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Areas of Law in the UK

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Welink Legal

Areas of law in the UK

 

Every country has its own legal system and set of laws by which it governs. The ultimate goal is to create a fair society. Judges, solicitors, and the public all play a role in this. The laws below are by no means a comprehensive list, but the explanations will give you a place to start if you're doing research and provide a peek into the areas of law in the UK.

 

Summary:

  1. Divorce law
  2. Adoption
  3. Work accidents
  4. Road & traffic accidents
  5. Animal rights
  6. Arbitration
  7. Misuse of corporate assets
  8. Abuse of weakness
  9. Collective agreement
  10. Property administration/legal protection
  11. Sentence adjustment
  12. Territorial development
  13. Art law
  14. Asylum
  15. Associations and foundations 
  16. Insurance
  17. Copyright
  18. Automotive
  19. Lease
  20. Banking & stock market
  21. Commercial agent

 

1. Divorce law

 

Right now solicitors who practice divorce law are some of the most in demand solicitors in the UK. With over 40% of marriages ending in divorce, this comes as no surprise. As it stands, when a couple seeks a divorce, they need to prove adultery, unreasonable behaviour, or desertion. A new law called Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act will come into effect on 6th April 2022. This act will eliminate the need to prove adultery, unreasonable behaviour, or desertion. The couple seeking divorce will no longer have to assign blame and they will be able to divorce amicably.

 

2. Adoption

 

Adoption is a legal process that involves the redefining of relationships between members of a family, wherein the rights and responsibilities of each of the child and the biological parent(s) are terminated and new rights and responsibilities between the child and the adoptive parent(s) are instated. As such, it is a legal procedure that results in the creation of a new familial relationship recognisable by the law, and that had been absent prior to the adoption. Adoptions typically require the intervention of a qualified family lawyer, ideally experienced in matters of adoption and children’s rights.

 

Broad Legal 

Located in London, the solicitors at Broad Legal specialise in family law including adoption, divorce, parental responsibility, and more. Broad Legal uses an unconventional approach in client relationships and problem-solving. The solicitors here believe that clients shouldn’t have to spend a fortune to gain access to quality legal services.

 

3. Work accidents

 

A work accident refers to a specific occurrence which can be defined in time and described, and that leads to physical or psychological harm. It can be caused by a deliberate attack by another employee or an employer, or can be completely accidental - resulting for example from the malfunctioning of heavy machinery or any kind of equipment for which the company is responsible. Work accidents are usually addressed by the HR department of the company and, depending on the severity of the situation, in conjunction with an internal legal representative or an external lawyer typically specialised in labour law and the protection of employees. 



4. Road & traffic accidents

 

Road or traffic accidents refer to the instances during which either one vehicle undergoes an accident and results in the harm of at least one person, or two or more vehicles or pedestrians create a collision that results in physical harm to a person and/or damage to a vehicle. These kinds of accidents are resolved by calling on the services of a qualified lawyer, and often include elements of subjective recall and testimonials as well as witness statements, when applicable.

 

Equity Law Solicitors

 

Based in London UK, Equity Law Solicitors is a law firm that provides legal advice and full representation on a variety of legal areas including: personal Injury including road traffic accidents, slips and trips, accidents at work and clinical negligence. They also specialise in Immigration, Employment, Civil Litigation, Corporate and Commercial, Family, Wills and Probate, Housing, Child Law, Prison Law, Care Proceedings, Police Station Representation, Parole Hearings, Motoring Offence, and Criminal Law.

 

Equity law Solicitors is authorised and regulated by Solicitors Regulation Authority, SRA No: 573324.

 

5. Animal rights

 

Animal law is the area of legal practice that oversees the rights and protection of animals, and involves criminal prosecution in cases of animal cruelty, advocation for certain animal rights, and the legislation of issues pertaining to the treatment of animals in business environments, for example in farms. A qualified animal lawyer is proficient in the current animal-related issues and legislation, and their job typically involves regularly doing research and preparing and filing legal documents. 

 

6. Arbitration

 

Also referred to as mediation, arbitration consists in the process of settling a dispute using one or more arbitrators, who are understood as being the final decision makers. As opposed to court proceedings, arbitration is a private dispute settlement that presents a viable alternative and choosing it over going to court is often dependent on the severity of the issue. It is a confidential procedure, and one wherein the involved parties choose the arbitrator(s) themselves and mutually consent to having their dispute mediated in this way. Arbitration is neutral and unbiased, and the decision taken by the arbitrator(s) is final and binding, and is enforceable by law. 



7. Misuse of corporate assets

 

Misuse of company assets can be undertaken by both employees and external parties, and consists in committing fraud and subsequently stealing from the company. By stealing company property and using it for their own ends, employees or third parties commit what is known as “insider fraud” and create a relationship of distrust between themselves and the organisation. Misuse of corporate assets is a serious offence and, as a business owner or manager, you can find yourself having to deal with such situations more often than you might expect.  This is why it is advisable to have on board an experienced and qualified lawyer in order to feel secure in your company’s assets and be able to deal with any instance of misuse speedily and effectively.

 

8. Abuse of weakness

 

Abuse of weakness is the deliberate abuse of a person who is considered to be vulnerable, whether physically, mentally, economically, or socially. In order for an instance to be given the status of abuse of weakness, it has to involve the accused party taking advantage of the victim in an intentional manner that results in some form of harm. Abuse of weakness is unfortunately quite common within organisations - whether big or small, private or public, employees often find themselves taken advantage of, mostly when they are lower in the hierarchy. Reporting abuses of this kind is always advisable, and partnering with a qualified lawyer specialised in labour law can help the targeted employee handle the situation in a way that ensures them the exercise of their full rights.

 

 

9. Collective agreement

 

A collective agreement is defined as a negotiated agreement between two parties, namely the employer and the employee’s legal representation, that puts in place the conditions of employment as well as rates of pay and related work-related terms and conditions. This type of agreement is typically not enforceable by the law, but nonetheless implicates the involvement of a legal entity, as it includes the determination of each of the employee’s and the employer’s rights and obligations.



10. Property administration/legal protection

 

Property administration consists in the activity of carrying out certain administrative procedures as they relate to property management, and is primarily implicated in two purposes of (1) ensuring the property remains valuable and (2) running it properly and avoiding damage. All kinds of property, whether tangible or intangible, are amenable to legal protection by a lawyer specialised in property law. A property lawyer deals with settling disputes over elements that are understood as having wealth, and is specifically informed and influenced by the current state of the economy and the structure of institutions within a given community or society.

 

 

11. Sentence adjustment

 

Sentence adjustment is the legal proceeding that consists in modifying the sentence of a prison inmate, due to the spontaneous occurrence of particular events, new evidence being acquired, good behaviour, or other factors that may contribute to an inmate’s sentence being shortened or lengthened. Sentence adjustments require the intervention of lawyers specialised in criminal law, either provided by the state or hired by the inmate or their family. This kind of process is significantly different depending on the area or country in which it is carried out, as criminal law and its regulations depend largely on the social, political, and economic climate of the country in question. 

 

12. Territorial development

 

The purpose of territorial development is typically to promote and increase competitiveness between different spatial territories. It consists in contributing to the development of a physical space, oftentimes rural, by involving stakeholders; and is generally understood as preventing potential problems in the territory as well as suggesting solutions to fix existing problems. The territory in question is referred to as a “territory in development”, and the process itself implicates the involvement of the community and requires the input of its inhabitants in the decision-making process, according to what they understand as contributing to the well-being of the area in view of the institutions that are already part of it. Undertaking a territorial development project implicates the involvement of a qualified lawyer specialising in environmental or rural law, as any action of modifying a territory is obligated to adhere to the local regulations and ensure the protection of the land and environment in question. 



13. Art law

 

Art law is part of the broader discipline of intellectual property law, and regulates the use, creation, distribution, and advertising of art. Art law most notably deals with the issue of attribution of artwork to its artist, and can as such overlap with the areas of practice of copyright and contract law. Lawyers specialising in art assist  their clients in cases of recovering stolen art, dealing with copyright infringement, protection of their business name, addressing defamation, and regulating and overseeing potential sponsorship agreements, to name a few examples. 

 

14. Asylum

 

Asylum refers to the act carried out by a state to protect an individual who left their home country as a political refugee. It is usually defined as seeking refuge to avoid or escape persecution, which can be grounded on several social, political, and individual factors. For instance, one can seek asylum from persecution due to their race, religion, political inclinations, or their membership to any social group that is actively oppressed or victimised in their home country. Cases of asylum require the involvement of lawyers specialised in international, social, and nationality or citizenship law, experienced in the area of victims’ rights, and has the proper expertise in dealing with minors if the case of asylum implicates one or more children. 



15. Associations and foundations 

 

Law of associations and foundations is concerned with the area of legal practice that ensures the establishment of associations and foundations and their adherence to existing regulations. The scope of this area also includes legal decisions such as terminating or reviewing a given association or foundation based on questionable actions on its part such as fraudulent claims, decision-making that is harmful to the community or country in which it’s established, illegal operations such as money laundering, or any action that may warrant litigation. 

 

16. Insurance

 

Insurance law deals with regulating adherence to insurance policies and issuance of claims, and can overlap with many other areas of legal practice such as labour law, corporate law, contract law, and consumer protection. An insurance lawyer can either be specialised in insurance and work solely from within an insurance company, or they can be a practicing lawyer in any other pertinent field and offer their services to individuals or organisations depending on the case.

 

Nick Sutton, Fletcher Day

 

Nick Sutton is a commercial and civil litigator at Fletcher Day in London UK. Mr Sutton also specialises in dispute resolution for business and insurance litigation. He assists businesses during the pandemic by guiding them through business interruption insurance claims and other commercial litigation. 

 

Nick Sutton has worked in various businesses ranging from SMEs to large corporations public and private. He has worked with corporations like DHL Supply Chain and Chubb Insurance Company. Some of his most impressive clients were found in the Ministry of Defense and the Department of Education. With over a decade of experience, Mr Sutton has saved his clients millions of pounds thanks to his outstanding work. 



17. Copyright

 

Part of settling intellectual property disputes involves copyright, the protection of the legal rights of ownership that is accorded to the owner of intellectual property. As the name indicates, it concerns the right to copy, and as such it restricts the amount of individuals or organisations - usually consisting of the owner themselves and any party to which they give explicit permission- allowed to reproduce the work in any capacity. Copyright issues can occur in cases of stolen art work, literary works, brand names, and any instance in which the intellectual property in question is duplicated without authorisation from the owner. Copyright lawyers assist their clients in claiming their legal rights to ownership of their intellectual property. 

 

18. Automotive

 

Automotive law involves regulating the processes of selling and buying automobiles, repairing automobiles, making safety claims, and instances of accidents. As such, issues of traffic and road law are involved, as well as consumer protection law, contract law, and insurance law. You are expected to take legal action in the case of buying a defective automobile, and a lawyer specialised in these different areas of practice can assist you in claiming damages. 

 

19. Lease

 

Signing a lease refers to entering into a binding agreement between one party that conveys a property and another that acquires it, for a limited period of time and under certain conditions. Lease law therefore involves issues of contract and real estate law, and with it arise questions of property rights and the obligations of the “offeree”, or the party that has acquired the property. A lease is typically a written agreement, specifying the start and end terms and allowing renewal in certain cases. Also involved in lease regulations are warranty laws, in order to ensure the respect of the terms of the assurance made by the offeror to the offeree. In potential cases of legal dispute between the two parties, lawyers specialised in contract and/or real estate will typically be involved in order to settle the dispute and enforce the respect of the rights and obligations of each party. 



20. Banking & stock market 

 

Banking law is the area of legal practice that covers the manner in which banks and financial organisms conduct their business, regulating and enforcing a number of state legislations and procedures that banking organisations must comply with. Banking law is a crucial regulatory tool given the significance of a bank’s effect on the overall economy of the country, and the importance of prioritising transparency and accountability in banks and financial institutions. Among the regulations carried out by banking laws are preventing money laundering, ensuring client confidentiality, and providing equal opportunities for banking for all residents regardless of social and/or economic standing. Similarly, stock exchange law concerns the regulation of financial markets and transactions within these markets, and is also dependent on the surrounding social, political, and economic context. It governs procedures such as standardisation of prices, negotiability, and trading, and represents a branch of commercial or business law.



21. Commercial agent

 

A commercial agent is a person whose job is to find clients for the company by which they were hired. Sometimes referred to as a private sales representative, a commercial agent’s responsibility is to find prospects for a business and work to transform the leads into actual, paying customers. Commercial agents can be understood as being compensated on a case-by-case basis, wherein they only get paid in commission after the customer they contribute to the business becomes a paying customer. The job of a commercial agent is peculiar in that it directly deals with people and functions as if they are that which is being bought and sold, making their job viable for as long as the agent is able to be productive.



Sean Middleton

 

Sean Middleton is a recognised and experienced barrister that is admitted in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and South Africa that has been working in the legal profession since 1994. Offering clarity to his clients is one of Sean’s main purposes. Unlike other barristers, Sean will try to avoid having to take recourse to court, however he will tackle his court cases with the same vigour. 

 

He was called to the South African bar in 2004 and to the English bar in 2011, he therefore has rights of audience in England, Wales and in the High Court of South Africa. 

 

Notable Cases:

  • 2015-2021 – Various Family law Matters, Contact and Financial
  • 2017 Advice and Counsel on Insolvency caused by HBOS
  • 2017 Commercial relief relating to ownership of property
  • 2017 High Court Manchester – Challenge to a Stat Demand
  • 2015 Successful Challenge Body Corporate not ordered to pay costs
  • 2016 – Injunction to secure Residential Property
  • 2014 – 2019 RCJ – Commercial Freezing Injunction
  • 2014- 2019 – Various Building work disputes
  • 2013 – Eviction proceedings on behalf of Landlord
  • 2013 – Enforcement and repossession proceedings
  • 2013 – Appeal – Lee v DWP – Upheld. Determination of extent of disability caused by injury while at work.

Memberships & Accreditations

Public Access Accredited (authorised to conduct Litigation)

Member of The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn

Member of The Honourable Society of Inn of Court of Northern Ireland

Member of The Bar Library of NI

Member of the Western Circuit

Member of the South East Circuit

Member of Association of Military Court Advocates

Member of Commonwealth Bar (England)

Arbitrator – AFSA – Commercial Panel Arbitrator – AFSA – Commercial Panel (South Africa)

 

Gavin Tudor Elliot

 

Gavin Tudor Elliot is a solicitor based in Harrow specialising in real estate and commercial law. He has over 20 years of successful experience in guaranteeing your company’s well being. 

 

Mr. Elliot can assist with negotiating a purchase contract, addressing contingencies, obtaining financing, resolving defects uncovered in a home inspection, and completing the closing process.

 

His services cover reviewing and drafting contracts, business formation, start-up creation, financing, fundraising, facilitating sales as well as mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Elliot can help you determine your company’s internal policies and make sure that your employees’ rights are protected. 

 

Not only operating in England and Wales, Mr. Elliot is a licensed attorney in Florida and in Washington D.C. 



Graftons

 

Graftons is a construction law firm based in London and run by Mr. John Philpott. They provide services across all the UK and internationally for commercial agreements, construction and building projects. Their cost effective services are made to best match your needs and meet your expectations. 

 

Arup, Atkins, Heathrow and Gatwick Airports (formerly BAA), Grosvenor, the NHS and London Underground are some of the many entities Graftons has worked with. Mr. John Philpott is a solicitor-advocate, barrister and Chartered Structural Engineer. 

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