A Victory for Our Client in the Employment Tribunal

Our client was employed as a bus driver and had 18 years of continuous employment. He had a clean record with no warnings or incidents. 

While driving in the rain, he had been involved in one unexplained low-speed accident which resulted in a collision with three parked cars and a fence. This caused about £40,000 of damage. He believed that the brakes on his vehicle had failed, although the employer had carried out tests and found nothing to be wrong.

There was video evidence of the bus journey, including in the driver’s cab. This showed that he was obviously awake and not distracted at the time that the accident occurred. 

The cause of the accident could only be complete unexplained negligence by our client, the driver, but he did not accept that. He disputed it from the very first time that the employer interviewed him. The company dismissed him within a couple of weeks, and his internal appeal was also unsuccessful.  

Attempts to negotiate a compromise were unsuccessful and this led to a hearing recently at Watford Employment Tribunal. One of the large ‘magic circle’ City law firms and their specialist employment barrister opposed us all along. 

Our employment solicitor, Kuldeep Clair, handled the case for us, and also advocated at the tribunal.

The decision of the tribunal came a month after a three-day hearing. We pointed out how the company had not considered theoretical alternative explanations for the accident, and how disclosure of the brake test reports had come extraordinarily late. The company’s culture of hostility to lawyers representing employees was also criticised; their HR appeals manager had been uncooperative and failed to look at the original decision afresh. 

The negative side was the following:

The tribunal felt that the employer can conclude the brakes were not faulty. This is in the light of all of the evidence, and lack of a positive alternative explanation from the client.

Decisions to dismiss are rarely black and white. They need to fall in a ‘band of reasonable responses’. A tribunal will always be looking at the overall reasonableness of the employer’s decision taking account of the full circumstances.   

However, we were successful in pointing out the procedural irregularities throughout. The tribunal decided that if the employer had adopted a proper procedure, there was a 30% possibility that the employer’s decision might have been in favour of our client. So, he received only a proportion of his full damages. However, that was enough to cover the trial costs. He fought the case as a matter of principle, and so he was pleased with the result. He had few ongoing losses as he found an alternative job three months after being dismissed in any event.

If you would like advice on any aspect of employment or business law, please contact us directly:

Kuldeep S. Clair

Consultant Solicitor 

kuldeep@sterlinglawyers.co.uk 

+44 7 484 614 090

Debt and Money Claims in the UK

Debt and Money Claims: personal or on behalf of businesses, whether you are pursuing or defending

We are accustomed to recovering money or defending claims for monetary sums on behalf of our clients.

Unfortunately, the fact that it is not possible to recover hardly any legal costs in cases in ‘small claims’ cases  means that it may not be worth instructing us unless, practically, the dispute involves a sum of at least £6,000.

Having said that, sometimes our clients want to pursue their debtor as a matter of principle, even if the net sum recovered for them is a small proportion of the total sum that was due. That is entirely understandable.

Not all debt claims end in success. There is often a lot of frustration along the way. The lawyer’s job is very difficult. But often, we are very successful.

Sterling Law have concluded a settlement in a case where we had been acting for an architect who had been dealing with a company in the building trade. Several of our client company’s invoices totaling almost £9,000 over the early part of 2018 had remained unpaid for 5-6 months, despite repeated demands for payment. The debtor had just completely ‘blanked’ our client.

We have now received the final instalment in payment from the debtor company in this case, against whom we obtained judgment. This has been paid to our client, the creditor company. Of course our client’s director has expressed his delight at the outcome. 

Judgement-in-Default

The defendant, despite being a highly qualified professional, ignored our two ‘letters before action.’ He then ignored our issue of the court proceedings. We then obtained ‘judgement-in-default’ against his company. He then sprung into action when was threatened to face enforcement of the judgement. Various excuses were made, including blaming his accountants for not receiving the letters and court papers on time, even though they were sent to the correct registered office of the company. Ultimately, the director threatened that he would dissolve his company unless we accepted half the sum due, in full and final settlement.

We were not going to be fobbed off by this nonsense and advised our client accordingly. We had no reason to believe that the defendant company was on the verge of insolvency, and if it was so, we questioned why the director had half the sum sitting in his bank account, available to be paid immediately.

Ultimately, we obtained agreement for half the debt under the judgement to be paid immediately (which it duly was, this week), and for the second half next month.

Our client was delighted with the result; a combination of litigation and tough negotiation achieved a great result. If we had merely launched into enforcing the judgment, it would have taken much longer to obtain the money and costs (payable by our client and not all recoverable from the other side) would have been higher.

If you have a dispute upon which you need advice, please contact us. We can either represent you in court or just provide advice at an initial consultation.

Please contact Kuldeep S. Clair, Consultant Solicitor and Advocate, directly:

Email: Kuldeep@sterlinglawyers.co.uk

Mobile: 07484 614090

Tel. 020 7822 8599

Successful Application under “Surinder Singh” route

A fantastic result from Oksana Demyanchuk and her team. The client of Sterling & Law Associates applied for entry clearance under Regulation 9 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 under “Surinder Singh” route and it was approved within 2 weeks.

Regulation 9 of the EEA Regulation reads as follows:

Family members of British citizens

9.— (1) If the conditions in paragraph (2) are satisfied, these Regulations apply to a person who is the family member (“F”) of a British citizen (“BC”) as though the BC were an EEA national.

(2) The conditions are that—

(a) BC—

(i) is residing in an EEA State as a worker, self-employed person, self-sufficient person or a student, or so resided immediately before returning to the United Kingdom; or

(ii) has acquired the right of permanent residence in an EEA State;

(b) F and BC resided together in the EEA State; and

(c) F and BC’s residence in the EEA State was genuine.

(3) Factors relevant to whether residence in the EEA State is or was genuine include—

(a) whether the centre of BC’s life transferred to the EEA State;

(b) the length of F and BC’s joint residence in the EEA State;

(c) the nature and quality of the F and BC’s accommodation in the EEA State, and whether it is or was BC’s principal residence;

(d) the degree of F and BC’s integration in the EEA State;

(e) whether F’s first lawful residence in the EU with BC was in the EEA State.

It can be incredibly difficult for an Applicant to show that they and their Sponsor have moved the center of their life to another Member State. However, this was not an issue for our clients, as due to the advice and preparation by Oksana Demyanchuk and her team, their application was successful and entry clearance was granted within 2 weeks!

Should you have any questions regarding EEA Applications under Surinder Singh, or would like a free assessment of your particular personal circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Oksana Demyanchuk

Email: oksana@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535

 

Michael Carter

Email: michael@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535

 

 

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case and to enquire about the immigration and legal fees, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599, Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477, e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

british citizenship

Court of Appeal prevents limitation on Surinder Sigh facilitation right

It is a common occurrence for a British citizen to meet and form a relationship with a non-EU national living in the EU with their respective right of residence. The principle established in the Surinder Sigh allows a British citizen returning from the continent to bring certain non-EU relatives into the UK. It is important to note that this is a European Union law and not the domestic rules of a particular member state that also applies to any family members. 

In the recent case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v Christy [2018]EWCA Civ 2378 the Home Office has made an attempt to limit the obligation to consider the right established in Surinder Sigh. Ms. Christy established a strong relationship with Mr. Jones, a British citizen whilst they were residing in Poland under Poland’s domestic immigration rules and not under EU law. 

The Home Office argued that they had no obligation on a Member State to even consider a Surinder Sigh application where the applicant was not granted a right to remain in the member state where the relationship was formed on the basis of that relationship. 

Although a member state will still have the freedom to refuse an application after full examination on the personal circumstances of the applicant, Lord Justice Sales stated in his judgment

it would be inconsistent with the rationale given by the CJEU …. to deny the existence of a derived right of facilitation in such a case”

Lord Justice goes on to affirm that the Home Office must bear in mind that the absence of an application in the host member state for status under EU law based on the relationship could not be a relevant factor, given that it was not a pre-requisite. 

The decision made is entirely sensible and fair as it would be wrong to impose a requirement on a non-EU national when they had their own right to reside under the appropriate domestic law.

 

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case and to inquire about the immigration and legal fees, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599, Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477, e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

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Sterling Law to Exhibit at Moscow International Emigration & Luxury Property Expo

Sterling Law are delighted to take part in the The Moscow International Emigration and Luxury Property Expo 2018, a large-scale conference and exhibition dedicated to immigration and international real estate, that will be held 29-30 November 2018 at The Ritz-Carlton Moscow.
The event will be attended by leading companies from more than 30 countries.
The delegation of Sterling Law will join other leading international law firms, developers, personal financial consultancies, as well as  immigration services and real estate industry professionals from all over the world.

Find us in Moscow:

We invite invite you to join us at Conference & Exhibition at The Ritz-Carlton Moscow during 29-30 November 2018. This is a brilliant opportunity to ask all the questions you have about immigration and other legal services in the UK.
To arrange a meeting please contact: 
We look forward to share our experience with you and answer all your questions.

Moscow International Emigration & Luxury Property Expo 2018

AGENDA: Full programme for 29-30 November 2018

The Expo combines a conference on the first day (29 November), with an exhibition, workshops, and networking opportunities on the second day (30 November).

The conference will be held on the first day of the Moscow International Emigration and Luxury Property Expo (IELPE). It will feature keynote speakers from 30 countries, including representatives of immigration companies, property developers, and governmental authorities from EU countries, the USA, Canada, and the Caribbean.

The speakers will share exclusive insights into the latest legislative developments and provide hands-on advice based on actual cases.

Sterling Law team will present on 29 November at 18.35 on the UK Investor, Entrepreneur and Exceptional Talent visas. Our representatives will be happy to see all visitors and advise at the stand during the 2nd day of the event on 30 November. 

Registration:

Registration is open for individual and professional visitors with special packages available. To apply for a two-day pass please click here.


UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case and to inquire about the immigration and legal fees, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599, Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477, e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

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Landlord & Tenant Disputes: Legal Basics

Our senior litigation solicitor, Kuldeep S. Clair, reviews how we may be able to help you if you are involved in disputes over property which you have either rented or are renting out.

Sterling Law can help in disputes whether you are the landlord or the tenant. In practice, we deal with disputes over residential property, and the majority of those properties are let on ‘assured short-hold tenancies’. However, we deal with other rental situations, and commercial tenancies as well.   

Assured shortholds are designed to cover tenancies of households that tenants use as the main home.

Such a tenancy usually begins for a fixed term of at least six months, and then it can theoretically be renewed for a further fixed term. But it can also just carry on, usually on a monthly basis. 

The important points which distinguish assured shorthold tenancies are that: 

  • Landlord can take possession without giving a valid reason once the original term has expired.
  • Landlord must still give a minimum period of notice to do that, and cannot forcibly remove the Tenant without do so through licensed bailiffs, and obtaining a court order first.
  • An initial deposit is taken by the Landlord, which is must be held under an authorised independent scheme and repaid to the Tenant at the end of the tenancy.        

Sterling Law can help whether you are a landlord or tenant, if you have a dispute over, e.g.

  • unpaid rent or longstanding arrears of rent 
  • alleged damage to the property, 
  • use of property for unlawful purposes, causing annoyance to neighbours  
  • harassment/intimidation/bullying to the residents  
  • unlawful eviction, or wanting legitimate re-possession. Assessment of the Landlord’s grounds to re-possess.
  • any other breach of the agreement by either side – what are your rights and obligations, and how can they be enforced?

If you require any assistance or advice, please contact us directly for a free case assessment:  

Kuldeep S. Clair

Consultant Solicitor 

kuldeep@sterlinglawyers.co.uk 

Tel. 0207822 8599

Mob. 07484 614 090

 

 

Discrimination prevails between married and cohabitating couples in the LGPS

Catherine Harvey who has been cohabitating with her partner Stephen Roe for 29 years has been refused survivors’ pension when Mr. Roe passed away in 2016 from the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). This refusal was maintained despite the reform on 1st April 2008 where the Secretary of State changed the rules to include cohabiting couples in the entitlement to survivors’ pension. It was clear discrimination when the partner of someone who had worked alongside Mr. Roe for ten years up to 2003 and continued working until May 2008 was entitled to survivors’ pension for their service including the ten years they worked alongside Mr. Roe whereas Ms. Harvey was not entitled to receive anything for the same service. 

As our society changes, marriage is further down the ‘life plan’ for many couples. The United Kingdom, known as a forward moving country should have pension scheme rules which reflect the world we live in today, and not the world of 50 years ago. The Court’s judgment towards Ms. Harvey portrays the UK as a country that forces couples who are potentially saving to marry or are just not ready to marry into marriage. The discrimination against Ms. Harvey is totally unacceptable and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Source: Bindmans LLP

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case and to enquire about the immigration and legal fees, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8535, Mobile: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477, e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

Rise in hostility in criminal courts?

In criminal proceedings, often the Defendant will stand and confirm their identity; name, date of birth and address. Evidently, this is necessary to ensure the right person is in the dock. In 2017, by virtue of section 162 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017, regulations do not require Defendants in England and Wales to prove the court with their nationality in addition to other information. If the Defendant fails to do so without ‘reasonable excuse’, they will be punishable with up to 51 weeks imprisonment or fine or both. These changes allowed to speed up deportation of foreign criminals. 

Inevitably the question arises – how will this impact the impartial and fair nature that comes with the criminal justice system? Racial bias is a serious problem. It is rising not only in the United Kingdom but also in countries all over the world. Forcing Defendants to reveal where they come from in court will potentially only worsen discrimination and lead to unfair trials. 

The function of criminal courts

The criminal courts primarily need to determine if an accused is guilty or not and impose any sanction as it sees fit. The new rule gives the criminal courts power to act as a partner of the UK Border Agency. This should not be the case. Bringing border controls into the criminal courtrooms will likely affect the Defendant’s trust in the court’s fairness. 

Penelope Gibbs, the director of Transform Justice and a former magistrate said “What relevance does a Defendant’s nationality have if they are pleading not guilty? Or if they are accused of a crime which is not imprisonable?”. On top of that, will the court disproportionately give a custodial sentence or bail? 

In addition to the concerns of the effects to this new rule, there is also very little information available as to how this new law will be implemented. In the event the Defendant fails or refuses to state their nationality – how will the court prove the charge? Will it treat it as contempt of court? 

Source: ILPA, October 2018

 

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular case and to inquire about the legal fees, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599, Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477, e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

 

Successful appeal following refusal of permanent residence on the ground of marriage of convenience

The client, a national of Ukraine married a Lithuanian citizen. The Ukrainian national was then issued with a 5-year residence document, as a family member of EEA national in 2011. In 2016, the client applied for a permanent residence card on the basis of the same relationship but his application was refused. The ground was that the marriage entered in 2011 was of “convenience”. (Within the terms of Regulation 2 of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006, the Regulations then in force). 

Sterling Law’s experienced lawyers lodged a notice of appeal on behalf of our client. We appealed on the grounds that the Secretary of State had gone against the client’s right to respect for family and private life. There was, therefore, a breach of the duty owed to the client under Community treaties. 

At the hearing, oral evidence was given on behalf of both parties. Counsel instructed by Sterling Law suggested that

The evidence from the third party has not posed any significance on the nature of the relationship. In addition, the Secretary of State was suggesting that there had been a failure to divorce rather than addressing whether this was a marriage of convenience or not. 

It was a delight that through prepared bundle by the lawyers at Sterling Law the judge was satisfied that the client and his wife had a genuine relationship as partners since they were married.  Our lawyers included evidence of cohabitation, a number of photographs taken on different occasions as well as other evidence. 

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case and to inquire about the immigration and legal fees, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599, Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477, e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

 

Leave to remain granted to parents of a qualifying child following countless refusals

Sterling Law represented clients from Ukraine in an appeal after countless refusals of leave to remain. 

 The Home Office denied leave to remain of a minor and her parents. This is despite her being a qualifying child (child with more than 7 years residency in the UK). Since the refusal, the Secretary of State was ordered countless times to reconsider the application taking into account paragraph 276ADE(iv) of the Immigration Rules. However, the Secretary of State had time and time again failed to do so. 

Sterling Law instructed the Counsel, who argued that the judge should essentially look at whether our clients should have received leave to remain in 2013. At the time the daughter was a minor. The judge proceeded to consider all circumstances at that time and the core of the application. The judge agreed that it would be unreasonable for the daughter to leave the UK. This is because she had seven plus years of residence. In addition, her parents should have received leave to remain with her. This is within the terms of paragraph 267ADE(4) of the Immigration Rules.

The Judge found that in 2013 the daughter met the paragraph 276ADE(iv) of the Rules and therefore came within Article 8 within the Rules and her parents outside of the Rules based on the family life.

This was found to be the fair and proportionate position in 2013 had the Secretary of State properly addressed the issues when they were given multiple opportunities to do so. 

 

Josephine Smith

Immigration Lawyer (OISC Level 3)

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8535

Fax: +44 (0) 20 7183 7379

E-mail: josephine@sterling-law.co.uk

To book appointment online please click HERE

 

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case and to inquire about the immigration and legal fees, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599, Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477, e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why register your trademark?

It is almost impossible to make a step without stumbling across a trademark today. And it is absolutely smart and fair. Each entrepreneur and every company put principal emphasis on its name and logo. The fortune of the trademark is determined by original representation and positive slogans rather than a simple quality of goods and services. Successful brands are working hard to create catchy names and admirable logos to attract clients attention. However, investments in marketing and a high-flown name would be unreasonable if the result is not thoroughly protected. If you ever thought about the value of your business name and logo you should know about the advantages of trademark registration. 

Business protection

Until your trademark (including name, logo and related branding) does not register it is not your property. Competitors may secretly register your trademark in their own name and prohibit the usage by your company. In this case, you might also be liable to compensate for the illegal use of the trademark and the associated costs.

Unfair Competition

If you don’t have the so-called monopoly on your trademark you risk suffering from market duplicates and copying.  Regardless of the amount of time and money you invested in the uniqueness of your name, there will always be the intent to steal your idea or exploit the reputation of your brand on the market. Unfair competitors can legally produce goods under your sign and bring your company reputational and commercial costs. 

Exclusive rights

With the registration of the trademark company, an owner gets the full scope of rights on its utilization. The owner may license it to another party for use in return for payment as well as sell it. Moreover, if your trademark is used without your consent on other products, labels, in advertisements, on signs or on the Internet and in other cases you may initiate the proceedings and qualify for compensation. 

Individualisation of goods and services

Registration of IP makes your company more reliable for customers and thus allows you to take a leading position on the market. Registered trademark brings uniqueness and significance to your idea. In addition to that, you can use the official ®s and ™ signs for the proper representation of your protected rights.  

Advertising

A competently created trademark in itself helps to sell any goods and services. It enhances the reputation of a company or brand and independently contributes to the reputation. A trademark certificate simplifies the registration of the company’s sign in state bodies and makes the advertising process work faster. 

 

 

Katsiaryna PazniakIntellectual Property Consultant

 Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8535

Fax: +44 (0) 20 7183 7379

E-mail: katsiaryna@sterlinglawyers.co.uk 

 

Shakir Hussain, Senior Solicitor

Email: shakir@sterling-law.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8535