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We aim to provide practical guidance on useful areas of busness law.  

By sfb solicitors, Mar 19 2019 11:04AM

On Thursday 14th March, Solicitor Stacey Mills of Summerfield Browne Solicitors went live on air at BBC Radio Leicester to discuss social media law, fake news and revenge porn law and what legal options are available to you if you have been affected by any of these issues. Click the link below to listen to the interview in full.

BBC Radio Leicester Interview

If you are affected by the issues covered, Summerfield Browne could assist you to:

• Apply for or defend an injunction

• Claim or defend a claim for compensation

• Seek removal of online publications

• Obtain a legal undertaking not to republish

Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough.

By sfb solicitors, Feb 6 2019 09:17AM

There have been numerous cases reported in the press relating to lack of quality of care and/ or negligence in Care homes (these are not our cases):

The article below shows one such case which relates to a care home run by The Priory Group.


Care homes should have a registered manager in post . A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Like registered providers, they are ‘registered persons’. Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

We have a team of experts who can help and advise you.

Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough.

By sfb solicitors, Feb 1 2019 01:27PM

With Brexit in the news it is difficult to not come across a story of a UK business making cut backs in their work force. The news that Jaguar Land Rover and Ford are contemplating thousands of job cuts will be a cause for concern for many. Understandably many employees will want to be advised on their legal rights should their job be put ‘at risk’.


It is increasingly common to find that, rather than follow a formal redundancy procedure, companies are offering their employees Settlement Agreements in order to bring an employee’s employment to an end. Typically, the Settlement Agreement will involve the employee giving up their legal right to bring a claim in an employment tribunal against their employer for failing to follow the correct redundancy process and, in exchange, the employee will accept a sum of money known as a “Termination Payment”. The termination payment may include a tax-free element which can prove an incentive for an employee to sign a Settlement Agreement. Employers usually offer to pay for an employee to seek independent legal advice on the terms of a settlement agreement and this is a service that we offer our clients.

To go through the terms of the settlement agreement we can be arrange either a face-to-face meeting or this can be done on the telephone and we will advise you as to whether the terms that you are being offered in the Settlement Agreement are fair according to your circumstances.

To be legally binding settlement agreements must be signed by the employee, the employee’s legal adviser (typically a solicitor holding a practicing certificate at a firm with indemnity insurance for the advice they provide) and the employer. Once the parties have signed the Settlement Agreement the document becomes legally binding. Some of the advantages of signing a settlement agreement is obtaining an agreed reference, a tax-free payment and agreeing to part with your employer on friendly terms. Often individuals do not want to take part in stressful and uncertain redundancy consultations which can be draining, and demotivating and we can advise on the terms that you are being offered and let you know whether you are being offered a fair deal.

Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough.

By sfb solicitors, Jan 28 2019 11:40AM

Have you purchased a New Build property which is less than 10 years old? Even if you are not the first owner, you may be entitled to pursue a claim to rectify any defects.

Any New Build property less than 10 years old is extremely likely to be covered by warranty because mortgage lenders insist on warranty being provided. In the majority of cases the warranty will be covered by the Buildmark Policy provided by NHBC, however other policies could be in place such as BLP, LABC, Premier Guarantee and Checkmate. It is important to note that not all policies will cover all design and construction issues therefore you may have no option but to approach the building company. Most policies provide the following tiers of cover:

0-2 years: most defects are covered if they are not considered to be minor or wear and tear.

3-10 years: the policy will only cover major defects and some policies will exclude anything costing less than £1,500 to fix.

11 years onwards: you are not likely to be covered by any warranty therefore you will have to utilise your own insurance policy.

Top Tips if you have purchased a New Build property:

1 .Employ an independent surveyor to undertake a ‘snagging survey’ to be sent to yourself and the builder

2. Keep copies of all correspondence and put any queries in writing

3. In the first instance raise any concerns with the builder in writing and retain copies of any replies

4. Ensure that your communications remain professional no matter how difficult this may be

5. Check the warranty before trying to fix the problem yourself as it may invalidate the cover

6. Keep track of the age of the property bearing in mind the tiers of cover mentioned above

7. Consider your neighbours; your actions may have an impact on the value or marketability of your home.

8. Court action must be brought within a statute-based limitation period.

Further action:

1. If you do not find a satisfactory resolution with the builder, contact your warranty provider.

2. If you do not find a satisfactory resolution with the warranty provider, follow their internal complaints process.

3. If you do not find a satisfactory resolution following this but do not wish to pursue a Court action, contact the Financial Ombudsman. Please note that the Financial Ombudsman does not specialise in this area and the outcome could make you ineligible to take Court action.

4. Take Court action (if the limitation period has not expired).

5. If your warranty is with NHBC, Premier Guarantee or LABC Warranty then you can contact the Consumer Code for Homebuilders. There are similar codes for other warranty providers.

Our team at Summerfield Browne would be happy to assist in all aspects of addressing New Build defects whether this be contacting the builder in the first instance or taking legal action.

By sfb solicitors, Jan 22 2019 11:48AM

If you receive a letter in the post from the court telling you that a claim has been issued how can you tell if the letter is genuine? There are several steps that you can take to assess this.

1. Court claims can be issued using a local court and can also be issued from one of two administrative centres. The administrative centres are the County Court Money Claims Centre, PO box 527, Salford, M5 0BY and the County Court Business Centre at St. Katharine’s House, 21-27 St. Katharine’s Street, Northampton, NN1 2LH. Local courts are also empowered to issue claims but, in our experience, clients who are defending money claims find that the claims have been issued from either the County Court Money Claims Centre (the CCMCC) or the County Court Business Centre (CCBC).

2. If you receive a claim form in the post, you have a limited time to reply. Check the ‘date of service’ as time usually runs from this date. If you are responding to a money claim you may be able to use a website called Money Claim Online and the link to the website may appear on the Claim Form itself with a unique passcode allowing you to log in and reply to the claim.

3. The Claim Form will have a Claim Number on it. This usually appears on the top right of the form and is usually a series of letters and numbers.

4. If the Claim Form has been issued by the Court, it should bear the court’s seal. This is a stamp that the court use and is usually a round stamp with a crown in the middle.

Consequences of ignoring a claim

If you ignore the claim when it is issued/fail to respond in time, then the Claimant (the person/company who issued the claim) can obtain what is known as a default judgment. This means that the Claimant has obtained a County Court Judgment (a CCJ). The Claimant can then commence enforcement of the CCJ. If you do miss the deadline to defend the claim, then all is not lost. You could still potentially make an application to the court to set aside the CCJ explaining the reasons for not replying in time.

How we can help

If you have received a Claim Form in the post do not delay as there is a limited time to respond. We can assist you in responding to the Claim and help with the preparation of your Defence. If you have missed the deadline to respond then we can provide advice on applying to set aside the County Court Judgment and assist you with the application to the Court to allow you the opportunity to Defend the Claim.

Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough.

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