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What is Skip Tracing and How Does it Work?

Skip tracing is an essential practice in a wide range of professional fields. From debt collection and legal proceedings to private investigations and missing persons cases, skip tracing is an invaluable tool.

The term itself might evoke intrigue, but it’s a straightforward (although often complex) field. In most cases, skip tracing is performed using a variety of research methods, but some matters require surveillance, international tracking and work in the field.

In this article, we’ll learn more about skip tracing, how it works and why you would need to engage a third party skip tracing service.

What is Skip Tracing?

Skip tracing is the process of locating a person’s whereabouts for various purposes. It‘s a technique that’s often used by private investigators, debt collectors, law enforcement and other professionals to find individuals who have moved or gone “off the grid.”

The term “skip” refers to the person being sought. That person has “skipped” town. This is often intentional (i.e. someone avoiding being found), but it can also be accidental. For instance, if you move home and forget to inform a local company you do business with, they may need to use skip tracing to find you.

Skip tracing requires a combination of investigative skills, knowledge of available resources and sometimes even advanced technology. It’s important to note that skip tracing should be conducted within the bounds of the law and with respect for individuals’ privacy rights. Various legal and ethical considerations come into play when attempting to locate someone.

How Does Skip Tracing Work?

Skip tracing involves gathering information from various sources to track down the individual. The way this is done varies widely between jurisdictions and depends largely on the resources and local legalities of skip tracing.

Depending on where you are, tracing someone who has skipped town may involve:

  • Public records – Accessing public records such as property records, court records, and marriage or divorce records to gather information about the person.
  • Social media – Checking social media platforms for any information or updates the person may have posted.
  • Utility records – Examining utility bills, phone records, or other similar documents that might contain contact information.
  • Credit reports – Reviewing credit reports to find recent addresses or other relevant details.
  • Interviews and surveillance – Speaking to friends, family members, neighbours, or colleagues who may have information about the person’s whereabouts. Surveillance may also be employed in some cases.
  • Online databases – Using specialised databases and online search tools to collect information.

Skip tracing services often have access to specialised software that contains information about individuals. These databases blend public and private information, so they aren’t available to unlicensed practitioners.

The Legalities of Skip Tracing

Skip tracing itself is a legal practice when conducted within the bounds of the law and with respect for individuals’ privacy rights. It is a common tool used by various professionals, including private investigators, debt collectors, law enforcement, and legal professionals, to locate individuals for legitimate purposes.

However, the legality of skip tracing depends on how it is carried out and whether it adheres to applicable laws and regulations. Some key considerations include:

  • Privacy laws – Skip tracers must comply with privacy laws that protect individuals from unwarranted intrusion into their personal lives. These vary from one jurisdiction to the next, so it’s up to skip tracing providers in your area to understand their local laws.
  • Debt collection practices – Debt collectors must adhere to local regulations about how, when and why debtors can be contacted or pursued. Since skip tracing is often used by creditors seeking satisfaction, the skip tracing needs to be conducted in line with debt collection laws.
  • Consent – In some cases, obtaining the consent of the individual being traced is required. However, this may not always be practical or possible, especially if the person is intentionally evading detection.
  • Harassment laws – Skip tracers must avoid engaging in any behaviour that could be construed as harassment or stalking. Laws vary, but generally, individuals have a right to be free from undue harassment.

When Would You Utilise Skip Tracing Services?

Skip tracing services may be required in various situations where locating an individual is challenging or necessary for legitimate purposes. Here are some common scenarios in which skip tracing services might be needed:

  • Debt collection – Debt collectors may use skip tracing to locate individuals who have moved or changed their contact information to recover outstanding debts.
  • Legal proceedings – Attorneys and legal professionals may need to locate individuals for legal proceedings, such as serving legal documents, court summons, or subpoenas.
  • Missing persons – Skip tracing is often employed to find missing persons, whether they are runaways, estranged family members, or individuals involved in custody disputes.
  • Insurance – Insurance companies may use skip tracing to locate policyholders or individuals involved in insurance claims investigations.
  • Bail recovery – Skip tracing is commonly used by bail bondsmen to locate individuals who have skipped bail and failed to appear in court.
  • Asset repossession – Skip tracing can be essential in the process of recovering assets, especially when dealing with individuals who may have concealed their financial information.
  • Document serving – Skip tracers may be employed to locate individuals who need to be served with legal documents, such as divorce papers or restraining orders.
  • Employment screening – Employers may use skip tracing to verify the accuracy of information provided by job applicants, especially when discrepancies or concerns arise during the hiring process.
  • Private investigations – Private investigators may use skip tracing as part of broader investigations, including those related to fraud, infidelity, or other personal matters.

There are dozens of reasons why you may contract a skip tracing service. When engaging a third party, make sure to explain the nature of complaint legally so that they can conduct their business fairly, ethically and legally.

 

7 Reasons for the growing demand for defense lawyers in the US

The demand for defense lawyers in the United States is surging. Amidst a rapidly evolving legal landscape, societal changes, and new legal challenges, the need for adept legal defense has never been more pronounced. This article delves into the key factors contributing to this trend. From the rise in criminal prosecutions to the intricacies of modern laws, we will explore why more Americans are turning to defense attorneys for legal guidance and representation. As we navigate this complex terrain, understanding these drivers becomes essential for anyone engaged with the justice system, directly or indirectly.

Rise in Criminal Prosecutions

A significant factor contributing to the increasing demand for defense lawyers is the notable rise in criminal prosecutions across the country. This upsurge stems from various reasons, including stricter law enforcement policies and a societal push towards more accountability in areas previously overlooked.

As a result, individuals find themselves needing skilled defense attorneys to navigate these prosecutions more than ever. These legal professionals are essential for ensuring fair trials and adequate representation, especially in cases involving complex legal intricacies. Their expertise becomes a crucial buffer against the ever-expanding scope and vigor of criminal prosecutions.

Increase in DUI Cases

In recent years, there has been a noticeable uptick in DUI (Driving Under the Influence) cases across the US. This increase significantly contributes to the heightened demand for defense attorneys specializing in DUI cases. For those facing such charges, the expertise of a DUI lawyer at Hanauer Law becomes invaluable. These legal professionals are equipped with specialized knowledge and experience in handling DUI cases, offering essential guidance and defense strategies to their clients. Their role is crucial in navigating the complexities of DUI cases, which often involve intricate legal and scientific aspects such as blood alcohol levels and field sobriety tests.

Growing Awareness of Legal Rights

In recent years, there’s been a significant surge in public awareness regarding legal rights and how the justice system operates. This heightened consciousness is largely attributed to the expansive reach of social media and digital platforms. These channels have democratized information access, allowing more people to learn about their legal entitlements and the intricacies of legal processes.

This knowledge empowers individuals to seek expert legal counsel proactively, contributing to the growing demand for defense lawyers. As the public becomes more informed, they are less likely to navigate legal waters alone, recognizing the value of professional legal advice.

Complexity of New Laws

The legal landscape is continually evolving, with new laws being enacted that add layers of complexity to an already intricate system. This complexity necessitates the expertise of defense lawyers who can navigate these changes effectively. Areas such as cyber law, intellectual property, and privacy rights are seeing increasingly complex legislation, often intersecting with rapidly advancing technology and global considerations.

As a result, individuals and organizations are finding themselves ill-equipped to understand and comply with these new legal requirements, thus turning to skilled defense attorneys for guidance, interpretation, and representation in matters where the legal stakes are high.

Technological Advances and Cybercrimes

The digital age has ushered in a new era of cybercrimes, challenging the traditional boundaries of legal expertise. With the rapid advancement of technology, cybercrimes have become more sophisticated, ranging from identity theft to complex hacking operations. This escalation has led to an increased demand for defense lawyers who are proficient in digital law and cybersecurity.

These attorneys not only need to be versed in traditional legal practices but also require a deep understanding of technology and its implications. Their expertise is critical in defending clients against cybercrime allegations and navigating the intricate web of digital evidence and cyber law.

Changing Social and Political Climate

The ever-evolving social and political climate in the United States significantly impacts the legal landscape, thereby increasing the need for defense lawyers. Shifts in political priorities lead to changes in law enforcement focus and legal interpretations. For instance, areas like immigration law, civil rights, and environmental regulations are deeply influenced by these shifts.

Defense lawyers play a crucial role in such scenarios, ensuring that individual rights are protected amidst these changes. They must constantly adapt to new regulations and societal shifts, making their expertise indispensable for those navigating the complex interplay of law and politics.

Recap

The escalating demand for defense lawyers in the United States is a multifaceted phenomenon. It reflects not only the rise in criminal prosecutions and DUI cases but also a heightened public awareness of legal rights. The complexity of new laws, particularly in areas like cybercrime, further necessitates the expertise of defense attorneys.

Technological advancements and societal shifts continue to mold the legal landscape, making skilled legal counsel more crucial than ever. In essence, the growing need for defense lawyers underscores the dynamic nature of law and the critical role these legal professionals play in upholding justice and navigating an ever-evolving judicial system.

 

Treatment Of Gifts And Heirlooms In A Divorce

In financial proceedings on divorce, both spouses will be required to disclose their personal belongings, which may include items that they have received by way of gift, including family heirlooms. Such assets usually attach high sentimental value and have been given to the spouse with a general understanding that they will be kept ‘within the family’ and passed down through generations. Therefore, it is understandable that tensions often arise in respect of the treatment of gifts and heirlooms on divorce.

People can visit the website of a trusted family law firm to understand how a lawyer can help manage gifts and heirlooms in a divorce. In some states in the USA, gifts and heirlooms are separate property and aren’t subject to division in a divorce, whereas others consider them as marital property.

A family lawyer can help you identify all the gifts and heirlooms you own and their value. This information will be important in negotiations with your spouse or court proceedings.

Furthermore, they can help you negotiate an amicable settlement with your spouse regarding the division of gifts and heirlooms. If the couple can reach an agreement, the lawyer can draft a written agreement that’s enforceable by the court.

But how do family courts approach cases that involve gifts and heirlooms in Hong Kong?

This article will highlight the Family Court’s approach in Hong Kong when dealing with assets such as gifts and heirlooms.

Recent case

Our firm was recently involved in the case of W,LT v GWH also known as HGW [2021] HKFC 142 concerning a dispute over a painting that had been in the family for over 120 years. It was directly acquired by the husband’s great grandfather, passed on to the husband’s grand aunt by inheritance, and then to the husband’s father by inheritance. The issue arose when the wife alleged that the family painting formed part of the marital assets that were subject to division.

The husband had entered into a family agreement with his father to purchase the painting as an advance inheritance to enable his parents to buy a home for retirement. Subsequently, they entered into another agreement where the husband transferred the painting back to his father.

In considering the wife’s application to set aside the subsequent transfer, the Judge held that the agreements between the husband and his father was entered into with very specific issues in mind, the central one being that the painting should be preserved and if possible, retained by the family for future generations.

The Judge declined to set aside the transfer and concluded that the painting was clearly an inherited property. It was initially acquired by the husband’s family by way of inheritance and from a source wholly external to the marriage. In reaching her conclusion, the Judge referred to LKW v DD (Ancillary Relief: Guidelines) [2011] HKFLR 106 where Mr Justice Ribeiro PJ said inter alia the following:

‘87. The source of an asset may provide a reason for excluding it from the sharing principle on the basis that it is not an item of matrimonial property. Of course, in many cases, no question of any distinction between matrimonial and non-matrimonial property will arise. But where there are assets which may be capable of being so differentiated, section 7(1)(a) implicitly requires the court to consider whether any part of such assets ought in fairness to be excluded from the sharing principle. Differentiation might also be seen as a requirement of section 7(1)(f) if the source of a particular asset suggests that it is an independent and unmatched contribution by one of the parties.

88. The existing case-law identifies two classes of assets as possible candidates for exclusion on the basis of source. The first involves property acquired during the marriage by one of the parties from a source wholly external to the marriage, such as by gift or inheritance. The second involves assets derived from a business or an investment conducted solely by one party (sometimes called “unilateral assets”).’

Marital or non-marital assets?

When a gift is received as part of inheritance or a family heirloom is passed to a family member, unless there is an express intention that it should be passed on or returned, the Court may need to determine if such asset will form part of a spouse’s property and financial resources and taken into account when determining the division of assets.

In the UK case of White v White [2001] 1 AC 596, which was followed in Hong Kong in LKW v DD, Lord Nicholls explained that:

‘Property acquired before marriage and inherited property acquired during marriage come from a source wholly external to the marriage. In fairness, where this property still exists, the spouse to whom it was given should be allowed to keep it. Conversely, the other spouse has a weaker claim to such property than he or she may have regarding matrimonial property.’

The nature of the inheritance is also important. As Lord Justice Ward said in the UK Court of Appeal case of Robson v Robson [2010] EWCA Civ 1171:

‘the ancestral castle may (note that I say “may” not “must”) deserve different treatment from a farm inherited from the party’s father who had acquired it in his lifetime, just as a valuable heirloom intended to be retained in specie is of a different character from an inherited portfolio of stocks and shares. The nature and source of the asset may well be a good reason for departing from equality within the sharing principle.’

The circumstances of the case, the nature and the value of asset and how it was acquired are all factors that will be taken into account when deciding whether an asset falls into the category of marital or non-marital property.

How can you protect gifts and heirlooms?

Any assets including heirlooms, gifts or inheritance that are brought into a marriage by one party can be protected if there is evidence of intention to exclude such assets from the matrimonial pot. They should be kept separate and not be intermingled with the marital assets and a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement can help safeguard such assets.

A prenuptial or premarital agreement is a contract between two consenting people who plan to marry and build a family. It outlines the division of their wealth and debts in the event of a divorce. This valuable tool helps couples protect their assets and ensure their financial future’s security, no matter what happens to their marriage.

While pre-nuptial agreements are not binding on the courts in Hong Kong, the law in this area has developed following the Supreme Court of England and Wales decision of Radmacher v Granatino [2011] AC 534 where it was held that:

‘the court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement.’

Choosing the right family lawyer to study the prenuptial agreement is essential. In this way, the couple can ensure it’s fair and enforceable.

This position was endorsed by the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal in SPH v SA [2014] HKLRD 497.

Conclusion

The Family Courts have very wide discretion in matrimonial cases. However, there is a general view that gifts and heirlooms will be treated as ‘non-marital’ assets unless it would be unfair to exclude such assets from the matrimonial pot. While disputes over gifts and heirlooms are rare, these can be avoided if there is evidence of intention of the treatment of inherited gifts and heirlooms, including for instance a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement.

How A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

If you have been charged with a crime, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, it is very important that you work with a criminal defense attorney throughout the entire process.

Whether or not you think that the situation is serious, there may be a lot more at risk than is immediately apparent, and you could find yourself looking back on this case years from now wishing that you had taken some different steps. Criminal law is complicated, which is why it is so important that you take this process seriously and work with an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Worth.

Many criminal defense attorneys offer free initial consultations with potential clients so that they can ask a variety of questions about their situation and learn about the most appropriate steps that they should be taking to move forward with as much success as possible.

Reach DBA attorney for more details.

HELP NAVIGATING THE CRIMINAL LAW SYSTEM

The criminal law system in the United States is complicated and confusing, especially for individuals who do not have a comprehensive understanding of the situation that they are involved in, and the possible consequences of a guilty finding or plea agreement. If you are at a court hearing working with a prosecutor, they will make an initial offer for the individual to accept a guilty finding, or may make an initial offer for a plea deal. While this may seem like the proper decision given the circumstances and the individual may want to get the process finished with, it could come back to cause a major issue.

A criminal defense lawyer can help navigate the criminal law system properly, such as writing counter-affidavits, processing bail in Pico Rivera or the place of the incident, and court trials. For instance, a criminal defense attorney can assist the defendant in contacting a trustworthy agent. That way, the defendant can obtain bail to exercise rights and prepare a strong defense.

Your lawyer reviews the evidence, such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) photos and videos, against you and raises potential defenses to help reduce or eliminate penalties and duration of imprisonment. Examples of possible defenses include establishing a strong alibi, self-defense, and involuntary intoxication.

NEGOTIATING ACCEPTABLE OUTCOMES

You may have noticed that there is a theme here, and it all comes down to working towards the most acceptable outcome for your situation. Every step that your attorney takes will be with the intention to get you the lightest possible sentence, the most minimum penalties available for your charges, and how you can mitigate the impact that these charges have on your life. When you are working on your own and attempting to represent yourself, courts and prosecutors will take advantage of your inexperience and you will find yourself walking away with steep penalties without much clarity on how it even happened.

Negotiating to reduce the severity of the sentence or punishment is called a plea bargain. Your criminal defense lawyer can negotiate a plea bargain if you’re found guilty. Plea bargains can be arranged before filing a charge or after the jury deliberates on the case’s verdict. Your lawyer can help with a plea bargain or pleading guilty to a crime with less punishment.

Aside from legal expertise, an experienced criminal defense lawyer has a vast network of professional connections to help negotiate acceptable outcomes for your case. As an expert negotiator, a criminal defense attorney seeks outcomes advantageous to the defendant but consistently deals with others honestly and legally.

PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FOR YOUR SPECIFIC CASE

When you hire an attorney to represent your case, they are working directly on your behalf in order to help you with your case. This means that any action you think about taking outside of the case that you are unsure of how it will impact your proceedings, then you will be able to consult with them. If you are wondering how your case will impact your ability to apply for jobs, renew a drivers license, apply for housing, or anything else that is unclear at the time, you will be able to contact your attorney and get a specific answer about the exact situation that you are in. While this may not seem like a big deal right off the bat, you will find that their advice and counsel throughout your case is absolutely irreplaceable because of how simple it will make each of these otherwise complicated questions seem.

CONFIDENCE IN YOUR CASE

The most important thing that you will get from working with a criminal defense attorney is confidence. You will be able to get straight answers from them about your entire situation and will be able to plan accordingly for your future given their history of experience and their understanding of how they expect your case to go. 

 

Personal insolvency verses matrimonial law

By Ian Defty, partner at Begbies Traynor and insolvency advisor at Legal Futures Associate  Integrated Dispute Resolution.

It is fair to say that there has, for many years, been a “difference of opinion” between the law governing personal insolvency and matrimonial law with each “side” believing that they are right and should take precedence.

The principal, sometimes conflicting, legislation is covered in the Insolvency Act 1986 and the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. However, the differing courts can and will give wide discretion when determining whether and how a married couple’s assets are to be divided.

In accordance with the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 there is an expectation that assets accrued during the marriage should be regarded as jointly owned between the spouses and normally be divided equally between the parties, whereas assets held by one spouse or the other before the marriage should be left to that party unless there is good reason to divide them. The matrimonial home is usually always considered as a matrimonial asset to which the sharing principle applies.

But, relationship breakdown has grave financial and legal consequences. Some people may find themselves in a position where they inherit debts from their partners or can’t pay off their debts because of poverty. Therefore, personal insolvency can be a result of separation or divorce.

Personal insolvency is a resolution strategy for people who can’t afford to pay their debts. Debt solutions are available for insolvent people and are legally binding. These give insolvents protection from their creditors and can help eliminate some or all of their debts.

In personal insolvency the overriding principle is to see that the creditors as a whole get dealt with fairly and in accordance with insolvency law which may often seem to go against matrimonial law which seeks to ensure that a spouse and maybe children are dealt with first and foremost.

In general terms, all property belonging to or vested in the bankrupt at the commencement of the bankruptcy forms part of the bankruptcy estate and will vest automatically in the trustee in bankruptcy immediately upon their appointment. On the face of it, this may appear unhelpful to the bankrupt’s spouse, especially if they are divorcing.

Divorce and bankruptcy are critical legal cases. When dealt with simultaneously, they can be complicated. Hence, seeking professional legal help is a must. Anyone planning to file a bankruptcy can get help from a bankruptcy lawyer. They can help spouses facing mortgage foreclosure, wage garnishment, and other bankruptcy-related problems navigate chapters 7 and 13 for children’s welfare.

Section 306 of the Insolvency Act 1986 sets out that the bankrupt’s estate shall vest in the trustee immediately on their appointment taking effect or, in the case of the official receiver, on his becoming trustee.

The Insolvency Act 1986 goes on to set out the relevant insolvency legislation regarding what defines a bankrupt’s affairs (S.283) and the restrictions on dispositions of property (S.284).

Section 283 defines a bankrupt’s estate as;-

  • all property belonging to or vested in the bankrupt at the commencement of the bankruptcy, and
  • any property which by virtue of any of the following provisions of this Part is comprised in that estate or is treated as falling with the preceding paragraph.

Section 284 sets out the restrictions on dispositions of property as follows; –

  • Where a person is made bankrupt, any disposition of property made by that person in the period to which this section applies is void except to the extent that it is or was made with the consent of the court or is or was subsequently ratified by the court.
  • Subsection (1) applies to a payment (whether in cash or otherwise) as it applies to a disposition of property and, accordingly, where any payment is void by virtue of that subsection, the person paid shall hold the sum paid for the bankrupt as part of his estate.
  • This section applies to the period beginning with the day of the making of the bankruptcy application or (as the case may be) the presentation of the bankruptcy petition] and ending with the vesting, under Chapter IV of this Part, of the bankrupt’s estate in a trustee.
  • The preceding provisions of this section do not give a remedy against any person –
  1. in respect of any property or payment which he received before the commencement of the bankruptcy in good faith, for value and without notice that the bankruptcy application had been made or (as the case may be) that the bankruptcy] petition had been presented, or
  2. in respect of any interest in property which derives from an interest in respect of which there is, by virtue of this subsection, no remedy.
  • Where after the commencement of his bankruptcy the bankrupt has incurred a debt to a banker or other person by reason of the making of a payment which is void under this section, that debt is deemed for the purposes of any of this Group of Parts to have been incurred before the commencement of the bankruptcy unless —
  1. that banker or person had notice of the bankruptcy before the debt was incurred, or
  2. it is not reasonably practicable for the amount of the payment to be recovered from the person to whom it was made.
  • A disposition of property is void under this section notwithstanding that the property is not or, as the case may be, would not be comprised in the bankrupt’s estate; but nothing in this section affects any disposition made by a person of property held by him on trust for any other person.

If bankruptcy precedes an order made under the Matrimonial Causes Act the legal and practical outcome is straightforward and the assets vest in the trustee. Difficulties arise when the order under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 precedes the bankruptcy. The impact of the making of a bankruptcy order on matrimonial proceedings will therefore depend on the point that the matrimonial proceedings have reached.

Where a person has been declared bankrupt (or a bankruptcy petition has been presented against the debtor) prior to the making of a financial remedy order under matrimonial law, the matrimonial court is restricted in the financial remedy order it can make. Generally speaking, the matrimonial court cannot make a property adjustment order as the bankrupt’s estate will have vested in the trustee under the Insolvency Act 1986.

In accordance with S.336 of the Insolvency Act 1986, where an application is made by the trustee to realise the matrimonial home after a year since the vesting of the bankrupt’s estate in the trustee, there is a presumption that the interests of creditors outweigh all other considerations that will include that of the spouse (and other family members such as children).

The transfer of an interest in the matrimonial home pursuant to a consent order made under s.24 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 constitutes a “disposition” for these purposes and is therefore void (Re Flint [1993]). This was reinforced in 1994 with Woodley v Woodley (No. 2) [1993] 2 FLR 477 by where the Court of Appeal held that the presentation of a bankruptcy petition is not a disposition for the purposes of s.37 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and cannot be challenged as an attempt to avoid an order for matrimonial relief. Therefore, the correct way to attempt to challenge an allegation of a spouse using bankruptcy as a fraudulent device to defeat his/her divorcing spouse’s matrimonial claim ‘s claim is to seek for the bankruptcy order to be annulled under s 282(1)(a) by the court exercising insolvency jurisdiction. It is not open to a judge of the Family Court to use the Civil Procedure Rules to transfer insolvency proceedings to the Family Court be dealt with as part of the financial remedy proceedings, per Arif v Zar [2012] EWCA Civ 986.

A matrimonial property transfer order made after the presentation of the bankruptcy petition is a void disposition by the debtor for the purposes of s.284 of the Insolvency Act. In 2010 a matrimonial settlement by ex-spouses which had not been finalised by the time a creditor issued a bankruptcy petition against the husband was struck out by the court as it constituted a disposition of the spouse’s property, per Warwick v Yarwood [2010] EWHC 2272.

Greg Williams, a barrister at Coram Chambers, London, who specialises in matrimonial finance cases, said: “During the last decade, ultralow interest rates combined with a generally high rate of employment has meant that our day-to-day divorce cases rarely feature bankruptcy issues. That may be about to change: the impact of Covid 19 and Brexit is likely to be felt this year. If personal or household debts becomes unsustainable, practitioners and their clients need to be alert to potential insolvency issues. Assets which would otherwise form part of the matrimonial pot can be lost entirely to a successful bankruptcy petition. Or we may see an increase in applications from trustees in bankruptcy to sell family homes to the chagrin of the remaining spouse and children.”

Indeed, bankruptcy law and family law are directly related to each other, with several changes in the past few years. In addition, the courts are getting more stringent in scrutinizing bankruptcy cases raised by parties to determine if they’re taking advantage of family proceedings, like a plotted divorce, in an attempt to write off their debts.

For more information or to discuss an insolvency matter within matrimonial law please contact IDR on admin@integrated-dr.com or 0207 8465 600.

Jacy Whittaker Joins Leaders in Law as the Exclusive Commercial Litigation Law Member in the Bahamas

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Jacy Whittaker as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Commercial Litigation Law expert in the Bahamas. Jacy’s office is located in Freeport.

For Jacy Whittaker, the key to winning cases is being abundantly overprepared. As an attorney, Jacy gears up for war on everything. The litigator never walks into a courtroom without more research, more evidence, and more potential angles than warranted. This over-preparation allows him to think on his feet, building confidence—and the court’s regard—through each winning application, writ, submission, and hearing. Rather than being exhausted by sheer volume, the youthful lawyer becomes even more invigorated. After all, he lives to argue—and win.

Jacy got his start in 2000, working as a legal assistant for Frederick R.M. Smith, QC, a legendary attorney in the Bahamas. Mr. Smith had been intrigued by a brand of intelligence that has since served Jacy well in the courtroom. Even then, a talent analysis showed Jacy’s strengths as a future litigator.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Jacy’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

Fotini Kardiopoulis joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Anti-Counterfeiting Law member in Greece

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Fotini Kardiopoulis as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Anti-Counterfeiting Law expert in Greece. Fotini’s office is located in Athens.

Fotini Kardiopoulis, partner and co-founder of Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou and Partners (HP&P), heads the firm’s anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy department. She holds a law degree from the University of Athens with first-class honours and an LLM from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She joined the Athens Bar in 1985 and has been admitted to practice before the Greek Supreme Court and the Council of State. She has also been a lecturer for 10 years at the Police Academy.

Since 1998 she has been dealing with a broad range of IP matters with an emphasis on trademarks, anti-counterfeiting/anti-piracy, plant breeder’s rights, contract drafting and reviewing and alternative dispute resolution. She has extensive experience in devising and implementing anti-counterfeiting programs, filing and administering customs actions, IP litigation, monitoring and enforcing IP rights online and advising on domain name disputes, consulting on license & franchise agreements and on copyright issues.  In addition, she has conducted numerous significant seizures/raids, including preparatory investigations concerning various sectors, such as apparel, electric/electronic goods, toys, watchmaking, alcohol and tobacco/cigarettes, often involving civil and criminal action in addition to customs procedures.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Fotini’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

Francis Xavier joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive International Arbitration Law member in Singapore

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Francis Xavier as our exclusively recommended & endorsed International Arbitration Law expert in Singapore. 

Francis is Regional Head, Disputes Practices of Rajah & Tann and was appointed Senior Counsel in January 2009. He practises in the areas of international and treaty arbitration and cross-border commercial litigation.

He specialises in corporate and commercial disputes especially in the areas of corporate, banking, property and financial and investment related claims. He also specialises in aviation law and advised in the class-action suit resulting from the crash of the SilkAir flight in Indonesia in 1997 and the Taiwan SIA crash.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Francis’ profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

Harikrishnan Ravindran joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Commercial Law member in the UAE

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Harikrishnan Ravindran as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Commercial Law expert in the UAE. Harikrishnan’s office is located in Dubai.

Harikrishnan is a legal consultant with Lutfi & Co since June 2009.  His background prior to joining Lutfi & Co was in counsel practice. Harikrishnan’s expertise and practice focus are in the areas of corporate and commercial law as well as commercial dispute resolution.

He is a key member of both the transactional and the dispute resolution teams.  This experience has assisted him in developing a deeper understanding of the practical implications of specific contractual terms in the context of potential dispute resolution proceedings.  He has considerable expertise and experience in International Trade law particularly pertaining to dispute resolution proceedings.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Harikrishnan’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.

Nils T. F. Schmid joins Leaders in Law as the exclusive Mechanical Engineering member in Germany

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Nils T. F. Schmid as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Mechanical Engineering expert in Germany. Nils’s office is located in Munich.

Nils T.F. Schmid specializes in traditional mechanical engineering, his particular interest being in the areas of motor vehicles, tool engineering, process engineering, textile technologies, and medical technology. For his clients, especially medium-sized companies in Germany/Europe and Asian and American big corporations, he develops both German and global patent strategies and sees to their implementation with regard to the building up and management of patent and design patent portfolios.

Other key areas of his work include infringement and nullity disputes regarding patents, utility models, and designs, and the establishment and counseling of in house IP departments, including advising on employee inventor law.

If you require any assistance in this area, please use the contact details provided in Nils’s profile below or contact us at info@leaders-in-law.com & we will put you in touch.