For Business

Our business news section is designed to help you get to know Trethowans a little better and to learn more about various areas of the law concerning companies and the commercial sector.

What is a Section 42 Notice?

January 24, 2020

A Section 42 Notice (or Tenant’s Initial Claim Notice) is served by the tenant (flat owner) on the landlord and marks the beginning of the statutory lease extension process.

Business Immigration – Preparing for 2021

January 22, 2020

We’re promised that a shiny new immigration system will come into force in January next year but, as yet; we don’t know what it’ll look like. That said, details of the Conservative Party’s aspirations have emerged and it’s clear the government wants to end the free movement of workers from the EU. This provides businesses with a good opportunity to look ahead and take protective action where…

Employment Alert – New Immigration rules from January 2021

January 21, 2020

The Government intends to implement new immigration rules on 1 January 2021

Employment Alert – Changes from day one of employment

January 16, 2020

From April 2020, the law is changing in respect of what information needs to be provided at the beginning of employment.

Ethical Veganism – That Decision

January 7, 2020

Yes, an Employment Tribunal in Norwich has decided Ethical Veganism can be a philosophical belief which amounts to a Protected Characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 and yes, that’s important. But no, the sky hasn’t fallen and no, the Earth hasn’t stopped spinning.

Employment Alert – ‘Ethical veganism’ protected under the Equality Act 2010

January 3, 2020

An Employment Tribunal has decided that ‘ethical veganism’ can be a “philosophical belief” and protected under the Equality Act 2010.

Immigration for Doctors – Sponsorship Duties

December 9, 2019

My remark in a previous note about doctors becoming part of the UK’s immigration control infrastructure excited some interest and concern. I acknowledge there is sometimes a counter-cultural dimension to this sort of regulatory compliance but like it or not, there’s no escaping it.

What is Personal Data?

November 27, 2019

On the face of it, a simple question. However, in some situations, the question of whether information is personal data can be quite complex.

Immigration for Doctors

November 22, 2019

There’s nothing new about skill gaps, labour shortages or filling them with overseas recruits. Arguably the modern trend started in June 1948 with the arrival at Tilbury of 492 Caribbean migrants on the Empire Windrush. The public sector was quick to welcome migrant workers as a way of meeting increased demand on services and the health sector became a significant beneficiary of migrants work and…

On the twelfth day of Christmas the Court of Appeal gave to me…

November 18, 2019

The recent case of Shelbourne v Cancer Research highlights the importance of ensuring you are safe at office Christmas parties over the festive period. The judge at first instance has ruled that employers may not be vicariously liable for their workers actions.

Administration of Estates – Put up or Shut up orders

November 8, 2019

Andrew Carswell is a partner specialising in Dispute Resolution at Trethowans. He explains some of the issues encountered in the context of threatened claims against the validity of Wills.

Whiplash claim reforms – are you ready?

November 6, 2019

On 20 December 2018 the Civil Liability Act 2018 received Royal Assent. The provisions of this Act have not yet come into force but promise to have a significant impact upon the area of personal injury claims arising out of road traffic accidents.

Will you get paid without a contract?

October 23, 2019

Oral agreements for work are a common occurrence. It is natural, quick, and the basis of many sound business relationships. However, if an issue arises, will you get paid what you anticipated on the basis of an oral agreement?

What happens to cryptocurrency when someone dies?

October 21, 2019

A few years ago there was a surge in the popularity of Bitcoin. Despite prices plummeting over the last couple of years, more and more people are still investing in cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is an online currency and there is often confusion about the legal status of such currency.

Government reverse decision for probate fee hike

October 18, 2019

The government has reversed its plans to change probate fees following a widespread backlash to the proposals.

Probate Court fees – where have we got to?

October 8, 2019

Earlier this year the Government revived its 2017 plan for an increase in probate application fees for estates in England and Wales. The new version imposes slightly less punitive charges than its previous incarnation which failed to pass through Parliament before the June 2017 general election.

The law of succession – the LGBTQ+ perspective

August 23, 2019

As public demonstrations Pride events are an important way of campaigning for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Unlike most other minorities, being gay is a profoundly individual, and often isolating, experience. Most LGBTQ+ children are born into heterosexual families, often without a support network or anyone to turn to as they realise they are not like most others. This is why a public…

The end of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy?

August 16, 2019

A change in the air could be coming for private landlords as the government discusses the future of Assured Shorthold Tenancies.

Deal with the NIP, or it may bite

August 13, 2019

If you have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) then the police have evidence that you (or the person driving the vehicle at the time) were travelling in excess of the speed limit.

Proposed coronial investigation of stillbirths

August 12, 2019

The 12 week joint consultation launched by the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Health and Social Care on 26 March 2019 entitled “Coronial Investigations of Stillbirths” ended on 18 June 2019.

Clarification on defamation from social media comments

August 2, 2019

A recent Supreme Court case has provided helpful clarification on defamation from social media posts.

An employee has asked for a copy of all their personal data. Do we have to provide everything?

July 30, 2019

Not necessarily. There are several exemptions to the requirement under data protection law for employers to provide employees with a copy of their personal data. However, these must be considered carefully and on a case by case basis.

Cybercrime – do your terms and conditions protect you?

July 29, 2019

Automatic push payment fraud is a growing problem where fraudsters deceive an individual or business to instruct their payment services provider, such as their bank, to send money to an account controlled by the fraudster. An increasingly common example is when a fraudster intercepts or replicates a genuine business email and instead inserts their own bank details.

A Sage Warning on the Consequences of Defective Service

July 26, 2019

The Court of Appeal have recently ruled in Woodward & Anor v Phoenix Healthcare Distribution Ltd that the Defendant’s solicitors were under no duty to flag a mistake to the Claimant’s solicitors.  Although this case appears at first blush to concern a fairly narrow point, it could well have wider implications.

Does your business have permission to use its outdoor space?

July 23, 2019

If your business is thinking of making use of its outdoor space, here are some top tips to consider before placing any furniture outside:

Penalty or no penalty? Protecting parties to commercial contracts

July 20, 2019

In the footballing world the introduction of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) has caused hot debate, even more so in the UK given its imminent introduction to the Premier League.

Court fee remission – a worthy exercise

July 19, 2019

Court fees can be a significant hurdle to commencing litigation, with fees up to £10,000 being required to even issue a claim. There is currently no appetite for abolishing these fees and they are only set to rise in the future.

Court of Appeal in personal injury fraud crackdown

July 16, 2019

A recent Court of Appeal decision (Zurich Insurance v Romaine 2019) indicates a crackdown on personal injury fraud says Kelvin Farmaner, Partner with Trethowans Solicitors in Southampton.

Pensions on divorce: a guide

July 15, 2019

The Report from the Pension Advisory Group

Can you make a clinical negligence claim in cases of delayed surgery?

June 17, 2019

Is it possible to bring a claim for damages for clinical negligence if your surgery has been delayed and if, when it eventually occurs, you suffer a chance complication during that surgery which causes you to suffer serious injury?

Asbestos Still A Big Problem In Schools

June 13, 2019

According to the National Education Union (NEU), more than 200 teachers in the UK have died from mesothelioma since 2001.

Abuse at Whorlton Hall – Time for Substantive Change?

June 5, 2019

Eight years after the BBC’s Panorama programme exposed the shocking abuse of vulnerable adults at the Winterbourne View private hospital run by Castlebeck (Care) (Teesdale) Limited, Panorama has again highlighted similar catastrophic failings in caring for vulnerable adults, this time at the Whorlton Hall private hospital in County Durham.

Common Misconceptions Private Client Solicitors Often Hear

June 5, 2019

Our private client solicitors constantly hear misconceptions regarding personal legal matters like Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney.

GP Closures and What They mean for The Future of Primary Care

June 2, 2019

Pulse draws attention to the 583 GP Practice closures over the period between 2013 and 2018, highlighting the considerable challenges faced by primary care.

Corporate Mediation achieves 89% success rate in 2018/2019

May 21, 2019

Mediation continues to be a strong option to resolve corporate disputes, with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution reporting an 89% success rate in its recent 2018/2019 survey.

Their rights and your obligations under the GDPR

May 20, 2019

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides individuals with certain rights when a business processes their personal data. Personal data includes information relating to natural persons who can be identified or who are identifiable, directly from the information in question or who can be indirectly identified from that information in combination with other information.

Trethowans helps fellow business leaders live football dream

May 16, 2019

Members of Bournemouth’s business community swapped their suits for sports kit on Wednesday (May 15) as they took part in AFC Business’s Play on the Pitch Tournament.

Terms and conditions – win the battle

May 13, 2019

We invest our time and money perfecting terms and conditions to suit our business needs, but many then unknowingly accept their counterpart’s terms through a “battle of forms”. So how can you win the battle?

Trethowans appoints specialist solicitor Guy Morgan as partner in Salisbury

May 1, 2019

Leading regional law firm, Trethowans, has appointed a new Partner in their Salisbury office, in the form of Guy Morgan.

Accidents Abroad and Brexit Wrangles

April 28, 2019

At the time of writing it is still not clear whether the UK will leave the EU on 29 March, 12 April, 22 May, or indeed at all. Bearing in mind that Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union was triggered 2 years ago, it is perhaps surprising that with a week to go such uncertainty remains.

Bournemouth’s high street is changing, says property expert

April 23, 2019

The high street isn’t dying – it’s changing. That’s the message from commercial property lawyers at Trethowans Solicitors in Bournemouth, who say shopping districts across the country are starting to adapt to new consumer habits.

Are video hearings the future?

April 13, 2019

The first complete video hearing has taken place in the County Court. Could they become a regular occurrence in the future?

Confidence drives Trethowans’ recruitment push

April 11, 2019

Trethowans has offered permanent jobs to all of its current second year trainees qualifying in September 2019 as it works to create the next generation of legal experts.

Copley v Lawn – Revisited

March 28, 2019

For a self-insuring company or, an insurer whose driver has been involved in a road traffic accident, there are a number of things which need to be established quickly.

Insurers backed by Court in Supreme Court Case

March 20, 2019

Bournemouth-based Insurance company LV= have recently been backed by the Supreme Court over when an unknown Defendant can be sued.

Workers need great places to work, not Ghost Towns

March 19, 2019

As well as offering attractive premises to work from, employers need to help their local town or city to be an attractive place to live and work in.

The Personal Injury Discount Rate Review

March 13, 2019

James Braund, Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Senior Associate Solicitor, considers the ongoing review of the personal injury discount rate.

Right to Rent checks – are they discriminatory?

March 6, 2019

The High Court certainly thinks so and said as much in a robust judgement last week.

Right to Work Checks for EU Citizens – Common Sense Prevails

February 27, 2019

Employers are asking me if they’ll have to start making right to work checks for EU citizens after 29 March.

Calls for tougher measures to tackle late payment culture

January 15, 2019

A recent report by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (“BEISC”) has recommended that the Government introduce, amongst other things, a statutory requirement that companies pay their supplier’s invoices within 30 days.

Summer Holidays and Flight Delay claims

November 19, 2018

An article by Louise Boyle, Head of Debt Recovery at Trethowans, on advice about getting compensation back from delayed or cancelled flights as part of the Dispute Resolution Briefing autumn edition.

Residential possession claims – a cautionary tale

November 16, 2018

The Dispute Resolution Briefing is made up of different articles on the challenges when facing certain disputes in everyday life. Here, Linden Talbot describes a landlord and tenant scenario.

Can I Skype the Judge?

November 16, 2018

As part of the Dispute Resolution Briefing Autumn edition, Kelvin Farmaner looks at how cases in the court room could one day be a thing of the past.

Cohabitation law –The present position

November 16, 2018

Part of the Dispute Resolution Briefing Autumn edition, various Trethowans contributors have come together to provide insight into their specialist areas of Resolution.

Trethowans acts on the sale of Armstrongs Builders Merchants

June 20, 2018

The Corporate Team at Trethowans has acted on the sale of Armstrongs Builders Merchants to Anglesey based builders merchants, Huws Gray.

Trethowans Solicitors acts for Golden Wolf on minority stake

May 18, 2018

Trethowans Solicitors acts for Golden Wolf on minority stake taken by New York based creative studio, Psyop.

Late payment problems

April 4, 2018

Failing to receive payment on time can be a real issue for any business as it affects cash flow, business development and the general growth of the company in question.

Prohibition of surcharges

January 19, 2018

New rules, which came into effect on 13 January 2018, prohibit traders from applying a surcharge on consumers, in addition to the advertised price of the goods or services in question, on the basis of a consumer’s choice of payment method.

Social care compliance scheme

November 24, 2017

The scheme was launched on 1 November to address the challenge facing the care sector following the EAT’s ruling about working time and sleep-overs. Links to my previous pieces on this topic are here:

Trethowans guide on how to have the best Christmas office party ever

November 23, 2017

Trethowans have released an eight-point guide to having the best-ever Christmas office party.

Trust your staff to succeed, maverick entrepreneur tells business summit

November 15, 2017

Empowering and trusting staff is the way to run a successful business, maverick entrepreneur Sir John Timpson told the South’s business leaders at the Solent Business Growth Summit 2017.

Men just as much at risk from sexual harassment

October 26, 2017

With the issue of sexual harassment at the forefront of the national agenda in recent weeks a Southampton lawyer is warning that it’s not just women who are at risk.

A Snapshot of Indirect Discrimination

October 20, 2017

Yesterday the CJEU said the Greek government indirectly discriminated against women by imposing a minimum height requirement on applicants to the annual competition for places at it’s police and firefighting academies. The minimum height requirement was 1.70 metres without shoes. The case is worth looking at because it’s a good example of the law against indirect discrimination in…

EU Workers & Post-Brexit Immigration Policy

September 8, 2017

On Tuesday The Guardian newspaper published what appears to be a leaked Home Office paper on the UK’s immigration policy after we leaves the EU. It’s only a draft document but it has the look and feel of something more substantial than a discussion paper. It seems a reasonable guide to current Home Office thinking and a significant nudge and wink on the way in which policy is developing.

New Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims

August 31, 2017

Creditors and debtors will need to get ready for the changes following the implementation of the new Pre-Action Protocol for debt claims which will come into force on 1 October 2017.

The Corporate Machine

August 30, 2017

Collaboration lies at the heart of any corporate deal, requiring multiple teams and advisors, both internally and externally, to work together to achieve the client’s aims.

Claim thrown out in spooked racehorse case

August 29, 2017

In a recent appeal decision the High Court has thrown out a case on appeal brought under the sometimes controversial Animals Act legislation. In the case of David Lynch v Ed Walker Racing Ltd 2017, David Lynch (L) had been a stable boy employed by Ed Walker Racing Ltd (E).  He had been riding a 2 year old colt in a string of 9 racehorses along a track beside a road.  To the left of the string was…

A positive health and safety culture – the key to success

August 24, 2017

Businesses have a legal and moral responsibility for the health and safety of their staff. As well as having good health and safety policies and procedures in place and also safe equipment, another essential element to ensuring staff remain safe at work is a positive safety culture within the business.

Sleep-ins, the National Minimum Wage & the social care sector

August 21, 2017

In May I wrote about an important decision of the EAT concerning working time, sleep-ins and the minimum wage. The decision could have profound implications for anyone employing staff to provide a 24 hour service and especially for social care providers. Please click here to read my previous piece.

The Supreme Court’s Ruling – Employment Tribunal Fees

July 27, 2017

The Supreme Court’s ruling that the present Employment Tribunal fee structure is unlawful follows a long and painful battle between Unison and the Government. This will undoubtedly be received well by some; seen as a victory for employees and the workers’ rights to justice. However, others (employers, businesses) may see this as a step backwards and a reason to be concerned. But, what…

The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices

July 21, 2017

I didn’t write about the Taylor report last week because I wanted to digest it first – and I was walking on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path! West Wales in the sun is glorious, I recommend it – but back to Taylor…

Companies before courts for corporate manslaughter offences

July 13, 2017

Three companies before the courts for corporate manslaughter offences

Responding to subject access requests

July 13, 2017

Information Commissioner’s Office revises code of practice to help businesses responding to subject access requests involving disproportional effort

£10,500 ICO fine for Morrisons Breach of E-Privacy rules

July 12, 2017

Ignoring customers’ express instruction to opt-out of marketing e-mails costs Morrisons £10,500

Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation

July 12, 2017

Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation – the latest from the Information Commissioner’s Office

Best Working Practices in the Modern Workplace

July 7, 2017

In the last 6 months I’ve dealt with 3 cases involving the National Minimum Wage. I’ve also come across a complicated annualised hours contract with a retrospective overtime clause which was clearly a thinly veiled attempt to evade the Living Wage. The significance is that I only saw 1 minimum wage case in the preceding 6 years. I’ve also had several conversations with employers…

PSC Registers Update

June 29, 2017

For a little over a year now most companies and LLPs have been obliged to maintain a PSC register of those people who own or have “significant control” over the company/LLP. Within the PSC register you are required to highlight all individuals and relevant legal entities who have significant control and who are ‘registrable’.

Liability For Unnamed Drivers

June 21, 2017

In the case of Cameron v Hussain and LV 2017 the Court of Appeal handed down a key decision in relation to the naming of parties in court proceedings.

The law of unintended consequences (or determining applicable law in cross-border cases)

June 5, 2017


Immigration in the Manifestos

June 2, 2017

With Utopia just a ballot box and swingometer away I’ve been looking at the manifestos and wish I could capture and retain their boundless confidence. This is not  an analysis or even a summary of what’s in the manifestos; it’s an unvarnished note of what’s caught my eye in the context of immigration law and practice.

Employment Health Check

June 2, 2017

Over the last year, we have seen an increasing trend in queries relating to the national minimum wage. It may sound simple but the question is "Are you paying all your workers the national minimum wage?"

GDPR ready or not here it comes

May 24, 2017

Love it or hate it, data protection will be a hot topic for businesses over the next 12 – 18 months, particularly with significant increases in fines for non-compliance looming on the horizon.

The illegal storage of waste issues for businesses

May 19, 2017

A recent prosecution by the Environment Agency highlights three issues for businesses with regards to waste material –

Ignore health and safety at your peril

May 19, 2017

A manufacturing company was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after an employee was hit on the head by a heavy triple-glazed double door which was being unloaded at a construction site. The employee was knocked unconscious and subsequently suffered from whiplash and headaches. The company was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay over £18,000 in legal costs by Oxford…

DBS unlawful Part 2

May 19, 2017

In January last year I wrote about the High Court declaring the DBS scheme unlawful. This is a link to my article which discusses the key facts and the judgement: The Disclosure and Debarring Service

Could a coding error leave your website open to a cyber attack?

May 16, 2017

A company supplying building products online has been fined £55,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after an attacker accessed the unencrypted financial details of 669 customers including names, addresses, account numbers and security codes.

Asleep on the Job

May 5, 2017

For a long time employers (especially in the care sector) have been grappling with the question of whether employees required to sleep-in are engaged in time work for the whole of their shift or just when they’re on a call-out. The underlying issues concern working time, pay and the National Minimum Wage. The EAT has just considered 3 linked appeals and concluded that “A…

New Immigration Fees

April 21, 2017

The latest round of changes to the Immigration Rules focuses on fees. Businesses that rely on migrant workers from outside the EU to plug their skills gap will feel the pinch from the increases, starting with the Immigration Skills Charge.

Employment team backs measures to close gender pay gap

March 31, 2017

The Employment and Immigration Team at Trethowans is backing calls from MPs to reconsider changes to the sharing of parental leave, in a bid to close the gender pay gap.

Dancing on a Pin Head

March 17, 2017

This is a link to a piece I wrote on 7 October about headscarves in the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Liability and Multi Party Accidents Abroad

March 10, 2017


Gender Pay Gap

March 7, 2017

On 6 April 2017 the new Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 are expected to come into force. They will require all private and voluntary-sector employers with 250 or more employees to publish prescribed information about their gender pay gap results. The results will need to be produced annually on one “snapshot” date (although the bonus information…

Directors Liabilities

March 3, 2017

It is all too easy for directors of limited liability companies to believe that they can hide behind the cloak of limited liability and avoid any come back against them for the company’s acts and omissions. However, in recent years, the English Courts have begun to extend the areas in which directors can face personal liability, particularly where those companies are ones with a single…

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

February 28, 2017

On 6 April 2017, the new Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 come into force and are expected to affect nearly 8000 employers.

What have construction vehicles, agricultural vehicles, golf buggies and mobility scooters all got in common?

February 27, 2017

Those of you who are familiar with insurance law matters will no doubt already be aware of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in the case of Damijan Vnuk v Zavarovalnica Triglav (Vnuk). However the implications of the case may be very wide for all of us and will therefore be of interest not only to those involved directly in insurance.

Debt Health Check – Know who you are Contracting With

February 17, 2017

It is possible to contract with various different types of legal entities including individuals, partnerships, LLPs (limited liability partnership) and private limited companies. Knowing exactly who you are contracting with is important when it comes to successfully recovering your unpaid debts and essential when issuing court proceedings.

Plumbing in the Court of Appeal

February 14, 2017

Gary Smith worked for Pimlico Plumbers between 25 August 2005 – 28 April 2011. He had a heart attack in January 2011 and claimed the subsequent termination of his engagement was unfair dismissal. There were other claims but the key issue concerned Gary’s employment status. The case turned on it’s facts which in broad terms were these:

Time to put your business affairs in order

February 14, 2017

Are you putting off the inevitable?

Brexit in the Supreme Court

January 27, 2017

We now know the Government lost the re-match 8 – 3. You’ve seen the flash reports and heard the instant reactions so I’m taking you to the heart of what’s arguably the most important judicial decision on our constitution for a generation.  

The Year of the Levy

January 13, 2017

I closed last year’s posts with some helpful guidance from the Employment Appeal Tribunal on stress and disability. The sober reality of January prompts this reminder that the age of the levy is now upon us. In particular we can look forward to two new levies in April.

Stress, Disability & Happy Christmas

December 20, 2016

Damieon Herry was a teacher of design and technology at Hillcrest School in Dudley. I won’t excite you with the detail of his 90 complaints against his employer, the 39 day trial, the 317 page judgement or the second action raising new complaints of disability and race discrimination, but I do want to mention the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s important guidance on the relationship…

Not the Usual Piece on Office Parties

December 6, 2016

I’m bored with the usual seasonal warnings about behaviour at works Christmas parties so here’s pause for thought from a judgement of the High Court last Thursday.

Bird v Acorn Group Limited (2016) – Court of Appeal makes long awaited costs decision

November 21, 2016

On Friday 11 November, the Court of Appeal handed down their unanimous judgment on this longstanding appeal [1].  The appellant, Acorn Group, were appealing a decision made in Birkenhead County Court in February 2015 on a question of costs.

Cyber Security Insurance

November 14, 2016

Cyber risk can come in many forms. The term sounds futuristic, but in reality the risks are present now. Some of the risks do relate to new and emerging technologies such as driverless cars and drones. However, often the risks are closer to home. You will have heard about recent high profile hacking events but you may not have worked out that effectively everyone with a computer is at some risk…

Cyber Security : Top Five Tips for Businesses

November 14, 2016

It only takes one person to compromise the security of the organisation they are employed by and, statistically, one in 20 emails lead to a successful breach for a cyber criminal to facilitate the theft of a substantial sum of cash directly into their bank account. Organisations need to acknowledge that cyber security is not just an IT issue, it is also a human and processes issue which requires…

Explaining the Brexit Judgement

November 7, 2016

The unwritten nature of the British Constitution creates a tension between the Crown, the Executive and Parliament. That tension is informed by convention and moderated by law which is why last Thursday’s judgement of the High Court is so important.

Cakes, Faith & Law

October 28, 2016

The authoritative judgement of Lord Chief Justice Morgan doesn’t record his verdict on Colin and Karen McArthur’s baking but we do know he thinks their appeal in the “Support Gay Marriage” cake case had the legal equivalent of a soggy bottom. 

All the numbers add up for 150-year-old law firm

October 24, 2016

We have been listed as one of the top 200 independent law firms in the UK by leading industry magazine, The Lawyer.

Rise, fall and rise of controversial businessman

October 12, 2016

Colourful entrepreneur Gerald Ratner will be telling the story of his rise, fall and rise to the south’s business leaders at the Solent Business Growth Summit 2016 next month.

Holiday Pay – The Court of Appeal Judgement in British Gas v Lock

October 10, 2016

The long awaited judgement of the Court of Appeal was given on Friday. The Court has followed the guidance of the CJEU and the gist of it’s 38 page decision is that workers holiday pay should reflect the commission they’d have earned if they weren’t on holiday. It also describes the muddle we’ve all been dealing with as the unforeseen consequences of the CJEU’s…

Untying a knotty problem

October 7, 2016

The European Court of Human Rights has taken a surprisingly conservative line in the two major decisions it’s handed down on the subject of clothing and religious discrimination (I exclude Eweida as that wasn’t about clothing!).  Now the CJEU is grappling with the  issue and is challenged to come up with judgement of Solomon in a couple of cases which will be decided very…

Trethowans revs up good deeds at Silverstone

September 30, 2016

Lawyers from Trethowans accelerated their mission to complete 150 good deeds by helping people with brain injuries experience the thrill of riding motorbikes.

Fatal cases: Health and safety lessons for businesses

September 22, 2016

Why should businesses invest in health and safety? I firmly believe that it is to ensure that employees and anyone affected by the business’ activities finish the working day in the same (if not better) state of health as when they arrived. The recent tragic events at the Didcot power station and the recycling plant in Birmingham only serve to highlight that this does not always happen.

What does Brexit mean for UK Law?

September 16, 2016

So far, nothing at all!

Trethowans appoints new partner to commercial property team

September 15, 2016

Trethowans has added another commercial property expert to its team as the booming market has seen demand for its services continue to grow in the region.

Equal Opportunities

September 9, 2016

Equal opportunities legislation has been with us for a generation or two so it’s no surprise the incidence of direct discrimination crossing my desk is less than it once was. But that doesn’t mean everything in the garden’s rosy. Far from it. I’m seeing two things. First, legal redress is simply not an option for far too many victims of discrimination. Second, I believe…

Insurance Act: Revolution or Evolution?

August 30, 2016

Charles Darwin said that a man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.  However, if you run a business that requires insurance it will not be a waste of your time to make yourself aware of the Insurance Act 2015 which came into force this month.

Illegal workers could close down your licensed premises

August 26, 2016

The Immigration Act 2016 received Royal Assent on 12 May 2016 but the main sections concerning licensing are not yet in force – Spring 2017 is the anticipated date.

Tax and termination payments

August 17, 2016

Last year I wrote about changes to the rules concerning the taxation of termination payments. This has just arrived in the form of draft amendments to the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003. There’s a consultation period on the text until 5 October and it’s proposed the new rules take effect in April 2018.

Personal injury lawyer appointed trustee of local charity

August 15, 2016

A lawyer from Trethowans’ personal injury team in Southampton has been appointed as a trustee and board member of the Wayne Howard Trust, an acquired brain injury charity.

Burgers and Immigration rules

August 4, 2016

I’m not wading into the furore about a certain burger chain and  Home Office stings because the facts have been obscured by the righteous indignation stirred up against the employer – also because I’ve eaten one of it’s burgers and thought it very second rate. But this isn’t a critique of the restaurant, it’s a reminder that if a business is going to play…

Pollution incident leads to £100,000 fine for construction company

July 22, 2016

Businesses need to be aware that if their business activities cause water pollution, they could face hefty fines.

EU Nationals and Brexit

July 8, 2016

During the last couple of weeks we’ve become familiar with Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon and aficionado’s will have dusted off Articles 216 – 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. Then we absorbed the maxim to keep calm and carry on; or we did until Monday when the Home Secretary and the Minister for Immigration threw us a curved ball. They declined to confirm…

Brexit: further fall in corporation tax rates

July 4, 2016

In my blog on the 2016 Budget, I commented on the Chancellor’s continued theme of lowering corporation tax rates, in which he announced the rate of corporation tax being lowered to 17% by 2020. Even before his comments in the Financial Times this morning – where the Chancellor announced his plan to cut rates to 15% – the UK had the lowest corporation tax rates in the G8.

Brexit – A View from the Coalface

July 1, 2016

The sky’s not fallen and in the short term Brexit makes no difference to UK employment law. Our law may have been driven by EU Directives but these have been implemented through legislation and regulations which remain in force until repealed. In the medium term;

New sentencing guidelines – can you afford to get health and safety wrong?

June 24, 2016

Hard on the heels of the abolition of maximum fines in the Magistrates’ court, new sentencing guidelines are likely to lead to tougher sentences for directors and businesses convicted of serious health and safety offences.

Your marriage or your job

June 24, 2016

Mrs Pendleton is a teacher.  She was employed by Derbyshire County Council at Glebe Junior School where she was highly regarded by students, colleagues and parents alike. Her husband was Head Teacher of a nearby junior school who in January 2013 was arrested on suspicion of downloading indecent images of children and of voyeurism. This came as a bolt from the blue for Mrs Pendleton who took…

Buy to let and not to be let down

June 22, 2016

If you are a landlord, including perhaps a buy to let one (ever conscious of the recently less beneficial tax position and further consequent need to try and minimise rent voids arising from problem tenants), here are a few reminders on some legal things to look out for in relation to your residential tenants who are on Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements (i.e. the default position for new…

Criminal conviction for employee who took client information before joining rival firm

June 15, 2016

A recent prosecution under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) should be of interest to both employers and employees. If you are an employee, it is a warning that when leaving a job, taking personal client/customer information without permission can have implications under criminal as well as employment law. If you are an employer, it is a reminder that in order to prevent personal data being…

The Immigration Act 2016

May 27, 2016

The Immigration Act 2016 received Royal Ascent last week – just in time for yesterday’s migration statistics.  Its key provisions are:

The Skilled Worker Rules

May 6, 2016

The government has recently announced important changes to Tier 2 of the Points Based Immigration System. This is the route designed for employers importing skilled workers from outside the EEA for a job which is a recognised shortage occupation alternatively for which the sponsor has been unable to recruit a suitable candidate from within the EEA. 

Sainsbury’s profits fall: its a tough (super) market

May 4, 2016

With inflation having been pretty non-existent in recent years and increased competiveness, it’s perhaps not surprising that Sainsbury has announced that its annual profits have fallen.

Non-Compete Clauses & the Movement of People

April 29, 2016

In eerie juxtaposition with my piece last week about the EU Trade Secrets Directive, Sajid Javid MP (Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills) launched a consultation exercise last Sunday about banning non-compete clauses in employment arrangements. He says they could be stifling British entrepreneurs from leaving their employers to start their own ventures. The Minister “is…

Protecting your Confidential Information

April 22, 2016

The European Parliament has approved a new Trade Secrets Directive. Its purpose is to harmonise the protection of trade secrets across the EU and help businesses obtain redress against the theft or misuse of their secret information.

What should you do to incorporate your standard terms and conditions into your contracts?

April 20, 2016

If you have gone to the time and the expense of having standard terms and conditions of sale produced for your business it is vital that you use them and that they are incorporated into your contracts with your customers.

BP shareholders “reject” pay package

April 15, 2016

With oil prices still relatively low, it was perhaps surprising that the shareholders of BP were presented with a proposal for a 20% increase in pay for its chief executive, Bob Dudley, at its AGM on 14 April.

Sickies and Breach of Trust

April 11, 2016

Ibrahim Ajaj is a bus driver. He said he was injured when he slipped on the floor of the toilets at Metroline West’s depot in Willesden.

Does your business deal with consumers?

April 8, 2016

On the 23 March 2016 the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) produced new guides to help your business know about unfair contract terms when you deal with customers:-

National Living Wage

April 8, 2016

Last Friday the National Living Wage was introduced at a rate of £7.20 per hour for over 25’s (up from £6.70) and £6.70 for those aged 21 – 24 (no change). The government intends to raise it to £9 per hour for over 25’s by April 2020.

Property in Pensions… Investing in bricks and mortar

March 31, 2016

Many people are mystified about pension products (particularly bearing in mind the bad press of management fees and the vagaries of the Stockmarket) but are more reassured about the solidity and long term nature of bricks and mortar. What are the advantages of investing your pension in property?

What is the pension risk in your corporate transaction?

March 29, 2016

Whether you are buying or selling shares in a company, or a business and its assets, there is a pension risk in all transactions involving the movement of staff. The important thing to establish is what type of pension(s) is involved in your transaction.

Managing Employee Sickness – A Legal Perspective

March 23, 2016

Unexpected absence due to sickness can cause employers their own headache. However, few want to challenge an employee when ill and fewer still are prepared to take action up to and including dismissal. Below we consider how we can safely tackle persistent short term and long term absence.

Sharing the cost burden of pursuing litigation – litigation funding

March 22, 2016

Barely three months after controversial court fee increases took effect in April 2015, the Government announced last year that there would be yet further increases to come.

Have you carried out a valid share buy back?

March 18, 2016

There are many reasons why a company may wish to carry out a share buy back but the key is to ensure that the buy back is carried out in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 (or historically pursuant to the Companies Act 1985).

Debt Recovery – Supreme Court clarifies the law on penalty clauses

March 18, 2016

Following on from the Court of Appeal case ParkingEye v Beavis last year, Mr Beavis took his appeal to the Supreme Court. An article I wrote entitled “Parking charge not an unenforceable penalty in the Court of Appeal” in May last year discusses this case.

The National Minimum Wage & Peripatetic Workers

March 17, 2016

The BBC is this morning reporting the out of tribunal settlement of a claim by a domiciliary care worker who was not paid for travelling between appointments. The settlement is being reported as a surprise and a wake up call for employers. Regular readers of my posts will not be surprised as I wrote about the genesis of this matter on 19 June and 30 October last year. The only puzzle about the…

Annual Increase in Compensation Limits

March 15, 2016

From 6 April 2016, the statutory limit for a week’s pay will be increased to £479 (currently £475) and the maximum compensatory award in unfair dismissal claims will raise to £78,962 (currently £78,335).

Your statutory books need to be updated – new PSC registers

March 4, 2016

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act (the Act) received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015, but how will the Act affect your limited company or LLP?

The One About the Banksy

February 29, 2016

In the case of The Creative Foundation v Dreamland Leisure Limited [2015] EWHC 2556 (Ch) the High Court was tasked with deciding whether a tenant was permitted to remove a piece of street art from the external wall of the property it rented under a 20 year lease. This particular piece of graffiti was by the illusive, world-famous, graffiti artist Banksy and appeared on the external wall of the…

The Housing & Planning Bill: Starter Homes

February 26, 2016

The Government’s proposed new legislation aimed at boosting house building and reforming the planning system – the Housing & Planning Bill – has now passed through the House of Commons and is currently under scrutiny in the House of Lords. While the provisions impacting on social housing have perhaps attracted the most commentary, other key areas covered by the Bill include…

Employers Statutory Duty of Care

February 11, 2016

Tipping my hat to the great Sir Harry Lauder, 18 December 2010 was a braw, bricht, moonlicht nicht. At around 8pm Tracey Kennedy (a home carer) called on an elderly lady in Glasgow. The lady was terminally ill and Tracey was providing her with palliative and personal care. There’d been severe wintry conditions for several weeks and the sloping path to the lady’s house was covered with…

Do I want an agent or distributer for my business?

January 29, 2016

What is an agent?

The Disclosure and Debarring Service

January 27, 2016

Ms P is 47. She worked as a Teacher in Spain and Greece until 1997 when she became unwell. Her condition was neither identified nor treated until 2000 when she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. 

Don’t pay the wrong court fee whatever you do!

January 25, 2016

In the case of RICHARD LEWIS & ORS v WARD HADAWAY (A Firm) (2015) the court decided that where claimants had deliberately understated the value of their claims in order to pay reduced issue fees to the court and stop the limitation period from running, it would have been disproportionate to strike out the claims for abuse of process because of the amount of the defendant's potential…

The Tier 2 Riddle

January 22, 2016

On Tuesday the Migration Advisory Committee published a review of Tier 2 of the points based immigration system. It’s key recommendations are:

Privacy at Work- Barbulescu v Romania

January 14, 2016

As readers may be aware, there has been much discussion generated about the European Court of Human Rights case of Barbulescu v Romania.

Psychoactive Substances

January 8, 2016

Let’s start the year on a high – a legal high! The Psychoactive Substances Bill is currently in Parliament and likely to reach the statute books in the spring.

Trethowans Insurance team acts on important cross border case

December 30, 2015

Trethowans acted in the recent high profile High Court case of Marshall v (1) MIB (2) Pickard &  (3) Generali 2015.

Regulation 10 and other pitfalls

December 18, 2015

Carol was eagerly looking forward to a family Christmas; her 10 month old daughter’s first. She was also looking forward to returning to work in January at the end of her maternity leave. She loves her work as a senior events organiser. Last week she received a Christmas present from the company; a telephone call from the UK Operations Director who told her she wasn’t being reassigned…

Residential Properties and the Immigration Rules

December 11, 2015

We all know the government is trying to stem the flow of migrants. The politics require no elaboration but don’t forget demographics; there are insufficient houses and public services to accommodate population growth in the next 20 years. This is the context in which the immigration Act 2014 tries to prevent illegal migrants from accessing housing.

The Season of Goodwill and Settlement Agreements

December 4, 2015

The pre-Christmas fire and settle season is now in full swing. As the BBC prepares to entertain us with endless repeats it’s timely to give a warm welcome to some dear old favourites.

Holiday Pay- The Latest Judgement from the CJEU

November 20, 2015

Kathleen Greenfield worked for Care Bureau. In the first half of 2012 she worked one day a week. In July she took seven days paid holiday which exhausted (and exceeded) her statutory entitlement for the holiday year.

No duties and no risk for the self employed?

November 4, 2015

This article will appear in a forthcoming edition of the Daily Echo Hampshire Business Supplement.

Travelling Time

October 30, 2015

You’ll remember that on 19 June I wrote about Advocate General Bot’s guidance to the CJEU in a Spanish case about working time. In a nutshell he advised that travelling is an integral part of being a peripatetic worker so when service engineers drove from their homes to their first call of the day (and when they travelled home after their last call of the day) they were to be treated…

Fixed recoverable costs applied on multi track

October 22, 2015

A recent Appeal decision has provided welcome news to insurers by confirming that the fixed recoverable costs schedule under CPR 45.29A extends to claims allocated to the multi-track.

Safe Harbor

October 9, 2015

On 6 October 2015 the European Court of Justice ruled that the US-EU ‘Safe Harbor’, the agreement that for years businesses have relied on to transfer their customers’ personal data back and forth across the Atlantic, is invalid with immediate effect.

Companies as Victim

October 2, 2015

I haven't taken to the ether for a while because Parliament and the courts have been on holiday and I’ve have been riding my bike in the Usk Valley and the Brecon Beacons.  I knew it was a steep ascent when my front wheel lost traction due to the extreme gradient – going down the other side was a bruising reminder of the force of gravity!

How will the new Consumer Rights Act affect your business?

September 25, 2015

The new Consumer Rights Act (the “Act”) will come into effect on 1 October 2015; bringing with it changes to the law that are intended to improve clarity and understanding and increase the confidence of both the consumer and the businesses directly selling to them. It is therefore important that your business, and its staff, is aware of these changes and is ready to comply with the…

Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015

September 24, 2015

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (the “Act”) achieved Royal Assent in March this year, and will be implemented gradually over the next 15 months, currently in six stages.

Protecting Your Domain – What’s In a Name Anyway?

September 22, 2015

The start of 2015 has seen a large number of new generic top level domain names (gTLDs) created, in numbers previously unprecedented in the history of the internet. A gTLD is the suffix used in web addresses (for example .com or These had previously been restricted to 22 versions and the number of gTLDs is set to rise from 22 to 617 by the end of 2015.

Flight delay claims and your business

September 11, 2015

EU regulation 261/2004 provides passengers with a right to compensation of up to £470 if their flight is delayed for more than three hours or cancelled. This applies to any flight leaving any airport in the EU, Norway, Switzerland or Iceland as well as flights into the EU from a country outside of the EU on an EU-based airline or from Norway, Switzerland or Iceland. Historically airlines…

Immigration Statistics

August 28, 2015

The ONS statistical bulletin published yesterday is a snapshot of what happened in the year to 31 March. The bulletin is on ONS website ( and reveals a more complex picture than that painted by the media.

Indirect Discrimination – The Bulgarian Extension

August 21, 2015

Anelia Nikolova runs a grocery shop in the Gizdova Mahala district of Dupnitsa in Bulgaria.  Most of the population of the district are Roma though Anelia proudly asserts her Bulgarian ethnicity.

Interesting New Law

August 7, 2015

"1(1) a person commits an offence if –

Assured tenancies, rent increases and s13 Housing Act 1988

July 29, 2015

In the recent case of Helena Partnerships Limited v. Brown [2015] the importance of sections 13 and 14 of the Housing Act 1988, (‘the Act’), to rent increases was put under the spotlight again.

Rule 245HF

July 10, 2015

The rules of Tier 2 of the Points Based Immigration System were changed on 6 April 2012.

Agency, losses from breach of fiduciary duty

July 7, 2015

The case Northampton Regional Livestock Centre Co Ltd v Cowling [2015] EWCA Civ 651; [2015] PLSCS 197 concerned the sale of commercial property. The company that owned the site instructed agents, who were practicing in partnership together, to find a purchaser for it. The partner who handled the sale introduced a buyer who, unbeknown to anyone else, had promised to pay him a third of any uplift…


July 6, 2015

The ACAS Strategy Unit has just published a report on ways in which workplace infrastructure can deliver significant improvements in output.  ACAS identifies seven "levers" for productivity:

Banking & Mortgages

July 3, 2015

In the case of NRAM plc v Evans and another (2015), the High Court was asked to consider whether an electronic discharge of a legal charge should be set aside and for the register to be rectified to reinstate the legal charge.

Hidden Improvement Costs- change is coming in 2018

July 3, 2015

It may seem a long way off, but from April 2018 landlords "may not let" commercial properties with an EPC rating of F or G unless improvement is not practicable or an exemption applies (for example, if the tenancy is for a term of 6 months or less).  Similar regulations will apply to residential properties.

Travelling Time Is Working Time

June 19, 2015

You might think the tentacles of the Federacion de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras can't possibly stretch to the UK. That doughty French Advocate General of the CJEU, Yves Bot, has other ideas. He's just published guidance to the Court which will ruffle feathers if it is followed – and the Court usually does follow the AG.

Court questions claims for travel anxiety

June 12, 2015

In the case of (1) N S (2) H S v AXA INSURANCE (2014)         

Restrictive Covenants

June 9, 2015

The slow return of corporate confidence and the unexpected clarity of the colour of our new government have brought restrictive covenants back to the fore.  I am currently creating restrictions for one client and trying to avoid covenant litigation for three others. 

Online Defamation – Troll Hunting to Protect Your Business

May 29, 2015

In today's world, trolls seemed to have upped roots and left the bridges of fable and have found their way onto the internet, which seems to pervade almost all aspects of modern life and business. It is hard to find a week of media coverage that does not to refer to some form of abuse received online by a public figure or celebrity. False statements posted about your business, whether they…

Parking charge not an unenforceable penalty in the Court of Appeal

May 28, 2015

Parking charges are consistently challenged by motorists on the basis that they consider them to be penalties which are unenforceable in contract law.

Having a memorable corporate name is important for all businesses

May 28, 2015

Many companies use their name for a variety of marketing activities, but do you know legally where you are supposed to display, and give details, about your company?

Defendants in credit

May 22, 2015

Credit hire has long been a heated topic demanding air time in Court.  Such claims arise where a driver has a non-fault accident and obtains a replacement vehicle on credit from a credit hire company, and then seeks to recover those credit hire costs from the at-fault party.

Call the Information Commissioner

May 15, 2015

The EAT has recently decided a case concerning unfair dismissal and the unauthorised disclosure of material to the Information Commissioners Office.  This is about the latter.

Right Result Wrong Route

May 8, 2015

Ms Jinadu was a bus driver. She was reported to have pulled out into the path of cars, driven one- handed, clipped kerbs, showed poor lane discipline, run a red light and accused a motorist who complained about her of being drunk. She refused to go to her employer's training centre for a skills assessment and challenged the use of CCTV footage of her driving. She was suspended. In the…

Collective Redundancies & Establishments

April 30, 2015

The CJEU has today published a summary of its very important judgement in the Woolworths & Ethel Austin litigation concerning the meaning of “establishment” in the context of collective redundancies. In a nutshell the question was whether “establishment” means the particular workplace to which the employee was assigned to work or the employer as a whole?

A Bad Warning

April 24, 2015

Mr Way was a Contracts Manager. He emailed his line manager the text of his “inappropriate” new telephone greeting. A few weeks later Mr Way was given a final written warning for assisting in the recruitment of his ex-partner’s son by completing the application, not disclosing the connection or his involvement and by advising the applicant to submit the form through an agency to…

Shared Parental Leave

April 16, 2015

“The rules have been designed to be as straightforward for employers and parents as possible, and are no more complex than the current maternity leave laws…” . The Minister for Employment Relations (Jo Swinson MP).

Data protection and your business

April 15, 2015

Data Protection is a fast-developing area of law that concerns every business whatever its size and whatever it does. Any business that ignores its responsibilities and obligations under the law risks a fine of up to £500,000.

A year on from significant changes to the law surrounding bailiffs

April 13, 2015

In last years spring/summer briefing we wrote about the new laws relating to bailiffs that were introduced in Part 3 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act on 06 April 2014.

Win on all points and still lose 1/3 of costs for failing to mediate

April 10, 2015

In the case of (1) JANE LAPORTE (2) NICHOLAS CHRISTIAN v COMMISSIONER OF POLICE OF THE METROPOLIS (2015)  the High Court has fired another shot across the bows to any parties to litigation who fail to engage in meaningful negotiation.

Requirement to Renew Personal Licences Abolished

April 1, 2015

Good news for the licensed trade as The Deregulation Bill has now received Royal Assent and as a result there are a number of amendments to the Licensing Act 2003 as follows:-

Trethowans LLP Lawyer named in Vouched For’s UK Top Rated Solicitors in the Sunday Telegraph

March 31, 2015

James Braund, personal injury and clinical negligence solicitor at Trethowans, has been named as one of the UK's leading solicitors by Vouched For, in its guide to the UK's leading solicitors, accountants and financial advisors, published in the Sunday Telegraph.

Minimum Pay

March 30, 2015

In the last five weeks I've advised four employers on issues under the National Minimum Wage Regulations. Three of my clients didn't realise they had a problem until it hit them. Of course all these cases turn on their own facts but there are some points which have general application:

A March Miscellany

March 13, 2015

Disciplinary Procedures

Discriminatory Bonus Schemes

February 20, 2015

An old chestnut which drops onto my desk from time to time is whether an employer can pay a bonus to Stakanovites who never take sick leave? My answer has always been to steer clear of attendance related bonuses because they're probably discriminatory and can encourage bad practice – when you're under the weather with man flu we'd rather you don't come in and let the air…

Holiday Pay: One for the HR Team

February 13, 2015

Last November’s EAT decision is still causing HR practitioners to stop and think if they should be doing something about it. That’s not surprising. I first looked at this in depth about 10 years ago in the context of pilot’s flying allowances so the issue’s been bouncing around for too long.

Bad Language

January 30, 2015

Mr L was employed as a risk and loss prevention investigator by a retailer with stores across the UK. He covered 100 stores in the North-East of England.

Insurance team achieves recognition

January 19, 2015

Trethowans Insurance Litigation Team has achieved recognition in each of the two leading legal directories.

A Monday Mind Mangler

January 19, 2015

Ewaen Ogieriakhi was Nigerian. In 1998 he sought asylum in Ireland. While waiting for a decision on his application he married Laetitia Georges, a French lady living in Ireland under EU Treaty Rights. In 1999 Ewaen was granted temporary residency in Ireland.

Your Choice Of Medical Expert Threatened

January 14, 2015

Under amendments to be made to the Pre Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in the Road Traffic Accident Protocol a Claimant will no longer have free reign to instruct any expert they wish, to prepare medical evidence in support of their claim.

Masterclass Offer

January 13, 2015

In response to my piece about Settlement Agreements last Friday I’m delivering a Masterclass to one of my correspondents HR team next month.

Caste Discrimination

January 9, 2015

Caste discrimination made a brief appearance in the employment firmament last year. It’s just cropped up again in the EAT. This is to get my tuppence worth in before Jeremy Vine and the rest of the media cohort seize the wrong end of the stick again (see my recent post about obesity) – assuming of course they can tear themselves away from the unfolding tragedy in France.

Sows’ Ears and Silk Purses

January 9, 2015

The recent festive season brought more than its fair share of Settlement Agreements as HR teams cleared their decks for the New Year. We see this every year but the novelty this time was that almost all of the agreements I saw failed to hit the spot.  My favourites were:

In what circumstances can company directors be liable for the costs of their company’s litigation?

December 12, 2014

Company directors invariably litigate in the belief that if they lose the company will pick up the costs and they cannot be personally liable because the debt is owed by a limited liability company. However, there has been an increasing trend on the part of successful litigants to seek costs orders against directors personally and for the court to grant those applications. So directors…

New procedure for recovering debts and what this means for your business

December 12, 2014

Until now the procedure for commencing debt recovery has been fairly quick and straightforward. The norm is for a standard letter before action to be sent requesting payment within 7 or 14 days and if payment is not received court proceedings are issued.

Further Plans to Address Dishonesty in Claims Proposed

December 12, 2014

The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which is currently being considered by Parliament, is expected to be passed into law by early next year (probably April 2015). The current Clause 49 concerns personal injury claims where a finding of fundamental dishonesty has been made. It is important to note that this Clause only applies to personal injury claims and not other civil claims.

Landlord’s liability to pay Business Rates

December 12, 2014

Whilst commercial premises are let, a landlord is assured that its tenant will be paying the business rates, since it is usual for a tenant to be obligated under a lease to pay all outgoings, including rates.

Cyber Risk and Insurance

December 3, 2014

This article appeared in the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce Chamber News December 2014.

Timed out

December 2, 2014

I’m acting for a couple of unconnected clients employed in different parts of the public sector. One is suspended pending a disciplinary investigation, the other is suspended pending a grievance investigation into allegations that her Line Manager bullied her and disclosed sensitive personal information to an unauthorised third party (that the employer has suspended my client and left the…

Problems with procurement

December 2, 2014

In October 2014 a claim brought by Willmott Dixon Partnership Ltd (“WD”) against the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (“H&F”) came to court. The claim arose from a tender issued by H&F for a housing repairs and maintenance contract worth some £177m. WD were the incumbent contractor for H&F’s housing repairs and maintenance services, but…

Trethowans legal firm continues to impress

November 11, 2014

Leading Solent law firm Trethowans is proud to announce that 22 of its lawyers and nine of its legal teams have been praised by the Chambers UK 2015 Directory.  These results mean that 80% of Trethowans’ partners have been independently recognised as leading experts in their legal fields.

The rules they are a changing

October 24, 2014

A new "genuine vacancy" test will be added to applications for visas under Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) and Tier 2 (General) with effect from 6 November. The test will enable UK Visas and Immigration to refuse applications if it reasonably believes:

Shared Parental Leave; don’t shoot me, I’m only the messenger!

October 17, 2014

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) is upon us. It will apply in the case of any child expected to be born on or after 5 April 2015. Make yourself a double espresso, reach for a fresh flaky croissant and here we go:

Solent law firm Trethowans expands into new premises

October 9, 2014

Leading Solent regional law firm Trethowans has announced the relocation of its Southampton Office to Botleigh Grange Business Park at Hedge End.

The High Court provides further clarification on Rome II

October 9, 2014

Judgment was handed down earlier this week in the case of Winrow v Hemphill, where an English Claimant had been injured in a crash which took place in 2009 in Germany.

Passengers & your duty of care

September 30, 2014

This article was published on Cornish Mutual's guest blog as part of their first Young Driver Awareness Week, taking place between Monday 29th September – Friday 3rd October 2014.  As well as special guest blogs, it features videos highlighting the biggest dangers that young drivers face.  To get involved please follow #YoungDriverAwarenessWeek.

Equal pay audits

September 19, 2014

A few years ago Tony Blair's government hit upon the idea of naming and shaming employers who break the law. They started with those who failed to pay the National Minimum Wage and moved on to those who employ migrants illegally (now fondly known as "rogue" employers). On 1st October the principle will be extended to employers who fall foul of equal pay claims. You’ll notice…

The new health and work service

September 15, 2014

The new Health and Work Service starts in October 2014 and will be fully operational by May 2015. The government has out-sourced the service to Health Management Limited (HML), a subsidiary of Maximus Inc, a US corporation which manages social programmes in the USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland and Saudi Arabia.

Road Closed

September 12, 2014

The road to Dartmoor Prison is high, bleak and exposed – well, of course it is. The prison was built in the eighteenth century to contain French prisoners of war!  On 18 January 2013 the road was closed at the Yelverton roundabout because of snow and a threat of more to come.

The duty to make reasonable adjustments

September 12, 2014

The case of Coleman v Attridge Law found that an individual could be discriminated against because of their association with a disabled person. For example, if an individual is dismissed because their child was disabled and, as a result, they were likely to take significant amounts of time off work to care for that child, then that dismissal would be automatically unfair. This decision was…


September 11, 2014

In a notable act of compassion on 30 July 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that an employer's defence of illegality (to a claim of racial discrimination on dismissal from unlawful employment) was trumped by a public policy point that this is an affront to justice (Hounga v Allen). The facts of the case are bleak but speak for themselves.

Disability discrimination

September 10, 2014

In 2013, the Danish courts referred the case of Kaltoft v Municiaplity of Billund to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to determine whether obesity constitutes a disability.

Keeping a record of changes to tenancy agreements

September 9, 2014

In the recently reported case of London Borough of Waltham Forest v Mahmood Mr M was the son of the late Mrs M, who held a secure tenancy of a 3 bedroom flat with LBWF from 1982 until her death in September 2011. At some point in the months prior to her death, Mr M moved in with his family and upon the death of his mother he applied to succeed to the tenancy. LBWF refused his application on the…

The rule of law (part 2)

September 9, 2014

In 2012, the Immigration Rules were amended to create a requirement that anyone sponsoring the entry to the UK of a non EEA spouse must demonstrate a minimum income of £18,600 gross per annum.  The change was, of course, driven by political considerations but it also had important economic implications.  It was estimated to produce savings of £530 million on welfare…

Fair or Foul?

September 8, 2014

Mrs H was employed by an NHS Trust. September 2006 was a difficult month. Her son left home to start university, her mother (for whom she was the principle carer) fractured her thigh and her brother-in-law died. It got worse. In December her husband left her and she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She became depressed.

The taxation of termination payments

September 8, 2014

The Office of Tax Simplification is completing a final consultation into the taxing of termination payments made to employees at the end of their employment. The government believes that these payments give rise to confusion over how they should be taxed.

Penalty clauses

September 5, 2014

The EAT has revisited the old chestnut that is employees leaving without working their notice. Some employers try to mitigate the damage through the employment contract but Li v First Marine Solutions Limited and Moutrey shows that this is not as simple as it appears.

New Guidance on Mandatory Licensing Conditions

September 4, 2014

Please find below a link to Home Office Guidance issued yesterday on the revised mandatory conditions coming in to force from 1st October 2014.  The new Guidance has been issued to clarify and tighten up the 2010 mandatory conditions, and will apply to all on-licensed premises.

The rule of law (part 1)

September 4, 2014

It has been a bad month for the Rule of Law.

Dismissals and reasonableness

September 3, 2014

Kevan Sweeney was a Fireman with Strathclyde Fire and Rescue. He was under stress and, in March – June 2010, took a short term assignment overseas.  He failed, however, to follow Strathclyde's HR procedures so his absence was unauthorised. He was suspended on his return and in August 2010 was given a final written warning. In the meantime, Mr Sweeney assaulted his wife and broke…


September 2, 2014

A recent case in the High Court, AB v A Chief Constable, considered whether the Chief Constable of a police force had a duty to provide further information to an employee's potential new employer that included details of outstanding disciplinary action and a long period of sickness absence, when he had previously provided a standard reference.

Flexible working

September 1, 2014

Rachel Collins primed us for the new rules on requests for flexible working in our last bulletin. Since then, we have had time to reflect on the unintended consequences of tweaking by secondary regulation. How about reduced scope for claims of discrimination by parents and carers because the rights which they previously enjoyed, exclusively, are now open to all of us subject to qualifying service…

High Court stress need for due diligence in cross border cases

August 18, 2014

In the case of HYDE v SARA ASSICURAZIONI SPA (2014) the High Court decided that a cap on the amount of damages that could be awarded to a British claimant in a road traffic accident in Italy, under an Italian insurance policy, was not to be reduced to take into account the fact that other claims made in respect of the same accident had already been paid out, because the insurer had not used due…

Simpler Tax Rules on Employee Benefits

August 15, 2014

The Office of Tax Simplification has recently published its third and final report on employee benefits and expenses. Stay with me; the report is well written and surprisingly interesting.

Trafficking, Illegality and Compassion

August 4, 2014

In a striking act of compassion the Supreme Court ruled that an employer's defence of illegality was trumped by public policy that this is an affront to justice. I'll let the facts speak for themselves.

The importance of following your own policies

July 31, 2014

In the case of Peabody Trust v Steven Evison (By his litigation friend) Wandsworth County Court 17 July 2014 Mr E was the assured tenant of Peabody. In 2012, Mr E’s rent account began to fall into arrears. In September 2012 he was visited by a Peabody officer (the only one to deal with Mr E’s tenancy through this time). The officer noted that Mr E was hearing impaired, but said he…

Trethowans Solicitors act for Dorset Architectural Ironmongers Limited as they join forces with Spiller Architectural Ironmongery Limited

July 31, 2014

Following advice from the Corporate & Commercial Team at Southampton and Salisbury based Trethowans Solicitors, Dorset Architectural Ironmongers Limited ("DAI"), based in Dorchester, has joined forces with Spiller Architectural Ironmongery Limited ("Spillers"), based in Yeovil.

The Rule of Law (The Sequel)

July 28, 2014

I can't remember when the Home Secretary last went to court and came out smelling of roses but it's just happened and should be acknowledged.

The Rule of Law

July 18, 2014

It has been a bad couple of weeks for the Rule of Law.

The elasticity of reasonableness

July 11, 2014

Kevan Sweeney was a fireman with Strathclyde Fire and Rescue. He was under stress and in March – June 2010 took an assignment overseas. However he didn't follow Strathclyde's procedures so his absence was unauthorised. He was suspended on his return and in August 2010 was given a final written warning. In the meantime Mr Sweeney assaulted his wife in July 2010 and was prosecuted. He…

Requests for flexible working

July 3, 2014

My readers in the UK will have heard about the new rules on requests for flexible working arrangements but what about the unintended consequences of social engineering by secondary legislation?  How about reduced scope for parents and carers to claim discrimination as the rights they previously enjoyed exclusively are now open to all of us (subject to qualifying service and the bureaucracy)?…

A new era in enforcement

June 27, 2014

On 6 April 2014 Part 3 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 came into force. Amongst others things, this legislation aims to make the law surrounding Bailiff’s more straightforward and clear on what Bailiffs are entitled to do.

Out of jurisdiction – out of mind?

June 26, 2014

The world is becoming an increasingly smaller place. With various international travel modes providing cheaper and cheaper fares and with the globalisation of business – the simple fact is that more people are travelling abroad than ever before.

Mediation: paying lip service?

June 25, 2014

Before 1999 court procedure was laborious, time-consuming and costly, and there was no real emphasis on trying to settle matters and keeping costs down. That all changed in 1999 with the introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules. These were supposed to be a more rational set of rules. There was particular emphasis on the work to be undertaken before the claim ever reached court. Pre-action…

A near miss for the social housing sector

June 19, 2014

In May 2012, the Regulator identified that Cosmopolitan Housing Group was experiencing cash flow problems because expected funding for its development programme was not in place. This was the beginning of a crisis that, as it developed, brought Cosmopolitan to the brink of insolvency and ultimately led to it being rescued by the Sanctuary Group (Sanctuary).

Trethowans Solicitors act for the management team of the Phoenix Group on the buy out of Phoenix Commercial Holdings Limited

June 10, 2014

The Corporate & Commercial Team at Southampton based Trethowans Solicitors have advised the management team on the buyout of Phoenix Commercial Holdings Limited.

Below cost selling order effective from 28 May 2014

June 6, 2014

The Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Conditions) Order 2014 banning the sale of alcohol below the cost of duty plus VAT came in to effect on 28th May 2014.

Succession and Sharia

June 4, 2014

In the recent Court of Appeal case of Northumberland & Durham Property Trust Ltd v Ouaha the court had to decide whether a Sharia marriage gave rise to a valid claim to succeed to a tenancy.

World Cup licensing hours in Wales – free TEN applications

June 2, 2014

Act now if you have licensed premises in Wales and want to stay open late for the England games in the World Cup…

Damages for unlawful eviction by social landlord

June 2, 2014

In the case of London Borough of Lambeth v Loveridge, Mr Loveridge had been granted a secure tenancy by the council of a one-bedroom flat. The tenancy agreement required him to notify Lambeth of any absence from the property for more than eight weeks. On 9 July 2009 Loveridge left the property for a lengthy visit to Ghana from which he did not return until 5 December 2009. He continued to pay his…

What a relief

May 21, 2014

The 73rd Update to the Civil Procedure Rules comes into force on 5 June 2014.

Trethowans Insurance appointment

May 19, 2014

Kelvin Farmaner, Southampton-based Partner at Trethowans LLP, has been appointed Deputy President of The Southampton Insurance Institute for the forthcoming year.

Who is liable for Council Tax?

April 28, 2014

There is sometimes uncertainly and confusion about whether the landlord or the tenant is responsible for paying Council Tax. Section 6(2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 says:

Guidance on damages for damp

April 14, 2014

In the case of Clark v Affinity Sutton Homes Ltd. (Barnet County Court) 4 April 2014, Mr C had been an assured tenant of ASH since 2004. The property was a one bedroom flat with an initial weekly rent of some £66. There were problems with damp at the property. The expert’s report of May 2013 found:

Trethowans lawyer comments on Wall v Mutuelle in The Post magazine 27 March 2014

April 8, 2014

With the steady increase in cross-border movement that we have witnessed over time, insurers are facing more cases with jurisdictional issues than ever before.  The introduction of Council Regulation 864/2007 (known colloquially as “Rome II”) in January 2009 dramatically affected the assessment of damages in personal injury claims with a foreign element:  a claim for damages…

Extension of licensing hours during World Cup

March 31, 2014

There has just been a Home Office announcement:

1 April deadline for online games industry

March 31, 2014

There have been recent reports in the news relating to children incurring large credit card bills for in-game purchases, when playing app based or online games. This has lead to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) publishing a set of principles for this growing sector.

Ending a flexible tenancy during the fixed term

March 28, 2014

This article considers how a flexible (i.e. fixed term) tenancy, as defined in the Localism Act, granted by a local authority, can be ended during the fixed term.

Personal Licences saved!

March 25, 2014

The Government has announced it will not proceed with the proposal to abolish Personal Licences.   Responses to the recent consultation showed there was little support for the proposal.  A link to the response can be found here:

Supreme Court ruling on DoLS will have major impact on care providers

March 25, 2014

The judgment in the conjoined cases of (1) P (by his litigation friend the Official Solicitor) v Cheshire West and Chester Council and (2) P and Q (by their litigation friend, the Official Solicitor) v Surrey County Council [19 March 2014] will force all care providers to review their safeguarding policies and procedures to make sure they are appropriately looking after adults in their care.

Heads of Terms – issues to consider

March 21, 2014

Heads of Terms for the grant of a lease set out what has been agreed between a landlord and a tenant.  The aim is to speed up the drafting of the legal documentation.  Whilst Heads of Terms are usually not legally binding, it will be difficult for a party to negotiate away from what was agreed at a later stage.  It is therefore important to consider the Heads of Terms carefully and…

Are probationary tenancies pointless?

March 17, 2014

In the case of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council v Armour [2012] Mr Armour was granted an introductory tenancy in January 2011. Within the first few weeks, there were complaints of him being abusive to a neighbour, a council officer and contractors. The council gave notice of intention to seek possession. The decision to serve notice was upheld on review and possession proceedings were issued in…

Unprecedented floods put insurance scheme in the spotlight

March 10, 2014

The U.K. has been in the grip of one of the wettest winters for many a year. In fact the BBC recently reported that England had the wettest January since records began in 1766 and it appears likely that it may turn out to be the wettest winter overall on record too.

Bedroom tax case fails

February 26, 2014

On 21 February 2014, in the case of R v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal which claimed that the 'benefit cap' breached human rights law.

Court of Appeal in important cross-border decision

February 24, 2014

The long awaited appeal decision in the case of Steven Wall v Mutuelle de Poitiers Assurances (2014) was handed down on 20 February, with all three judges firmly in agreement:  Where a claim had been brought in England by a Claimant who had been injured in France, the question of how expert evidence was to be presented for the purposes of assessing damages would fall to be determined by…

What is a home?

February 19, 2014

In the case of R (Walford) v Worcestershire CC [2014], decided on 10 February 2014, the claimant's mother became resident in a care home. In determining what charges she should pay, the council took into account the value of her house. The relevant regulations provide that property should be disregarded where it is occupied in whole or in part by a relative who is aged 60 or over "as…

Case study: statutory wills

February 18, 2014

Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 the Court of Protection has the power to order execution of a Will on behalf of a person who lacks capacity (referred to as “P”). Therefore, if you have concerns about the Will of an individual who lacks capacity and you fall in to one of the following categories of person, you may be able to apply to the Court for execution of a statutory will:

Recent developments affecting private landlords

February 14, 2014

According to Shelter, the proportion of homes rented privately in the United Kingdom has rocketed by nearly 70% since 2001, with the private rented sector now home to 3.8 million households in England alone. There is no doubt that the private sector is playing an increasingly important role in meeting housing needs. But although being a private landlord may seem to be a good way to make…

Court deadlines for service of documents

February 13, 2014

There are certain rules for the service of documents such as claim forms and witness statements. These rules are worth bearing in mind when you enter into litigation as you need to plan your time effectively to ensure you meet all court deadlines correctly.

UN Special Rapporteur recommendations

February 10, 2014

The UN Special Rapporteur has recommended that the UK Government should:

Home Loss Payments

January 31, 2014

Most people think that a tenant is entitled to a Home Loss Payment if he/she moves out because their landlord wants to carry out improvements to their home or wants to re-develop the land on which it is built. But this is only correct if the tenant has been displaced.

Trethowans Solicitors act for NAMSA in its acquisition of Medvance Ltd

January 24, 2014

The Corporate & Commercial, Employment and Commercial Property Teams at Southampton and Salisbury based Trethowans Solicitors has advised US based North American Science Associates, Inc (NAMSA) on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Medvance Ltd.

Executive vs non executive – what’s in a name?

January 20, 2014

Southampton FC announced that Nicola Cortese has resigned as executive chairman and club owner Katharina Liebherr had taken on the role of non-executive chairman until they find a Chief Executive Officer to appoint.

Circle 33 v Lawal 12 November 2013

January 13, 2014

Mr. Lawal was aged 76 and had been the tenant of Circle 33 since 1974. The association claimed that the tenancy had ceased to be 'Secure' because Mr. Lawal  no longer occupied the property as his principal home.

The reliefs available for RP’s when acquiring land for development

January 9, 2014

Registered providers, (RPs), should be aware both of the reliefs available when they are acquiring land for development and the importance of timing when applying for relief.

Council tax liability

January 7, 2014

In the case of LS v Horsham DC (4 December 2013) the claimant was granted an assured shorthold tenancy of a dwelling.

Decanting Disaster

December 17, 2013

In the case of Francis v Brent LBC, decided on 9 December 2013, Ms Francis was a secure tenant. In 1991 that tenancy was ended by an outright possession order granted for rent arrears. The order was never enforced. Ms Francis was a 'tolerated trespasser'.

Section 21 notices easier to get right

December 10, 2013

In the case of Spencer v Taylor [2013] EWCA Civ 1600, S granted an Assured Shorthold Tenancy to T on 6 February 2006, (a Monday) for a fixed terms of 6 months with rent payable weekly.

HCA publishes its Consumer Regulation Review 2012/13

December 6, 2013

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has published its Consumer Regulation Review 2012/13.

The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013

November 12, 2013

This Act, which came into force on 15th October 2013 and currently applies in England and Wales only, makes it a criminal offence for tenants to sublet or part with possession of, their socially rented home.

Gas safety and the home standard

November 11, 2013

It has just emerged that a major housing association has become the first to be found to have breached the Home Standard.

Boards beware!

November 11, 2013

Recently, being a board member seems to have become a lot riskier than ever before.

Proposed changes to social housing rents

November 8, 2013

On 31 October 2013 the UK Government published its proposed changes to social housing rents in England.

What you need to know about the new Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act

November 8, 2013

The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act (“the Act”) came into force on 15 October 2013.  The Act has made tenancy fraud a criminal offence and given local authorities the power to prosecute those who unlawfully sublet their social housing where a tenant:


October 28, 2013

In this era of austerity, even if there are ‘green shoots’ appearing, there is clearly a long way to go before those shoots turn into something pretty or edible, (or both!). It follows that many more people will, understandably, be unable or unwilling to accept, without a fight, decisions which adversely affect them.

Interest – What else are you entitled to for late payment of commercial debts?

October 23, 2013

In the autumn 2012 Dispute Resolution Briefing we advised on adding statutory interest to late payment of commercial debts. Amendments implemented earlier this year allow businesses to add the reasonable costs of recovering the debt, in addition to the interest and compensation. They also add more flexibility with regards to the start date for interest.

Landlords being prosecuted on the rise

October 22, 2013

The Housing Act 2004 introduced a new definition of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) from 6th April 2006 in England.

Tough new world?

October 21, 2013

In recent years there has been a growing culture of toleration of delay and non-compliance with Court Orders in litigation.  No more!  1 April 2013 saw the introduction of a new stricter regime which cracked the whip at those disregarding deadlines or failing to comply with Court directions.

Ban on the use of HCFCs

October 10, 2013

2015 marks the year in which there will be a total ban on the use of Hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFCs), which are still in use in many commercial buildings as refrigerants which includes R22 (chlorodifluoromethane) found in air-conditioning units, refrigeration systems, heat pumps or fire protection systems (RAC systems).

How green is the green belt?

October 10, 2013

In March this year Bloor Homes submitted a planning application to develop seven, five-bedroom houses on the site of the Mayfield Light Industrial Estate in Bracknell Forest, Berkshire. The rectangular parcel of land had been home to a car valet service, a steel fabrication firm and several storage units for a number of years.

Capital allowances

October 10, 2013

Capital allowances is a means of providing tax relief to businesses.  The aim is to encourage businesses to invest in the UK.

What is the law surrounding squatters and commercial properties?

October 10, 2013

Squatting in a residential property has been a criminal offence since 1977 but there is no similar offence in relation to commercial properties. Government Ministers are under an increasing pressure to bring in anti-squatting laws to cover commercial premises.

Betting offices – location, location and location

October 3, 2013

A decision by a London borough to refuse a betting office licence has been overturned, in a decision which examined the relevance of location as an independent ground of refusal.

Trethowans asked to comment on Ramsey review

October 3, 2013

It has been announced this week that Justice Ramsey will lead yet another review of the litigation reforms which have recently been implemented following the extensive research undertaken by Lord Jackson.

Wrong Court fee? Your case is out of time!

September 30, 2013

In a recent decision the High Court has taken a strong line on the question of time limits for bringing claims.  This case is one that should be studied closely by Solicitors as well as by Professional Indemnity Insurers.

Enhanced redundancy payments – When do they become contractual?

September 26, 2013

It would be difficult to find too many organisations which have avoided making redundancies since the start of the economic downturn.

Holiday entitlement for employees on sick leave

September 25, 2013

Under European law, workers are entitled to a minimum of 20 days' paid holiday each year, which equates to 20 days for full time workers.

Resignation or dismissal?

September 24, 2013

The issue in the appeal of Francis v Pertemps Recruitment, was whether the Claimant had been dismissed by his employer so as to establish a claim for unfair dismissal or whether the Claimant's employment had ended through mutual agreement.

Data sharing – what’s the problem?

September 24, 2013

Large amounts of information are collected about individuals by public bodies, such as local authorities and the Police, as well as by housing associations.

Poor processing

September 23, 2013

In Elliot v Joseph Whitworth Centre Ltd, the Claimant, Mr Elliot, was dismissed by Joseph Whitworth Centre (JWC) Ltd on 6 February 2010. 

So long and thanks for all the clients

September 20, 2013

The High Court in the case of Romero Insurance Brokers Ltd v Templeton and another, has confirmed the validity of a 12 month non-solicitation restrictive covenant in a senior insurance broker's contract.

Does gross misconduct always give rise to a fair dismissal?

September 19, 2013

In Brito-Babapulle v Ealing Hospital NHS Trust the Claimant was employed as a consultant haematologist at Ealing Hospital.  Her contract permitted her to hold sessions with private patients. 

Government consultation on abolishing Personal Licences

September 19, 2013

The Government has launched a consultation running until 7th November seeking views on abolishing Personal Licences.

Police Week of Action: 16 – 22 September 2013

September 18, 2013

Police forces across England and Wales are carrying out a week of action.

Subject access requests

September 18, 2013

The Information Commissioner has published a new Code of Practice for dealing with requests from individuals for personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act).

Union recognition

September 17, 2013

Trade unions can only negotiate with employers on the employees' behalf (known as collective bargaining) if the trade union is recognised by the employer.  In order to seek such recognition, the trade union must first fulfil the following criteria:

When deprivation of liberty is for the best

September 11, 2013

On 23 July 2013, in the case of A local authority v WMA [2013] EWHC 2580 (COP), a court had to decide about the future of a twenty five year old man, (identified only as ‘WMA’), where he should live and what help should be given to him.  It raised complex issues about best interests and deprivation of liberty.

New tribunal in Scotland for landlord vs tenant disputes

September 10, 2013

A new tribunal will be set up in Scotland to act as a specialist decision maker for disputes between landlords and tenants in the private rented sector.

Reasonable adjustments

August 29, 2013

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that an employer did not fail in its duty to make reasonable adjustments by requiring a disabled employee to participate in a competitive interview process for an internal vacancy when her own role was made redundant.

The Big Brother effect…

August 28, 2013

In City and County of Swansea v Gayle, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered whether covert surveillance carried out by an employer was in breach of an employee’s right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Settlement sum: net or gross?

August 27, 2013

In the recent case of Michael Barden v Commodities Research Unit & Others [2013] EWHC 1633 the court decided, where a compromise (now, of course, settlement) agreement is silent as to whether the settlement sum should be paid net or gross of tax, the sum stated is a gross figure from which Income Tax should then be deducted.

Seventh time lucky

August 23, 2013

Over a five year period, Mr Woodhouse brought ten separate grievances against his employer, West North West Homes (Leeds) Ltd.  Each time his grievance related to allegations of race discrimination. Mr Woodhouse also submitted seven separate Employment Tribunal claims alleging race discrimination, whilst still employed by West North West Homes.

Changes to collective consultation: in depth

August 22, 2013

You may recall a First to Desk recently which set out changes to the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 following the case of USDAW v Ethel Austin Limited (in administration) & another.

Employee Shareholders

August 21, 2013

The commencement date for a new type of employment status has just been announced.  Employee Shareholders may be created from 1 September 2013.

When to blow your whistle…

August 20, 2013

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 makes significant amendments to the legislation on whistleblowing.

Settlement Agreements: what’s in a name

August 19, 2013

Another change which came into force on 29 July 2013 was the introduction of Settlement Agreements.

Thames Water refuses to go overboard on bad debt

August 16, 2013

It has been reported recently that Thames Water’s external affairs director Richard Aylard ,commented that one of the reasons for a proposed hike of £29.00 per household in water bills for the Thames area, was due to bad debt being suffered by the organisation.

Countdown to zero-hour contract change?

August 16, 2013

As many of you will know, a zero-hour contract is a type of contract under which an employer does not guarantee the employee a fixed number of hours per week.

Employment Tribunal fees: a reminder

August 15, 2013

Tribunal fees were introduced on 29 July 2013.

Recent changes in employment law

August 14, 2013

With all the recent changes coming in, we thought it would be helpful to set out a summary of what has changed and what we think.

Coal miner’s case may open the floodgates

August 13, 2013

According to Kelvin Farmaner, a solicitor at Southampton and Salisbury based Trethowans Solicitors, a recent decision concerning professional negligence arising out of a personal injury claim may lead to a flood of claims in the future.

Important High Court costs ruling in ‘plebgate’ case

August 12, 2013

All those involved in litigation have been left in no doubt as to the rigid application of new costs rules in the light of a High Court ruling last week in the 'plebgate' case.

How to get that cheque bouncing back into your account

July 25, 2013

The use of cheques as a method of paying invoices is becoming increasingly surpassed by more popular methods of payment, such as direct debit and BACS transfers. Despite this, it is important for both businesses and individuals to be aware of the remedies available to them when they receive a cheque in payment of an invoice which is later dishonoured.

Court of Appeal in important credit hire ruling

July 8, 2013

In the case of Opoku v Tintas 2013 the Court of Appeal has given an important ruling in relation to the question of period of hire.  The judgment will be significant for claimants and defendants alike and should be studied closely.

Important changes to collective consultation

July 2, 2013

The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 imposes a duty on employers to collectively consult with its employees when it contemplates dismissing 20 or more employees during a 90 day period at "one establishment".  This allowed employers to terminate 20 or more employees across different sites without invoking collective consultation. 

Costs budgeting: a High Court update

June 24, 2013

In the case of Elvanite Full Circle Ltd v Amec Earth & Environmental (UK) Ltd 2013 the High Court has given the latest indication of how new costs budgeting rules are likely to be applied.  The claimant was a demolition and recycling contractor.  It owned a plot of two acres within an area of industrial land in Essex.  Two months before the claimant acquired the site for…

Pull the ladder up Jack

June 24, 2013

Should criminals be entitled to recover compensation?  Readers of this article will have their own views.  This issue was looked at by the Court of Appeal in the recent case of David Michael Joyce v Edward Gerald O’ Brien and Tradex Insurance 2013.

Small claims limit increased to £10,000 – will businesses lose out?

June 21, 2013

The value for the small claims court has risen for non-personal injury claims from £5,000 to £10,000 as part of the Jackson Reforms to Civil Litigation procedure that came into effect on 1 April 2013.  As a consequence, there will inevitably be a jump in the number of claims being issued under the small claims procedure.

Employee’s rights to pursue a compensation claim restricted

June 20, 2013

At the end of April, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill received royal assent, becoming a formal Act of Parliament. One clause of this Act (clause 70, previously entitled clause 61 in the original draft Bill), essentially removes an employee’s right to pursue a compensation claim against an employer who has breached the Health and Safety Regulations (enacted under the Health and…

Will landlords look to increase rent deposits to protect themselves ahead of changes in the law?

June 19, 2013

Changes to the law, anticipated to come into effect in 2014, will allow entry to commercial premises only under conditions for the seizure of goods as part of a new regime of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR).

Court of appeal sounds the alarm bells for professional indemnity claims

June 11, 2013

In the case of Susan Berney v Thomas Saul (T/A Thomas Saul & Co) 2013 the Court of Appeal has given judgment in a professional indemnity case arising out of a personal injury claim.  The judgment will do nothing to quell the worry amongst professional indemnity insurers (and some solicitors) that there is likely to be an increase in the number of professional negligence claims against…

Parting is such sweet sorrow

May 31, 2013

For a novel way to resign from your employment, you may want to tear a page from Chris Holme's recipe book.

The bitter taste of covert recordings

May 30, 2013

Every HR advisor has been there, or will be there at some point in the future: you have spent hours in a disciplinary meeting with an employee, diligently taking notes of what was said; you then spend several more hours typing them up before sending them to the employee.

Unfair dismissal and zero compensation: A lose-lose situation for everyone?

May 29, 2013

In the recent case of Ladrick Lemonious v Church Commissioners, the Employment Appeal Tribunal considered the question of to what extent compensation can and should be reduced to take into account the actions of the dismissed employee.

Collective agreements and TUPE

May 28, 2013

Parkwood Leisure Ltd v Alemo-Herron and Others asks the intriguing question, is the new employer bound by subsequent changes negotiated through a relevant collective agreement?

Homophobic statements made by a clubs shareholder can shift the burden of proof onto the club to refute allegations of discrimination

May 27, 2013

In the recent case of Asociaţia ACCEPT v Consiliul Naţional pentru Combaterea Discriminării, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) was asked to clarify whether homophobic comments made by a football club’s “banker” were in breach of the Equal Treatment Framework Directive (2000/78/EC) and accordingly, whether the burden of proof could fall on the club to prove that…

Banker bonus

May 24, 2013

In the recent case of Dresder Kleinwort Limited v Commerzbank AG v Attrill and others [2013] EWCA Civ 394, the Court of Appeal held that the announcement of a guaranteed bonus pool offered to employees at a time when there was uncertainty in the company amounted to a contractually binding obligation, despite not being strictly in the form dictated by the company’s employee handbook.

Now you see me, now you don’t

May 23, 2013

In May 2008, Ms Thomson, a District Nurse working for Barnet Primary Care Trust, was summarily dismissed following a three day hearing under BPCT's capability procedure.  Concerns had been raised in relation to Ms Thomson's performance following a lengthy period of absence. 

To employment and beyond…

May 22, 2013

Claims for post-employment victimisation: a whole lot of confusion.

Auto-enrolment and TUPE

May 21, 2013

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced a small, but important, change to the pension protection rules in TUPE transfers.  The change addresses an unintended consequence of the way in which TUPE operates on transferring employee's pension arrangements.

Eyesight tests

May 20, 2013

The DVLA has announced that it has made new arrangements with the Police which will lead to much quicker bans for motorists who fail eyesight tests. 

Fees and penalties in the Employment Tribunal

May 16, 2013

The Employment Tribunal Service has been free to users since it was created in 1964.  This is about to change.  The government says it is not fair for the tax payer to foot the bill for the service which it puts at £84 million per annum so fees are being introduced.

Slowly but surely

May 15, 2013

Further to our 'Heads Up' Article in January, setting out all of the upcoming employment changes for 2013, it would appear that the changes outlined in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 are now slowly but surely trickling through.

Major litigation and funding changes will affect your business

April 30, 2013

This article will appear in the May 2013 edition of the Hampshire Chamber Business News circulated with the Southern Daily Echo.

Nick Gent a contender for Lawyer of the Year in the Solent Deals Awards

April 30, 2013

Nick Gent, an experienced corporate finance lawyer from Southampton and Salisbury based law firm Trethowans has been short listed as one of only three finalists for the coveted title of Lawyer of the Year at the prestigious Solent Deals Awards.

Trethowans acts for Spire Payments

March 20, 2013

The Corporate & Commercial, Employment and Commercial Property Teams at Southampton and Salisbury based Trethowans Solicitors has advised Salisbury based Spire Payments UK Limited (Spire Payments) on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Thyron Payment Systems Limited (TPSL).

High Court clarification on cross border cases

March 12, 2013

In the case of Wall v Mutuelle de Poitiers Assurances 2013 the High court has provided some useful clarification for those dealing with or involved in cross border cases.

Inaccurate replies to enquiries

March 11, 2013

During a property transaction, a buyer’s solicitor will usually request replies to pre-contract enquiries.  The seller is not obliged to answer these enquiries, but he is under a duty to disclose latent defects in title such as adverse easements or issues with the property boundaries. 

Chancel repair liability

March 11, 2013

In the case of Aston Cantlow v Wallbank and another (2003) the parochial church council served a notice on the defendants claiming approximately £95,000 for chancel repairs.  It was held that the chancel repair liability was enforceable.  As a result of this decision, the defendants would be liable for any future demands for payment and they would also find it difficult, if not…

Changes to the EPC regulations

March 11, 2013

As of 9 January 2013, a building that is larger than 500m², is not a dwelling and is frequently visited by members of the public has a new obligation to clearly display the Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”), if one is available.

Permitted change from office to residential

March 11, 2013

The Government has confirmed that from Spring 2013 the permitted development rights will be temporarily extended for a period of three years to include a change of use from B1(a) office to C3 residential.  This is an attempt to address the issue of low demand for office space and high demand for residential property.  This could also help bring life back to the high street by changing…

The end of CFAs – Now is the time to act

March 8, 2013

With less than a month to go before CFAs (Conditional Fee Agreements) are abolished, and also the ability to insure against the other sides costs and recover the premium on success, time is running out if you want to pursue a claim and recover the CFA uplift on your legal costs from the opposition.

Costs Budgeting: An opportunity or a threat?

March 7, 2013

This article appears on

When is a dismissal not a dismissal?

February 22, 2013

Many HR advisers will be familiar with the cold shiver that passes down the back of the spine when a manager makes contact to say that they have just called an employee into their office and sacked them.

The show must go on

February 21, 2013

The Court of Appeal have overturned the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in the case of Transport for London v O'Cathail.

South Coast Business Works

February 20, 2013

Business people from across Hampshire left the office behind to meet each other face to face as the Daily Echo’s South Coast Business Works event returned for its third year. Hundreds of top Hampshire business people converged on the De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel for a day-long programme of cutting edge seminars, master classes and advice from more than 30 exhibitors.

What is an establishment for the purposes of the collective redundancy provisions

February 20, 2013

Renfrewshire Council v Educational Institute of Scotland

Who is in control?

February 19, 2013

In the case of White and Todd v Troutbeck SA, the Tribunal considered how control relates to the relationship between employer and employees and the definition of ‘in employment’.  The Tribunal was clear that the contractual level of control, rather than its day-to-day exercise, is the key consideration.

Pride and privilege

February 18, 2013

A recent case in Canada reminds us once again to take care in the sending of emails as, in this particular matter, even legal privilege could not prevent the email from playing its part in potentially disastrous consequences for the employer.

Conducting your social media life

February 15, 2013

In a time not so long ago, if an individual had a thought that they wanted to discuss, they would have to wait to get to a pub or a cafe in order to discuss it with a small cohort of friends.  In the intervening time, they may well have forgotten what the thought even was!  The advent of social media has dramatically changed this: individuals are now able to broadcast their views to…

Innocent until proven guilty?

February 14, 2013

The central issue to the appeal in Stuart v London City Airport was the reasonableness of the employer’s investigation into the employee’s alleged dishonesty.

The Agency Workers’ Regulations and the Swedish Derogation

February 13, 2013

The Agency Workers' Regulations require that after a twelve week qualifying period, agency workers are entitled to the same basic employment conditions as permanent employees.  However, the Regulations also recognise the Swedish derogation (an exception from the EU Regulations negotiated by the Swedish Government).  The derogation provides an exception from the principle of equal…

Some other substantial reason

February 12, 2013

Sandford and Parkin v Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

A weeks pay

February 11, 2013

As mentioned in last month's Know-How, 1 February saw the expected increases in compensation limits.

Tracing insurance

February 7, 2013

The majority of litigation is usually pursued within a matter of several years of the actionable event arising.  Limitation dates generally restrict Claimants to seeking legal redress within 3 years for personal injury or 6 years for other issues.  However section 11(4)(b) of the Limitation Act 1980 makes specific provision that the 3 year time limit for personal injury can be deemed to…

Direct vs. indirect loss

February 6, 2013

You have a contract with a third party.  It is on the third party’s terms and conditions.  The other party breaches the contract.  You bring a claim in respect of your loss.  The other party refers to its terms and conditions and in particular an exclusion /  limitation of liability clause that excludes liability for all indirect and/or consequential loss.

Court of Appeal will scrutinise large credit hire claims

February 4, 2013

Last week brought a decision from the Court of Appeal that will have warmed the hearts of opponents of credit hire.

Secure tenancy or not?

February 4, 2013

Contracting out of the security of tenure provisions, which form part of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (LTA 1954), has implications which landlords and tenants, as well as their professional advisors, should be aware of.

Worth the paper it’s written on?

February 4, 2013

F.W.F. Farnworth Limited v Lacy

50 shades of occupation

February 1, 2013

Business tenancies, to which the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (the 1954 Act) applies, will – unless the tenancy has been brought to an end – give rise to an automatic continuation tenancy at the end of the contractual term.

Neilly packed his trunk

February 1, 2013

It is common practice nowadays to include restrictive covenants within employment contracts, particularly for senior employees but the importance of getting them right has been reinforced by the decision in the recent case of Patsystems Holdings Ltd v Neilly.

Enforcement overview

February 1, 2013

What should you do, if after you have obtained Judgment, a debtor still doesn’t pay?

Protection for all?

January 31, 2013

It is commonly said nowadays that, when it comes to discrimination law, everyone has a protected characteristic, and this is true, after all, everyone has a sex, an age, a race and a sexual orientation; however, the question of whether everyone is protected has just got a little bit more interesting.

Is a pie in the face worth 4 in the van?

January 30, 2013

In the case of Santos v Disotto Foods Limited, Mr Santos was dismissed for failure to follow instructions from management and subsequently claimed unfair dismissal.

Lap dancers – less cover

January 29, 2013

In Stringfellow Restaurants Limited v Quashie the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) overruled the Employment Tribunal and concluded that Ms Quashie, who had worked as a lap-dancer for 18 months, was an employee and so could claim unfair dismissal.  Despite the fact that she was not guaranteed any pay, the EAT found that there was a contract of employment on the nights she actually worked: she…

Hurley v Maruki highlights the importance of complying with the Consumer Regulations

January 28, 2013

When the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work Regulations 2008 came into force on 1 October 2008 there was widespread concern among solicitors that a number of Conditional Fee Agreements could fall foul of these provisions, even though they were primarily aimed at protecting consumers against unscrupulous door to door salesmen. In brief, the Regulations…

Employment law and social media

January 28, 2013

With Flexman v BG Group plc being heard recently, it has brought the use of social media and its impact on employment law back to the surface.

Government crackdown on “bad” bailiffs

January 25, 2013

Following a Ministry of Justice consultation last year, BBC News has today reported that next year the Government will introduce new laws to regulate the bailiff industry in England and Wales.

It seems obvious but….

January 25, 2013

When a business transfers from one owner to another or a service is moved from one provider to another, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) will normally apply.

Court of appeal recognise counsel of perfection point in bus operator case

January 24, 2013

In the case of Paramasivan v Wicks 2013 The Court of Appeal followed the earlier case of Ahanonu v South East London and Kent Bus Co Ltd 2008. 

One reason or another

January 24, 2013

It can be easy to focus on complicated legal issues and allow the basics to slip.  The recent judgment of Logan v Celyn House serves as a good refresher of one basic element of constructive dismissal: what happens when there is more than one reason behind the employee resigning?

Consultation on collective redundancies

January 23, 2013

An employer proposing to make 20 or more redundancies must consult with representatives of the affected employees but when must it start the consultation?

Late Night Levy – update

January 22, 2013

The date for the Late Night Levy (LNL) to start is coming ever closer, with the first licensing authorities most probably bringing them in around June 2013. Consultations start in March.

Restrictive covenants – popular misconceptions

January 22, 2013

There are two schools of thought regarding restrictive covenants (clauses preventing ex-employees competing with their former employer) that need rectifying:

Owner-Employee Contracts

January 21, 2013

Last autumn the Government launched a consultation about proposals permitting employees to give up some of their employment rights in return for shares.  The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne announced plans to introduce the new 'owner-employee' contract, essentially, a type of employee share scheme.  Whilst it is not an unusual incentive for a company to offer…

Heads up

January 18, 2013

These predictions are, of course subject to the Parliamentary Timetable and, in particular, the progress of two Bills: The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill and The Growth and Infrastructure Reform Bill.  

ECHR decision in religious discrimination cases

January 15, 2013

BA’s ban on wearing crosses was discriminatory, rules the European Court of Human Rights.

Charging orders – securing unpaid debts in the long term…

December 19, 2012

A charging order is a way of securing an unpaid judgment debt by imposing a charge over a judgment debtor’s beneficial interest in land, securities or certain other assets.  If the debtor then sells the property against which the charge is registered in time, the amount owed under the order will be repaid to the creditor through the proceeds of the sale.  Where there is…

EU consults on the harmonisation of limitation periods

November 13, 2012

This article appeared online on 8 November in Insurance Insight from Post Magazine.

Late night venues – EMROs and the late night levy

October 31, 2012

Do you operate a late night venue?   For the purposes of this note, I mean a venue offering alcohol at any time between midnight and 6am the following morning.

Gaming machine update – the duty licence

October 29, 2012

HM Revenue and Customs LicenceAs well as ensuring the necessary authorisation is in place for the machine, there is also a requirement for each dutiable machine to have a duty licence (the Amusement Machine Licensing Duty or AMLD). Penalties for failing to have such a licence are severe. The licence should be displayed on site. It is renewable annually. This licence is often dealt with by the…

Gaming machine update: Skillette machines

October 22, 2012

Do you have a Skillette machine? If so, and it is not covered by the appropriate authorisations, you may find yourself facing prosecution.

Dangerous liaisons

October 18, 2012

From down under….

TUPE: Harmonisation and re-engagement

October 17, 2012

In Manchester College v Hazel and Huggins the Employment Appeal Tribunal considered claims of unfair dismissal under TUPE.  The case raised questions about the harmonisation of contractual terms and remedies. 

Christian registrar registers European challenge

October 16, 2012

Ms Ladele, a former Registrar at the London Borough of Islington, has also brought her case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), questioning whether it was a breach of her human rights to be compelled to officiate at civil partnership ceremonies when she objected to doing so on the grounds of her religious belief.

Round 2 in the battle over the proposal to increase general damages

October 15, 2012

In the face of an Application by the ABI (Association of British Insurers), yesterday the Court of Appeal delivered an amended judgment in the case of Simmons v Castle 2012 which will be of some comfort to the Defendant insurance market.

Christian cross claim goes to Europe

October 15, 2012

On 4th September 2012, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) heard the case of Eweida v UK Government, (together with three other Christian religious belief cases, Chaplin, Ladele & MacFarlane).

Courts show zero tolerance in fraud cases

October 12, 2012

Dishonesty does not pay. So found Mr Bowyer Snr, whose son brought a fraudulent personal injury action. On 2 August 2012 the Court found that Mr Bowyer Snr had known that the claim was fraudulent, but had taken steps to support it dishonestly, lying in both his affidavit and in oral evidence before the Court. He was found guilty of contempt.

Are you ready for the new world of litigation funding?

October 12, 2012

Litigation funding is a hot topic at the moment, and not simply for lawyers with an interest in costs law!

Interest – is your business getting what it’s owed?

October 12, 2012

Did you know that all businesses and the public sector can charge statutory interest for the late payment of commercial debts?

Qualified to claim unfair dismissal (part 2)

October 12, 2012

To claim unfair dismissal, the Claimant has to have been an employee of the employer.  If he is self employed or a worker he cannot make such a claim.

Qualified to claim unfair dismissal (part 1)

October 11, 2012

Continuity of employment is normally critical to whether a dismissed employee can claim unfair dismissal.

Stakeholder pension schemes

October 10, 2012

The stakeholder pension designation requirements were repealed on 1 October 2012.  This means that employers employing five or more employees are no longer required to provide access to a stakeholder pension scheme.

Live music is back

October 1, 2012

The law relating to live music changes today. The Live Music Act 2012 gets rid of some of the red tape that caused such controversy for small, amateur music makers all over the country when the Licensing Act 2003 came into force.

EAT deliver three judgements

September 24, 2012

An old adage has it that things come in threes: 3 blind mice: 3 French hens: 3 Billy Goats Gruff; and 3 wise men.  And so it was in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) during six days at the end of last month when it delivered three judgements about employment status.

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

September 21, 2012

In Assamoi v Spirit Pub Company (Services) Ltd the Employment Appeal Tribunal decided that in certain circumstances an employer may be able to prevent a situation escalating into a breach of trust and confidence by apologising to their employee.

National minimum wage increases

September 21, 2012

From 1 October 2012 the national minimum wage will increase as follows:

Post-termination restrictions

September 20, 2012

Can a 6 month prohibition against soliciting any customer be valid? In Safetynet Security Limited v Coppage the Mercantile Court said yes. 

Directors not protected by TUPE

September 19, 2012

In Edinburgh Home-Link Partnership & others v The City of Edinburgh Council & Others the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld a decision that the Directors of a charity did not transfer when their charity’s services were taken in house by the council.

Sick workers and holiday entitlement

September 18, 2012

Under the European Union Working Time Directive, workers are entitled to a minimum four weeks' paid annual leave.

Compensation awards: does a new job break the chain of causation?

September 17, 2012

What losses do employers pay for?

Employment tribunal reforms announced

September 14, 2012

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has today announced the start of consultation into certain reforms to the Employment Tribunals.

Sleeping on the job

September 14, 2012

Sometimes you have to admire the creative thinking of certain lawyers.

Pool of one: the “inelegant phrase”

September 13, 2012

As our regular readers, as well as those of you who attended our June Seminar, will know, there has recently been something of a spate of cases concerning redundancy dismissals.  Employers and HR professionals will have noted with relief that the general tenor of the Judgments has been in favour of employers.

National minimum wage: name and shame

September 12, 2012

In January of last year, the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) introduced a scheme whereby employers who fail to pay employees the national minimum wage can be named.  The reasoning behind the scheme was that the bad publicity might achieve what the risk of getting caught could not and impel employers to pay the national minimum wage ("NMW").

Immigration – renewal of sponsor’s licences

September 11, 2012

The first round of Tier 2 sponsor licences will shortly come up for renewal (licences run for a fixed period of 4 years).  We anticipate that renewal notices will be sent out but it would be unwise to bank on this.

Claims for mis-selling by banks: Interest rate products

September 10, 2012

Over the years banks have developed a number of products for customers to hedge against the risk of rising interest rates on their loans. Many were sold in 2005 – 2008, preceding the sharp fall in the BoE base rate – this fluctuated between 5% and 5.75% from November 2006 to April 2008 but by March 2009 it had reached a low of 0.5%.

Slavery in England?

September 10, 2012

"I'm not your slave" is a phrase that parents of teenagers across the land come to hear on a daily basis for at least five of their little darlings' "difficult years".

Family migration and human rights

September 7, 2012

The latest squeeze on immigration was announced last month with the introduction of tighter controls on the entry of family members and on the operation of Article 8 under the Human Rights Act.

Peaceable re-entry of mixed use premises

September 6, 2012

A landlord of a commercial property is entitled to forfeit the lease by peacefully re-entering the property.

Rent deposit deeds

September 6, 2012

Currently, if a rent deposit deed creates a charge over the monies held by a landlord as security for the performance and observance of a tenant’s obligations pursuant to a lease, then this charge must be registered at Companies House. Failure to do so within 21 days of the date of the deed will mean that the charge is void against a liquidator or administrator of the tenant.

Recovery of insurance rent

September 6, 2012

In the case of Green v 180 Archway Road Management Co Ltd (2012), the Lands Tribunal has confirmed that if a landlord does not comply with its insurance obligations under the lease then it cannot recover the insurance rent from its tenant.

Welcome relief for landlords of empty properties

September 6, 2012

The burden of empty rates liability could soon be a thing of the past following a recent High Court decision by Judge Jarman QC.

Cowboy clampers and the loophole

September 4, 2012

The Protection of Freedoms Act comes into force on 1 October 2012 and amongst other things will prevent clamping and the removal of vehicles by people who do not hold authority to do so on private land.

Controversy continues over proposal to increase General Damages

September 4, 2012

In his wide ranging review of litigation costs Lord Justice Jackson proposed a package of measures to include a 10 per cent increase in General Damages.  It was felt that the reason for this was to compensate claimants for the fact that they would no longer be able to recover success fees payable under the terms of their Conditional Fee Agreement.  However, this proposal was not…

Liars beware!

July 27, 2012

Dishonesty does not pay.  So found Mr Bowyer Snr, whose son brought a fraudulent personal injury action.  Yesterday the Court found that Mr Bowyer Snr had known that the claim was fraudulent, but had taken steps to support it dishonestly, lying in both his affidavit and in oral evidence before the Court.  He was found guilty of contempt.

Mediation is the way forward…

July 26, 2012

In early 2011, the Government published its consultation paper ‘Solving disputes in the county courts: creating a simpler, quicker and more proportionate system’ with a view to introducing a major overhaul to the current civil justice system in England and Wales. 

Redundancy selection criteria: objective v subjective

July 26, 2012

As HR managers understand all too well, the need for the criteria used in skills matrices when selecting employees for redundancy to be "objective" has become ingrained.

Costs awards in employment tribunals

July 25, 2012

The topic of costs awards in Employment Tribunals has received a certain level of media coverage recently: one element of the Government's plan to reduce the numbers of Employment Tribunals has been to increase the amount a Tribunal can award, without County Court assessment, from £10,000 to £20,000, from April of this year.

Duty of fidelity and fiduciary duties

July 23, 2012

Ranson v Customer Services Plc.

Serial litigants

July 20, 2012

Her Majesty's Attorney General v A Bentley

Service provision change under TUPE: what is a client?

July 19, 2012

The essence of the service provision change provisions under TUPE 2006 are that outsourcing, insourcing and new contractors taking over services provided to a client are a relevant transfer for TUPE and therefore, employees are protected.

Who should pay?

July 18, 2012

In claims of discrimination, it is not just the employer who can be potentially liable for awards made by the Employment Tribunal, but individuals who acted in a discriminatory fashion as well.

Annual tribunal statistics 2011/2012

July 17, 2012

The Ministry of Justice has now published the annual statistics for Tribunals for the year 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012.  In total, 186,300 claims were received by the Tribunals.  This represents a fall of 15% on the previous year.

Insurance warning for group companies

July 6, 2012

This article appeared in the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce Chamber News Magazine for July 2012.

Motor insurance update: Worboys decision welcomed by insurers

June 29, 2012

In May 2009 a class action was brought by victims of John Worboys, a black cab driver convicted of rape, sexual assault and 12 charges of drugging female passengers.  The action not only named Mr Worboys as Defendant, but also his motor insurers on the basis that his policy of motor insurance covered not just injuries caused by road accident, but also harm resulting from deliberate criminal…

EU ruling – Employees can reclaim annual leave if they are sick during their holiday

June 22, 2012

The European Court of Justice has handed down its decision in the case of ANGED v FASGA. The Court has decided that a worker who is sick during their annual leave is entitled to reclaim their annual leave and use it at a later date, irrespective of whether the worker became sick before or during their annual leave.

Liability – a fine line

June 21, 2012

In the recent Court of Appeal case, Scott v Symons (2012), it was found that a claimant motorcyclist injured in a road traffic accident was responsible for the accident by riding his motorcycle onto the wrong side of the road.

Varying the effective date of termination

June 20, 2012

Experienced HR professionals will be familiar with the fact that it is not possible for employers to agree with their employee to vary the date of termination.  The phrase used by lawyers to describe ascertaining the date of termination is that it is a “statutory construct”: in other words, the date is absolute and cannot be changed unilaterally or by agreement.

No double jeopardy rule for employees

June 19, 2012

The question of whether an employee can be put through a second disciplinary procedure in relation to the same allegation was considered by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Christou & Ward v Haringey. 

Temporary event notices

June 18, 2012

The introduction of the Police Reform & Social Responsibility Act in April 2012 brought important changes to the TEN regime. Key points to note are as follows:

It’s against my human rights

June 18, 2012

The question of whether an employer’s failure to properly carry out an internal disciplinary procedure can amount to a breach of an employee’s right to a "fair and public hearing" under the European Convention of Human Rights has been comprehensively answered in the recent case of Mattu v University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. The answer is no (most of…

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

June 15, 2012

This draft legislation plans to introduce the following key changes: 

Clare Carter appointed to AvMA panel

June 14, 2012

Clare Carter, a partner and head of the personal injury team at Trethowans Solicitors has been appointed to the AvMA clinical negligence panel.

Proposed changes to the Equality Act 2010

June 14, 2012

As part of its ongoing review of legislation in an attempt to reduce “red-tape” the Government has, this month, announced proposed changes to the Equality Act 2010 and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Employer / employee relationships during Euro 2012

June 13, 2012

The Euro 2012 football tournament started on Friday 8 June.  In light of this, employers may face an increase in employees asking to leave early, unauthorised periods of absence and distracted employees following the matches whilst at work.

Are you an IFA looking for legal representation re FSCS?

June 11, 2012

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has recently issued and served proceedings against hundreds of IFA's relating to the sale of Keydata products claiming that IFA's were negligent and/or in breach of contract in selling those products, following the collapse of Keydata in June 2009.

Motor insurance update

June 11, 2012

Motor Insurance update: Bus operator held responsible for injury to pedestrian crossing against red light. 

Is suspension the right option?

May 29, 2012

Often, in cases of potential misconduct, an employer will suspend the employee who is suspected of committing the alleged act of misconduct.  The confirmation letter sent to the employee will usually contain a line within it saying something along the lines of “suspension is not an indication that the company believes that you are guilty of the allegations and is not a disciplinary…

It works both ways

May 25, 2012

The effective date of termination of employment has long been an issue for employers: a letter sent by an employer setting out the employer’s decision to terminate the employee’s employment with immediate effect does not take effect when the letter is written, rather it takes effect when the employee reads the letter.

Never too late to try something new?

May 24, 2012

It seems that the case of Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police has been going on since the invention of employment law itself.

Horse owners applaud common-sense decision

May 23, 2012

This article appeared in the Western Morning News and on on Friday 18 May 2012.

Costs in Tribunal – myth or reality

May 23, 2012

In two recent cases, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has given some insight into the position on recovering costs in Employment Tribunals.

Different treatment and different outcome

May 22, 2012

Employers who want to treat employees, who guilty of, essentially, the same offence, differently need to take note of two cases.

Gay Couples have rights – shock ruling by Court of Appeal

May 21, 2012

The only surprising element of the case of Bull and Another v Hall and Another is that it found its way to the Court of Appeal.

Rejected job applicant claims

May 18, 2012

In Meister v Speech Design Carrier Systems GmbH, a case decided before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the question of whether a worker who claimed that she met the requirements of a job advertisement but was unsuccessful can get disclosure of the successful candidate's file was considered.

Sunday Trading During the Olympics – is your business ready?

May 17, 2012

On 1 May 2012 The Sunday Trading (London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games) Bill received Royal Assent. The Act will suspend restrictions on Sunday trading hours in England and Wales for eight Sundays during the period 22 July to 9 September.  Throughout this time, large shops will not have to comply with Sunday opening hours.

Non payment of annual fee can result in suspension of licence

May 10, 2012

From 25th April 2012, premises that fail to pay their annual fee on or before the due date will receive a notice of suspension of Premises Licence.

A new look for a premier firm

May 9, 2012

Trethowans, a premier law firm in the South, has unveiled a new look in the form of a brand refresh and a new website. 

Dental X-rays, age and immigration

April 24, 2012

Some of us are fortunate enough to look younger than our years and young adults are well used to producing evidence of their age at bars and clubs.  But what if you are from a country where birth records are poor or non-existent and you are claiming asylum in the UK?  

When is a resignation not a resignation?

April 23, 2012

A question faced by many employers is how to deal with an employee who resigns and subsequently attempts to retract that resignation.

How to calculate length of service

April 20, 2012

The period of employment before an employee is qualified to bring a claim of unfair dismissal is one year for those engaged on 5 April 2012 or earlier.  For those engaged on 6 April 2012 or later, it is two years.  However, the principles applied in the case of Parker Rhodes Hickmotts Solicitors v Mr C Harvey are relevant to all.

Speakers at the Salisbury Big Business Event, 23rd – 25th April

April 19, 2012

Salisbury Big Business Event 2012, being run from April 23 to 25 at Salisbury Guildhall, will give those running businesses of all sizes free advice and the chance to gain invaluable information from professionals.

How to avoid lawyers & claims against your business

April 19, 2012

Members of Trethowans Insurance Litigation team are speaking at the forthcoming Salisbury Big Business Event together with Towergate Insurance.

Illegal Contracts and Immigration

April 19, 2012

It is well established that a contract of employment can be terminated by reason of illegality and one of the most common examples of this is when an employee is not actually entitled to work in the United Kingdom.

Police Reform & Social Responsibility Act 2011

April 19, 2012

Most of the changes in this Act that affect licensing will come into effect on Wednesday 25th April. The so called "light touch" regime introduced by the new Licensing Act in 2005 is no more! The Government’s stated aim now is to "rebalance the Licensing Act" to make existing regulation stronger.

Families at Work: Discrimination on the Grounds of Marital Status

April 18, 2012

The Claimant was employed by a company, in which her husband was the Chief Executive, when a policy prohibiting the employment of close relatives was implemented.  This led to both the Claimant and her daughter being dismissed.

Redundancy: Beware the Pool of One

April 17, 2012

The Claimant was one of four Actuaries employed by the Respondent.  The Employer decided that it was necessary to make one of the Actuaries redundant following the loss of some clients.

Changes to Unfair Dismissal – Tips for Employers

April 16, 2012

As has been well-touted, on 6 April the period of service needed to bring a claim of unfair dismissal rose from 1 year to 2 years.

Immigration Rules and Civil Liberties – Uncomfortable Bedfellows

April 13, 2012

The government is continuing to roll-out its policy of breaking the link between migrants coming to work in the country then settling here. Two important new bricks were cemented into the wall on 6 April:

The year ahead: Upcoming changes in employment law

April 12, 2012

Those who entered new employment on or after 6 April 2012 and those who started Employment Tribunal claims on or after 6 April 2012 will be affected by some reforms in employment law.

Police Reform & Social Responsibility Act

March 26, 2012

It has been confirmed that most of the licensing provisions contained in this Act will come into force on 6th April. The exceptions are Early Morning Restriction Orders and Late Night Levies, which are both currently the subject of consultation. All operators and other interested parties are urged to respond to these consultations by the April closing dates.

Olympic Delivery Authority application to trade outdoors

March 22, 2012

Every licensed premises falling within a designated "Event Zone" – for example the Olympic Cycling Road Race, wanting to make use of their tables and chairs licences must have specific permission to do so.

Insurance Bulletin: Equine and Animal Claims update

March 22, 2012

In the case of Kara Goldsmith v Robert Bradley Patchcott 2012 the Court of Appeal clarified the operation of the Volenti defence provided by the Animals Act 1971 in a helpful decision for defendants.

Trethowans – proud sponsor of the Salisbury Big Business Event, 23rd – 25th April

March 22, 2012

Businesses are set to benefit from a new three-day business event which organisers say is the first of its kind in the country.

Trethowans – proud sponsor of the Salisbury Big Business Event

March 22, 2012

Businesses are set to benefit from a new three-day business event which organisers say is the first of its kind in the country.

TUPE Service Provision Change – A Change of Direction?

March 20, 2012

In the case of Eddie Stobart Limited (ES) v Mr J Moreman and Others, FJG Logistics Limited and Mr M Cooper the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) had to decide whether TUPE applied to a relatively common situation.

Liability for an Agent’s behaviour

March 19, 2012

The recent case of Kemeh v Ministry of Defence ET/3104095/10 reminds employers that they can be liable for discriminatory acts committed not only by their employees, but also by their agents.

Compensation awards in Tribunals

March 16, 2012

In the recent case of Laing v Allma Construction Limited (UKEATS/ 0041/11/BI), the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has given useful guidance on the questions that Employment Tribunals should ask themselves when considering whether a compensation award should be reduced or increased.

Can you be your own employee?

March 14, 2012

Whilst the benefits of being a Partner, in terms of control of a firm and remuneration, are very attractive during an appointment, some Partners may wish to also claim the benefits of being an employee following the termination of the appointment.

Victimisation in References

March 13, 2012

There has been an important decision on victimisation claims this month from an Employment Tribunal in the case of Jessemey v Rowstock Ltd and Another.

Do you know the Muffin Man?

March 12, 2012

Every so often, a case comes along that is a joy to read about.  Despite the unengaging title, Medhin v Compass Group UK & Ireland Ltd t/a Restaurant Associates ET/ 2300304/10 is one of those cases.

Equality and Human Rights Commission Code of Practice (Part 2)

March 9, 2012

It is unlawful for an employer to ask a job applicant about his or her health or disability until a job offer has been made.  This can be a conditional or unconditional job offer.

Changes to the Immigration Rules Affecting Tier 1 (Post-Study Work)

March 8, 2012

Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) of the points based immigration system has enabled foreign students from outside the EEA to start building careers in this country following their graduation.  It does so by permitting them to take employment without being subject to the full rigours of the sponsorship regime. This will change on 5 April when Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) will close to new applicants.

Court Proceedings to be served via Facebook

February 24, 2012

The English High Court has approved the use of Facebook for a claim to be served on a Defendant.

Sayce something new about credit hire

January 27, 2012

The original decision in Sayce v TNT 2011 was a welcome decision for insurers as it showed how the Courts were taking a tough approach on Claimants who unreasonably refuse a Defendant's offer of hire following an accident. However, last month the Court of Appeal reversed this decision.

Insurance industry contemplates Costa Concordia cruise disaster

January 24, 2012

We have all read the news headlines about the Costa Concordia disaster over the past 10 days. The ship ran aground on Friday 13th January off the coast of Giglio in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the West Coast of Italy after a hitting a rock. It was carrying over 4,000 passengers and crew.

(1) Hunter v McCarrick and (2) Enterprise Management Services Limited v Connect-Up Limited & Others (service provision change and TUPE)

January 23, 2012

Hunter v McCarrick

Wang v University of Keele

January 20, 2012

All HR professionals know an ex-employee has three months from the effective date of termination in which to present a claim of unfair dismissal.  That three month period begins with the effective date of termination of employment.  However, when is the effective date of termination of employment when the employee has been given notice of termination?

The Guardian: consumers are cold about going to a big brand to help them move home

January 19, 2012

Reporting today on a recent poll (understood to be a YouGov survey) of 1,959 consumers for legal indemnity provider First Title Insurance found that " people are generally happy with high street conveyancers yet by contrast very cool about the idea of going to a big brand to help them move house."

(1) KHS AG v Schulte and (2) Fraser v Southwest London St George’s Mental Health Trust (holidays and absence)

January 19, 2012

The law in this area is in a state of flux that benefits no one and frankly, is rather unacceptable.

Act now to avoid Stamp Duty

January 19, 2012

March 24th is the last day for the suspension of stamp duty for first-time buyers purchasing property priced between £125,000 and £250,000. A saving of up to £2,500.

Russell v Transocean International (rest periods)

January 18, 2012

Considering that the premise of the Working time Regulations 1998 is very simple: that all workers and employees are entitled to breaks from work and paid annual leave, it is remarkable how much litigation this one piece of legislation has generated.

Must you foresee a transfer?

January 17, 2012

Spaceright Europe Limited v BaillavoineUnder the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, commonly referred to as TUPE, the dismissal of an employee is automatically unfair if it is for a "reason connected with the transfer".

Freedom of Choice – Legal Expenses Insurance

January 16, 2012

Footballers, fast cars and the law

January 16, 2012

Allianz Insurance were involved in a long running credit hire case with England Footballer Darren Bent. The footballer hired an Aston Martin DB9 from credit hire company Accident Exchange after an accident in February 2007. This incurred charges of some £63,406, being £573.28 per day plus VAT for the car, which Darren Bent sought to recover from Allianz. Allianz insured the van…

Pension scheme and Part-timers

January 13, 2012

Copple and others v Littlewoods Plc

Part-time workers and discretionary holidays

January 12, 2012

Over the Christmas and New Year periods, many employers closed early on Christmas eve or New Year's eve, essentially giving the employees who were working those days extra "free" holiday.

HS2: £33bn high speed rail

January 12, 2012

On Tuesday this week, Government Minister and Secretary of State for Transport Justine  Greening, announced the Government's decision to proceed with plans for a  £33billion High Speed 2 line from London to Birmingham and, eventually, Manchester and Leeds — despite massive public opposition,  Tory warnings that it will prove a costly 'white elephant', and…

Protected or vulnerable

January 11, 2012

Speedier Justice

January 10, 2012

It is a criminal offence for employment agencies to introduce or supply temporary workers to replace either a striking worker or a worker moved to cover the work of a striker, provided that the strike action is not unofficial.

New Year’s Resolutions

January 9, 2012

As Christmas becomes a dim memory and gym memberships peak, why not welcome 2012 with some resolutions designed to improve more than your waistline.


January 9, 2012

Currently the majority of Mortgage Lenders are quite happy to have the Borrower's lawyer act for it when having the Borrower enter into one of its home buying mortgages. This makes the paperwork faster, and with one set of lawyers it is cheaper for the Borrower. After all, both Lender and Borrower will be scrutinising the same legal paperwork, and who better than the Borrower's lawyer to…

Have you taken out insurance for your ski trip?

December 28, 2011

Despite the recent press coverage of the number of skiers and snowboarders taking to the slopes without the appropriate insurance or even no insurance at all, three out of five skiers are continuing to take the unnecessary risk.

Why you should buy your ski pass in the UK

December 22, 2011

Whether there is going to be any snow or how deep it will be should not be your only concern before you hit the slopes this winter. Where you book your ski pass could be a big problem if things go wrong.

Rise In Compensation Limits Announced

December 21, 2011

Conveyancing / property movers Q&As

December 21, 2011

Q I just repaid my mortgage, but haven't received the title deeds to my house. Where are they likely to be?

Never been a better time for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder

December 21, 2011

Reporting in the Daily Mirror "there's never been a better time for first-time buyers to make their move and get a foot on the property ladder."

A battle of the courts

December 14, 2011

The news that a lap dancer has been granted the right to appeal against Stringfellows as to whether she was employed by that esteemed establishment is, no doubt, guaranteed to attract attention; however, unfortunately, there is very little else that can be said about that case.

To love, honour and lose your job over

December 13, 2011

Although it is an element of employment law that rarely makes headlines, most employers will be aware that it is unlawful to discriminate against employees on the grounds of their marital status.

Refreshing the parts other beers cannot reach

December 12, 2011

Re: Albron v Bondgenoten

Some clarity on employer liability for holiday not taken due to sickness

December 9, 2011

In recent years, workers' rights in respect of holiday entitlement during periods of long term sickness have come before the courts time and time again.  Firstly, there was the case of Stringer which found that, where an employee had not had an opportunity to exercise their right to statutory holiday because of sickness, they are entitled to carry this unused holiday over to the next…

‘Protected conversations’ – could you ever be sure?

December 8, 2011

In announcing the Government's plans to radically reform employment relations, Vince Cable implied that a system allowing employers to have "protected conversations" with their employees was likely to be introduced, albeit that the Government would consult on the detail of this proposal in 2012.

Reform of Employment Law

December 7, 2011

On 23 November the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills announced proposals to make significant changes to employment law and practice. The proposals are:

Think before you speak

December 6, 2011

On 7 November, Theresa May, Home Secretary, made a statement saying that Brodie Clarke, the Head of the UK Border Agency, had relaxed immigrations controls beyond what had been asked of him; therefore highlighting his alleged mistakes for all the world to see.  What followed was a whirl of media hype, strong public allegations and criticisms made by Theresa May, who was, in essence, Mr…

First-time buyers face

November 30, 2011

The chancellor George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement today that the government will not be extending the stamp duty holiday beyond next March.

Have your say – proposed changes to ‘regulated entertainment’ regime

November 22, 2011

The latest DCMS consultation on licensing examines one of the most burdensome regimes introduced by the Licensing Act 2003.

Whistle while you work

November 11, 2011

Most employers will know that they can be held liable for the legal wrongdoings of an employee, so, for example, if an employee commits sexual harassments, the employer may well still be liable.  The Court of Appeal has now confirmed that the situation in protected disclosure ("whistle-blowing") cases is different.

Can a Tribunal decide that a dismissal is for an alternative fair reason than that proposed by an Employer?

November 10, 2011

In order to fairly dismiss an employee, an employer must have a potentially fair reason for doing so, namely conduct, capability, illegality, redundancy or some other substantial reason (previously retirement as well).

Even the Employment Tribunal sometimes forgets that there are 3 remedies for unfair dismissal

November 9, 2011

By far, the most common remedy for unfair dismissal is compensation, however, a Claimant can request two other remedies; reinstatement or re-engagement.

More holiday rights for sick workers

November 8, 2011

The position in relation to holiday rights of employees who are on long term sick has been considered again by an Employment Tribunal in the case of Adams and another v Harwich International Port Ltd.

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

November 7, 2011

Mrs Okuoimose is Nigerian.  Her husband is Spanish.  By virtue of EU Directive 2004/38 on the rights of citizens of the EU and their families, Mrs Okuoimose has the right to live and work in the UK; however, her passport was endorsed with a stamp which said that a:

First Prosecution under the Bribery Act

November 4, 2011

The first prosecution has now taken place under the Bribery Act 2010.  A former Magistrates Court Administrative Officer pleaded guilty to accepting a £500 bribe to "get rid" of a speeding ticket.

The terrible impact of the current unfair dismissal rules

November 3, 2011

A Downing Street report has suggested that the current unfair dismissal laws are stifling growth by preventing employers from removing under-performing staff and replacing them with superior staff through fear of unfair dismissal claims.  In particular, the report focuses on the current capability procedures, suggesting that they are arduous and allow employees to work below their true level…

JLS perform for fans at Nando’s – with a little help from Trethowans

November 1, 2011

JLS treated fans at Nando’s to an intimate first play of their new album, Jukebox, last month.  The event, held at Nando’s recently opened Great Portland Street restaurant, was a great success with 200 devoted fans attending.  The licensing team at Trethowans were under time pressure to get the Temporary Event Notice Application granted in time for the event, which would…

Court gives judgment on £104,000,000 legal costs case

November 1, 2011

The recent case of Motto v Trafigura [2011] has seen the largest ever claim for costs in British history, with the Claimants' solicitors submitting a bill of costs of over £104 million, including an ATE premium of £9.6 million.

Should employers be able to unfairly dismiss staff without there being any legal repercussions?

October 26, 2011

The report suggests that the unfair dismissal process could simply say that if discrimination was not involved, an employer could dismiss the employee at any time without giving a reason.  The employer would only need to pay the employee his or her contractual notice period and the termination payment that they would have received had their role been made redundant. 

Claimants warned against rejecting Defendants offers of hire

October 17, 2011

The case of Sayce v TNT (2011) is a welcome decision for insurers as it shows how the Courts are taking a tough approach on Claimants who unreasonably refuse a Defendant's offer of hire following an accident.

When can you fairly dismiss an employee for derogatory comments on social media sites?

October 14, 2011

This has been a very topical issue for employers since the flourish of social media sites and services such as Facebook and Twitter.

Preparing commercial property for sale

October 13, 2011

You may be looking to sell your commercial premises in the near future. If so, there are steps that your solicitor could take now to compile a comprehensive sale pack and to ensure that the sale proceeds quickly without any unexpected issues.

Conflict at work can lead to SOSR dismissal

October 13, 2011

When an employee is dismissed as a result of a conflict at work, it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether the reason is misconduct or if the employer can treat the dismissal as being for some other substantial reason (SOSR).  The distinction can have a significant impact on what processes the employer should follow when conducting the dismissal.  The case of Ezsias v North…

Disability: When is an adjustment reasonable?

October 12, 2011

Deciding whether an adjustment is reasonable, to determine whether it is required by disability discrimination legislation, is a quandary that affects many employers.

Guidance on National Minimum Wage for Work Experience and Internships

October 11, 2011

The National Minimum Wage was introduced in 1999 and was hailed as a leap forward for the rights of workers.  From 1 October 2011, the minimum hourly wage for workers aged 21 or over is £6.08, for those aged 18 to 20 it is £4.98 and for those aged 16 to 17 it is £3.68.

The Pensions Bill 2011

October 10, 2011

The Pensions Bill heralds significant changes in pensions law and practice which will affect most businesses and millions of lower/middle income workers.  When the Bill comes into force next year, it will:

Health Act 2009: Tobacco

October 10, 2011

The Government’s plans to ban cigarette advertising, display and vending machine sales are well known, as is the unsuccessful challenge to that proposal launched by a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco.  The main restrictions will come into force in two years’ time, but, in England, some are biting with effect from 1 October 2011.  Other parts of the UK will follow…

Workers to be charged to issue Employment Tribunal claims

October 7, 2011

The headline for employment lawyers in relation to George Osborne’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference was that, from April 2012, an employee must have two years’ continuous service in order to make a claim for unfair dismissal.  In addition, Mr Osborne announced that, from April 2013, an employee will need to pay a fee in order to issue a claim in the Employment…

No Limits to Defending Insurance Fraud

October 3, 2011

Whilst the majority of Claimants will believe that a final settlement means exactly that, there has been a trend of recent cases seeing Defendants pursuing fresh actions for damages against Claimants who make false representations regarding the value and extent of their claim.   

When will the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims be increased to two years?

October 3, 2011

From today until 19 October 2011 the focus is on employment law.  The Government aims to have a “one in, one out” system so that the ever increasing amount of employment regulation remains static or decreases.  The Government believes that one of the key laws holding employers back is that employees can bring an unfair dismissal claim once they accrue one year of continuous…

Slips trips and falls dominate accidents at work

October 3, 2011

A recent survey jointly conducted by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the Health and Safety Executive has found that one third of all major injuries in the workplace are caused by slips, trips and falls.

Zero Tolerance towards Claimants that Lie

September 29, 2011

Recent cases have shown that the Courts are becoming more willing to pursue Claimants for contempt of court if they are found to have made false representations during a trial in order to obtain more compensation.

What should you do if one of your employees ‘did a Tevez’?

September 28, 2011

Manchester City might not enjoy the story on the back pages of their 2-0 defeat at Bayern Munich last night, but manager Roberto Mancini will certainly not like the fact that Carlos Tevez is once again on the front pages, this time for apparently refusing to come on as a substitute. 

Mortgage lending hits highest levels in 2 years

September 21, 2011

Total lending was £13.4bn in August, up 6 per cent from July and 10 per cent from a year earlier.

Removals companies want to know why they are given little notice of completion and why the money takes so long to arrive and for keys to be released?

September 20, 2011

It is easy to overlook how many people and businesses are in fact caught up in the house moving process – the buyer, seller, their conveyancers, surveyors, mortgage advisers, and of course removals. Indeed, conveyancers are often informed by their clients that ‘the removal company is waiting outside’.

energy performance certificates

September 19, 2011

The Department for Communities and Legal Government (“DCLG”) has announced the following changes to the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007:

Whiplash – “a profitable invention of the human imagination”?

September 19, 2011

Britain’s “Compensation Culture” is a hotly debated and topical subject. Jack Straw went to town on the subject in the Commons last week when he bemoaned “the extraordinary increase in the number and value of claims for personal injuries” with over 1200 claims for whiplash being made every day in the UK.

Termination of an Agreement for Lease

September 15, 2011

In the case of Extra MSA Services Cobham Ltd and another v Accor UK Economy Hotels Ltd and another (2010), the High Court had to consider whether a developer had the right to terminate a conditional agreement for lease.

The end is nigh for Carver

September 13, 2011

Temporary Workers – Don’t Panic!

September 12, 2011

If recent stories in the press are to believed, the demise of the temporary agency worker, or “temps”, is imminent.  Employer bodies are also warning that the introduction of the Agency Worker Regulations on 1 October 2011 will hamper the ability of businesses to create jobs.

Riot Compensation

September 12, 2011

The Association of British Insurers has published guidance on riot compensation.  Under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886, compensation is provided for organisations and individuals who have suffered losses that they could not have anticipated.

The End of Dual Representation?

September 9, 2011

It is very common for lawyers to act on behalf of the borrower and lender for commercial and residential transactions (although lenders will usually appoint their own lawyers when dealing with a high value and / or complex transaction).   

Illegality of contract based on employment status

September 9, 2011

In the case of Connolly v Whitestone Solicitors, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered whether a solicitor could be deprived of his employment rights on the basis that his contract had been ‘tainted by illegality’ as a result of his misrepresentation of his employment status to HMRC.

Rugby World Cup: Trying Times for Employers

September 9, 2011

The Rugby World Cup kicks off this morning, with New Zealand hoping to end their 24 year wait to raise the Webb Ellis Trophy on home turf.

Separating out supplements in equal pay claims

September 8, 2011

Under the Equal Pay Act 1970 and now under the Equality Act 2010, a woman can pursue an equal pay claim where any term of her contract was less favourable than a term of a similar kind in the contract of her male comparator. 

ABI slams “Have a go” Compensation Culture

September 7, 2011

In a tough talking report out this week, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have hit out at Britain’s compensation culture. They have joined forces with some of the UK’s leading retail and business names, such as ASDA, Argos, Ford and Whitbread, to highlight the flaws in the current compensation system and press for reform of the way that these claims are funded.

Sense and Suitability (in redundancy)

September 6, 2011

It is a well established principle that when an employee, in a redundant job, unreasonably refuses to  accept an offer of suitable alternative employment the employer can treat the employee as being dismissed and the employee loses their right to a redundancy payment. 

Sleep on it

September 5, 2011

There are many industries that require staff to sleep over at their place of work.  The Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) introduced legislation to protect night workers.  Employers must ensure that those working over-night are not required to work in excess of an average of 8 hours per shift.

Decrease in Employment Tribunals

September 2, 2011

The Employment Tribunals' annual statistics have just been published and the headline news is a fall of 8% in the number of claims received between April 2010 and March 2011, as compared to the previous 12 months.

The Whiplash Lie Detector: Fighting Fraudulent Injury Claims

August 18, 2011

Whiplash injuries account for more than three-quarters of all insurance claims resulting from a Road Traffic Accident. The insurance industry is adamant that many such claims are fraudulent; however without an effective test for injury and with symptoms so easy to imitate it is extremely difficult to prove that these claims are fabricated.

Court fails to penalise Claimant who exaggerates claim for damages

August 17, 2011

The recent case of Fox v Foundation Piling Ltd [2011] has delivered a blow to Defendants by finding that a Claimant who grossly exaggerated his claim for damages should still be entitled to recover all of his legal costs.

Lease Renewals – Important Points to Consider

August 17, 2011

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (the “1954 Act”) gives business tenants security of tenure, which means that the tenancy created by the lease will not automatically terminate at the end of the term.  It also means that the tenant is entitled to apply to the landlord for a new lease on the same terms as the previous lease.

Holiday Reading from the Advocate General

August 12, 2011

It is August, so the Advocate General to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has been thinking about the vexed issue of holiday pay before she packs her bucket and spade and jets off to wherever Advocate Generals take their ease.  She has published two opinions which may have significant implications for UK businesses if they are adopted by the ECJ. Williams and Others v British Airways…

Dismissal for driving HGV without a licence was fair

August 11, 2011

In the case of Wincanton plc v Atkinson and another, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has overturned a decision that an employer had unfairly dismissed two lorry drivers who had mistakenly allowed their HGV licences to expire. 

Are you aware of the Riot (Damages) Act 1886?

August 11, 2011

Unless you have recently been on holiday on the moon you won’t have failed to hear all about the damage and loss caused by the events in London and other cities over recent days.

Tradition v Discrimination

August 10, 2011

The British Open was recently played at the exclusive Royal St George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent.  The Club has attracted some bad press because it is perhaps too exclusive; women are not allowed to become members.

Pay Cuts and Unfair Dismissal

August 9, 2011

The recent decision of the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) in Garside and Laycock Ltd v Booth serves to remind employers of what will be construed to be reasonable when dismissing employees who refuse to accept pay cuts. 

Football Focus

August 8, 2011

With less than a month to go before the start of the new football season, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has kicked us off with a recent case of a football manager who decided he had been red-carded by his employer. James McBride was employed by Falkirk Football & Athletic Club as the manager/head coach of the under 19s team.  Mr McBride was responsible for team selection and…

Refuse Pay Cut Dismissals

August 5, 2011

In Southampton, the bin men are revolting.

The Big Society Marches On

July 25, 2011

There are more changes afoot in the way local authorities run local services, including licensing. Following on from the Police Reform & Social Responsibility Bill, due on the statute books early next year, the government has this month published a White Paper called “Open Public Services”.

Facebook Finds Fraud in Crash for Cash

July 15, 2011

Social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook are now an integral part of everyday life and the benefits of these sites in a professional context are continually being explored. With more than 750 million Facebook users and over 200 million Twitter users worldwide it is little wonder that litigation lawyers are latching onto these resources as an effective tool in defending personal…

Couple Convicted for Contempt following Exaggerated Claim for Damages

July 15, 2011

A Claimant has been sentenced to prison for nine months for contempt of court after exaggerating a personal injury claim following a road traffic accident. He was found to have made false statements to inflate the value of the claim and his wife, who supported and verified the false statements, has been given a six-month suspended sentence.

Works Outing

July 15, 2011

The Court of Appeal, in the recent case of Grant v HM Land Registry, gave excellent guidance on considering harassment claims. 

Reasonable adjustments and employer’s knowledge of disability

July 14, 2011

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has confirmed that the duty to make reasonable adjustments under disability discrimination law did not apply where the employer did not know (or could not reasonably have known) that the employee in question was disabled. An employer is not under a duty to make reasonable adjustments if it does not know and could not reasonably be expected to know that an…

Look out!

July 13, 2011

In some circumstances, despite following a fair procedure, a dismissal will still be unfair. 

UPDATE: How the ‘Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill’ Affects Your Business

July 13, 2011

The Bill is slowly progressing through the parliamentary process, with the latest House of Lords Committee Hearing taking place earlier this month.

School’s uniform policy discriminatory

July 12, 2011

The High Court has decided that a school’s policy banning the cornrows hairstyle was unlawful and constituted indirect race discrimination.

Legal Representation at Internal Disciplinaries

July 11, 2011

The case of R (on application of G) v The Governors of School X has clarified the extent to which Article 6 applies to internal disciplinaries.

News of the World Closure: What does it mean for the employees?

July 8, 2011

Yesterday’s announcement that the News of The World is to close, after 168 years, sent shock waves around the publishing world.

An Unappealing Prospect

July 8, 2011

The very nature of any litigation means that at least one party will leave the Hearing in a very disgruntled mood after receiving the Judgement; however, once the immediate shock has passed, most people just want to put the whole process behind them.

Sky News Interviews Trethowans Solicitor James Humphery: Too Late For Tougher Control Of Immigration?

July 1, 2011

A legal expert has warned controlling the flow of immigration is not as simple as the Government might have us believe. The warning comes as Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith issues a plea to businesses to recruit unemployed British workers, rather than immigrants, as new figures suggest more than half of new jobs are being taken by foreigners.

The Jackson Proposals take a Further Step towards Becoming Law

July 1, 2011

Key elements of the Jackson Report have now been formally embodied in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill 2010-11, which received its second reading in Parliament yesterday (only one week after its publication and first reading).

Are you ready for the Bribery Act?

July 1, 2011

Jack Straw Tackles Referral Fees

June 27, 2011

In an article for The Times, Jack Straw described the spiralling cost of insurance, which he says is caused by referral fees to personal injury lawyers, as a “racket”. He goes on to say that insurance companies are complicit in this.

Late Night Levy

June 27, 2011

Government proposals to introduce a late night levy on premises selling alcohol have come under further scrutiny in the House of Lords. Some proposed amendments to the licensing section of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill were withdrawn or thrown out at the latest committee hearing, but the late night levy seems to have survived this stage of the consultation process.

Risk of prison sentence and unlimited fine for Asbestos Control non-compliance

June 22, 2011

Commercial Property Update: People who don’t comply with the current legislation on Asbestos Control could be at risk of being given a prison sentence of up to two years and/or an unlimited fine. 

When is compensation for career-long loss appropriate

June 17, 2011

In the case of Wardle v Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, the Court of Appeal confirmed that, in the vast majority of cases, employment tribunals should assess future loss of earnings up to the point when an employee is likely to secure a new job.

No basis for discrimination where non-disabled persons would be similarly treated

June 16, 2011

In this case Mr Chweidan was employed within JP Morgan’s credit sale team. In 2007, he suffered a skiing accident resulting in back injuries that were agreed to constitute a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Mr Chweidan returned to work on reduced hours but his financial performance was unaffected and he earned more for JP Morgan in 2007 than he had the previous year…

Refusing time off to pray

June 15, 2011

In the case of Cherfi v G4S Security Services Limited, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) considered on what grounds an employer could justify a potentially discriminatory working provision. 

Tips on Motor Insurance for Young Drivers

June 14, 2011

In recent years young drivers have seen the cost of car insurance increase with some annual premiums being more expensive than the price of the vehicle itself. From 20 June 2011 every vehicle must have a valid insurance policy even if it is not being used, unless a Statutory Off Road Notice has been obtained.

Dismissal in response to Baby ‘P’ case was unlawful

June 14, 2011

An Ofsted inspection into the unit considered that there were a number of failings within the department, including “insufficient strategic leadership and management oversight of safeguarding services by Haringey councillors and officers”.

Bank Holiday Bonanza

June 13, 2011

In a similar vein to the recent Royal Wedding weekend, this means that employees will be able to benefit from a 10 day break for just 3 days of holiday entitlement.

Bring your lawyer to work day

June 10, 2011

It is standard practice, when an employee asks to bring a friend, family member or lawyer to a disciplinary meeting to recite the response of “you are entitled to be accompanied by a work colleague or a trade union representative”.  This, in most cases, remains the best course of action.

Home Secretary ‘boldly pushing back the tide of migrants’

June 10, 2011

Yesterday the government unveiled proposals which will go a long way to breaking the link between work based immigration and settlement in this country.

Bribery Act 2010 – What does it mean for you?

June 9, 2011

The Bribery Act 2010 (“the Act”) comes into force on 1 July 2011.The Act will replace, update and extend the existing law against corruption, which dates back to 1889.  The Act extends the crime of bribery to cover all private sector transactions (previously bribery offences were confined to transactions involving public officials and agents).  Its scope is extensive.…

Employer Lacuna or Hakuna Matata?

June 8, 2011

If you run a business and employ staff then read on as you may not be aware of a potential gap or "lacuna" which could mean that your business may face claims in the future for which it is not insured. It is a situation which can be easily remedied by taking precautions now.

Legal Costs Reforms could be good news for your business

June 6, 2011

If your business has ever found itself on the wrong end of a claim then read on.  The Government has launched an attack on “No Win, No Fee” arrangements and the so-called “Compensation Culture”, which can only be a good thing for most businesses.

Anti-bribery policies are the way forward

June 2, 2011

The Bribery Act 2010 ("the Act") is due to come into force on 1 July 2011.

ROME II – What is it all about again and where are we 2 years on?

May 31, 2011

It is now over 2 years since the implementation of European Regulation 864/2007, better known as “Rome II”. Reviewing the legislation, Kelvin Farmaner, Partner and Head of Insurance Litigation at Trethowans LLP in conjunction with the Van Ameyde Group asks whether everyone is now clear on its scope and application.

Proposed Bill set to reduce road fatalities

May 26, 2011

MP Sir Alan Beith last week urged fellow Members of Parliament to back his Road Safety Bill, which includes provisions for all new lorries to be fitted with sensors that can warn a lorry driver if a cyclist is in their blind spot.

Insurance Law Reforms

May 26, 2011

The current laws on insurance contracts are archaic and onerous, and can frequently result in consumers discovering that they are not in fact covered by their policy as they failed to provide their insurer with all the facts when the policy was purchased.

Motor Insurance Crackdown

May 24, 2011

In the ongoing battle to crackdown on uninsured drivers and make the roads safer, new laws come into force on 20 June 2011 which will make it an offence for vehicle owners to keep an uninsured vehicle, rather than just to drive an uninsured vehicle.

The risks of not complying with Premises Licence conditions

May 19, 2011

There is an increasing trend amongst licensing authorities and police towards taking enforcement action for breach of Premises Licence conditions. This can lead to formal review of the Licence, or even a criminal prosecution.

Government launches Consultation on Modern Workplaces

May 16, 2011

Today sees the Coalition Government's launch of a consultation that could introduce some new concepts. The main aim of the "Consultation on Modern Workplaces" is to make employment practices in Britain more flexible and family friendly.

Horse Owners Beware – The Risk of Strict Liability Claims Remains

May 13, 2011

Horse owners in the Westcountry are being warned they could still be held ‘strictly liable’ for some accidents involving horses and other animals.

Employer pays for careless words

May 12, 2011

The recent case of McKie v Swindon College confirms that the duty for employers not to misrepresent employees can extend beyond what is said in a reference.

Major Review of Employment Laws

May 11, 2011

It has been reported that the Chancellor, George Osborne, has this afternoon told the Institute of Directors that he is planning a major review of key employment laws in order “to support private sector growth and create jobs”.

Employee dismissed for taking time off to look after child

May 11, 2011

In the case of Clarke v Credit Resource Solutions, the Employment Tribunal decided that an employee was subjected to a detriment and unfairly dismissed for taking time off work to make emergency childcare arrangements. 

Limiting the application of Article 6 of the European Convention

May 10, 2011

The High Court has passed down a judgment in R v Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which has introduced a welcome limitation on the application of Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights to disciplinary proceedings. 

Are you eligible for compensation?

May 9, 2011

The British Bankers' Association has today confirmed that it does not intend to appeal the recent High Court decision regarding Payment Protection Insurance meaning that several million people could be eligible for compensation.

Reasons for Unfair Dismissal and Immigration Status

May 9, 2011

In Kurumuth v NHS Trust North Middlesex University Hospital, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decided that a Tribunal does not have to second guess an employer’s decision about an employee’s immigration status.

Sony’s Data Protection Breach

May 6, 2011

Sony has admitted that it has lost the personal data of up to 77 million customers.  The information lost includes personal data such as names, e-mail addresses and credit card details. 

Agency Workers Regulations

May 6, 2011

The Government has today published guidance to help employers and the recruitment sector prepare for the introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations.

Belief in the higher purpose of public service broadcasting protected by discrimination law

May 5, 2011

In the case of Maistry v BBC, an Employment Tribunal decided that a belief in the “higher purpose” of public service broadcasting, to encourage debate and citizenship in a public space, is a philosophical belief that qualified for protection under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 (the “Regulations”). The fact that the belief was based on the…

Financial Ombudsman Service provide clarification on ash-cloud cases

May 2, 2011

It is now over a year since the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokall erupted causing travel chaos for thousands.  An onslaught of claims to travel insurers ensued, causing insurers and policy holders alike to closely scrutinise the wording of their policies.

Cash for Crash fraudsters sentenced in motor insurance crackdown

April 28, 2011

After a five year insurance fraud investigation, three members of a gang involved in a “cash for crash” insurance scam have today been sentenced.  Convicted of conspiracy to defraud, the trio have been jailed for terms of 18 months, four and a half years and five years.

The Anti Social Network

April 27, 2011

As anyone who watched the recent film knows, since its very inception Facebook has been the subject of litigation.

The Bribery Act and Property Transactions – A Cause for Concern?

April 26, 2011

The Bribery Act 2010 (the ‘Act’) is due to come into force on 1 July 2011. This article focuses on the direct effect on property transactions. In particular, what impact is the Act likely to have on the behaviour of property professionals, including agents, surveyors and developers, during their usual course of business?

Court Ruling Looks Set to Turn Down the Volume on Noise Induced Hearing Loss Claims

April 20, 2011

Last week the House of Lords allowed (by a majority of 3 to 2) the appeal of Quantum Clothing Group Limited and others from the Court of Appeal’s previous decision, restoring the original Judgment of HH Judge Inglis in Baker v Quantum Clothing Group Limited & Others.

FSA Wins Round One of Payment Protection Insurance Battle

April 20, 2011

The High Court has today given a ruling which will have major implications for the financial services industry, adding more woes to an already beleaguered sector.

Good Immigration? You Decide!

April 15, 2011

The Prime Minister wants good immigration not mass immigration. As soundbites go that's pretty catchy but like all soundbites it skates over the real challenge. Take Matthew and Francesca who've both applied for permission to stay in this country. There's a fair amount of common ground between them:-

How Packaging Waste Regulations Can Affect Your Business

April 13, 2011

Household name retailer, M&S, prosecuted for Asbestos breaches

April 13, 2011

In January 2010 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) initiated criminal proceedings against Marks and Spencer plc for asbestos-related breaches at shops in Bournemouth, Plymouth and Reading. Amidst a flurry of media interest, the high profile Trial has now commenced.

Agency Worker Regulations Guidance Published

April 12, 2011

The Government has just published its guidance on the Agency Workers Regulations which are due to come in to force on 1 October 2011.  The intention of these Regulations is that, with some exceptions, Agency Workers will have the same basic rights to benefits as permanent employees.

Talkin’ Bout A Revolution.

April 11, 2011

Fidel Castro once said "a revolution is not a bed of roses", and he should know.  In fact, turn on any television or radio or flick through a newspaper, whether online or on paper, and it is impossible to avoid news of revolutions which are far away from any such flowery sleep apparatus.

Can employers dismiss a member of staff because of a ‘difficult personality’?

April 8, 2011

In the case of Ezsias v North Glamorgan NHS Trust, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decided that an employee who was dismissed because of a breakdown in relationships at work was dismissed for ‘some other substantial reason’ (SOSR), not misconduct.  As conduct was not the reason for dismissal, the EAT decided that the Tribunal had been entitled to find that the…

Redundancies following TUPE transfers

April 7, 2011

The Scottish case of First Scottish Searching Services Limited v McDine sheds some interesting light on the tricky situation which arises when making redundancies after a TUPE transfer.

Bribery Act: Are you ready?

April 6, 2011

Businesses should take note of new legislation in the form of the Bribery Act, which will come into force on 1 July 2011. This is one of the most sweeping anti-corruption measures in English history.

Employment law implications of the Budget

April 6, 2011

Not so flexible working

The Worker Registration Scheme

April 5, 2011

The Worker Registration Scheme will close on 30th April 2011. The scheme was introduced when the A8 countries joined the European Economic Area.  It requires workers from A8 countries to obtain a registration card and to work legally for a qualifying period of 12 months, without a break in their continuity of employment, before they become eligible for a residence permit.  

Brave new world for expert witnesses

March 31, 2011

Experts 400 year old immunity removed

Costs changes announced by Ken Clarke ‘not revolutionary’

March 30, 2011

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has indicated that legislation will be introduced to give effect to Lord Justice Jackson’s reforms.  Ken Clarke addressed the House of Commons yesterday regarding the Government’s plans to implement the civil litigation reform proposals put forward by Lord Justice Jackson.

Travellers urged to look carefully at Insurance Policies

March 29, 2011

Travellers in Japan may well be finding themselves reading the small print of their travel insurance policies. Frequently, polices do not provide cover for “acts of God” – events arising out of natural causes with no human intervention which could not have been prevented by reasonable care or foresight. Where does that leave travellers stranded in countries affected by natural…

Major changes to the student visa system

March 23, 2011

The Home Secretary has today announced major changes to the student visa system. The main changes are:

SDLT increasing for residential properties

March 23, 2011

The Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) rate for residential transactions where the chargeable consideration exceeds £1 million will increase to 5% from April 2011. So, for a residential transaction where the purchase price is £1 million, the SDLT liability will increase to £50,000 – that’s an additional £10,000!

The Public Health Responsibility Deal – a good deal for everyone?

March 23, 2011

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, has unveiled the government’s Responsibility Deal.

Case forces cyclists to consider insurance options

March 23, 2011

A Commons Bill is to be heard in the House of Commons in a fight to change the criminal laws relating to cyclists. Rhiannon Bennet, 17, was walking on a footpath when she was hit by a cyclist. Shortly before hitting her the cyclist had shouted at Rhiannon to “move because I’m not stopping” before crashing into her. Rhiannon died of head injuries six days later.

Trethowans is moving in Southampton

March 22, 2011

Due to the growth of the firm and the resulting need for more space, Trethowans Solicitors is planning to move to larger offices in Southampton.  Negotiations are still continuing with all relevant parties and further details will be confirmed in due course.

Insurers hail common sense victory

March 22, 2011

Ecclesiastical Insurance has successfully defended a claim involving a charity dog walker who was injured whilst working for an animal charity. The case is being heralded as an important victory for common sense.

Royal Wedding – are you ready?

March 21, 2011

It looks as though the automatic extension to licensing hours for on-licensed premises is finally going to be given the go-ahead.

Another Cull of Migrant Workers

March 21, 2011

The number of jobs available to migrants is to be reduced, including senior care workers and skilled sheep shearers.

Lessons to be learnt – two important disability discrimination decisions

March 11, 2011

1. Disabled employee entitled to legal representation at an internal meeting

Employer’s intention important in constructive dismissal claim

March 10, 2011

In the case of Tullet Prebon Plc and ors v BGC Broker LP and ors, the Court of Appeal decided that, when considering whether an employer’s actions towards an employee amounted to a repudiatory breach of contract, entitling the employee to claim constructive dismissal, it is important to closely consider the employer’s intention.

TUPE and pre-pack administration

March 9, 2011

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) has determined that administration will not be sufficient to avoid regulations 4 and 7 of TUPE.

First Corporate Manslaughter Trial

March 8, 2011

Cotswold Geotechnical (Holdings) Limited is the first company to be found guilty under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

Growing flexibility towards costs in Tribunals

March 7, 2011

Costs in Employment Tribunal claims are very rare and can only be awarded on limited grounds, such as the vexatious or unreasonable behaviour of a party; however, Tribunals appear to be extending the interpretation of these limitations so that cost orders may become more common in the future.

Employer stumps up £13,000 for employee who stole from him

March 4, 2011


More Changes to the Points Based Immigration System

March 3, 2011

The Government proposes to limit the number of people it will allow into the country in 2011/12 under the new Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category to 1000. As we have known for some time, the limit under Tier 2 (General) will be 20,700, which will be strictly rationed on a monthly basis. A total of 4,200 Certificates of Sponsorship will be available in April, thereafter, the monthly limit will be…

New Limits on Employment Tribunal Awards

March 2, 2011

The annual changes to the amounts Employment Tribunal’s may award took effect on 1 February.

ECJ ruling bans insurers from charging men and women different premiums

March 1, 2011

The ECJ issued a landmark ruling today which effectively bans the insurance industry from charging different premiums for men and women.

Important decision will help insurers make cost savings

March 1, 2011

Success Fees “at Trial” Restricted:  An important decision for insurers to note has come about from the judgment in the long awaited appeal case of Amin & Hussain v Mullings & Royal Sun Alliance.

Murderer loses unfair dismissal case

February 23, 2011

As reported by the BBC yesterday, a Royal Mail worker from Hampshire who was sacked when he was charged with murdering his married lover has lost his case for unfair dismissal.

Regulations which repeal the default retirement age published

February 22, 2011

Regulations which repeal the default retirement age were published last Thursday. They are much as anticipated but there is a problem with the way in which the transitional provisions have been drafted.

The Royal Wedding Knees Up

February 22, 2011

Home Office plans to extend licensing hours over the Royal Wedding weekend have proved more controversial than you might think. There were over 700 responses to the recent consultation, with individuals and interested groups voicing a range of concerns about noise and disturbance, binge drinking and increased demands on the blue light services.

Changes to the Taxation of Termination Payments

February 21, 2011

Current position

The Rule of Law (RIP)

February 21, 2011

It has just emerged that on 10th February the snappily titled Equality (Transit Visa, Entry Clearance, Leave to Enter, Examination of Passengers and Removal Directions) Authorisation 2011 was both made and came into operation. This happened without warning or publication.

Welfare Reform Bill – the far reaching impact

February 21, 2011

Last week the government announced further details about the Welfare Reform Bill.  On Friday we reported on some of the far reaching consequences this will have for employers. 

The Welfare Reform Bill – Scrapping Disability Living Allowance and Overhauling Unemployment Benefits

February 18, 2011

This week the government has announced further details about the Welfare Reform Bill. The legislation is thought to be the most radical reform of the welfare state since it was created. The aim is to save £5.5 billion over the next four years and to introduce the concept that work always pays. Two of the major reforms concern an overhaul of unemployment benefits and the scrapping of the…

The firing line: can dismissal by e-mail ever be fair?

February 16, 2011

The press has been full of reports about the 38 soldiers who were recently sacked by e-mail. The non-commissioned officers who had all served for at least 22 years in the army were sent an e-mail from a senior officer informing them that that they were to be made redundant. The soldiers were given the required 12 months notice and told that they should start preparing for civilian life. One of…

Is failing to offer an Employee overtime a detriment?

February 11, 2011

The case of Arriva London South Ltd v Nicolaou UKEAT considered an employer’s policy of only making overtime available to those workers who had opted out of the 48 hour working week established by the Working Time Regulations 1998 (“WTR”).

Together we’re stronger

February 11, 2011

Conveyancers must be prompt. From a business point of view, unless and until an exchange of contracts takes place a conveyancer might not get paid. This has always been the case but many conveyancers still fail to grasp this. Even now. With numbers of transactions at an all time low and with buyers more commonly getting cold feet, it is so important to exchange of contracts promptly…

Employers who fail to pay the National Minimum Wage to be named and shamed

February 11, 2011

This week the government has published details about its plans to name and shame employers who fail to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The new scheme came into force with effect from 1 January 2011. The scheme is supported by The Low Pay Commission and The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Countryfile presenter is unlawfully discriminated against

February 10, 2011

There has been a lot in the news this month about the Tribunal claim brought against the BBC by the ex-Countryfile presenter, Miriam O’Reilly.

Imminent threat to insurers use of gender

February 9, 2011

Insurance companies across Europe await the outcome of an important case being heard by the European Court of Justice.

Rebranding exercise amounted to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation

February 9, 2011

The EAT has decided, in the case of Lisboa v Realpubs Limited and Others, that a rebranding policy intended to make a pub more attractive to different sectors of the community and less attractive to gay customers could amount to direct discrimination. It also constituted a fundamental breach of an employee’s contract of employment, allowing him to resign and successfully claim constructive…

Is there finally some good news for employers?

February 8, 2011

The Government is planning to tighten up employment legislation to make it more employer friendly. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, plans to implement a new “Employer’s Charter” with the aim of making life easier for employers and to encourage growth within the private sector.

Government confirms it will abolish the Default Retirement Age of 65 this year

February 7, 2011

The Government has confirmed that the Default Retirement Age (DRA) of 65 will be phased out from 6 April 2011 with complete abolition on 1 October 2011.

ACAS Code applies to SOSR dismissals

December 9, 2010

The case of Cummings v Siemens Communications Limited has decided that the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures applies to dismissals by reason of some other substantial reason. The Code itself expressly states that it applies to dismissals relating to misconduct and/or poor performance. It also states that it does not apply to redundancy dismissals or the expiry or…

It’s snow joke – employment rights in adverse weather conditions

December 2, 2010

Do employees who take “snow days” have to be paid?

The Immigration Cap

November 11, 2010


“Breastfeeding” legislation is discriminatory

November 10, 2010

The legislation allowed a mother, who was an employee, to take time off to feed her baby, whether this was by breast feeding or bottle feeding.  A father was only allowed to take time off if both he and the mother were employees.