Family Mediation: Everything you need to know

If you’ve made the decision to separate, divorce or are facing divorce proceedings because your spouse has stated their intention to end the marriage, you might be wondering what first steps you could take to get through this difficult process as quickly and amicably as you can. Family mediation is where an independent, trained professional helps provides a couple with the assistance they need to reach their own solutions regarding children, property and finance without having to involve the Court. What is the process? Financial matters When there are money and property matters to be tackled mediators can help couples, in a neutral way, work out the terms of a…

Partnerships – what you need to know

The words “partner” and “partnership” are bandied around a lot in business. “X is my business partner”, “Y and I are doing this work in partnership” – but what does it really mean to be in a partnership?   A partnership is defined as “two or more persons carrying on a business in common, with a view to a profit”. To break that down into parts: there must be more than one “person”. This can be confusing, because e.g. a company can count as a “person” in this context; “carrying on a business” includes preparatory steps – so, for example, if two people planned to open a restaurant in partnership…

Revenge Porn

What is Revenge Porn? If someone has shared private, sexual materials of another person without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress, that person may be guilty of a criminal offence. Sexual materials do not only cover pictures of genitals, but also anything that a reasonable person would consider to be sexual. This could cover a photo of someone posing in a sexually suggestive manner or a video engaging in sexual behaviour.  It could also cover a photo of someone in their underwear, if the image being shared caused distress to that person. Sharing includes posting online and also sending to other people. The offence of…

C Hogg and D Bower - Sills & Betteridge Solicitors

Higher Court Advocate joins region’s largest criminal defence team

Solicitor Christopher Hogg has joined Sills & Betteridge LLP from a leading criminal practice in Nottingham to deal with a range of complex criminal matters in the Crown and Magistrates Courts. Chris will handle cases including murder, complex fraud, drug supply, sexual assault and offences involving serious violence. He also has a special interest in representing clients facing driving disqualifications. Recent high-profile cases where Chris has succeeded in reducing his clients’ sentences include a cultivation and possession with intent to supply cannabis case and a knife point robbery matter, both heard at the Court of Appeal. Chris was born and brought up in Sussex and after training as a barrister…

Property fraud: fake ID scams on the rise

Property fraud comes in many forms and is a growing trend which is so prolific in the East Midlands this year that it prompted the regional fraud team to issue a specific warning about fraudsters using fake ID to get mortgage-free properties transferred into their names. The scammers use fake ID, such as a passport or driving licence or change their name to the true owner’s name through deed poll to obtain genuine identification documents, to remortgage the targeted properties or sell them onto unsuspecting third parties and pocket the proceeds. Edward Sharpe (Partner and Head of Residential Property), explains how such property scams work and outlines what can be…

A day in the life of a Solicitor who specialises in Contentious Probate work

Karen Bower-Brown is a partner at Sills & Betteridge who specialises in contentious probate work which includes advising clients on contesting, challenging and disputing a will. What is contentious probate work and what sort of work does Karen deal with in a typical day? Karen is a member of the Association of Contentious Trust & Probate Specialists (“ACTAPS”) and is therefore entitled to call herself a specialist in contentious probate work. Contentious probate work includes: • Claims where no or insufficient financial provision is made for certain classes of family or dependants • Disputes over the validity of wills • Claims against personal representatives (“PRs”) who are failing to progress…

Sepsis and Medical Negligence

Sepsis (a form of blood poisoning) is a potentially life-threatening condition which occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to an infection. Although in most cases our immune system can fight infection by releasing chemicals into the bloodstream, if our body’s response to these chemicals is out of balance, our response can trigger changes which then causes damage to tissues and organs instead. Once the infection is in the bloodstream it can affect the entire body and can lead to organ failure. If not treated urgently it can become a life-threatening condition where our response causes a sudden and dangerous drop in blood pressure and the Sepsis progresses to Septic…

Sills guided walk of Chatsworth Estate

A Summer walk with tradition for legal firm

As home to the Cavendish family since 1549, The Chatsworth Estate is steeped in history with many lessons that can be learned about property development, family business succession, will planning and inheritance. With this in mind, but in order to keep it light hearted and interesting, Sills & Betteridge Solicitors organised an 8-mile guided walk of the Estate for clients and strategic partners which was led by Richard Brackenbury of Brackenbury’s Britain. During the walk, which started in the Old Smithy Café in the village of Beeley, the group of 20 walkers passed through the village of Edensor before crossing into Chatsworth and taking in the dramatic views of the…

Euan McLaughlin - Sills & Betteridge Solicitors

GDPR – What you need to know (12 months on)

I am sure you have all seen countless GDPR guidance articles, with varying degrees of accuracy and scare-mongering, over the last 12 months. There have been a few very high profile fines issued in the last 12 months, including a recent fine for the “Vote Leave” organisation. For the most part, these still relate to actions taking place before GDPR came into force, as it usually takes around 12 months for the ICO to complete a substantial investigation. We should therefore be seeing the first “batch” of GDPR-based decisions and fines soon. The purpose of this article is to recap the fundamentals of GDPR, as I know that a lot…

Euan McLaughlin - Sills & Betteridge Solicitors

Terms & Conditions Part 3 – What Do I Do With My Shiny New Terms & Conditions?

Euan McLaughlin, (pictured) a partner at Sills & Betteridge and a member of our Corporate & Commercial Team, has written a series of three articles telling you everything you need to know about Terms & Conditions. In this, the third and final of this three articles, Euan explains what to do with them once you have them. There is a temptation when a set of terms & conditions are completed to take a contented sigh, pop them in a drawer, and then forget all about them. I know of a number of businesses who have spent the time and money required to produce high-quality terms & conditions, only to then…