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Work Accident Compensation Claims: Your Questions Answered!

Work accident compensation claims are some of the most common legal cases that solicitors have to deal with in their careers. People spend around 1/3 of their lives at work. That means they rely on their employers to provide them with a safe, secure and pleasant environment to work in. Covid-19 has changed the way we think about working and has proven that many of us can work remotely. However, for those who cannot do their job from home, it’s important to know how to keep safe on-site. That’s why if you do suffer from an accident at work, or perhaps have already been injured before the UK lock down, you may have a lot of questions about how you can go about dealing with compensation claims.

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The button above will take you to an interview with Gowing Law’s operations director, Elaine, but you may want to just understand the basics of work accident compensation claims. That’s why in this blog, you will find 5 of the most common types of questions about work accident claims. If you have any additional questions, don’t be afraid to ask our trained solicitors. They would be more than happy to assist you and help you get the compensation that you deserve.

What is a work accident claim?

Before we jump into 5 of the most common questions asked by our clients, let’s start off this blog with a basic definition of what work accidents entail. As you would expect, a work accident means that you are injured at work. This could include:

  • Slips/Trips
  • Unmarked wet floors
  • Faulty Electrics
  • Messy environments
  • Untrained employees
  • Heavy Lifting
  • Repetitive tasks
  • Violent colleagues or customers

These are only a few of the accidents that could happen at work. That’s why, if you do end up returning to your workplace, you need to note down what sort of safety routines your employer has in place. If they do not have updated regulations to protect you from Covid-19, or you notice hazards that could cause an accident, you need to send a letter of grievance to your employer or let them know via a meeting. If they do not take action to rectify these problems, and they do cause an accident, this could mean that they could be liable for the injuries of their employees. That means that they will have to pay compensation to help their employee recover. The request for an injury payment is known as a compensation claim.

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The most common questions about work accident claims

All compensation claims can be quite daunting if you have never had to file one before, especially if you have been injured and are trying to recover. You need to think carefully about all of the losses you have made, including financial hardships, emotional stress and physical injuries. Another problem you have to overcome is whether or not your company will take responsibility for your injuries or whether you will have to see them in court.

This is why Gowing Law has interviewed our Operations Director, Elaine, about work accidents. We understand that there may be a few questions in your head that you may want answers to. Most websites will simply list out the simple questions about work accidents. However, as we understand that each case changes on an individual basis, we have decided to use this blog to focus on some of the more niche questions that may leave you feeling a bit nervous about claiming compensation.

Please see our top 5 most common questions below:

1. Can my employer sack me if I make a compensation claim?

No, your employer cannot fire you if you make a compensation claim. You are not making them experience any losses as your employer should have employer’s liability insurance. That means that they will not be paying out of their own funds, instead they will be using their insurance. All employers must have employer’s liability insurance once they employ workers. If they do fire you for making a claim, you will need to seek the help of an employment law solicitor. They can help you prepare for a tribunal and help you get the justice you deserve.

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2. My workmate caused my injuries, not my boss. Who pays my compensation?

This is more common than you might realize. Your workmate may have been messing around and you were accidentally caught in the crossfire. This means that you were injured because of their actions, not because of a hazard that was left out thanks to your employer’s negligence.

You may think that this can be quite tricky, especially if you do not want to involve your friends from work. These sort of difficult situations are where a trained work accident solicitor can help you with your compensation claim. A situation like this is also known as vicarious liability. Your employer is responsible for any employees and their actions on the premises. That means that if the employee was negligent, it can be proven that they were simply acting in relations to the duties asked by their employers. Overall, it will still be your boss that is responsible that needs to pay for your compensation. But remember, it will be their insurance that is paid to you and it will not be paid out of their own money.

3. How much money can I get from a compensation claim pay out?

This depends on the extent of damage and losses that have happened because of your accident. Remember, the point of compensation claims are to get you back to your starting point before you experienced any sort of losses. That means you could claim thousands or even a 7 digit amount. However, the higher the compensation amount, the more likely that the injury or losses changed your life or were extremely severe.

Each payout depends on your own circumstance. You can claim for any sort of injury, but it would be best to get an estimate from a trained work accident solicitor. They can take a look at the evidence you have collected, including any work accident book copies, witness statements, videos, photos and medical documents, and let you know what you could be owed.

4. A friend/loved one died from a work accident. Can I claim for them?

If you do know someone who has died from a work accident, the administrator or executor of their estate could bring compensation claims on behalf of the deceased. The same thing could be done if the party bringing the claim is a dependent. This includes a spouse, civil partner, children, parents or other members of the family. However, it will still require evidence to do so and will need medical evidence to show the extent of their injuries. If the claim is successful, this can get a pay-out even after the death of a loved one.

5. Will I need to pay any fees?

This depends on the type of solicitors you sign up with to help with your case. Gowing Law Solicitors offers a “no win, no fee” service. This means that if your case is not won then you will not need to pay any fees. Make sure to ask your lawyer about their potential fees before they start. Usually, you will have an agreement in place for a fee depending on whether or not you win your case. Usually this will be around 25%, however it does depend entirely on the solicitor. Make sure you do your research before you pick the lawyer that you want to work with to help you claim work accident compensation.

How do I claim compensation from a work accident?

If you are satisfied with the answers to the previous questions, are you asking yourself how you can claim compensation? Well, the most important thing is to have your case documented. That means it needs evidence to prove that your employer was at fault. You may even want to write a letter of complaint to them in order to let them know that you intend to go forward with a compensation claim.

From there, you can bring your evidence to your solicitor and let them guide you through the claims process. They will ask you for specific information about your claim and will contact different parties (i.e. your employer and insurance company) on your behalf. If you do not feel confident about going to court, they can even represent you. This is why it is essential to have a trained solicitor on your side. That way you can feel confident and secure that you can get the pay-out that you deserve from any compensation claims.

Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your work accident compensation claim!

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Gowing Law Solicitors can offer you free help and consultations for your work accident claim. Our experienced lawyers are always available to let you know the best path forward. They will inform you of any pitfalls and requirements to make sure your claim is completely valid. Just make sure to make your claim within 3 years of the injury. As mentioned previously, we work on a no win, no fee basis. That means that you are taking no risk when it comes to making a claim. Instead, you can feel good that either way you will have a satisfactory outcome to your court case.

If you are ready to make a claim with Gowing Law, you can call us at 0800 041 8350, email info@gowinglaw.co.uk or use our direct messaging feature on our contact page. One of our specialists will then be in contact with you as quickly possible. Feel free to ask them any additional questions you may have.

Read more about Work Accident Claims!

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We always keep our blog updated with the latest UK law information. If you want to know more about work accident compensation, make sure to take a look at one of these blogs:

We also cover a range of other topics, like PPE tax reclaims, mis-sold mortgage claims, mis-sold pension claims and much, much more. You can also write in to info@gowinglaw.co.uk if you want to let us know about a topic you would like to cover. Remember, we also have a weekly newsletter, so you can also let us know whether you would like our team to sign you up.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and wish you the best of luck with your work accident claim.

Celebrating BAME Achievement in law: Tunji Sowande

Tunji Sowande image

The UK’s history is populated with a number of hidden voices that have made great strides towards equality. It is important that we keep learning from their stories so that we can improve our own morals. It takes one strong voice to change the world. That is why we wish to end our article series on a more modern case study. This is Tunji Sowande, the first black judge.

Now, as discussed in our recent articles, BAME figures in the law faced a struggle against racism in British society. This made it difficult to be accepted in the 1800’s. It paved the way for others to follow in their footsteps into the following century. However, the 1900’s were also rife with racial tensions. Although people from Africa, the Caribbean and Asia were often encouraged to return to England after WWII. Those who came over often met with abuse and discrimination from those who they lived and worked with. Racial discrimination was not illegal until 1965 with the Race Relations Act, which shows how many obstacles Tunji Sowande had to face.

Imagine coming over to the UK in 1945, a time when the face of Britain was changing with the end of WWII and the birth of the post-war consensus. It was a time of turmoil, but the success of Tunji Sowande in the legal system was a triumph for equality. As the first Nigerian judge in the UK, Tunji Sowande stood as an icon of justice but also as a figurehead of BAME youths all over the country. This is his story.

Who is Tunji Sowande?

Tunji Sowande History

Tunji Sowande was born in 1912 in Lagos, Nigeria, to a very successful family. Not only was his father, Emmanuel Sowande, famous for his contributions to church music in Lagos, but his brother, Fela Sowande, became a MBE and practically the father of modern African classical music.  Having this stable background behind him, it is not surprising that Sowande went on to accomplish great things. But what is surprising is that law was not his first choice. In fact, not only did he obtain a Diploma in Pharmacy in 1940. He worked with Lagos’ Public Health Department as a dispensing pharmacist.

Sowande’s career goals then changed to law as a stable profession, aiming to go to the UK to start practicing and also pursue his musical skills. Clearly, what we can learn from this is that he was an extremely well-rounded man. He had many interested and had the passion and drive to pursue them. Britain became a land of opportunity for those in the BAME community and still is to this day. Therefore, a question comes to mind: how do we support people in similar situations, for example, today, perhaps in poorer socio-economic circumstances? Law is not an easy profession to get in to, especially with the amount of debt that students can get into. Have a think about how you, in a strong position as a member of the legal profession, can make an impact on the life of someone who needs that help.

A man of many talents

Now, it is clear that Sowande was someone who possessed an immense amount of talent. Not only were his scholarly pursuits at the CMS Anglican Grammar School and Yaba Higher College extremely successful, but he proved to be an excellent business man by setting up his private Pharmacy business alongside Adeyinka Oyekan, the Oba/King of Lagos.

Just to add to this growing list of talents, Sowande was also an extremely talented musician. Not only was he a fantastic baritone singer, but he could also play the organ and later the drums and saxophone. He wanted to hone in these skills by coming to the UK, however he understood that he could not live on music alone. That is why he decided to pursue a career in Law, as this would allow him a change of scene and allow him to follow up his primary passions.

The passion behind his ambitions is something that we can admire today. Isn’t it inspiring to see people chase after the things they want without being held back? Nowadays, we have progressed to the point where we can do that, and find our own ways of making sure people are not held back. So, imagine the struggle endured in order to pursue his dreams. During this period of racial tension, it was certainly not an easy job.

Britain & Racism in the 1900’s

To add some context behind Sowande’s story, it’s important that we also take a look at British history. That way you can empathise with Sowande’s experience and understand some of the struggles he went through. As more and more people immigrated to the UK, in 1919 more large racist attacks began to hit BAME communities in London, Liverpool, Hull, Manchester, South Shields and in Scotland and Wales. Although the influx of migrant workers provided a boost to Britain’s economy, racism still prevented certain people from gaining jobs in specific fields, such as the armed services. Some British laws were also extremely racist, including the Coloured Alien Seamen’s Order of 1925 and the 1981 British Nationality Act.

Due to the spread of racism in the UK, it was not surprising that resistance to these laws began to rise. These resistance groups began to organize political demonstrations, such as Grumwick Strike in 1976 and Black People’s Day of Action in 1981. There were also a number of demonstrations protesting police violence and racism in the 1970s/1980s. The 1900’s is an era of turmoil and rising tensions between different communities of people. That is why it was such a breakthrough when Sowande became the first black judge in the UK. It was a symbol of what justice in the UK should look like and that everyone was equal under the eyes of the law.

Tunji Sowandes’ Legal Successes

Sowande studied law at King’s college in London and managed to pass his Bar Finals at Lincoln’s Inn. He was then offered a full tenancy at the 3 Kings Bench Walk Chambers after he was called to the Bar in 1952. This left him in shock, as tenancies in these prestigious chambers had not previously been permitted to Black Barristers due to a racial restriction. Although he initially refused it on account of his music career, he was eventually persuaded by his Pupil Master who claimed that his exceptional intellect would serve him well in a career at the Bar.

Racial tensions aside, it is clear from this that we can see the conflict between Sowande’s passions and his career prospects. Although he could have been a successful musician in the UK, his Pupil Master’s faith in his abilities gave him the push he needed to move forward with his career.

Criminal Law & The Future Career of Tunji Sowande

Specializing in Criminal Law, Sowande handled complex criminal matters and rose to Head of Chambers in 1968. This made him the first Black Head of a major Barrister’s chambers set. Not only that but in 1978, his hard work earned him the title of the first Black Deputy Judge in Snaresbrook, and eventually in the crown courts of Corydon, Inner London and Knightsbridge. It was then that he was promoted further to a “Recorder of the Crown Court”, or in other terms, the first black judge.

Sowande held a lot of power in this position and used it well. Understanding that now he was at a place of authority and experience, he helped promote the careers of a number of successful lawyers from BAME backgrounds. This included Kim Hollis QC, a popular female Asian lawyer, who Sowande offered a tenancy and mentored at the very start of her career.

It is important that we learn from this example. We can all progress to dizzying heights in our careers, but does that really matter when there are still inspired youths at the start of their careers that need a little bit of guidance to push them forward? The youth are the future. If they come from BAME communities then they may not have all of the opportunities that other people have had. You could have more impact on someone’s life than you realise.

Sowande & Racial Discrimination

As we look through Sowande’s past, it is important to think of the struggles that he went through whilst pursuing his career. This was a period of turmoil between different spheres both culturally and professionally, therefore Sowande needed to become an amalgamation of the two.

An example of blatant discrimination that Sowande did experience in his career was during an interview in the barrister’s chambers. It is odd to think that in such a place of professionalism, the interviewer outright said to him that he should return to ”bongo-bongo land.” Take a moment to imagine that. You are an established barrister with a wide range of professional experience and talents that shows that you are an extremely well-rounded person. Yet it still is not enough in the eyes of a judgemental community.

We need to consider the wider contexts at play that affected Sowande’s career progressions. Sometimes there are simply factors that are out of our control that can impede people’s growth both personally and professionally. What is important is not to stoop to the same level, instead it is our job to change the minds of others through persuasion, kindness and empathy. You can change the world if you change your mind. This is the ultimate moral behind why it is so important to know Sowande’s life.

Creative Pursuits

Although Sowande’s main claim to fame are his achievements in the world of law. It’s important not to forget about his other passions. His main aim coming to the UK was to pursue a career in music, using a legal pathway to support himself financially. During his time at King’s College in London, he focused on Jazz, Classical and Choral music, also collaborating on live sets with contemporary musicians like Johnny Dankworth, Paul Robesons, Ambrose Campbell, Edumondo Ros and Ronnie Scott.

It is clear that his music was inspired by his family and cultural roots. Rita Cann, a famous Black Singer and Pianist, partnered with Sowande on several projects. Together, they joined a group of Black intellectuals and musicians. This was at the flat of John Payne, an African-American musician, in Regent’s park.

Charity & Music

A lot of the music he did make throughout his life was for charitable purposes, including entertaining elderly audiences with Rita Cann around the UK. Creativity and kindness were important values in his life. To provide happiness to those who were in a more vulnerable situation was an act of kindness that could inspire others to follow in his footsteps. This is what we need to think about when we think about BAME communities in the present. How can we be kind to each other and what can we do that can truly help each other? Most importantly, how can we truly listen to one-another so that we can develop and learn from the experiences of others. These are all important lessons to think about.

Sport & Social Communities

As you can see from Sowande’s life, he was not a man to simply sit around. This man had a wide range of passions that kept him busy. They helped him develop connections in a number of different communities- something that would be incredibly difficult during this time of racial tension. He was an extremely active member of the Hurlingham sports club, the Marylebone Cricket Club and the Crystal Palace Football Club. What is interesting about this is the fact that Sowande chose not to solely be a member of his own ex-pat community. Instead, he expanded himself to pursue every passion he could. In turn, this proved that he was any man’s equal. There was no divide. Instead, sport provided a facility for people to meet as equals on the playing field.

The Together in Football Foundation

We move away from the life of Tunji Sowande for just a moment. That way we can talk more about the impact of sport on community and growth. Here at Gowing Law, we think it is important that we support everyone. That is why we have set up “The Together in Football Foundation”. This is a charity where children of all backgrounds can enjoy a game of football together. We aim to unite all communities under a game where they can get to know each other. This is where everyone can grow bonds by having fun against other teams.

If you are interested in supporting this cause, please follow the link below to our foundation page:

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The impact of Tunji’s Sowande’s life on the UK

It is a shame that the life of Tunji Sowande has not received more attention. He is an example of a multi-talented man who achieved so much in his lifetime. His life serves as a reminder of why everyone deserves respect. Everyone deserves the chance of obtain success for themselves and their families. We cannot just hide away from the fact that he was from a well-off background. He was eligible for more opportunities than others may have had. However, he used these opportunities to become a figure of justice in the UK. These opportunities were then passed along for the next generation.

We, as a nation, should celebrate the progression we have made for equal opportunities for people of all races. However we should also use it to reflect on the past and what we need to improve on. Everyone deserve justice and to feel safe and secure in a nation that treats everyone’s rights with respect.

Gowing Law hopes you have enjoyed our blog series!

Here at Gowing Law, we believe in equality. We will support everyone who comes to our trained solicitors for help. That way they can get the justice that they deserve.

We hope that our series has shed some light on a few of the many BAME law figures. These are the voices that paved the way for others in present-day Britain. It is important that we celebrate their achievements. However we also need to listen to the voices of minority figures. That way we can hear them express their own experiences and make important changes to our society.

If you have enjoyed our series, our blog page also has a number of detailed law blogs. They are perfect reading if you are interested in pursuing a legal issue. Make sure to read them before you leave our website!

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Celebrating BAME Achievement in law: Cornelia Sorabji

Cornelia Sorabji portrait

When we think about BAME figures in the field of law, it is important that we look into the experiences of all genders. Although BAME men struggled to find their place in the UK’s judicial system, women had an even tougher job. Think about it this way. In the past, racial intolerance was prevalent through all walks of British culture. Racial tension was in the arts, science, politics and, especially, in the justice system.

However, for women there was the additional discrimination factor of gender. Nowadays, we know that this sort of treatment should not be allowed in any sort of career. For this we can look at the recent news about pregnant women being unfairly furloughed or simply not being paid at all! The government has stated that this sort of treatment is “completely unacceptable.” But back in the Victorian era, it was a constant fact of life.

This brings us to the latest focus of our series “celebrating BAME voices & their contribution to the field of law”. Today we are going to talk about the life and impact of Cornelia Sorabji. She was the first woman to get a degree in India and the UK. We will look at her life, the challenges that she has faced and why she is still an important BAME role model for any young woman interested in involving themselves in the world of law.

Who was Cornelia Sorabji?

Cornelia sorabji history

Although Cornelia Sorabji was never officially called to the bar, she was known as England’s first female barrister. Not only that but she was the first female graduate of an Indian University (Bombay University). This meant that she was the first woman to practice law in both India and the UK. However, it was not until the sex disqualification (removal) act came into play that she was actually awarded her law degree. This was almost 30 years after she sat her exams in the first place!

Cornelia Sorabji’s personal background

Throughout her life, Cornelia Sorabji faced discrimination and adversity for nearly every single project she set herself on. She was an intelligent woman with parents that believed in her right to have an education. Her father was an extremely open-minded reverend (Reverend Sorbji Karsedji). Her mother (Francina Ford) was adopted by a wealthy British couple. She helped local women learn about their inheritance and property rights.

It is thanks to both these parents that Bombay University opened its doors to her. She graduated with extremely high marks, endeavouring to enrol in Deccan college with the help of a government scholarship to study in England. However, this was denied to her due to her gender.

In order to get over this hurdle, Cornelia Sorbji wrote to the National Indian Association in 1888. She received support from influential figures, like Mary Hobhouse, Florence Nightingale and Sir William Wedderburn. These figures all contributed to her funds and wrote petitions to Oxford University to accept her as a student. Due to this help she was able to study a postgraduate degree in law at Oxford in 1892. She even became a reader at Oxford’s Codrington Library.

Cornelia Sorabji was not awarded this degree. However she did return to India in 1894 to involve herself in social and advisory law. This was mostly on behalf of “purdahnashins”, women who were segregated from the male world, and orphans. Her clients often owned their own property but did not have the legal experience, or rights, to defend it. This is why Sorabji would often enter their pleas on their behalf in front of British legal agents.

Discrimination & Cornelia Sorabji’s legal position

One of the main problems that came with Sorabji’s qualifications in India is that she could not use them properly. She was still treated as “only a woman”. Therefore she had no legal agency or professional standing within the Indian legal system. That is why she decided to undertake a LLB (Latin Legum Baccalaure) examination in Bombay University. She also took a pleader’s examination in the Allahabad High Court. Although she was able to pass both examinations, she was not formally recognised as a barrister until 1923. Instead, she became a “lady assistant” to the court of wards in Began, Bihar, Orissa and Assam.

It is through this work that she was able to help around 600 women and orphans in the legal sphere. Sometimes she did this without charging them anything. Sorabji was a very powerful woman and always spoke her mind. She clearly had a strong sense of justice and knew how to speak for vulnerable people. Overcoming a wide range of obstacles clearly gave her the confidence to continue with her work. Her attitudes were shaped by her experiences with both British and Indian society .

Eventually, she did end up settling in England after she retired in 1929. Sorabji died in her home in Finsbury Park in 1954. By then she had finally received her degrees and was a fully legally qualified barrister.

The strength of a voice

As we think about the lives of BAME figures in law, we should consider what changed them to fit their “sphere” of work.

Sorabji was already at a huge disadvantage to her peers due to her gender. Throughout her life, she was strong and outspoken. However her talents were only truly taken seriously when a white social figure vouched for her abilities. This is what makes her life a little tragic. Despite her amount of strength, she found that she was not taken seriously by UK law officials. Higher authorities only listened when there was someone tey viewed as an “equal” to convince them. This experience may well have inspired her to provide justice to those who were victimized for their gender and status. They could not speak, so she decided to speak for them.

The duality of legalities in India and England.

The main question is, how much did British culture actually influence Cornelia Sorabji? Clearly at the start of her career, Sorabji stuck true to her own principles. According to Helen Rappaport, she had no desire to see

“the wholesale imposition of a British legal system on Indian society any more than she sought the transplantation of other Western values.

Although she battled fiercely against these oppressive systems, she did try to promote culture reform. However, as she grew older she started to adopt anti-nationalist positions. This was mostly seen in the 1920s. She claimed that it was essential that Britain was in India. This was to prevent toxic values from old national beliefs from getting worse. This did hurt her campaign for justice, including her social reforms. These included her plans for the “league for Infant Welfare, Maternity, and District Nursing.

If we think carefully about this change, clearly it was due to her experiences in both England and India. Perhaps the feeling of hitting a patriarchal barrier time and time again slowly began to wear on her? The UK did have its faults. However, compared to the adversity of the Indian legal system, perhaps Sorabji only felt like an equal in the UK. She adapted to fit her environment. Eventually, she used her experiences to push to change parts of the culture around her that she found toxic. That way the most vulnerable could eventually have a voice.

Cornelia Sorabji’s legacy

As a champion of woman’s suffrage in both England and India, Sorabji stands as a strong feminist icon. Despite gaining many qualifications, people did not see her as an experienced barrister even after years of work. This was discrimination in its purest form. But she still continued to provide justice to women in Indian.

In terms of her own achievements, in 1909, she received the Kaisar-i-Hind Medal. This was to thank her for her efforts to reform legalities against women.  It included her orthodox Hindu stances on child marriage and widows. This is why it is sad that UK history has hid her away. Her visibility is a clear sign that young BAME women have so much potential. They need to receive the right support. These opportunities opportunities can help them forward with their lives.

Most of all, Sorabji provides the precedent for female lawyers studying in the UK. No matter the colour of a woman’s skin, she can achieve great things if given the right opportunities.

What can we learn from Cornelia Sorabji?

Sorabji’s tale shows a moral lesson. Even the most intelligent of people are put down if legal structures fail to support them in their ambitions. White allies are imperative to help push forward unheard voices. These voices have the potential to do great thing if given the proper tools.

Our society has progressed forward with the rights of women and different ethnic groups. However we still have a long way to go before we are all considered to be ”truly equal”. No doubt, If Cornelia Sorabji was born into this time period, she would have gone even further in her career.

Either way, her impact played a crucial role in speaking for the oppressed.  We will never forget her voice.

We are all equal under the eyes of the law

Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we think it is crucial to support the BAME community and their calls for equality. We support all of our employees! They would always be willing to help anyone who was truly in need of justice. That is why it is important to bring light to the stories of BAME figures in UK legal history. That way we can applaud their accomplishments.

Join us for our next celebration of BAME legal figures in our next blog. This will be about the life of Tunji Sowande, the first Black Judge in the UK. Don’t forget to look at our previous blog about Christian Frederick Cole, the first black UK barrister.

Celebrating BAME Achievement in law: Christian Frederick Cole

Christian Frederick Cole Image

Welcome to the first in our series of articles about the lives of BAME law figures in the past and present. We are starting off with the life of Christian Frederick Cole. Right now, the UK is in a tumultuous period due to Covid-19 and the recent events in America. At Gowing Law Solicitors, we want to provide support to everyone that needs it. The level of help you receive should not depend on the colour of your skin. Instead, all lawyers should be focused on getting their clients the justice that they deserve.

That is why we want to discuss the lives of important BAME figures that have played a role in shaping Britain’s legal history. Without them, we would not have made such great strides in the fight for equality of people of all races, genders, sexualities and ages. We want to use this moment to commend these figures and use them as case studies of human achievement. Anyone has the potential to be “great” if they are given the right opportunities. If they dedicate themselves to a good cause there is a wealth of possibility.

Here at Gowing Law, we want to listen to the experiences of people in the BAME community and amplify their stories to inspire young people in the present day. Anyone can become a lawyer or have a career in law. Hard work and a truly level playing field can give anyone the tools they need to overcome adversity.

That is why we want to start off our article series by looking into the life of Christian Frederick Cole, the first black barrister, all the way back in the 1800’s. This is history and his experiences of the legal system back in the Victorian Era.

Who Was Christian Frederick Cole?

Christian Cole Gifs

One of the most important things about Christian Frederick Cole (known as “Old King Cole” by his close friends) is that his greatest achievements derive from succeeding in the UK’s biggest scholarly establishments. Whilst this may not seem like a giant achievement nowadays, just imagine what it must have been like back in 1800’s where the majority of graduates would have been young white males. Diversity of opportunity was not exactly a well-known attribute of Britain back in the Victorian period, so to be of West African descent and then to graduate from Oxford University was a massive deal. Although he was not the first African-American to graduate from Oxford, the fact that he was in the first band of people (being encouraged by his role model Reverend Edward Jones) proved these courses should be more accessible to people of different races.

With that said, Christian Frederick Cole was born in Waterloo, in the British colony of Sierra Leone in 1852. His parents, Jacob and May Cole, managed to obtain their son a scholarship in Fourah Bay College. It was there that he was encouraged to apply for Oxford University. Although this may have been seen as an audacious move, Cole managed to pass his “responses”. These included exams in Greek, Latin, arithmetic and algebra. Through these he earned his place at the university.

Racism & Victorian Ideology

Let’s take a moment to consider what sort of obstacles Cole faced when he first came to England in 1873. A black man entering university would have immediately flipped the ideology of the time on its head. After all, when he made his appearance in the 1870s, Britain colonialism was still in full swing. There was also the prevailing ideology that black people were intellectually “inferior” to white people. So, to come to the UK and enroll at one of the most prestigious universities for one of the most difficult degrees (classical moderations), he showed how wrong this ideology actually was. Not only was he the first black African to study at the university, he demonstrated clearly the fallacy of the ideology then prevalent in British culture.

Christian Frederick Cole: A man of curiosity

Due to his appearance and gentleman-like attitude, Cole attracted a lot of attention to himself. He was an intelligent man, being part of the debating club and often speaking in parish churches and union workhouses about mission work in Sierra Leone. Not only did he achieve honours in his degree, but his essays were commended by Benjamin Jowett of Balliol, a famous translator and eventually the university’s vice-chancellor.

Although he did graduate, this put him into a lot of debt (£200). He eventually had to ask for help from the master of the University College, George Granville Bradley. Bradley asked for aid on his behalf claiming:

“the exceptional nature of Mr Cole deserves and calls for the sympathy of and assistance of those in Oxford in which he lived with so much credit to himself.”

Although Cole’s friends did fight for him to remain in London, Cole was forced to return home. He only came back to the UK in 1879 when his friends in Sierra Leona raised enough money for him. This helped him to pursue a career in law.

Cole’s Law Career

Cole became the first black African man to join the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. This was one of four Inns of Court in London. After four years of work, he was finally called to the bar to be the first African barrister to practice in the British courts. Although he was called to the bar, he was not able to secure any chambers in Britain. Instead, he moved to be a barrister in the consular court of Sayyid Barghash bin Said Al-Busaid in Zanzibar.

It’s important to take a moment to reflect on these important parts of Cole’s history. Yes, he made a breakthrough being the first African man to be allowed to the bar, but the main question is, why was he not able to secure any chambers? Of course, we need to think of the fear of the “other” in Victorian Britain, but perhaps, despite his achievement, there was still that sense of judgement that came from the class system. A black man that had been in debt throughout his education still did not have the power that a white man had. Nowadays, this ideology would never stand in the court system.

It is important to use his story to reflect on how far we have come in terms of equality. One’s successes in law are based on the strength of one’s cases, rather than the colour of one’s skin. However, we still have far to go as an industry and as a society.

African Roots vs British Careers

Consider this: How far did Britain actually force Cole to change himself as a person? He had always been described as an intellectual who had the respect of his colleagues. A document from 1883 introduced Cole in London Bankruptcy Court as a

“gentleman of colour- of the darkest tint”. He was received by all the other members of the bar with the courtesy which might be expected from English gentlemen. His address to the learned recorder, Sir Thomas Chambers, for mercy towards a young offender against the law, showed an unusual command of ‘the tongue that Shakespeare spoke’, a felicity of expression, good taste and intellectual force.”

Now, this description of Cole seems to be shocked at the prospect that there could be, as they put it, a “gentleman of colour” that could receive such respect, and in turn, speak with intelligence that could battle a legal court case in the UK.  We can see the prevalent racism that ran through Victorian Britain. However there is a side where Cole was respected by others in the law community for his  powerful voice.

The Mould of British Society

Some would say that Cole was forced to change in order to fit the mould of British society. It would make sense as he was looking to have a career in law. Therefore he needed to adapt to embody the mannerisms of a respected lawyer. However, Cole was keen never to let go of his African roots. He was interested in pan-Africanism in Sierra Leon. This was a political movement that advocated for a political union between all inhabitants of the continent. He also battled furiously in Britain against criticism against Africans. This appeared through a poem named Reflections on the Zulu War and a political pamphlet.

It was clear that Cole was incredibly strong-willed and intended to make his voice heard in Victorian Britain. This was not to appear as a “spectacle” but to actually raise serious issues of race, politics and discrimination. Doing this, while carrying the heavy load of expectation and public judgement, he will have been aware of the weight of his actions. Even under this pressure he remained a strong role model for any aspiring lawyer. This is due to Cole always speaking his mind in the finest wit and speech possible.

Why is Cole so important in UK history?

Christian Frederick Cole smashed through the barriers of race as the first Black barrister in the UK. This is why he serves as an important reminder of how far we have come. Of course, UK society does not have the same racial barriers as we did back in the 1800s. Sadly, Cole died at age 33 due to Smallpox. This leaves us to wonder, with more opportunities in his life, would he have achieved even more than he did? We will never know.

Think about this statement in relation to the lives of young black lawyers and barristers today. Cole has paved the way for them to achieve their dreams at some of the biggest universities in the UK. But how many are being held back by socio-economic circumstances? If we all received the same opportunities, perhaps we would have more BAME figures in the legal system. We do not have this idyllic platform. It shows that it is more important than ever that we offer support for people in the legal system.

Being a lawyer is all about obtaining justice for those who are vulnerable. Those in the BAME community deserve the opportunity to pursue the same values and dreams as Cole had. That way we can take another step forward in the name of equality.

Let’s learn more about BAME figures in the realm of UK law

If you enjoyed reading this article about Christian Frederick Cole, read our other blogs in this series. We want to celebrate BAME achievements and show how they have shaped Britain into what it is today. Tomorrow we are going to talk about Cornelia Sorabji. She was the first BAME woman to qualify as a law graduate from Oxford University. Sorabji moved forward and became a legal professional in both Britain and India.

You may also be interested in learning more about the work we do to support BAME youth through football! Have a look at our “Together in Football” campaign for more information and to register your support.

 

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Creating a safe work environment during Covid-19

Creating a safe work environment can be quite difficult during the Covid-19 pandemic. The UK has been in lockdown for over 14 weeks now. Many of us have been asked to work remotely, some have been furloughed and others have been unfairly dismissed. That’s why it can be quite unnerving when your employer finally asks you to return to your work place. You have not been in contact with many people since the start of lockdown, so how will you now be able to handle creating a social bubble with your work colleagues? Worse still, what if you become ill with Covid-19? It is important to think these things through before you step out into the public work sphere again. That way you can avoid having work accidents in the future.

It is your employer’s responsibility towards you and your fellow colleagues to provide you with a safe work environment. That is their duty of care. If this is breached and you get hurt, or fall ill, then they could owe you compensation. This blog will dive into work accidents and what it means to have a safe work environment during this pandemic. That way you will know how to protect yourself, even if your work does not put in the appropriate procedures to help you.

What is a work accident?

Now, you may be wondering why this is the first thing that we would bring up in this blog. Well, it’s a lot more important than you may originally believe. If you have been brought into an unsafe environment, it’s crucial that you know what would count as a work accident due to your employer’s negligence. Should you be at fault for the incident, that means that you won’t be able to claim compensation.

It does not matter what the accident was, after all different work environments offer different hazards. A construction site is different to a retail store. However, a manager/employer still has a duty of responsibility towards those who are in their employment. When you go back to the office make sure to have a look at what changes have been made to the environment, if no safety regulations have been implemented then you have the right to complain. This can show that you tried to alert management to the danger but were ignored.

work environment videos/images

Can’t I keep working from home?

This is one of the safest options right now. According to government advice, if you can work remotely then you should be doing that. This could be through a VPN connection, a work laptop or even through face-to-face video calls. If you can prove that you can work at home then you should be doing it. That way you can lower the spread of Covid-19 and still continue to be a productive member of your work team.

If your employers are insisting that you should go back to your work environment, they should give you at least two days to prepare. This should give you enough time to write to them if you want to complain about this action. Make sure to state the reasons why you do not yet think it is safe to return to the workplace. A good employer should be willing to offer you a compromise to ensure your safety.

How do I keep safe in my work environment?

Now, for the legal community, Covid-19 is an opportunity to modernise our practices to create more flexible environments for lawyers. However, the same might not be said about your own work place. Some employers are taking the changes seriously, whilst others may be acting a little too lax. Take a look at the examples below to see how your employer should be creating a safe work space for you to feel secure whilst doing your job.

safety in the workplace gif

The main aim for any business right now is to lower the rate of Covid-19 transmission. This is through avoiding contact, shielding around work spaces, and staggering shifts. When you return to the office, your manager must have a safety regime put in place to ensure the health of any worker on the premises. For instance, if you work in retail, you may have a one way system for customers and workers or you may have to talk through walkie-talkies to avoid face-to-face contact. If you do not have this meeting, then you can ask your manager to email you a list of the latest safety updates. Should there be no new safety regulations for your work place, this could give you a reason to complain, or potentially ask to work remotely.

safe at work infographic

What should I do if I have a work accident?

As you can see from the video, it is possible to claim for more than just physical injuries. If you have suffered mental trauma, financial losses or any sort of damages whilst at work, you could be owed compensation. This could be the same for catching Covid-19. However, the main difficulty you have is proving that you caught it whilst at your work place.

Basically, you have to show that the unsanitary conditions led to you getting sick. Clearly, this is going to be a complicated case that many people will try to claim for in the future. Therefore, if you want to do this then it is recommended that you speak to your solicitor first. Remember, this is practically a brand new type of case. You will need to approach it carefully, especially if you wish to claim compensation.

With that said, the first thing you need to do is document your injury. Inform your managers of your accident and ask them to write it down in their accident book.

accident book definition

You may also want to consider collecting evidence that can be used when your case goes to trial. This could include :

  • Photographs
  • Videos/CCTV
  • Diary Entries
  • Letters of Grievance
  • Medical Documentation
  • Witness Statements

Take a look at our interview with Elaine, our operations direction, for more information about evidence:

An Employer’s Duty of Protection

If you have been hurt due to negligence in the work place, it is important that you show that it was your employer’s fault. Your employer owes you a duty of care. That means that you should feel safe in your work environment. If you do not feel safe then you need to ask for changes to be made in order to help you return to work.

Should you not have a safe work environment, and have suffered an accident whilst working, this means your employer was negligent, in other words it was their fault. Keep an eye out for the following in your workplace:

  • A lack of social distancing measures
  • Slippery hazards that are not marked
  • Faulty electronics
  • Tripping hazards
  • Aggressive co-workers/customers

A work place being messy is a hazard in itself, however if you have addressed these issues before with no changes being made, this means that any accidents that happen are the fault of your employers. They have breached their duty of care and you now have the right to claim compensation.

Will Covid-19 cause any problems for my claim?

In order to make work environments safe, different work places are going to face new and different challenges. This includes maintaining social distancing and changing the office environment to keep employees safe. In some cases, it is going to be safer for employees to continue working at home. However, if a business does want its employees back in the workplace, it is going to have to make changes to cope with government legislation.

In terms of your own work accident claim, you may find that the amount of time needed to process your complaint takes longer than expected. Usually, the amount of time depends on the type of work accident case you have. The more complicated the scenario, the more likely it is that it will take longer to process. However, Covid-19 has caused a backlog of cases for the court system. That means you may have to wait longer for your work accident compensation claim to go to court. Be patient and work with your solicitor as you wait. You may even have to go to court virtually in order to abide by social distancing laws.

Speak to your manager about your unsafe work environment

It’s completely natural that you may be feeling a little scared about going back to work. After all, we have all been socially isolating for over 14 weeks now. Going back into a small social bubble of colleagues is a daunting prospect. You do not know if they already had Covid-19 or perhaps are still susceptible to it. There are a lot of risks associated with going back to work and you may not be willing to take them.

If you are worried about your own personal situation, you need to tell your manager or employers as soon as possible. A good manager will understand your worries and will try their best to help you continue your work in a safe environment. They may even ask you to continue to work remotely from your home. As long as you can continue with your normal commitments to your business, there should be no reason why your employer cannot be flexible with you and your work environment.

Can a solicitor help me if I have had a work accident?

Remote law work tips

Yes! A solicitor can help you with your claim. Making a work accident claim can come with a lot of pitfalls that may invalidate your claim. For instance, were you partially responsible for the event? If your company can prove that, and you don’t list all the facts then this could invalidate your claim.

A solicitor can put your injury in perspective and let you know how much you are actually due for compensation. They can take account of your losses, the severity of your injuries and your SSP to tally an estimate for your pay out. They can also help your organize your evidence, talk you through compensation procedures and also represent you in court. That way If you are socially isolating or worried about going to court, they can go in your place.

A lawyer is truly a worthwhile investment as they can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injury. That’s why you need to find an experienced law firm in Manchester as quickly as possible.

Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your work accident compensation claim

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If you are worried about getting hurt in an unsafe work environment, Gowing Law Solicitors is here to support you. We can work with you remotely and communicate with you through virtual means, such as video calling. Our experienced solicitors can offer you free advice and consultations to talk about your potential claim. If you decide to work with us, we work on a “no win, no fee” basis. That means if we do not win your case then you will not need to pay any fees. So, as you can see, there is no risk to working with our trained lawyers. We are here to get you the justice that you deserve.

Contact Gowing Law Solicitors now by calling 0800 041 8350, emailing info@gowinglaw.co.uk or by using our direct messaging system on our contact page. We are available 24/7 to take your call. Let us know how we can help you.

Read more about UK law and Covid-19

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Here at Gowing Law, we are proud that we have been able to use our remote time to keep our blog updated on a weekly basis about the latest UK law information. We have many other series of blogs on Covid-19, including safety in the work place and information about accident at work claims. Simply scroll through our blog to find a topic that interests you. We are certain they will prepare you for when you finally speak to your solicitor about your case.

Remember, we also have a weekly newsletter and are happy to use your suggestions for blog topics. Let us know if you want more information by emailing info@gowinglaw.co.uk.

We look forward to hearing from you soon about your compensation case.

The importance of solicitors during Covid-19

Solicitors have always been figures of justice when it comes to UK law. Although we usually talk about specific legal claims on our blog, we thought it was important to take a moment to reflect on the difficulties encountered in the present due to Covid-19. The Corona Virus has changed the face of society completely and humanity has had to adapt in order to get through it safely. Unless you are Samuel Pepys and are lucky enough to have an isolated tower to observe the effects of the disease from a safe distance, you most likely have been forced to take precautions in order to continue living a normal life. That’s why it is essential for the UK public to know that the justice system is still here to protect you.

Not only have a number of courts re-opened but solicitors have been working hard remotely to help their clients through this difficult time. Although many different public facilities have opened up, you may still be feeling too nervous to use them. Perhaps this is due to fear of crowding or maybe to protect someone vulnerable in your household. This is why Gowing Law has tried to help as many people as possible through remote communication. We want to help you with your cases as much as you want compensation. Not even Covid-19 can get in the way of our values.

The figure of the lawyer is even more important during this difficult time. They can keep you updated about any changes made to the legal system and help you focus on the things that really matter, like your family, friends and personal health.

The Test of Covid-19 on Solicitors

Changes to the legal systems

As the UK lockdown eases, you may start to see more and more businesses re-open their doors. However, this should not mean that we can forget about all of the changes that Covid-19 has brought to our society as a whole.

In terms of legal matters, Covid-19 has caused a backlog of cases that need to be seen to when the court system re-opens. That’s why if you have a compensation claim, it’s more essential than ever that you contact a lawyer to start to discuss your plans to take it to court. You may have 2-3 years to make a claim, but the longer you wait, the more likely that it’s going to take even longer to get an outcome for your case.

Covid-19 has forced all professional lawyers to become even more flexible with their communications and legal expectations. According to the lawyer monthly:

“Every sector has managed to find a way to keep the cogs turning more remotely, without unnecessary face-to-face contact. Even the legal sector, famously known for sticking to its traditional guns, has welcomed the use of video conferencing for important court cases, with lawyers at home still working to keep their clients happy during this uncertain time.”

This difficult time period has proven that legal work can still be completed even if contact is not allowed. Lawyers will still fight to win justice for the clients no matter the circumstances, especially for a lawyer that works for Gowing Law Solicitors.

gowing law solicitor contact

Legal Changes & Different Employment Sectors

No matter what sort of sector you work in, you have probably experienced some changes in order to protect you and your colleagues. This may have included being furloughed, being asked to work remotely or perhaps even having staggered shifts. It’s important that you know your safety rights as an employee. Your employer owes you a duty of care. That means that if you think you can complete your duties remotely, and do not think it is safe yet to go back to the office, then you have the right to speak up about this.

If you do need to go back to the office, or to any sort of work environment, make sure to keep an eye on these factors. That way, if they do cause a work accident, or you catch Covid-19, you can have the evidence behind you to prove that it was not your fault and that you are owed compensation. Here are some example of what your work space should be doing if they are taking their employee’s health and safety seriously:

safety in the workplace infographic

  • Unfair dismissal
  • Suffered from a work accident
  • Caught Covid-19 due to unsanitary conditions

commute safety

What can a lawyer do?

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Right now, work issues are some of the biggest legal issues due to Covid-19. Not only have people suffered from unsanitary conditions in the workplace that have spread Covid-19, they may have been unfairly fired or perhaps forced to go to work despite their fears of catching the disease.

Lawyers are here to protect your rights in time of crisis. Your employer has a duty of care towards you and your fellow employees. That means they need to look at a situation and do the best thing for their workers. This may mean furloughing you or asking you to work from home. However, if they have already been negligent and you have got hurt, i.e. from a work accident or getting ill, there is a chance that you could either claim work accident compensation or go to an employer tribunal. Check out our video below to explain how you can claim work accident compensation for your employer’s negligence:

The Importance of writing a will

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One of the biggest legal matters that Covid-19 has brought to the surface is the importance of will-writing. Although it may seem like a morbid topic, it is something that all of us need to consider as we get older. Covid-19 has killed over 43,000 people in the UK, therefore we need to consider what will happen to our families if we do get sick. All of us are living with loved ones that we want to protect, especially those who have been classified as vulnerable. We need to think of the future and make sure our wishes are adhered to, even if we are not around in the future.

Covid-19 has obviously presented lawyers with some difficulties when it comes to will writing. In particular, this includes the use of witnesses signing a legal document. In order to help our clients, Gowing Law Solicitors encourages social distancing measures to be followed whilst a will is being constructed. This may include:

  • Signing the will on the hood of a car.
  • Signing a will in different rooms and alternative pens.
  • Socially distanced discussions of the will.
  • Sending the will through the post.
  • Discussing the will through virtual communication (i.e. video calls).
  • Working remotely to ensure social distancing is adhered to.

top tip about will signing

How long will it take to write a will?

We understand that you may want to complete your will as quickly as possible. That way you can ensure the protection of your family even under lockdown. This is why it is so important for solicitors to be flexible during the pandemic. Although it may mean that the production of a will is delayed slightly, we will try to complete the will in a reasonable amount of time. However, this will depend on the complexity of the will, including:

  • What possessions you want to give away.
  • If there are any tax or financial issues with your assets.
  • Who will be the executor of the will.
  • Whether you have any assets that are abroad.
  • Whether or not you want to exclude people from the will.

You will need to be available for calls with your potential solicitors. They can talk to you over the phone or through a video call to discuss your assets. You can also scan and send over important documents to them through email or fax. Your lawyer can then create drafts of the will to send back to you until you are happy with the final result. You can then socially distance with 2 witnesses to sign the will. That way the will can be validated and hold up in court.

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The future of the court system: What can we expect?

The future of the world is complicated. Solicitors are going to continue to be important, however the back log of court cases is going to come with its own set of problems. One of the main thing that we can expect are delayed lawsuits. We are going to be facing new challenges, especially when it comes to suing for Covid-19 related damages or work accidents.

As the Government changes the law to suit the R-level of the UK, solicitors are going to need to keep an eye on the news to see if any new legislation has been brought into play. Things are going to move fast and it is most likely that lawsuits are going to follow at a similar speed. That’s why lawyers will need to keep an eye out for emergency legislation and remain adaptable to make sure that clients can still obtain justice if they want to claim compensation.

According to Plaintiff’s attorney Elizabeth Cabraser:

“Mistakes are going to be made. This is an emergency. It’s unprecedented. Nobody really prepared for it.”

This is why solicitors will need to be flexible but realistic. That way they can advise their clients on the best way forward to help them with their claim. Things may be delayed for the near future but that does not mean that they are going to stop altogether.

What have we learned from Covid-19?

Although we all may be working remotely, that does not mean that the world has completely stopped turning. Technology is essential for keeping updated with different cases and for helping people. We need to recognize that being away from the office does not stifle our ability to continue on with our jobs. Instead, we have been shown that we can work remotely and still help get justice for other people. The world may be changing but the point of law is that we are able to change with it. Covid-19 has shown our vulnerabilities but we have been able to adapt and overcome. This may change the face of law as we know it, but perhaps for the better!

Do you need legal help?

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Here at Gowing Law, if you have been involved in an accident that was not your fault, our trained solicitors are here to help you with your case. We can work remotely to ensure that social distancing measures are completely followed. This includes offering support through free advice and consultations over the phone, video calls or any sort communication device. If you do decide to work with us, we work on a “no win, no fee” basis. This means that there is no risk to trying to claim compensation. If we do not win your case, this means there will be no fees. Therefore you will always come out on top!

Contact us today by calling 0800 041 8350, email info@gowinglaw.co.uk or use our direct messaging system on our contact page.

Want to learn more about the UK law?

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Throughout the pandemic, Gowing Law has kept our blog updated with the latest articles about UK law and Covid-19. That way you can always know how you can claim compensation. Our articles provide information on different UK laws and legal news. Make sure to look through our blog to see if there are any additional articles you may like.

We also have a weekly newsletter and are happy to take suggestions for blog titles. Feel free to email info@gowinglaw.co.uk if you want more information.

Gowing Law looks forward to hearing from you soon. Good luck with your future compensation case!

Top 5 Tips for Cyclist Safety in the City

Now that the UK is no longer under full lockdown, various commuters and shoppers may be considering how they can safely travel to different public destinations. In order to relieve pressure on public transport during Covid-19, the UK government is investing £2 billion in a package that encourages alternative transport. This includes cycling and walking. If you are considering using a bike, you need to consider your cyclist safety measures. That way when you are commuting on the road you can avoid any traffic accidents.

It is important to remember that cyclists are some of the most vulnerable people on the road. In 2018, it has been estimated that 4,106 cyclists were seriously injured whilst travelling alongside traffic. Other vehicles, unless you are involved in a motorcycle accident, have a hard shell and a seatbelt to keep their drivers and passengers safe. Bikes have neither of these things. If a cyclist falls off their bike then it is very likely that they are going to experience serious injuries.

If you plan to commute on a bike, you should be concerned about cyclist safety. Cycling during heavy flows of traffic can be dangerous, therefore you need to know exactly how to handle the road. But don’t worry, you can learn precisely how to keep safe whilst on the roads. If you do experience an accident, Gowing Law will be here to get you the RTA compensation that you deserve.

Why do you need to consider cyclist safety when you’re on the road?

Aside from lowering the chance of being involved in a traffic accident, if we think about it from a legal perspective, you have a “duty of care” when you are on the road. Taking a risk when you are in heavy traffic could make you a “liability.” That means that if you do end up in an accident then you could potentially not be awarded compensation, if you did not take the necessary precautions to prevent an accident. In fact, your risky choices could have caused the accident in the first place.

cyclist safety negligence

Being aware of your surroundings, including any roads in a state of disrepair, can increase the amount of compensation you may claim. This is because you took the appropriate measures to stop the accident, however the other person (or perhaps your environment) still created a dangerous outcome. If you can prove what measures you took and still were hurt, this means that the other party involved in the accident will have to pay for your compensation. But keep in mind, these types of road traffic accident claims can become quite complicated, especially when trying to figure out who precisely was at fault for the endangerment of other vehicles on the road.

partial liability tips

The Government’s Cycling Campaign

As mentioned previously, the government is focusing on greener travel to influence UK commuters to avoid public transport, therefore lessening the spread of Covid-19. This includes more emergency lanes for bikes, trials of rental e-scooters.

Over the next few weeks, you may see more pop-up bike lines, bus-only corridors and safer junctions to encourage new cyclists to hit the road. As Transport Secretary, Grant Schapps said:

“During this crisis, millions of people have discovered cycling…While there is no change to the ‘stay at home’ message today, when the country does get back to work we need those people to stay on their bikes and be joined by many more…We know cars will continue to remain vital for many, but as we look to the future we must build a better country with greener travel habits, cleaner air and healthier communities.”

Whilst quite a few of us are still successfully working from home, if you have gone back to work then you may want to consider taking your bike as a way to avoid public transport. That’s why it is crucial that you know about cyclist safety. The government is even considering creating a mobile phone app that can warn when public transport is busier than usual. This means you can pick and choose when to use your bike and when to use public transport.

Keep an eye on the government’s website for more updates about transport and Covid-19. That way you can understand how you can use the roads safely whilst maintaining a safe distance from other people.

Cyclist Safety in the city

If you are interested in using a bike to get around your city, one of the most important things that you need to think about are the other types of drivers on the roads. Naturally, about 80% of road users are going to be cars, but you may also see larger vehicles, public transport and even pedestrians that are trying to move from one side to the other. There is a high chance that you could collide with any one of these road-users, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on the movements of other people.

Here are the top 5 ways that you can keep safe on your bike ride around your city.

bicycle safety tips infographic

As you can see, one of the main things that ties all of these cyclist safety measures together is awareness of the road. Whilst it may be easy to go cycling in the countryside and stick to one side of the bike pathway, on the road you have more obstacles. This also includes other cyclists. Make sure to try and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and indicate appropriately to let other vehicles know exactly which pathway you are going to take on the road.

Make sure to look at the UK highway code if you want to learn about the rules of the road for cyclists.

What type of accidents can cyclists get into on the road?

Although we do not want to discourage people from using their bike instead of public transport. It is important for cyclists to know the dangers that they could face. That way they will know how to avoid them in the future. Some of the most common risks include:

  • Motorists turning into T-junctions without seeing cyclists
  • Roundabouts and motorists
  • Parked vehicles “dooring” bicycle users
  • Overtaking
  • Aggressive vehicle drivers
  • Potholes and lack of traffic signs
  • Filtering lanes
  • Traffic lights and up-hill starts

Cyclists are very difficult to see. Therefore, cars should take extra care and give space when trying to safely move past a bicycle. However, some drivers simply do not do this. Be aware of the other vehicles on the other road and how they are acting towards you. If you feel that someone is becoming aggressive in your lane, try to move away from them safely or take an alternative route towards your destination.

For an example of what could be a successful bicycle road accident compensation case, have a look below:

steve cycle example

As you can see, Steve was clearly not at fault for this accident. Instead, it was due to the aggression of the driver behind him. This means that they are liable and will have to pay Steve compensation for his injuries and losses. If you have had an accident, you will need to think carefully about who was at fault. That way you can figure out whether or not you have a claim.

Your Losses & Injuries

Another thing you may need to consider before making a claim is the amount you could be entitled to. This depends on the amount of losses that you made. This could include:

  • Injuries
  • Wages
  • A broken bike
  • Broken electronic equipment
  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation costs

Initially, you may have thought that “losses” solely meant how you were hurt. But this could also include material and financial losses. Your life has been made worse because of your accident. Therefore, RTA compensation is designed to help you get through this difficult period. Write out your losses before you visit your solicitor. That way you can talk them through with a trained expert and find which are completely valid in the eyes of the law.

RTA compensation parties

What should you do if you are involved in a road traffic accident on your bike?

The first thing that you need to do is not panic. Bicycle accidents can be extremely traumatic, especially if you have done your best to adhere to cyclist safety guidelines whilst on the road. If you are injured then go to hospital. If your injuries do not require urgent medical attention, you need to ask the other driver for their insurance number and take down their licence plate.

Once you have exchanged details, you need to preserve the evidence at the scene of the accident. This can be through photos, videos and witness statements. You may also want to contact the police to inform them of the accident. That way they can take down statements and compile a police report. You should be able to get a copy of this report.

Remember, the more evidence you have the more support you will have for your case. So, don’t just take witness statements, instead ask them for their contact details or ask if you can record their statements. You may also want to write down a diary entry about the details of the event. That way you have a clear record of everything that happened.

Compile this into a file that can be looked at by an RTA compensation claims lawyer. That way they can easily go through your files and make sure that you have everything that you need before you go to court.

How long do I have to make an accident claim?

You will have three years to make a claim from when the accident occurred. Make sure you get in touch with a bicycle accident compensation lawyer as quickly as possible. Recovery periods can be difficult to get through whilst handling a RTA case on your own. Worse still, if you do not claim compensation, your livelihood may be affected.

The sooner you get your compensation, the easier it will be for you to focus on getting better.

Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your claim!

cycling accidents button

Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we can support you through your compensation claim. Whether you are a pedestrian, a motorcyclist or any other vehicle driver, our experience can help you get the outcome that you deserve. Road traffic compensation claims can be difficult to manoeuvre on your own. That’s why you should leave all of the difficult work to Gowing Law whilst you recover.

We can offer you free advice and consultations, as well as service on a “no win, no fee basis”. That means if you work with us, and don’t get your wanted outcome, you will not need to pay any fees. That means that there is no harm in trying to claim compensation.

You can contact Gowing Law Solicitors by calling 0800 041 8350 or emailing info@gowinglaw.co.uk. You can also use our direct messaging system located on our contact page.

Read more about RTA compensation claims and cyclist safety

law blogs

Our blog is always updated weekly with information about different UK laws and the biggest legal topics that may affect your daily life, such as Covid-19 & safety. Make sure to look at our blog to see if there are any additional topics that may interest you, including blogs on public traffic accidents and different types of pedestrian traffic accidents. If you have a blog topic that you want our specialists to talk about, please contact us now at info@gowinglaw.co.uk. We will update our blog as quickly as possible with information about your topic of choice.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and wish you luck with your compensation claim.

Gowing Law & Michael Owen: Collaborating on Advertisements

Gowing Law is proud to have Michael Owen collaborating with our legal firm to promote our services UK-wide. All of our experienced solicitors work hard to ensure that justice is brought to those who need it most. Michael, out of everyone, knows what it is like to be injured during times of great pressure. However, he has always strove to come out on top during difficult moments. That is why he has become a legendary footballer, being awarded the “Balon D’or”, one of the most prestigious achievements a footballer can receive, and potentially being voted as the best footballer in the world.. Michael Owen is a winner and we want to make sure that we provide winning service to anyone who needs our help.

We have now been collaborating with Michael for over four years and have truly enjoyed the journey. Michael is an extremely charismatic individual that is brimming with confidence. We loved having him visit our offices and meeting him in person. That is why we have produced so many advertisements with him as the face of Gowing Law. We look forward to continuing our collaborations in the future.

Gowing Law: Changing the face of legal advertisements

We understand that legal advertising is not the most interesting thing to listen to. Most of the time it can be quite dull listening to facts about accidents at work or car accidents, that’s why we wanted to liven things up. Working with Michael Owen, we were able to use fun facts about his career, such as his injuries, to do some “tongue in cheek” humour. These were mixed with some of the most common claims that we deal with. This includes work accidents, public accidents and traffic accidents. Take a look at two of our viral examples below:

Now, we have sponsored different shows before, such as Botched, but we decided that the best way to go about displaying our services was in a more fun and light-hearted manner. That way our clients can feel confident that not only are we experienced solicitors, but we are sociable individuals that can have a laugh. That’s why our ads quickly became viral and were even displayed on ESPN in America!

With Michael Owen spearheading our projects, Gowing Law couldn’t be prouder of the content that we have created. Not only is it funny, but it shows solicitors in a brand new light. We can have a laugh and let you know the facts without making them sound dull. This is why we are one of the best law firms in the UK. Not only are we extremely approachable, but we can display all the facts of your case in an easy manner to understand.

What do you think of our video campaigns? Let us know in the comments of our YouTube channel! We take all feedback and would love to know what sort of videos you would like to see advertised.

Collaborating with Michael Owen

We would like to take a moment to thank Michael Owen for his support and ideas when it came to the advertisements and campaign. He is a fantastic footballer and completely deserves being known for his kind-hearted nature and open-minded personality. We have truly enjoyed working with a winner like him. Over the last few years, we have collaborated on a number of projects with Michael, however our favourite has been for the good of the younger generation.

Together in football foundation button

Michael Owen is the figurehead and ambassador of our charity foundation. The “Together in Football Foundation” seeks to bring children of all backgrounds to enjoy a game of football in a stadium. Being on a football pitch is a place where every player is equal. Therefore, it is the perfect sport to bring people together and make everlasting friendships.

If you are interested in helping us with this foundation, or want to get involved or get tickets, please click the link above. This will take you to our foundation page where you can find out more information about our charity. Despite the UK being in lockdown, it is clear that football is a sport that simply won’t just go away. So feel free to get in contact about future events and how we are planning to support this charity in the future.

Radio Advertisements Collaboration: Michael Owen & Communicorps

Although Gowing Law Solicitors is currently working remotely, that does not mean we have stopped producing advertisements to spread the word about the services of our lawyers. That is why we have collaborated with Michael Owen and Communicorps to bring you radio adverts that can emphasize Michael’s triumphs in the football field, as well as give you a look into the world of a solicitor. Take a look at our advertising below!

As you can see, we have used the raw passion of football commentators to liven up our advertisements. That way you can feel the same way about collection compensation from an injury claim. Gowing Law Solicitors will always be here to support you in your time of need, just as Michael Owen has supported our advertising campaign. Our lawyers are experienced professionals who will be able to advise you on even the trickiest of cases. Just let us know what you need and we can set up a free consultation. You can also check out our blog page to see more information on different law topics in detail.

Contact Gowing Law Solicitors today for help!

We are a Manchester law firm that can provide help to anyone living in the UK that has suffered from an injury that is not their fault. We can offer you free guidance and consultation sessions. If you do choose to work with us, we work on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means there is no financial risk if you get in contact with us about your case. You will not need to pay any fees if your case is not successful. So, what do you have to lose? We can also offer remote communication if you are isolating or you do not want to go out in public due to Covid-19. We completely understand.

To contact us, feel free to call 0800 041 8350, email info@gowinglaw.co.uk or use our direct messaging system on our contact page. One of our specialists will then get in contact with you as quickly as possible. That way we can start getting you the justice you deserve without any delays getting in the way.

We look forward to hearing from you soon about your case.

Working together: Michael Owen & Gowing Law

Gowing Law Solicitors is one of the finest law firms in the UK. We are proud to be fighting legal cases for those who have been injured in accidents that are not their fault. Whether you have been hurt in a personal injury, an accident at work or perhaps a traffic accident, we will always fight to help you get the compensation that you deserve.

We are proud to be working with Michael Owen as the face of our brand. He is a man who overcame the odds and fought back against his injuries. Owen pushed through the pain to become a winner for his team. We want to become the winners for you in your time of need. Put your case in our hands and you will always get an outcome that makes you happy. Even if you do not get a successful outcome, our “no win-no fee” policy will make sure that you do not pay any fees for our services.

Our main aim is to get you the justice and compensation that you deserve. With Michael Owen spearheading our projects, we are confident that we can reach out to everyone who needs our help in the UK.

Four years of collaboration

For the last four years we have had the honour of working with Michael Owen on a wide range of projects. He is a man that brims with confidence and truly is an inspiration to everyone in the office. Check out this video of when he visited us!

Michael shares the same values, passion and drive as the solicitors that work for Gowing Law. As you can see from his twitter page, he is an extremely supportive person and is always ready to help people. He provides the voice and confidence to send our message around the country. That way we can help as many people as possible. UK law can be complicated, that’s why Gowing Law will always be on hand to make sure you understand it, and what sort of compensation you could claim if you have been injured or have become a victim of financial mis-selling.

Although the present day is tense due to the Covid-19 and violent protests, we are confident that we will be able to help you through this difficult time. The same way that football is now coming back to the stadiums, we are still working remotely to help you. Feel free to check out our blog page for more information about UK law and compensation.

Working with Winners: Michael Owen

BT Sport

Gowing Law has always strived for perfection when it comes to working together with our clients. That’s why we collaborate with the best of the best. Michael Owen is known as a the boy wonder of his time. This was because he won the Balon d’or, one of the most prestigious achievements for a footballer, and was voted “the best footballer in the world.” These are no easy feats and Michael Owen should be commended for his contribution to the world of sport as a whole.

Working with Michael has truly been an honour for everyone here at Gowing Law Solicitors. We are proud to have him on our team and to have him as the face of our brand. It is clear our collaboration is set to continue on for many years to come and we are looking forward to what the future holds for our partnership.

together in football foundation

Here at Gowing Law, we always strive for excellence. It is only through our actions that we can make the world a better place. Not only do we want to get you justice in the legal system, we want to have an impact on the lives of other people, in particular on the well-being of children.

That is why we have worked hard with Michael Owen to set up the “Together in Football Foundation”. This football foundation brings together children of different backgrounds to enjoy a game of football together in professional stadiums. Everyone is equal on the playing field, making it the perfect place to create lasting friendships and a strong united team spirit. If you are interested in getting involved or have a connection to football venues, please click on the link above for more information. We would love to have as many people as possible involved!

Fun Radio Advertisements: Working together with Michael Owen & Communicorps

We have already collaborated with Michael Owen on a number of commercials in the past. We understand that the world of law is not exactly the most fun topic, however with Michael’s help we have been able to turn personal injury law and traffic accident law topic on their head. Take a look at them below!

Yes, we will admit that our advertisements were a little cheeky. Michael enjoyed our “tongue in cheek” moments and had a lot of fun working with our crew and team to produce these advertisements. That is why we have now taken things a step further and are working with both him and Communicorps to produce radio adverts that will go on a number of famous news stations, like Smooth FM, Heart FM and XS. Make sure to listen out for them! Here’s a sneak preview of them below:

We would like to take a moment to thank Communicorps and Michael Owen for their support and collaboration. We have truly enjoyed working together with them and are confident that we will see many additional successful collaborations in the future.

Contact Gowing Law Solicitors today!

If you have recently been injured, and it was not your fault, Gowing Law’s trained solicitors want to start working together with you. We help people from all over the country get the compensation that they need to recover from their injuries. Gowing Law can offer free consultations and help sessions remotely, just in case you are worried about going out in public as the lockdown eases. We want to help you get back on your feet. So, why not contact us now to see what we can do for you.

Call 0800 041 8350, email info@gowinglaw.co.uk or use our direct messaging system on our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Liverpool vs Arsenal 2001: Why was this game so special for Michael Owen?

As you watch the clip from the Liverpool vs Arsenal match of 2001, you can practically experience the euphoria that flooded the crowd when Michael Owen scored two second-half goals to give Liverpool victory over Arsenal. This was no small feat. The last time these two English teams had met on in the FA cup final was in 1971, where Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 in extra time. That meant that the Liverpool team was under pressure to deliver a win for the sake of their fans and their own personal pride.

So, why was this match was such an important moment in Michael Owen’s history? Michael Owen was a fantastic player and helped make Liverpool the successful football team that it is today. Read on to learn more about this historic football event!

The Historical Context: Arsenal vs Liverpool

Arsenal vs liverpool context

As you can see from the image above, the rivalry between Arsenal and Liverpool was mostly because of how evenly matched they were. After all, they were only separated by one point in the final league table 1971. Arsenal finished second with seventy points and Liverpool finished third with sixty-nine points. Therefore, there was an innate desire to distinguish themselves from one another. Yes, they both had fantastic players that could work their magic on the pitch, but to be shown as similar in stature made the rivalry more intense. It was time for one team to claim ascendancy.

This was certainly shown in the 2001 match at the Millennium Stadium where Michael Owen showed the true stamina and power of Liverpool’s football team.

The build-up: Arsenal

Leading up to the finals, Arsenal had already a run of successes against strong teams like Blackburn and Chelsea. Their real challenge was their London rival, Tottenham, in the semi-final. Luckily enough for Liverpool, their route to the final was relatively easier with victories over teams like Rotherham and a struggling Man City. However, they did have to overcome the challenge of Leeds, beating them 2-0 at Elland Road, and the Wycombe Wanderers from the third tier of English football were on an incredible cup run. This meant they reached their first final since losing to Man UTD in 1996. It was time for them to play off against Arsenal.

The Match: Michael Owen’s triumph

Football greats Robbie Fowler and Dennis Bergkamp were benched for this game, Michael Owen and Emile Heskey were up front for Liverpool and Thierry Henry and Sylvain Wiltord for Arsenal. At the start of the match, Emille Heskey hit the ground after a tackle from Gilles Grimandi. However the penalty appeal was refused by the referee, Steve Dunn. Another penalty appeal was declined, this time from Arsenal, when Thierry Henrys’ effort on goal was stopped by Stephane Henchoz on the goal line. The footage did show that Stephane Henchoz was in contact with the ball with his arm, but the match still continued.

Arsenal were in possession of the ball more due to Liverpool’s unsuccessful counter-attack. However, the teams were well-matched and in deadlock by half-time. In the second half, Emille Heskey had a good early chance with a header but this was well stopped by David Seaman. The tight battle continued but eventually Arsenal took the lead through Freddie Ljungberg. Liverpool were now down one nil with only 20 minutes left on the clock.

This was when Michael Owen came into play.

With only 8 minutes left on the clock, Michael Owen with a flourish of skill, scored an equalizing goal. Arsenal failed to clear the substitute Gary McAllister’s free-kick, and Michael Owen was able to use his right foot to shoot past David Seaman from eight yards. A second goal was then scored with 2 minutes to go when Michael Owen moved onto a long ball from Patrick Berger. He managed to outpace Arsenal’s Tony Adams and Lee Dixon, and shoot accurately across David Seaman into the net.

Why was this an important event for Michael Owen?

For the majority of the game, Liverpool and Arsenal had been equal. With Arsenal scoring a goal in the second half, and with so little time left on the clock, it seemed impossible that Liverpool could do anything but tie with their competitor. However, Michael Owen smashed these odds. It may have been the adrenaline, or it could have been his natural ability as a sportsman, but he managed to outrun and outmaneuver great opposition players to bring home a win for Liverpool. In eight spectacular minutes, Micheal Owen had turned the Liverpool vs Arsenal game on its head and claimed Cup victory.

This showed his natural skill and impressive athletic ability. It shows us all that no matter how grim the odds look, there is always a chance to turn the game around. The same thing could be said for Michael Owen throughout his life, including his own battles with his injuries. No matter how badly he was hurt on the pitch, he always came back for more. Nowadays, Michael shares these stories to allow for a realistic glance into the life of a footballer. We do not just see a football legend. We see a real person who has a genuine love for the sport.

The Liverpool vs Arsenal match of 2001 made football history, and allowed Michael Owen to move forward in his career. It stands as a reminder of why we should all work hard to follow our dreams. This is so we can become the best of the best in any area that we choose to be. He truly is a role model for the next generation.

Michael Owen and Charity Work

together in football foundation button

Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we have worked with Michael Owen for over 4 years. Not only has he visited our office, but he has also worked with us on charity projects. Michael has spearheaded our “Together in Football Foundation”. This is a charity that aims to bring together children and young people from all backgrounds. This is to enjoy a game of football. These games are held at professional stadiums and are great for building comradery and friendships that will never break.

If you are interested in learning more about our foundation, please click the link above. This will take you to our page where you can find out how you can get involved.

Gowing Law Solicitors: Excited to be partnering with Michael Owen and Communicorp!

It is Gowing Law’s aim to help as many as people as possible if they have been involved in accidents. We understand that these sort of events can be extremely traumatic. That’s why we have partnered with Michael Owen and Communicorp to bring you some advertisements. These can show you how Gowing Law can help you move forward with your case.

For more information, please contact Gowing Law Solicitors now at 0800 041 08350, email info@gowinglaw.co.uk or directly message us by visiting our contact page.

We wish you the best of luck with your case and hope you get in contact with us soon!