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Our People,
Your Team

Meet The Team

We have many key individuals within the firm, all playing their part in ensuring the things that matter to you work.

Edward Burrell
Partner
Abi Croft
Solicitor
Jennifer Edwards
Associate Solicitor
Jemma Parocki
Trainee Solicitor
Zoe Roberts
Associate Solicitor
Gráinne Walters
Partner - Head of Corporate & Commercial Team

Latest News

28 Feb 2024

Increase In Tribunal Compensation Limits

The government has announced the annual increase in compensation limits for employment tribunal awards and other statutory payments that, subject to parliamentary approval, will take effect from 6 April 2024.

The two key increases are:

  • maximum compensatory award for ordinary unfair dismissal: £105,707 to £115,115.
  • limit on a week’s pay: £643 to £700.

It is important to remember that the context of the above maximum compensatory award is, that the limit on compensatory awards is actually the lower of an amount equal to the employee’s basic annual salary and the stated maximum.

The limit on weekly pay is applied in a number of contexts, including basic awards for unfair dismissal, statutory redundancy pay and awards of compensation that are made due to an employee not having been issued with written particulars of employment that comply with statutory minimum requirements.

The maximum possible basic award or statutory redundancy payment will therefore increase to £21,000.

Statutory guarantee pay, which applies when an employee is laid off or subjected to short-time working, will increase from £35 to £38 per day.

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22 Feb 2024

Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Month: Know the Signs

February is Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Month, which is a crucial time to shine a light on an often-overlooked cancer. This is a topic close to my heart as a close family member has recently been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and is currently embarking on their own treatment journey.

Not only this, but as a clinical negligence solicitor, I see first-hand the devastating impact delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis can have on patients and their families. It is important for people to not only become familiar with the signs and symptoms of oesophageal cancer, but also understand their legal rights in case of medical negligence.

What is Oesophageal Cancer?

Oesophageal cancer, affecting the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach, is the eighth most common cancer globally. Despite its prevalence, awareness remains low, which hinders early diagnosis and potentially leading to poorer outcomes. Early detection is critical for improving survival rates, which currently stand at a concerning 16% five-years after diagnosis.

Know the Signs

Being aware of the symptoms of oesophageal cancer can allow you to seek prompt medical attention, potentially improving your chances of a successful diagnosis and treatment. Key signs include:

  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), especially solids.
  • Heartburn and acid reflux that don't respond to medication.
  • Chest pain, often burning or squeezing.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Persistent coughing or hoarseness.

One critical issue when it comes to early diagnosis is that the above symptoms can often have multiple causes, and it is therefore vital to seek the advice of your GP as soon as you suspect something is not normal for you.

Treatment

Oesophageal cancer can be treatable, but it can be difficult to treat and will depend on the size and type of cancer it is; the location (i.e. where in the oesophagus); if it has spread to nearby nodes, tissues and organs; and a person’s general health.

If your surgeon has indicated that your oesophageal cancer is potential curable, treatment usually entails chemotherapy followed by surgery, with additional chemotherapy afterwards. Sometimes instead of pre-surgical chemotherapy you may be offered radiotherapy, and sometimes you could be offered a combination of the two.

If the cancer is sadly not curable, there are targeted medicines and immunotherapy which can aid in symptom control and improve quality of life.

If you or a loved one experiences delayed or missed diagnoses of oesophageal cancer, impacting your health and wellbeing, seeking legal advice is crucial. Clinical negligence claims can help you access:

  • Compensation for pain, suffering, and loss of income.
  • Funding for ongoing medical care and rehabilitation.
  • Accountability against the healthcare providers involved.

Don't Delay, Be Proactive!

  • Educate yourself: Visit the websites of organisations like Cancer Support and Macmillan Cancer Support for comprehensive information.
  • Seek medical advice: Discuss any concerns you have with your doctor, especially if you notice any changes which are not normal for you;
  • Seek legal advice: If you suspect negligence has impacted your oesophageal cancer diagnosis or treatment, please contact Lanyon Bowdler’s specialist team of medical negligence solicitors or by emailing info@lblaw.co.uk

By raising awareness of Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Month and sharing advice and support, we can empower ourselves and our loved ones to fight for better healthcare and hold negligent parties accountable.

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14 Feb 2024

Is My Will Watertight?

The short answer is no. However, there are a range of options available in order to mitigate the risk of family members making a claim against your estate once you have passed away.

If someone tries to make a claim against your estate once you have passed, this would be governed by the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents Act) 1975. A person can only bring a claim against the estate if they are:

  • A spouse or civil partner of the deceased;
  • A former spouse or civil partner of the deceased (that has not remarried);
  • Any person whom for two years immediately prior to the death of the deceased was living with the deceased as if they were a married couple or civil partners;
  • A child of the deceased;
  • Any person (who was not a child of the deceased) but was treated by the deceased as a child of the family;
  • Any person who immediately before the death was being maintained wholly or partially by the deceased.

When considering a claim, the court will have regard to:

  • The financial resources and financial needs which the applicant has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
  • The financial resources and financial needs which any other applicant for an order under S.2 of the Act has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
  • The financial resources and financial needs which any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
  • Any obligations and responsibilities which the deceased had towards any applicant for an order under the said S.2 or towards any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased;
  • The size and nature of the estate of the deceased;
  • Any physical or mental disability of any applicant for an order under the said S.2 or any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased;
  • Any other matter, including the conduct of the applicant or any other person, which in the circumstances of the case the court may consider.

In some cases, it may be appropriate to also include a letter of wishes that will record your wishes in further detail, also explaining why you have made the specific distributions to certain people or organisations. Although this is not mandatory, it will assist in providing further evidence to the court if someone were to contest your will.

There is no guarantee that a claim will not be brought against your estate when you die however a properly drafted will can reduce the grounds on which any potential claimant could make a claim and it is therefore essential that your will is drafted correctly and concisely to reflect your true wishes.

Having a will in place is a fundamental step in ensuring your assets and wealth is distributed how you would like it to be after your death. Without a will, you will run the risk of the intestacy rules dictating how your estate will pass which could result in estranged family members far down the blood-line inheriting all or part of your estate. Please see our previous blog: Intestacy (Dying Without a Will) – What Will My Spouse/Civil Partner Get? for further information about dying intestate.

If you are concerned about a family member making a claim against your estate after you die, please get in touch with Lanyon Bowdler where our dedicated team can give you specific advice regarding your circumstances.

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Latest Case Study

01 Feb 2024

Death of Young Mother of Three Could Have Been Avoided

Kate, a 34 year old mother of three, presented to A&E at Wrexham Maelor Hospital with a seven day history of diar...

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30 Nov 2022

Hospital Missed Key Symptoms Leading to Life Changing Injury

Cauda Equina Syndrome

This claim settled by Laura Weir arises from the delay in diagnosis ...

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17 Jun 2022

Misfiled Radiology Report Causes Catastrophic Harm

Mr L originally presented to Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) in 2011 with suspected kidney stones. H...

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