Access Legal Helps To Launch New Pro Bono Law Clinic

Access Legal, the consumer brand of national law firm Shoosmiths, has helped launch a pro bono law clinic in Northampton. The joint venture, called the Northampton and District Citizens Advice Bureau pro bono clinic, provides clients with free legal advice from Access Legal experts.

The new clinic is the result of a joint effort between Access Legal, Northampton and District CAB, the University of Northampton Law School and LawWorks, all of whom recognised the immense public value of free legal services. These organisations understand that many people across the UK cannot afford to hire solicitors despite urgently needing legal advice.

More than 30 attendees joined Access Legal and the other organisations involved in the pro bono clinic to celebrate its official launch during National Pro Bono Week.

Paul Morrison, Partner at Access Legal, said: “We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to be involved with such an excellent cause.

“The opportunity to work alongside well respected and dedicated groups such as the CAB, the University of Northampton Law School, and LawWorks has been fantastic; it’s given us the chance to use our professional knowledge and expertise for the benefit of those in the community who find it hard to otherwise access legal advice.”

Together, Access Legal and its partners at the clinic will provide members of the community with legal services that are completely free of charge. Some of the legal services provided by Access Legal’s experts include: legal advice on employment disputes, landlord and tenant issues and consumer rights.

The chief executive of the Northampton and Distract CAB, Martin Lord, echoed Paul Morrison’s sentiments, saying: “This is a significant development for us. It ushers in what we hope will be a new era of cooperation with the legal community.”

Lord went on to say that all of the bro bono support involved in establishing the clinic represents an untapped resource for the community. He expressed his gratitude to the University of Northampton Law School, LawWorks and Access Legal for their efforts in developing the clinic and setting a positive tone of collaboration for the future.

The pro bono clinic is one of many charitable endeavours that Access Legal has taken part in. The company also recently raised more than £30,000 for one of its charity partners, Aspire, which provides practical support for individuals with spinal cord injuries.

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Access Legal Contributes To ‘Aspire’ Charity

Access Legal, the consumer brand of national law firm Shoosmiths, has raised more than £30,000 for Aspire, a charity that provides practical support for individuals suffering spinal cord injuries. The charity is one of the firm’s 2010 nominated charity partners.

Access Legal had originally pledged to raise £25,000 for Aspire, but exceeded its initial pledge by an additional £5,000. This donation will allow Aspire to pursue its mission to help people with spinal cord injuries live their life in as happy a manner as possible.

The fundraising effort involved a variety of events, including challenges that the Access Legal staff underwent in exchange for sponsorship from friends, family and co-workers. Some staff members went sky diving to raise money for the cause, while others participated in a 10k fun run.

One of the most difficult challenges completed by Access Legal staff was a sponsored swim across the English Channel. Additionally, employees of Access Legal took part in a rugby game against the London Wheelchair Rugby team and some staff members underwent the 177-mile Offa’s Dyke challenge.

The Aspire charity’s mission ties in closely with the Access Legal brand, which provides personal injury claim services for people who have suffered spinal cord injuries.

At the opening of Aspire’s newest specialist home for those paralysed through spinal injury, members of Access Legal’s staff were in attendance to show the support for the charity’s cause. The staff members who attended the opening event for Aspire’s Buckingham House included: catastrophic injuries expert Chris McKinney, mixed liability department head Sarah Lake, trainee solicitor Oliver Spicer and campaign assistant Georgia Baillieu.

Every year people across the UK suffer from spinal cord injuries, which can cause partial or full paralysis. Such injuries are often caused by road traffic accidents, but may also be a result of falls or sport-related contact. Access Legal from Shoosmith is determined to offer the victims of spinal injuries the legal services they deserve and to help its charity partner, Aspire, provide them with specialist living facilities.

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H1b Quota Met November 22nd, 2011 Now What?

The H1b quota has been met and came as a surprise as just a bit earlier, there were thousands available. However, many incoming cases were most likely not logged into the CIS computers and thus unaccounted for. Just before Thanksgiving, the CIS announced on November 23, 2011 that on November 22 , 2011 they had met the statutory cap of 65,000 for this year [which officially is Fiscal Year 2012]. Moreover, as of the 19th of October, 2011, the CIS received enough petitions to meet the 20,000 quota for people under the ‘advanced degree’ exemption. What’s next? Well, there is an option that some of my clients consider.

First, let’s preface. The H1b is the work visa for people with a degree or the equivalent. The government defines a position that requires a degree as a ‘Specialty Occupation’. If you do not have a degree you can trade 3 years’ experience in a qualifying field for a year of university training, and yes, you can apply for your entire 4 years of college to be waived if your equivalency is granted. The equivalency is evaluated by a CEF, or credentials evaluation firm, that an immigration lawyer can refer you to. The CIS has the right to challenge them but such a situation is rarely seen by us. The more common challenge is that you will have a position the CIS does not feel requires a degree in the first place. This type of challenge can be quite a burden so make certain that your position is a high-level one so this problem is not one you will face.

At this time, the only things an H1 applicant can do is extend a current H1, change employers, change employment terms, or work in a second H1 position. This last one is interesting. If a person is already on an H1 visa, he or she can still apply for a second one to hold concurrently. A lot of people are not aware that an H1 can be used for part-time employment or that the person is able to work for two companies simultaneously. There is one last two-part solution.

Some people who call us are businesspeople in their own country. However, thinking the transition to the US is hard, they secure employment with an American company so that they can make the move with some level of security. The trade-off, apart from a loss of independence, is a loss of earning capacity…of course this applies to anyone in any country. However, some of the people calling us are highly talented…but afraid. For those of you who are not afraid of entrepreneurial risk, read on.

Some of our callers have companies in foreign countries. If you have owned your company in your country (or any country for that matter) for a year and it is legitimate and creates revenue, you may be eligible for an L1 visa. In order to qualify, simply invest in a company in the United States and own at least 51% of it. If you are the manager or executive of that firm, you may remain in the United States for up to a year. However, a year later you may apply for the highest level Green Card there is, the EB1, and if you qualify, you may have it a year or so later. That particular type of Green Card does not require that the position (of the Green Card applicant) be advertised. That is a great advantage because if people more qualified than you apply for your position, they will move you off your place on the chess board of immigration. Another plus is that you don’t have to wait for the current 8 or so years for your Green Card. A benefit of the L1 is that your spouse will have work authorization.

A second option is available for people who do not own a current business. If you are from a Treaty Country (primarily Canada, Mexico, Australia, and most of Western Europe), you can apply for the E1 or E2, also called E-2 visa. The E visa group if for foreign investors who want to open a company in the United States. The reason I mention it is because a lot of people calling me seem to confuse the EB5 or EB-5 category with the E visa and think they must invest a million dollars and hire 10 US employees. The EB5 is too complex to discuss now and will be the covered in another article. However, with the E visa, we have successfully won cases with investments of $100,000 and a good business plan.

Many talented people feel that the H1B visa is their only option. It’s not. Sure, investing in your own company is risky, but so is working for someone else. If you are entrepreneurial, the E visa may turn your financial life around. Although the world economy is in a slump, the United States values brilliance and hard work. If you have a plan, maybe you can take it to the next step. For more information on the E and L visas, feel free to visit If you are moving to the United States, we created a site to help you understand the country a bit better: I hope this helps you find another option to the H-1b. Otherwise, you will have to wait until the new filing date of April 1st 2012 in order to start working on October 1st, 2012. Think of what you can do with your life between now and then as an entrepreneur!

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Win A Chance To See British Superbikes For Free With At Motorcycle Live 2011

Motorcycle accident claims specialist will again be roaring into Birmingham’s NEC for the annual Motorcycle Live show, and repeating a competition it first staged last year which attracted hundreds of entries.

A daily prize will be offered to the person who wins the company’s ‘Guess the mileage on the rear tyre’ competition, with the winner each day going forward to a grand draw for a top prize of a weekend away at the British Superbikes round of their choice for the 2012 season.

Meet the team on Stand G451 at Motorcycle Live, where you can find out about how this specialist firm of solicitors – and keen bikers – helps many motorcyclists every year who are involved in accidents which were not their fault.

“We’re really looking forward to being back at Motorcycle Live, and promise that, along with the exciting arena shows and other attractions, we can offer people who come to see us sound advice should they ever need to make a motorbike accident claim,” said’s Paul Dutton.

“Even when they’re on their way to the NEC, some of those who attend may well experience someone pulling out of a junction or changing lanes in front of them, knowing that it could easily result in an accident,” he added.

“So while they’re here, they can come and talk to us about their experiences, and find out how we can help them in the event of them needing to make an accident claim.” wants to make sure that every biker knows about their right to appoint a solicitor of their choice to represent them, with specialist knowledge of bikers’ needs. So the company will be giving away its valuable ‘smidsy’ cards, explaining this, which means that, should they need to make a claim, their case won’t be sold on to just any other company, but will be handled by experts.

Collect your free ‘smidsy’ card on stand G451 at Motorcycle Live telling you how you could save money, and at the same time get your name entered into the free draw to win tickets to one of the biggest get-togethers in the British biking calendar. It’s just another great reason not to miss the biggest bike show of the year.

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Motorcycle accident claims group is set to return to the Motorcycle Live event this year, with an industry stand available for the duration of the show at the Birmingham NEC.

Motorcycle Live is an annual event that has taken place since 1981 and continues to draw in thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts every year. The show is set to run from 19-27 November 2011 and has something for everyone. You will be able to see some death defying motorcycle stunts performed by trained professionals at the Ramp’d Up show and get some hands on training at the Get On area if you are just taking up motorcycling or returning to it after a long while. Those interested in purchasing new bikes can try before they buy in the Test Ride Zone, and anyone wanting to have a go at off-road motorcycling can sign up for a Yamaha or Suzuki Off Road Experience.

The team will be available at the company’s exhibition stand in hall four during Motorcycle Live to answer any questions about motorbike accident claims.

Paul Dutton at said: “Motorcycle Live is going to be an amazing event, one of the best in 2011 for motorcycle enthusiasts in fact. While everyone is having a good time though, we just want to be there to lend a helping hand to anyone who has ever been involved in a bike crash accident claim with an unobservant car driver, which is still a huge problem on the UK’s roads.

“You can guarantee that many of the motorcyclists coming to Motorcycle Live will have had some experience of a car driver pulling out of a junction or changing lanes without looking, and all too often that can result in an accident. We want to help them with their accident claims, because we know how difficult it can be out on the roads – a lot of us at are motorcyclists ourselves.” also represents motorcyclists involved in no collision accidents – crashes caused by diesel spills or pot holes- as well as industrial accidents in the workplace. To find out more about the services offered, go to the official website now.

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Warning For Golfers As Player Awarded £400k After Losing Eye

Leading UK golf insurance specialist Golf Care has urged players to ensure they take out sufficient protection before stepping onto the course.

The warning comes after a Scottish court ordered a golfer and a golf club to pay damages of almost £400,000 following an accident which led to an amateur player losing an eye after being struck by a ball.

A judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled on Friday that 44-year-old Anthony Phee from Sale, Greater Manchester, should receive £397,000 in damages – 30 per cent of which will be paid by Niddry Castle Golf Club at Winchburgh, in West Lothian, where the incident took place and 70 per cent by the golfer who struck the wayward shot.

The case has highlighted the importance of individual golfers having specialist golf insurance which covers them for eventualities such as this that can potentially occur on the golf course.

John Woosey, managing director of Golf Care, said: “It’s worrying that nine out of 10 golfers aren’t adequately covered when they step on the course. Mr Phee’s case proves that accidents happen and can cost golfers a fortune.”

The UK’s leading specialist golf insurance provider, Golf Care, offers policies that would have covered the liable golfer for this sort of incident which left the visiting player with only one eye after he was struck by a wayward tee-shot.

Mr Woosey added that in many cases, golfers think their home insurance will cover them for damage or personal liability, but the truth is that an inexpensive specialist golf insurance policy is the best way to ensure that individual golfers are adequately covered.

He said: “This sort of incident highlights just how dangerous a golf course can be, and a pay-out of £397,000 is a staggering amount.”

“The vast majority of golfers don’t realise how easy it is to compare golf insurance and aren’t properly covered. But whether you’re a single figure
handicapper or a golfing novice, we all hit poor shots. Why take the risk when for less than £30 a year you can be fully covered for incidents such as this – a small fee to pay for peace of mind every time you step onto the course.”

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Be More Aware Of Winter Driving Hazards, Warns Solicitor

The numerous crashes earlier this week on the regions motorways has prompted a local personal injury claims solicitor to remind motorists that extra care is needed throughout the long winter days and nights.

“Throughout the autumn and winter months, the weather conditions, darker days and nights, spark a hike in the number of road traffic accidents throughout the UK,” said Mr Cuerden of PHC Law Ltd.

And he said that a “frightening” rise in personal injury claims is usually seen at this time of year, due to a variety of causes, including speeding, drink-driving, and driving carelessly.

Mr Cuerden said: “I would urge all drivers to slow down, abide by the law and stick to the speed limits on the side streets, in residential areas, as well as on main roads and motorways.

“Check your blind spots and always be aware of other road users around you, especially motorcyclists, pedestrians, the elderly and young children.

“Make sure you are alert at all times while driving, and take a break if at any point you feel tired. Don’t get behind the if you have had a drink too many. Drive carefully and consider other road users around you.

“It is easy to make assumptions that ‘it won’t happen to me’. Even the most experienced of motorists can become complacent.

“Drive carefully, and ensure you take care of your own well-being as well as for others.”

Mr Cuerden is the owner of PHC Law personal injury solicitors, based in Preston, Lancashire.

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident and would like more information about how Mr Cuerden and his team can help, visit or call 0800 612 7 612.

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