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When Can a Care Home Contract Be Contested?

This entry was posted in Elderley Client Services, Family Law, For you, Wills and Probate and tagged , , on by .

Before choosing a care home, you’ll look at all the factors that will impact on your loved one’s quality of life. 


What can often be left by the wayside is the important matter of contracts. Unfortunately overlooking these important documents can lead to issues further down the line.


At DRN, we strongly advise you to seek professional advice when faced with a care home contract to ensure they have the individual’s best interests at heart.


Our Private Law Team is trained and experienced in contract redrafting. You might not have the time or the headspace to work through a complicated care home contract at the moment you need to.



Care homes should share with you specific key information as soon as you make first contact with them.

This information should include details on the types of funding it accepts, its fees and any required upfront charges.



However you are receiving information from your chosen care home or homes, the details should be clear, easy to understand, fair and transparent.


It is possible to contest an unfair care home contract, however, it is our advice to take professional legal guidance before entering into any long term contract.


A solicitor will work to ensure you and your loved one gains the most from a care home situation. Talk to our friendly, understanding team today to find out how we can help you negotiate the best possible contract for your care home needs.

Knife Crime on the Rise: What are the laws around carrying knives in England?

This entry was posted in Crime, For you, Uncategorised and tagged , , , on by .

Can you carry a pocketknife? Can a Swiss Army Knife be confiscated by the police? Is it illegal to buy a knife from a supermarket? We take a look at new knife laws from a legal perspective to shed some light on the subject.

Knife crime has risen dramatically in the UK, particularly in larger cities across England. Unfortunately a lethal combination of gang violence, drug-related violence and an increase in the number of young people encountering knife crimes has led to a surge in stabbings in neighbourhoods and even schools across the country.

The problem has become so severe that national charity StreetDoctors has begun teaching school children how to treat stab wounds in specialist classes in schools across England. In the sessions, young people are taught how to decrease blood loss in a patient, how to administer chest compressions and how to put a victim into the recovery position. Perhaps crucially, they are also taught about dealing with the emotional repercussions of a knife-related trauma, and role-play the scenarios that could lead up to violence of this kind.

The full reasons behind the rise in knife crime are complex, and are causing friction between political parties. While finding out the triggers is vital to the reduction in knife-related violence, actions have been taken by retailers to try to stop vulnerable people acquiring knives and using them as weapons. Poundland has already stopped the sale of kitchen knives in its shops, and Asda no longer sells single knives – an attempt to reduce the likelihood of young people finding it easy to buy them from their stores.

On a governmental level, Theresa May has promised to increase funding for police by record levels next year to up to £970 million to help curb the problem. This promise comes as Mrs May maintains that a reduction in police numbers are not to blame for the knife crime epidemic, many of her detractors disagree.

Is it illegal to carry a pocketknife?

It is legal to own and carry a pocketknife in the UK if it has a folding blade of 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or shorter.

When is a kitchen knife illegal?

Kitchen knives are not classified as “dangerous weapons”, however it is illegal to use any knife in a “threatening way”. You can be charged and prosecuted for using a kitchen knife in this manner.

It is illegal to carry a knife (even a legal knife) in public without good reason.

What is the penalty for carrying a knife?

The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is 4 years in prison and an unlimited fine. You’ll get a prison sentence if you’re convicted of carrying a knife more than once.

Good reasons for carrying a knife or weapon

In UK law, it is illegal to carry a knife without good reason.

Taken from the .gov website, these are examples of legally-sound reasons to carry a knife in public:

  • Taking knives you use at work to and from work
  • Taking it to a gallery or museum to be exhibited
  • If it’ll be used for theatre, film, television, historical reenactment or religious purposes, for example the kirpan some Sikhs carry
  • If it’ll be used in a demonstration or to teach someone how to use it

A court will decide if you’ve got a good reason to carry a knife or a weapon if you’re charged with carrying it illegally.

How can I find out if the knife I have is legal to own?

You can contact your local police station to check if a knife or weapon is illegal. Click here to find out the contact details for your local station.

Where can I find a list of banned knives and weapons?

On the .gov website there is a comprehensive list of weapons and knives that are banned in the UK. This list is updated regularly and you can find it here.

How Your Will Is Essential For Your Children’s Security

This entry was posted in For you, Wills and Probate and tagged , , on by .

Why are wills important?

Most people should have a Will. Wills can distribute your property, name an executor, name guardians for children, forgive debts and more. Having a will also means that you, rather than the law of intestacy, decides who benefits from your estate when you die.

A Will provides peace of mind, knowing that in the event of your death, your loved ones are taken care of.


27 million adults in the UK do not have a Will in place.


What does this mean for your family, loved ones and your estate should the worst happen?

If you die without making a will, this is known as “Dying Intestate” and in such cases, assets such as money, property and valuable possessions are automatically divided up according to the intestacy rules.

This means that there is the potential for your loved ones to be left nothing.


Who is left out if I don’t make a will?

What most adults in the UK don’t know is that your partner and those closest to you may not automatically stand to receive any of your assets should you pass away. Without a Will to formalise your wishes, your estate could be given to estranged members of your family or even to the Crown.


If you and your partner are not married, by law, your partner would receive nothing. If you have children together, they would inherit your estate, but your partner would receive nothing as of right. If you have children from a former relationship they may take everything including your home, leaving your current partner homeless.

It may be that you are very close to, and reliant upon, friends for help and support during your lifetime. Without a Will they will not receive anything under the intestacy rules. If you have no living relatives, your assets would pass to the Crown not to your beloved friends.


How can I make sure my estate is left to the people I love when I die?

The only way you can be sure that your wishes are adhered to in the event of your death is to make a valid Will. By creating a Will, you are ensuring that every single one of your wishes is executed following your death: From transferring family heirlooms,  carrying out funeral wishes  and perhaps most importantly to appointing guardians for your children.


How is a will made?

It can be hard to know where to start when writing your Will, but at DRN, we can make the process simple and affordable. Our experienced Will and Probate lawyers can work with you to draw up a Will that covers every one of your requests, with compassion and efficiency.

Writing a will as a parent can be a difficult subject, but we can help you make decisions that will enable you to live your life with confidence, knowing you have made plans to help support your children in the unfortunate event of your death.

To give yourself and your loved ones piece of mind in knowing you have made all the correct preparations, in the case of your death it is essential to write a will. You can never expect the unexpected so writing a will, whatever your age, is an important part of protecting your family.

DRN’s Private Client department deals with all aspects of private client work including WillsProbate, Court of Protection and care for the Elderly. Well known and respected throughout East Lancashire and North Yorkshire, our team has more than 60 years’ combined experience in private client law.

Speak to one of our expert solicitors today on 01282 433 241, or pop into one of our offices in Burnley, Colne or Ramsbottom.

Our “Uncork & Unwind” Charity Wine Tasting Was a Huge Success

This entry was posted in News on by .

On Thursday 20th September, We welcomed more than 70 guests from businesses across Pendle and East Lancashire to an evening of fundraising, fine wine and food at the beautifully restored Tubbs of Colne.

£1720 was raised for Pendleside Hospice throughout the evening as part of our Corporate Challenge initiative, from a combination of ticket sales, a raffle and a fantastic auction of signed football shirts and other sporting prizes. This brings our current fundraising total to over an incredible £4000 – with more donations rolling in every day.

A Manchester United shirt and Burnley Shirt were signed by their first teams and both auctioned on the evening thanks to Michael Phelan who sourced these especially for the Uncork and Unwind event.

Four ball golfing experiences at Nelson Golf Club and Formby Hall Golf Club were also offered as prizes, sponsored by the Business Team at O2 Burnley and Lloyds of Colne.


Images by Nicola Holding / Create Studios


David Lawson , Director at DRN said:

“The event was such a roaring success that we hope to plan a similar event in the coming years! We would like to thank all of our corporate sponsors for their donations and prizes as we could not have organised such a successful evening without their support and generosity. We’d also like to thank Tubbs of Colne for hosting us in their beautiful venue. We’re thrilled that we’ve managed to raise so much for such an important and well-loved local charity.”



Nick Cassidy Recently Secured An Acquittal In The Case Of R v J

This entry was posted in Crime, For you, Recent Case, Road Traffic Law on by .

In summary, J faced an allegation of dangerous driving. The prosecution alleged that an offender had driven a car dangerously for a lengthy period and required a number of police vehicles to give chase. J was arrested in the vicinity and later identified as being the offender by police officers. Officers relied on CCTV footage recording the alleged incident, descriptions and comparison of clothing seized and ultimately their own dealings with J at the time of arrest to make a positive identification of J as the offender.


It was argued successfully on behalf of J at trial, that the police officers had not complied with the guidelines set for identification procedures in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Representations were subsequently made under Section 78 of PACE 1984, that the trial judge should not admit the identification evidence at trial. The case of R v Forbes [2001] 1 AC 473, HL and R v Quinn [1995] 1 Cr App R 480, CA (police should have followed statutory guidelines) were also relied upon. The case was subsequently discontinued during the trial.


Identification is a contentious issue in many cases tried before the Courts. Nick Cassidy explains “identification is not straight forward. How often have you seen a friend or family member in a shop or driving past, before realising you had made a mistake? How often have you said ‘I could of swore I saw you?’ Cases that depend purely on the correct identification of an offender in the absence of any corroborating evidence,  are dealt with cautiously by the courts and rightly so. A mistaken witness is often a convincing witness and the guidelines are set for good reason.”


If you have any criminal matter or regulatory matter contact Nick Cassidy on or another member of the Criminal Department on 01282 433 241.

Secure your loved ones’ futures. Have you updated your will?

This entry was posted in For you, Wills and Probate on by .

A last will and testament might not be on your mind, but it’s an important document that ensures your assets are passed on to the people you love. Securing the futures of

family and loved ones is the primary reason many of our clients choose DRN to helps support them with writing their will.


Our experienced and compassionate solicitors can help you draft and finalise a will that takes all of your wishes into account, offering you the opportunity to take care of everyone you care about should the unthinkable happen.


Why might I need to update my will?

Caring for children after family breakup or remarriage

There are many reasons that your circumstances might have changed over the years, and these changes mean that your will may need to be revised by yourself and a professional.


One of the most common reasons a will may need updating is due to family breakup and remarriage.


In these cases, children from a previous marriage or civil partnership do not automatically receive any entitlement to a deceased parent’s estate – even if they have spoken about this previously.


To ensure that this situation doesn’t occur, we advise all of our clients who have divorced from spouses with whom they’ve had children to discuss their wills and revised settlements. Not only is this exceptionally good practice, it saves hurt and heartbreak should one of you pass away, and minimises the time and effort it takes to settle the matter of your estate.


Circumstantial changes

If you wrote your will longer than five years ago, there is a good chance that your personal and financial situations may have changed in that time.


Think about your life and career over the time since you last made amends to your will. Has anything occurred that may mean you’d like to include or remove something? Some examples of circumstantial changes could be:


  • Change of financial position and/or personal assets
  • Entering an unmarried partnership
  • An unexpected windfall such as an inheritance or cash prize
  • Health-related matters
  • Adding or removing individuals to or from your will.


Loss of living relatives

The loss of all living relatives is a deeply sad situation. If your will has been written to include family members who are no longer with us, our solicitors are experienced to help you specify friends and non-related loved ones to bequeath your estate to, with care and empathy.


If you do not specify non-related individuals to leave your estate to in the event of your death, the Crown may relinquish it. This means it is very important to update your will if there are people you would like to leave an inheritance to who are not in your family.


There are many reasons why it’s important to keep your will up-to-date with your most recent wishes. If you would like to discuss your will with our professional team, please contact Sara Jane Chorkley on 01282 433241.

Tainted Gifts

This entry was posted in Crime, For you on by .

What is a “tainted gift” in the eyes of the court of appeal?

In a recent court of appeal case, the jury examined the specifics of exactly what constitutes a tainted gift. In this blog post, we’re going to look at what a “tainted gift” is, in relation to confiscation proceedings.


In the case, the appellant (the individual seeking an appeal) had decided to appeal against a confiscation order placed on some items of their property. In a previous ruling, the judge had concluded that a transfer of property from the appellant to his wife, which in this case had been said to be in “consideration of family services” constituted a tainted gift.


In response, the appellant had argued that his wife’s contributions over the course of the marriage were not limited to financial ones and that the court should take into account her contributions to family life.

The court agreed that “family services” may vary.


What are “family services”?

Family services, in cases such as these, refers to the contribution the spouse has made to the family unit. It can be extremely difficult to pinpoint an exact value on these contributions, as they can take into account valuable but not-paid-for services such as:

  • Raising children
  • Taking care of assets
  • Supporting the family home
  • Household work such as home administration, cleaning and cooking.


What happens in a confiscation case?

In relation to a confiscation case, the court will have already considered that the defendant has been living a “criminal lifestyle”. As such, the court then has to consider a number of factors objectively in order to decide whether the property they have given or transferred to another person has been obtained illegally. This can include looking at the extent of the contribution made, and the value transferred.


In every confiscation case, orders are decided on each case’s individual fact and merits. This means that for example, even if in a similar case property was not confiscated, this does not mean the same outcome will apply in every case.


When looking at the recent court of appeal case mentioned above, David Lawson, director of DRN and a member of its Proceeds of crime team said, “The court will closely consider the value being attached to the transfer and will rigorously consider if it is capable of being assessed.”


This means that in all “tainted gifts” cases, the court will analyse every possible detail to ensure that any confiscations made are truly representative as the proceeds of crime. This can be a complicated process, especially when tainted gifts are given to family members as payments for services – such as in the case mentioned contributions to family life generally.


At DRN, we often advise individuals convicted of offences who face proceeds of crime hearings. If you are facing a case involving “tainted gifts”, it’s advisable to contact a solicitor immediately for confidential, non-judgmental advice. Our experienced lawyers will guide you through the process of confiscation and its effect.

Justice secretary scraps plan to award legal aid contracts to lowest bidder

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Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has confirmed that he has abandoned plans to award legal aid contracts to the lowest bidder.
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DRN to open new specialist commercial office

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Donald Race & Newton continues to expand its services with the opening of its new-dedicated commercial office, offering specialist commercial legal advice to local and national businesses.
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Donald Race & Newton secures Law Society’s new conveyancing quality mark

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Burnley-based law firm, Donald Race & Newton has secured membership to the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme – the mark of excellence for the home buying process.
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