I want to sue my builder, but he hasn’t finished the job what can I do?
Take legal advice as soon as you can. Make sure you have all written documents e.g. contract, quotation, list of payments. Take photos and make a list of the problems/defects. At some point you will need a report from a buildings expert but it is usually better for this to be obtained in conjunction with your solicitor. A ‘Letter of Claim’ needs to be sent by your legal adviser to the builder to start a formal process to enable the dispute to be resolved.
How long will a claim against a professional take?
Each case is different but as rule of thumb, up to six months for a negotiated settlement or one which is mediated. If court proceedings are begun, then it will take longer - usually up to 18 months or so.
I have been asked to attend the police station for an interview. Can I take a lawyer with me?
If you are being interviewed under caution at the police station you have the right to have a lawyer with you. That lawyer will be able to make enquiries on your behalf to confirm what the police are investigating, take your instructions and give advice and help you through the interview process. In most cases, such help can be provided free of charge under the Legal Aid scheme regardless of your means.
I am being investigated by the Department of Business. What should I do?
The Department of Business takes a leading role in investigating allegations relating to criminal offences arising out of business malpractice. They have the power to apply to the court to disqualify you as a director and instigate criminal proceedings which can result in unlimited fines and/or a prison sentence. You should take immediate, specialist legal advice.
I have been accused of dumping controlled waste. What should I do?
Illegally disposing of controlled waste or ‘fly tipping’ is a serious offence punishable with an unlimited fine and/or up to five years’ imprisonment. There are a number of possible defences available. You should take specialist legal advice before speaking to the authorities.
I have been told that I have not complied with fire regulations by the Fire Authority. What should I do?
The Fire Authority may simply be asking you to comply on a voluntary basis. Alternatively, they may have served you with an improvement, enforcement or prohibition notice or they may be investigating with a view to prosecution. Whatever the circumstances you should take all necessary steps to remedy any breach as soon as possible and seek immediate advice from a lawyer who specialises in fire safety cases.
I have been arrested for fraud. What should I do?
You should contact a solicitor who specialises in cases of fraud straightaway. You are entitled to take legal advice before answering any questions. Your personal liberty, the future of your business and your ability to act as a director could well depend upon you seeking the right advice as quickly as possible.
I am the director of a company. Am I liable if an employee dies as a result of an accident of work?
Directors cannot rely upon limited liability to avoid the risk of being prosecuted as an individual if a death occurs in the workplace following breaches of health and safety. Penalties upon conviction can range from an unlimited fine to life imprisonment depending upon the circumstances. Seek legal advice immediately.
Do I need a solicitor to attend with me for a meeting with HSE?
You are entitled to nominate someone to attend the meeting with you and that can include a solicitor but HSE do not have to agree. If you are being interviewed under caution and in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act you can insist on having a solicitor with you
I have been asked to attend a meeting with the Health and Safety Executive. Should I attend?
You are obliged by law to cooperate with HSE inspectors during an investigation, including providing any information they may reasonably require and attending any necessary meetings.