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'No Deal' Brexit - Guidance on Geographical Descriptions of Food and Drink

The Government has commenced issuing a series of guidance notes on how to proceed in the event that a 'no deal' Brexit occurs. Whilst the guidance does not have the status of law and will be replaced by legislation as soon as practicable if necessary, any...

Employers - Are You Treating Misconduct Cases Consistently?

Some forms of workplace misconduct may appear so serious as to obviously justify dismissal as a matter of common sense. However, as an instructive decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) showed, the need for even-handed fairness and consistency is a...

Resolving Disputes in the Boardroom

Boardroom conflict can often mean directors falling into opposing camps, with deadlock the result. As a High Court decision shows , taking legal advice is often the only means of achieving a resolution. The case concerned a holding company that was formed...

Changes to the Definition of HMO - Landlords Take Note

With burgeoning numbers of students and a continuing housing shortage, residential property for letting has been a popular investment for several years. Many such investments are in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and landlords of large HMOs (which are...

Debranded Goods Still Protected by Trade Mark Law

Products sell for widely differing prices in different national markets and that creates the opportunity for goods to be transferred from a low-price market to a higher-price one – a practice known as 'grey importing'. This can undermine the...

Whistleblowing - Information or Allegation?

In Cavendish Munro Professional Risks Management Limited v Geduld , the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) established the principle that, for the purposes of the whistleblowing provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996 , to qualify for protection a...

VAT - 'Pay Now, Appeal Later' Rule Receives Supreme Court Blessing

Unless they can show that they would suffer hardship as a result, traders who wish to challenge assessments to VAT are first required to pay, or at least deposit, the tax demanded before they can mount an appeal. That requirement has long been highly...

Registration of Property Owned by Foreign Entities

Under draft legislation now in Parliament (the Registration of Overseas Entities Bill), the Government is intending to establish a register of the beneficial ownership of properties in the UK where the property is owned by an overseas entity. The general...

Failure to Comply With Order Means Loss of Right to Present Oral Evidence

When attempting to negotiate any dispute it is important to assemble fully your arguments, so that you can state your case with the greatest vigour, and to comply with any directions issued by the tribunal. This is also true when a dispute is being...

Zero Hours Contracts - Legal Protections Are Not All One Way!

The debate about zero hours contracts has very much focused on the perceived lack of protection they provide to workers. However, as a case concerning a student who worked part time in a restaurant shows, they do not necessarily work in the employer's favour...

New Guidance on Transfers of Data Abroad

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has issued new guidance on compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for organisations that transfer data out of the UK. Because the GDPR protects only data within the EU, it restricts...

Supreme Court Rules in 'Gay Cake' Case

In a unanimous judgment, the Supreme Court has ruled that a bakery in Northern Ireland's refusal to make a cake bearing a slogan in support of same-sex marriage was not discriminatory. The legal battle began four years ago after Ashers bakery, a family-run...

Unilateral Mistake - High Court Rectifies Terms of Commercial Lease

Signing leases is a serious business and both landlords and tenants are expected to live with their terms, however onerous they may be. However, as a High Court case illustrated, judges have the power to rectify terms if an obvious mistake has been made. A...

If You Agree to Abide by Rules...

Football Association (FA) rules require that, where disputes arise between players' agents and clubs, they must be resolved by arbitration rather than by public court proceedings. The extent of that requirement came under analysis in a High Court case that...

Unfair Dismissal - What is the Legal Effect of a Successful Internal Appeal?

If an employee is dismissed but that decision is subsequently overturned following an internal appeal, does the latter decision wipe out the effect of the former? The Court of Appeal tackled that issue in a guideline decision ( Patel v Folkestone Nursing...

Private Rental Landlords Facing Double Whammy

Tax changes that affect residential landlords have sparked a massive sell-off, with 133,000 rental properties likely to be sold in the next year according to a survey by the Residential Landlords Association. In the year ended 31 March 2017, 46,000 let...

£500,000 or £1 Billion? It's Just a Matter of Timing

The recent £500,000 fine for Facebook regarding the transfer of data to Cambridge Analytica was widely criticised as being inadequate (Facebook makes roughly £3.5 million per hour) but it should not be forgotten that the fine was the maximum...

Court Refuses to Act as Referee to Determine Appropriate Repair Scheme

Anyone who has bought a new build property will be familiar with a 'snag list' of items that should be rectified. Normally these don't present too many issues, but when the snags are significant, and the new build is one in which there is a landlord who is...

Force Majeure Attempt to Avoid Agreement Fails

Oil exploration is a risky business and industry contracts commonly make provision for unforeseen events that interrupt production – known to lawyers as 'force majeure'. Force majeure clauses are common in many other types of contract also. In a recent...

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...