Canter Levin & Berg Diversity Data 2021

Canter Levin & Berg Diversity Data

Every two years the Solicitors Regulation Authority requires us to complete a submit a diversity survey and our latest one was completed in July 2021.

The survey revealed a good spread of ages, over 85% of our staff are women and they are represented at all levels of the business, we have disabled staff and nearly all staff were educated at UK state schools. Overall, our data closely correspopnds with the general demographic data for our area.

As a small firm we do not publish more detailed information because this would enable individuals to be identified and we promise anonymity to participants.

D Day Is Almost Upon Us

D Day Is Almost Upon Us

by Shannon Gilboy

On 6th April 2022 we will see a complete reform in divorce law. This will be the biggest change since 1973. The new law takes away the fault-based element of the current divorce process. This reform has faced much criticism by those who suggest it makes divorce easier and quicker and undermines the sanctity of marriage. Arguably, this is not true; there is 20 weeks up to the conditional order and an additional 6 weeks thereafter before the divorce can be finalised.  The requirement to allege fault has also been abolished and the Act also removes the ability to contest a divorce. The terminology has been updated and simplified to make the process easier to understand. Applications for divorce are submitted digitally through the online court portal.

If you think the new divorce law could benefit you and you are interested in discussing this further please contact our family department on 0151 239 1000 for more information.

The Liverpool divorce solicitors at Canter Levin & Berg are members of Resolution and as such we believe that family matters, such as divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership should be dealt with in a constructive way designed to preserve the dignity of all involved.

At Canter Levin & Berg our expert divorce law solicitors are here to help you to end your relationship in a way that allows you the freedom to get on with your life and whilst obtaining the right outcome. For a full discussion with one of our divorce law experts about ending your marriage or dissolving your civil partnership you can contact us today or submit an online enquiry.

Our fixed fee family law scheme provides you with the option to instruct us to handle your divorce from beginning to end. If you choose to use this service, we will advise you throughout your divorce, draft your divorce petition ready for your approval and handle your divorce proceedings through the court.

At the heart of Kim and Kanye’s separation are some all too common symptoms that all is not well

At the heart of Kim and Kanye's separation are some all too common symptoms that all is not well

Comment by Amanda Sime, Solicitor, Canter Levin & Berg

The Kim Kardashian / Kanye West drama was back in the news again last week following Kanye West’s new music video featuring him decapitating and burying Kim’s new partner, Pete. All of this – until recently, when the collective worry for Pete’s safety has started to grow – has been encouraged by millions of fans on social media and actively covered by all news outlets in various comedic articles.

At the beginning, we probably all laughed at the extravagant gestures of trucks filled with roses sent to Kim’s house and the public social media posts begging Kim to reunite with Kanye. However, when we take a step back and look at these acts outside of the media spotlight it is domestic abuse, pure and simple.

Kanye’s actions, including:

– constant posts about Kim on social media

– turning up at places he knows Kim will be, when asked not to

– threatening Kim’s new partner

– sharing private conversations on social media
– excusing his behaviour as “fighting for his family”

are not something women should have to just ‘put up with’ when ending a relationship with a controlling man. If this was a “normal” non-famous relationship, Kanye would find himself on the end of a police report and a non-molestation order. It’s important to remember that abuse does not have to be physical to be abuse.

Kanye West openly refers to himself as a genius, but his ongoing harassment makes him an abuser – no matter how much he posts that he loves Kim. As Kim has ended the relationship, maintained custody of the children, and entered into a new relationship, it is clear that Kanye has lost any control over his ex-partner and is not reacting well to this and so is acting out – something many women will sadly be able to relate to. It is easy to imagine the impact this is having on not only Kim, who will likely be constantly waiting for the next incident, but also the couple’s children, with their eldest child North being old enough to understand what is going on between their parents.

If you are being harassed by an ex-partner – similar to anything that Kanye is doing to Kim, or potentially even worse – and this harassment is ongoing or recent, you should think about applying for a non-molestation order to protect yourself from further abuse. A non-molestation order is a type of injunction granted by the Family Court that prevents your abuser from contacting you in any way or attending your home (amongst other things). If you are in receipt of certain benefits, you may be eligible for Legal Aid to apply for this meaning that you don’t have to pay any costs.

Contact us anytime between 9-5pm, Monday – Friday to discuss whether you could apply for such a protective order. These orders are time sensitive so don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0151 239 1000. You can also use our online enquiry form. Our dedicated team will prioritise getting you the protection you need as soon as possible.

Canter Levin & Berg helps tenants who are living in poorly maintained properties

Are you living in poor conditions?

Are you tired of being ignored by your landlord?

If you are a social housing tenant living in a poorly maintained property, we can help you.

Tenants often find themselves living in poor conditions and despite reporting this to their landlord are often ignored.  This is not right!  You are entitled to live in a property which is maintained to a suitable legal standard.

Disrepair which you can do something about can include any or more of the following:

  • Damp
  • Mould
  • Cracks
  • Structural damage
  • Leaks
  • Flooding
  • Defective boilers
  • Defective windows
  • Dangerous electrics
  • Defective gutters
  • Drainage issues
  • Subsidence
  • Infestations

Canter Levin & Berg can help you now if you:

  • are a tenant of a social landlord (e.g. a local authority or a housing association);
  • disrepair is present within your property;
  • you have reported the disrepair to your landlord; and
  • your landlord has failed to carry out adequate repairs

Please feel free to call our friendly Housing Disrepair Team on 0151 239 1000, who will be happy to discuss your claim with you, or complete the online form below. We will get back to you as soon as possible and you can look forward to getting your property problems resolved.

Client information – After The Event Insurance

Client information - after the event insurance

PROTECTING YOU FINANCIALLY WHEN MAKING THIS CLAIM

Insuring Against Losing

Although we believe your claim is likely to succeed, we strongly recommend that you insure against the risk of either losing your claim or having deductions made from the damages you recover. This sort of insurance is called After The Event insurance (“ATE insurance”). As we have explained, if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not liable for this firm’s costs, but we recommend that you purchase insurance because:

  • If you lose your claim you would have to pay our expenses (called disbursements) i.e. what we may have to pay on your behalf for items such as your expert report as well as court fees and counsel’s fees for both advice and court appearances if necessary. It is difficult for us to predict what the total of these disbursements may be because many of them depend on the complexity of issues which may only come to light later in the case, and of course much will depend on whether the defendant agrees to settle with you, and if so at what stage. We can say however that the disbursements will certainly be many hundreds of pounds, and could well exceed £4,000 if Counsel is involved and/or a trial takes place.
  • If you lose your claim or even if you win it, you might also have to pay some or all of your opponent’s costs, disbursements and VAT (“the Defendant’s Costs”). These would normally total many thousands of pounds but again the exact sum is difficult to predict at this stage. Explaining all of the circumstances in which you may have to pay the Defendant’s Costs is quite complex. Nevertheless, a brief summary is as follows:
    • In many situations where you may have to pay the Defendant’s Costs, the maximum sum which you would pay is the amount of compensation and interest you win, although this cannot be guaranteed. The most likely circumstance where this would occur is if you “failed to beat the defendant’s offer”. This would happen if the defendant offered you compensation which you refused to accept (normally because the offer seemed too low) but later in the case you were forced to accept that offer (or a lower offer) or the court awarded you the same amount as the defendant had offered (or less). If you ended up with less than the defendant had offered, then you would have to pay the Defendant’s Costs from 21 days after their offer, until the end of the case. It is quite likely that as a result you would then receive no compensation whatsoever.
    • Another circumstance where this would occur is if (as part of the process leading to an eventual trial) we or the defendant made an application to the court about anything concerning your case, and the court ruled in favour of the defendant and (as is normal) then awarded costs against you.
    • There are other situations however where the Defendant’s Costs are not limited to the amount of damages you recover. Some of the situations are reasonably clear e.g. if you conduct your case unreasonably or your claim is misconceived or fundamentally dishonest, but other situations are less clear and may depend on future court rulings.
  • If we need to instruct a barrister, having ATE insurance will avoid you having to pay your barrister a “success fee” out of any compensation you receive, and so may save you money even where your claim is successful.

Because of these risks and advantages, we strongly recommend that you should buy ATE insurance to protect yourself. We recommend that you obtain a policy from Leeward Insurance Company Limited (“Leeward”) which we will purchase on your behalf to provide that protection.

MOTOR/NON-MOTOR/PUBLIC LIABILITY (SLIP & TRIP)/INDUSTRIAL DISEASE

FIXED MONEY SUM:To purchase this policy now, the premium is £795 plus IPT at the rate when the premium is paid (currently 12%). This price does not vary during the lifetime of your claim.

It is important to note that if a policy is purchased at a later point in your claim then the premium will be more expensive than that listed above. It is better to insure the claim at the outset to ensure that you have cover for all eventualities, such as an offer is received or you need to issue proceedings, and to guarantee that you are securing the cheapest premium.

The benefits of the policy (as well as its key terms and exclusions) are set out in the “Key Facts; Policy Summary” document, but we would specifically mention:

  • You do not have to pay anything for this policy now.
  • If your claim is unsuccessful do not have to pay for this policy.
  • If your claim is successful, the premium will be deducted from the damages you recover.
  • The policy gives you the ability to ensure that the defendant pays you the correct level of damages because you can confidently reject a damages offer which is too low (if we advise you to) and if you later receive less than the sum you rejected, the policy will pay your liability for the defendant’s costs. This benefit alone may well outweigh the cost of the premium.
  • The policy guarantees that if you win you will be paid a minimum of £1,000 and if (with our agreement) you reject an offer but end up with less than the sum you rejected, it will pay 75% of what you would have received, up to a maximum of £5,000.
  • We do not receive any commission on this policy.

We would advise you however that we are not insurance brokers. The legal expenses insurance market is complex and changes frequently. Accordingly we do not offer professional advice on all policies available in the market.

Unless you instruct us otherwise, we will arrange for a Leeward insurance policy to be taken out to protect you against the risks set out above. In doing so you will be agreeing to allow the insurer and our agents Box Legal Limited, to inspect your file and receive ongoing information from us regarding the progress of your case and its outcome. You will also be agreeing with Leeward that we can act on your behalf to ensure that the policy terms are complied with and that any policy premium received and your right (if any) to recover it from the defendant(s) is held in trust for your insurers, until the premium is paid. Most importantly, your instructing us to proceed will constitute your irrevocable agreement to allow us to receive your damages and to deduct the appropriate premium from the damages and to send it to the insurer in settlement of the liability to pay the premium.

The Insurer

Please note that Leeward Insurance Company Limited is incorporated in Bermuda and is regulated in Bermuda by the Bermuda Monetary Authority under the Bermuda Insurance Act 1978 as amended. Any transaction with Leeward Insurance Company Limited will not fall within any compensation scheme, but you have the right to refer any dispute under the policy to the Financial Ombudsman Service in the United Kingdom. Alternatively, any dispute under the policy will be dealt with by an arbitrator appointed where necessary by the Law Society in accordance with the “Arbitration” section of the ClaimSafe policy. The policy is governed by English law. We have carefully considered the effect of this on your behalf, and we are satisfied that overall, taking into account all reasons which might lead to non-payment, there is a very low risk of non-payment of claims, and indeed this policy appears to be superior in this regard to many on the market. Please let us know if you would like further details.

Please also note that as with many insurance policies, our relationship with Leeward Insurance Company Limited is intended to be long-term and a high level of claims on the ClaimSafe policies which we take out for our clients may prejudice that relationship and eventually increase premiums or involve payments which this firm may be responsible for. If in the future the circumstances of your own case, materially conflicts with ours then we will recommend that Counsel’s advice should be obtained on those areas of conflict, for which the policy will pay any irrecoverable costs.

Authorisation

We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we may carry on insurance mediation activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct website at https://register.fca.org.uk/s/

The Law Society of England and Wales is a designated professional body for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the independent regulatory arm of the Law Society. The Legal Ombudsman deals with complaints against lawyers. If you are unhappy with any insurance advice you receive from us, you should raise your concerns with either of those bodies.

Products

We only select products from a limited number of insurers for legal expenses insurance policies, but we are not contractually obliged to conduct business in this way. If you wish you can ask us for a list of the insurers.

Client information – costs and funding

Client information - costs and funding

Methods of funding include:

  • trade union funding
  • legal expenses insurance
  • payment by another person
  • hourly rate, win or lose
  • damages based agreement
  • contingency fee agreement
  • conditional fee agreement
  • hourly rate
  • Legal Aid
  • fixed fee

Trade Union funding

If you are a member of a Trade Union then you may be eligible for funding of your legal costs by that Trade Union.  Unless you notify us otherwise, we will proceed on the basis that trade union funding is unavailable.

Legal Expenses Insurance

If you have legal expenses insurance it may be that that covers this type of claim. Unless you notify us otherwise, we will proceed on the basis that legal expenses funding is unavailable.

Payment by another person

Unless you notify us otherwise, we will proceed on the basis that this option is not available to you.

Litigation

Hourly rate win or lose

If the matter that we are dealing involves litigation, we are happy to act for you on the basis that you pay our full hourly rate, win or lose. However, if we are prepared to charge you nothing in the event of defeat, under a Conditional Fee Agreement, we strongly advise you against this method of funding.

Damages-based agreement

This firm is not prepared to act on this basis. We cannot operate the firm profitably under such agreements due to the extensive restrictions imposed by Parliament. In particular such agreements heavily restrict the amount of costs that we can recover from the other side and this acts as a major disincentive.

Virtually no firms are prepared to enter into such agreements, and we believe that the quality of legal advice must inevitably be poor as the resources will simply not be there to finance the claim properly.

If you want any more information in relation to why we are not prepared to act under a Damages-Based Agreement then please contact us.

Contingency fee agreement

A contingency fee agreement means that you will only pay us fees if we achieve a pre-agreed result in your claim. If we achieve this result, our fees are then paid as an agreed percentage of the damages that you recover. The benefit of such an agreement is that you do not pay anything if your case is not successful (providing that you comply with the terms of the agreement). Such an agreement is only available before the commencement of legal proceedings.

Conditional fee agreement

A conditional fee agreement is often known as a “no win, no fee” agreement. A conditional fee agreement provides for payment of a success fee, but only if we achieve a pre-agreed result in your claim. If we achieve this result, then you pay us a success fee, which is a percentage of our hourly rate costs, with a cap applied that equates to a percentage of your damages. The benefit of such an agreement is that you do not pay anything if your case is not successful (providing that you comply with the terms of the agreement).

If we agree to act for you on a contingency fee basis before the issue of proceedings and if proceedings need to be issued, we will transfer to a conditional fee agreement. If this applies we will have enclosed those documents, together with a bridging agreement to join the two agreements together.

Hourly rate

Our charges will be calculated by reference to the time spent by us in dealing with this matter.

All work undertaken will be charged at the rates set out in the Schedule of Costs which appears at the end of the document provided to you at the outset of the matter and which forms the basis of the contract between you and us. This is a very important document which you should read carefully.

The charging rate is applied to the time spent on your matter, for example, communicating with, or attending you or others on your behalf, in preparation of any communications and documentation and in consideration or review of your file.

Time is recorded in units of 6 minutes or according to the time actually spent.

Letter, emails and telephone calls of six minutes or less are charged at one tenth of the hourly rate.

Disbursements (expenses)
There may be additional expenses, known as disbursements, such as travel costs, court fees and barristers’ fees which you must pay.

You have the right to object to your bill by making written representations to us within one month of delivery of the bill.

You have the right to have our charges assessed by the Court, as set out in sections 70-72 of The Solicitors’ Act 1974.

We will explain to you, and confirm in writing, any changed circumstances which will, or which are likely to, affect the amount of costs or the cost-benefit to you of continuing with your claim.

Legal Aid

Civil Legal Aid was abolished by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 except in very limited circumstances. If you require further advice about legal aid, please ask me.

Fixed fees

We do not act for clients on a fixed fee basis when representing them in connection with accident, housing disrepair or financial mis-selling claims. There are very limited cases in which we may be prepared to offer fixed fees (e.g. employment and commercial disputes). In such cases we will let you know whether and if so on what basis we are prepared to provide fixed fee services.

Costs Orders

You may be responsible for another party’s legal costs if your claim is unsuccessful or if you withdraw from the case. You will also be responsible for the other side’s legal costs if you fail to accept any offer of compensation that the other side make and continue to trial and are then awarded a sum that is equal to or lower than the offer from the other side. These costs of another party may be covered by an existing insurance arrangement that you have, or you may be able to purchase insurance to cover this potential liability.  We can help you with this.

We are recruiting!

Housing Disrepair lawyer/senior clerk required for leading Liverpool city centre firm

If you are a Solicitor, Legal Executive or an experienced clerk with excellent housing disrepair law experience, looking for an opportunity to develop a successful career in one of Liverpool’s oldest and best-known law firms, who will offer top quality work together with support from high profile professionals, then this may be the role for you.

We are seeking an ambitious person with a strong work ethic to join our busy team.

We are confident that the successful candidate will not only build a career with us, but this outstanding opportunity will also let the individual develop a role as a team leader with opportunities for promotion as well as highly competitive incentives.

The successful candidate will have conduct of a caseload of housing disrepair claims and must be entirely at ease with dealing with such claims on a self-contained basis.

The ideal candidate will be distinguished by technical excellence, attention to detail, efficiency and enthusiasm. In return, the successful candidate will receive a competitive salary, with benefits and good working hours.

Read more.

Would you like a to have a professionally prepared Will for free, gratis, nada, nothing? Well, you can.

Would you like a to have a professionally prepared Will for free, gratis, nada, nothing? Well, you can, but you need to act quickly

by Martin Malone

This month we are taking part in #freewillsmonth, supporting some of the UK’s best-loved charities, while giving you the opportunity to create or update your Will for free.

Contact us now to make or update your Will by contacting Candice Jones (0151 239 1198 / candicejones@canter-law.co.uk or by contacting us online).

Who is eligible?

Free Wills Month brings together a group of well-respected charities to offer members of the public aged 55 and over the opportunity to have their simple Wills written or updated free of charge by using participating solicitors in locations across England, Scotland and Wales. We are proud to be a participating partner for these excellent charities.

What if I’m not 55 or over?

We can still make your standard, professionally prepared will for a low fixed fee of £145 plus VAT* or mirror wills for £245 plus VAT*. You can leave a legacy to one of the charities if you want to but that is entirely up to you.

How does it work?

Members of the public aged 55 and over contact us during the designated month to request an appointment.

Expert solicitor Candice Jones will help you to draw up a Will that accurately reflects the wishes of the individual or couple. Those taking up the offer are under no obligation to leave a gift to one of the Free Wills Month charities, however, we really hope that many will see this as a chance to help their favourite cause.

Appointments are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis. Once all available appointments are booked the campaign will close. This may be before the end of the campaigning month (March 2021).

What about Coronavirus and appointments?

We can take instructions online and get everything ready for you. When it comes to signing and witnessing the Will there are special procedures in place and we will make sure that all the legal requirements are adhered to.

Which are the participating charities?

  • Guide Dogs
  • Marie Curie
  • Age UK
  • British Heart Foundation
  • Royal British Legion
  • Versus Arthritis
  • Stroke Association
  • The Salvation Army
  • Diabetes UK
  • NSPCC
  • RNLI – Lifeboats
  • Blue Cross (for pets)

Now is the time to act

Many people put off making a Will for perfectly understandable reasons – I’m too young, it doesn’t affect me, I don’t have any significant assets, it won’t make any difference, I don’t want to think about it, I don’t have children. However, you will die (let’s face it), and someone will have to deal with it. If you make a Will, that will make things massively easier for that person and you will have the peace of mind that they can deal with your estate in the way that you would want it, particularly if you have children. Now is the time to get it done or to make an update, particularly if it costs you nothing or, if you are under 55, for an affordable fixed fee. If you don’t mind me putting it bluntly, think about who will have to deal with it.

*VAT is charged at the prevailing rate, which is currently 20%.

“The roadmap to freedom” Key points from the announcement on 22 February

The "roadmap to freedom". Key points from the announcement on 22 February

by Martin Malone

So, what are the key elements of the “roadmap” (why not just a “map” or “plan”) for the next few months?

I expect that most readers of this post will, like me, have watched or listened to the Prime Minister’s speech to Parliament and/or his press conference this evening. There’s a lot to take in. So, here are the key points. Bear in mind that the dates are the earliest that the proposed changes will take place and are subject to the following four conditions:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully;
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated;
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS; and
  • The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.

My summary is based on the 68-page Government response which you can read here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/963491/COVID-19_Response_-_Spring_2021.pdf

There are four steps.

Step 1

Part 1 – 8 March

  • Schools and colleges open for all students including practical higher education courses. Face masks for secondary school students and above.
  • Recreation or exercise outdoors with household or one other person.
  • Wraparound childcare
  • Stay at home
  • Funerals (30), wakes and weddings (6).

Part 2 – 29 March

  • Rule of 6 or two households outdoors (including private gardens). No household mixing indoors.
  • Outdoor sport and leisure facilities (e.g. golf and tennis).
  • Organised outdoor sport (children and adults).
  • Minimise travel.
  • No holidays.
  • Outdoor parent and child groups (up to 15).

Step 2 – no earlier than 12 April

  • Indoor leisure (including gyms) open for use individually or within household groups.
  • Rule of 6 or two households outdoors.
  • No household mixing indoors.
  • Outdoor attractions open, including zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas.
  • Libraries and community centres open.
  • Personal care premises open
  • All retail open.
  • Outdoor hospitality open.
  • All children’s activities, indoor parent and child groups up to 15 open.
  • Domestic overnight stays (household only).
  • Self-contained accommodation (household only).
  • Funerals (30), wakes, weddings, receptions (15).
  • Minimise travel.
  • No international holidays.
  • Event pilots begin.

Step 3 – no earlier than 17 May

  • Indoor entertainment and attractions.
  • 30 person limit outdoors.
  • Rule of 6 or two households indoors (TBC).
  • Domestic overn