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Discharge before you develop

Discharge before you develop

Section 84 of the law of property act 1925 can in certain circumstances be used by developers to modify or discharge restrictive covenants which will otherwise restrict the use of land. An application may be made under section 84 to the Lands Tribunal for modification or discharge of a covenant based on a number of… Read more »

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Protecting your business – How restrictive covenants can help

Protecting your business – How restrictive covenants can help

In recent months we have seen an increase in businesses looking to actively enforce restrictive covenants in contracts of employment and ex-employees who want advice on whether their personal restrictive covenants are enforceable. The current economic climate is proving to be a challenge for businesses. Unfortunately, many businesses are having to consider redundancies and restructuring… Read more »

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Bullying at work – Lessons from Boris and Priti

Bullying at work – Lessons from Boris and Priti

The issue of bullying at work has been brought under the spotlight recently. The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has been found to have acted in breach of the Ministerial Code which provides that: There must be no bullying and no harassment. Harassing, bullying or other inappropriate or discriminating behaviour wherever it takes place is not… Read more »

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Top-ups to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Top-ups to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Further to our blog discussing the key points and aims of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (‘BBLS’) earlier this year, on 10 November 2020 the government announced that participating lenders are able to offer ‘top-ups’ to smaller business’ existing bounce back loans, provided that they originally borrowed less than the maximum available. Summary of the… Read more »

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Presentations from Employment Conference – 18.11.20

Presentations from Employment Conference – 18.11.20

Below are links to all the presentations from today’s conference.  Please click on a presentation you would like to download:   Main session covering “Working in the new normal”; “Employment Tribunals”; and “Case law updates” Break out session – Immigration Break out session – IR35 Break out session – Redundancies Break out session – Mental… Read more »

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The Extended Furlough Scheme – Updated as of 13 November 2020

The Extended Furlough Scheme – Updated as of 13 November 2020

The government published further detail relating to the Extended Furlough Scheme on 13 November 2020. This update seeks to provide clarity on the consequences of the Extended Furlough Scheme and any differences it holds to the previous furlough scheme. We have produced a timeline of key dates for ease of reference. Update to the Extended… Read more »

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Changes to “shielding” – the implications for employers

Changes to “shielding” – the implications for employers

Following the second national lockdown across the country from 5 November, those who are identified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ have received a letter from the NHS with new shielding measures. These shielding measures will apply for 4 weeks up to 2 December when the country will then look to lift the lockdown and return to… Read more »

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Planning guide to extending your home

Planning guide to extending your home

This blog contains our planning guide for homeowners wishing to extend their property, construct an outbuilding or create an annex. Are you considering extending your home or adding an outbuilding? Maybe you need more room to be able to work from home or want to provide an annex to accommodate an older or vulnerable member… Read more »

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Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney are a way of giving someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity at some time in the future, or no longer wish to make decisions for yourself. A Pandemic will naturally force households to think about their financial affairs and consider… Read more »

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Second national lockdown – Implications for employers around the extended furlough scheme

Second national lockdown – Implications for employers around the extended furlough scheme

The government’s announcement of another national lockdown came with the welcomed news that the Furlough Scheme (“the Scheme”) would be extended until 31 March 2021. The clear aim behind the extension of the Scheme is to preserve jobs through the winter months so that, come spring 2021, our economy would be on the road to… Read more »

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Financial support schemes available for SMEs during COVID-19

Financial support schemes available for SMEs during COVID-19

There are a number of government financial support schemes available for small to medium sized businesses in the current climate. As of 5 November 2020, the deadline for applications to the BBLS, CBILS and Future Fund has been extended to 31 January 2021.  Please note that the CBILS cannot be used in conjunction with any… Read more »

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Flexible furlough – How does it work?

Flexible furlough – How does it work?

Following the Chancellor’s further announcement relating to the extended furlough scheme yesterday, we have updated our blog on the flexible furlough scheme below. Flexible furlough scheme details Under the flexible furlough scheme, employees no longer need to avoid doing any work for the employer, but can work for some of the week and be furloughed… Read more »

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What options are available in debt recovery for creditors now that the CIGA temporary measures have been extended?

What options are available in debt recovery for creditors now that the CIGA temporary measures have been extended?

Debt recovery for creditors during this pandemic is harder than ever. The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act (CIGA) came into force on 26 June 2020 and introduced a number of temporary and permanent reforms. The objective being to support businesses and help the economy during this pandemic. The original measures were due to expire on 30… Read more »

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Coronavirus; unable to make maintenance payments?

Coronavirus; unable to make maintenance payments?

Being able to make maintenance payments during the Coronavirus pandemic may be something you are worried about, either because you pay child or spousal maintenance to your former partner or spouse or you are in receipt of maintenance, and are understandably worried about how Coronavirus (COVID-19) may impact these payments. Maintenance payments can broadly be… Read more »

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Can a failure to return to work constitute resignation in a constructive dismissal claim?

Can a failure to return to work constitute resignation in a constructive dismissal claim?

Introduction to constructive dismissal Constructive dismissal claims are notoriously hard to successfully claim as the burden lies with the employee to prove that they were entitled to resign from their role following a repudiatory (fundamental) breach of contract by their employer. In other words, an employee is entitled to resign and treat themselves as being… Read more »

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COVID-19: Guidance for child arrangements during self-isolation

COVID-19: Guidance for child arrangements during self-isolation

Child arrangements during self-isolation is a concern for many families. The House of Commons has recently published a paper responding to some key questions regarding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on separated families and access to children.  Guidance for child arrangements during self-isolation In this update we set out some guidance on child arrangements… Read more »

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The Job Support Scheme – New employee retention initiative

The Job Support Scheme – New employee retention initiative

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak recently announced a new Job Support Scheme to assist employers in keeping staff in their jobs during his speech on the government’s winter economy plan. The Job Support Scheme has been updated twice since it was originally announced, firstly on 12 October 2020 and most recently on 22 October 2020 when… Read more »

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Commercial landlords’ remedies for unpaid rent

Commercial landlords’ remedies for unpaid rent

Many landlords are facing over 6 months of either unpaid rent or reduced rent from their tenants. Remedies for unpaid rent In order to assist our commercial landlord clients during this challenging time we have prepared a table summarising the remedies available to take against tenants who are not paying their rent and some practical… Read more »

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Settlement Agreements – Frequently asked questions

Settlement Agreements – Frequently asked questions

As an employee you may find yourself presented with a settlement agreement. In this blog we answer the most frequently asked questions we receive and also give you some practical guidance on what to do if you are presented with a settlement agreement. Settlement Agreements As a starting point, we outline what a settlement agreement… Read more »

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Winding up petitions for unpaid rent – commercial leases – Updated 15 October

Winding up petitions for unpaid rent – commercial leases – Updated 15 October

The use of statutory demands and winding up petitions on commercial tenants has been severely restricted by insolvency legislation. This note considers the limitations placed on landlords faced with non-paying corporate tenants during the Coronavirus pandemic. Our earlier blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and commercial leases, set out the implications of the Coronavirus Act for commercial leases…. Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and commercial leases – updated 15 October

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and commercial leases – updated 15 October

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic tenants with commercial leases are having a difficult time and consequently landlords too. We know anecdotally that some tenants with large portfolios have already approached their landlords and agreed rent concessions. Options available to landlords and tenants for commercial leases This blog explains the implications of the Coronavirus Act for… Read more »

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Planning policy issues around golf course redevelopment (Part 2)

Planning policy issues around golf course redevelopment (Part 2)

As discussed in Part 1 ‘Golf course redevelopment or diversification‘, variable factors and influences are leading to the closure of golf courses across Britain for alternative uses or their diversification to ensure they remain viable in the current and foreseeable economic landscape. Planning Policy context Achieving an alternative or diversified use requires careful consideration of… Read more »

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Golf Course Redevelopment or Diversification Planning (Part 1)

Golf Course Redevelopment or Diversification Planning (Part 1)

Golf course redevelopment or diversification are anxious considerations being given by some golf course owners and investors. Golf clubs all over Britain, many dating back over a century, are closing at an alarming rate. Changing social and economic trends have led to reduced participation and memberships levels at some clubs. Golf course redevelopment or diversification… Read more »

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Holding annual general meetings during COVID-19 pandemic – Updated 9 October 2020

Holding annual general meetings during COVID-19 pandemic – Updated 9 October 2020

The rules of some companies and other organisations require them to hold annual general meetings. Since lockdown began in March, those organisations have grappled with how to comply with these requirements whilst complying with the government’s lockdown rules. Legislation was finally introduced on 25 June 2020 to bring in temporary changes on how to hold… Read more »

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COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 29: Creditor action restricted until end of year, pre-pack sales to be tweaked sometime, return of Crown preference looming

COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 29: Creditor action restricted until end of year, pre-pack sales to be tweaked sometime, return of Crown preference looming

Although it has been almost 30 weeks (yes, we’re shocked too) since the announcement of the UK national lockdown in March to deal with rapidly increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, and (more importantly, of course) the start of our blog series tracking the resulting impacts and changes in the field of restructuring and insolvency, we… Read more »

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Do I still need to comply with GDPR during the pandemic?

Do I still need to comply with GDPR during the pandemic?

GDPR compliance is mandatory regardless of the Coronavirus pandemic and these unprecedented times we find ourselves in. So the law remains the same, but how will it be enforced? The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has changed its enforcement strategy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In May this year the ICO drew attention to its… Read more »

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Job retention bonus scheme: Update as at 2 October 2020

Job retention bonus scheme: Update as at 2 October 2020

On 2 October 2020, the government produced new guidance relating to the Job Retention Bonus Scheme. This is also supported by a new Treasury Direction on the Job Retention scheme and some useful practical examples to assist employers.  We have outlined the key points for employers based on the new information known as at 2 October… Read more »

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Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Following changes announced on 19 May by HM Treasury several changes will take effect from 26 May. The maximum amount available through the scheme to borrowers and its group has been increased from £50m to £200m. Both term loans and revolving credit facilities over £50m will be offered by CLBILS lenders which have secured additional… Read more »

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The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

In response to concerns raised by the business community since the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme was launched, the Chancellor has extended the scheme so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible. Insufficient security is no longer a condition to… Read more »

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Permitting a worker to break their self-isolation: new regulations and what this means for employers

Permitting a worker to break their self-isolation: new regulations and what this means for employers

New self-isolation regulations to curb the recent rise in Coronavirus infections (announced at midnight on Sunday 27 September) confirm it is now an offence for an employer to knowingly permit a worker to break their self-isolation.  What are the new self-isolation regulations? The new self-isolation regulations are called the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England)… Read more »

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Telecommunications leases

Telecommunications leases

This blog looks at telecommunications leases, specifically the renewal of leases and how rent is calculated. How are telecommunications leases renewed and how is the rent calculated? The case of Vodafone Ltd v Hanover Capital Ltd (August 2020) considers these questions relating to telecommunications leases. Martin Rodger QC, sitting in the Upper Tribunal in Manchester,… Read more »

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Coronavirus – Working from home again?

Coronavirus – Working from home again?

In response to the concerning rise in new cases of Coronavirus in recent weeks, the Prime Minister made an announcement to the nation which introduces new restrictions to suppress the spread of the virus. Importantly, the government has confirmed the reinstatement of the policy that requires those who can work from home to do so…. Read more »

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Are you and your EU citizen workers prepared for Brexit?

Are you and your EU citizen workers prepared for Brexit?

The Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020 and brings big changes for any EU citizen who want to come and live and work in the UK. In this article, we summarise these changes and provide a step by step timeline for employers to follow to meet their requirements. The Brexit deadlines for EU… Read more »

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Highly pressurised due diligence? Here is our advice!

Highly pressurised due diligence? Here is our advice!

From the very start of the due diligence process, many company owners who are in the process of selling their company feel immense pressure to coordinate due diligence and run a successful business at the same time. An accelerated and streamlined due diligence process can be key to easing this pressure. 4 simple due diligence… Read more »

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Non-competition leasehold covenants

Non-competition leasehold covenants

Where a tenant takes a lease of a substantial property (and incurs a substantial investment in fitting out or otherwise committing to that property) it will often seek a covenant from the landlord not to allow competing uses on any part of the remainder of the estate. Until the recently reported case of Peninsula Securities… Read more »

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Terminating a contract due to insolvency – new restrictions

Terminating a contract due to insolvency – new restrictions

Terminating a contract to the insolvency of the other party is no longer permitted, despite an express clause to this effect. New restrictions on terminating a contract due to insolvency It is typical in commercial contracts to see the right for a supplier to be able to terminate the contract (or suspend its delivery obligations)… Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and residential tenancies

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and residential tenancies

The Coronavirus Act 2020 (“the Act”) is now in force temporarily altering regulations of residential tenancies in England and Wales. Key points for landlords and tenants on residential tenancies We set out below the key points to note for landlords and tenants in relation to residential tenancies. For commercial leases please read our separate blog…. Read more »

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Coronavirus – Keeping the planning system moving and participation in decision making

Coronavirus – Keeping the planning system moving and participation in decision making

New legislation and guidance continue to emerge, seeking to ensure the continued progress of planning applications through the different stages of the planning system. Planning system changes We set out below the changes, whether temporary or permanent, that have been put in place regarding the planning system since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. An… Read more »

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COVID-19 and the planning system – new legislation to support businesses and developers

COVID-19 and the planning system – new legislation to support businesses and developers

COVID-19 has impacted the planning system and left many in a state of uncertainty.   New legislation to support businesses and developers in view of COVID-19 New legislation and guidance continue to emerge, seeking to support businesses and developers through this period. Changes of use for restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments Legislation allowing a temporary change… Read more »

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What to do when tenants refuse landlords entry into commercial premises

What to do when tenants refuse landlords entry into commercial premises

Commercial landlords often face the frustration of trying to arrange viewings of premises with unwilling tenants. This article sets out what steps you can do to gain access to commercial premises. Tenants right to quiet enjoyment When you rented out the property to the tenant you would have committed to abide by a covenant allowing… Read more »

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Gaining access to residential property when tenant denies entry

Gaining access to residential property when tenant denies entry

Gaining access to residential property by landlords for the purpose of, say, trying to arrange viewings of premises with unwilling tenants is often frustrating. We have prepared a handy guide for landlords on what steps can be taken to enter the property when the tenants refuses access. When can tenants refuse entry to landlords?  Before… Read more »

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Landlords face up to a £3000 fine for not carrying out immigration rent checks

Landlords face up to a £3000 fine for not carrying out immigration rent checks

Carrying out immigration rent checks on all individuals aged over 18, including sub tenants, lodgers and family members; essentially everyone who occupies the property as their main dwelling that is not a child or a guest before granting a tenancy or a licence, has been in place from the 1st February 2016. Landlords or their… Read more »

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Recovering rent arrears from residential tenants

Recovering rent arrears from residential tenants

Recovering rent arrears from residential tenants who have vacated the premises without leaving a forwarding address is one of the main concerns landlords face after obtaining a possession order. With court fees amounting to nearly £500, landlords can end up spending several thousand on legal fees plus months of rent arrears before a bailiff can… Read more »

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Renting to students: Tips for landlords

Renting to students: Tips for landlords

Many landlords renting to students will be getting their accommodation ready in preparation for the University students who are about to descend upon Southampton. Most likely the AST agreements will have been signed already and the deposits for this coming year paid. Tips for landlords renting to students What else aside from ensuring the property… Read more »

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Process agent clauses in credit agreements

Process agent clauses in credit agreements

Process agent clauses  in credit agreements are valid. In Banco San Juan Internacional Inc v Petroleos De Venezuela SA [2020] EWHC 2145 (Comm), the High Court confirmed that proceedings brought by a bank against an oil company (PDVSA) had been properly served on a process agent, in accordance with contractual documentation (credit agreements) and CPR 6.11…. Read more »

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Transferring personal data to the U.S.

Transferring personal data to the U.S.

The rules around transferring personal data from the European Union to the United States have been amended.  In this blog we look at the recent decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union on 16 July 2020 which confirmed that the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework is no longer a valid mechanism to comply… Read more »

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Getting divorced : Frequently asked questions

Getting divorced : Frequently asked questions

When you are getting divorced there are a number of frequently asked questions you may need the answer to. By way of a quick-fire round, below are some of the questions asked: 6 frequently asked questions about getting divorced Below we answer 6 of the frequently asked questions we receive about getting divorced. 1. Do… Read more »

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Terminating a franchise agreement – a COVID-19 update

Terminating a franchise agreement – a COVID-19 update

Terminating a franchise agreement is sadly, what some franchisees are considering at this present time as well as looking at other options under their franchise agreement. Last week I hosted a franchisee legal surgery with the British Franchise Association (bfa). Unfortunately, the common thread was franchisees finding themselves in a very difficult financial position due… Read more »

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Cancelled business show due to Coronavirus: How do exhibitors and sponsors get a refund?

Cancelled business show due to Coronavirus: How do exhibitors and sponsors get a refund?

If you paid to exhibit at, or sponsor a cancelled business show, where do you stand legally? The Coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancellation or postponement of many, many events worldwide including business shows and expos. It is currently unknown exactly when such events will be able to resume safely. UK examples include; the… Read more »

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Furloughed employees to receive full redundancy payments

Furloughed employees to receive full redundancy payments

Furloughed employees will be entitled to receive redundancy payments at their normal rate of pay, rather than the reduced furloughed rate. This change on redundancy pay was announced by the government on 30 July and applies with immediate effect from today, 31 July 2020. What is the change to redundancy payments? Redundancy payments are calculated… Read more »

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Returning to the workplace – What should employers be considering?

Returning to the workplace – What should employers be considering?

Returning to the workplace was a topic of the Prime Minister’s announcement on Friday 17 July, confirming that more easing of lockdown restrictions is to take place in the foreseeable future. In particular, it was confirmed that, from 1 August, the government is going to “give employers more discretion and ask them to make decisions… Read more »

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Sponsoring a migrant worker

Sponsoring a migrant worker

This guide looks at whether a business can sponsor a migrant worker, what is involved and also other options available. Current guidance confirms that employers should not check a job applicant’s right to work in the UK until the later stage of the recruitment process to avoid race discrimination. This means that employers are often… Read more »

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Living together whilst separated : Can it work?

Living together whilst separated : Can it work?

Yes living together whilst separated can work.  This blog sets out why people may choose to take this route and tips on how to assist with this arrangement. Reasons why people choose living together whilst separated With the current global difficulties and the impact of the Coronavirus, many people have been stuck at home. Some… Read more »

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4 stages to witnessing a Will remotely

4 stages to witnessing a Will remotely

Witnessing a Will remotely has been made an option by the government (read their announcement on video-witnessed wills made on 25 July) by changing the law on the signing of Wills until 31 January 2022. Traditionally a will must be: signed by the person making the will dated on the day of signing; and witnessed… Read more »

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Employees returning from Spain and self-isolation

Employees returning from Spain and self-isolation

The government announced on 25 July 2020 that if you are returning from Spain to England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland on or after 26 July 2020 you will need to self-isolate for two weeks. The rules apply to travellers arriving from anywhere in Spain – including the Canary and Balearic Islands and will apply… Read more »

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Points-based immigration system post Brexit – Updated guidance from Home Office

Points-based immigration system post Brexit – Updated guidance from Home Office

On 13 July 2020 the Home Office published much awaited further guidance on how the proposed new points-based immigration system will work when it is implemented on 1 January 2021. The significant change of course is that from 1 January 2021 free movement is ending for those from the EU. New entrants to the UK… Read more »

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Granny annexes – What to consider

Granny annexes – What to consider

Granny annexes can be a popular option and can provide valuable extra space to accommodate additional family members, for example older relatives or adult children. If you are considering adding to your property to make more room, perhaps for existing occupants or to provide a home for other members of your family, this could be… Read more »

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Monitoring employees – Can it be done legally?

Monitoring employees – Can it be done legally?

This blog explores the concept of monitoring employees, whilst taking a look at the legal and practical considerations for employers who choose to monitor their employees. Given the current climate that faces us, an unprecedented number of employees have been actively encouraged by their employers and the government to work from home. After a few… Read more »

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Social distancing in the workplace – What does this mean for employers?

Social distancing in the workplace – What does this mean for employers?

What does social distancing in the workplace mean for employers after the Prime Minister announced the latest round of plans to further ease the lockdown restrictions on 23 June? One important feature of his speech was when he stated that “from now on we will ask people to follow guidance on social contact instead of… Read more »

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Nosecco loses its trade mark appeal

Nosecco loses its trade mark appeal

In 2018, Les Grands Chais de France SAS applied to obtain trade mark protection at the UK IPO for the figurative mark below: The application was opposed by the Consorzio di Tutela della Denominazione di Origine Controllata Prosecco, the consortium responsible for protecting the designation of origin (PDO) in respect of PROSECCO. They were concerned… Read more »

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Tenant Fees Act 2019 and Transitional Period

Tenant Fees Act 2019 and Transitional Period

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 included a 12-month transitional period for tenancy/letting agent agreements entered in to prior to 1 June 2019. However, the transitional period came to an end on 1 June 2020, meaning that all private sector assured shorthold tenancies, licenses to occupy houses and student accommodation tenancies fall under the scope of… Read more »

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Growing your business through a franchise operation

Growing your business through a franchise operation

Does your business have what it takes to become a franchise operation? Franchising There is no legal definition of franchising but a franchise is a contractual relationship where the franchisor: allows a franchisee to use its trade name, marks, brands and business ‘system’ exercises continuing control over a franchisee is obliged to provide training and… Read more »

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Top legal tips for franchisees

Top legal tips for franchisees

Franchise agreements are usually lengthy (around 40-60 pages) and contain many obligations and restrictions on franchisees. Before signing the agreement, it is important to take advice from a BFA affiliated solicitor who will be used to seeing franchise agreements from across the industry. Whilst the terms may be stated to be non-negotiable, it is still… Read more »

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Can I terminate my franchise agreement?

Can I terminate my franchise agreement?

Sadly this is a question I am asked rather frequently regarding franchise agreements. What are your options when your franchise business isn’t working out as you had hoped? As there is no specific “franchise law” in the UK, a franchisee must look carefully at the terms of their signed franchise agreement. Options if a franchise… Read more »

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COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – weeks 14/15:  Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 opens new frontier for insolvency law

COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – weeks 14/15: Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 opens new frontier for insolvency law

Some legislative changes are announced with great fanfare and press excitement, whilst others struggle for attention amid more ‘interesting’ news about Premier League trophies, mini heat waves and unruly crowds littering beaches and parks. To be fair, even against a backdrop of huge economic uncertainty as the UK takes its first, faltering steps into life… Read more »

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Flexible furlough – Employers’ key questions answered

Flexible furlough – Employers’ key questions answered

This blog seeks to provide answers to the common questions that employers have in respect of the flexible furlough scheme. Please note that this blog is supplemental to our recent update “Flexible furlough – How does it work” which explains (with helpful examples) on how employers can calculate pay for employees moving to a flexible… Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Family friendly rights

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Family friendly rights

Family friendly rights in the workplace are difficult enough for employers to manage in usual circumstances. In this blog we look at the particular challenges faced by employers and employees when employees are returning from maternity leave and similar family leave (such as adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement leave) during the Coronavirus pandemic. Family… Read more »

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New IR35 tax rules

New IR35 tax rules

Is your business ready for the changing IR35 tax rules? Background to IR35 Personal Services Companies (PSCs) became increasingly popular in the 1990s and allowed individuals to structure their working affairs in such a way that resulted in individuals paying less tax and national insurance. In 2000, the Government introduced the IR35 legislation to recover… Read more »

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Coronavirus : What are the options for commercial tenants struggling to pay rent?

Coronavirus : What are the options for commercial tenants struggling to pay rent?

There are a number of options available to commercial tenants struggling to pay their rent but possibly the first step to take should be to secure such funding as is being made available by the government including the furlough scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses. There are also… Read more »

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Furlough Scheme – Changes to contribution and ‘flexible furloughing’

Furlough Scheme – Changes to contribution and ‘flexible furloughing’

On Friday 29 May 2020, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak announced further changes to the furlough scheme. These changes are slowly being phased in to reduce the impact on business and get employees slowly back to work. The government’s aim is to ‘kick start’ the economy (read Chancellor Sunak’s announcement on the scheme) What are the… Read more »

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Land Registry execution of deeds

Land Registry execution of deeds

The rules for Land Registry execution of deeds during the Coronavirus pandemic have temporarily been amended. Execution of Deeds for Registration purposes at HM Land Registry  – Practice Guide 8 In response to the current climate HMLR have made a temporary change to Practice guide 8 and the execution of deeds for registration purposes. The… Read more »

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Coronavirus : Redundancies and collective consultation

Coronavirus : Redundancies and collective consultation

There are several important steps that employers need to take when entering into a collective consultation process in order to make staff redundant. This forms the second part to my recent blog on redundancies and individual consultation. In my recent blog, I outline the key parts of a fair redundancy process, including what the three… Read more »

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NHS Test and Trace – entitlement to statutory sick pay

NHS Test and Trace – entitlement to statutory sick pay

On 27 May 2020, the new ‘Test and Trace’ system was launched in England with the aim of helping ‘return life to normal, in a way that is safe and protects our NHS and social care.’ In line with this new system, entitlement to SSP has today been extended, so that anyone who has been… Read more »

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The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – New Treasury Direction Released 22 May 2020

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – New Treasury Direction Released 22 May 2020

On Friday 22 May 2020 the Treasury published a new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Direction  (CJRS) dated 20 May, to modify (and hopefully clarify) the legal framework for the Scheme. This replaces the previous Treasury Direction of 15 April, which we previously reported on. As David Roath discussed in his Job Retention Scheme update, the… Read more »

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Bounce back loans for smaller businesses

Bounce back loans for smaller businesses

As part of the ongoing response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the government has announced a new scheme for the UK’s smaller businesses, the bounce back loan scheme, which will run alongside the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme already available for businesses. This short note discusses the key points and aims of the scheme. What… Read more »

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Coronavirus : Redundancies and individual consultation

Coronavirus : Redundancies and individual consultation

Making redundancies will unfortunately be the harsh reality for many employers due to the impact of Covid-19. For those employers who, over the coming weeks and months, find themselves in the difficult position of having to making compulsory redundancies, it is crucial that they follow a fair process. My colleague, David Roath, recently wrote an… Read more »

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COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 9 – Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 9 – Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

Finally, some news After the Business Secretary announced almost two months ago that the government would be bringing forward new legislation for approval in Parliament which would provide shiny new insolvency tools and suspend laws prohibiting wrongful trading retrospectively from 1 March to 30 June 2020, we have finally had sight of the long-anticipated draft… Read more »

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Future Fund Loan Scheme

Future Fund Loan Scheme

On 20 April 2020, the Chancellor announced the government’s plans to offer the £500m Future Fund Loan Scheme.  The scheme went live on 20 May 2020. Lead investors are now able to submit applications via an online portal until the end of September 2020. The government, in partnership with the British Business Bank, is aiming… Read more »

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Are construction sites back to work and what is the new ‘normal’?

Are construction sites back to work and what is the new ‘normal’?

More construction sites are re-opening, starting work or increasing capacity each day, just less than 2 weeks since Boris Johnson announced the first steps towards lifting the UK’s unprecedented lockdown. They say it takes around 3 weeks to form a new habit but can the construction industry move that fast and will it need to,… Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) : Furlough and holidays – Update 20 May 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) : Furlough and holidays – Update 20 May 2020

Furlough and holidays has been a subject we have received a lot of enquiries about. Since the furlough scheme was announced in March 2020 we’ve been providing regular updates on furlough leave, and the guidance which the government has been issuing.  Over the last few days a number of updates have been updated, which we… Read more »

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Coronavirus impact on construction projects

Coronavirus impact on construction projects

(Co-written by Fainche Whelan, Solicitor and Claire Egerton, Partner) The Coronavirus impact on construction projects means it is necessary to carefully consider the relevant contract provisions vis a vis the current position with the works. The construction industry, amongst many others, is feeling the effects of Coronavirus. Whilst the government has permitted sites to remain… Read more »

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Landlords consent to tenants working or running a business from home

Landlords consent to tenants working or running a business from home

There has never been a time where so many people are working or running a business from home. But what if you are a tenant?  Working or running a business from home if you are a tenant This article looks at whether it is okay for landlords to allow their tenants to work or run… Read more »

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Employment status of part-time referees

Employment status of part-time referees

The employment status of part-time referees was recently considered in the case of Revenue and Customs v Professional Game Match Officials Ltd.  What is the employment status of part-time referees? Ultimately, it was held that the referees were independent contractors (self-employed). In this blog we discuss this case and the wider implications it has on… Read more »

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Does an immigration breach automatically render a contract unenforceable?

Does an immigration breach automatically render a contract unenforceable?

No, an immigration breach does not automatically render a contract unenforceable. While the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (‘the Act’) imposes both civil and criminal penalties on an employer when they employ a foreign national working illegally, this does not necessarily make the contract of employment unenforceable due to that illegality. Immigration breach example case… Read more »

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Coronavirus lockdown super-mum(ish)

Coronavirus lockdown super-mum(ish)

At the end of the 8th week of this Coronavirus lockdown, I’ve found myself reflecting on this unique period with more positivity than I ever thought imaginable. My role pre-lock down was clear. I was a corporate solicitor by day, a mum by evening and weekend. Easy(ish). I remember driving home from my last day… Read more »

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Guidance on testing workers for Coronavirus

Guidance on testing workers for Coronavirus

We set out guidance for employers on testing workers for Coronavirus in light of the recent extension of eligibility to be tested. It was announced on 28 April 2020 that all employees whose work cannot be done from home can now be tested for Coronavirus, if they have symptoms. They are able to make an… Read more »

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COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 8 – Directors’ duties

COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 8 – Directors’ duties

This week the corporate restructuring & insolvency team are focusing on directors’ duties during these unprecedented times.  Directors’ duties in the face of COVID-19 related potential insolvency: how to keep on the right side of the line At the time of writing (Friday 15 May 2020), we were fully eight weeks into lockdown and, despite… Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Financial support for education providers

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Financial support for education providers

This blog discusses the financial support for education providers during the Coronavirus crisis, with particular focus on how education establishments with mixed income from (government and commercial sources) can expect to approach the current situation in light of the financial difficulties raised by the Coronavirus pandemic. Following a government announcement in March, schools have been… Read more »

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How to avoid redundancies post lock-down

How to avoid redundancies post lock-down

How to avoid redundancies post lockdown has been brought into focus since Boris Johnson announced the broad roadmap to take us out of lockdown yesterday evening. We know there’s a long and hazardous path the country needs to travel and the impact on the economy is going to be huge. We’re told to expect a… Read more »

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The effect of COVID-19 on applications to the EU Settlement Scheme

The effect of COVID-19 on applications to the EU Settlement Scheme

Applications to the EU Settlement Scheme have undoubtedly been affected by the Coronavirus lockdown. The pandemic has impacted the lives of everyone in the UK and across the world. To date the main focus has been on helping businesses survive and employees keep their jobs. However, there are many EU Nationals, both inside and outside… Read more »

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Coronavirus : What are the issues when moving a business online?

Coronavirus : What are the issues when moving a business online?

Thinking about moving a business online? With the Coronavirus forcing businesses to close their doors as governments around the world have either banned or limited social contact, many businesses, freelancers and self-employed people are focusing on turning their businesses online. As the business landscape changes for so many and uncertainties turn into new realities, businesses… Read more »

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Risks to avoid when selling your business

Risks to avoid when selling your business

Are you thinking about selling your business? During 2018 and 2019 Paris Smith’s Corporate team have enjoyed successive years of record transactions both in terms of volume and value. In 2019 we advised on transactions worth more than £1billion. However, although trade and especially private equity buyers are becoming more active, there remains a level of… Read more »

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10 potential pitfalls to avoid when selling a business to overseas buyers

10 potential pitfalls to avoid when selling a business to overseas buyers

Selling a business to overseas buyers has a number of potential pitfalls (especially if they have limited experience of UK acquisitions) that, if they are not addressed sufficiently early in the process, can lead to major misunderstandings, unnecessary frustrations and sometimes even termination. The Corporate Team at Paris Smith have many years of experience in… Read more »

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Force majeure – a guide for businesses

Force majeure – a guide for businesses

In this guide for businesses, we explain what a force majeure is, whether the Coronavirus pandemic is a force majeure event, what a suitable clause looks like in a document and how to give notice to a contracting party. With the country now in lockdown for the foreseeable future, more and more businesses grapple with… Read more »

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Exiting furlough : How do we exit and what is next for employers?

Exiting furlough : How do we exit and what is next for employers?

As we look towards exiting furlough, this is an important time for businesses to plan and implement the measures that will enable them to exit furlough and navigate the coming months. For the majority of our employer clients, the past month has been a whirlwind of change, absorbing and reacting instantaneously to ever shifting government… Read more »

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What is the Coronavirus impact on financial settlements?

What is the Coronavirus impact on financial settlements?

The Coronavirus impact on financial settlements is, unsurprisingly, a question many of my clients have asked me in the last few weeks, and is an issue which requires serious consideration. I would say that great caution should be applied whether it is a case of considering reopening a final order recently made; attempting to renegotiate… Read more »

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COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 6

COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 6

As promised by Mike Pavitt and Chris Parsons in their recent blog post “COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 4“, it is time for a slightly different perspective from our Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency team. For those of you familiar with the CR&I team here at Paris Smith, I am sure you will… Read more »

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Illegal eviction – The landlord has changed the locks to my home. What can I do?

Illegal eviction – The landlord has changed the locks to my home. What can I do?

It is illegal for landlords to change the locks and evict tenants from rented accommodation without a court order which bailiffs usually enforce. The main exceptions to this rule are that an order is not required to evict occupiers: of emergency accommodation; who are lodgers who live with their landlord; of holiday accommodation; who do not… Read more »

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What if an employer becomes aware of a disability post termination?

What if an employer becomes aware of a disability post termination?

Employers have to be alert to potential disabilities of employees, even if they become aware of a disability post termination. The case of Baldeh v Churches Housing Association of Dudley and District Ltd [2019] UKEAT/0290/18 illustrates this. Disability post termination example In this example, the employer only became aware of the employee’s disability post termination…. Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) : How are Employment Tribunal hearings operating?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) : How are Employment Tribunal hearings operating?

The Employment Tribunal has released information about how it will operate during the current pandemic. The overriding objective of the Employment Tribunal is to deal with cases in a manner which is both fair and just. Like many organisations, the Employment Tribunal is moving to online modes of working wherever possible, although has acknowledged that… Read more »

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Paris Smith’s community initiatives during Coronavirus uncertainty

Paris Smith’s community initiatives during Coronavirus uncertainty

Community initiatives and charitable support programmes are needed more than ever now. As we all know, many businesses and individuals are facing a whole range of challenges during this time. Not only have we all had to adapt to new ways of working, but have done so in an incredibly short space of time. In… Read more »

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New ways of working and team morale during remote working

New ways of working and team morale during remote working

Remote working – Casting an eye back to 2019, before the coronavirus outbreak, less than 30% of the working population reported that they worked from home. Now, almost overnight, businesses all over the UK were propelled into the new norm of remote working. For Paris Smith, various existing support systems proved invaluable to the teams… Read more »

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Mergers and acquisitions in a time of Coronavirus

Mergers and acquisitions in a time of Coronavirus

With Brexit finally done, all indications were that 2020 would be a strong year for UK domestic and inward investment mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity. The early signs that this would be the case were positive. Then everything changed. The unprecedented lockdown measures taken by the UK government and governments around the world in response… Read more »

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Best interest decisions on behalf of someone lacking mental capacity

Best interest decisions on behalf of someone lacking mental capacity

This note is to provide you with some guidance relating to “Best Interest” decisions and how that is achieved. When it has been established that a person lacks mental capacity, those around them such as attorneys, deputies, family members or health care professionals need to make “best interest decisions” on their behalf. Checklist when making… Read more »

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Reacting to COVID-19 as an employer – it’s not just about the law

Reacting to COVID-19 as an employer – it’s not just about the law

I wrote another article about how employees might use this enforced lockdown as a time for reflection about their careers (and more). I also believe it’s a time where employers need to react and conduct themselves carefully and compassionately. In my own working world, law firms are treating their staff very differently across the sector…. Read more »

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Coronavirus : A time for a change or a time to be conservative?

Coronavirus : A time for a change or a time to be conservative?

This year, I’ve been a lawyer for 25 years (boy doesn’t time fly). My focus as an employment lawyer has changed over the years and I now advise departing senior employees as much as I advise employers. Sometimes the exit is desired by the employee and sometimes it comes as a shock. One constant thing… Read more »

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New statutory entitlements to parental bereavement leave and pay

New statutory entitlements to parental bereavement leave and pay

(This blog was co-written by Adam Wheal, trainee solicitor and Andrew Willshire, Solicitor) This blog discusses the new statutory entitlements to parental bereavement leave and pay, in light of recent government guidance. What are the new entitlements to parental bereavement leave and pay? This new right came into force on 6 April 2020 and so… Read more »

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3 top tips to surviving your first seat as a trainee solicitor

3 top tips to surviving your first seat as a trainee solicitor

Trainee solicitor, Lucy, shares her 3 top tips on how to survive (and hopefully thrive) throughout the first seat as a trainee solicitor. First day as a trainee solicitor After receiving my training contract offer over two years beforehand, the big ‘First Day’ seemed daunting to say the least; I suppose primarily from the fear… Read more »

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Anaerobic digestion: Resurgence – A Southern England perspective

Anaerobic digestion: Resurgence – A Southern England perspective

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is clearly a topic that needs re-visiting. The government’s Waste and Resource Strategy estimates that around 10 million tonnes of food and drink waste (post-farm gate) is produced annually, with households – according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme group (WRAP) – being responsible for around 6.5 million tonnes of this…. Read more »

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COVID-19: New changes to Statutory Sick Pay entitlement and guidance on how to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay

COVID-19: New changes to Statutory Sick Pay entitlement and guidance on how to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay

COVID-19 has resulted in several changes to Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”) entitlement. The most recent changes, published on 19 April 2020, impact upon who is eligible to receive SSP and how sickness absence will interact with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (better known as “Furlough Leave”). These frequent updates and changes mean that employers need… Read more »

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Coronavirus : Namaste! Waving goodbye to the handshake?

Coronavirus : Namaste! Waving goodbye to the handshake?

After the Coronavirus outbreak had started, but prior to full lockdown, it became common not to shake hands when meeting clients or other contacts. Instead I, and other people, started to adopt the “namaste” greeting partially in jest but partly as a serious and respectful way to fill the obvious gap left by a lack… Read more »

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Notifying a contracting party of a force majeure event

Notifying a contracting party of a force majeure event

Notifying a contracting party of a force majeure event must be done in writing. This blog contains information on how to make the force majeure clause in business/commercial contracts effective and how to notify a contracting party of a force majeure event. How to notify a contracting party  The issue of force majeure clauses in… Read more »

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COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 4

COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 4

(co-written by Christopher Parsons, Solicitor and Mike Pavitt, Head of the Corporate Restructuring & insolvency team) Welcome to our 4th consecutive weekly blog on how our Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency team is responding to the challenges posed by COVID-19. When we launched this series we had imagined (or at least hoped) to be wrapping things… Read more »

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COVID-19 Furlough and holiday : Update 17.04.2020

COVID-19 Furlough and holiday : Update 17.04.2020

Yesterday the government made a further update relating to furlough and holiday as well as an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme. Since the furlough scheme was announced in March 2020 we’ve been providing regular updates on furlough leave, and the guidance which the government has been issuing. We’ve also become accustomed to the… Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Furlough Scheme extended to the end of June

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Furlough Scheme extended to the end of June

This blog discusses the Furlough Scheme extended announcement issued by HM Treasury today, confirming the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of June. Read the full details of the “Furlough extension announcement” by HM Treasury. Furlough Scheme extended by one month As has been highlighted by this afternoon’s announcement, this topic… Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) : Settling commercial disputes and disagreements

Coronavirus (COVID-19) : Settling commercial disputes and disagreements

Settling commercial disputes and disagreements at any time can be daunting, but during any economic crisis such as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, tensions can and do rise between businesses eager to protect their respective interests and those of their shareholders and employees. Supply chain issues have arisen leading to the need to renegotiate trading terms,… Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) : Issues landlords and tenants should consider

Coronavirus (COVID-19) : Issues landlords and tenants should consider

(co-written by Tamsin Simmonds, Edward Watson and Henry Barker) In this blog we look at issues landlords and tenants should consider in lieu of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) including deferring obligations in a commercial lease. We also consider the importance of properly documenting any such agreements to avoid costly and unintended consequences. This blog follows on… Read more »

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COVID-19 : Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Important update as at 15 April 2020

COVID-19 : Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Important update as at 15 April 2020

On 15 April The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme had an important, more detailed update from the government. We have in recent weeks been doing many blogs and updates on the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). This was announced in some haste on 26 March 2020 and the first guidance was issued shortly thereafter. More… Read more »

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Furlough Scheme Update as at 09.04.2020

Furlough Scheme Update as at 09.04.2020

On 9 April 2020 the government issued a further update to the Furlough Scheme which answers some of the outstanding queries, but unfortunately not all. Some outstanding Furlough Scheme questions answered This blog looks at further furlough scheme questions which have been answered. It doesn’t deal with the points which were already clear, and which… Read more »

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Child arrangements during Coronavirus lockdown

Child arrangements during Coronavirus lockdown

Child arrangements during Coronavirus lockdown is a very worrying concern. For families with young children, there is a whole host of difficulties that wouldn’t even occur to others. Not just the challenge of attempting to home-school little ones whilst simultaneously working full-time, but also the never-ending “what nextness” of toddlers needing to be picked up,… Read more »

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Are there any legal implications of living together during Coronavirus lockdown?

Are there any legal implications of living together during Coronavirus lockdown?

Yes, there are potential legal implications of living together during Coronavirus lockdown if one of you is a property owner. As an unmarried couple, your claims against each other are limited as you do not have the same rights as a married couple. However, if financial or other significant contributions are made by a non-owning… Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) : Financial aid for charities

Coronavirus (COVID-19) : Financial aid for charities

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced yesterday £750m of financial aid for charities providing support and services during the current Coronavirus pandemic. The measures involve cash grants payable direct to charities providing key services during the crisis. £360m will be directly allocated by government departments to those charities. Small local charities, including those delivering food… Read more »

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COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 3

COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 3

Going through the gears For those of you who have been keeping up with Mike Pavitt’s weekly lockdown digests thus far – and for those who missed them, you can catch up here COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 1 COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 2 you will perhaps be… Read more »

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Coronavirus: Job Retention Scheme – Can directors be furloughed?

Coronavirus: Job Retention Scheme – Can directors be furloughed?

In light of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme announced by the Chancellor on 20 March 2020, this blog discusses the ability for directors to be furloughed after updated guidance was released by the government on 4 April 2020. It also discusses the implications that arise in relation to directors who manage their own Personal Service… Read more »

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COVID-19: Annual leave, bank holidays and furlough

COVID-19: Annual leave, bank holidays and furlough

In light of the upcoming Easter weekend, this blog discusses how annual leave, and in particular bank holidays, should be dealt with under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Since this blog there have been several updates from government. You can read the details in our new guidance on furlough and annual holidays which was updated… Read more »

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Furlough Scheme – Updated guidance

Furlough Scheme – Updated guidance

The government has now issued some updated guidance on the furlough scheme, and have provided answers to some, but not all, of the questions that employers were struggling with –  “Claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – updated 5 April 2020“. Answers to further questions for employers This blog examines… Read more »

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COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 2

COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 2

So we come to the end of working week 2 and it’s time to digest our second instalment of COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency ( what I’m now tempted to call “Lockdown: The COVID Chronicles”).  Part 1 – “COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 1” featured last week (in case you missed… Read more »

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Managing my private financial affairs during Coronavirus lockdown and social distancing

Managing my private financial affairs during Coronavirus lockdown and social distancing

We are currently living in unprecedented times – separated from family, friends and colleagues to ensure we do “our bit” to try and stem the spread of Coronavirus. At times such as this, minds do turn to the issue of ensuring one’s private financial affairs are in order. Should I appoint an attorney just in… Read more »

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Guidance on signing a Statement of Truth

Guidance on signing a Statement of Truth

(co-written by Rachel Reynolds, Solicitor, Shaun Piesley, Trainee Solicitor and Nicola Davies, Associate) From the 6 April 2020 there will be important changes to the Civil Procedure Rules (‘’CPR’’) when it comes to signing a Statement of Truth. This article highlights these recent changes and discusses practical tips that should be considered before signing a… Read more »

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COVID-19 : Practical issues of working from home

COVID-19 : Practical issues of working from home

This blog looks at the practical issues of working from home an employer needs to think about to make home working a success for the business and their staff.  Although many businesses already accommodate home working, for many more it is a new and potentially scary concept. Both employees and managers have had to adapt… Read more »

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Coronavirus : Ability to carry over annual leave

Coronavirus : Ability to carry over annual leave

The ability to carry over annual leave due to the Coronavirus pandemic has been addressed in the newly enacted Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 which allows employees and workers to carry over up to four weeks annual leave into the next two leave years, if they have been unable to take it this year… Read more »

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Emergency volunteering leave

Emergency volunteering leave

(co-written by Adam Wheal, trainee solicitor, and Claire Merritt, Partner) Under the new Coronavirus Act 2020 employees and workers are entitled to emergency volunteering leave. This right is scheduled to remain in force for two years. This blog discusses the interesting new provision contained in the Act entitling employees and workers to emergency volunteering leave,… Read more »

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COVID-19 : The legal issues of working from home

COVID-19 : The legal issues of working from home

In this blog, we look at the legal issues of working from home for staff and how employers can facilitate this change to ensure their business runs as smoothly as possible during the Coronavirus pandemic. Our blog “COVID-19 : Practical issues of working from home” covers the practical side. Legal issues an employer needs to… Read more »

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Working from home during Coronavirus: Top 5 compliance tips

Working from home during Coronavirus: Top 5 compliance tips

We are all operating in unprecedented times due to the Coronavirus pandemic and many of us are now working from home. This blog provides 5 top compliance tips to staying safe and protect confidential information whilst working from home. What are the 5 top compliance tips for for working from home during COVID-19? Below are… Read more »

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Good Work Plan – 6 April 2020

Good Work Plan – 6 April 2020

(co-written by Adam Wheal, Trainee Solicitor and Charlotte Farrell, Solicitor) The Good Work Plan comes into force on 6 April 2020. Whilst the proposed IR35 regulations, which were due to come into force on the same day, have been postponed until 2021; the changes to be implemented from the Good Work Plan are still going… Read more »

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Revised statutory pay and limits – April 2020

Revised statutory pay and limits – April 2020

This blog discusses the revised statutory pay and limits which will be coming into force in April 2020. These changes are still occurring despite disruption caused by COVID-19, so it is important for people to have the new rates on their radar. What are the statutory pay and limits coming into force on 1 April… Read more »

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COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 1

COVID-19 and corporate restructuring & insolvency – week 1

Each week COVID-19 continues the Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency team will report on the effects the Coronavirus outbreak is having on the corporate restructuring & insolvency world. Corporate restructuring & insolvency – discovering the new (ab)normal due to COVID-19 Everyone keeps saying these are unprecedented times. Solicitors, barristers, judges and accountants who qualified before I… Read more »

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COVID-19 – Emergency support for businesses

COVID-19 – Emergency support for businesses

Government sets out measures to provide emergency support for businesses due to COVID-19 The Government has set out a number of measures to provide emergency support for businesses due to the disruption caused by COVID-19. These measures include: a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme deferring VAT and income tax payments a statutory sick pay relief package… Read more »

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Banking documentation

Banking documentation

If your business does not believe that it will be able to meet its covenants set out in its finance documentation (due to impaired financial performance or other disruption to normal trading arrangements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic), then it is vital that you speak to your bank as early as possible. Banks will be… Read more »

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Coronavirus: New financial protection for the self-employed

Coronavirus: New financial protection for the self-employed

(co-written by Adam Wheal, trainee solicitor and Claire Merritt, partner) Impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the self-employed On Thursday 26 March 2020, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced details of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme which he described as “one of the most generous self-employed support schemes anywhere in the world”. This blog discusses the… Read more »

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Effect of COVID-19 on lenders and borrowers

Effect of COVID-19 on lenders and borrowers

Lenders and borrowers issues and solutions around COVID-19 Despite the Government’s emergency budgets, the provision of other assistance to businesses and the Bank of England cutting interest rates to 0.1%, a number of business sectors (retail, aviation, travel, hospitality and tourism) have seen massively reduced cash flows due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic…. Read more »

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COVID-19 – Impact on mergers and acquisition transactions

COVID-19 – Impact on mergers and acquisition transactions

COVID-19 is already having a significant impact on current and pending mergers and acquisition (M&A) transactions. For some companies, especially those experiencing substantial supply chain disruption, there may be strategic opportunities (or necessities) to become involved in accelerated funding or acquisition arrangements (for example with key/dependant suppliers) in order to protect their own businesses. Other… Read more »

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UK and EU Intellectual Property Offices

UK and EU Intellectual Property Offices

UK and EU Intellectual Property Offices – Update during Coronavirus pandemic As Coronavirus continues to make an impact on a global scale, all countries are either implementing social distancing or imposing lockdown on citizens. Whilst on a personal level, we are rightly concerned with the safety and wellbeing of our loved ones, on a business… Read more »

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The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the furloughed worker

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the furloughed worker

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (updated on 5.4.2020 by government). Find out what the update was about by reading our blog ” Furlough Scheme – Updated guidance” On Friday 20 March 2020, the government announced the unprecedented introduction of an employee support scheme, which is operating immediately to offer grants to UK employers. The aim of… Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Planning for the future

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Planning for the future

In these strange and unprecedented times, many businesses are unable to continue to operate in their usual way. Whilst we do not know exactly what the future holds, or how long the current situation may last, this period offers time to plan ahead and consider future options for when normal service resumes. Business owners may… Read more »

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Cancelled events due to Coronavirus – Where do you stand?

Cancelled events due to Coronavirus – Where do you stand?

What are the effects if you have to cancel an event due to the Coronavirus? All types of events, from the biggest international concerts and conferences to the smallest community gatherings have been cancelled or postponed to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. The impact of such cancellations is wide ranging and may result in significant… Read more »

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Does trade mark law protect brands or create an abusive market?

Does trade mark law protect brands or create an abusive market?

The Joe Lycett and Hugo Boss trade mark protest How entertaining to see that Joe Lycett has formally changed his name to Hugo Boss in protest against the company’s robust stance against third parties using their brand name. How effective will his protest be, we wonder? Hugo Boss have already said that they ‘do not… Read more »

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Age discrimination and insured benefits – Employer alert

Age discrimination and insured benefits – Employer alert

Employers need to make sure they are not caught out by age discrimination as state retirement age increases. Many employers offer benefits to their staff members including life insurance, health insurance, and/or medical insurance. Whilst age related discrimination is generally prohibited, it is accepted that these benefits may cease once the employee attains 65 years… Read more »

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How will Brexit affect commercial contracts? – Part 1

How will Brexit affect commercial contracts? – Part 1

Brexit – EU references in contracts Whilst the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, the exact manner of the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU is yet to be agreed. Despite this uncertainty, businesses will benefit from thinking ahead and considering the potential impact on commercial contracts. This is a high priority… Read more »

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The Coronavirus – Key considerations for employers

The Coronavirus – Key considerations for employers

Issues which many employers are likely to face during the Coronavirus outbreak. As the pandemic continues to spread, many employers are concerned regarding the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on their workforce and the smooth running of their business. In the UK there are now over 8,000 confirmed cases, and with guidance from the government… Read more »

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Employment Contract Reviews

Employment Contract Reviews

4 reasons you need an employment contract review Reason 1: To Recognise Legal Changes If new legislation is introduced by parliament or judges make decisions which change the way in which the law is applied, there could be an impact on employment contracts. If you are using a precedent contract that you have used for… Read more »

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An overview of the new ‘breathing space’ regulations

An overview of the new ‘breathing space’ regulations

Breathe in – wait 60 days – and out   Breathing space regulations Following a long running consultation on personal debt issues in the United Kingdom – notwithstanding something called Brexit slowing everything else down significantly – the Government has finally taken steps to implement a new scheme to assist “millions of people with problem… Read more »

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Coronavirus impacts supply chain

Coronavirus impacts supply chain

The effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are being felt by the manufacturing sector both in the south of England and across the UK. As the Chinese Government continues to seek to manage the situation in its own country, the ramifications are being felt around the world, as has been widely reported. Disruption to supply chains Businesses… Read more »

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5 Top Tips for Employment Contracts (Part 2)

5 Top Tips for Employment Contracts (Part 2)

This is the second part of our blog series focused on 5 top tips for employment contracts. The first part of our blog looked at identifying whether an employment contract is the best document to govern the relationship. This second part will focus on what should be included in the employment contract itself. 4. The… Read more »

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5 top tips for Employment Contracts (Part 1)

5 top tips for Employment Contracts (Part 1)

This is part one of a two-part blog which looks at 5 important considerations when creating employment contracts. This blog will explore what type of document should be used for your specific purposes and the overall form the contract takes. Part two will focus on what should be included in the contract of employment. 1…. Read more »

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Have you paid your data protection fee?

Have you paid your data protection fee?

The ICO is cracking down on companies who have not paid their data protection fee The GDPR is now firmly embedded in UK law and since May 2018 there have been an increasing number of reports of investigations by the ICO into data breaches and inappropriate use of personal data by companies across the country…. Read more »

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Publishing Contracts

Publishing Contracts

What are publishing contracts and how do they work? A publishing contract (also known as a publishing agreement or publisher’s agreement) is a legal contract whereby an author grants a publisher the right to sell or otherwise commercially exploit the author’s work. The author usually receives a royalty payment (i.e. a commission on every sale)… Read more »

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Can an email create a legally binding contract?

Can an email create a legally binding contract?

(Co-written by Sophie Dipper, Trainee Solicitor and Emily Sadler, Associate) Exchanges of emails can create a legally binding contract Emails offer a quick and easy way to communicate and are used almost universally by all types of businesses. Yet care does need to be taken to prevent an informal exchange of emails amounting to the… Read more »

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What is ethical veganism?

What is ethical veganism?

Ethical veganism – the new “philosophical belief” in discrimination law. Just how far must someone go to prove they believe it? Back in early January, my colleague Aleksandra commented on the decision in the case of Mr Casamitjana Costa v The League Against Cruel Sports. The Tribunal dealt with the preliminary question of whether or… Read more »

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Parental bereavement leave

Parental bereavement leave

The final hurdle to support bereaved parents in the workplace as Jack’s Law goes before Parliament to be ratified The Government has announced in the last few days that it has laid before Parliament the draft legislation for the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations 2020. Due to come into force on 6 April 2020,… Read more »

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Use of non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment claims

Use of non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment claims

Are non-disclosure agreements or non-derogation clauses appropriate to use in the settlement of sexual harassment claims? In the wake of the allegations against high profile individuals such as Harvey Weinstein and Sir Philip Green, in addition to the recent Presidents Club dinner scandal, there is a question as to whether non-disclosure agreements (‘NDAs’) and confidentiality… Read more »

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5 steps for a successful IP strategy

5 steps for a successful IP strategy

Why should a company have an IP strategy? Recently we were delighted to contribute this expertise on IP strategy to a recent intellectual property supplement in The Times. Business value Intellectual Property (IP)  makes up a significant proportion of a business’s value. An IP strategy puts a legal framework around what are often intangible assets… Read more »

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What you need to know about drafting a Will

What you need to know about drafting a Will

10 steps to drafting a Will 1.  When is the right time to draw up a Will? Essentially every homeowner, asset holder or parent needs a Will, so it must be done as soon as possible. To draft a Will you must be aged over 18 years (there are some exceptions to this age rule)…. Read more »

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Risk management in 2020: avoid potential problems when dating documents

Risk management in 2020: avoid potential problems when dating documents

What is the risk and solution when dating documents in 2020? 2020 sees the start of a new decade. For businesses of any size, the year also brings with it a potential risk management issue. During 2020 there is a risk when dating your documents for which there is a simple solution. When dating documents… Read more »

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How to get your terms of business to work for you

How to get your terms of business to work for you

4 tips to look out for when drafting your terms of business At our specialist seminar aimed at those in the recruitment industry to be held later this month, I shall be discussing the key issues we see arising time and time again from an agency’s terms of business. However it strikes me that the… Read more »

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Dixons data breach fine. What can businesses learn from this case?

Dixons data breach fine. What can businesses learn from this case?

What can we learn from this case and what precautions should businesses be taking to avoid any data breaches and subsequent fines? The news has recently reported that Dixons Carphone has been fined £500,000 for massive data breach. The ICO deemed that there were ‘systemic failures’ found in the retailer’s management and protection of customer… Read more »

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Rumoured changes to entrepreneur’s relief: what you need to know

Rumoured changes to entrepreneur’s relief: what you need to know

Rumours are gathering that the Treasury are set to amend/remove/re-jig entrepreneur’s relief in the next budget. Broadly, Entrepreneur’s Relief , or “ER” can, subject to meeting a few criteria, give an effective capital gains tax rate of 10% on the disposal of shares by owner managers in a private company in the UK when they… Read more »

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Keeping in touch with your employee on maternity leave

Keeping in touch with your employee on maternity leave

Short Guide to keeping in touch with employees on maternity leave Flexibility in the workplace is a hot topic and employers are generally keen to look after their employees and encourage loyalty amongst the workforce. This will include ensuring that employees on maternity leave are treated lawfully and positively. I was surprised therefore in 2019… Read more »

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Employing EU Nationals after Brexit: 5 Tips for Immigration Planning in 2020

Employing EU Nationals after Brexit: 5 Tips for Immigration Planning in 2020

5 New Year resolutions to help you prepare for employing EU nationals after Brexit With the new year now upon us, if you run a business that employs EU nationals, it’s time to put your Brexit immigration plans into place.  As you will be aware, the UK is set to leave the EU on 31… Read more »

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Ethical veganism is a protected philosophical belief

Ethical veganism is a protected philosophical belief

Case Update on ethical veganism A short summary judgment in the Employment Tribunal has upheld ethical veganism as a philosophical belief that is capable of protection under the Equality Act.    Ethical vegans Dietary vegans eat a plant-based diet but ethical vegans will try to exclude all forms of animal exploitation as far as possible.  Dietary… Read more »

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What are Charities’ obligations in whistleblowing cases?

What are Charities’ obligations in whistleblowing cases?

Whistleblowing in charities The scandals last year involving Oxfam raise issues for charities and their duty of care to employees. Employees often raise day to day issues but sometimes those issues can be unexpected, concerning and cause high reputational risk. What is whistleblowing? The Employment Rights Act 1996 protects employees who “blow the whistle”. This… Read more »

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Design copyright dispute fails for Kylie Minogue

Design copyright dispute fails for Kylie Minogue

(This blog has been co-written by Sophie Dipper, Trainee Solicitor and Laura Trapnell, Head of IP) In the interesting world of IP disputes, a design copyright dispute relating to two celebrity bedding ranges has caught our eye. The dispute, between “Kylie Minogue at Home” and “By Caprice” has recently been dismissed by the Intellectual Property… Read more »

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Employment legislation changes from April 2020

Employment legislation changes from April 2020

What are the changes to employment legislation due on 6 April 2020? The Good Work Plan There will be a suite of changes in the employment arena that will be implemented by 6 April 2020 following the release of the Good Work Plan. Our previous blog entitled “Gig economy reform – The Good Work Plan”… Read more »

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Asset of community value?

Asset of community value?

Is my land an asset of community value? The Localism Act 2011 introduced a requirement for Local Authorities to keep a list of buildings and land which are of value to the community. Once on the list, the land or building will remain upon it for 5 years. Where the owner of the land wishes… Read more »

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Warranty and indemnity insurance: the way forward?

Warranty and indemnity insurance: the way forward?

We are seeing an increase in the use of warranty and indemnity insurance (w&ii) on corporate transactions and the signs are that this trend is going to continue. So, what’s the attraction? What is warranty and indemnity insurance? When a company or business is sold, the buyer will usually require warranties form the seller. In… Read more »

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Top 3 reasons why UK businesses should engage with trade associations

Top 3 reasons why UK businesses should engage with trade associations

My top 3, evidenced-based reasons to engage with trade bodies At the time of posting this blog the UK was just about to go to the voting booth in perhaps the hardest fought general election of modern times. After the fun and games we have seen with the polls since 2016 I am personally disinclined… Read more »

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Planning permission cannot be bought!

Planning permission cannot be bought!

It will hopefully not come as a surprise that the Supreme Court have restated the position that planning cannot be bought. R (on the application of Wright) v Resilient Energy Severndale Ltd and Forest of Dean District Council. Here, the Council had granted permission for a change of use of a farm from agriculture to… Read more »

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Exiting a purchase agreement

Exiting a purchase agreement

In the recent case of Bella Italia Restaurants v Stane Park, an obligation assumed by Bella to take a lease of a property in 2014 subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions was considered. The reports of the case indicate that by 2017 Bella had decided it wished to extricate itself from the… Read more »

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Modifying historic covenants

Modifying historic covenants

The question of modifying historic covenants (whether freehold or leasehold) has been addressed in blogs in recent months and years. They are an issue which constantly come to the fore. Section 84 of the Law of Property Act 1925 can in some circumstances be used to modify historic covenants. This section is often applied in… Read more »

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Modifying leasehold covenants

Modifying leasehold covenants

Grounds that must be satisfied for an application modifying leasehold covenants to be successful It is well known that restrictive covenants affecting land can be varied by an application to the Lands Tribunal (see our previous blog “Modification of Restrictive Covenants” for more information.) It is less widely known that Section 84 of the Law… Read more »

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Dealing with flexible working requests

Dealing with flexible working requests

5 top tips for dealing with flexible working requests With technology increasingly enabling flexible working practices, flexible working requests are becoming more common. Ranging from employees working from home on occasion to altering their start and finish times to reducing their hours, statistics suggest that employees increasingly expect and value flexible working. Enabling flexible working… Read more »

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Changes to employment contracts imminent

Changes to employment contracts imminent

Will your business be ready by April 2020? Following the Taylor Review, the government released the Good Work Plan which set out a number of changes to the way that labour relations in the UK are governed. From a practical perspective, employers should be aware that there are a number of regulatory changes being made… Read more »

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Do your business contracts protect you from the risk of expensive court action?

Do your business contracts protect you from the risk of expensive court action?

Are the dispute resolution clauses in your commercial and business contracts delivering the outcome you want? Are they effective and binding? A valuable guide has recently been provided by the High Court on this subject to help those who are responsible for drafting and negotiating business contracts. Agreements in the course of business and commerce… Read more »

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Creating property contracts by email

Creating property contracts by email

The law relating to the creation of property contracts has, until now, differed from that relating to other contracts. Contracts for the sale of land had to be created in writing but also in a document signed with a wet ink signature. The courts have until now been reluctant to acknowledge the ability of a… Read more »

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Employment Conference Presentation – 03.10.19

Employment Conference Presentation – 03.10.19

Please follow the link to download the presentations from last week’s conference. If you have any queries concerning anything discussed in the conference please contact one of the team. Employment conference slides Hockley October 2019 (04450350)

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How to avoid harassment and bias at work

How to avoid harassment and bias at work

In this blog we set out our answers to some of the frequently asked questions  regarding harassment and bias at work that will be covered in our next training session on 23 October 2019. A number of recent cases have highlighted the problem of harassment and bias in the workplace and the risk faced by… Read more »

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Are boardroom communications about litigation private?

Are boardroom communications about litigation private?

There is a concept in the law called “litigation privilege”. This allows parties to investigate disputes without the risk of the other party being able to see the communications. It covers documents including electronic communications (like email and voicemail) and traditional communications like Board Minutes and handwritten notes. It covers documents which have been produced… Read more »

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Dispute Resolution – Is your solicitor playing to win?

Dispute Resolution – Is your solicitor playing to win?

This blog is intended to give you some ideas of strategies your lawyer may not have thought of to help you win your case. You have a problem. You need a solution. So you make an appointment with your usual solicitor in the local town. They talk you through the court process. It all sounds… Read more »

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Wellbeing Week 2019: Looking after ourselves and our colleagues

Wellbeing Week 2019: Looking after ourselves and our colleagues

Workplace wellbeing, like many other businesses is a key focus for Paris Smith in 2019. Our first ever Wellbeing Week took place on 23-27 September this year, where there were a range of activities for staff at all levels to take part in, all around making sure we are looking after ourselves, and our colleagues…. Read more »

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The right to be forgotten

The right to be forgotten

Google wins landmark case establishing that this right does not extend outside of the EU On Tuesday this week, the ECJ delivered its judgment in a case between Google and the French privacy regulator CNIL. The judgment clarified that an individual’s right to erasure of personal data, the so called ‘right to be forgotten’, only… Read more »

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Employment Conference Presentation – 25.09.19

Employment Conference Presentation – 25.09.19

Please follow the link to download the presentations from yesterday’s conference.  If you have any queries concerning anything discussed in the conference please contact one of the team. Employment conference slides 25.9.19 for website (04413035)

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Alresford Agricultural Show 2019 – Paris Smith’s support

Alresford Agricultural Show 2019 – Paris Smith’s support

We were delighted to return to Alresford Agricultural Show as a Gold Sponsor, sponsoring the Overall Ridden Championship of the Show, the first year that this prestigious Championship has been held. Phil Spencer of Location Location Location judged the Championship for us and ringside opinion was that he was extremely knowledgeable and did a great… Read more »

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Managing absence – Top tips

Managing absence – Top tips

Our next training session on 26 September 2019 will look at best practice for managing sickness absence at work. We will look at both the issues involved in managing short term persistent absence and long term absence due to serious ill health. The practical session will go through examples of the key issues faced by… Read more »

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How much control do landlords really have?

How much control do landlords really have?

A landowner looking to dispose of land which it wishes to retain some degree of control over might in some instances seek to impose a restrictive covenant. There are obvious issues associated with restrictive covenants; the land which benefits must be retained, the covenants must be negative and actually enforcing the covenants can be involved…. Read more »

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What address can I use for my company’s registered office?

What address can I use for my company’s registered office?

You may be thinking about registered office addresses because you are incorporating a new company, or because you are planning to change your company’s current address. This article covers some of the commonly asked questions relating to registered office addresses for companies registered in England and Wales. Does my company need a registered office? Yes…. Read more »

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Subject access request timescales – New guidance from the ICO

Subject access request timescales – New guidance from the ICO

The ICO has updated its guidance around how long an organisation has to respond to a subject access request (SAR) following a Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling. The guidance previously stated that SARs must be responded to within one calendar month, with the day after receipt counting as ‘day one’. This… Read more »

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Subject access requests on behalf of third parties

Subject access requests on behalf of third parties

Please send me all personal information relating to my fiancée….. Whilst I was on holiday last week, the BBC news app ran a story by a young data researcher who had contacted 83 UK and US companies to ask for copies of his fiancée’s personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation. The fiancée had… Read more »

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When is an earning capacity not an earning capacity?

When is an earning capacity not an earning capacity?

That was the central question in O’Dwyer v O’Dwyer , an intriguing case which popped up in my in-box and demanded immediate attention. What was so intriguing? Partly it was the series of strange peripheral facts. For example, the fact that the judge at first instance shared a surname with the parties! That alone needed two… Read more »

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Personal Insolvency rates in the Central South: Latest statistics reveal startling disparities across region

Personal Insolvency rates in the Central South: Latest statistics reveal startling disparities across region

In Paris Smith’s latest Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency blog, team leader and Chair of R3 in the South, Mike Pavitt, examines some of the reasons behind the numbers and ways these might be addressed. Whilst my day job is heading up the Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency team at Paris Smith LLP, by night (and often… Read more »

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Can you name 3 traits of a successful planning application?

Can you name 3 traits of a successful planning application?

Three recurring traits to successful planning applications: Planning consultancy and planning legal advice having been sought by applicants at the very outset of their internal discussions around potential new development ideas. Research in to people’s attitudes towards different types of developments having been considered by applicants at the very outset of their projects. Meaningful consultation… Read more »

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Can I go home from work if it’s too hot? What employers should do in the heatwave

Can I go home from work if it’s too hot? What employers should do in the heatwave

A couple of days ago, the Southern Daily Echo asked me to comment on the question above. I set out some key points and thought no more of it, too busy coping with the heat myself… however the article has had significant impact. Its gone into around 75 news publications over the last two days… Read more »

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Government’s new Children’s Funeral Fund opens

Government’s new Children’s Funeral Fund opens

It is every parent’s worst nightmare for their child to die before them. The unbearability of that grief must be immense and then there is the worry of funding the funeral. The funeral is the last practical event that is organised for a loved one and it is not uncommon for funerals to cost in… Read more »

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A week of record fines from the ICO for Marriott and British Airways and, in the US, Facebook.

A week of record fines from the ICO for Marriott and British Airways and, in the US, Facebook.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force last year and was the biggest shake-up to data privacy in 20 years. Upon its implementation, the maximum fines increased from £500K to £17.2m or 4% of global turnover, which ever is the higher. This increased threat was enough to make us all sit up and… Read more »

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Does a workplace suspension need to be necessary?

Does a workplace suspension need to be necessary?

Most employers are reluctant to suspend an employee from duty when investigating their conduct as there is a risk that suspension could breach the implied term of mutual trust and confidence. Employers are correct to exercise caution given the consequences that could flow from making the wrong decision. However suspension will, in certain circumstances, be… Read more »

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British Intellectual Property day

British Intellectual Property day

My IPO blog tells me that today is British Intellectual Property day – the day when we should be celebrating innovation and taking a moment to consider all the Intellectual Property that we are generating within our business. We all know that IP is valuable and of strategic importance to any business, regardless of its… Read more »

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Promotion Agreements: Definitive Guide

Promotion Agreements: Definitive Guide

Introduction When land is ripe for redevelopment there are various options open to a landowner as to how to maximise return on the property. But which is best? The low-cost option could be for the landowner to obtain planning itself and appoint a builder to build out. However, the landowner may not have the necessary… Read more »

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Dress Code : Can my employer make me wear heels to work?

Dress Code : Can my employer make me wear heels to work?

In this blog we have considered whether employees can be required under a dress code to wear heels in the workplace within the UK. We have also outlined the current guidance for UK employers. You may have seen the recent media coverage surrounding the dress code requirements for women in Japan. More specifically, scrutiny has… Read more »

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Managing redundancy situations – Training

Managing redundancy situations – Training

Whilst employers aim to avoid redundancy situations wherever possible, unfortunately most businesses face making redundancies at some point, whether in relation to a workplace closure or to restructure roles to suit the changing needs of the business going forward. It is important that employers manage redundancy situations effectively to avoid the risk of claims for… Read more »

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Can employees enforce payment of discretionary bonuses?

Can employees enforce payment of discretionary bonuses?

Employees may establish this entitlement in circumstances where the contract has been varied through custom and practice, however must clearly demonstrate that this is the case by reference to relevant indicia. The decision of Bluestones Medical Recruitment Ltd v Swinnerton (UKEAT/0197/18/BA) highlights that in certain circumstances an employee can be found entitled to a bonus… Read more »

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In house employment law training : The benefits

In house employment law training : The benefits

In house training has several key benefits. Paris Smith’s in house training offers a broad range of employment law training topics. Paris Smith deliver employment law training sessions for clients at their offices in Southampton but are also able to offer training sessions for businesses from the convenience of their own premises as part of… Read more »

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Applications open for Non-Legal Employment Tribunal Members

Applications open for Non-Legal Employment Tribunal Members

For the first time since 2009, recruitment into non-legal Employment Tribunal member roles is being undertaken. This could be an exciting opportunity for some of our contacts in the community. Approximately 340 people will be accepted for either employer or employee non-legal panels. Candidates choose which panel they would prefer to be a part of… Read more »

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GDPR : One year on

GDPR : One year on

A year has passed since the enactment of the GDPR on 25th May 2019. So how have we fared, have we all weathered the storm? We found real divergence in the way that businesses prepared for GDPR – some businesses were compliant well in advance of the deadline and others thought they would wait and… Read more »

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The benefits of a positive workplace culture on mental health issues

The benefits of a positive workplace culture on mental health issues

Business leaders should have confidence to display personal vulnerability Business leaders who pay due regard to the mental and physical wellbeing of their staff will undoubtedly see the benefits for their teams and their organisation as a whole. If one sees a colleague limping or bearing evidence of a physical injury one would naturally ask… Read more »

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Enforcement of positive covenants

Enforcement of positive covenants

Positive covenants i.e. a covenant to do something as opposed to a restrictive covenant (which requires a party not to do something) don’t run with the burdened land. An original contracting party will be burdened but its successors will not. As reported in our previous blog on positive covenants, the High Court held in the… Read more »

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How do you settle commercial disputes without going to court?

How do you settle commercial disputes without going to court?

Mediation can hold the key What is mediation and how does it apply to commercial disputes? Mediation is a forum for settlement of disputes in which an entirely independent specially trained third party (the mediator) meets the parties who are in dispute to help them negotiate a settlement of their dispute. Other common forums for… Read more »

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Leadership – what defines great leaders?

Leadership – what defines great leaders?

Who will be the Business Leaders of the Year in Winchester and the South Coast? Have you ever been asked the question -“Which leader whether past or present would you like to have dinner with?” I certainly have. Some of the names which frequently spring to mind to me include Sir Winston Churchill, Mahatma Ghandi,… Read more »

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Preliminary Hearings – What employers need to know

Preliminary Hearings – What employers need to know

Preliminary hearings are commonly now listed as a matter of course for more complex claims that are brought in the Employment Tribunal, for example claims including a whistleblowing or discrimination element. Many employers are unfamiliar with the purpose of preliminary hearings or what to expect. We’ve set out below a guide to the preliminary hearing… Read more »

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The truth about CVAs and insolvent tenants

The truth about CVAs and insolvent tenants

Whether mentioned in the same breath as House of Fraser or – more recently – Arcadia Group or Debenhams, company voluntary arrangements seem to energise the British business press more than any other insolvency procedure, with the possible exception of pre-pack administration sales. On the relatively few occasions when formal CVA proposals are actually put… Read more »

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Practical Equality & Diversity Training

Practical Equality & Diversity Training

Following the removal of employment tribunal fees, discrimination claims bought by employees continue to rise. Employers have a number of legal obligations to prevent discrimination at work. Ensuring fairness in the workplace is also a vital part of any successful business, helping to increase staff recruitment and retention and ensure a productive workforce. Our training… Read more »

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Quality of seasonal migrant workers’ accommodation vital in attracting and retaining labour

Quality of seasonal migrant workers’ accommodation vital in attracting and retaining labour

The UK’s agriculture, horticulture, dairy and meat processing sectors are heavily dependent on seasonal migrant workers but are finding it increasingly difficult to source and retain their services. Changes in the exchange rate, improving unemployment rates elsewhere and increased competition from labour providers in other EU countries are some of the many reasons why UK… Read more »

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How does my Construction Contract deal with adverse weather?

How does my Construction Contract deal with adverse weather?

Strong winds can prevent work at height, on roofs or with cranes, damage existing works and even collapse scaffolding. Rain, snow and hail will likely prevent progress on electrical works, cause access problems for heavy machinery, affect concreting and can cause flooding on poorly-drained sites. Disruptions on the roads, at ports and on railways can… Read more »

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Why aren’t we mediating more employment disputes?

Why aren’t we mediating more employment disputes?

Employment disputes are rarely settled by mediation. I think employment lawyers need to consider mediation as a useful option for resolving cases in the employment tribunal. I had a meeting recently with an employment solicitor at another firm in the region. She had qualified recently as a mediator and we talked about employment mediations and… Read more »

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4 top tips for employers to help manage mental ill health in the workplace

4 top tips for employers to help manage mental ill health in the workplace

Reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial for employers – reducing absence levels and improving overall performance. Employers also have a legal obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees and to ensure they do not discriminate against disabled employees. Our training session on 20 March 2019 will go through the legal… Read more »

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Can an employer make decisions based on the organisation’s religious beliefs?

Can an employer make decisions based on the organisation’s religious beliefs?

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision decided that the dismissal of a nursery employee for cohabiting with her boyfriend in contravention of the nursery’s religious beliefs was not direct religious belief discrimination. The Law The Equality Act 2010 (the “Act”) prohibits an employer from treating an employee less favourably as a result of a… Read more »

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What happens to my .EU domain after Brexit?

What happens to my .EU domain after Brexit?

EURid is the registry manager for .eu domain names. On 24 January 2019 EURid published a notice explaining the implications of Brexit on .eu domains registered with the GB (Great Britain) and GI (Gibraltar) country codes. The changes are necessary because .eu domains can only be held by registrants within the EEA (which the UK may… Read more »

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5 practical tips to effectively manage disciplinary and grievance issues

5 practical tips to effectively manage disciplinary and grievance issues

Our next line manager training session will provide a guide to dealing with disciplinary and grievance issues, looking at the key issues employers need to be aware of via practical examples. Ahead of the training session, here are our top five practical tips to ensure effective management of disciplinary and grievance issues. Don’t ignore minor… Read more »

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How does Brexit affect my EU trade mark?

How does Brexit affect my EU trade mark?

We are not yet certain whether Brexit will happen on 29th March 2019 or whether Article 50 will be extended, but one thing is certain – however and whenever the UK leaves the EU, there will be an impact on EU trade marks. There are currently three Brexit scenarios: An agreed ‘withdrawal agreement’ with the… Read more »

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Overage agreement triggers

Overage agreement triggers

Overage agreements, option agreements and conditional planning agreements often provide that obligations are conditional on the grant of planning. The trigger to the relevant step or payment will often be the grant of planning free of onerous planning conditions (i.e. focusing solely on the planning permission and related planning agreements). The recent Court of Appeal… Read more »

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ASBO weeds: Japanese Knotweed is more than just a nuisance for property owners!

ASBO weeds: Japanese Knotweed is more than just a nuisance for property owners!

We have lots to thank the Victorians for, but not the introduction of a perennial weed that can cause structural damage, cost a significant amount of money to rectify, and blight the sale of a house. Property lawyers have been aware of the issues of Japanese Knotweed for many years. Indeed, I have noticed recently… Read more »

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SDLT: Helpful guidance for developers buying dilapidated property

SDLT: Helpful guidance for developers buying dilapidated property

Further to my blog last year relating to prospective clarification of what constitutes a dwelling, the recent case (P N Bewley Ltd v HMRC) has provided some assistance. Here, the development company argued that a bungalow which it had bought should not be classed as residential land because, following the acquisition, it would have to… Read more »

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Is it the end of the road for the 1954 Act protected tenancies?

Is it the end of the road for the 1954 Act protected tenancies?

What impact will the decision in S Franses v Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd have on landlords’ willingness to grant commercial leases protected by the 1954 Act? Here the tenant, a retailer on Jermyn Street, argued that the landlord’s opposition on development ground (f) should be dismissed because the proposed scheme had been dreamt up by… Read more »

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Office banter or harassment?

Office banter or harassment?

Most employers accept that some element of banter and humour in the workplace is normal, and a friendly working environment is to be encouraged. However, there is a fine line between office banter and harassment. This issue has recently made headlines after being the focus of several recent discrimination claims. Compensation varies depending on the… Read more »

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Equal pay comparison scope in the retail sector

Equal pay comparison scope in the retail sector

(Co-written with Jonathan White, Trainee Solicitor) In respect of an equal pay claim against a major supermarket, a group of in-store employees have been permitted to compare themselves with other types of employees – specifically those at the supermarket’s distribution depots. The recent Court of Appeal decision in Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley & others… Read more »

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How a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario affects transfers of personal data

How a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario affects transfers of personal data

The Information Commissioner publishes practical advice As we all know, the GDPR came into force in May last year and it required us all actively to consider the manner in which we deal with personal data. One of the focus points is how we transfer personal data to companies outside of the EEA and the… Read more »

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Transfer of personal data between the EU and Japan

Transfer of personal data between the EU and Japan

It has long been a source of intrigue that the transfer of personal data to some ‘third countries’ such as Japan has not yet been deemed adequate by the EU. Article 45 of the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) permits transfers of personal data to a third country or an international organisation where the… Read more »

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Employers face ban on keeping tips from staff

Employers face ban on keeping tips from staff

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has recently announced that plans to ensure that tips left for workers in the service industry go directly to them, in full. The announcement followed public outcry when it was discovered many restaurants took up to 10% of tips left for staff via card payments. Currently,… Read more »

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Mock Employment Tribunal – 13 February 2019

Mock Employment Tribunal – 13 February 2019

Back by popular demand, the Paris Smith Employment team is all set to demonstrate a mock tribunal case in action on 13 February 2019. Places for this event are limited so please do book in advance to secure a space. Due to the rise in the number of employment tribunal claims being brought, we understand… Read more »

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Google receives record €50 million fine for data protection law breaches

Google receives record €50 million fine for data protection law breaches

At the start of this week, CNIL (the French equivalent of the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office) fined Google LLC €50million (around £43million). The decision followed complaints coordinated by privacy organisations None of your business (Noyb) and La Quadrature du Net. The complaints alleged that Google was processing personal data without a valid legal basis. Google’s… Read more »

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Gig economy reform – The Good Work Plan

Gig economy reform – The Good Work Plan

In our recent articles entitled “The problems with the gig economy” and “The gig economy – Why are Uber drivers workers and Deliveroo riders not?, we have looked at the problems caused by the gig economy and the conflicting case law in this area. We have been waiting for some time for the Government to… Read more »

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The danger of not taking restrictive covenants seriously

The danger of not taking restrictive covenants seriously

In our blog posted in January 2017 we reported on the decision of the Upper Tribunal regarding an application to modify restrictive covenants which prohibited land being used for any purpose other than the parking of vehicles. The Upper Tribunal concluded public interest outweighed all other factors and it wouldn’t be sensible to allow the… Read more »

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Planning consultancy advice around former bank or building society buildings

Planning consultancy advice around former bank or building society buildings

My previous blog on this subject set out some of the important considerations to consider if contemplating planning applications involving former bank or building society buildings. With the continued changes to the face of our high streets, as I saw interestingly illustrated in the Bank of England’s Future Forum’s post ‘How the British High Street has… Read more »

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Government consults on the treatment of electricity storage within the planning system

Government consults on the treatment of electricity storage within the planning system

For those of you who might not have seen it, The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced a consultation on changes to the treatment of electricity storage within the planning system. The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 25 March 2019 and relates to England only. Full details can be found here…. Read more »

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The gig economy – Why are Uber drivers workers and Deliveroo riders not?

The gig economy – Why are Uber drivers workers and Deliveroo riders not?

In our last article we looked at the problems caused by the rapidly growing gig economy. The Employment Tribunal has spent the last few years dealing with a wealth of Employment Tribunal claims from the gig economy, arguing that individuals are workers and entitled to benefits like holiday pay and rest breaks. This article looks… Read more »

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Five practical tips for effective performance management

Five practical tips for effective performance management

In the spirit of New Year resolutions and the introduction of our 2019 legal training programme here are our top five practical tips for managers to ensure effective performance management throughout the year. 1. Set the goal posts It is really important to ensure that employees understand the standard that is expected of them and… Read more »

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The problems with the gig economy

The problems with the gig economy

The recent announcement that the Court of Appeal has decided that Uber drivers are workers, and not genuinely self employed, has again put the gig economy back in the spotlight. In this first in a series of three articles we look at the problems caused by the gig economy, the state of the current case… Read more »

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New obligations for employers – mental health at work

New obligations for employers – mental health at work

The mental health charity Mind has recently published the alarming finding that poor mental health affects half of all employees. Fear of failure, mounting pressure and job insecurity have been found as some of the biggest contributors to stress in the workplace. This is something that some may argue will continue to rise in the… Read more »

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Are you at risk of an equal pay claim?

Are you at risk of an equal pay claim?

The big four supermarkets: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons are all currently facing equal pay cases. The firm Leigh Day is representing thousands of employees seeking back pay for predominantly female retail workers who believe that they are receiving less pay then predominantly male workers in distribution centres. It is estimated that if all four… Read more »

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As an employer are you liable for deliberate data breaches by employees?

As an employer are you liable for deliberate data breaches by employees?

Summary The Court of Appeal has this month upheld the decision of the High Court, agreeing that Morrisons are vicariously liable for the actions of one of their employees who disclosed payroll details of other employees, affecting around 100,000 colleagues. The case is the first data leak class action in the UK. Worryingly for employers,… Read more »

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