Prenuptial Agreement Laws in England

Prenuptial AgreementsIt is quite common when you hear the term “prenuptial agreement” to think of Hollywood celebrity couples embroiled in a bitter divorce suit. Hardly ever does this phrase conjure up the image of the ordinary man and woman in Britain battling for his ’n’ her assets after a marriage breaks down – so why is this the case?

Well, the main reason is the fact that prenuptial agreements (also commonly known as premarital agreements) are largely dismissed by the courts and have little bearing on who “wins” the kids, the house or the dog. The law states that prenuptial agreements have absolutely no legal standing whatsoever and it is down to the judge’s discretion in any divorce case in England (and in Wales) as to whether the agreement is upheld or not.

Participating in Meetings

Participating in MeetingsMeetings often fail because participants haven’t prepared enough. Consequently, meetings drag on and decisions cannot be made. To make sure you are better prepared for your next meeting, and to present a more professional image to your colleagues, follow the checklist below.

1.    Be prepared. Preparation is vital. Spend time looking at the following: the agenda, attached papers and previous minutes. Think about what questions or comments you may be asked. Will there be any contentious issues?

2.    Consider who will be there. What sort of common ground will there be between you and the other participants?

Essential Confidence Skills

Confidence SkillsWhat is confidence? The word comes from the Latin for “with trust or faith” in a person or thing.

Myths

There are various myths about confidence. Here are a few of them:

“Either you have it or you don’t” – actually confidence is a set of skills which can be learned. Any difficulty is because you haven’t learned how to do it yet. As a human being, you are a learning organism which can co-ordinate movements, understand and communicate, read and write, and do a thousand other complex things.

“If your confidence has been shaken once, you can never get it back” – it may take a greater leap of faith to start building it back, but once there, you will be much stronger than before and less likely to have it shaken again.

Endangered Wildlife in Britain

Endangered Wildlife in BrtitainWildlife conservation isn’t just about the rainforests of Brazil or the jungles of the Amazon, it relates to our countryside too. There are many animals in Britain which are becoming endangered, such as certain species of owls and voles, as well as bumblebees, due to our changing lifestyles, garden makeovers and declining habitats.

Assertive Communication

Assertive communicationWe usually know deep down what we need and what infringes our needs even if we don’t recognise it on a conscious level. Being able to stand back, making this a conscious process and then cultivating the skill to communicate what we need to others is assertive communication. It is not to do with being forceful, selfish or insensitive – instead it is communication which is firm, balanced, clear, and more than anything else, it is congruent with our individual needs (and I emphasise needs as distinct from wants: we may want to win the lottery but our need is to have a sense of financial security and financial balance).

Anti-Social Behaviour and the Police

Antisocial BehaviourMany police forces in England and Wales have recently come under harsh criticism for failing to protect their areas from the modern-day scourge that is anti-social behaviour. Topping this poll, with a poor classification across the board, were Nottinghamshire Police; Greater Manchester Police were second worst, with two areas out of three classified as poor, although they did score a “good” rating in one category of local opinion.

Changes to Your Consumer Rights - Part 2

COnsumer RightsIn the first part of our consumer law update, we examined the EU proposals to simplify and strengthen the rights of consumers. In this article, we will consider the more extensive UK proposals set out by the Government’s White Paper called“A Better Deal for Consumers – Delivering Real Help Now and Change for the Future”.

At the moment, the law reforms mainly focus on helping consumers avoid credit and online scams. This is part of a wider plan to deal with sharper business practice. There will also be reforms of the current laws on misrepresentation, making it easier for a consumer to take action if they feel they have been misled.  The key proposals include:

1. Appointment of a New Consumer Advocate

Meeting the Needs of Clients

When we’re a customer in a shop or a client of a company, we like help, respect, understanding, satisfaction, value for money, action, friendly service … need I go on? So whether you’re dealing with a colleague’s or a multimillion-pound client’s request, you will have to satisfy these four basic needs: the need to be understood, the need to feel welcome, the need to feel important and the need for a comfortable environment.

So here are the top ten tips to help you meet those needs and guarantee that your clients remain your clients:

Managing Your Workload

Workloads in a legal office are demanding at all levels. How we manage these will influence how we perform as well as how we feel.

There is a well-established principle of dividing what is important from what is urgent and of spending as much time as possible on things which are important and spending no or minimal time on things which are not important (urgent or not).

Going Green at The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs

Every year businesses needlessly waste thousands of reams of paper, burn excess electricity and literally flush resources down the drain. During the past two years the Institute has been working towards streamlining its systems, not only to create more efficiency but also to stop overusing resources. We all have a responsibility to be aware of these issues and reduce our impact where we can.

The Paperless Office