Monthly Archives: August 2013

Ridley & Hall Seeking Experienced Family Law Secretary

Due to the recent launch our new Family First service, offering a range of family law support packages aimed at different levels to suit all budgets, we are looking to recruit a family law secretary to assist the head of the Family department.

Based in our central Huddersfield office, we are seeking a full-time, experienced legal secretary who has had exposure to working in a demanding and fast paced environment to join our family team. Legal secretarial experience within family law is essential, as is excellent typing, the ability to communicate with clients, good organisational skills, software skills and knowledge of digital dictation.

If you are interested in this role, please email your CV and a covering letter stating your current salary to our Practice Manager, Elaine Davis. No recruitment agencies please.

Liverpool City Council Fails to Give Adequate Support to 340 Carers

Around 340 carers in the Merseyside area will have their allowances backdated after an investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) discovered Liverpool City Council had been underpaying them for years. For full story click here

Court Ruling on Kinship Foster Carers: Lessons for Councils

A recent Court of Appeal decision, as reported in the Guardian, has re-affirmed that there should be no discrimination between related and unrelated foster carers.

Rebecca Chapman, a Community Care solicitor at Ridley & Hall commented “It is an important decision which recognises the importance of the services provided by family and friends carers as well as exemplifying the need for local authorities to follow statutory guidance.”

For further information or advice in this area, please contact Rebecca Chapman at Ridley & Hall Solicitors on 01484 538421 or by e-mail.

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“Whaddya Mean?” – Interpreting a Will

Joan Edward’s Will has received widespread media coverage over the last few days. She passed away last December, aged 90 having bequeathed £520,000 to “whichever government is in office in their absolute discretion to use as they think fit.”  The money was divided between the coalition parties based on their number of ministers and MPs.  The Conservatives received £420,576 and the Liberal Democrats, £99,423.

The Daily Mail investigated and criticised the two parties for accepting the money as party political donations rather than using it for the good of the nation.

The solicitors who drafted it (who were also appointed as executors and trustees) stated that when Joan had made her Will, they specifically checked with her that the bequest was to go to a political party. But crucially, the will does not say this – it is a clear example of poor drafting.  One Labour MP branded the coalition’s interpretation of the donation as ‘dodgy’.

After great public and political pressure both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have decided to donate the windfall to the treasury and announced that it would be used to reduce the national debt.

After the money had been handed over to the treasury a Liberal Democrat spokesman said:  “The decision to give the money to the political parties was taken solely by the executors of the Will. The party accepted the donation in good faith.”

Many people reading about Joan’s story will question the purpose of making a Will if it results in disputes between the respective beneficiaries, and those omitted.

Although this case is unique, it highlights the importance of communication between a client and their solicitor when making a Will.  Partner Sarah Young, who specialises in contentious probate at Huddersfield firm Ridley & Hall comments:

“It’s important to seek professional advice when you want to make a Will. As this case shows, it doesn’t always prevent a dispute but it can significantly reduce the risk of a challenge. You should ideally see a solicitor accredited by Solicitors for the Elderly and check your Will carefully before you sign it.”

In relation to the Joan Edwards case she says:

“In this case, potentially the political parties could sue the solicitors for professional negligence – but it’s unlikely that they will given the further bad publicity that would be involved!”

Sarah Young is a Partner with Ridley & Hall solicitors. She specialises in contentious probate law and has a record of bringing the most complex cases to a successful conclusion.

For further information please contact Sarah Young at Ridley & Hall, Queens House, 35 Market Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2HL on 01484 538421 or mobile 07860 165850.

Ridley & Hall Solicitors Shortlisted for the Yorkshire Lawyer Awards 2013

We are delighted to announce that Ridley & Hall have been shortlisted at the forthcoming Yorkshire Lawyer Awards, which will be held at New Dock Hall, Leeds on Wednesday 2nd October.

The awards honour excellence within the region’s legal profession and Ridley & Hall have been shortlisted in the ‘Law Firm Award (1-10 partners)’ category.

Ridley & Hall Solicitors have this year achieved great success thanks to a number of regional and national initiatives, supported by significant investment in client service programmes and personal development training for staff to build upon the strong reputation the firm has built locally and nationally.

Adam Fletcher, Managing Partner commented “We are particularly pleased to be shortlisted for the ‘Law Firm Award’ category where the remit was to demonstrate a commitment to “flying the flag for Yorkshire and making a notable impact in regional, national and international markets.”

We very much look forward to attending the award ceremony on 2nd October.