October 2012 Archive

Cleavage sparing mastectomy

Cleavage sparing surgery, carried out by consultant Ian Paterson, left tissue in the breast area rather than removing the entire breast as in conventional mastectomies. He did this for cosmetic reasons in an effort make a reconstructed breast look more natural. However, this surgery breached national guidelines which recommend that all breast tissue is removed in order to reduce the risk of the cancer recurring.

Environmental waste prosecutions

The courts are getting tougher with individuals who contravene environmental regulations, indeed, the Environment Agency has reported a trebling in the number of people being sent to prison for environment-related offences. In a recent case, the court of Appeal upheld the sentencing of a waste site operator who only held a permit for one of three sites he was operating

Changing a child's surname

If the mother of your children remarries, can she change your child's surname without your consent? The answer is no. If you share parental responsibility for your children with your ex-wife then she cannot legally change their surnames without your consent. In fact, the courts have stated that a name change is so important that any father should be asked to give his consent.

Update on 10% increase in general damages

In the recent case of Simmons v Castle, in which the Court of Appeal confirmed that there would be a 10% increase in general damages, the judgment was met with some concern as it effectively created an unfair windfall for successful parties who entered into a Conditional Fee Arrangement before 1 April 2013. The decision has since been appealed.

How to avoid bad debts - your collection options

There are a number of ways you can recover your money if things do go wrong. If a debt of £750 or more has accrued and is not in dispute, you can threaten bankruptcy proceedings (against an individual) or winding up proceedings (against a company). Alternatively you can threaten to take them to Court.

Pursuing claims against defendants where there are doubts about their mental health

When considering bringing a claim there are a number of questions that must be answered, not least whether the defendant is capable of complying with the remedy that is being sought. However, particular consideration should be given where there is evidence on the facts that the Defendant may be a “person under a disability” due to mental health issues. If that is the case then the court may refuse to issue a judgment or a warrant until further enquiries are made by the claimants in this regard.
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