Modern Slavery Act compliance - Are you ready for benchmarking?
While it is estimated that some 12,000 UK companies are required to publish a statement under Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act, to date less than 10% have done so.
The gap widens
A buyer of land, whose Land Registry application was cancelled because the plan was faulty, was bound by a right of way that the sellers accidently created after they had sold the land to the buyer.
Flexible working cases show employers can say 'no'
Employees returning from maternity leave commonly request flexible working. Agreeing to changes may cause detriment to the business but refusal risks a legal claim; what should employers to do?
Will new basements require planning permission?
With space at a premium, particularly in urban areas, the excavation of a basement is one way to extend a house within its existing footprint. The works involved will almost certainly be 'development of land' for which planning permission is required.
Workplace diversity: LGBTI matters matter
Most employers understand the need to comply with equality law but, the business case for LGBTI inclusion should not be underestimated or forgotten about.
Replies to enquiries - rights and wrongs
A recent High Court case has demonstrated the importance of giving correct replies to enquiries, and some of the consequences of getting replies wrong.
Headline legal changes - what to expect in 2017
A summary of some of the headline legal changes relevant to commercial organisations anticipated in 2017.
The Pedants' Revolt
The case of Dooba Developments Ltd v McLagan Investments Ltd is a useful reminder of the need to think carefully when drafting legal documents and to consider how they will be interpreted if there is a dispute.
Tackling Late Payments in Commercial Transactions
There is a significant amount currently owed in late payments in the UK, with a recent government estimate standing at just over £41 billion.
Christmas parties: when is misbehaviour the employer's fault?
While managers may be aware that misbehaviour by employees at the Christmas party could result in a claim against the employer, we are often asked, where does the employer's liability end?
CMA fines Pfizer £84.2m for 'overcharging' the NHS
The Competition and Markets Authority ('CMA') has imposed a record £84.2m fine on pharmaceutical manufacturing giant, Pfizer, for overcharging its customers (including the NHS) for an anti-epilepsy drug.
Immigration update: Changes to the Immigration Rules
Various changes were made to the Immigration Rules recently, the majority of which came into force on 24 November 2016. The most significant of the changes are those to Tier 2 of the points based system.
Gender pay gap reporting: final regulations published
At last the final form of the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations have been published and, subject to parliamentary approval, are expected to come into force on 6 April 2017. We consider what has changed and what questions remain.
Gender segregation in schools not direct sex discrimination
The High Court has ruled that the segregation boys and girls in a faith school did not amount to less favourable treatment towards female pupils
Business Rates Revaluation: impact on Statutory Compensation
How will the recent changes to rateable values impact the amount of statutory compensation landlords are liable to pay tenants and is timing of the essence?
Statutory employment payments to rise from April 2017
The government has announced the new rates of statutory payments for parents and sick pay which will apply from April 2017
Land Registry to stay in the public sector
The government announced in the Autumn Statement on 23 November 2016 that the Land Registry will remain in the public sector. Plans for privatisation have been dropped.
Promises, promises: when are employers bound?
Following Donald Trump's US presidential election victory, the world waits to see which campaign promises will be delivered and which will fall by the wayside. Employers, too, can be caught out making promises to employees.
Litigation funders ordered to pay costs on an indemnity basis
The Court of Appeal has confirmed that litigation funders face the same costs liability as the funded litigant.
End of employee shareholders in Autumn Statement
The Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement on 23 November 2016 and there were several employment law aspects of note.
Garden leave clauses: the road to executive termination
The recent falling out between Ron Dennis and the McLaren F1 team shows that even the glamorous world of Formula 1 is not immune from the reaches of employment law.
It is not the Ombudsman's obligation to apply the law
A recent case demonstrates the role of the Financial Ombudsman Service and the importance for creditors of seizing the opportunity to put their case across to FOS when they have the chance
Top tips for managers handling long-term absence
Managers often struggle to handle employees' long-term sickness absence appropriately. Here are our tips for avoiding the common pitfalls.
TUPE service provision change - should the client remain the same?
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has recently considered the requirement for the client to remain the same on a service provision change under TUPE.
Are courts becoming more lender-friendly?
Are the courts beginning to take a more lender-friendly approach to enforcing security and guarantees?
Habitat III - the applicability of New Urban Agenda
Environment analysis: As the Habitat III Conference draws to a close in Quito, Ecuador, what chances are there of its New Urban Agenda (NUA) finding a way into UK and international law?
Modern Slavery Act compliance - A cut and paste job?
As organisations seek to comply with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act, by publishing statements setting out their efforts to combat modern slavery in supply chains, is it in danger of becoming a 'tick box exercise'?
Modern Slavery Act - Just compliance or should you consider wider Human Rights?
While organisations are working towards publishing their first statement regarding transparency in their supply chain or still embedding systems to ensure their next statement shows a continuous improvement approach, things are moving on.
Health and safety fines - Scotland
How should Scottish Courts apply the Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences: Definitive Guideline?
Commercial waste collections - How level is the playing field?
Head of environmental Angus Evers considers the consequences of a recent Upper Tribunal ruling on whether local authority VAT exemption distorts competition in the commercial waste market.
Storm in a teacup
The perennial question of whether occupation of land is pursuant to a lease or a licence has been explored recently in a most unusual case involving the allocation of pitches at a fair.
Brexit: courting chaos?
The High Court has decided that triggering Article 50 requires a vote by MPs.
Pensions Schemes Bill - Installing Confidence in Pensions?
The Pensions Schemes Bill 2016-17 had its first reading in the House of Lords on 19 October 2016. It contained more details on a number of legislative changes including long awaited changes to master trust authorisation and administration charges.
Deposits - Payback time?
The payment of a deposit provides a financial incentive for a buyer to complete a purchase of property, but what rights does a buyer have to the return of the deposit should the buyer fail to complete the purchase?
Police warrants to recover documents held by Scottish solicitors
A High Court Judge in Scotland has recently criticised the basis upon which the Crown Prosecution Service obtained and sought to enforce a warrant to recover papers and documents held by a law firm's office in Edinburgh.
ASDA store workers can compare to depot staff in equal pay claim
An employment tribunal has confirmed that female store workers can use male distribution depot workers as comparators in their equal pay claims.
The need for asset based lenders to carry out due diligence before purchasing debt
In Bibby Factors Northwest Limited v HFD Ltd, the Court of Appeal highlighted that asset based lenders should ensure that they carry out due diligence on customer contracts before purchasing debt.
IPMS: How does residential property measure up?
We will soon need to say goodbye to the principles of gross external area, net internal area and net sales area when measuring residential property.
'Modified universalism' considered for the first time in a Scottish corporate insolvency case
An opinion issued this week is the first examination by a Scottish court of the principle of 'modified universalism' and the requirements for an enforceable floating charge where all the company's property is situated in a non-UK jurisdiction.
Breastfeeding: employees win Easyjet tribunal
An employment tribunal has ruled that two flight attendants were discriminated against in relation to breastfeeding requests.
Fracking up the pressure
On 6 October 2016, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (SoS), issued decisions in relation to four separate appeals made by the natural resources exploration and production company, Cuadrilla.
Mind the gap
The recent case of Stodday Land Limited and Ripway Properties Limited v William Marsland Pye is a reminder of the problems that the 'registration gap' causes in relation to land ownership.
The disclosure process: top tips for sellers
What can sellers do to make the disclosure process as painless as possible?
When will the bubble burst for matrimonial claims?
A recent case in the High Court in England has attracted the attention of family lawyers throughout the UK. Christina Estrada has asked the Court for £196m from her ex-husband as an estimation, not of a share of matrimonial property, but of her needs.
Apprenticeship levy details start to unfold
HMRC has published draft regulations to implement the new apprenticeship levy coming into force in April 2017.
Real estate and unreal estate
This article looks at why intellectual property is key to construction and property development.
Insurance Act 2015 Part 4 - Insurer Knowledge
In our previous articles, we have explored the changes to the duty of fair presentation owed by policyholders to insurers under the Insurance Act 2015.
Follow-up right to work checks: are you compliant?
All employers must carry out a right to work check before employment starts, but how many are carrying out follow-up right to work checks in order to continue to benefit from the statutory excuse?
Health and safety - Scotland
It will be interesting to see whether the recent fine of £5m on the operator of Alton Towers has any influence on the future approach to be taken by Scottish Courts in Health and Safety sentencing.
Should've, would've, could've
Last month, Specsavers secured acceptance for the sign SHOULD'VE as a registered trade mark in the UK following an unexpected decision by the UK Intellectual Property Office.
Short-term letting caused breach of tenancy agreement
A recent case highlights the risks for owners of flats in letting out their premises on a short-term basis.
Alton Towers fined £5m for 'needless and avoidable' accident
A day after the Health & Safety Executive announced it would be prosecuting the manufacturer of an ejector seat which fatally deployed while a Hawk jet was on the ground, a Midlands' Court has handed down a record fine for a non-fatal accident in the UK.
Protecting confidential information: tips for employers
Technological advances make it increasingly easy for employees to appropriate and misuse their employer's confidential information. What steps can employers take to protect their assets?
Refusing subject access request led to unfair dismissal
Employees often use their right to make a subject access request in the context of a dispute with their employer. However frustrating this may be, failure to respond could lead to an unfair dismissal.
Bereavement leave: greater rights for parents sought
The Parental Bereavement Leave (Statutory Entitlement) Bill 2016-17 proposes to allow parents a statutory right to two weeks of paid leave after suffering the loss of a child.
Benefits in kind: could salary sacrifice be limited?
Benefits in kind are regarded by employers as a useful tool for rewarding staff. However, the government has recently launched a consultation on restricting their use through salary sacrifice.
The gig economy: employment or self-employment
The employment status of those in the courier industry is coming under increasing scrutiny. We consider the differences between self-employed and employed status.
Ruling on extent of teachers' disclosure obligations
The Court of Appeal recently upheld a tribunal's decision that a head teacher who had not disclosed her friendship with a convicted sex offender to her employer had been fairly dismissed for gross misconduct.
Rentcharges - ignore at your peril
The recent case of Roberts v Lawton illustrates the draconian nature of powers granted to rentcharge owners and the risks to a landowner of ignoring the rentcharge.
Paralympics Rio 2016: what can employers learn?
Disability rights advocates say the disparity between the financing and support that the Olympics and Paralympics receive reflects the inequality that occurs in workplaces every day. What obligations are owed by employers and what help is available?
High Court to decide on language tests for drivers
Uber has won the right to challenge Transport for London (TfL) in court over new rules which would require its taxi drivers to pass English tests.
Maternity rights and wrongs: ten tips for employers
The treatment of women during or on return from maternity leave has hit the headlines recently, with reports of many being forced to leave their jobs and the significant drop in earnings if they remain in employment. What should employers be doing?
Rises in the National Minimum Wage: employers beware
With new National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates coming into force on 1 October 2016 - here's a reminder of the penalties employers could face if they fail to pay correctly.
Fines for data breaches: security is key
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has again issued a significant fine for breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) following the loss of a portable device.
Reasonable adjustments: should pay be protected?
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has confirmed that the duty to make reasonable adjustments can extend to protecting a disabled worker's pay where they are placed into a more junior role due to their incapability to perform their contractual duties.
Compensation for discrimination goes up
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) recently confirmed that the Simmons v Castle 10% uplift to injury to feelings awards should be applied in discrimination cases in employment tribunals, potentially increasing the compensation that can be awarded.
Look to the fuchsia
A recent case has demonstrated the importance of inspecting the boundaries of a property before buying it.
Consultation on how and when SDLT is paid
HMRC has issued a consultation proposing that, among other changes, the period in which SDLT has to be paid should be reduced from 30 to 14 days.
Employees on social media: two cautionary tales
Dealing with the inappropriate use of social media by employees is a common activity for modern employers. Two recent examples involving police officers demonstrate how employees can get into trouble.
Time off for dependants: guidance for employers
The statutory right to time off for dependants is commonly misunderstood by both employers and employees. We consider some of the relevant case law in an attempt to shed light on this tricky area.
Tenancy negotiations did not lead to a binding agreement
The court has held that two parties had not entered into a tenancy agreement because the start date had never been agreed between them.
Insurance Act 2015 Part 3 - Information is King
In our previous articles, we have explored the changes to the duty of fair presentation owed by policyholders to insurers under the Insurance Act 2015.
Right to Work Checks - are you compliant?
Accurate right to work checks are mandatory if employers wish to avoid a financial penalty or, at worst, a prison sentence. Are you getting them right?
Who serves consultation notices on residential tenants?
This article considers the case of Leaseholders of Foundling Court and O'Donnell Court v Camden LBC, in which the court ruled on who is responsible for serving consultation notices on residential tenants.
Public sector consultation on gender pay reporting
On 18 August the government published a consultation paper on a new mandatory gender pay reporting regime for large employers in the English public sector.
Restrictive covenants: employment v commercial contracts
In this article we look at the differences between the use of restrictive covenants in employment contracts and commercial contracts such as share purchase agreements.
Changes to taxation of termination payments confirmed
HM Revenue & Customs has published draft legislation which will change the way employees are taxed on their termination payments from April 2018
Parents from different planets? Methods to alleviate hostility during separation and divorce
Why can a couple can co-parent for years without major differences of opinion but when they separate, they struggle to agree on the most basic of things?
Examining the conduct of directors and personal liability - a recent case
This article looks at the case of BTI 2014 LLC and BAT Industries Plc v Sequana SA, 2016.
Designers beware - you can lose the right to use your own name
The most recent example of a fashion designer losing the right to use his/her name came about this week.
FTSE100 pay gap highlights gender issues
Executive pay continues to make the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Companies looking to avoid negative publicity over pay face even greater challenges when it comes to reporting their gender pay gap figures.
Calculating Holiday Pay - what should be included?
This article looks at the judgment of Brettle & Others v Dudley Metropolitan Council regarding the calculation of holiday pay, what it should include and what counts as 'regular' payment.
Occupational pension schemes: Code of Practice on Defined Contribution Benefits
This article will look at the code of practice on defined contribution benefits and the annual Chair of Trustees' Governance Statement.
Modern slavery: statements due September 2016
Organisations with a financial year end from 31 March 2016 must publish their modern slavery statement by next month. Has your organisation complied?
Criminal record checks: when is the past truly history?
Do your job adverts warn candidates that you will carry out checks on their pasts? How confident are you that your criminal record checks are justifiable and that your process is fair?
The Olympic Games Rio 2016
As you can't fail to have noticed, the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil started last week and last until 21 August.
Business Guide to the Insurance Act 2015 Part 2 - Duty of Presentation
In our last article, we introduced the aims and objectives of the Insurance Act 2015's general changes to the 'Duty of Fair Presentation'.
Insurance fraud: when settlements can be overturned
The Supreme Court has set aside a settlement entered into by defendant liability insurers, despite the fact that the insurers had suspected that the claimant's personal injury claim was dishonestly exaggerated.
Succession planning: don't leave it too late
Recent political events serve as a timely reminder for those in the business world to plan for the unexpected.
Agreeing to treat FOS decisions as binding
This article looks at the case of Templars Estates Ltd and others v National Westminster Bank Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland, 2016.
Break ineffective due to vacant possession failure
The case of Riverside Park Ltd v NHS Property Services Ltd (2016) has held that a break option conditional on vacant possession had not been operated successfully because the tenant had left partitioning in the property.
Post-termination restrictions: Should they stay?
As the government considers whether post-termination restrictions in employment contracts unfairly hinder employees from moving freely between jobs or stifle entrepreneurship we examine the current drafting best practice.
Who is responsible for disrepair to communal area?
The Supreme Court has held that an intermediate landlord was not responsible for the disrepair of property over which he had only shared rights of access.
Autonomous vehicles: what next?
There have been significant recent developments in the autonomous vehicle sector.
Is there a future for R&D in post-Brexit Britain?
Since Brexit became a reality Britain has entered a period of unprecedented uncertainty. Each day brings renewed claims that our nation will either be losing out or mining a rich seam of opportunity once we withdraw from the EU.
European law in a tangle over headscarf discrimination
Two recent opinions from Europe demonstrate the difficulties of applying discrimination law to the delicate issue of religious symbols and manifestations of faith.
The Housing and Planning Act 2016
Overriding Easements and Other Rights: this article considers the new power contained in section 203 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
More light shed on the matter
Has the court finally got the balance right between developers and neighbours when it comes to enforcing rights to light?
Gender pay gap reporting: What can employers do now?
The obligation for employers with 250 or more employees to publish an annual report on its gender pay gap is expected to come into force on 1 October 2016. However, some employers have decided to act now to address their gender pay gaps.
Enforcement of Judgments: a game of cat and mouse
This article looks at the case of Merchant International Company Limited v Natsionalna Aktsionerna Kompaniia Naftogaz Ukrainy, 2016.
Moving with the Times - the Commercial Agents Regulations 1993
A recent High Court decision has confirmed that the supply or sale of software constitutes a sale of goods for the purposes of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 (SI 1993/3053) (the Regulations).
Internships and work experience: tips for employers
Summer is traditionally the season that organisations welcome young people for work experience. However, there are legal traps for the unwary. In this article we give some tips for employers offering internships and work experience for under 16's.
Lucky 13 for the Law Commission
The Law Commission has issued a consultation asking for suggestions for projects for its 13th programme, covering the period from 2017 to 2020.
Fiduciary duties: not all senior employees owe duties
Certain categories of employees owe fiduciary duties to their employer in addition to their contractual obligations under their contract of employment.
Fair dismissal for misconduct: pitfalls to avoid and best practice
In this article we look at how to dismiss an employee for misconduct fairly, in order to avoid a claim for unfair dismissal.
Brand owners and Brexit: Changes to the EU trade mark system and how to effectively manage them
The result of the EU Referendum or 'Brexit' has naturally left Intellectual Property (IP) rights holders concerned and confused over their current and future position.
Competition authorities consult on online travel agents' pricing practices
Working in collaboration with other competition authorities across Europe, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a consultation on the pricing practices of online travel agents (OTAs) such as Booking.com and Expedia.
Recent rulings on the application of the Acas Code on disciplinary and grievance procedures
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has recently given two rulings which clarify the scope of the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures (the Code).
Transgender equality: government moves forward with equality agenda
The Government Equalities Office has now confirmed its action plan for transgender equality in their response to the previous Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) review.
Traffic Commissioners and leased or financed vehicles - Updated Guidance for Owners
The senior traffic commissioner for Great Britain has updated guidance which will assist lease and finance companies trying to recover impounded vehicles.
Information, Investigation and Ignominy
The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Market Abuse) Regulations 2016 (MAR) came into force on 3 July 2016 implementing the EU Market Abuse Directive (MAD II).
EAT gives guidance on confidentiality of negotiations before termination
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has provided some welcome clarification on the application of section 111A Employment Rights Act 1996.
Business Guide to the Insurance Act 2015 Part 1 - Duty of Presentation
Following on from Shoosmiths' published Business Guide to the Insurance Act 2015, we will now examine in more detail, from a policyholder's perspective, what policyholder challenges are in the coming months.
The trend towards making Pre-Nuptial Agreements legally binding
There has traditionally been a perception that Pre-Nuptial Agreements are in some way a sign that the relationship is already doomed to failure and the process is about as romantic as a pair of beige polyester bed socks.
The General Data Protection Regulation: Post-Brexit
The General Data Protection Regulation has been published meaning that it will come into effect from 25 May 2018 in EU Member States. We now look at what this means for the UK in the light of Brexit.
Contract effectively varied by oral agreement
In MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd v Rock Advertising Ltd, the Court of Appeal has decided that a provision in a contract requiring any variations to be in writing and signed by the parties did not prevent a valid variation by oral agreement.
Discounting the artificial
The case of Britel Fund Trustees v B&Q PLC  has considered how to assess rent under s.34 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 when a renewal lease is to contain a very early break clause.
Leaving the EU - How will UK pensions fare?
All around the country, businesses, communities and individuals are coming to terms with a future in which the UK (or what is left of it should another referendum on Scottish independence trigger a fragmentation of the UK) is outside the EU.
Relief at length
The High Court has granted a tenant relief from forfeiture 14 months after a peaceable re-entry was effected for rent arrears.
Behaving badly - what can employers do about conduct outside of work?
Media reports of football violence or other anti-social activity may be shocking for many but, what if that coverage included one of your employees? What can employers lawfully do about bad behaviour outside of work?
Immigration Act 2016: first provisions coming into force soon
Increased sanctions for employers who employ illegal workers are coming into force on 12 July 2016, regardless of the EU referendum result.
What will Brexit mean for you and your European workers?
Following the dramatic results in the EU Referendum, immigration issues will be top of the negotiations with the European Union as the United Kingdom seeks to leave.
Your Questions Answered: private landlords and human rights
This article will examine the case of McDonald v McDonald and others.
The buck stops here
The case of Syed Balkhi v Southern Land Securities Ltd (2016) confirms that landlords cannot simply pass to their residential undertenants service charge demands received from head landlords without first ensuring they are reasonable.
New international property measurement standards
The RICS's new Professional Statement for Property Measurement came into force on 1 January 2016.
Dawn of a new era for women in the workplace?
Recent developments on both sides of 'the pond' have marked progress for women looking to break through the proverbial glass ceiling. But what more can be done?
Converting to academy status: HR implications for schools
Since 2010, the number of schools converting to academy status has increased year on year and this trend looks set to continue, despite the government's recent U-turn on compulsory academy conversions.
Transferring personal data from the EEA to the USA: recent developments
The uncertainty for companies that transfer personal data from Europe to the USA looks set to continue as doubts have been raised over the proposed new Privacy Shield
Sunday working changes: the impact for retailers
Retailers need to start planning for changes to Sunday shop workers' rights which are expected to come into force soon
FinTech Update: Who can stop the blockchain train?
The benefits and also the malevolent use of the Bitcoin peer-to-peer crypto-currency is rarely out of the news.
Pre-emption rights - what they are and why they matter
Pre-emption is the name given to a right of first refusal in favour of existing shareholders for the allotment of new shares in a company. We consider the role of the Pre-Emption Group in relation to recommended practice by listed companies.
Changes to partnership legislation
The government has confirmed that it will be pressing ahead with plans to make changes to partnership legislation for private equity and venture capital funds.
Changes to Permitted Development Rights
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2016 introduced permanent permitted development rights to convert offices to residential use and new rights to convert light industrial uses to residential use.
Court of Appeal finds exemptions for small scale developments and vacant building credit lawful
In judgment handed down on 11 May 2016, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court decision to quash the Government's controversial affordable housing exemptions for small scale development and vacant building credit.
Annual returns: be ready for change and for less time to comply
From 30 June 2016, companies will have to send annual information to Companies House by way of a confirmation statement.
Business Guide to the new Insurance Act (in force from 12 August 2016)
Billed as the most significant 'makeover' in insurance law in over a century, the Insurance Act 2015 will change the face of how business runs its insurance portfolio.
Read the signs
The Court of Appeal has decided in Trevor & Elizabeth Winterburn v Garry & Lynne Bennett (2016) that a landowner can prevent someone acquiring rights over land by clear signage alone.
Major changes to Scottish succession laws planned
The last major change to Scots Succession law took place in 1964, but the world was a different place back then.
Disability cases continue to challenge employers
Protection against discrimination on grounds of disability has been in place for just over 20 years, yet the legal nuances with which employers have to comply continue to develop, as two recent cases clearly demonstrate.
Joint and several liability means assuming full responsibility
A recent case reminds us that parties who enter into a contract with joint and several liability are each liable to perform the whole contract on their own.
Ramadan: practical considerations for employers
As the holy month of Ramadan approaches we consider the associated practical considerations for employers of Muslim employees, including dealing with holiday requests and possible health and safety issues.
Transgender equality: signs of the times
Transgender discrimination continues to make the news with a ferry operator recently agreeing to remove the words 'ladies' and 'gentlemen' from its toilet doors and replace them with symbols.
What is a Community Interest Company?
The traditional limited company structure tends to be the favoured choice to run a business, but even then there can be refinements to its structure and mechanics.
Conference highlights growing problem in ageing population
Our Edinburgh team will be present at the Alzheimer Scotland's annual conference held June 03 at the prestigious Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
Assessing the damage caused by breach of quiet enjoyment
In the case of Timothy Taylor Ltd v Mayfair House Corporation & Another (2016) a landlord that carried out substantial building works in tenanted property was found to have breached its covenant for quiet enjoyment.
Where a landlord and tenant are disputing the terms of a statutory lease renewal, Flanders Community Centre Ltd v Newham London Borough Council  highlights the need to produce sound expert evidence and plead cases thoroughly at trial.
Managing employees: what can employers learn from Leicester City's success?
Leicester City Football Club winning the Premier League is one of the great sporting upsets of all time. It also provides some valuable lessons in effective management for employers.
Clicks & Mortar: The marriage of the future and the past within a traditional retail lease structure - Part One
Multi-channel and Omni-channel retailing are, of course well established in the retail market.
Clicks & Mortar: The marriage of the future and the past within a traditional retail lease structure - Part Two
This article follows on from 'Clicks & Mortar: The marriage of the future and the past within a traditional retail lease structure - Part One' which discussed turnover rents.
Are you being served (correctly)?
In Frederick Levett-Dunn, Howard Evans and Barnett Waddingham Trustees Ltd v NHS Property Services Ltd (2016) the High Court decided that a break notice was properly served at the address stated in the lease.
Fixture, fitting or chattel? Does it matter?
In a terminal dilapidations case, the Court of Appeal had to decide whether carpet tiles were tenant's fixtures, landlord's fixtures or chattels, to determine whether the tenant would be liable for the cost of replacing them after the end of the lease.
Heel-gate highlights potential pitfalls of dress codes for employers
Recent media reports about a woman sent home after she refused to wear heels at work have highlighted the potential pitfalls of dress codes for employers.
All aboard the insolvency express
As we reach the 30th anniversary of the Insolvency Act 1986, the legislators have clearly decided it is time to dust the profession down and bring out a shiny new model for us to hop aboard and take a journey (for some) into the unknown.
National Living Wage: controversy continues
The national living wage (NLW) came into force on 1 April 2016 and introduced a mandatory, minimum hourly pay rate of £7.20 for workers aged 25 and over.
Tipping point? The government calls time on opaque service charges
The government has launched a consultation on tipping, gratuities, cover and service charges setting out proposals to make tipping fairer for both workers and customers.
Improving the Land Registration Act
The Law Commission has issued a consultation on possible changes to the land registration system in England and Wales.
Understanding underleases: what are the risks?
Potential undertenants need to understand the nature of their interest and the implications this has for their liability as a whole. This article highlights some risks for undertenants and suggests ways in which these may be addressed.
My employer is in Administration: What does this mean for me?
Retailers BHS and Austin Reed have recently gone into administration, leaving 11,000 and 1,200 jobs respectively at risk. In such uncertain times, what rights do affected employees have?
Redundancies: the lesser known employer duties
Redundancies and restructures have dominated the headlines recently. Managing a redundancy process can be challenging, so this article looks at some of the duties involved that employers often neglect.
Modern slavery legislation: a global outlook
The UK is leading the way in the fight against modern slavery through the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Is the UK legislation the gold standard?
New apprenticeship levy: further details released
Further details about the controversial apprenticeship levy, expected to be in force from April 2017, have been published.
Footballer wins disability discrimination claim
An employment tribunal has found that Newcastle United (Newcastle) discriminated against former player, Jonas Gutierrez, on the grounds of disability and now the club faces paying considerable compensation of up to £2 million.
Right to work in the UK: when can an employer dismiss fairly?
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently considered whether an employer dismissed an employee fairly in the mistaken belief they no longer had the right to work in the UK.
All reasonable endeavours and good faith
A recent Court of Appeal decision has demonstrated how detailed drafting brings clarity to the scope of 'reasonable endeavours' and 'good faith' obligations.
Financial Services: Managers beware!
The Senior Managers and Certification Regime marks a shift in the individual accountability of certain employees within the financial services industry. We explore the key aspects of the new regime from the perspective of those employees.
Tier 2: Minimum salary increase as of 6 April - fact or fiction?
There appears to be some confusion around the minimum salary level required to be paid to non-EU workers being sponsored under the Tier 2 (General) category.
Surrendering a lease, not just the keys
A recent case, has highlighted that a landlord can make arrangements to secure and relet an empty property without bringing about a surrender by operation of law.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard: preparations investors and landlords should be considering now
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) for both residential and commercial properties in England and Wales comes into force on 1 April 2018. This is less than two years away and so investors need to start to take action now.
The inspector calls - handling dawn raids by the competition authorities
It's 9.30am. You are in the office, catching up on your emails before heading into back to back meetings that will take up most of the day. Little do you know that this is the calm before the storm.
New EU Data Protection Regulation: New Regulation Approved
It has taken a lengthy legislative process but on 14 April 2016 the European Parliament voted to replace the existing EU Data Protection Directive with the General Data Protection Regulation; a significant landmark in data protection legislation.
BREXIT: What will it mean for employers?
It has recently been claimed that up to 400 football players would lose the right to play here if the UK votes to leave the EU, we consider some of the implications for employers generally.
Gender pay reporting: the time to consider your bonus payments is now
Employers may not yet have fully appreciated the retrospective reporting required by the new gender pay legislation. The draft regulations require that bonuses paid out in the coming bonus year be disclosed by organisations with 250 or more employees.
Can you be dismissed for pulling a 'sickie'?
The recent case of Metroline West Ltd v Mr Ajaj UKEAT/0185/15/RN looked at when is it 'fair' to dismiss when an employer suspects that an employee may be malingering.
A cautionary tale - Court of Appeal confirms that deleted words may be used as an aid to meaning
In a world where negotiated points are increasingly tracked and preserved through the use of comparison technology, what are the implications of this ruling on contractual certainty for parties and their legal advisers?
Employment particulars: changes to pension information
From 6 April 2016 the introduction of a single-tier state pension means that pension schemes will no longer be able to 'contract-out'. Consequently, standard employment contracts will need to be amended.
The potential Impact of Brexit on your commercial contractual relationships
The referendum on whether to leave the EU is fast approaching but uncertainty reigns as to the actual impact on business, should the UK vote to leave.
How to have an 'off the record' conversation with an employee
Employers may prefer to negotiate the termination of an employee's employment rather than carry out a potentially long or acrimonious dismissal process.
Amending affordable housing obligations: developers be warned
Developers need to be aware of the deadline for securing amendments to affordable housing obligations under sections 106BA, BB and BC.
New EU data protection regulation: compliance in an evolving privacy landscape
Some four years in the making, the General Data Protection Regulation (the Regulation) is now in an agreed form pending formal ratification by the EU.
Consultation on moving Land Registry operations to the private sector
The Government has issued a consultation document containing options to move the Land Registry into the private sector. This is part of the Government's wider aim to raise £5 billion from sales of public sector assets between now and 2020.
April Fool's Day: no laughing matter for employers
April Fool's Day is traditionally the day set aside for harmless pranks and practical jokes - but what happens when employees decide to exercise their mischievous streak in the workplace?
Modern Slavery - Countdown to compliance
Transitional provisions are running out fast. Organisations with a financial year end from 31 March 2016 must publish their statement within 6 months of that year end. Is your organisation ready?
Employing young workers: Careful planning required
With spring having recently sprung, and summer (hopefully!) just around the corner, employers may be thinking about taking on younger workers breaking up from schools, colleges and universities to assist with seasonal peaks / resourcing needs.
Higher Rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the purchase of additional residential property
SDLT must be paid by a purchaser of any residential property in England and Wales where the consideration for the purchase exceeds £125,000.
UK Supreme Court Ruling: Kiddee Case does not infringe Trunki design
On 9 March 2016, the UK Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal's ruling that the 'Kiddee Case', by PMS International Group plc (PMS), did not infringe Magmatic Limited's Trunki Case design (Community Registered Design No. 43427-0001) (the 'CRD').
New company law on PSC registers comes into force 6 April 2016 - How to comply and avoid criminal penalties
From 6 April 2016, most UK companies, LLPs (limited liability partnerships) and SEs (Societas Europaea) will be required to keep and maintain a register of the persons with significant control over them.
Crackdown on cartels in the UK
On 21 March 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced major developments in two of its ongoing cartel investigations, providing a welcome boast to the authority's enforcement credentials.
Record fines for GSK in the UK's first 'pay-for-delay' competition case
The Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) recent £45 million fine on GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and two other companies is the latest in a series of competition enforcement action in the pharmaceutical sector.
Zero-Hours Workers: their forgotten rights
With the continued use of zero-hours contracts, and the introduction of the National Living Wage around the corner, employers also need to remember the other rights that zero-hours workers have.
Spring heralds more change for employers
The arrival of Spring always heralds change for employers with 6 April being one of the government's two annual 'common commencement dates' for new legislation. We take a look at the key changes in employment law in store from this April.
FCA warns businesses on competition law compliance
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has taken steps to require various businesses to implement competition law compliance programmes, in light of concerns that came to light in a broader review that it was conducting into the pensions sector.
Court rules that a tenant cannot assign its lease to its guarantor
The High Court has held that the anti-avoidance provision in the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 prevents a tenant assigning its lease to its guarantor. Any attempt to do so will be void.
Budget 2016: what it means for your business
When a Conservative majority Government was elected last year, most businesses and business owners breathed a sigh of relief thinking that we were in for a period of stability as far as the UK's tax rules were concerned.
Market abuse regime update
This year will see an overhaul of the market abuse regime across the EU with the implementation of the new Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) under the latest Market Abuse Directive (MAD II).
Impact of the new Market Abuse Regulation on AIM disclosure rules
Under the new Market Abuse Regulation (MAR), set to come into force on 3 July 2016, the market abuse regime in the UK will be updated.
Cybercrime: it's a question of 'when', not 'if' for business
Businesses face an increasing number of challenges and one of the most severe and potentially damaging is that of cybercrime. Fallout from a cyber-attack can result in both physical as well as reputational damage and the loss of business and customers.
Bracing for Brexit: countdown to impact
With increasing numbers campaigning for Britain to leave the EU, ever closer union is looking ever more uncertain.
Pharmacists and those in the healthcare sector must be aware of new requirements under the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 introduces a new area of compliance for commercial organisations. The Act is amongst the toughest anti-slavery and human trafficking legislation in the world.
The National Living Wage: time to prepare
The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2016 come into force on 1 April 2016. Employers need to be aware of their new obligations in good time to ensure compliance.
Unlocking holiday pay: the latest EAT decision
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled in the long-running case of British Gas Trading Ltd v Lock, confirming that commission payments need to be taken into account when calculating holiday pay.
Unreasonably refusing to engage in mediation: at what cost?
The court has the power to impose costs penalties on parties who refuse to mediate.
An unfortunate boost to potential scammers?
This article explores the Hughes vs Royal London case and what this means for access to pensions funds.
Supreme Court guidance: Freedom of contract not open to interpretation
Two recent Supreme Court cases represent a stark warning against liberal interpretation of contracts and serve as a reminder that the plain meaning of the words is likely to be the starting point.
Following a recent employment tribunal decision, we look at how employers should ensure that they are accommodating and supporting dyslexic employees.
Obliged to build before contractual completion date
In a recent case the High Court has ordered, by way of specific performance, that building works must be carried out before the date specified in the contract for those works to be completed.
Modern Slavery: what does it mean for SMEs?
Contrary to expectations SMEs are finding that they are affected by the Modern Slavery Transparency Supply Chain provisions because they are required to give assurances to those they supply that they comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Gender pay gap revolution moves closer
The government is consulting on draft regulations on gender pay reporting for large organisations. Employers need to start preparing for mandatory requirements to disclose information about the differences between male and female pay in their workplace.
Business regulation - the power of the brand
There is a growing trend for naming and shaming rather than criminal penalties. Is the future of compliance self-regulation, for fear of reputational damage?
The new apprenticeship levy: what does it mean for employers?
The government recently published draft legislation introducing an apprenticeship levy which is expected to come into force on 6 April 2017. In this article we look at the impact on employers.
Bearer shares - time is running out
Bearer shares were abolished by The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 ('the Act'). Holders of bearer shares have until 26 February 2016 to surrender them to the company for conversion into registered shares or risk their cancellation.
Rap artist M.I.A. brings attention to the importance of balancing the enforcement of legal rights with reputation management
London rapper Mathangi
Purpose built student accommodation excluded from Scottish PRS reforms
Following lobbying and sector feedback, Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) is to be excluded from the remit of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill.
A recent decision by two YouTube bloggers to cancel their portfolio of trade mark applications serves as an important reminder for businesses to always take into account the commercial considerations of their actions.
The EU-US Privacy Shield - a new safe harbor?
The European Court of Justice ruled last October that the data sharing framework between the EU and US, referred to as Safe Harbor, is no longer valid.
Zero hours contracts: proper protections for staff now in place
With the use of zero-hours contracts 'ZHCs' increasing and new regulations in this area coming into effect, employers should ensure compliance with the new rules.
Section 288 Challenges - Is there scope to think outside the box?
For a number of years, the Government has sought to narrow the scope and use of planning obligations. It has actively encouraged local authorities to adopt the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) when it introduced the CIL Regulations in 2010.
Misleading replies to enquiries - a costly reminder for sellers and landlords
Providing inaccurate replies to pre-contract enquiries cost a seller almost £400,000 after the buyer withdrew shortly before completion and claimed damages for deceit.
Monitoring employees' communications: EU case sends wrong message
Employers should be cautious after a recent decision was widely reported as a 'green light' to read employees' person communications at work; this is not the case.
Court of Appeal clarifies occupational rights of husband after vacation of family home by wife
The case of Derwent Housing Association Limited v Taylor, 19 January 2016 has provided clarification on whether a spouse who remains in the matrimonial home has continued rights of occupation if their partner has left the home and terminated the tenancy.
Subrogation to unpaid vendor's lien
In the recent case of Bank of Cyprus UK Limited v Menelaou, the Supreme Court showed the flexibility of the equitable remedy of unpaid vendor's lien.
What the new ODR Platform means for consumers and traders
On 15 February 2016, the new European Union Online Dispute Resolution platform (the 'ODR Platform') will be available for use by consumers and traders.
'Right to Rent' checks in force 1 February 2016
From 1 February 2016 landlords of residential property in England (not also Wales) will have to carry out checks to ensure potential tenants have the right to rent property in the UK.
Is an 84 hour average working week lawful?
A recent decision of the European Free Trade Association Court (EFTA Court) in Matja Kumba T M'bye and Others v Stiftelsen Fossumkollektivet, E-5/15 that an 84 hour working week is lawful, certainly catches the eye.
Safety Non-Compliance Offences - Is your provision for fines sufficient?
The linking of fines to turnover is one of the most seismic changes to hit offenders in a generation.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting: Why does it matter?
In the first of a series of articles on gender pay gap reporting, we look at the position so far and what implications the new reporting obligations could have for public and private sector employers alike.
Housing and Planning Bill - Update: New resolution procedure for S.106 negotiation disputes
The Housing and Planning Bill has now passed through the House of Commons, with MPs concluding reporting and final reading on 12 January 2016. The Bill will now be passed on to the House of Lords for its first reading.
Transgender equality: time to act
A recent report on transgender equality from the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee confirms that transgender people continue to suffer prejudice in and out of the workplace.
Disability discrimination in attendance management policies
Employers must make reasonable adjustments to make sure disabled workers aren't seriously disadvantaged when doing their jobs. This article looks at how recent decisions in relation to attendance management policies impacts employers.
Pension Schemes: Pension Protection Fund Levy Determination 2016/17
This update looks at the Pension Protection Fund Levy determination for the PPF Levy Year 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.
PSC registers: Criminal sanctions for non-compliance loom as draft guidance is published
Less than three months now remain until the implementation of new regulations which will require disclosure of people who exert significant influence over companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) in the UK.
Mid-market corporate finance - a look ahead at 2016
2015 saw a year of growth - after a quietly confident start, the market gained momentum following the election and growth across the sectors continued into the fourth quarter.
Has the role of Chairman changed?
Following the announcement that Sir Philip Dilley, chairman of the Environment Agency, would step down in the aftermath of the latest floods to hit the UK, we look at the role of the Chairman.
The buy-to-let tax raid
Not content with increasing the rate of SDLT by 3% on buy-to-let properties, the chancellor has announced radical changes to interest deductibility, which will make owning buy to let properties less attractive than ever before.
Effective crisis management: the crucial first 12 hours
Twelve hours. Just twelve hours. That's how long an organisation has to shape the way in which a crisis is going to unfold.
Employers risk financial, brand and reputation fall out over National Minimum Wage
Before Christmas, a national newspaper reported that staff working in Sports Direct's warehouses might not be being paid the National Minimum Wage ('NMW') due to the time it was taking for compulsory security searches to be carried out after each shift.