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

By brocs1, Apr 1 2020 10:25AM

We are and will remain open for business and are committed to providing our clients with the best advice in this challenging time we find ourselves in.

Our staff are working remotely in line with Government guidelines and can be contacted as normal by telephone and email.

We have staff ready to deal with all issues arising from the outbreak of Covid-19/ Coronavirus and the impact it is having on you individually or to your business.


If you have an issue and require legal advice, please contact our offices on 0800 567 7595 or [email protected]

Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough and assist with cases all over the UK.

By sfb solicitors, Mar 4 2020 12:06PM

The Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 was enacted by parliament on 16th July 1998. It enabled universities to charge tuition fees. The act also made provision for the new system of student loans. The passing of this act replaced the Education Act 1998. It was later updated in the Higher Education Act 2004.

There are two types of student loan. The newer type of loan, known as an income contingent loan, is repayable by a borrower under the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 (THEA 1998). The older type of loan, known as a mortgage style loan, is repayable under the Education (Student Loans) Act 1990 (E(SL)A 1990).

Student loans are the main method of direct government support for higher education students. According to a Briefing Paper, published by House of Commons Library in June 2019, more than £17 billion is loaned to around 1.3 million higher education students in England each year. The value of outstanding loans at the end of March 2019 reached £121 billion. The Government forecasts the value of outstanding loans to be reach around £450 billion (2018-19 prices) by the middle of this century. The average debt among the cohort of borrowers who finished their courses in 2018 was £36,000. The Government expects that 30% of current full-time undergraduates who take out loans will repay them in full.

If you have an issue regarding a Student Loan and require legal advice, please contact our offices on 1858 414 284 or [email protected]

Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough and assist with cases all over the UK.

By sfb solicitors, Feb 7 2020 10:15AM

Summerfield Browne continues to represent clients being pursued by business rates company RVA Surveyors, a recent matter against RVA featured in a national newspaper below


Our client did not dispute having signed a contract in 2013 however refuted having met with another representative of RVA Surveyors, let alone having signed a further contract in 2014, less than a year later.

RVA Surveyors failed to provide any evidence or explanation to support why a second contract was allegedly entered into or why the handwriting in both contracts appeared to be the same.

After considering the evidence presented and comparing the two contracts the Deputy District Judge advised that it was reasonable for him to consider that it was the same handwriting on both contracts and on the balance of probabilities they were written by the same person. The Deputy District Judge concluded that the second contract was fraudulent, and the Claimant’s claim was dismissed.

On the small claims track the general rule is both parties bear their own costs. However, after robust submissions were made on behalf of our client the Deputy District Judge agreed that an unreasonable costs order was appropriate and that this was a case where costs outside fixed costs were appropriate and awarded costs on an indemnity basis.

If you too are being pursued by RVA Surveyors and require legal advice, please contact our offices on 01858 414 284 or [email protected]

Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough and assist with cases all over the UK.

By sfb solicitors, Sep 25 2019 12:55PM

If you’ve had work done at home and there’s a problem caused by the trader you are protected under either the Consumer Rights Act or the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, depending on when the work was undertaken.

Under the Consumer Rights Act, which came into force on 01/10/2015, consumers entering into a contract for goods and services should expect work to be undertaken with “reasonable care and skill”, and materials should also be of satisfactory quality, as described and fit for purpose.

If the trader provided goods in addition to the service, you are legal entitled to ask the trader to fix the problem. If the trader just provided the service, you are legally entitled to get a refund and stop the trader from carrying out any further work.

What to do next:

1. Obtain estimates from other traders.

2. Request that original trader fixes the work and provide them with the estimates obtained. You will need to agree a final date for the work to be completed. You should make it clear that if they do not complete the work you will appoint an alternative trader and seek the additional costs incurred from them. You must give the trader the opportunity the opportunity to rectify their work within a reasonable time frame, if you do not and proceed to instruct an alternative trader to complete the works this could affect any claim you make.

3. Collect evidence in support of the claim for poor workmanship i.e. photographs. Should you proceed with a formal claim an expert’s report may be required to provide an independent assessment. Keep copies of all documents and correspond by email where possible in order to obtain an accurate record of communications

4. If the trader cannot or will not fix the problem you can ask for a full or partial refund, once an agreement has been reached the refund must be paid within 14 days.

If you withhold any monies owed this could make you in breach of contract, enabling the trader to take legal action against you.

If you are unable to reach an agreement other options available are Alternative Dispute Resolution or proceedings with a formal claim

Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough and assist with cases all over the UK.

By sfb solicitors, May 29 2019 10:38AM

There is a new act of parliament called Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 that came into force in March. The new law is designed to ensure that all rented accommodation in England and Wales is fit for human habitation. The law is there to enhance a tenant’s ability to obtain redress (including compensation) against those landlords whose properties fail to meet the minimum requirements.

For those landlords that already rent out properties to tenants to a high standard there should be nothing to worry about. The law may prove troubling for a small minority of landlords that fail to rent out properties that do not meet the minimum standard.

In all tenancy agreements from 20th March 2019 there is now an implied term that the property being rented out will be “fit for human habitation”. The law gives tenants the power to seek redress from their landlords without having to involve local councils who may already have overstretched resources.

The law will allow a tenant to take action in the courts for breach of contract and the remedies that the tenant can obtain include the following:

1. An order requiring the landlord to act to reduce or remove the “hazard”; and

2. Damages to compensate the tenant for having to live in a property that is unfit for human habitation.

There are some notable exceptions for when the landlord will not usually be liable, and these include (but are not limited to):

1. When the problem is caused by the actions of the tenant; and

2. Acts of god

This is a new law designed to protect tenants and the court will ultimately decide in each case whether a property is ‘fit for human habitation’. The following are factors that the courts will look at in each case:

1. Condition of the property e.g. neglect

2. If the building is unstable or structurally unsafe

3. Damp problems

4. Unsafe layout

5. Not enough natural light

6. Not enough ventilation

7. Problems with hot and cold running water

8. Drainage problems

The above is not an exhaustive list and gives you an idea of what the courts will assess in each case.

How we can help

If you are a landlord and you have been sent a letter referring to the new law we can assist you by providing you with advice on how to respond as well as letting you know your legal obligations. If you are currently in court proceedings and need advice on how to proceed we can assist.

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

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