The media tends to report far more on criminal law than civil law in Britain. Criminal trials are a staple of films and drama in a way that civil law is not. But in reality both are incredibly important and can have a huge impact on people's lives.
Civil law includes legal issues between individuals or between an individual and the state.
I am able to give advice and represent you in a wide range of civil legal matters.
In civil law, acting quickly is often essential. A delay to take action can prevent an effective remedy being obtained.
General Civil Litigation
If someone has breached your legal rights you are entitled to the court's protection and to seek a remedy to the problem. Civil remedies may include damages (i.e. financial compensation) or an injunction to prevent the behaviour that is causing a problem.
These kinds of problems might include, for example:
- Breach of a contract, such as failure to pay or failure to provide goods and services under the contract,
- Damage or injury to you or your property resulting from another person's negligence,
- Unlawful nuisance,
- Another person causing you harassment.
Our first step will be to advise you on whether the law is on your side in the situation you face and then resolving your problem through correspondence. A good letter drafted by a lawyer will often be sufficient to cure a problem without going to court.
If we need to go to court this will usually be in the County Court or the High Court depending on the type of case. Litigation is the process by which the court is told of a problem, resolves any disputes and where appropriate orders remedies to be made.
Freedom of Information Act matters I am an expert on the Freedom of Information Act and can provide anyone seeking to use it with legal advice and assistance in using their rights under the Act.
Many people's livelihoods and interests depend on licences. Licences are simple grants of permission by an authority (such as your local council, the police or a government department) for a certain activity to take place.
Carrying out an activity without a required licence is often a criminal offence carrying risk of imprisonment and/or a fine.
Licenced activities include:
- Sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises of off the premises,
- Working as door staff or other security work,
- Possessing a lawful firearm for sporting purposes (a firearms licence),
- Driving a motor vehicle, or
- Providing services as a cab or taxi (including private hire cars).
A small amount of money on legal advice and assistance to help you get your licence, retain it or to appeal against a decision to refuse your licence is often money well spent. It is a much smaller price to pay than if your licence is lost or your application is unsuccessful.
Very little makes a bigger difference to a child's future than the quality of their education. Good education gave me all the opportunities I have enjoyed in life. I am passionate about opportunities for children and I have served as a school governor since 2010 because of this.
Sometimes schools, local education authorities or other bodies may make bad decisions in relation to your child.
This may include a decision about whether to admit them to the school you want your child to go to or a decision to exclude your child.
Schools and education authorities have a positive duty to make such decisions fairly and in accordance with the law. That includes taking account of relevant considerations, not taking into account irrelevant matters and applying policies consistently and properly.
Where decisions are made wrongly parents are entitled to challenge those decisions and ask for them to be reconsidered. This will often be through appeals within a school or local authority's own systems or may include judicial review - we the court is asked to intervene and provide legal protection.
You are entirely within your right to seek the advice and assistance of a lawyer in relation to any matter to do with your child's education. Please do not hesitate to contact me.
Applications for planning permission (to build something or change the use of a building) can have a major impact not only on those seeking planning permission but also neighbours and people living in the surrounding area.
Anyone who may be affected by a planning application has a right to ask their views and interests to be taken into account before planning permission is granted. This may be an individual or a group of people or a body such as a church, Parish Council, or neighbourhood association.
I can provide you with appropriate advice and represent you in the planning proceedings.
Challenging decisions by public bodies
Public bodies make important decisions that affect people's lives. Sometimes they make these decisions wrongly with terrible consequences for those affected.
Legal advice and assistance can help you help you get the decision reversed or changed. This can be through correspondence asking for a reconsideration or representation through appeals systems and ultimately, by judicial review where the court is asked to intervene.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have a problem in one of these areas.