South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Appoints Berry Smith to Advise on Employment Law

We are delighted to announce that our Employment team has been appointed as legal advisers to the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service on matters of Employment law. The team, headed by Fabio Grech, has steadily expanded its offering within the public sector, having already acted for a range of public sector employers including Welsh Government departments, Welsh Government Sponsored bodies, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Welsh Government and local authorities. 

Surge In Couples Citing Unreasonable Behaviour For Quick Divorce


There has been a huge rise in the number of couples citing “unreasonable behaviour” as grounds for obtaining a quick divorce.

Researchers at Oxford University found that the number of divorces granted to wives because of unreasonable behaviour rose from 17% in 1971 to 51% in 2016. The increase was even sharper for husbands, rising from 2% to 36% over the same period.

Under current law there are five reasons for being granted a divorce by the courts:

Businessman Leaves Millions to Oxfam Under ‘Common Tragedy’

A wealthy businessman has left millions to the charity Oxfam after inserting a common tragedy clause into his will.

Richard Cousins died along with his two sons, his fiancé and her daughter when their plane crashed in Australia on New Year’s Eve.

Mr Cousins, who was the chief executive of the Compass Group, had made provision in his will for what should happened if all his immediate family died in a single event. His brothers would each receive £1m but the bulk of his fortune, estimated at £41m, would go to Oxfam.

Recent Survey Shows Continued Growth in Mediation of Business Disputes


Nick Parker, partner and head of dispute resolution at Berry Smith Lawyers and a civil and commercial mediator, considers the continued growth and success of voluntary mediation between parties in resolving civil and commercial disputes.

Disputes are not generally considered to be ‘good news’ by the parties involved and resolving them quickly and effectively is, usually, a priority.

A recent survey shows the continued growth and success of voluntary mediation between parties in resolving civil and commercial disputes.

An Employee’s Retirement Date Should Have Been Brought Forward to Maximise His Death Benefits


The Deputy Pensions Ombudsman has upheld a complaint where an employer failed to bring forward a member’s retirement date before his death.

Mr Y was diagnosed with a form of aggressive cancer and underwent chemotherapy. He was recommended by a counsellor appointed by his employer for early retirement on grounds of permanent ill-health.

Legal Advice Privilege Disapplied When Advising How To ‘Cloak’ Discrimination


In the case of X v Y Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that an email from a lawyer was not covered by legal advice privilege because there was a strong case to suggest that it advised how to mask an employee’s dismissal as a redundancy to avoid the employee making further complaints of disability discrimination and requesting reasonable adjustments.

Parental Rights

Q - I have a daughter, aged 10, from a previous marriage who lives with me every other week. My ex-wife has recently got engaged to a man she met, whilst on holiday, on California. My daughter has said that she has been told that they are all moving to USA after the wedding and not to tell me yet.

Can my ex-wife take my daughter to USA to live?

All In The Detail

Q - I am trying to get our finances sorted out following a divorce, but my ex-husband won’t produce the requested details of his assets. How much power does the Court have to force him to do this? I feel that fines and “contempt of court” are unlikely to be a deterrent, so this could go on for years.

Dividing Assets

Breaking up can be hard to do, but BERRY SMITH LAWYERS can help make it as stress-free as possible

Q - My partner and I split up 13 years ago after buying a house together four years previously. I have continued to live here and have paid the mortgage ever since. I would like to reach a settlement with her so that I can change the title and the mortgage back to my sole name but I am led to believe that my ex-partner is living abroad. What share of the value of the house will she be entitled to?