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Clinical negligence claims against the NHS are handled by the NHS Litigation Authority. This body helps to reduce the stress and complexity of these court cases and reduces the amount of money claimants have to spend on medical negligence solicitors. Currently, less than 2% of all the cases it handles are settled in court - the overwhelming majority are settled amicably outside of court, or end up being abandoned by claimants. Alternative dispute resolution strategies, such as mediation, can also be handled by this authority.


The NHS Litigation Authority also provides insurance and indemnity cover for the NHS, helps the organisation understand health and safety regulations and complete risk management procedures, shares lessons from medical negligence claims and provides additional professional and legal services for the UK's public sector healthcare providers. The Department of Health and the NHS also use the authority to receive legal advice on a huge range of issues, including employment law, equal pay regulations and discrimination legislation.

Independent NHS care providers can also receive indemnity cover from the organisation, following amendments made to the body. As it operates as a not-for-profit organisation, its insurance and claims cover rates are very competitive, and a huge majority of cases are resolved out-of-court to minimise costs.

How much money is spent on clinical negligence claims?

Clinical negligence claims represent the highest cost of liabilities provisions in the Whole of Government Accounts (WGA). According to data from the National Audit Office, this expense saw WGA provisions of £17.5 billion in the year to March 31st 2012, with around £8 billion earmarked for known claims and the rest provided to claims as yet unreported.

Generally, this cash goes towards the work of the UK's NHS Litigation Authority, which manages alleged medical negligence claims in England's NHS hospitals. This body had a total clinical negligence claim provision of £18.9 billion as of March 31st 2012. It also makes payouts for other expenses not relating to medical negligence, such as property damage, third party liabilities and other costs, but these are typically far less expensive than those relating to medical negligence. For example, in 2010 to 2011, the authority spent just £48 million on non-clinical negligence claims, compared with £863 million on clinical negligence claims.
Why are provisions so much higher than the total value of all medical negligence compensation payouts? The government provides higher provisions as it expects to have to pay out these costs following expenses arising from previous events. However, not all victims of clinical negligence make a compensation claim, and not all payouts are as large as had been expected. The government takes a 'better safe than sorry' approach and ensures that there is plenty of money earmarked for medical negligence claims, so the victims of inappropriate healthcare will not face any financial losses.

National Audit Office data also revealed that a total of 8,700 clinical negligence claims were made against the NHS or related bodies between 2010 and 2011. This indicates that medical negligence solicitors are busier than ever - from 2009 to 2010, this figure was just 6,700. The NHS Litigation Authority suggested that this increase is due to faster reporting rates, as well as a higher number of incidents being converted into medical negligence claims.

Does this mean my medical negligence compensation case will be likely to succeed?

Despite the fact that the government earmarks plenty of money for clinical negligence compensatio, the NHS Litigation Authority takes great care to ensure this cash only goes where it is needed. Any claims it feels lack merit will be defended robustly, and the organisation will do all it can to limit the size of any settlements.
This means it can be very advantageous for claimants to receive the help of medical negligence solicitors. The NHS Litigation Authority might do all it can to prevent people from receiving the money they require, and it can be helpful for claimants to have legal experts on their side in order to increase the overall value of any settlements.
If you have been the victim of clinical negligence, it will therefore be beneficial for you to seek legal help when claiming for compensation. Receiving the advice of clinical negligence solicitors will ensure you are prepared for any problems you might face and that you can adequately demonstrate the validity of your claim. It will also help you to maximise your eventual pay-out and ensure you receive anything else you may desire relating to your case, such as apologies, explanations and assurances that the same issue will not occur again.


Belinda


Belinda is a writer and reporter who focus on clinical negligence claims and other healthcare issues. She is particularly interested in government legislation and the ways in which these initiatives impact the NHS and the wider healthcare sector clinical negligence compensation. She lives in London with his wife and children, and in her downtime she likes to play cricket at her local sports club.
Within the past few decades, we’ve all seen our share of natural disasters in the news. Fortunately, the majority of Americans have been able to avoid many recent disasters, but for those who live through them, the aftermath can be detrimental. Insurance companies are meant to cover many types of property damage after these events, but this process isn’t always the easiest one, or even guaranteed, for that matter. This is why every homeowner should fully understand the risk that they face and how to handle property damage in the unfortunate event of a disaster.

The Numbers


The statistics related to natural disasters and the property damage caused by them are disheartening, and unfortunately, they only seem to be getting worse. Some statistics have actually shown that, when adjusted for inflation, natural disasters resulted in $12.3 billion in damages in the United States alone between 1960 and 2009.
Unfortunately, these large numbers don’t seem poised to go away. Scientists have reported that natural disasters, especially storms and heatwaves, are occurring far more frequently. At one point, the year 2005 was the financially costliest year on record for natural disasters. This wasn’t a surprise since Hurricane Katrina happened that year. This record, however, was shattered in just the first half of 2011. A global loss of $265 billion occurred in the first half of 2011 due to natural disasters; this, of course, dwarfed 2005′s entire year record of $220 billion.

Filing a Claim


The first thing a person needs to do after a natural disaster causes property damage is call their insurance company. They need to alert the insurer of what has happened and let them know that they’d like to file a claim. If the agent cannot be reached, which is sometimes normal immediately following huge disasters, it’s important for that person to leave a contact number where they can be reached.
Pictures should then be taken of everything that was damaged or destroyed during the disaster. This doesn’t, however, mean that damage should be left unrepaired. Clean up should begin immediately after taking photos. It’s also important to at least make temporary repairs that can prevent further damage from occurring (ie. fixing broken windows).
It’s true that an insurance company may not cover all damages, but the expenses related to repairing items damaged in the disaster can likely be written off during tax time if repairs were over 10 percent of a person’s adjusted gross income. Receipts should be kept for all of these repairs. Of course, it’s possible that a home may be uninhabitable. In this case, all receipts should be saved related to hotel lodgings and food costs as well.
Eventually, the insurance company will send out an adjuster to inspect the damage to a person’s property. It never hurts to have a local professional on hand for this (ie. roofer, floor repair contractor). This professional can ensure that a person isn’t being ripped off by their insurer.

What to do if Denied


Having a property damage claim denied often seems as detrimental as the initial disaster itself. Fortunately, there are some things that a person can do. It’s important to inquire as to why the claim was denied, and this should then be followed by a review of the policy to see it the denial is justified. An appeal should also be filed, and this can be done through the insurer.
Unfortunately, most people don’t understand the complex system that is property damage insurance. This has led many people to just accept their denial as an inevitability, but this should never be an option. It’s usually a good idea to hire a property damage attorney to handle all of the aforementioned issues. This will ensure that they get done right, and when a person is represented by a legal professional, insurers are much more likely to be fair.
Natural disasters can cause horrific losses, and although property damage may not be the worst outcome following one of these events, it’s still something that individuals will have to deal with. Unless a person is properly prepared, unfortunately, they will likely not be able to “weather the storm,” so to speak. Luckily, it only takes a bit of planning and forward thinking to ensure that handling property damage is less stressful than it could be.
Anthony Joseph is a freelance writer who enjoys discussing everyday issues that impact us all, and contributes this article for the purpose of possible helping someone. Doyle Raizner is one of the leading property damage attorney firms, and has helped clients fight insurance companies across the country. Their attorneys believe in their clients, and their own abilities to win cases.
A woman is suing Apple due to her claim that her iTouch exploded and burned her in the eye, according to recent reports.  The Nacogdoches, Texas, woman stated that she was lying in bed with her iTouch beside her as she listened to music.  She felt a burning sensation in her eye and found that the device had exploded.  An electrical shock apparently left the iTouch and burned her eye.
eploding-ipod-touch
Mechanical Failure of Electronics Can Be Deadly
Although injury and death from mechanical failure of electronic devices is not common, these items are so ubiquitous that it is probably inevitable that some tragedies will occur.  Electronics still operate on an electrical signal, and cell phones also emit radiation.  While the amounts are not usually enough to kill a person, serious burns and other injuries can occur.
Death from electronic appliances is far more likely to occur when another factor such as water is involved.  Every year, about 60 people die from electrocution by household products.  In many cases, these electrocution deaths occur in and around water, as when a plugged-in appliance falls into a bathtub.  Others are electrocuted by faulty wiring or other problems that lead to shocks from everyday objects.
Can I Sue For An Electrical Injury?
In many cases, victims of electrical injuries caused by appliances or electronics can collect damages from the manufacturer if three factors are present:
  • The device must have been made or designed by the company in question.  In cases where devices contain components from more than one manufacturer, more than one defendant may be named in the case, or only the manufacturer who designed or produced the defective component.
  • The device must have caused personal injury or death.
  • The user must have been operating the device in a way that can be construed as “normal use.”
In some cases, there are exceptions to these rules.  A personal injury attorney can explain to victims the laws that apply to their particular cases.
Injury victims may be able to recover several types of damages.  In the iTouch case, the victim is seeking damages for pain and suffering, compensation for her scarring, disability, and loss of enjoyment of her usual activities, as well as medical expenses, and mental and emotional distress anguish.
The plaintiff in this case is also seeking punitive damages and attorney’s fees.  Punitive damages do not figure into every personal injury case; in most instances, they are awarded when a company has behaved with callous disregard for the safety of consumers.  However, there is no limit on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded, and most of the very large lawsuit settlements in history included some form of punitive or exemplary damages.
A personal injury attorney can examine your particular case and help you understand your rights and what you may be able to collect in damages.  A personal injury lawyer will also help you file your lawsuit and pursue a settlement of your case.

Law and legal matters are the important things that we have to be well aware of all the time. There are different kinds of laws all over the world regarding different subjects. Among them, let us see some important ancient laws which are standing even today with great importance.

1) Animal rights: Using the animals for our pleasure in circuses and other sports is illegal. In circuses, they use a number of animals like horses, elephants, chimpanzees, hippos, rhinos and monkeys for performing. Big cats are also tortured heavily in circuses. This law bans using the animals in circuses and sport activities.

2) Law is the supreme power and no one is above law: This is another important law which has been standing tall since ancient times. During ancient times, in the history of Europe, there were no elected governments. Only autocratic monarchs were ruling all over the world. It was believed that kings were in charge of gods, and they were above law, but now it’s clearly understood that no one is above law.

3) Regulation of the income: This law says that no one is permitted to keep the money which belongs to others. If you have to pay some money to someone else, give him that immediately. If you are getting some work done by some daily wage worker, pay him the wages immediately.

4) Equal justice under law: This simply says that all are equal before law. No matter whether you are rich or poor, intelligent or dull, a billionaire or a beggar, you are always the same in front of the eyes of law. You will not be exempted from punishment for the simple reason that you are rich.

5) Sicut Judaeis (Constitution For The Jews): This is yet another important part of basic law. This law says that the judge shouldn’t have any prejudices about the culprit while giving the judgment.

6) Sublimes Dei (castes and creed): This is also yet another important law which was protecting the rights of people from all castes and creed. There are many basic and fundamental rights of people which need to be conserved and this law does that perfectly.

7) No incest: This is a law which protects the right of women. Women are being harassed and tortured mentally and sexually by man since time immemorial. This law prevents men from harassing women and offers severe punishment if ever he does such a thing, either mentally or physically.

8) Working off the debts: This is yet another law which deals with matters related to debts. You might have debts from some other person or some institution or bank etc. this law helps you to deal with such debt related matters.

9) Abolition of slavery: This is yet another law which bans slavery completely. In earlier days, white people held a large number of blacks as slaves. Children below the age of ten were also kept as slaves. This law abolishes that practice.

10) Minimum wages: This is yet another law which fixes the minimum wages that must be paid to every worker in any job. The amount of minimum wages varies from place to place, nature of work and the economy of the country.

Author bio- This post has been written by Johne Prantel. He writes about various aspects of Law and Finance. He works for a los angeles sexual harassment lawyer.
When someone sits down to write a will, they may begin with a list of their property, savings, shares, valuable items or household goods generally. Digital assets can often be overlooked when considering what to do when someone dies.

Digital assets include files, folders and software you have on your computer and phone at home or work. They also include things held by others, such as:

  • Emails held in web-based accounts, such as Hotmail or Gmail;
  • Retailers accounts, such as Apple or Amazon’s online music storage, or a blinkbox account;
  • Social networking sites;
  • Online business assets, such as domain names and websites;
  • Information used to access physical assets, such as the passwords for internet banking accounts.

Why are digital assets important?


Digital assets are becoming increasingly widespread, more important for day-to-day life and make up a greater proportion of the value of the average person’s estate.

An executor has the responsibility of collecting in a person’s entire estate, before distributing it according to the deceased’s will or the laws of intestacy. This responsibility includes dealing with digital assets.

More traditional assets and liabilities are often now accessible only online, too. Many people will have all of their bank statements and utility bills sent to them by email or accessed online.

Digital assets can also be an important part of a business, often closely related to the company’s intellectual property: including client databases, website content and confidentiality. The relationship between the two types of asset is close because software and licences are so integral to digital communication and goods.

Things to look out for


In practical terms, most executors will not need to identify digital assets as a separate category, but the following should be considered:

  • Ownership: Identifying which assets are personal and which are owned by someone else. This is a general issue with the whole of a person’s estate but is particularly important with digital assets as (a) they can be moved around easily and accessed from more than one location – sometimes simultaneously; and (b) because of the prevalence of licence agreements, which can cause similar problems to rented or ‘hire-purchase’ goods;

  • Access: Many accounts are protected by passwords. This can be a problem for executors trying to find out information but also for things like business continuity;

  • Confidentiality: the distinction between personal and business information can become blurred, especially when personal computers and email accounts are used for business use. For instance, where a client becomes a personal ‘contact’ on a personal, web-based email account. Similarly an employee’s acceptance of the terms of use of certain websites or software could give permission for site to monitor and/or use clients’ information held on the employee’s home computer. When executors and/or beneficiaries have access to those email accounts or computer files, the data protection principles are potentially being breached;

  • Unauthorised access: putting hacking aside, not everyone keeps their passwords and access details secret. It is not uncommon for a couple to know each other’s login details for a range of things, similarly good friends. However permission to access the account whilst someone is alive is not the same as being allowed to use the assets when they are dead. An executor is responsible for securing all parts of the estate for the beneficiaries

  • Jurisdiction: not all assets are held in the same jurisdiction to the deceased. Many, many companies have their servers located in other or multiple jurisdictions. In particular, a lot of cloud based services are based on US hosted servers. In the same way that this can effectively remove a lot of the privacy protections of the person’s home jurisdiction, this can also (theoretically) change the probate regime that the assets are subject to. In many cases this will not be an issue in practice but if the asset were particularly valuable, it has the potential to cause a problem. English subjects living abroad can, for instance, be in the situation where the law of England and Wales states assets are passed in accordance with the law of the country of domicile but the law of the country where they live states that assets are passed in accordance with the law of the country of origin;

  • Division: say, for the sake of argument, a person had £5,000 worth of music and films held in an account or a service (and assuming they held the title to the copies, not licences). How would those assets be divided between three beneficiaries? Pre-paid subscriptions?

  • Sensitivities: losing a loved one is a difficult time. Some people find reminders, such as Facebook pages and updates, distressing. There is also the unfortunate reality of internet ‘trolling’. The executors should give consideration to closing the deceased’s social networking pages as soon as practicable, but…:

Closure of accounts: It is widely reported that Facebook, as an example, allows an executor to close the account of the deceased person but will not pass on their login details. This may quite distressing if, as is becoming more common, their online accounts were their preferred way of storing their photographs and other personal media. In addition (although unlikely for the vast majority of people), the information the accounts contain may have some value to the estate – for instance for posthumous biographies, or just personal interest. There is the possibility the information may be useful in a dispute about a will. Consideration should therefore be given to securing information prior to asking for the account to be closed.
(Alabama family law) The concept of private Judges is not new and not exclusive to the State of Alabama. Many other states have had this type of legislation in place for many years in some form, and it appears for the most part it has been successful. Generally the issue of private Judges will vary on factors such as type of case to be heard, and that all cases are non-jury type cases such as domestic relations.

In Alabama private Judges became a real option on July 1, 202 when the Act authorizing private judges was codified. Ala. Code § 12-17-350 et seq. (1975, as amended). The availability of private Judges on domestic relations cases is in my opinion a way of offering another option to be utilized in the arena of domestic relations cases, and can greatly increase the efficiency of the legal process.

It offers a compromise between a regular trial court and mediation. Mediation is a very effective tool in divorce cases and custody matters but all parties know that if an agreement is not reached there is nothing the mediator can do to ultimately dispose of the case, and it will have to go to trial. In contrast a regular trial court will hear any evidence in a formal court setting and then issue an order that removes all control from either party as to the issues of the case and the order will dispose of the case except for any available post-trial motions or appeals.

The benefits of having a private Judge hear your divorce case or other domestic relations matter can be worthwhile in certain circumstances. Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is that people will be able to “judge shop” for the one they want. While it may seem that way and a person can have a choice in the Judge they hire there is a rule in place that will have to be followed. The parties, if they choose to hire a private Judge, must agree on the same Judge. This keeps a balance of fairness to the choice and prevents one sided choosing of which Judge to hire. The State of Alabama maintains a list of available (mostly retired) judges including their areas of expertise and years of experience on the bench. Once appointed to the case this Judge will manage the entire case.



Secondly, timeliness is a large benefit. The private Judge will not have a large docket to manage or hundreds of other cases that may cause delays in obtaining a timely disposition in your case. Such delays may constitute several months and during that time a client may suffer other adverse effects. A pending divorce for example can quickly cause both sides to begin receiving calls regarding debt collection for unpaid marital bills, and foreclosure on the marital home due to no resolution is a real possibility that happens often. From a client point of view this may be a money saving option also.

On the other hand there are disadvantages to consider. A private Judge is not a free judge and he or she will have to be hired to hear the case and an hourly fee will surely be applied. This Judge is going to conduct his handling of the case the same a regular trial court Judge, but hopefully faster and more efficiently.

In summary, Experience offered by a private Judge and efficiency of the judicial process is the main reason for considering whether or not to agree to hire a private judge. The option of a private Judge to hear domestic relation cases can be a benefit to the right client and in the right circumstance. While payment to this Judge is a factor, that factor could easily be outweighed by the possibility of lengthy delays waiting to have a trial with the regular circuit court Judge.
Within organizations most of company rules revolve around conduct and results; everything else is basically left up to employees. Public administrators face fewer restrictions than almost anyone else within governmental and non-governmental agencies, but they can’t afford to become lax in their freedom. Personal codes are needed to help pick up the slack, and that’s not because it’s impossible to do the job without them; it’s because people with vision need to discipline themselves if they want their vision to come true.

The Rules


The five rules public administrators should adhere to are:

  • Efficiency and humanity go hand in hand
  • Structures that don’t suit people should be changed
  • The underprivileged should be the foremost concern
  • The individual is as important as the group
  • No one should be expected to do what the administrator won’t do

Rule 1: Efficiency and Humanity Go Hand in Hand


The centerpiece of many public administration theories is efficiency standards that mimic the private sector. This is a positive development on the whole because people perform best when they are rewarded or punished based on merit. However, this can be taken too far, and it’s important to balance the need for efficiency with the needs of employees.

Rule 2: Structures That Don’t Suit People Should be Changed


Human nature is impossible to alter, and when an organizational structure proves to be stifling for too many employees it’s time to reexamine it. The clockwork machinations of the industrial era don’t suit modern people, and creating structures that cater to people as they are instead of trying to force conformity are ultimately better for productivity and job satisfaction.

Rule 3: The Underprivileged Should be the Foremost Concern


Public administrators have a lot of things to consider when developing new policies, and even though the field came into existence as part of an attempt to address poverty, the poor still fall through the cracks. It’s easy to plan legislation that centers around local businesses and other projects, but if there’s no quantifiable and demonstrable gain for the underprivileged then it should be taken back to the drawing board.

Rule 4: The Individual is as Important as the Group


Every society and organization is comprised of numerous individuals working toward a common goal, and even though public administrators should strive to act in the name of the greater good, their efforts can fail when they’re willing to force too many sacrifices on certain groups for the sake of others. It’s impossible to avoid damaging everyone 100 percent of the time, but no one should ask others to make sacrifices except when there is truly no other way.

Rule 5: No One Should be Expected to Do What the Administrator Won’t Do


Leaders who don’t lead by example are not respected, and their employees grow to resent every demand that’s made by someone they view as lazy and duplicitous. There’s a lot of pressure on public administrators to perform as it is, but only those who are willing to step up to the plate and make themselves beacons of what they want their organizations to embody are fit to take on the role.

Connie Lyons is an avid blogger. If you’re in the public admin field or interested in learning more on your own, you may consider a degree such as those offered by University of Southern California or San Francisco State University.

Guest post outlining 10 things for new shop owners should take into consideration.

With the current state of the British high street one of abject decline, is it really the right time to buck the trend and open a new shop? Well, actually, there’s never been a better time to do exactly that. The focus is now shifting on to how to rejuvenate Britain’s high streets and bring new life back into them, so the opportunities for low rents, prime locations and start-up packages from the banks are all there to be grabbed firmly by anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and a great idea.

But if you’re about to set up shop on the high street, there are a few things you need to take into consideration before you throw open the doors and invite the masses in:

#1 – What do you bring to the table?

The way we shop has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, so any high street store needs to have a USP that will grab the attention of even the most reticent high street shopper. Make sure you bring something new and exciting to the table, and are not just a carbon copy of a rival shopping experience that’s already well established.

#2 – Supplementing in-store with online

The high street shops that are succeeding are the ones that are literally ‘covering all the bases’ by having a strong online presence too. Remember to ensure that your branding is tied in across every platform, both in the real world and online.

#3 – Long lease or pop-up?

The type of lease you go for will entirely depend on your business plan. A long-term plan needs a stable base to build customer loyalty, whereas pop-up shops are great for dash-for-cash marketing ideas, especially seasonal ones.

#4 – Get your paperwork in order

Even pop-up shops need to be registered as a business, so no matter what your plan, check with your legal representative that every piece of paperwork is in order. Business registration, shop insurance, trading licences and ensuring you conform to H&S legislation should all be checked by a legal professional before you open the doors.

#5 – Insurance

It’s the dullest topic in the world, but it’s also essential if you’re opening a business to the public. Shops insurance packages that include public liability will cover you and your stock, as well as protecting you against claims made by the public.

#6 – Your vital support team

You need three key external partners when you set up in business – your insurance broker, your accountant and your legal representative. Make sure you have this vital support team in place before going into business so that you can focus your efforts on driving the business forward.

#7 – Legal cover

Shops insurance will cover just about every eventuality, from accidents suffered by the public whilst on your premises to interruption of business due to fire damage, for example. But you will also need to ensure that you have the right employer’s insurance if you have other people working for you so that you comply with employment law. This is a complex aspect of the law, so again if you’re going to be hiring (and even firing) then you’ll need a legal representative who’s well versed in employment law to make sure you stick to the rules.

#8 – Who are your rivals?

Once the legal and insurance stuff is sorted out, it’s time to look at on-the-ground considerations. Before you set up, check that you’re not in direct competition with existing operations or rival companies that already have a loyal customer base. It will be hard to draw those customers over to your shop unless you have a pretty impressive USP.

#9 – Building the brand

It’s actually easier to build a brand online than it is to develop a strong customer base in the ‘real’ world. Most high street shops rely on passing trade, so ensuring you’re in a prime location to attract that trade is key. But you will also need to develop an inclusive marketing strategy that involves every aspect of your business, from online sales to advertising campaigns.

#10 – Have a plan

You’ll be hard pushed to get a business loan without a comprehensive and very detailed 5-year business plan. But even if you don’t need to apply for a loan from the bank, still have that plan. It helps to have a roadmap of your ambitions, aspirations and developmental process so that your business has a sustainable growth structure for the foreseeable future.

Guest post regarding Junior ISAs and IHT.

Junior ISAs are a tax efficient way of saving. Neither donors to a JISA or the holder have to pay tax on interest earned.

Although the interest earned by a JISA is not subject to income tax, there may still be issues with the Inland Revenue. This is because of inheritance tax.

A promised rise in the threshold for inheritance tax has not happened. This means that many more estates will be liable to duties than would have been the case otherwise. Even payments into a Junior ISA made before death could be subject to a levy.

Gifts

One of the ways in which it is common to plan for inheritance tax is by giving gifts while still alive that are not subject to taxation. There is an annual allowance of £3000 that can be given away without consequences from tax, and a JISA can be a suitable product to pay it into.

Anybody can pay into a Junior ISA, not just the parents of the child that it is in the name of. This means that grandparents and other relatives can pay into a JISA.

Seven Year Rule

Although there are annual allowances for gifts that are not subject to inheritance tax, any gift can potentially be exempt, as long as the giver lives for a further seven years. If however the giver does die in in this period a chain of events is set into motion.

The first thing that happens is that the tax authorities will have to take a look at the gift, known technically as a ‘Potentially Exempt Transfer’ (PET), along with the history of giving since and in the seven years prior to see whether inheritance tax is due.

If inheritance tax falls due on a PET it will have to be paid by the recipient of the gift. If the giver has died within three years of the gift then this will be at the full rate. For every year after the first three the tax liability is reduced by 20%, which means that if a donor passes on between six and the seven year limit there will be a discount of 80% in the amount of tax due.

Other considerations

It is important to remember that the money put into a Junior ISA then belongs entirely to the child. When that child turns eighteen they then have full control of that money, and can do absolutely whatever they want with it.

Ultimately the freeze in the inheritance tax threshold, along with the inexorable rise of property prices means that many more people will come to be subject to tax on their estates. Getting into the habit of giving early is for many going to be a good strategy, and a Junior ISA has the potential to be a substantial nest egg.

Pamela Chimbonda writes in association with Alliance Trust Savings.


The laws of the U.S. and the U.K. are similar in many ways, but there are important differences in their employment laws. If you are an American planning to work in the U.K., or vice versa, you should be aware of those differences which may be important to your circumstances and your employment relationship. This article will summarize four.

At-Will Employment



Subject to exceptions, U.S. law recognizes the doctrine of “at-will” employment. That is, the employment relationship is voluntary and may be terminated by either party with or without cause and without liability. Employment agreements and collective bargaining agreements often preclude at-will termination, but in the absence of such contractual protection an employee should assume that the employer has the right to terminate at-will. In the U.K., employment is typically subject to detailed contracts, often incorporating provisions of U.K. labor law intended to protect the employee from termination without good cause. Thus, terminations in the U.K. must be justifiable and in accordance with established rules, including a notice period. Failure to comply with the required procedures will likely result in claims for unfair dismissal or discrimination being brought against the employer.

Employment Authorization



In the U.S., non-citizens and non-permanent residents generally require governmental authorization to accept employment. In most cases, that authorization is in the form of a non-immigrant visa. Obtaining such visas can be difficult and expensive. On the other hand, enforcement of U.S. immigration laws is lax, and the penalties for hiring unauthorized workers light. As a result, unauthorized employment is common in the U.S. The penalties for such violations in the U.K. are severe. Therefore U.K. companies are meticulous in verifying employment authorization.

Non-Competes



In the U.S., non-compete provisions tend to be common in employment agreements and they are generally enforceable so long as they are reasonable in the context of the surrounding circumstances. U.K. law tends to more protective of employees, so that non-compete clauses and other post-termination restrictions in employment agreements are often found to be unenforceable.

Privacy


The U.S. and the U.K. have similar approaches to protecting the privacy of their citizen generally. However, they differ in the level of protection they provide in the case of employment screenings. Generally speaking, the U.S. allows employers to conduct background checks, and in most cases employers require potential employees to consent to such background checks. In the U.K., background checks are only allowed if relevant to the job in question. Moreover, U.K. data collection services must be registered with the government.

So, which law applies if you are a citizen of one country but working in the other? There is no easy answer except, “It depends.” As a rule, the law of the country where you are performing your services will apply. However, if you are only in that country briefly on a short business trip or secondment, for example, the law of your home country is likely to apply. Most employment agreements for ex-pats will state a governing law, but it is not certain those provisions will apply, especially if they conflict with the laws of country in which the employee is physically present and providing services. As always, it is best to consult with a qualified employment attorney.

This article was written together with Robert Tritter, a passionate freelance writer of law-related articles throughout the web. They write this on behalf of HJP&E, a group of great civil litigation lawyers in California who will go great lengths to serve you. If you have been a victim of Employee Discrimination, make sure to contact them and see how they can help you.

If you have a family member who died due to the negligent actions of an individual, business or government entity, you might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Each state has different guidelines that determine the applicable statute of limitations and other restrictions, however, so it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. For example, if the death occurs in Michigan, you will have three years to file a case, but there are some states that only give you one year.

What is the Definition of Wrongful Death?

For a wrongful death to occur, an individual must die due to the negligent action or inaction of another person or entity. For example, if a driver kills a pedestrian because they were looking at their phone instead of the road, a wrongful death lawsuit might be appropriate. Although each state’s wrongful death statute was written separately, there are four common elements that are typically represented.

The Four Elements that are Essential for a Wrongful Death Case

In order to file a successful wrongful death case, you will need to be able to prove each of the following:

1) The conduct of the defendant was at least partially responsible for the individual’s death.

2) The defendant’s specific action or inaction makes them both negligent and liable for the individual’s death.

3) The deceased is survived by a child, spouse, beneficiary or other legal dependent.

4) The family has incurred monetary expenses as a result of the individual’s death.

Wrongful Death Statistics

Each year, the majority of the 90,000 wrongful death cases that are filed in the U.S. are due to drunk driving and other traffic related incidents. Like most other lawsuits, it is typical for a wrongful death case to be settled out of court. The amount of money that the family will receive can be limited by the state. For example, Florida has a restriction in place that prohibits families from seeking more than 1.5 million in non-economic damages from a wrongful death case outside the medical field. If you are filing a case against a medical practitioner, however, you will only be able to ask for 1 million to cover non-economic damages.

Factors that will Influence the Settlement Amount

In addition to remaining compliant with your state’s guidelines for damages, you will also need to consider several factors when you decide on the amount of damages that you are seeking. If the case gets to a judge, they are going to take all of the following items into account: funeral expenses, expected earnings between the time of the accident and the victim’s anticipated retirement age, loss of parental companionship for any minor children, mental anguish suffered by the survivors, loss of all employment related benefits and the general character of the deceased. In other words, if a father of two is killed by a drunk driver at the age of 35, his family is likely to receive a much larger settlement than a retired man of 65 who was only survived by his spouse. In South Carolina, Charleston personal injury attorney firms see many different outcomes for wrongful death cases that occur each year.

Regardless of all the specific factors, it is always in your best interests to work with an attorney who has experience dealing with wrongful death lawsuits. Not only will they have a firm understanding of how the law works in your state, but they will also be able to draw on their experience to help you determine a fair settlement amount.

Anthony Joseph is a freelance author who enjoys writing about many different areas of law, and contributes this article toward the fight to keep our families safe. Having a Charleston personal injury attorney from the law firm of Howell & Christmas, can make the difference when trying to fight for what you rightly deserve. They have over 30 years of experience defending and protecting the rights of victims.
Both Xpert HR and Paul Waugh have recently released articles detailing the bludgeoning that the Government is receiving from the House of Lords over what has been dubbed their “rights for shares” proposals. We’ll take a look in this post at what those proposals entail, why the Government thinks the proposals are a good idea, and how the proposals were received in the House of Lords last week. We’ll do so in the following order:

  1. What are the employee-shareholder proposals?
  2. Why does the Government think the proposals are a good idea?
  3. How were the proposals received in the House of Lords?

What are the employee-shareholder proposals?


The Government is proposing to introduce a new type of “owner-employee” contract under which employees will be given shares in the business that they work for in return for waiving certain of their employment rights. If they choose to enter into such a contract then their employer may choose to give them between £2,000 and £50,000-worth of shares (any gains on which would be tax-free) and in return they would have to waive the following rights: unfair dismissal protection; statutory redundancy pay; the right to make a flexible working request; and the right to request time off in relation to training.

Why does the Government think the proposals are a good idea?


The Government wants to make employment regulation more “flexible” and allow small- and medium-sized businesses the room to grow without what the Government feels are onerous restrictions. According to Paul Waugh, this proposal is the brain-child of George Osbourne and he seems determined to carry it through.

How were the proposals received in the House of Lords?


The best way to describe the reception of the draft legislation in the House of Lords last week was a “good kicking”. Xpert HR reports that Lord Adonis in particular weighed heavily into the debate, describing the proposal as a “bully’s charter” , a “£1bn tax loophole” and a “farce”. Paul Waugh reported that the Government’s minister (Lord Younger) came under heavy fire from Lord Adonis, Lord Pannick and Lord Deben. Lord Deben, in particular, stated that he found the plans to be “mystifying” whereas Lord Pannick attacked the proposals as an attempt to subvert the balance that statutory protection afforded to the employee-employer relationship.

It will be interesting to see how the draft legislation proceeds through the House of Lords over the next few weeks.

Employment Law Advice Solicitors are employment law solicitors andsettlement agreement solicitors based in the City of London.
The Court of Appeal has given further clarification on breach of trust claims brought against solicitors by lenders. In AIB v Mark Redler & Co, the solicitors were negligent in acting for AIB on a remortgage advance of £3.3 million. The solicitors had failed to obtain a redemption figure for the borrowers’ second loan account with Barclays who had a first legal charge on the property. Instead of paying some £1.5 million to Barclays to redeem the charge, the solicitors only paid £1.2 million for the redemption of the first loan with the balance of the proceeds going to the borrowers. As a result, AIB only had the benefit of a second charge. The property was subsequently repossessed. The borrowers were made bankrupt resulting in substantial losses for the lender.

AIB argued that the solicitors were also in breach of trust due to the failure to obtain a first legal charge for AIB and that the solicitors were obliged to repay the full amount of the advance. The Court of Appeal rejected this argument on causation grounds. If they had been no breach by the solicitors, AIB would still have gone ahead with the transaction and would have still made the same losses, the only difference is that they would have additional security of around £300,000 being the amount of the second loan and therefore the equitable compensation for breach of trust was limited to this amount.

The Court of Appeal has also stated that on a remortgage, solicitors are in breach of trust unless they obtained a redemption statement from the existing lender and a suitable undertaking. In cases where the existing lender is not legally represented, an unconditional confirmation is required that the advance will be applied by the lender in redemption of its charge.

The AIB decision is significant in that it is a further illustration that lenders may not be in a better financial position in seeking to bring claims for breach of trust as opposed to claims in breach of contract and negligence where contributory negligence defences are available to the solicitors.
Guest post from London solicitors. For specialist criminal defence legal advice contact Lewis Nedas Law’s tax defence lawyers – visit their website here: http://lewisnedas.co.uk

Tackling tax evasion is one of the three big items on the UK’s agenda as it takes on the Presidency of the G8. In a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged “to use the G8 to drive a more serious debate on tax evasion and avoidance.”

The announcement followed hard on the heels of a speech by Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), in which he promised to continue cracking down on the practice.

Tax evasion v tax avoidance

Instances of both tax evasion and tax avoidance have been in the press recently. Starbucks and Amazon, for example, felt the wrath of the British media when it was revealed that they were, quite legitimately, paying minimal tax in the UK, despite earning massive profits.

This is tax avoidance, described by HMRC as using the tax law to get a tax advantage that Parliament never intended. It is legal, but often involves contrived artificial transactions that serve little or no purpose other than to produce a tax advantage.

Tax evasion, on the other hand, involves fraud or deliberate concealment, and is a criminal offence. Numerous cases have hit the headlines recently, and HMRC has added to growing awareness of the issue by publishing pictures of thirty of the most prolific offenders on Flickr.

The Prime Minister’s pledge

According to Prime Minister David Cameron, tax evasion and tax avoidance is an issue whose time has come. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, he warned that governments need to act together to tackle the problem.

“This is about me and all the other G8 leaders being able to look our people in the eye and say that when they work hard and pay their fair share of taxes, we will make sure that others do as well,” he said.

HMRC actions

Back home, there are clear signs of a focused approach to tax evasion.

HMRC recently launched a national publicity campaign to increase awareness about tax evasion and the actions that the Revenue is taking to detect it.

These include plans to increase specialist staff levels by 2,500 by 2014-15; improve the detection of high-risk cases through the use of new technology; make more use of offshore agreements with other tax authorities; and continue using specialist regional taskforces to deal with high-risk sectors.

The approach of the DPP

On the criminal justice side, DPP Keir Starmer set out his approach to tax evasion in a recent speech, highlighting the boost given to the fight against tax evasion by the creation of the Central Fraud Division within the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Looking ahead, he predicted that extra funding will result in an increase in the number of cases that are referred to the CPS by HMRC. He expects up to 1165 non-organised tax fraud cases to be referred in 2014-15 – up from 565 cases in 2012-13. In addition there will be a significant number of cases relating to organised criminal gangs.

Starmer also highlighted a recent first – the successful prosecution of a case relating to the creation and operation of a dishonest tax avoidance scheme, and the subsequent imposition of a significant custodial sentence – as a sign of the growing effectiveness of the fight against tax evasion.

“No scheme is too clever or complex to be detected, to be put before a jury and to be found to be illegal,” he warned.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, you should be aware of what the cause for the accident was, could have it been avoided, and who was responsible. Understanding the last question is the first step you should take when it comes to holding them responsible. Once you know who is responsible, it is important to hold them accountable for any injuries that might have been sustained.

Even if you have been injured in an accident from the fault of an individual driver, there may be other factors in play that could have contributed to your auto accident. Other parties that may be at fault include the following.

The owner of the vehicle – The driver of the vehicle may not necessarily be the owner of the vehicle. Employees driving company cars or parents of a teen driving the car that was involved in the accident may be held accountable in the event of an accident.

Employers – When an accident occurs on the road and it stems from negligent behavior of an employee driving an employer’s car, then the employer may be held responsible. In certain situations, a parent company could be at fault. Talk to an auto accident attorney about who may be held responsible if you have been involved in an accident.

Car manufacturers – Sometimes accidents happen and it’s not necessarily the fault of any driver. Negligent design or faulty equipment and parts could be the root of an auto accident. When a car leaves the manufacturer and is put on the street, there should be no problems in how the automobile operates. When brakes fail or if an airbag doesn’t deploy properly which causes preventable injuries, the manufacturer of the automobile may be held liable.

Get the facts from a professional accident law firm when it comes to holding parties responsible during an auto accident. Your injuries and the price you may have to pay should not come at your expense, but at the expense of those at fault.