#SolicitorChat: upcoming topics

#SolicitorChat topics in April

In April, #SolicitorChat is covering these interesting topics:

If you’re a solicitor and specialise in any of these topics, join us on Twitter every Thursday 9am to 10am – just search for #SolicitorChat and join the conversation.

Thursday 1 April: whiplash reforms

Reforms to the personal injury claims process are due to be implemented in May 2021. The changes will impact the amount of compensation claimants receive, include tariffs for some road traffic accidents and an increase in the small claims limit, with claimants in most cases having to pay their own legal costs, even if successful.

Designed to reduce fraudulent claims, will the new measures penalise the wrong people? And how can a solicitor help?

We’ll be discussing this and more during #SolicitorChat:

  1. Will the new whiplash reforms have any impact on my current claim?
  2. What in practical terms could the new Official Injury Claim portal mean for me if I need to make a claim?
  3. Will the small claims limit put solicitors off from representing personal injury whiplash claims? What cost will this represent to access to justice?
  4. Are there any circumstance where my legal costs would be recoverable if I needed help from a solicitor and my claim is successful?
  5. What factors determine the compensation awarded if the claimant suffers both a whiplash and non-whiplash injury? Would the cause of injury influence the amount of compensation I can be awarded for a whiplash injury?

Thursday 8 April: impact of Uber ruling on the gig-economy

In February, the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Uber’s appeal, meaning Uber drivers would be classed as workers rather than being self-employed and Uber would be subject to paying holiday and sick pay, the national minimum wage, and VAT.

What impact will the ruling have for other ‘gig-economy’ businesses? And how can a solicitor help?

We’ll be discussing this and more during #SolicitorChat:

  1. I operate zero-hour contracts to staff my business, could I be liable to pay compensation in terms of holiday and sick pay?
  2. Are there any circumstances where I have used zero-hour contracts but would not be exposed to past or future claims of this nature?
  3. How far back could I be liable for any similar claims or compensation awards?
  4. What risk and employment status assessments should I be carrying out as a result of the ruling?
  5. What steps should I take to avoid any future claims or investigation from HMRC as a result of using a similar business model?

Thursday 15 April: disputing a will

Losing a loved one is difficult enough but what happens when you believe their will does not reflect their true wishes? The periods of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic have made assessing the capacity of those making a will, and ensuring they are not being coerced, an additional challenge.

How can you ensure wishes are followed and should you consider legal action if you feel a loved one’s wishes are not?

We’ll be discussing this and more during #SolicitorChat:

  1. Under what circumstances can a will be disputed?
  2. What reasons could enable the wishes in a will not to be followed?
  3. Could the difficulties around remote signing and witnessing of wills during the pandemic result in higher dispute levels?
  4. How could you defend a will to ensure the wishes are followed?
  5. Why should you use a solicitor to draft a will rather than an unregulated service or do-it-yourself kit?

Thursday 22 April: families and holidays

Following publication of the government’s roadmap for easing of lockdown, many travel firms report a surge in bookings for travelling abroad. On top of the insecurity potential infection rises can bring, many families also have the added insecurity of making decisions with separated co-parents. 

What steps can you take to ensure you are compliant with your custody arrangements and have peace of mind that your ex-partner won’t scupper your holiday plans?

We’ll be discussing this and more during #SolicitorChat:

  1. As a separated parent, how can I ensure taking my children abroad complies with any custody arrangement I have?
  2. What happens if the other parent refuses to let this happen, despite taking my children abroad themselves?
  3. What happens if the other parent agrees but then changes their mind after I have paid a deposit?
  4. Are there any circumstances when the other parent would be liable for costs if they stop the children coming on the agreed holiday?
  5. How can using a solicitor help ensure compliance of custody agreements?

Thursday 29 April: access to justice

If you’re suspected of an offence, being questioned at a police station can be a very unsettling experience. You need to ensure you’re treated fairly. A solicitor will advise you on what is best for you and your case, and ensure your rights are protected.

Are you confident you know your rights to ensure you get legal representation?

We’ll be discussing this and more during #SolicitorChat:

  1. What rights do I have at a police station in order to be represented?
  2. What is a duty solicitor, and do I have to pay for representation by a duty solicitor?
  3. What options do I have if I do not have confidence in the duty solicitor I have been allocated?
  4. What if I can't afford a solicitor, how can I access legal representation?
  5. Are there any restrictions to accessing legal aid?

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