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One Reasonable Condition is Sufficient for Landlord

When a tenant wishes to assign a lease, it is usual for the landlord's consent to be required, and that consent can be withheld if there are sufficiently good grounds for so doing. In a recent case, a landlord was asked by a tenant to agree to the...

Bullied Transgender Shop Assistant Wins Compensation

There can really be no excuse for a modern employer not to have in place comprehensive anti-discrimination policies that are fully understood by all workers. In one case that illustrates the consequences of failing to comply with the law in this respect, a...

Are You Ready for the World Cup?

The 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup starts on Thursday 14 June with a match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. England’s first match, against Tunisia, is on Monday 18 June at 7:00pm. Employers should...

Failure to Address Expert Report Proves Costly

When a tenant of industrial land failed to adhere to a notice to quit the premises, the landlord brought a legal action under the law of trespass for its lost rental income – £12,000 per annum. The tenant did nothing and the landlord then...

Mental Health Awareness Week - Acas Guidance for Employers

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May), which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is focusing on stress. Whilst not a mental health problem in itself, stress can lead to depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. A recent...

HMRC Reliance on Guidance Not Justified

The various VAT 'flat-rate' schemes were originally set up with the ostensible purpose of simplifying the VAT process for those using them, while being essentially revenue neutral for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). A recent case dealt with a situation in...

GDPR - ICO Launches Awareness Campaign for Micro-Businesses

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Act 1998 and comes into force on 25 May 2018. The new law gives individuals more control over how their data is used, shared and stored and requires organisations to be more...

Breach of Contract Claim Defeated Quickly

Some breach of contract claims are stronger than others, but even groundless cases come to court sometimes. However, with skilled legal representation, these can be identified and defeated at an early stage. In one case on point, the High Court struck out a...

Settlement Agreements and the Date of Termination

Where there is an existing employment dispute, the communications that take place in order to reach a settlement agreement are normally subject to 'without prejudice' privilege under common law – i.e. they are inadmissible as evidence before the court...

Tenants Succeed in Avoiding Insurance Charges

When tenants discovered that their landlord had bought insurance over their flats, including the structure of the building, when they had already purchased insurance cover for themselves, the resulting argument ended up in the Upper Tribunal (UT) . The...

Son's Casual Employment Proves Expensive for Dad

One area in which problems may not be anticipated is when a family member's status as a 'genuine' employee is disputed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). For any expenditure to be deductible for tax purposes, it must be 'wholly and exclusively' made for...

Words, Not Intention, Determine Meaning of Contract

When disputes arise over the meaning of a contract, it is usual for the court to look first at what the wording of the contract means and then at the commercial logic of that wording. In a recent case , the dispute essentially turned on whether two...

Ageism and the Hazards of Referring to Seniority or Length of Service

References to 'seniority' or 'length of service' can all too easily be read as impermissible references to an employee's age, a point which was made by one case in which a sporting body narrowly defeated its former group marketing director's claim that his...

Director Who Helped Herself Faces Music

It is hardly surprising that directors of companies that face insolvency often wish to recoup their investments before the balloon goes up. However, as one High Court case concerning a failed furniture retailer showed, they are not entitled to give their...

Court of Appeal Uses Real World Valuation Principles

An empty office block in Blackpool was given a rateable value (RV) of £490,000 by the local valuation officer, who made the valuation based on the expected rent for which the building could be let. The valuation was based on an assumed demand for a...

Seeking to Waive Dividends?

For a person who has no need of the income from a family company, a dividend waiver, which allows other shareholders to receive dividends but not the person who has executed the waiver, can be a useful device. However, the use of dividend waivers can...

Perceived Disability Discrimination

Under the Equality Act 2010 , direct discrimination occurs when the reason for a person being treated less favourably than another is one of the protected characteristics covered by the Act. This means that someone who does not have a protected...

Incomplete Partnership Arrangements Lead to Court Appearance

When new partners are being introduced into a partnership, it is wise to finalise the arrangements quickly in case the partners fall out. Any lack of formality in the business arrangements can lead to trouble, as a recent case shows . The case concerned...

Incorrect Procedure Stymies Landlord

It is unusual when a case raises two different but significant points. A recent case dealt with issues raised when a landlord sought to obtain possession by 'peaceable re-entry' and the forfeiture of a lease when ground rent was not being paid. It...

Dealing With Breach of Patent

When you discover that a business has breached your patent, what should you do? The answer to this question has two elements. The first is based on what you can do in law and the second is based on business strategy. Firstly, before picking a fight with...

Government Consults on Aspects of the Parental Bereavement Bill

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill was introduced into Parliament as a Private Members' Bill in July 2017. The Bill is being supported by the Government and is now wending its way through Parliament. The aim of the Bill is to give parents who...

Video Surveillance at Work

Two recent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have looked at a worker's right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to respect for private and family life. In such cases, the ECHR...

Copyright Law Still Applies on the Web

The idea that the Internet is a free-for-all is nothing more than a persistent myth and the consequences of publishing copyright material online without permission can be severe. In one case, a television news broadcaster found itself in hot water after...

I'll Scratch Your Back and You Scratch Mine

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have recently carried out research on the 'sharing economy' – by which people share skills, resources, time or property with one another without cash changing hands. There are a number of websites that facilitate such...

Refusal to Cooperate Spells Trouble

Being made bankrupt is never a welcome experience, but failing to comply with reasonable requests of the Official Receiver can make matters even worse. Once a person is made bankrupt, they are required to deliver a statement of affairs within 21 days and to...