Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Civil Partnerships for Opposite- Sex Couples Has Arrived

Same-sex couples can do it. Now opposite-sex couples are about to be able to do it in England and Wales. That's enter into a civil partnership instead of a marriage. There are over 3 million opposite-sex couples here who chose not to marry because they have a conscientious objection to the idea or for other personal reasons. They support a million children but do not have the security or legal protection that married couples or civil partners enjoy. It is all about to change.

The Civil Partnership (Opposite-Sex Couples) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/1458) come into force on 02 December 2019 which will enable opposite-sex couples who wish to enter into a  civil partnership to give the required 28 days' notice and hold their ceremony before the end of this year. It could be you!

The right of same-sex civil partners to convert to a marriage, without having to first dissolve their partnership, is preserved. A similar right of opposite-sex partners to convert to marriage will not be available, at least for the time being, but will be considered.  

Friday, 1 November 2019

General Election: Keeping out the Canvassers

They tell me there's a General Election coming up. If you are short of company then you may welcome doorstep chat with a canvasser. You can just pretend you will be voting for their party. Or you may find the door knocks and the election literature to be a massive pain in the neck and just make do with being accosted outside Marks & Spencer. 

For those anxious to limit exposure to electioneering, I have devised a notice which you could display on your gatepost or in some other prominent position. Should the notice be ignored, the law would entitle you to use reasonable force to eject the trespasser once you have demanded they leave. But please go easy and do your best to avoid a confrontation. And don't mention my name.

Happy Election

ANY PROSPECTIVE PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE OR THEIR CAMPAIGNER OR OTHER AGENT IS UNWELCOME HERE AND SHOULD NOT ENTER OR ATTEMPT TO ENTER THIS PROPERTY OR REMAIN ON IT OR DELIVER OR ATTEMPT TO DELIVER ANY ELECTION LITERATURE TO IT. THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO POSTAL WORKERS. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS REQUIREMENT WILL MAKE YOU A TRESPASSER AND RENDER YOU LIABLE TO BE REMOVED FROM THE PROPERTY AND TO DAMAGES FOR TRESPASS AND/OR NUISANCE

Personal Injury Claim? Don't settle yet!


Guidelines are periodically published for judges and anyone else interested on the levels of compensation which should be awarded for a multitude of personal injuries from loss of limbs to a whiplash. The levels go up with each set of guidelines and judges tend to reflect the latest figures in what they decide to award. It follows that insurance companies and others who have to pay out the compensation will reflect the guidelines in the amount they offer  as they know what the claimant will receive if there is no settlement and a judge in court decides. Here's a bit more to how it works at http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/search/label/compensation%20for%20personal%20injury

And so, if you are on the verge of settling a claim or are a lawyer advising on a settlement, ensure that account is taken of the very very latest guidelines that have just been published in the 15th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases.

Happy Settlements.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Waitrose Lift Saga Earns Free Choc Cake

Maybe Waitrose have had their lift recorded announcement and other problems at their Richmond, Surrey store  (see http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/search/label/Waitrose). But how can you fail to love them after their response to my Birthday greetings?!

From: STEPHEN GOLD 
Sent: 26/10/2019 12:21
Subject:  Car Park at Richmond-upon-Thames Store

Hello
I would like to both congratulate and apologise to you. As to congratulations, this is on the occasion of the first anniversary of the perverted automated announcement in your centre lift from ground floor to car park that the lift is descending rather than ascending and thereby sending its passengers into a state of intense confusion. As to the apology, this is on account of the lateness in conveying my congratulations which has been due to pressure of shopping.
I have previously drawn your attention to the lift problem which you had stated was being fixed. I am wondering whether the engineer has been caught in dreadful traffic?
May I offer a solution? I would be prepared to take up an honorary position in the lift in question and personally announce its direction of travel at appropriate intervals. All I would ask is that you made available to me a slice of your exquisite chocolate cake from the new Waitrose 1 range during tea breaks, assuming, of course, that I would be entitled to such breaks. I could arrange for my cat to take over duties during them.
I look forward to hearing from you.  
Yours sincerely
Stephen Gold
[Sitting down and not up]

From: Waitrose Customer Service
Sent: 28/10/19 19:27
To: STEPHEN GOLD 
Thank you for the offer of manning the lifts, however I am going to have to decline your help as I have now spoken to Jasmine, one of the duty managers in store this evening. She has advised that she will bring this to the attention of the maintenance team to get this fixed as quickly as possible, as we do not want to continue to confuse our customers anymore..


Apologies that this had not been rectified when you first queried this. I hope you will accept a small gift card so you can purchase that lovely chocolate cake you so desire. Please reply with your full home address and I will get this arranged for you.   

If you'd like to comment on the service I've given you, click the link below to take part in our quick survey - as a thank you, we’ll also enter you into our monthly prize draw where you could win Waitrose & Partners gift vouchers.

[link provided]

Kind regards 

Kristina  
Waitrose & Partners Customer Care
Case Reference: 06915209

I have accepted their offer. I'll be back when I have finished the cake.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Taxing Matters (or Who Needs An Accountant?)


After http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/search/label/tax%20appeals perhaps I should be kinder to the taxman - and especially as my return for 2018/19 is awaiting his scrutiny.

HMRC has a new online customer forum where you can post questions on a range of tax topics that are answered by HMRC experts. Anyone can view the forum. I wouldn't suggest anything like 'I have never disclosed my profit for driving a minicab on the side. Where do you suggest I hide the money?'

But 'My ISA provider told me that if I took my interest monthly then I would be taxed on it. Isn't this nonsense?' would be okay. Actually, I asked it on Friday last week and they answered it today. It is nonsense. No, not their answer!

Go to https://community.hmrc.gov.uk to register. It's free.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Whistleblowing Latest


We have  met the law that protects whistleblowers who engage in spilling of the beans. See, for example, http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/2017/05/power-to-whistleblowers.html

As a respite from Brexit,new whisleblowing law comes into force on 05 November 2019 in the form of the Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) (Amendment) Order 2019 (SI 2019/1341)  It follows the annual review of the prescribed persons to whom workers can whistle an unhappy tune. The Commission for Equality and Human Rights is added as a prescribed person and the matters which whistleblowers can report to the European Securities and Markets Authority, Financial Conduct Authority and Welsh ministers are updated.


Monday, 23 September 2019

Thomas Cook: section 75 claims

Sorry, if you are a Thomas Cook customer-victim. If you have lost out or are due to lose out, you may be able to take advantage of ATOL cover (if a package holiday),  travel insurance or 'charge card' protection where you used a debit card. Where that doesn't help or where it helps but does not cover all your losses and you paid by credit card rather than debit card, section section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 could come to your aid. For how this works, see http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/2018/12/for-bbc-radio-5-live-listeners.html

If the credit card provider is liable, this liability would extend to the payment of compensation for  consequential losses which could include  any extra you have to pay out on rebooking another but comparable holiday ; compensation for a spoilt holiday; and out of pocket expenses.

Good luck.