Monthly Archives: February 2017
Infant Class Size Appeal?
Parents submitting a second appeal as a result of the adjudication that the 2016 admissions criteria were unfair will need to check whether they will be involved in an Infant Class Size appeal (ICS). This will occur where no classes in the admission year have a class size of less than 30 pupils. The process is governed by education law relating to this particular issue.
This short article gives some advice as to how best to approach Part A of the fresh appeals.
Part A of the School Admissions Appeal
In Part A of the appeal process the Appeal Panel will have to consider whether:
- admitting one extra child would breach the Infant Class Size limit of 30
- whether the admission arrangements were lawful
- if so, whether the admission arrangements were correctly and impartially applied to your child
- was the decision to refuse admission reasonable in the circumstances of the case
In an Infant Class Size appeal, the panel can find in your favour at Part A if:
- there isn’t in fact an Infant Class Size issue e.g. one class has less than 30
- the arrangements in place were unlawful or incorrectly applied AND the child would have been offered a place otherwise
- the original decision was legally unreasonable
The panel can find against you in Part A where:
- the admissions arrangements were lawful and correctly applied or
- the admission arrangements were unlawful and incorrectly applied BUT you child wouldn’t have been offered a place even if properly applies, and
- the original decision to refuse you a place was not legally unreasonable
Writing Your Appeal Statement
As a result, when drafting your written statement of appeal, you will need to bear in mind the following:
- It will be best that you draft a new appeal document rather than rely upon your old statement. This will allow you to structure your argument to take into account the facts of the decision of the Office of the Schools Adjudicator which answers the second of the Part A questions in your favour.
- Proceed on the basis that you will have to pursue an Infant Class Size Appeal unless told otherwise.
- Although the council representative ought to accept the criteria were unlawful, that concession hasn’t yet been made. As a result, you will wish to make reference to the key features of the Adjudicator’s report including the admission codes that have been breached. You will also want to stress that although the report applies to a single school it is of application across Nottinghamshire.
- You may wish to rehearse the failure in the consultation process by the council that has led to this situation arising.
- Although you may not have this information yet, you will wish to set out a belief that your child would have received a place at your desired school under the fair criteria. If you know this as a fact at this stage then you ought to set it out in the statement. This will arise, for example, where you know that a child out of catchment without a sibling in the school has been admitted in preference to your child.
Documents In Support
Documents that could usefully be attached in support are:
- the Adjudicator’s decision
- a timeline (and Fairness for Siblings will no doubt be able to help) as to the failure to consult
- the relevant Codes of Practice with the codes said to have been breached highlighted
The deadline for submission of an indication of a wish to appeal is 6 March 2017. The deadline for submission of the paperwork is 20 March. Any further information can be submitted up to 5 working days before the appeal is to be heard.
The response should contain additional information from the council that will either support or undermine your arguments. You will have an opportunity to decide how best to deal with that material then.
Contact Us About Nottinghamshire School Admissions
If you are affected by these issues surrounding Nottinghamshire school admissions and how to prepare and Infant Class Size appeal for the year 2016/2017 then please contact us by email here or telephone Andrew Wesley on 0115 9599550 to discuss steps that you can take and whether we are able to help with this area of education law.
Monthly Archives: February 2017
Chesterfield Crime solicitor David Gittins was recently instructed by a client who faced an allegation of assault in a domestic setting. The case was heard before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.
The case called for thorough and diligent preparation. This included the development of a complex legal argument at a very late stage. The argument resulted in the prosecution choosing not to pursue the case further. David’s client had the benefit of a not guilty verdict.
We had represented our client during the investigation stage and David conducted the case before the Magistrates’ Court.
In November 2016 the David’s client was at his home address with his then partner. An argument began which lasted several hours began. During the argument our client was said to have headbutted the complainant on 3 occasions and tried to bite her to the neck.
David’s client left the address and the police were called immediately by the complainant. She had a visible injury to her head.
Full Account in Interview
When spoken to by the police, our client accepted that he had been present but had a different version of events. He said that upon telling his partner during the argument that he was going to leave the property and see a friend the complainant attacked him. She pushed her head into his, and our client had to push her away so he could leave.
He was again prevented from leaving by being pulled backwards. Our client again pushed her away fearing a further attack. He said he acted in reasonable self defence and he was in fact the victim.
This account was given in police interview when he was represented by accredited police station representative Rob Lowe.
There were no other witnesses to the incident, so David set out to locate information gathered during the police investigation that would strengthen his client’s case.
David obtained a copy of the photograph taken of his client on arrest. This and the custody record showed that he had no markings to his face supporting the idea that he had headbutted his partner.
Bad Character Evidence
Additionally, David attempted to secure information relating to an earlier incident from August 2016 when his client had called the police alleging that he had been assaulted. Secondly David wrote to the CPS asking for information about an incident from August 2016 when the Defendant had called the Police alleging that the complainant in this matter had assaulted him. This might support his client’s account in this case.
This information arrived very late. This meant that David had to immediately draft an application for his bad character evidence to go before the trial court. Although the prosecution responded, the response was supplied late and did not contain all of the information that it should. The hearing was adjourned to the morning of the trial.
The additional information served was previous court decisions. In fact, they did not help the prosecution. David addressed the court on the application and this case law. The court ruled in his client’s favour. As a result, David was able to ask the complainant about this earlier incident.
Perhaps knowing that David’s client was in the right, the complainant did not attend court for the trial at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court. Although the prosecution could have applied to adjourn the case, the work that David had done persuaded them not make the application. No evidence was offered and he was found not guilty.
David’s client was very pleased, with this outcome, and after the hearing took the time to send David an email thanking him “for everything and the support you’ve provided in the case.”
David’s client did not have the benefit of legal aid for his case before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court. This was because his income was too high. He therefore instructed David on a private basis. David gave a realistic and affordable quote from the outset with the Client being kept informed throughout by email, phone and office appointments.
At the conclusion of the David was successful in securing a Defendant’s Costs Order meaning that David’s bill would be paid out of Central Funds by the government and cost the Defendant nothing.
Contact David Gittins for Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court
Should you wish to contact Chesterfield crime solicitor David Gittins, please telephone him at our Chesterfield office 01246 283000 or email her here.
Monthly Archives: February 2017
Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Kevin Tomlinson used all of his considerable experience and persuasive powers in a recent case. before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.
His client was now before the court for a new offence. The allegation was one of drink driving. She was subject to a suspended sentence imposed only six weeks earlier. She faced obvious difficulties in keeping her liberty.
The charge was excess alcohol. Her reading was 61 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millimetres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.
Kevin’s client attracted attention to herself because of her car was stuck in mud on a steep grassy bank. This was at the rear of a pub. The engine was switched on and was revving. The wheels were spinning. It appeared to the Officers that the car had been driven from the Pub carpark onto the grass bank and had then got stuck.
Without the suspended sentence being in place, it was likely that bearing in mind the low reading the penalty would be a fine and disqualification. The recent imposition of the suspended sentenec meant that the court would immediately think of activating the sentence. There would be a separate penalty for the new offence.
Kevin took full instructions from the client to put before the Court. His intention was to convince the Magistrates’ that it would be unjust to send his client to prison in all of the circumstances. His client had never been to prison so it was important that she instructed an experienced advocate who knew the type on information he needed to seek to ensure a favourable outcome.
After spending this time, Kevin then spoke with a representative of the probation service. They told him that his client was progressing well on her suspended sentence order. This enabled Kevin to argue that she ought to receive a further opportunity to work with the probation service.
As he had spent the time necessary to seek full instructions and information from third parties, Kevin was able to address the Magistrates at length about the reasons behind the recent offending. He could share personal mitigation and the good progress that his Client was making with Probation. In conclusion he said it would be unjust to send her to prison and invited the Court to impose a sentence that enabled her to keep her freedom.
After listening to the mitigation the Magistrates agreed with Kevin and agreed it would be unjust. The Court chose to impose a simple financial penalty and disqualify the Defendant from driving for 18 months. However, as a direct result of Kevin’s mitigation, the Court also offered Kevin’s client the opportunity to undertake an additional driving awareness course to reduce her ban by 25%.
To mark the breach of Suspended Sentence order the Magistrates were prepared to extend the operational period of the order by 6 months.
Kevin’s client was delighted with the outcome and relieved to not face a custodial sentence. She took the time to complete our client care questionnaire and told us ‘Mr Kevin Tomlinson was great’. She was very satisfied with the service that she had received and would be certain to recommend him to others in a similar position.
Our client had the benefit of legal aid. This means that she was able to instruct Kevin as her criminal defence solicitor for free.
Contact Kevin Tomlinson – Criminal Defence Solicitor
If you face police investigation or court proceedings then you will need an experienced solicitor on your side. Kevin can be contacted on 01246 283000 or by email here.
Monthly Archives: February 2017
Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Serena Simpson recently defended a client before Chesterfield Magistrates Court. The charges were allegations of domestic violence directed to a former partner.
The offences included an allegation of assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) where she had stabbed the victim to the arm and chest with a knife. In addition it was alleged that Serena’s client had followed the male and further assaulted him by punching him to the face.
Serena first met her client when she had been refused bail by the police. She was detained in the cells to be put before the court for a remand to prison custody.
On meeting the client, Serena immediately realised that she was a vulnerable adult herself. She provided a history of domestic violence directed against her by the complainant in this case.
Offence on Bail
Serena’s client admitted that due to this prolonged abuse she had picked up a knife and stabbed her violent partner. She had then turned herself in to the police. She accepted that while on police bail she had seen the victim. Although he had followed her, she had slapped him to the face. There was a further minor public order offence that was denied.
The Prosecution suggested an alternative version in respect of the second allegation. It was claimed that Serena’s client had followed the victim and punched him rather than slapped him.
Newton Hearing Listed
Serena’s client pleaded guilty to both assaults. As she disputed the extent of the allegations she put forward her account in a written ‘basis of plea’. Her account was not accepted by the prosecution. As the Court felt it would make a real difference to sentence the case was listed for a hearing to decide whether our client’s version of events was correct. This is a trial of issue or a ‘Newton Hearing’.
Serena successfully argued for bail for her client. She then undertook the preparation for the contested hearing. It became clear as the hearing the ex-partner did not want to attend court and give evidence.
Serena was keen to bring the case to an end as soon as possible as from meeting with her client it was clear that the ordeal of court proceedings was having an adverse effect on her.
Active Case Management
The case was listed for a case progression hearing at Serena’s request to ascertain whether the hearing was going to be effective in due course. The prosecution was unable to make a decision until a week before the trial when it confirmed that a hearing was no longer sought and Serena’s client could be sentenced on her version of events. Further, the public order allegation was dropped.
The case was not yet over, however. Serena had to prepare for a difficult sentencing hearing as whatever the background her client had still admitted stabbing her ex-partner.
Starting Point of 18 Months?
Sentencing guidelines govern an allegation of ABH. The prosecution argued that this case fell into the most serious band, and the starting point for any sentence ought to be 18 months imprisonment within a range of 1 to 3 years. Her case was likely to be committed to the Crown Court for sentence even with discount for plea.
Serena provided mitigation to the court outlining the history of the relationship, including the violence directed at her client, and other elements of personal mitigation. Serena persuaded the District Judge that the case did not fall into the top level of seriousness. As a result, Serena’s client was able to receive a sentence of 16 weeks suspended for 2 years with a rehabilitation element.
The Judge made it clear that Serena’s mitigation had persuaded him to take this unusual course of action in a case involving knife crime.
Serena’s client was understandably delighted.
Legal Aid Funding
Our client had the benefit of legal aid. This allowed her to instruct Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Serena Simpson. This advice and representation was free of charge to her. Further information about funding can be found here.
Contact a Chesterfield Criminal Defence Solicitor
If you are investigated by the police or are at court you may wish to instruct Chesterfield criminal defence solicitors VHS Fletchers. Please telephone us at our Chesterfield office 01246 283000 or use the contact form below.
Monthly Archives: February 2017
Chesterfield crime solicitor Ben Strelley recently persuaded a District Judge that what he thought he had seen on CCTV was not correct and in doing so secured a non-custodial sentence for his client.
Ben was instructed to represent a mother and son who had travelled to Chesterfield to watch a football match. Both had been refused entry to the match so attended a local pub. Inside the pub a large fight erupted following damage being caused. Both of Ben’s clients were accused of using and threatening unlawful violence.
Ben’s clients had been represented by the us at the police station. As a result Ben knew that the incident was captured on CCTV. The Prosecution had failed to provide this to us in advance of the first hearing. Instead the disc was handed to Ben at the first hearing.
Adjournment in Interests of Justice
In order to be able to give full and proper consideration to the CCTV evidence Ben argued that his clients ought to be given the benefit of an adjournment. The allegations they faced included a suggestion that there had been kicking to victims of the violence whilst they were on the ground.
Courts are encouraged to refuse adjournments wherever possible, but Ben’s articulate application setting out how it would be in the interest of justice to adjourn ensured that the Court agreed.
Before the second hearing Ben viewed the CCTV at length before an appointment with his clients. The mother accepted the allegation in full but her son denied that he had kicked the victim. Ben, having seen the CCTV, agreed that it did not show kicking by him. As a result both clients returned to Court at the second hearing willing to enter guilty pleas on the basis of what was shown on the CCTV.
The Judge was Wrong
At Court the Judge, who viewed the CCTV, made it clear that he believed that the CCTV showed the son kicking. Whether he had or not was likely to be very important as if he had it was likely that he would receive a prison sentence.
Ben suggested to the District Judge that he was mistaken. His thorough preparation meant that he approached this issue from a position of strength as he knew he was right.
Ben went on to invite the Judge to watch the footage again so that he could have the Judge focus solely on his client. The Judge agreed and the footage was watched in Court. At the conclusion the Judge agreed with Ben. There was no kicking and he would be sentenced accordingly.
It is perhaps an indication of the strength of the advocate that Ben was prepared to argue that this Judge was simply wrong on the evidence. Ben did not hide from this potentially difficult situation. His client benefited in the end.
No Football Banning Order
The case proceeded and the Prosecution then asked the Court to consider Football Banning Orders for both involved. The Prosecution claimed that the violence was ‘football related’ and as such wished to prevent Ben’s clients from attending football matches for years to come. Ben, again was fully prepared for this.
Armed with recent case law, Ben argued that the matter was not ‘football violence’. The Judge by this time knew that Ben had a thorough grasp of the case. As he result he decided did not merit an order. As such no Football Banning Orders were imposed and the Ben’s clients were free to continue to attend football matches.
Both of our clients had the benefit of legal aid. This means that our advice and representation of him was free of charge to him. You can read more about the different types of funding here.
Contact a Chesterfield Crime Solicitor
If you are under investigation by the police or face court proceedings and wish to contact Chesterfield crime solicitor Ben Strelley then please telephone our Chesterfield office on 01246 283000 or email him here.
Monthly Archives: February 2017
We have 6 offices across the Midlands, staffed with criminal solicitors who are specialists in the field of criminal defence.
Whilst it will come as no surprise that these locations are situated close to local Police Stations and Courts, we will happily travel much further to represent clients accused of criminal acts as the below case shows.
Recently, a client was arrested in the Chesterfield area, close towhere he lives. He was taken to Chesterfield Police Station, facing an allegation of a serious assault. He received advice and representation from Rob Lowe, an accredited police station representative based at our Chesterfield office.
The incident was alleged to have occurred in Skegness. Our client was interviewed in Chesterfield before being released on police bail to return to the police station on a future occasion.
Chesterfield to Skegness
Unfortunately, although the investigation had begun in Chesterfield, Rob’s client was told that he would have to make his next appearance at Skegness police station. This was a five hour round trip from his home.
Our experience as criminal solicitors tells us that unfortunately the police are often not ready to proceed with cases when suspects are due to return on bail. Knowing this, Rob tried to find out whether there was to be a re-interview or charge when his client returned to the police station, or whether a new date was to be fixed, or whether bail was to be cancelled.
Rob’s first priority was to prevent his client having a wasted journey. Secondly he would be able to keep him up to date as to the progress of the investigation.
The officer was spoken to in advance. He confirmed that Rob’s client was not required to attend and would provide a new date in due course. When the next date was approaching, the same question had to be asked again – did our client need to attend?
This process was repeated on several occasions before Rob was informed that his client was to be re-interviewed and would need to go to Skegness. Although many firms would choose to use an agent to provide representation for a case so far away, Rob travelled with his client to Skegness. This gave the client the advantage of an adviser who knew the case from the beginning.
Five Minute Police Interview
The interview could have been dealt with by the police in a more convenient way. In the event it lasted less that five minutes. The Client, however, was very grateful that not only had Rob told him that he must attend, but also that a member of VHS Fletchers Solicitors had travelled so far to continue to help him.
Our continued interest in his case was highlighted further as the solicitor for the co-accused in the case didn’t attend and hadn’t made arrangements for his client’s representation.
Contact one of our Criminal Solicitors
We recognise that your case will be extremely important to you. That is why, as criminal solicitors, we aim to provide our clients with continuity of representation. even where that involves travel as in this case. We will also take steps to minimise the inconvenience and anxiety cause by police investigations.
If you require the assistance of a firm of criminal solicitors who will go that extra mile (or in this case 160 miles) please contact your nearest office.
If it is Rob Lowe you are after then please telephone 01246 283000 or email him here.
Monthly Archives: February 2017
Chesterfield Crime Solicitor Serena Simpson has received confirmation that she has passed both her written portfolio and ‘live’ assessment to secure her duty solicitor Magistrates’ Court Qualification. She has previously passed her Police Station Accreditation.
The assessments cover all types of criminal law work. The portfolio was used to demonstrate the level and range of Serena’s experience of conducting cases in the Magistrates’ Court, and included detailed summaries demonstrating Serena’s competence.
The live assessment includes a simulated client interview and appearance in a Magistrates’ Court. In the latter, Serena was expected to make representations and submissions appropriate to the particular cases.
In passing the portfolio and test Serena has demonstrated that she has a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and practice in the area of criminal litigation. Its shows her detailed knowledge of matters such as:
- the definition of offences
- appropriate defences
- role of parents or appropriate adults
- commencement of criminal proceedings
- plea before venue, allocation and sending of cases
This means that she will be able to represent clients who have not requested a particular solicitor but who nevertheless require legal representation. In that case, they are appointed the duty solicitor at the police station, or are represented by the solicitor at court.
Chesterfield Duty Solicitor Rota
Serena will be able to take her place on the Chesterfield police station and court duty rota from 1 July along with four of her colleagues. If you wish to instruct Serena or VHS Fletchers the way to make sure that you are able to instruct her is to ask for us when you are arrested, rather than for the duty solicitor.
Contact a Chesterfield Crime Solicitor
Serena can be contacted by telephone on 01246 283000. We will be able to provide advice on procedure, evidence and funding, before representing you at the police station and court.
Alternatively you can use the contact form below.
Monthly Archives: February 2017
Laura’s client had first arrested in 2013, aged 69, for alleged sexual offences spanning a period of approximately 18 years from 1995 in relation to a single complainant. The police and prosecution had initially decided that there was insufficient evidence to proceed as they had also gathered evidence in support of Laura’s clients denials.
A second complainant then made sexual allegations, albeit of quite a different nature, which led Laura’s client being charged with later offences. A decision was then made that, absent any additional evidence, her client would be charged with the original allegations as well.
As a result of police enquiries, further historical allegations were made by another three complainants. These allegations dated back as far as 1972.
Prosecution Failure to Disclose
All matters for the five complainants were tied into a single indictment and listed for trial before Derby Crown Court. It became clear during the trial that the Crown had failed to disclose a substantial amount of material relevant to the case that had the potential to assist in our client’s defence.
It was impossible to consider properly this unused material so there was no alternative but for the trial to be adjourned to start afresh nine months later.
In the meantime, the prosecution chose to offer no evidence in relation to all of the allegations apart from those arising from the original investigation which had not been prosecuted.
Detailed Cross Examination on ‘Unused Material’
In readiness, counsel Vanessa Marshall examined the additional material comprising years of medical, social services, school and counselling records. This meant that lengthy cross examination of the complainant was needed. This in turn led to a review of the case by the prosecution after this evidence had been challenged.
Not Guilty Verdicts on all Charges
The prosecution then chose to offer no further evidence against Laura’s client, who was by now aged 73, and invite not guilty verdicts. The entire process had taken three years, during which time he had suffered ill health throughout.
Laura’s client took the time to write a letter thanking her for all that she had done and the manner in which he had been treated.
Contact Laura Clarson
Defending historic allegations is always difficult, but this case demonstrates that in instructing Laura Clarson you will know that your case is being given the time and attention that it needs.
Please telephone Laura on 0115 9599550 or use the contact form below.
Monthly Archives: February 2017
Nottingham crime solicitor Lauren Fisher recently dealt with an unusual case of before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court. Her client was charged with an offence of public nuisance.
Allegation of Public Nuisance
Lauren’s client was an elderly gentleman who was said to have been visiting shops with his trousers open, thus exposing himself. The police and prosecution had apparently been in no hurry to bring the matter to court. The offence dated back to the summer of 2015, and proceedings were not commenced by summons until the following June.
Our client presented as vulnerable. He suffered from both mental illness and learning disabilities. Representations were made on several occasions that it was not in the public interest for the prosecution to continue, but they fell on deaf ears.
This failure to heed these representations was all the more unfortunate when Lauren prepared the case for trial following service of all of the evidence. Detailed legal research led to a concern that the evidence even taken at its highest could not prove the case.
Lauren’s client was said to have gone into two shops, one after the other. The Crown relied on this to show it was not an “accident”. He was said to have been told to ‘put it away’ in one shop before going into the second shop still exposed.
Delay Causes Prosecution Problems
It was at this stage, however, that the delay created by the police in investigating the matter created problems for the prosecution. The witness in the first show was unable to give the date the incident occurred, or even the day of the week. At most she could say that it had happened in August.
The police had failed to hold any form of identification procedure, so witnesses were not given the opportunity to say whether Lauren’s client was the man seen with his trousers undone.
The lack of evidence to show that our client had been warned of his conduct immediately before a visit to a second shop significantly undermined the a suggestion that his behaviour was deliberate. The fact that there were only two shop workers in the second shop was arguably insufficient to show a ‘public’ nuisance.
Unfortunately the health of Lauren’s client deteriorated over the course of the proceedings. This led to the need for a psychiatric report to be obtained. As an alternative to that considerable expense to the public purse, Lauren renewed the representations to the prosecution, combining factors relating to the health of her client with the likelihood of a successful outcome due to lack of evidence. These representations were supplemented by service of a skeleton argument.
Successful Legal Argument
The matter was listed for a case management hearing and the legal argument was dealt with during that hearing as a preliminary point. The District Judge ruled that the prosecution would be unable to establish that it was Lauren’s client in the first shop on the same day, and that the behaviour gave established, as a matter of law, a public nuisance.
The prosecution offered no evidence and the charge against Lauren’s client was dismissed.
Contact Lauren Fisher
Cases alleging public nuisance may be rare, but Nottingham criminal solicitor advocate Lauren Fisher will show the same level of care whatever the allegation that you face.
If you are due to be interviewed by the police or face court proceedings then please telephone Lauren on 0115 9599550 or email her here.
Monthly Archives: February 2017
Irene Tolley, Head of Prison Law Department, recently represented a client who wished to apply for parole. He was serving a sentence made up as follows:
- Attempt murder police office with firearm – 15 year sentence
- Robbery – 7 years consecutive
- Robbery – 7 years concurrent
This total sentence of twenty two years meant that Irene’s client remained a Category A prisoner throughout his sentence and had therefore been detained for thirteen years at high security establishments.
Irene’s first involvement in his case was to make representations to his Category A status. Her submissions in relation to this were immediately successful and he was downgraded to Category B in July.
His first parole hearing was heard a less than a month later. Irene submitted an application for release on her client’s behalf. Again, these representations were successful and Irene’s client has his release directed in October.
Such a decision was almost unprecedented. Irene’s client had not spent any time in lower security prisons and had not completed any releases on temporary licence which would have helped assess suitability for release.
Client Doing Very Well
Irene has had contact with one of the Parole Board members since the decision was made. Irene is pleased to be able to report that her client is doing very well. He is in regular touch to update her on what he is up to – he has a job, works with both a High Court Judge and a professor in criminology at Cambridge, and travels the country giving presentations about his experiences.
Contact Irene about Parole
If you or a family member need advice about parole or any other prison law matter then please contact Irene Tolley by telephone on 0115 9599550 or email her here.
She will be able to advise you as to whether legal aid funding remains available or whether you will need to take advantage of our affordable fixed fees.