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SMQ Legal services

Services provided by SMQ Legal Services

At SMQ Legal Services we assist our clients across Oxfordshire in a wide range of legal matters, providing expert advice and representation. Please select any of the areas below to read more or contact us for a free 20 minute consultation. Visit the Contact us page to find out how to get in touch.

Divorce Divorce
Court Martial & Military Law Court Martial & Military Law
Criminal Law Criminal Law
Environmental Law Environmental Law
Extradition Law Extradition Law
Family Law Family Law
Health & Safety Law Health & Safety Law
Judicial Review Judicial Review
Landlord & Tenant Law Landlord & Tenant Law
Prison Law Prison Law
Serious Fraud Law Serious Fraud Law
Trading Standards Law Trading Standards Law
Civil Actions The Police Civil Actions The Police
Licensing Law Licensing Law
Personal Injury Personal Injury
Employment Law Employment Law

Divorce

We appreciate that the process of getting a divorce can be a daunting task. This is why we offer a free 20-minute appointment so you have the opportunity to meet with a team member to demystify what is potentially a complex area
of law where assets are involved. The Family Justice Council recently published a Guidance Note for parties to consider the financial implications of divorce.

The main areas of focus when looking at the division of assets are to consider the parties’ financial needs and objectives.  This may seem fairly straightforward but we appreciate when clients are faced with detailing these needs in the forms this can become complex, especially given that there is no legal definition of ‘financial needs’.

The starting point is to explore:

What are needs, and at what level should they be met looking at the ‘circumstances of the case’?

The duration of provision for needs and the transition to independence.

We then need to break down these needs when looking at:

  • Children’s welfare and needs (where applicable);
  • Housing and other capital;
  • Maintenance and income;
  • Pensions.

There are many topics that arise when considering such needs, which includes some ‘myth-busting’ of things that many people believe the law says which are not true. The above list is non-exhaustive as the ‘needs list’ ranges extensively, which includes the parties standard of living to contributions made to earning capacity.

The equality of sharing assets can be a contentious issue. Baroness Hale stated in Miller, McFarlane as follows:

“…equality of outcome is difficult both to define and to achieve. Giving half the present assets to the breadwinner achieves a very different outcome from giving half the assets to the homemaker with children”.

We understand that the objective is to gain the transition to independence, which is possible in all the circumstances.  There are different orders that may fit the relevant circumstances.

If you have any queries and just want some guidance to navigate through the process please do not hesitate to book an appointment with us.

For more information, please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Court Martial & Military Law

We have experienced lawyers who can provide legal help to any member of the Army, Navy, and Air force.  Our assistance is available to serving members (or ex serving members) whether or not charged under military law.

Our services cover the following stages of a case where the difference between civilian and military proceedings can often overlap.

  • Service Police Interviews – you are entitled to the same rights as a civilian when interviewed by the Military Police under caution.
  • Hearings and Court Martial – more serious offences charged may result in Court Martial; minor offences are usually dealt with by the Commanding Officer.
  • Sentence – there are different sentences available under military law but the sentence imposed could by similar to that imposed by a civilian court.


For more information about military law please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Criminal Law

We cover a wide range of criminal law which covers but is not limited to the following areas:

  • Murder and violent crimes
  • Serious Fraud & IT Crime
  • Sex offences
  • Human trafficking
  • Importation
  • Motoring offences
  • Youth Crime
  • Public Order Offences
  • Dangerous Dogs
  • Terrorism Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Crime connected with Sport

Our experienced Defence Team is available to assist at every stage of a criminal matter and is on hand 24/7 to provide independent legal advice and assistance where required, whether it be at the police station or at Court, whether the client is in custody or on bail.
    
The Firm undertakes both private and legal aid work. We can act for all manner of clients, from the homeless through to a multi millionaire celebrity.
    
We cover the following stages of a case:
    
Police Station – legal advice at the police station is free and independent.  We understand that the decisions made at the investigative stage of a case can affect future outcomes and our experienced lawyers are available to advise on the important decisions to be made before, during, and after being in police detention.
Magistrates and Youth Courts: we have experienced advocates to deal with all stages of court proceedings concerning the vast range of cases heard in the magistrates. The advocates will keep you updated as to your case progress and discuss the law and procedure with you.
Crown Court – the advocates representing the Firm have experienced in the most complex and complicated of cases. Our in house solicitor-advocate works in conjunction with the UK’s premier Criminal Barristers Chambers.  Representation covers all manner of hearings from a bail application through to a lengthy trial. The advocates also have experience in dealing with a range of legal technicalities that can arise during a case, including mental health issues connected to crime.
Criminal Appeals and Applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).

For more information about our criminal department please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Environmental

We recognize that with the recent developments in law concerning sentencing for environmental offences and the cost recovery powers are increasingly being used by the enforcement agencies, we are can advise corporate and individual clients on the consequences of this area which can extend to confiscation proceedings.

For more information about our Environmental Services, please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Extradition

SMQ has experience in dealing with this rapidly growing area of law which sees a number of individuals frequently arrested under a European Arrest Warrant or where International extradition is sought, usually linked to drug trafficking and serious fraud.

The Firm is one of a few who has the experience and knowledge to represent clients in this  specialised field of law. We understand that technical legal argument as well as a client’s Human Rights are vital considerations when dealing with an extradition case, which is why the Firm is able to assist from the early stages of proceedings before a EAW is issued right through to the Appellate Courts where necessary.  

Extradition requests to the UK are governed by the Extradition Act 2003 and the Firm is able to represent on both Part 1 and 2 warrant requests.

For more information about our extradition department please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Family Law

SMQ Legal Services appreciates that issues concerning your family can be sensitive and highly emotional, whether it be considering how you can financially survive or trying to agree on the future of your children.

We provide a personable service  that not only gives you sound legal advice but lends you the support to make informative decisions and get through the process and avoid any unnecessary distress for you and your family.

We provide  competitive prices providing the following services:

  • Divorce
  • Children
  • Financial and Property Disputes
  • Domestic Violence
  • Alternatives to Court
  • Injunctions
  • Care proceedings
  • Adoption proceedings


We understand that financial constraints can provide extra burden to a situation. We offer a free consultation to advise you on the legal options available to you.

For more information about our Family Team please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Health & Safety

SMQ Legal Services recognizes that this is a complex and specialized area of the law often involving the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). Both employers and employees have responsibilities and duties under the Health & Safety Act 1974 which can lead to breaches, enforcement notices, and concerns over compliance.

Whatever the specialization, we can provide you with advice and assistance to explain the relevant law and help you reach the best possible solution.

For more information about health & safety law please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Judicial Review

Judicial review is when an application is made to the High Court asking a Judge to assess the fairness of the decision making public body. It is a 2-stage process; first of all you have to apply on paper for permission for Judicial Review. If granted, the application will proceed to a full hearing. Consequently, representation and drafting at both stages is vital to a successful application.

The remedies available from the Court may include an order quashing the decision, a declaration to override the original decision, an injunction or a prohibiting order.

SMQ Legal Services can advise you throughout the entire process and offer competitive prices.

For more information about judicial review law please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Landlord & Tenant

SMQ  Legal Services can provide you with quick, straightforward advice concerning disputes involving landlord and tenants to put right the problem. We understand that disputes can often arise when the responsibility of a landlord to put something right is called into question.

We have experience dealing with allegations of regulation breaches concerning HMOs, repossession, and in defending claims of tenants.

We aim to explore dispute resolution to avoid costly and lengthy legal aid where possible. We will explain clearly the process, timescales and costs of bringing or defending any claim.

For more information about our landlord and tenant department, please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Prison Law

SMQ Legal Services provides legal advice and representation to sentenced prisoners and those on licence.
    
We specialize in all areas of prison law including:

  • IPP Prisoners
  • Life Sentenced Prisoners
  • Judicial Review
  • Pre Tariff Reviews
  • Parole Board Hearings
  • Home Detention Curfew
  • Recall
  • Categorisations
  • Adjudications
  • Resettlement
  • Sentence Planning
  • Mental Health
  • Foreign National Prisoners


Clients have access to our rapid response team who are readily available to advise in the full spectrum of prison law cases. For more information about our prison law department, please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Serious Fraud & Business crime

We can advise on large scale fraud cases and have links to Professional Barristers Chambers to consult with you on all complexities concerning serious fraud throughout the investigation as well as court proceedings.

We have knowledge of all scales of serious fraud, including MTIC, insider trading, carousel, and mortgage frauds. We recognize the increase in prosecutions stemming from business crime detection and are able to efficiently assess the information with you and put together a legal team to progress your case.

These types of actions can arise suddenly and we are available to help with sensitive pre charge stage through to trial then confiscation proceedings.

For more information about our serious fraud team, please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Trading Standards

We are familiar with consumer protection and trading standards legislation. We can advise in advertising, product safety, food safety, food hygiene, product recall, and other related matters.

For more information about our Health & Safety, please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Civil Actions the Police

We offer legal services on a prviate basis to represent clients who wish to bring claims against the police where there is sufficient merit. Civil actions of this nature can be complicated and require specialised legal representation. The general legal causes of action are:

  • Assault and battery
  • Wrongful arrest
  • False imprisonment
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Misfeasance in public office
  • Breach of human rights
  • Discrimination
  • Negligence
  • Retention of personal information such as DNA and finger-prints and disclosure of personal data


These type of claims are heard before the County Court and High Court with the option for Judicial Review claims to be submitted in certain situations. There are also strict time limitiations for bring a claim, depending of the type of legal cause of action.

For more information about civil actions, please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Law on Licensing

There are a number of situations where the local Council revokes a ‘licence’ such as:

  • Refusal to renew or revocation of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence for a Landlord
  • Revocation of a taxi driver’s licence perhaps due to the driver being involved in a police investigation
  • Revocation of a Restaurant’s Food Hygene Licence where the council believe the restaurant no longer meets the relevant requirements for trading.
We can provide you with legal advice and assistance as to your options and rights to appeal against the revocation of such a licence.

For more information about civil actions, please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Personal Injury

We appreciate that having an accident, whether in connection to a road traffic, incident, place of work, or tripping on a highway can affect every aspect of your life from your ability to work to undergoing medical procedures.

We provide sound legal advice and assistance as to the relevant procedure for issuing a compensation claim and where necessary, pursuing that claim in Court.  We understand from personal experience that the issue of a claim is a daunting experience but it is vital that any claim submitted is properly drafted and compliant with the Civil Procedure Rules.  We can advise where alternative dispute resolution should be sought and when medical expertise needs to be obtained to ensure your condition is assessed.

For more information about civil actions, please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Employment

We can provide pragmatic advice for either employers or employees with any issues at work.

For employees facing Redundancy or a Grievance Hearing, we can advise to ensure the relevant procedures are adhered to properly.

We can advise as to negotiating settlements or representing you before the Court.

The range of employment areas are vast so please contact us to obtain more information on the services we offer.

For more information about civil actions, please contact us on 01865 246 991 or complete our contact form

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Accreditations
Copyright © 2014 - SMQ Legal Services LLP, all rights reserved  - 47-49 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1HP  -  t: 01865 246 991 - f: 01865 248 028 info@smqlegal.co.uk

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