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Pensions on divorce - a brief overview

Victoria Shufflebottom
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Victoria Shufflebottom provides a brief overview of pension sharing on divorce. Pensions can be an important aspect to consider when dealing with the financial arrangements on divorce yet they can be overlooked. A couple may understandably focus on more...

Understanding Outsourcing EHC Plans - What Parents Should Know

Lydia Dunford
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It is common knowledge that Local Authorities are struggling to keep up with the timescales and requirements in producing and issuing Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans). What may not be as well known is that a few Local Authorities are outsourcing...

Phase Transfer EHC Plans - What Parents Should Know

Lydia Dunford
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Parents should have now received the final EHC Plans for their child who is due to transfer into a new stage of education from September 2017; the 15th February was the deadline for EHC Plans to be issued for pupils transferring into either primary or...

Cuts to Education - The Current Situation

Beverley Watkins
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Following the recent announcement that an approximate £32million worth of funding cuts could hit Bristol schools, parents have been taking a stand; by sitting down at picnics across the centre on 26 May 2017. The picnics, that were held in four...

Protection for parents of children with disabilities - and adjustments for Aspergers

Tamsin James
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Two recent cases made me reflect on how our work championing children with special educational needs (and supporting their parents) intertwines with our employment practice - challenging discrimination at work. In Northern Ireland, the mother of a...

Council's home to school transport policies lead to a rise in complaints to the local government ombudsman

Beverley Watkins
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The Local Government Ombudsman has published a focus report concerning home to school transport issues.  This follows a marked increase in complaints that the Local Government Ombudsman have seen about these issues over the past two years.  The...

Young people, mental capacity and what is meant by educational

Lydia Dunford
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A recent decision in the Upper Tribunal has provided much needed clarification as to the scope of decisions young people with special educational needs and disabilities can make when an appeal has been lodged against the contents of their EHC Plan. The...

Probate fees increase scrapped ahead of general election!

Lisa Morgan
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We are delighted to announce some good news about the Government’s recent u-turn to put a halt on the increase in probate fees that were due to take effect in May 2017. Following the announcement of the snap general election, the Government has decided...

New Bristol Schools

Lydia Dunford
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Bristol will soon have four new schools built around the centre to help ease the demand on secondary school places. The new schools will consist of two under Oasis Community Learning, as well as an all-through special school and a school primarily for...

Registration fees reduction for Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney

Lisa Morgan
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We are delighted with the government’s recent decision to reduce the registration fees for Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPAs”) and Enduring Powers of Attorney (“EPAs”). The Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”), the...

Tamsin James has been talking about her own experience of flexible working

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Our very own Tamsin James is the subject of a case study published by Kristal McNamara of Flexology, who specialise in flexible recruitment for professionals in the South West. Read about Tamsin’s experience of flexible working by clicking here: ...

Plumbers and politics: still searching for the Philosopher's stone on employment status

Tamsin James
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Since the decision in Uber, the Court of Appeal has dismissed an argument by Pimlico Plumbers that the relationship between them and their plumbers was a “business model” and found the plumber in question (Mr Smith) to be a “worker” and thus entitled to paid holiday, sick pay and the National Minimum Wage

Watkins Solicitors raise money for Red Nose Day!

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Staff from Watkins Solicitors raised over £50 from our Red Nose Day Bric a Brac and Cake Sale on Friday 24 March at our Kingswood Office. Thank you to everyone who bought items and donated so generously. All the money will go to helping those less...

The new Inheritance Tax: "The Main Residence nil-rate band"

Lisa Morgan
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On or after April 6th 2017, the new Inheritance Tax rules will be of effect. The key point to consider is how this will affect your estate in terms of any Inheritance tax liability upon your death. Before we delve into this further, let’s start at the...

8 March - International Women's Day

Tamsin James
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Today is International Women’s Day: an annual celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. The theme for 2017 is ‘Be Bold for Change’ .  Some of the predictions and statistics around the...

Changes to the evidence required to obtain legal aid for victims of domestic violence

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Beverley Watkins welcomed the announcement that the Legal Aid Agency plan to scrap the rule that victims must provide evidence of abuse within the last 5 years and that they plan to widen the evidence. It is not yet clear when the new rules will be...

Is your Uber driver working for himself - or for Uber?

Tamsin James
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You may well have heard news report over the weekend to the effect that the 40,000 or so UK Uber drivers are now, in fact, “employees”.  Not quite – but nearly. My experience of listening to news reports on issues that I know about...

'BRANGELINA' and conscious uncoupling if they were living in England in Wales

Beverley Watkins
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Everyone seems to be talking about the news that Angelina and Brad have separated. The divorce has been filed in the USA and therefore the law is somewhat different to that in England and Wales. Angelina has apparently filed for divorce on the grounds of...

David Cameron says 'All schools should become Academies'

Liz Smith
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David Cameron says every school in England should become an Academy because Academies have improved standards and power should be in the hands of head teachers and teachers. Academies are independent, state-funded schools that operate outside of Local...

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