Blog

A fantastic opportunity to gain hands-on legal litigation experience
We have a fantastic opportunity for you to gain hands-on legal litigation experience in a small and welcoming team of legal professionals, as our Personal Injury Team are looking for a full-time paralegal or legal assistant.  If you are interested and you are an enthusiastic, capable graduate who is good at thinking on their feet, please email your CV to our Practice Manager, Mrs Saranjit Raju saranjit@gcsols.co.uk by 15 June 2018.
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Compensation Explained
When I tell people that I work as a Personal Injury Fee Earner for GC Solicitors, it is met with mixed opinion. Some tend to think that I am an “ambulance chaser” and that Personal Injury law should not exist, whilst others are quite interested to find out more about this complex area of law, particularly if they themselves have been injured or know someone that has.

If you have been injured as a result of another person’s negligence and you are considering making a claim for compensation, a new guide called “Compensation Explained” has been put together by the Association for Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) which provides a helpful breakdown of how Personal Injury claims work and their purpose. 

By Ruth Hinchliffe
P.S I am not an ambulance chaser!
 
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The price of getting divorced has increased
Over the years there has been a steady increase in the cost of issuing a divorce petition. The figure increased on 21st March 2016 from £410 to £550, an increase of £140. Previous plans proposed the court issue fees to increase by 80% to a whopping £750.  However, ministers did not endorse the increase in its entirety. Even with the decreased increase in court issue fees, it appears that the Ministry of Justice are making a 100% profit as figures suggest that the actual cost of a divorce is around £270.
 
Shailesh Vara Courts Minister at the time said;
 “We recognise that fee increases are not popular but they are necessary if we are to deliver our promises to fix the economy and bring the nation into surplus.  At every stage we have sought to protect the most vulnerable by ensuring they will not have to pay new and higher fees by making the remissions scheme more generous.  We have also sought to ensure that those who can afford to – such as wealthy individuals or large corporations making very high money claims – will make a bigger contribution.  Every pound we collect from these fee increases will be spent on providing an efficient and effective system of courts and tribunals.”
 
Getting divorced is stressful enough without the added pressure of worrying about excessive legal fees. We may be able to offer you a fixed fee for your divorce but we will have to discuss whether this is suitable for you at our first meeting. Please note that we are not able to offer fixed fees when dealing with financial matters or children matters due to the extensive work that is involved.
 
Although we try to offer as many fixed fee options as possible; there are instances where we will not be able to offer fixed fee divorces or deal with your financial matters due to your specific scenario. Our experienced family law department conduct work in a timely manner whilst always taking into consideration the cost implications. You will be kept up to speed from start to finish and along with dealing with your divorce we will finalise your financial matters and/or children matters- making the process as smooth and as stress-free as we possibly can.
 
If you are going through or considering divorce contact our experienced family lawyers on 01462 483 800. We can offer you a one off fixed fee appointment for 1 hour for £144 inclusive of VAT or 1 hour 30 minute appointment for £180 inclusive of VAT (mainly for financial matters).

By Vyonne Manuel
May 2018
 
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The effects of Stress on Mental Health
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week as Mental Health Charities focus on the effects of stress on mental health.

The word “mental” is often assumed to relate to illness, but the truth is that we all have mental health as well as physical health.   Anyone can be affected by physical and/or mental illness at any time no matter what their age or background.   

In this article, we shine the light on “stress” and the effects stress has on us both physically and mentally.  The Mental Health Foundation defines stress as “the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of pressures that are unmanageable”.  The way we deal with stress can vary hugely from one person to another.  In certain situations stress can be beneficial to help us to meet challenges, to remain alert, focused and energetic, for example when studying for exams, giving a presentation at work or in emergency situations stress can provide the extra strength required to protect ourselves to avoid an accident.   When stress is excessive and the pressure becomes overwhelming, it can have a negative effect on both our physical and mental health. 

There are many things in life that can lead to stress, such as the death of a close relative or friend, divorce/separation, losing a job, money problems, health problems, moving house, preparing for holiday, as well as everyday things such as getting ready for work, getting the children to school on time, meeting deadlines at work and at home, the limitations of technology and the modern world, etc.  We all deal with stress in different ways, for example, one person may find their journey to work on the train stressful, whereas another may see it as “me” time to relax and have a coffee, read a book/newspaper, listen to music or take a nap.  Some people may get on the train to work in the morning and feel stressed as there is standing room only, whereas another person will just take it in their stride and continue to read their newspaper whilst standing despite being jostled by other passengers at different stages throughout their journey.    

Being stressed can make you feel anxious, frustrated, angry and sad.  Stress can also cause physical symptoms of headaches, nausea, chest pain, palpitations and perspiration.  When the negative feelings of stress are short-lived people can generally return to normal without any lasting effects, but when these feelings become more frequent and overwhelming they can start to affect your mental and physical health.   “Vulnerability to mental health problems can be the result of negative or stressful life experiences such as poverty, unemployment, physical illness, disability, social isolation, relationship breakdown or childhood abuse or neglect (Cleaver, 2011).” – NSPCC.

The problem with stress is that it can all too easily creep up on you and become normalised and feelings of anxiety and depression can soon become embedded.  Steps can be taken to try and minimalise the effects of stress by becoming aware and recognising the symptoms of stress on our own minds and bodies.  Suggested ways to manage stress in our everyday lives may be:-
  1. Exercise – eg walking, gym, exercise class, swimming
  2. Spend time outdoors
  3. Listen to music.
  4. Take up a new hobby
  5. Practice Yoga.
  6. Relax and/or meditate.
  7. Share your worries with a trusted friend or family member.
  8. Write down your worries and emotions to prevent them being bottled up as anger or negative feelings.
  9. Think positively
  10. Turn off your phone and computer.
  11. Keep things in perspective and try not tobe too hard on yourself
  12. Eat healthily
  13. Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption
  14. Get some restful sleep.
  15. Be kind to yourself.
  16. Make time for yourself, ie. Diarise 10-15 minutes a day for “me” time.
Sites you might find helpful are:
www.facebook.com/TheForumBGS
www.mentalheath.org.uk
www.mind.org.uk
www.youngminds.org.uk
www.nspcc.org.uk
www.childrenssociety.org.uk
www.headstogether.org.uk
 
By Amanda Barnett
 
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