Contact Law blog

Miriam B

Criminal lawyers make a stand against legal aid reforms

Solicitors and barristers up and down the country are coming together and threatening strike action over the Government’s proposed reforms to the legal aid system in England and Wales.

Approximately 80 lawyers in Devon and Cornwall have become the latest legal professionals to make a stand against the proposals that would see criminal lawyers having to compete for a contract in order to be allowed to take on legal aid cases.

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HMRC blunder means six million get £400 tax refund

Six million tax payers will receive a refund of £400 from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) this weekend as it has made the decision to settle discrepancies from as far back as 2001.

However, 1.2million will be told that they owe £600 as HMRC has to find £620million. (more…)

Growing payday loan debt requires tighter regulation, says CAB

The Citizens Advice Bureau has said that the number of people running up debt as a result of taking out ‘payday’ loans has quadrupled in the last two years.

Attracted by the simplicity of obtaining the credit and driven by the need to obtain cash before payday, over a million people take out small, short-term unsecured loans. (more…)

Golfer sued for shot that took out another player’s eye

Anthony Phee, 44, is suing James Gordon and the Niddry Castle Golf Club, West Lothian, for £750,000 after Mr Gordon’s stray shot hit him in the eye.

Mr Phee’s eye had to be removed as the impact caused his eye to “explode”. (more…)

Landlady wins important step in battle to air Premier League games

A pub landlady from Portsmouth has made important progress in her legal battle against the Premier League and its exclusive deals with Sky Sports and ESPN. Karen Murphy wants to be able to buy cheaper foreign decoder cards in order to screen matches on Saturdays in her pub.

The High Court sent the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for an opinion. The ECJ has ruled that the legislation preventing the sale or use of foreign decoder cards is contrary to the single market principle. (more…)

Law Commission wants reform to close kidnap loophole

The Law Commission has launched a consultation over its plans to reform the law on kidnap and remove the loophole that could see an offender jailed for just seven years for kidnapping a child.

It said the current definition of kidnap is confusing and ambiguous, and prosecutors usually have to rely on other offenses committed at the same time as the kidnapping to ensure the perpetrator is jailed for a suitable length of time. (more…)

‘Mentally diseased’ comment in Jehovah’s Witness magazine sparks police investigation

It has emerged that the Hampshire police are investigating a comment in the official Jehovah’s Witness magazine, The Watchtower, which calls those who have left the faith “mentally diseased”.

A group of former witnesses, or ‘apostates’ as they are called by the faith, based in Portsmouth complained to the police after reading the article. The police are investigating to determine if the comments breach the UK’s religious hatred laws. (more…)

Rollover contracts banned by Ofcom

The telecoms regulator Ofcom has banned broadband and landline providers from selling rollover contracts after it found the contracts “lock” customers into deals “with little additional benefit”.

Rollover contracts are widely used in within the telecoms industry. Consumers have their year-long contracts automatically renewed without their consent and they are charged a fee to terminate the renewed contract early. (more…)

Government to ban personal injury claim referral fees

Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly has announced that the Government is to ban referral fees for personal injury compensation claims in order to curb the ‘compensation culture’ in the UK and stop the rise in the cost of car insurance.

In addition, the Government wants to stop losing defendants paying the ‘success fees’ of successful claimants. (more…)

Man seeks compensation after wrong part of brain removed

A 63-year-old former paramedic is seeking personal injury compensation after an NHS surgeon accidentally removed the wrong part of his brain during a tumour biopsy operation.

John Tunney had the operation after a tumour in his pituitary gland was discovered by a scan. However, the surgeon at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry, removed healthy tissue instead of the tumour, leaving Mr Tunney partially sighted and in constant need of care. (more…)

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