The Solicitor - The FindLaw UK Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

A woman who was in a relationship and had a child with man she believed was a political campaigner, but later discovered he was an undercover police officer has won over £400,000 in compensation, reports the Guardian.

In 2012, a woman named only as "Jacqui" discovered a partner she was seeing 24 years ago was an undercover police officer after reading a newspaper. The relationship also produced a child.

The officer in question is a named Bob Lambert and had told Jacqui he was a leftwing radical called Bob Robinson in 1984. Jacqui became enamoured of Mr Lambert and they had a son together a year after meeting. However, at the time Mr Lambert already had a wife and children living in another part of the country.

A woman who was in a relationship and had a child with man she believed was a political campaigner, but later discovered he was an undercover police officer has won over £400,000 in compensation, reports the Guardian.

In 2012, a woman named only as "Jacqui" discovered a partner she was seeing 24 years ago was an undercover police officer after reading a newspaper. The relationship also produced a child.

The officer in question is a named Bob Lambert and had told Jacqui he was a leftwing radical called Bob Robinson in 1984. Jacqui became enamoured of Mr Lambert and they had a son together a year after meeting. However, at the time Mr Lambert already had a wife and children living in another part of the country.

Brick tycoon, Alan Hardy, claims that the initial proceedings in the purchase of his £3.6million property were a legally binding contract and that therefore the buyers who withdrew from the purchase owe him damages in compensation, reports the Daily Mail.

In April 2011, Mr and Mrs Griffiths agreed to buy Alan Hardy's mansion in East Sussex and exchange contracts. The surveyor's report of the property was not conducted or therefore seen buy the buyers until after the exchange of contracts had taken place.

Upon reading the report which claimed that the property was suffering from significant damp and rot, the buyers rescinded the contract thereby withdrawing from the purchase of Hardy's property.

Misconduct: Trial discontinued after officers for the prosecution lie

The trial of seven individuals charged with knowingly assisting in a number of sham marriages collapses after the judge discovers that officers for the prosecution lied under oath, reports the BBC.

Despite a lengthy investigation gathering a wealth of evidence to prosecute seven individuals, including a vicar, the trial was dismissed by the residing judge when it became clear that officers giving evidence for the prosecution had lied under oath.

In addition, the officers had edited pieces of evidence and 'lost' video footage in order to keep the defence from seeing it. Regardless of their protestations at these accusations, the judge ruled that it was quite clear that the immigration officers had gone to great lengths to ensure that the evidence was kept to themselves.

The Ministry has Justice has proposed a scheme that would allow those appearing in court without legal representation to access in-court advice centres, reports the Guardian.

The new project, launched by family justice minister Simon Hughes, will see £1.4m a year used to create in-court advice centres around the country. At the moment, the Personal Support Unit provides eight centres in England and Wales, and the extra money will be used to expand this initiative.

The intention of these advice centres is to support those who represent themselves in court and attempt to link up pro bono solicitors with those who need their help.

The Ministry has Justice has proposed a scheme that would allow those appearing in court without legal representation to access in-court advice centres, reports the Guardian.

The new project, launched by family justice minister Simon Hughes, will see £1.4m a year used to create in-court advice centres around the country. At the moment, the Personal Support Unit provides eight centres in England and Wales, and the extra money will be used to expand this initiative.

The intention of these advice centres is to support those who represent themselves in court and attempt to link up pro bono solicitors with those who need their help.

A child sex abuse victim has raised concerns and made a legal challenge over the appointment of Fiona Woolf as the chair of the abuse inquiry, reports the BBC.

Challenging the choice of Woolf, the victim of historical sexual abuse claims that Woolf would not be impartial during the investigation. Furthermore, the victim argues that Woolf does not even possess any expertise on the matter.

Although this concern has been raised and a legal challenge made, the government defends their choice in appointing Woolf and have asserted that the public as well as the victims involved ought to have the confidence in her ability in this role that they do.

David Cameron has revealing draft legislation aimed at tackling the concerns charity organisations are using their resources to fund terrorist organisations like ISIS, reports the Guardian.

The new legislation includes measures such as: banning people with convictions for specific criminal offences (for example terrorism or money laundering) becoming charity trustees; powers to remove any charity trustees that are seen by the Charity Commission as "unfit"; and the power to have a charity shut down if, after an enquiry, there is evidence of misconduct or mismanagement that undermines public trust.

In order to fund the new plans, the government will be putting an extra £8m into the budget of the charities watchdog.

Detention: US detainee finally released from North Korea

Jeffrey Fowle, a US citizen who has been detained in North Korea since June has finally been released, reports the BBC.

Visiting North Korea in April this year, 56-year-old Fowle was detained upon trying to exit the country in June. Charged with anti-state crimes, Fowle was stripped of his liberty and held by the authorities of North Korea.

It was claimed that Fowle had attempted missionary activity, an act that is illegal in the country. He was accused of this following an incident where, he claims by accident, he left a Bible in a restaurant toilet in the city of Chongjin. Defending his actions, Fowle's family protested that he was not on a religious mission.

Criminal law: Pistorius sentence is revealed

The South African court has finally reached a decision on the sentencing of Oscar Pistorius after being found guilty of killing his former girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, the BBC reports.

While Pistorius was charged with culpable homicide but cleared of murder earlier this month, it has taken some time for the court to determine in his sentence. However, Judge Thokozile Masipa has now ruled that Pistorius would serve five years in jail.

News of the decision provoked mixed opinions, with many commenting that the sentence was far too light given the severity of the crime. The prosecution had argued for a greater jail term, suggesting that ten years in prison ought to be the minimum in this case. Arguing the other extreme, the defence fought for no jail term at all and suggested merely house arrest and community service.

Law and government: Green Party politician Jenny Jones arrested

Green Party deputy chair of the London assembly's police and crime committee has been arrested along with 15 other people during a demonstration near parliament, reports the Guardian.

Jones, 64, was arrested after visiting the protest site of Occupy London. She was arrested for "obstructing the police" after she had been contacted by the protesters who had claimed the police were using heavy-handed tactics to control the protest.

At the time of the incident, it was said as many as eight police vans had been used in Parliament Square to deal with the protesters.

New guidelines have been released stating those criminal who use knifes or guns during a robbery should receive longer sentences, reports the Guardian.

The proposals come after a period where fatal stabbing and knife crime have risen in prominence in public perception. The intention is to reduce the threat of such crimes upon members of the public.

The new guidelines state: "Sentencing levels must reflect the serious social problem of offenders carrying knives. Even in cases where a knife is not produced, and indeed may not exist, if an offender threatens to use a knife the victim has every reason to believe the threat is real as there is societal concern that knife crime has become widespread. This is particularly true in street robberies."

Benefits law: Prime Minister proposes cap on benefit payouts

Housing and living benefits are to be capped as part of the Conservative party's plans for greater employment, reports the Daily Mail.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, has proposed that a cap be placed on housing and living benefits to a maximum of £23,000 in a bid to save the country £300million. Therefore, if the Conservative party wins the next election, thousands of families will have their benefit allowances cut by up to £60 per week.

In addition to this, David Cameron proposes cutting benefits for the young and jobless altogether in a bid to encourage them to find paid work. To balance this proposal, the Prime Minister will approach firms to offer apprenticeships to three million young people looking for work and train them to a high professional standard. He has suggested that cutting benefits to the unemployed will help to partially fund these apprenticeships in which he plans to invest £1billion.

A recent live broadcasting of Radio 1's Big Weekend witnessed two celebrities swearing during their performances, reports the BBC.

Watchdog Ofcom have been investigating a live broadcast from Radio 1's May event, the Big Weekend. The investigation comes as a result of complaints being made over the obscenities that were spoken and sung by two performers in particular.

During her performance, Lily Allen was heard swearing six times yet even after the first couple of instances, the Radio chose to continue broadcasting her show. Furthermore, Allen's timeslot during the event was between 17:30 and 18:00, thus ahead of the watershed.

There has been a significant increase in the time it takes for couples to get divorced and the courts in England and Wales are putting this increase down to the fact that many individuals are now going down the route of representing themselves in court.

The average time for a court case has increased by three weeks in comparison to the same time last year and this appears to be down to the fact that Legal Aid is no longer available for family law cases.

In cases where individuals decided to use legal representation, the average length of each case was 24 weeks whereas those who represented themselves in court, also known as litigants in person, saw cases last for around 32 weeks.