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As the world watches the situation in Afghanistan unfold, our immigration team has been observing the options open to many wishing to flee the country searching for a haven. In the last few days, we have witnessed desperate scenes in Afghanistan. The situation has left us all at Deo Volente Solicitors incredibly worried for the safety of many who live there.

Indeed, numerous clients have contacted us in the last few days, many of whom have lost all contact with family members in Afghanistan due to a communications blackout. So, what are the options available to nationals over there? On 18 August, the Home Office announced that a new immigration route would be opened for people fleeing Afghanistan.

The Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme will allow 5,000 citizens to travel to the UK if they are vulnerable to bringing 20,000 people to the UK in the long term. However, details are currently limited, with the Home Office stating that “further details will be announced in due course” as the scheme is not yet open.

According to the Home Office, priority will be given to women, girls, religious and other minorities, who are most at risk of human rights abuses. Once published, it would be interesting to see the necessary criteria for acceptance onto the scheme and how quickly a decision on any application is submitted.

The new route has been modelled on the Syrian vulnerable person resettlement scheme, which resettled 20,000 Syrian refugees over a seven-year period from2014 to 2021.

The Home Office state that the new route is separate from, and in addition to, the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP), which offers any current or former locally-employed staff, which are assessed to be under serious threat to life, priority relocation to the UK.

This scheme is expected to relocate 5,000 former Afghan staff and their family members to the UK. For those of our clients who may be of Afghan heritage but have gone on to become British citizens, it would normally be the case that many family members would need to meet the stricter family visa requirements, including the financial and English language requirements, as well as having a TB test.

However, with the lack of infrastructure currently in the region, it is unlikely that any family members of settled people in the UK who are in Afghanistan currently would be able to evidence the English language and TB requirements or even attend a visa appointment.

At Deo Volent Solicitors, we closely monitor the new Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme developments. We are here to assist any of our clients who require further advice and assistance.

Like other people, lawyers come in different shapes and sizes. So, it’s not surprising to know that they also have different specialities. Choosing the right one can make a big difference in your case.

For your convenience, here is a list of the different types of lawyers and what they do. This comes from Deo Volente (DV) Solicitors, an award-winning law firm in Bedford, the UK.

Civil Litigation Lawyers

Also known as litigators or trial lawyers, these people handle civil lawsuits before, during, and after the trial. They represent plaintiffs (people who bring a case against others) and defendants (the accused).

Litigation lawyers are not concerned with criminal cases but settle disputes between two or more parties. They manage all phases of the case, from the investigation to the trial, settlement, and appeal processes.

Corporate lawyers

Corporate lawyers advise businesses on legal matters. Among others, they remind companies of their legal obligations, rights, and responsibilities. They also evaluate ventures and business structures. These lawyers either work for a law firm or are part of a company’s in-house legal team.

Criminal lawyers

This lawyer deals with criminal cases. The latter can involve minor traffic violations or murder. Criminal lawyers can work with defendants or serve as prosecution lawyers.

Employment lawyers

If an employee has problems with his salary or has been illegally dismissed, this is the territory of employment lawyers. These lawyers can represent either employees or employers.

Those who work with employees might assist unions, file lawsuits against employers, or negotiate settlements for various grievances. They can also deal with health or safety negligence. As corporate lawyers, employment lawyers can work for a private firm or be members of the employer’s in-house team.

Family lawyers

These lawyers specialize in legal issues that involve members of the family. Most family lawyers handle divorce cases, but they also deal with adoption, child custody, finances, properties, and guardianship, among others.

Personal injury lawyers

Have you been injured in a car accident? Are you a victim of medical malpractice? Are you working in a hazardous workplace? If so, see a personal injury lawyer. These specialists represent people who have suffered physically, emotionally, or economically because of another person’s negligence.

These accidents can happen either at home, at work, or in public. Personal injury lawyers also handle victims of bad surgeries, misdiagnosis, and problems during childbirth.

Property lawyers

These lawyers help clients get, use, and transfer property like houses and land. This can involve buying and selling small plots of land or huge real estate. Property lawyers make contracts between tenants and landlords and can work for either commercial or non-commercial companies.

Chose the right lawyer for your case. That way, you have more chances of winning. If you’re looking for good lawyers, consult the reliable staff of DV Solicitors in the UK. We are here to listen and give you honest advice to help solve your legal problems.

For more information, visit dvsolicitors.com, call 01234 350 244, or email [email protected].

Different countries have different laws. What’s allowed in one place can be banned or illegal in another. To show you what we mean, here are more weird laws from around the world that may seem ridiculous to you. Read about them and be sure not to break them when you’re travelling to a foreign land.

Winnie the Pooh was banned in a Polish town

If you happen to be in Tuszyn, a small town in Central Poland, be sure not to wear your Winnie the Pooh shirt. That beloved Disney character is not welcome there, according to a 2014 story in the Independent.

The more conservative members of the local council rejected making the cuddly bear the face of the playground since he had no pants. They decided he was not a good role model for children.

Officials questioned the character’s dubious sexuality and inappropriate attire. They said that Winnie the Pooh is half-naked and only dressed from the waist up.

Also known as Pooh Bear or Pooh, Winnie the Pooh is a fictional teddy bear created by English author A.A, Milne and English illustrator E. H. Shepard. Milne named Pooh after the teddy bear of his son Christopher Robin Milne. Christopher named his teddy bear after a Canadian black bear named Winnie at London Zoo and Pooh's swan.

Don’t Insult Buddha in Sri Lanka

Travelling to Sri Lanka? When you see a statue of Buddha, resist the temptation of taking a selfie or posing with friends in front of the founder of Buddhism. Don’t point at the statue either. That is considered disrespectful, and you could end up in jail for your actions. Buddha tattoos are also a no-no.

In 2012, the BBC reported that three French tourists were detained for posing with Buddha statues. The tourists were caught after they went to a local photo lab to have the pictures developed. The owner of the lab alerted police to the “insulting” photos.

Fortunately, the three were released after paying a fine. Don’t make the same mistake unless you want to make a scene in Sri Lanka.

Don’t Cover Your Face in Denmark

Unless it’s Halloween, don’t make the mistake of wearing a mask in public in Denmark. It’s illegal to cover your face there. The ban is also being enforced in many European countries like Austria, Belgium, France, and Germany.

Clothing that hides the face like the niqab, balaclavas, ski masks, and fake beards are not allowed. Violators will be fined or sent to jail. However, protective masks, winter clothing such as scarves, motorcycle helmets, and masks worn during Carnival or Halloween celebrations are fine.

The ban took effect in 2018 and prohibits some forms of Islamic dress. Some say it targets largely Muslim refugees who enter the country. But Danish lawmakers insist this law was made to identify people during crowded events if something bad happens easily.

Certain types of chewing gum are banned in Singapore

When vandals messed up Singapore’s $5-billion Mass Rapid Transit system, officials got mad. Gum prevented the doors from working properly, and train services were disrupted.

Before this, chewing gum also caused maintenance problems in high-rise apartments. They were stuck in mailboxes, keyholes, elevator buttons, and on the seats of public buses. The streets, stairways, and public areas were littered with them. This made cleaning costly.

Because of this, gum was banned, and its importation was stopped in 1992. Violators were fined or imprisoned. The ban was revised in 2003. The importation and selling of chewing gum remain illegal except for therapeutic, dental, and nicotine chewing gum which have health benefits. These can be bought from a doctor or pharmacist who must keep a record of the names of buyers.

German highways are no place to run out of gas

Are you travelling by car in Germany? Make sure you have enough gas when you take the Autobahn or highway system. Running out of gas there is illegal, and violators face a large fine. Walking to a gas station is also not allowed. Considering that there are no mandated speed limits for some vehicles, that could be dangerous.

Germans believe that it’s your responsibility to have enough gas whenever you travel. If your tank becomes empty, no one is to blame except you.

Don’t feed pigeons in Venice

Piazza San Marco or St. Mark’s Square is a popular tourist spot in Venice, Italy. It attracts over one million tourists a month. The place has plenty of pigeons, and people often flock (pardon the pun) there to feed the birds. Unfortunately, this 100-year-old practice is no longer allowed.

Since 2008, the sale and distribution of grain to feed pigeons have been banned. Aside from the bird droppings that are difficult to clean, authorities said pigeons are destroying some marble statues and buildings. Birds peck at them to reach scraps of food blown by the wind and get stuck in small holes. Ignoring this ban can be expensive. So, unless you’re a bird brain, don’t forget this law.

Are you struggling with legal problems like divorce, child custody, or immigration? Be sure to consult the experienced lawyers of Deo Volente (DV Solicitors). Our friendly solicitors have tailored solutions to help solve your legal woes. Visit us one of these days and ask for a free consultation. We are here to serve you!

For more information, visit dvsolicitors.com, call 01234 350 244, or email [email protected].

Lawyers can be a great help in proving a person’s innocence or making a personal injury claim. But some people hesitate to call them because they think lawyers will take advantage of them.

Misinformation can prevent people from seeking legal help and getting the justice they deserve. To correct this, DV Solicitors have put together this list to dispel some common myths.

Lawyers are Liars

In some movies, lawyers are portrayed as scumbags who will lie to protect guilty clients. While that sounds dramatic, the truth is different. Lawyers are not allowed to lie or encourage others to lie. This crime is called perjury or making a false statement under oath.

However, perjury is often committed by witnesses since lawyers seldom make statements under oath. In rare cases where the lawyer is a witness and must make a statement, lying is a no-no since that person can be disbarred for doing so.

What a lawyer often does is make arguments based on the testimonies of witnesses. He also relies on his client’s version of the facts. Thus, a lawyer will do his best to defend his client based on what the latter told him. The lawyer will try to produce evidence to support that story.

Since no law requires a lawyer to know the truth, he will accept the story of his client until that person is proven guilty. That’s how things work.

Lawyers are Filthy Rich

Not all lawyers are wealthy. Only a few belong to that category. The ones who are lucky enough to make a lot of money normally work for big corporations or rich clients. A lawyer’s salary depends on his location and speciality.

In the UK, solicitors earn an average of £55,200 gross yearly or £3,380 net monthly. The average starting salary is £34,700, while big earners can get more than £140,000. The biggest earners are senior solicitors, commercial solicitors, corporate solicitors, and property solicitors. At the bottom are junior solicitors, new solicitors, and trainee solicitors.

Lawyers are Expensive

No, that’s not always true. A lack of funds shouldn’t discourage people from hiring a lawyer, especially if they have a good reason for doing so. Many personal injury lawyers like the experienced professionals of DV Solicitors work under a no-win no-fee service. This means the client doesn’t have to shell out cash until the lawyer wins the case.

Our friendly lawyers also do pro bono work when needed to give legal help to those who can’t afford it. This is the company’s way of giving back to clients. So, at the first sign of trouble, bring your case to the company that’s legally yours – DV Solicitors.

For more information, visit dvsolicitors.com, call 01234 350 244, or email [email protected].

Many nurses have died from COVID-19, and they deserve no less than a 12.5% increase in pay because of their hard work.

This was stressed by the professional lawyers of Deo Volente (DV) Solicitors in Bedford, United Kingdom (UK), which supports the plea of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to increase the pay of nurses by 12.5%.

The law firm said this would ensure that nurses are treated fairly and will continue to provide important services that are vital to the National Health Service (NHS) and patients.

“A fair NHS will also mean a safe NHS,” according to Qamar Rehman, the founder and senior partner of DV Solicitors. “Raising the pay of nurses is a sure way of acknowledging their dedication during the pandemic.”

In 2020, more than 600,000 nurses were working in the UK, according to Statistica.  Of the NHS’s total workforce of 1,093,638, qualified nurses numbered 311,380 in March 2019.

Unfortunately, a lot of these tireless front liners have been killed in the line of duty. The Independent said the COVID death toll among nurses had reached 1,500 as of October 2020.

According to the International Council of Nurses (ICN), this is the same as the total number of nurses killed during the four years of World War One, according to the International Council of Nurses (ICN).

However, the ICN believes that the figure could be higher since it only included data from 44 countries. It called the lack of proper data on the deaths of healthcare workers “shocking.”     

An analysis of global infection rates by the ICN suggests that as many as 20,000 healthcare workers (including nurses) have died from COVID-19. But this has yet to be substantiated.   

Regardless of the number of deaths, the RCN said the proposed 1% pay increase is not enough to cover the nurses’ work during the pandemic. It called on members to ask for more as part of its Fair Pay for Nursing Campaign. 

The RCN added that fair pay would attract more people to the profession. This ensures that more experienced workers will remain, which is good for patients.   

DV Solicitors said the pay raise is one way of curbing the rise of medical negligence, which is common in the UK. This happens when the doctor makes the wrong diagnosis or gives a delayed diagnosis. Other signs of medical negligence are wrong prescriptions and mistakes during surgery.  

Victims of medical negligence may be entitled to compensation. In the UK alone, there are more than 10,000 medical negligence claims made yearly. The NHS receives about 4,000 complaints weekly or 600 daily.  

To see if you are entitled to compensation, consult DV Solicitors. You can also download their MedNeg App from Google Play or the App Store. This handy app was designed to help users with their medical negligence claims. 

For more information, visit https://www.dvsolicitors.com, call 01234 350 244, or email [email protected].

The health and safety of our staff, clients and fellow businesses is our given priority in any period. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, we want to inform you that, unfortunately, we will not be hosting a face-to-face meeting for the foreseeable future. 

Fortunately, as a firm, we have adapted to the current circumstances to ensure that we are still open and available to you. Whether you are a current client, a new client or someone who would like some helpful advice from a trusted Solicitor regarding your situation and Covid 19; we have the following systems and procedures in place: 

Whilst the future may be somewhat uncertain; we can assure you that you can find certainty in DV Solicitors. We will continue to follow Government advice and closely monitor the situation, alas also maintain to put measures in place to ensure that we can deliver excellent customer service and help any persons where we can.  

We look forward to speaking to you on the phone, on Skype or Twitter!  

Do contact us on 01234 350244

Potential Impacts on Law Firms during COVID-19.
By Rosie Crownshaw, Trainee Solicitor 
In these unprecedented times every industry is going to feel the impact of Covid 19- but what effect will this outbreak have on the legal sector? And to what extent?
Let us begin with the area of Law I currently work in – the fast-paced world of Conveyancing. A house move alone provides its stresses for any client… now we have to factor in the current climate: that stress has been amplified exponentially.  
The government has directed that moving to a new house is not essential and that law firms should advise their clients against the conveyancing of any properties in order to prevent the spread of the viral disease. With the likes of house viewings, witnessing documents, the physical act of moving to a new house: allowing such to continue promotes bad behaviours during the current pandemic: we need to enforce social distancing and not put people at risk unnecessarily.
Many law firms are ‘old school’- they rely on sending crucial documents by fax, needing physical files present and having a constant access to their tangible archives. Unfortunately, working from home doesn’t come with a built-in fax machine! Majority of conveyancing firms are not paperless and still need access to printers, files and scanners and often have multiple people working on the same files. Communication needs to be key. I think many firms will realize that their workforce is the backbone to their business and, furthermore, that their employees are their best investment.
We are hearing further cases of clients- understandably- having instructed their solicitors to put a hold on their matters as a result of the uncertainty due to Covid 19. This has put many people (those clients wanting to continue with matters) in a blip as they may need the sale proceeds to pay for crucial expenses i.e, debt, care home fees of a parent etc.
I believe that, after the dust settles, there will be a lot of houses on the market as people will want a quick sale as a means to have quick access to funds to cover any deficit that they have occurred during the Isolation period of the virus.
Self-isolating can be a testing time for anyone- mentally, physically and emotionally. Especially for a married couple. The combination of boredom, a lack of household chores to and cabin fever causates a more probable ground for arguments. I do sincerely hope majority of them will not escalate but-you never know- one misplaced sock could be the straw that broke the camels back and, with limited access to couples counselling, divorce proceedings could be undertaken for some couples. Also, I pose the question: what does it mean for supervised visits with children and a parent? You’d hope said parent would not risk both themselves and their child for their allocated time, so will the courts give them time in lieu?
We are witnessing an unfortunate amount of businesses closing and thus putting jobs and livelihoods at risks- on a positive note, PM Boris Johnson pledged to pay 80% of staff wages out of the Government’s pocket after noticing the effects of thus ‘lockdown’. Despite this, some companies are trying to enforce zero-hour contracts upon their employees – can they do this? Has their contract made provisions or included a force majeure clause? The litigation departments of all law firms will see a rise in business as people want clarification on whether companies have the legal right to end their contract, put them on furlough etc. Which poses a further predicament to Litigators, as although there is a spike in business, it is unlikely that they will be able to take instructions if a client is unable to pay fees due to the economic ramifications of this outbreak. (Unless they offer legal aide).
In conclusion, my personal opinion is that law firms are likely to see a dip in work as many clients want to see how we as a country deal with the current pandemic before making any drastic, financial commitments i.e, purchasing a house, divorcing a partner. After the “lock down” period ends work will come in very quickly as the populace has held off. This current period will test the character of any firm- big or small- and prove their dedication on providing the best service to their clients through thick and thin. Like the old saying goes tough times don’t last but tough people do! And as an employee of a firm, that is confident we can pull through this together and continue to grow our business, we will come through this stronger than ever.
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Deo Volente is a company registered in United Kingdom with registration number 0C373569, VAT 125 446 327 and registered office Howard House 2nd Floor, St John’s Street, Bedford, MK42 0DJ, United Kingdom. We are an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number: 568191) and we are member of the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce.
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