We are well recognised, local and reputable Civil Litigation & Debt Solicitors firm located close to Stockport. We have handled thousands of cases and have given 100% unique and tailored advice to every one of our clients. We are personable, professional and have a team that will always be in your corner.
JMR Solicitors LLP was recognised by the Prime Minister, David Cameron himself, as the number 1 female led fastest growing business in the UK in 2015. This wasn’t done by accident, it comes our unique approach and belief that our clients are our most valuable assets; and we operate an open culture and a team based approach that reflects this.
At JMR Solicitors our specialist Litigation department takes a friendly proactive approach, applying their considerable knowledge and expertise with the aim of resolving the dispute quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
We are aware that litigation is not always the best way to solve disputes and we will advise you on alternative dispute resolutions that can best rectify the issue. However, if court proceedings prove unavoidable, we have the expertise to prepare your case to the best advantage and arrange for your representation throughout the court procedure. The Small Claims Court is used by those who are in dispute with others regarding a civil matter. For instance you may feel that you have been unfairly treated in a consumer matter such as being unable to get compensation when goods have been found to be faulty or you feel you should have had a refund for something you returned. Customers who find themselves at odds with a company because they will not take responsibility for faulty goods can take the company to the Small Claims Court. At JMR, we can deal with the entire process for you to give you peace of mind, or alternatively, we can help you with parts of the process on a fixed fee basis and deal with a broad range of Civil Litigation and Debt Recovery cases.
Defamation is simply any words that will make people think less of you. Insults themselves are not enough to be considered defamatory. Anyone can sue for defamation, whether they are an individual, company or a partnership.
Difference between libel, slander and malicious falsehood
Malicious falsehood refers to allegations that are defamatory but not specifically towards you. With these cases, you have the burden of proving that the allegations are false, that they have or are likely to cause you financial loss and that they have been published maliciously.
Libel cases are when the defamation is in a permanent form such as written, broadcast or published online. Slander cases are when the defamation is in a non-permanent form such as spoken word. Libel laws do apply to emails and the internet, and all publications to any third party can be defamatory.
What is the process of a defamation claim?
Many claims for defamation are settled before it comes to trial. If this happens, the terms of settlement will have to be agreed by both parties and will usually include an apology, correction or retraction, a statement agreeing not to repeat the allegations that were complained of, payment of a sum in damages and payment of legal costs.
If the claim for defamation goes to trial, success will mean that the Judge or Jury will award the sum in damages. They will also grant an injunction which will prevent further publication of the allegations and will order the other party to the legal costs.
A defamation claim can last upwards of 12 months from the issuing of proceedings to trial, however more complex cases can take much longer than this. It is therefore vital that you seek professional advice at the earliest possible opportunity so as to avoid any unnecessary delays.
What has to be proven for a defamation claim?
For libel and slander cases, the following has to be proven:
- The allegations that have been complained about have been published to one or more party, other than to yourself
- The allegations are in reference to you. This can be that you are named, pictured or identifiable in some way
- The words complained about could cause right-thinking members of society to think less of you in some way
- The publication has caused, or could potentially cause serious harm to your reputation
Additionally, for slander cases you will need to prove that the words have caused or are likely to cause you financial loss.
For those who believe that they have been the victim of fraud, the priority is usually to reclaim the money that they have lost as quickly as possible. When fraud is discovered, or suspected the first steps that you take are critical. It is therefore vital to seek professional advice at the outset so as to avoid any unnecessary delays in proceedings.
The term ‘fraud’ covers a large range of offences. Whether you are defending a claim or bringing a claim against another party we can offer you advice on:
- Abuse of position
- Money laundering
- Dishonest assistance
- Unlawful means conspiracy
- Knowing receipt
- Breach of trust/contract/fiduciary duty
- Fraudulent trading under the Companies Act 2006
- Offences under the Bribery Act 2010
- Restraint and Confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
- Market abuse under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
Regardless of the case, we are always mindful that our clients will wish to bring about a swift conclusion to cases so as to avoid any wasteful costs. We will endeavour to bring about the fastest possible conclusion to your matter whilst maintaining our meticulous standards of work and high level of client care.
JMR Solicitors can assist in any type of harassment case, whether the harassment is from your place of work, an individual, service providers such as banks, local authorities, housing associations or other organisations.
Harassment can include:
- Sexist, racist or homophobic jokes
- Making fun of a person’s disability
- Jokes about religion or anti-religious comments
- Unwanted phone calls, emails, letters or visits
- Bullying or abuse online
- Verbal abuse or threats
- Intimidation, eg. smashing objects or frightening you
- However, if you feel that you are in immediate danger from violent behaviour, contact the police immediately.
Some victims of harassment would simply like an apology, where others may be seeking for compensation. JMR Solicitors can assist you in achieving whatever outcome you would like to reach and advise you about a course of action to ensure that the harassment does not continue.
Harassment and bullying at work
Workplace harassment can take many forms and can have an enormous impact on a person’s general well being. Workplace harassment can include jokes about a person’s particular characteristics, racist or sexist remarks or jokes or being the subject of unwanted sexual approaches or comments.
JMR Solicitors can work to ensure that you are protected from any further harassment and, where appropriate, legal proceedings can be brought about.
Harassment at work may be breaching an employer’s duties of trust and confidence. If the harassment pertains to a person’s particular characteristic such as their age, gender, race, religion, disability, sex or sexual orientation it may also be discrimination.
Protection from harassment
The Protections from Harassment Act 1997 defines harassment as behaviour that cases alarm or distress. The Act also states that to prosecute a person under this Act, you must have experienced two or more incidents by the same person or same group of people. It will be the court’s decision as to whether your experience amounts to harassment; however they will look at whether most reasonable people would think that the behaviour amounts to harassment.
Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, we can help you to obtain an injunction to prohibit a person or group of people from knowingly harassing you. We can also help you to receive damages and costs in the County Court or High Court.
If a harassment claim is successful and an injunction is granted, if the person breaches this injunction they may result in them being held in contempt of court or even mean that they face criminal charges.
JMR Solicitors offer our advice and opinion on a range of employment matters.
Employment contract review for employers and employees
As an employee, can review your employment contract when you are offered a new job and provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the document that you are signing safe in the knowledge that you are aware of the terms of employment.
As an employer, we can review the contracts that you will offer your prospective employees to make sure that all terms meet legal requirements. We can draft your employment contracts from the beginning, or review and edit existing contracts.
Disputes around employment contracts tend to arise when the terms are unclear. It is therefore vital to have expert assistance when drafting the contract, and to gain a full understanding of all clauses whether you are an employer or employee.
Settlement agreements are formerly known as compromise agreements and are used when an employer agrees to pay an employee a sum of money in exchange for the employee giving up their right to make a claim in the employment tribunal.
Settlement agreements must be in a set format to be effective and employees must receive legal advice to have the agreement reviewed before signing anything. It is best to visit an independent solicitor with no connection to your employer. JMR Solicitors can provide independent advice to employees regarding any settlement agreement, often at little to no cost to the employee as the employer usually covers the legal fees in these cases.
An employee will usually need to have been continuously employed with an employer before they can make a claim of unfair dismissal.
As an employer defending an unfair dismissal claim it is usually required that an employee has been dismissed for one of the following reasons:
- It is also required that the employer prove that they, dismissing the employee for whichever reason, have acted responsibly in all circumstances.
It is vital that the correct procedure for dismissal is followed. For example, if an employee has been dismissed for their misconduct, they should be called to a disciplinary hearing and given the right to voice their version of events before dismissal.
Instant dismissals with no procedural safeguards can lead to an unfair dismissal claim.
In the case of a successful unfair dismissal claim, the employee will be given a basic award calculated like a statutory redundancy payment and could be awarded up to a year’s pay, or £76,574 (whichever is the lower amount) depending on financial losses.
PROPERTY AND BOUNDARY DISPUTES
Nuisance and trespass
Neighbouring properties can often become tangled in disputes over land, for example if a wall or tree roots encroach onto one another’s property or when there is excessive noise coming from one property. These types of disputes are described as a trespass or a nuisance.
Nuisances are separated into two categories by law, private and public nuisances. A private nuisance would describe something that a person does on their own land that they are otherwise entitled to do but to an extent where it interferes with the neighbour’s enjoyment of their property. A public nuisance describes something that endangers the life, property, health, morals or comfort of the public.
Trespass on the other hand is described as the unlawful occupation of land by a person other than the owner of the land. Squatting can be a trespass, but so could a neighbour building a wall on land that is owned by their neighbour, or encroaches into the neighbours airspace.
JMR Solicitors can help to apply to the Court for an injunction to prevent trespass or nuisances from continuing and causing further stress or harm. We can also help to claim damages to compensate for any stress and harm that has already been caused.
Boundary disputes where one neighbour argues over the position of boundary lines are not uncommon. The law in this area is complex and difficult to interpret, therefore it is vital to seek expert legal advice before pursuing any further action.
It can often be the case that an expert surveyor will be called in to examine the title deeds, old photographs and witness evidence to determine the boundaries of your property. However, it is not uncommon for your neighbour to find a competing surveyor who disagrees with this evidence.
Complication such as this can prevent a definitive answer, especially if the boundary has been moved over the years or if physical features such as walls, fences or hedges have been introduced or changed.
IF you are involved in, or suspect that you may soon become involved in a boundary dispute, it is advised that you seek legal assistance from the outset to prevent any unnecessary costs and delays in reaching an agreement.
Professional negligence is defined as the breach of duty of care between a professional and their client. Duty of care is a common law arrangement whereby the client is expected to receive a certain level of professionalism and standards held by those in that profession.
Clients often wonder whether or not they have a claim under professional negligence, however if you have experienced a poor level of service and suffered a financial loss because of this, you may have a case.
Professions that most commonly face professional negligence claims include:
- Financial advisors
This is not an exhaustive list, and JMR Solicitors can advise you is your case is worth pursuing. These types of claims often arise when a professional has given incorrect or incomplete advice or missed key deadlines.
Once a claim has begun, it is often the case that professionals will become defensive when their competence has been questioned. It is therefore vital that you have expert legal advice from the outset to assist you in handling these matters properly.
In order for the claim to be successful, it will need to be demonstrated that the client was owed a duty of care, that the professional breached that duty of care and that the breach directly caused financial losses.
A professional negligence claim should normally be made within six years from when the breach of duty of care or actionable damage occurred.
DEBT RECOVERY – PERSONAL AND COMMERCIAL
At JMR Solicitors we have developed our debt recovery process to focus on unpaid invoice debts and personal debts which means that when a payment issue arises for your business our team of debt recovery specialists are ready to deal with your case. Our priority in these cases are to recover your debt at the lowest possible cost to you, so as to make sure that you receive the highest possible sum of money that you are owed.
Our debt recovery team will discuss your needs at our free 30 minute consultation. Our process will involve sending your debtors a letter before action which will state our intentions to proceed with legal action if the debts are not paid within a time period that can be specified by you, or by our recommendations. We will then keep you informed of any correspondence that we receive, if any.
We often find that this initial letter is sufficient to prompt debtors to settle their invoices, however this is not always the case. If no correspondence is received and you are happy to proceed we will then progress to the next stage of our debt recovery process.
We are able to perform checks on your debtors, such as finding their whereabouts and performing status checks if they are a registered company, if you feel that these are necessary.
Once we have performed these checks, we will proceed to issue proceedings against your debtors to recover the owed amount. We will keep you informed during every step of the process.
For small to medium business owners, unpaid invoices can be particularly damaging. At JMR Solicitors we strive to build a lasting relationship with our clients and aim to provide effective debt recovery support over time. We understand the needs of businesses, in particular new or smaller business owners and understand that swift and effective legal assistance is crucial. We will be on hand and familiar with your case should you need support or your case becomes contentious. This will mean that you receive immediate and appropriate action which will in turn enable you to continue with your business in confidence and with minimal disruption.