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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Unilateral communications between a party-appointed arbitrator and counsel

In an interesting decision in the Technology and Construction Court in March 2017, the Judge (Mrs Justice Jefford) considered a challenge by an unsuccessful party in an ICC arbitration. The Dispute The dispute arose from a contract to construct a power station in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Prime Contractor and the Respondent in the arbitration, Symbion […]

Adjudication: recoverability of claims consultants’ costs

In Octoesse LLP v Trak Special Projects Limited [2016] EWCH 3180, the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) decided that the costs of claims consultants assisting in adjudication enforcement proceedings can be recovered as disbursements, assuming that those consultants acted in the adjudication. Facts Following a successful adjudication in favour of Trak Special Projects Limited (“Trak”), […]

Contra proferentem: when to exclude an exclusion cause

The contra proferentem rule broadly states that where there is doubt about the meaning of a contract, the words will be construed against the party who put them forward. This is because a party who imposes terms on another must make those terms clear and should suffer the consequences if it fails to do so. […]

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 […]

Court of Appeal Judgment: First Subsea Ltd v Balltec Ltd and others [2017] EWCA Civ 186

In First Subsea Ltd v Balltec Ltd and others [2017] EWCA Civ 186 the Court of Appeal had to make a judgment on whether a director found to be in breach of fiduciary duty could rely on a limitation defence under the Limitation Act 1980. Background E was the director and founder of First Subsea […]

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 […]

Pfizer’s trivial £84.2 million competition law fine highlights the advantages enjoyed by conglomerates

If George Orwell were alive today, the author of Animal Farm (where all animals are equal but some are more equal than others) would certainly be struck by how fines imposed for breaches of competition law committed by equally culpable companies bear down least heavily on multinational conglomerates and most heavily on companies that sell […]

Raiders of the director’s wallet*

(*a cautionary tale for directors about non-party costs awards in litigation) Housemaker Services Limited & another v Cole & another [2017] EWHC 924 (Ch) Mr Wayne Williams ran a building company – he was the sole director. Over the period 2010 to 2011 his company sent three invoices to some customers for work carried out. […]

Mediation in uncertain times

The Civil Mediation Council (‘CMC’) held its annual conference yesterday (16 May 2017) in Birmingham. It was an inspiring and informative day. Dr Sue Prince of Exeter University gave the first presentation, about her research into use of mediation in the justice system. She has a wealth of data and knowledge from the UK and […]

The General Election: employment considerations

With the general election just around the corner, below are five employment law issues for employers to think about: Campaigning in the workplace Employees are paid to work so an employer is perfectly entitled to stop them using their work time and company resources for political campaigning. Also, this might be a sensible move in […]

10 things you need to know about the new Apprenticeship Levy

From 6 April 2017, many employers will have to pay the Apprenticeship Levy, which has been referred to by some as a new payroll tax. However, at least some of this additional expense could be recouped if the employer employs an apprentice. Given the hospitality industry is one of the largest employment sectors, the scope […]

How to make returnships a success

On International Women’s Day, the chancellor announced a new £5m fund designed to help women return to work after a long break. The initiative will support returnship programmes that provide short-term assignments to returners who are often, but not always, women who have taken time out to raise their children. Typically lasting around 12 weeks, […]

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 […]

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 […]

The General Election 2017: private client measures on hold

Following Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement that there would be a snap general election, the government withdrew a substantial number of provisions from the Finance Bill 2017, which received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017. The Finance Bill needed to be enacted before Parliament was dissolved so that the government continued to have authority to […]

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 […]

Residential Service Charge consultation – developers beware!

It is relatively widely known that landlords of residential blocks must consult their tenants before they can recover (in full) certain items through the service charge regime. For example, if they wish to carry out a substantial redecoration of the exterior of the block. But that’s once the leases are in place, right? Unfortunately it’s […]

Japanese knotweed – a growing nuisance

Viewed as an attractive ornamental garden plant when initially introduced to the UK in Victorian times, Japanese knotweed is now regarded as something much more sinister. Unusually aggressive, highly invasive, capable of regenerating from the smallest piece of rhizome, difficult and expensive to eradicate … It’s destructive nature (being capable of penetrating tarmac, building foundations […]

Service Charge recovery: an unusual but salutary lesson

In the case of Sheffield City Council v Oliver the Court of Appeal looked at the impact of third party contributions – in this instance Government funding – on service charge recovery. Both landlords and tenants should take note, as the principles go beyond the specific facts of the case. Most of the flats within the […]

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 […]

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 […]