Another Lovely Reference

I am leaving this reference as it was written:

“I have the utmost pleasure to write this review for Julian Hunt. I sought his services for a traffic motoring offence this year 2019. I cant express enough how helpful Julian has been from the beginning. During our first meeting , he took his time to listen to me and didn’t show any sign of disbelief compared to other Barristers. He assisted me with his time, confidence, re-assurance and advice throughout the whole process. the contact has been very timely, thorough and professional. I have been very nervous and Julian has been nothing but supportive, helpful and responsive to all my concerns. he commands a wealth of knowledge and he displayed it well in court. Julian had explored various venues through the process. I am very grateful to Julian for his hard work and his masterpiece resulted in me not being convicted for an offence I never committed. I will without any doubt recommend Julian to any one seeking the help of a Barrister.
I am more than very satisfied with how my case was dealt with from start to finish. Everything that I was told would be done on behalf on my case was and at a very high standard. his professionalism is exemplary.
I can’t imagine how one could improve what you have done for me” RS -London

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An Exceptional Exceptional Hardship Win!

A lovely testimonial:

‘By rights I should have lost my licence as I had totted 16 points on my licence, I had what I thought was a valid “exceptional hardship” argument for keeping my licence and Julian expertly guided me through what I needed to do to build my case and was a hugely reassuring presence representing me on the day. In the even the helped to convince the magistrate not to suspend my licence. He was also good company and good fun.’ DT, London

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An Article on Housing Act Civil Penalty Notices

Housing Act and HMO Civil Penalty Notices: A Very Brief Guide

I have advised on many Housing Act Civil Penalty Notices since their inception.

There is no set format for the notices which arrive with that ominous thud on the doorstep. I have seen notices vary from a few lines via which the recipient must discern the exact particulars of the offence to detailed notices setting out at some length the relevant management regulation[1] or Housing Act breaches

In many ways it is quite extraordinary that Councils can now quite  literally print out a couple of pieces of paper and have neatly laid out for your edification penalties of up to £30000 once the Housing Officer has put a stamp on the envelope[2]. These penalties if not challenged are enforceable as a civil debt[3] with Councils more than happy to bankrupt you or put a charge on your property with an order then forcing you to sell it. The only relief is that they are not court fines which can be enforced via imprisonment if wilfully not paid.

If you do get a notice you do have some safeguards. You have 28 days to send in representations via yourself or better still a specialist lawyer. You can ask for this time to be extended. Some Councils will set up committees to look at the representations and assure the final notices are in accordance with any relevant Council guidelines[4]. Councils should look carefully at well thought out representations and be willing to reduce the amount.

If the representations are ignored there is no statutory requirement to give reasons as to why and a final notice is simply issued at any time after the 28 days for the receipt of the representations has expired. Of course, none of these formal steps stops without prejudice correspondence being put forward to try and negotiate down the notices if the amount does not seem right.

Should this part fail the next stage is to appeal the matter formally to the First Tier Tribunal. You will have 28 days from the date of the final notice. I have drafted many appeal grounds in such cases. There is a fee for the issue of any appeal. Following this the First Tier Tribunal will issue directions. The timetable is often very tight in relation to the paperwork required for such matters.

Some tribunals offer a free mediation service. I always recommend it to clients and councils will in my experience take part in it with reasonable results especially if the client is represented and you have a good judge-mediator.

Some of the other consequences of a CPN include inclusion on the rogue landlords register and the landlord being deemed not to be fit and proper to have a licence (depending on the policy). In addition, for future licences there is often a box in the plethora of forms for these licences in which you need to admit if you have faced Housing Act proceedings in the past. A CPN can also lead to the double whammy of a Rent Repayment Order being applied for.

The monies from these CPN’s go straight to the council’s private sector team for enforcing housing standards[5]. As CPN’s become more bedded into the Council armoury with their third birthday just gone I expect to see a growing number issued. Whatever you do when you get one don’t do nowt! You have to try and engage as it is hard to appeal out of time even if your matter has merit.

 I should finally add that excuses such as being too busy, unclear council guidance on the phone, ignorance of regulations or not knowing that you were now in a selective licencing area are not really going to wash as  substantive defences.

Get in touch me to see if I can assist you should you face the dread of a CPN.

Julian Hunt

Chambers of Julian Hunt

info@julianrhunt.co.uk

02030720055

https://housing-act-prosecution-defence-barrister.co.uk/

[1] i.e Breaches of the catch-all The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007 at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/1903/pdfs/uksi_20071903_en.pdf Accessed 12th December 2019

[2] Housing Act 2004 Section 249A(4)

[3] Housing Act 2004 Schedule 13A para. 11

[4] i.e Southwark’s CPN Policy at https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwiTlo62r7DmAhVEilwKHbA4BuMQFjAAegQIAhAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.southwark.gov.uk%2Fassets%2Fattach%2F8753%2FProsecutions-and-Civil-Penalties-Enforcement-Policy-22-01-19.pdf&usg=AOvVaw3YAsArgUTukVRJRdrizfNB para 10 Accessed 12th December 2019

[5] DCLG Guidance on Civil Penalties at para 8.1 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/697644/Civil_penalty_guidance.pdf accessed 12th December 2019

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DEATH BY CARELESS OR DANGEROUS DRIVING

If you are being investigated for causing death by careless or dangerous driving please contact me. I have undertaken jury trial work in this very difficult area and work with a number of experts. This is one case I undertook in this field as trial advocate:

https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/egham-businessman-cleared-causing-death-13773490

By using me you are coming straight to the expert. I will help you as much as I can.

 

 

 

 

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I Now Have Google Ratings

The Chambers of Julian Hunt now has google reviews at https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=QkRpXdnOCrKWlwSHhZPgBg&q=chambers+of+Julian+Hunt+&oq=chambers+of+Julian+Hunt+&gs_l=psy-ab.3…120.5078..5292…6.0..0.94.1825.28……0….1..gws-wiz…….0i131j0j0i131i70i253j0i22i30j33i160j0i13.AnsbsbsnVp0&ved=0ahUKEwjZ96ru96rkAhUyy4UKHYfCBGwQ4dUDCAc&uact=5

Please do read the reviews I have had. I must admit I have been so busy with my practice that I have neglected to post in recent times. This week alone has been exhausting as I have undertaken a civil trial, some private criminal work and given advice on both motoring and housing matters.

Please do contact me to see how I can help you with your matter.

 

Posted in Julian R Hunt

Helping You If You Are Summonsed for Driving Whilst Using a Mobile Phone

In the current clamp down by the police if you are unfairly summonsed for driving whilst using a mobile phone do contact me to see how I can assist you. I charge a fixed fee of £600 for representation at trial when defending a mobile phone allegation. It is worth remembering the following:

  1. The Police and prosecution even in these cases still need to prove the allegation to the criminal standard of proof. If the Court is unsure if you were using a phone then it is duty bound to acquit you.

 

  1. What distance was the officer from you? How long did he have the phone in his view for? Was there any obstruction in his way? When two cars are travelling even at slow speeds it can be for less than a fraction of a second that the officer sees your phone for.

 

  1. Did his colleague write a statement? If not, why not?

 

  1. Do you agree with any admissions made at the scene? Did you say what is alleged that you said to the officer? Did you sign his notes as a true record of what was said? If not, why?

 

  1. Did the officer check or ask to check your phone? Phone records only go so far. They show a call made, not the act of making (imperfect tense) the call if not made or a text that isn’t sent.

 

  1. Remember the most dangerous witness is the honest but mistaken witness who comes across as utterly truthful but is in fact plain wrong.

 

  1. Was anyone in the car with you? Can they come to court if you were not using the phone?

 

  1. What is your previous driving history like? Do you have numerous infringements or this out of character?

 

  1. “Using” a mobile phone has not been defined in the higher courts – there is no legal definition but it must include sending a text or pressing any buttons on a phone. One takes its ordinary and normal usage. It also includes, in my view, merely looking at the phone in your hand. According to my dictionary the word means “to employ for some purpose; put into service; make use of”

 

  1. I am not sure if merely picking up a phone that has fallen on the floor is “using” the phone but these are questions that a court can answer.

 

Contact me to see if I can help as a barrister in defending you and your licence.

Posted in Julian R Hunt

“The Judicial System Is Complex And Unresponsive And Julian Diligently Navigated It For Me, Something I Couldn’t Have Even Contemplated On My Own”

Another testimonial from a client recently allowed to keep her licence after racking up fifteen points:

“As a single working mum the idea of having to cope with out my car filled me with horror, when I was faced with a totting up ban I just didn’t know what to do. I contacted Julian and he has been exceptional. He offered me great advice, reassurance and support. Most importantly my case wasn’t simple and he worked exceptionally hard to make sure I got the best possible output. The judicial  system is complex and unresponsive and Julian diligently navigated it for me, something I couldn’t have even contemplated on my own.

Julian provided expert advice on how to prepare for the court appearance and what inputs I needed to provide. On the day he accompanied me and reassured me through the whole process. I am convinced I wouldn’t have received the positive result without him and whilst I now have to drive exceptionally carefully for the coming years at least I still have my car. I would highly recommend Julian as a person and a legal professional.”

Posted in Julian R Hunt

A New Testimonial After I Won A Failing To Provide A Specimen Appeal At The Crown Court

RB, a Project Manager, wrote this after I represented him at a failing to provide a specimen trial last week:

“I am hugely grateful for Julian’s expertise and unequivocal support in winning my appeal on a complex motoring case, involving failure to provide a specimen. Julian was extremely attentive, understanding and highly knowledgeable. He was always willing to go the extra mile and the results from the trial speaks for itself. He is a true professional, highly dependable and provides a fantastic value & quality service.”

Posted in Julian R Hunt

Time Limits Under The Freedom of Information Act

I was recently involved in a Freedom of Information matter against a government department. The Information Commissioner sided with me and came to the important conclusion that only in exceptional circumstances could the limit of forty days for delaying the decision to disclose information be extended. I had been waiting since last year for an answer to some simple questions.

A link to the Decision Notice is here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByEaMnv1AIpzTk9BVTZidFg1Vjg/view?usp=sharing

 

Posted in Julian R Hunt

EU driving licences post-Brexit

EU DRIVING LICENCES POST-BREXIT 

One of the tasks post-Brexit will be the working out how the UK will deal with EU driving licences.

At present any EU member state driver with a valid EU member state licence can drive a car in the UK on their home licence.

In the UK, this means that a German licence holder, for instance, can drive in the UK on their German licence. If resident in the UK, the German licence holder can drive in the UK until they are seventy without having to exchange their licence for a UK licence.

A driving ban in another member state (apart from mutual recognition with Ireland) is not recognised in the UK but it is highly likely that an EU national, banned say in Spain, and driving in the UK, will not be insured to drive under the terms of their insurance policy. A UK driving ban is recognised only in Ireland although, as said, it is highly unlikely that a driver, banned in the UK, with a UK licence, will be insured under the terms of a policy – whether a UK or other member state policy – in another member state.

At present, holders of non-EU licences face some difficulties. Drivers from all non-EU “designated countries” can drive in the UK validly for twelve months after they first become resident in the UK. There are seventeen of these countries including Japan, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Switzerland. The USA, China and India are not included. They can then exchange their foreign licence for up to five years for a UK licence.

The reason for these countries being designated is due, I suspect, to tougher driving tests than other countries. The reasons though are not apparent from the outset.

The term “resident” isn’t defined in the legislation.

If they don’t exchange it within this time frame then the licence holder must start from square one and pass the UK driving test starting off with a provisional licence.

For non-designated countries you cannot exchange your licence. You can drive for twelve months if resident in the UK but must then apply for a UK provisional licence.

Following Brexit the following questions will need answering:

  1. Which EU member state licence holders will be able to drive in the UK without needing to exchange licences if resident for more than year? Will a Slovakian licence holder discover that if in the UK for more than a year he will need to get a provisional licence whereas a German driver will be able to drive for up to five years before exchanging their licence for a full UK licence?

 

  1. Will EU nationals will lose their right to drive on their member state licence and need to apply for a provisional licence if already resident in the UK? How long will any period of grace be before this right is lost?

 

  1. Which member states will be deemed designated countries and which ones non-designated.

 

  1. The number of individuals applying and taking driving tests (assuming EU member states licence holders do not find they are in the same position) will boom. The DSA will need to pump resources into more test centres. At present, there can be a two to three month wait for driving tests. All good news for driving test instructors.

 

  1. Will other member states put similar restrictions on UK nationals abroad who can currently drive until seventy on their UK licence? I doubt this as the UK driving test is one of the toughest tests in the world but it is too early to tell.

 

  1. I doubt for mere visitors for a few weeks on holiday anything major will change but there will be changes in the long term for those holding non-UK member state licences.

 

  1. If this makes your head spin, imagine how much time and effort will be spent unpicking all the other EU law currently transposed into UK law.

 

Julian Hunt

Barrister

London

29th June 2016

Acquisition International UK Transportation Lawyer of the Year 2016

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