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Boyd Rice Solicitors announce two new Solicitor appointments

We are delighted to be in a position to bring some good news during these unprecedented and difficult times.

As part of our continued growth and in keeping with our commitment to offer the highest standard of legal representation to our clients, two Solicitors have joined our Team.

David McCormick joins our Conveyancing department and Wills & Estates department. He brings a wealth of experience across both practice areas having worked in both Belfast City Centre and market Towns in the past. At a time when the property market is buoyant, David’s experience in both residential and commercial conveyancing will ensure that we will remain in a position to accept instructions from new clients and existing clients alike.

Our Family and Matrimonial department has been extremely busy during the entirety of 2020 and, to enable us to continue to provide the best possible service to our growing client base in Newtownards, Bangor, Holywood and surrounding areas, Una Conway has joined the Firm. Una is a familiar face in the Family Courts throughout Northern Ireland and is held in high esteem by clients and other Family Law Practitioners.

Further information in respect of David and Una can be found on our website;

https://www.boydricesolicitors.com/the-team/

or on our updated brochure;

https://www.boydricesolicitors.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Boyd-Rice-Solicitors-Brochure.pdf

To contact David or Una please telephone 02891817715 or alternatively email;

David McCormick: david@boydricesolicitors.com

Una Conway: una@boydricesolicitors.com

 

Divorce settlement solicitors Newtownards

Grounds for Divorce in Northern Ireland

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on various aspects of our lives. Many relationships have been affected. A recent BBC report (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-54117821) suggests that we are likely to see a ‘divorce boom’ as the pandemic has intensified relationship difficulties. The prospect of initiating divorce proceedings may now be a consideration for many of us. As understanding of the grounds on which divorce may be granted is a helpful starting point.

Firstly, it is important to remember that in Northern Ireland you need to have been married for at least two years before you can petition for a divorce. Your marriage must have broken down irretrievably, and your petition must be made on one of the following grounds.

Adultery

This ground can be used when your spouse has committed adultery during the time of your marriage. You must be able to prove that your spouse has committed adultery, which can be difficult to do in court if your spouse has not admitted to it. It is important to remember that if you continue to live with your spouse for more than six months after they have committed adultery, then you cannot use this as a ground for divorce.

Unreasonable behaviour

To be granted a divorce on the ground of unreasonable behaviour, you must be able to show that your spouse has behaved in such a way that you can no longer be reasonably expected to live with them. For example, if they have been verbally or physically abusive towards you, if they have alcohol or drug addictions which have made them difficult to live with, or if there is a lack of communication between you.

Desertion

If your spouse has left you for at least two years without your consent and without cause and it is clear your spouse has no intention of returning, you may petition for divorce on the ground of desertion.  This ground is rarely used because it has been largely displaced by reliance on the fact of two years separation which is explained below.

Two years separation

You can be granted a divorce if you and your spouse have lived separately for two years, provided that your spouse consents to the divorce. You can still live in the same property as your spouse for up to six months, but you must live completely separate lives for example, cooking separately and not spending any time together.

Five years separation

If you and your spouse have lived separately for five years or more, you can ask the court for a divorce on this ground. You do not need your spouse’s consent and there is therefore no defence to this ground.

No fault divorces?

There has been some suggestion recently of introducing ‘no fault’ divorces, which would allow a couple to divorce simply because their marriage has irretrievably broken down.  Many support this idea as it could reduce conflict, remove blame and simplify the divorce process. Others, however, fear it could have a negative impact on the sanctity of marriage, by making divorce too easy.  While ‘no fault’ divorces may be something seen in the future, for now divorce in Northern Ireland remains possible only on the grounds described above.

If you would like advice in relation to divorce proceedings, or any other matrimonial issues please give us a call on 02891 817715 or contact our us by email at info@boydricesolicitors.com.

Boyd Rice Solicitors- top for injury claims in Newtownards

Figures released by Department for Communities confirm Boyd Rice Solicitors assisted more injured people than any other Solicitor in Newtownards in 2019.

The figures also confirm that we handled more injury claims than any other Solicitor in Bangor, Portaferry and Comber.

For over 30 years Boyd Rice Solicitors have been representing injured clients. The statistics demonstrate our ongoing commitment to providing legal advice, help and support to the people of Newtownards and surrounding areas who have been injured in an accident that was not their fault.

We offer a free initial consultation where we will confidentially discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident and will handle your case through to conclusion. We regularly attend Newtownards Court on behalf of our clients ensuring that they get the best possible result.

Neil McGranaghan who manages the Litigation Department in Boyd Rice commented as follows;

“The figures highlight our commitment to assisting injured clients in Newtownards and the surrounding areas. We will help to alleviate the stress caused by an accident by guiding our clients through the legal process involved in making a claim with minimal fuss. We have established relationships with the leading medical experts in Northern Ireland ensuring that our clients obtain a full understanding of the extent of their injuries with a view to achieving the best possible outcome in their case.”

 

Neil is a member of the Association of Personal Injuries Lawyers (APIL), a group of Lawyers who are dedicated to protecting and enhancing access to justice, improving the services provided for victims of personal injury and campaigning to change the law wherever appropriate.

Neil can be contacted on 02891817715 or by email neil@boydricesolicitors.com

What to Look out For When Purchasing a New Home

Government announces Stamp Duty “Holiday” in Summer Statement

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, today announced that the threshold for Stamp Duty liability would be increased to £500,000.00 – with immediate effect. Boyd Rice Solicitors have clients that will benefit from this within the week, saving up to £10,000.00. This “holiday” will last until the end of March 2021.

We are expecting a lot of activity as buyers aim to take advantage of this welcome boost. For further information please see https://www.ftadviser.com/mortgages/2020/07/08/chancellor-confirms-stamp-duty-holiday/ or call our office on 02891 817715 to discuss how we can fulfil your house moving needs.

Hearing loss claims solicitors

Hearing loss claim against multiple Defendants resolves in the sum of £9,062.50

Boyd Rice Solicitors are regularly instructed by clients who have been exposed to excessive noise at work and as a result have developed noise induced hearing loss or tinnitus. In this case, our client had been employed by Robert Hair and Company Ltd in the 1980s, he subsequently joined Short Brothers as an airframe fitter and worked for them for over 10 years until finally joining Northern Ireland Railways/ Translink. During the course of his employment with all three, he was exposed to excessive noise and was not provided with ear protection at all times. Our client instructed that the hearing tests carried out at work confirmed that he had sustained loss of hearing and we were confident based on his initial instructions that he had a meritorious claim. He also instructed that he suffers from Tinnitus or ringing in the ears when lying in bed at night. He was able to tell us that he has to ask people to repeat themselves regularly and listens to the television at an elevated volume at home.

We instructed a Consultant Otolaryngologist to carry out an Audiogram (hearing test) and to discuss our client’s employment history with him. The Consultant was provided with a schedule of our client’s employers which we obtained from HMRC. The Consultant’s detailed report confirms that our client was suffering from mild sensorineural hearing loss and mild to moderate Tinnitus. The Consultant attributed 80% of his hearing loss to exposure during the course of his employment.

We issued Court proceedings on behalf of our client against the three aforementioned employers. Their respective insurance companies nominated Solicitors to defend the claims. The Defendants’ Solicitors agreed that our client should be medically examined by an expert of their choice. Their expert also prepared a report.  Both medical experts were largely in agreement however negotiations were taking too long and we asked the Court to list the case for Hearing. The case resolved shortly after without the need for our client to attend Court in the sum of £9062.50 and our client’s legal costs were divided between and paid by the Defendants’ insurance companies.

Following the successful conclusion of their claim our client commented as follows;

After years of working in a noisy environment I had some hearing loss. So I contacted Neil Mc Granaghan at BoydRice solicitors, Newtownards, County Down. From the first phone call to the last conversation the service was absolutely first class and completely professionally handled. I would completely recommend BoydRice Solicitors for all your legal needs. Thank you Neil and all the team for sorting my claim and winning it for me.”                                                                                                  

If you suspect that your hearing as deteriorated from working in a noisy environment you could be entitled to compensation. We offer a free initial consultation. To book an appointment please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

Property damage compensation solicitors

Claim relating to damage to hedge following road traffic accident settles for £420

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mrs C in respect of her claim relating to damage to her garden hedge following an accident involving two cars in Gilnahirk, Belfast. One of the cars, who happened to be the at fault party’s vehicle, ended up in our client’s garden hedge causing considerable damage. Boyd Rice Solicitors also act on behalf of the driver of the other vehicle (non fault party) who was injured in the accident.

Our initial advice to our client was to get a quote for remedial work to be carried out to the hedge in order to return it to the same condition as it was before the accident occurred. Our client obtained a very reasonable quote from Woodcroft Landscapes in Belfast and sent their invoice to us. The at fault driver’s insurer accepted liability at an early stage and engaged fully with Neil McGranaghan when presented with the invoice. They raised a cheque for the cost of remedial work to the hedge and also paid our client’s legal costs.

Following the successful conclusion of her claim our client commented as follows;

“My claim was handled with minimum fuss, and I was reimbursed quickly. The replacement hedge is already growing in.”                                                                                                       

Our property damage department regularly handle cases on behalf of clients whose property whether it be a garden hedge, wall or fence, has been damaged by a vehicle. There does not always have to have been an accident with another vehicle, very often a car, van or lorry can lose control and collide with property. For more substantial claims we instruct loss adjusters to prepare a report on the extent of the damage caused and the cost of remedial work. Our aim is always to recover the cost of repairing your property as quickly as possible. Please contact us at the earliest possible opportunity by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

Road traffic accident on Newtownards Road settles for £3,250

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr A in respect of his injury claim and a claim for damage to his vehicle. Our client was driving along the Newtownards Road towards Belfast. He had moved off from a set of traffic lights when the vehicle behind collided with the rear of his vehicle causing damage to the rear bumper and light fitting.

Mr A rang Neil McGranaghan right after the accident occurred. He was going to speak to his insurance company and instruct them to arrange repairs to his vehicle however we decided to keep the accident away from his own insurance company, meaning that his insurance would not be affected going forward. An assessment of his vehicle and repairs were arranged via NI Accident Management Ltd who would then instruct Neil to recover the cost of repairs and hire from the at fault driver’s insurer.

Our client developed pain in his neck, shoulders and back. He rang his GP who prescribed naproxen.

Our client’s vehicle was repaired quickly and he was provided with a replacement vehicle whilst his repairs were carried out. The cost of repairs and the hire vehicle were recovered from the at fault driver’s insurer. This meant that our client’s insurance premium was totally unaffected by the accident. In respect of his injuries, we arranged a medical examination which was carried out 3 months after the accident. The examining Consultant confirmed that our client sustained a soft tissue injury of his neck,mid thoracic area and lower back in the accident and despite having made good progress with recovery at that stage indicated that it would take him a further few months to recover fully.

Once Neil received the Consultant’s medical report, negotiations with the at fault driver’s insurer began and the injury claim was settled in the sum of £3,250. In addition our client’s legal costs were paid by the at fault driver’s insurer. The case took just over 6 months to bring to conclusion.

Following the successful conclusion of his claim our client commented as follows;

“Having contacted Boyd Rice Solicitors after my road traffic accident I received a prompt response from Neil providing clear and helpful advice. Despite being only a few days before Christmas, a high-quality courtesy car was arranged while repairs where being carried out on my vehicle. Acting on my behalf, Neil was successful in achieving a quick resolution which exceeded my expectations. I would not hesitate in contacting Boyd Rice Solicitors in the future should the need arise.“                                                                                                

                                                                                   

 

This case highlights the importance of contacting us at the earliest possible opportunity following a road traffic accident. We regularly take calls from our clients at the scene of the accident. We can then guide you through the process and ensure your insurance premium is unaffected, if possible. If you would like advice, free of charge, please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

Claim for injured cyclist settles for £27,500

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of Mr G in relation to his injury claim. He sustained serious injuries to his shoulder after coming off his bike when a vehicle pulled out in front of him.

Thankfully he was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, however the force of impact caused serious injuries damaging his bicycle and cycling clothing. The Police and Ambulance attended the scene. The driver of the vehicle accepted liability to PSNI.

Our client attended Ards Minor Injuries Unit.  He had an x-ray and was referred to the Ulster Hospital for further investigations. He was subsequently diagnosed with an un-displaced fracture of his shoulder, abrasions to his knee, soft tissue injuries to his hand and a musculo-ligamentous sprain of the cervico-thoracic region.

Having been recommended to speak to Neil McGranaghan as he is an expert in cycling cases, our client provided instructions shortly after the accident for Boyd Rice Solicitors to pursue an injury claim on his behalf. We were also instructed to seek compensation for the damaged bicycle and clothing which included a carbon fibre Giant road bike with Campagnolo wheelset together with cycling clothing, helmet and cleats.

Vis a vis early discussions with the at fault insurance company, an interim payment was made in respect of the bicycle, safety equipment and clothing.

Given the severity of the injuries sustained, Court proceedings were issued on our client’s behalf and the case resolved without the need to attend Court.  The case resolved constructively following discussions with the Defendant insurer’s legal team in the sum of £27,000 in respect of the injuries sustained together with our client’s legal costs.

Following the successful conclusion of their claim our client commented as follows;

“I initially contacted Neil because he was recommended by a fellow cyclist who had previously used his services, the speed and manner in which my case was dealt with was very impressive. The driver in my case admitted full responsibility at the scene and after 11 weeks off work I was well enough to return to both work and cycling.

I was kept informed at all times as the case developed, my bicycle, wheels and clothing were replaced after only 9 weeks. Other than several visits to hospital for treatments and assessment I had no more dealings in the case.”

I highly recommend Neil for anyone who is ever unfortunate enough to find themselves in similar circumstances, I am more than happy with the compensation.”

Neil McGranaghan is a specialist cycling accident Solicitor. It is important to receive expert guidance if you have been seriously injured in a cycling accident. We offer a free initial consultation. Please contact Neil by phone on 02891 817715 or by email neil@boydricesolicitors.com.

Case arising from a broken streetlight settles for £4,000 plus costs.

Boyd Rice Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf Mrs D in relation to her personal injury claim arising from a fall in a dark street.

Mrs D was leaving her daughter’s house in the early evening when she tripped and fell over a trailer bar. Mrs D was unable to see the obstruction as the area was pitch black. Mrs D travelled to the Ulster Hospital in her daughter’s car for treatment of injuries to her ribs, face and knee. The streetlight responsible for the area was not operational at the time of the incident.

Although x-rays of her knee and chest showed no fracture, Mrs D had suffered significant bruising with the pain in her knee subsiding only after an injection. She also had facial bruising.

In what proved to be a very interesting case, our client advised that her daughter in-law’s neighbour had made complaints about the faulty streetlight for 3-4 months preceding the accident as well as reporting it to their local MP.

Neil McGranaghan directed a letter of claim to the Department for Infrastructure. Correspondence alleged the incident arose from the Department’s negligence in failing to ensure the safety of the public emphasising the fact that the streetlight was not working at the time of the incident and had not been working for some time. Liability for the accident was disputed by the Department for Infrastructure and we issued Court proceedings on our client’s behalf.

Although a Court date was set, settlement was reached without the need to attend Court for the sum of £4,000 plus our client’s legal costs.

Following the successful conclusion of their claim our client commented as follows;

Thanks Neil! Always kept me up to date with everything. My claim was handled very quickly and efficiently.

The issue with broken street lights is widely reported in local media. If you sustained injuries from a fall due to lack of street lighting and would like to arrange a free consultation please contact us by phone on 02891 817715 or by email claims@boydricesolicitors.com

Update on Coronavirus

In keeping with public health recommendations, we would encourage our clients to contact us by phone rather than attend our offices. This is to ensure the safety of both our clients and our staff.  If you require a face to face meeting we will of course endevour to facilitate you.

Thank you for your understanding.