The Queen’s Speech – and what it might mean to you

The Queen's Speech outlining the political agenda for the coming two years was given this week after the result of the recent snap election. The speech was dominated by brexit which is also the reason the agenda was set out for two years rather than the usual one.

While brexit did take up the bulk, other areas were also covered. We have identified three different areas which may be of some interest to you regarding new changes to the legal sector including:

 

Family Law

Draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill

The Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill’s main purpose is to protect victims of domestic abuse. The bill has a few different elements to ensure this.

The main elements of the bill will be

  • To define what is meant by domestic abuse in order to create clarity for the courts and victims
  • A Domestic violence and Abuse Commissioner will be appointed and their role will be to
    • Stand up for the victims and survivors
    • Raise public awareness
    • Monitor the response of statutory agencies and local authorities
    • Hold the justice system to account in tackling domestic abuse
    • Ensure that if abusive behaviour involves a child, the court can hand down a sentence that reflects the devastating life-long impact that abuse can have on a child

 

Alison Kitchman, Partner & Head of Family Law

“It is a welcomed bill which will hopefully see zero tolerance of domestic abuse so that we can confidently help victims and protect them from future abuse.”

If you would like to know more information please visit our domestic abuse page.

 

Conveyance

Draft Tenants Fees Bill

This bill got introduced before the snap election and was expected to be upheld whatever the outcome as it was popular amongst most of the parties. The Tenants Fees Bill would remove the responsibility of paying letting agent fees from the tenants and be passed on the property owner. Buy-to–let property owners need to be aware of these changes and understand that it will be their responsibility to pay the fees once the bill becomes law.

Potential implications are that landlords pass the cost onto the tenants through increase of rent. The bill also states that renters will be able to recover any fees which were collected illegally. 

 

Mark Walton, Head of Conveyance

“The Tenants Fee bill is obviously good news if you are a renter, however if you are a landlord or are considering a buy-to-let property you need to be aware of any potential extra cost. You may want to take this into consideration while negotiating when buying the property or with incoming tenants rental agreement”

 

Dispute Resolution

The effect of the Civil Liability Bill on Personal Injury

Earlier this year we wrote a blog to inform people of the proposed amendments to the Personal Injury claims process. Within the Queens speech the reforms were referred to, but now as ‘The Civil Liability Bill.’

(Please seen the link above for the full break-down).

Here are some of the key points:

  • At present personal injury in excess of £1,000 allows for recovery of legal costs.  The proposals are to increase that to £2,000 for general personal injury and £5,000 for road traffic accident whiplash claims.
  • The Bill has been prepared with the intention of reducing the number of whiplash claims.

 

Emma Cornell, Head of Dispute Resolution

“Personal Injury claims seem to have a bad reputation.  Of course fraudulent claims need to be stopped, but the proposed reforms have to make sure that they are not at the expense of denying compensation to those who are genuinely injured through no fault of their own”

For more information or questions on any of the issues above please use our contact form and we’ll call you back.

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