So called due to the significant number of people seeking to terminate their relationship as we enter a new year.
Whether you are looking for a rottweiler to divide up business and property assets or for someone who offers a more conciliatory approach when dealing with your child arrangements we can recommend the right solicitor to you.
Conveyancing solicitors are looking forward to an upturn in work volumes due to the recent Budget announcement by the Chancellor that stamp duty is abolished for first-time buyers of homes up to the value of £300,000. For properties that are up to £500,000 first-time buyers will not pay stamp duty on the first £300,000 and 5% from £300,000 – £500,000.
If an order has been made without a hearing by a Master of the High Court on an application with notice made by the opposing party the route is to apply to set aside the order rather than appeal to a High Court Judge.
The order will then be reconsidered by the Master either at a Private Room Appointment, for which both parties will have needed to show their availability on a jointly completed form, or at his discretion he can refer the matter either to the Interim Applications Judge or to the Queen’s Bench Judges’ Listing Section for listing before a High Court Judge.
Family solicitors are expecting a surge in prenuptial agreements following the Court of Appeal’s ruling in Hart v Hart, two weeks ago, which dismissed Mrs Hart’s claim for an equal share of her former husband’s assets.
As much of his assets were acquired before their 23 year relationship commenced it was affirmed that her award of £3.5 million out of a possible £9.4 million was correct.
A report entitled Domestic Abuse in London has recommended that those charged with domestic violence offences should be registered in an attempt to rein in the ever fast rise in this crime.
Between 2014 and 2016 an increase of 9380 incidents, 15%, has been recorded; in the latter year just under 72000 which is 10% of all crimes in London.
This make sense as the victims of domestic violence are usually the victims of re-offenders.
The Supreme Court has ruled against the fees for employment tribunals which they said discriminated against the low paid and females.
Lord Reed, giving the lead judgement, with whom six other judges, including the President and Deputy President, agreed said the decrease in the number of claims issued due to the fees was inconsistent with access to justice.
The Government has now started the process of refunding the fees that have been charged since July 2013 which is believed to be about £32,000,000.
What is a reasonable amount of time to wait for a service?
A common consumer complaint has statutory constraints that it would seem timely to remind you of.
If a contract between a consumer and a supplier was entered into before the 1st October 2015 the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 applies. In particular section 14 provides:-
Section 14 Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982
14 Implied term about time for performance.
(1) Where, under a relevant contract for the supply of a service by a supplier acting in the course of a business, the time for the service to be carried out is not fixed by the contract, left to be fixed in a manner agreed by the contract or determined by the course of dealing between the parties, there is an implied term that the supplier will carry out the service within a reasonable time.
(2) What is a reasonable time is a question of fact.
If your contract was entered into on or after the 1st October 2015 then the Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies. In particular section 52 provides:-
Section 52 Consumer Rights Act 2015
52 Service to be performed within a reasonable time
(1) This section applies to a contract to supply a service, if—
(a) the contract does not expressly fix the time for the service to be performed, and does not say how it is to be fixed, and
(b) information that is to be treated under section 50 as included in the contract does not fix the time either.
(2) In that case the contract is to be treated as including a term that the trader must perform the service within a reasonable time.
(3) What is a reasonable time is a question of fact.
Therefore the consumer has a right to redress in the form of damages in respect of the delay in the performance of a service by a contractor.
The seminal case or authority from which these statutes are derived is Charnock -v- Liverpool Corporation and Kirbys (Commercial) Ltd: 1968 CA. In this case a damaged car went into the garage for repair and it took 8 weeks to complete. The plaintiff sued for the delay and the Court found that it would have taken a competent contractor no longer than 5 weeks. The plaintiff was awarded damages in respect of hiring a replacement car for 3 weeks.
This case also clarifies that:-
i) It is the consumer, here the car owner, to whom the garage owes a duty of care in respect of the service offered rather than the paying insurance company.
ii) That it is incumbent on the contractor, in this case the garage, to inform the consumer immediately about any reasons why their order may be delayed so that they are free to take their business elsewhere. For example, an agreement that exists with a preferred supplier to carry out an order within a specified time period. It is common for contractors seeking to retain the client’s business not to inform the client of any such factors early on. However in such cases the untimely contractor is now caught by the Acts.