Ask a solicitor

Law is a complex subject, so going through any legal issue inevitably throws up many questions. You may be unsure about your legal rights, have questions about the legal process or about hiring a solicitor and the costs involved. Whatever type of legal question you have, our Ask a Solicitor service is a fantastic way to get free legal advice. It is completely free to ask a question, with answers being provided by experienced firms of solicitors. So whether you have a question about personal injury, conveyancing, employment law or commercial law, our Ask a Solicitor service can help provide the answers you need.

  • Leaving a £1 million property to niece and nephew. What is the best way to do this without a large inheritance tax bill?

    My brother is single and has no children and has never married. His house is worth around £800,000 to £1 million and he wants to leave it to his niece and nephew. What is the best way to not give most of it back in inheritance tax?

    CATEGORY: Wills, Probate & Trusts 1 answer
  • I have already paid £550.00 for divorce petition would i have to pay again?

    My estranged husband and i have now been apart 15 yrs. I started divorce proceedings this year and he is refusing to sign i have paid for deemed service which has been refused. If i went to a solicitor to complete divorce would i incure those costs again?

    CATEGORY: Family 1 answer
  • Accident at work on a zero hours contract

    I am on a zero hours contract working in a warehouse for a well known company. I was involved in an accident at work and have been unable to work for the past 7 weeks. I have researched personal injury claims and it says an employer cannot fire somebody for making a claim against them. But as I am on a zero hours contract, could they just stop giving me work or would I be protected against this happening?

    CATEGORY: Personal Injury 3 answers
  • Should I start an injury claim for my 15 year old son or wait until he is 18?

    Me and my son were both injured in a car accident last month. The other driver has admitted fault so I know we are able to make a claim. I have read that I can either start the claim on my son's behalf, or he can do it himself when he turns 18 (currently 15 years old). Is it best if both claims are made together now, or wait until he can make his own claim when he is 18? Does it make any difference?

    CATEGORY: Personal Injury 5 answers
  • Assaulted in a nightclub

    I was assaulted in a nightclub on 11th Feb this year. I was punched and then kicked several times in the face and stomach. There were lots of witnesses and the police and ambulance were called. I had a broken nose, black eyes, a split lip and bruising to my face and stomach. The guy has been charged and I have been told I am entitled to claim compensation for criminal injuries. Is it worth me making a claim for the injuries I suffered? Are you able to provide a rough idea of how much I could be entitled to?

    CATEGORY: Personal Injury 5 answers
  • Is it worth suing house seller for damage to property?

    We have just recently moved to a new house and the family we bought the house from have left it in a right state. You can expect the odd scratch or knock when moving furniture, etc. but they have made such a mess. The bannister on the stairs has been damaged, there are lots of big holes in the plaster where they have removed pictures, wardrobes, etc. I'm not talking small dents that can be fixed with a bit of filler. I mean large areas that will need re-plastering completely. One of the cupboard doors in the kitchen is broken, and there is also a large crack down the middle of the bath panel. None of this damage was there when we looked around the property the week before getting the keys.

    We contacted the seller through the estate agent, but they don't seem to be interested at all. They are claiming it is part of moving and to be expected. But this is the 3rd time we've moved and I've never experienced anything as bad as this before.

    What I would like to know is whether it is worth trying to sue them for the cost of repairing the damage? If its worth doing, should I try sending a solicitors letter or go straight to the small claims court?

    CATEGORY: Conveyancing & Property 2 answers
  • Can a dead person be defamed?

    My father died in 2000. He was a very respected and loved GP who worked in a practice with my mother. He was in the Navy as a medic in WW2 and received an MBE for services renedered to the community in the 80's. We were a large happy family - 5 kids.

    Out of the blue a man came forward to the local paper with revolting accusations and appealing for others to come forward. No name has been mentioned but in a small town it was quite clear that he was referring to my parents' practice. Now 4 others have come forward. There are many anomalies in their statements. This was over the space of 3 weeks. Now yesterday the local BBC have broadcast the statement by the original man.

    My 3 remaining siblings and I are appalled. It is horrific that a person's good name can be dirtied in this way.

    Is there anything we can do? 

    CATEGORY: Libel & Defamation 1 answer
  • Will a Prenuptial safeguard my assets before marrying?

    Getting married in August 2017 have a house on mortgage in my name. On marrying it will become our marital home. Can I do a prenup to safeguard my assets before marrying? My partner has nothing. 

    CATEGORY: Family 1 answer
  • Does my boss have to let me work part time after maternity leave?

    I am off work on maternity leave at the moment. I want to go back to work part time, but my boss is basically saying I have to go back full time or nothing. A girl I work with was allowed to work part time after having a baby last year, but I'm not. Is there anything I can do or have I just got to accept it and either work full time or find a different job? 

    CATEGORY: Employment 1 answer
  • Does a Prenuptial Agreement have to be fair to be legally binding?

    I'm engaged to be married next year and have been talking about getting a prenuptial agreement. I run a profitable business, own our house and own 2 rental properties, all of which were owned before I met my current fiance. As I have 2 teenage children from a previous relationship, my fiance is happy to sign a prenup to protect the business and houses which I want to pass on to my kids at some point. My fiance is happy to sign this type of agreement, but would it be binding if things did go wrong (i.e. protecting all of my current assets)? Or would protecting the business and houses from any future divorce settlement be considered unfair and ignored if things did turn messy? 

    CATEGORY: Family 2 answers
  • Does child custody affect who keeps family home after divorce?

    I want to start divorce proceedings but am confused about child custody and who will get to keep our family home. I earn more than my husband so we decided that I would go back to work after the birth of our daughter, with my husband staying home to look after her. My daughter is now 7 years old, and my husband works part time in the mornings while she is at school.

    As my husband has been the stay at home parent while I have been working, is he more likely to get custody if we can't come to a shared custody agreement? And if that is the case, would he be more likely to get to stay in our family home with our daughter?

    CATEGORY: Family 1 answer
  • From Discretionary Leave to Remain to Indefinite Leave to Remain

    My wife was refused asylum but granted Discretionary Leave to Remain in 2011 due to her marriage to a UK citizen in 2005 and having a 10 year old British citizen daughter. Her current visa expires June 2017 can she now apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain having lived here since 2011?

    CATEGORY: Immigration 2 answers
  • Need help interpreting a covenant in our lease

    "Not at any time to use or occupy or permit the Demised Premises to be used or occupied except as a private residence in one family occupation only"

    What does this mean, does it strictly mean blood related members of the same Family, or can a non related person reside at the property, what is the interpretation of the lease as Section 61 of the Law of Property Act 1925 shall apply in the construction of our lease dated 11th July 1986

    CATEGORY: Conveyancing & Property 1 answer
  • Stood on nail working on a building site. Wasn't wearing safety boots. Can I still make a claim?

    I work as a labourer for a builder and had an accident working on a building site last week. I was carrying a steel lintel with a work mate and when I stepped backwards off a concrete slab I stood on a 6 inch nail that was sticking up from an old piece of wood. The nail was twisted so it caused a lot of damage to my foot, which has needed surgery. I can't put any pressure on my foot so am off work, and probably won't be able to go back for a least 4 weeks.

    The site was a real mess at the time, so the wood I stood on definitely shouldn't have been there. But my boss has blamed me for not wearing safety boots on site. I was wearing trainers, but have worn these loads of times in the past and my boss has never told me off or even said anything. Other people wear trainers on site too.

    Please can you let me know if I am able to make a personal injury claim? Or is it my fault that I wasn't wearing safety boots.

    CATEGORY: Personal Injury 5 answers
  • Sentence for Premeditated ABH & Common Assault

    My brother In Law has recently split from his wife after 27 years of marriage.  She started to spend more and more time with her friends rather than her family and my brother in law had suspicions that his wife may have been unfaithful.  

    His wife 'now' alleges that she was going out because he had become violent towards her. They have two sons aged 13 and 15 yrs old who have heard/seen them argue but never seen their father become violent towards her apart from one occasion when the youngest explained that his father threw a coat hanger but did not hit his mother.

    2 weeks ago his wife walked out on him and at first blames the fact he was violent. When my wife spoke to her she admitted that she had feelings for another women and that it had only been going on for a couple of weeks (me and my wife feel it has been going on longer) but she still played the violent card.

    She left the familty home and my brother in law and kids were left to deal with the consequences. After nearly two weeks we had notice my brother in law was struggling to come to terms as to what has happened but he had arranged for his wife to come round to talk about bills.

    The next we hear is that my brother in law locked her in the house and he began to attack her with a knife and was dragging her upstairs. Somehow she persuaded him to put the knife down and the attack  proceeded to take place outside the property (I can only presume she persuaded him to open the door aswell) at which point the women she has started a relationship with had turned up and he attacked her aswell. His wife has alledged it was attempted rape and attempted murder.

    The police were called but my brother in law locked himself in the house only to attempt to take his own life with pills and alcohol. My brother in law was taken to hospital and after a few days recovering he was taken to the police station.

    At this point no one in the family, including the children could believe that my brother in law was capable of doing such a thing. That clearly upset his wife evenmore as we are her immediate familty but from what we know of my brother in law, without being mentally unstable there is not in a million years he could be capable of this.

    We then find out he had in fact pleaded guilty but only to ABH on his wife and common assault on his wife's new partner. He apparently pleaded guilty to locking her in the house and that he did have a knife.

    He was remanded in custody until 23rd May and is currently in Strangeways Prison in Manchester.

    I believe there are mitigating circumstances by the fact his wife has always over the years been in control of his life. He had always wanted to go to work and earn his own cash but she always wanted him to be at home to look after her as she claims to have lupus. If she was to tell him to jump, he would say how high. He lived his whole married life running around after her and he got used to it so much it became normal to him. In my opinion when she left him he just simply didn't know what to do or think and he was clearly in a very dark place. She also claims a substantial amount of benefits for her youngest son, due to what she describes as life threatening illness but I don't believe he is as ill as she makes out he is and I have my own opinions on that as well.

    He has had no previous convictions and I am concerned for his welfare whilst he is in prison.

    I can't defend what he has done and neither can he considering he has pleaded guilty but the whole family is in a state of shock and although we know he has done wrong, we, including his children want him back. 

    His wife on the otherhand wants him to rot in hell despite her children wanting him back.

    My question is what is the likelihood of him getting a suspended sentence. Is there anything we can do to put what we feel are mitigating factors to the courts. We can't seem to get the details of the solicitor that was provided at the police station so we feel we are unable to do anything to help him at the moment.

    If you feel he won't get a suspended sentence, then from experience how long do you feel he will get in prison?

    CATEGORY: Criminal 1 answer

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