RHA Legal Services
Your Legal Hub
A new era of RHA Legal Services has emerged. 3 September 2012 saw the launch of RHA Legal Services - appropriately called Your Legal HUB.
What is it?
RHA Legal Services is a comprehensive legal advice, support and representation service available exclusively to members of the RHA. The new scheme is administered by Backhouse Jones Solicitors who, since the first Road Transport Act in 1930, have been a constant companion of the haulage industry, and with their truly industry specific expertise, could not be better placed to provide members with legal advice.
The Service is available to members, who have to pay a subscription fee subject to complying with simple terms and conditions. Once signed up, members will be able to access comprehensive legal advice, assistance and representation from suitably qualified and industry specific lawyers.
Subscription fees are based on the number of commercial/goods carrying vehicles a member operates. On joining or renewing a subscription, members must complete and submit an up-to-date list of vehicles, complete with registration numbers.
Your in-house lawyer
We acknowledge that time is money and therefore the service has been tailored to provide fast and efficient advice to the member as quickly as possible. With this in mind, initial enquiries will be made to the RHA Help Desk or the Area Manager; if the enquiry is one that requires imminent legal assistance, the case will be referred to a dedicated RHA Legal Services solicitor.
The scheme is also referred to as your own ‘In-hoUSE LAWyer’. The concept being that once signed up, members will have unlimited access to a legal representative – as if the lawyer was working in-house for your company. At the inception of a query, members will be assigned a solicitor who will act for you or your company until the matter has been completed.
What are the benefits / why join?
RHA Legal Services provides members with peace of mind and comfort that their own legal adviser is literally ‘just a phone call away’. Hindsight may be 20:20 vision but foresight is generally more profitable. RHA Legal Services minimises the distress, catastrophe and costs, compliance issues can create when left unchecked.
What does the service cover?
Your membership of RHA Legal Services covers all legal costs of the areas included in the scheme which involve:
• Employment – Representation at Employment Tribunal; The Working Time Regulations 1988; The Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005; Misconduct and Disciplinary Matters (including dismissal); Wages, Bonuses, Attendance Bonuses, Overtime and General Pay Disputes; Holidays; Unlawful Deduction from Wages, Loans and Training Costs; Sickness Absence and Long Term Illness; Maternity and Paternity Leave; Parental Leave and Time Off for Dependants; Flexible Working Requests; Confidentiality and Restrictive Covenants; The Equality Act 2010 (including sex, disability, race, age, sexual orientation, disability related discrimination etc...); Agency Worker Regulations 2010; Compromise and other Settlement Agreements; Issues relating to Casual, Self Employed and Agency Staff.
• Regulatory – advice regarding Applications for Operators Licences; UK prosecutions; VOSA Investigations; Representation at Public Inquiry’s; Driver Conduct Hearings; Advice on HSE Issues and Prosecutions; Implications of Insolvency/Bankruptcy on the Operator’s Licence; Fixed Penalty (and immobilisation) or any other penalty schemes; Advice on Environmental Issues and Prosecutions.
• Defence of Prosecutions – Drivers Hours; Tachograph and Recording Equipment; Carriage of Animals (Welfare), International Prosecutions, Construction and Use (including weight/length/condition etc...)
Members are also entitled to advice, assistance and support relating to Commercial, Corporate and Property Matters which will be limited to an initial consultation, lasting up to one hour per issue. Thereafter members will be offered preferential charge rates.
• Commercial – such as Commercial Contracts (Terms & Conditions, Supply Agreements, Contracts for Services and Agency, Distribution and Franchising); Commercial Disputes arising out of any aspect of the business (e.g. Breach of Contract or Sale of Goods Claims); Debt Recovery
• Corporate – Mergers and Acquisitions; Company Disposal; Management Buy-Ins/Buy-Outs; Group and Company Restructures; Joint Ventures; Investment and Shareholders Agreements; Banking and Finance; Corporate Recovery; Company Formations; Partnership and LLP Advice and Formation; Corporate Governance and Companies Act Compliance; Acquisitions and Disposals
• Property – Leases; Dilapidation Issues; Landlord and Tenant Issues; Option Agreements; Option Agreements; Residential Property; Re-Mortgaging
Industry specific advice
RHA Legal Services works on a basic principle: if you depend on commercial road transport for the effective running of your business, it makes commercial sense to ensure you are fully compliant on every legal level and therefore advisable to sign up.
Administered by Backhouse Jones, RHA Legal Services “delivers the ultimate package”. Michael Cunningham, director of Backhouse Jones and a solicitor who has forged a strong alliance with the RHA and its members over the last thirty years comments, “...a mistake here, a poor decision there, can make or break an operator and for this reason, hauliers are well advised to surround themselves with legal advisers who can deliver the right decisions when the pressure is on.
“Put simply; if you and your business are frustrated by compliance – whether that be dealing with employment issues, regulatory or prosecutions and looking for advice, RHA Legal Services is for you - it's simple and easy to use”.
Contact your regional office for more information.