The Impact of UK Departure From The EU On Family Law

As everything keeps changing with connections between the UK and EU, legislation is taking quite a hit. Who has jurisdiction over who, what decisions will be affected by new legislation both in family law and other financial and personal areas that will be on everyone’s minds. Only time will tell what the final outcome will be.

While the country is still reeling from the EU referendum, we need to take a much closer look at how departure from the EU will impact family law in England and Wales.

Family law is not a stranger in the sense of taking steps to move away from the EU which will take quite a bit of unraveling from the EU legislation. The same can be said regarding many of our other laws. Without a doubt, this will take quite some time and the process will probably drag out for quite some time. Although the long-term impacts of Brexit, or departure of the UK from the EU, may not be fully felt for quite awhile, there are many consequences in regard to future divorces from the EU.

Nigel Shepherd, chair of the family law organisation Resolution, spoke after the referendum was announced. He stressed that the results have created a period of great uncertainty. This has emphasized the uncertainty arising from the fact that family law is essentially linked to the referendum and other jurisdictions.

The EU Legislation

Being in force since 2001, Brussels IIa has been an important part of the EU legislation and offers uniformity and a certainty in recognizing the divorce proceedings in various jurisdictions of the EU. With its absence, Family Court in the UK will need to adopt new avenues for addressing some important areas that will continually pop up in matrimonial proceedings.

As a perfect example, the most significant problem in issuing divorce proceedings will be to consider whether the court you are applying to actually has jurisdiction to accept your proceedings. Even more crucial could be involving multinational couples trying to figure out which court will hear their divorce petition. This is very important because different jurisdictions have to decide financial cases in different ways. Some courts could be seen as more favourable to one party over another. In many cases, there will be a mad dash to issue the petition first to the country that will be most favourable to the spouse. What country has jurisdiction is still governed by the EU legislation.

Bear in mind, in the absence of this important EU legislation, this will lead to even more uncertainty regarding who has the jurisdiction to hear the case. It has been iterated that the courts will have to fill the vacuum with something that would be similar to Brussels II in order to address the situation.

Adding to this, the Brussels IIa allows an order that was created in England to recognised and is enforceable in other jurisdictions. Orders that are commonly affected by the EU legislation includes child custody, other arrangements and matrimonial orders that need to be addressed by the new legislation in order to stay enforceable across the borders.

Keeping agreements made between multinational couples in a divorce are governed by Brussels IIa which allows for a more uncomplicated approach for enforcement across different jurisdictions. The enforcement of these agreements will need to be addressed in light of any new legislation and will have the greatest impact on matrimonial property and who owns what in different countries.

Other Arising Issues

Although family law is not the leading victim of departure from the EU (or Brexit), there will still be a great deal of uncertainty leading up to the formal Brexit while negotiations continue with the EU and this could take a number of years.

In a time of great uncertainty for couples divorcing, there will be even greater anxieties and fears that will arise. On a broader scale, the possible impact of Brexit could lead to an increase of interest rates, a fall in pension values, and the outcome of the property market. All of these situations will also add to many more concerns in what has become a very stressful time.

What’s In The Future

That said, some analysts have suggested that while breaking away from the EU will cause a period of uncertainty, there might be an opportunity to embrace change. By drafting domestic legislation that can provide better laws than what currently exists with the EU might be a positive solution.

The final outcome cannot possibly be known at this time. Couples who are dealing with difficulties are strongly advised to seek out guidance as soon as possible. They need to fully understand the complexities of Brexit and understand the impact that they may experience both on their personal and financial circumstances.

In Conclusion

With the changes of Brexit, there will be many challenges ahead and what courses will be the most positive for family law and many other legislation. Time will tell the final impacts and outcomes and how much anxiety and stress lies ahead. Family law has many challenges yet to be seen. Couples looking for divorces should get counsel in order to understand the changes and how they will be impacted.

Filing a Clinical Negligence claim

Health professionals work in tough atmospheres, and they work to the best of their abilities to provide proper care. But sometimes the care you receive may be below expected standards, and such negligence can make an already unhealthy condition worse.

If you are thinking about filing a Clinical Negligence claim and are confused about the process, uncertain of where to start, or unsure of whether to go through with the claim at all, you’ll find this article useful. We will address the 5 main questions to consider prior to beginning a Clinical Negligence case.
If necessary, are you ready to go to Court?

Many Clinical Negligence claims get settled out of court. Studies show that less than 5% of cases end up going to a full Court trial.

Whether you believe your case will go to Court or be settled before the trial begins, it’s worthwhile to prepare yourself for the trial mentally. Govern your behavior and believe everything that you say about your case. How the judge perceives you is of paramount importance.

Question whether you are ready for a Court appearance. Would you be able to provide witness evidence after swearing an oath? Can you endure standing in front of a judge and answer all his questions easily? If the answers to those questions are “no”, then you shouldn’t begin the claim yet. You should, however, inform your solicitor about this and adhere to their recommendations.
Are you prepared to address sensitive medical treatment questions?

Similar to the above, this query refers to your personal levels of comfort and what you are and aren’t able to do.

To determine what the Defendant will ask you, your solicitor will play devil’s advocate. As such, expect to be asked tough questions, ones that may make you feel like the solicitor has turned against you. This is not the case – the solicitor does this to prepare you for the Defendant’s arguments so you can react and respond accordingly. This way, no question will catch you off-guard.

For instance, if your solicitor believes the Defendant will state that you should have addressed your treatment concerns to your doctor earlier, you can expect to be asked:

  • “why did you wait half a year to address your issues?”
  • “Why did you keep letting Dr. X treat you if you were mistrustful of him?”
  • “Why didn’t you obtain a second opinion?”
  • “Why didn’t you act prior to X, Y, or Z occurring?”

Be making you prepared for such harsh questions, they can easily dismantle the Defendant’s argument.

Have you totally recovered?
It is prudent to be completely recovered prior to starting a claim since it will make your injury simpler to assess (i.e. put a financial figure on your delayed recovery/injury, etc.). Be mindful that that bringing a claim can be quite stressful, and if you think such stress will be detrimental to your health, it is recommended that you wait until your health improves to the point where you can get back on the case.

You have a few years to bring a claim; the deadline starts from the time you acknowledge negligence. This is known as Date of Knowledge, and it allows you to get healthier prior to beginning a claim.

Even though it’s not recommended to wait until the eleventh hour of the three-year deadline, it is smart to ensure you have completely recovered, or recover as much as you can, prior to bringing a claim. If you intend to use a solicitor to bring your claim for Clinical Negligence, then it would be wise to speak with them at least half a year prior to the end of the deadline.

Are you bringing a claim on time?
To reintegrate what was mentioned earlier, ensure you bring a claim before the deadline ends. You have a three-year window that starts when you realize you had endured negligence. The time will be barred if you attempt to bring a claim after the deadline expires. In rare situations, a Court might permit the case past the three-year window.

What are my choices for funding?
Many claims for Clinical Negligence can be taken on by a solicitor with an agreement called “No Win No Fee”. This arrangement allows the solicitor to receive up to 25% of your compensation to cover legal fees. This percentage can be negotiated if your solicitor is open to adjusting it.

With a “No Win No Fee Agreement”, you don’t pay any legal fees if you lose in court. However, you may still be responsible for disbursements that were paid by your solicitor on your behalf. Disbursements consist of fees to pay for the medical expert’s contribution, your medical records, Court costs, and the like. Your solicitor may also acquire insurance to keep you protected from having to pay such disbursements, should your case be unsuccessful.

There are additional funding options available; your claim could be funded with pre-existing legal coverage on your car insurance or house & contents insurance. It is worth reviewing your insurance policies to determine if you have this type of coverage. There are advantages to paying for claims using pre-existing insurance policies since several insurance providers will let you keep every cent of your compensation. However, you might not have the benefit of selecting your own solicitor and be subjected to the one selected by the insurance company. It isn’t very likely that you’ll meet them in person and instead communicate with them online or by phone.

In Closing
Bringing a Clinical Negligence claim is a lengthy, tedious process and may test your patience. However, if you consider the process, advise a solicitor, and listen to their recommendations, the process will be much easier.

Increasing Solicitors Legal Fees

The information contained in this article about increasing solicitors legal fees is easy for you to implement and, if you implement it properly, it shouldn’t damage your conversion rate. The end result is that you’ll be charging higher rates while still maintaining the same level of people instructing you. Think about how much more money you could be making in that situation.

Why You Should Charge More for your solicitors legal fees

The first step is to answer the question of if you believe you’re providing people with a good service. If you can’t say yes to that question then it’s time for you to make some changes; either change the way you handle business or change your profession. Many people will likely be as confident as I am that they provide a great service. I am confident that I can help any solicitor that asks me for help increasing their profits. I am also sure that you would feel confident you could do the best possible job for any client that asks you for help. The fact that you do a good job is why people come to you in the first place.

So if you accept that you do provide an excellent service; isn’t it only fair that you get reimbursed properly? The answer should, once again, be “yes”.

How Can You Charge More?

1.  Start by Selling Your Services to Existing Clients

When you sell your services to clients that are loyal to you you’re able to charge them more. These clients will come to you because they feel that you are their solicitor. This means that they won’t be trying to give you the run around. They shouldn’t be scared off as long as the price increase isn’t too high. Later on we’ll tell you how to get even more value out of your services.

Building Client Loyalty

To build up client loyalty it is vital that you communicate with them clearly and regularly. You should contact them at least once a month but you should aim for more. If you’re not in regular contact with your clients then it’s time you started. There are plenty of software tools out there that can help you do this so there’s no excuse anymore to not be in regular contact with your clients.

While you’re working for your client you should always give them the best service possible. If you’re going to give your clients a great service then they’ll never even consider going to someone else for legal help if you raise your prices. They’ll even recommend you to their friends and families to increase your business. If you ever think about the times you had to choose a professional service yourself you’ll realise how many times you’ve stuck with a company or a person because of the convenience of staying with them. Even if you feel someone is cheaper or could do a better job you stick with what you know. Your clients will think the same thing. If you do the bare minimum for someone they’ll probably stay with you, but if you give them an exceptional service they’ll be yours for years.

2.  Selling Yourself to Prospective New Clients

If you’re great at handling prospective new clients you’ll have no problem increasing the cost of your services. You might need to take a little time reviewing and improving your current process but it’s not like it will cost you anything to improve your practices. Here’s how to better sell yourself to prospective clients.

Listen to Their Needs

Everyone has two ears and a mouth but when solicitors call people on the phone to attempt to sell their services they are focused only on the mouth. They are all about talking and never about listening. You need to stop thinking of your price and start thinking of the client’s needs.

Just making the effort to really listen to your clients and their needs will put you ahead of the competition. Almost every solicitor starts talking about the price almost instantly without even finding out why someone needs to move home, make a will, or how much pain the client is in if they are considering a personal injury claim.

If you take a few minutes to find out why a client needs to do something then you’re pretty much two thirds of the way to closing the deal. If you don’t listen to their needs then you’ll never be able to match your services with their needs, which brings us to step two;

Match your Services to The Client’s Needs

Knowing why the client needs to do something makes it much easier for you to explain to them how your services are perfect for them. I remember a time I sat in on an interview with a sales manager interviewing a potential employee. It was the worst interview I’d ever seen because the interviewer was telling the interviewee exactly what he wanted. All the interviewee had to do was repeat back what he was told, and he got the job. It didn’t matter if it was true or a lie. What mattered is that he told the sales manager exactly what he needed to hear and convinced him that he was right for the job.

What you need to do is take your client’s needs and explain how your services are a perfect match. If you can convince the client they are you’re much closer to making the deal.

Follow Up

It’s important that you take the time to follow up the call. You can do it by sending an email but sending an email and a letter is the better option. It’s important that you follow up with your call because, if your client has called more than one firm, they might forget which one you were representing

Finally

If you don’t hear back from the client and get their business you should give them a call. During the call find out if you answered all of their questions or if they had any more information they needed to make a choice.

How Much You Should Charge

The answer to how much more you should charge depends on how much your services are worth to your clients. These days solicitors have been reducing their conveyance costs so much it’s surprising that they are still in business. Remember that your services are worth as much as the client is willing to pay for them. Many solicitors will charge just £250 for their conveyance services while others will charge as much as £1250. Remember that this a £1000 difference for the same service. Of course you need to be providing a stellar service to be charging £1250 but if you charge that much you have the financial freedom to spend more time with the client, more time with the file, and more time ensuring that everything goes through properly.

A good way to get started is to increase your fee by £25 and see if it affects your conversion rate. If so then you can increase the price a little bit more. Keep on going until you find that you’re charging the maximum price that clients are willing to pay for your services.

When to Start Charging More

Right now of course! Give the next person who calls you your new rate. There’s no reason to wait.

Summary

To summarise; you simply aren’t charging how much you should be for your professional services. If you go through with the process properly you can begin charging more in a way that allows you to make your services even better.