Friendly Divorce?
Justice Secretary David Gauke has announced the current law in England and Wales relating to divorce is to be changed. The reason? To help end what has been described as the “blame game”. Under the current law, one spouse has to allege the other has committed adultery or has subjected them to unreasonable behaviour for divorce proceedings to start straight away. These are often described as ‘fault based’ grounds for divorce. This is all well for the person alleging but when you look at the bigger picture, it is almost certain that this will draw an even bigger wedge between an already distanced couple. The “no-fault” divorce grounds take longer and allows time for reflection.

The government has stated that new rules will include a minimum timeframe of six months from petition stage to decree absolute – the final stage of the divorce process. In addition, there will be a new option which will allow couples to apply for a divorce jointly. The BBC’s legal correspondent has said “
fault, blame and having to prove two or five year’s separation were not seen to be helping couples move on with their lives - and that's why they are being consigned to legal history.” It is hoped that these changes will allow separating couples to part ways with less conflict arising. This is turn will reduce the emotional impact a divorce can often have on children of the family. Divorce does not have to be a lengthy “blame game” anymore and the new rules could mean that children are no longer exposed to ongoing conflict or the feeling of having to choose sides. If you require any assistance with divorce, separation or sorting out child arrangements following separation please get in touch with one of our family solicitors.

Bunsri Bhuwa
Sports Injury Claims – What if you get hurt in a Contact Sport Like Boxing?
The legal term, ‘Volenti non fit injuria’ translates as “to a willing person, injury is not done” and is a common law rule which states that if someone places themselves willingly in a position where harm might result, they are not able to bring a claim against the other party. By way of example, a boxer consents to being hit and to the injuries that might result from being hit.  However there may still be a claim as the boxer does not consent to his opponent punching him outside the normal terms of boxing (being hit by a frying pan by his opponent).

In English tort law, Volenti is a full defence providing the defendant is able to prove the two required elements:
  1. The claimant was fully aware of all the risks involved; and
  2. The claimant expressly (by statement) or implicitly (by actions) consented to give up all claims for damages.
With this in mind, there are a lot of sports undertaken where Volenti would be a defence for a defendant but as seen in Watson v British Boxing Board of Control (2001) QB 1134, there may be a way of pursuing a claim for compensation when injury has been suffered and it might not mean pursuing a claim against the person which caused the actual injury.

Watson consented to the fight, which would ordinarily be considered a defence of Volenti but this consent was not consent to the inadequate safety measures provided by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC). The rules on medical coverage, provided that two doctors were to be present at all times during boxing matches. During the match, Watson was knocked out by Chris Eubank and it was seven minutes before doctors arrived to treat him, he received no oxygen in that time and spent 40 days in a coma. When he regained consciousness, Watson sued the BBBC on the basis that they had put the rules in place to ensure a boxer’s safety and as such owed him a duty of care which they were in breach of.  The BBBC were found to be at fault for not ensuring that he was properly and immediately treated. Watson was successful in his compensation claim.

So even if you have suffered personal injury by partaking in an event or sport where you have consented to the risk of injury, it is worth seeking legal advice, as there may be others that owe you a duty of care; have breached that duty of care, making you entitled to personal injury compensation. 
Residential Care Home Claim - Previous Solicitors Intervened
GC Solicitors were delighted to help a brother and sister when their previous solicitors were intervened by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), in respect of their late mother's injury claim.

Their late mother’s residential care home provided grossly inadequate care and she suffered amongst other concerns a fractured hip. GC Solicitors were able to continue with the claim and ensure that compensation was agreed at an appropriate level within the specified time limit. The brother and sister were delighted that the claim was finally settled for £34,000.00 exceeding their expectations.
If you are concerned that you may lose your personal injury claim because it is being dealt with ineffectively, please contact GC Solicitors who will happily discuss your case with you and expedite matters so that you are able settle your claim and move on with your life.  It is important to be aware that personal injury claims have precise time limits, so speak to us to ensure your matter is dealt with by our specialist lawyers in a timely, professional manner.
GC Solicitors has experience of taking over claims from other legal practices, so you can be sure you will be in safe hands with us.
Ben Singh
The Beast from the East Set to Return

It turns out the so called Beast from the East might be making an appearance again. Going by last year, this will mean periods of snow, ice and lots of teeth chattering!

I don’t know about you but the last thing I want to be doing when there is snow or ice on the ground is drive to work or do the school run in it but many of us make what seems to be the sensible choice of leaving the car at home in favour of walking.

Then it happens, what you really don’t want to happen, you lose your footing, slip and slide all over the show and hope that nobody is watching. Some people get up and carry on with their day as if nothing has happened but for others the outcome is different, bruises, soft tissue injuries, or even broken bones.

If you slip on snow or ice at work you could be entitled to compensation. Your employer has a duty of care towards all employees to ensure they do everything reasonably possible to prevent employees slipping on snow and ice in the workplace. This includes keeping areas clear of snow and ice which are frequently used such as work yards, car parks and pathways.

Different authorities and organisations owe each of us different duties of care including local councils and occupiers of premises.

So if the Beast from the East does return and you suffer injury as a result of slipping on snow and ice, call GC Solicitors on 01462 483800 to see if you could claim compensation.

Ruth Hinchliffe