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Sep
2019
Sudbury to the Sea Success for the TSP Team

At the weekend (14th– 15th September) the Thompson Smith and Puxon Dispute Resolution team took to the water and successfully completed the Sudbury to the Sea event! The annual event, arranged by the River Stour Trust, involves rowing 24½ miles (37km) along the River Stour from Sudbury to the Cattawade Barrier. Each year hundreds of people sign up to take part in the challenge and this year the Dispute Resolution team, led by Director Sharon Auton, decided to get involved. They chose to complete the challenge in aid of the Tom Bowdidge Foundation. The TSP team included Sharon Auton, Naomi Baker, Francesca Dooley, Jack Corr and Matthew Robins. The team successfully made it to the finish line, completing the event in 16 and a half hours spread across 2 days of rowing! In total they raised £275.00 for the Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation. Well done team, a fantastic achievement! Sharon Auton said “It is safe to say, as novices, we were extremely tired and sore after the event. However the pain and effort was worth it for the great memories made along the way. Thank you so much to everyone who sponsored us!” Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Trust The
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Sep
2019
Organisation or Individual – Who is Liable?

The Employment Tribunal frequently finds employers liable for discriminatory actions (including harassment and victimisation) carried out by a member of its staff.  In this article, Jolyon Berry, Employment Law solicitor at Thompson Smith and Puxon, discusses a couple of recent judgments in the Employment Tribunal. Typically, an individual who has a grievance with their line manager, and who has brought a claim to the Employment Tribunal, accuses both the line manager and the employer of breaches of the Equality Act.  It is a common tactic for Claimants to cast the net wide when commencing proceedings by suing individuals and organisations together.  It may be true that the employer has deeper pockets than the individual line manager being sued and so is a better target in some respects.  It may also be that by suing one of its managers or directors, the Company is under greater pressure to negotiate an out of Court settlement.  An employer can defend itself against such claims if it can show that it has done all that it can to prevent the discriminatory acts from happening in the first place.  Many companies have, however, been found liable despite running such defence on the basis that there
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Sep
2019
Electronic Execution of Documents

The Law Commission has recently (4 September 2019) published guidance on the electronic execution of documents. Having first undertaken a period of consultation, it outlined in its report its conclusions regarding the validity of electronic signatures, and in particular concluded that: An electronic signature is capable in law of being used to execute documents, including deeds, provided that it is clear that the person signing intended to authenticate the document and any relevant formalities are satisfied. In the case of deeds that require execution “in the presence of a witness”, physical presence of that witness would still be required, albeit that the witness can also sign electronically. For these purposes, it did not consider that, at this time, video conferencing would be adequate. An electronic signature is admissible in evidence in legal proceedings. Unless legislation, contractual obligations or case law requires otherwise, the form of electronic signature is not prescriptive and could even take less obvious forms of signature such as signing with an “X”, a typed name at the bottom of an email or clicking an “I accept” tick box on a website.   The Law Commission has recommended that an industry working group be established to consider and
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Sep
2019
New Addition to the Wills and Estates Team at Thompson Smith and Puxon

Thompson Smith and Puxon (TSP) is pleased to announce a new addition to the Wills and Estates team, Solicitor Hayley Weston. Hayley advises clients on a broad range of private client matters including; Wills, Powers of Attorney, Deputyship and the administration of estates.  She specialises in elderly and vulnerable client matters. She is a fully accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) and Secretary of the Essex branch. She is also an Affiliate member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP). Hayley obtained her Law Degree from the University of Exeter in 1996 and qualified as Solicitor in 1999. She started her career working in the Litigation department of a local firm specialising in defendant personal injury and commercial litigation. Following a career break to raise her three children, Hayley returned to the firm as a Solicitor in the Wills and Probate team In May 2016. Hayley is a Dementia Friend, an Alzheimer’s Society scheme which aims to raise awareness of what it’s like to live with dementia and how people living with it can be helped. Hayley says “One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is being able to help and support clients through
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Sep
2019
Proud Sponsors of Bergholt Heath Youth Football Club

Thompson Smith and Puxon (TSP) is delighted to be sponsoring the Bergholt Heath Youth Football Club Under 7’s Reds team for the 2019/20 season. Shelley Cumbers, TSP Family and Divorce Solicitor, who is local to West Bergholt, has recently been appointed as the club’s Fixtures Secretary and her son Parker (pictured proudly wearing his new shirt!) is a player in the Under 7’s Reds team. Shelley says, “On behalf of the club, I would like to thank TSP for their generous sponsorship this year. This has enabled us to purchase new kits and equipment for the team. I am very excited for the year ahead and can’t wait to see the children play their first season of league football having trained in the academy for the last two years. They’re a fantastic bunch and I’m sure they’ll have fun trying to score lots of goals!” Bergholt Heath Youth Football Club is an FA charter standard club that has been running youth football in West Bergholt since 1999. The club plays in leagues, cup competitions and fixtures organised by the Colchester and District Youth League. Children over a range of ages enjoy training and playing matches for the club, from 4
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