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Have you been affected by the Windrush Scandal?

There’s been lots in the news recently about the Windrush Scandal and the terrible impact of the Home Office treatment of people from the Commonwealth who are struggling to prove their right to be in the UK.

The scale is only now beginning to be understood, this article from the BBC confirms:

 

Of the 524,000 people living in the UK in June 2017 who arrived from a Commonwealth country before 1971, 57,000 of them are not UK nationals.  Of this group, 15,000 were from Jamaica, 13,000 from India and 29,000 from elsewhere

There is so much anxiety and uncertainty in the community following the coverage of the windrush cases and we are keen to help those who are worried about their status.

We hold at least two free immigration advice sessions each week, anyone is welcome to come along, and you don’t need an appointment.

All information discussed with us will be strictly confidential.

If you are unsure of your status please come along to one of our advice sessions or get in touch.  We’ve helped other people in similar situations. Through his work with the Refugee and Migrant Centre, Jim Wilson helped Paulette Wilson secure her official leave to remain status.

If you or someone you know has no status in the UK, you should check to see if your parents or grandparents came to the UK before 1971, as you or they may be British and not even know it.

For friendly, confidential advice, please get in touch with our highly experienced immigration team. 

Do I still need to see a solicitor to get divorced?

You may have seen in the news that the process of getting divorced is being modernised enabling couples to make applications for divorce online rather than having to go to court.

Making applications for divorce easier and accessible to everyone is a good thing. However I would still advise a trip to the solicitor’s office for legal advice on your options before embarking on a do-it-yourself application.

The reason for this is that many clients assume they fulfil one of the categories for divorce when actually they don’t. An example is the requirement to be separated for 2 years or more and have the consent of the other party, known as the respondent spouse. They may well have been separated for 2 years but often they are unsure if their estranged spouse will agree to complete the acknowledgment form. They start the divorce and pay the hefty court fee of £550  only to discover along the line that spouse will not sign or acknowledge the papers. More often than not this leads to a dismissal of the original application (incurring a court fee) and a re-issue of another divorce application and a further court fee of £550 for another category such as unreasonable behaviour. Another misconception is 5 years separation. I often hear from clients the assumption that if they have remained separated for over 5 years the divorce is ‘automatic’ and does not require an application as such. Clearly this is wrong.

For this reason I hope the on line scheme will advise all applicants to seek legal advice first before making their divorce application. Such advice does not have to cost the client anything. Free advice clinics and free first appointments are crucial in such cases. There is no obligation to instruct, you see a qualified and experienced solicitor, the advice you receive is free and most important of all it could stop you making mistakes that can cost you a lot of money later on.

For advice and information or to book your free first appointment please contact our Head of Family Law Jenny Sharma. 

How can I recover money owed to me? 

At some point in our lives we may encounter the word ‘debt’. You may be owed money from an individual or a business. So how can the J M Wilson team help you recover the money you are owed? 

We understand that recovering debt is stressful, especially when you have several other important things that require your attention. We can help defuse awkward situations without you being involved and preserve your relationships with good clients by pursuing the debt in a firm but professional manner. 

Before taking court action, we look to undertake steps to make the individual debtor (person owing the debt) aware that they owe you a debt and provide them with a deadline to repay that debt. Under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 you are entitled to claim back the costs involved with recovering your debts. Under this Act, we are able to recover the costs of using our services at various stages of the collection process in relation to the debt. Furthermore, if your claim is successful, we can help you claim compensation and additional interest on the outstanding debt. You are entitled to claim £40.00 to £100.00 in compensation per invoice and interest at 8% above the Bank of England’s base rate, this is all in addition to the original debt amount and legal costs*. 

At J M Wilson Solicitors our priority is to try and settle the matter first without going to court thus keeping your legal fees to a minimum. Should the debtor refuse to comply with our requests for payment it may then be necessary to take the matter to court. 

Once a County Court Order or High Court Enforcement Order has been obtained against the debtor, there are various options available for you to enforce the debt. 

Some of these options are as follows:

  • Instructing court bailiffs to seize goods at the debtor’s property to be sold for payment of the debt;
  • An attachment of earnings order for the debtor to pay instalments from his or her earnings towards the money owed;
  • A charging order to secure the debt over any property that the debtor may own, and ultimately;
  • Insolvency proceedings to bring a bankruptcy petition against an individual or a winding up petition against a company. 

At J M Wilson Solicitors, we take a strong but professional approach to recovering debt owed to you, whether this is a large or small sum.   

If you feel you may be owed money of any amount, we are happy to talk to you to discuss your options and provide you with professional legal advice. Ask to speak to our specialist advisor, Lisa Shocker from our Civil and Commercial Litigation department on 0121 356 4556 or email your enquiry to enquiry@jmwilsonsolicitors.com.

 *This is subject to whether the debt qualifies as a commercial debt under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.