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Lying Employment Tribunal Litigant Hit With £20,000 Costs Bill

Published on: 24 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In a case which underlined that justice ultimately depends on the honesty of litigants, a claimant before an Employment Tribunal (ET) who lied about her medical condition had her case dismissed and was ordered to pay more than £20,000 in legal costs.

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Trying to Settle a Dispute? You Can Speak Freely to a Solicitor

Published on: 19 January 2016 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Trying to Settle a Dispute? You Can Speak Freely to a Solicitor

Conversations with solicitors that are designed to achieve a compromise of legal proceedings are generally ‘without prejudice’ and admissions made cannot be relied upon in court. In an important decision, the Court of Appeal has analysed the extent of that rule in the context of a landlord and tenant dispute.

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Buying Development Land? Watch Out for Restrictive Covenants!

Published on: 14 January 2016 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Buying Development Land? Watch Out for Restrictive Covenants!

In a case which served as a salutary warning to property developers, a company’s plans for a prime plot of urban land were hamstrung by restrictions on the use of the site which had been in place for almost 60 years.

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Monitoring of Employee’s Emails Did Not Violate His Privacy Rights

Published on: 13 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Most employers ban staff from using office computers for personal communication purposes during working hours and, in an important decision, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that reasonable monitoring of emails is an acceptable means of ensuring that such strictures are complied with.

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Acas Guidance on Carrying Out Investigations in the Workplace

Published on: 11 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In any workplace, situations will arise where it is necessary for the employer to carry out an investigation before deciding what to do next. Common situations that require an investigation include:

  • receiving a grievance from an employee;
  • allegations of bullying and harassment;
  • potential disciplinary matters against an employee; and
  • concerns over company policies and procedures.
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Pay Disparities Are Not Always Discriminatory

Published on: 10 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Statistical disparities in pay are not always a sign of discrimination. In one important case which proved that point, a Muslim prison chaplain who pointed out that he and his co-religionist colleagues were on average paid less than their Church of England counterparts failed to establish that he had been treated unequally.

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Industrial Espionage Claim Leads to £275,000 Payout

Published on: 06 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Employees sadly cannot always be trusted and industrial espionage is a threat which cannot be ignored. In one case, a company received £275,000 in damages and legal costs after a disloyal worker abused her position to disperse confidential and commercially sensitive information to others.

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Asbestos Exclusion Clause Thwarts Professional Negligence Claim

Published on: 05 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

The law assumes that experienced businesspeople know what they are doing when it comes to allocating risk. In a case which exemplified that position, the High Court found that a development consortium accepted the risk of asbestos contamination interfering with its plans, even if that eventuality arose through negligence.

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Supreme Court Cracks Down on Litigation Manoeuvring

Published on: 30 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Supreme Court Cracks Down on Litigation Manoeuvring

In a stern decision of which all litigants should take careful note, the Supreme Court cracked the whip and underlined that tactical manoeuvring and failures to comply with case management orders will not be tolerated.

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Insurance Companies Wrangle Over Train Crash Liabilities

Published on: 27 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Few industries are more international than insurance and disputes inevitably arise as to the country where disagreements should be resolved. However, one case concerning a catastrophic train crash in America revealed that, at least within Europe, clear rules apply.

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Object to Development Plans? Take Action Now Or Forfeit Your Rights!

Published on: 27 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

If you object to planning proposals in your area, it is essential to get legal advice straight away or you could forfeit any legal rights that you may have. In one case, two householders suffered exactly that fate because they delayed voicing their opposition to a housing development in the green belt.

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Dealing With a Foreign Government? Watch Out for State Immunity!

Published on: 22 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Commercial dealings with foreign governments can be lucrative and offer a welcome degree of financial security – but thorny issues of state immunity can arise when contracts do not run smoothly. Exactly that happened in one case in which the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (KRG) claimed immunity against enforcement of a $100 million arbitration award.

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Reasonable Adjustments for Disability – Appeal Court Guidance

Published on: 20 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Every responsible employer knows that reasonable adjustments have to be made for disabled workers. However, in a guideline decision involving a civil servant suffering from post-viral fatigue syndrome, the Court of Appeal has ruled that that duty is not without limit.

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Overturning Arbitration Awards Presents a Very High Hurdle

Published on: 17 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Contracting parties who submit their disputes to arbitration agree in advance to abide by the result. Such agreements do not oust the power of the High Court to intervene to put right any injustice, but obtaining such relief represents a very high hurdle, as one case involving a substantial distribution contract illustrated.

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Franchise Agreement Termination Triggers Trade War

Published on: 16 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Franchise Agreement Termination Triggers Trade War

The acrimonious termination of commercial contracts can lead to outbreaks of fierce competition and mutual bad-mouthing which affect customers and enter the public domain. That was certainly the case following the end of a franchise agreement in the postal franking machines market.

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£160 Million Public Contract ‘Unworkable’ Says High Court

Published on: 21 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Brevity is usually to be preferred when drafting commercial agreements and an excess of verbosity can often be the source of intractable disputes. That was certainly so in the case of a £160 million public contract which contained a string of unworkable clauses despite running to several lever arch files.

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University Accused of Penalising Trade Unionist Librarian Wins Appeal

Published on: 19 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

University Accused of Penalising Trade Unionist Librarian Wins Appeal

Trade unionists have a vital part to play in many workplaces and employers have to be very careful not to penalise them for their activities. However, in one instance, a university successfully appealed against a decision that it had done just that in the case of a veteran librarian and union branch secretary.

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Increased Protection for Workers on Zero Hours Contracts

Published on: 14 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In May 2015, the Government acted to ban exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.

However, recognising that further measures were necessary to prevent employers sidestepping the ban, further legislation has now been introduced to afford further protection to those working under such contracts.

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Feeling Under Pressure to Grant Credit to a Client? Be Careful!

Published on: 12 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Businesses often feel under commercial pressure to grant credit to important clients but one High Court case showed how easy it is for such debts to get out of control. A commodities trading company had agreed to defer payment of part of a favoured customer’s bills but ended up being owed almost $5.3 million.

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Residential Developers Accuse Planning Officials of Victimisation

Published on: 11 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Residential Developers Accuse Planning Officials of Victimisation

In a striking example of the heat which planning disputes can generate, residential developers who viewed themselves as ‘luckless victims’ of an over-zealous local authority managed to fight off a High Court bid for an injunction against them.

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London Arbitrators Must Tackle Red Square Hotel Dispute

Published on: 10 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Commercial arbitrators are often called upon to address thorny jurisdictional issues where all the parties to a dispute, and its subject matter, have nothing at all to do with the UK. That was certainly so in one case involving a lucrative project to redevelop a hotel near Moscow’s Red Square.

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Corporate Jet Grounded by Intractable Contract Dispute

Published on: 05 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Corporate Jet Grounded by Intractable Contract Dispute

Contract disputes can sometimes become so intractable that litigation is the only way of achieving finality. In one case, positions became so entrenched that a corporate jet, which lay at the heart of the disagreement, had been grounded for so long that its owner no longer wanted anything more to do with it.

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Peripatetic Workers and Pensions Auto-Enrolment – High Court Rules

Published on: 30 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Peripatetic Workers and Pensions Auto-Enrolment – High Court Rules

All businesses should by now be well aware that they are, or shortly will be, required to automatically enrol their workers in an approved pension scheme. However, in a ruling which will be required reading for employers, the High Court has given important guidance on how the new rules must be applied to peripatetic employees who spend much of their working lives outside Britain.

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Timeshare Owners Win Right to Free Use of Leisure Facilities

Published on: 29 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Timeshare Owners Win Right to Free Use of Leisure Facilities

The division of landed estates into smaller units is often productive of disputes which can simmer on for years. In one case which illustrated the point to a tee, timeshare owners had to go to the High Court in order to establish their right to free use of a golf course and other leisure facilities on neighbouring land.

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Housing Provider Prevails in Chief Executive Pension Row

Published on: 27 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

In a decision of interest to pension advisers and public employers, the High Court has ruled that a social housing provider which dispensed with its chief executive’s services did so because it was dissatisfied with his performance and not for reasons of business efficiency.

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Scrawled ‘OK’ Not Enough to Signify Mortgage Lender’s Consent

Published on: 22 December 2015 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Scrawled ‘OK’ Not Enough to Signify Mortgage Lender’s Consent

Commercial mortgages very often specify that the lender’s consent must be obtained before the premises can be let to tenants and, in one guideline case on the point, the High Court has ruled that a scrawled endorsement consisting of the letters ‘OK’ on a letter did not amount to such consent.

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Government Shift in Whiplash Claims Policy Upheld

Published on: 21 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Businesses which suffer due to shifts in government policy are not without recourse. However, one matter involving the introduction of a centralised means of instructing medical experts in whiplash cases underlined that the public interest will generally prevail.

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Suspect An Employee of Disloyalty? The Law Can Move Fast to Help You!

Published on: 17 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

Businesses often have no choice but to allow employees access to sensitive trade information despite the obvious risks which that entails. However, one High Court case revealed how fast the law can move to stem any leaks which may arise from disloyalty.

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Bank Worker’s Hopes Boosted in Race Discrimination Case

Published on: 16 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Employment Updates | News and Updates

A black computer consultant and business data analyst, whose employment with a high street bank was summarily terminated when he was less than three months into his contract, has won a fresh chance to prove that he was a victim of race discrimination.

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Involved in a Contract Dispute? Compromise is King!

Published on: 14 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Commercial Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Litigating breach of contract disputes is costly and, with outcomes never predictable, compromise on the basis of legal advice is very often the better course. In one case which proved the point, sub-contractors involved in a gas pipeline project sued for £10 million but ended up having to repay almost £2.5 million.

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