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Neurosurgeon prevented from performing complex surgery.

Stuart Andrews
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A Midlands neurosurgeon has been prevented from performing complex surgery following negligent treatment. Mr Hussein El-Maghraby is a consultant neurosurgeon at University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust and the private Woodland Hospital in...

Patient safety compromised at hospitals

Saira Walji
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NHS Trusts fill nurse vacancies with non-nurses NHS Trusts in England are recruiting unqualified people to fill the growing number of nursing vacancies within the NHS. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned that this compromises...

Cervical Cancer Screening

Saira Walji
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Cervical Screening Awareness Week runs from 14 June 2021 to 20 June 2021 and aims to raise awareness and highlight the importance of regular cervical screening for women.   Did you know?   In the United Kingdom, cervical cancer is the most...

Medical Care At Walsall Manor Hospital Deemed Inadequate

Saira Walji
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Walsall Manor Hospital has been told to make 'significant improvements' to its medical services within three months following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission in March 2021. An inspection was carried out due to concerns regarding the...

Medical Negligence Pressure Ulcer Claims

Saira Walji
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Pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores and pressure sores, can be debilitating, painful and potentially fatal if left untreated. However, with appropriate nursing care pressure ulcers can be prevented most of the time. Whilst there are certain...

Duty of Candour

Saira Walji
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In the first criminal prosecution of its kind, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust was recently prosecuted and found to be in breach of the Duty of Candour for failing to be open and transparent with a bereaved family. In this case, a patient died at...

The impact of COVID-19 on NHS core services

Saira Walji
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The COVID-19 outbreak has had an enormous impact on core NHS services. In order to free up capacity to deal with the initial peak of the pandemic, the NHS shut down or significantly reduced many areas of non-COVID care from April 2020 onwards. This resulted...

How to achieve an amicable Divorce

Jennifer Brook
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After 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates have announced they’ve filed for divorce, saying “we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple”….“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship,...

Enforcement Blog: Attachment of Earnings Orders

Aimee Herbert
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You have won your case and now have judgment, but the debtor won’t pay. Traditionally, you would probably consider instructing bailiffs. However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means bailiffs are currently suspended until at least 31 May 2021. As...

Enforcement Blog: Charging Orders

Aimee Herbert
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You have won your case and now have judgment, but the debtor won’t pay. Traditionally, you would probably consider instructing bailiffs. However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means bailiffs are currently suspended until at least 31 May 2021. As...

Child Arrangements- Frequently Asked Questions by Clients

Jennifer Brook
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My ex-partner has stopped me seeing my children, are they allowed to do that? Without a Court Order, your ex-partner can stop you from seeing your children whether you have parental responsibility or not. But we can help you.  To ensure you have...

Finances- Common questions asked by clients

Jennifer Brook
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Question Can i get divorced without sorting out the money? Answer It is possible to get a divorce (or civil partnership dissolution) without dealing with any financial issues arising from the separation. For example, the court could end your...

Divorce- Common questions asked by clients

Jennifer Brook
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How much does a divorce cost? This really depends on the complexity of your situation. Simple divorces can take a matter of months and cost a few hundred pounds. Complex divorces can last several years and cost more as a result. But regardless of your...

Obtaining possession due to nuisance by the tenant

Zahra Zafar
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Due to the extended notice periods required for possession as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many landlords are seeking to evict tenants on alternative grounds, such as nuisance, to enable them to obtain possession of their properties sooner. ...

Storm Keating diagnosed with Cauda Equina Syndrome

Saira Walji
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Ronan Keating’s wife, Storm Keating, has recently undergone emergency spinal surgery at Cromwell Hospital after being diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome. On social media, Storm revealed how she had initially been rushed to hospital for a...

Living Together Agreements: protect your rights

Jennifer Brook
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Unmarried cohabiting families are the fastest growing type of family in the UK. It’s a common misconception that when you live together with your partner, you have the same rights as if you were married. However, your legal rights are completely...

What should you do if you receive a 'Letter Before Action'?

Zahra Zafar
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The Courts expects parties to a dispute to follow a “pre-action protocol” before court proceedings are commenced.  A Letter Before Action (sometimes called a ‘Letter Before Claim’ or ‘Letter of Claim’) is often the...

Poor practice found in private baby scans

Saira Walji
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An investigation carried out by the BBC has revealed failures in the diagnosis of medical issues during ultrasound scans at private clinics. More than 200 studios in England offer private ultrasound scans, with hundreds of thousands being carried out...

Derek McMinn: Scandal Hit Surgeon

Aimee Herbert
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There have been calls for an independent inquiry into the conduct of Mr Derek McMinn a well-known pioneering hip surgeon who practiced at the BMI Edgbaston Hospital. Shockingly, Mr McMinn, who famously operated on sportsman Andy Murray, is alleged to have...

Helping you to put your best parenting foot forward

Jennifer Brook
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As we approach the end of what has been a truly eventful year, most of us are hoping the Government will relax lockdown rules so we can spend Christmas with family and friends.  Time with loved ones has never felt so important, but for separated...

New Build Homes: Construction Failures

Aimee Herbert
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A recent episode of Rip Off Britain featured the nightmarish story of thirteen families who have recently discovered their new-build homes are virtually worthless . The estate in question was built next to an old landfill site that has been inactive for 40...

Divorce Boom due to Lockdown Strain

Jennifer Brook
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The number of couples getting divorced in England and Wales has surged by almost a fifth in 2019 to the highest level, the latest statistics reveal. The figures seem likely to increase again in 2021, with the Coronavirus Pandemic creating an enormous strain...

The Role of the Expert

Stuart Andrews
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The latest changes to the Civil Procedure Rules come into force on 1 October 2020. One of the most notable changes is an addition to Practice Direction 35 which relates to the Statement of Truth provided by experts and assessors in their expert reports. ...

The Compensation Culture Myth

Stuart Andrews
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I am indebted to Gordon Exall and his recent blog reviewing the Secret Barrister’s second book “Fake Law”. Gordon observes that the book looks at many of the misconceptions surrounding the legal system including the way in which the...

Interim Payments

Stuart Andrews
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What is an Interim Payment? An interim payment is where part of a Claimant’s compensation or settlement is advanced to them earlier in the process, before final judgement or full and final settlement being reached. In personal injury or medical...

Legal Brief: Commercial Leases and COVID-19

Richard Kerry
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NB: You can read our previous Legal Brief on the impact of COVID-19 on residential possession claims here . Coronavirus has put pressure on commercial tenants and landlords alike. Businesses which may have had to close are asking whether they still...

Need to mediate? Stay safe, mediate safe

Richard Kerry
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Here at Bell Lax Solicitors, we have experience of assisting our clients in a range of different commercial disputes.  Often such disputes are best dealt with by bringing the parties together, and seeing whether common ground can be found and a mutually...

COVID-19 Update: Stay on Possession Proceedings Extended Further

Aimee Herbert
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Possession proceedings have been stayed since March to protect tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic. This stay was due to lift on 23 August 2020. Provided landlords filed a reactivation notice compliant with the Civil Procedure Rules, their claims would...

Delays in Diagnosis of Cancer Caused by Covid-19

Aimee Herbert
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If you have read the news lately you will have been inundated with articles about the ongoing pandemic. One especially sad story is that of Beth Pattison, a mum from County Durham, whose cancer was missed as suspected coronavirus. Beth had recovered from...

Retention of Title Arguments in Construction Insolvency

Natalie Bradshaw
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Whilst the government stated that construction sites were permitted to remain open during lockdown, activity in the construction sector plummeted by almost a third in April compared to April 2019 due to confusion as to the application of Government guidance,...

Rehabilitation in Personal Injury Litigation

Wioleta Dworak
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The basic principle for recovery of compensation in personal injury and medical negligence cases is to put the injured person back in the position they would have been in if the accident/negligence did not occur. For example, if the Claimant suffered a...

Psychiatric Injuries in Personal Injury Claims

Stuart Andrews
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Most personal injury claims involve physical injuries such as soft tissue injuries, broken bones, scarring, head injuries and other obvious and visible injuries. But what about the injuries which we are unable to see? Provided medical evidence supports...

Injunctions - Should You Give Notice?

Aimee Herbert
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An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a Court order which either; Prohibits a person from taking a particular action (a “Prohibitory Injunction”); or Requires a person to take a particular action (a “Mandatory...

What is Contributory Negligence?

Stuart Andrews
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Personal Injury claims give rise to many novel and complex legal arguments.  There is a common misconception that liability disputes in such claims are easily resolved and that prevailing theory has led over the years to increasingly restrictive fixed...

Ogden Tables - Eight Edition Published

Stuart Andrews
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The Ogden Tables are prepared by the Government Actuary’s Department and assist personal injury lawyers and the Courts with calculating lump sum compensation for future loss and expenses.  These actuarial tables include...

Vaginal Mesh Implant Claims

Saira Walji
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Vaginal mesh implants have been used for a number of years to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.  The surgical mesh usually made from synthetic polypropylene is inserted into the vagina or vaginal wall in order to support the...

Clinical Errors and Medical Negligence

Stuart Andrews
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The Covid-19 pandemic has given rise to a renewed appreciation of our NHS.  I along with many of you, have been out on my balcony at 8pm every Thursday clapping for our carers with much gusto and gratitude. Indeed, I am very grateful for their hard work...

Construction Site Fatal Accident: Case Study

Wioleta Dworak
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The Claimant was widowed following a tragic accident on a construction site .  Her husband had been working for a scaffolding company contracted to erect scaffolding in order that a fragile roof could be replaced.  Whilst working on the roof, the...

Low Velocity Impact Claims (LVI)

Stuart Andrews
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Even if you have been fortunate enough to have never been involved in a road traffic accident , the chances are you may know someone who has. Whilst most road traffic accident claims are often straightforward in terms of proving who is liable for the...

Changes to Interest Rates in Personal Injury Claims

Stuart Andrews
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On 1 June 2020, the Ministry of Justice published the following statement: -  “Due to the impact of Covid-19, the Bank of England reduced the base rate to 0.1% on 19 March 2020 as an emergency measure and made a decision on 7 May 2020 to maintain...

Legal Brief: Coronavirus and Residential Possession Claims Update

Aimee Herbert
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NB: This is an update following our article of 9 April 2020, which can be found here . Although the lockdown has eased and many people have returned to work and restaurants will shortly be opening, the law on evicting tenants is far from back to normal....

Missed Opportunities in Diagnosing Bowel Cancer

Saira Walji
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Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United Kingdom. Cancer Research UK estimate that around 40,000 individuals are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year. According to statistics published by Cancer Research, bowel cancer is...

Legal Brief: Coronavirus and Possession Claims

Aimee Herbert
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The Coronavirus Act 2020, which came into force on 25 March 2020, offers limited protection to tenants, by extending the required notice period for eviction notices to three months. In and of itself, this would have left many tenants in a vulnerable...

Child Arrangement Orders and Agreed Contact Schedules

Jennifer Brook
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Here at Bell Lax, we understand that the current measures that have been imposed by the government, have left many parents unsure where they stand with their current Child Arrangements Order and Agreed Contact Schedules. Michale Gove has today clarified...

Defective New Build Homes: Is the New Homes Ombudsman a solution?

Natalie Bradshaw
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  There has been many recent news articles regarding defects in new build homes. I personally have lost count of the number of calls from disgruntled purchasers:  “My new build home is falling apart and the developer isn’t doing...

Covid-19

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Bell Lax are open. As the impact of COVID-19 is being felt by people around the world the staff and directors at Bell Lax are doing everything possible to ensure that we continue to provide clients with the advice and service that they need whilst...

Spinal Injuries Association Fundraising!

Wioleta Dworak
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We are happy to announce that on the 14 February 2020, we will be holding a raffle to raise funds for the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA). The SIA provide assistance to anyone who has been touched by spinal cord injury. Their ultimate goal is to enable...

Court cases to be televised

Richard Kerry
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News released today by the Ministry of Justice means that cameras will be allowed to broadcast the sentencing remarks of Senior Judges in some high-profile criminal cases, including those at the Old Bailey. The entire trials will not be televised, as they...

Maternity Scandal

Wioleta Dworak
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Hundreds of families are coming forward after a report from an investigation for NHS Improvement was leaked outlining the failings of the maternity ward from 1979 until present at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust. The said failings resulted in a...

Head Injuries in Sport

Stuart Andrews
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During day four of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, Australia’s leading batsman, Steve Smith, was hit in the neck by a bouncer from England’s Jofra Archer at a speed of over 90 mph. Smith was assisted off the ground by medical staff,...

Adult Adoption

Richard Kerry
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We recently received an enquiry from a lady whose adult daughter wanted to be adopted by her step-father. This reminded me of a story from a couple of years ago which got some press attention. Nathan Sparling, a 27 year old, wanted a reform of Scottish...

The Risks of Going to Trial

Richard Kerry
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The recent High Court case of Winter v Cutler caught my eye, not simply because the property at the centre of the dispute is on the road where I grew up, but because it is one of the best examples I have ever seen of why litigation should almost always be...

My Story- Qualification

Richard Kerry
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I am Bell Lax’s newest qualified solicitor, having officially completed my training contract on 31 st May 2019. Below is a picture of me celebrating F1-style! Firstly, a big thank you to all of those who have been involved in my training to date. You...

Action for Brain Injury Week

Wioleta Dworak
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This week is Action for Brain Injury Week which is an annual event organised by Headway, a leading charity supporting brain injured people. This year’s theme is to raise awareness of fatigue which is a common symptom for those with brain injury. It...

The New Online Civil Claims Service

Richard Kerry
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The new Online Civil Claims Service was launched in March 2018 and allows individuals and businesses to bring legal claims up to £10,000 in value, resolve disputes out of court and access mediation. The service can be used by anyone across England and...

Bell Lax team sleeps rough to raise money for YMCA

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Two members of our team here at Bell Lax, George Gwynn and Jack Brotherton have raised almost £300 for the YMCA sleeping out on the streets of Sutton Coldfield for a night. Approximately 100 people gathered together in the centre of Sutton Coldfield...

Chambers and Partners 2019

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The positive rankings continued for Bell Lax in this year's widely respected Chambers and Partners 2019. Bell Lax was ranked as a "Recognised Practitioner" in the Midlands, with Peter Lax being singled out as a Ranked Lawyer, and Liam Owen...

Legal 500 ranking 2018

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Once again, Bell Lax has received a very positive write-up in the Legal 500. Bell Lax are ranked as a tier 3 firm in the Birmingham area, alongside and indeed ahead of many much bigger firms. Bell Lax's entry reads: " Bell Lax Limited  is...

Commercial Team Update - Jo Wright

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Bell Lax are pleased to have recently welcomed Jo Wright into our busy commercial disputes team as a solicitor. Jo (far left below) will work with (from left to right) Liam Owen, Richard Kerry, Natalie Bradshaw and George Gwynn in helping Bell Lax’s...

The Common Law Marriage Myth

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Saturday 18 August was reported as the most popular day in 2018 to get married in the UK. However, since the early 1970s, the number of people getting married each year has steadily decreased, dropping a further 3.4% last year. There are many theories about...

Why do I have to tell my ex partner my full financial position?

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Why do I have to tell my ex partner my full financial position?   Divorcing couples have a duty to provide full financial disclosure to their soon to be ex. If a party fails to provide full financial disclosure the Court can impose penalties upon...

Will My Spouse's Estate Go To Our Children If We Divorce?

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Why have I not received any monies from my divorced parent’s estate?   This is becoming an increasingly common question, and a version of it is often asked by children who believe that their parent’s wishes have not been carried...

Settlement, but no Court Order

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We reached a settlement when we separated, but did not have a Court Order. My partner is now trying to claim further monies from me. Can they do this?   In May 2017, my colleague Richard Kerry wrote an article stressing the importance of a Court...

Liability of seller's solicitors for their client's fraud

Richard Kerry
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It has long been established that solicitors owe their clients a duty of care, especially when it comes to protecting their clients’ money.   For most individuals and many companies the single biggest financial transaction they will ever be...

Bell Lax ranked once again in the Midlands

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Bell Lax has once again punched above its weight with the legal directories this year. Our 2017 Legal 500 entry reads: "Litigation boutique Bell Lax Limited is a ‘strong local practice that can hold its own with the city centre firms in its...

Contaminated Blood Scandal

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Jason Evans, a leading campaigner with regard to the highly publicised "Contaminated Blood Scandal" of the 1970s and 1980s, in which many haemophiliacs were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through their treatment on the NHS with contaminated...

Are Drunken Contracts Binding?

Richard Kerry
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Could you jokingly agree to a million pound deal whilst enjoying a pint with your friends, only to find that a binding contract was formed? The outcome of the recent case involving billionaire Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United and founder of Sports...

Short Marriages

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In the absence of any children from a marriage, divorcing couples are generally awarded roughly equal shares of the matrimonial assets, subject to their needs. However, the courts have recently ruled in a case where the wife argued that "because this...

New Protocol for Debt Claims

Richard Kerry
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Legal Update: The Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims The new Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (“ the Debt PAP ”) will come into force from 1 October 2017. As a specialist dispute resolution firm, Bell Lax is able to provide the most up to...

The Final Whistle?

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Is divorce the final whistle for Ryan Giggs?   In his current divorce proceedings against his estranged wife, Stacey, Ryan Giggs is arguing that, as a successful professional footballer, he made a “special contribution” to their...

Negligent and Unnecessary Surgery

Stuart Andrews
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Last month, breast surgeon Ian Paterson was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent after being accused of carrying out a series of unnecessary operations. Any surgery carries risks and so to have undergone the same when it was not required and to...

Drayton Manor Park tragedy

Stuart Andrews
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A few days ago it was reported that an 11 year old girl had tragically died from injuries sustained after an incident on the Splash Canyon water ride at Drayton Manor Park.  Our thoughts and condolences go out to her family, friends and teachers at what...

Enforcing FOS Decisions

Richard Kerry
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Enforcing decisions of the Financial Ombudsman After a stressful few months complaining to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), you now have a final decision in your favour. You want to celebrate, only to discover the respondent is refusing to pay...

Footballer Divorce

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FOOTBALLER DIVORCE The former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs is embroiled in a dispute over money after the breakdown of his marriage to his wife Stacey Giggs. Mr Giggs is claiming that he should have a larger share of the matrimonial...

Short Marriage, Big Payout?

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Should a wife share in her husband’s millions after a 5 month marriage? The High Court has recently heard evidence from a wife, who was married to her very wealthy husband for only 5 months. She is seeking a share of his millions, whereas he is...

Bell Lax adds to Personal Injury team

Stuart Andrews
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Bell Lax adds to Personal Injury team Posted March 16, 2017 Stuart Andrews and Maria Rani have joined Bell Lax’s successful Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Team. Stuart is returning to the firm having trained and qualified as a...

Discount Rate Changes

Stuart Andrews
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On 20 th March 2017, the government finally adjusted the Discount Rate used for the calculation of future loss claims in personal injury and clinical negligence claims.  This had remained at 2.5% for 16 years but has now been changed by the Lord...

Holiday Illness Claims

Richard Kerry
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We all look forward to going on holiday. We expect the experience to match that advertised in the brochures and it is very upsetting when the holiday falls short of these standards. This is even more so when the holiday is ruined by the illness of one or...

A new and potentially expensive area of professional negligence

Richard Kerry
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As all employers should know by now, legislation requires every employer to automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension scheme if those workers: are aged between 22 and State Pension age; earn more than £10,000 a year; and work in the UK. ...

Bell Lax's Litigation Award

Richard Kerry
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Bell Lax's Legal Director, Richard Kerry, has presented the Bell Lax Litigation Award to Helen Gregory of Birmingham City University. Helen achieved the highest mark of any student on the University's Legal Practice Course litigation paper. ...

Getting Married?

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The date has been set, the venue booked, the wedding dress bought. What about the pre-nup? Of course nobody wants to think about divorce while organising a wedding. However, nobody wants to think about death either and many newlyweds do not hesitate to...

Bell Lax promoted to a Tier 3 Firm for Dispute Resolution in Birmingham

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The Legal 500 – the guide to the best law firms in the UK - has just promoted Bell Lax to a Tier 3 Firm for Dispute Resolution in Birmingham. This years’ entry states: " In consultants Heather Bell and Peter Lax, litigation boutique Bell...

No Fault Divorce - Coming soon

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The justice system is finally over-hauling a 50 year law on bringing marriage to a less acrimonious end. 

At Bell Lax we have acted for many clients who do not wish to assign blame, and would prefer to move forward with their lives, keeping a harmonious relationship with their ex partner, particularly if there are children involved.

It has been difficult for both parties when they want to move on, knowing that one person must take the blame in order for the divorce to be granted at court.  In many instances our clients have simply fallen out of love, and there are no bitter feelings as both parties want to move on.

This new legislation is very good news, it will allow ex parties to end their marriage, without the costly legal fees.

Bell Lax will be able to assist parties seeking to end their "no fault" marriage on a fixed fee basis.

 

Resolution Charity Quiz

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Bell Lax won £500 for the amazing charity "The Buddy Bag Foundation", at a fiercely competitive quiz last night.  The event was hosted by 3PB Chambers, and sponsored by Dain's Accountants.  Facing some fierce competition, including a table of Judge's,  we triumphed for our chosen charity.