Legal know how by service

Brexit and the creative industries

Theresa May, the new Prime Minister, stated “Brexit means Brexit”, but it is not yet known what Brexit means for the UK.  There is much speculation as to whether the UK will adopt a Norwegian, Swiss or Canadian model for trading with EU, or something else entirely.  In reality, it is impossible to know what […]

Collector Car funds: is this the next market?

Those who follow financial markets are familiar with the specialized investment funds that concentrate exclusively in collectible assets, such as art and fine wine. A new development for 2011 is specialized funds that will invest solely or primarily in those assets closest to our hearts—collector cars. This past winter, plans for two such funds were […]

Ownership of ‘Old Flo’: Tower Hamlets LBC v Bromley LBC

In Tower Hamlets LBC v Bromley LBC [2015] EWHC 1954 (Ch) the court was called on to determine the legal owner of a 1957 Henry Moore sculpture known as ‘Draped Seated Woman’ or, more affectionately, ‘Old Flo’. Inspired by Moore’s experience as an official war artist in London during the second world war, Old Flo […]

Classic Car Race Preparers/Restorers: Know your Client!

A new customer steps into your workshop and asks you to carry out some work to their classic car. Nothing strange or newsworthy about that, but what happens if you later discover that your customer is not in fact the owner? With an increase in the value of classic cars, complex ownership arrangements are increasingly common. […]

Steering clear of trouble – tips to avoid problems with your classic car restoration or race preparation

If you are thinking of having your classic car restored or race prepared etc, then this guide will help identify common problems and provide suggested solutions. 1. Understand who you are contracting with There is a flourishing support industry for owners of classic cars in this country and a wide choice of restorers and race-preparers […]

Dealing with non-paying customers

You stand back and admire your craftsmanship and attention to detail. The rebuild/repair/race preparation etc you have just finished is finally ready to be presented to your customer along with your bill. You have worked hard to get the project finished and you know that he will appreciate all your effort. You promptly send your […]

Brexit report on “justice for families, individuals and businesses”

The House of Lords EU Committee has published a report about the effect of Brexit on three EU Regulations which together ‘play an important role in facilitating the daily operation of the European legal system’. Jonathan Haydn-Williams looks at the Committee’s conclusions as to the Brussels I Regulation ‘recast’, relating to jurisdiction and judgments in civil […]

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 […]

Lessons for the food and restaurant trade from the Fabric case

The high profile closure of Fabric, and recent resolution to enable it to re-open, may seem a far cry from the average retail food offering. Much of it was! However, there are some important points to take on board, which are applicable more widely. First of all, know your permitted hours and conditions. All those […]

FOX/SKY; how feeble Ofcom report increases Murdoch’s chance of success

Whatever one thinks of Rupert Murdoch, his ambitions to acquire the shares of Sky that he does not already own can only ultimately be constrained by robust theories and facts that persuade an independent regulator that it is more likely than not that the public interest will be harmed (the legal test for control of […]

Brexit report on “justice for families, individuals and businesses”

The House of Lords EU Committee has published a report about the effect of Brexit on three EU Regulations which together ‘play an important role in facilitating the daily operation of the European legal system’. Jonathan Haydn-Williams looks at the Committee’s conclusions as to the Brussels I Regulation ‘recast’, relating to jurisdiction and judgments in civil […]

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 […]

Claim first time or lose the right to claim

One question that is often asked, when a client ends up in adjudication, is do I have to run all of my defences in the adjudication? In the recent case of Mailbox (Birmingham) Limited v Galliford Try Building Limited (formerly known as Galliford Try Construction Limited)[1] the court had to consider this very issue. The court […]

Adjudication – fit for purpose – or is there another way?

It has been nearly 20 years since the world was introduced to statutory adjudication through the pithily titled Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 and save for minor tinkering around the edges it has not changed. In this article, we look at whether adjudication is still fit for purpose and the alternatives to adjudication, […]

The limits of insurer’s subrogation rights against co-insureds and third parties

The Supreme Court recently handed down judgment in the matter of Gard Marine and Energy Limited v China National Chartering Company Limited [2017] UKSC 35 and ruled, by a majority of 3:2, that a contractual requirement to maintain joint insurance includes an implied term which precludes any claim by owners against the demise charterer, or […]

Should we be drafting for Brexit?

With the UK due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, questions are arising at to whether contracts should now include ‘Brexit clauses’ and how to define terms such as ‘the EU’, ‘EU law’ and ‘English law’ so their meanings are clear in the future. Parties entering into contracts that will remain in force […]

The dangers of informality in contractual dealings

An essential element of contract formation is that the contracting parties make an agreement with the unequivocal intention to create a legally binding arrangement as opposed to a frivolous promise that is not intended to be kept. But just how interpretive can the actions of parties be when it comes to determining exactly what they […]

Non-Variation Clauses: actions speak louder than words

Non-variation clauses are an evergreen boilerplate provision found in commercial contracts. They typically provide that a binding variation of a contract is generally limited to certain prescribed circumstances, most likely for the variation to be formalised in a written instrument and signed by the contracting parties. Most understand this to be the final word on […]

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 […]

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. […]

What happens in Panama stays in Panama? A short review of the law of confidence

On 3 April 2016 11.5 million files from the database of one of the world’s largest offshore law firms, Mossack Fonseca, were leaked following a hack of its computers. The leaked material has become known as the Panama Papers and revealed what had previously been confidential information about more than 214,000 offshore companies, including information about […]

How secure is a protected tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954?

Earlier this summer, an important judgment concerning the security of tenure provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (“the 1954 Act”) was handed down by Mr Justice Jay. The case of S Franses Ltd v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd [2017] EWHC 1670 QB was an appeal from the County Court in Central London […]

Taking care of the (fresh) evidence

This article first appeared in the Estates Gazette. The case of Clear Call Limited – v – Central London Investments Limited [2016] EWCA Civ 1231 [2017] provides further guidance of the application of the Ladd – v – Marshall ([1954] EWCA Civ 1) test for the submission of new evidence in a case where judgment has […]

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 […]

Dismissal for Misconduct: To what extent can past conduct be taken into account?

When carrying out an investigation into alleged misconduct by an employee, the temptation may be to find as much evidence as possible. A recent case in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has addressed the question of whether an investigation can actually be too thorough. How “fairness” is tested “The Burchell Test”, as set down in […]

IR35 continues to be taxing

This article was first published in Recruitment International. On 6th April 2017 new IR35 rules come into force applying to payments to PSC workers who provide personal service to a “public sector employer” generating significant problems for recruitment businesses involved in the supply process. Problem areas The legislation (still in draft form at the time […]

Mind the Gap: Are you ready for Gender Pay Reporting?

This article was first published in Recruitment International. Disparity between male and female average pay continues to dominate the news, with evidence of the gender pay gap widening for women in their 30s and 40s in particular. Dubbed “Equal Pay Day”, 9 November 2016 marked the date from which women were effectively working for free […]

Competition law and the cultural industries: is there now a “social” exemption?

Collective agreements between unions and employers setting minimum rates of pay which are intended to improve working conditions of employees generally fall outside the scope of competition law.   So trades unions can agree minimum fees for their members without fear of fines for breaches of the prohibition on cartels. But what about collective agreements entered […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

After the Premier League file closure: is this the new ‘industrial policy’ in action or time to strip Ofcom of its competition enforcement powers?

This week’s announcement that Ofcom is closing its investigation into Virgin Media’s complaint that the Premier League is restricting the supply of live TV rights to its matches, in return for the Premier League increasing their number from 168 to 190 and agreeing that no single buyer will scoop the pool next time the rights […]

BBC Independence; a contradiction in terms?

The much anticipated BBC White Paper, published this month, heralds fundamental changes. On the basis that almost £5 billion of our annual revenue (including £3.7 billion from the licence fee) goes into funding the BBC’s activities, transparency over its decision-making is clearly vital. On the other hand, over-interference may damage the BBC’s commercial competitiveness and […]

Private Client legal update

The Finance (no.2) Bill 2017 Following the Prime Minister’s decision in May this year to call a snap general election, the Government had to drop over 70 provisions from the Finance Bill 2017 (subsequently the Finance Act 2017) in order to pass vital elements of the legislation before Parliament was dissolved. To enact the withdrawn […]

Reform of law surrounding Wills: from the Victorian-Era to the Digital-Era?

It is estimated that approximately 40% of people over 18 die without making a Will. To try and address this alarming statistic the Law Commission has this month launched a consultation proposing an overhaul of the current law on Wills. Key provisions governing the validity of a Will can still be found in the Wills Act 1837. […]

The sole director-shareholder dilemma: Kings Court Trust Limited and others v Lancashire Cleaning Services Limited

Mr Pilling was the sole director and sole shareholder of a cleaning company, Lancashire Cleaning Services Limited (the “Company”). Sadly, Mr Pilling died suddenly on 28th February 2017. Following his death, the Company endeavoured to continue trading. Before his death, Mr Pilling had prepared a Will appointing executors to administer his estate. However, regrettably, the […]

What happens if you fail to register your new lease?

New leases for seven years or more must be registered at the Land Registry, normally by the Tenant, and within 2 months of completion. But what happens if you don’t? It rather depends on whether your landlord’s title is registered or not. The Landlord’s title is unregistered Where the Landlord’s title is unregistered, the new […]

Taking care of the (fresh) evidence

This article first appeared in the Estates Gazette. The case of Clear Call Limited – v – Central London Investments Limited [2016] EWCA Civ 1231 [2017] provides further guidance of the application of the Ladd – v – Marshall ([1954] EWCA Civ 1) test for the submission of new evidence in a case where judgment has […]

The rights skills for the job?

This article first appeared in Estates Gazette, 22nd July 2017. Many employers will be paying additional sums by way of the apprenticeship levy that came into effect on 6 April 2017. Some savvy property sector employers will already be exploring ways in which these sums (plus more) can be recouped by their businesses. Apprenticeships are […]

How secure is a protected tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954?

Earlier this summer, an important judgment concerning the security of tenure provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (“the 1954 Act”) was handed down by Mr Justice Jay. The case of S Franses Ltd v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd [2017] EWHC 1670 QB was an appeal from the County Court in Central London […]

Taking care of the (fresh) evidence

This article first appeared in the Estates Gazette. The case of Clear Call Limited – v – Central London Investments Limited [2016] EWCA Civ 1231 [2017] provides further guidance of the application of the Ladd – v – Marshall ([1954] EWCA Civ 1) test for the submission of new evidence in a case where judgment has […]

Sweeping up the legal costs

Leases of residential property, flats particularly, commonly contain obligations on the part of the landlord to maintain and keep in repair the structure of the building and common parts and to recover the expenditure through service charge contributions from the individual tenants. Often the lease will contain a list of other services to be provided […]