Legal training course on Social Enterprise and Impact Investing

Join the team at TrustLaw on 22 & 23 September for a legal training course on Social Enterprise and Impact Investing. The CPD accredited course will cover topics ranging from structuring options and legal challenges for social enterprises through to fund, social impact bonds and other elements of social finance, the course will be delivered by leaders in the social impact space from places like Big Society Capital, the City of London, Shared Impact, and many more. For the full agenda and more information about the training please click here, alternatively if you’d like to sign up, places are very limited, so we’d encourage you to do so fast please click here.

Chameleon Copy – Bespoke web design and content

A very good friend, Natasha Phillips, has set up her own web design and content service and I am delighted to be able to give it a mention here!

“Chameleon Copy offers bespoke website design and content, press releases, speeches, articles, and adverts for law firms, charities, government and beyond. No job is too big or too small, and we happily work in a wide range of sectors. Our rates are reasonable too, and we’ll ensure your project is completed on time, with compelling copy that does what you need it to.

If you’d like to find out more, why not swing by our website, where you can learn a little more about us, check out the projects we’ve worked on, and see what people are saying about Chameleon.”

Guest Post: Botched Work Still Commonplace in Cosmetic Surgery

Botched Work Still Commonplace in Cosmetic Surgery

In the vast majority of cases, cosmetic surgery runs smoothly, but from time to time, negligence can be at work, with dire consequences for patients. Patients that are unhappy with the results of a cosmetic surgery claim may wish to take legal action. If they feel that their surgery didn’t discuss all possible outcomes, risks and dangers with them prior to surgery, they may well have a case. Patients may also be able to take action if they felt pressurised into undergoing the surgery by their surgeon or if they didn’t receive the right level of care.

Better Client-Lawyer Relationships

Patients considering compensation claims are urged to shop around in order to find a law professional that they can trust. They should look for solicitors with an excellent track record on cosmetic surgery claims that will contact them every time a development occurs. Some of the most common cosmetic procedures include breast augmentation and reduction, laser eye surgery and tummy tucks to name but a few. Some procedures, such as gastric band surgery and Botox, have become more popular during the last few years due to featuring heavily in media stories and being endorsed by celebrities.

Increasing Popularity

The image below was provided by Cosmetic surgery Claims specialist Blackwater Law. It says that in 2013, over 50,000 different cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in the UK – an increase of 16.5% on the previous year. There was a 40% increase in liposuction procedures in 2013 after a significant amount of customers had complained about body contouring services being inefficient. Anti-ageing procedures including eyelid surgery became more popular, with the most popular procedure being breast augmentation. More than 11,000 people asked for breast augmentation in 2013, whilst 5,500 opted for breast reduction surgery.

A Growing Market

Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) was the second most popular surgery, putting face and neck lifts in third place. Non-invasive procedures proved to be popular, with many patients keen to avoid the pain, discomfort and infection of invasive alternatives. Botox, fillers and laser hair removal are all non-invasive procedures. These procedures are becoming more and more common all the time, and it’s estimated that the market for them will grow to £3.6 billion by 2015. These procedures now make up three-quarters of the overall market and generally take place in places like beauty parlours and even hairdressers.

Risks of Non-Invasive Procedures

This doesn’t mean that non-invasive procedures don’t come with risks. Patients can suffer from bleeding, double vision and even unintentional eyelid droop, whilst the British Association of Dermatologists has claimed that nearly two-thirds of erratic non-invasive surgery cannot be reversed. Difficulties with speech and breathing are a common result of Botox. Whilst cosmetic surgery is becoming more and more popular, the trend for botched work is showing no signs of slowing down. Law professionals are urged to keep a close eye on the market and to keep fully up-to-date with the latest legislation on cosmetic surgery law.

 

This article was written between legal news website Solicitors Journal and Blackwater Law

A little bit of Winston for you….a Great Briton!

One wanders how the course of World war II would have gone if Churchill’s private cigar stock had been destroyed when Dunhill was bombed during WW II.

This is what Churchill had to say: “My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.”

 

Equality in the legal profession and the judiciary

uksupremectjudges

‘More women judges will improve law’: Britain’s only female Supreme Court judge calls for more diversity

Britain’s only female Supreme Court judge says there needs to be more gender equality shown across Britain’s legal system and that by appointing more female judges the quality of justice could be greatly improved.

Baroness Hale called for greater positive discrimination in the law, saying: “There has only ever been one female Head of Division and in the Supreme Court there is still only me. It speaks volumes.”

Independent on Sunday

I agree.  Quite remarkable.   The equality argument is clear – the quality of justice point is  also likely to be proven.

 

Guest Post: Purposely induced road traffic accidents

Car insurance provider, Aviva, has uncovered data which shows a 51% increase in the number of purposely induced road traffic accidents.

According to Aviva’s findings, more drivers than ever before are deliberately causing accidents by braking suddenly, forcing the motorist behind to crash into the back of their vehicle. Why? So that fraudsters can claim compensation for injuries such as whiplash, as well as vehicle damage and other related costs, all at the expense of the innocent driver.

Dubbed ‘crash for cash’ incidents, Aviva reports that, to date, there have been more than 6,000 car accident claims as a result of fraudulent collisions, costing the company over £10m in payouts.

This relatively new scam, which often sees criminal gangs work together to engineer a ‘convincing’ accident, poses a significant concern for the public and legal sector alike.

As insurance companies continue to suffer huge financial losses due to phony car accident claims, premiums inevitably soar with honest policyholders ultimately paying the price.

However, perhaps the most obvious issue is the direct impact of the incident on the innocent motorists whose lives are put at risk for monetary gain.

Physical injuries sustained as a result of the accident can lead to lengthy hospital stays, ongoing medical treatment and expensive rehabilitation bills depending on their severity, whilst the emotional trauma of the event can often leave victims with acute anxiety issues. So far, there has been at least one fatal ‘crash for cash’ case.

Consequently, personal injury solicitors are now not only faced with the possibility of pursuing a grossly falsified or exaggerated claim, but will no doubt also see a dramatic rise in the number of genuine car accident claims too.

The good news is that the Ministry of Justice is beginning to put stronger deterrents in place with regards fraudulent car accident claims. Courts are now being encouraged to throw out cases where the claimant has been duplicitous and there has also been significant public backing in support of harsher sentencing for offenders.

Guest Post: New research looks to improve memory function in brain injury victims

New research looks to improve memory function in brain injury victims

Survivors of traumatic brain injury can often face a life littered with daily challenges, as they struggle to retrieve memories prior to the accident and retain new ones.

The effects can be truly devastating, however, new research spearheaded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the USA is set to offer new hope to brain injury victims and their families.

As part of President Obama’s $100million brain initiative, DARPA has charged two US-based universities with the task of developing wireless, implantable neuroprosthetics. The first therapy of its kind, the devices are designed to help users bridge memory gaps incurred as a result of brain injury, with the ultimate aim of restoring normal memory function for sufferers.

Brain injury continues to be a significant public health issue. According to registered charity, Headway, at least 1 million people in the UK are living with the long-term effects of brain injury and is something to that legal professionals have been witnessing first-hand the strain of the individuals and their families.

Victims can be left with severe physical and intellectual difficulties that may never improve, along with years of expensive medical treatment, lengthy rehabilitation stints and an inability to work.

Whilst seeking legal advice and making brain injury claims it is important to factor in the amount of support a legal professional or an organisation can bring. It is the time in which the future needs to be considered for not only the individual who suffered from the brain injury but also their support group – the people who are going to be critical for their future.

This facilitates access to specialist support in the form of rehabilitation programmes, care-worker support, social re-integration, community outreach and respite care – all essential in aiding the recovery process and improving quality of life.

Many legal professionals in the UK feel the DARPA project is a real step towards solving memory loss issues for brain injury patients and in the long-term could improve the lives of thousands of people worldwide, not only the US.

In the meantime, however, medical negligence solicitors can help victims and their families achieve a successful settlement to help them on their way to rebuilding their lives.

Guest Post: Reducing Workplace Accidents – Top 5 Tips for Employers

Reducing Workplace Accidents – Top 5 Tips for Employers

According to the latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), more than 78,000 workplace incidents were registered under the legally required Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) in 2012/13.

These workplace incidents were, in most cases, preventable and costly. Employees that suffer from illnesses or injuries caused by poor practice or hazards in the workplace, have a right to be compensated for the trauma and financial losses they incur.

However, the cost of workplace accidents goes much further than compensation payouts.

As the HSE reports, workplace accidents accounted for a loss of production, with injuries causing more than 175,000 reported absences of more than seven days. This translates to 27 million working days being lost, costing businesses and the economy at large approximately £13.8 billion in lost revenue.

In addition to the financial losses attributed to workplace injuries, there is arguably a greater risk to businesses who fail to protect their employees.

Companies in any sector are at risk of damaging their reputation, something which can be detrimental when it comes to attracting and retaining quality personnel and to building trust with consumers or clients in an increasingly competitive market.

Protect the finances, reputation and employees of your business by taking these five measures:

  1. Conduct thorough risk assessments. If you oversee operations in an office, factory floor or any other workplace environment, speak to your employees. While carrying out their duties they will be more aware of potential risks and hazards than you and by finding out what they are, you can put preventative measures in place.
  2. Follow all of the current workplace guidelines and regulations available from the HSE.
  3. Review your existing safety equipment to ensure it functions properly, is easily accessible and is in a clearly marked location. Also make sure that you have more than adequate supplies of protective and preventative safety equipment like ‘Wet Floor’ signs and safety clothing.
  4. Train your employees regularly to ensure they follow all safety guidelines specific to your industry and your individual workplace, as defined in your health and safety policies and procedures manual.
  5. Review your response to accidents. Ensure your business is equipped with trained first aid responders and medical equipment. Having comprehensive plans in place to respond to workplace accidents can dramatically reduce the severity and long-term impact of accidental injuries.

Further, extensive advice and legislated practice information is widely available from industry regulators.

Despite this, thousands of employees continue to suffer injuries in the workplace caused by the negligence or malpractice of management or colleagues every year.

Those employees have a legal, and many would argue, moral right, to be financially compensated for their injuries and any associated financial losses incurred.

If you or someone you know has suffered a workplace injury that was not their fault and could have been prevented, contact the expert legal team at Accident Compensation 4U who can advise you on the rightful claim for compensation you are entitled to.

Guest Post: Had a Slip, Trip or Fall? You Could Be Entitled to Thousands in Much-Needed Compensation

Had a Slip, Trip or Fall? You Could Be Entitled to Thousands in Much-Needed Compensation 

Slips, trips and falls are among the most common, but also the most severe forms of personal injury. A simple slip on a wet floor or trip over a loose carpet tile can result in torn muscles and ligaments, fractures and dislocations, head, neck or spinal injuries and in the most severe cases, long-term mobility problems, paralysis or even death.

If you have had a slip, trip or fall in a public space or workplace, you could be rightly entitled to much-needed financial compensation from the business or local authority that was responsible for your safety.

The result of a slip, trip or fall can be devastating, not only for the injured party, but their dependants and loved ones too.  We work with people every day who are dealing with physical injuries, struggling with the impact of those injuries on their family relationships and emotional well-being, and the heavy burden of financial losses too.

If this is the first time you have ever been in a position where you need to recover from a slip, trip or fall then it’s likely you don’t yet know what the long-term impact of your accident will be on you and your family, what your compensation entitlement is, or who to pursue for compensation.

Personal injury lawyers specialise in resolving these issues and can help you secure your compensation. These are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Can I claim for compensation?

A successful compensation claim relies on proving that your personal injuries have been caused by the negligence of someone else.  If you have suffered a slip, trip or fall through no fault of your own, then you are legally entitled to be compensated for it.

Being able to prove that an employer, public business or local authority is responsible for your injuries means being able to give a clear account of what happened. In some circumstances it can be stressful to relive an accident, so writing it down can be helpful in making sure that you provide as much detail as possible and don’t forget anything. It is also useful to provide details of any witnesses who can confirm your accident happened as you describe it.

What can I claim compensation for?

Calculating exactly how much you are entitled to can be complicated, but a personal injury lawyer can help you through the process to make sure you claim the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.

Each claim varies depending on the nature of the injuries. Broadly speaking, you are initially entitled to be compensated for the pain and suffering caused as a direct result of your accident. This can range between a few hundred pounds, to hundreds of thousands.

On top of that, it’s likely that you’re also owed money to cover the financial losses caused by your injuries. This includes medical bills for things like surgery, dental work or physiotherapy, travel expenses, damage to clothing or property, any loss of earnings and the costs of future healthcare if you need it.

Will I need to pay for making a claim?

No. The personal injury lawyers at Accident Compensation 4 UK specialise in these sorts of compensation claims and can offer you free advice and support. Once we’ve established that you have a right to compensation, we will handle your slip, trip or fall claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

Guest Post: Are There Any Legal Implications With Too Many Charities?

Are There Any Legal Implications With Too Many Charities?

According to The Charity Commission, between 2013 and 2014 there were 6,661 applications for new charities in England and Wales alone – this is a 16% increase on the previous year. This isn’t necessarily a cost-effective way to cater to those in need of aid, especially with government cuts. Although many people establish charities for emotional reasons, it’s worth thinking twice to see if that need is already being met elsewhere and considering working for that charity instead of starting your own, to concentrate the charitable efforts effectively.

With more people wondering where their money is going, and becoming increasingly cynical about charities, The Charity Commission is tasked with bolstering the public’s trust, in the face of any scandals in this area. This is no mean feat after the government’s spending cuts slashed almost 50% of The Charity Commission’s budget, leaving them with fewer resources to regulate this huge industry.

A Surplus of Charities

With donations spread so widely over a vast quantity of charities, surely it would be a win-win scenario to merge certain groups of charities with the same aim? The capacity for good-doing would, logically, be greater. Or so we’d hope.

One particular area that contains duplicate charities is the armed forces – there are more than 2,000 charities dedicated to the armed forces alone. It’s simple math that 10 separate charities wasting money on admin, accountancy, and representatives create a larger deficit than one efficient whole.

Unfortunately, people involved in charities have emotional attachments to their charity of choice; especially trustees, who could lose their job after a merger. Those within the charities are likely to resist an amalgamation.

In a survey conducted by CharityJob, 63% said that there were too many charities. Most new charities will find it extremely difficult to get off the ground, as the market is so competitive and it’s challenging to make your mark. There are approximately 164,000 charities on the Charity Commission’s register already, and this number increases every year.

Legal Implications

As new charities are often driven by emotion and personal experience, often organisations don’t always consider the legal implications. It’s important that charities enlist the advice of law firms, such as FBC Manby Bowdler Solicitors in Shrewsbury, as working as a charity is a legal minefield. With huge quantities of charities in need of legal guidance, this means that many law firms will be constantly liaising with these organisations to make sure they are protected.

It is a genuine legal concern that so many inexperienced, new charities are entering the scene with little knowledge of the legal terrain. Legal slip-ups can be extremely costly for these new organisations, so legal advice is a must.

Fence with Nosy Neighbour: Charon F**kArt painting.

I appear, still, to be using my time ‘wisely’.  I am painting a garden fence for the friends I am staying with.  I could not resist translating this rather unusual activity (for me) into a painting to add to my collection of F*ckArt nonsense.

I shall call this “Fence with Nosy Neighbour” (Not that neighbour is nosy).

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The fence is the colour  in the painting.  Bright!  In fact, the paint I used is the fence paint.

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Mind you – this ‘painting’ could equally be entitled “Surveillance Society”