About this blog

Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Sunday 29 August 2021

CHILD DISPUTE SCHEME BOLSTERED: £500 on offer towards mediation cost: no means test


I looked at alternatives to court proceedings at chapter 09 of my book. One of the alternatives is mediation. That's the process by which somebody independent who has been trained in getting parties at war to settle disputes will apply their skills to hostilities between you and your opponent. Those skills sometimes extend to the connection together of the parties' heads until peace prevails. This is sometimes known as head bashing. 

One type of mediation covered by my book is the pilot scheme set up by the government to pay £500 towards the costs of a mediator assisting in couples reaching an agreement over a child dispute and to avoid it going to or continuing in court (see https://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/search/label/mediation). I predicted that if the scheme was initially successful then more money would be added to the £1m made available to issue vouchers to cover this £500 a dispute. 

It's happened. Yesterday 28 August 2021, the government announced the investment of a further £800,000 in the scheme which is sourced through a mediator conducting the information programme in which anyone wishing to take a child dispute to court must generally participate  before the case can be started.

The scheme does not involve a means test. It's open to millionaires.

Friday 27 August 2021


Don't waste your time ordering a box set. You can see my mug - no judicial wig as I have a bit of my own hair - in a series of videos packed with legal tips on a wide variety of legal topics. They are free to watch and are aimed at helping you win your case, whether you already have a lawyer acting for you or are going it alone as a litigant in person. And if they tempt you into buying my latest book for much, much more information, then that would help me with my increased car insurance premium. The book is available from the usual places which do not specialise in pornography and I see that the publishers have a special offer going till the end of next month. Actually, I am tempted to take advantage of it myself!

The first video is about financial remedy applications which determine who gets what of a lot, a little or nothing, when a relationship breaks up. Take a look. Of course, when you've watched it remember to subscribe so you know when I'm next on screen.  

Council repossessions in England: new notice form required for secure tenancies


'At War With Your Home Landlord is chapter 67 of my book. You should get to it by around this time next month but only if you read fast and keep off the bottle. Among a multitude of topics, it covers the procedure your social landlord should follow if they want you out. If you rent from a council  one of their own properties then the probability - but by no means the certainty - is that your tenancy is a 'secure tenancy'. The paperwork will make it clear whether or not this is so.

And, if it is a secure tenancy and the council want you out, there is an important change. The prescribed form of notice  - effectively, a notice to quit which is actually called a notice seeking possession - the council must give you and which must run out  before they can start county court possession proceedings in England, has changed. The new form is introduced by the Secure Tenancies (Notices) (Amendment) and Suspension (Coronavirus) (England) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/946) which title you need not learn off by heart and repeat to me before bedtime. It revises the information about the length of the notice period you should currently be given.

The revised notice should be used by the council for any notice which is given on or after 24 August 2021 (and until it is revised again). Since the regulations which changed the form were not made until 19 August 2021 and since some government websites are still referring to the old form of notice, it is very likely that any notice you have had after 23 August 2021 or you may receive in the near future, will be in the wrong from. In that event, it may well be legally ineffective and you might wish to take that point at some stage when communicating with the council or in a defence to the proceedings which may follow. A bit more time which would result from the council having to give you a fresh notice in the correct from, might well be useful to you. 


Wednesday 18 August 2021



Chapter 41 of my latest book covered the collective claim against Mastercard now put at £15 billion - yes, I did say £15 billion- on behalf of 46 million UK customers who between 1992 and 2008 paid more for their goods and services as a result of an unlawful Mastercard practice. That practice is said to have put up the price of those goods or services for the 46 million whether or not they  - and this could be you or even little me -actually used a Mastercard credit or debit card on any transacation.  

The contested claim failed before the Competition Appeal Tribunal. But the failure was reversed by the Court of Appeal whose reversal was backed by the Supreme Court which sent the claim back to the Tribunal to reconsider it. That it has now done and in a judgment published today 18 August 2021 the Tribunal has changed its mind and has made a collective proceedings order  - the first ever - which will allow the claim to go ahead. An attempt to include deceased persons among the claimants was unsuccessful. 

Watch this space for more details of how the claim will proceed and whether you can expect a payout for a bottle of champagne (or a case) or a glass of water and when.

Monday 2 August 2021

Package holidays: travel company liable for hotel rape


My latest book gives the law as at 08 June 2021 which was the date on which I dropped my pen, had a whisky, caught up with 25 box sets and fell asleep for a week having got to the 762nd page. Anything covered in the book that has changed since will be updated in this blog, free of charge and so long as you behave and I retain my marbles. Yes, I know, I know. I must be crazy.

And that takes me to the law on package holidays (see chapter 34). There I explain that the company with which you booked your package holiday will be legally liable to you not only for their own sins but the sins of others who they have arranged should perform some part of the package on which they have messed up. That could be the hotel which poisoned you or, as I stated, 'as the Supreme Court is likely to rule in a pending case, the hotel whose employee raped and assaulted you.'

And that is precisely what the Supreme Court did rule - last Friday 30 July 2021. The case was X v Kuoni Travel Ltd [2019] UKSC 34 and concerned the 1992 Package Travel etc Regulations but the ruling is likely to apply to the later 2018 regulations which have taken over and, subject to a bit of tweaking, still have effect notwithstanding Brexit.

In the Supreme Court case the claimant had taken a package holiday through Kuoni in Sri Lanka. The hotel - the accommodation there was part of the package - employed an electrician. While he was on duty and wearing the uniform for maintenance staff, the claimant encountered him. He offered to show her the shortcut to reception. He then lured her into the engineering room where he raped and assaulted her. She brought  civil proceedings under the regulations against Kuoni for damages for what had happened to her. Kuoni resisted the claim.

Kuoni was liable to the claimant for the acts of the employee of the hotel. The electrician's acts constituted an improper performance of Kuoni's obligations under the package. It was an integral part of a holiday, stated the Supreme Court, that a hotel's employees should provide guests with assistance over a range of ordinary matters affecting them during their stay including assistance guiding them around the hotel. A wide interpretation of a package which will be welcomed by holidaymakers and cursed by travel companies.