FOUR QUALIFY AS LEGAL ADVISERS USING DIFFERENT STUDY METHODS Four legal advisers from East Midlands law Firm Sills & Betteridge LLP have passed their final qualifications. Each has followed a different route to qualification, demonstrating that there are many ways to access a career in the legal profession, as long you know the routes and are prepared to study hard. The four individuals are Calum Hanrahan, who is now a qualified solicitor specialising in immigration, Natalie Wright who has qualified as a solicitor specialising in wills, trusts and probate matters. Dominic Lee who has qualified as a solicitor and now specialises in family related work, and Jemma Burt…Details
Sills & Betteridge Solicitors in HSBC Football Tournament Win to benefit West Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service In May 2017, a number of organisations selected by HSBC including customers, local solicitors and accountants competed in their annual charity football tournament at Sincil Bank. A team of Lincoln solicitors from Sills & Betteridge, ‘Sills Sabres’ emerged victorious beating Wright Vigar Accountants in the final on penalties. Funds raised by the tournament and HSBC’s generous fund matching totalled £1100 and Sills & Betteridge, as winners, were allowed to choose which charity should receive the money. Jenny Lowe of Sills & Betteridge explained why they chose the West Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service. “WLDAS…Details
Driving for Business – Get up to speed.
By Andrew Kerrigan
We are all familiar with the “how’s my driving” stickers on the back of vehicles which invite the public to report poor driving. These stickers can be an indication that the company operating the vehicle has an active road safety strategy.
Why is a road safety strategy necessary?
If your company requires its employees to drive in their role, whether in a personal or company vehicle, you need a strategy to manage risk. The driver is principally responsible for the standard of their driving but the company may also be liable in some circumstances.
The risks to organisations range from prosecution for failing to provide drivers details to gross negligence manslaughter if the employee is driving a poorly maintained car, is fatigued or not eligible to drive.
What should you include in a strategy?
A strategy should include driver training, keeping records of vehicle use, vehicle maintenance, insurance, monitoring drivers penalty points and licence validity, in cab CCTV, mobile phone use policies and planning work so drivers are not over stretched.
Local firm Selenity have recently launched their latest innovation to improve driver safety with DVLA Connect, an automatic driver and vehicle data ‘look-up’ service provided within their Expenses cloud technology. This innovation is one example of where technology can assist with compliance which could form part of an overall strategy.
Where do you start?
The Health and Safety executive’s publication Driving at Work: Managing work-related road safety is a good place to start. (Google “HSE Driving at Work” or “INDG382”).
The HSE guidance sets out a “Plan, Do, Check, Act” approach. When drafting a strategy you may find that you already undertake certain checks but do not keep sufficient records or discover areas where you are not currently compliant.
An active strategy will help your organisation reduce risk and where incidents do occur it will enable the company whilst under investigation to demonstrate its compliance and reduce the risk of prosecution.
How can Sills & Betteridge assist?
We provide a advice and representation service to organisations and their drivers on 01522 542211 and we can also help you develop your policies and procedures.
What does the TFL decision mean for Uber users?
Initially this decision will not result in any change. The Uber TFL licence was due to expire on 30 September however the company will be able to continue to operate until all appeals are exhausted. Given the high-profile nature of this decision, not only in terms of the UK market but also the potential impact internationally we can expect the appeal process to be lengthy and exhaustive. This initial decision marks the end of the beginning of a long process.
Even at this stage the case does offer a timely reminder to operators to remain within the terms of their licence in order to avoid the same fate as Uber. TFL issued a statement regarding its decision highlighting the following failures:
TfL considers that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications. These include:
Its approach to reporting serious criminal offences.
Its approach to how medical certificates are obtained.
Its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained.
Its approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London – software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.
It is likely that similar failings within smaller organisations would result in the same decision by any licencing authority. We will be following the Uber appeals very closely as they will no doubt lead to a thorough examination of the facts behind this decision and offer a clear picture of the current law.
Compliance is an ongoing obligation on operators. A good approach is to plan how you will maintain compliance throughout the period of the licence, prepare policies and procedures so everyone knows their roles and responsibilities, then monitor compliance and act where you find noncompliance. Most importantly you should document each stage and revisit the planning stage if your initial procedures are found to be unfit for purpose. Should you find your fitness to hold a licence being questioned either during the life of the licence or at renewal an ability to produce evidence of your compliance will stand you in a good position to challenge any concerns raised by the licencing authority.
If you want to speak to us regarding any Taxi related issues please call 01522 542211 or you can contact Andy Kerrigan at any time on 07387 108720.
Nottinghamshire County FA has announced that it has appointed Sills & Betteridge Solicitors as its preferred legal partner. The partnership includes sponsorship of a forthcoming walking football tournament and special offers for members of the Nottinghamshire County FA. The walking football tournament takes place at Harvey Haddon stadium on 12th October and is set to attract many over 50’s players from prominent Nottingham based businesses. It is the first ever Walking Football tournament arranged by the Notts FA and will hopefully raise further awareness of Walking Football within Nottinghamshire. Members special offers will include the ability to apply for a ‘Friends of Sills Premier Card’. The card…Details
Two East Midlands based businesses have combined skills to reduce the time it takes for people to move house by streamlining the conveyancing process. Law firm, Sills and Betteridge is now using Redbrick Practice Management to assist their conveyancing department in delivering a more efficient service. Having grown significantly, Sills and Betteridge wanted a robust, yet scalable case management solution that would enable them to focus more on providing expert, impartial advice whilst also simplifying administrative tasks and enhance compliance. Following an in-depth selection process, Sills and Betteridge chose Redbrick Practice Management based largely on how easy it was to use and to customize. Also of benefit…Details
The Supreme Court abolished fees for bringing claims before the Employment Tribunal in a landmark judgement issued on 26 July 2017. The judgement is publically available on the Supreme Court website and is easy to follow notwithstanding that it deals with complex legal issues including EU law. The case, brought by UNISON, resets the clock back to 28 July 2013 which was the day before the fees were introduced. The Ministry of Justice have indicated that they will refund any claimant who was required to pay fees during the four years that they were in force. We have summarised the key numbers referred to in the Judgement: 29 July 2013…Details
The Supreme Court abolished fees for bringing claims before the Employment Tribunal in a landmark judgement issued on 26 July 2017. The judgement is publically available on the Supreme Court website and is easy to follow notwithstanding that it deals with complex legal issues including EU law. The case, brought by UNISON, resets the clock back to 28 July 2013 which was the day before the fees were introduced. The Ministry of Justice have indicated that they will refund any claimant who was required to pay fees during the four years that they were in force. The fees were introduced with the aim of addressing the following points: Transferring the…Details
East Midlands law firm Sills & Betteridge LLP has recently appointed Suzanne McAuley as a Partner in the firm’s Nottingham Office. Suzanne specialises in advising clients on personal matters. This includes estate planning, succession planning for business owners, wills, powers of attorney, trusts, tax planning, Court of Protection matters and mitigating the impact of care home fees. She will also work with the firm’s corporate clients to run clinics for employees who may need legal advice. Suzanne is a fully accredited member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly). She will join a team of 16 specialists which includes department head…Details