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Author Archives: Anita Swift


Posted by Dan Ruddick

The introduction of the Domestic Abuse Act

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, cases of domestic abuse have risen astronomically, together with the demand for protective injunctions. In response to this, the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 has now received Royal Assent, coming into force by the end of 2021/early 2022.

It is hoped that this new regulation will be able to provide protection, which is available to everybody and provides a safety net with no room for error.

The most important feature of the Act is that it introduces the first ever statutory definition of domestic abuse, emphasising that it is not just physical but can include emotional, economic, and coercive and controlling abuse. This provides a zero tolerance of domestic abuse in all forms. The change in law reflects the growing importance of coercive control which coincides with recent case law encouraging a full recognition of all different types of abuse. This will hopefully bring about a platform for educational and social awareness.

What’s changing?

There will be an introduction of Domestic Abuse Protection Orders (DAPO’s) and Domestic Abuse Protection Notices (DAPNs).

DAPO and DAPNs will replace the current Domestic Violence Protection Orders and whilst Non-molestation Orders will remain in force for the time being, these new orders will be seen to be the first resort.

The DAPO and DAPNs will impose similar restrictions to the current protective injunctions however it will bring about the addition of a positive requirement such as a mandatory attendance of a domestic abuse perpetrators programme. For instance:

DAPN – ensure the abuser cannot contact or come within a specific distance of where the victim lives and can evict or exclude the abuser from entering their home.

DAPO prohibit a party from doing certain things.

The Act also shifts in that it recognises that victims of abuse do not have to live with their perpetrator, meaning that after separation, the court will recognise that victims can still be subject to abuse.

The Order will also impact on the party’s ability to participate, bringing about an automatic presumption of special measures meaning that where one party have been given a caution, charged with an offence against another, there will be an automatic ban on cross examination in person. Previously, the Family Court were under a duty to consider participation however this diminished by reason on vulnerability.

In addition to the above, the Act will introduce a Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, meaning it is required by law to disclose to an individual or third party whether their current or former partner had an abusive past where it is reasonable to do so.

These Orders are due to be piloted over the course of the next two years.

At Hindle Campbell we recognise that abuse comes in various forms and have experience on advising victims to find the light at the end of the tunnel. If you feel you need our services, then please contact us on 0191 296 1777 or by e-mail at


Posted by Kerrie Greenley

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and why should I create one?

Unless you formally appoint someone to be able to make decisions on your behalf, then no one has any automatic right to act on your behalf in the event that you lose mental capacity.

For example, this means that spouses cannot make decisions on each other’s behalf, and neither can parents and adult children. In the event that you should lose mental capacity for any reason, such as dementia, alzheimers or an accident or any injury, then a costly and time-consuming application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your Deputy could become necessary if you do not have valid LPAs in place.

LPAs are legal documents by which you can appoint one or more nominated people, called your attorneys, to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf either at your invitation or should you lose mental capacity.

There are two kinds of LPA. One deals with matters of your Property and Financial matters. The second option deals with Health and Welfare matters. It is important to note that they are completely separate documents and you can choose to set up either or both. Once the LPAs have been correctly signed, including by a certificate provider, they must then be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they are valid. Registration takes around 10 weeks.

What decisions can an attorney make?

An LPA for Property and Financial affairs can be used by your attorney as soon as it is registered, but only at your invitation or should you lose capacity. This LPA deals with practical issues such as assessing your bank and savings accounts, dealing with your investments, pensions etc. and also bigger decisions such as selling or buying property for you. An attorney has a restricted ability to make gifts on your behalf.

In contrast, an LPA for Health and Welfare does not allow your attorney to act on your behalf unless you are unable to make the decision in question. You remain completely in control of health and welfare decisions unless you have lost capacity. These decisions would include where you would live, what you might wear or what your diet may be, but it also potentially extends as far as being able to accept or refuse life sustaining medical treatment on your behalf.

Who should I appoint?

LPAs are powerful legal documents. Although your attorneys must act in your best interests at all times, you should only ever appoint attorneys whom you fully trust. Your attorney can effectively step into your shoes and do most things that you could do yourself.

You can appoint up to four attorneys, and also substitute attorneys who can step up should the appointed attorneys be unable or unwilling to act. LPAs are flexible documents which allow you to decide how you want your attorneys to act. You can add guidance or restrictions regarding when and how they should act.

You can appoint the attorneys in several ways, for example jointly or jointly and severally, or in a particular order. If attorneys are appointed jointly, they must all agree and always act together however, this can be impractical for some matters and may delay decisions that need to be taken at short notice, for example, if one attorney was out of the country. A ‘Joint and Several’ appointment means that your attorneys can act independently. You can also appoint the attorneys to act jointly in some matters, and jointly and severally in other matters should you wish to do so.

Overall, you should consider making LPAs because they can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing attorneys whom you trust will be able to act on your behalf if you need them to.

If you wish to discuss creating an LPA, whether it be for Property and Finance or Health and Welfare, please contact Les Murray by e-mail at or Kerrie Greenley by e-mail at or by telephone on 0191 296 1777.


Posted by Clare Usher

No Fault Divorce

A year ago Legislation was passed to enable couples wanting to divorce to issue a no fault divorce. At present anyone petitioning for a divorce has to have grounds for unreasonable behaviour, 2 years separation, adultery or desertion. The majority of couples wanting a divorce as soon as the marriage has broken down have had to rely on a petition with one party saying the party’s unreasonable behaviour led to the marriage breakdown and give examples of the behaviour. This can often make an already difficult situation even more inflamed. For many years lawyers have campaigned for a reform of the divorce law and the implementation of the “no fault” divorce will be the biggest reform of divorce law in 50 years!

The Ministry of Justice had hoped to implement the “no fault” divorce by Autumn of this year but it now looks like this ground breaking change will not take place until 6 April 2022. We will keep you updated.


Posted by Anita Swift

We are hiring! Conveyancing Secretary/Assistant

A rare opportunity has arisen for a temporary Conveyancing secretary/assistant role to provide part time support in our very busy team.

In order to be considered for this role you should be an experienced legal secretary with excellent typing skills, a high degree of accuracy and a familiarity with case management systems.

Typical duties will include opening new files, checking ID, responding to correspondence, liaising with clients and general office administration. You will help to manage diaries, to prepare bills and transcribe dictation.

The ideal candidate will be client focussed, highly organised with strong communication skills and an ability to work on their own and use their own initiative.

This is a fantastic role for well a organised, dynamic individual.

Applications by post and e-mail.

Please provide a short introduction, and attach a copy of your CV addressed to:

Anita Swift, Office Manager (