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Richard Ward joins Bhatia Best

Everyone at Bhatia Best would like to say a big welcome to Richard Ward, who joined the team on 3rd April 2018. Richard is a Family Law solicitor and has joined our thriving Family and Children Law department in Nottingham. Richard brings a wealth of experience to the department, having qualified as a solicitor in 1976. His areas of expertise include divorce (including defended divorce, nullity & judicial separation), the dissolution of civil partnerships, financial remedy and private Children Law matters. If you require assistance with Family Law, please contact Richard or another member of our team on 0115 950 3231. Please click here to view Richard Ward’s profile

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Does the law allow you to kill a burglar who has broken into your home?

The case of a 78 year old pensioner, who was arrested on suspicion of Murder after the death of a suspected burglar, has again focused attention on what you can and can’t do if a burglar breaks into your home. Am I legally allowed to kill a burglar? This is an extremely complicated question. In short, the law allows anyone to use ‘reasonable force’: in self-defence; to defend their property; to defend others; to lawfully arrest someone who is committing a crime. ‘Reasonable force’ is not defined in law. When deciding to charge someone, the Crown Prosecution Service will consider: Whether or not the use of force was necessary in all the circumstances i.e. was there any need for force?...

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Fake News: There is no new law which “instantly bans” motorists who are caught on the phone

If you’re a Facebook user, you’ve probably seen a post circulating this week warning of a new law which introduces an “instant ban” for drivers caught using their mobile phones. The post, which even has official GOV.UK branding is (for want of a better phrase) “fake news”. The DVLA has issued a warning over the new post which states Parliament has passed a new law which results in an instant three month ban for drivers caught using their phone. While it’s true that drivers who are caught using the phone will net points and a fine, an automatic ban rule does not exist. A DVLA spokesperson confirmed that the the Facebook post was fake and that no such "new law"...

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Police Interviews: Know Your Rights

In this article, partner and head of our Mansfield office Tom Oates discusses police interviews and the importance of benefiting from expert legal advice. Whenever an individual is interviewed by the Police, whether under arrest or voluntarily, they face the risk of criminal prosecution and are entitled to free and independent legal representation. Despite this, many people still decline a solicitor and say “I haven’t done anything wrong, so I don’t need one”. If the police want to interview you, they are likely to have reasonable grounds to believe that you have committed a criminal offence. So, whilst you might not have “done anything wrong”, someone thinks that you might have. Sometimes you might not think that you have done...

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Congratulations Alexis

Bhatia Best would like to congratulate Alexis Vandyke-Mercer on becoming a fully-accredited Police Station Representative. Alexis is a Criminal Defence paralegal in our busy Nottingham Office. Having previously undertaken her placement year as a Law student with the firm, Alexis returned after completing her Legal Practice Course and quickly set about becoming an accredited Police Station representative. The Accreditation process has two parts; the submission of a detailed written portfolio of cases and then a practical Critical Incidents Test. Alexis passed both of these elements first time round and is now fully-accredited. This means that Alexis has demonstrated such capability, knowledge and experience that she is able to represent any individual at the Police Station, regardless of the case.  ...

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Exam success for Amy Lyons!

Everyone at Bhatia Best would like to extend their congratulations to Amy Lyons for passing her Criminal Written Examination as part of the Police Station Accreditation process. Amy is a paralegal based in the Criminal Defence department at our Mansfield office. Having only moved over from the Family department in late-2017, Amy has wasted no time in beginning her Police Station Accreditation. Having passed this exam at the first time of asking, Amy will now begin the Accreditation Portfolio process. This will see Amy receive training in the representation of individuals at the Police Station and then submit a portfolio of cases to demonstrate her knowledge and experience.[caption id="attachment_8306" align="alignright" width="236"] Amy Lyons[/caption] This is an important step in Amy’s...

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Changes to domestic violence evidence requirements come into effect

From 8 January 2018, victims of domestic violence will get more support in taking abusive former partners to court. Changes to evidence requirements in private family law disputes have come into effect. There will no longer be a time limit on abuse evidence, which previously stood at five years. Additionally, the range of documents accepted as evidence of abuse has been widened to include statements from domestic violence support organisations and housing support officers. Justice Minister Dominic Raab said: “We have listened to victims’ groups and carefully reviewed the criteria for legal aid for victims of domestic abuse in family cases. Today’s changes will ensure that vulnerable women and children get legal support, so their voice is properly heard in...

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Hospital Refused To Disclose Wife’s Whereabouts or Condition

Martin Bridger, recently appointed as an Associate and experienced solicitor in our thriving Public Law Department, has been described as a ‘guardian angel’ by a client. The Client had previously been represented by Hannah-Marie Davies, another recently appointed Associate and a senior solicitor in our Family Department.  Hannah-Marie was contacted by the Client and then by chance saw him looking distressed nearby to our Office and enquired whether he was ok. The client explained that he had been informed that his Wife, who suffered from a rare type of illness, had been admitted to Hospital but nobody was willing to disclose any information to him, including her actual location, despite him being her [caption id="" align="alignright" width="177"] Nottingham Solicitor: Martin Bridger[/caption]...

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Congratulations to newly appointed Associates

We would like to congratulate Neil O’Sullivan, Hannah-Marie Davis and Martin Bridger following their promotion to Associate Partner on 1.12.17. Neil works in our Nottingham Crime Department having joined us many years ago from Nelsons Solicitors. Over the years, Neil has earned a reputation as an excellent criminal advocate which has brought him a large following of clients. Neil is regarded as one of the best Youth Court advocates in the Midlands. Hannah-Marie is a Law Society Children’s Panel accredited solicitor who regularly receives instructions from Guardians to represent children in care proceedings. Hannah-Marie is a Child Law specialist with many years of experience. Martin Bridger was admitted as a Solicitor in 2009 and is an expert in Public Law...

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