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Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022

In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was in its early stages but was starting to adversely affect businesses. The government introduced measures to protect businesses that were unable to pay their rent from enforcement action. One such measure introduced provisions to restrict a landlord’s ability to forfeit a lease for non-payment of rent and use commercial rent arrears recovery. These restrictions on landlords’ enforcement options ended on 25 March 2022.

Despite these restrictions ending, the government recognises that businesses are still affected by the pandemic and therefore

Love Thy Neighbour – Prime London Holdings 11 Ltd v Thurloe Lodge Ltd

The Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 (“the Act”) provides building owners with a right to obtain access to neighbouring land to carry out works in certain circumstances. The Act can be used where the adjoining owner refuses to give consent to the building owner having access to its land. In these circumstances, the building owner can apply to the County Court for an access order.  Davies and Partners' specialist Property Dispute Resolution Team review  a recent case study.

Davies and Partners Medical Negligence Team act for family in tragic death of Martha Mills 13, who died from Sepsis

Davies and Partners’ Chief Executive and Head of Medical Negligence Ewan Lockhart has been acting for the family of 13-year-old Martha Mills, who tragically died of sepsis while being treated at King’s College Hospital (KCH) in South London, following an injury to her pancreas.

Martha Mills was taken to KCH having sustained injuries in a fall from her bike while on holiday in Wales last year. She was transferred to the south London hospital because it is one of three national centres for the care of children with pancreatic trauma.

At the recent case inquest, held at St Pancras coroner’s court, north London, the Senior Coroner Mary Hassell, found that had Martha been transferred to the KCH’s paediatric intensive care from the Hospital’s Ray of Sunshine ward earlier during her treatment, she would have likely survived.

Giving fire safety a lift

Developers wishing to have their say on fire safety policy in London have until 20 June 2022 to comment on the Fire Safety London Plan Guidance

This guidance will require developers to submit forms documenting fire safety matters. The forms will have to be completed by a suitably qualified assessor; the form used will depend on the type of development and whether there will be a lift.

Vaccine Damage Payment

Vaccinations against Coronavirus (COVID-19) have recently been added to the list of vaccinations for which people may claim a Vaccine Damage Payment.

The Vaccine Damage Payment scheme has already approved and paid some applications in respect of vaccinations against COVID-19 where the individual has been able to establish that receiving the vaccine caused them to suffer severe disablement.

What is a Vaccine Damage Payment?

Leading personal injury specialists celebrate over a decade of re-acceptance onto the prestigious Headway’s Legal Directory

Two of Davies and Partners’ senior personal injury and medical negligence lawyers Tracy Edwards and Lorna Lymer are celebrating an 11th year of being successfully re-accepted for inclusion in a specialist legal directory for Headway, the brain injury association.

Headway is a national charity which promotes understanding of all aspects of brain injury and provides information, support and services to people with a brain injury, their family and carers.

Davies and Partners’ Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence team has a national reputation for its expertise in brain injury claims, which are often highly complex and require a specialist, holistic approach.

Nigel Tillott Joins Business Briefers on Gloucester Punchline

Davies and Partners’ Director Nigel Tillott joined the panel for Friday’s Gloucester 'Punchline Talk', a weekly online business briefing.

Each week, Punchline's editor Mark Owen is joined by leading Gloucestershire business figures from a range of backgrounds to review Friday's national & regional newspapers, discuss what is happening in their own business sector and in their own individual businesses.

Davies and Partners Announce Two New Board Members

Davies and Partners Solicitors has announced the expansion of its Board of Management, appointing Kirsten Compton and Tom Lowe, who join existing Board Directors, Ewan Lockhart, Nigel Tillott, David Stokes and Ewan Kilgour.

Kirsten ComptonKirsten Compton SQ, who heads up the Commercial Property team in the Firm’s Gloucester office, has worked in Davies and Partners since joining the Firm in 2017, later becoming one of the Firm’s Legal Director’s and appointed Training Principal, overseeing the Firm’s Trainee Solicitor and Solicitor Apprenticeship program.

Kirsten, who qualified as a Solicitor in 2005, has been involved in a number of high-profile regeneration projects in and around Gloucestershire and across the wider UK, having extensive in-depth knowledge of the commercial property sector.

Noisy jets are not a nuisance…

If you have been up Snowdon, you may well have heard and seen some of the jets referred to in the case of Jones and Jones v Ministry of Defence1. The Claimants owned land about a mile away from an RAF Mona Royal Air Force station on Anglesey (RAF Mona). Opened as an airship base in 1915, recently RAF Mona has been used as a relief landing ground and runway used by trainee pilots undertaking drills in fast jets and turboprop aircraft.

Davies and Partners Supporting the work of the National Bereavement Partnership

Davies and Partners Solicitors has announced that it is to support and work with the National Bereavement Partnership over the next 12 months.

Over the last year, the valuable services offered by the National Bereavement Partnership has been in huge demand. The charity provides a national support helpline, counselling referral and befriending service, for all those suffering from anxiety, grief or mental health issues as a direct or indirect result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Davies and Partners has chosen to support the Charity’s important work as it makes a real difference to people’s lives. The National Bereavement Partnership has a particular significance for the Firm’s specialist private client teams, who provide help and advice to clients in many ways following a bereavement. This can be through the administration of wills, trusts or an estate, selling a family property or when acting for clients who may have concerns regarding the medical treatment a loved one received, prior to their death.

Notice periods to evict tenants in England to revert to pre-pandemic levels

The Government has on the 8 September laid before Parliament, updated Regulations in respect of residential tenancies. The most important change brought in by the Regulations is that the notice period that a residential landlord must give to seek possession of their property from tenants has reverted to the same period as before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Where a landlord wants to give notice under S21 of the Housing Act 1988, prior to 26 March 2020 at least 2 months’ notice had to be given. During the pandemic, this initially increased to 3 months, then 6 months, and was most recently reduced to 4 months. As of 1st October 2021, if a landlord gives notice under Section 21 the notice period reverts to 2 months.

Striking mural at Davies and Partners new Bristol offices

Davies and Partners’ new purpose designed offices at 250, Park Avenue Aztec West in Bristol, have received some final finishing touches recently, with the addition of a striking mural, created by celebrated Local illustrator, Cai Burton.

This unique work, which runs across two walls in the client meeting area, can now be enjoyed by both employees and visiting clients.

The video below shows the making of this unique artwork and explains how our employees helped provide the inspiration for the design.  

Davies and Partners Continues Support for Gloucester History Festival

Davies and Partners is delighted to announce that the firm is once again supporting the now, nationally renowned, Gloucester History Festival which runs from 4-11 September 2021.

This year, the Gloucester History Festival has the theme of Frontiers and Pioneers, and Davies and Partners is sponsoring a talk by economist and former Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable, on the final day of the Festival. The talk is entitled: Money and Power: The World Leaders Who Changed Economics.

Grenfell Tower - steps in the right direction

Since our article, Grenfell Tower - taking action - The Building Safety Bill positive steps have been taken to address the fire safety issues in England and Wales. We summarise them here.

A - Higher-Risk Buildings

The Building Safety Bill1 (the Bill) has been amended and now contains definitions of “higher-risk buildings”. These definitions apply to England only.

1) Physical building definition: A “higher-risk building” is “a building in England that:

a) is at least 18 metres in height or has at least seven storeys; and
b) is of a description specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State.”

A new fund (Compensation Fund No.2) is to be set up by Spire Healthcare Limited to allow former patients who were treated at their hospitals by Breast Surgeon, Ian Paterson, who have not previously received compensation, to submit claims for injury arising out of his negligent treatment.

An original fund of £37 million was created in 2017 which covered compensation claims for over seven hundred former patients of Ian Paterson who were treated at either Spire Healthcare or Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (now incorporated in to University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust). 

Davies and Partners’ North Devon office purchases Defibrillator to help save lives in the local community

Davies and Partners Solicitors are proud to announce the purchase of an automated external defibrillator (AED) for their North Devon office.

In the UK, more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur each year. Survival rates are just 1 in 10, and each minute that passes between the cardiac arrest and treatment reduces the chances of survival by up to 10%. 12 people under the age of 35 (including children) die each week from sudden cardiac arrest. Early intervention through CPR and defibrillators massively improves the chances of survival.

Angela West Appears on Radio Gloucester to Help Employers and Employees work through the new Covid19 norms in Employment

Employment law specialist and Senior Associate Angela West appeared on BBC Radio Gloucester last week to discuss the ongoing difficulties that employers and employees have experienced over the last 16 months of the Covid19 Pandemic.

Angela joined BBC Presenter Dominic Cotter live on his show, to discuss several highly topical employment issues, including how, despite restrictions having been eased, employers still have a legal duty to provide a safe working environment for their employees.

Angela who answered questions during the Show from listeners explained how a safe working environment can be achieved and the need for employers to review and update their risk assessment policies.

Love in Lockdown

Davies and Partners’ Head of Family Law in London, Hazel McNaught, takes a look at the positive and negative effects the last year of Lockdown has had on love and family life.

"There is no denying that the consequences of the COVID pandemic have been considerable and wide-reaching. The pandemic has impacted every part of our society, and on a domestic level, lockdowns have meant that couples and families have spent an unprecedented amount of time together. Indeed, in the early days of lockdown, a number of couples, when weighing up the prospect of not seeing one another for months on end, took the step of deciding to move in together earlier than they might otherwise have done.

For better or worse, the pandemic has forced our lives into a microcosm, often amplifying existing tensions. For months on end, our lives were reduced to the four walls of our own homes, without the usual routine of work, friendships and socialising away from home. This has caused our romantic relationships to come into sharper focus. For some, more time at home was a positive: new couples were forced to accelerate, and for long-term partners, a simpler home life was a bonding exercise. The relationship counselling service Relate  reported that a heart-warming 61% of respondents said that lockdown has made them realise relationships are the most important thing in their lives.

Bariatric Surgery Claims against North Bristol NHS Trust

A recent story featured in the Bristol Post newspaper has highlighted the distressing story of a mum-of-five who had complications following her weight loss surgery.

Sadly, this is not a one-off incident and Davies and Partners’ medical negligence specialist Sarah Hale  is currently assisting a number of patients who have been injured as a consequence of the same surgical error.

Long Covid – the ‘unknown’ road ahead for Employers

Employment Law Specialist Angela West considers the challenges long covid will provide for employers

"When Boris Johnson announced the “Roadmap out of Lockdown”, the nation breathed a cautionary sigh of relief that some semblance of normality was on the horizon. With the government’s four steps approach, we will (hopefully) see restrictions ease over the coming months, and businesses and employees slowly getting back to ‘the day job’ as we use to know it.

It is hoped that the success of the vaccine rollout will mean that ‘Step 4’ of the Roadmap will be achievable by the desired date of 21st June, and legal limits on social contact can be eased further. But the Roadmap reminds us that Covid-19 remains part of our lives, and as we move towards a future that is more familiar, it is a fact that the damaging and disastrous effects of Covid -19 will have lasting legacy on many people.

Back to the Future in Employment Law?

Davies and Partners Employment Law Specialist Angela West looks at the last year of unprecedented changes.

"The past 15 months will certainly be remembered as a time when just about every aspect of life changed. At the start of 2020 nobody had heard of the term ‘furloughed’ in an employment law context or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). COVID 19 had only just been declared ‘a global outbreak’ by the World Health Organisation (but was something which was happening on the other side of the world), and national lockdowns and wearing masks in public were something you would expect in a Sci-Fi movie.

The Furlough Scheme was a first of its kind in UK political history and has meant that for many employers, they have been able to ‘keep going’, as opposed to making difficult decisions about potential business closure or reducing headcount to save costs. Many businesses have needed to adapt and completely remodel their business strategies, and how they deliver their products or services. The pandemic has resulted in a major shift in employees working remotely from home, with many asking whether the ‘new norm’ of working is here to stay beyond the pandemic.

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