CALL 0800 437 0322 9am to 6pm – Mon to Fri
Submit enquiry

Press Releases

HJA In The News

Daughter of Chelmsford man who allegedly died of asbestos exposure is seeking answers from his employer

24th March 2017 - Chelmsford Weekly News

The daughter of a former carpenter who died of mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, is seeking answers as to how his former employer allowed him to be exposed to the toxic dust.

Carol Scarlett is appealing to her father’s ex-colleagues to come forward with information regarding the working conditions in the Construction Department of Essex County Council between 1973 and 1987.

Isobel Lovett, a partner at Industrial Disease Team, is representing Mr Scarlett’s daughter.

Read more

Sisters sue London hotel where they suffered brutal hammer attack

22nd March 2017 - The Guardian

Three sisters from the United Arab Emirates who were the victims of a brutal hammer attack while on a shopping trip to London are suing the hotel where it happened.

Drug addict and “hotel creeper” Philip Spence was sentenced to life imprisonment for attempted murder after he bludgeoned the women in their room during a burglary at the four-star Cumberland hotel on 6 April 2014.

They were asleep but disturbed him at 1.30am as he rifled through their possessions. He hit one of the sisters, Ohoud al-Najjar, 38, so hard six times in the head and face that he left her profoundly disabled. Spence was described during his criminal trial as “a crackhead”.

Ms Riffat Yaqub, a partner at Personal Injury Team, is representing the family.

Read more

New youth sentencing guideline begs more questions than answers

20th March 2017 - The Justice Gap

The new sentencing guideline for young people published recently and due to come into effect on 1 June, introduces a shorter sentence for children who plead guilty earlier in criminal proceedings. It also takes account of their vulnerability and background. While this is to be welcomed more generally, the strict guideline raises some questions.

The aim is to encourage defendants who are going to plead guilty to do so as early in the court process as possible. However, it will more likely put pressure on young people to plead guilty at a magistrates’ court quite often before they have obtained legal advice and, crucially, before they have been appraised of the evidence against them.

Appearing in court is a daunting experience for anyone and young people require more time to provide an account of an incident to a magistrate than the ten minutes that most are afforded. It is simply too rushed and will force some to plead guilty when in fact, they need help to determine their defence.

Caroline Liggins is a Criminal Defence solicitor at HJA who qualified in 2009 as a non-practising Barrister and converted to be a solicitor in 2012.

Read more