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Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Successful charity race night for Mikeysline

Our Inverness office have chosen Mikeysline as their charity partner for 2019 and kick started fundraising efforts with a race night on Friday 26th April at Mercure Hotel, raising an incredible £2,300.

Mikeysline and The Hive Project provide much needed support and advice to those in the Highlands, including a text helpline and the Highlands' first out-of-hours mental health crisis centre. They aim to reduce social isolation and help vulnerable people maintain their mental health.

Graeme Watson and Ruth Webster from The Hive Project

Pictured above: Graeme Watson from Mikeysline and Ruth Webster from The Hive Project

As part of the race night, there was both a horse and jockey prize for each race, and winners walked away with anything from a chocolate hamper to a round of golf for four.

For those that didn’t do as well in the races, there were still plenty of chances to win on the night with a round of vintage style Heads & Tails as well as an auction.

Prizes at the Inverness Race night

Graeme Watson from Mikeysline said: "We were delighted to attend the Race Night and were overwhelmed by the generosity of all who attended. The amount raised was amazing. 

"Our sincere gratitude to everyone in the Inverness office of Digby Brown who helped organise the event, particularly Lauren, Sarah, Sam and David. We look forward to working with Digby Brown on future events."

Sam Cowie, Associate from our Inverness office, said:

“Thanks to all of the fantastic local businesses who donated prizes and the attendees for making it such a success. The Race Night raised a phenomenal total for our charity partner Mikeysline, which Digby Brown will now double. We hope to see you all at the next one.”

For more information about Mikeysline and the work that they do, please head to their Facebook page, or their website at www.mikeysline.co.uk.

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Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Inverness office raise over £6,500 for Headway Highland

The team in our Inverness office were delighted to be able to present a cheque to local charity Headway Highland yesterday for £6,730.66.

Our Inverness office have been busy holding various fundraising activities over the last year including raffling luxury hampers at Valentine’s Day and Christmas, a fantastic race night and supporting Headway Highland at their family day out at Landmark Forest Adventure Park.

 Inverness solicitors at the Headway Highland family day out

Headway Highland offer crucial support to individuals who have suffered a brain injury as well as their families in the local area.

Lee Gordon from Headway Highland said: “Headway Highland were thrilled and delighted to receive a cheque for £6,730.66 from Digby Brown Solicitors in Inverness.

“Headway Highland would like to pass on their sincere and heartfelt thanks to all Digby Brown staff for giving their time and energy to help raise such a fantastic amount.”

David McGowan, Associate in Digby Brown’s Inverness office said: “We have worked with Headway Highland for many years, so it was great to be able to raise such a fantastic amount for such a worthy charity.

“Headway Highland offer vital services to those who have suffered a brain injury, in addition to providing support to their families. The money raised will go towards the services they provide, and we are delighted to know that the money raised will offer support to those in the local area.”

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Friday, April 05, 2019

Digby Brown support mental health charities across Scotland

For the last three years, each of our seven offices across Scotland have nominated a local charity to support and we have been proud to support charities such as Cash for Kids, Fresh Start, Food Train Dundee, MacMillan Cancer Support and Finding Your Feet - to name just a few.

This year we have done something a little different and each of our offices have chosen a local mental health charity to support for the upcoming year.

Considering the type of work we do – personal injury, employment, family law – we help people who are going through a very difficult and often traumatic time in their life. This can often have a knock on impact on their mental health and we are proud to support mental health charities that are helping improve people’s wellbeing.

Glasgow - Brothers in Arms

Brothers in Arms offer support to men, of any age, who are down or in crisis and empower them to ask for help when they need it, without feeling a failure if they do.

Brothers in Arms our Glasgow offices new charity for 2019

(From left to right: Kevin Moulds and Ashleigh-Jane Mitchell from Digby Brown Glasgow office, Daniel Proverbs from Brothers in Arms, Kirsten Smith, Fraser Ewing, Gillian McCarron and Mat Piskorz from Digby Brown Glasgow office).

Edinburgh – Health in Mind

Health in Mind charity has been set up to promote positive mental health and wellbeing by offering a range of services such as Counselling, Therapies, Day centres and Befriending in the community.

Kirkcaldy - Support in Mind Scotland, Fife Services

Support in Mind Scotland seek to support and empower all those affected by mental illness, including family members, carers and supporters.

Dundee - Wellbeing Works

Wellbeing Works promotes better wellbeing for those who face mental health challenges: building confidence, learning new skills, connecting with others and having a positive impact. They have been providing support and services for people of Dundee for more than 50 years.

Inverness – Mikey’s Line

Mickey’s Line is a charity in the Highlands founded in 2015 for those in emotional distress, lonely or isolated.

Aberdeen - Sunrise Partnership

Sunrise Partnership offers a free, confidential service for children and young people up to age 18 who have been affected by loss and bereavement. 

Sunrise partnership our Aberdeen office's charity partner for 2019

(From left to right: Paul Thomson, Neil Davidson, Amy Shand, Kerry Whyte and Carrie-Anne Mackenzie from Digby Brown Aberdeen office, Eileen Wheeler from Sunrise Partners and Kimberley MacLennan from Digby Brown Aberdeen office).

Ayr - Beautiful Inside & Out

Beautiful Inside & Out (SCIO) is a Scottish registered charity, supporting bereaved parents and siblings of suicide victims; promoting feelings of self-worth.

Last year alone, we raised over £60,000 for our charity partners and we hope to take this figure and add more this year.

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Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Is towing a caravan dangerous?

Towing a caravan can have its difficulties, especially if you haven’t done it before. Like anything, the more you do it the easier it becomes but there are things you can do to help reduce the risks.

Can you tow a caravan?

Firstly, you must establish if you are legally permitted to tow. 

If you passed your car driving test on or after 1 January 1997 you can:

  • drive a car or van up to 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM
  • tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg

Maximum authorised mass (MAM) is the limit on how much the vehicle can weigh when it’s loaded. If you wish to tow anything heavier, you must pass the car and trailer driving test.

If you passed your car test before 1 January 1997 you’re usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg MAM.

What weight can a car tow?

A car’s towing capacity is the maximum weight they can tow. It’s usually listed in places such as the handbook, doorsill or V5 registration document. Towing capacity is the maximum weight a car can tow safely and you should check with your manufacturer.

To try and work out the towing capacity yourself, you need to know two figures: the kerbweight of the car and the maximum mass of the caravan (called ‘maximum technically permissible laden mass’, or MTPLM).

As long as the mass of the caravan is 85% or less of the car’s kerbweight, the car should tow it with no difficulty. However, if the weight of the caravan is between 85% and 100%, caution should be taken, and only people who are experienced with towing should proceed.

If the caravan is heavier than the car, that car should not be used as a towing vehicle. 

What size of caravan can you tow safely?

The maximum width of the caravan (for a standard towing vehicle) is 2.55m, and the maximum length for a trailer towed by a vehicle weighing up to 3,500kg is 7 metres.

Do you have the right tow bar?

If your car does not have an integrated tow bar, you will need to have one fitted.

This needs to be ‘type-approved’, in other words it has to meet EU regulations and be designed for your car.

  • Type-approved tow bars have a label with an approval number and details of the vehicles it’s approved for.
  • If your car was first used before 1 August 1998, your tow bar doesn’t need to be type-approved.

Do you need to use towing mirrors?

You must have clear view of the road behind you when towing a caravan or trailer.

If your caravan is wider than the rear of your car, you should fit suitable towing mirrors, this is a legal requirement.

Have you checked your caravan brakes?

Your caravan must have a working brake system if it weighs over 750kg after it’s been loaded, and brakes must be kept in good working order.

You must also use a breakaway cable or secondary coupling in case the caravan becomes detached from your car.

Driving risks and how to avoid them?

Weight distribution plays an important role in the stability of your caravan.  If you fail to load your caravan correctly, it may cause it to sway or yaw. 

It is recommended to load the heavier items directly over the axle, with the medium to lighter items at the front and back of the caravan.

Loss of control could be caused by driving on uneven terrain, wind, overload or imbalanced loading.

Before you set-off

When you leave home or a campsite, it is important to remember to:

  1. Turn off the gas at the cylinder;
  2. Empty the fresh and waste-water containers;
  3. Check the caravan’s windows and roof lights are closed;
  4. Internal doors and cupboards are closed;
  5. Loads are safely secured and the external door is locked;
  6. Test indicators, break lights are fully functioning and so on.

These are just a few tips to overcome the dangers of towing a caravan but proper planning and preparing is essential to make your journey easier, safer and stress free.

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Digby Brown scoop top prizes at 2019 Scottish Legal Awards

We are proud to retain the prestigious awards of Firm of the Year and Community Contribution titles at last night’s Scottish Legal Awards ceremony.

For us, these accolades recognise all the good work we do at Digby Brown and this wouldn’t be possible without the commitment of all the people working within the firm to deliver excellent results for our clients.

Every day we work alongside organisations and charities across Scotland and we were proud to have this recognised again when we won Community Contribution award.

It matters to us that we make a positive difference in the communities in which we work all year round such as Spinal Injuries Scotland and the Child Brain Injury Trust - each of our seven offices also support a local charity of their choice throughout the year.

Fraser Oliver, Chief Executive of Digby Brown Solicitors said: “We’re humbled to earn these awards and have our commitment to charitable, welfare and community-based initiatives recognised by industry experts and our peers.

“We do significant work for key charities and individuals in the areas of welfare rights and benefits, as well as supporting clients beyond core obligations, such as fatal accident inquiries.

“In the last 12 months alone we’ve supported the Spinal Injuries Scotland BBQ & Activities Day and raised more than £80,000 for the charity as well as supporting road safety events, holding our own Head Injury Information Days and raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos to today’s workforce.

“Our dedicated and talented staff - both legal and non-legal – consistently deliver a top quality service and share our passion for providing excellence in access to justice.

"Not only winning but retaining the Firm of the Year title is therefore a very proud moment as our commitment to helping clients is very much a team effort across the board and I’d like to acknowledge the hard-working Digby Brown staff whose efforts made this recognition possible.”

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