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How much?!

This is one of the most common questions asked by our clients when we are first approached with an enquiry. Any business could say the same. It is always something I personally consider before using a business’ service. However, up until now, solicitors such as JNP Legal have not been required to publish their prices online. However, from December 2018, new rules published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, called the Price Transparency Rules, are coming into force which mean that solicitors must now publish prices online for services such as conveyancing and probate. Other information such as typical timescales and the experience of the solicitor dealing with the matter must also be published.

Prior to the implementation of these rules, JNP Legal has been working hard behind the scenes in order to put together the prices for our website. We are in fact going live soon with a brand new website so please watch this space!

Whilst we are now required by our regulator to publish our prices online in order to improve transparency for clients, JNP Legal has always strived to be as transparent and straight forward as possible. The rules do not mean that our prices will change and we still offer fixed fee packages for various services. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have a legal problem. JNP Legal are your local legal experts.

We have offices in Merthyr Tydfil, Nelson and Llanishen. Our solicitors are happy to travel to the office which is most convenient for you. Our Merthyr Tydfil office also opens on a Saturday between 09:00 AM and midday. We even do home visits where required. We can offer appointments to suit your needs.

If there is anything we can assist you with, please telephone us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr), 01443 450561 (Nelson) and 02920 763211 (Llanishen) where a member of staff will be more than happy to help you. We pride ourselves on excellent client care.

JNP Legal offer a variety of legal services. Our Merthyr, Nelson & Llanishen office is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and our Merthyr Tydfil Office is open 9am – 12pm every Saturday morning.

If you are unable to attend our offices we would be more than happy to arrange a home appointment, where convenient.

We value our clients and pride ourselves on our ability to offer a first class service.

If you require our assistance with any legal matters please call us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil Office) 01443 450561 (Nelson Office) or 02920 763211 (Cardiff Office) or contact us via email on Law@jnplegal.org.

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GOOD DIVORCE WEEK

JNP Legal’s Family Department are all proud members of Resolution, a community of family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way. Resolution are running their annual awareness raising campaign, Good Divorce Week, from 26 until 30 November 2018.

This will focus on how separating or divorcing parents can limit the impact of conflict on their children.

Resolution will be hosting a Parliamentary briefing session on 28 November to raise awareness amongst MP’s of how removing fault from the process would decrease the conflict associated with divorce.

The current law says, unless you have been separated for 2 years with consent, or 5 years without, you have to divorce on the grounds of adultery or behaviour. In 2016, the majority (60%) of divorces in England and Wales were granted on adultery and behaviour.

Divorce is always difficult, but having to show fault can increase the conflict between the couple and make it more difficult to sort out child and financial arrangements. Blame creates conflict and makes reached a mutually acceptable agreement about children or financial matters more difficult.

71% of the population agrees that no fault divorce is urgently needed to protect the long-term interests of children.

Urgent reform is needed to remove blame from the process to reduce the negative impact of conflict on children. We fully support Resolution in their campaign for no-fault divorce which we believe would ease tension for all involved.

Until reform is achieved we are committed to reducing conflict, promoting a non-confrontational approach and putting the best interests of children first.
As Resolution members, we have signed up to a Code of Practice promoting a constructive approach to family issues.

If your marriage or civil partnership is breaking down, and you need to explore options for separating contact us to arrange an appointment. We are holding a coffee and cake morning on Monday 26 November between 9:00am and 12:00pm at our offices in Merthyr Tydfil to support Good Divorce Week; please feel free to drop in for a chat and some further information.

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The Purpose of Rehabilitation in Personal Injury Claims

Those who have suffered injuries as a result of an accident will know that usually all that they want is to get back to living their lives as fully as possible.

A key aspect which is considered as part of claims for damages following such accidents is rehabilitation, in addition to financial compensation. Rehabilitation is defined in medical dictionaries as the “treatment or treatments designed to facilitate the process of recovery from injury, illness, or disease to as normal a condition as possible”. Those who have been injured will often require various forms of treatment in order to assist in recovering from their injuries and enable them to have a better quality of life. This will ensure that the injured person can return to work, hobbies, sports and social activities where possible and can help in gaining independence.

As you may be aware, JNP Legal are accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). APIL advocates the importance of considering rehabilitation in all personal injury claims and have issued guidance on their website in relation to this. A collaborative approach with those acting on behalf of Defendant insurers is encouraged, in order to ensure the best results for the injured person. Rehabilitation should be borne in mind for all cases; no matter whether the injury is of a more minor or serious nature.

An approved framework for personal injury claims, The Rehabilitation Code, has also been published by the Rehabilitation Working Party and is designed to enable representatives for Claimants and Defendants to work together to ensure that appropriate treatments and therapies are accessed by the injured person. It is expected by the Courts that the Code is followed by those dealing with personal injury claims in order to ensure that the needs of the injured person are addressed.

Rehabilitation can include access to various treatments and therapies for both physical and psychological injuries. Consideration can also be made for adaptations to an injured person’s home / transport along with equipment and aids which can help the person to live as independently as possible. The focus will be on allowing those who have been injured to get back to living their lives as fully as they can. Consideration will be made of the support available to assist the injured person in returning to work. In certain cases, a Case Manager may need to be appointed who will assess the injured person’s needs and co-ordinate the agreed rehabilitation plan.

JNP Legal are committed to considering rehabilitation in all personal injury claims and seeking funding from Defendant insurers to enable access to appropriate services.

If you require assistance with any legal matter please contact us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil Office), 01443 450561 (Nelson Office) or 02920 763211 (Cardiff Office) or contact us via e-mail on law@jnplegal.org.

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Owed money? This is how we can help…….

Unfortunately, many of us find ourselves in a position where we are owed money by another others. This debt can come in many forms: failure by creditors to pay invoices, money loaned to others etc.

Sometimes matters can be resolved amicably with the other party without the need for legal intervention. However, that is not always the case. At that point it is worth obtaining legal advice regarding your options.

Our specialist debt recovery team can provide you with clear and cost effective advice and guidance on how to recover sums of money owed to you.

Usually the first step would be to draft a ‘Letter before Action’ to the other party setting out the request for payment and legal basis for that request. Parties are expected to attempt to resolve matters without Court intervention, if at all possible, through methods such as mediation. Unfortunately, sometimes correspondence is not enough to resolve a dispute and it is necessary to issue proceedings to progress.

Our solicitors are experienced in issuing and progressing claims through Court if necessary. If a Judgment is obtained there are various methods of enforcing that Judgment if payment is not forthcoming from the debtor. The suitability of the methods largely depend on the debtor’s circumstances and we would tailor enforcement to the specific circumstances of the case to ensure maximum recoverability.

We can arrange appointments at any of our three offices: Merthyr Tydfil, Nelson and Llanishen. The Nelson and Llanishen offices are open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Our Merthyr Tydfil office is also open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday but is also open 9am-12pm Saturdays to accommodate clients.

We can arrange appointments in person or via telephone if more convenient. We are often able to offer appointments for debt recovery work for a fixed fee and will provide clear cost estimates so that you are aware of future costs. Dependant on the value of your debt, if you are successful in your claim, you may be able to seek recovery of your costs from the other party.

We would be more than happy to assist with any queries you may have. As well as Civil Litigation we also deal with a variety of other matters and have various methods of funding any transaction if Legal Aid is not available.

Do not hesitate to contact our offices today: 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil office), 01443 450561 (Nelson office) 02920 763211 (Cardiff office) or email us on law@jnplegal.org.

JNP Legal offer a variety of legal services. Our Merthyr, Nelson & Llanishen office is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and our Merthyr Tydfil Office is open 9am – 12pm every Saturday morning.

If you are unable to attend our offices we would be more than happy to arrange a home appointment, where convenient.
We value our clients and pride ourselves on our ability to offer a first class service.

If you require our assistance with any legal matters please call us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil Office) 01443 450561 (Nelson Office) or 02920 763211 (Cardiff Office) or contact us via email on Law@jnplegal.org

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Taking photographs in public, know your rights!

The world is becoming more image focused. Driven by social media like Instagram, Flickr and Snapchat we are becoming obsessed with taking photographs. I should know as I do it too!
But in the social media frenzy to get an image posted of what you’re doing, or who you are with, it’s easy to forget the rules about what you can and cannot photograph. Hopefully none of you will fall foul of these rules, but to help you along the way, here are the basics.

Firstly, there is no rule saying what you can photograph. The general principle is that if you are on public land, you can photograph anything and anyone. Great, get your camera phones at the ready!

But before you start snapping away, there are a few exceptions to be aware of.
Firstly, it is an offence to take a photograph inside certain public buildings like a Court room. Hopefully none of you will ever appear before a court and if you do you’re unlikely to want to take a memento of the day. However if you do, don’t take a photograph! If caught you could face a fine and get a criminal record.

Secondly you shouldn’t take a photograph of a person, even in public, if they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. An example would be if you took a picture in the changing rooms of a public swimming baths. It’s a public building but a person changing would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. So no taking a cheeky selfie. If you do, anyone present who appears unexpectedly in the photograph has the right to have the photograph deleted.
Another example would be the so called “up skirting”. For those of you who don’t know, this is the act of taking a photograph under another person’s clothing, be it skirt, dress or kilt, without their knowledge. Surprisingly, this is currently not a specific offence already under the laws of England and Wales, though you could be prosecuted for outraging public decency.

Thankfully, Parliament are changing this and making this act a specific offence by adding an amendment to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, if convicted you could face up to two years in prison as well as being registered on the sex offenders register! It’s good to know Parliament are working on other important issues not just Brexit.

The rules also change if you are on private property. Most land owners won’t have a specific photography policy but if they do you need to adhere to it and can be asked to delete any photograph you take without their permission.
Like I said, hopefully none of you will fall foul of these rules, but if you do, give us a call.

JNP Legal offer a variety of legal services. Our Merthyr, Nelson & Llanishen office is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and our Merthyr Tydfil Office is open 9am – 12pm every Saturday morning.

If you are unable to attend our offices we would be more than happy to arrange a home appointment, where convenient.

We value our clients and pride ourselves on our ability to offer a first class service.

If you require our assistance with any legal matters please call us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil Office) 01443 450561 (Nelson Office) or 02920 763211 (Cardiff Office) or contact us via email on Law@jnplegal.org.

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Can I make a personal injury claim against my Local Council?

Have you ever had a personal injury claim against your local authority and not done anything about it as you did not know if you could? Hopefully this blog will try and dispel some of the common myths surrounding these sorts of claims.

To start with the basics for any personal injury claim, the following must be proved to be successful: a duty of care, a breach of that duty of care and that the breach is a negligent one. For a claim against your local council, you must also show that they have breached their duties under the Highways Act 1980.

It has been established by the Courts that the highway is a defined route over which ‘the public at large can pass and repass as frequently as they wish, without hindrance and without charge’. Therefore, as you can see from this definition, most pavements and roads will be classed as a highway. If you can establish that the road is indeed a highway, section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 then imposes a duty on the Local Authority to maintain a highway at the public expense, unless they can prove that someone else is responsible. It is possible for a highway to be no-one’s responsibility.

It is important to remember that the duty to maintain is restricted to a duty to repair and keep in repair. The Local Authority are not under a duty to improve the highway. However the duty under section 41 is an absolute duty to maintain, and is not guided by what is reasonable.

However, it is based upon what a reasonable man would think and the duty also depends upon the level of use the road has. Therefore, the duty will be higher for a main road, as opposed to a rarely used footpath.

If you are able to establish that there has been a breach of section 41 (i.e. a failure to repair a defect on the pavement), your local council will then be responsible for any reasonably foreseeable injuries caused, subject to a defence contained in section 58 of the Highways Act 1980. This defence states that your local council will be able to successfully defend a personal injury claim where ‘the authority had taken care as in all the circumstances was reasonably required to secure that the part of the highway to which the action relates was not dangerous for traffic’.

Therefore, as long as your local council can show that they did everything reasonable to ensure your safety, it is highly likely that they will be able to defend your claim.

What does all of this mean in practice? Each local council will have their own policy in place in relation to defects. A road will be classified and each classification will determine how often a road is inspected. For example, a main road with lots of people travelling on it may be inspected monthly. However, a footpath may only be inspected every 6 months.

Previous cases have usually ruled in the council’s favour by deciding that anything more than monthly would be onerous and expensive.

As well as the inspection system in place, local councils also need to react to reports of other accidents or near misses. If someone else reports an accident on the same defect, it means that the council had notice of it before your own accident and this will strengthen your case if they failed to respond to an earlier report.

The council’s guidance will also stipulate what they deem to be an ‘actionable defect’. For example, a pothole would need to be 3 inches deep before they consider it serious enough for repair. For a defect which is less than 3 inches deep, it would be extremely difficult to win a claim on the basis that it was not an actionable defect.

It must be stressed that your local council’s duty is only a reasonable one and they cannot be expected to repair every single defect. One of the reasons Courts give for this is because it is public money involved.

If you do have an accident as a result of a defect, a number of things will strengthen your claim:

1. Photographs of the defect at the time of your accident, including measurements using a tape measurer;

2. Details of any witnesses on the street who are able to confirm how long the defect has been present for;

3. Monitoring of the defect to see if the local council repair it in line with their own policy; and

4. Google Maps can be helpful as it may show a defect in situ at a much earlier point than your accident.

All personal injury claims are subject to a 3 year limitation deadline. If a claim is not settled or issued at Court by the third year deadline, you would then be barred by statute from bringing that claim. Therefore, you should act swiftly if you think that you have a personal injury claim.

JNP Legal are local legal experts who specialise in personal injury claims. Where we view the chance of success to be sufficient, we may then offer a No Win No Fee Agreement.

However, we would ordinarily need to see photographs before we can assess your chance of winning.

We have offices based at Merthyr, Nelson and Llanishen and our offices are open Monday to Friday 9 AM – 5 PM and our Merthyr Tydfil office is open 9 AM – 12 noon every Saturday morning.

If you require our assistance with any legal matters please call us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil), 01443 450561 (Nelson) or 02920 763211 (Cardiff) or contact us via e-mail on Law@jnplegal.org.

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Live for today, Plan for tomorrow

The topic of wills and future planning is never easy to think about, and is quite often at the bottom of peoples ‘to do’ list. It really doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. Actually, it should be the opposite. Writing a will gives you the chance to do something today, that no doubt your future self will thank you for.

A will gives you choice. A will gives you the freedom to ensure your wishes are carried out just as you want them to be, and by whom you want them to be. A will allows you to make the decisions about your assets that best suits your family and personal circumstances, and not leave it to the law
The 10th -16th September 2018 is ‘Remember a Charity in your will’ week.
“Three quarters of Britons regularly give to charity in their lifetimes, yet only 6% currently include a charity when writing a Will”.

It is quite incredible how much Charities rely upon legacy’s to run on a daily basis.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Ty Hafan, as a solicitor involved in their ‘Write a will’ campaign that runs in March every year.

I was greeted with the warmest of welcomes by all the staff at the Hospice, and it was truly inspiring to actually see how Ty Hafan helps so many people, in so many ways.

The hospice itself is beautiful. It immediately makes you feel at home. It has a warm and friendly atmosphere that is packed full of life. We were given a tour of the hospice, and shown some of the life changing technology they have there that is tailored to each individual that passes through their doors. Ty Hafan really is a hidden gem!

12% of Ty Hafan’s income is generated through legacies left in wills. This really makes a massive difference to their future planning and their ability to continue to help families in so many different ways. In reality, no one wants to find themselves in the position where they need such a resource, but it happens. Ty Hafan offers essential services to so many families in Wales, and from what I saw, the families really are the heart and soul of the hospice.
Just think about it.

You could be part of making a difference, by simply remembering a charity in your will.

If you would like further information on writing a will please contact our Loran Beynon on 01443 450561 or Evelyn James 02920 76 3211, or email wills@jnplegal.org. We offer completive fixed fee packages.

JNP Legal offer a variety of legal services. Our Merthyr, Nelson & Llanishen office is open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm and our Merthyr Tydfil Office is open 9am – 12pm every Saturday morning.

If you are unable to attend our offices we would be more than happy to arrange a home appointment, where convenient.
We value our clients and pride ourselves on our ability to offer a first class service.

If you require our assistance with any legal matters please call us on 01685 350421 (Merthyr Tydfil Office) 01443 450561 (Nelson Office) or 02920 763211 (Cardiff Office) or contact us via email on Law@jnplegal.org.