OVER the last five years, O’Donnell Solicitors has flourished into a bustling firm offering straight talking legal advice for both businesses and individuals.
The firm, set up by husband and wife James and Rebecca O’Donnell, boasts five directors and numerous support staff and fee earners.
They work out of spacious and contemporary offices at Appleby’s Business Centre in Grasscroft and in Uppermill Square.
They have recently acquired another office building on Uppermill High Street which will undergo a full refurbishment to help them meet demand for appointments.
Here they answer some of the questions they are most commonly asked by clients.
Question: I am being prevented from seeing my children – what shall I do?
Answer: This can be a common problem, especially during the festive season.
If you have tried to communicate with the other parent without success then you need to speak to a solicitor.
Timing is very important because the closer you leave it to Christmas, the less time the court will have to hear your application. You may have time for a solicitor to contact the other parent but if not, then an application to the court will be necessary.
Usually you have to give 14 days notice of an application to the other parent but that time can be reduced if requested.
Time may be needed to hear your application at a Final Hearing if you cannot agree the arrangements.
Question: Do married couples still need a Lasting Power of Attorney for each other?
Answer: Yes. If you or your spouse were to lose mental capacity, then you do not have an automictic right to access or deal with each other’s affairs.
Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in which you appoint your spouse (alone or with others) to act as your Attorney prevents this problem.
If you are a legally appointed Attorney, you can deal with your spouse’s bank accounts, savings and financial assets on their behalf and can also sell any property they own.
If your spouse also had a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of attorney, then you can also make decisions about their care and medical treatment.
Question: Can I resign and bring a claim for Constructive Dismissal over an incident which took place some weeks ago?
Answer: The circumstances are important. Close scrutiny of the precise event(s) before and upon the incident will be required.
Generally speaking, an employee should invoke the grievance process to avoid an affirmation of the contract and waiver of the right to resign leaving your legal rights intact.
So long as a grievance is ongoing, the employee preserves their legal rights. Once the process has been exhausted they must act quickly to resign to preserve the ‘nexus’ or ‘causal link’ between the act or omission complained of and the resignation.
In reality if the incident or a series of incidents leading to the ‘final straw’ amount to a serious breach, then resignation will follow.
Sometimes a delay is justifiable due to the particular circumstances and the conduct of the employer.
Question: Are leases all the same?
Answer: No. Leases come in different forms dependent on the negotiated Heads of Terms and it is often necessary to negotiate the terms of the first draft.
Some subtle alterations can carry significant consequences depending on whether you are the landlord or tenant.
Repair obligations are one of the principal points to consider. Sensible negotiation and a keen eye for detail in the drafting of commercial leases is essential for both the landlord and tenant. We frequently act for landlords and tenants and have the expertise to guide you through the issues.
We also have excellent relationships with the very best agents and surveyors to ensure a transaction proceeds as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
• For more information about the services that O’Donnell Solicitors offer, or to arrange an appointment or speak to a member of the team, call 01457 761 320 or visit