Technology know how

Construction case comment – adjudicating when the contract works as a whole are excluded operations

The Technology and Construction Court (TCC) has recently issued guidance on what activities are excluded from the statutory adjudication process under s.105(2) of the Housing Grants (Construction and Regeneration) Act 1996 as amended under the Local Democracy Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 (the “Construction Act”) and on what basis a court may order a […]

GDPR: Direct Marketing update

An area of some confusion among clients, now bracing themselves for the arrival of the GDPR, is on what basis they can continue to market themselves to customers: is fresh consent required, or what are the alternatives?  With the 25th of May fast approaching, this short article explains that the new restrictive form of consent […]

Implications of Brexit on the UK’s AV Sector

Whilst there is a large amount of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, it is possible to look at some of the more obvious implications of Brexit for the Audiovisual (“AV”) sector. We also look at current EU developments which are to be implemented in the near future and which we may therefore by missing out on. What […]

Tech: Considering equal pay and the gender pay gap

This article first appeared in UK Tech News. The effect of equal pay law is that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work. On the other hand, the gender pay gap is a measure of the difference between average earnings of men and women in general, whatever their job roles may be. […]

Civil litigation: ‘Discovery’ is not the same as ‘Disclosure’ (forensic e-providers please note)

Every other day, it seems, I receive marketing emails or phone calls from firms offering forensic services in the field of electronic document disclosure. What some offer me, though, is an ‘e-discovery‘ service. Save your time! I am a solicitor practising in England and Wales, where Lord Woolf abolished ‘discovery’ in the late 1990s (replacing it […]

Driverless cars: the legal issues

The UK Government is committed to becoming a world leader in the development of automated vehicles. However, the lack of a legal framework which is able to sufficiently address issues associated with the use of this technology continues to be both a cause of concern and interest. Here’s a brief heads up as to some […]

Dispute resolution in a future EU / UK trade “deal”: what are the likely costs of avoiding indefinite European Court of Justice jurisdiction?

In most commercial negotiations, discussions about dispute resolution procedures are usually left until last. The parties don’t like to poison negotiations by talking about how they resolve disputes before they even reach agreement. But the future resolution of disputes in any eventual EU/UK agreement has exercised both sides already in the embryonic negotiations. This is […]

Employment status

Given the recent high profile cases involving Uber, CitySprint and the like, the true employment status of purportedly “self-employed” individuals has come under the spotlight. So what is genuine self-employment and what is a worker or an employee? And why does it matter? What are the categories of employment status? There are three categories of […]

Draft e-Privacy Regulation published by EU Commission

On 10 January 2017, the European Commission presented its formal proposals for a new ePrivacy Regulation. These represent an overhaul of privacy rules relating to direct marketing, cookies and similar technologies, and other forms of online monitoring. The Commission’s aim is to have the new Regulation adopted by 25 May 2018. Accordingly, unless the UK […]

Can I sack an employee for criticising their place of work on social media?

The problem One of my team members has posted a comment on his personal Facebook page saying that he hates his work, our customers and his colleagues. The comment was made in his own time on his home computer, but it has been seen by some of our regular diners. Can I dismiss him? The […]

Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) represents the new legal framework of data protection law across the EU and is due to come into force on the 25 May 2018. The GDPR will supersede the Data Protection Directive (DPD), which has governed EU data protection law for over 20 years since its introduction in 1995. […]

High Court rules software = goods in commercial agency relationship

The question of whether software constitutes goods or services has always been problematic.  The answer can determine if and when certain terms are implied into a commercial contract, which in turn may have significant financial consequences for the losing party in a dispute. This was illustrated most recently in the High Court case of The […]

Why Britain’s current semi-detachment from EU Competition principles could become complete post Brexit

Much of the speculative commentary on Brexit and its implications for competition law has adopted “a business as usual” analysis.  It is said that we are bound to follow EU law while we are members and that it is likely that competition law based on the EU/EEA model will kick in once we leave – […]

Data protection: EU-US Privacy Shield update

Background This article provides an update on the new EU-US Privacy Shield agreement (click here for our earlier piece on this subject) as well as a summary of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. To recap, in October 2015 the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) declared the EU-US Safe Harbour agreement invalid. […]

Data protection: the “EU-US Privacy Shield” – will it be a shield of any substance?

After much uncertainty, on 2 February this year the European Commission announced that it had reached agreement with the US to replace the Safe Harbor framework.  However, anyone hoping that the announcement would bring clarity will be disappointed – there is still a long way to go before a replacement for Safe Harbor becomes a […]

Council of the European Union progress on new Data Protection Regulation

On 15 June 2015 the Council of the European Union released their general approach on the draft Data Protection Regulation. This follows the European Commission and the European Parliament’s proposals which were published in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Readers will recall that the aim of the new legislation is twofold: (1) to enhance citizen’s data […]

Significant changes to company law in the UK, Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015

The government’s aim in introducing the Act is to enable small businesses to innovate, grow and compete. The hope is also that internationally it will endorse the UK as a trusted and fair place to do business. The Act received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015 and is set to have a significant impact on […]

Legal Update: Vidal-Hall and Others v Google Inc

Last month, the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in Vidal-Hall and Others v Google. The appeal was only on preliminary issues and it looks like there will be a subsequent appeal before the substantive matter reaches trial. However, this decision is likely to have a far-reaching impact on UK data protection and privacy law. […]

Tribunal confirms commission element of holiday pay

Many businesses will be aware of the case of Lock v British Gas which concerned a salesman whose earnings were largely made up of commission. In May 2014, the European Court held that Mr Lock’s holiday pay ought to include an element of commission. This was not simply the commission that Mr Lock had earned […]

Privatise BBC Three? – I don’t believe it

This article was first published on Lexis®PSL IP & IT on 28 January 2015. Could private bidders buy a chunk of the BBC and stop BBC Three from becoming an internet-only channel? Paul Herbert, head of media, technology and communications at Goodman Derrick LLP, considers the challenges the bidders are likely to face. Background In […]

Top 5 New Year resolutions for HR practitioners

***** Stop Press: Katee Dias was recognised as a “Star Legal Writer” by the The Lawyer for this article. ***** Katee Dias Employment Lawyer Goodman Derrick Top Five HR Resolutions As January is often seen as the time for instigating change, we thought it would be helpful to consider some possible New Year resolutions for those of […]

Intellectual Property Act 2014: A Summary of the Key Provisions

The Intellectual Property Act 2014 (IPA 2014) came into force on 1 October 2014. It aims to modernise copyright law and help designers and patent-holders protect their IP. It is hoped that the changes will support business innovation and bring clarity to the scope of protection afforded by design rights. Many of the changes will […]

FCA Imposes New Regulation on Crowdfunding

The Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) published a Consultation Paper in October 2013 regarding its proposed regulatory approach to crowdfunding over the internet and the promotion of what the FCA calls “non-readily realisable securities” (i.e. an unlisted share or debt security with no, or a very limited, secondary market). The comments to the Consultation Paper have […]

Copyright: Hyperlinking And The Right Of Communication To The Public

Svensson and others v Retriever Sverige AB Overview Linking is the practice of posting clickable links on the internet which lead to content posted elsewhere. Under s20 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (“CDPA”), it is prohibited to communicate to the public by electronic transmission the whole or a substantial part of a […]

Penalty Clauses in Commercial Agreements Following El Makdessi v Cavendish Square Holdings

It is common for parties to commercial agreements to agree mechanisms for resolving breaches of their agreement without having to resort to legal proceedings. Typically this is done by incorporating provisions, such as forfeiture or compulsory buy-back clauses, into a contract which are activated upon one party’s breach of its terms. In such a situation, […]

A Review of Employment Law Reform in 2013 and 2014

As with 2013, there will be no rest for employment law advisers, employers and HR practitioners in 2014, with further legislative change on the agenda.  Many of the changes hail from the government’s Red Tape Challenge following its publication of the report “Progress on Reform” on 14 March 2013, which detailed the intended timetable for […]

Start-Up Guide to Cookies

Businesses are required to obtain positive consent from visitors to their websites to store or retrieve usage information from users’ computers or mobile devices using cookies. What are cookies? Cookies are small text files implanted by a website on the hard disks of visitors to the site. Businesses use cookies for collecting information about those […]

Start-Up Guide to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Many employees now own personal mobile devices that can be used for business purposes. Businesses are receiving an increasing number of requests to allow employees to use these devices at work. BYOD benefits BYOD can bring a number of benefits to businesses, including: Increased flexibility and efficiency in working practices. Improved employee morale and job […]

Start-Up Guide to Break Clauses in Commercial Leases

What is a break clause? A break clause is often included in a lease, allowing either the tenant or landlord to terminate the lease early. Exercising a break clause brings the lease to an end. However, where the landlord breaks the lease, legislation is in place that may allow the tenant to remain in the […]

Start-Up Guide to Incorporating a Private Limited Company

What type of company can be incorporated? A new business can be set up as a company or an existing business can be incorporated as a company. The latter is often the case when a business has reached the stage where the increased administrative burden of company law requirements is offset by the benefits that […]

Start-Up Guide to Dismissing an Employee

Dismissing an employee for a reason other than one allowed by law, or without following the correct procedure or giving adequate notice, may lead to a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal. Compensation for a successful claim can potentially be substantial. Regardless of whether a claim succeeds, the costs of defending it, in terms of […]

Start-Up Guide to Managing Poor Performance

Businesses should follow good management practices to help avoid potential claims relating to a dismissal: Make sure that any employee-related policies and procedures the business has are always followed (for example, an equal opportunities policy). Address any issues with employees as soon as they emerge. Generally an employer’s position deteriorates the longer the delay. Think […]

Start-Up Guide to Data Protection

Protecting and securing personal data Personal data is any information about an individual held on computer or in organised filing systems that could identify the individual, either on its own or together with other information held by that business or a third party. Personal data needs to be protected and kept secure. This data may […]

Start-Up Guide to Contract Negotiations

Who is the other party? What is the reputation of the other party? Have you done business together before? Consider doing a credit check if the other party is unknown to you. Is the other party is based overseas? Consider taking legal advice to ensure that your business is adequately protected if things go wrong. […]

Start-Up Guide to Hiring an Employee

Before advertising Make sure all staff involved in the recruitment process have had equal opportunities training. Draw-up the following documents:  a job description which sets out the title and main purpose of the job, the place of the job holder within the business and the main tasks or responsibilities of the post. a person specification […]

Start-Up Guide to Handling a Dispute

Do you really want to be involved in legal proceedings? Litigation is time consuming, expensive and often protracted. It is also an inherently uncertain process and the outcome will depend on a large number of factors many of which will be outside of your control. It is almost always better to find a commercial solution […]

Start-Up Guide to Trading Disclosures

Introduction The aim of trading disclosure legislation is to ensure that anyone who has dealings with you and your company knows its legal identity, its status and where they can inspect the company records. The law requires that certain details are: –      Displayed at specified locations. –      Set out on documents and communications. –      Given […]

Start-Up Guide to Brand Management

A strong brand helps distinguish products from your competitors’. It adds value to the business by enhancing consumer awareness and improving customer loyalty. A brand can be made up of many elements…


In 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN, the professional body for domain name registration) launched the new generic top level domain (gTLD) programme to permit the introduction of new top level domains on the internet. The move, which has attracted much publicity, will allow web addresses to end in a whole range of new domains (such as .app, .sport, .accountant) beyond the likes of .com, and .net.

Ofcom will Lose Competition Enforcement Powers

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill currently going through Parliament will merge the OFT with the Competition Commission creating the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) and in so doing will broadly align the UK enforcement of competition law with systems in continental Europe such as DG Comp and the German cartel office. In the little noticed clause 45, the new CMA will have the power to insist that Ofcom hands over responsibility of a given competition matter to it.

Important Changes to English Litigation Costs – Part 2 (Costs Management)

New rules on costs management are intended to benefit litigants by ensuring that the legal costs of fighting a case are proportionate to the issues in dispute. On the face of it this sounds like it must be a positive step, however the reality is that the changes may not be as beneficial as would initially appear to be the case.

Agency Workers – Tribunal Decides “Swedish Derogation” Lawful for Maintaining Pay Difference between Permanent and Agency Workers

An Employment Tribunal has decided that a temporary work agency which transferred a group of agency workers off zero hours contracts onto guaranteed hours contracts did in fact comply with the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 and that the Swedish Derogation could be relied upon [Bray and others v Monarch Personnel Refuelling (UK) Ltd ET/1801581/12 and others].

Reorganising the Regulation of Financial Services in the UK: The Financial Services Act 2012

1st April sees the introduction of a new structure for the regulation of financial services in the UK. Is its rolling out on April Fools’ Day just a bit of quirky Britishness or a true indication that we would be fooling ourselves in thinking that a mere re-organisation could prevent a repeat of the banking and financial crisis?

The Art of Crowdfunding

With the arts’ increased use of pledge/reward crowdfunding to help fund public projects, what pitfalls must artists, dealers and investors avoid if they wish to monetise their investment?

Validity of Post-Acquisition Restrictive Covenants

In a recent case, the Court considered the issue of whether covenants in a share purchase agreement amounted to penalties and whether restrictions were an unreasonable restraint of trade.

Important Changes to English Litigation Costs – Part 1

In Shakespeare’s time, lawyers adopted a “no fee, no breath” approach. In spite of the still widely held view that lawyers will do anything for money and nothing without it, “no win, no fee” arrangements have become commonplace in recent years in English litigation. However, a series of controversial changes are shortly to be introduced which, depending on one’s viewpoint, may reduce access to justice for some, whilst increasing it for others and place some losing parties in a fairer position, but some in a worse one. Jonathan Haydn-Williams explains the current position and the imminent changes.

Hargreaves: Changes to Protection of Copyright Protected Works

On 20 December 2012 the Government published its final response to the Copyright Consultation following the recommendations made in the Hargreaves Review. What changes can we expect and what has been the reaction to the proposals?

Executive Remuneration: Changes in 2013

There are a number of company law proposals expected to be implemented in 2013. These include reforms relating to executive remuneration and the introduction of the new employee-owner status

Employment Law – What to Expect in 2013

The Government has a wide variety of new legislation currently going through Parliament, which it intends to bring into force next year. This should make for a very interesting and challenging 2013 in the employment and discrimination arena

Excessive Director Remuneration

Court of Appeal overturns High Court Decision on Unfair Prejudice

Competing Holiday Requests

Many staff will want time off over Christmas, and it’s not always possible to accommodate every request. So its important to ensure you have a sensible system for deciding who get to take holiday.

Rules on Employee Rest

Read here for a summary of the rules regarding rest breaks that should be given to workers.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (“LASPO”) received royal assent on 1 May 2012. The primary purpose of the bill was to reform the civil litigation costs and funding framework, but a number of other changes were also included which may have wide reaching consequences for businesses in England & Wales and their directors and senior officers.

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) was introduced by the Finance Act 2012 and applies to shares issued on or after 6 April of this year. Although inherently similar to the current Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) we discussed last month, the SEIS focuses on smaller, early stage companies and aims to use tax reliefs to encourage much needed investment. The fundamental drive behind the SEIS is to help stimulate entrepreneurship by encouraging strategic investment.