, home and communications and also Article 8 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

It was also stated that contact between children and their grandparents was an essential source of stability for the children and an important contribution to the child’s personal identity.

It was recently announced that the Government would re-visit the Children Act 1989 with a view to amend this to include the automatic right for grandparents to apply to the Court for an order to see their grandchildren without the need for seeking the court’s permission to make the application beforehand.  So watch this space…………………

How can we help? If you have any queries in regards to family rights, then please contact our specialised family teams at our offices. We have teams in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Newark, Sleaford and Spalding.

The post Grandparental rights to spend time with their grandchildren EU law URGENT appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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The Employment Tribunal is an independent body, designed to resolve disputes between employers and employees over the rights they have.

As the business being taken to a Tribunal, you will be the ‘Respondent’ and the other party [i.e. the employee or former employee] will be the ‘Claimant.’ The Tribunal is separate to the Government and will listen to both your arguments and those of the Claimant before advising of their findings.

There are a number of reasons why you may be taken to a Tribunal however, the main areas are pay, discrimination and dismissal.

Employment Tribunals are less formal than a Court however, the matter is public and anybody may have access to attend.

There is a possibility you will be required to pay the Claimant compensation or even reinstate them to their original position if the Tribunal find in their favour (i.e. you lose your case). The Tribunal may also order you to pay a fine if you lose and your case has one or more “aggravating features”. A fine can range from £100 to £5,000. This particular calculation consists of 50% of the award made to the Claimant with a 50% deduction made if the bill is paid within 21 days of the decision. If you cannot reasonably pay this, the Tribunal will consider this before ordering the fine.

The Claimant must first commence early conciliation through Acas before they can issue a claim to the Employment Tribunal. Acas will effectively supervise in order to be an ‘intermediary’ or ‘go between’ for you and the Claimant. They will attempt to solve the issues during early conciliation, over an initial month long period. Their involvement will include them talking to both yourselves and the Claimant in order to attempt to find a common ground. If common ground is reached, settlement will be agreed and the case will not proceed to a Tribunal hearing.

If early conciliation is unsuccessful, Acas will produce a certificate for evidence that this attempt took place and the Claimant will then have to decide whether to proceed with the Tribunal claim. Irrespective of this, prior to attending the Tribunal, you may still utilise the conciliation services of Acas. This allows both the Claimant and yourselves to discuss the matters arising and attempt to come to an agreement (possibly in the form of a COT3 Agreement by way of a monetary offer) before having to incur costs and added stress at a Tribunal.

If the Claimant lodges a claim with the Tribunal, you will receive a letter and ‘response pack’ which you are then required to respond to (either by completing or downloading this and returning it or by completing the form online). You must respond to this within 28 days. If you fail to respond or request an extension, the Tribunal could make a decision without you being present.

It is best not to try and represent yourself in defending an Employment Tribunal claim. Having a specialist employment law solicitor representing you will maximise your prospects of being successful. If you need any assistance with an Employment Tribunal Claim being made against you, please contact our team on 01522 561020.

The post What to do if an Employment Tribunal claim is made against you appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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A new opportunity has arisen for an Experienced Residential Conveyancing Secretary (preferably 2 years) to join our successful Conveyancing Department, working amongst a team of fee earners.

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 based in Newark.

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
  • Administration duties such as file management and archiving.
  • General administrative support
  • Act as relief receptionist to cover lunch times, holidays and sickness as and when required
Experience Required:
  • Previous experience preferred but not essential as training will be given
  • 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
  • Childcare Vouchers
  • Perkbox subscription
  • Annual Holiday Sale/Purchase scheme
Closing Date: Friday 25th May

Please send your CV to Lisa Gamwell at lisa.gamwell@ringroselaw.co.uk

The post Experienced Residential Conveyancing Secretary – Newark appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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Some divorcing couples are being hit by extra stamp duty when they buy a new home. There has been some confusion over when the second home surcharge applies.

In April 2016 the Government introduced an extra 3% stamp duty levy on a house purchase by anyone who is already owns a home, or jointly owns a home. The levy was criticised because divorced couples were falling foul of the rule.

In November 2017 the rules were changed by the Government so that divorced couples who obtain a Court Order can escape the additional rate. Unfortunately quite a lot of people do not know about this.

The problem is that the guidance on the website issued by HMRC is out of date. It was last updated in 2016 but as the new rules came out in 2017 couples, Estate Agents and indeed some divorce lawyers are missing this.

While the divorce has to be under a Court Order to escape the charge a lot of couples will not go through that process. If a couple simply just decides to separate then the exemption will not be available. 

Sometimes parties in a divorce may accept the settlement to compensate for the loss of stake in the marital home but are not removed from the title deeds of the property. The effect of this will be that when they come to buy a new home they will be liable for the extra stamp duty.

As with all financial settlements in divorce it is extremely important to obtain expert advice from a Solicitor who specialises in financial cases. We are able to guide you through the mine field and traps that can leap upon the unwary. We have offices across Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, they are based in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Newark, Sleaford and Spalding.

The post Stamp Duty in Divorce appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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A new study has shown that the lack of no-fault divorce in England and Wales is forcing separating couples into unnecessary and unsuccessful courtroom battles to establish who caused the breakdown, according to a report by the Nuffield Foundation.

The charitable trust’s detailed study of nearly 500 divorces, led by Prof Liz Trinder of Exeter University, finds that many defended cases are triggered by the law itself which is out of step with most other jurisdictions in Europe and North America.

The only ground for divorce in England and Wales is irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. There are five specific types, three of which require allegations of fault: adultery, behaviour and desertion. Claimants in contested cases can alternatively agree they have lived apart for two years or one of them may prove that they have been separated for five years.

In rare cases where divorces are resisted, the report said, disputes degenerate into who should be blamed and are eventually “settled, rather than decided” by a Judge.

The study states;

“The outcomes … reflect the relative bargaining capacity of the parties, not an inquiry into the truth of allegations. The Court’s willingness to accept the results of some deals appeared intellectually dishonest, even if it did bring an end to a damaging dispute”.

The report comes ahead of a Supreme Court hearing into the case of Owens v Owens, the only successfully defended divorce case in recent years. Tini Owens, who is in her sixties, claims she has been left trapped in a “loveless and desperately unhappy” marriage after Judges refused to allow her to divorce her husband of 40 years.

Professor Trinder said:

“The divorce law is now nearly 50 years old and reform is long overdue. Our interviewees told us how difficult marriage breakdown is, yet the law makes the legal divorce even more difficult than it needs to be”.

“Having to blame one person to get a divorce does not help and in most cases is unfair. And the Court is not able to investigate why a marriage has broken down and recognises anyway that it is a fool’s errand”.

“While the Supreme Court may find a way to grant Mrs Owens her divorce, it can only interpret the law. It requires Parliament to change it. Reforming the divorce law to remove the requirement for ‘fault’ and replacing it with a notification system would be a clearer and more honest approach, that would also be fairer, more child-centred and cost-effective.”

Defending a divorce is emotionally demanding and few can afford the typical legal fees of around £6,000. Family lawyers generally discourage defence, viewing it as expensive, counter-productive and futile.

The post Divorce blame game leads to futile battles appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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A new opportunity has arisen for a paralegal to join our successful Commercial Litigation Department. You will work closely with and provide support to the Head of Commercial Litigation and other members of the team, dealing with complex and interesting cases.

To be successful for this role you will need to 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 based in Newark but will involve regular travel to all of our other offices

Activities will be varied and will include, but are not limited to the following;
  • To actively promote the firm’s full range of services but to concentrate primarily on Litigation.
  • To manage all client work allocated by the Head of Department or other fee-earners and in accordance with detailed procedures and quality standards contained in the firm’s Office Manual.
  • To ensure that all client work is progressed expeditiously and that the client is kept regularly informed on realistic outcomes, progress and on costs.
  • At all times to exercise high standards of client care in a professional and pleasant manner.
  • To ensure the confidentiality and security of all of the firm’s and client documentation and information.
  • To achieve agreed levels of billing and time recording per annum.
  • To maintain clear and precise communications with other personnel of the firm.
  • To ensure good working relationships with internal and external institutions and organisations.
  • To take responsibility for and attend to self-development.
  • In conjunction with the firm, to comply with the relevant training requirements.
  • To support Departmental Head and other members of the Department and to be responsible for administration of the department
Experience Required:
  • Computer and case management skills
  • 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
  • Ability to use initiative
  • A friendly, positive and pro-active approach
Benefits include:
  • Company Pension Scheme
  • 25 days annual leave
  • Staff discount
  • Childcare Vouchers
  • Staff suggestion scheme
  • Annual Holiday Sale/Purchase scheme
  • Perkbox subscription
Closing Date – Friday 18th May.
Send your CV to Lisa Gamwell at lisa.gamwell@ringroselaw.co.uk

The post Commercial Litigation Paralegal appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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A new opportunity has arisen for a Paralegal to join our Child Social Care Department in Lincoln.

The successful candidate must have experience in Children Law.

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 based in Lincoln although some flexibility may be required to work in our other office locations.

Activities will be varied and will include, but are not limited to the following:-

  • Advising clients in areas of Public Children Law and associated proceedings.
  • Managing files using the Proclaim Case Management System (training will be provided).
  • Attending out of office meetings relating to Child Protection matters.
  • Completing Legal Aid Applications online.
  • Completing Legal Help Assessments.
  • Summarising and drafting documents.
  • Sitting behind Counsel at court.
  • Forging links with and maintaining links with local referral agencies, for example Women’s Aid, Citizens Advice Bureau.
  • Assisting other members of the Child Social Care Department when required.
Experience Required
  • Experience within a Family/Public Children Law Department.
  • IT skills, including Word, Outlook and Excel.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, good written skills are essential with close attention to detail.
  • High standard of organisational skills required for file management and diary management.
  • Ability to use initiative.
  • A friendly, positive and proactive approach.
  • A full UK driving licence.
Desirable Skills
  • A knowledge of Proclaim Case Management System advantageous.
Closing date – Friday 18th May.

Please send your CV to Lisa Gamwell lisa.gamwell@ringroselaw.co.uk

The post Paralegal – Child Social Care Department appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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Our Mental Health Department is looking to employ a Mental Health Paralegal ideally with either a law degree or LPC qualification and some experience of working within a law firm or relevant Mental Health experience, in order to assist with the running of a full and busy caseload.

The Department has established a reputation for providing a quality and personal service which meets the needs of our clients. The Mental Health team provide a very down to earth and approachable service working for a variety of clients.

They are currently very busy and continually seeking out new opportunities with marketing and business development openly encouraged. They are progressive in their approach and very forward thinking.

The successful candidate will be expected to assume the responsibilities of assisting with a demanding case load, under supervision, as well as  be committed to helping build the department further to achieve its business objectives. It will be necessary that the successful candidate is a team player and can contribute towards the growth of the department. This may involve participation in marketing events, seminars and generally being able and wanting to build on their experience.  A full driving licence and use of a car is essential.

Activities will be varied and will include, but are not limited to the following:
  • To manage all client work allocated by the Head of Department.
  • Attending to clients within Mental Health facilities locally and out of county.
  • Representing clients at formal and informal meetings.
  • To ensure that all client work is progressed expeditiously and that the client is kept regularly informed on progress.
  • Assisting with the administration of the files.
  • Exercise high standards of client care in a professional and pleasant manner.
  • Ensure the confidentiality and security of all of the firm’s and client documentation and information.
  • To maintain clear and precise communications with other personnel of the firm.
  • To ensure good working relationships with external institutions and organisations.
Experience Required:
  • Experience of working within a law firm.
  • Excellent IT and case management skills, including Word, Outlook, and Excel
  • Full UK driving licence and own transport
  • Be able to present a professional image at all times to clients and collaborators,
  • Socially confident with good written and oral communication skills.
  • Hardworking and able to work to tight deadlines.
Experience Preferred:
  • Experience of working in Mental Health/ Learning disabilities
Benefits include:
  • Company Pension Scheme
  • 25 days annual leave
  • Staff discount
  • Childcare Vouchers
  • Staff suggestion scheme
  • Annual Holiday Sale/Purchase scheme
  • Perkbox subscription
Closing date – Friday 11th May. Please send your CV to Lisa Gamwell at lisa.gamwell@ringroselaw.co.uk

The post Mental Health Paralegal appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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There are many benefits that can be obtained from allowing employees to utilise social media platforms. If this is done correctly, social media can be an effective tool to improve relationships with other businesses and promote events which you may be holding.

As there are currently (as at 2017) 84% of all UK adults using social media, such platforms can be a quick and easy way to provide many individuals with information. However, this can also be one of its downfalls. If a person has 800 ‘followers’ then this means 800 people can access information they post or share from another person. Again, this can be very helpful but could cause problems if not used correctly.

There are 7 quick and easy tips to follow to ensure a business and its employees understand how and why to use social media:

  1. Decide which social media platforms work best for you as there many and not all apply to every type of business?
  2. Do not implement a blanket ban on usage of social media as this could generate resentment;
  3. Draft a policy which includes guidance on how best to operate;
  4. Perform training exercises to allow employees to all understand what is expected of them;
  5. Monitor effectively, the use of social media by employees;
  6. Enforce your social media policy if employees abuse it;
  7. Encourage employees to engage in the good use of social media

The most important part of encouraging the use of social media in a business is to ensure an adequate social media policy has been drafted to allow employees to understand what is and is not expected of them during their use.

If you require help to draft a ‘Social Media Policy’ please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team on 01522 561020.

The post Social Media: Can and should we control it? appeared first on Ringrose Law.

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