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Sexual harassment in the hospitality industry: how to protect staff and avoid liability

In the wake of #MeToo, the prevalence of sexual harassment has been laid bare, from boardrooms down to shop floors and from multinational listed companies to charities and independents. This movement has exposed the fact that sexual harassment in the...

An "especially flagrant contravention"

An “especially flagrant contravention”, was the verdict of the Information Commissioner’s Office resulting in its decision to fine Newham Borough Council a total of £145,000 for its breach of the Data Protection Act 1998. This is a...

How can Spice Girls, Coldplay and Rolling Stones lyrics help in mediation?

Spice Girls: The mediator may ask the parties - or they may ask themselves - what they want. The next question should be "what do you really REALLY want" (followed by asking why they really really want it). Coldplay: Next the mediator can remind...

Five tips to help you avoid costly business disputes

Legal risk can lie dormant within any business and the cause is often the underlying structures that were put in place at the very start. As any sensible adviser will tell you, growing a business without solid foundations will eventually become problematic...

Has MeToo taken a seat on the board?

The effect of the #MeToo movement in the corporate world is no longer in doubt. Over the last few years Ted Baker’s share price fell 13% after allegations against its founder emerged, the ‘big four’ accountancy firms have all admitted to...

Restrictive covenants: treading the tightrope between protection and exposure

Post-termination restrictive covenants are commonplace in employment contracts of senior personnel, operating as a line of defence to protect the company from harm should that employee leave to work elsewhere. However such restrictions fly in the face of...

A Restatement of the English Law of Contract

'A Restatement of the English Law of Contract': Andrew Burrows and an Advisory Group: Oxford University Press 2016. The first US 'Restatement of Contracts' was published by the American Law Institute in 1933, with the second edition in 1981....

7 tips to help businesses avoid (or at least mitigate) the effects of reputational damage

Reputational damage is a growing threat for many businesses. The impact can be huge. You can lose customers if they feel undervalued, misled or even lied to. If those disgruntled customers choose to take to social media, what started as a hiccough...

6 tips that will help mortgage lenders avoid enforcement disputes

As a bank or building society you know just how much effort is needed to bring possession proceedings against a borrower who has defaulted on their mortgage repayments.  To try and help you avoid finding yourself in that position here are 6 tips we...

5 tips that will help tech businesses avoid costly disputes

By their very nature tech businesses have to move fast.  You are continually evolving to keep ahead of the pack and to do that you not only need to understand what the latest technology is but also what the next technology will be.  More than...

Online Harms White Paper - a daunting new world for social media sites

This 98 page tome has provided a welcome distraction from Brexit. The proposals are, by the Government’s own admission, eye-catching: “The measures outlined in this White Paper are novel and ambitious, with potentially far-reaching effects...

Clarity is key: Overage Agreements

A version of this article first appeared in Estates Gazette . Overage (or “clawback”) agreements are seen as complex and full of hidden traps. Ironically, the commercial rationale for agreeing them is often very simple. Overage is a...

A Doppelganger discredited

The full article can be downloaded using the PDF icon below....

Dual-Identity Cars

In a perfect world, every historic car would boast a spotless provenance and a documented list of distinguished owners, none of whom ever “abused” the car by changing a major component, let alone by crashing it. Please read the full article by...

How to ensure you have the necessary rights of way for your development site

Good sites with development potential are hard to find. They are often complex and their viability may rely on access that is granted by another landowner. Hannah Rosenthal in our Real Estate Development team looks at three examples of the law as it relates...

The meaning of practical completion of your construction project: don't leave it to the contract administrator (or the court) to decide

The recent Technology and Construction Court judgment in the case of Mears Limited v Costplan Services (South East) Limited & Others [2018] provides lessons of interest to all developers and any parties taking leases or transfers of property in reliance...

Supreme Court sounds warning to landlords: contrived building works will not defeat a business tenant's right to a new lease

Landlords seeking vacant possession from business tenants often oppose the right to renewal by creating a development scheme which on its face satisfies section 30(1)(f) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (“ground (f)”). A much anticipated...

A dispute resolution clause could solve the Brexit impasse

A dispute resolution clause could solve the Brexit impasse. The Attorney-General is in Brussels to seek the amendment of the 'backstop'. The EU says it won't amend the Withdrawal Agreement, so some form of add-on is needed. The 'backstop'...

You can't hear a PIN drop

Silence in which you can hear a pin drop is not a feature of Brexit. However, any half-experienced negotiator or mediator will recognise the acronym PIN, standing for Positions, Interests, Needs.  A classic approach to negotiation and mediation is to...

A shipless shipping contract: a fish out of water

A shipless shipping contract: a fish out of water. The Transport Secretary signing a contract for shipping services with a company with no ships could be a script from the 'Yes Minister' TV series and books. But, as we know, it is not fiction. Chris...

Can you really 'Separate the People from the Problem'?

Can you really 'Separate the People from the Problem'? This is the first of four principles of 'Getting to Yes', the seminal book on negotiation by Fisher & Ury. More often than not, when negotiating or mediating a dispute, I find that...

CNIL and Google: GDPR Showdown

(Note: This article is based on an unofficial translation of CNIL’s judgement, so apologies for any errors or misunderstandings arising from this.) Introduction On 21 January 2019 the Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des...

The big construction law question: can you pay now and argue later?

This article first appeared in Construction News . A top judge came out of retirement to help decide a crucial question around interim payments and adjudications, as Hazel Boland-Shanahan explains. Confusing case law on interim payments led...

After the Article 50 judgment

This article was first published in Prospect Magazine . Why the European Court should never have ruled on Britain’s right to revoke the Brexit letter All the attention directed to the case of Wightman v Secretary of State for Exiting the European...

UK's gambling companies agree to TV ad ban

This article first appeared in Sportcal . The UK’s largest gambling companies have agreed a voluntary ban on advertising during live television coverage of sport amid increasing concerns over the harmful effects of gambling addiction, especially...

Pulling down the shutters? How to exercise a commercial break notice effectively

With the high street retail and dining sectors in a seemingly constant cycle of reinvention our Real Estate Dispute Resolution team provide guidance in this article for tenants who are considering exercising a break option in a commercial lease. A break...

The Realities behind the Iceland Christmas Ad

A version of this article appeared in The Times . “Iceland Christmas Ad: Petition to show it on TV hits 670k” is one of many recent headlines reporting Iceland’s failure to secure clearance for the broadcast of its Christmas...

Microchipping employees: What are the legal implications?

This article first appeared in UK Tech News . Wearable technology is now common in the workplace, including employer-provided fitness trackers which can monitor employees’ health and activity levels. It seems that the next step, microchipping...

Notable recent decisions from the Information Commissioner's Office

We report on two notable recent decisions from the Information Commissioner’s Office, one pre and the other post, GDPR. 1.Facebook/Cambridge Analytica “Facebook to appeal over record £500,000 fine for data breaches” ran this...

Pay now, argue later?

There has been some confusing case law regarding interim applications and payments, valuation disputes and how the adjudication process slots in, which led to the rise of smash and grab adjudications. Sir Rupert Jackson in his Court of Appeal judgment for...

Recovery of legal costs in the Courts of England and Wales

This is for guidance only and not legal advice. Before relying on anything stated below, the reader should take independent legal advice. 1. In England and Wales, the courts apply what American lawyers call ‘costs shifting’ (although the US...

The 'Big Four' and the UK government: too close for comfort

A version of this article first appeared on the Open Democracy website. The ‘Big Four’ accountants - an oligopoly if ever there was one as Bill Michael of KPMG has freely admitted - are charged with lowballing statutory audit services to...

LPAs: will yours work? Court of Protection provides guidance on the content of lasting powers of attorney

With people living longer, mental illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are on the increase and issues surrounding a person’s capacity are becoming evermore prevalent: consequently LPAs are becoming increasingly relevant. A series...

Property development horror stories

This article first appeared in the print edition of EG ( Estates Gazette ) on 27th October 2018. Scary stories, haunting nightmares and unexpected shocks may all be associated with Halloween. But for developers the need to look out...

Certainty provided for investors wishing to enter into a shareholders' agreement in a recent High Court decision

If you are considering entering into a shareholders’ agreement, the recent judgment of United Co Rusal Plc v Crispian Investments Ltd (United) clarifies that the court will generally respect the commercial nature of share transfer provisions by...

When thinking of baby names, the surname matters too

This article first appeared in The Times . News of the Duchess of Sussex’s pregnancy has raised a debate on the potential title and surname of the impending addition to the royal household. It is barely more than 100 years since George V decided...

Employment law lessons from BBC's Bodyguard (May contain spoilers!)

Here is our "Bodyguard" special covering six employment law issues that arise in the recent BBC series. Lesson 1 - RIPA Explained RIPA 18 was the downfall of Julia Montague, the Home Secretary, in BBC's Bodyguard. Far from...

The potential impact of Brexit on the UK's broadcasting industry

This article was first published on Lexis®PSL TMT on 26 September 2018. Click for a free trial of  Lexis®PSL . How has membership of the EU benefited the industry? First and most obvious is freedom of...

Estates, Disputes and your Will

What do Abraham Lincoln and Amy Winehouse have in common? The answer is that both of them – along with a surprisingly large number of people year after year – died without having written a Will. Where this situation arises under English law, a...

The Law Commission's proposed solutions for enfranchisement reform

The Law Commission has released a Consultation Paper to address the current issues surrounding enfranchisement legislation and its proposed solutions for reform. Views are currently being sought on the Commission’s provisional proposals for a new,...

No-deal Brexit - a data dilemma

With the UK due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 and no deal having yet been made, there is increasing concern over the possible impact of a ‘No-Deal’. Following MPs’ rejection of Theresa May’s proposed deal, she appears to be...

Our buyers are threatening legal action because our tenants have left the garage full of junk

Daniel Shein's article first appeared in Financial Times  Property  on 5th October 2018 Our buyers are threatening legal action because our tenants have left the garage full of junk. We live abroad and this is going to be tricky...

"Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living" but "I don't get no... satisfaction"

Whilst commuting back from work, you may well overhear conversations about the chairman’s Virtual PA coming into the office for their weekly face-to-face meeting, the mother who is working 4 days a week term time only and the person on their way to the...

Landlords beware: invalid section 21 Notice due to failure to serve gas safety certificate

The recent case of Caridon Property Ltd v Monty Shooltz (2018) has held that landlords cannot obtain possession of residential premises from a tenant held under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (“AST”) in reliance on a section 21 Notice if they did...

How to lawfully suspend an employee and avoid a "knee-jerk reaction"

When can an employer lawfully suspend an employee and what is the correct procedure to do so? We find that this is a really common stumbling block for employers. Indeed, new guidance on suspending employees has been produced by ACAS this summer, suggesting...

Getting together (legally) might have become easier but breaking up is still a matter for the courts

It is not  that often that the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, deals with matters of private Family Law but in the past few months, it has heard not one but 3 such cases. Owens – examined the grounds for divorce and asked if it is...

What are the consequences of terminating a commercial contract?

Rachel Hayward, Associate in Goodman Derrick’s Corporate team, looks at the potentially costly consequences of not getting a contractual termination right, and encourages a cautious approach to the entire process. Common oversights when terminating a...

Three important legal and financial steps you need to take before having a family

This article first appeared in Talented Ladies Club . Planning to start a family? Here are three important legal and financial steps you need to take first. (If you already have a family there’s still time to get started on them.) Naturally, as...

A cautionary tale for liquidators who drag their feet and don't play by the rules

(Brian Johnson (Liquidator of Strobe 2) v Arden and Others) This article was written by Clive Ince and Ellie Spencer . The Background In the early years of the new millennium the Luminar Group was a major player within the UK nightclub and leisure...

The Sky News saga reveals fault lines in UK regulation media ownership

The Secretary of State’s decision to require Sky News to be sold as a condition of Fox’s bid being allowed to proceed, leaves the field open for a bidding war to take place involving Disney and Comcast. The decision not to intervene in respect of...

All fair in love, war and commerce?

This article first appeared in the on-line newsletter of the Law Society’s  Civil Litigation Section , of which the author is currently the chair. The traditional position under the contract law of England and Wales (which I shall, with no...

Pets in flats - a question of consent

This article first appeared in Property Investor News . The vast majority of long residential leases contain a raft of obligations regulating the use of the property. One such common regulation is the keeping of pets. Some leases contain an absolute...

Tackling the late payment epidemic: a new prescription from the government?

Efforts to tackle the issue so far have been little more than “nudging” techniques to pay more promptly. Is the government ready to ramp up the campaign? Market surveys in the wake of the collapse of Carillion suggest that protecting cashflow...

The end of the road for Pimlico Plumbers?

The short answer is not quite. The Supreme Court has now given judgment in the long running and important case by plumber Gary Smith against Pimlico Plumbers in which he claimed he was a worker and not a self-employed contractor and so was entitled to...

The importance of getting an indemnity right in a commercial agreement

Indemnities are often one of the most heavily negotiated terms in a commercial agreement, but for non-lawyers their perceived advantages may not always be clear. In this short article we set out how indemnities may vary normal contractual rules, and why it...

Buying an off-grid house in the country - what do you need to know?

Daniel Shein's article first appeared in Financial Times  Property  on 5th October 2018 How to flush out drainage issues I’m buying a house in the country that isn’t connected to the mains drainage. What do I need...

Dress Code Dilemmas: new guidance on discriminatory dress codes published

It is now some two years since the events we have come to know as “Heel-gate” when in 2016, a temp called Nicola Thorp was required to wear high heels at work. Ms Thorp was sent home without pay for not complying. She commented about the...

When is having the last word a bad idea?

When your contract contains a clause excluding oral variations… A recent decision of the Supreme Court in  Rock Advertising Limited v MWB Business Exchange Centres Limited  brings an end to the long standing debate over whether clauses...

Cladding Q&A

The cladding on my flat has been deemed unsafe. Who is responsible for paying for its replacement and the 24/7 fire watch that is required in the interim? The first place to look is at the terms of the lease. When it comes to the exterior, normally the...

Planning permission: Who's responsible for it?

The recent case of  Jean-François Clin v Walter Lilly & Co. Ltd  [2018] EWCA Civ 490 confirms that, without express terms to the contrary in the contract, the employer will usually be responsible for obtaining planning permission for the...

GDPR: 5 ways to ensure you're compliant

Companies need to look past the endless emails to ensure they are taking the necessary steps to comply with the new rules. By now you’ll be extremely bored of those emails popping up in your inbox and telling you that even your clients are about to...

Consumer rights and remedies - an update

Goodman Derrick’s dispute resolution team has received a number of recent instructions to act for both consumers and businesses in relation to disputes involving the application and interpretation of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (the...

Privacy concerns in a digital age: the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal

In a global age of technology, we are using more online platforms to assist with many aspects of our everyday lives, whether for ordering our weekly grocery shop online, or taking advantage of social media to interact and share our lives with other online...

HMRC clamps down on termination payments

Can termination payments of up to £30,000 still be paid tax free after 6 April 2018? Yes, provided however that no part of the termination payment represents unworked notice. Old Position Prior to 6 April 2018 if there was a contractual right to pay...

Inheritance Act claims - good news for cohabitees

English law has always placed great value on the principle of testamentary freedom. That is, an individual’s right to leave their estate to whomever they like, with no obligation to provide for family members under a Will. However, under the...

Landlords and Tenants: MEES Regulations are now in force

As you will have seen in both the legal and mainstream press, the requirement of a minimum energy efficient standard for premises (known as MEES) was introduced in 2015 as part of a range of measures to meet the UK government’s carbon reduction...

Another review of the Construction Act and payment

In January the Government completed two consultations regarding construction in the United Kingdom, the first of these was a review of the operation of changes to the payment mechanisms and adjudication under the Construction Act and the second was a review...

Why the FAPL TV rights decline was natural and inevitable

To justify this headline claim, it is necessary to go back a bit. Prior to the creation of FAPL, football’s domestic prime events were not televised much – mainly because clubs  wanted to maintain live high attendance levels and feared that...

The Audiovisual Media Services Directive - a "potential loophole" exposed by a recent decision of the European Court of Justice (Peugeot Deutschland GmbH v Deutsche Umwelthilfe sV Case C-132/17)

In the recent case of  Peugeot Deutschland GmbH  v Deutsche Umwelthilfe,  the European Court of Justice gave a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation and scope of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU) (“the...

What to do about a bad review

In the age of Uber Eats, Deliveroo and TripAdvisor, our next meal is only a swipe away, every customer is an expert and word of mouth spreads faster than the speed of a dial-up connection. Studies show that as many as 70% of customers under the age of 34...

Understanding Easements: What you don't know can hurt you

If you are buying, selling or developing a property in England or Wales, it is critical that you understand easements and how they could affect a property’s intended use. Easement  is a medieval word that derives from the 14 th century Old...

A company's statutory right to remove a director

The performance of a director in a company is pivotal to the success of that company. Accordingly, there is legislation in place to protect a company’s right to remove a director should the circumstances demand this course of action. This right is held...

The end of "Smash and Grab" construction adjudications?

Construction contract employers who are aggrieved at having to pay out an interim application in full (because they forgot or made mistakes with their payment notices) may now no longer be stuck with that outcome for long, following the recent decision of...

The Taylor Review: changes to employment status on their way? Latest from the Government...

So we have reached the next stage in the plans for a potential major shake-up to employment law and the workplace, announced last year by the Government on a number of fronts on their setting up of the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. But is the...

Are you considering moving into a flat with a pet?

If so, make sure you have understood your obligations under the lease. You may have read in the news earlier this year about the High Court decision in the case of  Victory Place Management Company Ltd v Kuehn & Anor [2018] EWHC 132 (Ch)...

Reasonableness - it's in the decision

A Court of Appeal decision on a landlord’s refusal to consent to an assignment It is common for leases to require a tenant to obtain landlord’s consent to an assignment, and to provide that the consent cannot to be unreasonably withheld. This...

Surrogacy guidance published for parents, surrogates and health professionals

The Department of Health and Social care has just published two very useful  guidance notes  for surrogates and intended parents. The note identifies the financial considerations which both the intended parents and the surrogate need to bear in...

GDPR: Practical checklist

We are now just a few months away from the implementation of the GDPR, which is set to significantly change our data protection laws. While some organisations will be in the final stages of preparation, others may have not yet found the time to give it the...

Are you battling with the Beast from the East?

Blizzards and icy winds have swept in from Siberia, with temperatures plummeting and a blanket of snow settling over most of the country. For many HR managers, the Beast from the East may feel like a waking nightmare, causing childcare and travel disruption,...

Trust Registration Service - an overview

HMRC’s new online Trusts Registration Service (TRS) was launched in July 2017. This new online facility was introduced partly to implement new regulations relating to the UK’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime, and...

Conway v Eze: A residential conveyancing nightmare

Mr and Mrs Conway lived in a prestigious house in London, but in 2010 they decided to sell it with the intention of relocating to Cambridge. When their house first went on the market the asking price was £7m, but that reduced over time as they...

Yet another break notice hazard warning

It seems that barely a year goes by without a break clause related tale of woe emanating from the Courts. Sackville Property Select II (GP) No.1 Ltd & Anor v Robertson Taylor Insurance Brokers Ltd & Anor  can be added to that ever expanding...

Construction case comment - adjudicating when the contract works as a whole are excluded operations

The Technology and Construction Court (TCC) has recently issued guidance on what activities are excluded from the statutory adjudication process under s.105(2) of the Housing Grants (Construction and Regeneration) Act 1996 as amended under the Local...

Top five things to do to achieve the best value on a company sale

If you’re contemplating selling your tech company it’s never too early to get your house in order. Here are five key things to do to achieve best value: 1 . Ensure your accounts are in order. Clean, well prepared accounts (including...

Prescriptive Rights of Way - an easing of the evidential burden?

It is often the case that a landowner’s exercise of a right of way over a neighbour’s land is challenged and there is nothing in writing to evidence the right. This is not necessarily fatal to establishing a right of way as in certain...

"Playing the percentage game": the use of percentages to express the chance of litigation success

60 second summary: We are used to, and think we understand, percentage probability. Lawyers and their clients find it a useful tool in communicating and understanding the chance of success of a piece of litigation. However, parties need to take the...

Easements - don't let them be a burden!

It is no secret that sought-after areas with development potential in the UK are densely populated and that securing land is increasingly difficult with demand outstripping supply. Many “infill” development sites rely on access or services being...

The launch of the pilot scheme for unopposed lease renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954

A business tenant with the benefit of a lease which has security of tenure is automatically entitled to renew after the expiry of its contractual term. Usually, if the new lease terms cannot be agreed then either the landlord or the tenant may apply to Court...

The dangers of DIY wills

Contemplating mortality and planning ahead for death is not appealing to most people. There is often a deep-seated fear or unease which surrounds the act of preparing a will and getting one’s affairs in order. It’s no wonder, therefore, that...

Carillion lessons to be learnt

It has only been a few weeks since Carillion went into liquidation and suddenly one of the biggest construction and service companies in the country is gone. In this article, we give some practical advice on how best to protect yourself if you are in...

GDPR: Direct Marketing update

An area of some confusion among clients, now bracing themselves for the arrival of the GDPR, is on what basis they can continue to market themselves to customers: is fresh consent required, or what are the alternatives?  With the 25 th  of May fast...

Top 5 New Year's Resolutions for HR in 2018

Happy New Year! 2017 proved to be a considerable year for employment law developments and although there is actually relatively little on the legislative agenda for 2018, there is no doubt that many of the developments from the last 12 months will flow into...

Russian doping ban is futile

This article first appeared on  www.sportcal.com , a world-leading provider of sports market intelligence A lot can happen on the way to the Olympic Games podium and the IOC can have some influence on that. But what happens on the podium itself is...

Get your notices in!

Below is an early Christmas gift in the form of some practical advice for construction professionals in the UK in light of  Adam Architecture Ltd v Halsbury Homes Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 1735. The case involved Adam Architecture Ltd (“ Adam ”),...

Defamation: Some good cheer for Claimants

It is generally accepted that the Defamation Act 2013 (“the Act”) raised the bar in defamation claims, making it harder for those wronged to issue claims. A recent decision of the Court of Appeal has lowered the bar somewhat which should be...

Legal Update: Maxted and another v Investec Bank Plc [2017]

Summary The High Court recently heard the case of  Maxted and another v Investec Bank plc [2017] , which looked at whether amending loan agreements multiple times would discharge a personal guarantee given by the directors of the borrower companies. It...

Tesco's Booker buyout is bad news for shoppers

The watchdog is failing to consider the role of potential competition in Britain’s narrowing grocery sector, writes Stephen Hornsby This article originally appeared in the  The Brief,  the legal supplement by  The Times. It cannot...

Easing the burden for first-time buyers: Stamp Duty Land Tax Relief

The Chancellor announced some welcome changes for first-time buyers (“FTBs”) to the Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) regime in his Budget on 22 nd  November. From this date, FTBs of residential property of up to £500,000 will...