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Why should I instruct a Solicitor to prepare my Will?

When it comes to making a Will, there are two main pieces of advice that we at Johnson Astills give our clients. The first is to actually make one, and not keep putting it off. The second is to have a will drafted by a Solicitor that specialises in Wills. ...

Black History Month

In the UK, the scale and impact of institutionalised racism has been laid bare, with young Black men stopped and searched 20,000 times in London during the coronavirus lockdown, along with Black MPs, barristers, senior police officers, sportspeople and many...

Domestic Abuse: The Shadow Pandemic

Since the Covid-19 lockdown, there has been a sharp rise in reports of domestic abuse. The head of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, declared that violence against women and girls is a “ shadow pandemic ” during the wider coronavirus crisis, as...

I have been charged with Voyeurism aka "Up skirting"- what does this mean?

What is Voyeurism? Voyeurism is a relatively new offence which was implemented by the Voyeurism (Offences) Act, 2019 and introduced 2 new offences. A person commits voyeurism under Section 67A (1): where they operate equipment, under another...

Changes to the Use Classes Order

The Government has introduced The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No.757) which has amended the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. The new Regulations came into effect on the 1 st ...

Stamp Duty Land Tax: Temporary Reduced Rates for Residential Purchases

Due to the Current pandemic which has affected every country globally, the UK government introduced temporary changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) effective from the 8 th July 2020 until 31 st March 2021. The temporary SDLT change which has been...

The impact Covid19 (Coronavirus) and contact with children in care?

Legal practitioners in the field of childcare law will be aware that Covid-19 epidemic has significantly challenged the family justice system. This article covers the issues around contact with a child in care and the legal principles, which govern it. The...

Can my court hearing be filmed and shown on TV?

Serious high-profile criminal cases can now be seen and heard by TV and online audiences after new Legislation was laid before parliament on 16 th January 2020. This marks a huge change as filming has only been permitted in some Court of Appeal cases since...

Bank Holiday Drinking? A warning to all from Johnson Astills

Following the difficult times we have all suffered this year with the Covid-19 pandemic it will be easy to get caught up in the bank holiday spirit, especially as this bank holiday the bars in Leicester and other surrounding areas will finally be open, but,...

What is No-Fault Divorce?

From autumn 2021, it will become much simpler for couples to get a divorce or civil partnership dissolution. Couples will no longer have to prove ‘reasons’ or ‘facts’ for the separation, ending the ‘blame game’ that...

What do the Court consider when making a financial order?

When the Court decide how to distribute assets following the breakdown of a marriage, they have to consider the checklist contained within Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The main principle is that the settlement must be fair and reasonable...

What Happens in Care Proceedings?

Care Proceedings begin when the Local Authority believe that your children have suffered or may be at risk of harm. The Local Authority will ask the Court to look at your situation and decide if the Local Authority should be granted a legal Order to...

Witnessing Wills online

Since the pandemic and subsequent lockdown in March 2020 the demand by individuals wanting to create a Will increased and solicitors have been challenged with finding new ways to ensure that Wills are witnessed and executed correctly in line with social...

Can I use modern slavery as a defence to a crime?

What is modern slavery? An offence of Modern Slavery is committed when someone holds another in slavery or servitude or when another person is made to perform forced or compulsory labour. What does modern slavery involve? The person must know or ought...

What are the risks children face in the Pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every corner of daily life and has changed our way of living beyond recognition. The impact of the virus has meant that it will continue to cause disruption to society for considerable time. UNICEF states that more than...

What is the law in relation to Drug Driving?

Is it an offence to drive after I have smoked cannabis? It is an offence under S5A, of the Road Traffic Act 1988, if you drive, attempt to drive or be in charge of a motor vehicle with a specified controlled drug in your blood or urine in excess of...

Maximising technology in lockdown: A law firm's perspective

The pandemic has shifted the way in which we all think about technology. We are all relying on technology more and the importance of having effective systems in place has increased to allow us to continue to communicate with colleagues, clients and other...

Recovering possession of residential property

The law relating to Landlords and Tenants is complex, and a landlord will need to demonstrate compliance if they want to recover possession of a property that they let out under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). Documentation/information Some of the...

Can the Police hack into my phone without me knowing?

You will see from recent news the answer is yes! The National Crime Agency have today announced that they have successfully penetrated a top secret communications system commonly used for illegal activity.  How will the police know to find me from my...

Why should you make a Will?

The creation of a Will ensures that following your death your wishes regarding your personal possessions, such as jewellery and family mementos are passed on to those you wish to receive them. As well as this, creation of a Will allows for your assets, such...

Rouncefield: Section 21 Notices & Gas Safety Certificates

A Court of Appeal judgment handed down this week spells good news for landlords who failed to supply a copy of a valid gas safety certificate to their tenant before they moved in. If a landlord wants to recover possession of their property where a tenant is...

The Myth of the 'Common-Law Spouse'

Legal rights are conferred upon a person when they marry or enter into a civil partnership. These rights include: to inherit automatically if their spouse/civil partner dies intestate (without a will) to a degree of financial support if the...

Solidarity Statement

Johnson Astills join many people and organisations across the globe. We stand in solidarity with our Black and Ethnic Minority clients and colleagues and stand by our commitment to challenge discrimination and racism wherever we find it. We know that many...

Drunk in Charge

I was sleeping in my car after drinking. Have I committed an offence? Many people are unaware that simply being in charge of a vehicle whilst over the legal alcohol limit is an offence. You may be guilty of an offence under Section 5(1) (b) of the Road...

Are Drivers Speeding during Lockdown?

Are speeding drivers flouting the law during lockdown? With less people travelling to work following government advice to stay alert and stay at home where you can, it would be reasonable to expect a significant fall in the number of driving offences...

Mental Health Awareness Week - 18th-24th May

May is mental health awareness month with Mental Health Awareness week being 18 th -24 th May 2020. This year the focus of the week was to Be Kind. In 2020 a lot has happened and being kind has been the focus throughout most of this. The campaigns...

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is mental health awareness month with Mental Health Awareness week being 18 th -24 th May 2020. Now, with Covid-19 and its impact, more than ever we should be aware of our own mental health and be taking care of ourselves. Being in lockdown for now 6...

Are Family Court Hearings Still Going Ahead & What Can I Expect?

Due to the need for social distancing no attended hearings at Court are taking place save for the most urgent of cases and where it is impossible for the case to be conducted remotely i.e. by telephone. At Johnson Astills we have had no attended hearings...

Assistance for victims of domestic abuse during the lockdown

What can you do if you are a victim of domestic abuse during lockdown? Boots and other supermarkets are offering safe spaces to victims, where you can access the 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline and the Men’s Advice line without causing...

The Impact of Covid-19 on Criminal Cases

Are the criminal courts still dealing with cases during lock-down? The criminal courts are continuing to deal with cases throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Both the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts in Leicester are operating but they are dealing with...

Are the Police Still Interviewing Suspects During "Lockdown"?

In a word, YES! It is important that you also know your rights remain the same…. What are my rights if the police want to interview me? If your are interviewed by the Police either under arrest or voluntarily then you have the right to free,...

Will Signing and Covid-19

The demand for Wills over the past few months in light of Covid-19 has seen a 75% increase in those creating or updating Wills. It is more important than ever to ensure the ability to create a valid Will which will be in line with your wishes and provides...

Senior Dispute Resolution Solicitor Joins Johnson Astills

Johnson Astills are delighted to announce that senior Dispute Resolution solicitor Laura Anderson has joined the firm. Laura's appointment means that our clients can now access advice across an even broader range of legal matters. Laura says: ...

Contact Arrangements In A Time Of Uncertainty

Clients old and new have been in touch in the last couple of weeks to seek guidance and reassurance of their position by law in relation to their living and contact arrangements for their children when separated from the other parent. Whilst each case turns...

What is the impact of Covid-19 on Conveyancing Transactions?

Covid-19 can potentially impact conveyancing transactions in the following ways: Purchasers request for properties to be decontaminated; Sellers refuse to vacate on completion due to self-isolation; Banking system disruption; Booking removal...

How will my contact with my children be facilitated during COVID 19?

The current “lock down” and social distancing requirements imposed by the Government on 23 rd March 2020 only allow people to leave their homes for a number of reasons including shopping for basic necessities, one form of exercise a day, medical...

Coronavirus Coughing towards Key Workers Can lead to a Jail

It has recently been announced that anyone using coronavirus to threaten emergency and essential workers faces serious criminal charges. This intervention comes after reports in recent days of police and other key workers being deliberately coughed at by...

Our Wills and Probate team are here for you

Following Government advice, Johnson Astills have temporarily closed both offices in Leicester and Loughborough, however we are still fully operational and our phone lines remain open. We want to thank each and every keyworker for the hard work that is...

We are still here for you

The Care Team at Johnson Astills has had to make a few changes this week. On Tuesday 24th March 2020, our Leicester and Loughborough offices closed temporarily following Government guidance relating to the Coronavirus (Covid-19). However, we would...

Child Arrangements during COVID19

During this time of uncertainty, many questions are being raised about all aspects of our day to day life. Following the announcement of the Prime Minister on Monday 23 rd March 2020, the country is effectively in “lock down” and we are only...

Purchasing New Build Properties

Purchasing a new build property is purchasing your new house before it is even built or whilst it is being built. The Conveyancing transaction is slightly different to a normal residential purchase of a home when the property is not yet fully constructed. ...

Is it a Criminal offence to fail to stop at the scene of a road traffic accident or to fail to report a road traffic accident?

It is an offence to fail to stop at the scene of an accident, this offence carries a maximum penalty of 6 months imprisonment. The law requires you to stop at the scene of a motoring accident and exchange your correct personal details. If details are not...

What does the Local Authority mean when they say my child is out of parental control?

If the Local Authority has become involved with your family because your child is considered to be ‘out of parental control’, they may be exhibiting risky behaviour that is putting them or is likely to put them at risk of significant harm. This...

Top Tips on Purchasing a Property

Purchasing a property is one of the most important financial decision you will ever make. The process can also be time consuming and you would be required to make numerous important decisions. Here are some of our top tips when considering purchasing a...

Local Authority concerns about domestic abuse around children

The Local Authority have concerns about domestic abuse around my children - what should I do?   The Local Authority may be alerted to concerns about domestic violence by concerned family members, members of the public or professionals. If there are...

Islamic faith marriages are not valid under English law

It has recently been reported in the Guardian, that Islamic faith marriages are not valid under English law.   The judgement which was delivered on Friday, overturned a previous High Court ruling that an Islamic marriage known as a Nikah fell within...

Solicitor vs DIY Probate

When someone you love or care about dies it is a very emotional time. Whilst you are still grieving you have to also think about dealing with the administration of their estate.  If the deceased person left a Will then those named as Executors will be...

Receiving a witness summons - consequences of not attending Court

Where you are a victim in a prosecution, if you make the decision you no longer wish to pursue the case, the Prosecution can apply for a witness summons. A witness is not obliged to attend court unless a witness summons has been served.  So what is a...

Top Tips when selling your house

Selling your house can be a complicated process along with it being stressful trying to plan the whole move. Our Johnson Astills conveyancing specialists are here to make the transaction as smooth as possible. Below are a few steps that will hopefully make...

Knife Crime in England and Wales reaches a Record High

Knife crime and crimes involving offensive weapons are on the rise with the highest number of convictions in a decade! How many convictions for knife offences were recorded in 2019? There were 14,135 offences of knife possession in 2019 – this...
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