Summer at Kent Law Clinic

New cases and case updates

Remember Summer 2023 – hot and dry, cold, and wet, and then hot and dry again. With students away, the university was unimaginably quiet – apart from grass cutting, tree felling and dog walkers…

But in the Clinic legal work continued. Legal problems follow the law’s timetable which is dictated by the urgency of the matter and deadlines imposed by the courts and legal process in general. Our cases do not conveniently settle or conclude at the end of the academic term.

Since there is no holiday from the law the Clinic ‘s solicitors and supervisors continued to work on cases. People in Kent still contacted the Clinic – often with pressing problems that couldn’t wait.

What follows is an account of just some of the work of the Clinic over the summer months. Some of the cases and enquiries will continue. You never know, if you are a law student and join the Law Clinic you might work on one of them this term.

Click on the links below to find out more….

Employment Law – redress for being sacked or unlawfully treated

Elaine Sherratt and Tony Pullen, the Clinic’s employment lawyers, help clients with claims arising from being unfairly dismissed by their employer or who experience discrimination or other issues in the workplace. 

  • Compensation for sacked care home workers
  • Discrimination related to pregnancy
  • Successfully negotiated retirement
  • Whistleblowing claim upheld

Family Law – court orders to protect children’s welfare

During the summer Philippa Bruce, Law Clinic Solicitor, has dealt with three cases involving the question whether someone who is not the parent of a child they are caring for needs a Special Guardianship Order (SGO). This Order is needed where there are several people with ‘parental responsibility’ in law but where it is in the best interests of the child to give overriding authority to one particular person who can be trusted to look after the child properly.

  • Special Guardianship Order for a child’s grandmother
  • Court order needed to enable child’s medical treatment

Civil Litigation – people at risk of losing their homes

The Clinic deals with a range of civil litigation, we receive lots of requests for help from people whose homes are at risk or who are experiencing other housing issues.

With some enquiries the subject matter of the legal problem is obvious. However, a proportion of enquiries from the public resist any easy classification. They raise issues and questions which don’t fall clearly in any one distinct area of law or practice.

Graham has noticed an increase in the numbers of cases in which older or otherwise vulnerable people have been persuaded, bullied, or swindled out of money and/or property rights by other relatives.

Here are a couple of the cases which Vivien Gambling, Clinic Solicitor, and Graham Tegg, Director of the Law Clinic are currently dealing with.

  • Family’s home at risk
  • Property and Land Law? Or something else? Defending a vulnerable person who has been swindled

Disability Benefits Law – helping people navigate the appeals process

Over the summer the Clinic has continued to focus its limited resources on challenges to PIP and DLA for children. Here are a few of the cases we have dealt with:-

  • A Successful PIP Appeal
  • Technology delays disability benefit appeal
  • Appeal to the Upper Tribunal
  • Client facing multiple legal problems

Immigration Law – appeals, more appeals and the long road to reuniting families

Dr Richard Warren, an Immigration Adviser, has dealt with five appeals during the summer. Two appeals, dealing with refugee family reunion, were allowed – but that is not the end of those cases! Here are brief details of a few of our cases.

  • Two Afghan brothers stuck in Iran.
  • No right to remain in the UK after 18th birthday
  • Dilemma of a young married couple
  • Applying due to serious health condition

Safe and legal routes for refugee family reunion – two legal successes and practical realities

The refugee family reunion cases that the Clinic’s immigration lawyers, solicitor Sheona York and Dr Richard Warren deal with illustrate the inadequate provisions made for ‘safe and legal routes’ for refugee family members to come to the UK to join their families.

You can read here about two clients, who cases were successful, and whose stories show how long and tortuous the process can be. 

Besides the continuing casework, the Clinic’s immigration lawyers are facing radical changes in the legal landscape. We have been following and blogging about the Rwanda judgment and the contentious Illegal Migration Act 2023. Watch this space and keep in touch with the Law Clinic to hear more about these highly controversial developments.

Law students who wish to get involved in the Law Clinic or who would like to find out more are welcome to come to the weekly Clinic Hub on Thursdays at 1pm or drop into the Law Clinic between 9am and 5pm on weekdays.