An end to ‘no-fault’ evictions of residential tenants
The government has announced proposals to stop landlords ending residential tenancies on a no-fault basis.
Reducing stress on relationship breakdown
April is Stress Awareness month, co-incidentally happening just as divorce laws in England and Wales are to be overhauled to enable a couple to end their marriage more easily and put an end to fault-based petitions.
Settlement Agreements – commonly negotiated terms
In this article, the third and final guide to drafting settlement agreements in our masterclass series, we focus on those extra terms which are most commonly sought by both the employer and the employee and the limitations which might be placed on them.
Yet further complexity to be added to stamp duty rules for residential property?
HM Treasury has recently published a consultation document in relation to a proposed 1% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) surcharge for non-UK residents purchasing residential property in England & Northern Ireland.
Telecoms Code: Tribunal clarifies who is entitled to grant a Code Agreement
The Upper Tribunal has, for the first time, dismissed a reference to it under paragraph 20 of the Code and ruled that a Code Agreement can only be sought from a person who is the ‘occupier’ of land.
Concierge wins £1.3m from heiress despite pre-nup
A hotel concierge who married an Avon Cosmetics heiress has been awarded £1.3million despite having signed a pre-nuptial agreement.
The price is right – or is it?
Key pricing provisions are often hidden away in the schedules to commercial contracts. This article highlights the importance of ensuring they are properly drafted at the outset, to avoid later disputes as to how they should be interpreted.
Amended MEES rules for residential landlords now in force
Recent changes made to the MEES regulations may require residential landlords to spend up to £3,500 of their own money per property in order to improve the energy efficiency of their portfolios.
Generic challenge stands up as dosing patent flops
In a UK Supreme Court judgment, ICOS Corporation and Eli Lilly’s patent for a dosing regime for tadalafil, a second in class erectile dysfunction drug, was found to lack inventiveness.
Springing forward – a look ahead to changes in employment law from April 2019
April is always a key time for employers as the Government introduces a raft of changes to annual pay rates and looks ahead to upcoming proposals for reform.
Does the Gender of Your Divorce Lawyer Make a Difference?
Often we see or hear of clients asking for a divorce lawyer of a specific gender to represent them.
Residential lease reform gathers pace
A new Select Committee report recommends more widespread reforms of residential leases.
Unravelling judgments – fraud and the courts
Most people will be familiar with the mantra that “fraud unravels all” and that judgments obtained by deploying fraudulent evidence will not be allowed to stand. This was recently put to the test by a 7-member panel in the Supreme Court case of Takhar v Gracefield Developments Limited and others  UKSC 13.
Sorting out the final account
Experienced employers and their advisers will know that a project that is all finished apart from the main contractor’s final account is not finished at all. Discussions on the final account can drag on for months or years.
Proceeds of sale of school site lost due to operation of reverter
The closure of a school prior to its sale meant the use for which the land had originally been given had ceased and so the proceeds of sale did not belong to the local authority.
Conservation covenants – the government consultation
The government is consulting on Law Commission proposals to introduce a new form of “conservation covenant” to enable long term conservation schemes to be implemented.
Drafting settlement agreements - required terms
In this article, our second of three guides to drafting settlement agreements, we focus on the terms and clauses that are an absolute necessity for inclusion in a settlement agreement.
Care home providers get new guidance from the CMA on terms of service
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued guidance for care home providers to assist with compliance under both the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Gas safety certificate must be provided before start of residential tenancy
A second case confirms that a landlord who fails to provide a gas safety certificate before the start of a residential tenancy cannot later terminate the tenancy by using a section 21 notice.
The changing face of non-disclosure agreements
Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst has announced that the rules surrounding non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and confidentiality clauses will become more restrictive. We look at the proposed changes and how these could impact employers.
CMA cracks down on anti-competitive cover bidding
On 1 March 2019, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that six office fit-out firms have admitted to infringing competition law by engaging in cover bidding in competitive tenders, colluding on the prices they would bid for contracts.
Government response on Pensions White Paper
The government has published its response to its consultation on the pensions White Paper (Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes).
A common and costly mistake - wage and benefit over payment
Mistakes happen. Despite rigorous payroll and HR processes and procedures sometimes the paperwork is delayed, goes astray, or a keying error occurs. If an individual is still employed repayment can be relatively straight forward. But what if they are not?
Collective enfranchisement: extent of common parts
A recent case has decided that a basement, sub-soil and airspace were common parts for the purposes of a claim under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.
The practical implications of Brexit for lenders and borrowers part 3
In the previous articles in this series we focussed on the practical implications of Brexit for lenders and borrowers, and their finance agreements. In this article we consider the position of EU law on UK finance arrangements going forward.
The practical implications of Brexit for lenders and borrowers part 2
In the first article in our series we focussed on the practical implications of Brexit for lenders and borrowers, and their finance agreements. In this second article, we consider more specific impacts on the legal documentation and what points to look out for under your facilities agreement.
The practical implications of Brexit for lenders and borrowers
We have all seen and heard the constant commentary about Brexit, but we want to focus in this first article in our three-part series on the practical implications for lenders and borrowers, and their finance agreements.
Tenant Fees Act 2019 is passed
The Tenant Fees Act 2019 is intended to make residential letting fairer and more affordable for tenants by reducing costs at the outset of a tenancy.
Repair of iconic tower enforced by specific performance
A court has enforced the landlord’s repairing obligation relating to Beetham Tower, requiring it to find a permanent solution to failing glass panels.
Paving the way for adverse possession
A claim for adverse possession of a paved forecourt was successful even though the area was not fenced or enclosed.
Celebrating LGBT History Month: We’ve come a long, long way together...
February is LGBT History Month, which is an annual event intended to promote a diverse and inclusive modern society and to provide education and insight about the history of the gay rights movement and issues faced by the LGBT+ community.
TUPE case law update
In this article we look back at some key cases and updates from the last few months involving TUPE and the lessons which we can learn from them.
Self-Help or Self-Harm?
Divorce rule changes mean that using the ‘self-help’ remedy to obtain full and verifiable financial information could be harmful if the correct procedures are not followed.
Apprenticeship Levy update – are you about to start throwing money away?
When the levy was launched in 2017 it was billed as a major step towards improving the efficiency of the UK economy. Two years on, apprenticeship starts have declined and time is running out for employers to make use of hundreds of millions of pounds.
Telecoms Code: Consideration and compensation finally under the judicial spotlight
We have the Tribunal’s first view on how money should be shared between operators and landowners on the grant of Code rights.
A huge challenge: voluntary registration of local authority land
The Land Registry is actively working with the public sector to help achieve its aim of comprehensive registration of all freehold land by 2030.
Brexit does not frustrate a lease
European organisations cannot argue that Brexit means that they can walk away from their leases.
How settlement agreements work and when to use them
Our drafting masterclass series continues with a look at settlement agreements. We will consider how settlement agreements work and when to use them, key terms and common negotiation points.
Discontinuance Costs in Arbitration Appeals
Sections 67 – 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the Act) provide the bases on which an arbitral award may be appealed. In all cases, the bar to a successful challenge is very high. Who pays the costs of the litigation if the appeal is discontinued?
Stamp Duty Land Tax: important changes from 1 March 2019
From 1 March 2019, the period allowed in England and Northern Ireland for filing a Stamp Duty Land Tax return and paying the tax reduces from 30 days to 14 days.
An Exercise in Futility
A party on the receiving end of an adjudication is usually in a difficult position. Its situation is only made worse if the referring party is insolvent.
The implications of a no-deal Brexit for divorce
Following the ‘meaningful vote’, the historically huge defeat of the existing Brexit deal in the House of Commons and the ongoing constitutional contortions, it’s still unclear what Brexit will finally look like.
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 is passed
A new act aims to boost standards in rented homes and give tenants more power to hold their landlords to account.
Quarterly employment case law update
In this article we take a look back at some of the key cases from the past three months and the lessons which we can learn from them.
Drug testing in the workplace: a warning for employers
The recent tribunal case of Ball v First Essex Buses Limited has demonstrated just how careful employers must be when conducting investigations and instigating disciplinary proceedings against employees who have fallen foul of a drugs test in the workplace.
Scottish Land and Buildings Transaction Tax: changes from 25 January 2019
The Scottish government has approved plans to change Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) rates and bands for non- residential transactions and to increase the rate of the Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS).
#MeToo: Risks for liability insurers and their insureds
One year on from #MeToo, Bloomberg estimates at least 425 prominent people across industries had been publicly accused of sexual misconduct.
Zero-hours contracts – common pitfalls for employers
Zero-hours contracts can be a positive part of work-life balance if they offer genuine two-way flexibility,” says Matthew Taylor, the government’s lead reviewer of modern working practices.
Property owner prosecuted for spread of Japanese knotweed
Bristol City Council has used its powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to prosecute a property owner for allowing the spread of invasive plant species Japanese knotweed.
Restrictive covenant modification also widens easement
The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has held that the modification of a restrictive user covenant authorised a corresponding change in the permitted use of a right of way.
Drafting Employment documents: a new series for 2019
During 2019 we will be providing a series of articles on how best to draft certain commonly used legal documents within the human resources arena. This follows the success of last year’s Breaking Down the Handbook series, focusing on preparing policies and procedures for staff handbooks.
What impacts will a no deal Brexit have on data protection?
In a no deal Brexit, what rules will apply to privacy, data protection, direct marketing and electronic communications?
How to avoid an unnecessary DPIA
A Data Processing Impact Assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organisations systematically analyse, identify and minimise the data protection risks of a project or plan.