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    • I accept the point you have made in paragraph 2 and I am aware of the risks I will incur at any hearing. However the opposite side of the same argument is that Lloyds will have to claim they have no liability whatsovever as the card services provider in a scenario where clearly there was a breakdown of payment services between themselves and the merchant.   The Court may decide against me for not exhausting all options or it may accept that myself and this particular merchant are in dispute and there was no reasonable prospect to recover the money. Regardless of those options (which is exactly what I consider them to be options - not obligations), I am of the opinion Lloyds Bank is still liable as a card services provider and if I am successful it will have wide reaching implications on their policy of attempting to fob their customers off whenever they induce preventable mistakes and refuse to correct them.   To put it another way, if you have a dispute with an energy company you can use the Ombudsman Service, or you can forgo it and proceed to court. I have forgone my option of a section 75 claim and wish to hold Lloyds liable. I believe I am only afforded the option of a section 75 claim as a result of the Consumer Credit Act - although this could be an error on my part. And that banks prefer their customers to pursue merchants in full knowledge they are equally liable. After a lengthy discussion with HSBC regarding the same issue they attempted to fob me off with a similar excuse that I am subject the conditions of Master Card or Visa or whichever company it may be. They attempted to do this by simply referring me to a webpage that does not form any contractual agreement or present itself as terms and conditons to be accepted by me. I totally disagree with the positions of both banks, if I have entered into agreement and hold an account with Lloyds, I believe all my dealings are be conducted with them and whatever agreements they have with another payment service they intertwine with is a matter for them. My credit card agreement is with Lloyds not Master Card.   Both myself and Lloyds will be risking something if this proceeds to Court. I have accepted that and there are few causes worth pursuing that do not carry inherant risk.
    • Hi, thanks for replying. Your help would be really appreciated. The arrears are 4 months worth of payments. I haven’t received the defence form as yet.
    • So the dealers aren't interested It doesn't matter, as you already understand the liability rests fully with the finance company and frankly I think that you are probably waited long enough because nobody seems to be committing themselves to sorting the problem out. There are a couple of technical problems that you need to understand. A quick of English law is that you must actually have suffered a financial loss in order to bring action. Although clearly the damage the engine represents a substantial amount of money – it isn't actually money. Normally speaking if you're suing for breach of contract you would have to demonstrate a pecuniary loss and that means that you would actually have had to spend the £8000 to repair the vehicle and then claim it back. I think that the county courts are sufficiently modern-minded that they may run with it anyway but I would be surprised if your hire purchase company objected in the first place to bring an action for the value of work which had been carried out. The second thing though is that if you are not actually out-of-pocket then you won't be able to claim interest. The County Court rate of interest at the moment is extremely high comparatively speaking – it is 8% simple. You won't get that rate of interest anywhere else. If you simply sue for the value of the repair without having spent the money, then assuming that nobody raises some technical legal objection, then all you will be able to recover is the £8000 for the repair and no interest. If you spend out the £8000 now and have the car repaired then you will be to recover that money +8% until the money is repaid to you. Of course the hire purchase company won't actually want to go to court about this and eventually they will pay. However they will simply try to pay you your net sum – but if you have actually started proceedings then my advice would be that you should stand your ground and tell them you want every last penny including the interest – as well as your court fees. There may be other losses which you are incurring why this car is off the road. Presumably you are paying insurance. Presumably also you are paying road tax. You have an alternative vehicle so you aren't really in a position to claim for alternative transport but on the other hand if the loss of this vehicle is costing you anything else then we need to know about it. You certainly need to calculate a daily rate for the insurance which is basically money thrown away and also a daily rate for the road tax which is also money thrown away. If there are storage fees then they should be recoverable as well. My recommendation to you is that you get the work done after having given proper notice to the hire purchase company that this is what you going to do and that you are then going to see them to recover the money. Let us know what you think about this. Have you asserted your right to reject?  
    • OK,   well I think you should definitely enter a defence - I can help you with that - there is absolutely no reason for them to ask for a suspended possession order when you have made all payments under the arrangement.  How many months mortgage payments does the arrears figure represent ?
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So Stressed as boss has started bullying and picking on me


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Hi all, hope someone can be of help her as I am on the verge of breakdown.

 

 

I have worked for the same company (small firm of solicitors) for 13 years as senior paralegal. The firm is very small and I mean me, boss (senior partner) and 2 secretary's.

 

 

Everything has been ok although my boss does have some strange ways and finds it very difficult to interact socially with people and rather than speak to his staff he leaves sticky notes!!!

 

 

about 12 months ago he decided to take more of a back seat role but needed to employ another member of staff to take over his workload (the area of law that he deals with is not the same as mine, I have no knowledge of his area). He employed a lady who simply could not work with him and left and a couple of months later employed another lady with the same thing happening.

 

 

About 6 months ago he employed a lady who I suspect is a relative of his. She came from another Firm and brought her secretary with her. From then on my life has been made a nightmare. I had my own office however as there was no free office for this lady I was told on the day she was starting that I would have to move from my office to accommodate her!!. I now have to sit in the reception area with the secretaries and answer phones and deal with clients etc.

 

 

My line of work means that I am constantly dealing with clients and court hearings etc but I have now been told that I am only able to make appointments to see clients when this other woman is not there (she works 2 full days and 2 half days) so basically I am only able to see clients for a total of 4 hours over the week.

 

 

This lady works until 2pm 3 days and on theses days is allowed an hour lunch break (which her secretary takes at the same time!!) I start at 9.15 due to school run and have for the past 5 years but am only allowed a 30 minute lunch break.

 

 

Non of this lady's work is checked and she signs her own post without boss even seeing it. My post is checked by boss and he has started picking up on the slightest detail often crossing through letters/scribbling over them.

 

 

New lady and her secretary leave office at least 10 mins early "to avoid traffic" leaving me to turn of close up etc.

 

 

My boss has now stepped up his game and told me that he now only needs me 4 days a week. Finally he is constantly telling me to do cabinet checks on all my files "by tomorrow" (about 100 files) and at the moment he is telling me to leave my current urgent work, not deal with post and review/close off all dormant files (non urgent). I started this day before yesterday and today I have come in to a load of sticky notes saying this is wrong and that is wrong and why have I not dealt with this file and that file (ones 2 days ago he told me to leave.

 

 

I cant cope with much more. I would leave today if I had another job the stress is so bad but I am a single parent and need the money. Can anyone give me some guidance or advice I would be most grateful.

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Don't suffer in silence. Make an appointment to see your boss face to face and in private.

 

Tell him briefly what you've told us, apart from this woman being a suspected relative. Follow it up eith a written greivance, clearly headed as such.

 

There is no doubt you are being eased out. Nothing will come of it. In fact, your treatment may get worse. However, a lodged greivance will be your safety net for when you are pushed.

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Many thanks. I have come in this morning and he has taken ALL my files out of the filing cabinets with sticky notes for reviews, why this and why that. I am good at my job but because the workload is so high and there is only me (I have no secretary and run all the office admin etc as well as doing his typing when he is overworked) sometimes things get a bit behind but it is the same for him if not worse.

 

 

I am not sure what to put in a grievance letter is there a template and I will draft one over the weekend. My four days have already kicked in so I am not back in work until Tuesday.

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It's probably a good idea to chat to this man first on a private friendly level. Make an appointment and shhut the door so there are no distractions. You just have to tell him politely that the post-it notes upset you - as they would most people - and that communication needs to improve.

 

Tell him you feel undermined and undervalued ever since your hours and workstation changed. Tell him you object to being left to lock up every night, your lack of support, your increasing stress etc.

 

Mention you are a single mother who needs flexibility over child care arrangements. Important: Check your employment contract regarding your hours and job role.

 

Listen carefully to his response. Jot it down while you are there. Check the law on childcare and contractural working hours. If they are being breached spell it out in your greivance letter. Keep it concise and try to keep focus on your legal rights. This is with a view of having a comeback if you are unfairly or constructively dismissed.

 

Time to be assertive!

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Thank you so much you have really helped. The crazy thing is that I don't have a contract of employment, none of the staff do !!

 

 

I have made an appointment in his diary for Tuesday and I am going to write down everything I need to say to him over the weekend. I am really emotional at the moment as on top of this I have not long lost my dad. I didn't take any time off and felt I got no support at work. I am now actively looking for another job as I think that is the only way out but I feel so devastated after being so loyal to him for many years

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Section 1-3 of the Employment Rights Act entitles you by law to a written contract. Section 4 entitles you to written variation to the contract.

 

You have been there 13 years. Whatever your working hours normally were are the implied terms, which can't be changed without varying the contract.

 

You need to spell out that the recent reduction to 4 days may be a breach of contract, as well as the change in your duties. Problem is, if you accept it, it becomes your new terms unless you do lodge a complaint. It could be a good idea to consult your local CAB, Law Centre or lawyer with a view to clarifying the legal position.

 

To claim constructive dismissal you would need to resign fairly promptly stating the same reasons as in your written greivance: this is crucial (HOWEVER, do not mention resignation before they have a chance to rectify matters). You need to go through the stages one step at a time.

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It sounds like he would find it really difficult if you left. Hopefully this can be resolved if you are completely up front with him about what has gone wrong, and what needs to be fixed to keep you there.

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Hi all. Just an update on what has happened since I last posted. As I advised I booked a meeting with boss on Tuesday, this was done well in advance in the diary (we have a case management diary so all appointments are on screen for all to see!!) When I got into work on Tuesday there was a "meeting out of office" booked in for him an hour before our scheduled meeting and he was not due to return until I was out of office at Court!!!. So I never got to put to him all my carefully planned and set out grievances :x no surprise there. I suspect he knew what the meeting was about and I know he will avoid a face to face meeting with me

 

Since then he has been as nice as nice can be...only 1 post it note....asking me to help with one of his files:| I am being cautious though and keeping a record of everything...even keeping the post it notes!!! just in case.. This few weeks has made me think though about things and the fact that I dont want to work somewhere that stresses me out so much that I go home and cry:Cry: so my CV is out there and more importantly I have realised I AM GOOD AT WHAT I DO lol so I am going to try and do some freelance :shock:and see how it goes. I am not expecting happy ever after but I have realised there is nothing I can do to change him or what happens so ..reduced stress levels...and I will dictate my future not some arrogant bully.

 

Once again thank you so much for the posts/advice this site is a godsend and I am more than happy to offer advice in my areas of "expertise" x

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Is the new lady a solicitor and you are, without meaning to be rude, an unqualified paralegal (I mean without formal legal qualifications, I don't doubt you are good at what you do).

 

Is it a really specialised niche area of law or just a small high street firm?

 

I ask because the answers could explain some of the things which are upsetting you.

 

I'm afraid I often communicate by post-it, leaving files on my assistant's desk with notes on saying what I want done, this is simply because he leaves after me and it is often during that time that I have chance to deal with it.

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I wasn't being argumentative or sarcastic, just describing the reality of my day - sometimes our paths don't cross. I cover the whole of the North of England so often don't get to the office until after he has left, if at all.

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This is unfortunate. To be honest a lot of the stuff you are describing is very familiar. I often have short notice meetings out of the office and have to communicate with juniors/secretaries by post-it notes because I am so busy. I will also pick up on the slightest details in letters. External correspondence simply has got to be 100% correct - if a junior or paralegal drafts a letter with, for example, incorrect use of "Yours sincerely" and "Yours faithfully" or perhaps a comma after the "Yours sincerely" it will be checked and they will have to print it again.

 

Asking you to review firm files to unreasonable timelines is unreasonable, but it may be that the boss does not understand how long it takes because he won't have done it for many years. It is your responsibility to inform him why it takes time, keep him updated on your progress and just do what you reasonably can in the time available.

 

A lot of this stuff I imagine will be quite standard for law firms and will be the same if you move elsewhere. Though ultimately if you are feeling too stressed then its not worth it and it may be better to politely move on.

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StevemLS - No this other lady is not a solicitor, she has no legal qualifications at all. She has worked in conveyancing for about 4 years but not sure what she did before. I have legal qualifications, I have a law degree and LPC and have worked in my areas of law for 20 years. It is a very small office, he is there all the time so there is no need for post it notes but his problem is that he has very bad social skills, he finds it very difficult to speak to people face to face and he has lost god knows how many very good staff members because of his attitude.

 

 

Steampowered - I have been doing this job for 20 years but I don't have a problem with my post being checked after all the senior partner has overall responsibility if mistakes are made. My problem is this lady signs and sends out her own post...he does not even see what she sends out. She has already had 2 complaints from clients. My files are constantly reviewed because of the nature of the work. He knows this because I have regular file meetings with him and I am constantly discussing my cases with him. What is annoying is that he is picking out files that are not urgent for example a few files that were opened but client has decided not to proceed for one reason or the other while I have about 30k's worth of new files that need to be opened and dealt with and he is telling me to leave these!!! don't make sense.

 

 

You are right though he wont change and this will keep cropping up and I have worked here long enough to know that so I think it is time for a change

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Thanks for clarification lady.

 

I guess if it is part of his personality, you are right, it is not going to change.

 

However, I can quite see why you find it undermining.

 

One thing I would caution against, and it is very difficult, is allowing this to build in your mind such that you start to read ill-will into tiny things on a daily basis. That way lays ill health.

 

I think you have probably reached the right conclusion that it may be time for a change. Sometimes that point is simply reached. Is it too late to do a training contract and fully qualify as a solicitor?

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There isn't a use by date for the LPC. However after so long the poster would have to join another firm and would be behind everyone else already at the firm waiting a TC. Also, the posters salary is likely to plummet considerably. Many law firms will put a trainee on the lowest salary they're allowed to, regardless of what their salary was before and the once qualified will start on the bottom salary rung for newly qualified sols.

 

Is it worth it to be able to say your now a solicitor? I'd use evidence of experience to negotiate a good salary elsewhere.

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There isn't a use by date for the LPC. However after so long the poster would have to join another firm and would be behind everyone else already at the firm waiting a TC. Also, the posters salary is likely to plummet considerably. Many law firms will put a trainee on the lowest salary they're allowed to, regardless of what their salary was before and the once qualified will start on the bottom salary rung for newly qualified sols.

 

Is it worth it to be able to say your now a solicitor? I'd use evidence of experience to negotiate a good salary elsewhere.

 

I'd agree with this.

 

After 20 years experience going back to work on minimum wage for 18-24 months as a trainee is a backwards step.

 

There are plenty of career paralegals etc and with 20 years of experience the OP should be able to leave and find an equally paid job at another law firm.

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