Saturday, 10 December 2016

Current Market Value: Priceless time with a fast-growing daughter.

I had a whole afternoon in Manchester with my beautiful daughter. The Christmas Markets are on,  and Sarah's never been. We had a good time, not least because there was a goodly amount of stopping for refreshment. Sarah's happy as long as there's a bookshop on the itinerary, and I was warmed by gluhwein and a pint of Kronenberg. How tired were we? Sarah slept on the way home, just after saying she'd had a brilliant day, and could we go again next year!

My new friend....

Yes, I have what it takes!!! My final Chase from the beginning of the year is in the new book!!!

Prize fund was actually £60,000 between 3. I have had such a good year after being on TV and radio.
Being named in a book is the icing on the cake!
I had a mint tea and a portuguese custard tart as my afternoon treat.

The French macarons caught our eyes... and several came home with us!

I did promise I wouldn't post a picture.... but I expect I forgot.
Hi Sarah! You are too beautiful and look too happy here to not be put on the blog! 

Friday, 9 December 2016

My life is a whirlwind... but today I am slowing down.

Have you ever had one of those weeks? I don't need to ask; of course you have. And December is the worst for being busy, racing, living by lists, having too much to do and too little time to do it.



Mr AJ (Peter Kneale Solicitor) has an exam on January 6th. It's about Roman Law and he has me typing up revision notes. For the past two weeks I have been over familiar with the paterfamilias, with the law on legacy, inheritance, the potestas, the ius civile and all sorts of obscure things that I never thought I'd need to know about. I don't need to know about them, truly, but I type slowly and one word at a time, the same way I read, and so typing becomes a form of learning, because I have to read and make sense of it as well as just follow his voice.

Add to that a family still heart-broken over the death of a cute guinea pig; a solicitor's firm still wondering what government changes will do to our business and those across the country; and teenage children suffering from existential strife and we have enough on our plate.



And it's Christmas time. I find myself behind again on the lists I so carefully wrote in advance in September (1. Complete the craft presents by November 15th. 2. Write and post cards by Dec 10th 3. Book a  delivery slot for grocery order.... as if)

My 12 days of Christmas person will be getting her parcel early next week, my card swap people (I ended up in about 3 this year) haven't been sent off yet, reading blogs has been a distant memory and my house... oh God my house... has had Christmas layered over the dust, rather than the Annual Christmas Clean happening before I decorated. I am slobbing it this year, and no apologies.

I think that may be my mantra for 2017. No apologies. I am what I am, and if you don't like it, tough. I've cut most of my self-imposed obligations down to none this year. I don't need to go anywhere, do anything, be anyone for anybody except myself. I love carol services, so I will go to the children's services at Liverpool Cathedral because them I can sing loudly for all to hear. I love baking, so I will make a stollen and some mince pie cupcakes. I don't like making a fruitcake, but I like decorating it, so I have bought a cheap fruitcake and some blue icing to make the design I saw in a magazine last year.. or the year before.

My parents are coming to me this year, because I actually love Christmas at home. Even if they weren't, I'd be doing Christmas at home because I am tired of the massive (25) person Christmas that last year saw me eating my whole dinner off a plate balanced precariously on my stomach since there was no room at the table. That was pudding course as well, BTW.

And when my copy of the Radio Times finally appears (we subscribe, and subscribers get their copy last, it seems) I shall sit with my highlighter and underline all the things that I want to watch. And no apologies for what floats my boat.



Lordy, I am sounding assertive at last. I hope to be able to grab time between now and the end of the year to look back and forward and set goals for 2017. And to reflect on what I have achieved and what has been lost. But time has a habit of slipping past, as we know..... if I don't make it here again, then I'll wish you all a blessed and peaceful Christmas and a contented and prosperous New Year.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Do you cycle? You need to read this article

If you or anyone you know cycle regularly then you need to read this article

Government whiplash crackdown would also hit legitimate claims from cyclists say campaigners

Car crash (CC licensed by stephalicious via Flickr).jpg

This is wrong, yes? If you agree, then you have more things to do:-

1. Write to your MP. You can use the letter in this blog post http://angeljemscitycottage.blogspot.co.uk/…/want-to-stand-… as a template. Don't forget to say you cycle.

2. Sign the petition. If 10,000 sign, we get a response. If 100,000 sign we can push for a parliamentary debate on an issue that at the moment can just be passed with no argument. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/173099 takes you to the petition.

3. Share this post on any social media you're on. The more people who know what is proposed, the better. £5,000 doesn't seem like a small claim to me.

I am writing this post because I work for Peter Kneale Solicitor. We handle a lot of claims for less than £5,000. We don't think it's fair that people who are injured through no fault of their own would have to face the power of the insurers in small claims court without having experience and legal know-how on their side. It's denying justice to the people who can't afford to pay. And that's not fair.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Want to stand up against Small Claims Changes? Here's another thing for you to do...

Have you signed the petition against small claims changes? Go and do that... and then write to your MP. Here's an example of what to write:


Dear ………………………. MP,
On the 17th November the government announced its plans to prevent people who are injured through no fault of their own from having free access to an independent lawyer by increasing the small claims limit from its current £1,000 to potentially £5,000. Innocent injury victims will be forced to fight insurance giants on their own to get compensation for their injuries.
The insurers talk about whiplash and fraud being behind the need for these changes. However, the statistics show that whiplash claims are falling and fraud (even on the insurers’ figures) affects less than 4% of all claims. Yet, these changes will impact on every motorist and minor injury PI claimant. That cannot be fair.
Increasing the small claims limit will place justice beyond the reach of thousands of people and just make more money for insurers who are already posting record profits.
Please stand up for our legal rights and oppose any changes to the small claims limit. They will have a big impact.
Yours sincerely,



Send it off, and wait. If enough of the general public act and react, we may get the decision reversed when it is made, and at the very least will have shown we have a voice. If you, or anyone you know has claimed for an injury, you need to share this post and write this letter. Your access to Justice is being threatened by Big Business and there's still time to shout out about it. Do it now!!!

Want to stand up against Small Claims Changes? Here's another thing for you to do...

Have you signed the petition against small claims changes? Go and do that... and then write to your MP. Here's an example of what to write:


Dear ………………………. MP,
On the 17th November the government announced its plans to prevent people who are injured through no fault of their own from having free access to an independent lawyer by increasing the small claims limit from its current £1,000 to potentially £5,000. Innocent injury victims will be forced to fight insurance giants on their own to get compensation for their injuries.
The insurers talk about whiplash and fraud being behind the need for these changes. However, the statistics show that whiplash claims are falling and fraud (even on the insurers’ figures) affects less than 4% of all claims. Yet, these changes will impact on every motorist and minor injury PI claimant. That cannot be fair.
Increasing the small claims limit will place justice beyond the reach of thousands of people and just make more money for insurers who are already posting record profits.
Please stand up for our legal rights and oppose any changes to the small claims limit. They will have a big impact.
Yours sincerely,



Send it off, and wait. If enough of the general public act and react, we may get the decision reversed when it is made, and at the very least will have shown we have a voice. If you, or anyone you know has claimed for an injury, you need to share this post and write this letter. Your access to Justice is being threatened by Big Business and there's still time to shout out about it. Do it now!!!

Please sign this petition

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/action-against-raising-the-small-claims-limit-to-ps5000

Nothing pretty, nothing fancy just a need to get people involved in asking the government for justice and access to legal help when they need it most.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

An appeal on behalf of anybody who will need Justice in the future.

It's difficult sometimes to whip up support for Lawyers; "They're a well-paid bunch of people who are just out for themselves" is a common viewpoint. But I'd like to speak up for a whole section of lawyers who actually aren't just out for themselves. Unlike commercial lawyers, who can charge what they like, or libel lawyers whose clients are the rich and fabulously rich, most personal injury lawyers are working for people who, through no fault of their own, have suffered injury at home, at work or on the street.


They work for the ordinary person whose accident at work has left their hand out of action for a month, six months or a year and stopped them living a completely ordinary life.

They're working for the little old lady who fell over a badly-placed paving slab and whose leg injury kept her in the house and in need of care that she had always said no to before.

They could be working for your son or daughter whose car got side swiped at the roundabout last month and who has had headaches and nausea since then that made studying for university almost impossible.

And they are facing almost constant criticism from insurance companies and (because business is Big Money and Big Money talks) the Government on behalf of the insurance companies because of these actions. They've seen the value of claims being squeezed so that asking for the money that the client deserves is nigh on impossible.

They've faced shouts of 'compensation culture!', 'Ambulance Chasers!' and worse. Now, I know they're not angels; I know lawyers don't do the work out of the goodness of their own hearts, they do expect to get paid, but I want to speak out for the lawyers I know personally.



The personal injury lawyers I know all have the basic idea that they are the Champions of the people they represent. They want to fight for the ordinary folks for whom court and the whole legal factory is an impenetrable mess.

They want, in short, to make sure that everybody who needs it can get justice.

And if that means wading through hours of paperwork, well, they do that. They write the forms, they spend ages talking through the issues with the client, they try every step of the way to make sure that their clients, very often in pain and worked up about the accident, get the facts straight and know what they're up for. And they face a fight against the insurance system with a PR budget second to none, money to pay lawyers without end and a principle that they will not trust anyone about anything. Think; how hard is it getting money out of an insurance company? That's because it's not personal, they're a business. They're designed to make money.
The 'compensation culture' myth they have shouted about so loudly over the last few years is just that; a myth. Fraudulent claims are very often already screened out, mostly by the very lawyer that should (for business' sake) take them forward whatever. The lawyer knows that a dodgy claim will get picked up, and it isn't worth the work beforehand just to get thrown out in court and make no money. That's what no win, no fee is there for.

While the Whiplash decisions announced today have been blasted near and far, a far more insidious point in the consultation document is that of the rise of injuries in the small claims court from £1000 to £5000. That means most injury claims will no longer have access to trained advice in making a claim against an insurer.

They won't just be David against Goliath, they'll be David without the slingshot; a dead duck for the might of the insurers to shoot down.

That means the next accident at work might well be settled by the insurer offering an amount often well less than the claim is worth & has cost to the victim, and the victim having no legal eagle to stand up for them and say no. It might well be cost effective for the insurers... but in a country that proudly claims justice as a right for all citizens, does it seem fair to take the power of knowledge and experience away from the ordinary people again?


Please share this post if you agree; Big business has a Big voice. Will you stand up for the victims of injuries who need an advocate to speak for them?


I have written this very serious post because I work for Peter Kneale Solicitor. We're a small firm in Liverpool that doesn't take any compensation off the clients we represent in personal injury claims because we believe that you deserve every penny you win. If the government changes go through, it will mean people losing out against big business and that's not right.