Kent Solicitors involved in high profile cases

Kent Solicitors have been involved in a number of high profile cases recently reported in local and  national news.

Landmark Extradition Ruling

Ms Cetin represented a client who’s extradition from the UK was requested by Turkey. Client was accused and convicted of aiding and abetting terrorism in Turkey Human trafficking. The case lasted almost two years resulting in the landmark ruling by the Judge dismissing the appeal on 3 grounds of abuse of process, Ill treatment, and lack of fair trial. Read more in our blog

Dog attack in Chingford

A tragic case that highlighted dangers posed by pet dogs. Read more in our blog

Human Trafficking

Case involved two partners resulting in not guilty verdict for one and appeal against conviction is being pursued against the other. Read more in our blog

Legal aid

In relation to Family Law (Criminal Legal Aid is not affected), since 1st April 2013, Legal Aid has been drastically reduced in terms of who can qualify to receive legal funding however, we realise that there is a large portion of the community who cannot afford astronomical legal bills and yet it is important that they receive legal representation.

We have campaigned together with others in the legal profession regarding this issue as we feel that it is unfair for clients to be forced in to a situation where they either have to pay what they cannot afford or go without representation.

We therefore have put in place special prices for clients on low incomes to help during difficult times and have various flexible pay options to help you.

Please do ask about our fees and different options which may be available to help you.

10 Mistakes people often make in Divorce

Do it themselves (DIY Divorce) rather than instruct a solicitor
Doing it yourself is fine and is a cheaper alternative if there are no matrimonial finances (formerly known as Ancillary Relief) or children involved. However, in order to make sure things are done properly and you walk away with a fair settlement, instruct a solicitor to represent your interests. Matrimonial finance is a complex area of law which should not be attempted in person. It will also mean that you can breathe a sigh of relief in the knowledge that you are not alone in this and an expert is on hand to help you navigate your way through your case.

Putting it off
If it is apparent that the marriage is over, do not bury your head in the sand. It is far better to deal with things head on rather than delay. Leaving things too long can make the process of reaching a settlement in relation to matrimonial finances (including your family home) more complicated, which often means it will be more expensive. In addition, if you re-marry before you have made an application for a Financial Order, you will lose out in ever being able to make your application. This is known as the Re-Marriage Trap. Avoid it, don’t delay.

Planning your next wedding before Decree Absolute is pronounced
How long will my divorce take? No one can really ever say. When matrimonial finances are involved things inevitably take longer however even with a straight forward divorce without any finances to consider, how long it will take depends on many factors such as whether your former spouse does his/her bit without delay, whether he/she does not want to participate, whether he/she decides to defend the divorce and Court mistakes and busy periods all play a part. Although you will ultimately overcome these difficulties should they arise, you should not begin to arrange your next marriage, especially if this means paying out for deposits for venues etc until you have your Decree Absolute in your hand. If you do, you may be disappointed or even out of pocket if things take longer than expected. Please also remember the Re-Marriage Trap mentioned above.

Not clarifying the likely cost with a solicitor before you start
Some Solicitors will offer a fixed fee for your entire divorce and matrimonial finance element to your case. Some Solicitors will offer a fixed fee for the divorce element and an hourly rate for the financial element of your case (negotiation and obtaining a financial order) and some Solicitors will only offer an hourly rate for all work carried out.
Whatever option you decide on, make sure your Solicitor talks through this with you, that you fully understand the costs implications and that you have it in writing. Having the agreement in writing is important not for any sinister reason but simply so that any misunderstandings can be flagged up at an early stage rather than when you are presented with your bill.

Choosing the wrong Solicitor to represent you
You will often hear the phrase “Jack of all trades, expert in none”. This is not true when it comes to the legal profession. Many Solicitors specialise in more than one area of law. A Solicitor does not necessarily become an expert because all he/she does is divorce, and likewise a Solicitor can be very knowledgeable even if he/she also practices other areas of law. The best way to really know whether your Solicitor is the right choice for you is to follow your instincts. Does he/she relate to you? Do you feel like he/she understands what you are going through? Does he/she answer your questions directly with knowledge and confidence? Do you like your Solicitor and feel you could have a good working relationship with him/her? If the answers to these questions are yes, then you are likely to have found the right Solicitor for you.

‘War of the Roses’ style litigation
It is important that you see the bigger picture and have your eye firmly on what you want to achieve rather than getting drawn in to petty fights with your former spouse. Getting caught up in small details rather than progressing your case effectively is likely to rack up high costs for the wrong reasons. Would you really want to spend hundreds of pounds or more arguing over possession of a CD or book just to make a point? Sounds silly but it happens. Keep a cool head.

Relying on Legal Aid
As of 1st April 2013, Legal Aid is no longer available unless you have been the victim of domestic violence which is documented for example, an investigation by police or medical notes from your GP. Even if you do qualify for legal aid, or have an existing legal aid certificate granted before 1st April 2013, proceed with caution. You are likely to have to pay back the cost of your representation at some point in the future, therefore treat your case as if you were paying privately and have an eye on your legal costs.

Trying to hide money from your Ex and/or the Court
Don’t do this, you’re likely to be caught and be in big trouble. There is the use of forensic accountants and other methods of discovering dishonesty within matrimonial finance cases. Whatever you’re thinking, someone somewhere has tried it and failed.
The best thing to do is be open and honest and let your Solicitor help you.

Not knowing when to settle
Settling a case, is not about quitting. Settling is about knowing the right time to evaluate your position so as to ensure the right result for you. Settle too early or too late and you lose out. This requires expert judgement and is another reason why you should instruct a Solicitor to help you!

Stop sleeping and eating and start worrying
I don’t need to tell you the harmful effects of worry and stress and what will happen if you let this overcome you. The body and mind cannot function properly when worry takes over so don’t let it. You need to stay nourished and alert to be able to think clearly and make the right decisions during such a crucial time. Having the right Solicitor represent your interests should help with worry during such a difficult personal time.
For more information or to see how we can help you call Christina Mavromati on 020 8805 9735 or email
Mention this article during your telephone or email enquiry for a free

18 years after divorce

Wife brings a claim against wealthy ex-husband

Vince v Wyatt [2013] EWCA Civ 495

Dale Vince and Kathleen Wyatt married in 1981, they had a child in 1983 and separated in 1984.

In October 1992 Mr Vince and Ms Wyatt were divorced. At the time of the divorce neither had any assets and both were claiming state benefits.

Since their divorce, both Mr Vince and Ms Wyatt went on to further relationships and have had more children with their spouses.

In 1996 Mr Vince founded Ecotricity which is now a very successful business estimated by The Sunday Times Rich List to be worth £90m. To say his financial circumstances had changed would be somewhat of an understatement.

Ms Wyatt then made an application to the Family Division for financial relief against her ex-husband in the form of a claim for a housing fund and capitalized lifetime maintenance. Unsurprisingly Mr Vince asked the Court to strike out Ms Wyatt’s claim on the basis that he was penniless when they were married and divorced and at the time when his ex-wife should have made a claim, he had no money and it would be unfair to order him to make payment to her simply because years later he became very wealthy and could pay.

The Family Division however did not strike out Ms Wyatt’s claim and ordered that Mr Vince provide Ms Wyatt with a fund to bring the claim against him. Not only did the Court therefore decide that Mr Wyatt should bring a claim but that Mr Vince should pay for her to do so!

Unsurprisingly, the Court of Appeal were asked to consider the decision of the Family Division and agreed that the claim should be struck out because at the time of divorcing, neither Mr Vince nor Ms Wyatt had any money and both had since moved on to new relationships. Mr Vince’s vast wealth was generated years after the parties divorced as a result of the success of his business which he started after the divorce.

The Court of Appeal unanimously agreed that the claim should be struck out.

Lord Justice Thorpe said:
“The facts of this case are extreme. Impecuniosity has been the experience of all of the wife’s adult life. Both the men with whom she has entered into family life were
seemingly equally impecunious. Her husband was the most improbable candidate for affluence. The wife no doubt can appeal to his sense of charity but in my judgment he is not to be compelled to boost the wife’s income by the exercise of the jurisdiction under the Matrimonial Clauses Act 1973. He is not her insurer against life’s eventualities.”

Lord Justice Jackson agreed saying:
“In my view the court should not allow either party to a former marriage to be harassed by claims for financial relief which are issued many years after the divorce and have no real prospect of success. It must be an abuse of the Court’s process to bring such proceedings…The present case is a classic example of such abuse.”

In relation to being ordered to pay Ms Wyatt’s legal costs, Lord Justice Jackson said:
“If the deputy judge’s order stands, the ultimate result will be that the wife recovers nothing, the husband pays all the costs of both sides and the husband has no prospect of recovering any of the costs which he has paid out”. As such the Court of Appeal also found that Mr Vince should not have been made to pay Ms Wyatt’s legal costs.

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