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Working together to end Domestic Abuse

JNP Legal were fortunate enough to attend a seminar hosted by Welsh Women’s Aid during sexual violence awareness week. The seminar was focussed on sexual abuse and violence and looked at good practice in supporting survivors, the impact upon survivors and effective intervention for offenders. There were a number of support agencies and charities in attendance and we heard from some great speakers.

The number of people who will experience sexual violence and harassment within their lifetime is a shocking statistic, and many incidents remain unreported with victims being too afraid to speak up, or feeling as though they have no one to turn to. Unfortunately many cannot access the support that they need and want. Women are more likely than men to experience incidents of abuse but it is not only women who are victims.

The UK Government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over, who are, or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality
This violence and abuse can take many forms such as coercively controlling behaviour, emotional or psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, harassment and stalking.

If you have been subject to any form of domestic abuse and require support please contact the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800. If you are living in the Merthyr Tydfil area and require support and guidance though any of these issues you can also contact Llamau on 01685 379999 or the Domestic Abuse Resource Team (DART) on 01685 388444.

If you require any legal advice or assistance in respect of any issue concerning any domestic abuse that you may have suffered please do not hesitate to contact our family department. We can assist you on a number of matters including family injunctions, the occupation of property, matters regarding children and separation and divorce issues. You may be entitled to legal aid if you cannot afford to pay your legal fees.

JNP Legal will be holding a Welsh Cakes Cake Sale on Friday 8 March 2019 at our offices in Merthyr Tydfil in aid of Women’s Aid and to celebrate International Women’s Day. Please come in to support this worthy cause.

#itsnotok #waleswontstandby #welshcakes #womensaid

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Accident abroad? Don’t miss out!

If there’s one thing the majority of British people enjoy, it’s a holiday. And booking your holiday as a package means less time spent arranging the various elements of the holiday (flights, transfers, accommodation) separately and more time on looking forward to a hard-earned break in the sun (or snow).

When booking a holiday, you expect the quality of holiday that you pay for. However, like all other circumstances, accidents can sometimes happen which lead to injury or illness which are not the fault of the holiday-goer.

Getting injured or becoming ill in another country often causes confusion amongst the innocent parties as to whether they have any legal grounds to be compensated, especially if the accident or illness was caused by no fault of their own. Thankfully, the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 provide protection to those who purchase a package holiday.

It’s important to remember that this level of protection only applies to package holidays. Your holiday will be classed as a package holiday if:

• it was advertised as a package or all-inclusive deal
• you bought the holiday for an inclusive or total price
• you bought more than one part of your holiday, such as flights and accommodation, from one company with one payment
• after booking one part of your holiday, you were prompted to buy another, and your personal and payment details were transferred so you didn’t have to enter them again. You completed this all within 24 hours of the first booking.

In summary – if your holiday looked like a package deal when you bought it – it probably will fall under the scope of these regulations.

The regulations also give some protection to Linked Travel Arrangements. However, the level of protection given to these types of holidays will not cover unfortunate accidents or illnesses.

A claim brought under the regulations can be made against the tour operator (the company who sold the package holiday), even if the negligent party was actually based in a foreign country. Therefore, the negligent act must be linked directly to the accommodation, travel or event that you purchased through the tour operator.

For example, if you went on a package holiday to Mallorca and slipped on a wet floor in your hotel, your claim can be brought directly against the business who sold you the holiday, even if the hotel was responsible for not mopping the floor.

One important point to note is that whilst your claim will be brought under the Law of England and Wales, the local health and safety standards of the country where the accident happened will apply, which might be lower than the standards of health & safety we enjoy in England and Wales.

If you’ve been injured or become ill whilst on a package holiday, and you want to know if you have any way of being compensated for the suffering you have endured, contact us on 01443 454919 or simply email us at pi@jnplegal.org to speak to one of our specialist personal injury solicitors.

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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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.