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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Lord Justice Jackson delivers his report on Fixed Recoverable Costs: 31 July 2017

I have just ‘hot-footed it’ from the Law Society in Chancery Lane, where, this morning, Lord Justice Jackson (‘LJJ’) presented his report on Fixed Recoverable Costs (entitled “Review of Civil Litigation Costs: Supplemental Report Fixed Recoverable Costs”). The eagerness of the Judiciary to deliver LJJ’s recommendations can perhaps be gauged by the fact that his report was released on-line two […]

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. […]

Tinker Taylor: The Taylor Review – can Government make work good?

It’s said that you can’t please all the people all the time and nowhere is this more evident, perhaps, than in the eternal struggle between master and servant, employer and employee; and now taskmaster and gig-er. The terminology and technology may change over time but the fundamental employment challenges in the 21st century remain much […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

New rules to protect pubs from demolition or their conversion to shops and other retail uses recently come into effect…

For those of you amenable to a drink or two at your local pub from time to time, this will come as good news! As from 23 May 2017, permitted development rights to demolish pubs have ceased and there are no longer rights to demolish drinking establishments with expanded food provision, either. Recent Amendments to […]

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 […]

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 […]