Getting rocky relationships through tinsel-time

The family-focus of Christmas is often followed in January with news of unhappy couples who decide to call it quits, leading to so-called Divorce Day, as family lawyers receive a surge of enquiries when they re-open after the break.

And as the holiday season goes into full swing, there are calls for greater support for couples, based on better understanding of outcomes.
According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the overall rates of divorce are continuing to fall.  There were 111,169 divorces in 2014, a decrease of 3.1% compared with 2013 and 27% lower than 2003.
Compared with data from 2004, divorce rates were lower for all age groups, except women aged 55 and over. As younger people look to be having fewer problems in the first decade of marriage, this has been attributed by ONS to higher numbers of couples cohabitating before marriage, with the suggestion that only the stronger relationships make it through to the wedding day.
But those working at the front-line say the apparent improvement should not obscure the increasing difficulty faced by couples looking to separate.  For although the process of securing a divorce is relatively straightforward, the associated negotiating over finances and children is proving an increasing challenge.
Faced by the cuts to legal aid and higher Court fees – the cost of applying for a divorce increased from £410 to £550 in March 2016 - through to the difficulty in affording to set up two homes, many couples are turning to increasingly desperate measures.
For some, it involves continuing to live together, even when officially separated, or even post-divorce, including so-called ‘bird nesting’ arrangements, where the children stay in the family home and the parents come and go.  Others turn to online help or seek an agreement without independent advice, only to discover later that they may have agreed financial or childcare outcomes that leave them at a significant disadvantage, when professional advice and representation could have reached a fairer outcome.
“Unfortunately the workload of the family lawyer is not reducing,” said family law expert Karen Johnson of Hertford-based solicitors Breeze and Wyles Solicitors Ltd.  “And dealing with problems arising from self-conducted negotiations, or where negotiations have been managed by an untrained intermediary, is becoming more common.
“DIY can seem a sensible option when you’re trying to keep the lid on costs and everyone is saying it’s simple. And whilst it’s true that the application process itself is relatively straightforward, that’s only one small part.  Nor is it fool-proof, and if you get it wrong it could lead to paperwork being sent back, which could mean additional court fees.”
She added: “It’s tough sorting things out between the two of you when emotions are running high, but talking things through is the best way and having someone help you with those conversations is a good idea.  They don’t have to be a professional, but you should have expert input at some stage in the negotiations, to make sure that what you have agreed is fair, that neither party is pushing the other into a corner, and that it is in line with what you could expect as a reasonable outcome if you had gone to court.”
Such encouragement for couples to talk reflects the findings of recent research in the United States.  This suggests that couples who share their problems with each other are more likely to overcome difficulties than those who share problems with their friends.  Reported in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, researchers found that sharing concerns with a friend increased the odds of a break-up by 33 per cent, but talking it out with a partner doubled the chances of them staying together.
She added: “Ending a marriage is one of the toughest things anyone will ever deal with, and what’s needed is a well-informed, collaborative approach.  The couple, and anyone supporting or advising them, need to be focused on achieving an outcome through positive negotiation that is more talk, less war.”

Web site content note:
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

Reference:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/divorce/bulletins/divorcesinenglandandwales/2014#statisticians-quote

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4010064/Relationship-troubles-Don-t-tell-mates-Confiding-female-friends-makes-likely-break-up.html#ixzz4SzsRxTa6

 

 


The Latest Insolvency Service Enforcement Statistics are out!

This is the latest in the series for my blog ‘The Director’s Friend’.

In a press release dated yesterday (13 December 2016) the Insolvency Service (the ‘IS’) set out their latest enforcement outcome statistics.

These show that for the year 2015 / 2016 that 1,210 director disqualification orders and undertakings were obtained with a running total of 807 for the year to date. The clear majority of the disqualifications were pursuant to section 6 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (‘CDDA’).

The average length of a disqualification is on the up to 5.9 years.

In passing the number of Bankruptcy and Debt Relief Restriction Orders and Undertakings is down sharply from the period 2009 / 2010, but is still in excess of 300 a year.

The average length of a Restriction, however, is at an all time high at 5.3 years.

COMMENT:-

The director disqualification statistics show that directors of companies that have been placed into liquidation and administration are at risk of being investigated and disqualified with the period of time that the director is disqualified for on the increase.

WHAT TO DO NOW?

If you are faced with a claim for director disqualification by the IS please talk to me today. That is in order to protect your position without delay. The earlier that you speak with me the more that I can help. Why not call me today on 01992 558 411 and speak to me without obligation, pressure or cost.

If you are happy to instruct me my firm and I are happy to talk to you about fixed fees or staged fees that are agreed with you in advance of any work being carried out. Your work will be carried out by me or others under my close supervision. Finally, I am happy to come to you to take instructions.

Until the next time...

THE DIRECTORS FRIEND


More Bad News for Directors and their Personal Liability

This is the next in the series of blogs for the Directors’ Friend.

A director of a company that has been placed in to formal insolvency may receive an enquiry letter perhaps enclosing a Directors Questionnaire from the Insolvency Service.  They may also receive a letter being a notice under Section 16 of The Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (“CDDA”) notifying of the intention of the Secretary for State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (that is the Insolvency Service) (“SOS”) to commence director disqualification proceedings against you.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Do not ignore the letter.  As the consequences for you could be limiting and expensive!

You could consider offering a disqualification Undertaking to be disqualified in order to avoid going to Court or possibly fight the case in Court.  It is inadvisable to do anything without the benefit of specialist legal advice in any event.

Now that is even more the case – Why?

DIRECTOR DISQUALIFICATION AND DISQUALIFICATION ORDERS AND UNDERTAKINGS

In brief, there has been a recent change in the law that is completely new by way of Section 110 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (“SBEEA”) which now allows the Court to make a compensation order against a disqualified director where it appears to the SOS that certain conditions in new Section 15(A)(3) of the CDDA are met in that:

“(a)      the person is subject to a disqualification order or disqualification undertaking under [the SBEEA] and

 (b)        conduct for which the person is subject to the order or undertaking has caused loss to one or more creditors of an insolvent company of which the person has at any time been a director.”

FOR THE BENEFIT OF:

Under new Section 15(B) the amounts payable under compensation orders and undertakings are to be for an amount specified (in the order) to be paid to the SOS for the benefit of:

  1. A creditor or creditors specified in the order;
  2. A class or classes of creditors so specified.

This is as a contribution to the assets of the company:

A compensation undertaking (pursuant to Section 15(b)(2)) is for the same but with an out of court settlement with the SOS.

COMMENTS:

  • This is a new law and an entirely new area of law whereby the SOS in the context of director disqualification is seeking to claim compensation for the benefit of creditors or classes of creditors from the disqualified director.
  • This is an additional statutory power in addition to the powers available to liquidators of companies in liquidation, for example under the Insolvency Act 1986 to include for:
  1. Misfeasance (Section 212);
  2. Transactions at an Undervalue (Section 238);
  3. Preferences (Section 239);
  4. Wrongful trading (Section 214);
  5. Fraudulent trading (Section 213); and
  6. Transactions defrauding creditors (Section 423)

which are other statutory claims by which the liquidator as office holder can seek to recover assets for the benefit of the insolvent estate.

  • It strikes me that there are all sorts of issues to be raised in terms of disputing the conduct and/or resisting the application on the basis of, for example, remoteness of loss and causation of loss. These are applicable in, for example, Misfeasance proceedings.  It would appear to me that they would surely have equal relevance in these compensation proceedings.
  • It is likely in my view that the driving force is to make recoveries for the Exchequer in circumstances where a large number, if not the majority of the director disqualification proceedings brought are, in my experience, for trading to the detriment of the Crown and/or a failure to pay the Crown debt.  The compensation regime would appear to be a vehicle to primarily compensate HM Revenue and Customs, but the SOS’s approach remains to be seen. For example, how far is the SOS likely to interrogate a proof of debt lodged?

OTHER CLAIMS AND EXPOSURE BY THE DIRECTORS:

It would be of concern to the well advised director that any successful recovery by the SOS in compensation proceedings may lead to other claims (as above) being brought by the liquidator of the company.

The office holder is obliged to seek and retain any recoveries on behalf of all of the creditors of the insolvent estate of the company (subject to costs) and it would appear at present that the SOS is only obliged to make recoveries for specific identified creditors who have suffered losses.  It would therefore appear to be a tension between the office holder and the SOS bringing these financial recovery proceedings.

PARALLEL CLAIMS BEING FACED BY THE DIRECTOR:

It would seem very unfair and unlikely that any court would allow both the SOS and an office holder such as a liquidator to bring proceedings against a director based upon the same facts and circumstances.  In other words at risk of having to pay twice for the same offending (mis)conduct.

SUMMARY:

It is therefore the case that the well advised director seeks and obtains advice at an early a stage as possible when the SOS first make enquiries.

With the new compensation orders regime running in parallel with director disqualification proceedings the financial risk and exposure of the directors has now increased.

It remains to be seen how the tension between compensation claims brought by the SOS and the office holder will be resolved with the director in the middle.

WHAT TO DO NOW?

If you are faced with a claim for director disqualification or a liquidator has sent you a letter before claim please talk to me today.  That is in order to protect your position without delay.  The earlier that you speak with me the more that I can help.  Why not call me today on 01992 558411 and speak to me without obligation, pressure or cost.

If you are happy to instruct me my firm and I are happy to talk to you about fixed fees or staged fees that are agreed with you in advance of any work being carried out.  Your work will be carried out by me or others under my close supervision.  Finally, I am happy to come to you to take instructions.

In February / March 2017 I am intending to give a seminar on this topic. Details to follow.

Until the next time...

THE DIRECTORS FRIEND


THE LATEST INSOLVENCY SERVICE ENFORCEMENT STATISTICS ARE OUT

This is the latest in the series for my blog ‘The Director’s Friend’.

In a press release dated yesterday (13 December 2016) the Insolvency Service (the ‘IS’) set out their latest enforcement outcome statistics.

These show that for the year 2015 / 2016 that 1,210 director disqualification orders and undertakings were obtained with a running total of 807 for the year to date. The clear majority of the disqualifications were pursuant to section 6 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (‘CDDA’).

The average length of a disqualification is on the up to 5.9 years.

In passing the number of Bankruptcy and Debt Relief Restriction Orders and Undertakings is down sharply from the period 2009 / 2010, but is still in excess of 300 a year.

The average length of a Restriction, however, is at an all time high at 5.3 years.

COMMENT:-

 The director disqualification statistics show that directors of companies that have been placed into liquidation and administration are at risk of being investigated and disqualified with the period of time that the director is disqualified for on the increase.

WHAT TO DO NOW?

If you are faced with a claim for director disqualification by the IS please talk to me today. That is in order to protect your position without delay. The earlier that you speak with me the more that I can help. Why not call me today on 01992 558 411 and speak to me without obligation, pressure or cost.

If you are happy to instruct me my firm and I are happy to talk to you about fixed fees or staged fees that are agreed with you in advance of any work being carried out. Your work will be carried out by me or others under my close supervision. Finally, I am happy to come to you to take instructions.

Until the next time...

THE DIRECTORS FRIEND


New Stalking Laws - look who's behind you

untitledThe Home Secretary, Amber Rudd has announced that the Government is set to introduce new Stalking Protection Orders.

The orders in England and Wales aim to offer quick protection to people who find themselves targeted by strangers similar to that which is afforded to domestic abuse victims.

In 2012 the government introduced 2 new offences of stalking via the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Whilst there is no strict legal definition of ‘Stalking’, the legislation sets out examples of behaviours which can be associated with stalking, eg, following a person, watching or spying on them or forcing contact with them through social media etc. In isolation the conduct can be innocent but when conducted repeatedly the impact upon the victim can cause significant alarm and distress and curtail the victim’s freedom as they feel vulnerable and left constantly looking over their shoulder.

In December 2015 the government launched a consultation paper to consider the protection that was currently offered to victims of stalking and whether and what change could be put in place to offer better protection.

On the 7th December 2012, the Government published its response to the consultation. The consultation identified concerns that current measures lacked consistency, were slow, costly and placed too much responsibility on the victim to protect themselves.

These proposed orders would allow the police to apply to the court for orders even before a suspect is convicted or arrested. This early intervention aims to offer swift protection for victims, prevent behaviours from escalating and removes the onus from the victim to protect themselves

The exact nature of the orders will vary depending upon the circumstances but would typically prevent the suspect from contacting the victim or going near them but could also impose positive obligations such as interventions to identify and treat any underlying mental health difficulty. Breach of these orders would carry a punishment of up to five years in jail.

The Government has indicated that it would seek to introduce new laws as soon as parliamentary time allows.

At Breeze and Wyles Solicitors Ltd our specialist family solicitors understand the impact of domestic abuse, harassment and stalking. We are able to offer practical advice in plain English in relation to the options available to you with appointments available at our offices in Hertford, Bishops Stortford and Enfield or nationally via telephone or Skype.

For more information on how our family solicitors can help you call us on 01992 558411 or alternatively complete our online enquiry form.


The one time you should look for the price tag on that gift

The Bribery Act ushered in a stricter anti-corruption regime when it came into force in 2011 and although Christmas gifts and hospitality are not banned, it’s important that companies don’t splash out and end up in deep water with over-generous Christmas gifts

 If you’re worried there are too many bottles of wine bearing “Happy Christmas” messages from your suppliers, it’s worth checking out the facts and making sure staff know the right and wrong way to go about corporate gifting.

The Bribery Act came into force in 2011, simplifying and consolidating existing law on corruption and creating a new crime of failing to prevent bribery. When it became law, many commentators thought it might end all corporate hospitality. That wasn’t the case, with the Ministry of Justice’s later guidance saying: “hospitality is not prohibited by the Act”, but any gifts must be reasonable and proportionate. So companies who splash out and are over-generous in their gifting could find themselves breaking the rules and getting both themselves and the recipient into deep water.

In simple terms, bribery is defined as giving or offering a person a financial or other advantage with the intention of inducing them to act improperly. It is also a crime to ask for or to receive an inducement in return for acting improperly.

Said Donna Bromyard, corporate expert with Hertford solicitors Breeze and Wyles Solicitors Ltd: “When it comes to gifts or any form of hospitality, the simplest thing is to have a clear threshold that’s appropriate to the sector you’re operating in, whether giving or receiving.  Then, if anything offered has a value beyond that, employees must obtain permission.  It’s also sensible to make sure everything, however small, is logged in a central register.”

As well as looking at the price ticket on gifts or hospitality, companies also need to demonstrate that they are doing it with the right intentions. A gift given at Christmas-time is less likely to be problematic than something offered during contract negotiations or when an extra invoice has been submitted.  Similarly, hospitality that doesn’t involve any opportunity for business development on the part of the giver is likely to raise questions.

Added Donna Bromyard: “Entertaining your customers at a Christmas party, or providing a modest bottle of wine, is unlikely to cause problems.  But if you offer a pair of theatre tickets and a dinner reservation for two at a posh restaurant to a key contact and their spouse, that is much less likely to pass the “reasonable and proportionate” test. Where there’s a clear opportunity to promote the company supplying the hospitality, it’s more likely to be seen as reasonable business development.

“Preventing bribery is important for any business, whatever their size, and every company must demonstrate they are taking it seriously. That includes undertaking risk assessments, making sure staff know the procedure, and setting everything out in writing.”

Since the introduction of the Bribery Act, the Serious Fraud Office has shown a tough attitude to enforcement and seeking out corruption. In one recent high profile case, construction and professional services company Sweett Group PLC was ordered to pay £2.25 million as a result of a conviction arising from a failure to prevent bribery taking place. A subsidiary company in the United Arab Emirates had made corrupt payments to an individual with the intention of influencing the awarding of a building contract in Abu Dhabi.

www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/bribery.htm

Our Business Services Department at Breeze and Wyles Solicitors Ltd is able to offer a full range of advice and services to business. For information and advice in relation to the above or any other issue affecting you or your business contact us on 01992 558411.

 

Web site content note: 

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.


The Power of Trade Marks for Your Small Business – A David Vs. Goliath Story

In 1999 an SME called Comic Enterprises Ltd (“CEL”) registered a series of trade marks which featured the words “The Glee Club”. They ran and operated entertainment venues under this name with some success, expanding their business and opening venues across the UK. The venues predominantly hosted stand-up comedy but they also featured live and recorded music shows.

In 2009 the Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation launched their television show in the UK under the name “Glee”. The programme featured a so-called ‘Glee Club’ in an American High School. The show was successful in the UK and became very well known, particularly due to the music it featured, which included covers of popular songs. CEL noticed that the success of the show was causing significant confusion in that members of the public began to believe that their clubs were associated with the TV show, which had a negative effect on their target market. They began trade mark infringement and passing off proceedings against Fox in September 2011. They were successful in their claim for trade mark infringement and substantial remedies were awarded, a decision which was recently upheld in the Court of Appeal.

An important point for SMEs to note is that whilst CEL were successful in their claim for trade mark infringement, their claim for passing off failed on the basis that there was no actionable misrepresentation. Therefore if CEL had failed to register their trade mark the result would have been completely different.

This case highlights the increasing importance of intellectual property protection for SMEs. If your brand is vital to your future success then it is essential that you put in place adequate protection before infringement occurs and that you take action promptly when it does.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss any of the issues raised in more detail then please do contact Donna Bromyard, a Solicitor in our Business Services Team on 01992 558411 or email donna.bromyard@breezeandwyles.co.uk

 


How employers can say no, without saying a word...

As the countdown to the festive season gets underway, employers juggling the pre-Christmas workload need to ensure workers are enabled to take their rest breaks.

The warning comes after an employer was found to have failed to take the necessary steps to facilitate rest breaks – despite the employee not having made any specific request.

The case was brought by an employee who was running a roadside traffic management system.  He argued that he had been denied his legal entitlement to rest breaks under the Working Time Regulations 1998.

The job with Abellio London Ltd involved regulating bus services to match road traffic conditions. Mr Grange, the employee, had a working day of 8.5 hours, including a half-hour lunch break.  When it proved difficult for him to take a break, because of the nature of the job, his employer changed his working day to 8 hours.  The idea was that he would work without a break, but finish half an hour earlier.

All workers are entitled to a 20-minute rest break after six hours of working under the Working Time Regulations, and if the entitlement is breached then an employee can make a claim if the employer ‘has refused to permit him’ to exercise the right. The key question, which took Mr Grange’s case to appeal, was whether an employee could make such a claim when he had not actively requested the break, and so had not received a direct refusal from the employer.

Although the Employment Tribunal first held that there had to be an actual refusal of a request, the Appeal Tribunal held that workers should be positively enabled to take breaks by the employer.

In making the decision, the Employment Appeal Tribunal highlighted that minimum rest periods are essential for the protection of health and safety and said there should be no distinction between entitlements and obligations.

Said Brendan O'Brien, Solicitor, Director and employment expert with Hertford solicitors Breeze & Wyles: “The important thing to take away from this is that employers should not wait for rest breaks to be requested, instead they must be proactive in making sure that working arrangements enable workers to take those breaks.  Otherwise, where the arrangement of the working day makes it difficult or prevents workers from taking a break, this may be taken as a denial of a right.”

He added: “It’s important to have a clear policy, and to make sure that everyone in the company knows and understands how to take their break.  This is particularly relevant to employers in sectors where employees often work long shifts and it is difficult to stop and take a break, such as social care, where continuity of care is vital.  But it is equally important that all employers take it into account at busy periods, such as the run up to the Christmas holiday, and make sure that workers can take the required rest breaks, even if they choose not to."

If you are in a similar situation and would like to discuss this further, call Brendan O'Brien on 01992 558411 or email  brendan.obrien@breezeandwyles.co.uk

Grange v Abellio London Ltd [2016] UKEAT/0130/16/DA

Web site content note: 

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.


The Director's Friend - CONTRAVENTION OF DIRECTOR DISQUALIFICATION

This is the next in the series of blogs for the Director’s Friend.

workplace-webINTRODUCTION

If a director of an insolvent company is investigated by the Insolvency Service, an application for director disqualification follows and an order or undertaking is obtained. Then the director cannot ‘act in the management’ of a company for the period of time that they are disqualified absent leave of the Court.

Leave of the Court will be the subject of a separate blog by me in the future.

If a director is then subsequently found to be in breach of their disqualification then that (amongst other issues) is a criminal offence.

PENALTY

The penalty for a breach is set out in section 13 of the Company Directors’ Disqualification Act 1986 (‘CDDA’) as:

‘(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine, or both; and

(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for not more than 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both.’

Therefore, it can be seen that the penalties are serious.

CONSULTATION

There is, however, currently a consultation by the Sentencing Council (the ‘Council’) in respect of what is described as a breach offences guideline consultation (the ‘Consultation’). This is to seek the views of as many people as possible interested in sentencing of breach offences.

The Council confirm at page 44 of the Consultation document that a director disqualification can be imposed by the Court as an ancillary order on conviction or as a result of bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings. The Council also confirm that there is no reasonable excuse defence included in the statutory provisions as there is for some other offences.

The point of the Consultation is that the Council confirm that there is no existing guidance available for sentencing this breach.

The Council then put forward thoughts under the headings of culpability, harm and whether there are any other additional aggravating or mitigating factors to take into account. The draft guidelines are set out at page 101 of the Consultation document.

The consultation will end on 25 January 2017. 

COMMENT: 

It is interesting to be reminded that there is currently no specific sentencing guidelines for breach of director disqualification and there is now an opportunity to provide input. In my professional experience I have not seen too many prosecutions for breaching a director disqualification order or undertaking, but it does happen.

A case always turns upon the facts, but one way of protecting yourself (if you are disqualified as a director) is to apply to court for leave to act as a director whilst disqualified (usually at or around the time of that disqualification). That is under section 17 of the CDDA. As above, I will prepare a separate blog on this subject later.

WHAT NOW:

If you are faced with an application for director disqualification, or you are threatened with a prosecution please talk to me today. This is in order to protect your position without delay.  The earlier that you speak with me the more I can help.  Why not call me today on 01992 558411 and speak to me without obligation, pressure or cost.

If you are happy to instruct me, my firm and I are happy to talk to you about fixed fees or staged fees that are agreed with you in advance of any work being carried out.  Your work will be carried out by me or others under my close supervision.  Finally, I am happy to come to you to take instructions.

Until next time,

THE DIRECTOR’S FRIEND


He Said/ She Said

blog-pic

As solicitors who assist people with a wide range of issues that arise on the breakdown of a relationship, we are often asked about the usefulness and legality of obtaining evidence by audio or video recordings.

There have been a number of examples recently of covert video recordings being used particularly in care homes and which have captured horrific incidents involving the abuse of elderly and vulnerable residents. In some of those cases, those video recordings have proven to be key evidence in bringing the person committing these horrible acts to justice.

However, it is really important that people do not get carried away and the following is a cautionary tale as to how covert recordings can have undesired consequences.

The case of Re M & F(2016)EWFC 29 concerned a dispute between parents of a primary school age child with regards to her living arrangements.

The relationship between the parents had become very strained. The father and his partner wished to know what the child was saying in meetings with her social worker, family support worker and her Guardian. They sewed a small recording device into her school uniform. The device recorded everything that the child did including conversations with friends, teachers and her mother. These recordings were made over a period of some 18 months. The father then typed up some of the conversations that he wanted to rely upon and sought to ask the court to take them into account as evidence. The end result of the proceedings was that the court ordered that the child should live with her mother.

With regards to the recordings, the court was very critical of the father and whilst it was not the sole reason for their decision that the child should live with her mother, it was a significant factor.

The court felt that these recordings and the manner in which they had been obtained were evidence that the father and his partner were unable to meet the child’s emotional needs.

The father’s actions had possibly been illegal, showed an inability to trust in professionals and that he had little or no regard to the impact that this would have on the child to find out that she had been secretly recorded by her father, nor the damage that it caused to the relationships between the adults involved in the child’s life, nor the damage that could be caused to the families standing if for example other parents had become aware that their children or themselves had been recorded.

The recordings were selective and not professionally transcribed. The issue increased the length of the proceedings and the costs involved but did not produce a single bit of useful information.

The court felt that it would almost always be wrong to place a recording device on a child for the purpose of gathering evidence and such action would also be likely to be counter-productive.

In short, if you are considering making recordings for the purpose of gathering evidence, think very carefully about the possible consequences and seek legal advice. Our team of specialist family solicitors are able to offer appointments at our offices in Bishops Stortford, Hertford and Enfield and Nationally via telephone and Skype.

For more information and advice contact us on 01992 558411 or complete our online enquiry form.

Karen Johnson is Director and Family Mediator of Breeze and Wyles Solicitors Ltd. Karen is a highly skilled and experienced Family Solicitor with in excess of 15 years experience of working in Family Law. She is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in the fields of Domestic Abuse and Financial Matters. Karen is additionally a Family Mediator trained by and a member of the Family Mediators Association (The FMA).