Married couples and their families are beginning to show signs of the financial strain triggered by the recession and credit crunch, which for many is the 'straw that breaks the camels back', according to local family lawyer Fiona O'Sullivan.
"When a family relationship is already in difficulties the financial strains brought about by the recession can unfortunately be the final straw," explains Fiona, a Partner at Midlands law firm Challinors.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a consultation on proposals to review the current sick note system for employees, and replace it with a 'fit note' that will focus on what people can do, rather than what they cannot. Simon Bond, head of employment at Midlands law firm Challinors, considers the potential value of the proposed change.
"Health Secretary Alan Johnson's plan to get rid of Britain's 'sicknote culture' has been met with opposition from all sides. This new plan has stemmed from a belief amongst Ministers that many people who go off work on long term sick leave are not re-entering the workplace and are instead ending up on benefits for years, eventually becoming unemployable. It was pointed out by Johnson that going to work is generally seen as a positive influence on people's health, particularly for those suffering with mental illnesses such as depression, and these new plans aim to facilitate a return to work for such people.
More than 30 percent of the land in England and Wales is yet to be centrally registered with Her Majesty's Land Registry, and these owners are being encouraged to take advantage of voluntary registration before the cost of the associated fee is increased in July, whilst at the same time protect themselves from the risk of fraud on unregistered property or land.
"For people who have owned a property for more than ten years, it is possible the title deeds that prove ownership of the property are not centrally registered," explains Edward Ribchester, a Partner in the Conveyancing team at Midlands law firm Challinors.
An estimated 10 million employees are entitled to request flexible working and the number likely to utilise this right is set to rise as greater numbers of working parents struggle to cover the cost of childcare over the looming school summer holiday period.
In anticipation, employers are being advised to ensure they are up-to-speed with the new laws surrounding employees' rights to flexible working, as Simon Bond, head of employment at Midlands law firm Challinors, explains:
The Court of Appeal sent out a firm message to parties seeking to extract themselves from financial settlements on the grounds that the unprecedented global economic upheaval for the last 12 months should be taken into account, when they reached their decision in the case of Brian Myerson.
"On the 1st April, the Judges ruled that the 'natural process of price fluctuation, however dramatic' does not satisfy the legal test for varying an agreement," comments Fiona O'Sullivan, family lawyer and Partner at Midlands firm Challinors.
The skills of a group of visually impaired amateur artists are being showcased at the Birmingham city centre offices of law firm Challinors, in the latest step in its fundraising efforts for local charity Focus Birmingham.
Twenty-seven paintings and several clay sculptures created by ten visually impaired artists, all members of the Focus Birmingham Art Group led by volunteer tutors Graham Barber and Ian Reynolds, make-up the exhibition at Challinors' Edmund House offices' reception and meeting rooms. Organiser and Partner at Challinors David Corser explains: