A. Williams & Co. (Solicitors)


Cross Border Practice

We are Cross-Border Legal Practitioners, Solicitors, Advocates & Consultants.
  • Licensed by the Law Society of England and Wales
  • Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

 

 

Monday, September 1, 2014 Home
Welcome

Welcome to the website of the firm of A. Williams & Co. (Solicitors).

This firm is a cross border practice and our website contains valuable resources of legal information to assist with solutions to relevant legal issues.

In order to make the most of the website, please review the practice section for a synopsis of the work done recently and solutions to the legal issues to which our clients have instructed us in the past.

If you are unable to identify the relevant solution which you require, please use our search facility to search for relevant documents by keyword.

If you are still unable to find the relevant information which you require, please call us or send us an email with a brief synopsis of the legal problem, the potential result you would be seeking and we will respond as soon as possible.

Please also feel free to view our ongoing publications.

 

 

Newsletter

Work Done

Please contact us for more details on any of the foregoing :

EMPLOYMENT LAW

We represented clients on a wide range of employment matters, including;

  • redundancy, unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal
  • race discrimination claims
  • sexual harassment claims
  • disability discrimination
  • drafting compromise and conciliation agreements

Example of recent work;

  • Filing a claim on behalf of a probationary employee against her employer for ‘automatically unfair dismissal,’ and representing the employee at the Tribunal.
  • Acting on behalf of an employer in the private sector in relation to a claim for sex discrimination, breach of contract and personal injury and working with ACAS towards reaching a conciliated agreement.
  • Providing advice to an employee in public office in respect of discrimination claims against the employer.

 

SHIPPING LAW

The firm provided advice and representation on shipping law matters, including;

  • Bill of lading and charterparty disputes

Example of recent work;

  • Acting on behalf of client ship charterers in a shipping dispute involving the payment of overdue demurrage claims. This involved the interpretation of charterparty Agreements between the parties, the consideration of the ‘ejusdem generis’ rule in contract interpretation…

 

FAMILY LAW

We provided advice and representation in the following areas;

  • separation and judicial separation .
  • divorce petition grounds.
  • financial matters arising out of separation or divorce.
  • Review of tax and pensions matters.
  • International and jurisdictional issues.
  • Injunctions and restraining orders.
  • Cohabitation and premarital contracts.

Where children were involved, our areas of advice and assistance included:

  • Custody issues and maintenance payments towards the children.
  • Residency issues.
  • Contact order issues.
  • International Adoption advice.
  • International Wardship and guardianship issues.

 

Example of recent work;

  • Advice and opinion on cross cultural marital laws andthe validity or otherwise of a subsequent 18 year ‘marriage’ when the spouse was still married at the time of the alleged marriage.
  • Advice and opinion on marriage by cohabitation and repute.
  • Advice and opinion on implication of a bigamous relationship.
  • Providing instructions to experts for handwriting analysis reports to the court.
  • Advice on Calderbank offers for settlement.
  • Advice andinstructions to the handwriting expert division of the police in a foreign jurisdiction.
  • Advice on appeal of the maintenance pending suit order and on stay of execution of the freezing order. The issue of Maintenance pending suit by the court was considered especially where the jurisdiction of the court was being constested.
  • Acting on behalf of a client to enforce the terms of a consent order for the upkeep and maintenance of their children following the break down of the marriage and subsequent divorce.
  • Filing and defending applications to court for third party debt orders, charging orders on the relevant properties and registration of the orders with the land registry to enforce the arrears of maintenance payments accrued.
  • Applications made to defend hardship applications.
  • Applications for leave to enforce arrears of maintenance orders.
  • Notification of Home office and subsequent litigation to prevent child abduction from a foreign jurisdiction.
  • Agency and representation in the family court on behalf of a disabled great aunt for defined contact with her great nieces.

 

WILLS & INTESTACY

We have represented and provided advice to international clients in matters involving contentious probate and intestacy disputes either directly or through our vast network of international law firms sometimes where the client could not travel overseas or where litigation had already been commenced against the client in the UK or overseas. In one instance, in the High Court at the Strand, we provided evidence of a mutual will which was not validly revoked by a testator to set aside a later will made by the testator which was not in favour of the testator's spouse. We have successfully "warned off" caveats filed against the applicants for letters of administration in overseas jurisdiction, conducted relevant searches at the Probate Registry, provided advice to clients on the resealing of grants of administration and successfully prevented a deceased's estate being being taken into receivership pending the grant of letters of administration. Clients include individuals and families from the UK, India, Nigeria & USA.


 

PERSONAL INJURY/ CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE

We dealt with a broad spectrum of claims including;

  • Road traffic incidents,
  • Industrial injury and accidents in the street or open spaces
  • Clinical negligence.

Example of recent work;

  • Instructed as Privy counsel agent to act on behalf of Respondent parents in a clinical negligence appeal involving psychiatric injury and nervous shock that resulted from the negligence of the Appellant Hospital who negligently caused the death of the Respondents’ child whilst the Respondents were present. The Appellants’ subsequent appeal in the Privy Council was based on the premise that the Respondent parents were not primary or secondary victims and it was not reasonably foreseeable that they would suffer damage for nervous shock even though they had not been informed that there was anything wrong with their child. The appeal was later withdrawn. We are presently negotiating a settlement with the Appellants on behalf of the Respondent parents.
  • Acting for claimant parents of a child born with holoprosencephaly that subsequently died after one month of birth and compensation for clinical Negligence arising from the failure of the hospital to detect the child’s condition.

 

INSOLVENCY

Advice to private clients on various aspects of Insolvency.Example of recent work;

  • Acting on behalf of private clients in filing an application under s 375 of the Insolvency Act 1986 to set aside Cost Orders imposed on them by the representatives of the Trustee in Bankruptcy through section 366(1) of the Insolvency Act 1986.

 

CRIMINAL LAW

The firm advised and represented Defendants in all types of criminal prosecutions in Courts throughout the UK.Example of recent work;

  • Acting at the Criminal Court of Appeal on behalf of a defendant previously convicted of rape to attempt to lodge an application for leave to appeal on the basis that the complainants were not independent witnesses. Preparation of skeleton arguments, briefs, relevant transcripts of evidence and representation in court.
  • Acting on behalf of the defendant in a drink/driving offence to establish that his blood alcohol content was not in excess of the permitted limit. Instructing experts and making a section 8 CPIA 1996 application for disclosure of relevant prosecution material to confirm whether any procedural errors were possibly made by the prosecution’s medical examiner during the withdrawal of the blood sample and whether the subsequent chain of custody of the sample in the possession of the prosecution was broken.
  • Opinion on the reach and scope of jury trial in minor and major offences.
  • Advice to victim in case of ongoing harassment by boyfriend after complaint to police.

 


 

RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY/ CONVEYANCING

We provided advice and representation to both landlords and tenants in respect of their rights in applications to acquire the freehold of leasehold houses and lease extensions of both flats and houses. We also advised property owners on short-term lettings for investment purposes and prospective tenants on the terms of tenancy agreements for occupation.Additional work done included;

  • Property conveyancing in England and Wales.
  • Cross border property trust litigation.
  • Remortgaging.
  • Advice on Cross border property finance.
  • Preparation of lease extensions.
  • Preparation of Licences to Assign.
  • Effecting Charge of property in the Land Registry.
  • A consideration of the effect of a freehold merger on existing underlease covenants and section 139 of the Law of Property Act 1925.

 

IMMIGRATION

We provided advice and representation on the following issues;

  • Preparation of work permit applications.
  • Rights of detainees in immigration matters .
  • Entry clearance for Highly Skilled Migrants, sole representatives of foreigncompanies, businessmen or those with self-employed status, self-employed writers, composers and artists, retired persons or independent means, investors and innovators, and students.
  • Advice in relation to the dependents of persons admitted under the above categories.
  • Advice as to rights of entry and leave to remain for spouses of British Citizens, EU Citizens and those settled in the UK.
  • Naturalisation.
  • Human rights applications.
  • EU issues.
  • Conduct of adjudicators and Tribunal appeals.
  • All tax, property and other issues arising out of immigration to the UK.

Other examples of recent work;

  • Applications for the highly skilled Migrant Programme.
  • Successful prosecution of Appeals of visa extension renewals by the Home Office and formulation of grounds of appeal.
  • Collaboration with a US specialist immigration law firm on the processing of US immigration visas for UK and African citizens and businesses that had been refused appropriate US B1/B2 visas or green card residency status by the US immigration authorities.

 

CORPORATE/COMMERCIAL

Our services included;

Commercial

  • Agency
  • General commercial matters.
  • Contract negotiation and drafting
  • Conditions of sale.
  • Franchises.
  • Joint ventures in the oil and gas industry.
  • Manufacturing agreements.
  • Marketing agreements.
  • Partnership Law disputes.

Corporate

  • Review of Articles and Memoranda ofAassociation.
  • Company law advice.
  • Company Formations in offshore jurisdictions.
  • Share issues, transfers and subscriptions.
  • Advice on Shareholder agreements.

 

Example of recent work;

  • Acting on behalf of a private company to amend inadvertent errors filed in Companies House in respect of annual returns.
  • Acting on behalf of prospective claimants in dispute over Company ownership based on verbal agreement between parties.
  • Advising on a US$35million offer from a USA bank to a Nigerian Aluminium Company to enable the establishment and development of Aluminium billet export from Nigeria to Europe.
  • Trademark and patent applications for corporations.

 

ARBITRATION

Arbitration is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts.It is a proceeding in which a dispute is resolved by an impartial adjudicator whose decision, the parties to the dispute have agreed will be final and binding. Arbitration is today, most commonly used for the resolution of commercial disputes, particularly in the context of international commercial transactions. Business dealings have become even more global, and threats can arise in the form of enforcement issues when dealing with other countries.Arbitration is a consensual process; parties will only ever arbitrate where they agree to do so. Such agreements generally provide that, if a dispute should arise, it will be resolved by arbitration. These agreements are normal contracts which contain an arbitration clause.

Advantages of arbitration

Parties often seek to resolve their disputes through arbitration because of a number of perceived potential advantages over judicial proceedings:

  1. When the subject matter of the dispute is highly technical, arbitrators with an appropriate degree of expertise can be appointed.
  2. Arbitration is often faster than litigation in court.
  3. Arbitration can be cheaper.
  4. Arbitral proceedings and an arbitral award are generally private.
  5. The arbitral process enjoys a greater degree of flexibility than the courts.
  6. Because of the provisions of the New York Convention 1958, arbitration awards are generally easier to enforce abroad than court judgments.
  7. In most legal systems, there are limited avenues for appeal of an arbitral award, which can mean swifter enforcement and less scope for a party to delay matters.

 

 

Using arbitration as an alternative to litigation to resolve disputes can open up a number of opportunities. In addition to the enforcement advantage referred to above, arbitration offers commercial confidentiality not available in a public court and a venue that may be considered neutral by the parties involved.

Our Expertise

Given the advantages international arbitration offers over the alternatives in terms of enforceability of awards and the neutrality and flexibility of the procedure, it is no surprise that it has become the dispute resolution method of choice for those doing international business .Such disputes are most effectively handled by a firm with an international presence, which will give a thorough, cost effective and personalised resolution to disputes. By virtue of the fact that our principal is a senior member of the international Bar association, duly qualified in the UK and Africa, an associate of the Chartered institute of arbitrators and the fact that our firm has access to and agreements with leading law firms in the United States and Africa, we can guarantee high quality advice and representation using arbitration.

Issues for our clients

Arbitration does have distinct advantages over litigation in certain situations. However, it is imperative to consider the following issues to ensure the arbitration clause suits the needs of your dispute:

  • What type of arbitration procedure will best suit your transaction?
  • Would it be appropriate to have a “stepped” clause (e.g. negotiation, mediation, then arbitration) in your agreement?
  • Will you use an ad hoc procedure (creating your own procedural rules) or use those of an established institution?
  • Where will the arbitration take place and in what language?
  • How will the arbitrators be selected and how many arbitrators are required?
  • What law will govern the arbitration itself as opposed to governing the contract?

You must also consider whether your particular dispute (or possible future disputes) can be arbitrated in the country you have chosen. The national laws of several states specify what subject matter can be arbitrated and what disputes must be litigated. Russia, for example, insists that all disputes relating to Russian sub soil cannot be arbitrated outside Russia.

Although arbitration clauses can be inserted at any time, it is best to agree the form of the arbitration at the time that the contract is signed. Otherwise the form of arbitration can become a dispute in itself.


 

LITIGATION

We instructed counsel and represented clients in all the following courts;

  • County Court.
  • Commercial Court.
  • Magistrates Court.
  • Criminal Court of Appeal.
  • High Court.
  • Employment Tribunal.
  • Bankruptcy Court.
  • Privy Council.

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A. Williams & Co. (Solicitors) ♦ International House ♦ 1-6 Yarmouth Place, (off Brick Street) Mayfair, London W1J 7BU, United Kingdom

Tel; +44 203 287 3519, +44 203 287 3516 ♦ Fax; +44 207 629 9456, +44 207 900 2529