Solicitors in Letchworth, Herts

We provide client focused advice in our core areas of legal expertise: Family Law, Children Law and Personal Injury Law. We listen carefully to the needs of our clients and provide a personal service.

GC Solicitors are an established Hertfordshire law firm with a strong local focus. Based in Letchworth, our specialist teams offer a range of expert legal services to our clients.
Family Law solicitor Letchworth

Family Law

We understand how distressing a marriage/relationship breakdown can be, and our solicitors are trained to sensitively advise and guide you throughout this emotional and distressing time.
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Children law solicitor Letchworth

Children Law

Our experienced specialist solicitors can advise you in this highly sensitive and complicated area of Law involving the Local Authority and Social Services.
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Personal Injury Law solicitor Letchworth

Personal Injury Law

If you have suffered an injury our expert team of solicitors can guide you through the claims process and advise you throughout while you concentrate on your recovery.
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What our clients are saying about us

Our Accreditations

Letchworth Solicitors - community legal service
Letchworth Solicitors - personal injury accredited
Letchworth Solicitors - children law accredited
Letchworth Solicitors - association of costs lawyers
Letchworth Solicitors - costs lawyer standards board

Latest News

Trendy to be Trans?
It is estimated that 1% of the UK population identify as Transgender.

In the last ten years there has been a twenty-fold increase in the number of under 16’s being referred by GPs, Schools and support groups to the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic in London.  It is currently the only NHS clinic in the UK treating children and   offering medical treatment including blockers (which suppress puberty) and cross sex hormones to develop the sexual characteristics of the opposite gender. 

Ever younger children – some as young as three, are declaring that they identify with the opposite gender resulting in a growing call for schools to accommodate the needs of these children.

It is a whole new world for parents, educators and the medical profession.   Until very recently the word Transgender was virtually unheard of and rarely properly understood.

For some it is possibly a phase.  However, for more than 90% of those who identify as being transgender there is a genuine and permanent realisation that their biological sex does not match their gender identity.  As a society the challenge is how best to support these young people.  It is felt by some that parents and schools are too readily accepting of and accommodating these children’s wishes to be treated as the opposite gender.  Currently, numerous schools up and down the country are embracing a unisex uniform code so as not to offend or discriminate against these pupils, while toilets and changing areas are being redesigned to provide appropriate facilities.  Local education authorities are also having to catch up and provide best practice guidelines and policies.   

Certainly with very young children it is difficult to know how best to handle this situation other than to react with understanding whilst allowing time and space to work things out.  However, experts in this area advise that a consistent, persistent and insistent declaration from a child should not be ignored and assessment by a professional and counselling should be offered.  If appropriate, puberty blocking hormones can be prescribed but only after the child has been thoroughly assessed over a period of time by a specialist multi-disciplinary team. 

For secondary school age children, the challenges are much greater as puberty beckons and life changing decisions arise.  Practical considerations such as future parenthood cannot be ignored.  Currently, for a person to access cross- sex hormone therapy via the NHS certain conditions have to be met.  These include counselling, a rigorous assessment by a specialist multi-disciplinary team, a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria and a requirement that the person is living as and presenting as their chosen gender and they intend to continue to do so. 

Contrary to popular belief, cross–sex hormones can only be prescribed from around the time of the 16th birthday of the young person, subject to the individual meeting the eligibility and readiness criteria.   

Transition begins when the individual starts hormone therapy and begins to acquire the characteristics of their chosen gender, changes name and adopts the use of alternative pronouns.    It is considered incredibly disrespectful to intentionally mis – gender or dead name someone who has made these changes.  After a period of two years living fully as their acquired gender, it is possible to apply for a gender recognition certificate which confers official confirmation of the change of gender.  It will then be possible to apply for a passport in the acquired gender.

Whether it is a sign of a more tolerant society or greater understanding of the complexities of our biological make –up, we can be sure that we will see an ever-increasing number of people of all ages questioning their gender identity and transitioning from their birth gender.
 
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The Steps to Take if You Have Been Injured at Work
By Ruth Hinchliffe January 2018

So, you have been injured at work and you’re considering making a personal injury claim. In order to maximise your compensation and prove the accident circumstances there are some important steps that you should take.

Report the accident and the injuries as soon as possible. This could be either by completing the company accident report book or writing a letter to your employer or line manager detailing what has happened. If possible, keep a copy of the report made or letter written. Always include the details of any witnesses to the accident as their account can sometimes be the difference between winning or losing a case.

We have found in the past that employers will deny that accidents have happened or the accident reports have been lost or destroyed. If you talk to your employer following the accident, try and write up a careful note of what was said. Even better, if you exchange communications with your employer by email or text, keep them safe!

If you, a friend or family member have been involved in a workplace accident, give GC Solicitors a call on 01462 483 800 for free initial advice.
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Hair Strand Testing for Cocaine
Long awaited guidance has been provided from the Judgment in H (A Child: Hair Strand Testing) [2017] relating to the validity of hair strand testing for cocaine.

The case related to a baby removed at birth from her mother, with a history of drug use, because of a positive hair strand result.  At the Final Hearing mother denied drug use.  The hair strand tests taken over a 2 year period showed low-level cocaine use for some of the time.  It considered the reliability of testing for cocaine where results are in the ‘low range’, and where contamination, for example through social contact with users, may have been an issue.   It was argued that as abstinence could not be evidenced there was a risk of the child being around future drug use as had been the case in the past.  In addition it was argued that the results showed mother had been untruthful and called her honesty into question.

The difficulties in interpreting results accurately from reports in their current form caused Peter Jackson J to include in his judgment guidance intended to improve the way in which such evidence is presented and understood.

Peter Jackson J identified the topics in issue as including:
 
  1. The significance, if any, of the variability of the results as between the different laboratories.  
  2. The nature and significance of industry guidelines.
  3. The significance of findings of cocaine or its metabolites below cut-off levels.
  4. The significance of the comparison between wash samples and test samples.
The reader must take care to understand what is being read, and not jump to a conclusion about drug or alcohol use without understanding the significance of the data and its place in the overall evidence.  The judgment concludes that the variability of findings from hair strand testing does not call in to question the underlying science but underlines the need to treat numerical data with proper caution.

These tests can provide important information, but in order for that to be of real use, the expert must (a) describe the process, (b) record the results, and (c) explain their possible significance, all in a way that can be clearly understood by those likely to rely on the information.  If these important requirements are not met, there is a risk that the results will acquire a pseudo-certainty, particularly because (unlike most other forms of information in this field) they appear as numbers.
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