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Kitsons launch new Corporate Services Team

Posted by on September 11th 2018 in Kitsons News, Press Releases

(Above photo from left to right: Jonathan Dickson, Rosie Evans, Christian Robertson, Jayme Nicholson, Dominic Hollingsworth, Corri Pedrick and Natalie Carey from Kitsons' Corporate Services Team)

Devon law firm Kitsons has launched a new Corporate Services Team which will provide a seamless advisory service to corporate and commercial clients at all stages of their business.   

Through their combined expertise, the team will offer a holistic approach to advising businesses and can work together to ensure compliance, make the day to day running of the business more efficient, highlight and minimise...

Landmark court case over Widowed Parent's Allowance.

Posted by on September 6th 2018 in Blog Posts

Landmark court case over Widowed Parent's Allowance.

In the matter of an application by Siobhan McLaughlin for Judicial Review (NI) [2018] UKSC 48

On the 30th August 2018 the Supreme Court allowed Ms McLaughlin’s appeal determining that certain requirements of the Widowed Parent’s Allowance (Northern Ireland) was discriminatory and breached the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”).


Ms McLaughlin’s partner passed away in January 2014. They had lived together for 23 years and had four children. The Northern Ireland Department of Communities rejected Ms McLaughlin’s claims for Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA) because they were not married.  Ms McLaughlin subsequently applied for a judicial review of the...

Devon law firm trainees celebrate qualification

Posted by on September 5th 2018 in Kitsons News, Press Releases

(Above photo: Alice Beck (left), and Lauren Baber (right) from Kitsons)

Two trainees at leading Devon law firm Kitsons have qualified as Solicitors following a two-year training programme.

Lauren Baber is celebrating after completing her training contract and securing a permanent position with the firm as a Solicitor in its Litigation department in Exeter. Lauren had previously completed her degree at the University of the West of England and worked as a paralegal before starting her training contract with Kitsons. Over the two years, Lauren has worked in various departments in...

When Legal Advice Privilege is Removed

Posted by on September 4th 2018 in Blog Posts

Legal advice privilege applies to communications between a client and their lawyer, and communications which have come about for the purpose of giving or receiving legal advice. If legal advice privilege applies, then this information cannot be disclosed during the course of legal proceedings and is confidential.

The rule is not absolute though. Legal advice privilege is lost if the purpose of the communication is to further criminal or fraudulent activity. This is referred to as the “iniquity principle” or the “fraud exception” both of which are based on public policy.

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case considered whether legal advice...

Menopause and Work - Disability, Wellbeing or Just Caring?

Posted by on August 30th 2018 in Blog Posts, Employment

Menopause and Work - Disability, Wellbeing or Just Caring?

A case in Scotland (Ms Mandy Davies v Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service) held that menopause could be considered a disability under s.15 of the Equality Act; whereby a person is treated unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of the disabled person’s disability and the employer cannot show that the treatment is a proportionate means of reaching a legitimate aim.

In this particular case, the unfavourable treatment was dismissal. In brief, the claimant had some medication that she thought had been in the water jug she was drinking from and the water was then given to two men in the...

Islamic marriage ruled valid under English law

Posted by on August 22nd 2018 in Blog Posts, Family

Islamic marriage ruled valid under English law

In a ruling which could have far reaching implications a High Court Judge has ruled that an Islamic faith Marriage constituted a valid marriage ceremony under English Law

Nasreen Akhter and Mohammed Shabaz Khan had an Islamic marriage ceremony known as a Nikah in 1998.

Akhter and Khan became estranged and Akhter decided to make an application for a divorce after 20 years of marriage. Akhter argued that the Nikah ceremony constituted a valid marriage and she was therefore entitled to a divorce. Khan opposed the divorce stating that the Nikah did not constitute a legal marriage under English Law and was...

Deathbed Marriages

Posted by on August 22nd 2018 in Blog Posts, Family, Private Client

A coalition of legal organisations call on the Government to increase protections for cohabiting couples following a rise in deathbed marriages

In a letter to the Guardian a coalition of legal organisations and charities including Resolution, the Bar Council, the Law Society, Relate, Rights of Women, OnlyMums and OnlyDads have urged ministers to tackle the myth of common law marriage and update legislation.

Cohabiting couples

Cohabiting couples are the fastest growing family type in the UK. Two thirds of cohabiting couples do not know that there is no such thing as common law marriage. Cohabiting couples often mistakenly believe that they...

An NHS Trust and Others

Posted by on August 3rd 2018 in Private Client

An NHS Trust and Others

An NHS Trust and others (Respondents) v  Y (by his litigation friend, the Official Solicitor) and another (Appellants)

The Supreme Court has confirmed that there is no mandatory requirement for a court to hear an application, to decide upon the best interest of every patient with profound cognitive and physical disabilities, before their clinically assisted nutrition and hydration can be withdrawn.

The Facts of the Case

Mr Y suffered a cardiac arrest in 2017 and never regained consciousness. He required CANH (clinically assisted nutrition and hydration) to keep him alive. A doctor concluded he had PDOC (prolonged disorder of consciousness) and...

Do you need to pay the Data Protection Fee to the ICO?

Posted by on August 1st 2018 in Employment

We are increasingly being asked this by Clients following the introduction of the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018. The general position is that if you are processing personal information as a data controller then you need to pay the data protection fee to the ICO.

The amount that you are required to pay will depend on a number of factors such as your number of staff and annual turnover. For most organisations the fee is either £40 or £60. The highest level of fee is £2,900.

The ICO have produced a self assessment tool which will assist you in establishing whether...

Practitioner’s Insights – The Risks of Ignoring the Issue

Posted by on July 31st 2018 in Blog Posts, Employment

Practitioner’s Insights – The Risks of Ignoring the Issue

As you can imagine, we deal a lot with issues where the employer has “reached the end of their tether” in managing a problem like capability.  Sometimes we are involved throughout a process, which will either lead to an improvement in performance or potentially dismissal.  Others however, we are called in at the latter stages to advise on the capability procedure at the point at which dismissal is contemplated.  Often, the reluctance of a manger to have the open and frank discussion at the outset, leads to a situation whereby the individual may struggle to accept any failings in their...