Q&A: Finding legal help

  • Q: I am involved in a legal battle with the livery yard where I used to keep my horse. My 16hh part-Thoroughbred eventer was seriously injured while in the livery yard’s care and reliable witnesses have said the incident happened as a result of the yard’s negligence.

    He has since made a full recovery and is at a new yard but I have outstanding bills for veterinary treatment and for moving livery stables. I consulted a high street solicitor, who confirmed the law is on my side and said I should pursue the case against the livery yard.

    But, although this solicitor was helpful, he had limited knowledge of the horse world. Please could you recommend a solicitor who may have dealt with this sort of issue before and has some experience with horse-related cases?

    Equine lawyer Lesley Willis replies: In the same way as most of us use equine insurance companies, it’s often advisable to seek legal advice from lawyers with specialist knowledge of equestrian cases.

    The Equine Lawyers Association has a database of UK solicitors and will be able torefer you to an appropriate legal expert who should be able to help with your case. Contact them by writing to: The Equine Lawyers Association, PO Box 23, Brigg, Lincs DN20 8TN, or by calling (tel: 01652 688819).

    Alternatively, Gold members ofthe British Horse Society (BHS) have free access to a 24-hour legal helpline, 365 days a year.

    If you have any query, including non horse-related problems, a team of legal experts will be able to advise you and recommend appropriate lawyers for your situation. Gold membership costs £38 a year and also includes free insurance.

    For more information, contact BHS Membership at Stoneleigh Deer Park, Kenilworth, Warks CV8 2XZ, or (tel: 01926 707700) or visit www.bhs.org.uk

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