Thursday, 10 May 2018

WILL DAVID CAMERON'S (DC) LEGACY BE BREXIT OR SOCIAL CARE REFORM?


We asked Andrew Douglas, Partner at Awdry Bailey & Douglas Solicitors who specialises in elderly care, for his views on this issue?

Surely it must be BREXIT?   Because it gets all the headlines BREXIT will almost definitely be what DC is most remembered for? It is my belief however, that running a close second will be DC and his government’s unfulfilled pledges in respect of Social Care.  

Why do you say that? People may well recall that when DC won his last election in 2015 the Tories were saying that people would only have to pay for the first £72,000 of their elderly care costs. This was known as the “CAP”. The flag ship for the CAP at the time was the Care Act 2014. Shortly after DC was elected as Prime minister this pledge was broken (17.07.15 to be precise) and in December 2017 Jackie Doyle-Price, Health Minister said it would not be reintroduced.  

What does DC say about this? Recently DC was interviewed by the FT Weekend and stated that he was disappointed at his government’s record on Social Care and that the CAP was not capable of being pursued. His disappointment was because he thought that with the support of insurance products which the insurance industry were not interested in the CAP could have been a long term solution to the ongoing crisis in social

What is the future? Nobody of course knows, but there is irony in what DC has reportedly said.  This is because a green paper on the future of social care is to be published by the government in the summer and prior consultations have resulted in some insurers and in particular Royal London Mutual saying there is a potential important role for the insurance industry. 

What is best to do? Understand the existing rules under The Care Act 2014 and proceed accordingly. Waiting or doing nothing in relation to social care is not the best option. This approach only results in people not being organised and paying more.

To know more and for a free appointment to find out answers to the questions that need answering  email Andrew Douglas or his  team on ajd@awdrys.co.uk or call on 0800 072 8636.  Alternatively visit our website www.abdcare.co.uk
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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Chippenham Business Awards 2018




Awdry Bailey & Douglas were proud to once again be title sponsors of the Chippenham Business Awards, which  took place on Thursday 22nd February 2018 at the Neeld, Chippenham. TV presenter Marc Allum, best known for his regular appearances on the BBC Antiques Roadshow, returned to host the awards which were attended by 150 finalists, sponsors and members of the business community.  

Senior Associate Tom Paget and TV Presenter Marc Allum
presenting the award for Chippenham Business of the Year
 
This was the second business awards organised by Chippenham Business Improvement District (Chippenham BID). 

Tom Paget, Commercial Solicitor at Awdry Bailey & Douglas and manager of the firm's Chippenham office, is a director of Chippenham BID and is chair of the Backing Business committee which organised the awards.

Tom was joined on the night by Senior Partner Alexander David and guests for what was a fantastic evening celebrating the success of the Chippenham business community. 

The winners of the Chippenham Business Awards 2018 were:
  • Apprentice of the Year: Ben Lisseman of Digiprint
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Cheryl Klukowski Stevenson of Taste of the Caribbean and Chocolate Blonde
  • Professional Services Provider of the Year: Goughs Solicitors
  • Hotel, Restaurant or Café of the Year: The Garden Chippenham
  • Creative or Technology Business of the Year: City Dressing
  • Customer Service Award: Bewley & Merrett Funeral Directors
  • Start-Up Business of the Year: Maria Christina Bridal Boutique
  • Small Business of the Year: Huw Thomas Commercial
  • Independent Business of the Year: J. Sheppard and Son Ltd.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Rick Squires
  • Chippenham Business of the Year: The Garden Chippenham
Congratulations to all of the winners, but in particular to the Garden Chippenham as overall winners of the Chippenham Business of the Year award.

Our thanks  to all those that took part by organising, sponsoring or entering an award for making this such a successful evening.

If you require legal advice on business or commercial property matters please contact Tom Paget at our Chippenham office on 01249 478333 or by email tom.paget@awdrys.co.uk

For more information about our services please visit our website www.awdrys.co.uk

More information, including photos and videos of the awards, can be found on the following website http://chippenhambusinessawards.co.uk/




Thursday, 8 March 2018



ABD match ball sponsor of Bath Rugby v Sale Sharks

24th February 2018

Tim Hotchkiss (Partner), Alexander David (Partner), Tom Paget (Senior Associate), Frances Nash (Associate) and Kelly Chandler (Solicitor) of ABD hosted 18 guests in the Ricoh Suite at the Bath Rugby v Sale Sharks game on Saturday, 24th February.  ABD was also the proud sponsors of the match ball for the game.  The photograph below captured the moment that Tim Hotchkiss and Alexander David were handed the match ball signed by the entire Bath Rugby squad by Australian international, Nathan Charles. 



The team from ABD greeted their guests at 11.30am in the Ricoh Suite before enjoying the usual excellent food and service from the hospitality team at Bath Rugby.  It was then time to head into the stands in time for kick-off at 2.30pm. 
The game itself was a real treat with Bath Rugby eventually coming out 33-32 winners.  As the scoreline suggests, it was a nail biting affair with makeshift fly-half James Wilson holding his nerve to convert Zach Mercer’s try with 30 seconds remaining.  The result keeps Bath Rugby firmly in contention for the play-offs.
It was then back to the Ricoh Suite with our guests for a delicious cheeseboard and the screening of the Scotland v England Six Nations game.  The less said about the result the better for the English contingent, although this certainly did not dampen the spirits of those that attended.  It is certainly fair to say that a thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

IS DAVID CAMERON'S LEGACY BREXIT OR SOCIAL CARE REFORM?

If asked, most people think that David Cameron (“DC”) will be most remembered for calling a referendum on BREXIT. People may be right but when history does remember DC his broken promises on older peoples social care could be a very close second.

Most recently Theresa May’s botched election campaign  had at it’s core her suggestion that people should use all but the final £100,000 of their savings including their home  to fund elderly care. Voters did not like this suggestion and we are now where we are. A question which arises from this suggestion is was it lack of judgement by her or learning from her predecessor DC?   

When DC won his last election in 2015 it was in part based upon a promise that people would only have to pay for the first £72,000 of their elderly care costs known as the “CAP”. The Care Act 2014 was the flag ship for this. Shortly after DC was elected (17.07.15 to be precise) this promise was broken by DC and his Government. The CAP as originally proposed by DC will not ever be introduced, so says Jackie Doyle – Price Health Minister in December 2017.

In a recent interview with the FT Weekend DC says he was disappointed that the CAP was not capable of being pursued.  He explains that he thought this might have been a solution to Long term care combined with supporting insurance products which the insurance industry was never interested in.

Irony however is alive and well.  DC post politics is very much involved with social care as “President of Alzheimer’s Research UK”. Additionally and his lament about the insurance industry might be about to turn full circle.  This is because consultations prior to publication of the Governments Green Paper on reform of older person social care has started a debate on the role of the insurance industry led by Royal London Mutual insurer.

Specifically Sir Steve Webb Director of policy at the insurer and a former Pension Minister has been responsible in part for submitting a paper to government proposing a care product linked to pension income drawdown. The proposal is that a person commits to regular premiums being taken from their drawdown account to be used for their care costs.  The incentive is that the government under Royal London’s proposals would allow for favourable tax treatment (tax free) in respect of the premiums and importantly the Government would introduce a CAP on people’s overall care bills. This proposal sounds like déjà vu  from DC’s point of view.

To know more on elderly care options and for a free appointment to find out answers to the questions that need answering  email Andrew Douglas or his  team on ajd@awdrys.co.uk or simply call us on 0800 072 8636. The firm has offices In Marlborough, Royal Wootton Basset, Devizes & Chippenham. Alternatively visit our website www.abdcare.co.uk


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Friday, 19 January 2018

ARE YOU IN SAFE HANDS WITH THE UK AMBULANCE SERVICE?

Nobody will deny that the Ambulance Service in the UK is one of the best in the world. The Service and the 32,000 people who work within it are second to none. In 2016 some 10.7 million emergency calls were handled by English Ambulance Services alone.

·        The job of the Ambulance Service is to respond to 999 or 112 emergency calls, to deal with Doctors urgent hospital admission requests, hospital transfers and to respond to major incidents.

·        That said and like any organization challenges as far as performance do exist.  The challenges centre on under funding resulting in lack of staff, equipment such as vehicles and state of the art satellite tracking equipment and training to up skill medics and other operatives.  Other issues include transfer times in hospitals because of under funding and increasing demand there and in particular in Accident and Emergency departments.

·        Concerns for the Ambulance Service are such that Coroners have written to the service on no less than 86 occasions since July 2013. They warn of the need to make changes because of potentially unnecessary deaths to people in their care.  This excludes people who suffer in different ways and in particular do not arrive at hospitals neurologically intact because of delays, under skilling and lack of equipment because of funding and training issues.

·        The demands on the Ambulance Service are ever increasing partly as a result of our ever increasing ageing population.  The solution is more staff, more equipment, better systems and up skilling by means of better training. This means more money

·        A big well done to everybody who works in the service but more money please.  This is especially so because of the needs of our elderly population and their elderly care issues.

The above is an overview only.

For a free appointment and to find out answers to the questions that need answering  and to get the care you or a loved one need email Andrew Douglas or his  team on ajd@awdrys.co.uk or call on 0800 072 8636. We have offices In Marlborough, Royal Wootton Basset, Devizes & Chippenham. Alternatively visit our website                        www. abdcare.co.uk

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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

IS IT THE CASE THAT LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY (LPA'S) ARE THE RIGHT SOLUTION?


LPA’s allow individuals to name others to help them in the management of their affairs if they should lose capacity or otherwise think they need assistance. LPA’S in their current form have been in existence since October 2007. They are arguably one of the most important tools for individuals as they get older.

For an LPA to be valid it needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Currently some 2.5 million LPA’s and their predecessor documents Enduring Powers which are still valid are registered.  650,000 new LPA’s are registered every year.

There are two types of LPA.  The most common is for Property and Finance. This allows named Attorneys (you should name more than one in case an Attorney predeceases the maker of the LPA) to manage the makers affairs in respect of Property and Finance. The second type, less prevalent but arguably more important is for Health and Welfare. This LPA allows the makers Attorney’s to make decisions about a persons Health and Welfare with Doctors, Hospitals, Social Workers, Care Homes and others if you yourself are unable to do so.  With this LPA you need to have actually lost capacity to the extent that you cannot make decisions for yourself about Health and Welfare.

LPA’s sound the perfect solution for people who are getting older.  A word of warning however from Denzil Lush, former senior judge in the Court of Protection and which is that you should never appoint Attorneys unless you absolutely trust them.  This warning is against a backdrop overseen by him which is that an estimated one in eight LPA’s go badly wrong. This is because Attorney’s mostly sons and daughters of parents making LPA’s abuse their position.  They do so by way of financial and other abuses against those they are supposed to be taking care of.

It is the considered view of Denzil Lush, an acknowledged leading figure in his field that a better way of avoiding this type of problem is for people instead of making LPA’s to apply to the Court of Protection to have a Deputy appointed. This can be a person of the maker’s choice.  The difference is that if a Deputy or Deputies are appointed they are supervised by the OPG and have to buy an insurance policy to cover off against wrong doings and mistakes. Deputies have to keep records and justify their spending.

Short of the recommendation above an alternative would be for the OPG to run training classes for Attorneys which explain their duties and what they can and cannot do when assisting people under an LPA. Their should also be a requirement for Attorneys to submit reports annually.  Presently this is not done. Bad abuses apart this is a main reason as to why Attorneys fall foul of the obligations and requirements that they are required to operate under.

The above is an overview only.

For a free appointment and to find out answers to the questions that need answering  and to get the care you or a loved one need email Andrew Douglas or his  team on ajd@awdrys.co.uk or call on 0800 072 8636. Alternatively visit our website www.abdcare.co.uk. We have offices In Marlborough, Royal Wootton Basset, Devizes & Chippenham.
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NOT WHAT YOU INTENDED?


Much has been made recently in the media of agreements reached in a domestic and social setting and their legal effect, most notably in the form of the recent Sports Direct case. Mike Ashley’s fascinating and notorious business practices aside, the case is notable for its re-affirmation of the current position on such agreements. 

Contract Formation

In brief, the requisite elements for a valid contract to subsist are: 1. An Offer, 2. Acceptance, 3. Consideration (i.e. some value offered by the parties, commonly goods, services or money) and 4. An intention to create legal relations. There are of course other considerations beyond the scope here.

Social and Domestic Agreements

Historically, there is a wealth of case law to confirm that agreements reached in a social or domestic setting are subject to a rebuttable presumption that the parties do not intend their agreement to be legally binding, the classic example being an agreement reached at the pub with friends (bearing odd similarities to Mike Ashley’s recent case). As above, this presumption is rebuttable, effectively meaning that it can be defeated by the production of evidence that the parties did actually intend to be legally bound by their agreement.

Commercial Agreements 

In contrast with the position on social and domestic agreements, there is a presumption that parties to a commercial agreement do intend to be legally bound unless the contrary can be shown.

Sports Direct 

The brief facts of the Sports Direct case are that Mike Ashley was drinking with various members of his professional team including Jeffrey Blue, an investment banker involved with Sports Direct, at a London pub. During the evening Mr Ashley told Mr Blue that, should Sport’s Direct shares reach £8.00 a share, he would pay Mr Blue £15m. Mr Ashley, who knew Mr Blue affectionately as “Jeffers”, confirmed in his statement that he could not remember the events of that night and that all parties had drunk heavily. In any event, it was argued that there had been no intention for this be a serious and binding agreement.

Mr Blue’s legal team argued that this scenario did not fall within a social setting, despite the location and consumption of alcohol. In justifying this argument, there was some exposure of Mr Ashley’s unorthodox business practices, which have been seized upon by the media, no doubt being Mr Blue’s intention.

Despite the apparently commonplace circumstances of Mr Ashley holding business meetings in clubs, pubs and casinos as well as drinking and worse during such meetings, it was held that this agreement was made in a social setting and there was not an intention on Mr Ashley’s part for it to be binding. The agreement was therefore held not to be binding on Mr Ashley and Mr Blue was furthermore ordered to pay his own and Mr Ashley’s legal fees totalling almost £2.5m.

One of the morals of the story is of course to take legal advice in relation to any agreement you wish to have binding effect. Were Mr Blue’s agreement formalised in writing and agreed in a more sober setting, the case would no doubt have been different.

For more information contact our Commercial Team at any of our offices.