Our team from MW Sevenoaks will be in attendance at the 2016 Sevenoaks Business Show at the STAG Theatre today from 10:00am till 2:00pm.

Our expert Solicitors are on hand to answer any of your legal questions such as Residential and Commercial property transactions, Commercial Dispute Resolution, Professional Negligence, Insolvency and debt collection, Challenging a Will or estate planning advice and Notary work.  We will also be showcasing our work as specialist Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Solicitor.

You can meet two of our Solicitors, Peter Williams and Mark Stubberfield who have recently been shortlisted for the Kent Law Society Awards 2016 in the respective categories of "Young Lawyer of The Year" and "Outstanding Achievement"

Don't be shy stop by Stand No. 6 and say hello.

MW Solicitors Stand at Sevenoaks Business Show

MW Solicitors Stand #9 at Sevenoaks Business Show

The Sevenoaks Business Show

The Sevenoaks Business Show is an annual event with fantastic talks and opportunities for business to business networking.  This year's event will be opened by The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP and there will be three free talks at the House in the Basement Youth Café from 10:30am -12:30pm.

It takes courage for parents to turn to Local Authorities for help when things are going wrong. 

A Local Authority may suggest “accommodating” children for a period of time.  But what happens if parents don’t agree? And what happens if parents agree for a short time but then Children’s Services refuse to return their children?  Who determines how long is long enough where there are no Court proceedings, no Judge and crucially no Guardian or representation for the child?   What rights do parents and children have in these situations?

What is Section 20?

Section 20 Children Act 1989 places a duty on local authorities to provide accommodation for children in need.  However, s20(8) is very clear that “a person who has parental responsibility for a child may at any time remove the child …”.  The reality is that in practice, this fundamental right of parents is often ignored by local authorities.

Following judicial concern in recent cases where children have been accommodated for in excess of 2 years and where there have been questions over whether a parent has truly “consented”, the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, set out guidance in Re N [2015] EWCA Civ 1112 [paras 157-171] - http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2015/1112.html.  

The President highlights four problems:

  1. The failure of local authorities to obtain informed consent from parents [para 163-164].  Does the parent have capacity to consent?  Does the parent understand the consequences of consenting?  Is removal actually necessary?  Particular care should be taken in seeking consent from a Mother directly after birth.

  2. Care should be taken over the form of consent, which ought to be in writing, translated if necessary and ought not to be “compulsion in disguise” [para 165].

  3. Far too often, s20 arrangement are allowed to continue for far too long [para 166].

  4. The reluctance of local authorities to return a child to its parents immediately upon request:

Regarding the fourth point, the President is clear: 

“This means what it says. A local authority which fails to permit a parent to remove a child in circumstances within section 20(8) acts unlawfully, exposes itself to proceedings at the suit of the parent and may even be guilty of a criminal offence.  

A parent in that position could bring a claim against the local authority for judicial review or, indeed, seek an immediate writ of habeas corpus against the local authority.

I should add that I am exceedingly sceptical as to whether a parent can lawfully contract out of section 20(8) in advance, as by agreeing with the local authority to give a specified period of notice before exercising their section 20(8) right”

The message to local authorities is clear  

“The misuse and abuse of section 20 in this context is not just a matter of bad practice. It is wrong; it is a denial of the fundamental rights of both the parent and the child; it will no longer be tolerated; and it must stop”.

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is to make quality legal services accessible to everyone including families affected by Section 20 misuse and abuse.  We have a team of specialist family solicitors waiting to help.  

If you have concerns about Section 20 accommodation call us today on 0203 551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk.

McMillan Williams are proud to announce that three of our Solicitors have been shortlisted for the Kent Law Society Awards 2016. 

Junior Lawyer of the Year Award

Peter Williams
Peter Williams
Solicitor - Property Law

Mark Stubberfield
Mark Stubberfield
Regional Partner & Head of Court of Protection

Caroline Landes
Caroline Landes
Partner & Head of Children & Domestic Abuse

Peter Williams

Peter qualified in 2013 and is an Associate Solicitor at MW Sevenoaks.  As one of our specialist property solicitors, Peter deals with all aspects of conveyancing for both residential and business clients.  He is an expert in all aspects of property transactions including Sales and purchase, mortgages and remortgages, Transfers of Equity, Leasehold transactions and extensions and deeds of variation.

Peter is also a keen networker and will be in attendance on the MW Stand at the 2016 Sevenoaks Business Show on 22 April 2016.

Outstanding Achievement Award

Mark Stubberfield

Mark qualified in 2006 and is a Partner and Head of both our Court of Protection Team and Private Client Team (Kent Region) based in MW Sevenoaks.  In 2015, Mark qualified as a Notary Public and he is also an accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly.  He is a regular participant in the Free Wills schemes run by Age UK and Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice.

Mark is a consummate private client Solicitor and specialises in advising clients on Court of Protection, Wills, Estates, Trusts, Tax Planning and Power of Attorney issues.    

Caroline Landes

Caroline qualified in 1988 and is a partner and member of our specialist Family and Children Law team based at MW Bexleyheath.  Alongside Georgina Earle-Hutton she was a founding partner in the Bexleyheath firm Landes Hutton LLP, now part of MW Solicitors Ltd.  A long standing member of Resolution and previously Chair of the Bexley Community Legal Service Partnership, Caroline is accredited by the Law Society and is a member of both the Family Law Panel and the Children Law Panel.

Caroline assists clients in all aspects of family law including divorce, cohabitation disputes, injunctive relief and children disputes.  A trained and experienceed family mediator she offers couples going through separation with  constructive, sensitive and practical solutions and advice. 

Kent Law Society

The Kent Law Society was established in 1818, before the Law Society of England and Wales, and has a long and proud history.  The society has over 500 members comprising solicitors, fee earners and trainees who practise within the Kent County boundary.  The Society was formed to promote the best interests of its members in Kent and it promotes the careers of new and trainee lawyers starting to practice in the County.

The winners of the awards will be announced at the dinner following the AGM on 13th May 2016.


McMillan Williams are proud sponsors of the Brave Heart Hero Award at the Bath Chronicle Pride of Bath Awards 2016

Do You have a Brave Heart?

Pride of Bath Awards 2016Do you know someone who has overcome fear or faced danger to help others?

This special award will be given to an individual who has responded to an immediate need and significantly affected the life or lives of others.  This may be someone who has rescued a person from a dangerous situation or shown courage to help another in difficulty. This could also include someone who has bravely faced tragic or devastating personal circumstances and gone on to make a positive difference to the lives of others.

About The Pride of Bath Awards

We hear a lot about the big society these days, but our city has always been enhanced by people who think nothing of doing something for others. These awards are all about thanking them for what they do and giving them the credit they deserve.

The 8 categories of awards recognise those people who go above and beyond the call of duty, those who care for others and their communities and those who have been involved in remarkable acts of bravery.

The Awards ceremony takes place on the 14th April at Bath Racecourse.  Please show your support by following the event on Twitter and celebrate the Award Winners using the hashtag

At McMillan Williams we like to share the success of our corporate relationships and are very proud to announce that on 18th February 2016, Karen Bach (founder of KalliKids) and Talan Skeels-Piggins (Founder of Talan Motorsport and The Bike Experience Charity), were installed as Freemen of the City Guild of Entrepreneurs by its Deputy Master and Alderman of the Ward of Tower, Sir Paul Judge, at an historic ceremony at Guildhall in the City of London.

Newly Installed Members of The Guild of Entrepreneurs
Newly Installed Members of The Guild of Entrepreneurs Karen Bach and Talan Skeels-Piggins
(Image Courtesy of The Guild of Entrepreneurs & Jonathan Cherry)


The Guild of Entrepreneurs

The Guild of Entrepreneurs is one of the newest City Guilds, founded in 2014.  MW's Charge d'affaires Nicola Manning is one of its founder members and a Court Assistant  (equivalent to its Board of Directors ).  It is made up of men and women who have invested their own money and time in setting up and running successful businesses.  Its aims are to:

  • promote excellence in the profession of Entrepreneurship
  • support the Lord Mayor, encourage the growth of the City and promote its full potential to Entrepreneurs and growth businesses
  • foster fellowship among entrepreneurs
  • give money and time for charitable works that support the development of Entrepreneurs and help to bring the opportunities of Entrepreneurship to young people.


The KalliKids goal is simple.  To give parents access to tried, tested and KalliKids approved activities. They check every last KalliKids provider, giving you complete piece of mind and inspiring activities for your kids. With so many trusted providers onboard, they offer something for everyone.

Find trusted children’s activities in your area today www.kallikids.com

MW and Kallikids Working Together

The KalliKids ethos of giving families information they can trust and opportunities inclusive to all, resonates with the core belief of MW Solicitors to make quality legal services accessible to everyone.

The foundation of both companies is firmly routed in giving you the best possible service with the most reliable information, whether it be attending your local nursery, to securing legal assistance for your family.

MW Solicitors and KalliKids work together to ensure your family has a trusted place to turn to when you need it most.

Talan Skeels-Piggins

Motivational speaker, winner of the 600cc paraplegic class at the Di. Di. World Bridgestone Cup, GB Paralympian and Founder of The Bike Experience.

At the start of 2003 Talan was an active PE Teacher and ex Royal Navy Lieutenant.  On March 8th 2003 he suffered a motorcycle accident, which shattered his back and fractured his neck in several places.  Initially just given 30% chance of survival and told to expect a hospital stay of 2 years, Talan was left paralysed from the chest down.  Eight days after the accident he set myself the goal of learning to ski, getting into the GB Team and competing at the 2010 Winter Paralympics.   This has since happened, and Talan is now part of the world’s first privately funded disabled race team. 

This truly remarkable team was thought up by Talan in 2011.  The team’s first solo race with the approval of the ACU was in 2012 with Club Thundersport.  Since then, the team has raced in Assen in a 3 hour endurance race as well as few select races in the UK.  2014 saw the team sponsored by McMillan Williams Solicitors Ltd and for the first time, race a full season with 3 national racing clubs.  Following on from the success of 2014, the team expanded for 2015 to include 2 new riders:  1 paraplegic and 1 above knee amputee.  With 2016 around the corner, watch this space for more exciting racing ahead!

You can find out more about the inspirational Talan Skeels-Piggins at www.talanracing.co.uk.


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