#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.
An unsatisfactory side effect of disclaimer
A trustee in bankruptcy lost all rights to the proceeds of sale of a freehold property after he disclaimed title to it
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.
How to avoid an unneccesary 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.
When an occupier’s waste becomes a landowner’s problem
A landowner has been convicted and fined after his tenants illegally stockpiled waste wood on his land.
Drug and alcohol policies
This final month, in our Breaking Down the Handbook series, we look at drug and alcohol policies and why they are important for employers to have when dealing with employees with drug and alcohol misuse problems.
Expert witnesses - impartiality and balance
In two recent but very different cases, there have been unusually strong criticisms of expert witnesses. They highlight the need for any expert witness to be seen to be independent and impartial and for their evidence to be balanced and not one-sided.
Headline legal changes - what to expect in 2019
A summary of some of the headline legal changes relevant to commercial organisations anticipated in 2019:
The money stays where it is
Adjudication decisions – avoiding enforcement where the money may disappear
Five key employment cases of 2018
As we enter the festive period and the start of a new year, we take a look back on some of the most notable cases of 2018.
Fraudsters are entitled to make use of the law of adverse possession
The Court of Appeal has held that the law of adverse possession can be used to obtain ownership of a property even if the possession came about due to previous fraudulent activity.
Can commonhold be reinvigorated?
The Law Commission has issued a substantial consultation seeking to improve the manner in which the commonhold system operates and to persuade existing leaseholders to move to a commonhold structure.
Develop and be damned is not a good strategy
The Court of Appeal has held that public policy interests do not justify the release of restrictive covenants where a developer deliberately builds houses on land in breach of those covenants.
Supreme Court finds for tenant in Cavendish Hotel dispute
A landlord can defeat a lease renewal on development grounds only where it intends to carry out the works regardless of whether or not the tenant vacates voluntarily.
Christmas parties in the #MeToo era: how to minimise risk
A year has passed since the birth of the #MeToo movement shone the spotlight on accounts of sexual harassment across the globe.
A right to play
The Supreme Court has held that rights to use sporting and leisure facilities can be easements, even where some of the facilities were constructed after the date when the easement was granted.
Ready to complete or not ready to complete?
A recent case has held that a seller was ready, willing and able to complete despite not being able to provide immediate vacant possession and itself being in repudiatory breach.
Failure to follow procurement rules rendered development agreement ineffective
The Court of Appeal has given its long awaited judgment in the case of Faraday Development Ltd v West Berkshire Council
Supreme Court rules on Barnardo’s v Buckinghamshire pensions case
It has certainly been a busy few weeks for pensions in the law courts. Hot on the heels of the High Court decision on GMP equalisation, the Supreme Court last week handed down judgment in Barnardo’s v Buckinghamshire and others, the latest in a line of cases dealing with the appropriate index to use in increasing pensions in payment.
#metoo – despite the headlines the vast majority of workplaces are unaffected
Those who attended our national seminars may well remember that we carried out a survey as to the effect of #metoo in workplaces. Of the 201 people who answered the survey, 17% said they had been impacted by the effects of #metoo, with 83% saying they hadn’t noticed any increase in sexual harassment claims.
Business energy efficiency reporting – goodbye CRC, hello SECR
After abolishing the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, the government has made regulations requiring additional reporting by quoted companies, large unquoted companies and large LLPs on greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and energy efficiency action
Gender Recognition Certificates: a simplified process?
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (the Commission) has published a response to the government’s consultation on the potential reform of the process to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).
Change announced to how MEES affects residential landlords
Residential landlords will be required to spend up to £3,500 of their own money improving the energy efficiency of their properties.
Ensuring your workplace is equipped to deal with sexual harassment allegations?
Although harassment is firmly front and centre in the media it would appear in a large number of workplaces there has been little practical impact.
Quarterly Case law update from the Shoosmiths Employment Team
In this article, we take a look back through some key cases from the last three months and the lessons which we can learn from them.
Supreme Court rules on Trust Deed appeal
On 31 October 2018 the Supreme Court issued its Judgment in the appeal of Dooneen Ltd (t/a McGinness Associates) and another (Respondents) v Mond (Appellant) (Scotland)  UKSC 54.
Equalisation and Guaranteed Minimum Pensions
The High Court has handed down its judgement in a case concerning regarding equalisation of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (“GMPs”).
The new Infrastructure Conditions of Contract (ICC) Target Cost Version
In terms of risk, target cost contracts lie between lump sum contracts where the contractor takes most of the risk, and cost-reimbursable contracts, where the contractor is paid its costs plus a fee.
Breaking down the handbook: Time off work policies
In the latest instalment of the Breaking Down the Handbook series, we discuss time off work policies, looking at how to manage difficult circumstances and make expectations clear to your employees.
Telecoms Code: Operators’ entitlement to survey new sites confirmed
An important decision on the new Electronic Communications Code answers the hotly-contested issue of whether landowners can avoid the imposition of telecoms apparatus by preventing operators from undertaking initial suitability surveys.
When is a corporate guarantee a distribution?
In 2017 the ICAEW and ICAS suggested that an upstream or cross-stream guarantee might amount to a distribution of profits unless a fee was payable in return for the granting of the guarantee.
Exercise of CRAR waived the right to forfeit
The High Court has held that a landlord waived the right to forfeit a lease for rent arrears when it attempted to use Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR).
GDPR five months on: ICO guidance update
It's been five months since GDPR became enforceable. The 25 May deadline has come and gone, but organisations must continue to focus on their data protection obligations - the Information Commissioner has referred to this as an ongoing compliance journey.
Are you being served?
A new professional statement on service charges in commercial property has been published by the RICS.
Unopposed lease renewal: it's good to talk
A recent case has decided that a section 25 notice served on the wrong person was valid and made an order for terms on an unopposed lease renewal.
The government pushes forward with residential leasehold reforms
The government is consulting on its plans to outlaw new leasehold houses and to ban ground rents. The consultation period lasts just six weeks.
Occupying empty property: business rates
In a decision that will be welcomed by property owners, a recent case has considered the meaning of ‘occupation’ in the context of business rates and has decided that the motivation for occupation is not relevant.
Thinking about overage
Overage provisions are a common feature of the development landscape, helping to ensure that a landowner receives a “fair” price for its land.
Another week, more breach related fines - and check if you need to register!
The ICO continues to undertake enforcement action under the previous Data Protection Act 1998. It applies where the breach was before 25 May 2018, when the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 came into force.
GDPR... What next...?
The 25 May 2018, when GDPR, and the associated UK Data Protection Act 2018, came into force was a landmark date for data privacy, but fast forward nearly six months, what should you be doing now?
Law Commission supports view that electronic signatures are valid
The Law Commission has published its provisional findings on the validity of electronic signatures and has outlined potential options for reform.
CMA to investigate loyalty penalty super-complaint
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has 90 days to respond to a super-compliant lodged by the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) over its concerns that customers are suffering across a variety of sectors as a result of loyalty penalties.
Using customer payments to ease cashflow just got easier
Why? Because new legislation prevents the prohibition of assignment of receivables under certain contracts.
Pre-commencement Condition Reforms 2018
Planning conditions play an important role in addressing or mitigating the impacts of development and well worded conditions which satisfy the necessary statutory tests can assist with the timely delivery of development schemes.
Enfranchisement in the spotlight
The Law Commission has published its expected consultation on reforming leasehold enfranchisement - the area of law that enables tenants of residential houses and flats to buy the freehold of their properties or to extend their leases.
Third party redevelopment meant lease renewal could be opposed
A recent case has confirmed that a landlord was entitled to oppose its tenant's lease renewal under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 where redevelopment of the site was to be undertaken by a third party.
Three eras - the sunset of £500K, the dawn of GDPR enforcement and the horizon of Brexit
In just a short space of time, the ever-evolving world of data protection and cyber has seen yet more change:
Franchise resales - should franchisors be involved?
In the first of our series of articles looking at the franchise industry, we are taking a look at the key principles of ethical franchising and how franchisees should be able to realise the value of their business on a transfer.
UK Government publishes plans for the competition law regime if there's no Brexit deal
On 13 September 2018, the UK government published guidance on the application of competition law and merger control if there is no Brexit deal.
Scots commercial leases: time for reform?
The Scottish Law Commission has issued a discussion paper inviting views on the reform of six aspects of the law relating to leases of commercial property in Scotland. Responses have to be submitted by 14 September 2018.
Admiralty Court hands down judgement on ship mortgage claim
Today, the Admiralty Court handed down judgment in in a claim under a marine mortgage over an offshore support vessel. The bank was represented by Elliot Bishop of Shoosmiths and James Watthey, Barrister at 4 Pump Court chambers
Perpetually renewable lease granted by mistake
The Upper Tribunal has agreed to correct a lease where one party had taken advantage of the other's mistake to create a perpetually renewable lease.
Focus on flexible working policies
In readiness for National Work Life Week from 1 - 5 October, now is the time to consider whether your flexible working policies are fit for purpose. In this article in our Breaking Down the Handbook series we highlight what such policies should cover.
Action stations everyone! The LGBT Action Plan is here - or is it?
While there have been many positive responses given by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in relation to experiences at work, a recent survey confirms there is more still to be done.
Government consults on effectiveness of EPCs
The government has issued a call for evidence to learn how energy performance certificates (EPCs) are performing and whether they can be made more effective.
Registering a MEES exemption
A guide to registering exemptions under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) was published recently.
The continued spotlight on flexible working
According to a survey, only 6% of employees are working the traditional 9-to-5, and only a small percentage of those entering new employment would opt for those working hours.
Relocation amounted to derogation
The High Court has held that a parking agreement permitting a landowner to relocate parking spaces did not allow him to allocate different spaces hundreds of metres away. To do so was in derogation from the grant, it said.
Publication of draft bill regulating overseas entities owning land in the UK
The government is asking for comments on a draft bill that will require overseas entities owning land in the UK, or intending to own land in the UK, to disclose details of their beneficial owners on a public register.
Capability procedures explained
This month, in our Breaking Down the Handbook series, we look at capability policies and why they are a useful tool for employers to have when it comes to dealing with poor performance.
Consultation document from the DWP on protecting defined benefits schemes invites comments
Following on from the government's recent White Paper in connection with defined benefit pension schemes, the Department for Work and Pensions has issued a consultation document.
Sponsorship Management System: top tips for sponsor licence holders - part two
In this second of two articles I'm going to share with you, as employers of sponsored migrant workers, five more pearls of wisdom that may have passed you by or that may just serve as a useful reminder to you.
Does Akhter v Khan mean that English Law now recognises Shariah Marriages?
At first glance, it might appear from the reported case of Akhter v Khan that we have now finally arrived at the stage where English civil law has recognised an Islamic marriage (Nikah) which has been performed in England and Wales.
Court refuses to confirm lease repair obligations by declaration
The Technology and Construction Court has declined to grant declarations confirming the extent of a tenant's lease repairing covenant.
First High Court ruling on town and village greens trigger event
The case of Cooper Estates Strategic Land Limited v Wiltshire Council  EWHC 1704 (Admin) has seen the High Court considering what constitutes a trigger event for the purposes of Section 15C and Schedule 1A of the Commons Act 2006.
Sentences for manslaughter offences set to increase
The Sentencing Council has released a definitive sentencing guideline for manslaughter offences which will come into force on 1 November 2018.
Right to light claim not defeated by summary judgment
In a recent case, a property owner was unsuccessful in its attempt to end a claim for infringement of a right to light by summary judgment.
Sports clubs: playing fair with national minimum wage
Every few months, the government releases a list of employers who have failed to pay their employees the national minimum wage (NMW).
Collective redundancy consultation: How it should be done?
Following on from our previous article covering the process employers should follow in an individual redundancy consultation, we now focus on the practical steps an employer should go through to ensure compliance with the collective consultation process.
Shhhh! Is your conversation more than you expected?
In a recent chat with a client, a typical scenario was mentioned: a phone conversation between lender and borrower about the current state of the loan facility.
Court of Appeal's strict interpretation of overage agreement
The Court of Appeal has upheld an obligation to pay overage where a proposed conversion project received planning consent but would breach building regulations if carried out.
NPPF - Climate Change
NPPF 2 has landed and with it are changes to the government's stance on climate change. What remains to be seen is how these changes will tie in with the government's 25 Year Plan for the Environment, especially in relation to environmental net gains.
Isn't Kit-Kat everyone's favourite four-finger chocolate bar?
Apparently not, according to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) today which made an important ruling with regards to Kit Kat's famous shape.
Freedom of expression: On a Cliff edge?
As has been much reported in the media, Sir Cliff Richard has recently won a landmark case with significant implications for individuals' rights to privacy on the one hand, and the right to freedom of expression on the other.
NPPF - Heritage Assets
Provisions in NPPF 2 published on the 24 July 2018, in relation to the conservation and enhancement of the historic environment are not a significant departure from the original NPPF issued in 2012.
NPPF - The Agent of Change Principle
This briefing note considers the inclusion, in the revised NPPF, of a specific reference to the agent of change principle, the principle by which a person or business introducing a new land use is responsible for managing the impact of that change.
NPPF - Green Belt
In a change from the wording set out in the draft version of the document, local authorities should alter green belt boundaries only where exceptional circumstances are 'fully evidenced and justified', the new NPPF says.
When things go bad: managing the serial complainer
In this article we share some top tips for effective performance management of the employee who challenges at each step, making that process as difficult as possible.
Proposals to simplify tenants' enfranchisement of leasehold houses
As the first step in a project to reform the law of leasehold enfranchisement, the Law Commission has published a summary of proposed solutions for leaseholders of houses.
NPPF - Joint Working and Statements of Common Ground
This briefing note considers the introduction into the NPPF of a requirement for local planning authorities to prepare a statement of common ground in order to meet three primary objectives.
NPPF - Starter Homes
On 24 July 2018, the Government published long awaited revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
NPPF - Viability
The revised NPPF includes new rules governing viability testing in both plan making and decision taking. Revisions to the online National Planning Practice Guidance concerning viability testing were also published.
Law Commission's proposals for updating the land registration system in England and Wales
Following a consultation exercise two years ago, the Law Commission has published a massive 600 page report that recommends changes to the land registration system in England and Wales and incorporates a draft Bill to achieve its proposals.
A knotty problem strikes again
The Court of Appeal has recently clarified the basis on which landowners with Japanese knotweed on their land may be liable to adjoining land owners for causing a legal nuisance.
NPPF2: Revised National Planning Policy Guidance Released
The long anticipated revised NPPF proposals were published on 24 July 2018.
Breaking Down the Handbook: Dignity at work policy
In this instalment of our Breaking Down the Handbook series we look at dignity at work policies, in particular why employers should have them, what they should contain, and how they should be applied in the workplace.
Sponsorship Management System: top tips for sponsor licence holders - part one
In this first of two articles I'd like to share with you, as employers of sponsored migrant workers, five pearls of wisdom that may have passed you by, or that may just serve as a useful reminder to you.
Notification: Facebook - you have a £500,000 fine from the Information Commissioner's Office
Facebook is set to be fined £500,000, the maximum amount possible, for two breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998).
Adoption of unregistered land as highway
Unregistered land in unknown ownership can cause a headache on development and the extent of the issue will often depend upon what the land is needed for.
Telecoms Code: lift and shift it
A recent case has decided that contractual 'lift and shift' provisions overrode statutory provisions contained in the former Telecommunications Code.
A notable event
A recent case involving the conversion of a hotel into flats has demonstrated the importance of protecting a contract at the Land Registry - but it does not guarantee 100% protection.
Proposals for a minimum term for residential tenancies
The government is seeking views on a proposal that new tenancies in the private residential sector should be for a minimum of three years.
Individual redundancy consultation: How it should be done?
With Rolls Royce's announcement of potential job cuts adding to the list of high profile employers placing employees at risk of redundancy, we look at the practical steps an employer should take to ensure a fair redundancy consultation process.
Fathers and the workplace: The difficulties continue...
The statistics show that very low numbers of eligible fathers take up the right to shared parental leave, or other statutory and flexible working rights, to enable care for their children.
PS love your trademark
A recent claim filed before the High Court emphasises why it is important to make use of a trade mark following registration.
A comeback for option agreements?
Planning promotion agreements (also known as land promotion agreements) have become increasingly popular among landowners and developers in recent years. Could options now be making a comeback?
Occupational Pension Schemes: amendments and overpayments
The High Court has recently ruled that there is no statutory limitation period in which to recover pension overpayment so long as recovery is by adjusting future overpayments.
EU workers: 'simple' process to stay in UK post-Brexit
With 3.8 million EU citizens in the UK, according to ONS figures, employers have rightly been concerned about maintaining a stable workforce in the lead up to and post-Brexit. Good news is however afoot.
Pimlico Plumbers: the self-employed v brand debate
The widely reported decision in Pimlico Plumbers emphasises the risks of retaining control over staff. However, such control can be key to protecting an organisations' brand and reputation in the market place. Where does this leave us?
What do employers need to know about whistleblowing policies?
In this instalment of our 'Breaking Down the Handbook' series, we look at whistleblowing policies, why they are needed, what they should contain and what traps employers need to avoid.
An easement or a lease - the court decides
The High Court has decided that a document purporting to grant a lease of a right of way in fact created an easement.
Use of injunction in modern trespass cases
In two recent cases of trespass, injunctions have been the preferred remedy rather than possession.
How the courts are interpreting long-term maintenance contracts
The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) may be past its peak, but various cases have come to court in the past few years involving long-term maintenance contracts, including PFIs.
Louboutin sees red, in a good way!
Yesterday the European Court of Justice (ECJ) gave its judgment on the question of whether the Louboutin trade mark for its red sole could be invalidated because it consisted exclusively of the shape of the sole and was not a colour mark.
Supreme Court upholds no oral modification clause
The Supreme Court has upheld the effectiveness of a
CMA steps closer to regional businesses with planned Manchester office
Andrea Coscelli, CEO of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has indicated that the UK competition law regulator may step closer to regional businesses with plans to open an office in Manchester.
From footfall to clicks - the experts talk retail risk
Over the last few years, news that some of the nation's most iconic retail stores have closed has become more frequent.
Excluding Liability for Loss of Profits
In Motortrak v. FCA Australia Pty Ltd  EWHC 990 (Comm), the High Court found an exclusion clause for loss of profits valid even though this left the non-defaulting party with no substantive remedy in the wake of the other party's repudiatory breach.
CMA launches competition review of the funerals sector
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a market study into funeral services.
Say what you mean - lease or licence?
The High Court has held that an agreement for occupation, despite being called a licence, actually created a tenancy and so the occupier had acquired rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
Breaking down the Handbook: Email, Internet and Social Media Policies
This instalment of Breaking Down the Handbook series looks at email, internet and social media policies, in particular considering why employers should have them, what they should contain and what the pitfalls are in drafting and applying such policies.
Landmark disability discrimination decision
The dismissal of an English teacher for showing 18-rated film Halloween to a class of 15 and 16-year-olds was fair, however it did amount to discrimination arising from his disability under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 (the EqA).
Tenant not obliged to reinstate as condition of break
A court has construed a break option in favour of the tenant holding that it was not a condition of the exercise of the break option that the tenant should reinstate the premises to their original layout.
Landowners' liability for occupiers' abandoned waste
An unsuccessful appeal by a landowner against a conviction for knowingly permitting an unauthorised waste operation on its land has highlighted the risks to landowners of incurring criminal liability if former occupiers abandon waste on their land.
When is it reasonable for a lender to withhold consent?
Secured lenders often restrict a borrower's ability to dispose of a property by requiring their prior consent, which is often qualified by
A lucky escape
Thanks to a lucky escape on a legal technicality, a landowner now owns his property free from a right of way created by former owners
Well this is the start of the regulated journey to compliance. Much has been achieved in the just over two years since the GDPR was published in the Official Journal of the European Union, but the data protection landscape is an evolving one.
Does an employer have to enhance shared parental pay?
The recent decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Capita Customer Management Limited v Ali provided welcome clarity on shared parental leave pay (
Letting standards slip - hotel owners cannot enforce brand standards
An appeal judge refused to grant a hotel owner an order for specific performance requiring the tenant to maintain active trade and keep and run premises in accordance with brand standards.
Refusal of consent was unreasonable
The Court of Appeal has decided that a landlord's refusal of consent to an application for planning permission was unreasonable, because the landlord was seeking to achieve a collateral purpose.
Insurance trap for tenants
A recent case highlights a trap for unwary tenants where a lease contains an inadequate landlord's reinstatement clause.
Should Inheritance Tax be abolished?
Independent British think tank the Resolution Foundation, has started a nationwide discussion after proposing that inheritance tax be scrapped and replaced with a lifetime receipts tax.
Assumptions for base land values
A recent high court decision concerning the assumptions for base land value in viability assessments has caught a lot of attention.
AirBnB is a breach of residential use in a lease
On 1 May 2018, an appeal judge continued an injunction restraining a leaseholder from letting his flat as AirBnB accommodation, and approved the lower court's finding that it was a breach of his lease.
A lesson in leasing
A recent case decides that an 'entire agreement' clause in the lease of a café did not prevent the implication of a missing term.
Conditions on underletting: cumulative or alternative?
The Court of Appeal has applied a literal approach to the interpretation of underletting conditions. This overturns an earlier decision that applied commercial common sense to reach a tenant-friendly outcome.
Landlord wins as CVA term not a penalty
Following the liquidation of BHS Ltd, the High Court was asked to consider whether a landlord could claim full rent as an administration expense following termination of the CVA.
Pensions Legal Update - New Regulations which came into force on 6 April 2018
A number of regulatory changes relating to pension schemes came into force on 6 April 2018.
A register of overseas companies owning UK properties
The government has issued a response to its consultation on proposals to introduce a register of beneficial owners of overseas companies that own UK property or that participate in public procurement.
CMA secures real estate agent director disqualifications
On Tuesday 10 April, the UK competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it secured the disqualification of two directors of the Abbott and Frost Estate Agents Ltd in Burnham-on-Sea for breaching competition law.
Litigants in person must follow the rules
The Supreme Court confirms no leniency for a litigant in person who failed to follow the rules on service of a claim form.
Consent: Double-edged sword and the progression towards other legal bases for processing
The GDPR sets out six lawful 'bases' for processing, consent being one of them. However, consent has historically been the favoured basis as genuine consent puts individuals in control, building customer trust as well as enhancing your reputation.
Collective consultation - when is the duty triggered?
The case of Keeping Kids Company v Smith & others recently confirmed when the duty to collectively consult is triggered. Moving forwards this will be an important judgment for employers to remember when proposing to make redundancies.
Gender Pay gap - so you missed the deadline what now?
The deadline for reporting gender pay gap figures was midnight 4 April. What will happen if you missed it?
UK Industrial Strategy - Creative Industries Sector Deal
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published the Creative Industries Sector Deal aimed at making the UK the best place in the world for businesses in the creative industries.
No break for unregistered assignee
The assignee of a lease was not entitled to serve a valid break notice before it became the registered proprietor.
Breaking Down The Handbook: Absence Management Policies
Our third instalment in the 'Breaking Down the Handbook' series looks at absence management policies, in particular considering why employers should have them, what they should contain and whether they should have contractual status.
MEES - 1 April 2018 is just the start?
MEES comes into force on 1 April 2018. The current minimum energy rating is E, but landlords must be prepared for this standard to be tightened sooner rather than later.
What next for wills?
A recent public consultation by the Law Commission on reforms to will making considered testamentary capacity, whether wills could be made electronically and powers for a court to recognise informal documents, perhaps even a text message, as a valid will.
LIBOR, no more?
The expected phase out of LIBOR is creating uncertainty in the markets and in this article we examine what might replace it and the impact on current documentation.
When is a protected conversation not protected?
Protected conversations are intended to remain confidential and away from scrutiny of the tribunals but when considering the case of Basra v BJSS Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal determined that in certain circumstances, the exclusion will not apply.
Iceland stays cool after ratings win
The Supreme Court has ruled that plant and machinery used to assist cooling should not be valued for ratings purposes.
Early service of gas safety certificates essential for new tenants
Private landlords have many legally imposed and unavoidable responsibilities towards tenants. However, recent court cases highlight the importance of serving certain prescribed information at the start of a tenancy - including gas safety certificates.
Imminent changes to waste rules - it's not all rubbish
Waste crime has been identified by the government as one of the most critical problems in the environmental sector.
Refusal of consent was not unreasonable
The Court of Appeal has held that refusal of consent for both good and bad reasons will not automatically render that refusal unreasonable.
LBTT - Happy Third Anniversary?
Land and Buildings Transaction Tax was introduced in 2015 to replace Stamp Duty Land Tax in Scotland.
Lease extension - calculating the premium
The Court of Appeal has held that when calculating the premium to be paid for an extended lease regard can be given to real world transactions to determine value.
Working Time Regulations and rest breaks
The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) has considered whether compensatory rest has to be taken in one uninterrupted period, or whether a series of short breaks can be accumulated to amount to the mandatory time.
Directors to get better protection from fraud
The UK government has announced changes to legislation to reduce the risk of fraud, violence or intimidation faced by company directors as a result of having their residential addresses on the public record.
A developer has been required to pay substantial damages where it did not use 'reasonable endeavours' to fulfil conditions that would have triggered an obligation to pay overage.
Transfers of Money Purchase Pension Rights: Regulatory Amendments
Regulations amending the Occupational Pension Schemes (Preservation of Benefit) Regulations 1991 have recently been introduced. The regulations will come into force on April 6 2018.
Dyson court 'clean up' - secret injunction as Tesla learns electric car plans
In a curious turn of events, a Court of Appeal court judgment (Dyson Technology Ltd v Pellerey  EWCA Civ 87 (12 February 2016)) was released which reveals Dyson secured an injunction to stop an employee from joining rival Tesla back in 2015.
Estate agents under CMA scrutiny for collusion
The UK competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened a new investigation into the residential estate agents' market. It has not yet named the companies involved.
The prevention principle and time at large
Contractors often argue that, because of an employer's interference or act of prevention, the position under a contract is that time has become at large.
NPPF 2018 - Housing summary
The NPPF has been with us, without amendment for around 6 years which for national planning policy is close to a record. We have had Written Ministerial Statement and the NPPG to supplement it but the document itself has not changed during that period.
NPPF 2018 - 'Agent of Change'
Having first announced proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in December 2015, the government's long awaited draft revisions to the NPPF emerged yesterday.
NPPF 2018 - Common Ground
Having first announced proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in December 2015, the government's long awaited draft revisions to the NPPF emerged yesterday.
NPPF 2018 - Introduction
The long anticipated draft revised National Planning Policy Framework , NPPF, proposals were published on 5 March 2018.
NPPF 2018 - Starter homes
On 5 March 2018, the Government began a consultation on the highly anticipated revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
NPPF 2018 - Upwards extensions
The proposed amendments to the NPPF provide backing for upward extensions.
NPPF 2018 - High Level
For housing the changes are generally as expected with the new Housing Delivery Test strengthening the need to show not only sufficient deliverable sites to meet identified housing need but also demonstrate that those homes are actually being delivered.
NPPF 2018 - housing delivery tests
On 5 March 2018, the Government began a consultation on the highly anticipated revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework.
Data retention - what impact does the GDPR have for employers?
The GDPR will undoubtedly involve a shake-up of the way businesses approach and, crucially, evidence their data protection compliance, not least in terms of how they retain personal data. We consider the implications of GDPR on data retention below.
Help for residential tenants is on the way
The pace of change for residential landlords and tenants shows no sign of abating. Several recent press announcements herald new changes to the law in England, which will benefit tenants.
Security for costs: A claimant's weapon
The Commercial Court has recently confirmed that a claimant can, in the right circumstances, be granted security for costs against a defendant - even where the defendant is not bringing a counter-claim.
(Nearly) the end of smash and grab adjudications
Where an employer has failed to serve a payment or pay less notice, it is still entitled to have an interim payment valued subsequently, in adjudication.
Disciplinary and grievance procedures
Our second article in the 'Breaking Down the Handbook' series looks at disciplinary and grievance procedures, in particular considering why these are necessary, what they should contain and whether they should have contractual status.
Covert CCTV at work. Is this ever possible?
The European Court of Human Rights recently held that covert CCTV infringed a worker's right to a private life. A previous decision of the same court permitted use of covert CCTV. So where do employers stand?
ICO publishes draft data protection fees guidance
A new registration scheme for data controllers will come in from 25 May 2018, the same day the GDPR is introduced across the EU, the ICO has announced.
Asbestos risks in commercial property
It has been illegal to use asbestos in the construction or refurbishment of buildings since 1999 but historically it was widely used in building materials due to its heat, fire and sound protection qualities.
PPF contingent assets - Changed requirements
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) published new forms of contingent asset agreements in January along with new contingent asset guidance. It follows its publication of a final determination and levy policy statement in December for the levy year 2018/19.
GDPR - 100 days and counting: Are you ready?
With just 100 days to go until the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, many employers are still grappling with the requirements of the new regime. What steps should employers be taking to ensure they are ready for 25 May 2018?
Making sure your handbook is fit for purpose
Following on from our series last year looking at key employment contract terms, we are now turning our attention to employee handbooks and the dos and don'ts employers need to consider when putting together policies and procedures within those handbooks.
LGBT History Month: Lest we forget
February marks LGBT History Month in the United Kingdom. Let's not forget, then, that it was only in the early 2000s that employment laws regarding sexual orientation and gender identity began to evolve to where they are today.
Refund scheme launched for fees paid to the Office of the Public Guardian
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has launched a refund scheme for fees paid to it to register lasting powers of attorney and enduring powers of attorney between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017.
Does a pay rise increase the rate of maternity pay?
In 2005, the European Court of Justice issued a landmark decision in the case of Alabaster which changed the way in which employers are required to calculate maternity pay. Over time though it seems that these rules may have been forgotten.
Change proposed to how MEES will apply to residential property
The government is proposing that residential landlords should contribute towards the cost of improving the energy efficiency of their properties.
Overseas companies owning UK property will have to provide details of their owners
The government has announced that overseas companies that own or buy property in the UK will be required to provide details of their ultimate owners on a public register.
Dismissing employees due to right to work issues
In the final article of the series, we consider the options available to employers when they are unable to satisfy themselves that an employee retains the right to work in the UK and how to effect a fair dismissal in these circumstances.
Disability discrimination - be aware of the hidden disability
With the press reporting incidents of passengers being refused assistance for
Kason Kek-Gardner - Court of Appeal delivers guidance on interpretation of related contracts
In the case of Kason Kek-Gardner Ltd v PCL  EWCA Civ 2132, the Court of Appeal has highlighted the importance of interpreting a contract based on the language of the agreement, and not clouding its meaning with background knowledge of the parties.
Periodic tenancy: one tenancy or many?
A periodic tenancy is a single tenancy and not a series of tenancies.
New Electronic Communications Code - Scotland
With the new Electronic Communications Code coming into effect across the UK on 28 December 2017, we highlight a few points worthy of mention in respect of its operation in Scotland.
The Planning (Scotland) Bill Update
The Planning (Scotland) Bill (the 'Bill'), published at the end of 2017, outlined a number of changes to the current legislation in Scotland.
A green future?
The government has launched its long-awaited 25 Year Environment Plan - 'A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment' (Plan). Angus Evers, Shoosmiths environmental and planning partner, gives his verdict on the comprehensive report.
Mid-market corporate finance - a look ahead at 2018
2017 has been a year dominated by geopolitical uncertainty: lengthy and inconclusive coalition talks in Germany; Catalan secession; and in the UK, the trigger of Article 50 and a hung parliament in June.
New Year's resolutions for litigators: will the new Disclosure Pilot succeed in reducing legal costs in 2018?
The Disclosure Working Group has announced a new pilot proposal for disclosure in civil proceedings in England and Wales which is open for consultation until February 2018.
A ban on unfair lettings fees: draft Tenant Fees Bill 2017
The government has introduced a draft Tenant Fees Bill, with the aim of making residential letting more fair and affordable for tenants by reducing costs at the outset of a tenancy.
Major changes proposed to how new houses and flats are sold in England
In the week before Christmas, the Government announced a range of proposals that promise to transform the manner in which new houses and flats are sold.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Business immigration series: Guidance on Record Keeping
In this article we focus on your record keeping duties as a Tier 2 licenced sponsor.
A challenge for restrictive covenants
A recent case demonstrates that a restrictive covenant is not necessarily a barrier to development of land.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
#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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
Supreme Court decision: breaking Brexit?
After much anticipation, the Supreme Court has given its landmark Brexit judgment.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Pricing Practices Guidelines: regulator sword or business shield?
This article looks at the non-statutory guidelines on pricing practices published by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and discusses whether they act as a sword for the regulator or a shield for businesses.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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').
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Can a tenant claim in respect of damage caused to his property if, for unconnected reasons, he is not living in the property when the disrepair occurs?
According to the recent case of Mansing Moorjani v Durban Estates Limited (2015), the answer is yes.
Guidance on 'legal highs' in the workplace
Dealing with alcohol and drugs is tricky enough without the evolving issue of 'legal highs'. Their dangers were reported recently given the increase in prison inmates requiring treatment and there continues to be a general trend in their use.
Collective redundancies and consultation: when are the thresholds met?
The European Collective Redundancies Directive (Directive) requires Employers to consult with trade union representatives where redundancies are planned at one establishment.
Rights to use sporting facilities held to benefit landowners
In Regency Villa Title Ltd v Diamond Resorts (Europe) Ltd, the High Court has decided that rights to use sporting facilities can take effect as easements and so benefit anyone who becomes the owner of the land in the future.
An employee is for life, not just for Christmas!
The Christmas period is a wonderful time for all. A time for family, friends, mulled wine. but did you know it's also one of the most popular times for employees to 'mull' over their career prospects?
Not just any break case: Supreme Court unanimously holds that a term will not be implied to refund excess rent following a break
The Supreme Court has today released its long-awaited judgment in the case of Marks & Spencer PLC v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Limited.
Receivables finance and ban on assignment - the New Legislation
The Government has introduced legislation to remove assignment restrictions within contracts which have the effect of preventing access to receivables finance.
Tax update: EIS and VCT
The Finance (No.2) Act 2015 has now received Royal Assent. Within the Act are arguably the biggest raft of changes to the enterprise investment scheme ('EIS') and venture capital trust ('VCT') legislation since the schemes were introduced.
CMA launches competition investigation into sports equipment sector
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it has launched a competition law investigation into the sports equipment sector.
Illegal working checks - are you protected?
The Home Office is focussing on the prevention of illegal working. Are your practices for checking right to work documents up to date and being adhered to?
Biting on the LIP: a clear message bad behaviour will not be tolerated
Is the tide turning away from leniency being given to litigants in person (LIPs)?
Proposed changes to make fundraising easier
Companies often find that certain types of fundraising (for example running a raffle or sweepstake) for charity can be difficult and onerous due to gambling regulations.
Defamation - new claims statistics
Reported defamation cases in the UK fell by 27% last year, to the lowest level since 2008/2009 according to latest research.
Black Friday through to Cyber Monday: how to ensure you don't sell out
The tradition founded by our Transatlantic cousins of 'shop 'till you drop' on the weekend following Thanksgiving is becoming more popular in the UK but is your retail business ready?
Private enforcement of Competition Law invigorated
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (the CRA 2015), which came into force on 1 October 2015, seeks to open up private enforcement of competition law in England to a wider class of claimants.
The National Living Wage - How will the changes impact on your healthcare business?
The introduction of a National Living Wage and its implications on the National Minimum Wage has been one of the biggest headlines of the Summer Budget 2015 - and one that is causing tremors throughout the healthcare sector.
Statutory guidance published: Modern Slavery - Transparency in Supply Chains provision
The transparency in supply chains provisions came into force on 29 October 2015. The long awaited statutory guidance has been published. This briefing sets out the key points for business.
Modern Slavery Act 2015: Transparency in Supply Chain provisions in force this week
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (Commencement No. 3 and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2015 have been made. They confirm that Section 54 relating to transparency in the supply chain will be in force on 29 October 2015.
Tricks but no treats for employers this Halloween!
In light of recent case law and new legislation coming into force, we look at 5 employment updates likely to give employers a fright this Halloween season.
Who owns graffiti?
When a valuable picture was painted without permission on the outside of a building, the court decided that the landlord's claim to own it was stronger than the tenant's.
Will the focus on equal rights from Hollywood help reduce our own gender pay gap?
With the release of the film 'Suffragettes' equality has been brought into the limelight once more.
Retail banking worse than energy for consumer switching
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that competition between banks in the retail banking sector is not as meaningful as it should be with low levels of customer switching being the key feature fostering the lack of competition.
Deliberating the deliberate breach: new cases on relief from forfeiture
Two new cases confirm that the court has a wide discretion to order relief from forfeiture, even when the breach(es) of lease concerned are deliberate.
European Commission rules Fiat and Starbucks tax arrangements illegal
Following an investigation, the European Commission has ruled that the so-called 'tax rulings' issued to Starbucks in the Netherlands and to Fiat in Luxembourg broke EU State aid rules.
Right to enter and survey land
Any acquiring authority which is considering using its compulsory purchase powers may need to enter the land to survey it before it decides to make a compulsory purchase order.
Changes to local planning
Proposed Sections 96 to 100 of the Housing and Planning Bill slightly modify the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (PCPA) and the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Changes to Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects
The Housing and Planning Bill makes a couple of significant changes to Section 115 of the Planning Act 2008.
General Vesting Declarations
The Housing and Planning Bill changes the process by which acquiring authorities can exercise their CPO powers, either through a Notice to Treat or execution of a General Vesting Declaration (GVD).
Not so Safe Harbor... so, what next for employers?
Following recent headlines on the invalidity of Safe Harbor framework to transfer personal data outside of Europe, we consider the impact upon UK employers who transfer employee data to their US parent companies and suggest next steps.
Zero Hours Contracts: No Code of Practice, but guidance at least
Continued consultation in the area of zero-hours contracts (ZHCs) has led to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) producing a guidance document for employers.
Modern Slavery Compliance and the Immigration Bill 2015
The Government plans to introduce new measures under the Immigration Bill 2015. We examine the proposed changes and how they will impact business particularly in the light of the Modern Slavery Act.
Independent anti-slavery commissioner publishes strategic plan including engagement on supply chain transparency
The UK has its first Independent anti-slavery commissioner, Kevin Hyland OBE.
Act now to gain further time for ESOS compliance
With the new energy saving regulations fast approaching, businesses are at risk of financial penalties for non-compliance if they fail to take action now.
Still unclear how controversial 'Peeple' rating app will guard against increase in defamation on-line
Imagine a world where at the push of a smart phone button other people could rate you. Yes, rate YOU - between one and five stars. You... personally. On the internet.
Signing your life away? Legal pros and cons of electronic signatures
As it becomes increasingly common for contractual documentation to be concluded electronically, we examine the pros and cons of e-signatures against traditional wet ink signatures.
The role of HR, as we know it...
Case law has again confirmed that an employer's HR department is essential to supporting management when dealing with employee relations issues; however there is a clear difference between supporting a process and influencing a decision.
Directors: Changes from 10 October
The next phase in the implementation of a number of company law provisions of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 will include changes affecting the procedure for appointing directors and disclosing directors' personal information.
What does the Immigration Bill mean for employers?
As a result of the current refugee crisis the political spotlight has once again been thrust on the UK's immigration policy.
Business to pick up the bill for training up the workforce
As the government seeks to resolve the UK's skills gap and reduce net migration into the UK, we examine two new charges which are proposed to be levied on businesses.
£1.5 million 'Pub Loan Fund' launched - Love your local enough to buy it?
A new £1.5 million fund to help local people take control of pubs at risk of closure was launched on the 11th September 2015 by Community Pubs Minister, Marcus Jones.
The use of zero-hours contracts continues to rise
Zero-hours contracts continue to be used frequently by employers, according to official records indicating a 19% increase since 2014.
The rise and fall of business sense in contractual interpretation
In the recent case of Wood v Sureterm Direct Ltd & Capita Insurance Services Ltd , the Court of Appeal has given further guidance on the use of
Tribunal reforms: A north-south divide?
There is already a significant difference in Employment Tribunal (ET) procedure north and south of the border and there is more to come!
Renewing a sublease without superior landlord's consent - a dangerous game
When a contracted-out sublease expires, it is usually necessary to obtain a fresh superior landlord's consent to a new sublease. But what if expiry is imminent and the superior landlord has not responded?
What is 'reasonable' when a lender seeks to take possession of a property?
A lender in Scotland requires to take 'reasonable' steps to agree proposals with their customers before embarking on court proceedings for possession of a residential property.
PRS v SoundCloud: are the tides turning on the safe harbour provisions?
PRS For Music (PRS), the collecting society for songwriters and music publishers has announced that it has issued proceedings against SoundCloud for infringement of its members' copyrights after SoundCloud continually refused to obtain a PRS licence.
Revised implementation dates for company law changes
Companies House has published a revised timetable for implementation of the company law provisions of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.
Disrepair: Buyer Beware
A tenant who signs up to a lease of commercial property that is suffering from inherent defects or is in a state of disrepair can find they have taken on more than they bargained for.
Record retail fine - sign of things to come?
Revised guidelines for the sentencing of corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences will be published shortly, but does the recent case against Hugo Boss UK give retailers a sign of what to expect?
Discharge of registered charge rectified because of mistake
In a recent case the High Court decided that a lender was entitled to rely on the equitable doctrine of mistake to set aside the discharge of a mortgage and undo the cancellation of a registered charge over borrowers' property.
Re-location after separation must be in best interests of any children
In an increasingly mobile and globalised world, we are often instructed by separated parents who wish to re-locate with a child or children of their previous relationship.
Legal due diligence: top tips for a seller
Due diligence can be a daunting and burdensome process for a seller, particularly where tight timeframes are involved.
Alternative dispute resolution - change afoot
The obligations imposed by new ADR Regulations will come into force on 1 October 2015, followed by the Online Dispute Resolution ('ODR') on 9 January 2016.
Adulterous dating site hacked: - the 'fallout' to come?
'Life is short - have an Affair'. This is the strap line used by Ashley Madison, the self-described 'discreet' dating website for married individuals seeking an affair and which gives tips on how to cover your tracks.
Has the law concerning rescission for misrepresentation been made clearer?
When a contract has been entered into as a result of a misrepresentation, the predominant question nearly always asked is whether the contract can be rescinded or is the party limited to claiming damages?
Delays will not always make a dismissal unfair
Employers are well advised to act on allegations of gross misconduct as soon as they become aware of them to ensure the fairness of any subsequent dismissal.
Night workers: it's been a hard day's...
So we know the famous [Beatles] song, but with 3.5 million people in the UK doing shift work, including working through the night, are there any risks to employees and should the law afford night workers more protection?
Reserve funds - best practice for commercial landlords
Many leases provide for a landlord to create a reserve fund of service charge contributions to cover recurring costs such as maintenance, cleaning and redecoration.
Modern slavery and supply chains: steps to take now
The government's stated approach to transparency in the supply chain provisions is to strike a balance between improving transparency in the supply chain whilst ensuring that businesses take appropriate and proportionate action to tackle modern slavery.
New Company Law, be prepared - introduction to PSC Registers
Under current proposals, January 2016 will see a change in company law with the aim of increasing accountability through transparency of corporate ownership, structure and control.
Order in (and out of) the house: what to do if an employee's behaviour damages your company's reputation
Here, here! Lord Sewel resigned following allegations involving drugs and prostitutes. But what if an employee in similar circumstances doesn't resign - can you dismiss?
Holiday and family leave: are employees entitled to take holiday even after a period of family leave?
Employees who take 'Family Leave' may not always given the opportunity to take accrued holiday when they return. But is this legal?
Short term options: tenancies at will v licences
Landlords who wish to allow short term, flexible occupation of a property often use tenancies at will or licences to occupy. It is important to recognise the pitfalls as well as the benefits of these arrangements before deciding which to use.
The court considers 'serious harm' in the context of a defamation dispute
In Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd, Evening Standard Ltd, AOL (UK) Ltd, the high court considered the construction of 'serious harm' under section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013 (the Act).
Affordable housing exemptions criticised by high court
A recent high court case, involving West Berkshire District and Reading Borough Councils, provides a fascinating insight into the workings of the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG), and the formation of National Planning Policy.
The truth about paternity leave
Following Prince William's six weeks' of paternity leave, and Richard Branson's offering of 12 months' fully paid paternity leave, there may be confusion about what employers are legally required to offer in respect of paternity leave and pay.
Good timing for new ACAS guidance on pregnancy and maternity discrimination perhaps!
Despite anti-discrimination legislation being in place, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has stated that 54,000 pregnant women and new mothers are losing their jobs each year.
Modern Slavery Act supply chain compliance: turnover threshold for businesses lowered
The UK government's commitment to anti-slavery and supply chain transparency was confirmed in a speech given by prime minister David Cameron in Singapore.
Implications of Ilott v Mitson for testators and beneficiaries
The media has described the recent Ilott v Mitson  EWCA Civ 797 Court of Appeal decision as a 'landmark ruling'. In fact, the law relating to this matter, the Inheritance (Provision for Dependents) Act 1975, has been around for many years.
A comPACT alternative to court proceedings for lease renewals
With the squeeze on court resources resulting in increasing delays, more landlords and tenants are looking to PACT as an alternative to lease renewal proceedings for settling the terms of their protected leases.
Do the math: service charge interpretation
The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of contractual certainty in a long-standing service charge dispute, notwithstanding the disastrous effect this would have for tenants.
National living wage: the pay minefield continues
George Osborne has announced a new compulsory National Living Wage of £9 per hour will be introduced to the private and public sector by 2020. Where does that now leave employers regarding pay?
Unfair dismissal claims - when is an employer liable?
As organisations have become more global and workforces more mobile, this has resulted in 'overseas' employees claiming UK employment rights. In this article we focus on some examples and what employers can do to minimise their risks of such claims.
CMA publishes response to 'super complaint' - is it a bang or a whimper?
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has completed its initial investigation into consumer confusion over promotions offered by supermarkets.
Same-sex and the workplace
Same-sex marriage has now been declared legal across the US. In turn, does that translate into employers and employees being more accepting of one another regardless of sexual orientation?
European Copyright Law - four megatrends
With concrete proposals for amendments to European copyright law not due until this autumn, now is a good time to take stock.
Asset purchases - the Chancellor shows a lack of goodwill
The Summer Budget on 8 July 2015 announced the removal of corporation tax relief for the costs of any goodwill and intangible assets on an asset purchase.
CMA consults on energy market reforms
Following a year long investigation, the Competition and Markets Authority ('CMA') has published its provisional report into UK energy markets.
Energy audit requirement for large organisations: Action required
Our recent experience is that many companies are either still not aware of their obligations or are not putting steps in place to satisfy the new rules.
Modern slavery and supply chain reporting obligations
The new Modern Slavery Act (2015) will apply to all commercial organisations who carry on business or part of a business in the UK.
Retailers - Top 10 Issues to Consider About Sunday Trading
Chancellor George Osborne has revealed that he plans to give directly elected mayors and councils devolved powers to allow them to make the choice as to whether to bring in longer Sunday trading hours in their respective regions.
Rentcharges in a nutshell
They are a relic from the past but investors and developers may come across rentcharges affecting their properties. What should you think about if a rentcharge has appeared on your title report?
Restating facility agreements - will you still rank first?
In this legal update we explore the implications for first ranking lenders of restating original facility agreements.
European Commission settles with parking heater producer in cartel investigation
The European Commission ('the Commission') has announced that it had used its fast track settlement procedures to investigate and impose fines in respect of a parking heater cartel.
Pension schemes: changes to disclosure requirements
6 April 2015 brought in a range of new options for members with defined contribution pension savings.
When is a resignation not a resignation?
High-profile resignations have hit the headlines lately, such as Sepp Blatter's resignation as FIFA President despite his re-election and Nigel Farage's 'un-resignation' as the leader of UKIP.
SuDS - where are we now?
In this first article on sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), we look at recent changes in England to how they will be provided and maintained and the implications for developers.
SuDS - who will maintain them?
This is the second article on sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) and looks at options for maintenance. In our first article we looked at recent changes to the provision and maintenance of SuDS and the implications for developers.
Managing a clash of personalities... Is dismissal an option?
When personalities collide at work they can create considerable difficulty, including disruption to productivity and significant stress and anxiety for all employees.
Private copying exemption challenged by musicians' groups
The private copying exemption permitting copying of copyright protected content, including music, which was introduced into English law on 1 October 2014, has come under attack in judicial review proceedings brought before the High Court.
The limits of using common sense to interpret commercial contracts
Scotland's senior civil appeal court has reiterated that commercial common sense is only relevant to interpreting the terms of a contract if those terms are ambiguous.
Technology in franchising: new challenges for franchisors - part two
As detailed in our previous article 'Technology in franchising: new challenges for franchisors - part one', technology can be utilised in a vast number of ways to and by franchisors. That being said, it also creates questions for a franchisor to consider.
Technology in franchising: new challenges for franchisors - part two
As detailed in our previous article 'Technology in franchising: new challenges for franchisors - part one', technology can be utilised in a vast number of ways to and by franchisors. That being said, it also creates questions for a franchisor to consider.
Vulnerability, guidance, guidance and more guidance!
You could be excused from thinking that guidance on vulnerability is a bit like the buses. Nothing comes for a while and then three come together!
Retailers' responsibilities on carrier bags: changes from 5 October 2015
In a move designed to reduce waste, carrier bag charges come into force in England on 5 October 2015.
Technology in franchising: new challenges for franchisors - part one
Technology now touches most, if not all, business areas, and franchising is no different. More than ever prospective and current franchisors need to be mindful of how technology can enhance, but also presents challenges for, their franchise offering.
Competition authority warns estate agents and newspaper publishers over competition law
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued two open letters, one to the property industry and one to newspaper publishers, reminding them that they must comply with competition law.
Double whammy to strike rules
The last two weeks have delivered bad news for trade unions and their supporters.
Could the UK follow America in prosecuting FIFA officials?
There has been widespread speculation for a number of years about bribery and corruption being endemic within FIFA. America has lead the charge in prosecuting FIFA officials but could the UK follow suit?
Commercial Court sets out impact of successful mitigation on damages for breach of contract
In Thai Airways International Public Company Ltd v KI Holdings Co Ltd  EWHC 1250 (Comm) the Commercial Court has provided guidance on how a claimant's mitigation efforts affect the damages it can recover for breach of contract.
New audit powers for the ICO
As of 1 February, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) can force public healthcare organisations to undergo compulsory audits of their Data Protection Act 1998 compliance, a power that previously only applied to central government departments.
Commercial property - landlord's consent to transfer of lease
It is common practice for leases of commercial properties to contain a prohibition on the tenant being able to assign or otherwise transfer their interest in the lease to another party without the prior written consent of the landlord.
Employment interdicts - a cautionary tale
If in the course of an action the pursuer applies for and obtains an interim interdict preventing the defender from carrying out a particular activity, it is said that the pursuer obtains that order at their own risk.
The Queen's speech confirms the government's 'blue-sky thinking' - what is on the horizon for employment law?
The recent Queen's speech has outlined the new Conservative government's legislative plans confirming an in/out referendum on the UK's membership in the European Union to take place by 2017 at the latest.
Discrimination: from cakes to Cannes - what do you think?
On 19 May 2015 a court in Northern Ireland gave judgment in favour of a gay man who complained that he had been subjected to direct discrimination by a bakery.
EPIC: the changing e-compliance landscape
The growth in e-commerce and online services such as websites and apps has been accompanied by a significant increase in regulatory requirements faced by businesses operating them, particularly those offering goods and service to consumers.
The greatest challenge faced by in-house legal teams
A recent study commissioned by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) on the in-house legal community has revealed the greatest challenge currently faced by in-house legal teams. This article considers this challenge and how it might be addressed.
Don't let rights get in the way: part one
Rights of way can adversely affect, or even sterilise, potential development land. Developer purchasers should be aware of what to look for and what options are available for dealing with rights that are discovered.
The Supreme Court on asbestos cases
The Supreme Court has reversed the ruling of the Court of Appeal in respect of insurers' liability in mesothelioma claims in the case of Zurich Insurance PLC UK Branch (Appellant) -v- International Energy Group Limited (Respondent)  UKSC 33.
Human trafficking and slavery - how will the Modern Slavery Act 2015 affect your business?
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 consolidates offences relating to human trafficking and slavery in England.
Age discrimination: focus on decision-maker only
The Court of Appeal has given guidance on how employment tribunals should approach the question of causation in discrimination cases.
Mark v Marc: Adidas accuses Marc Jacobs of trade mark infringement
Adidas AG recently filed a claim against Marc Jacobs International LLC in the US Federal Court for allegedly infringing its iconic Three-Stripe Trade Mark.
Holiday pay: uncertainty continues
It has recently been confirmed that the Employment Tribunal's decision in Lock v British Gas is to be appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). We look at the implications of this for employers.
Shared Parental Leave: implications for pension schemes
From 5 April 2015, employees may be entitled to a new type of family leave and pay: Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Shared Parental Pay (ShPP).
Employee stress: when is an employer liable for psychiatric injury?
Stress in the workplace is arguably the new 'bad back': a common ailment with which employers regularly have to deal. But employers can face serious legal liability if they fail to manage it appropriately.
EU competition authority's review of online commerce gets underway
The European Commission formally launched its promised inquiry into the e-commerce sector yesterday.
How each political party's policies may affect retailers
With just hours to go before the election, the Conservatives and Labour remain neck and neck.
Easier immigration controls for some business travellers to the UK
The Registered Traveller service has been expanded to allow for faster entry through the UK border for Australian, Canadian, Japanese, New Zealand and American nationals.
Summaries of each political party's employment policies
Employers face an uncertain few months as the general election on 7 May 2015 will inevitably result in a change to the political landscape.
Health and Safety - a practical round up
Further to our legal update on Managing Occupational Road Risk, the DVLA has announced that the paper driver licence counterpart will be withdrawn from use on 8 June 2015.
Scrabble v Scramble: a jumbled decision?
The appeal against the High Court's ruling of JW Spear & Sons Ltd, Mattel Inc and Mattel UK Limited v Zynga Inc was decided recently - what does the decision mean for brand owners?
Taking a while to recover: a case study
Landlord remedies for pursuing tenants for debts have been subject to major change over the last few years; what are the options now for debt recovery?
Asking job applicants about criminal convictions during the recruitment process
Employers can question a job applicant about any criminal record but this questioning is subject to a fairly complex regime intended to protect certain individuals and enable them to be rehabilitated.
World Intellectual Property day 2015: A change in the tide for music?
On 26 April, World Intellectual Property Day will celebrate music with the aim of promoting discussion of the role of IP in encouraging innovation and creativity.
Google v Vidal-Hall: how the cookie crumbled in the Court of Appeal...
Last month saw the Court of Appeal upholding the judgment of the High Court that 3 claimants resident in England could bring claims in England against US-based Google Inc for misuse of private information and breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).
Terminating Assured Shorthold Tenancies - part three
This is the last of 3 articles discussing changes in the law applying to the termination of Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs).
Important changes to the section 106 regime
One of the most potent elements of the CIL regulations has taken effect. This change has the potential to affect how developments moderate their impact through the use of section 106 obligations.
SARAH to the rescue - The Social Action, Responsibility & Heroism Act 2015
On Monday 13 April 2015, the SARAH, or Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act 2015 ('the Act'), came into force in England and Wales.
Split reversions: potential pitfalls
It is easy to create a split reversion but the consequences and complications that follow need to be considered carefully.
Managing occupational road risk
The HSE estimates that a quarter of all road traffic incidents may involve someone who is driving as part of their work.
Negative declarations for insurers and the meaning of 'Product' in construction policies
The Court of Appeal has expressed reservations about dealing with applications for declarations of non-liability by insurers in circumstances where the factual interpretation of the claim is contentious.
Technical guidance on changes to adoption leave and pay
On 5 April the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills issued new technical guidance for employers on changes to statutory adoption leave and pay.
EU judgments: easy enforceability in England?
One of the central functions of a contract is to be able to enforce its obligations. Within the EU, under the new Recast Brussels Regulation (the Regulation), it is now easier, quicker and cheaper to enforce EU judgments within England and Wales.
Substance misuse in the workplace
Use of illegal substances and alcohol dependency is prevalent within society and can be an issue which employers need to deal with in the workplace. We consider the possible problems and how to avoid the pitfalls.
Commercial property - dilapidations at termination of a lease
The extent to which the tenant of a commercial property requires to maintain and repair the premises will invariably be regulated by the terms of the written lease.
Privacy watchdog: baring its teeth to protect consumers
In our increasingly complex world information security and data misuse is under ever greater scrutiny.
The price of justice: mitigating the impact of the new court fees
On 9 March 2015 significant increases in the cost of issuing proceedings for money claims in the civil courts came into force. It is likely that money claims of mid to high value will be most affected.
Holiday pay: Leicester employment tribunal fails to unlock all the answers
The eagerly awaited judgment in Lock v British Gas was handed down by the Leicester employment tribunal on 25 March 2015 - what does the decision mean for employers?
The Apple Watch - time for employers to think about social media in the workplace
Employers can find it difficult to deal with employees' use of social media when it affects the workplace. Yet developments in technology like the new Apple Watch means that this is only likely to increase. We look at how employers should deal with it.
An 'egg-ceptional' Easter weekend of changes for employers
This year's Easter weekend will see a number of employment law changes, 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.
Pension schemes: charging caps and default arrangements
Charges and governance in pension schemes and particularly in workplace pension schemes have been the subject of debate and scrutiny in recent years.
Occupational pension schemes - changes to transfer rights and appropriate independent advice
The Pension Schemes Act 2015 ('Act') amends the statutory rights to transfers from Occupational Pension Schemes ('OPS') so that members will (from 6 April 2015) have a statutory right to a partial transfer value.
Defined contribution pension schemes: freedom, choice and flexibility
In the 2014 Budget it was announced that members with defined contribution pension savings would no longer be required to buy an annuity on retirement.
Arbitration torpedoed? The impact of Brussels 1 (Recast)
On 10 January 2015, new EU rules on jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters came into effect as a result of the Brussels Regulation (recast) (Regulation (EU) 1215/2012) (the recast Regulation).
FCA announces it has elevated Financial Crime to key status
The FCA published its Business Plan which sets out to Parliament, consumers and regulated firms the areas where the FCA resources will be focussed. The main development is that Financial Crime has now become one of the seven important areas of FCA focus.
Revised Pre-Emption Group Statement of Principles: key facts
The Pre-Emption Group published a revised Statement of Principles on 12 March 2015. Companies adopting the Statement must factor the principles into their decision-making process when considering the case for disapplying pre-emption rights.
CMA fines estate agents for anti-competitive conduct
An association of estate and lettings agents in Hampshire, three of its members and a newspaper publisher, have agreed to pay penalties totalling more than £775,000 after they admitted breaching competition law.
Landlords of multi-let buildings - new metering and billing requirements
New regulations on communal heating and cooling systems in multi-let buildings impose important obligations on landlords, with penalties for non-compliance.
Terminating assured shorthold tenancies - part one
Rather than seeing Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) as something easily managed, landlords and developers may now think them to be a hindrance to obtaining vacant possession and utilising land, following recent caselaw and proposed legislative changes.
Terminating assured shorthold tenancies - part two
This is the second of three articles discussing changes in the law applying to the termination of Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs).
The pay minefield: National Minimum Wage, Living Wage or Fair Pay?
The National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 come into force on 6 April 2015 and will consolidate and replace the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999. The rate of NMW will not change as a result, but what other options for pay do employers have?
Consumer Rights Bill to receive Royal Assent
Just in time for World Consumer Rights Day on 15 March, the final issue in relation to the Consumer Rights Bill has been agreed and it is now ready for Royal Assent.
To what extent can a party to an adjudication object to the other side running the same or similar points to those previously decided?
More on Zero Hours: new anti-avoidance measures revealed
The government has confirmed the measures it intends to take to tackle any attempts by employers to flout the forthcoming ban on exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts.
E-cigarettes in the workplace: Time for action
A recent employment tribunal decision has highlighted how important it is for employers to include the use of e-cigarettes in their smoking policy. This is also a timely decision given that National No-Smoking Day is 11 March 2015.
Increased corporate penalties applicable now
The government has today announced that the £5,000 cap which used to limit Magistrates' sentencing powers has now been removed.
Obesity: the new disability? The next chapter...
An industrial tribunal in Northern Ireland has handed down a decision recognising a claimant as disabled as a result of his morbid obesity and upholding his claim for harassment.
Monitoring fees in section 106 agreements - are they lawful?
Monitoring fees are the administrative costs charged by a local planning authority (LPA) in ensuring that planning obligations set out in a section 106 agreement are complied with by a landowner or developer.
Non-payment of bonus due to ill-health absence was disability discrimination
A recent decision demonstrates that linking bonuses to attendance may fall foul of disability discrimination law.
Court fee increases in force on 9 March 2015
The motion to implement the Civil Proceedings and Family Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order 2015 was debated and approved by the House of Lords last night.
Project Waltz - Has the music stopped?
The long awaited judgment on remedies in the case of IBM United Kingdom Holdings Ltd and another v Dalgleish and others has now been handed down.
CMA consults on competition redress scheme guidance
In October 2015, the Consumer Rights Act is expected to come into force.
Turnover rents: Issues for landlords and tenants to consider before signing up
In challenging and uncertain trading conditions, turnover rents have become a common method of reviewing rent in the retail sector.
Your questions answered: Can time spent 'criminally' squatting go towards time needed to establish adverse possession?
Yes: the court has held that although a person squatting in a residential building is committing a criminal offence this does not prevent him relying on his criminal act when applying to register title on the basis of adverse possession.
CMA seeks information on online reviews and endorsements
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has invited views from the business community and consumers on the development of online reviews and endorsements.
Prevention better than cure?
Earlier this month the Insolvency Service issued an updated draft statutory order regarding the provision of essential IT supplies which is planned to come into force on 1 October 2015.
Today's the day! New Public Contracts Regulations 2015 now in force
The new Public Contracts Regulations 2015 are in force from today in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Turning a blind eye...
The case of Webber v Department for Education has finally been decided definitively.
Big data, big deal?
The first week of each New Year sees the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) roll into Las Vegas, providing an annual glimpse into the future of consumer technology.
Law Commission's final report on rights to light is published
On 4 December 2014 the Law Commission published its final report setting out its recommendations to reform the law concerning rights to light.
Will 'online dispute resolution' have its day in Court?
The Online Dispute Resolution Advisory Group produced a report in February 2015 which supports a movement towards online dispute resolution (ODR).
A New Protocol for Applications for Consent
A new Protocol for Applications for Consent to Assign or Sublet has been drafted to apply to commercial property in England and Wales.
Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015
The CDM Regulations are the principal regulations for managing health, safety & welfare of construction projects and apply to everyone involved in construction and development projects. The new 2015 regulations are due to come into force on 6 April 2015.
EU Commission investigates UK power plant proposals
The European Commission has announced that it has opened an in-depth State aid investigation into UK plans to give financial support to the biomass conversion of the coal fired Lynemouth power plant.
F and G ratings in EPCs - can you let your commercial property after 1 April 2018?
There has been concern for some years that a low EPC rating may prevent a commercial property in England and Wales from being let in the future. We now have the detail of the government's plans.
New compensation limits from April
New limits for awards for compensation for unfair dismissal, and statutory redundancy pay, will apply where the dismissal takes place on or after 6 April 2015.
New statutory rates from April
New rates for statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and sick pay will come into effect on 5 April 2015.
Collective consultation: is Woolworths once more set to change the regime?
On 5 February 2015 the Advocate General (AG) delivered his opinion in what has become known as the 'Woolworths' case'. Whilst the judgment of the ECJ is still needed, we look at what might be in store for employers as a result of the AG's opinion.
Doing the deed for occupation
If a landlord grants a licence allowing its tenant to assign its lease, but a deed of assignment is never completed, what is the status of the proposed assignee if it goes into occupation?
Government response to planning application process improvements
The government has published a response to its consultation on improvements to the planning application process, the key outcome of which will be a consolidated version of the Development Management Procedure Order 2010.
EU Parliament sets up 'special committee' as State aid tax probe continues
The European Parliament has set up a special committee to examine whether Member States broke EU rules by offering tax breaks to large multinational companies.
Fifty shades of grey? Older workers could dominate in the workplace
With an ageing population, the future is grey and organisations need to adapt to a changing economic and social landscape. We consider the legal framework for employers to help them avoid the pitfalls and reap the benefits of an older workforce.
When can workers carry over untaken holiday?
Workers who are unable to take holiday due to sickness or maternity absence are entitled to carry over that untaken holiday into the next holiday year.
The arrival of the Groceries Code Adjudicator
The Groceries Code Adjudicator, Christine Tacon, has announced that she is to investigate Tesco for its conduct under the Groceries Supply code, after reports of accounting irregularities.
Public Contracts Regulations 2015 set to come into force February 2015
On 5 February 2015, the government published the final form of the new Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
Agency: deals and duties
The recent Court of Appeal decision in Tigris International NC v China Southern Airlines Company Ltd and another  has reiterated that it is of paramount importance that businesses take care to use commercial agents that they know and trust.
Top 10 employment liabilities to look out for when buying a business
Buyer beware - Business purchases present numerous traps for the unwary particularly in terms of the employment liabilities which may be transferred. In this article we consider the 'top 10' such liabilities a buyer may face when purchasing a business.
UK merger control update - magazines, lubricants and pork pies.
It has been a busy start to the year for the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) merger control teams, with the CMA identifying possible concerns arising from no less than four deals in January.
State aid: UK flood insurance scheme gets Commission green light
The European Commission has given State aid approval to a UK scheme designed to make sure that owners of properties at risk of flooding can obtain affordable insurance.
Obesity epidemic - a new disability challenge for employers?
According to NHS statistics 25% of people in the UK over 18 years old are classed as obese. The Court of Justice of the EU has recently confirmed that obesity can be a disability. We consider the practical implications of this decision for employers.
ICO issues Enforcement Notice in response to Office data security breach
Shoe retailer, Office, has become the latest retailer to have its knuckles wrapped by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) following a data protection breach which resulted in more than one million customer records being exposed.
FCA gets ready for concurrent competition powers
On 1 April 2015, the FCA acquires competition law enforcement powers in the financial services sector.
Party like it's 1-999: New Years Eve fire provides reminder of proof requirements under the Consumer Protection Act 1987
When Mr Hufford invited his parents around for a celebratory lunch on New Years Eve 2009, he couldn't have envisaged it would bring product liability notoriety.
Retail: Feeling the New Year hangover?
Black Friday and the Boxing Day sales have been and gone, and retailers could be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief and pausing to take stock.
Your questions answered: Will the new possession powers for ASB still allow orders against a tenant who is not the perpetrator?
When seeking a possession order due to anti-social behaviour, landlords currently rely on discretionary ground 2 Housing Act 1985 or ground 14 Housing Act 1988, depending on the type of landlord.
Are we 'Fit for Work'?
The Fit for Work service launched, on a phased basis, on 15 December 2014 to offer impartial advice to employers for dealing with long-term sickness absence.
Pension Schemes: The Pension Protection Fund and Asset Backed Funding arrangements
The Pension Protection Fund has published its appendix and guidance on valuing and certifying ABCs for levy purposes. Asset Backed Contribution arrangements (ABCs) are becoming a more common way of funding pension schemes and managing deficits.
Pension Schemes: Pension Protection Fund and Contingent Assets 2015/16
This update looks at employer insolvency risk, last man standing schemes and contingent assets, following the publication of the Pension Protection Fund's Levy Estimate for the 2015/16 levy year.
Pension Schemes: The Pension Protection Fund and Asset Backed Funding arrangements
The Pension Protection Fund has published its appendix and guidance on valuing and certifying ABCs for levy purposes. Asset Backed Contribution arrangements (ABCs) are becoming a more common way of funding pension schemes and managing deficits.
Making reasonable adjustments - when does an employer know that an employee is disabled?
The obligation to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled employee is one which many employers grapple with on a regular basis. However, the obligation depends on an employer having knowledge of the disability. We consider what this means in practice.
Evolving employment rights and surrogacy
Employment rights for parents in a surrogacy arrangement are currently limited - it is the birth mother who is regarded as the child's mother for the purpose of taking maternity leave and not the intended parent. Changes are however afoot from April.
Digital Services - Changes in the place of supply for VAT purposes
From 1 January 2015, there will be a major change to the EU VAT rules which will affect businesses established in the EU and that supply digital services to end consumers located in other EU jurisdictions.
Directors reminded of their duties in multi-million pound fraud case
A recent case has highlighted a number of points relevant to directors and their duties to the company.
Private equity investors must ensure their investee companies comply with competition law
The Dutch competition authority announced it had fined investment companies for their investee businesses' involvement in a cartel in the flour industry. The fines were imposed even though the investors had no direct involvement in the illegal conduct.
The hidden side of permanent health insurance
Permanent health insurance can be offered to employees to cover the event that they become ill and unable to work. While this benefit can be useful to employers when attracting employees, employers need to be aware of the potential hidden costs.
The Kay Review - what next?
The Kay Review, commissioned by the government and published in July 2012, explored issues of short-termism in UK equity markets.
Keeping it clean: Reflections on EU Regulations on CO2 Emissions for Automotive Manufacturers
The US Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a substantial settlement with car manufactures Hyundai and Kia who agreed to pay 100 million (USD) penalty following over the certification of vehicles sold in the US
Set-off in construction contracts
Managing cash flow is of the utmost importance to parties at all levels in the construction supply chain. One way of seeking to manage cash flow is to use the right of set-off and including a contractual set-off clause can provide significant benefits.
CMA probes estate agents restriction on advertising fees and discounts
The importance of companies being able to freely advertise their fees or discounts has again been highlighted by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
Avoiding trouble at Christmas
The season to be jolly is once more upon us, but employers should be mindful of the legal issues that can arise over the festive period. Without wanting to be 'bah humbug', it's not only the office Christmas party that can cause problems for employers.
Seven steps to effective performance management
Dealing with poor performers is often the area which managers find most challenging. We set out below seven key steps managers should take to ensure they formally manage any performance issues which arise amongst their employees.
Getting to grips with Shared Parental Leave
On 1 December 2014 the new right for eligible parents to share parental leave and pay where the woman chooses to bring her statutory maternity leave and pay to an end early came into force. We consider the key elements of this new regime.
The 'Only Way is' Profits: High Court measures loss of profits in the wake of Sugar Hut blaze
In the recent case of Sugar Hut Group Ltd v AJ Insurance, the High Court was asked to consider the business interruption losses arising out of a fire at the now famous club 'Sugar Hut' in Brentwood, Essex.
The 12 cases of 2014
As Christmas approaches and another year draws to a close, we look back at some of the most notable cases of 2014.
Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill: Corporate Directors and Pensions Trustees
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill is currently going through parliament. The Bill amends the Companies Act 2006 so that it will no longer be possible to appoint a corporate director to another company.
Litigating in Europe: A Happy New Year?
The Brussels I Regulation (Recast) comes into force on 10 January 2015 bringing with it the promise of significant improvements to the jurisdictional regime within the EU.
Protecting your business from equal pay claims
Equal pay claims are often viewed as the preserve of the public sector but in light of the current class action against Asda this perception is being challenged. We look at how private sector employers can protect themselves from a similar fate.
Plot buyer's breach - should I serve a notice to complete?
Service of a formal notice to complete in a plot purchase should not be entered into lightly - there are cost implications and practical considerations.
How to conduct a disciplinary investigation
The investigation which is carried out prior to a disciplinary hearing is critical to the overall fairness of the procedure being followed and any disciplinary action taken. Here are our 10 top tips for conducting a disciplinary investigation.
Contractual remedies for defamation? Blackpool hotel adopts novel approach to damning Trip Advisor review
A Blackpool hotel hit the headlines this week for 'fining' a couple £100 for posting a scathing review on TripAdvisor, in breach a 'no bad review' clause in its terms and conditions.
Settling your dispute - a risky business?
The benefits of settling disputes out of court are clear, most of all in terms of the time and costs saved by not taking the dispute to trial.
Proposed sentencing guidelines will be the final push for much greater regulatory fines
The Sentencing Council, the body responsible for producing the guidelines that assist the criminal courts in passing an appropriate sentence, has begun a consultation on proposed guidelines for Health & Safety Offences and Food Safety & Hygiene Offences.
Food Information Regulations 2014 - Not just food for thought
Food businesses at all stages of the supply chain, including caterers and restaurants, will have to be compliant with the first phase of Food Information Regulations by 13 December 2014.
New Waste Planning Policy
A new Waste Planning Policy for England has been published, replacing Planning Policy Statement 10. The revised policy requires waste planning authorities to promote treatment of waste up the waste hierarchy.
Lenders beware changes to land registration in Scotland - one strike and you're out
Lenders should take note of key changes to the Scottish land registration system on 8 December 2014.
How are employers coping with the new flexible working regime?
New rules came into force on 30 June 2014 providing all eligible employees with the right to request flexible working regardless of their reason for doing so.
Court of Appeal Google Ad-words decision may herald a new online threat for brand owners
The dispute between Marks & Spencer and Interflora has taken a new turn with a Court of Appeal overturning the previous High Court ruling that M&S had infringed Interflora's trade mark rights in its name by purchasing and using it as a Google Ad-Word
Website blocking order granted to protect trade mark holder
The Richemont Group, owner of a number of luxury brands including Cartier, Montblanc and IWC, has secured a landmark website blocking order against the five main retail internet service providers (ISPs) in the UK (SKY, BT, EE, Talk Talk, and Virgin).
Calculating holiday pay - the next instalment
Earlier this year the European Court of Justice decided in Lock v British Gas that holiday pay calculations should include commission. But what about other payments in addition to basic pay like overtime? We consider the recent developments in this area.
Calculating holiday pay - the next instalment
Earlier this year the European Court of Justice decided in Lock v British Gas that holiday pay calculations should include commission. But what about other payments in addition to basic pay like overtime? We consider the recent developments in this area.
Get the rights right: easements on a sale of part
On a transfer of part of a site, complications can arise if the rights which are to benefit the land sold are not adequately addressed. This can be particularly impactive in the case of rights of way.
Consumer Contract Regulations - The nightmare before Christmas (for online retailers)?
Statistics of retail sales from December 2013 show that nearly 20% of all non-food purchases originated from online sales and with this figure representing 16.5% year-on-year growth from 2012.
Tattoos in the workplace - the debate continues
Last month we looked at the issue of tattoos in the workplace. The debate has raged on, with the most recent case being of a tattooed teaching assistant.
New jail terms for internet trolls: what can your business do about cyber bullies?
Last weekend, justice secretary Chris Grayling outlined government proposals to quadruple the current six-month sentence for people found guilty of internet trolling.
Companies can recover the costs of their in-house lawyers in legal proceedings
It has long been established that the costs of proceedings can be recovered by the winning side. However, what was uncertain was whether these costs could include the work of in-house lawyers. We look at the case which has removed this uncertainty.
Appeals: A blessing in disguise?
The case of McMillan v Airedale NHS Foundation Trust called into question an employer's right to increase a disciplinary sanction on appeal. We look at the legal principles behind an appeal process and give practical tips on how to handle appeals.
Your questions answered: Am I in breach of my inherited shared ownership lease by complying with the will?
Does the beneficiary of a shared ownership lease find themselves in breach if by acquiring the lease by will they inadvertently sublet the whole of the property in order to comply with the will?
Public procurement: new regulations on the way
Public procurement rules are changing across Europe, and the UK government has just published a first draft of the new regulations that it proposes will implement the changes.
Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland
The Scottish government has announced the proposed tax rates for its Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).
Time off to care for a dependant - how soon should an employer know?
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has recently found that an employee was not automatically unfairly dismissed when he took time off to care for his pregnant partner.
HSE's tool kit - a necessity for businesses in the care sector
If you are responsible for managing health and safety within the care home environment, or the social care sector, you should be aware that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently updated its guidance document 'Health and Safety in Care Homes'.
What has been the most important national and European consumer-related legislation in 2014?
The landscape of UK consumer rights law is undergoing its largest reform since 1979.
Don't leave me this way? Plans to force IT suppliers to continue to provide services to insolvent customers
The Insolvency Service is undertaking a consultation exercise regarding a plan to ensure the continuity of supply of IT services to insolvent companies in a similar manner to the current legislation regarding the supply of essential utilities.
Serious harm: in the balance?
In Cooke v MGN Ltd  EWHC 2831 the High Court gave the first judgment on the serious harm test in section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013. We look at lessons which can be learnt from the judgment and anticipate issues which may arise in the future.
Competition and Markets Authority orders shake-up of audit services for large companies in the UK
On 26 September 2014 the Competition and Markets Authority ('CMA') published the final order in relation to the Competition Commission's ('CC') investigation into the UK statutory audit market for large companies.
Increased corporate penalties on the horizon...
In May 2012 the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (also known as LASPO) came into force.
Winds of change in October
The first day of October 2014 is a day of change for employers because it is one of the government's two annual 'common commencement dates.'
October 2014 - Health and Safety Legislation
From 1 October 2014, three new pieces of safety legislation will come into force in the UK. Most of the changes are as a result of the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) attempt to consolidate several existing pieces of legislation into one.
Shakira song in copyright infringement claim
Last month a USA court found that a hit song performed and co-written by Shakira was in fact copied from an earlier work.
How should you manage a reluctant witness?
An employee or witness who is fearful of giving evidence as part of a disciplinary process can cause difficulties for an employer. We look at the issues you should consider when dealing with such an individual.
Commercial property - Dilapidations at termination of a lease
Damages recoverable from a tenant: the differences in England and Scotland
Money for nothing - the importance of monitoring expenses claims
A recent survey by webexpenses has revealed that as many as one in four employees has made a false expenses claim from their employer. We look at how employers can manage their expenses procedures to limit such abuse from taking place.
The coffee capsule revolution: French competition authority opens up market to Nespresso rivals
Following an investigation sparked by complaints from rival espresso coffee capsule manufacturers, the French Competition Authority has accepted commitments from Nespresso.
Arcadia Group Ltd v Arcadia Group Pension Trust Ltd: RPI/CPI and the power to select an alternative index
The sponsoring employer and trustees of the Arcadia scheme, acting jointly, were able to switch from RPI to CPI for calculating increases to pensions in payment and revaluation of deferred benefits
Do the 'perfect' lease heads of terms exist? What is their purpose in the evolving market and which important terms need careful consideration?
Seasoned operators in the real estate market will know that if heads of terms lack sufficient information a deal may suffer delay, frustration and rising legal costs
Orphan Works - A guide for commercial users and rights owners
The regulations relating to the licensing and use of orphan works will come into force in October this year.
When and how should you suspend an employee?
The decision whether or not to suspend following discovery of an employee's suspected misconduct can impact on the subsequent disciplinary process. We look at when suspension might be appropriate and how employers should communicate their decision.
Drug and alcohol testing in the workplace - key considerations for employers
Drug and alcohol testing in the workplace can be problematic for employers particularly when considering the level of sanction to apply where an employee is 'caught out'. The recent case of Kuehne+Nagel Ltd v Cosgrove considered the issue.
Your questions answered: What is the legal position around disposal of goods when a tenancy is terminated or a tenant has abandoned the property?
It is agreed amongst all housing providers that an abandoned property is simply a waste of housing stock. The Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 sets out how to avoid repercussions so that the property can be re let as soon as possible.
Compulsion Vs peer pressure
Following on from our comments about Kate Bush requesting fans to enjoy the moment and not take photos or videos of her come back concert, Ryder Cup organisers have just announced that they are banning the use of audio or video capture and photos.
Relationships at work - navigating the emotional and legal minefields
We spend the majority of our time at work and often meet our future partner there. But can and should office relationships be allowed or does the home connection lead to domestic issues pervading the working environment?
UK consumer law reform: online retailers, aggregators and suppliers, oh my
In this article we look at how to apply the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations to contracts concluded through an aggregator.
Redundancy selection criteria and making reasonable adjustments
Two recent cases illustrate the importance of employers making reasonable adjustments for disabled employees placed at risk of redundancy even if the adjustments are unlikely to have any impact on the outcome of the redundancy exercise
Premier League kicks off new copyright clampdown
As the new season of the Premier League kicked off over the weekend, the Football Association Premier League (FAPL) has issued a warning to people posting unofficial videos of goals online, stating that these videos are in 'breach of copyright'.
Guarantee or indemnity? Conclusive Evidence Clauses
In ABN Amro Commercial Finance Plc v McGinn and others  EWHC the court considered whether deeds intending to indemnify a factor's losses under an invoice discounting agreement were an indemnity or a guarantee.
How to deal with employees lying about their qualifications
A recent survey found that the embellishment or invention of qualifications and experience is becoming more common as candidates face increased competition for jobs.employe
The 'IT Fall Guy' - beware of making your manager a scapegoat
The recent Employment Tribunal case of Mr J Linwood v British Broadcasting Corporation sends a clear reminder to employers to carefully manage the performance failures of their managers.
How to draft disciplinary outcome letters
The letter sent to an employee following a disciplinary process is often the most important document that an employer will rely upon in defending any subsequent employment tribunal claim. We suggest 10 top tips for drafting disciplinary outcome letters.
Disclaimer and rates
A landlord may be deterred from forfeiting the lease of a defaulting tenant because of the cost of business rates liability. What is the position where a lease has been disclaimed?
QOCS bite back!
The recent Court of Appeal case, Wagenaar -v- Weekend Travel Limited and Serradj  (Wagenaar) highlights the importance of costs consideration for defendants in personal injury claims.
Transactions with directors
The requirement for directors to declare their interests in any transactions between them and the company is well known.
Pre-packs - do they have a future?
In June this year Teresa Graham published her Report on Pre-pack Administrations. As Vince Cable noted in his foreword to the Report: 'Pre-pack administrations has been much criticised in some quarters in recent years'.
Copyright conundrums - monkeying about with a camera
David Slater, a nature photographer from Gloucestershire, argues that he owns the copyright in a now famous image taken using his camera - however, Wikipedia claim that there is no copyright in the image because it was actually taken by a monkey.
Can the Community Trigger procedure be summarised under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014?
Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is something that can affect a whole community - it should therefore involve community effort. The act introduces a shared responsibility for dealing with ASB, a statutory duty known as the 'Community Trigger'.
Challenging an expert's final determination - Court of Appeal affirms approach
In (1) Premier Telecom Communications Group Limited (2) Darren Michael Ridge v Darren John Webb  EWCA Civ 994 Shoosmiths LLP acted for the successful respondent Mr Darren Webb.
New energy audit requirement for large organisations
Larger companies and non-public sector organisations will be required to carry out mandatory energy saving assessments under the new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) introduced on 17 July by the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme Regulations 2014.
The EU imposes new sanctions against Russia
Following the continued tensions in the Ukraine and Russia's suspected military involvement in destabilising the region, the European Union has imposed new sanctions against Russia.
Petrol storage: a change in the law
The new Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 will come into force on 1 October 2014 and replace existing petrol storage legislation which will be withdrawn.
HSE's return on intervention
We're now almost two years on from when Fees for Intervention (FFI) was introduced by the HSE. In October 2012, the HSE were provided with a statutory power to recover its costs from those in 'material breach' of health and safety law.
Preventing illegal working - changes to right to work checks
Employers have a duty to prevent illegal working and are obliged to carry out prescribed document checks on individuals before they commence work to ensure they have permission to work in the UK.
Beware of unintentionally creating the right to a pay increase
The recent case of Hershaw and ors v Sheffield City Council is a timely reminder to employers to be careful about how and what they communicate to their employees.
Record custodial sentence for breach of fire safety
Most businesses are now aware that all breaches of health and safety legislation are treated extremely seriously by the courts.
Obesity: The new disability?
With NHS statistics suggesting obesity levels are increasing a recent case has looked at whether obesity can amount to a disability and come within discrimination provisions.
Obesity: The new disability?
With NHS statistics suggesting obesity levels are increasing a recent case has looked at whether obesity can amount to a disability and come within discrimination provisions.
What an independent Scotland could mean for your business
The 24 March 2016 is the proposed date for independence from the parliamentary union of 1707 if Scotland votes 'Yes' in the referendum in two months' time.
Holiday Pay - your questions answered
Calculating holiday pay is proving to be a hot topic at the moment, with recent employment tribunal and European Court decisions hitting the headlines.
Is 'combination of features' dead for unregistered community design rights?
A seven-year battle between UK fashion company Karen Millen and Irish retail chain Dunnes Stores (Dunnes) looks set to be nearing an end after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in favour of Karen Millen.
The new Intellectual Property Act 2014
The Intellectual Property Act 2014 (the act) received royal assent on 14 May 2014. The act will come into force between October 2014 and the end of 2015.
'Good faith' revisited
Historically, the English courts have been reluctant to recognise a general doctrine of 'good faith' in the performance of contractual obligations, and there is no generally applicable legal definition of the concept.
What's on the horizon for employers?
The government has unveiled the detail of its proposed policies and legislation programme, a number of which will have an impact on employers. We look at what is in store for UK businesses in the next 12 months.
Review of survivors' benefits in occupational pension schemes
Under the provisions of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 the government was required to conduct a review of survivors' benefits in occupational pension schemes.
Can hindsight be used when assessing losses in a breach of warranty claim?
In Ageas (UK) Limited v (1) Kwik-Fit (GB) Ltd (2) AIG Europe Ltd  where Shoosmiths acted for the claimant, the High Court examined principles relevant to the permissibility of using hindsight to value a company for the purposes of a warranty claim.
Persons with significant control: a proposal to reveal who controls your company
The government has unveiled the detail of proposed new legislation which will require companies to keep a new register of persons with significant control.
No duty to make reasonable adjustments for non-disabled employee caring for disabled child
The Court of Appeal has confirmed that the duty to make reasonable adjustments only applies to an employee who is disabled and not where that employee is associated with a disabled person. We review the decision and what it means for employers.
The accelerated payments proposal: Further bad news for taxpayers
Controversial measures to tackle mass marketed tax avoidance schemes were set out in this yea's Finance Bill.
The new Intellectual Property Act 2014 - guidance for designers and those commissioning designs
The Intellectual Property Act 2014 (the act) received royal assent on 14 May 2014. The act will come into force between October 2014 and the end of 2015.
Your Questions Answered: What is the legal position when only one of two joint tenants gives notice to quit?
Legal position settled in House of Lords case, Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council v Monk 1992 AC478. Despite the repeated reliance on the HRA 1998 - Article 8 and Article 1 of the First Protocol by Defendants, Monk remains authority.
New Part L of the Building Regulations: Clarifying compliance
The Department for Communities and Local Government has published amendments to Part L of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010 - and the transitional provisions give rise to a hidden trap for developers entering into development agreements..
Expert determination: a wise choice?
Expert determination is an increasingly popular method of dispute resolution but what exactly does it involve and what are the potential pitfalls?
Flight delays compensation : punctuality or pay out?
Jet2 is set to appeal a Court of Appeal decision as to whether 'technical problems affecting the operation of an aircraft' is an extraordinary circumstance entitling a carrier to avoid liability to pay flight delay compensation to passengers.
Job's a good'un!
Is a contractor obliged to charge an objectively reasonable rate or price where no rate or price is specified in a building contract?
World Cup fever without the headache
Whilst football fans will be gripped with World Cup fever over the next month, businesses could face HR headaches as a result.
The 'New' Flexible Working Regime
Following considerable consultation on whether to extend the statutory right to request flexible working to all employees, regulations published recently confirm that the statutory framework will change on 30 June 2014. Are you ready?
Home working: top tips for employers
The Trade Unions Congress has reported that since 2007 over half a million more people work from home, bringing the total number to over four million.
The fee for all is over - excessive payment surcharges banned for small businesses
New regulations that ban businesses from imposing excessive fees on consumers making payments will extend to small businesses from 12 June 2014.
New sentencing guidelines for environmental offences will be used from 1 July 2014
From 1 July 2014, new 'Definitive Guidelines' published by the Sentencing Council (the guidelines) will apply for the sentencing of various environmental offences in the Magistrate and Crown Courts, irrespective of when the offence was committed.
Should you pay your workers for sleeping on the job?
Two recent cases have rekindled the debate about when time spent at work but sleeping, counts as working time for the purposes of the rules on National Minimum Wage. Below, we review these decisions and what they mean for employers.
Implications for LLP Members given worker protection
The Supreme Court ruling in the case of Clyde & Co LLP v Bates van Winkelhof means that members of limited liability partnerships (
Are you collecting the right marketing consents?
Well-known chain store John Lewis has been ordered to pay damages to an individual who received marketing emails without having consented to receiving them.
The Saucy Fish Co. secures interim injunction against 'copycat' Aldi
The Saucy Fish Co. (owned by Icelandic Seachill) has recently secured a UK High Court agreed interim injunction against German supermarket chain Aldi, requiring it to stop selling copycat products.
Changes to consumer contracts regulation - is your business ready?
Retailers need to ensure that they are prepared for the significant changes that will apply to contracts entered into with consumers from 13 June 2014.
Bereavement leave: should employers be doing more?
Recently the Dying Matters Coalition has called for a national review of employment practice on bereavement leave.
Commission adopts new State aid General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER)
On 21 May 2014, as part of its State aid modernisation programme, the European Commission adopted a revised State aid General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER).
We predict a riot
Court of appeal rules business interruption and other consequential losses can now be recovered from the police after London riots.
Have you lost your way?
If you stop using a right of way over adjoining land for a long period of time, then surely the easement must become obsolete and abandoned?
FIFA World Cup 2014: Ambush Marketing, avoiding a red card
In June 2014 the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Brazil as 32 countries compete to be crowned the footballing champions of the world.
Pensions Act 2014: more change ahead
The Pensions Act 2014 received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014 introducing important changes to the regulations for pensions. One key change is the abolition of contracting-out. We will cover this in a separate update. Other key changes are summarised below.
Holiday pay to include commission
The long awaited decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (
Easement implied by common intention of the parties
The Court of Appeal has held that the owner of a building plot should be granted an implied easement by common intention to lay mains utilities in the seller's adjoining land to connect to the mains in the public highway.
Annual reports - getting it right
The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) has produced a consultation on a simple contents list for company annual reports. Although aimed primarily at listed companies, the notes may be of wider use.
Breaking Bad: episode 2: the next chapter in conditional break options
In Marks & Spencer PLC v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Limited, the Court of Appeal has given its judgment in the last of a series of significant break option cases.
Workplace banter: how to walk the line
Cases involving workplace banter continue to be fertile ground for embarrassing employment tribunal cases and negative headlines. When one person's harmless fun can be another's bullying or harassment, it can be hard for employers to manage.
Changes to enforcement via High Court Enforcement Officers
Following the implementation of the Tribunals Court Act 2007 on 6th April 2014, the government has made a number of changes to enforcement via the High Court Enforcement Officers.
Property transactions are frequently delayed because essential plans are not made available at the outset of a transaction.
Zero-Hours Contracts on the rise?
Use of zero-hours contracts is likely to rise if plans go ahead to allow Jobcentre coaches to 'mandate' zero-hours contracts where the position is suitable. So what are the pros and cons of such contracts and what does the future hold for them?
Court says permitted use restriction breaks competition law
In a judgment that is likely to attract considerable attention, the Central London County Court has ruled that a permitted use restriction in a lease is anti-competitive and unenforceable.
Balancing Act: How to manage conflicting beliefs in the workplace
Managing conflicting beliefs, in particular religious beliefs, is an increasingly tricky area for employers. As we discuss, Employment Tribunals regularly seek to draw the line between protecting the right to belief and other often competing rights.
Participation in Public Service Pension Schemes
This article explores some key issues which employers participating in public service pension schemes should be aware of as they will have to deal with them. The schemes in question are undergoing fundamental reform with significant consequences.
Waiving privilege? Be on guard
We consider waiver of privilege and a recent case to discuss the issue in the context of electronic information policies. What are the key factors regarding waiver of legal privilege? What protective steps can be taken to ensure privilege is maintained?
To Arbitrate or Litigate - what's your goal?
Parties should always consider what their preferred method of dispute resolution is when entering into a contract and often choose to specify either arbitration or traditional court proceedings as the relevant legal recourse.
Copyright, fair use and the advance of culture
A lot of the debate about copyright has become polarised. It's 'big media' vs. the 'little guy'. It's 'closed copyright, a barrier to innovation' vs. 'open Internet, cultural advancement and freedom of expression'. It's bad guy, good guy.
Are your helpline charges lawful?
From 13 June this year, all businesses that operate help lines need to check that they are lawful.
Making probationary periods effective
A recent survey has revealed that a fifth of new employees fail their probationary period or have this period extended. However, employers should be mindful of the potential pitfalls in relying too heavily on probationary periods.
Ruling benefits companies serving legal proceedings to debtors living outside UK
Lauren Lee, finance litigation solicitor at Shoosmiths LLP, highlights the outcome of a court case which could benefit companies looking to serve legal proceedings on debtors living outside the UK
Proposals to simplify company filings
On 21 April, the Government issued its response to the consultation on company filings launched in October last year. The response outlines plans to introduce measures which will reduce administrative burden, promote transparency and simplify procedure.
Revealing all: the Government's response on ownership and control of UK companies
On 16 April, the Government published a response to its discussion paper on enhanced transparency of UK company ownership and increased trust in UK business.
Proposals to simplify company filings
On 21 April, the Government issued its response to the consultation on company filings launched in October last year. The response outlines plans to introduce measures which will reduce administrative burden, promote transparency and simplify procedure.
Revealing all: the Government's response on ownership and control of UK companies
On 16 April, the Government published a response to its discussion paper on enhanced transparency of UK company ownership and increased trust in UK business.
Practical advice on treating potentially vulnerable customers fairly
A briefing note by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Money Advice Trust entitled
Increase in court fees for legal actions
After the implementation of the Civil Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order 2014, the government has decided to increase a number of the court fees payable from 22nd April 2014.
Making your mark at work - the great tattoo debate
Following the deportation by the Sri Lankan authorities of a British tourist because she had a Buddha tattoo on her arm, we look at the issue of tattoos in the workplace, and whether employers should, or indeed must, allow employees to have tattoos.
EU Data Protection Reform - The removal of red tape for SMEs
One step closer to implementation of the reforms relating to EU data protection regulation, this article looks at some of the implications that the reforms are likely to have for SMEs.
Costs: The Hidden Truth
Legal costs are coming under close scrutiny by the Court. A party to a dispute must put itself in the best possible position to maximise costs recovery. An indemnity may be included in a contract but this doesn't always result in full costs recovery.
Employees on the march? How to protect the value in your business
The UK economy has shown positive growth over the past few months. Are you ready for the challenges that growth can bring? Are your crown jewels, whether that's confidential business information or employees, adequately protected from your competitors?
Reminder to employers to follow company values when consulting with employees
The recent judgment in IBM UK Holdings Ltd v Dalgleish and others provides a salutary reminder to employers to stick to their Core Values or face potential claims that they have breached the implied duty of trust and confidence.
Litigation: a marathon or a sprint
Our own Kath Livingston who joined over 36,000 others, pounding the streets in the London marathon on Sunday, ponders whether litigation is a marathon or a sprint.
Contracted out tenants: Erimus revisited
The Court of Appeal has found in favour of a business tenant and decided that, despite protracted negotiations for a new lease on expiry of its contracted out lease, a periodic tenancy had not been created in the intervening period.
April showers changes on employers
The 6 April is a day for change for employers because it is one of the Government's two annual 'common commencement dates'. We take a look at the key changes in employment law which have been introduced this April.
Berg successfully defends penalty claim: Liquidated Damages and Penalty Clauses
Two high profile cases have provided further guidance for parties who wish to rely on or challenge contractual 'liquidated damages' clauses.
High Court adds words into non-compete covenant
Employers can seek to protect their businesses from ex-employees through the use of restrictive covenants. Careful drafting is usually required for such covenants to be enforceable, although this case provides the exception to the rule!
Are You at Risk Where a Tenant Breaches its Environmental Permit?
Landlords could be at risk of significant liability where tenants operate environmental permits on site.
Breaking Bad - Court of Appeal's decision makes life harder for tenants
In Siemens Hearing Instruments Ltd v Friends Life Ltd, the Court of Appeal has overturned an earlier decision and ruled that the formal requirements of a break clause must be followed precisely in order to determine a lease.
Primary authority scheme to be further extended to fire safety
The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has announced that the Primary Authority Scheme will be extended to cover fire safety in England and Wales with effect from 6th April 2014.
Consultation launched on new construction design & management regulations
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) launched a 10 week consultation exercise on proposals to replace the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007) on 31st March 2014.
Anti-money laundering enforcement: warning for residential and commercial estate agents
On 1 April 2014 HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) took over from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) as the regulator of residential and commercial estate agents for the purposes of anti-money laundering.
European Commission fines private equity firm for cartel
On 2 April 2014, the European Commission announced that it was fining the participants in a worldwide undersea cable cartel. The companies in question had colluded to share markets and customers over a ten year period.
Public procurement: negotiating public contracts
The public procurement rules are changing. Here, in the first of our series of articles, we look at the changes to the circumstances in which bids can be negotiated and suggest some helpful tips for making bid negotiations work.
Is reasonableness considered when making a demotion order? - Your questions answered
Section 14 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 gave registered providers as well as local authorities the power to demote assured or secured tenancies to a 12 month probationary tenancy. This article covers the key points you need to know.
Can employers be liable for discrimination on grounds of caste and/or immigration status?
Recent cases have attempted to broaden the protection given to employees under the Equality Act by seeking to widen the definition of
Warning to employers who regularly enhance redundancy payments
The EAT in Peacock Stores v Peregrine has confirmed that where an employer consistently makes enhanced redundancy payments such action could give rise to an implied contractual entitlement.
Why a choice of law should never be arbitrary
We take a look at the different laws governing the various aspects of international arbitration including a recent commercial court decision on determining the law of the arbitration agreement.
Pension law changes from 6 April: new disclosure regulations, auto-enrolment, TUPE transfers and tax limits
The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2013 come into force on 6 April 2014.
Changes to the CPR coming into force in April 2014
The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2014 have been published, along with the making document which details the amendments to various Practice Directions. Together they implement the 69th update to the Civil Procedure Rules and come into force in April.
Budget summary 2014: tax highlights
The Chancellor delivered the Budget 2014 yesterday (19 March). The following is a summary of the main tax points of interest:
National minimum wage update
There have been a number of important developments recently with regard to the National Minimum Wage ('NMW'). As a result, employers would be well advised to review their pay rates to ensure all applicable workers are receiving at least the NMW.
Right of light update: a lighter touch by the Courts
The recent Supreme Court case of Coventry and others v Lawrence and another (2014) UKSC 13 should be welcomed by developers, as it heralds a shift in the Court's approach to the exercise of its discretion to award damages instead of an injunction.
Dealing with disabled employees - recent trends
Recent decisions of the Employment Appeal Tribunal have highlighted a couple of key themes which employers would be well advised to consider when dealing with their disabled employees.
Advance Payments Code
The Advance Payments Code provides a protection mechanism for local highway authorities to ensure that they are not unexpectedly required to meet the costs of new roads that were not intended to be maintained by the public purse.
Emmett v Sisson: Actionable Interference with a Right of Way
In Emmett v Sisson  the Court of Appeal was asked to consider both the extent of a right of way and whether there had been actionable interference with it.
Chancel repair liability: the latest
Chancel repair liability is an ancient liability which attaches to land and requires affected owners to meet the costs of repair of the local church chancel.
Telecoms upheaval - economic pressures and legal changes
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, leaders from the telecoms sector gathered to discuss pressing issues, conduct business - and launch their latest products.
Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013: Impact on pensions
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (the '2013 Act') comes into force on 13 March 2014, with the first same sex weddings taking place on 29 March 2014.
Sale of part: sharing the burden of positive covenants
The Court of Appeal has held that a purchaser who obtains part of a property, which has the benefit of a right of way, must assume the burden of contribution to that right of way, appropriate to the part of the property that he has acquired.
Further reform of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
Further changes were made to the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 (the CIL Regulations) on 24 February 2014.
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), sewer adoption and your land acquisition contract
Finding solutions to flooding is a matter of high importance for the Government, driving changes in the law relating to foul and surface water drainage. This article explores the proposed changes and how they might affect land contracts.
Execution of documents: getting it right
Execution of an agreement - the final stage in an often lengthy process of detailed drafting and negotiation. Getting it wrong may result in invalidity and unenforceability.
OFT launches a market study into residential property management services to leaseholders in England and Wales
On 4 March 2014 the OFT launched a market study into residential property management services. It intends to look at how this market is working for leaseholders and freeholders in England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland are outside the scope.
Gas & fire safety enforcement FAQs
How do public sector landlords tackle the problem of access in respect of gas safety inspections and fire safety risk in leasehold properties?
One year on, has the Social Value Act added any value?
The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 came into force at the end of January 2013 and is part of the government's 'Big Society' initiative.
Widening the risk for employers who fail to make reasonable adjustments?
The potential for employers to be exposed to disability discrimination claims arising from a failure to make reasonable adjustments for their disabled employees has just been increased, thanks to a decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
Void buybacks: what you need to know
The ability of a private limited company to purchase its own shares is an extremely useful tool. It can provide an exit route for shareholders looking to realise their investment or a way of returning surplus cash, often in advance of a sale process.
Serving applications for landlord's consent
If you are a tenant under a commercial lease and wish to assign your interest, underlet, charge or part with possession then you are likely to need your landlord's consent.
Silence is not golden: the real cost of ignoring a mediation invitation
In the recent case of PGF II SA v OMFS (2013) the Court of Appeal upheld a decision of the High Court to deprive a successful party of its costs on the ground that it had not responded to an invitation to mediate.
Business immigration - tips for the unwary
For many HR professionals the responsibility for ensuring that their organisation can continue to employ migrant workers falls squarely at their door. This can prove daunting, especially for those with little or no business-immigration experience.
Can you summarise what's changed in Mutual Exchange? - Your questions answered
Pre Localism Act 2011 all mutual exchanges took place by deed of assignment. Post Localism Act surrender and re-grant is the mechanism used for mutual exchange.
Deferred Prosecution Agreements - what you need to know
On 24 February 2014 Deferred Prosecution Agreements ('DPAs') legislation was finally brought into force in respect of a wide range of criminal conduct.
Sale of goods exclusion clauses : don't miss out on a bargain
It is crucial to cover the full range of potential losses in exclusion clauses. We consider exclusion clauses in sale of goods contracts in light of the recent Commercial Court decision of Glencore Energy Ltd v Cirrus Oil Services.
Immigration Minister resigns after illegally employing cleaner
Mark Harper resigned after discovering a cleaner he employed for his flat did not have permission to work in the UK. How could such a mistake have been made (especially by the Minister for Immigration!) and how can employers avoid the same trap?
The rules of the Game have changed for landlords and administrators
On 24 February the Court of Appeal gave judgment in the Game Station case (Jervis -v- Pillar Denton and Others). It affects the way that rent is treated in an administration.
Court of Appeal takes significant step in sentencing large companies
The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) has given judgment on two appeal cases brought by companies contesting the level of fines each received.
Take it or leave it? - Financial Ombudsman Service awards and res judicata
The Courts in England have ruled that accepting an award from the Financial Ombudsman Service can be a bar to any further proceedings in England & Wales. We examine whether the same principles apply in Scotland.
Replies to Commercial Property Standard Enquiries (CPSEs): Pitfalls to avoid
Pre-contract enquiries can be time consuming and look cumbersome but replies to enquiries are an important source of information for a buyer and a seller must be aware that some stock responses can have significant legal implications.
Changes to flexible working regime delayed
The Government has postponed plans to amend the flexible working rules. The changes had been expected to come into force on 6 April 2014.
Stormy weather ahead for employers who ignore employee concerns
A recent case highlights the potential ease for employee concerns in multiple emails about health and safety to amount to a protected disclosure under whistleblowing legislation and for employees to gain unfair dismissal rights as a result.
Flooding - wading through the employment issues
The recent downpour has resulted in the flooding of many businesses. At the same time, employees are struggling to get into work due to their own homes being flooded or the closure of transport links. How can employers deal with these circumstances?
Warning for employers dismissing without notice
Employers seeking to dismiss employees without notice for acts of gross misconduct should be mindful of recent case law in this area.
Mixed partnerships: new rules from HMRC
HMRC published draft legislation on 10 December 2013 to deal with perceived tax avoidance by partnerships.
The benefit and burden principle
As a general rule, positive obligations relating to land do not run with it - essentially they do not bind future owners of it.
E-cigarettes in the workplace - no smoke without fire
The charity, Action on Smoking and Health, estimates that 1.3 million people are currently using electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes) in the UK. What stance should employers take to this growing phenomenon?
Your questions answered - which S21 notice should we use for AST's?
There are two types of S21 Notice and it is important that the correct one is issued to the tenant.
Health and safety: FAQs
Shoosmiths partner and regulatory specialist Ron Reid recently took part in a health and safety legal update webinar. Here, he answers post-webinar questions received from over 1,200 viewers.
Foam producers fined EUR 114 million as EU Competition Commission reaches cartel settlement
On 29 January 2014, the European Commission announced that it had fined four producers of flexible polyurethane foam products a total of EUR 114,077,000 for their participation in a cartel.
Lessons of 'Le Sulk' - Nicolas Anelka, scandals and sponsorship agreements
Following Zoopla's decision to end their sponsorship of West Bromwich Albion as a result of Nicolas Anelka's 'quenelle' goal celebration, we explore how sponsors can protect themselves against the bad behaviour of their athletes.
Public procurement: getting ready for the new rules
The public procurement rules are changing, and the Government is keen to implement these changes as soon as it can.
Coroners' PFD reports to be published online
From 14 January 2014, reports made by coroners to help prevent future deaths will be routinely published online.
Court of Appeal takes significant step in sentencing large companies
The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) has handed down judgment on two appeal cases brought by companies contesting the level of fines each received.
A reminder - Employers' Liability changes - what they mean for you
Section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (the
TUPE changes for transferees: what should we expect?
On 10 January 2014 the amendments to the TUPE Regulations were laid before Parliament. Although many of the proposed major changes have been diluted, the amendments may well provide new areas for debate.
CISX Restructure: all change for Channel Islands securities listings?
Last month, the Guernsey court approved a scheme of arrangement which saw the creation of a brand new Channel Islands stock exchange.
Anelka's own goal: what to do if employees damage your business
Footballer Nicolas Anelka's recent alleged anti-Semitic gesture has had significant consequences for his club who have lost one sponsor and face the prospect of losing more. What can you do if an employee's actions cause damage to your business?
Real estate: What's on the horizon for 2014 and beyond?
We take a look at the changes that anyone working in real estate can expect to see in 2014.
What's coming up in 2014: 10 legal employment issues you need to know
Every year brings with it a raft of new legislation and legal points for employers to grapple with. As we start yet another year of change to employment law, we look at the 10 most important developments in the pipeline.
Jurisdiction: can you be in two places at once?
Choosing and including the correct type of jurisdiction clause in a contract is important.
Good news for employers using fixed term contracts
The Court of Session has confirmed that the expiry of fixed term contracts do not trigger the requirement to collectively consult with appropriate representatives.
Practical tips for avoiding industrial action
An HR Director in France was recently 'taken hostage' by employees during an industrial dispute. Whilst this is an extreme example, employers wanting to avoid or manage industrial action would do well to consider the following points
The correct test for dismissal on the grounds of ill-health
In the recent case of BS v Dundee City Council clarification has been given on the correct test employers should apply to long-term health dismissals.
Limited Liability Partnerships and disguised remuneration
We commented in a previous article, issued on 2 December 2012, about HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) proposals to tighten up the rules allowing members of an LLP to be treated as self-employed.
French workers hold plant executives hostage
On 6 January 2014, workers at a Goodyear factory in Amiens, France,
EMI options changes: Are you prepared?
Buried in the raft of proposed legislation published by the Government last month are further details of some seemingly uninteresting and procedural changes to the way EMI options operate.
Plans to simplify petrol storage legislation
The Health and Safety Executive is consulting on changes to legislation concerning storage of petrol, with the aim of simplifying and modernising it.
Your Questions Answered: What to do with those in situ?
Social landlords continue to ask an age-old question: what to do with those left in occupation following the death of a tenant, or after a tenant parts with the whole of the property.
Public procurement: Revised thresholds
The European Commission has announced - Regulation 1336/2013 - that it will be changing the advertising thresholds under the public procurement rules with effect from 1 January 2014.
Pharmaceutical group agrees to pay over £380k in care home medicine cartel
On 12 December 2013, the OFT announced a £380k settlement had been agreed in relation to a market sharing cartel involving two pharmaceutical suppliers.
Warning to employers relying on occupational health reports
Employers managing employees on sickness absence often turn to occupational health ('OH') for guidance on whether an employee comes within the legal definition of a disabled person, but now need to be careful of unquestioningly relying on OH assessments.
Saving defective notices: when a non-specific letter can be a termination notice
In Vivergo Fuels Limited v Redhall Engineering Solutions Limited, the Technology and Construction Court found that a letter could constitute a valid notice notifying a breach even if it did not expressly refer to the relevant contractual provisions.
Acquisition Finance - Trends in 2013 and a look at the year ahead...
The last few years in the mid-market acquisition finance market have been tough for all parties. Opportunities have been fewer and the market more cautious and therefore slower to move when they do arise.
Failing to proceed with due diligence: Can this constitute a repudiatory breach of a building contract?
The Technology and Construction Court examined this issue in Sabic UK Petrochemicals Limited v Punj Lloyd Ltd and Vivergo Fuels Ltd v Redhall Engineering Solutions Ltd, and found in each case that it was not a repudiatory breach on the facts of the case.
A new dawn for defamation?
The Defamation Act 2013 comes into force on 1 January 2014. We provide details of the new regulations that will govern website operators when on notice of a complaint about online material.
Site Waste Management Plans revoked in England
The Government has acted on its plan to revoke Site Waste Management Plans (SWMPs) in England, with effect from the 1 December 2013.
Remedies for breach of contract : Scottish courts will enforce payment and performance, not just damages
If one party to a contract threatens not to perform their obligations (i.e. repudiates the contract) the innocent party has significantly different options depending on whether they are able to raise court proceedings north or south of the border.
The 12 cases of 2013
As Christmas approaches and another year draws to a close, we look back at some of the most notable cases of 2013.
Holiday pay to include commission according to the Advocate-General
The rules surrounding the calculation of holiday pay are notoriously complex and have resulted in a number of claims before the Employment Tribunal. Given the Advocate-General's recent opinion, this situation is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Living wage increased - costs and benefits to employers
The UK's Living Wage recently increased by 20p to £7.65 an hour outside of London and by 25p to £8.80 per hour in London. This equates to a pay rise of over £450 for Londoners working full time.
Who now has the right to succession?
It is important to know what changes have been made to the statutory regime for succession to a tenancy when a tenant dies
Shared parental leave confirmed from April 2015
The Government has confirmed that it will introduce a new system of shared parental leave by April 2015.
Tenancy of Shops Act in Scotland
Unlike the position in England, in Scotland there is virtually no statutory protection for a commercial tenant at the expiry of their lease.
Partnerships under pressure: Part 2
This is the second of two looks at new measures being introduced by the Revenue to crack down on what it perceives as the use of partnerships for tax avoidance purposes.
High Court considers new bonus in Part 36 regime
The recent case Feltham v Bouskell  EWHC 3086 (Ch) is one of the first to consider the additional sanction under CPR 36.14(3)(d), introduced on 1 April 2013 as part of the Jackson Reforms.
Partnerships under pressure: Part 1
The Revenue has announced a number of measures - and, for the arrangements covered by this article has already implemented the measure - to crack down on what it perceives as the use of partnerships for tax avoidance purposes.
No age discrimination by C4 in John McCririck claim
Following an employment tribunal's recent decision that John McCririck did not suffer age discrimination when he was replaced as a TV racing pundit, what steps can employers take to guard against similar claims?
Garden leave: 12 month restriction upheld by High Court
The High Court has granted an injunction to keep an employee on garden leave for the whole of his 12 month notice period.
Dominant Purpose test proves difficult to pass
We consider litigation privilege and the dominant purpose test. Litigation privilege stems from a principle that those engaged in/contemplating litigation should be free to gather evidence without a requirement to disclose that evidence to opponents.
Occupational Pension Schemes and Money Purchase Benefits: Government Consultation
The DWP has issued draft regulations for consultation. This follows the change in the statutory definition of money purchase benefits, due to come into force next year.
New WEEE Regulations
BIS has published a response to its consultation on implementation of the Recast WEEE Directive 2012, along with draft Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013.
Initial Phase of CRC: Have you registered?
The registration period for the Initial Phase of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme opened on 4 November 2013, and those affected have until 31 January 2014 to register with the Environment Agency.
Pension Schemes: Disclosure of Information Regulations
Earlier this year, the DWP consulted on proposals to 'consolidate, harmonise and simplify' the existing disclosure regime.
Employers - are you making the most of occupational health?
Employee health can be a significant source of risk for any business and employers increasingly seek help from medical professionals in managing such risk.
Pensions liberation: The latest instalment
In the recent case, Pi Consulting (Trustee Services) Ltd v The Pensions Regulator (and Others), the High Court ruled that the suspected pension liberation schemes were 'occupational pension schemes' within the statutory definition.
The Pensions Regulator's Code of Practice on defined contribution pension schemes
The Pensions Regulator's Code of Practice: Governance and Administration of Occupational Defined Contribution (DC) trust-based pension schemes was laid before Parliament in July 2013.
Are double derivative actions preserved?
In UPMS v Fort Gilkicker the High Court had to decide whether common law recognises the concept of double derivative actions and if so, whether they survived the coming into force of the Companies Act 2006.
Woolworths update: Case to go to Court of Appeal
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision in USDAW v Ethel Austin Ltd (in administration); USDAW and anor etc - the Woolworths case - sent shockwaves through the legal and HR professions.
Assignment and novation in construction and engineering projects
It is important to understand the difference between assignment and novation when engaging in construction and engineering projects.
Does 'all monies' mean all monies?
Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal, in National Merchant Buying Society Limited v Bellamy and Another, held that an all monies, continuing guarantee, given when there was an existing specific obligation, was not discharged by a subsequent variation.
Electronic signatures: not yet a substitute for the 'wet' signature in corporate transactions
Signing a document is a simple method of confirming the agreement of contracting parties.
Contracted out tenants: Take note
We tend to focus on the risks to a landlord of a tenant remaining in occupation beyond the expiry of a contracted out lease.
New guidance for employers on preventing illegal working published
The UK Border Agency has updated its guidance for employers on preventing illegal working in the UK.
TUPE: changes to be implemented in January 2014
Draft legislation amending TUPE and the law relating to collective redundancies has now been published and is expected to come into force in January 2014.
Clamping down on Unlawful Subletting
The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 (The Act) came into force on 15 October 2013. The Act aims to address the overwhelming statistics relating to the unlawful subletting and housing fraud.
There are dozens of deaths and more than 40,000 injuries each year related to the use of machines.
You will comply : The Jackson Reforms - Six months on
Many expected a revolutionary new take on the conduct of litigation, with costs budgeting taking centre stage. Six months on, and it is time to analyse the impact so far; have the Jackson Reforms been revolutionary, and what has been their effect?
HSE legislation changes: First Aid and RIDDOR
From 1 October 2013, changes have been made to two pieces of Health and Safety legislation in an attempt to help businesses comply with the law.
National Crime Agency - Requests for Information
The National Crime Agency (NCA) replaced the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) on 7 October 2013 as the UK's main body for tackling organised crime.
Business immigration changes
Immigration into the UK continues to be a hot topic, with the Government wanting to reduce net immigration and ensure immigration that does happen is 'good immigration, not mass immigration'.
Judicial Review: Planning permission
In September 2013, the Ministry of Justice issued its consultation paper Judicial Review - Proposals for Further Reform, which sets out proposals to further speed up the judicial review (JR) process following the grant of planning permission.
Ministry of Justice fined £140k for 'sensitive personal data' breach
The Ministry of Justice has been fined £140,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for a serious breach of the Seventh Data Protection Principle.
Break options and surrenders: Effect on subletting
Where a property has been sublet, the parties to the headlease must be cautious about any determination of it.
Red Tape Challenge focuses on filings
In the latest round of the Government's Red Tape Challenge company filing requirements have been put under the spotlight.
Who is pulling the strings?
Ownership and control of UK companies is under review following the Government's commitment to enhance transparency and increase trust in UK business.
Directors' pay: Full disclosure
The final pieces of the Government's jigsaw of reforms on directors' pay have been slotted into place.
Penalties for losing employers to be introduced in tribunals from April 2014
It has been announced that from April 2014 employment tribunals will have the power to order losing employers to pay a financial penalty on top of any financial award made to the claimant.
Working time cases round-up
The vexed issues of holiday entitlement and holiday pay under the Working Time Regulations 1998 continue to keep tribunals busy. We round-up some recent cases with potentially far reaching consequences for employers.
'Proceed with due diligence': What does it mean in construction contracts and development agreements?
The Technology and Construction Court examined this issue in a recent case - Sabic UK Petrochemicals Limited v Punj Lloyd Limited - and found that the contractor was in breach of the obligation.
Repairs and implied terms
In a recent case, the High Court implied under a lease a term that rent be refunded to a tenant following the successful exercise of a break option .
Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery: Causing distress for landlords
The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 was passed on 26 July 2013, bringing major changes to commercial landlords' ability to recover rent from defaulting tenants when the regulations come into force on 6 April 2014
Regaining possession of commercial property
When trespassers occupy commercial property, landlords often face an uphill struggle to regain possession and can be faced with a host of associated costs.
Age discrimination and age-related pension scheme contributions
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled on the validity of age-related contributions in a money purchase pension scheme, confirming they are permissible provided they can be objectively justified.
Recruitment: avoiding age discrimination pitfalls
Age discrimination is in the news again as high profile claimants bring cases in the employment tribunal. Employers who discriminate on the basis of age face awards of unlimited compensation.
Authorised Guarantee Agreements: Not clearly understood or properly used
Authorised Guarantee Agreements have been the subject of much commentary in the last few years - principally because of decisions in Good Harvest Partnership LLP and K/S Victoria Street v House of Fraser (Stores Management) Ltd.
Employment tribunal costs: difficulties of recovery against a losing party
Lord Sugar's recent win in employment tribunal proved bitter sweet when he was unable to recover any of his costs, but his experience is far from unusual.
Part 36 v Calderbank : Rise of the Reforms
There has been a lot of buzz about the Jackson reforms. We highlight afew considerations which demonstrate that when trying to settle a dispute, the battle still rages about which settlement mechanism (Part 36 or Calderbank) is more advantageous.
Commercial Court rules 'no riot' for insurers or business
The Commercial Court has ruled that consequential losses arising from riots cannot be recovered from the public purse.
Takeover Panel extends scope of jurisdiction to non UK-based AIM companies
More AIM companies are set to become subject to the provisions of the UK Takeover Code at the end of September 2013 as a result of changes published earlier this year.
The Big Bang: Where are we now?
For many, the Big Bang was not quite the explosion everyone was expecting.
Lack of impartial grievance appeal was breach of employment contract
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled that an employer's failure to provide an impartial grievance appeal could amount to a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence.
Religious discrimination: can a ban on full face veil be lawful?
A judge recently ruled that a Muslim woman on trial for allegedly intimidating a witness could not give evidence unless she removed her face veil.
Terminating senior executives: how to avoid paying more than you have to
The BBC has recently hit the headlines itself for making over-generous termination payments to departing senior employees.
Data protection reform: A softening of approach?
Proposed data protection reforms have been the subject of much discussion, debate and lobbying since the draft regulation was first issued in January 2012.
New Green Lease Toolkit
The Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) has issued a new version of its Green Lease Toolkit, including new model green lease clauses and a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Stamp Duty Land Tax and group relief
HMRC recently clarified how it applies the anti-avoidance rule in the context of intra-group asset transfers following corporate acquisitions.
Prematurity and emerging planning policies
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is clear that while decision takers may give weight to emerging planning policies, the amount of such weight will depend upon the stage of preparation of the emerging plan.
Office to residential conversions and permitted development rights
Permitted development rights introduced in May 2013 are creating quite a stir. These allow the change of use of buildings from B1(a) (offices) to C3 (dwelling houses), subject to a prior approval process by the local planning authority (LPA).
TUPE changes u-turn: evolution not revolution
The Government has confirmed that amendments will be made to the TUPE Regulations early next year. However, the service change provisions will not be repealed as had previously been expected.
TUPE consultation: Good news for outsourcing service providers
In April this year, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills launched a consultation seeking views on the Government's proposed reforms to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE Regulations).
New SDLT sub-sale relief rules
In an earlier article we outlined the introduction of the new sub-sale relief rules. These have now been enacted in the Finance Act 2013.
Supply agreement for combined heat and power systems
It is a common feature with new developments that combined heat and power systems may be included.
Data protection: Time to take action
On 25 January 2012, the European Commission decided that a substantial overhaul of data protection regulation is required and issued its proposals for change.
Further developments in SDLT
We have previously reported on earlier court decisions considering certain aspects of the SDLT legislation.
Bonus bonanza for male managers at women's expense?
Data published recently by the Chartered Management Institute ('CMI') has revealed that on average last year men in management positions received bonuses which were twice as high as those paid out to female managers.
Employee shareholders from 1 September 2013
From 1 September it will be possible for companies to engage staff as employee shareholders, a new type of employment status with tax benefits.
What's it worth?
We consider the principle of unjust enrichment in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Benedetti v Sawiris and others  UKSC 50.
Court rules employers must provide footwear
A Scottish Court has recently considered when employers should provide protective footwear to any staff who work outdoors.
Exclusion clauses: Do exactly what they say on the tin
Whilst many lawyers pride themselves on their level of precision, it is important to be accurate when drafting exclusion clauses to avoid potential contamination of the clause.
What adjustments does an employer need to make to its absence policy for a disabled employee?
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently considered how an employer might make allowances for disabled employees when applying its sickness absence policy.
Termination of employment: settlement negotiations must be 'subject to contract'
A recent case has highlighted the pitfalls of failing to make any settlement offer 'subject to contract'.
High Court rules on badger cull protestor injunction
In a ruling yesterday on application of the National Farmers Union, the High Court granted an interim injunction to restrain the activities of animal rights campaigners planning protests at next week's government-sanctioned badger cull.
Is Luis Suarez right: Does an oral agreement between parties vary the terms of their written agreement?
Last weekend heralded the return of the Premier League football season, and the spotlight for the foreseeable future for clubs, players and fans is firmly fixed on potential transfer business before the transfer window closes.
New guidance leaves crucial data protection compliance questions unanswered
One of the best known rights enshrined in the Data Protection Act 1998 is the right of individuals to make data subject access requests (DSARs) of any organisation they believe is holding - described by the Act as processing - their personal data.
When does custom and practice create a legal entitlement to employment benefits?
Employees sometimes argue that what the employer considered a discretionary benefit has become a binding term of their employment contract through custom and practice.
Government launches consultation on new tax-free childcare scheme
On 5 August the Government launched a consultation on a new type of tax-free childcare scheme which is expected to be introduced from Autumn 2015. The consultation closes on 14 October 2013.
UK Supreme Court adopts pragmatic approach to alternative methods of service for service outside the jurisdiction
The Supreme Court upheld a High Court decision granting the appeallant permission to serve a claim form outside of the jurisdiction, despite the alternative method of service not originally being permitted by the order.
First charges by SFO under Bribery Act
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has brought proceedings against three individuals under the Bribery Act 2010.
A new 'Highway Code' for health and safety
'Managing for Health and Safety' is a new internet micro site published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at the end of July.
Discretionary bonuses: when can employers not pay?
The Co-Operative Insurance Society is reportedly in dispute with ten former employees for withholding their bonus payments due to difficult market conditions.
Material Adverse Change - What does it mean?
Material adverse change (MAC) provisions appear in the majority of loan agreements. The recent Grupo Hotelero case included interpretation of MAC in the context of a representation that there had been no MAC in a borrower's financial condition.
Zero hours contracts: is time up?
Growing public concern over zero hours contracts has led the Government to review their use. What does this mean for companies which employ staff on such contracts?
Late delivery of development: Repudiatory Breach?
The recent case of Telford Homes (Creekside) Ltd v Ampurius Nu Homes Holdings considered how serious a breach of contract needs to be before it can be accepted as a repudiatory breach of contract.
Should a landlord shadow its tenant's premises licence?
Loss of a premises licence can have a significant impact on the value of a property.
Housing Management Update: August 2013
'Bedroom tax' beginning to bite: On 1 April 2013, the cap on the amount of benefits people can receive took effect across England, Scotland and Wales.
Rihanna image infringed by Topshop
The High Court has ruled in favour of pop star Rihanna against high street clothes retailer Topshop, which used an unauthorised image of her (almost identical to one used on her CD) on some of its T-shirts.
Bribery and Economic Crime - Deferred Prosecution Agreements a new tool for prosecutors
The Government has long protested that the present legal system had inadequate powers to effectively deal with criminal enforcement against commercial organisations in the field of complex and serious economic crime.
Nortel and Lehman Brothers Case on FSDs Decided - A workable way forward
The case involved two groups (the Nortel group and the Lehman group) each of which contained occupational pension schemes with substantial funding deficits.
Discrimination: is the next big thing 'lookism'?
Not for the first time the fashion industry is under fire for its recruitment policies. Could requiring staff to have a certain 'look' be the next form of discrimination?
Energy savings opportunity for larger companies
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is currently consulting on proposals for a new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).
Public hearing maintained despite fear of reputational damage
When disputes escalate to court proceedings, it is not uncommon for the Statements of Case to contain pointed allegations of misconduct or impropriety.
Significant employment law and practice changes from 29 July 2013
Monday 29 July 2013 will see some very significant changes to employment law and practice and employers and individuals need to make sure they are ready!
Chattels and Fixtures: Remove or Not?
Peel Land and Property (Ports No.3) Limited v Sheerness Steel Limited, decided in June, considers the classification of chattels and fixtures and the tricky distinction between those fixtures a tenant may and may not remove at the end of its lease.
Court of Appeal success for holiday park owner
A Court of Appeal judgment has confirmed an important exception to the general rule that positive covenants do not bind subsequent purchasers of the freehold title.
Litigation: A bit like the Tour de France
Many of us have been avid watchers of this year's Tour de France, and it got us to thinking that this epic race is a little bit like litigation.
UPDATE: Employee ownership
Employee ownership is a topic that remains high on the Government's agenda.
Royal baby: common maternity pitfalls for employers
The Duchess of Cambridge is the newest member of The Firm but, as the world celebrates the arrival of her baby, it is unlikely that Kate will have to deal with the difficulties encountered by many women on maternity leave.
ECJ makes employer friendly TUPE decision: relief for transferees
The ECJ has ruled that UK courts must adopt a 'static' rather than 'dynamic' approach to collectively agreed terms on a TUPE transfer. This is good news for transferees on a public sector outsourcing.
Please release me: Lease guarantors and licences for alterations
The recent decision in Topland Portfolio No.1 Limited v Smiths New Trading Limited is a useful reminder to landlords to join any existing guarantor into supplemental lease documents.
Workers have free choice of companions at disciplinary and grievance meetings
A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal demonstrates the latitude which employers must give workers in choosing companions to accompany them at disciplinary and grievance meetings.
Bringing an administration to an end: Considerations for administrators
A recent opinion by Lord Hodge in the Court of Session has clarified an administrator's powers and duties in cases where they wish to bring an administration to an end.
Managing absence in the heatwave: throwing 'sickies' in the sunshine
With the current heatwave, employers need to consider their strategy for keeping control of employee absences during the hot weather as employees make the most of the sun.
A lucky break?
In Siemens Hearing Instruments Limited v Friends Life Limited, the High Court has held that a break notice which failed to comply with the express provisions of the break clause was nonetheless valid.
The Draft Consumer Rights Bill - enhanced rights for consumers
The Government has published its Draft Consumer Rights Bill, through which it proposes a significant overhaul of UK consumer protection legislation.
Wal-Mart fined for dumping hazardous waste in US
In May 2013, US store Wal-Mart pleaded guilty to dumping hazardous waste in California and Missouri over a number of years. It has agreed to pay almost $82m (£54m) in civil and criminal charges.
Royal baby: paternity leave entitlements for Prince William
As the world waits for the arrival of Royal baby Cambridge we consider the current statutory paternity leave entitlements of expectant fathers and how these are expected to change in the future.
Code of practice for well-maintained highways held to be non-mandatory guidance
Some local authorities may have been concerned by the decision of Mrs Justice Slade in AC v Devon CC  EWHC 796 (QB,) which held that the recommended inspection interval of roads in a non-statutory code of practice was a mandatory standard.
Reasonable adjustments: disabled employee could be subject to competitive interview
The EAT has ruled that an employer was not required to waive a competitive interview process for a disabled employee in a redundancy situation.
Disciplining employees in their absence: employers beware!
There may be occasions when employers have to take disciplinary action against employees in their absence but this carries legal risks.
Capacity and identity: Who do you think you are?
The recent Court of Appeal case of Hamid v Francis Bradshaw Partnership has highlighted the importance of ensuring that the identity of the parties to - and the capacity of a signatory of - a contract are clear.
Major change to collective redundancy consultation: Counting to 20
The eagerly awaited Employment Appeal Tribunal judgment in the case of USDAW and others v WW Realisation 1 Ltd (in Liquidation) and others has been published.
Divorce and debt: Protecting spouses rights in Scotland
A recent judgment in the Scottish Court of Session has underlined the need for couples who are divorced or separated to ensure that their interests are adequately protected against any financial difficulties their former partner may experience.
Content at a cost: OFT probes in-app purchases
A string of news stories highlighting the ease with which children can spend hundreds of pounds in a free-to-download application - 'app' - has prompted the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to launch an investigation.
Tuesday 25 June was an historic day for the Scottish Parliament. A bill allowing the Scottish Government to set and collect stamp duty from the sale of properties was approved by MSPs.
One in five construction sites fails safety checks
A recent month-long HSE initiative found that almost one-in-five construction sites visited failed safety checks.
Safety warnings after the Lakanal House fire
At 4:20pm on 3 July 2009, a fire broke out at Lakanal House, London. Six people lost their lives in the fire, and an extensive investigation followed by the Metropolitan Police and Southwark Council.
Health surveillance: What is it?
The HSE has launched new online guidance on 'health surveillance' to make it easier for employers to understand their obligations and how they can check and protect their workers' health.
Draft Consumer Rights Bill Published
The Draft Bill was published on 12 June 2013 and will represent the biggest overhaul of consumer law for decades.
Effective risk management
Effective risk management is an integral part of ensuring compliance across many aspects of regulatory law.
Using restrictive covenants to secure overage payments
In the recent case of Cosmichome Ltd v Southampton City Council, the High Court considered the suitability of using a restrictive covenant to secure an overage payment.
Counting the Cost of Time
If your business has been disrupted by a problem that later leads to litigation, you may be able to recover the cost of time spent by management and staff in remedying the problem.
Collective consultation and the meaning of establishment: Hints of a surprising decision from the EAT
There have been a number of stories circulating in the legal press during the past week that suggest we face a significant change in the law concerning collective redundancy consultation.
EU venture capital fund regulation gets green light
The European Parliament and Council has approved a new proposed Regulation for managers of European Venture Capital Funds (EuVECA).
New Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure: the essentials
Users of the Employment Tribunals will have to get to grips with a new set of procedural rules. The new rules are introduced from 29 July 2013.
Commercial rent arrears recovery: Practical steps for commercial landlords to consider
Commercial landlords will be familiar with the common law remedy of levying distress for rent.
Trade union membership increasing in the UK
The office of National Statistics has recently released its annual review of Trade Union membership in the UK.
Google auto complete function: Time to clean up its act?
Have you ever been impressed with the ability of Google to read your mind when you type a phrase into the search box and it finishes off your sentence?
Warranties: How far do they extend?
In the recent case of Belfairs Management Limited v Sutherland the Court of Appeal examined how far the scope of a warranty may extend.
Directors' pay - shareholders to have the final say!
During the past year we outlined some of the changes proposed by the Government in relation to directors' remuneration.
Has your company done its research into R&D tax relief?
Many companies may be unaware that they are eligible to claim research and development (R&D) tax relief, and will be surprised by how much relief they could claim.
Consent payments: Are they lawful?
Are 'payments' offered to loan note holders to encourage their consent to documentation changes allowed?
Invoice financing: Are you 'on trend'?
In these challenging times, with change around every corner, invoice financing offers a way for businesses to manage cash flow and free up working capital - it is fast evolving into the latest way to fund.
European Commission consults on new technology licensing rules
The EC has conducted a consultation on proposed changes to the technology transfer block exemption (TTBE) and accompanying Guidelines, which exempt certain technology licensing agreements from the EU/UK competition law ban on anti-competitive agreements.
General Medical Council: Changes to GMC Fitness to Practise Rules
On 11 June 2012, the Medical Practitioners' Tribunal Service (MPTS) was launched to provide an impartial adjudication function for doctors as part of the GMC's fitness to practise reforms.
When disaster strikes ...
... businesses need to ensure that they are able to continue 'business as usual.'
Pension trustee decision-making: Fishing for a solution?
On 9 May, the Supreme Court gave judgment in the cases of Futter and another v HMRC and Pitt and another v HMRC. These cases are very similar and deal with decision-making by pension trustees.
All change, please: Defamation Act 2013
After considerable Parliamentary ping-pong and various political manoeuvrings in light of the Leveson inquiry recommendations, Royal Assent has finally been given to the Act that purports to balance protection of reputation and freedom of speech ...
References for ex-employees: an employers' guide to avoiding liability
Drafting references can be a legal minefield for employers. This has not been helped by recent confusion over whether ex-employees are protected against victimisation if they receive a negative assessment.
Retail travel: An opportunity for growth
Travel locations, such as airports and train stations, are one part of the retail sector which has held up relatively well during the economic downturn.
Further twists to service charge consultation
In the recent case of Daejan Investments Ltd v Benson , the Supreme Court granted a landlord dispensation from service charge consultation requirements, overturning the decisions of the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) and the Court of Appeal.
Sir Alex Ferguson's departure shows employers need game plan for succession
When a key employee leaves, even on friendly terms, employers can find themselves facing difficult practical and legal issues over who to replace them with. How can employers manage succession in an orderly way?
Bring your own device: ICO publishes new guidance
A survey by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has revealed that 47% of all UK adults now use their personal smart phone, laptop or tablet computer for work purposes - known as 'bring your own device' (BYOD).
Judicial review: It's about time
At present, an application for a judicial review of a decision made by a public body must be made 'promptly' and within three months of that decision being taken in any event.
Life cycle of a services contract: what goes around comes around
When negotiating a contract for the provision of services the legal implications of TUPE should inform the commercial position of the parties.
New redundancy consultation requirements: some things stay the same
Although changes to the collective redundancy consultation regime introduced last month have been well publicised, some important things are not changing.
Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013
The Growth and Infrastructure Bill finally received Royal Assent on 25 April. Amending existing legislation, it introduces a number of reforms that will affect the planning application process.
Promises, promises: employers must be careful what they say to employees in difficult times
The Court of Appeal recently upheld the EAT's decision in a case concerning bonuses promised to bankers prior to the sale of their employer.
TUPE: duty to inform and consult does not apply if transfer never takes place
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has handed down a helpful decision on identifying the affected employees with whom information and consultation must take place on a TUPE transfer.
Corporate governance: trade union voting and engagement guidelines
The TUC, Unison and UNITE recently announced they had formed the Trade Union Share Owners group and published the Trade Union Voting and Engagement Guidelines.
Empty property rates relief: High Court decision
We have commented in the past about actions local authorities are taking to challenge the availability of charitable rates relief in connection with various arrangements that charities have been involved with.
Purpose clauses: Can Lenders claim breach of trust?
In most facility agreements, lenders include a clause that the loan can only be used for a specific purpose (for example to assist with the costs of development of a property).
Pensions: Is this the end for RPI?
On 19 March 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published two new price indices (RPIJ and CPIH) and de-designated RPI as a National Statistic.
Property owners are at risk if Land Registry addresses are out-of-date
The Land Registry requires an address for service for owners of certain interests in land. Most significantly, it requires an address for service for any owner of registered land or of a charge over it.
Disabled employees should have been offered part-time working
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently clarified the scope of
Reasonable adjustments for employees: a reminder for employers
The legal duty on employers to make reasonable adjustments is a regular source of litigation. In this article we remind employers of some of the main points to remember in this area.
Women on boards: progress made but more to do
The drive to increase female participation on the Boards of the UK's largest companies is still under the spotlight as a further report is published.
IT security is often virtually forgotten
The IT industry have seen a rapid move towards 'virtualisation' for example, the 2012 InformationWeek State of the Data Centre survey highlighted that half of the 256 respondents would have at least 50% of their production servers virtualised by 2013.
Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act: Changes to heritage planning
Significant changes to the law concerning Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas are set to be made under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, which received Royal Assent on 25 April.
Good faith: High Court decides to swim with the tide
In the recent case of Yam Seng Pte Limited v International Trade Corporation Limited, the High Court decided to swim with the tide and recognise an implied duty of good faith and fair dealing.
Interim Rent Guide
Interim rent is a source of confusion for landlords, tenants and practitioners alike. Our team deals with hundreds of lease renewals each year, and this short guide deals with some of the more frequently asked questions.
CPR Reform: How Jackson will impact lease renewal proceedings
The 'Jackson Reforms' herald a new era in the management of and procedure for civil litigation.
Redevelopment Break Clauses
If a landlord is considering redeveloping premises but cannot yet make out the redevelopment statutory ground of opposition set out in section 30(1)(f) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, all is not lost - a redevelopment break clause could be an option
Commercial leases: the pitfalls of forfeiture
Forfeiture is a common and cost-effective method of terminating commercial leases, but is not always the best course of action.
Seed investment scheme begins to take root - SEIS extended
The Budget 2013 contained a number of measures to extend the capital gains tax relief for re-investing gains in Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) shares.
Will Supreme Court ruling impact on businesses offering 'repair and replace' warranties?
The Financial Services Authority (FSA - now replaced by the FCA) took action against Digital Satellite Warranty Cover Limited (Digital) to wind it up 'in the public interest'.
Crack down on National Minimum Wage payments as rates rise again
The National Minimum Wage will rise again in October 2013 when both the adult and apprenticeship rates will increase.
Mental health and best practice: Appropriately processing data from individuals with mental health problems under the Data Protection Act (1998)
The joint Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG) and Royal Collage of Psychiatrists (RCP) brefing note on appropriately processing data from individuals with mental health problems was released on 4 April 2013.
Fees for Intervention - Six months on
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) introduced the Fees for Intervention (FFI) scheme on 1 October 2012. Six months on, what has been the experience of clients?
UPDATE: Government action on share buy-backs
The BIS consultation on the recommendations in the Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership closed in November 2012.
Revised fit note guidance issued by DWP
From 6 April 2010 sick notes issued by GPs were replaced by fit notes. The Government hoped this would help encourage employees to return to work and reduce the culture of absenteeism.
EAT says obesity is not a disability
In a recent decision the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has confirmed that obesity itself is not a disability for the purposes of discrimination law. However, it held that conditions caused by obesity are likely to render someone disabled.
Factors to consider before dismissing at the request of a third party
Employers may need to dismiss an employee in various circumstances because a third party has requested it. The EAT has recently considered what would render such a dismissal fair.
Transgender patients: Doctors and the General Medical Council
The Francis Report, published on 6 February 2013 as a result of the public enquiry into the Mid Staffordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, places the onus on healthcare providers and healthcare professionals to put patients first.
Good character evidence: Wisson v Health Professions Council (2013)
The appellant was a podiatrist - Raymond Wisson - registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC)∗.
Minority shareholders: How far do your rights extend?
In the recent case of Eckerle and others v Wickeder Westfalenstahl GmbH and another, the High Court examined whether minority shareholder protection afforded by the Companies Act 2006 extends to a holder of beneficial interest in shares.
The concept of proportionality is not new to litigation
In addition to the overriding objective, a new test of proportionality has been introduced when assessing costs.
The concept of proportionality is not new to litigation
On 1 April 2013 there will be a cultural shift in the civil litigation landscape, mostly arising out of recommendations made by Lord Justice Jackson.
Civil Procedure Rules - The Big Bang: But what does it mean for you?
Lord Justice Jackson completed his year long review of costs in civil litigation in January 2010, when his final report was published.
High Growth Segment: New market now open
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has announced that its new market segment aimed at fast-growing companies is now open for applications for admission to trading.
Importance of legal representation before regulatory bodies
The appellant was a midwife employed at an NHS hospital, who faced 13 allegations at a Conduct and Competence Committee of the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC). McDaid v Nursing & Midwifery Council  EWHC 586 (Admin).
Redundancy selection criteria - keeping it fair
When employers have to select employees for redundancy they risk claims for unfair dismissal, as a recent case shows.
The Health and Safety Executive and the GMC: A Memorandum of Understanding
In December 2012, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the General Medical Council (GMC) released a Memorandum of Understanding to improve communication between the two organisations in areas where they share a mutual interest.
Snow and storms: survival guide for employers
As snow and storms cause severe disruption across the UK, many organisations will be forced to close but what are employers' rights and obligations in such circumstances?
Cooperation is what you need: Part 2 - Outsourcing: Customer breach of duty of good faith decision reversed
The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal to be brought by Mid-Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust against Compass Group UK and Ireland Limited T/A Medirest (Medirest) on the grounds that the High Court judgment made in 2012 should be overturned.
Budget 2013: Government looks again at housing supply
In his March 2013 Budget statement, the Chancellor has announced various measures targeted at promoting growth and addressing some of the structural issues with housing supply and accessibility.
Budget 2013: Tax Summary
The Chancellor presented the 2013 Budget to Parliament yesterday (20 March). The following is a summary of the main tax points of interest with the draft Finance Bill to be published on 28 March
Relaxing the regime on company names
Have you ever chosen the perfect name for a company, only to be told you cannot have it?
Hiring employees: maximising your returns
Recruitment company, Manpower, has reported that the UK's employment situation is the best since the recession began, and that recruitment is set to increase.
Loss of disciplinary data leads to large fine
The Nursing and Midwifery Council has been fined £150,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office for losing three DVDs which contained evidence relating to a disciplinary investigation.
Simplification of outline planning applications
The Government has continued its measures to streamline the planning process with the publication of the Town and Country (Development Management Procedure) (England) (Amendment No 3) Order 2012 (DMPO), which came into effect on 31 January 2013.
Stamp Duty Land Tax: Finance Bill 2013 - Recent Developments
This article summarises the main changes proposed in the draft clauses of the Finance Bill 2013, with particular reference to the transfer of rights (sub-sale) rules.
A customer's guide to agile software development: part 2 - what should a customer do?
This article looks at what a customer entering an agile development project should do to ensure it is geared up to implement such a project and that the documents governing the same adequately protect its position.
Exclusion of mines and minerals: the considerations
Reservations of mines and minerals have come into sharp focus over the last year, and pose a new challenge for developers.
Misconceptions in relation to Chancel Repair
There are some common misconceptions about chancel repair liability. Here, we seek to clarify two of them.
Late payment of commercial debts: New developments of interest
The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013 come into force on 16 March 2013, affecting commercial contracts for the supply of goods or services entered into after that date.
How to miss penalties: A guide to avoiding penalty clauses
Being English, you might think it is our nature to miss penalties, but what you might not realise is that as lawyers we can be just as anxious about penalties as the Premier League's finest.
A customer's guide to agile software development: part 1 - what is agile?
Agile software development is fast becoming a mainstream development methodology and has seen a steep increase in use over the last decade.
Yahoo, Marissa Mayer and remote working: the employment law angle
Yahoo's Marissa Mayer caused an outcry when she banned 'remote working' at the company: organisations thinking about a similar move could fall foul of employment laws.
Agency workers and collective consultation: don't get caught out
A recent employment tribunal decision is a timely warning to employers who may not be aware that the law relating to collective consultation on a TUPE transfer and where more than 20 redundancies are proposed has changed.
Fixed term contracts and redundancy consultation: changes from April 2013
Draft legislation to implement the Government's previously announced intention to make changes to the consultation regime for collective redundancies has now been published.
New UK Timber Regulations
New UK regulations come into force on 3 March 2013 to enforce the EU Timber Regulations.
Unfair dismissal for political views: no need for qualifying service
The requirement for employees to have two years' service before bringing a claim for unfair dismissal where the reason for dismissal was the employee's political opinion or affiliation is to be removed.
Temperature at work: Employer obligations
With more snow forecast in the coming weeks, it seems an appropriate time to consider temperature in the workplace and the responsibilities of employers to provide a comfortable work environment for their employees.
Swansea mine deaths: charges confirmed
Malcolm Fyfield, a manager at the mine where four men lost their lives in 2011, has been charged with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter.
HSE to bring local authorities into line?
Local authorities have jurisdiction for enforcing health and safety legislation for a significant number of types of businesses and premises, including shops, hotels, warehouses, pubs and clubs.
Employee shareholders: the basics
A new employment status intended to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to take on staff was proposed by the Government last year. Following a short consultation the legislation incorporating the changes is now making its way through Parliament.
Speeding towards trouble: Foreign employees in company cars
Employers of foreign nationals who visit the UK for extended periods and who need to drive for work, should be aware of UK requirements for international drivers and their responsibility for employees' health and safety.
Penalty clauses and liquidated damages: Traps for the unwary
Liquidated damages (LDs) clauses stipulate that a certain specified sum of money will be payable by one ('guilty') party to the other ('innocent') party, where there has been a particular breach of contract.
What is good faith?
Whilst there is no implied duty of good faith in English contracts, this is not the case in many European civil law jurisdictions; such as Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.
Exclusion clauses: Top drafting tips and recent developments
The parties to a commercial agreement often try to manage their risk by inserting clauses into the contract stating that one or both of the parties' liability - for example, where there is a breach of contract - is limited or restricted in certain ways.
IT contracts: Dealing with the risk of supplier insolvency
The collapse of systems integrator and reseller 2e2 in January has highlighted the danger for clients of companies such as 2e2, and focuses attention on how to deal with this type of situation.
Love in the workplace: heartache for employers?
As the nation has just participated in the annual lovefest that is Valentine's Day, spare a thought for employers having to deal with the fall out from the increasingly common office romance.
State aid: Green light for UK's Green Deal
The European Commission has given the green light to a £600m funding package to support the UK's Green Deal - a new way for consumers to pay for energy saving improvements to their property.
High and dry? Flooding and uninsured risks
The Statement of Principles on the Provision of Flood Insurance was last renewed by the Government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) in July 2008.
PILON: Employer pays the price for termination confusion
The Supreme Court recently handed down an important decision affecting the operation of pay in lieu of notice clauses.
Checking criminal records: Court rules current regime must change
In the recent case of T v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester and ors, the Court of Appeal considered whether the current criminal records checking system breaches article 8 of the ECHR.
Break conditions in a lease: no Court of Appeal ruling on strict compliance
It has been reported in the legal press that the parties in <em>Avocet Industrial Estates LLP v Merol Ltd and another  </em> have reached an agreement in court.
Going viral: misuse of work emails
In this article we consider the legal issues regarding misuse of email in the workplace and what employers can do to protect their businesses.
Litigation in Scotland
The addition of the ACH Shoosmiths full service office in Edinburgh means that Shoosmiths can advise clients on litigation matters throughout the UK. In this article we highlight some of the key litigation considerations north of the border.
Restrictive covenants in sale agreements: Enforceable or restraint of trade?
A recent High Court case has considered whether restrictive covenants placed on a seller amounted to an unlawful restraint of trade.
Pension Schemes: Pension Protection Fund and Contingent assets 2013-2014
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has published its Levy Estimate for the 2013/14 levy year.
Victory for franchisors
In the recent High Court case of PSG Franchising v Lydia Darby, a year-long restrictive covenant in a franchise agreement to protect the franchisor's goodwill post-termination, was held to be valid and enforceable - despite being drafted in broad terms.
BIS launches new code of practice for age restricted products
The Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has published a new Age Restricted Products Code of Practice.
Permitted development rights - office to residential conversion
The Government is introducing a new permitted development right to allow offices to be converted into flats without the need for planning permission.
On your NED be it: A reminder of the expectations of the role of non-executive directors
On 18 January, the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) published a guidance note on the liability of non-executive directors (NEDs).
Changes to Energy Performance Regulations
The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 came into force on 9 January 2013, replacing all previous energy performance regulations.
The Green Deal: Should you take advantage?
Funding under the Green Deal will be available for domestic and non-domestic properties from 28 January 2013.
FOS award no longer end of the road for claimants
In late December 2012, the High Court heard the appeal in Clark v In Focus Asset Management and Tax Solutions Limited.
Online behavioural advertising: The new rules
From 4 February 2013, organisations using targeting advertising online - known as 'online behavioural advertising' (OBA) - will be required to tell web users about their use of OBA and allow them to opt-out of having their data collected and used for OBA.
Supreme Court decision on legal advice privilege
The Supreme Court today handed down its decision in the case of R (on the application of Prudential plc and another) (Appellants) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax and another (Respondents)  UKSC 1.
Construction blacklisting: ICO under scrutiny
The Information Commissioner's handling of the blacklisting of construction workers scandal is under scrutiny in Parliament.
TUPE changes: end of the line for service change provisions?
A consultation on removing the service change provisions from TUPE has been launched.
Tenants' right of first refusal: Transfer to a management company
It is well known that the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 - legislation relating to tenants' right of first refusal - is badly drafted, but developers need to be aware of a lesser known defect affecting flats schemes.
Christine Tacon appointed first Groceries Code Adjudicator
Christine Tacon has been appointed to the newly-created role of independent Groceries Code Adjudicator - already dubbed 'supermarket ombudsman'.
Job applicants' health: Can employers ask about it?
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has issued guidance for employers and job applicants on pre employment health questions.
Equity markets: Taking the long-term view
The Government has published its response to Professor John Kay's review of UK equity markets and long-term decision making, which focused on changing the perceived culture of short-termism in the equity markets (the Kay Review).
Action by ROT suppliers: Effective enforcement of your claim
A supplier wishing to assert a claim to reservation or retention of title (ROT) of stock it has supplied may be faced with a real predicament on learning that a customer has gone into administration.
Warranties and representations? Why it matters
In Sycamore Bidco Ltd v Breslin, the High Court considered whether express warranties in a share sale agreement could also found an action for misrepresentation.
Competition law compliance: OFT investigates construction training services sector
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched an investigation into suspected anti-competitive conduct concerning provision of training services to the construction industry.
Religion at work: new ECHR ruling
The European Court of Human Rights has handed down a judgment considering the right of individuals to manifest their religion in the workplace.
Are you breaching your ongoing duty of care under the Data Protection Act?
£325,000 - the largest Civil Monetary Penalty issued to date by the Information Commissioner's Officer (ICO) for breach of the Data Protection Act (DPA).
Budget changes: Entrepreneurs' relief and EMI options
The Finance Bill 2013 makes changes to the rules applying entrepreneurs' relief (ER) to the disposal by an employee or officer of a company, on or after 6 April 2013, of shares meeting the requirements of the enterprise management incentive (EMI) scheme.
High Court rules on competition law damages and conspiracy claims
The High Court has confirmed that so-called 'follow on' damages actions brought under section 47A of the Competition Act 1998 may be based on the tort of conspiracy to use unlawful means.
CRC - Government confirms CRC will continue in a simplified form
The Government's Autumn Statement confirmed that the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (
Pension auto-enrolment: Fewer workers will now be caught
Changes announced at the end of 2012 will result in fewer lower paid workers being subject to the new auto-enrolment pension regime.
New 2013 rates and limits for employment claims and payments
The new limits on employment tribunal awards and on statutory payments for 2013 have been announced.
Volunteer was not protected against discrimination
The Supreme Court recently ruled that a volunteer was not protected against disability discrimination.
Consensual Disposal: Osteopaths
All osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and fit to practise. This means they must have the requisite skills, knowledge, good character and health to carry out their professional responsibilities safely and competently
Last orders for Machine Games Duty Registration
Owners and tenants of premises operating gaming machines only have a few days left to register for the new Machine Games Duty (MGD) or they could face penalties imposed by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Finance Bill 2013: Caps on income tax reliefs
The draft Finance Bill 2013, published on 11 December, includes a cap on the amount of income tax relief that tax payers can receive, where the relief itself is not already capped.
EU Energy Efficiency Directive
The Energy Efficiency Directive 2012 (EED) was brought into force on 4 December 2012. It introduces binding measures for energy efficiency on the public sector and industry and covers the entire energy chain from generation and transmission to end use.
UPDATE: Government consultation on employee ownership and share buy backs
The BIS report on the Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership was published in July 2012.
Collective redundancies: 90 day consultation period to be halved from April 2013
The Government has confirmed that it intends to reduce the minimum collective redundancy consultation period from 90 to 45 days where 100 or more redundancies are proposed, from next April.
Assessment of costs in exaggerated claims
A recent High Court decision in Brit Inns v BDW Trading Ltd considered the circumstances in which a successful claimant would have to pay the majority of the defendant's costs
Protect your image now - because you can!
On 3 December 2012 Guernsey brought into force its new image rights legislation which allows, for the first time anywhere in the world, for such rights to be registered.
Autumn Statement 2012: Tax summary
The Chancellor delivered the Autumn Statement 2012 on 5 December. This is a summary of the main tax points of interest, with draft legislation enacting the proposed changes scheduled to be published on 11 December.
Transfer of a business as a going concern: Change of practice by Revenue
Following the Tax Tribunal's decision in the case of Robinson Family Limited, the Revenue has decided not to appeal.
Disclosure of tax avoidance schemes: Revised guidance
The Revenue has recently published revised guidance on the disclosure of tax avoidance schemes.
Revised security registration regime
The current system for registration of company charges has existed for more than 100 years, but has recently been criticised for being too fixed and outdated.
Cloud computing: Data protection issues
According to a recent article by Shoosmiths, the cloud software market generated $22 billion in revenue in 2011, and expects growth to $67.3 billion by 2016
Petitions for winding-up: The end of a property transaction?
Before entering into any transaction involving a company, it is essential to check that no winding-up petition has been presented against it.
Will an EPC rating of F or G prevent a letting?
There are widespread concerns that from April 2018 it may be unlawful to let residential or commercial properties with an EPC rating of F or G.
The Effective Agent: Risk reduction in the murky, litigious water of agency agreements
In this article we explore agency agreements and consider how risk can be reduced in such agreements.
Combating spam tactics: How to stay on top
What's all this about penguins, pandas and search engine optimisation?
Bribery, money laundering and sanctions in high risk jurisdictions: Have you updated your risk assessments?
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) - the global standard-setting body for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism - has issued an updated advisory notice on current high risk jurisdictions.
Women on Boards: EU moves the debate on
On 14 November the long awaited proposals from the European Commission on improving the gender balance on company boards were published
Sponsorship licences: clock is ticking for employers
Employers holding sponsorship licences which allow them to lawfully employ migrant workers must make sure they do not miss an important renewal deadline which is fast approaching.
Failure to rectify data mix-up leads to ICO fine
The Information Commissioners Office has fined an insurance company for mixing up two customers' accounts and failing to rectify the mistake
Extension of flexible working law delayed until 2014
The Government has confirmed it is extending the right to request flexible working to all employees, but the changes won't be implemented until 2014
Empty properties rates reliefs: further thoughts
There has been a further decision considering the effectiveness of arrangements entered into by property owners for the purposes of mitigating the effect of the rates charged on empty properties.
Top Tips: Debt and mental health
Approximately one in six adults could be living with mental health issues.
Adjudicator not entitled to fees for unenforceable decision
Following a recent Court of Appeal decision, adjudicators must take more care to ensure that their decisions are enforceable.
Compulsory retirement: making a come back?
The last day on which employers could rely on the default retirement provisions was 5 October 2012, but could compulsory retirement make a re-appearance?
Court of Appeal clarifies general damages increase
In July 2012, the Court of Appeal held that the amount of general damages in certain types of tort claims would be increased by 10%.
UK whistleblowing law set to change
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill currently going through Parliament will change the UK's whistleblowing legislation.
HSE fee for intervention scheme
The Health & Safety Executive will introduce a Fees for Intervention (FFI) Scheme on 1st October 2012.
Simpler reporting requirements look to increase transparency
Last week the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) released a set of draft regulations designed to reduce the complexity involved in narrative reporting for large British companies and increase transparency.
VTB v Nutritek: Preserving the corporate veil?
The corporate veil principle - that a company has a separate legal personality from its members - is a long established and fundamental element of English company law. It operates to keep a company's liability separate from those who control it.
Mental health restrictions on directors could be abolished
Mental health organisations have joined together to urge MPs to abolish historic laws which discriminate against people with mental health issues.
New route to UK IPO market
The government has announced new proposals designed to make the UK a more attractive and competitive listing destination for high growth businesses.
Teachers: Regulator and regulation changes
As of 31 March 2012, as a result of a change in the law, teachers in England are no longer regulated by the General Teaching Council (GTC).
Assets of community value: The new village green?
Developers are well aware of the risk of a town or village green application and the delay it can cause to a potential development. The new threat of delay is a bid for an asset of community value (ACV).
European Commission consults on e-books commitments
The European Commission is seeking comments on commitments offered to it by a number of parties to its e-books investigation.
Section 106 Agreements and Financial Viability: Time for a change?
On 13 August 2012, the Government issued a consultation paper Renegotiation of Section 106 planning obligations, which seeks to facilitate the modification of obligations agreed in a better economic climate.
Solar panels: FITs and starts
Solar panels are appearing all over the country on a wide variety of properties, including new homes.
Data protection notification: Is your organisation committing a criminal offence?
Some organisations may be falling foul of the Data Protection Act 1998 by failing to notify details of their personal data processing to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
Changes to the Construction Act: implications for construction contracts
On 1 October 2011 changes to the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 will come into force. The changes will apply to any construction contract entered into on or after that date.
Auto enrolment: employee inducement and prohibited recruitment contact
Auto enrolment may still feel as if it is some way off for most employers, but 2013 is the year many will be required to auto enrol their workforce into a qualifying scheme.
ECJ says downloaded software can be re-sold by purchaser
Europe's highest court has ruled that downloaded software can be re-sold by the purchaser.
Utility easements: Issues of exclusivity
Developers keen to advance a housing project should be cautious when asked to sign-off a standard form of easement requested by a utility company.
Private damages awarded for a competition law infringement for the first time in the UK
It has been an established principle for some years that persons who have suffered loss as a result of competition law infringements may claim damages for the loss they have suffered as a result
British Bankers Association forced to review LIBOR calculation
The British Bankers Association (BBA) has announced the next steps in its review of how the London Inter Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) is calculated, following allegations by regulators on various continents that banks have colluded to manipulate LIBOR.
It is impossible to refinance $46 trillion within current global liquidity, so what to do?
European companies could face serious challenges refinancing a wall of maturing debt over the next few years as the region's banks deal with the impact of regulation and fallout from the Eurozone debt crisis
Second-hand software market: To what extent can 'used' software be re-sold legitimately?
Creators of software programs may not be able to prevent the resale of 'used' copies of software programs legitimately paid for and downloaded by their own customers from the internet.
Supreme Court rules on strike out for dishonest claimants
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has today (27 June) handed down judgment in the case of Fairclough Homes Limited (Appellant) v Summers (Respondent).
CRC: Sale of allowances for phase 1
Regulations setting out how the Environment Agency will sell allowances under phase 1 of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) came into force on 24 May 2012.
Employers need game plan for tackling Euro 2012 absences
With Euro 2012 about to kick off, employers need to consider their strategy for keeping control of employee absences during the tournament
Directors' remuneration: Is the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill paving the way for shareholders' voting rights?
Is your side letter at risk of being non-binding?
The key component of a legally binding document is certainty of the drafted terms.
Retailers beware pricing pitfalls
Faced with difficult economic times, retailers continue to look for innovative ways to attract customer loyalty - one of them is through price promotions.
Front of pack nutrition labelling: Consultation published
The Department of Health has launched a consultation on 'front of pack' labelling in a bid to make choosing healthier foods easier for consumers.
FCPA compliance alone is not sufficient
Recent research amongst UK businesses has shown them to be complacent about compliance with the UK Bribery Act.
A comparison between UK Bribery Act and the FCPA
The UK Bribery Act is wider in scope than the US Foreign & Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in a number of respects.
Liability of parent companies and the actions of their subsidiaries
A long-awaited High Court appeal decision could have considerable implications for businesses.
New asbestos regulations in force
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 came into force on 6 April, and all previous regulations have been revoked.
HSE annual enforcement initiative could cost construction industry over £1.5m
The HSE has reported that nearly one in five construction sites failed safety checks during its annual month-long drive to improve building site safety.
Co-operation's what you need: outsourcing customer breaches duty of good faith
The High Court has found that a provider of catering services was entitled to terminate its contract with an NHS Trust for material breach, on grounds that the Trust breached its contractual duty to act in good faith.
Are you complacent about Bribery Act compliance?
What exactly is causing UK businesses to be complacent about compliance with Bribery Act legislation?
£3,750 per word: The cost of a defamatory tweet
Twitter users beware. A High Court ruling has established that the cost of a tweet can far exceed its author's expectations.
Advertising update: Further restrictions ahead for unhealthy food ads?
Scotland's Public Health Minister Michael Matheson has backed calls for a pre-9pm ban on TV adverts for food and drink high in fat, sugar and salt.
Websites may not be a durable medium
Following the slower than anticipated uptake of e-commerce, the Distance Selling Directive 97/7/EC was implemented with the principal purpose of encouraging consumers to trust and use e-commerce by providing them with certain levels of protection.
New payment regime in construction contracts
An employer must serve a valid withholding notice if it wishes to avoid paying a sum due under a construction contract. Recent changes to the law now mean that failure to serve valid notices may have a detrimental impact on an employer's cash flow.
Understand EPC changes or risk £5,000 penalty
New regulations affecting buildings' energy performance are due to come into force next month
BEWARE! Olympic brand is fiercely protected
The Olympic Games is a huge 'brand', commanding global media attention for advertisers, it represents a golden opportunity for a marketing boost. However, it is also one of the most fiercely protected brands in the world, with complex legal protection.
HMRC's latest targets: electricians, e-marketplace traders, missing tax returns, home improvements, direct selling
Making the right exit: Lessons learned from AstraZeneca and IBM
After what must have been many hours negotiating their Master Services Agreement (MSA), AstraZeneca UK and IBM recently found themselves involved in a complex dispute on the meaning of the terms contained within it.
Shiver me timbers: New EU Timber regulations that could put you at risk
In March 2013, new legislation prohibiting the placing on the market of illegally harvested timber will come into force.
Home working rules relaxed
Recent reviews of UK health and safety legislation by Lord Young and Professor Ragnar Löfstedt recognised a need to reduce the burden on small businesses and low risk activities.
Without prejudice material in adjudication: Apparent bias
The Technology and Construction Court has reiterated the consequences of parties including 'without prejudice' letters in adjudication proceedings - which may even lead to unenforceable decisions.
The High Pay Commission's Final Report - Cheques with Balances: Why tackling high pay is in the national interest
Copyright in construction projects
During the course of a construction project, contractors and consultants produce material that will be subject to copyright - documents, photographs, drawings, plans and models.
How to interpret contracts: Use commercial common sense
When the terms of a commercial contract are ambiguous or unclear, the courts will often be given the tricky task of ascertaining how the contract should be correctly interpreted.
First Bribery Act conviction sees court clerk sentenced to six years imprisonment
Munir Patel, an administration clerk at an Essex magistrates' court, today became the first person to be convicted under the new Bribery Act.
Force majeure clauses: Traps for the unwary
Force majeure is a clause commonly found in commercial agreements, which states that one or both parties will not be liable for any delay in performance or non-performance of its obligations upon the occurrence of certain extraordinary events.
Court clerk first to be charged under new Bribery Act
An administration clerk at an Essex magistrates' court is the first person to be charged under the new Bribery Act, after allegedly accepting £500 from a defendant to 'fix' a motoring offence.
Bribery Act: Compliance for developers
New legislation, described as the toughest anti corruption measures in the world, came into force on 1 July.
The Bribery Act: Facilitation payments: A real dilemma
Commercial organisations attempting to comply with the UK Bribery Act 2010 face a real dilemma when it comes to facilitation payments.
Software: Goods or services?
Software is an elusive product when it comes to determining whether supplying it should be classified legally as goods or as services.
Riots and insurance: Q&A
Following some of the worst civil unrest for many years, we have looked at the urgent implications of submitting a claim to your insurers or your position where you carry a large excess, are underinsured or uninsured.
The Bribery Act 2010: There is no such thing as a free lunch for pension scheme trustees
The Bribery Act clarifies and simplifies the pre-existing law on bribery, creating a new legal framework to combat bribery in the private and public sectors. It is aimed at corporate activity but it also applies to trustees of individual pension schemes.
Throwing light on the meaning of adequate procedures?
The new 'corporate offence' introduced on 1st July by the Bribery Act 2010 has been the subject of much discussion.
Anti-bribery due diligence: Buyers and investors beware
The UK Bribery Act 2010 is now in force in the UK, and alongside existing exposure under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977 reinforces the investment case for carrying out effective anti-bribery due diligence.
Corporate hospitality and the Bribery Act
The Bribery Act 2010 came into effect on 1 July 2011. It is amongst the toughest anti-bribery and corruption legislation in the world.
Bribery Act compliance: Only two weeks to go
With the Bribery Act coming into force on 1 July 2011, many businesses are struggling to have all their procedures in place to ensure compliance. The message is, 'Don't panic'.
Let's settle this once and for all: Part 36 V Calderbank offers
It is easy to feel on the edge of an abyss when a claim form listing your company as a 'defendant' arrives on your doorstep or if you believe an existing dispute has to go through the courts in order to reach a conclusion.
Bribery Act Compliance: Should you delay?
New legislation described as the toughest anti-corruption measures in the world and due to come into force in April, has been delayed.
Bribery Act delay could cause more problems than it solves
It is being widely reported today that implementation of the Bribery Act 2010 will be delayed, though there has been no official announcement by the Government or the Ministry of Justice.
New bribery legislation: A compliance plan
A top New Year priority for many will be to ensure that their organisation has adequate procedures in place to comply with the Bribery Act 2010.
Redundancy selections: What does a fair selection procedure involve?
Redundancy selections: What does a fair selection procedure involve?
What does the Bribery Act have to do with HR?
The Bribery Act 2010 comes into force in April 2011 and has been described as the toughest anti-corruption legislation in the world.
Bribery Act 2010: A joined-up approach to correct documentation
The requirement for 'adequate procedures' under the Bribery Act 2010 means businesses will want to ensure they have the appropriate documentation in place before this autumn, when the new, so-called Corporate Offence is expected to come into force.