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Advance Contractual Payments and the Benefits of Bank Guarantees

Contracts often require payments for services to be made in advance in order to get the ball rolling and provide liquidity, but this gives rise to obvious risks. An instructive High Court ruling, however, showed how effective bank guarantees are in ensuring...

Unfair Advantage Being Taken of Your Trade Mark? Don't Put Up With It

If you have spent time and money building up public recognition of your trade mark, you do not have to just stand by and watch others taking unfair advantage of your investment. In a case on point, a tea supplier saw off an attempt to use its brand name in...

Worker or Independent Contractor? European Court of Justice Guidance

The vexed distinction between 'workers' and 'independent contractors' could hardly be more important for many businesses but remains perennially controversial. An important ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is likely, however, to...

'Pay Now, Argue Later' - High Court Enforces Contract Adjudicator's Award

Contract adjudicators' awards, even if disputed, must generally be satisfied straight away. That principle – often referred to as 'pay now, argue later' – was applied by the High Court in ordering an immediate six-figure payment to a small...

Part-Time Football Referees Are Self-Employed, Tax Tribunal Rules

Part-time referees who officiate at professional football matches on a game-by-game basis are not employees. Confirming their self-employed status in a guideline case, the Upper Tribunal (UT) noted that they are so motivated to work that there is no need to...

Flat Tenant Can Veto Potentially Destructive Works - Supreme Court Ruling

The freeholds of a great many blocks of flats are held by tenant-owned companies which operate on democratic principles. Such arrangements are, however, not a panacea and disagreements can arise. A guideline Supreme Court decision will, however, make it...

Harvey Weinstein Case Exposes Wrinkle in Employment Tribunal Rules

Sexual harassment proceedings against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein gave rise to a thorny jurisdictional issue that threatened to undermine the power of Employment Tribunals (ETs) to make evidence disclosure orders against those who are not...

International Airline Fined £500,000 for Negligent Data Breach

Businesses that handle personal data but fail to take appropriate steps to guard against cyber attacks expose themselves to grave financial and reputational damage. That was certainly so in the case of an international airline whose flawed systems...

Warehouse Torched By Rioters - Owner of Destroyed Stock Wins £5 Million

Civil unrest is thankfully rare in Britain, but it does occur and anyone who suffers loss as a result should contact a solicitor without delay. In a case on point, a company that lost stock worth millions in a blazing warehouse at the height of the August...

Liquidators Succeed in Pursuit of Retail Chain's 'Disappeared' Assets

Any civilised system of civil justice affords those who are accused of wrongdoing a fair opportunity to defend themselves in court. However, as a High Court ruling in a corporate insolvency case showed, disobeying judicial orders can place even that...

Fixed-Term Employment Contracts Mean What They Say

Fixed-term employment contracts mean what they say and expire at the end of their terms without the need for any notice of termination. The Court of Appeal so ruled in a case which clarified the interrelationship between fixed-term contracts and public...

Continued Controversy Over Delayed IR35 Tax Reforms

The House of Lords has produced a damning report into the intended changes to the IR35 off-payroll working rules. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the reforms have been delayed by the government, which says the move is a 'deferral and not a...

Infrastructure Projects and Access to Private Land - High Court Test Case

Public authorities engaged in nationally significant infrastructure projects have the power to enter private land to carry out necessary surveys. An important High Court ruling in the context of the proposed construction of a road tunnel near Stonehenge...

Pet Food Company Triumphs in Trade Mark Infringement Claim

Trade marks that achieve widespread public recognition are the lifeblood of a great many businesses, forming the foundation of their brands. A High Court ruling in the context of the UK's £2.54-billion-a-year pet food market showed exactly why such...

Are You Contracting With a Principal or an Agent? The Distinction Matters

When entering into a contract with a limited company, it is vital to know whether it is acting as principal, in its own right, or as an agent for someone else. Exactly that issue arose in a High Court case concerning a ship renovation agreement . A...

COVID-19 - Court of Appeal Rules on Status of Furloughed Employees

Many companies have entered administration in response to the COVID-19 crisis but have retained furloughed employees in the hope that they will emerge from lockdown to a brighter future. In a case which will have major consequences for vast numbers of such...

Tenants Win Right to Acquire Subsoil and Airspace in Guideline Case

Qualifying apartment dwellers have a right to acquire the freehold of the buildings where they live, but does that extend to the subsoil beneath the premises and the airspace above? The Court of Appeal addressed that critical issue in a guideline decision....

Education Provider Left High and Dry in 'No Oral Variation' Contract Row

Many commercial contracts contain clauses which state that they can only be varied in writing. Such provisions offer the advantage of certainty and, as a company that provided educational services to a government agency discovered to its cost, they mean what...

Not Every Workplace Complaint Qualifies for Whistleblowing Protection

Workplace whistleblowers who, in the public interest, disclose what they believe to be wrongdoing are protected by the full force of the law. As an instructive tribunal ruling underlined, however, not every complaint of flawed working practices or procedures...

Twelve-Month Delay for IR35 Tax Reforms

Controversial changes to the IR35 off-payroll working rules have been shelved until April 2021, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The government is delaying the reforms for a year to help businesses and individuals, but says the move is 'a deferral...

Digital Comms Company Fined £100,000 Over Unsolicited Marketing Texts

Direct marketing messages that appear uninvited on mobile phones are viewed as a plague by many and those responsible for sending them can expect to be hit hard in the pocket. In one case, a digital communications company received a six-figure fine after...

HSE Support for Hand Sanitiser Manufacturers

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has taken steps to support hand sanitiser manufacturers as UK production increases to tackle the coronavirus. Spurred by unprecedented demand for biocidal hand sanitiser products during the coronavirus outbreak, the HSE...

Reinstatement Value - Factory Fire Triggers Insurance Test Case

Many insurance policies state that amounts payable in the event of loss or damage to property will be calculated on a reinstatement basis – but what exactly does that mean? The Court of Appeal considered that fundamental issue in the context of a...

Disability Discrimination Victim Secures Over £4.7 Million in Compensation

The consequences of discrimination in the workplace can be truly devastating and compensation awards to victims can be very substantial. In one case, a disabled bank worker who was stricken by a severe depressive disorder after suffering disability...

Facing a Legal Claim? Sitting On Your Hands is Simply Not an Option

If you are on the receiving end of a legal claim, sitting on your hands is simply not an option and you should seek advice straight away. In a case on point, a property company which signally failed to engage in court proceedings was hit with a very...