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Knowledge

Inquests: Answers to some common questions

An inquest into the death of a loved one can appear a very daunting process. However, inquests are becoming increasingly common and can play a vital role in enabling families to understand the facts surrounding the death and help them come to terms with their loss.   In our experience, to get the most from […]

22 July, 2014
Guide to dispute resolution

Although most disputes are settled without going to court, and the modern approach is very much to  consider litigation as a last resort, litigation remains the most common formal method of dispute resolution. This guide to dispute resolution takes you through the litigation process whilst also identifying alternative ways to resolve disputes  

Intellectual property, Back to Basics part 1

This is the first in a series of “Back to Basics” articles looking at intellectual Property and its potential value and relevance to you and your business.   This article outlines what we mean by ‘copyright’, what it protects, who owns copyright and how a copyright owner can protect and commercially exploit its copyright.   […]

Protect your property against fraud

The Land Registry Property Alert service offers free protection against property fraud.  Sign up free to receive Land Registry email alerts when official searches and applications are received against monitored property.  Your don’t have to own the property to set up an alert.  The same property can be monitored by different people.  Properties that are […]

27 June, 2014
Employing illegal workers

On 16 May 2014, the civil penalty for employing illegal workers was increased from £10,000 to £20,000 for each individual who does not have the right to work in the UK. Home Office statistics show that more than 8,500 civil penalties totalling £79,300,000 were issued to employers between 2008/09 and 2012/13. On 7 March 2014, […]

27 June, 2014
Breaking a lease is hard to do

Break clauses in leases are frequently featured in the law reports. This article provides a recap of recent cases regarding the extent to which break conditions need to be complied with and whether rents need to be refunded if they are paid in advance of the break date, but relate to the period after the […]

27 June, 2014
Continuing occupation after the expiry of a lease

The Court of Appeal revisited the 2013 High Court decision in Erimus Housing Limited -v- Barclays Wealth Trustees (Jersey) Limited recently, in a judgment that makes clear that the nature of a tenant’s holding over following expiry of a lease must be viewed in light of the specific circumstance of the occupation.   In Erimus, […]

27 June, 2014
Consent to assignment

A recent Court of Appeal case highlights that landlords must have strong grounds in order to refuse a tenant’s application to assign a lease.   The case in question, Singh v Dhanji [2014] EWCA Civ 414, concerned the assignment of the lease of a dental practice in Nottingham.   In this case the landlord let the […]

27 June, 2014
Protecting your business reputation from online criticism

The nature of the internet means that comments about your business can be published instantly to thousands of people around the world. Whilst good online reviews can do wonders for your reputation, negative comments pose a considerable reputational risk. What is the best way to protect your reputation?   Legal remedies are not always the […]

27 June, 2014
Rebranding – Benefits and challenges

A rebrand can take on many forms, ranging from a revamp of the company logo to a complete change in the whole company image. Businesses will want to rebrand for a variety of reasons, as a result of a recent merger perhaps or simply because the business is moving with the times, has adopted a […]

“Workers Rights” for LLP Members

The Supreme Court has ruled [1]that a former equity partner of a law firm incorporated as a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) was a worker [2]and therefore eligible to bring a whistleblowing claim against the LLP.   Whilst whistleblowing claims may be relatively rare, the Supreme Court’s decision has potentially wide-reaching implications as it means that […]

Holidays

June 2014 It is that time of year again. A brief burst of sunshine and those of us who have failed to organise our holiday frantically search the internet for a week in the sun. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has also been thinking about holidays. Not their own, but what workers are entitled […]

Who owns your LinkedIn connections?

The answer to this is relatively straightforward for personal accounts which make no reference to employers, and corporate accounts which make no reference to employees. Unfortunately a resounding question mark still hovers above those connections collated in LinkedIn accounts that represent both the employee and the employer.   On creating a LinkedIn account an individual […]

PRS and PPL Licences – do you need both?

PRS and PPL are independent schemes representing different rights holders’ interests in the use of recorded and live music in public.   PRS (Performing Rights Society) protects the original “musical works” and licenses the use of lyrics and composed music in public performances, broadcasting and online on behalf of the song writers, composers and music […]

17 June, 2014
Telephone scams – be aware…

Within the space of one week, two of our clients were conned using the same basic technique. As a result we want to share this information as widely as possible to avoid you or your relatives being defrauded in the same way.   In both cases, the fraudsters made use of the fact that if […]

Employers beware: It may now be easier to claim constructive dismissal

The case of Wright v North Ayrshire Council has provided us with further clarification on the test for constructive dismissal.   A constructive dismissal occurs where the employer does not dismiss the employee, but the employee resigns and can show that they were entitled to do so by virtue of the employer’s conduct.   In […]

Landlords: ensure YOU benefit from any empty property rates relief

Due to the current state of the economic climate, some landlords are struggling to rent their properties and their difficulties can been intensified by the liability to pay business rates on empty properties.   When leasing business premises, the common position is to include a provision requiring the tenant to pay all rates or taxes […]

Limiting the risk of enhanced redundancy payments becoming a contractual term

It is common for employers to enhance redundancy payments for their employees. In some instances this may be explicitly detailed as a contractual term in the employees’ contract, a formal redundancy policy or under a collective agreement. In the majority of cases however, an employer is likely to have used its discretion to make enhanced […]

Planning law: reducing affordable housing contributions, is this good news for developers?

In a recent review of economist Kate Barker’s 2004 report on housing supply, the Home Builders Federation has confirmed that England now has a shortfall of over a million homes.   The Barker Review concluded that 210,000 private homes needed to be built each year to allow for England’s growing population and to prevent an […]

Commercial law: new rules for consumer contracts from June

All businesses dealing with consumers are likely to need to update their terms and conditions and ordering processes in order to implement new Regulations by 13 June 2014.   The new law   The new Regulations – the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/3134) – apply to most sales or […]

Anomaly hits same-sex marriage plans

On 29 March 2014, the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 comes into force, which legalises same-sex marriages for the first time. However, warns solicitors, Cripps, those already in a civil partnership will have to dissolve their partnership before they can marry.   “The government has announced that section 9 of the Act, which allows for […]

Employment news: March 2014

Welcome to our first Employment News. This month, we look at a recent case on flexi-time working which highlights the need to have a clear policy in place. We also look at the changing landscape of employment tribunal claims. Finally, we have set out the new compensation limits and statutory payment rates.   Don’t forget, […]

Partnerships and professional practices: major tax changes for LLPs and partnerships

Two major changes for LLPs and partnerships are to be brought in on 6 April 2014 [1]. These changes will have a significant impact on professional practices operating as LLPs with salaried or fixed share members and LLPs or partnerships with a mix of corporate and individual members.   Salaried or Fixed Share Members Historically, […]

Managing commercial disputes

Whilst practical steps can be taken in order to minimise the risk of a dispute arising in the first place (see Avoiding Commercial Disputes), some thought should be given to how a dispute will be handled and managed should it arise. This is usually addressed in the contract by the inclusion of a dispute resolution […]

Employment law

Happy New Year! I hope you survived the storms and rain that have hit the country in the festive period. In this Alert we look ahead to the employment law changes due to come into force in 2014.   January – TUPE The changes to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 are […]