At MW Solicitors we are serious about how we train our Paralegals and Trainees and we are rightly proud of our Training and Development Programme which is crucial to MW's promise to make the best advocates available to clients not just now but for years to come.
Put simply the MW Advocacy Competition is an annual event which pits Paralegals and Trainees against each other in mock court room trials. Our junior legal staff gain practical experience and learn vital skills for their future as MW Solicitors. During the course of several hotly contested rounds they examine their briefs in close detail, construct their arguments and present their case as either the counsel for the defence or prosecution in front of real judges.
The Advocacy Competion is a unique feature of the MW Training and Development Programme which attracts prospective candidates to MW from Universities and Law Schools all over the country. We have made a video to give a taste of what it is like to compete as an MW advocate and what a career as an MW Paralegal or Trainee might entail.
This year's Final Round takes place at the Royal Courts of Justice on the 13th of September 2017 and promises to be another exciting event eagerly anticipated by everyone at MW. If you are interested in a career at MW Solicitors, visit our Vacancies Page follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin to get the latest news about recruitment opportunities.
Actress Jennifer Lawrence told Vogue magazine this month (Aug 2017) that she still suffers the psychological effects of the internet attack on her in 2014, in which nude pictures of her were hacked and then posted online.
She was not the only celebrity affected at the time, but she is almost certainly the most commonly mentioned one.
"It’s scary when you feel the whole world judges you… I think people saw [the event] for what it was, which was a sex crime, but that feeling, I haven’t been able to get rid of it. Having your privacy violated constantly isn’t a problem if you’re perfect. But if you’re human, it’s terrifying. When my publicist calls me, I’m like, “Oh, my God, what is it?” Even when it’s nothing. I’m always waiting to get blindsided again."
This type of situation is not exclusive to celebrities. Indeed, many thousands of people suffer from ‘revenge pornography’ attacks upon them, which has a similar impact on their well being. Revenge pornography is where someone releases naked images or sexual information about a person without their consent as part of a vendetta. There is also a problem with ‘sextortion’ on the internet, where people threaten to carry out the above.
A few months ago, The Guardian newspaper published an article about a leaked Facebook document. It indicated that in a single month Facebook needed to deal with nearly 54,000 potential cases of revenge pornography and sextortion. These cases occur on all types of social media platforms of course, not just Facebook, and we at MW Solicitors are seeing an increase in clients approaching us with an emotional and reputational crisis on their hands because of revenge pornography and sextortion attacks.
In our experience, these incidents often arise when people are having affairs, are getting divorced, or have a spiteful partner or ex-partner. We have even had cases where people in relationships have had to resort to sleeping with their mobile telephones under their pillows because they are concerned about their partners using their private PIN numbers to access their phones while they are sleeping. Whether the intention is to snoop, or to forward sexual or naked images to themselves or to share with others such as with the victim’s work colleagues or the victim’s family and friends, revenge pornography is almost always used to cause maximum embarrassment and emotional damage to the victim.
Sometimes contacting the social media provider directly to require it to remove the images or information is successful, but at other times a victim might not know where the pictures or information are published or stored and they can be difficult to trace. Despite the amount of resources they are reported to spend on tackling the issue, some social media companies are not as quick or as effective as victims may expect when it comes to removing revenge pornography from their networks.
UK laws and courts do provide various very efficient avenues to protect victims of revenge pornography, or sextortion. These can be used to deal with a problem quickly, to have the items traced, to have them removed from a particular website or IT storage facility, and to ensure that they are not disseminated further afield.
Once the law is used to protect a victim or potential victim, the legal sanctions on the offending person or host of the material can be severe.
At MW Solicitors, our mission is "to make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including people who are the victims of revenge pornography or sextortion.
Deaths at work are tragic and sudden, leaving family members with many questions about the circumstances in which their loved one was killed.
The Inquest process is designed to answer these questions, but can be a traumatic and confusing process for families without legal representation.
At MW Solicitors our Personal Injury Lawyers are experts at representing families at Inquests and helping them to understand the process and to get the answers they deserve. Our work in this field is endorsed by Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) and the Hazards Campaign.
A recent example of this was the case of René Tkacik, who was killed whilst employed by the joint venture BFK on the Crossrail project. Helen Clifford, MW's Head of Personal Injury, represented René's parents at the Inquest in February 2015 and on 3rd March 2015 the Inquest Jury determined that his death was accidental, but raised concerns about health and safety on site.
In some cases, particularly where breaches of Health & Safety Legislation or Corporate Manslaughter are concerned, prosecutions may follow.
Following the Inquest, Helen Clifford liaised with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to provide essential information to assist them in considering a prosecution for breaches of Health & Safety Regulations against the three companies comprising the Joint venture BFK (BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman & Keir Infrastructure & Overseas Ltd)
On 7th Dec 2016 the HSE announced their decision to prosecute the companies involved under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The companies were charged with four breaches relating to Mr Tkacik's death and to injuries sustained by two other workers on the same project, including Alex Vizitiu who is also represented by Helen Clifford.
On 19th July 2017 BFK pleaded guilty having reached agreement with the HSE that they would do so on condition that the prosecution be brought against the Joint Venture BFK rather than the individual companies BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman & Keir Infrastructure & Overseas Ltd.
At a sentencing hearing on 27th and 28th July 2017 BFK were fined £300,000 for the offences which resulted in René’s death; £600,000 in relation to serious injuries suffered by another worker and £165,000 in relation to Alex Vizitiu’s accident.
Helen Clifford gave continuous support to her clients from Inquest through to the final sentencing and made several statements both to the court and outside to awaiting press on behalf of René's mother, Marta Tkacikova.
“We (Rene's family) are very disappointed with the sentence, the fine is inadequate. BFK have agreed to pay my expenses in attending court. I am donating that blood money to the Construction Safety Campaign in memory of René, to assist them in their campaign to prevent further deaths”.
At MW Our Mission is "to make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those who have been injured or the families of those killed in workplace accidents. Our experienced and expert Lawyers will represent you at every step of the way. From Inquest to prosecution and if applicable, in a claim for compensation. We will be on hand to ensure that you get the access to Justice that you deserve.
On 7th August 2017 a new Divorce Petition went into circulation and can now be used by anyone applying as a Petitioner for a divorce, judicial separation or to end a civil partnership.
The new style Divorce Petition will be mandatory from the 4th September 2017 onwards. However, Petitioners will still be able to issue the old style Petition upto and including the 3rd September 2017 and any old style Petitions submitted to court on or after 4th September 2017 will not be accepted.
The changes to the Divorce Petition have been welcomed by practitioners, but as ever with anything there are a few areas of improvement. The new style Divorce Petition now needs to be verified by a Statement of Truth. The layout is straight forward, requiring, save where necessary, very few words. It is a precursor to the plans for online Divorce and aims to make it more accessible to the lay person in plain English.
The new Divorce Petition:
At MW Solicitors, Our Mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those who are going through a divorce or legal separation. Our solicitors are experts in all aspects of Divorce and Legal Separation including Mediation and Ancillary Relief.
If you have any questions or would like legal advice on the impact of the changes to the Divorce Petition, call our Divorce and Separation team, today on 020 3551 8500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MW Solicitors were proud to attend the Hazards Conference 2017, held on the 28th to 30th of July 2017 at Keele University, Stoke on Trent. Hazards Conference is the biggest grassroots Health and Safety conference in the Northern Hemisphere attended by over 350 Union Safety Representatives and Health and Safety Campaigners. The theme of this year's conference was "Organizing Health, Safety and Welfare in an Insecure World"
MW Solicitors strongly supports the work of the Hazards Campaign which supports individuals and groups fighting for justice over work-related injuries and diseases. This includes challenging the victimisation and blacklisting of safety activists, supporting bereaved relatives of those killed at work, workers suffering occupational injuries or diseases in pursuit of justice, highlighting the unfairness of the compensation system and pressing for improvements to policy, law and practice.
Head of Personal Injury, Helen Clifford and Head of Road Traffic Collisions Joanna Bailey, represented MW Solicitors at the conference and spoke at Saturday's Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) Seminar "Work-Related Death, Supporting Families and Fighting Back. The Seminar was Chaired by Hilda Palmer, Co-ordinator of Greater Manchester Hazards Campaign. FACK is supported by TU donations and sponsorship from Irwin Mitchell and McMillan Williams solicitors.
(Left to Right) MW Solicitors Helen Clifford and Joanna Bailey
FACK supports families after a work-related death and advocates for them throughout the investigation process, inquest and any prosecutions which may result. The seminar also focused on the role played by supporting solicitors, such as MW Solictors, who provide essential legal support to ensure that those families who suffer work-related deaths have "equality of arms" in terms of legal representation at Inquests.
Helen Clifford was honoured to speak at the closing Plenary meeting on Sunday Morning entitled "Enough is Enough: End deregulation now!"
Helen Clifford speaks at closing plenery meeting of Hazards Conference 2017
(Left to Right) Hilda Palmer (Chair of FACK), Michael Lancaster (GMB Union), Tracey Seward (FACK Member) and her daughter Daisy Seward, Joanna Bailey (MW Solicitors), Helen Clifford (MW Solicitors)