Latest News

Risk Assessments for Breastfeeding Mothers

EU Directive 92/85/EEC is aimed at protecting the health and safety of women in the workplace who are pregnant, have recently given birth or are still breastfeeding. Under UK law as it currently stands, an employer need only undertake a risk assessment...

Tax Mitigation Scheme Failure Proves Disastrous

Collecting debts is often a long and arduous process, but the use of bankruptcy proceedings can be an effective means of bringing matters to a head. That was certainly so in one case in which a businessman tried, but failed, to avoid bankruptcy in respect of...

When is a Year More Than a Year?

When a landlord appointed agents to manage properties in London, it did so under an agreement for 12 months, which was specified to continue on a yearly basis until terminated by either party giving the required notice. The landlord failed, however, to give...

Asset Freezing Can be Costly

Asset freezing injunctions can be a crucial tool in commercial litigation – but applying for them is not for the faint-hearted. If a freezing order is granted, it can be cataclysmic for the owner of the asset, as it prevents them (in effect) from using...

University Lecturer Strikes Important Blow for Part-time Workers

In Roddis v Sheffield Hallam University , the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that the fact that the claimant was employed under a zero-hours contract did not mean that his contract could not be compared with that of a colleague who worked full time...

Unitary Patent

Obtaining a patent can be a rather arduous process, and it is therefore not surprising that sometimes thought is not given to the breadth of patent protection that is needed. The Unitary Patent (UP) is intended to solve the problem of having to undertake...

Failure to Meet Criteria Means Loss Relief Denied

There are all sorts of things one can do with trading losses under Corporation Tax (CT), but the fall-back position is that losses can be carried forward and set against the next available profits 'of the same trade'. That sounds very simple...and...

Landlords Caught by Tenant's Environmental Failings

A landlord that ignores the potential for problems caused by the activities of its tenant does so at its peril, as a recent case demonstrated conclusively . It concerned a company that recycled mattresses on a site it rented. It lacked any sort of...

Central Arbitration Committee Can Hear Claims Against Acas

The EU Information and Consultation Directive 2002 established minimum requirements for companies with more than 50 employees for consulting and informing them on a wide variety of subjects. The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 ...

Non-Disclosure is Fault of Policyholder Not Brokers

It is no real surprise that insurers are often not wildly enthusiastic about paying claims and will deny liability when they are able to do so. One condition which is normally present in a policy application is that the insured discloses any past criminal...

Greetings Cards Company Pays Price for Copyright Infringements

It is only right that those who make commercial use of others' creative ideas without permission should be hit hard in the pocket. Exactly that happened in a High Court case in which a greetings cards company was found to have serially infringed copyright...

The 'Final Straw' and Constructive Dismissal

It is an implied term of any contract of employment that an employer should not act in a way that is likely to destroy or seriously damage the trust and confidence which an employee can expect from them. A serious breach of an implied contractual term or...

Business Owners - How Secure Are You Against Sudden Eviction?

Business owners that fail to take legal advice and occupy premises on an uncertain basis are always at risk. In a High Court case exactly on point , a business college found itself locked out of its office block and embroiled in a costly dispute with the...

Registered Your PSCs Yet?

Every UK company is required to identify the people who are 'persons with significant control' (PSCs). Essentially, PSCs are the people who own or have significant control over the company. Their details must be lodged with Companies House. Surprisingly,...

Future Intention Leads to Tax Charge

The additional rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is payable on purchases of 'additional dwellings' such as buy-to-let properties. A recent case dealt with the SDLT implications of the 2015 purchase of a house which the purchaser (a company) intended to...

Dealing With Employee References

Contrary to popular belief, except in certain sectors (e.g. education and financial services), employers are not legally obliged to provide those who leave their employment with a reference unless they have given express agreement to do so. Where a reference...

New Planning Rules to Benefit Developers

Obtaining planning permission is often a tricky process and the delight in getting permission can be tempered by the local council adding a 'pre-commencement' condition specifying something that must be done. The result is a planning permission granted but...

Oral Contract Variation Invalid, Rules Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has decided a case which will be of significance to anyone who is used to making oral variations to contracts. The dispute involved a firm that had a licence to occupy office space provided by another company. The contract term was 12...

Data Protection Latest

You'd have to be living on Mars not to know that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is now in force. Its strict provisions must be complied with (the penalties for failing are swingeing) and it is practically impossible to run any organisation or...

Landlords - Children Count Too!

When a landlord appealed against his prosecution for breaking a planning enforcement notice with regard to a house in multiple occupation (HMO) he owns, he used a rather novel argument to justify exceeding the limitation on the number of residents of the...

Debt Management Company Investigation Brings Bans

There was a certain irony to a recent report that the directors of a debt management company – set up to offer advice and assistance to those with debt problems – have been banned from acting as directors for a total of 23 years after action was...

Disability Discrimination - An Expectation to Work Long Hours

In United First Partners Research v Carreras , an employee who had returned to work after he was injured in a cycling accident claimed that a 'requirement' that he work long hours constituted a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) for the purposes of...

The Taxation of Termination Payments

The rules governing the taxation of termination payments have been tightened with effect from 6 April 2018 by means of legislation to amend Chapter 3, Part 6 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 . Hitherto, where the employee's contract of...

Oral Contract Existed as a Matter of Fact

When a decision is made as to what the facts are in a particular case, the judgment regarding those facts is normally accepted as not being able to be revisited in subsequent proceedings unless it was manifestly unreasonable or unfair, or subsequent evidence...

Software Company Fails to Lock Out Customer

One aspect of intellectual property (IP) rights that is often not given much thought, but which can be extremely important indeed, is what happens when a licence to use comes to an end. Much computer technology is supplied by licence (it is quite rare for...