Occupational Pension Schemes (Master Trusts) Regulations 2018
The DWP has issued a consultation document on Regulations introducing an authorisation and a supervisory regime in relation to Master Trusts.
Electronic Communications Code now in force
The new Electronic Communications Code has come into force today (December 28) - replacing out-of-date and complex rules first introduced in 1984 and extended in 2003.
Gender Pay - The practical steps to reporting
An increasing number of clients have been going through the process of registering their Gender Pay Gap figures and as a result (and publishing our own report) we have put together a few helpful tips in dealing with the process.
When does an intermediate landlord incur residential service charge?
The Upper Tribunal has held that the date on which a relevant service cost is incurred by an intermediate landlord is the date on which it receives a demand for payment from its own landlord.
In the rush to complete deals before Christmas, it is essential not to overlook important points when negotiating leases.
Headline legal changes - what to expect in 2018
A summary of some of the proposed legal changes relevant to commercial organisations anticipated in 2018:
Draft CIL regulations clarify CIL liability
On 14 December 2017 the draft Community Infrastructure Levy (Amendment) Regulation 2018 (the 2018 Regulations) were published.
2017: A good year for Unions
Notwithstanding the coming into force of most of the provisions under the Trade Union Act 2016, which raise the bar in terms of the ability of Unions to lawfully take strike action, 2017 has seen some notable successes for the Trade Union movement.
The 12 cases of Christmas (2017)
As Christmas approaches and 2017 draws to a close, we thought it seasonal to pick 12 of the most notable cases this year and see what lessons employers can take from them.
Real Estate and the Law Commission's proposals for law reform
After an extensive consultation, the Law Commission has published its proposals for the 13th programme of law reform.
Luxury good suppliers don't have to allow sales through online marketplaces
On 6 December, the European Court of Justice ('ECJ'), confirmed in its judgment in the Coty case that the EU competition rules do not prevent suppliers of luxury branded goods from restricting distributors from selling their goods on 3rd party platforms.
Data subject access requests - Access granted
Recent court decisions have highlighted that data subject access requests are no longer simply a tool to check whether data is processed lawfully, but have become a recognised litigation tactic.
A challenge for restrictive covenants
A recent case demonstrates that a restrictive covenant is not necessarily a barrier to development of land.
Business immigration series: Guidance on Record Keeping
In this article we focus on your record keeping duties as a Tier 2 licenced sponsor.
Duty to Give Reasons
The Supreme Court has clarified the circumstances in which a local planning authority must give reasons for the grant of a planning permission.
Employment contracts: Review of the year
This is the final article in our employment series: breaking down the employment contract. We look back over the significant contract cases of the year as well as looking forward to the next big change in store for employment contracts.
Liability ruling in UK data leak class action
Last week the High Court ruled a large retail company to be vicariously liable for a leak of its employees' data, in the first US-style class action in the UK involving a personal data breach.
The planning unit - Know your limits
When determining whether a material change of use of land or buildings has taken place, what is the most appropriate physical area against which to assess the materiality of the change or, in short, what is the
Cyber Insurance v GDPR - The Myths, the Maths and the Law
We rarely switch on our computers without an email containing the latest guidance, opinions, dos and don'ts, risks, or the undeniable fact that the harsh penalties which are likely to flow from the GDPR from 25 May 2018 could be eye-watering.
A welcome home for lease renewals?
A pilot scheme has been launched to transfer unopposed lease renewals from the Central London County Court to the First-tier Tribunal.
Service charge changes on the horizon
The RICS has launched a consultation on the fourth edition of the Service Charge Code for commercial property.
GDPR - less than 6 months left...
With 177 days to go until The General Data Protection Regulation kicks in, what should businesses be doing when faced with this deadline?
Holiday Pay and Overtime - A Recap
In the recent case of Dudley Council -v- Willet, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that regular, long running voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay calculations.
Business Immigration Series: Employing non EEA migrants
Continuing our series providing guidance and top tips for employers on the key areas of business immigration, this article looks at genuine vacancies and the RLMT.
ACAS guidance on sexual harassment
Following recent high profile allegations of sexual harassment, ACAS has published guidance specifically aimed at workers experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, including how to report any incidents of unwanted conduct of a sexual nature.
Employment Series: Breaking Down the Employment Contract
Those who review or deal with employment contracts on a regular basis will note that certain clauses seem to make an appearance in almost every contract.
Shutting the window: tenant could not release right to light
A recent case has decided that a right to light was part of the premises demised by a lease and a release of that right by the tenant could amount to an encroachment on the premises.
Clean, green growth for the UK
The government has published two important papers on delivering clean economic growth and infrastructure.
A new protocol for resolving boundary disputes
A Protocol for Disputes between Neighbours about the Location of their Boundary - or the Boundary Disputes Protocol - has been written and issued by senior members of the legal and surveying professions.
Where have all the judges gone?
Following the abolition of Employment Tribunal fees an increase in claims brought within the Employment Tribunal is expected, but do we have enough employment judges to deal with them?
A significant move for transparent property ownership
HM Land Registry has released data on property in England and Wales owned by UK and overseas companies. This is the latest move in plans to facilitate housing development.
Indirect Discrimination and Objective Justification
Reliance on objective justification to defend allegations of indirect discrimination will always be a balance between risk and reward. Two recent examples show how it can go wrong and in one case, have a negative impact on brand reputation.
Negotiating damages for breach of overage
A developer in breach of an overage agreement was liable for damages on a negotiating basis even though no overage was due.
NEC4 - Problems for Employers?
Construction partner Ian Yule looks at the New Engineering Contract 4 and how it will manage the allocation of risk for employers and project managers.
Drafting an Anti-Slavery Statement: What not to do
When preparing your company's Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act) statement, it can be hard to know where to start.
#MeToo - Sexual harassment in the workplace
Following the recent Harvey Weinstein revelations, the BBC's Radio 5 Live survey has found that a 37% of all those asked had experienced sexual harassment at work or a place of study. This is certainly a widespread issue for employers to address.
Duty to provide reasons on planning decisions?
The last year saw 121 High Court judgments dealing with planning, 32 in the Court of Appeal and one in the Supreme Court including three cases providing guidance on when and to what degree a local authority should provide reasons in planning matters.
Uncertainty remains on retirement age equality
Over quarter of a century on. the application of equal treatment to retirement ages is still uncertain.
The Residence Nil Rate Band
The 'nil rate band' is the maximum amount which can be passed on death to chargeable beneficiaries (i.e. individuals other than a spouse or charity) without triggering an inheritance tax charge.
Employment Tribunals refund scheme announced
Following the Supreme Court's earlier decision in R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor that the Employment Tribunal fee system was unlawful, the Government has launched the initial phase of its refund scheme.
Who you gonna call (to remove your squatters)?
The police may be able to help remove trespassers from your land.
Jurisdiction in insolvency proceedings - new case law
A recent Court of Session case has made clear that a Scottish court cannot wind up or make an administration order in respect of an English registered company, and the same applies to English courts and Scottish companies.
Environmental claims needn't cost the earth
The Planning Court has recently clarified the rules on costs protection for claimants bringing judicial review claims and statutory challenges on environmental grounds.
Taking a different view
The Upper Tribunal has held that an attractive view being obstructed was not an adequate reason to prevent the modification of a restrictive covenant.
Occupational Pensions: HMRC guidance on trust registration service
The Money Laundering Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payers) Regulations 2017 (2017/692): Occupational Pension Schemes and HMRC's Trust Register
Millennials - mischief managed
As the millennial influence on the retail and consumer sphere increases, new opportunities and challenges are emerging for retailers.
Interruption of the prescriptive period - new case law
A recent case at Edinburgh Sheriff Court has looked again at the manner in which the prescriptive period (i.e. the time period after which a claim expires, often referred to as 'time bar') in Scotland can be interrupted.
Minimum energy efficiency requirements for residential investment property
The Government has issued guidance on how the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard regulations will apply to residential properties
Take care when suspending - suspension may not be a neutral act
The High Court has confirmed that suspension is not necessarily a neutral act.
Employment Series: Breaking down the employment contract
Our latest article in our breaking down the employment contract series provides a drafting checklist for post-termination restrictions to assist in drafting these potentially critical clauses so they are more likely to be upheld by the courts.
Don't get caught out by Insurance Distribution Directive rule changes
The Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) will introduce a new regime for those involved in insurance sales, even if selling insurance is not your primary business.
Lucky escape for developer who obstructed right of way
A case in which a developer partly obstructed a right of way demonstrates that injunctions are a discretionary remedy
Repair or replace? Sometimes it's the landlord's decision
The Upper Tribunal has decided that it was reasonable for a landlord to choose to repair windows, rather than replace them, and to recover that cost by service charge.
ACAS offer employers advice on parental leave for pre-mature or ill babies
As a recognition of the challenges that face parents of children born pre-maturely or with health complications, ACAS have provided some compassionate advice to employers regarding parental leave.
Business immigration series: 3 - civil penalty notices
This article looks at the consequences of employing illegal workers.
HSE makes FFI invoice dispute procedure fully independent
The HSE has announced that all invoice disputes raised under the Fees for Intervention (FFI) scheme will be considered by a fully independent panel.
Employment Series: Breaking down the employment contract
Last month we looked at ending the employment contract via notice periods and PILON payments. Another possible exit method is the use of garden leave, but, as we explore in this article, there are advantages and disadvantages to this approach.
Contract drafting - with cooperation in mind
When buying or selling a company, how far do you have to go to cooperate with the other party after completion?
Compensation for discrimination has been increased
Following a short period of consultation, the Presidents of the Tribunals in England and Scotland have issued significantly increased rates for compensation for injury to feelings in cases of discrimination.
New corporate offences introduced: Failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion
The new corporate offences of 'failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion' under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 came into effect on 30 September 2017.
A room on its own may not be a dwelling
Regulations protecting tenants against unreasonable service charges do not apply to leases of individual rooms.
Landowner wins the day on overage
The High Court has found it necessary to imply a missing term into an overage agreement in order to give it business efficacy.
Business immigration series: TUPE transfers and the effect on migrant workers
In this article, we focus on the immigration matters that should be considered on a TUPE transfer and explain the necessary steps to take when involved in a transaction.
CMA cracks down on cartel risks in the estate agency sector
To coincide with the publication of its decision to fine five estate agents for engaging in a price-fixing cartel, the CMA has issued guidance - and a further warning - to the estate agency sector.
The CMA launches a market study into the investment consultants sector
The Financial Conduct Authority, FCA, has made its first ever reference to the Competition and Markets Authority, CMA, asking it to carry out a full market investigation to ensure the market is operating competitively.
CMA sends an open letter to the creative industries on competition law compliance
After fining five modelling agencies for collusion on prices, the Competition and Markets Authority, CMA, is concerned that companies in the fashion, design and other creative industries do not have sufficient awareness of competition law.
EU Court of Justice supports the economic analysis of exclusivity rebates
The EU Court of Justice's decision to refer the Intel case back to the General Court highlights the role of an economics based approach in determining whether exclusivity rebates breach competition law.
The Data Protection Bill: Are you ready?
The government published the Data Protection Bill on 14 September 2017, which will implement and supplement the General Data Protection Regulation ('GDPR') in the UK.
New Court of Appeal guidance - Defamation claims and proving 'serious harm'
This article looks at the new Court of Appeal guidance resulting from the decision of Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd, Evening Standard Ltd & AOL (UK) Ltd  EWCA Civ 1334
Occupational Pension Schemes: benefit amendments and reasonable expectations
The recent Court of Appeal decisions in IBM United Kingdom Holdings Ltd and another v Dalgleish and others and Bradbury v BBC give some clarity and comfort to employers who are considering making changes to schemes that they sponsor.
Extinction of claims reform: A repeat prescription?
On 5th September, the First Minister of Scotland delivered her Programme for Government 2017/18 and set out the key legislation which will be introduced to parliament in the coming year.
GDPR - A general overview
The General Data Protection Regulation ('GDPR') takes effect from 25 May 2018 and was introduced to further harmonise and modernise data protection procedures.
No assets required for validity of floating charge
In Saw v Wilson, the Court of Appeal held that a second ranking floating charge would be valid and enforceable, even if at the time it was created there were no uncharged assets to which the floating charge could attach.
Employment Series: Breaking down the employment contract
Over the next two months we will be looking at some of the common confusions which occur at the end of the contract. When does employment actually end and how best can the company protect itself when an employee leaves?
Golf club maker fined £1.45m for unlawfully restricting online sales
Golf club manufacturer Ping has been fined £1.45m by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for unlawfully restricting online sales of its products.
Review, Reason, Record - the pitfalls of not keeping proper records
A recent case, Watson and others v Watchfinder.co.uk Limited, highlights the importance of keeping detailed records of discussions at board meetings particularly in relation to exercises of discretion.
HR and GDPR: Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA)
This article is the final one in our series on HR and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In it we look at what a DPIA is, when one is needed and what information it must include.
The polluter doesn't always pay
Local authorities will welcome a decision by the Court of Appeal that Powys County Council is not liable for contamination caused by a former landfill site operated by its predecessor. However, the decision is not such good news for landowners.
Love thy neighbour as thyself
The Court of Appeal once again voices its disapproval of disputes between neighbours, this time concerning the need to read utility meters.
Overlooking an error in the documentation
A court construes a property sale and purchase agreement to mean what the parties had intended to say, rather than what it actually said.
Special Kase: Kellogg's recent legal action against Thanasi Kokkinakis
This article considers the implications of legal action taken relating to trade marks and the commercial use of sporting nicknames, and how the commercial side of sports law may develop as brands clash with sport stars.
LPAs: a response to the comments made by Denzil Lush
Readers may have heard the comments made by retired Court of Protection judge Denzil Lush on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 and reported on the BBC News website.
Business immigration series: 1 - Right to work checks
In this new series we will be providing guidance and top tips for employers on the key areas of business immigration. In our first article we focus on the commencement of employment and an employer's obligation to carry out right to work checks.
Sport Code for Sports Governance - who will be your Sir Chris Hoy?
As many 2017 funding round deadlines are approaching it is vital that National Governing Bodies address compliance to the Sport England and UK Sport Code for Sports Governance (the 'Code').
Don't bank on surrendering your lease if the landlord's mortgagee hasn't given its consent
The High Court has refused to imply into a deed of surrender a condition precedent that the superior landlord had obtained its lender's consent.
Are you haPPI now...?
A recent decision at Glasgow Sheriff Court has given guidance on the circumstances in which it is appropriate for a former trustee in receipt of a PPI refund to apply to be re-appointed to a sequestrated estate.
Showing the way
A recent case has shown that historic use by former owners can be used to claim a legal right of way, even where the claimant cannot prove that the use was without permission.
A guide to consent for electronic marketing in 2018 - Part 1
Risk and reward. 2018 will see the intermingled fields of privacy, data protection and electronic direct marketing face dramatic and comprehensive change.
Landmark internet sales competition case nears conclusion
On 26 July 2017, the eagerly anticipated Coty case took a further step towards reaching a conclusion, through the publication of the Advocate General's Opinion (AG's Opinion).
HR and GDPR: New Concepts
This article is the penultimate one in our series on HR and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); in it we look at some of the new concepts and principles that the GDPR creates and expands.
Proposal to outlaw the sale of new-build leasehold houses
The government has issued a consultation paper 'Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market', proposing, among other ideas, restrictions on the sale of new-build leasehold houses.
A developing problem
The High Court awards a landowner £3.7million as compensation for lost profit on a development.
Bereavement leave: Greater rights for parents announced
The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill has now been announced to allow parents a period of paid leave after suffering the loss of a child.
Employment Tribunal Fees Unlawful
The Supreme Court has upheld UNISON's appeal against the lawfulness of employment tribunal fees which were introduced in 2013.
HR and the GDPR: Changing employment contracts and policies
As part of our series of articles providing tips for employers ahead of the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we consider what changes may be required to policies and procedures.
Same sex marriage and pensions - Walker v Innospec
The Supreme Court has ruled that benefits for same sex spouses must be provided on the same basis as for opposite sex spouses and that the exemptions contained in the Equality Act 2010 are incompatible with EU law and must therefore be disapplied.
The PSC regime and Scottish partnerships
The Scottish Partnerships (Register of People with Significant Control) Regulations 2017 came in to force on 26 June 2017.
Protecting your business - responding to an employee resignation
The resignation of a senior employee may spark strong emotions but the focus must quickly move to the impact the departure will have on relationships and business prospects. The first steps taken in response could make all the difference
Employment series: breaking down the employment contract - holidays
In this article, we consider contractual terms relating to annual leave.
A new connectivity: revised Electronic Communications Code is launched
The Digital Economy Act 2017 introduces a new electronic communications code, intended to facilitate widespread connectivity and address some of the critical issues that currently beset the telecoms industry.
Update on PSC regime changes
Changes to the PSC regime were rushed through on 26 June in order to meet the deadline imposed by the EU's 4th Money Laundering Directive.
PSC Registers: AIM companies must comply
The UK's implementation of the 4th Money Laundering Directive has extended the scope of the PSC regime to include UK companies whose shares are admitted to trading on AIM.
Uncertainty ahead for the contaminated land regime?
A successful appeal against a remediation notice has highlighted the difficulties faced by local authorities when trying to secure the remediation of contaminated land.
Assessing costs under the New Engineering Contract
Ian Yule, Construction partner at Shoosmiths LLP, discusses forecasts and assessments under the New Engineering Contract (NEC).
Restrictive Covenants - keep them up to date
Protecting your business through restrictive covenants is a great idea and can be very effective. However, if the clauses and restrictions do not grow and evolve with your employee's progression with you, their enforceability will be jeopardised.
Contrived development scheme defeats renewal of business tenancy
The High Court has ruled that a landlord's development scheme, contrived for the sole purpose of defeating a tenant's security of tenure, was effective to oppose the tenant's right of renewal.
Court decision highlights risk for sole shareholder-directors
The High Court has made an exceptional ruling, highlighting the difficulties that a company with Table A articles can face upon the death of a sole shareholder-director.
Is the UK's offer on EU workers a 'damp squib'?
The government has now published its proposals on EU worker rights post-Brexit. A number of MEPs have described the UK's offer as a damp squib which falls
New Sentencing Guidelines for Manslaughter Offences
On the 4 July 2017, the Sentencing Council announced a consultation on its proposals for how offenders convicted of manslaughter should be sentenced in England and Wales.
HR and GDPR: How will data subjects' rights change?
UK data protection law will change in May 2018 when the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force.
Incremental facilities - efficient financing
The current economic climate has prompted borrowers to seek more flexibility for their financing arrangements. One option that may be available to them is an accordion facility, otherwise known as an 'incremental' facility.
A New World Order for SME Lending?
As part 8 of the Retail and Banking Market Investigation Order 2017 (RBIO) comes into force on the 2 August 2017, we take a look at what this means for lenders offering products to SMEs going forward.
Breaking down the employment contract: Pensions
In our sixth article in this series, we consider employment terms relating to pensions and issues that employers need to be aware of when drafting contractual pension clauses.
Pyramus and Thisbe fall out: can a court settle a party wall dispute?
The high court has jurisdiction to determine a dispute under the Party Walls etc Act 1996 notwithstanding the comprehensive code for dispute resolution contained within it.
Should an employer enhance shared parental pay?
According to a recent Tribunal decision, failure to pay a father enhanced shared parental pay when a mother is entitled to enhanced maternity pay is direct sex discrimination. We consider the implications for employers who pay enhanced maternity pay.
Employment series: breaking down the employment contract
In this article we consider employee benefits and the issues employers need to be aware of when drafting benefit clauses in employment contracts. We focus on the most common benefits, specifically bonuses, permanent health insurance and company cars.
EU Commission fines Google a record 2.42 billion (EUR) (£2.1 billion)
Google has been fined a record 2.42 billion (EUR) by the European Commission for abusing its dominant position by promoting its online shopping service to the detriment of its rivals.
Where's the benefit?
A recent case is a reminder to landowners that in order to enforce restrictive covenants over a neighbour's land, they have to show that their properties enjoy the benefit.
Lease extensions and an intermediate landlord
An agreement for a lease extension entered into between a competent landlord and a tenant will be binding on an intermediate landlord, even where the intermediate landlord has given notice for separate representation.
CMA Revises Thresholds for the De Minimis Exception
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published new guidance on the thresholds for the 'de minimis' exception when deciding not to raise competition concerns in relation to merges involving markets of insufficient importance.
Immigration Bill announced in the Queen's Speech
The government announced the introduction of an Immigration Bill as one of a number of Bills that will implement plans post-Brexit.
Legal experts comment on Queen's Speech 2017
Today's Queen's Speech comes in the wake of the general election which failed to deliver a majority government, adding to an already uncertain political and economic climate.
CMA issues £2.7m fine for restricting online prices
CMA fines light fittings supplier £2.7 million for restricting online prices and sends out further warning letters to others in the industry.
Dismissal for gross misconduct is not always fair
Normally, when a finding of gross misconduct is made, an employer would expect to be able to dismiss the offending employee. However, dismissal is not always an appropriate sanction, as the case of Arnold Clark Automobiles Ltd v Spoor demonstrates.
National Minimum Wage: retailers under the spotlight
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is responsible for enforcing the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
Could a boat owner adversely possess a tidal riverbed?
The Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) has heard an appeal against a decision that the owner of a houseboat moored on a tidal section of the River Thames had acquired adverse possession of an area of the river bed beneath his boat.
Asymmetric jurisdiction clause confers exclusive jurisdiction
The High Court has ruled that the asymmetric jurisdiction clauses in a series of finance documents confer exclusive jurisdiction for the purpose of the Recast Brussels Regulation.
Cloud providers: How the forthcoming GDPR will affect you
The forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) heralds large-scale change for business, not least for those entities who process personal data on behalf of others.
Encouraging shareholder involvement
A new EU directive which aims to encourage shareholder engagement and increase transparency has made its way through the legislative process and will need to be implemented in the UK by June 2019.
A right of way for neighbouring land?
A right of way can normally be used for the benefit of specific land, but on rare occasions it can be used for the benefit of adjacent land.
Mediation: dragging your feet will cost you
Parties receive considerable encouragement by the courts to mediate. Recent Court of Appeal decisions reinforce that approach.
Penalty Clauses - not so fashionable after all?
Liquidated damages clauses (LDs) are used to protect an innocent party's position by quantifying damages payable for a specified breach of a contract. They are routinely used by businesses to protect their position in the event of a breach.
More changes to the PSC regime - take note!
In line with the European 4th Money Laundering Directive, the UK will be making changes to the PSC regime. The changes are expected to come into force in June and July 2017.
More redundancies planned following uncertainty from Brexit
It has become an all too familiar headline over the past few months. The uncertainty of what is going to happen post-Brexit is having a huge impact on companies with financial forecasts of drizzly times ahead.
Spotlight on mental health in the workplace
This article looks at mental health and the workplace and what steps employers will be legally obliged to take if the definition of disability is met.
Substitute address: notice to quit invalid
The Court of Appeal has been asked to decide whether a notice to quit served on an agricultural tenant was valid. The notice had been served on his address stated in the lease and not his new address that he had notified to the landlord.
Gender pay reporting: Government website now live
The government website to which certain organisations must download their gender pay and bonus reports has been launched and some employers have already taken the initiative to upload their gender pay information - already an interesting read.
The Age of Advertising
The Advertising Standards Authority (the 'ASA') is constantly developing its rules and guidance with a view to protecting the public.
HR and the GDPR: how is consent changing?
In this article we examine what will be required for valid consent to processing data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how employers should be preparing for that.
Don't slip up when challenging a decision
The 'slip rule' contained in section 108(3A) of the Construction Act allows either party to ask an adjudicator to correct his decision so as to remove a clerical or typographical error arising by accident or omission.
Disability discrimination: are multiple choice tests fair for all?
The EAT has considered whether a job applicant with Asperger's syndrome was indirectly discriminated against for being required to sit a multiple choice test during the recruitment process.
HR and the GDPR: how do employers carry out a DP audit?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming and soon and will bring a significant amount of upheaval for the HR team. Carrying out a data protection audit is likely to be the first step in understanding the scale of the changes required.
Engaging Public Sector Contractors - beware!
On 6 April 2017 the government made changes to IR35 and off-payroll working rules for public sector contractors. This has completely changed the tax landscape for those employing contractors in the public sector through an intermediary.
Changes to the environmental impact assessment regime
From 16 May 2017, new rules apply to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) regime in England with the introduction of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 (2017 Regulations).
Internet providers ordered to block streaming of Premier League
This article looks at the recent decision of The Football Association Premier League Limited V British Telecommunications and Ors.  EWHC 480.
Hopkins Homes & Richborough Estates - all change but no change?
The effect of the absence of a five-year housing supply is to trigger the presumption in favour of sustainable development, not just an assessment of whether a policy in a development plan is out of date.
HR and the GDPR: Where do we start?
This article forms part of our GDPR series in which Shoosmiths employment and data protection experts offer practical advice, ahead of the coming-into-force of the GPDR in May 2018.
The Increasing use of estoppel in Construction Disputes
Construction partner, Ian Yule, discusses the increasing use of estoppel in construction disputes.
The key to the lease-licence distinction
Two recent residential cases highlight the crucial distinction between leases and licences, and the importance of ensuring that documentation accurately reflects the true arrangement for occupation of both residential and commercial properties.
A Knotty problem
A recent court decision has highlighted the risks to landowners with Japanese Knotweed on their land of allowing it to spread to adjoining land, or even allowing it to grow close to boundaries with adjoining land.
Government agrees to quashing of decision on Aylesbury Estate CPO
Sajid Javid's controversial decision last September to refuse to confirm the London Borough of Southwark's request for compulsory purchase powers on human rights grounds caused ripples to run through the CPO profession.
Court of Appeal applies 'autonomy of credit' principle
The 'autonomy principle' applying to letters of credit - and the restricted use of the fraud exception - has been applied by the Court of Appeal (
Breaking down the employment contract: incapacity terms
In our fourth article in this series, we consider employment terms relating to incapacity and sick pay and issues that employers need to be aware of when drafting contractual provisions.
Employers, are you ready for the new EU data protection regime?
In our series of articles on the EU's new data protection regulation, we look at the implications for UK employers and what they need to do to prepare for the changes ahead. The burden is higher and the stakes are greater than ever before.
Fracking up the pressure - Chapter 2
In our October 2016 legal update 'Fracking up the pressure', we reported on the Secretary of State's (SoS) decisions in relation to four planning appeals made by the natural resources exploration and production company, Cuadrilla.
Redundancy: to pool or not to pool?
When embarking on a redundancy process, one of the first things for an employer to consider is the pool from which to select employees for redundancy. The legal importance of choosing the correct pool should not be underestimated.
Plans to raise probate fees appear to be scrapped
Press reports appear to confirm that the Non-Contentious Probate Fees Order 2017 is not being actively pursued at this time.
When does notice of termination of employment take effect?
Once a decision to serve notice has been taken, it is important for both the employer and employee to understand when that notice will end. As a recent decision from the Court of Appeal shows, this is not always straightforward.
Disappointment as hotly anticipated property case settles
It has been reported that the parties in the case of EMI Group Ltd v O&H Q1 Ltd have reached a settlement.
Further Guidance on the Requirement of Reasonableness under UCTA
This article looks at the recent case of Goodlife Foods Limited v Hall Fire Protection Limited.
Employment series: breaking down the employment contract
In our third article in this series, we consider contractual terms relating to place of work and mobility.
Proposals for a register of overseas entities owning UK property
The government is planning to create a public register of overseas companies and other legal entities that own property in the UK.
Gender pay reporting: final version of ACAS guidance
Regulations requiring larger private sector employers to publish their gender pay gap figures came into force on 6 April 2017.
Employment policies: an essential tool for employers
Drafting, updating and implementing employment related policies can be time consuming and is often at the bottom of an employer's to do list but, a well drafted, properly implemented policy can be invaluable.
Law Commission calls for regulation of retirement housing
The Law Commission is concerned that event fees charged by landlords of retirement housing are potentially unfair and need to be capped.
Business rates: landmark ruling on rating liability and repair works
The Supreme Court has ruled on the extent of a ratepayer's liability to pay business rates for a property undergoing building works.
Gender pay day: new regulations in force
The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 are now in force. Large employers will now need to calculate their gender pay and bonus gaps and publish these figures by 4 April 2018 at the latest.
Apologising: defamation and beyond
Reputation, both personal and business, has always been everything, but no more so than in today's social media savvy world, where scrutiny and commentary is widespread with many topics being 'open season'.
Underlettings - avoid picking up the landlord's dilapidations tab!
Potential undertenants must be alert to the full extent of their repairing obligation, especially if their immediate landlord has been in occupation for a significant period of time.
Sentencing Guidelines: courts' comments confirm a harsher world for regulatory offences!
Sentencing Guidelines, introduced on 1 February 2016 for Health and Safety, Food Hygiene and Corporate Manslaughter offences are starting to bite.
Get in quick - Reductions in sentencing for early guilty plea
The criminal courts have long provided an incentive to defendants, in the form of a substantial reduction in sentence, to plead guilty at an early stage in proceedings.
Record £20 million fine for water pollution offences
Penalties for environmental offences have been increasing since the introduction of the Sentencing Council's 'Environmental Offences: Definitive Guideline' ('the Guideline').
Brexit: Jurisdiction and Enforcement - all change?
The UK has formally triggered Article 50. Time is ticking to negotiate the best deal possible for the UK. It is expected that most EU laws will be transferred into our legislative framework but what does this mean for businesses?
Consumer Code for House Builders 2017
The Fourth Edition of the Consumer Code for Home Builders will apply from 1 April 2017.
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme: a legal requirement, not voluntary
The government's Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) makes it mandatory for 'large undertakings' in the UK to carry out an energy audit every four years and notify the Environment Agency that they have done so.
Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill 2017 (or, 'Look North')
Scots family law clients are identical to English and Welsh family law clients. The terminologies of the two systems in English family law are misleadingly similar.
Reporting on payment practices and performance regulations - unlimited fines
This article looks at the new reporting on payment practices and performance regulations and the unlimited fines in place for non-compliance.
Employment law changes: April 2017
This April looks like being a busy time for the HR team with lots of employment law changes coming into force. We summarise what you need to know.
Annual leave requests: a holiday headache for employers?
The Easter holiday season is almost upon us, and with it comes the usual challenges for employers balancing the needs of the business with the rights of employees to take leave.
21 questions, 21 steps - new guidance on vulnerability launched this week
Shoosmiths has contributed to the latest industry guide on vulnerability.
Land Registry restrictions - beware a blanket approach
Residential developers should be aware that agreeing to enter a Land Registry restriction on the title to a property may inhibit their ability to manage it.
New employment tribunal compensation limits from April 2017
From 6 April 2017 limits on compensation which can be awarded by an employment tribunal will increase, meaning a finding of unfair dismissal could cost employers more.
Light Obstruction Notices: To Infinity and Beyond
Developers must act to minimise the risk of causing actionable interference with rights of light to adjacent buildings.
The impact of a possible increase in Probate Fees
The legal press has reported that the government proposes to dramatically increase the fees payable to the Probate Registry on an application for a Grant of Probate (where there is a Will) and a Grant of Letters of Administration (if there is not a Will).
Are trade marks fair game for use as Google AdWords?
This article looks at the rise of online advertising amongst brand owners and the impact on Google AdWords.
SAP UK v Diageo - the (unexpected) price of admission
This article looks at the case of SAP UK v Diageo.
Diligence and insolvency: receivership revisited
A significant decision issued last week by a five judge bench of the Inner House has reversed a 40 year old decision on the meaning of 'effectually executed diligence' in a receivership.
Guidance on Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard published
The government has published the long-awaited guidance on the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard for non-domestic properties.
When are residential service charges reasonably incurred?
A recent Court of Appeal judgment considers when residential service charge costs are reasonably incurred and so recoverable from the tenants.
Are you ready for the Debt Pre-Action Protocol?
This article looks at the forthcoming pre-action protocol for debt claims in its current form, with an anticipated implementation date around October this year.
Watch what you tweet! 'Serious harm' test clarified
Katie Hopkins has been ordered to pay £24,000 in damages together with costs following tweets about food blogger and writer Jack Munroe.
Misrepresentation: Don't be so unreasonable
A landlord was unable to rely on a very wide exclusion of liability clause in a lease where it had made a misrepresentation to the tenant about the presence of asbestos in the property.
Side letters centre stage
This article looks at the recent case of Vivienne Westwood Limited v Conduit Street Developments Limited  EWCH 350.
The Apprenticeship Levy: the unknown opportunities
The Apprenticeship Levy comes into force on 6 April 2017 but is not just aimed at educating young people through on the job training. We explore some alternative routes employers can take to recover the cost of this new 'employment tax'.
Sick pay and elective surgery: do employers have to pay?
As cosmetic surgery becomes increasingly common employers may have to grapple with the HR issues that accompany elective surgery.
Employment series (2): breaking down the employment contract
Each month during 2017 we will look at a specific term of the employment contract, consider how it works, why it is needed, common issues which arise in practice and offer some drafting tips. Our second article considers restrictive covenants.
Electronic signing of Land Registry deeds - just a click away?
A consultation from the Land Registry proposes changes to the land registration legislation to allow the introduction of electronic signatures.
Sponsoring migrant workers: costs to rise from April 2017
The cost of sponsoring Tier 2 migrant workers is set to rise significantly from 6 April 2017 with the start of the Immigration Skills Charge, designed to incentivise employers to focus recruitment and training efforts on UK workers.
Dismissal for misconduct: further guidance for employers
Whether or not a dismissal will be fair depends on many factors. Employers need to carefully consider all of the circumstances before reaching a decision to dismiss to avoid successful claims against them.
Sustainability in the Housing White Paper - an afterthought?
The Housing White Paper contains little mention of the environmental and wider sustainability impacts of the scale of development it envisages, until the very end.
Enhanced Compensation - Is there light at the end of the HS2 tunnel?
The Supreme Court handed down its judgement in the case of Bloor Homes (Wilmslow) Limited v Homes and Communities Agency on 22 February.
ECJ rules on defining financial collateral arrangements
Restriction on disposal remains key as European Court of Justice (ECJ) gives its first ruling on the interpretation of the financial collateral arrangements directive in Private Equity Insurance Group SIA v Swedbank AS 
Strict compliance with contractual notice requirements: not so pink and blue
A recent decision of the Inner House of the Court of Session suggests that the law on strict compliance with contractual notice requirements might not be quite so black and white (or pink and blue) as perhaps thought.
Administration and redundancies: stuck between a rock and a hard place?
How can insolvency practitioners balance the competing pressures of an administration and the requirement to collectively consult about redundancies?
Dressing down discrimination in the workplace
Dress codes can be a fertile source of discrimination in the workplace but many employers seem to be unaware of how their equality law obligations impact on appearance requirements.
Judicial pensions and discrimination: who judges the judges?
The employment tribunal has recently ruled in favour of judges in a challenge to changes to the judicial pension scheme.
The Pimlico Plumbers case - time to review your business model?
The test to establish employment status is notoriously complex. Determining whether someone is an employee, a worker or a self-employed contractor has never been an easy task. We look at the implications for employers of getting it wrong.
How trustees should use nomination forms
On 8 February 2017, the UK Supreme Court gave its unanimous decision in a case which further levels the playing field for unmarried cohabiting couples in the public sector.
Motor Ombudsman launched with the help of Shoosmiths
The Motor Ombudsman is the impartial dispute resolution body focussed on the automotive sector.
When is 'close of business'?
'Close of business' is a term many people use in their day to day working life without much thought. But what does it actually mean and should the term be used in contractual documentation?
National minimum wage: are you compliant?
The National Minimum Wage (the 'NMW') was introduced in 1999 and applies to most workers aged 16 or over. The NMW is set by the government and increases each year.
Labour shortages reported as EU workers leave
EU workers appear to be seriously considering their options following the UK's Brexit vote, and employers are unsure about how they will fill the vacancies left by the shortage of EU workers.
Disability discrimination: is type 2 diabetes a disability?
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has recently considered whether type 2 diabetes was a 'progressive condition' and therefore covered by disability discrimination law.
The 1954 Act - Breaking the chain
A recent case has reminded landlords of the need to ensure that every lease is contracted out of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 if they require complete control over the chain of ownership of a property.
Hydraulic fracturing - the third way
The Planning Court has rejected a legal challenge to the grant of planning permission for hydraulic fracturing in North Yorkshire.
New national minimum wage rates announced
Draft legislation implementing increases to national minimum wage rates from 1 April 2017 has been published.
Housing white paper - To build or not to build?
In this article we consider the measures laid out in the government's white paper that will assist and, possibly, in some cases discourage, both developers and investors involved in the housing market.
Insurer v insured - certainty is king
The Court of Appeal has provided useful insight into the meaning of the phrase 'as soon as possible' in relation to insurance policy notification obligations. How will this decision impact upon both insurers and insured parties?
'People cannot live in a planning permission'- Housing White Paper 2017
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, unveiled the much anticipated Housing White Paper ('HWP'), today. As many predicted, it is a mixture of 'carrots and sticks' designed to fix the 'broken housing market'.
When does workplace banter become sexual harassment?
Despite being outlawed by the Equality Act 2010, it seems sexual harassment remains prevalent within the workplace.
Dismissal for misconduct: an employer's guide to decision making
Whether or not a dismissal will be fair depends on many factors. Employers need to carefully consider all of the circumstances before reaching a decision to dismiss to avoid successful claims against them.
Leases - do they require lender's consent?
It can be imperative for a tenant to ensure that lease formalities are completed as quickly as possible. Obtaining a landlord's lender's consent to the grant of the lease can delay matters. Is it vital to obtain lender's consent?
Corporate governance in private companies
On 17 February 2017, consultation will close on the government's green paper on corporate governance reform.
Employers, employees and consultants - who owns what when it comes to intellectual property?
All companies require certainty as to the ownership of the intellectual property created by their employees and consultants. Understanding the intellectual property portfolio of a company is critical for any board.
McCartney battles to reclaim copyright in Beatles' songs
On 18th January 2017, Sir Paul McCartney filed a claim in the US against Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC ('Sony') for a declaratory judgement.
What does Brexit mean for UK franchising? - part two
Further to our previous article 'What does Brexit mean for UK franchising? - part one', franchise businesses should carefully consider the material issues initiated by Brexit, as we see them today.
Employment series: breaking down the employment contract
Each month during 2017 we will look at a specific term of the employment contract, consider how it works, why it is needed, any common issues which arise in practice and offer some drafting tips.
Get serious on governance
'Good governance matters' is the overarching statement coming from The Pensions Regulator ('TPR') who has recently stressed the need for a drive up in standards of governance as part of their '21st Century Trusteeship and Governance' initiative.
Public sector gender pay reporting: regulations published
The final regulations for mandatory gender pay gap reporting in the public sector have now been published. We consider how these align with the private sector requirements and highlight the key differences for public authorities.
Penalties for failure to pay employment tribunal awards
Since the new penalty regime came into force in 2016, employers have paid more than £83,000 for failing to settle tribunal awards.
Limited partnerships: a new vehicle from April 2017
On the same day as the government issued a call for evidence as part of a wider review on limited partnerships in the UK, a new draft legislation reform order was published which will create a new status for certain limited partnerships.
Limited partnerships: what's on the horizon?
This article looks at the potential changes following a 'call for evidence' in a review of limited partnerships.
What does Brexit mean for UK franchising? - part one
2016 was a year of change. The ripples of these changes will continue for years to come, as the UK navigates its way through the process of triggering Article 50 and its exit of the EU.
Dealing with trespassers in a commercial property
Trespassers or 'squatters' are becoming increasingly prevalent within temporarily vacant commercial premises in city centres.
Government plans to tackle pension scams
This article explores the joint consultation issued by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Treasury (HMT) regarding plans to tackle pension scams.
Pension Schemes: Pension Protection Fund Levy Determination 2017/18
This update looks at the Pension Protection Fund Levy determination for the PPF Levy Year 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.
Financial penalties in the employment tribunal: set to rise?
Just £17,704 has been paid by losing employers in financial penalties since they were introduced to employment tribunals in 2014. However, this could be about to change.
Mid-market corporate finance - a look ahead at 2017
This article will look at market trends which we expect to impact the mid-market in the year ahead.
New Year strike action: Would the Trade Union Act help?
As tube strikes make headlines and the on-going Southern rail dispute continues to impact passengers you may be wondering what became of the government's much publicised changes to trade union laws?
Should UK employers follow France's lead in switching off out of hours?
Technology now enables us to work, respond to emails or take calls out of office hours far more easily. The negatives of this 'always on' culture are starting to be recognised; how should employers respond?
You've been framed
A landlord was not entitled to charge tenants the costs of replacing wooden window frames with metal ones merely because a small number of them required minor repairs.
Pensions: IORP II and the elephant in the room
After almost two years of negotiation, the revised European Union Directive on the Activities and Supervision of Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP II) comes into effect today.
Late payment reporting regulations identify good payers
This article looks at the draft regulations for limited liability partnerships and companies known as the Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance Regulations, 2017.
Pre-nups for wealth protection given further boost
Prenuptial agreements (Pre-Nup's) as a tool for wealth protection have been given a further boost by the court with the Family Court recently holding parties to the terms of their Pre Nup where the marriage ended after just 12 weeks.
The year ahead for HR: 2017 changes at a glance
Employment law never stands still and the coming year will see some significant changes. Here is our guide to developments to prepare for in 2017.
Incomplete contracts - can implied terms fill the gap?
The Court of Appeal has held that gaps in contracts cannot be filled by implied terms, where a contract would otherwise be unenforceable because of a failure between the parties to agree an essential term.
Gender pay reporting checklist: decisions to be made now
Mandatory gender pay gap reporting legislation comes into force on 6 April 2017 and applies to private and voluntary sector organisations with 250 or more employees. Is your business ready?
When does a land contract need to comply with section 2?
A contract concerning a disposition of land does not need to comply with section 2 where it effects an immediate disposition.
Contract drafting and the impact on disputes
This article looks at the case of First Personnel Services Limited and Halfords Limited, 2016.
Government confirms initiatives to bolster the supply of housing
The government has confirmed this week that thousands of homes will be built for first time buyers.