Three Steps of a Personal Injury Claim

It is estimated that there are over three million people that are injured in an accident each year. This can be at home, in their own car, at work or even outdoors. Most of the time, these accident are someone else’s fault. This leaves the accident victims with the right to claim for compensation. But how should you do you this? What is the process of a personal injury claim? Read on to find out.

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What is the difference between a barrister and a solicitor?

The difference between a barrister and a solicitor is mainly where the work is carried out.

A barrister’s main role is to defend people in the court whereas a solicitor will perform the legal work outside of court.

The Solicitor

Once it is said that someone is seeing their lawyer, it will usually be a solicitor they contact.
A solicitor will have specialist knowledge in these areas of law: family, crimes, finance, property and employment.
It is possible for solicitors to work for a variety of large organisations, no matter is they are commercial or not, such as law firms, private businesses, banks, the government and corporations.

Solicitors will likely advise their clients, undertake negotiations and will draft any legal documents. The role of a solicitor is mainly a desk job, however it does involve a lot of travelling to see the clients and represent them in court.

The Barrister

The way to distinguish a barrister from a solicitor would be to look out for them in court; they’ll be wearing a wig and a gown.
Barristers work at a higher level of the court than the solicitor, they will act as advocated in hearings, pleading the case for their clients before the judge.

Barristers won’t come into as much contact with the public than a solicitor would, instead, they would liaise with the solicitor to review the evidence and given a certain amount of time to do so in preparation for what is going to be said in court.


Considering the contrast between the role of each, their training would begin the same: either complete and undergraduate course in law or opt for another degree and follow is with the one-year Common Professional Exam or Post-Graduate Diploma in Law.

After that, a solicitor will do a one-year Legal Practice Course and proceed to do a two-year training contract.
A barrister, on the other hand, will take a one-year Bar Professional Training Course, which will see then shadowing senior barristers and undertaking some of their own court work.

For more information about barristers and solicitors, along with the law services we can offer, please visit our website.

Civil Litigation: What is it?

What is civil litigation?
Civil litigation is the term used for a legal dispute that has occurred involving two or more parties seeking money damages or a specific performance, in comparison to criminal sanctions.
Litigators are what are known as the lawyers that specialise in civil litigation, and lawyers who practice civil litigation will represent the parties in hearings, trials, arbitrations and mediations before foreign tribunals, administrative agencies, federal, state and local courts.

The types of civil litigation

An extensive amount of conflicts can be encompassed into civil litigation.
Litigators will usually specialise in a couple of the specific areas.

Several of the common types of litigation include:

– Anti-Trust
– Construction
– Education Law
– Employment & Labor
– Environmental Law
– Intellectual Property
– Landlord/Tenant
– Medical Malpractice
– Personal Injury
– Products Liability
– Real Estate
– Worker’s Compensation

Civil litigation skills

To be able to proceed with litigation practice, there are a certain set of specific legal skills a person must acquire, including:

– Ability to synthesise complex legal and factual materials
– Analytical reasoning abilities as well as logical
– Client development skills
– Knowledge of legal research techniques and software
– Knowledge of substantive and procedural law
– Negotiation skills
– Strong advocacy skills, both written and oral
– Superior social skills

The role played

Being a litigator is a challenging role, as one must be prepared to assume an oppositional position and embody conflict and controversy.

The process

There are seven stages of the litigation process: investigation, pleadings, discovery, pre-trial, trial, settlement and appeal.
However, not every lawsuit will pass through each of the stages of the litigation; in many cases, lawsuits have been settled prior to the upcoming trial and those that do reach the verdict of the trial are not appealed afterwards.

Complex civil litigation will take years to pass from pre-suit investigation through trial/settlement.
The stage of discovery is the longest stage of civil litigation, not a lot of time is spent in trial, most is actually devoted to the discovery stage in the litigation process.

For more information on our civil litigation services and more, click here.

Everything you need to know about family law

The concept behind having a family lawyer is essential for dealing with difficult experiences someone may be facing within their family.
Although, a frequently asked question is what a family lawyer actually does and how can one help to find solutions to family problems.

Family law involves a variety of different things that relate to legal family matters, such as legal separation, divorce, pre-nuptial agreements, civil partnerships, marriages and certain factors that relate to children, like adoption, financial provision from absentee parents, and custody and visitation rights.

A good family solicitor should be someone who can adapt their services to fit the situation at hand and offer an empathetic ear for their clients.

When employing such services, it is usually because the employer may be experiencing a traumatic time, which may lead to the wrong decisions being made if placed with an ineffective solicitor.
So the choice of solicitor for their specific case must have certain skills and experience, and be able to provide the relevant support, and they will be chosen on their ability to be able to put prospective clients at ease, listen and learn about the client’s situation, and work with them to suggest the best course of action.

A reliable lawyer will avoid a court case, especially when there are children involved in the matter at hand.
These competent lawyers should be exceptional negotiators who will be able to come to a satisfactory solution for all of the family, without the addition of taking the case to court.

A majority of family lawyers will come to a mutual agreement that their work mainly focuses on three areas; divorce, children and finance, meaning that a lawyer might be working day to day on a dispute over custody, from a divorce where the clients have disagreements and cannot agree on a settlement.

If someone believes they may want a family lawyer, it’s important to remember to take time to look around and select the right one for the situation.
Divorce, family disputes and custody battles are extremely difficult times, but an exceptional family lawyer is a worthy investment as one will be able to help settle the situation and find a solution that everyone involved will be satisfied with.

For more information on family law Northampton and what we can do for you, please visit our website.

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.

The Court of Appeal has ruled on family migration into the UK

The Court of Appeal has ruled on family migration into the UK, what do you think of the ruling?

The Court of Appeal has handed down a decision regarding the rules on family migration in the UK. It was suggested that British Citizens or partners settled lawfully within the UK would be required to show that they have an income of at least £18,600 P.A. before foreign partners from outside the European area can be allowed into the UK. Additional sums must also be required for each child they can bring into the UK.

The Court of Appeal has upheld the requirements as lawful. The court reached their decision on the basis that it wasn’t for the court to analyse the basis of Secretary of State’s decision to implement such requirements into the rules of immigration, which essentially are statements of administrative policy. This, in essence, is a restrained form of review and somewhat suggests a lack of willingness somewhat, definitely when interfering with the decisions of the government. The Supreme Court has also granted permission to those who wish to appeal, especially on arguments that include a mere rational belief is wrong. It’s also likely that the present case in its form will proceed to the Supreme Court.

The decision has come over four months after all of the appeal were heard throughout March 2014, coming two years after the original rules were introduced. Since this time the Secretary of State has imposed a stay on new applications which would otherwise have experienced refusal simply from failing to satisfy the new rules introduced. This will no doubt be lifted and it will give people an opportunity to finally mount an appeal against any negative decisions made. In the meantime, a considerable number of families will be kept apart, regardless of the affect they would or wouldn’t have on the state.

The rules have forced a massive number of British citizens to go and live in Europe for a considerable amount of time, exercising their right as a citizen of the EU, until they can lawfully come back months later with their spouses under the law of the European Union. In other cases, the new rules have forced people out of the United Kingdom and Europe altogether, even though they’re in Britain lawfully, having settled in the UK for many years. The impact that is has on young people is yet to be seen, but part-time workers and women, specifically those who come from a racial minority background and in low-paid jobs may actually be severe. All factors of the ruling will be under assessed and review numerous times in order to make sure that they’re not incredibly harsh.

For more on court appeals and Family Law Northampton, please visit our website.