Role of a solicitor in a criminal case

The solicitor is a legal professional who directs the office operations of judicial systems and various cases.

In a criminal case, the solicitor has the responsibility of assigning attorneys to the case while acting as their advisor.

Continue reading “Role of a solicitor in a criminal case”

Happy Christmas from Chartlands

From all the staff here at Chartlands Chambers, we’d like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and an even better New Year over this festive period!

We’ve had another great year here at Chartlands Chambers and we’d like to give a massive thank you to all of our clients and friends, both past and present.

Happy Christmas from Chartlands Chambers
Happy Christmas from Chartlands Chambers

We wish you the best over this special time of year and we hope you get to relax with your loved ones.

Please contact us if you’d like to discuss anything involved with our services.

Here’s to 2015!


The Chartlands Chambers Team

What are the legalities behind surrogacy?

In the interest of exploring this topic, we’ve recently been keeping up with the ever developing story of the baby Gammy, a child that, after being born with down syndrome, was left behind by his intended adoptive parents. So, what exactly can you do in this circumstance? Where can you legally adopt a surrogate baby?

What exactly is surrogacy?

Define: Surrogacy –The process of giving birth as a surrogate mother or of arranging such a birth.

As the above definition shows, being a surrogate mother is a process in which a woman will become pregnant whilst simply having the intention of giving the subsequent child away to another party after the birth of the baby. This process comes about because the surrogate mother is to carry the baby for another party, i.e. a couple/parent who can’t have children themselves. Given this is the matter of fact, this party is known as “intended parents”.

It should be known that there are actually two separate forms of surrogacy. In the classic form of surrogacy, the egg of the surrogate mother is most commonly used, which would make her, by law, the genetic mother. In the more modern version of surrogacy (which is called gestational), the egg itself is actually provided by the intended parents, which is then fertilised through IVF.

Is surrogacy a legal process?

There are actually a number of countries that prohibit any form of surrogacy with children. These countries include Germany, Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria.

Though there are a considerable amount of countries opposed to the idea of surrogacy, a number of countries actually support the process. Countries such as the UK, Ireland and Belgium support surrogacy only when the surrogate mother is set to receive no payment. If you’re set to pay the mother a fee, this is classed as surrogacy of the ‘commercial’ type, which is strictly prohibited. This form of surrogacy is legal in a few American states, with the countries as well as Ukraine, Russia and India all supporting this.

Why would a woman become a surrogate mother?

It’s strange to think how doing something such as surrogacy for another party will take a major impact on the life of a woman, with it having multiple effects on her body. Yet, all of the legalities that lie behind surrogacy can cause more significant problems than just the physical changes in the surrogate.

The problem with surrogacy is that there is currently no existing international law for the process, so it’s possible that children and parents worldwide can be left in a state of vulnerability & loss in a number of circumstances.

Also, given that a baby needs to be born in a different country to meet laws over surrogacy, it can take a whopping seven months in order to allow the intended parents to take the baby back to their own country, opening a massive flaw in the overall workings of the process.

Many experts argue that an international agreement, similar to the Hague Adoption Convention, is needed so that rules are consistent across different countries.

A number of people agree that countries worldwide need to find common ground over the surrogacy process. Though there’s currently a divide in views over the process, a law should be met to cover babies and parents worldwide.

So, what do you think of our latest blog? Do you agree that there needs to be new laws in place?

For more on law and industry news, please visit our website.

Process of Personal Injury Claims

Personal Injury Northampton

A personal injury claim is usually put through when an individual has suffered injury in any accident which wasn’t their fault, this process can sometimes be very lengthy depending upon the situation, but the first step would be to contact a local solicitor who will specialise in these claims.

Interested in Immigration Law? Find more about Immigration Law Northampton

What happens in a Personal Injury Claim?

When an injury has an injury usually at work or even road traffic incidents then the first step would be to contact a solicitor so that the situation/claim can be discussed, once the solicitor has got as much information as possible they can then see the best form of action for the claim.

The next step is paperwork, fortunately if it was a road traffic accident worth £10k or less then this will be done via an electronic system ‘MOJ Portal’, this portal will send the request/information to the insurers to see if they accept liability.

If accepted the next stage involves looking at details for medical evidence and loses/expenses, before then a letter of claim will be sent out to the other party in which they’ll have up to 3 months to investigate and act.

If the case is to proceed further this may go to a court proceeding in which the other party will then have to obtain a Defence, between the court proceedings and the case going to trail there are many other steps which must be taken to ensure the information is correct and the evidence is collected to use.

Most of the time cases are settled without a court proceeding or even trail and can be settled at the procedural steps leading up. If it was to go to court then they’ll decide whether the defendants can be liable for the accident/value of the clam.

How long can this process take?

This process from when the claim was made can take usually up to 3/4 months however, this all depends on how serious the claim or sustained injuries are, in this case it could take many months.

Visit our site for more info about personal injury Northampton.



Civil Litigation, the law and what it is

Civil Litigation, the law and what it is

A civil law dispute is where there’s an argument which is not criminal or family in nature but the word ‘Litigation’ means a legal case between 2 or more individuals, the situations in which civil litigation arises in can be from the following:

  • Negligence
  • Estate/Probate disputes
  • Faulty goods or poor services
  • Contract/Agreement breaches
  • Neighbour & Boundary Disputes
  • Property (Intellectual) disputes

Process of Civil Litigation

If there’s a case regarding one of the situations above and the dispute has been taken to court the proceedings are issued in the county court or worst cases the High court (this obviously depends on the complexity). If the claim is of £5000 or less this is valued as a small claim and requires a solicitor to conduct the case for you.

Once the case is started you’re known as the claimant or defendant depending on where you stand in the situation, once the case has been sorted and you’ve resulted in loosing the legal case you’ll usually be ordered to pay not only your own legal costs but also the other parties costs. It’s encouraged that all disputes to engage in Alternative dispute resolution which includes mediation and negotiation meeting (sometimes) which will help to try and resolve the situation before being processed in the courts.


What is the difference between a barrister and solicitor?

The basic difference between barristers and solicitors is that a barrister mainly defends people in court and a solicitor mainly performs legal work outside court. There are, however, exceptions.


When people talk about going to see their lawyer, it is usually a solicitor that they will contact. Solicitors can work for a big range of organizations, including commercial or non-commercial law firms, the government and so on. They have specialist knowledge of different areas of the law such as family, immigration and asylum law, civil litigation law and personal injury law.

Most of the time solicitors advise clients, undertake negotiations and draft legal documents. It is primarily a desk job, but does involve travelling to see clients and representing them in court.


Barristers can be distinguished from a solicitor because they wear a wig and gown in court. They work at higher levels of court than solicitors and their main role is to act as advocates in legal hearings, which means they stand in court and plead the case on behalf of their clients in front of a judge. They also have specialist knowledge of the law and so are often called on to give legal advice.

Barristers do not come into contact with the public as much as solicitors. They are given details of a case by a solicitor and then have a certain amount of time to review the evidence and to prepare what they are going to say in court.

Most barristers are self-employed and work in Chambers with other barristers so they can share costs of accommodation and administrators.

And finally – why the wig?

Barristers wear white wigs to provide anonymity, not in the sense of giving a disguise, but disaffection from personal involvement with the case. The white wigs also confer dignity on proceedings of the court.

This is the same thinking as behind many uniforms – for example police, army, nurses – all say “while I am on duty, I put my own feelings aside and represent the law/state/medical system“.


Immigration Law – and the immigration

Put simply – immigration law govern how and people from countries outside the UK are legally allowed to come to the UK and how long they can stay. It is also about what they are allowed to do when they are in the UK, for example, whether they can work, whether relatives can come to the UK to join them afterwards, and whether they can use the National Health Service or claim benefits.

The system of immigration law in the UK splits people into two broad categories:

  1.  ‘right of abode’ in the UK and who can live, work and move in and out of the country as they wish
  2. Those requiring permission to remain here.

The laws indicate different requirements that must be satisfied before someone will be granted leave to come and stay. The rules require that most of the categories of people coming to the UK will be able to support themselves without relying on public funds.  People in most ‘temporary’ categories, such as visitors, will also need to show that they intend to leave the country when the purpose of their stay is over.

For immigration problems which you may need advice on, contact Chartlands Chambers. You should bear in mind that immigration laws are strictly enforced in the UK and the consequences of misunderstanding your right to be here can be very serious. It can include the risk of deportation. It is therefore essential to consult a specialist adviser if you are unsure about your position, or the position of family and friends.

Immigration laws encompass many occurrences including:

  • obtaining permission to stay in the UK longer than originally intended
  • getting permission to do something which you are not at present allowed to do, for example, being allowed to work
  • bringing relatives into the country, for example, a spouse, fiancé, children
  • being threatened with deportation from the UK
  • being held by the immigration authorities in a detention centre
  • wanting a passport and not knowing whether you are entitled
  • wanting to apply to become a British Citizen
  • if you are already living in the UK but wanting to travel (for example, for a holiday), whether you will be allowed back into the UK
  • whether you are entitled to use state services or claim benefits, for example, education, health services, council housing, social security benefits, housing benefits, Council Tax Reduction
  • the right to vote
  • a relative or friend being refused entry to the UK when arriving at an airport or port.

The government has announced the introduction of the Immigration Bill on Thursday 10 October 2013.  The bill will reform the removals and appeals system, making it easier and quicker to remove those who have no right to be here and will prevent illegal migrants accessing or abusing public services and the labour market.

  • For further details see the Immigration Bill  on the GOV.UK website. The progress of the bill and explanatory notes can be found on the Parliament website here