Recent changes to the Government's affordable home ownership schemes eligibility criteria mean that households earning less than £80,000 (or £90,00 in London) now have the opportunity to become homeowners.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the average price of a starter home now costs £140,000. As a result Shared Ownership properties are increasingly being seen as an essential first step onto the housing ladder.
Analysis of the latest data from the Housing and Communities Agency shows that in 2016 sales of Low-Cost Homeownership (LCHO) properties in England and Wales rose by 26% and by 36% in London and The South East.
Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you will ever make and choosing the right Solicitor to help you is critical.
At MW Solicitors we understand that the process of buying a home on a shared ownership or affordable ownership scheme is often much more complicated.
Our dedicated team of shared ownership experts is ready and waiting to guide you through the Shared Ownership Buying Process. They can help with every aspect of Affordable Home Ownership including:
Our Shared Ownership Department specialises in this sector of the property market. We can help you to realise your dream of owning your own home.
The Supreme Court unanimously rejected Mrs Owen’s appeal in the case of Owens v Owens and brings to the fore the issue of whether Parliament urgently needs to introduce changes to the current law with the introduction of ‘No fault’ divorce.
Today’s decision means that Mrs Owen who is said to have been contemplating a divorce since 2012 will have to wait until 2020 to divorce her husband on the basis of 5 years separation having only left the family home in 2015.
Mrs Owen had petitioned on the basis of her husband’s unreasonable behaviour. Mr Owens denied the behaviour and pointed to Mrs Owen own behaviour as perhaps the cause if any as to the breakdown of the marriage.
The appeal judges expressed having ‘uneasy feelings’ in giving their judgment but they were bound by the current legal framework. The examples given by Mrs Owen of her husband’s behaviour were considered to be ‘flimsy and exaggerated’. Mrs Owen sought to argue that she should not have to prove that Mr Owen’s behaviour was unreasonable. Mr Owen’s legal team disagreed and the Supreme Court agreed that as the law stood at present it was the case that the wife would need to prove the behaviour alleged if disputed.
Based on the experience of many of our clients MWSL supports the call for a change in the law. The problem with the current law is that to get divorced couples are legally required to assign blame for the relationship breakdown, unless they have lived apart for 2 years. This makes an amicable separation more difficult, and can have a negative impact on any children, as it increases tensions at what is already a difficult time. As we all know sometimes in life things just don’t work out, but the current law does not allow for that, and currently one party has to blame the other with sufficient detail to met the legal test, this forces many couples into coming up with something to be able to divorce, which is a legal fudge. It is the view of all the leading lawyers’ organisations that the current divorce law is not fit for today’s modern society.
At MW Solicitors, our mission is to "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those couples going through the breakup of a marriage or civil partnership.
Our team of dedicated Family Lawyers have years of experience dealing in all aspects of Family Law and can help you to resolve your dispute with your former partner in a pragmatic and cost effective way. If you would like to speak to one of our specialist Family Solicitors call us today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to arrange a callback.
On 12th July, the Divisional Court handed down the Judgement in Shumba, Bechian and Henta v France  EWHC 1762 (Admin), and found that the Appellants face a real risk of Article 3 breach if extradited to France.
MW Solicitors acted for the second Appellant Mr Bechian in this significant High Court decision.
This case is important as it is the first case in which conditions in French prisons, which were criticised by the recent Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) report dated 7 April 2017, have been considered by the Divisional Court.
The Appellants relied on expert evidence which suggested that if extradited, they would serve their sentences in one of four prisons, namely Villepinte, Fresnes, Nanterre or Fleury-Mérogis, all within the Paris region. These prisons have been the subject of heavy criticism by the CPT due to overcrowding amongst other unsatisfactory conditions of detention including lack of time outside the cell for prisoners, lack of a proper bed and the prescence of rats within the prison.
The Court held at para. 87 that
“In relation to those four prisons, we are satisfied on the evidence that there may be substantial grounds for believing that the Appellants face a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment if they are extradited”.
Furthermore, the Court concluded that the first stage of C-404/15 and C-659/15 PPU Aranyosi and Caldararu  3 WLR 807 had been met and that
“there is sufficient evidence before the Court to require the Court to make a request of the French authorities setting out certain questions on which we need specific information before this Court could permit extradition of these Appellants to France” (para. 89).
The Court have requested answers from the French authorities to four detailed questions around the conditions of detention that Mr Bechian and the two other Appellant’s will be held in if their extradition to France is executed. We await the response to these questions, which are due by 7th September.
Mr Bechian was represented by Alison MacDonald QC and Emilie Pottle of Counsel. Mr Henta and Mr Shumba were represented by Alison MacDonald QC and Emilie Pottle (for Mr Henta) and Saoirse Townshend (for Mr Shumba).
At MW, our mission, is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those who are being threatened with Extradition. Our experienced and specialist Extradition Lawyers can help you identify grounds for a challenge and mount a defense against an Extradition request.
A landmark ruling by the Court of Appeal has been made against Network Rail following their failings to adequately treat Japanese Knotweed on their land.
Announcing the decision, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton said:
"Japanese knotweed, and its roots and rhizomes, does not merely carry the risk of future physical damage to buildings, structures and installations on the land… it can fairly be described as a natural hazard which affects landowners' ability fully to use and enjoy their property,” and is a “classic example of an interference with the amenity value of the land.”
This means that landowners could now be held liable to their neighbours for the presence of the Knotweed, even if the Knotweed has not yet spread to the neighbour’s property. Following the ruling, a Network Rail spokesperson has stated that the organisation is considering the implications of the ruling.
The claimants in the Network Rail case, Mr Williams and Mr Waistell, were successfully able to show that the presence of Japanese Knotweed within seven meters of their properties interfered with their ability to use and enjoy their land. This is legally defined as a private nuisance.
Whilst there was no actual physical damage to the properties concerned, Mr Williams and Mr Waistell were able to recover damages to reflect a loss in value.
If you know of - or suspect there to be - Japanese Knotweed on neighbouring land, early action is key. We will be happy to advise you in respect of a claim against a neighbouring landowner.
When you purchased your property, it is likely that you paid for a professional survey to be undertaken. Surveyors have a legal responsibility to check for the presence of Japanese Knotweed whilst conducting such surveys but this has been overlooked, or missed, on many occasions.
If your surveyor did not pick up the presence of Japanese Knotweed (and this is likely to include the presence of it on neighbouring land, if it can be successfully demonstrated that the presence of it is affecting the use and enjoyment of your land), it may be that you are able to bring a claim against the surveyor for professional negligence, this is if you are able to demonstrate that the presence and/or evidence of Japanese Knotweed should have been identified by the surveyor.
When a property is affected by Japanese knotweed, it can lose considerable value and your home may be worth less than you paid for it. This is called diminution of value and the basis on which you would be able to bring about a claim.
If, after having purchased your property, you discover an infestation of Japanese knotweed on your land, or within close proximity to your land, we may be able to help you bring about such a claim if this is something that your surveyor should have identified.
At MW Solicitors, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those who wish to pursue a Japanese Knotweed claim. Our Property Disputes Department are experienced Civil Litigators who provide pragmatic and cost effective solutions to end your dispute quickly.
In an episode of Coronation Street this week Kevin Webster had to make a heart breaking decision to allow doctors to amputate his 7 year old son’s foot to save him from dying from sepsis. He had developed the potentially fatal condition after grazing his knee while playing football. In real life thousands of parents every year are faced with the same terrible decision.
According to the UK Sepsis Trust someone in the world dies of sepsis every 3.5 seconds. In the UK alone, 44,000 people lose their lives to sepsis every year. This is more than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined. Globally, sepsis claims 6 million lives a year. Yet with early diagnosis it is easily treatable.
Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning) occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to an infection or injury. Normally the immune system fights infection – but sometimes, for reasons which are not understood, it attacks the body’s own organs and tissues. If it is not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death. Yet with early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics.
The initial symptoms of Sepsis are flu-like symptoms, gastroenteritis or a chest infection. There is no one sign, and symptoms present differently between adults and children.
Jack’s half sister, Sophie Webster, was caring for Jack when he became ill. She sought help from a medical centre and a hospital but his symptoms were dismissed as a virus and she was told to give him liquid paracetamol. There was therefore a delay in making a correct diagnosis and commencing treatment. As a result Jack became severely ill and required an amputation of his foot to save his life. Sophie is now considering legal action against the medical centre and the hospital on the grounds that the delay caused the amputation.
McMillan Williams are specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitors. Our team of lawyers have dealt with several cases concerning a delay or failure to diagnose sepsis obtaining the maximum possible compensation for victims and their families to assist in rebuilding their lives.
At MW Solicitors our mission is “To make quality legal services accessible to everyone” including those who find themselves in a similar situation to the fictional Webster family. We can help by acting quickly to secure funding by way of interim payment for rehabilitation, treatment and care packages whilst investigating the claim fully.