Can I avoid bankruptcy? Are Insolvency and Bankruptcy the same?

When the world begins to crumble around you. It may seem like there are not many options around you. It is so troublesome to feel alone in your financial woes. Has an official receiver been appointed? You had your assests been frozen? Bankruptcy petitions? Winding up petitions? Debt Recovery? If you are at the point of no return. Are you in the spotlight? Can you see personal insolvencies or business insolvencies approaching. Seek experienced legal advice.

Our insolvency specialist will be able to guide you the many different options. Be it personal insolvencies or non-personal insolvencies. When you face no alternatives. Our experienced lawyers will walk you through the many legal possibilities. From getting it set aside or much needed legal advice.

Insolvency can be frightening. Receiving a statutory demand from a supplier or anyone. Not being able to pay the amount owed. It can be distressing. In cases when a statutory demand has come but with more time you will be able to avoid insolvency. To avoid being made bankrupt. Getting a statutory demand set aside can be a big help. A legal expert will be able to help. Getting the experienced legal advice to get more time in times like this can help.

Can I avoid Bankruptcy? Is debt recovery an option?

Becoming insolvent does not necessarily mean you will become Bankrupt. To become bankrupt requires legal proceedings. Even though they are used in similar contexts. It is important to distinguish the difference. The formal status of Bankrupt can only be incurred through a legal process. Therefore a person being insolvent does not mandate being bankrupt. This is where experienced legal advice can be provided. Direct access barristers will be able to give you cost-effective advice.

How to avoid bankruptcy?

This may depend on the creditors. The creditors may have matured debt. This will stand in the favour if it were to go to court. The older the debt it will demonstrate the creditor has demonstrated patience. It is imperative you get experienced legal advice.

Some creditors may wish not go through legal proceedings, in cases such as this, it is possible you can arrange specified time period to pay them back. So having a barrister represent you may put forward an experienced option to demonstrate you will be able to pay back in organized fashion. The ultimate purpose is the debt to be settled. If a person on the verge of being made insolvent can demonstrate to the courts that they will be able to pay back the debts to the creditors this will help tremendously. Getting it set aside will help. Setting aside will give you more time.

Being liquidated?

The assets will be frozen, a receiver will be appointed. If this has happened, consider your options. If you feel you have been mistreated then seek legal advice. Our barristers will be able to advise on these matters. When an official receiver has been appointed and your assets have been frozen or Bankruptcy petitions or Winding up petitions have begun a lawyer will be able to guide you through all your legal options.

Can we try to settle this out of court?

In cases when the creditor and debtor possibly can settle the matter out of court then it would be important to know your legal position.

Our Insolvency barristers at ShenSmith can help you with your matter. Call us on 02036279580 or email us on

Business owner, Disputes, Contracts, Discrimination?

As a self employed business owner, the benefits outweigh the challenges. But with anything, regardless of how challenging it is. The ability to rely on experienced advice, to walk you through problems whenever you may face them. Lawyers (Barristers) are there to advise you on issues arising. Businesses (located in England and Wales) in the public sector or a limited company such as Wholesalers, Recruitment agency, IT consulting firms, Stationery distributors, Medical suppliers, Transport companies, Logistic companies, Art dealers, Construction companies, Garden centres, Entertainment companies, Publishers, Catering companies, Insurers, E-commerce owners, eBay sellers, and Amazon sellers. Our commercial lawyers and corporate lawyers will advise on disputes, contracts and discriminatory matters for our all our clients businesses.

There are number of companies that can take advantage of experienced legal advice including local businesses owners such as a Hotels, Property management companies, Car garages, Used car dealers, Car dealers, Travel agencies, Electricians, Dentist, Phone dealers, Antique dealers, Childminders, Childcare providers, Private medical consultants, Conveyors, Designers, Architects, Insolvency practitioners, Estate agents, Financial advisers & Accountants.

Managing any business has its problems, relying on people to do their jobs, suppliers delivering on time, employees accepting responsibility, following up to date regulations, advertising and dealing with bad reviews. There are many problems with running your own business. It is for this reason relying on an experienced lawyer to give you advice when you need it. They can help with commercial contracts, wage disputes, IR35 statuses, IR35 contracts or IR35 investigations, public statement reviews, tax enquiries (tax enquiry), debt recovery, written contract reviews, breach of contract, dispute resolution, commercial disputes, intellectual property, professional negligence and any false accusations or untrue claims (bad reviews). If a lawyer prevents a contract dispute due to making a thorough written contract, this will save you money.

Any employee would like to be able to work within the regulations. As a business owner in the public sector or not. Keeping up to date with regulations is important. An experienced lawyer will help any business owner in legal disputes.

Staying up to date?

Business owners in England and Wales, request their contracts to be reviewed by experienced lawyers. With contract reviews, it is important the contract is in full compliance with the law. If an employee or a former employee accuses the business owner of sexual harassment or discrimination. These are serious accusations. Experienced legal advice is important from the beginning. Our lawyers will be on hand to give you the much-needed advice.

As a self employed business owner, the comfort of knowing there is a legal expert ready to give them the experienced legal advice is comforting. When issues arising for example commercial disputes, professional negligence or breach of contracts it is important you have experienced lawyers at hand.

Any business owner such as a hotel, restaurant, shop, office, landlord, barbershop, dry cleaners, accountants, consultant services, builders, plumber, recruitment agency, medical suppliers, debt recovery. electricians, designers, architects, insolvency practitioners, estate agents, financial advisers, furnitures, used car dealers, farmland owners, transport companies, logistic companies, private medical consultants, dentist, legal practitioners legal service providers, stationery distributors, IT consultants, phone dealers, car garages, car dealers, antiques dealers, art dealers, childminders, child care providers, garden centres, private tutors, book shops, publishers, catering companies, entertainment companies, gym owners, party planners, instructors, insurers, travel agencies, holiday agencies, e-commerce owners, ebay sellers, amazon sellers, wine distributors, wine sellers, and any business owner who needs a lawyer (barrister) should get in contact for all their legal solutions.

How can we help?

As a private business owner with a limited company or not. All businesses need to be able to manage any legal issue and be prepared to do so. Contact us if you want a one-stop legal business solution. Our lawyers will advise the areas of law you need. A simple phone conference to discuss problems, from contracts, dispute or discriminatory matters. Our lawyers can offer experienced advice on contract disputes, commercial contracts, dispute resolution, IR35 statuses, IR35 contracts or IR35 investigations, tax enquiries, and written contract reviews.

Our clients businesses are priority If you need a contract reviewed feel free to give us a call. We will find you a lawyer to keep you within the law and protected. If any dispute arises contact us. An experienced lawyer will be available to guide you.

Family issues, Thinking of Divorce and Custody of Children? Get experienced legal advice

Thinking of Divorce?

Filing for divorce is very difficult and tough. As a result child custody the (child care) becomes a problem. One parent may become the resident single parent for the child. Divorce is a long process. Husband and wife can quickly become estranged. There will be a directions hearing for a specific issue. Possibly a review hearing. CAFCASS reports to asses. Perhaps a Scott Schedule (Schedule of allegations) to review. Resulting in financial remedies need be discussed.

Our lawyers will be able to advise anyone considering or filing for divorce. Experienced lawyers will assess your situation to help you move forward. Be it filing for divorce. Figuring out what to do? Answering questions such as: Child custody battles? Am I entitled to maintenance? What happens with tax credits or benefits? What happens to our property?

Family Issues?

With all family matters there are so many considerations. Mental health of parents and children. Potential child abuse, domestic violence, child arrangements, social worker visits. Even the simple things like how to get to the families court? Divorce is challenging. The parents wishes and feeling is important. This could be sole custody, family therapy and shared parenting. As a result the lawyer will advise you on the best apporach.

If for whatever reason the relationship sours between two parents. It is important they seek legal advice from an expert. Our lawyers are experienced and readily available to provide expert legal advice. If a single parent fears for the child protection. One parent is physically abusive, emotionally abusive and causes significant harm. Another parent may be domestic abuser may have been sexually abused, struggle with substance abuse then seek advice from a lawyer. For supervised contact with parents there are contact centres for this.

Why seek advice early? Court decisions matter.

In cases, where a non-resident parent has a new home with step-children. The non-resident parent’s child may find it a difficult adjustment. The relationship with the child may feel like an extended family. The resident parent may not have adjusted to the new family. If mum or dad make false allegations against each other. Leading to misinformation and inaccurate portrayals of the non-resident parent. With the intention of causing friction between child and the single parent. Not considering the impact for the child. Who will be questioning their position in the newly formed family. Parent alienation is common. It is the parental responsibility to take prohibitive steps to prevent parent alienation. If the resdient single parent is causing parent alienation. Then a dispute resolution appointment will be need.

Childs life?

In the case when a child visits the non-resident parent where they meet a step-sibling. As children do, they may not get along. The child complains to the resident parent of name calling. How much of the claim is true? If the child feel as though the non-resident parent no longer loves or cares. Then a fictional story is possible. However, it does not help if the resident parent has poisoned the mind of the child by alienating non-resident parent. It is hard if any child who is surrounded by false information. If the child is manipulated to believe the non-resident parent is less interested and cares more for the step-sibling. The non-resident parent would accuse the resident parent of “your turning the kid against me”. This is where a divisive and experienced barrister (Lawyer) will pay dividends. If a child is subject to bullying by a new step-sibling. Then it would be important for a fact-finding hearing to discuss and provide evidence. A fact finding hearing is similar to a trial.

Fact Finding hearing?

A fact finding hearing will attempt to find the truth. The court hearing in the families court is the court process. The child care is important. Whether the child is being misled, neglected or mistreated. Neglect may lead to the childs alienation. The hearing is to find the underlying issues the child has or any other issues there could be. The earlier an experienced lawyer is introduced. The more advice and guidance the lawyer will be able to offer. All the way to the final hearing. The results will be legally binding.

Neglecting the children? Intractable disputes?

In cases where a parent is poisoning the child’s mind. They are causing more harm. As they are not comprehending the complexity of the issues the child is going through. The child is not sure, what is expecting from them. They lose confidence in the legal system to resolve disputes fairly. They abandon any attempt to self reflect to for change. As a parent who seeks legal advice from an experienced barrister will immediately value the wealth of knowledge. We are all humans, sometimes it takes another human to help you see pain of others. This is where dispute resolutions appointments pay dividends. This is the court process and is part of the legal system.

The neglect of any child can lead to intractable disputes. Which could lead to the child being in the cross fire. Normally intractable dipsutes arise due to illness of child or resident parent, unavailability of contact centre for supervised contact, date errors, weather or travel these are comprehendable for the child. As opposed to when it becomes intractable due to allegations. Then cross-allegations with no care for the child. Leading to bias and harm. This can be poisoning & manipulating. The child may hear these statements. Accusations of poisoning the child to resent non-resident parent. The resident parent accusing the non-resident parent of failing to listen to the child or lacking commitment. The divorce becomes more of a burden for the child. An experienced barrister (lawyer) will be able to help you through these issues.

The child is divided by the parents. Alienated children generally are more at risk. They need to be treated with more care as to avoid being used as pawns in a chess match. A legal expert will not only offer you their advice but will offer you options. They can help you better protect your child or children. One parent may wish for sole custody or discussshared parenting options.

How can we help?

Our barristers are experienced with divorce proceedings, financial disputes, directions hearings, child custody (child care) and financial remedy matter. They are able to walk you through each step of this lengthy process. All the way through to the final hearing. Our lawyers will get you a legally binding result. In family matters there may be emotional abuse, physical abuse or significant harm. Prohibitive steps can be taken with the wishes and feeling of the parent.

When you have decided the only option left is divorce, seek advice. Be it for a specific issue. The earlier the better, to avoid making unforseeable errors and to avoid casuing harm to your child or children.



Have you bought a second hand car? Have you been misled? The Misrepresentation Act 1967 may protect you

When buying a second-hand car, it can be difficult to validate the details given by a second-hand car seller. However, it is important the information is not misleading. As a second-hand car buyer, the Misrepresentation Act 1967 may help you avoid getting tricked or “ripped-off”.

It is the responsibility of the seller, to be aware of the car’s specifications to the best of their ability, especially to avoid misleading the buyer.

The Misrepresentation Act 1967 protects and covers you against false details or fraudulent claims which may persuade you to buy the car.

If the seller makes careless claims, this would be considered negligent and you can claim for financial losses. However, if the seller knew what they were saying to be untrue, this would be considered to be fraudulent and you may cancel the deal or claim damages.

There are times when the seller may innocently say something that they believe to be true, in the case of an innocent misrepresentation, the buyer cannot cancel the deal or claim losses, nor can he claim either remedy as of right.

If for whatever reason, you have been misled, tricked or misinformed please contact us. We have legal experts who will be able to advise you on the best route to getting justice.

Our lawyers will be able to walk you through the difficult process. Every step of the way they will give you experienced and valuable legal advice.

Need help with immigration?

Our lawyers (barristers) will be able to advise you on the immigration processes. For all types of immigration including Tier 1, Tier 2 and  Tier 3. Our lawyers provide experienced legal advice. We have lawyers with over 20 years of experience. They have helped people from India, China,  & Nigeria.

Where do I begin?

Where do I start to immigrate to England? Who should I speak to about immigration to the U.K.? What is the first step?  These are the first questions for most people thinking of migrating to England. This is where our lawyers will be able to help. When you have decided to migrate to the U.K. it is important you receive advice on the process. Our lawyers will help with the steps to getting a Visa. Be it for Tier 1 (entrepreneur), Tier 2 & Tier 3. Arrange a conference with an expert who will guide you through the complicated immigration process.

Why experienced lawyers?

Our lawyers specialise with immigration from the African region (Including Ghana, Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria,Tanzania Kenya & Uganda), the Middle Eastern Region (Including Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, Lebanon, U.A.E & Jordan) and the Asian region (Including China, South Korea, Japan, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh & India). With experience with multiple nationalities, it helps our lawyers give you the specific advice needed to help on your immigration process.

If you have thought about migrating to the United Kingdom (UK). Our barristers, in a short conference, will be able to help outline a plan of action to do so. They will be able to walk you through step by step. A trusted lawyer (barrister) is very helpful when you are looking to migrate, their legal experience and knowledge will pay dividends.

Is my Will valid?

In 2002, Mrs Jackson wrote a will, she intended her assets be given to her chosen charities: BBC Benevolent Fund, RSPCA and Blue Cross. Her estranged daughter who married at the age of 17 was informed by Mrs Jackson, she should not expect any inheritance from her. Mrs Jackson died a couple of years later.

Her last testament was proof, her entire estate of £489,000 will be given to the chosen charities. Her last testament should be followed, however, the daughter’s lawyer argued the right for a ‘reasonable provision’ contained in the 1975 Inheritance Act. The act allows a child to apply for an order under the will of the deceased if it does not reasonably provide for them.

The estranged daughter’s lawyer outlined section 1 (2) of the act provides the case of a child ‘reasonable financial provision’ means ‘such financial provision as it would be reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the applicant to receive for their maintenance. The judge at the Court of Appeal awarded her the sum of £164,000 to help her buy a housing association home and another £20,000 for her to spend at her own behest.

The QC who was representing the daughter’s interest provided evidence for the struggling family. They struggled to pay for clothes and food. She and her partner were on low incomes and did not have expensive lifestyles. Further evidence demonstrated that Mrs Jackson did not have any involvement with these charities she elected. It was portrayed in court the behaviour was unreasonable.

The Will is the last testament of the person. It seems unreasonable it was not fulfilled. However, after this decision at the Court of Appeal, it demonstrated that the Law is here to be just, if a person’s will can not clearly demonstrate the purpose for disinheritance of the progeny then the Law which aims to be just will be able to support argument of the affected parties. A will can be prepared to stand the test of time subjective to the full and thorough detail is gone into creating one. Lawyers can prepare a Will to ensure your last testament is fulfilled.

Experienced lawyers will be able to advise you on the options when creating a will. When deciding to write your will it is important your last statement be valid to the law, our lawyers will be able to guide you through each stage to give you that comfort.

Magistrates Court, Criminal only?

Magistrates (Criminal)

The magistrates is primarily for criminal matters. Crimes are generally under three categories:

  • Summary
  • Indictable
  • Triable either way (Offences)

Summary offences are trialled in a Magistrates courts. Other crimes even though they are not summary offences are still possible to be trialled in Magistrates.

Magistrates (Family Matters)

The magistrates can hear civil cases if they fall under the following:

  • Matrimonial matters
  • Guardianship
  • Adoption
  • Child Support cases

Appeals from the magistrates court in family matters will be taken to the Divisional Court. The judges will be composed from the Family Division.

Received an NIP? Check whether its valid

How to check your Notice of Intended Prosecution:

If you have been given, or have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution – often referred to as an NIP, you will no doubt want to know whether it is valid, and legally compliant.

The rules for this are found in Section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Under this section, certain road traffic offences require service of an NIP within 14 days of the date of the alleged offence. This starts from the day after the date of the alleged offence.

If you are worried, please call us immediately on 0203 627 9580.

REMEMBER: It is sufficient for a Police Officer to verbally inform you of Notice of Intended Prosecution, and again the 14 days will begin from the day after the date of the alleged offence.

If you have received an NIP and need help, please call us immediately on 0203 627 9580



Image credits:
NIP : Pete

Student Pro Bono Unit Application

Bar Standards Board Risk Outlook 2016 Review

Hi, we would like to take two minutes to tell you about how we operate at ShenSmith Barristers and just a few of our strategic aims.

Reviewing the Bar Standards Board’s Risk Outlook Document 2016

Earlier this week, we were very interested to read the Bar Standard Board’s (BSB) risk outlook documents and how as a business, there appear to be several opportunities and challenges for us both.

With the kind permission of the Bar Standards Board (BSB), We’re going to refer to two very interesting infographics they put together that identify the legal supply and the legal demand. The legal services market provides a huge opportunity for barristers and their services. What is very interesting is the percentage of people using a barrister. I suggest you take you a look.

So, there is the opportunity and of course the challenge. But how are we delivering? Well, we know only too well that business owners, SMEs, startups, entrepreneurs and individuals are often deterred from seeking legal advice due to the perceived costs. It’s just simply too expensive. But it doesn’t have to be that way, that 63% of the public do not believe professional legal advice is an affordable option for ordinary people, and that the perceived cost is main barrier to accessing legal services for small businesses.

Cost-effective legal advice

At ShenSmith Barristers, we understand that only too well indeed. Co-founder Daniel ShenSmith was in this very position when I introduced him directly to a barrister for legal advice some years ago. Our aim is to provide a cost-effective route for SMEs, businesses and startups with Direct Access to barristers. It’s really that simple. Part of the solution is by only offering fixed fees. A fixed cost that is agreed in advance, so there are no surprises. It is what the consumers of the legal services want.

Flexibility with your legal costs

We also aim to unbundle, this reduces costs, allows the consumers again as the BSB suggests, to choose the parts that they are comfortable to undertake and those which they pay the barrister to undertake.

So it is very much tapping in and paying for the legal services as when you want it. It gives you – the client – that choice. The ShenSmith way of working gives you, the client, flexibility and this innovative new model as with others are emerging to be recognised as increasing part of the supply.

It’s a very exciting opportunity indeed. Thanks for listening.

As always, for further updates, you can follow our Twitter feed @SSBarristers or follow #Barrister.

Need to resolve a legal dispute?

Or if you have a legal dispute, you need cost-effective help with, then give us a call on 0203 627 9580, or you can email the team at