18 Jan 2022
Solicitors are highly trained professional advisers who can offer guidance on a range of issues. In this article, we will aim to highlight some of the most important reasons and common legal issues for seeking a solicitor to support you, across a variety of legal proceedings.
A power of attorney is a simple way of handing over the responsibility of making decisions about your money, property, health and personal welfare to an experienced solicitor. Typically a written document, a power of attorney will usually set out who you would want to care for your responsibilities and decisions in the future if you are unable to look after your own affairs due to age or illness. The chosen power of attorney will usually be someone you trust, such as a family member, life partner, close friend or solicitor. A power of attorney can include ongoing decisions over your money or property, which is known as a continuing or lasting power of attorney. This can be used to help on a variety of financial matters.
Because a power of attorney gives legal authority for someone to act on your behalf, it is vitally important you take advice from a solicitor at this stage.
When it comes to buying a property, an experienced solicitor is crucial. They will be responsible for checking all documents of ownership, in particular the all-important title deeds, and report back to you on the specific conditions of the building. These conditions are known as ‘title burdens’ and can include:
Restrictions on use.
Rules about where rubbish and bins are to be put.
A ban on putting up an aerial or satellite dish.
A ban on any alterations and new buildings.
Restrictions on the height of walls, fences and hedges.
Rules about the upkeep of private roads, pavements and parking areas.
Obligations to pay insurance.
Obligations to pay common repair costs.
An obligation to pay a management fee for repairs and maintenance.
If you have any outstanding issues with the title deeds, you should consult with your solicitor. They’ll be able to offer advice on a host of important matters, such as property insurance or drawing up a will.
Equally, a solicitor will be able to handle the sale of a property from beginning to end, including key advice on the conveyancing and advertisement matters, as well as the complex paperwork required. Even if you plan on selling the property yourself, it is important to at least consult with a solicitor on paperwork and legality issues. Your solicitor will also negotiate the selling price, before negotiating or accepting any potential offers to purchase the property entirely on your behalf.
The end of any relationship can be difficult at the best of times, but things can get even more complicated when there’s children, finance and property involved. In this instance, tough decisions have to be made, so it’s incredibly important to seek professional legal advice if you are considering either separation or divorce. In the event of divorce, you will require a court order known as a decree.
In order to grant a decree of divorce, the court requires evidence that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. Irretrievable breakdown is established in any one of four ways:
Non-cohabitation for a period of one year with the consent of the other party.
Non-cohabitation for a period of two years.
Because divorce requires the intervention of the courts, as well as the handling of legal documents, property and finance, a solicitor is pivotal in negotiating your divorce or separation case.
Employment law covers a huge range of topics, but some of the most common areas that are covered include employment contracts, equal pay, working hours, disciplinary procedures, maternity and paternity leave, discrimination, sick pay, equality and diversity in the workplace, reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities and much more.
When an employer terminates an employee’s contract without a fair reason to do so, this is classed as ‘unfair dismissal’. An unfair dismissal can also be claimed if the employer had a fair reason but is deemed to have handled the dismissal using the wrong procedure. You should get in contact with an employment solicitor immediately if you are facing a tribunal or believe you have been dismissed unfairly. The Employment Rights Act of 1996 states that employees are entitled to a fair reason before being dismissed.
UK employment law states that if an employee has two or more years of continuous service with a company, they have the right to bring a claim against your business if they believe that they’ve been unfairly dismissed. The kind of issues that would constitute unfair dismissal include (but aren’t limited to):
Requesting maternity or paternity leave.
Exposed wrongdoing in the workplace (whistleblowing).
Raising Health & Safety issues.
Being part of a trade union.
Asserting legal rights (e.g. asking to be paid minimum wage).
Asked for flexible working.
Refused to give up your working time rights – for example, to take rest breaks.
Should an employee find they have been unfairly dismissed, they will be advised by their solicitor to take their employer to an employment tribunal. If the tribunal does find your dismissal to be unfair, then the employer will have to reinstate or pay compensation to the employee.
Usually related to someone’s race, religion, age, gender or sexuality, discrimination occurs when an individual is targeted directly and treated either differently or worse than another employee due to an underlying reason. If you’re dealing with workplace discrimination or unfair treatment, we can offer the guidance you need to tackle your employment law case. The protected characteristics are outlined in the Equality Act 2010 and are as follows:
Pregnancy and Maternity
Marriage and civil partnership
If you feel as if you have been discriminated against and wish to take the issue further, in particular to a tribunal, you should consider hiring an employment solicitor who can provide you with the experience and legal counsel required to help aid your particular case.
A form of bullying or discrimination aimed squarely at a specific individual, harassment must be taken seriously. Bullying, nicknames, gossiping and inappropriate questions can all be forms of harassment to humiliate, intimidate or exclude someone. Should harassment occur in the workplace it can create a volatile environment for employees to work in, so if you or your co-workers have been mistreated or faced harassment whilst at work, you should at least consider filing a claim. Should you be accused of discrimination in the workplace, or are facing a tribunal for your suspected behaviour, sourcing an experienced and qualified employment solicitor is essential in protecting your rights, current employment and overall character.
On a similar note, discrimination in the workplace is often found in the form of victimisation. Victimisation takes effect when an individual becomes targeted with consistent harmful behaviours. Often this behaviour is triggered when an employee either has or is expected to, perform one of the following:
Make an allegation of discrimination.
Supported a complaint of discrimination.
Give evidence relating to a complaint about discrimination.
Raise a grievance concerning equality or discrimination.
Bring an employment tribunal claim of discrimination.
If you have spoken out against fellow employees for what you deem to be discrimination, and are now on the receiving end of clear victimisation, consulting an employment law solicitor is crucial. They can provide you protection and advice, as well as handling the initial discrimination case you have brought forward.
One of the most important considerations to make for any of us, constructing a last will and testament will determine how your most personal possessions and finances will ultimately be shared among your close family and friends. An often straightforward and inexpensive process, constructing a will does still involve complicated arrangements and financial affairs, such as calculating inheritance tax, and for this reason, must be drawn up by a qualified and experienced solicitor. Even if the prospect of writing your will appears simple and you intend to construct it yourself, we recommend seeking professional advice and the consultation of a solicitor to avoid mistakes or misunderstanding in the interpretation of the legal fine print. A will can cover a range of issues, including:
Who should inherit your property, money, other assets and possessions.
How your children should be cared for.
The executor of your estate.
Specialised funeral arrangements.
Based in Newport, Harding Evans Solicitors is a firm of fully qualified and experienced solicitors specialising in civil litigation, employment law, discrimination, power of attorney, divorce proceedings and marital law. We have significant experience in this industry and we’re able to represent both claimants and defendants dealing with issues such as dismissal, discrimination, divorce and separation. Contact us today for all your legal needs.