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Our lives are now carried out online far more than they were even 10 years ago.
E-mail accounts, Paypal accounts, Bitcoin, Etsy accounts, blogs, digital photos, media players, gaming accounts, social media accounts etc are all digital assets.
However, there is no actual definition of what a digital asset is.
What happens to those digital assets after your death? How can you protect those assets and not lose sentimental or financially viable items?
Unfortunately, the law is very unclear in this regard and there is no correct answer. There is no consistency between service providers on how they deal with these items. Some social media platforms can be taken offline, frozen or used as a memorial. Apple provide a legacy feature allowing someone to access their account after their death. Some of these digital assets are not deemed to be owned by you and some view email as information rather than an asset. It may be necessary to obtain a court order to gain access to such accounts. This is time consuming and expensive. Cryptocurrency i.e. Bitcoin is an asset that can only be accessed with a passkey. It is vitally important to leave a record of your passkey so that the account can be accessed after your death.
We are delighted to announce that we have been reaccredited from July 2021 – July 2022 by the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), which is a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices.
This shows our clients and other third parties that we have the expertise to deliver nationally recognised quality residential conveyancing advice; use standardised processes to recognise and reduce risks and that we inform clients about what to expect when using our conveyancing services.
The accreditation also gives greater access to lenders, and demonstrates that we can provide residential conveyancing advice of the level expected by clients, lenders and the wider residential conveyancing community.
The award is testament to the dedication and expertise of our Conveyancing department who have worked through the additional challenges of the Pandemic, as well as managing additional high volume workflows due to Stamp Duty Land Tax reductions over the past year.
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has called for long Covid to be recognised as a disability and for Covid-19 to be classified as an occupational disease, a move that would grant legislative protections and access to compensation for workers.
A TUC report demonstrated that 5% of those questioned revealed that they had lost their jobs as a result of the impacts of long COVID.
Under the Equality Act 2010 it is unlawful discrimination to treat an employee or worker less favourably due to a “protected characteristic”. Disability is a named protected characteristic under the Act. Some conditions and diseases are automatically deemed by legislation to amount to a disability, including cancer, multiple sclerosis and blindness. Other conditions can be regarded as a disability, and therefore afforded the protection of the Equality Act 2010, but only if the definition in section 6 of the Equality Act 2010 is made out. This poses four essential questions:-
It is necessary to carefully analyse each question and support it with medical evidence. It is entirely possible that a person with long Covid could satisfy the above requirements. But it would give individuals with the condition much greater protection if it was one of the conditions deemed to be a disability, like cancer. The hoops in section 6 would then not have to be gone through.
There are various ways in which an employer can unlawfully discriminate as a result of a person’s disability. This protects workers, employees and job applicants:-
Direct disability discrimination: being treating less favourably than others because of a disability.
Discrimination arising from a disability: treating someone unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of disability without objective justification.
Indirect disability discrimination: Applying a provision, criterion or practice that disadvantages someone with a disability without objective justification.
Reasonable adjustments: Failing to comply with the duty to make reasonable adjustments where a person with a disability is placed at a substantial disadvantage.
Harassment: subjecting someone to harassment related to disability.
Victimisation: Victimising someone because they have made or intend to make a disability discrimination complaint, or because they have done or intend to do other things in connection with the Equality Act 2010.
For detailed advice on all types of discrimination and related claims please contact our employment specialist, Jennifer Carpenter, solicitor and partner.
We are delighted to announce that after a rigorous initial assessment, we have been recommended to be awarded Customer Service Excellence (CSE) accreditation.
CSE is a nationally recognised quality award that seeks to reward organisations that have a truly customer-focused commitment to all they do while providing a positive steer for customer centred change. Certification to the CSE standard is based on meeting 5 key standards that are sub divided into 57 elements.
The 5 standards cover Customer Insight; Organisational culture; Information and access; Delivery, timeliness and quality of service. Our assessment included a comprehensive review of documents to demonstrate compliance against each element of the standard and interviews with clients and staff, to establish whether or not we met the requirements of CSE.
Our assessor commented that Adams Harrison
“is clearly an organisation that understands the critical importance and the role that customer service plays……” and that “the practice has a deeply embedded culture of wanting to provide excellent levels of service/client care”
It was also noted that we have carried out work leading to ongoing improvements to client care, which are being owned by staff because of their involvement in developing them.
The assessor further commented that at Adams Harrison,
“clients are at the heart of everything they do”
The result reflects the commitment, loyalty and hard work of all of our staff in very challenging times throughout the pandemic. It is their dedication and determination that has enabled us to remain competitive and continue to offer a high level of service to our expanding client base.
We look forward to meeting and indeed exceeding the expectations of our clients and contacts, through continuing to offer a high quality service in the communities we serve.
We are delighted to announce that Adams Harrison has just undergone a vigorous annual assessment and has been reaccredited against the Lexcel standard. Lexcel is a Law Society Quality mark for law firms demonstrating legal excellence. There were absolutely no non-compliances against the standard at all. This is our 22nd year of being certified against the standard. The firm is assessed in areas of: Structure and Strategy, Financial Management, Information Management, People Management, Risk Management, Client Care and File and Case Management. Our assessor commented:
“Despite the current ongoing difficulties and challenges in light of the pandemic the Practice should continue to be extremely highly commended for continuing to sustain an extremely high level of compliance against the Lexcel standard. It is crystal clear that compliance remains a deeply embedded part of the culture and in Lexcel terms the Practice remains extremely well run and extremely well managed.”
It was noted, as a result of the assessor’s interviews with fee earners and the files audited, that our practice has very high standards of file management. He stated that there was evidence that we place very significant emphasis on client care, demonstrated also by the low level of complaints. The assessor was extremely complimentary of our staff and stated:
“The calibre of the support staff remains amongst the very, very best the writer has experienced”. Our firm was commended for the ongoing development and training of our staff.”
The result reflects the commitment, loyalty and hard work of all of our staff in very challenging times throughout the pandemic. It is their dedication and determination that has enabled us to remain competitive and continue to offer a high level of service to our expanding client base. We look forward to meeting and indeed exceeding the expectations of our clients and contacts, through continuing to offer a high quality service in the communities we serve.
The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended to the end of September 2021. However, from 1st July 2021, employers can only reclaim up to 70% of wages for hours not worked (up to the cap of £2,187.50 a month). Nevertheless, the employer must continue to pay at least 80% of the employee’s wages (up to the cap of £2,500 a month) for any furloughed hours. Therefore, from the start of next month employers will have to contribute 10% (up to the cap of £312.50 a month). It is optional whether an employer chooses to top up an employees’ wages above the 80%, but this cannot be reclaimed.
Did you know …
For more detailed advice, whether you are an employee, worker or employer please consult with our employment specialist – Jennifer Carpenter, solicitor and managing partner.
On 4 June 2021, the Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland QC MP, spoke at the Law Society, where he reflected on the justice system’s response to the pandemic and outlined the Ministry of Justice’s post-pandemic recovery plans for the justice system.
In his speech he spoke, in particular about:-
We are delighted to be a sponsor of this year’s Haverhill Show, being held on Sunday 4th July, at the Recreation Ground.
The show is Haverhill’s biggest community event and we are pleased to be able to contribute towards it raising money for local charities and good causes, who do important and valued work in the town.
We will be present at the show, making people and businesses in the local community aware of our services. Come and visit us at our gazebo on the day. We will be pleased to see you and talk with you.
01799 523441 Saffron Walden
01440 702485 Haverhill
01223 832939 Sawston