Teaching Strikes & Deduction of Wages

If teachers at a Sixth Form College go on strike for a day, how much money is the College entitled to deduct from their wages? This was the issue that arose in Hartley v King Edward VI College (2017) UKSC 39.  The employer had made the deductions at a rate of 1/260 of the teachers’ annual pay. This was based on the number of weekdays in a year. The teachers were unhappy with this. They felt

SinclairsLaw Seminars: Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 9th June 2017 1.30pm

The next free seminar is on 9th June 2017 at Sinclairslaw Cardiff. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) under the MCA allows restraint and restrictions that amount to a deprivation of liberty to be used in hospitals and care homes – but only if they are in a person’s best interests. To deprive a person of their liberty, care homes and hospitals must request standard authorisation from a local authority. This seminar is free and

Anti Bullying Seminar “a massive success” Sinclairs law Live

The Sinclairslaw anti-bullying seminar that was held on the 18th May 2017, was an amazing success with a live audience of 1.7 thousand people. In this first of many seminars that are planned to be held at the Sinclairslaw Headquarters, the production was broadcast live on Facebook and according to Deputy Chief Executive Mr Greg Evans it was a “massive success”. Sinclairslaw would like to express its thanks to all of our speakers including Nicola

Silence in the context of settlement – to mediate or not to mediate?

A recent Court of Appeal decision has sent a firm warning to litigants and their legal advisers in respect of the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) to resolve claims. The decision in Thakkar & Anr v Patel & Anr [2017] EWCA Civ 217 should be noted by all litigants as it confirms what the Courts expect of litigants regarding the use of ADR, mediation in particular, within the court process, especially when the leading

Anti Bullying event – we invite your questions for live interaction

The anti bullying event taking place at the Sinclairslaw headquarters in Central Cardiff tomorrow at 5pm invite your questions. Interact live with the event. Places are limited but some spaces do exist for interested parties to attend in person. Register now by sending e mail to enquiries@sinclairslaw.co.uk Send your questions on the Sinclairslaw facebook page or on Twitter #sinclairslawlive

Transport to After School Activities

As most parents will be aware, local authorities have a duty (found in the 1996 Education Act) to provide free home-to-school transport to certain categories of ‘eligible’ children, for example children whose nearest suitable school with places available is beyond walking distance or children who struggle to walk to school because of their SEN. To the disappointment of some parents, a recent High Court decision (P v East Sussex CC [2014] EWHC 4634) confirmed that

Conveyancing Surveys – What are they and how useful can they be?

When acting for clients in conveyancing matters, it is the conveyancer’s responsibility to ensure that they have highlighted to their client all the potential risks that may affect their transaction. This duty becomes more important where the client is buying a property, in relation to which the client may have little or no previous knowledge as to its condition. It is a common misconception that a mortgage valuation survey is a comprehensive appraisal of the


A statement made by Sinclairslaw CEO Mr Michael Charles Inspired by the harrowing story of two children who recently took their own lives consequent to bullying, I have decided to take unprecedented action to highlight that the law does not allow any safe haven from its reach. It is long established that schools owe a duty of care to protect children from harm both in terms of the civil and criminal law. Equally individuals who

Disabled Students & Council Tax

A student who was enrolled on a part-time university course but who had to undertake more than 21 hours of study per week because of her dyslexia has been refused a council tax exemption by the High Court. This was because her course did not meet the definition of a ‘full-time course’. The student, who lived in Bristol, had asked Bristol City Council to accept that she should qualify for the student exemption because of

Higher Education Law Update: University of Leicester sensibly overturns historic policy to benefit former students

Following our recent success at the High Court in the case of R (AC) v The OIA the University of Leicester Medical School has now over turned it’s historic policy which prevented former medical students who had voluntarily withdrawn from their course “for whatever reason” from being permitted to return to their studies. Its new policy will now permit those students to apply for readmission through normal UCAS procedures. Education Solicitor Chris Mcfarland said “We

Education Law Solicitor Michael Charles comments on recent case

I remember a few months ago a local authority lawyer representative argued that the tribunal had no power to order amendments to the outcomes section in Part E of an Education and Health Care Plan. I was perplexed by the argument and raised immediately why this was being argued when the Children and Families Act and associated regulations appeared clear. At least to me. Subsequent to this, I raised the question in correspondence. Upon what

EHC Plans & Higher Education

Unlike Statements of SEN, EHC Plans are available to young adults under the age of 25. However, higher education is specifically excluded. In a recent decision (Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea v GG (SEN) [2017] UKUT 141 (AAC) the Upper Tribunal considered the nature of that exclusion and the application of the Children & Families Act to education provided by or under arrangement with institutions within the higher education sector. The appeal arose from

Exam Stress, Disability & SEN

According to research published in the Guardian last week, primary school children sitting Sats are exhibiting increased signs of stress and anxiety. School leaders have apparently reported a marked increase in mental health issues around exam time with problems said to include sleeplessness, panic attacks, sobbing, loss of eyelashes and damage to self-esteem. Sadly but perhaps unsurprisingly, the report also suggests that the above issues are worst in the case of children with disabilities and/or

Anti Bullying Seminar: Present your questions to the expert panel in advance now

In anticipation of the forthcoming anti bullying seminar at Sinclairslaw Headquarters Building Cardiff on 18th May 2017, we would like to invite advance questions for our specialist panel to address. Whether you are a school looking for advice on the most effective strategies to use, or a parent seeking medical or psychological advice please feel free to provide your questions in advance to our panel by e mailing us at enquiries@sinclairslaw.co.uk Legal advice is also

School Bullying: A presentation by leading experts 18th May 2017

School Bullying and the Law. The agenda is set for the live anti bullying event at Cardiff Sinclairslaw Headquarters, and on Facebook and Twitter at 5pm on 18th May 2017. Learn about warning signs, mental health consequences, sound teaching practice, as well as legal responsibilities. A personal account will be delivered by a mother who consequent to tragedy has become a campaigner against bullying. Presented by 1. Keith Doyle; Host, journalist and national TV news

Support for special educational needs (SEN) under threat in mainstream schools

As teaching assistants lose their jobs due to cuts, pupils are at risk of being refused places in mainstream schools, says the Local Government Association (LGA). In light of this, parents seeking to obtain further support for their children within mainstream schools will be better placed if they were to obtain an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) to ensure that their child receives the support he or she needs to achieve the best

Our first pupil barrister qualifies

Sinclairslaw are proud to announce the qualification of its first pupil barrister Vida Simpeh. Vida who began her career within the Education law department moved to the specialist criminal defence team. She has now been appointed by a leading criminal law set of chambers in Central London. Sinclairslaw chief Executive Mr Michael Charles said “We are proud of Vida’s achievements which is a testament to this firm’s excellent training. We wish her well in her

Sinclairslaw proudly announce the qualification of Mohammed Azmol Ali as a Conveyancing Solicitor

On May 3rd former Sinclairslaw trainee Mohammed Ali qualified as a conveyancing solicitor and joins the Cardiff Team. Joining the firm in September 2015, after previously working within a major financial institution within its dispute resolution team Mohammed commenced his training in Penarth under Sinclairslaw chief Executive Mr Michael Charles. In 2016 he transferred to the conveyancing department at the prestigious Headquarters in Cardiff. Mohammed said “It has been a pleasure working with such a

Top Criminal and Civil Advocate joins London Team

Sinclairslaw are delighted to announce the appointment of another senior solicitor into the criminal and civil advocacy department. Greg Evans deputy chief executive and supervisor in the criminal law team said that he offered a “warm welcome” to the “very impressive Antonia Okwu” a lawyer with nearly 18 years experience. Antonia completed her training at Powell Spencer and Partners, a leading legal aid practice in London, where she remained for 16 years. Her expertise extends

Special Needs Law Reform – Michael Charles reports that Wales has opportunity to “lead the way”

This week I have had cause to deal with an emotive and some may agree, tragic case of a single mother battling to secure support for two highly complex special needs children. One ot those children is violent and exceptionally demanding not to mention destructive, such that virtually no product within the home is left undamaged at great daily risk to the family. Yet the case also highlights a fundamental problem with the current law