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Harassment at work – what are your options?

Recent events in Westminster and Hollywood have shown that, unfortunately, sexual harassment is still alive and kicking in the workplace. Affecting both women and men, the fact that this deplorable behaviour goes on may be news, but it won’t come as a... [read more...]

Firm ranked by Chambers Guide in three areas of law

The latest edition of the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession has just been published – and there is plenty in it for our solicitors to be happy about! Our medical negligence team have once again come out top in Bristol for their specialism – they... [read more...]

Getting divorced in the UK if you live abroad

With much uncertainty still surrounding Britain's departure from the EU, many people are wondering how divorce will work across international borders. Chris Miller, family law and divorce solicitor, discusses the process of applying for a divorce in the UK if... [read more...]

Tom Sharkey joins Law Society mental capacity panel

Tom Sharkey, Partner and head of our Court of Protection team, has been named among the first 30 lawyers appointed to the Law Society’s Mental Capacity panel of experts. As an accredited mental capacity legal expert, Tom is recognised by the Law Society... [read more...]

Five questions adoption lawyers get asked

National Adoption Week runs from 15th to 21st October this year, with the aim of spreading awareness of adoption and encourage potential adopters to think seriously about the idea. As part of this, we asked adoption and family law solicitor Clare Cox to... [read more...]

Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness month

During the month of October, we’re supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a campaign aimed at highlighting the awareness of breast cancer education and research. With one in eight women in the UK likely to develop breast cancer within their... [read more...]

Firm receives top ranking in Legal 500

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve once again been recognised by independent legal research guide The Legal 500 for our medical negligence, personal injury and family law expertise. We have again been awarded a tier 1 ranking for our medical... [read more...]

New debt recovery rules: What you need to know

This week, the new pre-action protocol for debt claims came into force – and it’s likely to leave some business owners and managers scratching their heads. We asked Senior Associate Solicitor Samantha Castle, to decode these new debt recovery rules for us... [read more...]

Firm donates another £2,000 to local dementia charities

We’re pleased to report on World Alzheimer’s Day that, thanks to the fantastic fundraising efforts of our staff, we’ve been able to donate £2,000 this month to local charities Bristol Dementia Action Alliance and BRACE Alzheimer’s Research.... [read more...]

Supporting Meningitis Awareness Week

This week, we’re supporting Meningitis Awareness Week - an initiative aimed at raising awareness of meningitis amongst young people and teenagers, and the impact of the disease on them and those around them. A recently released report by the... [read more...]

Why we’re supporting World Sepsis Day

Today is World Sepsis Day – an initiative dedicated to promoting awareness of a condition which kills 44,000 people in the UK each year. We’re proud to be supporting this event, as we’ve seen the difference that proactive diagnosis and treatment of... [read more...]

Power of Attorney or Deputyship – which is better?

Powers of Attorney have hit the news today after a retired Court of Protection judge said he would never make one.... [read more...]

Leading judge slams mental health provision for teenagers

A top family law judge has described the ‘disgraceful and utterly shaming lack of proper provision in this country’ for teenagers with mental health needs.... [read more...]

How to recover a business debt

If you’re a business or sole trader, customers who don’t pay what they owe can have a significant impact on your finances. Of course, it isn’t always just customers who might owe you money. You might need to recover a debt from your own suppliers, if... [read more...]

Fixed legal costs – a danger to patient safety + justice

A leading patient safety charity has warned the government against capping legal costs for medical negligence claims.... [read more...]

Leaseholds to be banned on new builds in England

According to the Land Registry, £2bn of new build leasehold houses were sold in England and Wales in the last year alone. In the same period, 42% of new build houses and flats sold were leasehold properties – some with leases of up to 999... [read more...]

Supreme Court rules employment tribunal fees to be unlawful

The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that employment tribunal fees are unlawful.... [read more...]

Using trusts to plan your legacy

Do I need a trust? It’s a question many people ask when they come to write their Will and plan their estate.... [read more...]

Equal pension rights for same-sex couples

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Britain since 2014, but inequality in marriage still hasn’t been completely eliminated. However, there was a big step forward on this front today as the Supreme Court ruled in favour of John Walker, a retired gay man... [read more...]

Employment tribunals – will Matthew Taylor’s review help?

Employment and the world of work is a hot topic for public debate at the moment – and today, the talk is all focused on Matthew Taylor’s report into improving working practices, fittingly titled ‘Good Work’. So should we be saying ‘good work’... [read more...]

Nowhere to turn – only a quarter of women seeking refuge find it

A new report published this week by Women’s Aid reveals that only a quarter of women supported by their caseworkers last year were able to find space in a domestic violence refuge. This follows last year’s news that as many as two thirds of all refuges... [read more...]

Five mediation misconceptions

Despite family mediation being a viable option for resolving a range of family issues, confusion still exists about how the process works and what can be achieved from it. After all, if mediation offers so many benefits to separating couples, why doesn’t... [read more...]

Does dementia stop you signing a Will?

“Does dementia stop me from making a Will?” It’s a question we often get asked, along with dozens of similar queries on behalf of parents, grandparents and other relatives. Estate disputes specialist and solicitor Mark Scanlon explains the steps... [read more...]

How can I prevent my child being abducted?

The prospect of the other parent taking your child abroad, without your consent, is a frightening one. But with a rise in international relationships comes an increase in international separations, with some parents in bitter conflict about how and where... [read more...]

Same sex marriage v civil partnerships – what’s the difference?

In 2004, Parliament passed the Civil Partnership Act which allowed couples of the same sex to enter into civil partnerships. This entitled same sex couples to the same property rights, social security and pension benefits of those who are legally... [read more...]

Elderly parents + care: how to have that difficult conversation

Contrary to popular belief, difficult conversations aren’t restricted to our teenage years. Adulthood brings its fair share of uncomfortable topics – not least those related to our ageing parents and their finances and plans for later life care. If... [read more...]

Lasting Powers of Attorney aren’t just for the elderly

Whilst we all recognise the importance of writing our Will, fewer of us will be considering a Lasting Power of Attorney, or an LPA. This enables you to appoint someone to act on your behalf if you're physically or mentally incapable of making your own... [read more...]

Inheritance Tax on gifts – what are the rules?

New research suggests that tax breaks on gifts between family members could encourage more parents and grandparents to pass on a ‘living inheritance’ to the younger generation, giving them a boost as they try to climb the property ladder. As it stands,... [read more...]

I’m separated – can I take my child on holiday?

For most parents, taking their child on holiday doesn’t present a problem. But for separated parents, the issue of international travel can be difficult to navigate – especially if there are underlying concerns about abduction. So if you’re... [read more...]

Make a Will Fortnight

We’re delighted to announce that Barcan+Kirby has raised over £2,000 for St Peter’s Hospice, as part of their Make a Will Fortnight last October.... [read more...]

High street vs online: what’s the best way to sell your property?

Selling a house can be a daunting process, and those that wish to sell their property have to go through a somewhat long and complex process to secure the best price. In an ideal world the process would be simple, including less fees, paperwork and time taken... [read more...]

Where next for Bristol’s gig economy?

The government’s U-turn today on national insurance rises announced last week will no doubt go down well with the business community. Much has been made of the impact on self-employed workers and their families, particularly around London. But while... [read more...]

Estate claim successful in the High Court

We recently acted in a contentious probate case, representing a widow and her child who were contesting the terms of a disputed Will. Last week, our clients were awarded nearly £100,000 plus costs in court, effectively the value of the entire... [read more...]

Should heterosexual couples be able to form civil partnerships?

The Court of Appeal ruled this week that the government’s stance on civil partnerships could continue, even though it might breach heterosexual couples’ human rights. Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan launched an appeal after the High Court decided... [read more...]

Four ideas that could change the face of divorce law

The modern family unit is changing – and the law is struggling to keep up. One area where this has become increasingly apparent is divorce law, most of which was written not in the previous decade, but in the previous century. Of course, there are good... [read more...]

Sure-fire ways to stress-free conveyancing

Let’s be honest, moving house is stressful – from de-cluttering your attic and managing your removals, through to the unpacked boxes piled up in your kitchen. But one area that doesn’t need to be stressful is your conveyancing. In this article, we... [read more...]

Alex Castiglione appointed Head of Commercial Property

Barcan+Kirby are delighted to announce the promotion of Alex Castiglione to Senior Associate and Head of Commercial Property.... [read more...]

Case study: how we helped two landlords recover their properties

It’s not uncommon for a landlord to want to take back possession of a property which they’re renting out.... [read more...]

Using mediation to resolve grandparent visitation rights

When parents break-up, one unfortunate consequence of their separation is that grandparents can find themselves excluded from their grandchildren’s lives.... [read more...]

How to get the best out of family mediation

You've decided to use family mediation to resolve your relationship dispute, but how do you get the best out of the process? We’ve provided some useful pointers you might want to consider to ensure that you benefit fully from family mediation.... [read more...]

Landlords: four ways to give your finances a health check

Landlords now face a heftier bill from HMRC than before, thanks to new changes to stamp duty and tax relief on mortgage interest. The fall in new buy-to-let mortgages shows lenders are already concerned about the impact of these new tax rules on landlords'... [read more...]

Employment law for employers: what’s changing in 2017?

With employment law legislation changing with such regularity, it can be difficult for business owners to keep up-to-date with the latest developments. Let’s be honest, keeping on top of what is new in employment law can be a challenge. But with a number... [read more...]

Iain Robinson joins commercial property team

We're pleased to announced that we have expanded our commercial team, with the appointment of Commercial Property lawyer, Iain Robinson. Iain joins the firm from Humphreys & Co and has seven years' experience in commercial property, specialising in... [read more...]

Families feel ‘shut out’ of patient death investigations

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released a report on how community and mental health NHS trusts investigate patient deaths. It highlights that a key complaint from relatives and carers of deceased patients that they feel shut out from the... [read more...]

New driver safety guide released following Bedminster baby death

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has this week launched a new an online guide which demonstrates how to check vehicle trailers are safely secured. The move has been prompted by a campaign organised by Donna and Scott Hussey, whose son Freddie... [read more...]

Government launches whiplash consultation

Last week government ministers signaled their intent to drastically overhaul access to justice for personal injury claims with a new Ministry of Justice consultation on the personal injury claims system. The consultation report proposes radical reforms to... [read more...]

Make a pledge to Brake for Road Safety Week

We’re proud to once again support Road Safety Week, organised by Brake, the road safety charity. This event runs between 21 and 27 November, bringing together schools and communities to highlight the importance of safe driving. Barcan+Kirby is... [read more...]

Firm ranked top in Bristol for medical negligence

Barcan+Kirby’s medical negligence solicitors have once again been named as the dominant force in their field. The latest set of rankings from Chambers’ Guide to the Legal Profession were released on Wednesday and Barcan+Kirby were once again the only... [read more...]

New childbirth injury scheme announced

The health secretary has announced plans for a new scheme to allow parents of children injured during birth to access financial support more easily. The Rapid Resolution and Redress scheme, currently out for consultation, would be a voluntary route for... [read more...]

Claire Hurrell named Lawyer of the Year

Barcan+Kirby are delighted to announce that Claire Hurrell has been awarded the prestigious Lawyer of the Year accolade by Bristol Law Society. Claire, a senior associate solicitor in the firm’s top-ranked medical negligence team, won the award for her... [read more...]

Families avoiding ‘difficult conversations’ about old age care

Our latest research reveals that many of us are burying our heads in the sand when it comes to the realities of our later life care, or the care of those close to us. As part of our research we surveyed those with elderly relatives and grown-up children... [read more...]

What kind of family lawyer do you need?

If you need legal representation because you’re going through family difficulties, such as future child arrangements or separating finances, it can be difficult to know what your first steps should be. Depending on your situation you might need to instruct... [read more...]

Firm receives top tier Legal 500 ranking

We’re delighted to announce that our medical negligence, personal injury and family law teams have been recognised by Legal 500, an independent guide to the UK’s legal services providers. Described as “one of the best in the South West”, our... [read more...]

Future retirees – beware the ‘middle class care gap’

An ageing population inevitably means that more and more of us will need care in our later years. But our Citizen 2025 research suggests that those aged 55+ - the so-called baby boomer generation - aren’t doing enough now to ensure that they can provide... [read more...]

Five ways motorists can reduce cycling collisions

As personal injury solicitors who act for claimants in cycle injury claims, we’ve seen our fair share of road traffic collisions.... [read more...]

Serious medical accidents triple in ten years

Data released by NHS Digital has revealed that the number of hospital attendances caused by medical accidents has tripled over the course of ten years. The number of patients who needed extra treatment due to an “unintentional cut, puncture, perforation... [read more...]

Men don’t need to suffer domestic abuse in silence

It’s a common assumption that domestic abuse is a women’s issue – but it’s a wrong one. Men can experience domestic abuse in exactly the same way women can, and it can take many forms: physical, psychological, sexual, financial or emotional to name... [read more...]

Half of all women ‘sexually harassed at work’

Research by the TUC suggests that more than half of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work. In most cases the perpetrator was male with one in five women (17%) reporting harassment by someone with authority over them.... [read more...]

Becoming a dementia-friendly firm

We’re pleased to announce that Barcan+Kirby has taken the first steps towards becoming a dementia-friendly law firm. Anna Molter, of our Wills + trusts team, recently attended awareness training to become a ‘Dementia Friend’. The training looked at... [read more...]

Four things to do before you die

Smart planning for the future has never been more important. With economic uncertainty looming on the horizon, we all want to retain that feeling of control over our own lives as well as our legacies after we’re gone.... [read more...]

Could it be sepsis? The question all clinicians should ask

The new NICE guidelines published today are a positive step forward for future victims of sepsis. Following high profile campaigns by families such as William Mead’s and organisations like the Sepsis Trust, it’s beyond doubt that a change in how medical... [read more...]

Four reasons to get a prenup

A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, doesn’t fall under most people’s definitions of ‘romantic’. After all, the whole point of marriage is supposed to be about a lifelong commitment, isn’t it? Maybe so, but with one third of UK marriages ending in... [read more...]

Help to Buy – how it works

If you’re looking to get your foot on the property ladder, there’s a good chance you’ll have heard the words ‘Help to Buy’ already. But what do they actually mean? The first thing to understand is that Help to Buy is not a single initiative –... [read more...]

Are ‘silver divorces’ leading to an increase in Will disputes?

When an application for divorce is made, many people see it as an opportunity to make a fresh start – and the over 60s are no exception.... [read more...]

Where there’s a Will… there’s a war

You may think that writing a Will is the easiest and most effective way to stop any arguments after your death. But according to some people, the deceased doesn’t always know best. Contesting a Will isn’t easy – it can be emotionally draining, costly... [read more...]

Domestic abuse charity to close children’s services

Bristol-based domestic abuse service Survive is due to close four of its six children’s services, after funding from two private donors worth £250,000 fell through.... [read more...]

How no fault divorce could reduce stress for families

Although divorce has been made less stressful over the years through initiatives such as mediation, it remains a difficult and often draining process for separating couples and their families. Resolution, an organisation which represents the family law... [read more...]

Barcan+Kirby launches Healthcare Complaint Hub

We’re pleased to announce the launch of our Healthcare Complaint Hub – a new resource for patients who wish to make a complaint to the NHS about the care or treatment they’ve received.... [read more...]

Rise of ‘Generation Rent’ looks set to continue in South West

Research conducted by Barcan+Kirby in our Citizen 2025 white paper shows that rising property prices and the ongoing housing shortage is fuelling the rise of ‘Generation Rent’ in the South West. Figures show that nearly 40% of those aged between 35... [read more...]

How to claim legal aid for domestic abuse

If you’re trying to leave an abusive relationship, the last thing you want to worry about is how you're going to pay for legal protection from domestic abuse. Legal aid has been cut for most family law cases, such as divorce and child arrangements,... [read more...]

Buying a new build property – what you need to know

Buying a home is always an exciting time and there are plenty of reasons to be excited about buying a new build property. New build homes are a great way to get on the property ladder, as well as an attractive choice for existing homeowners.... [read more...]

Do you have a legal right to see your grandchildren?

As a grandparent, you play an increasingly important role in modern family life and probably spend more time with your grandchildren than ever before. But if the family breaks up, what happens to you? If you’ve been denied contact or you’re worried... [read more...]

Britain’s 2025 economy to be driven by army of ‘grey go-getters’

Research conducted by Barcan+Kirby in our new Citizen 2025 white paper reveals leagues of skilled, experienced and flexible grey go-getters will be driving the British economy come 2025. Our figures reveal that 4.1m (56%) of those currently aged over 55... [read more...]

Decoding divorce: Barcan+Kirby signs up to national research

If you follow the news about the changing nature of relationships and families, you won’t be amazed to learn that 42% of marriages end in divorce.... [read more...]

Over 1,100 serious healthcare mishaps in four years

A report today has revealed that the number of ‘never events’ which took place in NHS services since 2012 is over 1,100.... [read more...]

Client story | £115,000 following knee replacement surgery

When you go to hospital or the doctor’s surgery for a routine procedure such as a knee replacement, you don’t expect it to go awry. After all, we trust the healthcare professionals who carry out surgery on our bodies to take reasonable care on our... [read more...]

Guide to the legal aspects of buying a home

You're buying a home - congratulations! Taking those first tentative steps on the housing ladder is both stressful and exciting, but a good solicitor will be an invaluable ally in helping you navigate the tricky house purchase process. Whether you're a... [read more...]

Missed sepsis diagnosis costs lives

The recent story regarding the death of William Mead, aged one, and its implications around out-of-hours healthcare should give us all pause for thought. An NHS report into William’s case sheds some light on how a compendium of errors resulted in a... [read more...]

Eight medical mistakes which should never have happened

Doctors in Bristol have made eight ‘potentially deadly’ errors in the last year, according to an investigation by the Bristol Post. Data released by the NHS shows that eight preventable mistakes – known as ‘never events’ – were recorded between... [read more...]

Think your boss can’t read your Facebook messages? Think again.

Picture the scene: it’s 4 o’clock on a Friday afternoon in January. You’ve finished your report, made all your calls and finally cleared the last of the festive decorations from your desk. What to do in that last hour before the weekend? A glance... [read more...]

New home, no survey. Big mistake?

You've found your dream home and can't wait to get the contracts exchanged and completion date set. Chances are this will be your biggest investment to date. But with your moving costs quickly mounting up, you might feel tempted to skimp on a home... [read more...]

We’re heading back to school for Road Safety Week!

We’re delighted to be supporting the Brain Injury Group in this year’s Road Safety Week campaign. Running November 23rd to 29th, this year’s theme is ‘drive less, live more’ and aims to improve road safety and the environment by reducing the... [read more...]

Client story | £267,000 settlement for missed fracture

For most of us, a fracture is a routine injury and one that the majority of us will make a full recovery from. But whilst thousands of us are treated for fractures each year, mistakes can happen, due to inadequate checks, an inexperienced doctor or the... [read more...]

Top tier ranking for clinical negligence team

We’re delighted to announce that our medical negligence and personal injury teams have been recognised by Chambers in their 2016 guide to the UK’s legal profession. We’ve successfully retained our Band 1 ranking for clinical negligence and are the... [read more...]

The Negligence + Damages Bill

The Negligence & Damages Bill recently passed its first reading unchallenged in the House of Commons. The Bill was introduced by MP Andy McDonald who seeks to find a ‘fairer and more sensible way’ to help bereaved people and people who have... [read more...]

Firm makes eight internal promotions

We’re delighted to announce a number of internal promotions to Associate and Senior Associate level within the firm. Congratulations to Alex Castiglione, from our Commercial property team, and to two members of our Residential conveyancing team –... [read more...]

Barcan+Kirby receive top tier Legal 500 ranking

We’re delighted to announce that our medical negligence and personal injury teams have once again been recognised by Legal 500, an independent guide to the UK’s legal services.... [read more...]

Collaboration is key to a stress-free separation

Separation and divorce is undoubtedly one of the most stressful situations we can face. That's why we encourage couples to take a collaborative approach to managing their affairs. So how is it different? Collaborative practice has been designed to offer... [read more...]

Case study: Client awarded £1m for Cauda Equina claim

Whilst rare, Cauda Equina Syndrome is a serious condition that occurs when the nerves at the base of the spine become trapped. Early diagnosis of Cauda Equina Syndrome is vital. It’s considered to be a surgical emergency and quick treatment of the... [read more...]

Death + cohabitation: what happens to the house?

Many people believe that unmarried couples should be recognised in law and that legal rights for cohabitees should be improved. The family unit has developed, cohabitation is common place and many modern relationships don’t involve marriage. But if your... [read more...]

Protecting your interests: Lasting power of attorney

Let's be honest; none of us want to think about a time when we can't make informed decisions ourselves. This change may happen suddenly - maybe as a result of an accident. Or more slowly, due to the onset of a condition such as Alzheimer’s or the... [read more...]

Case study: Brain injury following motorcycle accident

As personal injury solicitors, we’re only too aware of how devastating the effects of a brain injury are. It can cause both physical and psychological changes, including thinking and learning difficulties, memory loss and behavioural and personality... [read more...]

Negotiating the terms of your commercial lease

For fast-growing businesses, being in the right commercial premises at the right time is an important consideration. But negotiating the terms of your property lease can represent a significant challenge to those experiencing rapid expansion. Today’s... [read more...]

Separating? Make sure you consider your options

If you're going through a divorce or separation, you have several options for addressing the practical and legal aspects of ending your relationship. Divorce rarely means going to court. But when it comes to fixed fees, mediation and collaborative law,... [read more...]

A simple guide to buying leasehold

If you’re thinking of buying a flat, it’s almost certain that you’ll be taking on a leasehold property. But what exactly does that mean and how does it differ from buying freehold? In this simple guide to buying leasehold, we take a look at some of... [read more...]

Protect your home + assets against care fees

An ageing population and increased life expectancy will inevitably mean that more and more of us will require care in our later years. Family aren’t always able to meet these care needs, so if you’ve been cautious with your money, own your property or... [read more...]

Are we failing parents whose children are taken into care?

Our team of specialist lawyers are involved in this complicated and heartbreaking case. Social services can remove child after child from the same mother, without her being offered the help she needs to become a good-enough parent.... [read more...]

Just how important is it to write a Will?

The importance of writing your Will should never be underestimated. But let’s be honest, it’s a difficult subject matter. That’s why so many of us choose to put it off until another day. Of course, we all know we should have a Will, but the... [read more...]

First-time buyers guide to conveyancing

Buying your first home is a thrilling experience and taking that first step on the rung of the property ladder is one that many people aspire to make. But the legal process can be complex and drawn-out, with many different stages that need to be... [read more...]

NHS complaints: A work in progress

The Health Select Committee has published its Report on “Complaints and Raising Concerns”. This follows on from a number of reports by different bodies in recent years looking at how the current system could be improved.... [read more...]

Commercial contracts… What to look out for

Why do I need a commercial contract? Contracts are vital to business, and necessary from all levels from the conceptual ideas to the end product or service and everything between. Contract law is increasingly regulated by statute and European law. The... [read more...]

I’m a celebrity… get me a quickie divorce

If you read any newspaper or gossip magazine these days there will inevitably be stories regarding celebrity couples who have been married 5 minutes and are getting a quickie divorce. But in reality is there such a thing? Our family law experts here at... [read more...]

Injured by a vehicle on private property? New rules may apply.

Until recently the prospects of an injured person recovering compensation as a result of injury caused by a vehicle varied according to whether the accident occurred on private property or land to which the public had access due to the nature of the... [read more...]

Midwifery Units V Hospital Care

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published updated guidance advising that for pregnant women who are classified as low-risk and are likely to have a straightforward birth, midwife-led care is safer than hospital care.... [read more...]

Adoptive families given access to £20m support fund

Adopting a child is a wonderful thing to do. It creates a new family unit, enabling a child to have a new start in life particularly as adoptive children have already faced the loss of their birth family. It’s therefore great news that the government has... [read more...]

My NHS – creating transparency or muddying the waters?

My NHS is an NHS database published with the intention of improving transparency within the NHS. Whilst this may be seen as another step in the right direction in terms of publishing data on healthcare organisations and some consultants, what does the... [read more...]

Clinical Negligence team celebrate 2015 Chambers ranking

Our medical negligence team at Barcan Woodward has again been placed in the highest banding in the annual Chambers Directory (UK) for the South West Region.... [read more...]

Divorce: How to make it easier for your children

Divorce can create anxiety, worry, upset and frustration. It’s difficult enough as an adult to deal with such things but what must it be like for a child? Our team of specialist family lawyers have supported and guided countless families through the... [read more...]

The introduction of ‘Presumption of Parental Involvement’

It has been announced that s11 of Children and Families Act 2014 will be introduced on 22nd October 2014. This introduces the presumption that ‘unless the contrary is shown, that involvement of that parent in the life of the child concerned... [read more...]

Complaints about the NHS are Increasing

The Health and Social Care Information Centre has published its statistics on NHS written complaints between 2013 – 2014. These show an increase in the number of complaints received to 174,871, which is over 3,300 complaints each week. Over 80,000 of the... [read more...]

Have you thought about your lasting legacy?

Writing a Will is something we all need to do. The process of writing it helps us to think about what we want to happen when we die and who we want to leave our estate to. It also offers us an opportunity to make bequests to charitable... [read more...]

Personal Injury – Putting our client at the heart of the process.

As Personal Injury lawyers, we regularly deal with complex cases. These cases need expert legal experience and knowledge to understand the reasons for a claim and to make sure a satisfactory outcome is reached. However, there’s much more to it than... [read more...]

Only 25% of people claim for a personal injury

It’s an interesting fact that only 25% of people who have suffered a personal injury make a claim. A new study by YouGov reveals that the number of personal injury victims who were willing to make a claim had actually fallen since 2013 when 29% of... [read more...]

Tick tock… Make sure you leave enough time for conveyancing!

There’s no doubt the local property market is seeing signs of improvement and there are pockets of the City where demand out-strips supply. With buyers and sellers sometimes being put under pressure to exchange and complete as soon as possible, there’s... [read more...]

Claims against DIY Executors triple in 2013

The High Court has released disturbing figures which highlight the huge increase in claims for mishandling a deceased’s estate. Information provided by the Chancery Division, states that a staggering 368 claims were lodged for breach of fiduciary... [read more...]

Why is it important to think about Estate Planning?

We all know that having a Will is important and everyone needs to have one. It not only sets out your wishes after your death. It also helps you to understand better your current and future estate, which could be worth more than you ever... [read more...]

Clinical Negligence can be avoided with better communication

Over the years our clinical negligence specialists have noticed that poor communication really sits at the heart of most of the medical and clinical negligence cases they see. Take this example. Poor communication between a clinician (GP, nurse,... [read more...]

HMRC considers splitting IHT nil-rate band across trusts

It has come to light that HMRC has amended its proposal to split an individual's inheritance tax (IHT) nil-rate band (NRB) across trusts. The revised plans, which could come into force in 2015, mean that an individual would only have a £325,000... [read more...]

How to choose the right conveyancing solicitor

Let’s be honest, buying a house is a pretty daunting prospect. It’s a huge financial commitment and will easily be the biggest purchase that most of us will make in our lifetime. We all recognise the need to keep costs under control when budgeting for... [read more...]

Can medical negligence lead to amputation?

Amputation is a life-changing injury and one that involves a considerable period of readjustment. There are several factors which can lead to the loss of a limb, one of which is unfortunately medical negligence. There are numerous ways in which negligent... [read more...]

Goodbye Compromise Agreements; hello Settlement Agreements

“Compromise Agreements" are now known as "Settlement Agreements" and are used to allow an employer and employee to terminate their employment relationship on agreed terms.... [read more...]

Buyer beware: the case against DIY Wills & estate planning

We’re often asked by clients whether they can write a Will themselves. The answer is yes, of course, as long as you're aware of the risks involved in venturing down this particular path. Whether you look online or to an off-the-shelf pack, there’s... [read more...]

Just 15% of people injured at work receive compensation

A joint report by APIL and the TUC has stated that 85% of people who are injured at work, or who become ill as a direct result of their job, fail to recover any compensation. The report, entitled ‘The Compensation Myth’, claims that in 2012/13... [read more...]

Client awarded £83,000 following Gallbladder surgery

Keyhole surgery to remove your gallbladder – known as laparoscopic cholecystectomy – is one of the UK's most commonly performed operations. But despite it being a routine procedure which is usually carried out and completed without complications, our... [read more...]

One in ten estates will pay inheritance tax by 2018

According to research by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, the percentage of estates liable for inheritance tax will quadruple, rising from 2.6% in 2009-10 to 10% in 2018-19. The introduction of the transferable nil-rate band, coupled with a... [read more...]

Case study: £100k award for nerve damage

Whilst a hand injury may seem like a relatively minor complaint, the sensitivity and movement in our hands is so important to our everyday lives that a serious hand injury can be life changing. Damage to the nerves in your hands can be equally... [read more...]

Couples to consider family mediation before court

Couples now have to consider family mediation before they are able to legally separate, under new laws announced in April 2014. The reforms have come as a result of the government attempting to dissuade separating couples from applying straight to the... [read more...]

The importance of wider family in child contact disputes

We’re delighted to be supporting World Child Contact day, an annual event which highlights the difficulties faced by the many families who are affected by child residence and contact issues. As experienced family law solicitors, we regularly support... [read more...]

Case study: Dad denied contact with his child

This Thursday marks World Child Contact Day, an annual event which highlights the difficulties faced by the many families who are affected by child residence and contact issues. When parents separate, it can be difficult to reach an amicable... [read more...]

Beware the myth of common law spouse

Contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing as common law marriage. In fact, the legal status of common law spouse – or the belief that couples who live together have the same rights as married couples – is a myth. As a cohabitee, you don’t... [read more...]

Proposed New Dangerous Dog Law

There has been an increase in the number of dog attacks over recent months and as a result,there is a need to promote responsible ownership. The Government has acted and is re-evaluating the law governing dogs and their owners in the hope that the number of... [read more...]

I do… but only with a prenup?

It’s a common misconception that prenups are only for the wealthy. Indeed, there are many reasons to consider a prenuptial agreement, even if you don’t have substantial pre-marriage assets to protect. After all, with over one in three modern marriages... [read more...]

Low deposit? Not a problem with Help to Buy…

Rapidly rising house prices and the soaring cost of private rent means that for many, being able to save a deposit to buy their own home will seem an impossible task. We all know that to get a mortgage, you’ll need a deposit of at least 5%. But... [read more...]

Parents in denial about impact of separation on children

Parents in the process of divorce are often in denial about how their separation has impacted their children, according to a recent survey. The report by parenting website Mumsnet polled 1,000 parents and 100 children separately to assess how... [read more...]

T’is the season to… divorce?

The tabloid media will have you believe the Christmas period is the catalyst for a high percentage of relationship breakdowns and that January is actually boom time for family lawyers. In fact, January often sees twice as many couples begin divorce... [read more...]

Settlement for nerve damage caused by surgery

Nerve damage can occur for a number of reasons, including medical negligence. If your nerve injury has occurred because of sub-standard care, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Our nervous system is incredibly fragile. Nerves carry commands... [read more...]

DIY probate: a risk worth taking?

For some Will executors, it can be tempting to go it alone when it comes to the probate process. Prices are rising and it’s inevitable that many will cut costs and try to do themselves what they would previously have paid a professional to do. But... [read more...]

Legal aid still available for family mediation services

Government attempts to promote family mediation as an alternative means of resolving separation and custody battles are failing, according to reports. Ministry of Justice figures show that since the April 2013 cuts to legal aid, the number of couples... [read more...]

Case study: Compartment syndrome after surgery

Compartment syndrome is a potentially serious condition caused by bleeding or swelling within an enclosed bundle of muscles. This restricts blood flow and can cause permanent damage to the muscles and nerves. Compartment syndrome usually occurs in the... [read more...]

Top tier ranking for medical negligence team

We’re delighted to announce that our medical negligence and personal injury departments have been highly recommended by Legal 500, an independent guide to the UK’s legal services. We are one of only four firms in the South West to receive a top... [read more...]

Personal injury claim? Don’t get caught out by insurers

A growing number of insurance companies are contacting victims of road traffic accidents and offering to settle their injury claims quickly without involving solicitors. This practice is known as ‘Third Party Capture’. This practice presents a... [read more...]

Why your Will should be clear & unambiguous

When Joan Edwards bequeathed £520,000 to “whichever government is in office at the date of my death” she would never have anticipated the column inches that this would generate. But this story actually raises some important points, not only about... [read more...]

Top ranking for firm in 2014 Chambers UK guide

We’re delighted to announce that our medical negligence and personal injury teams have been highly ranked as leading departments by Chambers UK 2014, a leading independent guide to the legal profession. We’ve successfully retained our Band 1... [read more...]

The importance of choosing your executors carefully

One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when writing your Will is who to choose as your executors. Your executor has an important and responsible role. It’s the executor who will manage your estate and affairs in the event of your... [read more...]

Commons inquiry into whiplash claims

The Commons Transport Select Committee has revealed its long-awaited report on the cost of motor insurance. The report addresses government plans to cut the cost of whiplash claims, concluding that the cuts would only benefit claims management... [read more...]

Case study: Compensation for head & brain injury

As personal injury lawyers, we’re only too aware of how devastating the effects of a brain injury can be; not just for the survivor, but also for their loved ones. It can cause both physical and psychological changes, including thinking and... [read more...]

When is the right time to write or update your Will?

It’s a commonly-quoted statistic that 70% of the UK adult population doesn’t have a Will; however it’s a lesser known fact that the majority of Wills in place are out-of-date and in need of review or updating. In many ways, having an out-dated Will... [read more...]

How to buy property at auction

Buying at auction conjures up a vision of frenzied activity, quick-fire action and big potential profits – but only if you know what you’re doing. In many ways, buying at auction is the perfect scenario. It cuts down a potentially lengthy conveyancing... [read more...]

Jay Nathwani joins clinical negligence team

We’re pleased to announce that Jayshree Nathwani has joined the firm in the role of Associate. Jay joins the medical negligence team from Exeter based Parlett Kent, where she was appointed as Partner in 2005.... [read more...]

Surgery suspended due to risk of harm to children

Children's surgery has been suspended at a private hospital in Surrey after the care regulator for England reported serious concerns about standards of care there.... [read more...]

Case study: compensation for delayed cancer diagnosis

It was recently reported that a 26 year old woman from Bristol died from cervical cancer after her request for a smear (cervical screening) test was turned down due to her age. When Mrs Ryder first visited her GP with symptoms of cervical cancer,... [read more...]

How to buy property as cohabitees

It’s safe to say that there are many misconceptions when it comes to buying property together as an unmarried couple. But contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing as common law marriage. As a cohabitee, you don’t share the same rights as... [read more...]

Divorcee danger: the perils of online & DIY divorce

A quickie divorce for £99? It’s an appealing headline and one that might make you think twice about instructing a solicitor. After all, how tricky can it be to manage your own divorce? With prices such as these, it’s easy to see why so many are... [read more...]

Firm launches independent family mediation service

We’re pleased to announce the launch of Barcan Woodward Family Mediation – an independent practice that will enable us to provide family mediation services from each of our four Bristol offices.... [read more...]

Claire Hurrell joins clinical negligence team

We’re pleased to announce that Claire Hurrell has joined the firm in the role of assistant solicitor. Claire joins the clinical and medical negligence team from Exeter-based Parlett Kent.... [read more...]

The family mediation process: how does it work?

When it comes to family mediation, the important thing to remember is that you’re in control. By sitting down and negotiating, you’re taking charge of your own future. You’re making joint decisions about your separation, rather than having judgement... [read more...]

The NHS has “a legal duty to be honest about mistakes”

The government has today announced a raft of measures intended to ensure that the NHS moves to eliminate lapses in patient care and safety. The most significant of these proposals is the legal duty of candour. These plans are to ensure that a Mid... [read more...]

Secondary victims of personal injury & negligence

A senior judge has recently given judgment at an appeal hearing in a personal injury case concerning the issue of secondary victims. Secondary victim refers to someone who witnesses a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one, and is... [read more...]

Firm appoints Tom Powles as Partner

We're pleased to announce that Tom Powles of the family law team has been promoted to Partner.... [read more...]

Why mediate? The benefits of family mediation

The use of mediation to resolve family disputes is already on the rise; however many anticipate that recent changes to the legal aid system will only increase its appeal as an alternative form of dispute resolution. As a result of legal aid changes,... [read more...]

Firm provides free legal advice to community initiative

As a regional firm, the community within which we operate is integral to the way in which we do business. So we’re pleased to announce that we’re supporting Bedminster’s BID (Business Improvement District) proposal by providing them with legal... [read more...]

Matthew Martin appointed to firm’s commercial team

We’re pleased to announce that Matthew Martin has joined the firm in the role of solicitor, to be based across our commercial and residential conveyancing teams in Bristol. Matthew specialises in commercial and residential property matters, with... [read more...]

Controversial restrictions on advice for RTA victims

As a result of Friday’s judgement in the Administrative Court, many people injured in road traffic accidents may no longer be able to obtain independent legal representation to claim compensation for the injuries they’ve sustained. High court... [read more...]

Compensation settlement for injured cyclist

As a nation, we’re increasingly recognising the benefits that cycling can bring for both work and leisure. However, as personal injury lawyers we’re also very aware of how vulnerable cyclists can be, with an increase in the popularity of using... [read more...]

Changes to legal aid for victims of domestic violence

The Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Bill became law in May 2012 and reforms were introduced in April 2013. The act makes some changes that have implications for victims of domestic violence and their ability to access legal... [read more...]

How will legal aid changes affect your family?

With effect from April 1st, the scope of services covered by legal aid was reduced significantly and legal aid funding has been withdrawn for the most frequently-seen family disputes. However legal aid for mediation is still available and can be used... [read more...]

Is it ethical to sue the NHS?

The NHS – created from the ideal that good healthcare should be available to all at their point of need – is one of our proudest achievements, not just from a medical perspective, but also for social justice. So, if something does go wrong with your... [read more...]

A “top-notch Bristol firm” – Chambers UK 2013

Barcan Woodward’s clinical negligence team has been highly ranked as a leading department by Chamber UK 2013, an independent guide to the UK legal profession. We are also the only firm in Bristol and the surrounding area to receive a band 1 ranking... [read more...]

Inquest into child’s death following misdiagnosis

Our clinical negligence team, has successfully represented the family of a two year old girl at an inquest into her death following an incorrect diagnosis by emergency services. Georgia Keeling died from a meningitis-type infection after being wrongly... [read more...]

A legal definition for ‘needs’ upon divorce

The Law Commission launched a supplemental consultation paper last week with the aim of seeking to provide a legal definition of the term “needs”. Family lawyers have been used to running these arguments in courts for years but without specific... [read more...]

Negligence settlement for hip replacement patient

Hip replacement surgery is one of the most common procedures performed in the UK, often to resolve issues of debilitating pain and restricted mobility. For many people, a hip replacement offers them a new lease of life. But sometimes things go wrong and... [read more...]

Divorce from abroad for British expats

When a relationship breaks down, the natural reaction is for people to turn to their extended support network of friends and family. But for many expats, this isn’t always immediately possible. For people living abroad, there may be added... [read more...]

5 tips for buying your first home

Buying a house is generally considered to be a stressful experience, but when it’s your first home, it can also seem a particularly daunting process. Last year the Government announced plans to underwrite mortgages on some properties for first time... [read more...]

New decision on civil partnership breakdown

The 2005 introduction of civil partnerships was a social and legal landmark. By allowing same sex couples to legally recognise their partnership, the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 provided similar legal rights and protections afforded to married... [read more...]

Controversial legal aid bill set to become law

The government’s bill to cut legal aid in England is set to become law, and now awaits Royal Assent. As a result of the reforms, all divorce, finance, and private law children cases, subject to exceptions, will be removed from the scope of legal aid... [read more...]

The conveyancing process: a quick guide

The conveyancing process can seem complicated and daunting. Our team of expert residential property lawyers will be able to guide you through each stage. However, clients often like to know how it all works. We hope that this quick guide will help you to... [read more...]

Will I? Won’t I?

It's a well published fact that the majority of adults in the UK don’t have a valid will in place. But given that it's such an important document - one that impacts the emotional and financial wellbeing of the ones we love - the obvious question... [read more...]

Care applications hit 10,000 in one year

The number of care applications in the UK rose by more than 10% in the last financial year, taking the total number of children in care to over 10,000 for the first time. It was revealed last week that new applications to take children into care have... [read more...]

Firm influence national medical practice

Claire Levene of Barcan+Kirby Solicitors explains how making a claim can protect others and inform clinical practice. As a result of her work patients undergoing weight loss surgery will now receive potentially life saving follow up. Many of our clients... [read more...]

Police pensions & divorce

With the divorce courts looking to create equality between separating spouses, we have to consider pensions - often a major asset to be divided. When a court orders that an individual's pension must be shared, the former spouse is allocated a... [read more...]

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