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LEGAL


You’re From his long-suffering spouse


He may be responsible for filling the world with Christmas spirit, but Santa was left feeling a little deflated on his return to the North Pole - in more ways than one.


From a speeding ticket to employment issues and even divorce proceedings, St Nicholas had swapped wrapping presents for wrapping himself up in red tape.


During his travels on Christmas Eve, he came across Elmhirst Parker Solicitors in Barnsley who he contacted to help him with the sledge-full of legal woes he’d accumulated during his yuletide mission.


Dashing through the snow


– and sky… To make the 75.5million-mile round trip to deliver presents across the world in just one night, Santa picked up a speeding ticket for touching 650 miles per second on the Sleigh-O- Meter. After being stopped by a Skyways Agency Traffic Officer, he was then hit by an uninsured


St Nicked!


‘Twas the night after Christmas


And all through his house


Santa faced the silent treatment


motorist who was five eggnogs over the legal drink driving limit, leaving his sleigh in fear of not being road - or sky - legal. At Elmhirst Parker, their litigation team put a claim in to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau to apply for compensation for the damaged sleigh. Unfortunately, they were unable to contest the speeding fine due to overriding evidence and he received a Fixed Penalty Notice where he chose to attend a speed awareness course in Lapland instead of taking the £100 fine and three points on his license.


Ho-ho-home invasion Although the opposite of a thief, Father Christmas faced many cold and frosty receptions during his journey. Many homeowners accused him of trespassing on their properties and some went as far as to allege breaking and entering occurred. Elmhirst Parker’s civil disputes team argued that a letter from said claimant’s child(ren) asking for Father Christmas to visit on Christmas Eve constituted as written permission for him to enter their home. They used his honest and selfless reputation to disprove the dubious nature of his nocturnal work and had evidence to prove he left quickly and quietly without taking so much as a swig of whisky.


Have a compliant Christmas


Speaking of the many letters he receives, Santa also asked Elmhirst Parker for advice about keeping up to date with the new data protection regulations. Due to the personal and sensitive nature of the letters from minors, they advised he should impose strict policies on how long each letter is kept for. However, he argued that he should be allowed to retain them for a 28-day period after December 25th in case of any gift-related lawsuits arising. He stipulated he didn’t want a repeat of last year’s complaint by a parent who claimed


their child had been caused emotional and psychological distress by Santa failing to bring the correct present they had asked for. The partners at Elmhirst Parker also advised he transfer the naughty or nice list to an electronic copy to create internal records and reduce the risk of the paper list landing in the hands of a third-party.


Elf and Safety On his return to the North Pole, Father Christmas visited the toy workshop to find a protest of elves outside calling for improved workers’ rights. They demanded better pay than their current five candy canes a week, wanted year-round contracts rather than temporary seasonal work, and improved working conditions in less-icy surroundings.


The employment experts at Elmhirst Parker have worked with Father Christmas to overhaul his HR procedure to stay on top of developments including cutting workplace stress, improving workers’ benefits and pay, and looking at the health and safety policies to ensure all staff – and reindeers – are entitled to breaks during the busy period.


It’s beginning to look a


lot like divorce To top off a not-so-jolly period, Santa arrived home to a letter from Mrs Claus stating that all she really wanted to find under their Christmas Tree was divorce proceedings. She cited unreasonable behaviour on the grounds that he couldn’t provide a satisfactory explanation for his annual absence on Christmas Eve and his lack of sobriety on his return.


The family and matrimonial team at Elmhirst


Parker worked with the pair to iron out their problems through mediation rather than ending the relationship. Mrs Claus said her main bone of contention was Santa’s failure to keep his promise to update his Will which the team at Elmhirst were able to resolve.


SEASON’S GREETINGS from all at Elmhirst Parker Solicitors


17/19 Regent Street, Barnsley, S70 2HP (also in Royston, Selby and Sherburn-in-Elmet) www.elmhirstparker.com Tel: 01226 282238


26 aroundtownmagazine.co.uk


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