Legal Expenses Insurance

This recent case confirms that if you have the benefit of legal expenses insurance you remain free to instruct your own solicitor rather than than stick with the insurer's solicitor.

If your insurer denies you choice of solicitor you can insist on choosing your own solicitor.  This if often preferred where a client already has a good relationship with a solicitor or doesn't want to travel to a solicitor in a city (or indeed both).

Another attack on Justice?

A report commissioned by the PM suggests "unproductive workers" should not have the right to claim unfair dismissal.

It seems to suggest there are many employees not being productive! It's normally very simple to spot an unproductive employee early into the contract so that they can be dismissed within the qualifying period for unfair dismissal.  Employees should not in any circumsances be denied their right to challenge a dismissal.

It makes sense to discourage vexatious litigants and hopeless cases.  Government plans to introduce fees for bringing employment tribunal cases next year may go some way to discourage cases unlikely to be succesful.  This coupled with increased use of expenses awards should help to minimise the chancers.  Famous last words.....

Pregnant Woman Unfairly Dismissed

An employment tribunal in Glasgow has held that woman was unfairly dismissed when pregnant.  She was dismissed due to her absences while suffering pregnancy realted illnesses.  It is amazing that even now employers think they can d0 this with impunity.

It is even more amazing that 1 in 20 women take advice on discrimination, while only 3% take any legal action at all to enforce their rights.  EOC Stats (at page 4 of document).

This comes thirty-six  years after the Sex Discrimination Act was first enacted in the UK.

Women need to stand up more for their right to demand equality in the workplace.

Christmas Holidays

We wil be open until Thursday 22nd December 2011 at 5pm.

Thereafter the office will be closed until 4th January 2012 at 9am.

Cohabitation claim: Selkirk V Chisholm

This latest case highlights the difficulties for former cohabitees seeking a financial claim.  The claim (based on the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006) was unsuccessful as the Pursuer was unable to sh0w she had made any contribution  to (1) the defender's capital or earnning capacity or (2) household costs.

It shows the need for clear evidence regarding financial and non-financial contributions.  The courts seem now to be clarifying the application of the law in the field of claims based on cohabitation (as oppossed to marriage).

In general it is encouraging for those who think people should have the freedom to live together but not be bound by the legal obligations of marriage.

It is discouraging for those who take the view that cohabitees' rights should protect those who cohabit but conduct themselves very much as if married i.e. joint accounts, helping in a joint business venture, contribute capital (i.e. deposit for house) etc.

It's a delicate balance between giving people the freedom to live as they wish and protecting  those who are, at least in financial terms, taken advantage of by their partners.

Tait Macleod Solicitors
6 Park Street
Falkirk. FK1 1UZ.
LP 38 Falkirk
Tel: 01324 88 88 77
Fax: 01324 41 16 07 

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