SEASONS GREETINGS TO YOU ALL!!

If that headline seems a bit bland and generic to you that’s because it is! Deliberately. There are so many different faiths/non faiths/systems of belief out there that I wanted to try and include everyone and offend no one particularly at this most wonderful time of the year.
In contemplation of writing this, I thought I`d try and compile an A-Z of faiths/beliefs to reflect upon and consider, so here it is;

Atheism, Buddhism, Christianity, Ewokism (added by me for merriment, because I believe they are awesome), Islam, Judaism, Paganism, Zionism………….
I did say I thought I`d try and compile an A to Z. As you can see I wasn’t entirely successful. There are bound to be countless others that I could have unearthed had I the time, wisdom or knowledge, however at this time of year as I`m sure you`d all agree, time is something which comes at a premium (wisdom and knowledge are, alas, perennial)

Each and every faith/belief has reason to celebrate at some point in the year be it Lunar or otherwise.
Regardless of faith or belief it would seem that celebration involves indulgence, which is not necessarily a good thing, unless you look deeper into what that means (disclaimer – I am a solicitor (!) not a philosophist – all opinions are my own and not those of JNP). I for one always feel a pang of guilt amongst the indulgent celebration of Christmas because with it comes excess, waste, thoughtlessness and unhappiness for many.
On the plus side a common thread amongst all values seems to be a genuine love, compassion, humility, kindness, togetherness, grace and tradition… even if those things do get lost in the mire.
What a dilemma!?!

Bearing in mind those features, my own view is that we should all pledge to give something money can’t buy during this seasonal period; time, patience, kindness and understanding. Give back to your communities, to your family, friends and anyone else who may need a helping hand at what should be “the most wonderful time of the year“. It need not be difficult; recycle rubbish, donate unwanted `stuff` to charities, clear the snow from the pavement outside your home, bite your tongue when your mother/father/sister/brother/significant other says or does things that don’t fit with your own ideals.
Simple really!

So….that’s my take on the `seasonal` season! Take from it what you choose!
I will take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy end to 2017.
JNP will be here in 2018 in our freshly made over office building.
We`re moving to the bright side and we hope to see you there.

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.

Advertisements

HANDS UP!

HANDS UP!
Who is fed up of the new school term already?

HANDS UP!
Who is fed up of the lost jumpers, bags, books, lunch boxes, Paw Patrol, Trolls……..?

HANDS UP!
Who is wondering what happened to the promise of ‘essential maintenance works’ on our roads being completed during the summer holiday period?!

Do you ever get the feeling that the information you are being given doesn’t accurately reflect the reality?
”school days are the best of your life” (eye roll from current pupil, teary eye from past)
“revolutionary, indestructible, easy fix name tags” (yeah right)
“we apologise for any inconvenience caused during this time” (well that makes it okay then (!))

Sound information is something that we all need to be able to perform effectively in our everyday lives. It’s only when something goes wrong that we really appreciate just how important it is to ensure that the information (or data) that we rely upon is secure (or protected).

On 25th May 2018 the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect (yes, notwithstanding ’Brexit’), intending to “strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the EU”.
It applies to ‘Personal Data’ which is expansive by definition but on a very basic level will include our names and addresses whether electronic or postal.
The GDPR applies to information subjects (you and I), information controllers (JNP and all other businesses/organisations) and information processors (any person or body involved in the collection, storage, distribution or destruction).
The Information Commissioner’s Officers website is a valuable resource when considering how the legislation will affect you and/or any organisation that you are involved in or have dealings with. (ico.org.uk).

By now you may well be thinking how does the GDPR affect my life on a day to day basis? Consider these scenarios;
Have you ever shopped online for something? Let’s say flip flops by way of illustration. Did the next time you go online, adverts for sunshine holidays keep popping up in your browser? Happy coincidence you might think, but you’d be wrong! You have been ‘profiled’, someone to whom you have provided your personal data (in the purchase of your flip flops) has passed that onto other organisation(s) to enable them to promote products/services that may be of interest to you. When purchasing your humble flip flops did you consent to that sharing of information? I doubt it.
Data protection breach!
Have you ever had a knock on the door from a neighbour clutching a handful of letters addressed to you which had been delivered to them by mistake? Thank you very much for bringing me my mail kind neighbour is what you said I’m sure. But would you really be happy for your private correspondence to be sent to an incorrect address if you stopped to think about it? Of course your neighbour would not have opened any of the letters ‘by mistake’ oh no, no,no that would never happen(!) but what could be gleaned from the envelope itself? Whoops.
Data protection breach!
You see, the GDPR, does impact you, regardless of what you do or don’t do for a living.
I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you that Christmas is just around the corner (What do you mean its not?! There are 98 sleeps left – accurate reflection of reality!) We can all expect an increase in communication traffic and with it an increase in the disclosure/retention of our personal data as we blissfully shop and schlep ourselves into seasonal oblivion. So be vigilant and be aware of your rights;
to be informed about the Personal Data which is held about you,
to access that information and to request its rectification and/or erasure
to request that restrictions are imposed upon its processing and/or transfer.
to object to you data being processed – which is particularly useful if you find yourself ‘profiled’.
Also be aware of your obligations if you find yourself on the other side of the transaction; Personal Data must be processed fairly and lawfully with the subjects explicit consent (save in other defined circumstances). It must be for at least one specified lawful purpose. It must be adequate, relevant, accurate and kept up to date. It must be protected against unauthorised or unlawful processing and must not be transferred to a Country outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). (Quite how Santa is going to get around the latter obstacle I don’t know but he’s got until next year to think about it and he’s magic in any event (Fact) so please don’t worry yourselves unnecessarily).
Data Protection is something that we at JNP Legal take very seriously.
We have a Data Protection Officer (DPO) in place and are currently reviewing our already robust Data Protection policies and procedures to ensure that they are GDPR proof.
We strive to look after your data and keep it protected. In the unlikely event that there is a problem, please assured that we will contact you.
If you discover that your data, wherever its been collected, controlled or processed, has not been looked after, please contact us!

JNP Legal are leading law specialists who can assist with all your legal needs in a discreet and professional manner.

We are open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm in our Merthyr Tydfil and Nelson offices and to ensure maximum convenience to all of you that may need our help and guidance on a Saturday morning 9am – 12pm in our Merthyr Tydfil office.

We offer home visits to those clients who are unable to attend our offices in person and we pride ourselves on offering first class client care.

If you need assistance in relation to any of the issues raised in this blog please call us on 01685 350421 or 01443 450561 or E Mail: Law@jnplegal.org and we will do our very best to provide you with the legal assistance you require.

It’s the end of May…..

Fact!

That is not a statement designed to engender some sort of political uprising amongst our readers and followers, but rather an acknowledgement that we are embarking upon a new meteorological year which, in 20 days or so, will witness our arrival at the summer solstice…..the longest day of sunlight before our descent into, dare I say it, Autumn?!

But, before that happens let us hope that the Spring bank holiday that we have just enjoyed was the benchmark for the start of a season of high-days as well as holidays. A round up of what has been and is on the current local agenda…

First stop has to be the Merthyr Rising event which took place in and around the town centre between 26th and 28th May, of which JNP Legal were one of this years main sponsors. Anyone who follows us on social media will have already seen that it was an impressive spectacle with artists and artistes of all persuasion coming together to present weekend to be remembered.

Music, literature, culture and of course art itself brought together the residents of Merthyr Tydfil and drew crowds from far and wide. Writing this has caused me to reflect upon previous blogs and the importance of ‘communities’ particularly at a time where political, social and global agendas seem to be so disparate. Merthyr Tydfil has always had and continues to have a great sense of the concept which we at JNP are proud to be in the heart of.

In a continuation of those same themes, just over the Brecon Beacons, the Hay Festival straddled the bank holiday weekend and continues to thrill and delight right up until 4th June.

Who would have thought that what started as a literary festival in a sleepy market town in mid Wales would attract the calibre of celebrities and individuals that is currently does? If Merthyr continues to rise in the way that this year’s event suggests it might who knows who or what we can expect to see next year….?

Back across the Beacons, down the A470 and meandering into the Vale of Glamorgan would have taken you to the Cowbridge Food Festival. I say would have because many who intended on going held off because of the seasonal bank holiday forecast of rain, rain and more rain! However, those who made the pilgrimage and contributed to the success of the event were richly rewarded for doing so proving that a 13th anniversary is not unlucky for all.

On your return journey back ‘up the Valleys’ you could do far worse than pay a visit to the Urdd National Eisteddfod, this year settling in Bridgend for a few days between 29th May and 3rd June, showcasing the talent of young people in Wales and celebrating music, literature and performing arts.

And that’s just what is/was available on our doorsteps for half term! Exciting times so it would seem, especially with the certain spectacle of 8th June to look forward to….

Whatever lies ahead for you in the coming months, should you require professional legal advice from the heart of your community please get in touch with JNP Legal.

JNP Legal are leading law specialists who can assist with all your legal needs in a discreet and professional manner.

We are open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm in our Merthyr Tydfil and Nelson offices and to ensure maximum convenience to all of you that may need our help and guidance on a Saturday morning 9am – 12pm in our Merthyr Tydfil office.

We offer home visits to those clients who are unable to attend our offices in person and we pride ourselves on offering first class client care.

If you need assistance in relation to any of the issues raised in this blog please call us on 01685 350421 or 01443 450561 or E Mail: Law@jnplegal.org and we will do our very best to provide you with the legal assistance you require.

What’s new for you in 2017?

A lot I expect with the season of extravagance having just passed by.

I for one have acquired kittens! Real life little fur balls that amaze and bewilder me in equal measure with their energy and zest for life. Remember those? Energy and Zest for life? We humans seem to have misplaced both somewhere between 12th December and 6th January?!

At this time of year it can seem almost impossible to find even a glimmer of light in the darkness notwithstanding our best efforts. Have you noticed the increase in the number of people shuffling the highways and byways in your locality? Pristine trainers on feet, ergonomic water bottle in hand, ubiquitous mobile device plugged into their ears, pounding along in pursuit of health and vitality seemingly relentless in their quest to be reunited with said energy and zest. When participating in my own particular pursuit recently I managed to get ensconced in the whirlwind of an advancing running club, which was something of a shock to the system. Not unlike being trampled by wildebeests I would imagine.

What about the cyclists? Have you seen that sporting activity continuing to grow and grow?

Maybe you haven’t actually seen either, because whilst getting outdoors and getting active seems to have captured the zeitgeist of early 2017, staying safe whilst doing so has not. Running and cycling in the dark without any illumination of clothing or equipment is playing Russian roulette with that precious life, albeit devoid of zest!

All users of public roads have a duty to themselves and others to conduct themselves responsibly. There are laws in place to protect road users. The Highway Code applies to Wales, England and Scotland (there is a separate provision for Ireland) and is relevant to pedestrians and cyclists and well as drivers and motorcyclists. Key reading for anyone seeking to get out on the roads in the all pervasive darkness of what is still (yes still) Winter and will be until 20th March when Spring starts.

Take a look for yourself at https://www.gov.uk/browse/driving/highway-code-road-safety (sections 253-273 apply to motorways so can probably overlooked unless your cycling includes hurtling down the hills of the valleys on a carbon fibre in which case there are probably some analogies to be drawn(!))

Be safe, be seen, be responsible – let that be a mantra for the next few months

If however you do happen to find yourself in conflict with the law for any reason you know what to do.

JNP Legal are leading law specialists who can assist with all your Legal needs.

We are open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm in our Merthyr Tydfil and Nelson offices and to ensure maximum convenience to all of you that may need our help and guidance on a Saturday morning 9am – 12pm in our Merthyr Tydfil office.

Call us on 01685 350421 or 01443 450561 or E Mail: Law@jnplegal.org

 

REMEMBER REMEMBER……………..

Since as long ago as Guy Fawkes failed attempt to wreak havoc on the Executive, the month of November has been synonymous with reflection.

More recent history calls upon us to remember the servicemen/women who gave up their lives in the Great War and all of those battles post, so that we are able to live freely today.

Remembrance day in Merthyr Tydfil saw a significant turnout at the Cenotaph  just opposite our office on Friday. Similar examples of respect were played out on television/radio and social media on the day and days thereafter. The Lord Mayors Parade in London on Saturday was, in my opinion, a fantastic and fitting spectacle for all that it represents.

Sunday was Remembrance Day ‘proper’ and the village in which I grew up, a mining village, did its usual best to honour those who deserve it.

The reflective mood of the month is in keeping with that of 21st October 2016 which marked the 50th Anniversary of Aberfan. The day witnessed the coming together of communities near and far. Many became Martyrs in what was an unforgivable tragedy my own parents, who were themselves children at the time, albeit in a different Valley, were moved enough to make the pilgrimage to the Merthyr Tydfil borough to pay tribute.

All too often there is a perception amongst the public that Solicitors are un-approachable and the services that they offer unaffordable. That is a mis-conception, bourn out of the Bankers and ….(I’ll leave you to fill in the blanks!) era. I was brought up in a mining community and I practice in what was a mining/Iron ore/Coke community, as do many of my colleagues at JNP Legal. It is heartening to see that in the whiz bang clap of modern life that the values that underpinned the ‘old days’ are as visibly present in modern society as they were then.

Take our local rugby club, on a happier note, they, the current ‘Iron men’ are forging ahead in their league (JNP are proud sponsers!). And ….Wales managed to beat the Arbies !

Small mercies in the grand scheme of things , but celebrate! ‘tis the season after all.

See you on the other side….

PS: we are going to be at St Davids Church Chritsmas Fayre on 26/11/16, join us if you can.

JNP Legal are leading law specialists who can assist with all your Legal needs.  We are open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm in our Merthyr Tydfil and Nelson offices and to ensure maximum convenience to all of you that may need our help and guidance on a Saturday morning 9am – 12pm in our Merthyr Tydfil office.

Call us on 01685 350421 or 01443 450561 or E Mail: Law@jnplegal.org

 

And we’re off!!

race horse picture

The Grand National is taking place this weekend, hot of the hooves of the Cheltenham Gold Cup a few weeks ago. Both are big events in the Spring Sporting calendar which signal that the second season is well underway.

Did anyone predict that Victoria Pendleton would swap saddles from cycling to horse racing after such victory in London 2012? A perfect example of a Professional at the top of her game, striving to achieve diversity, equality and excellence in her chosen area of expertise.

Exclamations of excellence seem to be increasingly over used in every day parlance; especially in a digital age where users of social media seek to endorse a product or an opinion with a ‘like’ or a ‘re tweet’. In years gone by the use of the word was to offer an accolade of an accomplishment above and beyond that expected as standard.

In fact the dictionary defines Excellence as “a talent of quality which is unusually good and so surpasses ordinary standards”

Equality, diversity and excellence are key words in the JNP vision.

Did you know that JNP Legal were shortlisted in last years Law Society Excellence awards? Why would you? Most users of Legal Services don’t come to the market out of choice or enjoyment or pleasure. Trip Advisor certainly will not have a category for ‘Excellence in Legal Services’ (yet). It is a prestigious line up of which we hope to part of in this coming year.

At the end of March this year we also achieved, once again, the Lexcel Standard of approval, demonstrating our firm’s commitment to that benchmark of excellence in the provision of Legal Services. We subscribed to the standard in 2010 and not withstanding the turbulence in the Economic climate and the Government’s metronomic approach in the areas of Publicly Funded work we have qualified for that standard again.

Are we proud? We certainly are!

I will take this opportunity to say thank you and well done to all of my colleagues at JNP for their consistent efforts to ensure that our practices and procedures adhere to the ultimate goal of achieving client satisfaction in tandem with Professional Standards and expectations.

Ardderchog! (Yn Cymraeg).

In our quest to ensure the best possible standards, we at JNP Legal strive to ‘grow our own’. Two of our four Directors are formally trainees, the remaining two being founder members. Of our permanent full time Solicitors, all apart from a recent new recruit are former trainees. We currently have a trainee due to qualify this summer and a Paralegal ready to take on the mantle of thereafter.

All this against a backdrop of the Government wishing to ‘open up the market’ to allow those without formal legal education to qualify as solicitors?!

We wholeheartedly support equality and diversity but not at the expense of excellence.

Consider this; would you instruct Bob the Builder to extract an impacted molar? Post Man Pat to deliver a baby? A heart surgeon to lay a patio maybe?

Of course not.

A Solicitor is a Solicitor for a reason. We trained to do it! We want to do it, so please let us.

I will take on the role of Training Principle for JNP this summer. It’s a huge responsibility, but a welcome one.

The Law Society, our training organisation, has acknowledged that training within the Profession needs to be area specific. New regulations will apply from October 2016 to ensure we, as a profession have ongoing, specific training in our particular fields of competence. A further safeguard for user’s of our services.

There is a growing market for Legal Services. We recognise that to compete we need to offer something more…..excellence!

Compare the market if you wish…

If I were a betting person, I’d put odds on us…

Simples!

 

Josie Flicker is a senior solicitor at JNP Legal who are leading law specialists who can assist with all your Legal needs.

We are open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm in our Merthyr Tydfil and Nelson offices and to ensure maximum convenience to all of you that may need our help and guidance on a Saturday morning 9am – 12pm in our Merthyr Tydfil office.

Call us on 01685 350421 or 01443 450561 or E Mail: Law@jnplegal.org

 

 

So, that was January folks!

Just we when all thought that the darkness, dampness and deluge of deprivation that January inevitably bring would never abate, along comes February! With a leap and a bound, the second month of the year brings with it the prospect of Springtime, sunshine and saplings of new life in flora and fauna as well as an end to the post Christmas blues.

As night follows days and spring follows winter, there is something comforting in the knowledge that life is cyclical and that all troublesome times will naturally be followed by positivity and fresh hope.

It is in keeping with that cycle that the past few weeks, post festivities that we have witnessed the demise of living Legends in the form of “Lemmy”, Bowie, Rickman and latterly Glen Fry of Eagles fame.

Is it me or is it customary for ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ a season of extravagance and indulgence to be proceeded by a succession of losses that until they happen seem unimaginable? The loss of love, life, liberty and livelihood all visible in fashionably High Definition 50” plasma screen posterity against the backdrop of January?

Well, Dear Reader take comfort, as indeed I do in knowing that whatever your particular personal New Year dilemma may be you are not alone. Here at JNP Legal we offer a range of professional legal services that can set you on the path to resolution of a problem or avoidance of an issue before problem in the first place.

We are local specialists in Family Law including divorce/finances, child contact and care proceedings, Private law including Wills, Probate and Estate Planning, Criminal law including Employment/Health Safety/Environmental matters as well as matters of Civil Litigation including Personal Injury and Negligence.

We are open Monday to Friday in our Merthyr Tydfil and Nelson offices and to ensure maximum convenience to all of you that may need our help and guidance on a Saturday morning in our Merthyr Tydfil office.

So, to adopt the phrases of those (now) legends if you envisage a ‘ Hellraiser’ situation, it seems that ‘We could be Heroes’ so get in touch.

Concluding on a lighter note, whilst we would ‘Love, Actually’ to help you achieve those other more desirable post Christmas losses (minced pie and mulled wine waist anyone?…Or is that just me again…?!), health and nutrition is unfortunately beyond our expertise; but (there is always a but), you can get behind our team here who will in 2016 undoubtedly be embarking upon a strenuous schedule of attempts to support our Charitable causes, helping us to help you support our Communities.

So, until next time ‘take it easy’ (sorry, I couldn’t resist!)