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Time to Talk - 2nd February 2023

Gemma Curtis
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What is Time to Talk Day? This year, Time to Talk day is on 2 February 2023. The day is organised by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and promotes having conversations about mental health and how we can support ourselves and others. Why is Time to Talk...

What does it mean when the local authority initiates a s47 investigation?

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A section 47 investigation (S.47) stems from the Children Act 1989 which is legislation that governs England and Wales.  It means the Local Authority/Children’s Services have received a referral which has been made to them by any persons who have...

What is Pre-Proceedings?

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The Local Authority issue the pre-proceedings process where there are significant concerns regarding a child or children that are suffering harm or a child or children that are likely to suffer serious harm. This could be physical, sexual, or emotional...

GOOD DIVORCE WEEK (28 Nov - 2 Dec '22)

Leon Messam
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‘Good Divorce Week’ is an annual campaign by Resolution, a community of family solicitors and other professionals who work with families and individuals promoting a non-confrontational approach to resolving family issues, including divorce, the...

Domestic abuse will rise during the World Cup

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For some people, the World Cup is nothing more than a passion for football. For others, it can ignite a fear of abuse from a partner with pre-existing patterns of this behaviour, causing anxieties and worry. Research has found that reports of domestic abuse...

National DoLs Court: a quarterly update

Jasmine Lees
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Following on from the National Deprivation of Liberty (DoLs) Court being announced in July 2022, the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory have published data in relation to the use of such applications. Over the first 3 months, there has been 349 applications...

I was sat in my car after drinking - am I guilty of a Criminal Offence?

Rachel  Gaffney
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Can I be arrested for sitting in my car drinking ?  Yes if you are sitting in the driver’s seat or are close to your car as if you are about to get in and drive it, the police can arrest you for being drunk in charge of a vehicle. Can I be...

International Men's Day 2022

Katelyn  Isliker
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Every year, International Men’s Day is recognised on 19 th November. This year’s International Men’s Day theme is “Helping Men and Boys”. The month of November is a significant time for men as it is also Movember where we focus...

Can I challenge my Police Bail Conditions?

Zara Cowan
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If you feel that the police have imposed strict and unworkable bail conditions on you, our expert criminal defence solicitors at Johnson Astills can make an application to the Magistrates’ Court to have them changed or removed. What is pre charge...

I have been invited to a Child Protection Conference for my child - what does this mean?

Chelsea  Harris
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The Local Authority will arrange a child protection conference for a child if there are concerns regarding the child being abused or it is believed that the child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. A child protection conference can also be...

'Domestic Abuse register to tackle violence against women.'

Rhian Williams
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Perpetrators of domestic violence could be made to sign a register if Labour wins power, the party has announced. Shadow Justice Secretary Steve Reed has said that perpetrators of domestic violence would be monitored in the same way as sex offenders....

Dressing up for Halloween? Don't dress and drive!

Olivia Peck
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If you are considering dressing up for Halloween, to go to a party as a scary character, be careful that your costume does not obstruct your ability to drive. If your costume could affect your driving, you could be in breach of the Highway Code. An example...

World Menopause Day

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Today is World Menopause Day.  A day providing an opportunity to break stigma that unfortunately still exist around menopause. A day to encourage open discussions about a natural transition in a woman’s life. Johnson Astills prides itself on...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - Property and Financial Affairs

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There are 2 types of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA); Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare.  In this article, Johnson Astills will give you an introduction to the Property and Financial Affairs LPA. The Property and Financial...

What is child protection?

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Child protection is about making sure children are kept safe and free from harm. Local Authority Children’s Services often become involved with families where children might be at risk of harm. Child protection means that professional services can...

Stamp Duty Land Tax Changes- September 2023

Katelyn  Isliker
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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng announced changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax rules and these changes are effective from Friday 23 rd September 2022.   This means that regardless of when exchange of contracts took place, so long as...

World Mental Health Day

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Every year, World Mental Health Day is recognised by the World Health Organisation on the 10 th October. The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘ Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority’. World Mental...

I want to leave my abusive Partner- How can I protect myself and my children?

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For the purpose of this Article, the term ‘partner’ can include your husband, wife, civil partner and unmarried partner or those who are living together (co-habiting). Domestic abuse/violence is widely defined by the Government as ‘any...

Life Interest Trusts in Wills

Jessica  Latimer
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What is a Life Interest Trust? A Life Interest Trust is a Trust included in your Will and can be a way, in certain situations, of protecting your share of your house for future generations after you die. A life Interest trust is commonly used in...

Who takes care of unaccompanied minors when they enter the UK?

Jasmine Lees
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Unaccompanied minors are children who enter the UK and may be seeking asylum under the Refugee Convention and may also be known as ‘unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC). These children may experience a number of forms of harm prior to their...

World Suicide Prevention Day

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10th September 2022 - World Suicide Prevention Day #WorldSuicidePreventionDay Suicide and mental health are often seen as taboo topics and something that people are often scared to talk about. This stigma around mental health and suicide needs to end....

Freehold vs Leasehold

Katelyn  Isliker
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When purchasing a property in the UK, the property can be either freehold or leasehold.  The two are quite different and it is important to understand the differences when searching for a property to buy.  Here at Johnson Astills, we are here to...

Pensions and Life Insurance Policies?

Jessica  Latimer
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When making or reviewing your Will and your Inheritance Tax position, considering how you hold your pension and Life Insurance Policies is very important. At Johnson Astills , we provide a comprehensive Will writing service and place great importance on...

The Dangers of 'self-help' Financial Disclosure

Bethany  Gray
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Acrimony and Hostility between parties in divorce and finance proceedings can often give rise to a lack of trust in the financial disclosure submitted by the opposing party. In some cases, this can cause many a mistrusting spouse to conduct their own probing...

Can my children live with their grandparents if I am not able to care?

Jasmine Lees
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When the Local Authority have concerns surrounding a parent (or carer’s) care of a child then the Local Authority may complete an initial viability assessment of the capability of any wider family members or friends to provide safe care for the child....

What is an Emergency Protection Order (EPO)?

Jasmine Lees
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An Emergency Protection Order (EPO) is a time limited protective order for emergency situation whereby there is reasonable cause to believe that a child is likely to suffer significant harm on 3 grounds: The child is not removed (i.e. from a home address)...

Johnson Astills: an Award Winning 'Team of Fabulous Women'

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Johnson Astills: an Award Winning 'Team of Fabulous Women' https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/special-features/johnson-astills-team-fabulous-women-7346956 ...

Things to know when Selling your Property

Katelyn  Isliker
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Selling your property, although may sound straightforward can often become prolonged and complicated. Not all transactions are the same due to several reasons but here at Johnson Astills, we are here to make the journey as smooth as possible. Here are some...

Regional Legal Aid Firm of 2022 at the LALYs!

Chelsea  Harris
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‘A Team of Fabulous Women!’ and ‘Leicester Legal Aid Legends’ : Johnson Astills declared the Regional Legal Aid Firm of 2022 at the LALYs! What are the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards (LALYS)? On Tuesday 12 July 2022, the...

National DoLs Court is being launched at the Royal Courts of Justice

Chelsea  Harris
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DoL stands for ‘Deprivation of Liberty’ and means that a person’s freedom is taken away from them. Being deprived of liberty will mean that a person is under continuous supervision and control and is not permitted to leave a certain place....

Things to Look out for when Buying a New Build Property

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A New Build Property is a property that has never been lived in before and has been recently constructed. Buying a New Build property is different from buying an older property, so it is important that you know what to look out for. Here at Johnson Astills,...

New Domestic Abuse Offences as of 7th June 2022

Olivia Peck
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Section 70 Domestic Abuse Act 2021, introduced offences of non-fatal strangulation and non-fatal suffocation, these offences came into force on 7 th June 2022. What is the offence of strangulation or suffocation? The legislation states that a person...

What can I do as an executor to make sure I find the most recent Will and details of all assets and liabilities in an estate?

Jessica  Latimer
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If you are acting as an Executor or Administrator you have a legal obligation to ensure you have found and dealt with all of the assets in the estate of the deceased and that you are proving and administering the correct Will. There are various searches that...

Sentencing for sexual offending involving a "sting" operation

Olivia Peck
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From 31 st May 2022, the sentencing guidelines for child sexual offences where no child existed or is harmed will be revised. What are the changes? The new guidelines coming into force provide Judges and Magistrates with guidance on how to sentence...

Sexual Offences & Sexsomnia (Sex while you sleep)

Helen Johnson
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WHAT IS SEXSOMNIA?  Sexsomnia is sexual behaviour while asleep. It is recognised in both sleep disorder and psychiatric classifications. Sexsomnia occurs when the brain is disassociated or partially disassociated and covers a wide range of sexual...

Blood Alcohol Testing: Is PEth is leading the way?

Chelsea  Harris
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You may be asked to engage in blood alcohol testing. This has now become an essential part in providing an insight into an individual’s alcohol consumption and providing an evidential picture within proceedings before the Family Court. In Family cases...

Tips for First Time Buyers

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Purchasing a property is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make and doing it for the first time can be daunting. Here at Johnson Astills, we are here to make the journey as smooth as possible.  The process can be time consuming and...

Angel Lynn - Coercive Control

Rhian Williams
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Angel Lynn was in an abusive relationship with Chay Bowskill. On 17 th September 2020, Angel was kidnapped by Bowskill. Bowskill was captured on CCTV chasing Angel down a street following an argument. He was seen to grab her from behind and she was forced...

What will happen when my child is ready to leave Local Authority care?

Chelsea  Harris
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Once a Care Order is made at Court, this Order remains in place until a child reaches 18 years old. Once a child reaches adulthood, the Care Order will cease to have effect. The Local Authority have a duty to support young people who have been subject to a...

Caught driving whilst using a mobile phone?

Olivia Peck
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New legislation comes into force on 25 th March 2022 that prohibits the use, while driving a motor vehicle, of hand-held mobile telephones or other interactive communication devices, when performing an interactive communication function. This widens the...

No-fault divorce: Important dates

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The no-fault divorce is to be introduced on Wednesday 6 th April 2022. The Government have now published key dates, including cut off dates in relation to existing applications under the existing legislation . We have been notified by HMCTS   of...

Putting Children's voices at the heart of reform. A report by Dame Rachel De Souza, Children's Commissioner for England January 2022.

Chelsea  Harris
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The report completed by Dame Rachel De Souza is dedicated to the children in care, who have voiced their experiences. These children have shared their thoughts and personal experiences in the hope that change can be brought for the children who follow in...

WHAT SPEED CAN I DO BEFORE I GET A SPEEDING TICKET?

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The moment of dread. Did I activate that speed camera? Will I receive a ticket in the post? According to the latest official data 74% of all motoring offences are speed related and can be a major contributing factor to deaths and serious injuries on our...

What is Coercive Control?

Bethany  Gray
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Coercive Control is a form of abuse, as set out in Section 1 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. Controlling behaviour is defined as a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependant by isolating them from their sources of support,...

Impact of divorce on Wills & LPAs

Jessica  Latimer
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According to the latest figures the current rate of marriages ending in divorce in the UK is 42%. When going through divorce proceedings it is important to review and consider your Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorneys , and the implications divorce has...

Almost 100,000 children could be in Local Authority care in England by 2025

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The County Councils network (CCN) say more needs to be done to assist keeping families together. If this is not achieved soon, Local Authorities could spend up to £3.6bn more a year placing children in care by 2025, compared to 2015. If these trends...

What happens if my children are separated in foster care?

Jasmine Lees
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A BBC article dated 26 th January 2022 shone a light on the separation of siblings upon children entering the foster care system. The article highlights that around 45% of sibling groups are split up into different placements when the Local Authority become...

Are Local Authority Leicester City Council Children's Services Department meeting the needs of families and their children? Update 2022

Chelsea  Harris
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We previously wrote about the first Social Care Annual Report that was released from Ofsted in 2013. This report identified that a vast majority of Local Authorities were inadequate, and some child safeguarding services were struggling to meet basic...

I have a meeting with social services, can a solicitor attend with me?

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There may be lots of reasons why social services are inviting you to a meeting. For some of these meetings, you may be entitled to legal representation, meaning a solicitor can attend the meeting with you and give you advice about the issues discussed. ...

Many people will know that it is an offence to have an offensive weapon in a public place but did you know that it can be a criminal offence to have this in a private dwelling?

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The increase in crimes of this nature has led to the implementation of the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 specifically Section 46. This came into force on the 14 th July 2021. This section made amendments to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 which included banning...

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