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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?

Monday evening saw the arrival of Storm Gareth to the United Kingdom, bringing with it gusts of up to 75mph in some areas and up to 50mm of rain. Whilst many people will have been concerned about disruption to travel, many contractors and employers will have been concerned for other reasons. Strong winds can prevent… 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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Signing a Statement of Truth – What does it mean?

Signing a Statement of Truth – What does it mean?

(This blog was co-written with Shaun Piesley, Paralegal) If you are involved in litigation proceedings, it is very likely that you will be asked at some stage to sign a document that includes a statement stating that the facts contained within the document are true; this is referred to as a Statement of Truth. This… 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 which can be found here and here, 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 address these issues which were acknowledged in the Government commissioned Taylor Review which was… 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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ICO publishes new guidance on encryption

ICO publishes new guidance on encryption

The ICO has recently published official guidance on the use of encryption as an appropriate technical measure to protect personal data. Article 5(1)(f) of the GDPR (known as the ‘security principle’) states that personal data shall be: “Processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful… Read more »

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Have you been mis-sold your franchise?

Have you been mis-sold your franchise?

As mentioned in my last blog, a recent High Court case has shone the spotlight on misrepresentation in franchising and the options open to franchisees who believe they have been mis-sold their franchise dream. The facts In the case of Ali v Abbeyfield VE Limited (2018) four Vision Express franchisees were successful in their claim… Read more »

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Bonuses – getting the balance right

Bonuses – getting the balance right

Having not written an article for a while, I find inspiration for this after reading that Jeff Fairburn is to leave Persimmon Plc. Jeff Fairburn (let’s just call him Jeff) is the Chief Executive of Persimmon Plc and the reason for him leaving is stated to be the distraction caused by the news of his… Read more »

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World Town Planning Day Post Autumn Budget Planning Review

World Town Planning Day Post Autumn Budget Planning Review

Introduction Today is World Town Planning Day and with it a very important opportunity for me to be able to take stock and reflect in this end of year Post Autumn Budget Planning Review on the many areas of positive collaboration I have experienced taking place between stakeholders over the past 24 months which have… 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. Can you give notice… Read more »

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Insolvency law in a Brexit environment – the dangers of winding back the winding up clock

Insolvency law in a Brexit environment – the dangers of winding back the winding up clock

In my capacity as Southern Region Chair of R3 (the trade association for insolvency, restructuring, advisory and turnaround professionals), I often comment on financial news stories affecting the wider economy, particularly following a new Budget. On this occasion, however, following some of the less headline-grabbing of the Chancellor’s pronouncements this Monday, my concern relates chiefly… Read more »

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Autumn Budget 2018 – Housing, Infrastructure  and Planning update

Autumn Budget 2018 – Housing, Infrastructure and Planning update

If you require any current or future planning consultancy or planning legal support following yesterday’s 2018 Budget, please email peter.kershaw@parissmith.co.uk in the first instance. The Paris Smith Planning Team noted the following key points from yesterday’s Budget which may be of interest to stakeholders. The Government are to consult on how modernisation of the Use… Read more »

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Legal Mythbusting: Children arrangements on divorce/separation

Legal Mythbusting: Children arrangements on divorce/separation

Following a relationship breakdown leading to a separation or divorce, concerns over the arrangements for the children are often at the heart of disagreements between couples. Some of this can be fuelled by misconceptions about the law surrounding children and uncertainty about the future or the arrangements moving forward. Presumptions in respect of certain set… Read more »

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Beware the perils of DIY Probate

Beware the perils of DIY Probate

Who is responsible for the payment of inheritance tax? A Personal Representative whether they be an Executor appointed in a Will or an Administrator under intestacy, if there is no Will, have the responsibility to collect and gather in the Deceased’s estate and then administer it according to the law. Consequently a Personal Representative is… Read more »

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More ways to get a s21 notice wrong

More ways to get a s21 notice wrong

(co-written with Shaun Piesley, Paralegal) A s.21 notice is a form of notice that a landlord must use in order to start the process of ending an assured shorthold tenancy. The s.21 notice will be served on a tenant specifying a 2 month notice for them to vacate the property. From the 1st October 2018… Read more »

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ICO takes action against organisations for failure to pay data protection fee

ICO takes action against organisations for failure to pay data protection fee

The ICO recently issued formal enforcement notices to 34 organisations that had failed to pay their data protection fees. The fee is a new requirement under the Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018 which came into force on 25 May 2018 to coincide with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act… Read more »

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National Construction Expo – 18 September 2018

National Construction Expo – 18 September 2018

Along with over 1000 other delegates, yesterday I attended the National Construction Expo in Milton Keynes. See below for my take on the day’s events. Modular Construction An extremely hot topic this year – four talks which I attended focused on this issue, with another two referring to it in passing. Keep an eye out… Read more »

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Data Processing by Charities

Data Processing by Charities

New ICO report identifies common areas for improvement Recently the UK’s data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), published its findings following a targeted review of eight charitable organisations’ data processing activities. In its report, the ICO identified areas of good practice as well as common opportunities for improvement. The ICO noted that the… Read more »

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Taking on unfair payment terms

Taking on unfair payment terms

The late payment of debts is a problem for many businesses, causing cash flow problems and even, in a worst case scenario, putting the nail in the coffin of many small businesses. The figures make sober reading. According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) a third of small businesses are paid late. If small… Read more »

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Business rates mitigation

Business rates mitigation

The Local Government and Finance Act 1988 significantly altered the statutory basis on which business properties are subject to local taxation – that is to say rating- in England and Wales. There have since been various rules brought in and subsequently altered for the rating of empty properties but the Act remains the foundation upon… Read more »

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Copyright infringement in music

Copyright infringement in music

If you listen to The Secret Sound on radio Solent in the mornings, you may have thought “I know that tune” only to find that after the great reveal, it was a different song altogether. Music often reminds us of other tunes and it remains in our subconscious for far longer than we might think…. Read more »

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Unreasonable behaviour in divorce

Unreasonable behaviour in divorce

Recently the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the matter of Owens v Owens. Mr and Mrs Owens were married in 1978. They have two children, both of whom are now adults. Mr Owens is 80 and Mrs Owens is 68. In 2012 Mrs Owens presented Mr Owens with a draft divorce petition based… Read more »

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Legal Mythbusting – The Decree Absolute

Legal Mythbusting – The Decree Absolute

Whilst divorce proceedings frequently appear in the media, there remain some myths and misconceptions surrounding divorce proceedings, and in particular the effect of decree absolute. There are four main stages of divorce proceedings, as follows: Issuing the petition (the divorce petition is sent to the court by the petitioner); Acknowledgement of service (the respondent replies… Read more »

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Do you always have to sell the family home to pay for care fees?

Do you always have to sell the family home to pay for care fees?

The quick answer to this question is no. Although we would always recommend that you obtain professional legal advice when this situation is looming, everyone should know the basic principles – this is because you may have already put yourself in a difficult or complex situation with your Local Authority before you realise you need… Read more »

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Secretary of State for Housing and Local Government comments on revised NPPF

Secretary of State for Housing and Local Government comments on revised NPPF

The Secretary of State for Housing and Local Government’s comments regarding the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and its associated supplementary material can be found below. If you require any support with planning/political monitoring, planning consultancy, planning legal or public engagement, please email the Paris Smith Planning Team. Housing 24 July 2018 (Hansard) Volume… Read more »

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Other planning updates revealed

Other planning updates revealed

As well as the publication of the Revised NPPF, the following planning updates have also been revealed by the Government: Housing Delivery Test Measurement Rule Book Housing and economic development needs assessments Viability To see the full range of planning services we offer please visit the planning consultancy and legal advice page on our website…. Read more »

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NEWSFLASH : Revised National Planning Policy Framework published

NEWSFLASH : Revised National Planning Policy Framework published

The Government has published the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  If you require any current or future planning consultancy or planning legal assistance, please email the Paris Smith planning team, initially to me.

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Legal mythbusting – Financial misconceptions on divorce

Legal mythbusting – Financial misconceptions on divorce

Divorce is a difficult time for most people. However, it can be made all the more frustrating by the uncertainty posed by legal myths surrounding financial matters. Many people hear of a “friend of a friend” who has almost the identical circumstances to you who either made an absolute killing off their spouse or was… Read more »

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Planning Permissions in Principle

Planning Permissions in Principle

Shortcut or “white elephant” ? On 1st June 2018, a new way of obtaining planning permission came into force. Applications for Permissions in Principle (PiP) can now be submitted to Local Authorities in England. (See Article 5T of the Town and Country Planning (Planning Permission in Principle) Order 2017). As the name suggests, a PiP… Read more »

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Reverse VAT – Will you have to pay?

Reverse VAT – Will you have to pay?

Will you have to pay reverse VAT? VAT fraud is acknowledged as a problem in the Construction sector – across the UK, 8.9% of VAT due goes uncollected. Almost £500m of this is attributed to “missing trader fraud”. Criminal gangs take control of or start construction supply companies. They then supply services to customers, charging… Read more »

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SDLT – When is a house not a house?

SDLT – When is a house not a house?

And when is a garden not a garden? Here in the development team we are frequently asked what rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will apply on a particular transaction. Should residential or non-residential rates apply? This particularly comes up in the context of acquisitions of “garden” land, and/or derelict houses. The answer is… Read more »

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Landlords of empty properties breathe sigh of relief

Landlords of empty properties breathe sigh of relief

Landlords of empty properties breathe sigh of relief. Landlords using short term lettings to help avoid empty business rates will be relieved by the decision in R (Principled Offsite Logistics Ltd) v Trafford Council and others [2018] EWHC 1687 (Admin) (6 July 2018). Here, the landlord had entered into an agreement with the tenant whereby… Read more »

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A complete Education service

A complete Education service

At Paris Smith LLP, we advise parents, schools and Academies on education law. We have particular expertise in the following areas: Special Educational Needs (SEN) We advise parents seeking to obtain a SEN statement for their child. We can help with the form and content of the so called “Local Offer” and who can request… Read more »

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Rights of EU citizens living in the UK

Rights of EU citizens living in the UK

The Government has now published its statement of intent on the proposed EU Settlement Scheme which will allow EU citizens living in the UK to register and formalise their rights to remain in the UK. Whilst the guidance is subject to Parliament’s approval, it is a useful guide to the intended approach to formalise the… Read more »

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Beware oral variations

Beware oral variations

The Supreme Court in Rock Advertising Ltd v MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd has provided clarity over a fundamental point of contract law. Can the parties to a contract beware oral variations upon its terms, despite a boiler plate clause requiring all variations to be in writing and signed by both parties? The facts of… Read more »

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Legal Mythbusting : The Family Home

Legal Mythbusting : The Family Home

The family home is the central hub of any family. However, upon separation and divorce the legal position in respect of parties’ rights and responsibilities is often bogged down in legal myths. Many are conscious of the need to protect their interest in the property. This article deals with the matrimonial home following marital/civil partnership… Read more »

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GDPR comes into force today!

GDPR comes into force today!

GDPR Starts Today (25th May) It’s finally here and would you believe it, the world is still spinning! It hasn’t all come to a grinding halt after all. GDPR was all over the radio this morning (including our own interview on radio Solent) and it was interesting listening to Elizabeth Denham this morning on BBC… Read more »

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Legal Mythbusting – The “Common Law Spouse” and Cohabitation

Legal Mythbusting – The “Common Law Spouse” and Cohabitation

Cohabiting couples With cohabiting couples the fastest growing family type in England and Wales, the rights and responsibilities surrounding cohabitation are of growing importance to couples who are (or are looking to) cohabit. There are approximately 3.3m cohabiting opposite-sex couples in England and Wales at present. This is almost double the number recorded 15 years… Read more »

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GDPR Update

GDPR Update

Demonstrating compliance With less than two weeks to go, this blog focuses on your Compliance Folder. As you are aware, GDPR requires us to demonstrate our compliance, rather than assume compliance. One of the ways that we can demonstrate compliance is to prepare our compliance folder – by doing this, we will understand the personal… Read more »

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GDPR – under a month to go.  Are you ready to demonstrate compliance?

GDPR – under a month to go. Are you ready to demonstrate compliance?

With under a month to go now before GDPR comes into force on 25th May 2018, we are busy helping clients with their compliance. GDPR requires us all to demonstrate our compliance rather than assuming it in the absence of any complaint or fines. In order to demonstrate our compliance there are various actions that… Read more »

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GDPR Focus – The right to be forgotten comes to court again

GDPR Focus – The right to be forgotten comes to court again

The Right to be Forgotten As our biggest change in data protection law in 20 years (the General Data Protection Regulation) comes ever closer, it is interesting to read the judgments of two recent cases concerning the ‘right to be forgotten‘. The right to be forgotten is one of the rights that we, as data… Read more »

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Recent developments on EMI options

Recent developments on EMI options

On 4 April 2018 HMRC published a bulletin which is an important update for companies which operate enterprise management incentive (“EMI”) option plans, especially those companies which are proposing to grant EMI options in the near future. By way of background, the EMI tax regime is subject to the EU State Aid approval rules. In… Read more »

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The importance of dating documents

The importance of dating documents

The recent Court of Appeal case of Generator Developments Limited v Lidl concerned a joint venture agreement which was never concluded by the completion of a formal document. Negotiations took place between the parties as to the basis upon which planning permission would be sought and a site acquired and developed by Lidl. All of… Read more »

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“Endeavours” in the news again

“Endeavours” in the news again

An obligation to use endeavours within a contractual relationship has once again been in the legal press, this time in the case of Gaia Ventures Limited v Abbeygate Helical (Leisure Plaza) Limited. The case concerned a development site where the developer assumed an obligation to use reasonable endeavours to take steps as soon as reasonably… Read more »

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Taxing Termination Payments- New Regime from 6 April 2018

Taxing Termination Payments- New Regime from 6 April 2018

From 6 April 2018, a new regime will apply to payments in lieu of notice (PILON) paid on termination of employment. Current position The current position is that the tax treatment of a PILON depends on whether there is a contractual PILON clause in the contract of employment. If there is, the PILON will be… Read more »

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National Planning Policy Framework Draft Revisions Revealed

National Planning Policy Framework Draft Revisions Revealed

Paris Smith LLP’s experienced Planning Team have been closely monitoring a number of major Government announcements this week in relation to planning and housing delivery. For a one-to-one meeting with the team to discuss the robustness of your future planning consultancy, planning law and public consultation strategies in the context of these proposed reforms and… Read more »

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Positive covenants

Positive covenants

It has always been a fundamental principle of property law in this country that whilst individual parties can agree to accept obligations to do things in the future, they cannot bind their successors in title unless their successors also sign a document accepting that burden. It is for this reason that leasehold arrangements are sometimes… Read more »

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Education worker fined £850 following conviction for data protection breach (Magistrates’ Court)

Education worker fined £850 following conviction for data protection breach (Magistrates’ Court)

Data Protection Breach An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that the worker, an apprentice in the schools admissions department took a screenshot of a council spreadsheet concerning children and their eligibility for free school meals. She then sent it to the estranged parent of one of the pupils via Snapchat. The image… Read more »

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Charities take note – Fundraising Regulator updates fundraising code in line with GDPR

Charities take note – Fundraising Regulator updates fundraising code in line with GDPR

Code of Fundraising Changes On 15 February 2018, the Fundraising Regulator announced it had updated the Code of Fundraising Practice to take account of the developments in data protection and privacy law to be introduced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The changes will have effect from 25 May 2018 (when the GDPR is… Read more »

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New electronic communications code

New electronic communications code

A new Code for telecommunications apparatus came into force at the end of 2017. The code will apply to mobile phone masts but also any wire, cable, tube, pipe or similar thing, used in connection with the provision of electronic communications. The new Code is a Government attempt to make the roll out of mobile… Read more »

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The Pre-trial Settlement Hearing

The Pre-trial Settlement Hearing

A preliminary evaluation by the courts before trial Early Neutral Evaluation is a recognised method of Alternative Dispute Resolution. It is not often used as a technique in commercial litigation but occasionally, in the particular circumstances of a case, the parties to a dispute may get together to appoint a neutral Barrister to advise on… Read more »

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Adverse possession

Adverse possession

You would think it would be difficult to lose 25 acres of land. It is not going to pick itself up one day and run away nor is it going to hide behind a tree and jump out at you as a surprise. But, what is surprising is how some landowners can lose track of… Read more »

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A reminder on jurisdiction clauses for cross-border contracts

A reminder on jurisdiction clauses for cross-border contracts

Berrocal v Warner Chappell Music Ltd In October 2017, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) ruled in Berrocal v Warner Chappell Music Ltd that a governing law clause did not also operate as a jurisdiction clause. The underlying dispute concerned a number of historic song licence agreements. The terms of the agreements included a governing… Read more »

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Irreconcilable Differences and the Grounds for Divorce

Irreconcilable Differences and the Grounds for Divorce

Legal dramas and American television shows frequently show spouses filing for divorce on the basis of “irreconcilable differences” and this is a term known by many to equate with a blame free divorce. As such, many people wish to use this approach when seeking a divorce. However, this relates to the law in the USA… Read more »

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Illegality in the context of employment contracts – breach of immigration law

Illegality in the context of employment contracts – breach of immigration law

In the recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case of Okedina v Chikale, an employer who had brought a domestic worker over from Malawi sought to argue that the worker could not bring employment claims because her employment contract was illegal (i.e. in breach of immigration law). Ms Chikale was brought to the UK under a… Read more »

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Whistleblowing detriment clarified

Whistleblowing detriment clarified

A person subjecting a whistleblower to detriment must be personally motivated by the protected disclosure The recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case of Malik v Cenkos Securities Plc has clarified a technical and litigious point in relation to personal knowledge and motivation in whistleblowing claims. Back in 2013, in the case of Western Union Payment… Read more »

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Perceived disability discrimination

Perceived disability discrimination

In the recent case of Chief Constable of Norfolk v Coffey, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has considered a claim for direct disability discrimination based on the employer’s perception that an employee’s condition would become a disability in the future. Background Under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010), disability is one of the protected characteristics…. Read more »

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If an employee is subjected to a discriminatory demotion, can they refuse to work?

If an employee is subjected to a discriminatory demotion, can they refuse to work?

An interesting question and one that the Court of Appeal has answered with a responding no in the recent case of Rochford v WNS Global Services. The facts of the case are as follows: The Claimant in this case, Mr Rochford, had suffered from a serious back condition and was off work for almost a… Read more »

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Legal Mythbusting – The “Quickie” Divorce

Legal Mythbusting – The “Quickie” Divorce

Headlines across the country recently told readers of the divorce between Louise and Jamie Redknapp and how they had a “quickie” divorce, with a hearing that lasted some 20 seconds. Celebrities appear to be heralded in the press as being able to race through the steps to achieve a divorce in seconds, leading many to… Read more »

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Encouraging Women into Franchising

Encouraging Women into Franchising

Paris Smith are proud to announce that it has achieved membership status of The Encouraging Women into Franchising (EWIF) Group. Associate Emily Sadler, a franchising specialist, will act as a franchise ambassador supporting women looking for a route into the franchise industry. The remit of EWIF is threefold: To encourage women to consider buying a… Read more »

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Planning policy issues around golf course redevelopment (Part 2)

Planning policy issues around golf course redevelopment (Part 2)

(The Paris Smith LLP Planning Consultancy Team : Janet May, Peter Kershaw, Ruth Harding, Joshua Lambert, Richard Plume) As discussed in Part 1 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…. Read more »

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Golf Course Redevelopment or Diversification Planning (Part 1)

Golf Course Redevelopment or Diversification Planning (Part 1)

(The Paris Smith LLP Planning Consultancy Team : Janet May, Peter Kershaw, Ruth Harding, Joshua Lambert, Richard Plume) 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 – with some golf… Read more »

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Failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion

Failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion

Are you aware of the new offence? What is the new law? A new offence came into effect on 30 September 2017 under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 – the failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion, both in the UK and abroad. Who does it apply to? The offence is potentially applicable to all… Read more »

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Raising rent – when and how can a landlord increase rent on a residential property?

Raising rent – when and how can a landlord increase rent on a residential property?

Landlords and tenants agree a rent at the start of a tenancy which is stated on the tenancy agreement. Sometimes this agreement contains provisions for rent increases during the term. This allows both parties the security of knowing the rent throughout the period of the assured tenancy. But what happens at the end of that… Read more »

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Employer responsibility for employee data breach

Employer responsibility for employee data breach

Further to my colleague’s recent blogs regarding the looming GDPR, a significant and ground-breaking case, Various Claimants v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc has come through the High Court which makes an employer vicariously liable for a rogue employee’s data breach. The law surrounding vicarious liability was confirmed last year in the case of Mohamud v… Read more »

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Emergency access to rented property

Emergency access to rented property

Tenants have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their rented property, but sometimes a landlord needs to gain access to the property nevertheless. Ideally, agreement is reached for access as long as there is communication and reasonable notice, but what if there isn’t? Under what circumstances can a landlord access their property without agreement?… 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

Due to the changing nature of the way we bank, banks and building societies are necessarily reviewing and rationalising their property assets to adapt to their customers’ needs. As a result, many bank branches are closing – often resulting in attractive buildings in sustainable locations becoming available. This is increasingly opening up finite development and/or… Read more »

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What should franchise businesses be doing now to be compliant with GDPR by 25 May 2018?

What should franchise businesses be doing now to be compliant with GDPR by 25 May 2018?

It is now less than 6 months until the GDPR comes into force and the level of interest (and perhaps a little perturbation) from our franchise clients is rising. The key concern seems to be with regard to what franchise businesses need to do in order to actively be demonstrating compliance by 25 May next… Read more »

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Are workers entitled to be paid for years of past untaken holidays?

Are workers entitled to be paid for years of past untaken holidays?

Further to my colleague’s recent blogs regarding the ‘gig’ economy, a recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision has shed light on employers holiday pay liabilities where they have self-employed staff who are determined to be workers. The Case In the case of The Sash Window Workshop and another v King, the ECJ held that… Read more »

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How would Uber’s data breach be viewed under the GDPR?

How would Uber’s data breach be viewed under the GDPR?

There has been a collective intake of breath in the Paris Smith office as news about Uber’s data breach broke, stating that the breach had exposed the details of 57 million customers and drivers worldwide. In the UK, the figures are believed to be in the region of 2.3 million data subjects affected. Even our… Read more »

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The importance of risk assessment in Commercial Mediation

The importance of risk assessment in Commercial Mediation

The factual matrix and the law applying to it in every case is fundamental to a decision to start or defend any proceedings in the Courts. There are not many parties to civil proceedings that will start off an expensive court process without any belief in the strength of their case. There are however many… Read more »

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Why mediation?

Why mediation?

The traditional way of resolving civil disputes in England is for the parties to ask someone to whom the State gives that responsibility, to make a decision in their dispute and (subject to the question of an appeal), both parties effectively “live or die” by that decision. In the way in which the Court system… Read more »

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Stamp Duty Land Tax – Good news for first time buyers and divorcees

Stamp Duty Land Tax – Good news for first time buyers and divorcees

(Co-written by Marie Langthorne, trainee Legal Executive and Heather Wiltshire, Chartered Legal Executive) Recent years has seen many changes in how stamp duty land tax is calculated, long gone are the days of the simple percentage of the purchase price and the autumn budget has added further points to consider. First time buyers For first… Read more »

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Protecting our IP rights – a recent interesting case in the IP Enterprise Court

Protecting our IP rights – a recent interesting case in the IP Enterprise Court

(Co-written by Rachel Montgomery, Trainee Solicitor and Laura Trapnell, Partner and Head of Intellectual Property) Protection and ownership of our intellectual property is at the forefront of our minds when initiating new commercial relationships. However, a recent case in the IPEC highlights the importance of continuing to proactively protect our intellectual property as working relationships… Read more »

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Worried about GDPR?  There’s lots of help out there

Worried about GDPR? There’s lots of help out there

Co-written by Claudia Mihai, Trainee Solicitor and Laura Trapnell, Head of Intellectual Property) The GDPR obliges data controllers to demonstrate compliance with the overriding principles behind data protection. With the significant increase in penalties (20m Euro or 4% of an undertaking’s worldwide turnover), businesses are understandably concerned and eager to understand their obligations. But don’t… Read more »

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1954 Act issues – for Tenants

1954 Act issues – for Tenants

The implications of a party being in financial difficulties is frequently looked at from a view point of the landlord (and whether the landlord can then take steps to retake possession of the property or otherwise pursue the tenant for arrears, a rent or breaches of covenant).  The position of a tenant, where its landlord… Read more »

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Uber lose their appeal – you can’t call someone self-employed unless they genuinely are!

Uber lose their appeal – you can’t call someone self-employed unless they genuinely are!

The long awaited outcome of the appeal of the Uber case was released last week and whilst it may have been a shock to the powers that be at Uber that they lost, it hasn’t really come as a shock to those in the legal world who have been following the case with interest. The… Read more »

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The Pre Autumn Budget Planning Review – an invitation to collaborate

The Pre Autumn Budget Planning Review – an invitation to collaborate

Introduction It is a huge honour for me to be able to reflect in this end of year Pre Autumn Budget Planning Review on the many areas of positive collaboration I have witnessed taking place between stakeholders over the past 18 months to promote excellence and innovation in planning, placemaking and regeneration. It may be… Read more »

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Draft ban on letting agent fees published

Draft ban on letting agent fees published

On 1 November the government published its response to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s consultation on banning letting agency fees paid by tenants. The draft Tenant Fees Bill 2017 was introduced in Parliament the same day. The Tenant Fees Bill aims to ban landlords and their agents from levying fees against occupants of… Read more »

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Paris Smith – Legal Excellence

Paris Smith – Legal Excellence

I am delighted to announce that we passed a rigorous Lexcel assessment in October with ‘flying colours’ and therefore have retained our Lexcel accreditation for another year. During her visit the Assessor, Kate Baker, was particularly impressed with the firm’s high standards and the level of commitment of everyone in the firm. Lexcel stands for… Read more »

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Deliveroo defeats claim that riders are workers by issuing new contracts

Deliveroo defeats claim that riders are workers by issuing new contracts

It’s been an interesting week for the gig economy. On Monday Uber faced a defeat in the Employment Appeal Tribunal, which found that its taxi drivers were workers. Demonstrating the uncertainty in this area, in contrast, Deliveroo have now successfully demonstrated that its delivery riders are not workers. The key difference in the decisions is… Read more »

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Interesting recent cases in the IP Enterprise Court (IPEC)

Interesting recent cases in the IP Enterprise Court (IPEC)

Several IPEC cases have been of interest recently and we thought you would like to see a summary. In the IPEC, this recent case confirms the underlying trend currently adopted by the courts in awarding very low damages in respect of infringement claims for misuse of photographs online. We act for clients on a regular… Read more »

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GDPR catch-up

GDPR catch-up

It was a busy week in the Commercial IP team last week as the number of clients wanting information about GDPR increases. We ran seminars to the recruitment sector and to our Charity Forum. If you would like to attend one of our future sessions, please email Sandy Waters or visit the training arm on our… Read more »

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7 key lessons and a validation of the work of R3’s Regional Committees

7 key lessons and a validation of the work of R3’s Regional Committees

Annual conferences – as our Prime Minister learned somewhat to her cost this year – can be something of a challenge: The Association of Business Recovery Professionals’ (R3) first ever Southern Area Conference – comprising speakers and delegates from each of R3’s three southern regions – at the new Hilton hotel in Bournemouth on 21… Read more »

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Unlawful extraction of personal data by employees – a summary of criminal liability for employee misappropriation of employers’ data

Unlawful extraction of personal data by employees – a summary of criminal liability for employee misappropriation of employers’ data

Last month the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published details of the most recent in a string of prosecutions brought against employees who have unlawfully obtained and/or misused personal data belonging to their employers. Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 makes it a criminal offence for employees to access and disseminate private data contained… Read more »

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Can landlords use their own keys to gain access to rented property?

Can landlords use their own keys to gain access to rented property?

There is no specific law or regulation that entitles landlords to keep copies of keys or to insist on being provided with duplicates for a property that has been rented out. However most do retain a set and if appropriate notice has been served on the tenants of the pending visit it is very tempting… Read more »

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Paris Smith Sponsor Southampton Property Association Monthly Networking Drinks

Paris Smith Sponsor Southampton Property Association Monthly Networking Drinks

29 September 2017: Southampton Property Association Networking Drinks Event A successful networking event was enjoyed by everyone at the Southampton Property Association Networking Drinks at Tapas Barcelona last Friday. A great turn out from local property professionals who had the opportunity of meeting new faces and old. Friendly atmosphere with plenty of opportunities to discuss… Read more »

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Can I prevent my reseller from selling my goods online?

Can I prevent my reseller from selling my goods online?

Can I ban the online resale of my goods? Businesses may question: can I prevent my reseller from selling my goods online? It is easy to see why an online monopoly might appeal to suppliers wanting to better control supply and demand or funnel online sales through their own sales platform. Although the commercial temptation… Read more »

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What does “consequential loss” actually mean?

What does “consequential loss” actually mean?

Consequential Loss What is consequential loss? For many years the simple answer to this question has been considered to be those losses falling within limb 2 of Hadley v Baxendale, however, a recent decision of the Commercial Court has cast doubt upon this. In Star Polaris LLC v HHIC-PHIL INC [2016] EWHC 2941 (Comm), a… Read more »

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OVERAGE – “but of course that’s what was meant!”

OVERAGE – “but of course that’s what was meant!”

Overage (or uplift) is often incorporated in the sale of land for development and allows for both an element of the consideration to be deferred and for a landowner to share in any unexpected uplift in the profitability of the development. Overage Agreements are possibly some of the most heavily litigated contractual provisions and terms… Read more »

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Standard terms – when do they have to be reasonable?

Standard terms – when do they have to be reasonable?

When one business contracts with another on its standard terms, any exclusion or limitation of liability clause must be reasonable otherwise the clause will be struck down by the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (“UCTA”).  This much is clear established law.  However, it is not always clear cut whether one is dealing on standard terms… Read more »

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South Coast to host inaugural R3 Southern Insolvency Conference at Bournemouth’s Hilton Hotel

South Coast to host inaugural R3 Southern Insolvency Conference at Bournemouth’s Hilton Hotel

In a little over a week’s time, I look forward to welcoming well over 100 insolvency and restructuring experts to Bournemouth for the R3 Southern Area Conference, the first R3 conference to be hosted in the region for more than a decade and the first ever conference to involve industry delegates from across R3’s three… Read more »

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The work of a Notary

The work of a Notary

In addition to being a partner in the Tax & Estates Department, here at Paris Smith LLP, based in our Winchester office, I am a Notary Public. Even those within the legal profession may be unsure what a Notary does. It is only if you have to call upon one that you may become aware… Read more »

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Planning for energy storage

Planning for energy storage

The majority of the following article recently appeared in the Legalease Procurement and Outsourcing Journal and is aimed at helping landowners to better understand energy storage and the potential development opportunities emerging in relation to placing energy storage facilities on their land. Local Authorities, Hospitals, Universities, Charities, Businesses and Farms are just some of the… Read more »

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Restoring of the trade mark balance in China

Restoring of the trade mark balance in China

It is no secret that China, along with certain other international territories, has a trade mark abuse problem. Counterfeit goods are often sold openly in street markets by counterfeiters protected by Chinese trademark law: a trademark in China is awarded to the first company to file for it, and these companies would not usually be… Read more »

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Changes at the EUIPO from 1 October 2017

Changes at the EUIPO from 1 October 2017

(co-written by Emma Watts (secretary) and Laura Trapnell (partner) Changes at the EUIPO For clients with an EU trade mark, we blog to update you on some of the changes that the EUIPO is implementing from 1 October 2017 onwards. Certification Marks The EU are introducing a new category of marks called Certification Marks. Certification… Read more »

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The death of employment tribunal fees – how we can help

The death of employment tribunal fees – how we can help

The dust is starting to settle on the recent Supreme Court decision relating to employment tribunal fees. Talking to employment lawyers in the region, all are expecting a steady increase in tribunal claims. Tribunal fees were introduced in 2013 and the number of cases brought declined sharply. The evidence of this was clear and was… Read more »

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Court in the Act? Is our courts system working for the insolvency profession?

Court in the Act? Is our courts system working for the insolvency profession?

As a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales of some 18 years now, and as the current chairman of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3) in the Southern Region, it is extremely important to me that Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) continues to provide processes and solutions which work… Read more »

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Do members of charitable companies owe a fiduciary duty to the charity?

Do members of charitable companies owe a fiduciary duty to the charity?

This blog was co-written by Ryan Mitchell (Trainee Solicitor) and Michael Moore (Partner) The recent High Court ruling in the case of Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK) [2017] EWHC 1379 provides some insight into whether members of charitable companies limited by guarantee owe a fiduciary duty to the company when exercising their rights. Before the… Read more »

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What land does a right of way benefit?

What land does a right of way benefit?

An easement which passes (or runs) with land so as to benefit successors can only exist where a number of requirements are satisfied: The right must be one which is capable of being an easement (examples include rights of way, rights of light and a right to the passage of water). The land must benefit… Read more »

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Workers’ Uprising

Workers’ Uprising

The old adage is that you wait for a bus and then 2 come along at the same time. A similar thing has happened recently with cases relating to worker status. We have had numerous cases coming before the employment tribunals on the issue of whether a person is a worker and thus entitled to… Read more »

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Peaking Power Plants

Peaking Power Plants

In this blog I outline some of the key considerations for landowners and farmers who are looking to place themselves on standby to feed into emerging opportunities in peak energy generation. Peaking Power Plants’, aka ‘Peaker Plants’ or ‘Peakers’ relate to an increasingly sought after type of energy power plant which generally only runs when… Read more »

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Voluntary Overtime and Holiday Pay

Voluntary Overtime and Holiday Pay

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled in the recent case of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts and ors that payments for purely voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay if they are regular enough to constitute “normal pay”. This is a significant judgment with regards to the treatment of holiday pay and… Read more »

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The Premier League one, online illegal streaming nil

The Premier League one, online illegal streaming nil

As the 2017/18 Premier League season fast approaches, a key development has arisen in the long running copyright infringement and anti-piracy war between the Premier League and illegal streamers of its content and live matches. The Premier League has recently been awarded a UK High Court ‘blocking’ order. The court order permits the Premier League… Read more »

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Criminal prosecutions for copyright infringement – custody for copying?

Criminal prosecutions for copyright infringement – custody for copying?

Copyright Infringement The recent case of R v Wayne Evans [2017] ECWA Crim 139 reinforces the ominous but often overlooked possibility that a copyright infringer may have committed a criminal act attracting a custodial sentence on conviction. The Court of Appeal’s guidance will provide judges with much-needed steerage when sentencing offenders convicted under the Copyright… Read more »

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Planning for development on current or former public sector land

Planning for development on current or former public sector land

In this blog, I further explore the points I made in my previous published article in the Legalease Procurement and Outsourcing Journal, in relation to planning opportunities on current or former public sector land. Independent estimates indicate that the public sector may hold around c.40% of all developable sites in the UK and around c.27%… Read more »

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Planning for energy storage and distribution

Planning for energy storage and distribution

In this blog I outline some of the key considerations for landowners and farmers who are looking to place themselves on standby to feed in to emerging new opportunities in energy storage and distribution. This is a blog which I first published in part last year, but which has gained ever growing momentum in recent… Read more »

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Opening doors? Planning in the future

Opening doors? Planning in the future

In this Blog, the contents of which were firstly partly published in the Legalease Procurement and Outsourcing Journal, I explore the previous Government’s consultations around increasing housing supply and improving planning in the future; and I analyse some of the impacts this may have on stakeholders’ interests in the future. What is the ‘Housing crisis’… Read more »

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University and Local Authority Property Portfolio Planning

University and Local Authority Property Portfolio Planning

In this blog, the contents of which first appeared in the Legalease Procurement and Outsourcing Journal, I outline my growing concern that Universities and Local Authorities are placing their long-term strategic missions at risk by not involving Planning and Planning Law experts at the outset of their property projects.</h2 University and Local Authority Property Portfolio… Read more »

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Planning for Elderly and Disabled Housing

Planning for Elderly and Disabled Housing

Houses shape us. In this Blog, the contents of which first appeared in the Legalease Procurement and Outsourcing Journal, I emphasise the growing need for Local Authorities, Housing Associations, Universities, Developers and the NHS to carefully consider whether their investment plans can more effectively help address the current and future housing needs of the disabled… Read more »

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The Supreme Court rules employment tribunal fees are unlawful

The Supreme Court rules employment tribunal fees are unlawful

In a landmark judicial intervention, the Supreme Court has allowed the appeal by Trade Union UNISON against the legality of the current system of employment tribunal fees, holding that the fees regime introduced in 2013 is unlawful. Prior to the introduction of the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 (Fees Order),… Read more »

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Know what you mean (and mean what you say!)

Know what you mean (and mean what you say!)

Understanding legal documents can often prove to be difficult, particularly where the documents relate to a complicated transaction. In simple terms (and the reality is that these things are rarely simple!) a Court when considering a legal document will consider what its meaning would convey to a reasonable person. A Court will consider the context… Read more »

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Is using an LMA loan agreement akin to dealing on written standard terms?

Is using an LMA loan agreement akin to dealing on written standard terms?

In African Export-Import Bank and others v Shebah Exploration & Production Company Ltd and others [2017] EWCA Civ 845, the Court of Appeal confirmed an earlier summary judgement that lenders who used an industry standard facility agreement, as a base for their negotiations with the borrower, were not dealing on written standard terms of business… Read more »

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Have you paid too much Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on your purchase?

Have you paid too much Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on your purchase?

It is surprising how many property solicitors are not au fait with the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rules. There are several reliefs and exemptions which can apply to a property purchase and it is becoming increasingly clear that many buyer’s solicitors do not understand how effectively and legally to reduce their client’s SDLT liability…. Read more »

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Taking children abroad when separated or divorced?

Taking children abroad when separated or divorced?

Whilst the recent baking temperatures in England and Wales may have you thinking twice about the value of booking a costly holiday abroad with the children, the summer holidays are fast approaching and holidays abroad are on the horizon for many families. For most couples and separated parents, this is a much anticipated event. However,… Read more »

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Development opportunities for landowners

Development opportunities for landowners

This blog was co-written with Peter Kershaw The planning landscape has undergone something of a revolution since the creation by central government of a requirement for local authorities to have 5 year housing land supply projections. Many local authorities had, and continue to have, a shortfall in their housing supply. This shortage has led to… Read more »

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The complicated tale of a simple Will

The complicated tale of a simple Will

Even apparently straightforward matters can become horribly complicated if they are not handled correctly. One case that springs to mind in this regard involved an entirely simple will in which an elderly bachelor left everything to his favourite cousin. Before she could collect her inheritance, the cousin died. She was a widowed mother and left… Read more »

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