Court of appeal judgment clarifies legality of undisclosed broker commissions

The ruling In Wood v Commercial First Business Ltd & Ors [2021] EWCA Civ 471provides ‘much-needed clarity’ to the lending industry on the liability of both the broker and the lender when a secret commission is paid. A Court of Appeal judgment, handed down yesterday, has made it much more likely for a loan to […]

Webinar: Looking back going forward: an employment law update

At the beginning of 2020 the focus of Employment Lawyers and HR professionals was on the impact of Brexit on the workplace. Then, when the pandemic struck and the Coronavirus Act 2020 was introduced, focus switched to home workers, key workers (those not able to work from home), the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the […]

A guide to personal injury trusts

Clients who suffer personal injuries and are awarded compensation are often advised to set up what is known as a “Personal Injury Trust”. The reasons for this are set out in our previous blog which can be found here. However, we are often asked how exactly do you use a Personal Injury Trust, once it […]

Schools – the extended furlough scheme

The furlough scheme is helping a large number of schools to reduce their overheads at a time when their revenue has been reduced by fee discounts and in some cases pupils not returning in September 2020. Boarding schools have been particularly affected with some pupils opting to remain in their home countries, even as schools […]

Parent contract – time for an update?

The closure of schools due to Covid-19 has been an unprecedented challenge. In addition to the difficulties associated with remote learning, independent schools have had to contend with parents questioning whether the education being delivered justifies the fees being charged. In particular, we have seen parents challenging the fees due for examination year groups where […]

Unqualified prep-school teacher succeeds in claims for unfair dismissal and age discrimination and is awarded over £140,000 – Sue Allington v Grange Rose Hill School Limited (the School)

The School, an independent co-ed prep school for children aged 3-13 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent dismissed Sue Allington, aged 60, for refusing to accept a change to her employment contract, namely a requirement to undertake study to obtain a Level 6 degree or QTS or, alternatively, accept a demotion to a teaching assistant role. Mrs […]

Teachers’ pensions – a continuing issue

The last 12 months have been some of the hardest the independent schools sector has had to face. Attention has naturally focused on the immediate educational impact of the COVID-19 crisis, and battling to keep schools running as ‘normally’ as possible amidst the winter surge in coronavirus cases. However, as the pandemic’s financial impact bites, […]

Teacher-assessed grades this summer

For the second year running, responsibility falls on teachers to award exam grades to their students. After the fiasco of last summer which saw a controversial algorithm in place to moderate results (later withdrawn following a backlash from students and parents), the government has announced a return to teacher assessed grades, having given assurances that […]

World Glaucoma Week 2021

It’s World Glaucoma Week (7 – 13 March 2021), an initiative of the World Glaucoma Association (WGA). The aim is to raise awareness of this potentially devastating eye condition which is one of the leading causes of blindness. Over half a million people in the UK have glaucoma. For more information about its symptoms, diagnosis […]

Moore Barlow advises Thirdspace on strategic deal with TIG

Deal creates the UK’s Leading Advanced Digital MSP Moore Barlow has advised ThirdSpace, the UK’s leading professional services provider of Microsoft Identity and Cyber Security solutions, as it joins forces with TiG, one of the UK’s leading Cloud, Data Analytics and Managed Services providers to the financial services sector. The strategic acquisition by TiG creates […]

Key areas of due diligence to focus on when preparing your company for sale

Selling your business is not easy. However, if pre-transaction due diligence is properly conducted, not only does it make the sale process smoother, it can also prevent the deal from falling through at a later stage. If selling your business is something you’re thinking of doing, prepare for due diligence in advance of formal negotiations, […]

Share-based incentives continue to shine

Preservation of cash whilst retaining key employees – welcome to the world of sharebased incentives. Share-based incentives are not only a great way to incentivise key staff but to retain them as well. This is especially true for those businesses that can no longer offer cash rewards – whether attractive salariesor bonuses. Share-based incentives have […]

Key areas of a sale agreement

A share purchase/sale agreement (“SPA”) is the principal document entered into between Buyer(s) and Seller(s) when negotiating the sale and purchase of a target’s share capital. An SPA is invariably a long and overwhelming document, however there are key clauses that appear on almost every one. Below is a brief summary of those key clauses […]

Race case out of time

In Adedeji v University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, the Court of Appeal upheld an employment judge’s refusal to grant extra time to a man whose constructive unfair dismissal and race discrimination claim was submitted three days late. Most claims in the Employment Tribunal carry a time limit of 3 months which can only be […]

Gender pay gap reporting

Last year, enforcement of gender pay gap reporting was suspended due to Covid and many firms chose not to submit their reports. The Woman and Equalities Committee has called on the government to confirm that reporting will go ahead this year but, at the time of writing, no confirmation has been given. Since 1997, the […]

Are you ready for wage rises?

This is the time of year when employment lawyers and HR professionals prepare for the changes to rates and limits in the employment sector, and we’re getting ready to distribute our annual Data Booklet containing brief employment law information. These booklets will primarily be available in e-format because of the pandemic and because many people […]

Indirect sex discrimination – childcare

In the case of Cumming v British Airways plc the EAT considered how to determine if a provision, criteria or practice (PCP) indirectly discriminated against women due to their greater childcare responsibilities. It held that the tribunal must consider whether the PCP put women at a particular disadvantage, rather than whether it applied equally to […]

Is grievance procedure proof of contract?

In Gordon v J & D Pierce (Contracts) Limited, a man’s claim for unfair dismissal was refused because an employment judge said that, by having used his employer’s grievance procedure, he was still technicallyemployed. Mr Gordon resigned from structural steelwork contractors J & D Pierce (Contracts) Limited, and brought a claim ofconstructive dismissal after his […]

Extension to off payroll working rules

Before words like ‘coronavirus’, ‘pandemic’ and ‘social-distancing’ became part of our daily vocabulary, a topic high on the agenda was IR35 and the off-payroll working rules. In the Autumn 2018 Budget, the Government confirmed that the off-payroll working rules would be extended to the private sector from 6 April 2020. In response to the pandemic, […]

Using the “reasonable steps” defence

Many employers when faced with a discrimination or harassment claim by one employee in relation to conduct by one or more other employees will seek to use the “reasonable steps” defence under s109(4) of the Equality Act 2010. If the employer can show that it took all reasonable steps to prevent employees from committing either […]

Recruiting overseas workers in 2021

Recruiting workers from overseas, whether from the EU or further afield, requires employers to navigate the UK’s immigration rules. For employers who are used to relying on the free movement of workers from Europe, the points-based system (“PBS”) is more complex and expensive than they are used to. For employers who are experienced in recruiting […]

Charitable gifting in wills

Whether done during life, or on death, gifting money or other assets to charity is very common and commendable. This article looks at the position in more detail. Please note that the reference to charity means any UK registered charity only. Gifting on death Leaving a gift to charity in your Will is fairly straight […]

Supply chain contracts: Are you up to speed with new insolvency rules?

Recent changes to insolvency law have had a major impact on supply chain contracts across the industry. John Warchus, takes a closer look at the practical steps firms can take to ensure their contracts are best protected. To enable businesses to continue trading in these uncertain times, the government has introduced several measures to help […]

How will the National Security and Investment Bill affect tech sector deals?

The Government wants “greater safeguarding powers to ensure that a small number of investments that may aim to harm the UK’s national security cannot do so”. It says its new National Security and Investment Bill will “strengthen the UK’s ability to investigate and intervene in mergers, acquisitions and other types of deal that could threaten […]

What’s next for data protection?

The end of the Brexit transition period brings some important changes to data protection laws. If your business transfers personal data to or from Europe, targets European customers or does business within the European Economic Area (EEA), we’ve outlined below what you should be aware of. In particular, as we await an adequacy decision from […]

Where does the end of the Brexit transition period leave IP rights owners in the UK?

It is welcome news that the UK has finally secured a reasonably comprehensive Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU. Accordingly, as of now, EU laws and arrangements that prevailed during the post-Brexit transition period no longer apply. UK businesses have long been used to securing EU intellectual property (IP) rights which have provided […]

Due diligence considerations in relation to the Government’s CBILS and BBLS

As a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the British Government introduced state backed loan facilities schemes. The schemes are intended to provide support via much needed cash injections into SMEs, in an attempt to alleviate the financial burden afflicting many industries in the UK. Two loan schemes have been introduced to assist small and […]

May the force majeure be with you?

As we all navigate the uncharted territory of the coronavirus, in the world of contracts the force majeure clause has come to the fore. You’d be forgiven for assuming a global pandemic counts as a force majeure, but this isn’t necessarily the case: not a single reported case law or English law authority exists on […]

Inheritance Tax and Lifetime Gifts – ITV’s ‘Finding Alice’ explained

For those watching ITV’s ‘Finding Alice’, the show has raised questions for viewers concerning inheritance tax. In the very first episode, and throughout the series, the inheritance tax is discussed due to the death of a character, Harry. It transpires that Harry transferred the family home into his parents’ name before his death. By gifting […]

How to buy your own plot of woodland

Philip Whitcomb, partner at Moore Barlow specialising in rural matters, explains how to buy your own plot of woodland and the legal obligations. Read here for the the full Times article. Why is the purchase of woodland increasing in popularity? The coronavirus pandemic has led many to readdress their priorities, particularly when it comes to […]

Webinar: Dealing with Charity Property – an overview of the requirements of the Charities Act and how to comply with them

Many charities have property assets, which are sometimes quite substantial. The Charities Act imposes various requirements in relation to dealings with charity property to ensure that the assets are protected for charitable purposes. In this webinar, Gordon Reid and George Shepherd from the Charities Team at Moore Barlow explain the requirements and how charity trustees […]

Webinar: Independent schools – Strategic planning for the challenges of 2021

After one of the most challenging years in recent memory, strategic planning for the year to come has never been more vital. In this wide-ranging webinar Joanna Lada-Walicki, Adam McRae-Taylor and Gordon Reid consider the key topics on the agenda for independent school senior leaders and governors for the year ahead. Topics covered include: The […]

Wages to rise up in spring

The Government has published the new National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage, which will take effect from 6 April 2021. The changes will include lowering the age of eligibility for the National Living Wage,from 25 years to 23 years. The new rates will be as follows: Age 23 or over (NLW rate): £8.91 (currently […]

A holiday fit for a queen

In November 2020, the Government announced an extra bank holiday for June 2022 in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. As such, the late May Bank Holiday will be moved to Thursday 2 June 2022 and an additional bank holiday will be in place for Friday 3 June. This means we’ll all be able to […]

Are anxious whistleblowers blowing into the wind?

Recent research by the whistleblowing charity Protect found that UK employers disregarded nearly half of all their employees’ coronavirus-related concerns. Not only that, but a fifth of whistleblowing employees lost their jobs as a result of raising issues related to the pandemic. According to the Protect report, 41% of all whistleblowers raising such concerns were […]

Health and Safety protections extended to Gig economy workers

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain v The Secretary of State for Work & Pensions and others. A recent decision by the High Court to extend health-and-safety protections those engaged in the gig economy will have a huge impact on hundreds of thousands of workers. The Independent Workers Unions of Great Britain brought the […]

Virtual witnessing of wills

The Wills Act 1837 (Electronic Communications) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 has come into effect this month making it legal for wills in England and Wales to be witnessed by means of ‘video conference or other visual transmission’. The new regulations have been backdated to 31 January 2020, with the effect that wills which have been […]

Courts take a strict approach to force majeure clauses

2 Entertain Video Ltd v Sony DADC Europe Ltd [2020]  BackgroundIn Covid-19 times, a recent decision from the Technology and Construction Court relating to the 2011 London riots is a useful reminder of the restrictive way in which force majeure and limitation clauses are interpreted by the courts and needs to be noted by all suppliers of goods […]

Agricultural tenancy reform update

In an earlier edition of Rural News, we considered the proposals put forward in the Defra Consultation Paper on Agricultural tenancies. The most controversial of these proposals were: for AHA tenancies to be assignable by a Tenant at a premium where no eligible successor remained; the extension of the category of eligible relatives to include […]

Legal guide to buying a farm

The pandemic has led to greater appreciation of the countryside and of shopping locally, which is good news for the agricultural sector. Agriculture has long been seen as a secure investment, but now with so many companies encouraging home-working, we’re seeing a bubble of buyers deciding to relocate to rural life on a farm. If […]

Family law and property transactions – unregistered land

As family lawyers, we work closely with colleagues in other teams to provide expertise to our clients going through relationship or marital break-up. This work could relate to company affairs, or ensuring our separating clients have their Wills and estate planning in order. Such matters often involve our property team. In most relationship breakdowns there’s […]

OTS Capital Gains Tax report released – What are the recommendations?

Back in July 2020, I wrote about the Chancellor commissioning the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to undertake a review into Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in this article OTS review of Capital Gains Tax. The OTS have duly now released the first of two reports – this one being focused on policy design. To be […]

How to avoid courts to lessen the pain of family break-ups

The Times recently published an article ‘Avoid courts to lessen the pain of family break-ups‘ quoting “We need to move away from legal disputes for separating families to help to build better relationships and cause less harm”. It also mentions the report by The Family Solutions Group and touches upon those recommendations. The message emanating […]

Holiday time for stamp duty

In his Summer Statement the Chancellor announced a temporary reduction in residential stamp duty land tax (SDLT) rates in England and Northern Ireland. The reduction applies to contracts exchanged between 8 July 2020 and 11.59pm, 31 March 2021. It means that the nil-band rate (below which no SDLT is payable) is increased from £125,000 to […]

I’m being offered a settlement agreement. Should I accept?

A major consequence of the pandemic is that our economy is suffering. This is having an impact on everyone with companies and businesses of all sizes and across different sectors finding themselves in financial difficulty. The government has put financial support in place to try and keep businesses afloat during this period. This includes the Coronavirus Job […]

New proposed road safety measures for pedestrians and cyclists

The Covid-19 pandemic saw a rise in the population choosing to walk and cycle. With restrictions in place during the initial lockdown period, traffic on the roads fell and people avoided public transportation, meaning cities and towns across the globe caught a glimpse of what their streets and public spaces might look like if pedestrians and cyclists were […]

Government support for jobs and the self-employed is extended into 2021

The government has just announced further extensions to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), also known as the furlough scheme, and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). For further details on how the CJRS operates, see some guidance Job retention scheme. The CJRS was recently extended to the end of November to cover the second lockdown […]

Covid-19: Extension of furlough

The Prime Minister has announced that England will be entering into a national lockdown from Thursday 5 November until at least 2 December 2020. During the lockdown pubs, restaurants, gyms, non-essential shops and places of worship will close but schools and universities will stay open. People should work from home where possible but those industries where working […]

World Stroke Day 2020

Strokes can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. One in four of us will have a stroke in our lifetime, but most can be prevented. There are risk factors that increase our chances of suffering a stroke. It is important to understand our risk and the steps we can take to reduce it. World Stroke Day aims […]

What is Judicial Review?

Judicial Review is a process that allows individuals or organisations to challenge the lawfulness of policies, decisions or actions made by a public body or those exercising a public function. This is how you can challenge decisions, the grounds for challenge and the remedies available to individuals. Examples of bodies that can be judicially reviewed: […]

Brain injury compensation claim guidance

Freephone us on 0800 157 7611. Traumatic brain injuries can have a catastrophic and life changing effect for those people who have been involved in accidents and their families. Claims for brain injury should only ever be dealt with by specialist serious injury solicitors with the necessary qualifications and experience to deal with the complex […]

Mental Health – section 117 aftercare

If you have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983 then you may be entitled to free aftercare when you leave hospital. This blog explains what section 117 aftercare is, who is entitled to it, how long it lasts and what to do if it is not provided. Who is entitled to free aftercare? […]

Guidelines to an inquest

This guide is prepared to assist the lay person to navigate the complexities of an inquest but it is not suitable for cases involving matters of national security, military death or Article 2 Human Rights issues that require more detailed guidance than can be given in this short booklet. This guide is no substitute for […]

The privacy shield is illegal

On 16 July, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the mechanism that allowed the transfer of personal data of European Union citizens to the United States was no longer legitimate under European data protection laws. The mechanism is known as the Privacy Shield. In 2016 it replaced the Safe Harbor […]

Keeping your IP safe

Cyber-crime is reported to be one of the fastest growing areas of crime, often involving fraudsters gaining access to IT systems, either to exploit them directly or as a step towards acquiring access to online banking facilities or other exploitable information. To gain access, fraudsters typically exploit security weaknesses in a business’s IT systems. For […]

Dismissal of teacher with child images on home computer was unfair says Employment Appeal Tribunal

In the recent case of K v L UKEATS/0014/18/JW the Claimant was a teacher charged by the police with possession of indecent images of children under section 52A of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. The Claimant freely admitted that the images were downloaded on to a computer in his possession but denied that he […]

New Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020: an extension of support and relaxing of rules for schools

Schools have not been isolated from the financial and social effect of the pandemic. In many cases, they are seeing challenges which affect the way they run in a much more severe way than other businesses. The pandemic has, so to speak, torn up the rule book on how many schools are run and they […]

Centre Assessed Grades: it’s not too soon to start thinking about next summer’s exams

One of the many additional challenges presented to schools as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic was the requirement for schools to produce Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) for last summer’s A levels and GCSEs. Whilst a challenge in itself, the task was made no easier by the Government’s changing policy and last minute U-turn on standardisation […]

Difficult decisions in difficult times: how should schools approach managing redundancies?

The last seven months have been some of the hardest ever faced by the independent schools sector. Whilst the Government’s Job Retention Scheme has supported jobs for a temporary period, all prudent boards of governors and senior leadership teams (SLTs) have inevitably been focused on re-evaluating their staffing needs in the light of reduced budgets and […]

The Job Support Scheme – how does it work and can schools benefit from it?

The Government has been under increasing pressure to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which will cease providing support to employers at the end of October 2020. With infection rates of Covid-19 on the rise and anticipation of continued disruption to the economy, the Chancellor has outlined new measures to support employers in the form of […]

Covid-19: Three tier lockdown and extension to the Job Support Scheme

The Prime Minister has formally unveiled plans for a new three tier system for implementing local lockdowns restrictions across England. The system uses three levels which are ‘Medium’, ‘High’ and ‘Very High’ to determine the measures to be imposed in certain areas. Most areas are at medium level and those who are currently facing local […]

Facial recognition technology – protecting privacy in a world of surveillance

The use of live or automated, facial recognition (LFR) software by law enforcement in public places is fast increasing in the UK. It enables rapid surveillance of thousands of people. However, the increased use of LFR also highlights the tricky balance between an individuals’ right to privacy and the need for police powers to keep […]

Swift v Carpenter case – long awaited Court of Appeal decision secures re-housing costs

The Court of Appeal has given its long-awaited judgment in the case of Swift v Carpenter which impacts on all Claimants who need to be re-housed due to disability caused by another’s negligence. How the Courts assess “accommodation purchase” claims has been in a state of flux since 2017 when the Government changed the discount […]

What can I do if my ex won’t vaccinate the children?

At a time when the health of the nation is of paramount importance and everyone is striving to protect themselves and their loved ones from contracting coronavirus, protecting our children from other diseases has been and will continue to be an important decision for parents throughout their kids’ childhood. Following divorce and separation it is […]

Personality clash dismissal permitted

In most cases, dismissal of an employee without following any sort of formal procedure would lead to the conclusion that the dismissal was unfair. However, in the unusual case of Gallacher v Abellio Scotrail Ltd the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) agreed with the Employment Tribunal’s (ET) decision that dismissal without following a procedure was within […]

Dismissal unfair despite no chance of compensation

An employee was entitled to bring a claim for unfair dismissal even where there was no reasonable prospect of recovering any compensation, according to an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruling in the case of Evans v London Borough of Brent. Dr Evans was– a deputy head teacher involved in financial mismanagement which resulted in himself […]

World Cerebral Palsy Day 6 October 2020

On World Cerebral Palsy Day 2020, Moore Barlow celebrate the achievements of those who live with this condition and continue to call for early intervention and support for those families affected by it. Read our cerebral palsy factsheet. As clinical negligence solicitors, we work closely with those affected by cerebral palsy when this has been […]

Are your trade marks ready for Brexit?

Given the recent (and ongoing) business upheaval caused by COVID-19, many businesses can be forgiven for failing to focus on the fact that Brexit finally took place with the UK “leaving” the EU on 31 January 2020 with the practical “Exit Day” to occur on 31 December 2020, after the transition period. In order to […]

Foster carers held to be Council employees

In the case of Glasgow City Council v Johnstone UKEATS/0011/18 the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT upheld a decision by the Employment Tribunal (ET) that two foster carers are employees of Glasgow City Council. In 2011, Mr and Mrs Johnstone were accepted as foster carers by Glasgow City Council. They subsequently brought claims in the Scottish […]

Week’s pay for a week’s furlough

With many companies starting to make redundancies as the furlough scheme begins to wind down, there has been much discussion of how to calculate notice pay and statutory redundancy payments, in particular whether these should be based on the employee’s usual salary or the reduced rate that they have been receiving on furlough. On 31 […]

Furlough fraud of £3.5bn

In early September the Government revealed that an estimated £3.5 billion of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme payments may have been claimed fraudulently or paid out in error. The scheme, which has been in operation since March, has so far cost the Government approximately £35.4 billion and the fraudulent and mistaken payments are thought to make […]

Cauda Equina National Awareness Day 1st October 2020

Moore Barlow are delighted to be supporting the Cauda Equina Syndrome Association (CESA) under their charity umbrella Cauda Equina Champions Charity (CECC) in the first ever National Awareness Day campaign on 1st October 2020. Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a little known but devastating condition that absolutely necessitates recognition on a national scale. CES is […]

Covid-19: New Coronavirus Regulations now in force

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force in England at midnight. The Regulations confirm and set out the rules regarding mandatory periods of self-isolation following the rollout of the NHS contact tracing app. The Regulations also increase the level of fines for failing to comply with the self-isolation rules to as much […]

Over two years on: ensuring you are still GDPR compliant as an employer

The 25 May 2020 marked two years since the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force. Within the UK GDPR is implemented through the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). Before the implementation of the DPA, businesses were busy making the necessary preparations to ensure that they would be compliant under the new regulations. This […]

Removing a company director from office

When a company’s director is unwilling to resign, and no articles of association or shareholders’ agreement offer provision for their removal, a statutory procedure in sections 168 and 169 of the Companies Act 2006 allows the shareholders to remove the director from office. Such a procedure should be available regardless of any provision in the […]

How best to manage management buy-outs (MBOs)

A management buy-out (MBO) is a transaction in which a target business is transferred, in whole or in part, to its management team, usually using a new company established for the purpose (a “Newco”). The sale of a business to the management team can be advantageous to both the seller and the management team, due […]

An adventure with venture capital

Venture Capital (VC) funds are investors who provide expertise and capital (called venture capital) in privately funded companies at an early stage of their life cycle. This contrasts with more traditional ‘private equity funds’ who tend to invest in companies that are more mature and have a structured business plan in place. How venture capital […]

Persons with Significant Control (PSC) regime

A business can change, but the business of identifying who is officially in control of it remains of central importance. For a number of years, businesses have had to familiarise themselves with the requirements of PSC legislation – namely, to have a register that identifies who owns or controls a company, known as Persons with […]

Electric scooters UK law – do’s and don’ts

With the emergence of technological advances, we are now starting to see the start of the “transport revolution” promised by the current government, following the announcement of the e-scooter trial that began earlier this month. Many people in the UK have used e-scooters throughout the UK despite them not being allowed on public roads and […]

Humanist marriages

What is a humanist marriage? A humanist marriage is a non-religious ceremony where you are effectively in control of the format and structure of the day. This type of ceremony is not legally recognised in England and Wales. Unlike a humanist marriage, those that are recognised in this country have religious connotations to them as […]

Covid-19: Travel abroad and compulsory quarantine – how do employers manage this?

Schools have broken up for summer holidays and more employees are now venturing out and going abroad. Already we are seeing signs of further coronavirus related issues for employers. The first big challenge has been triggered by the government’s sudden decision to impose 14-day quarantine on those returning from Spain.This has implications for employees who […]

New support for directors: Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020

On 26 June 2020 the Government’s new Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (CIGA) came into force. CIGA sets out temporary measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, there are important permanent reforms to insolvency and company law. Together this represents a major package of new legislation to help navigate troubled times and in […]

OTS review of Capital Gains Tax

On 13 July, the Chancellor wrote to the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to request that a review is undertaken of Capital Gains Tax (CGT). Aspects he specifically mentions the review look into are allowances, exemptions, reliefs, losses, and how gains are taxed in comparison to income. His aim of the review is to assist […]

The Cumberlege report: informed consent revisited

Last week saw the publication of “First Do No Harm”, a review led by former junior health Minister Baroness Julia Cumberlege, which explains the way our healthcare system responded to reports of harmful side effects from: hormone pregnancy tests the drug sodium valproate given during pregnancy and pelvic mesh implants. The review suggests a number […]

Moore Barlow commended once again as a top law firm for HNW individuals

Top 100 UK law firm Moore Barlow is proud to announce rankings in Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) 2020, reflecting the firm’s reputation as a specialist firm for private wealth practitioners.  With one of the largest private client advisory teams in the South East, Moore Barlow is named a leading firm for Private Wealth law […]

Case Law: WM Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various Claimants

When is an employer vicariously liable (i.e. responsible) for the conduct of its employee? This came up in the case WM Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various Claimants, involving supermarket chainMorrisons and a disgruntled employee. The employee was a senior internal auditor who, acting on a grudge after having been disciplined previously, published personal information about […]

The variations enigma – TUPE and pre-transfer changes

In the case of Ferguson and others v Astrea Asset Management Ltd, four directors and shareholders of an estate management company fell foul of the TUPE – Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) – Regulations and were dismissed for gross misconduct. The four claimants were directors and senior employees of Lancer Property Asset Management. The […]

The straw that breaks the contract’s back

The concept of the ‘last straw’ in relation to constructive dismissal claims featured in the case of Williams v Governing Body of Alderman Davies Church in Wales Primary School, where a decision by an Employment Tribunal (ET) was subsequently overturned by an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). The case centred on a primary school teacher, Mr […]

Leaving annual leave too late

We are receiving a lot of enquiries regarding staff holiday and holiday-pay during coronavirus.As we ease our way out of lockdown restrictions, it is important to be aware of the rules for the remainder of 2020, as workforces need to be managed for the next six months. A lot of employers hoping for an upturn […]

The difficulties of being an executor of a will – to deal or not to deal?

Executors can find themselves in a difficult position when faced with the prospect of purchasing assets from an estate, even when they are paying market rate for those assets and the other beneficiaries agree to the sale. Being an executor is often an onerous and largely unglamorous role, which involves hours of work usually with […]

The remarriage trap

One of the unfortunate consequences of the pandemic is that a large number of people have been forced to delay their marriage. Clearly there is some disappointment about this but for those who have been married before, this may in fact be a blessing in disguise. It is a common misconception that when you go […]

Coronavirus: real estate disputes

If you have a dispute concerning property or land, then strategic advice at the earliest stage can help you resolve issues.  Landlords and tenants are both becoming increasingly concerned about maintaining their respective obligations under leases and – if possible – avoiding them. The situation is changing rapidly and the government is seeking to react […]

Insolvency isn’t always the answer – why it’s important to think outside the box

Scenario A A group with a £200m pension deficit but achieving £6m EBITDA – what should a new management team do when they realise this is the situation? The obvious answer was to put the company into an insolvency procedure. However, where, for example, the company’s business is heavily contracts based, the company would have […]

How quickly can I get divorced?

While the reforms making no-fault divorce possible are going through a stop-start process in parliament, you might be wondering how long you need to wait until you can get divorced. Clients often come through our doors expecting they’ll need to wait several years – sometimes under very acrimonious circumstances – before they can divorce their […]

What is Occupiers’ Liability and how can you protect yourself against it?

If a visitor on your land or premises falls or injures themselves, what occupiers’ liability might you have? There are two acts you need to be aware of, Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and Occupiers Liability Act 1984 (“the Acts”). These Acts impose a duty of care on occupiers to both lawful visitors and trespassers respectively. […]

The Agriculture Bill

At the time of writing this article (the end of February), the Agriculture Bill is wending its way through the parliamentary process and is expected to receive Royal Assent in June or July 2020. There are few surprises in the Bill which constitutes enabling legislation and which will be followed, in due course, by the […]

Lifetime farm valuations; ‘hope’ value and the importance of getting it right

Lifetime valuations can be a useful strategic tool for landowners. A forthcoming succession, pre-death tax planning when creating a Will, the anticipated sale or development of land, changes in tax reliefs and when considering using land for secured borrowing are all potential triggers for requiring a lifetime valuation. In the context of succession, a valuation […]

No probate? No problem! New High Court decision relating to the rectification of a company’s register of members

What do you do if a company’s sole member and director dies leaving the company unable to function without them, and you’re the executor of the will? A recent case (Williams v Russell Price Farms Service 2020) relates to the deceased director and shareholder of a company whose executors applied for a court order under […]

Caring for farmers with dementia

It is generally accepted that the health and social care sector is facing some of its greatest challenges to date. People are living longer; there has been an increase in the number of people suffering from diseases such as dementia; and there is a general lack of funding for community services. The impact on society […]

Can I renovate my tired residential leasehold property?

With the rising costs of moving, many opt to stay and renovate rather than sell.  There is however, a common misconception that if you own a leasehold property you have the right to install a new kitchen or knock down a wall to improve living space without anyone’s permission. Unfortunately that is not always the […]

UK points-based immigration system policy update

On 19 February, the government published the first details about its proposed new Immigration system planned to be operational on 1 January 2021. The government’s new system is designed to attract “highly skilled workers”, rather than the low skilled workers. Under the new system, employers will have to hold a ‘sponsor licence’ to employ all […]

Seasonal worker scheme multiplies by four

Following concerns over a lack of migrant labour as a consequence of Brexit, the government is significantly expanding its Seasonal Workers Pilot, which was first announced in 2018, in order to boost the UK horticulture sector for the 2020 harvest. The scheme, which permits agricultural businesses to take on seasonal migrant workers from outside the […]

Farming divorces

Dealing with a divorce is stressful enough but when farmers divorce there are usually additional considerations. It is not uncommon for both spouses to work on the farm, for their matrimonial home to be on the farm, for wider family members to work or live on the farm and for long working hours to be […]

World Hypertension Day

In anticipation of World Hypertension Day, it is important to raise awareness about blood pressure monitoring and health benefits. High blood pressure is something some of us unknowingly live with. It is something that can go unnoticed as there are usually no symptoms. So, getting one’s blood pressure checked regularly is important. This may be […]

Executing and witnessing agreements and deeds during COVID-19

As a result of drastic unprecedented measures being implemented worldwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people in the UK are now required to work from home. This has caused considerable practical difficulties whilst executing and witnessing legal documents and the question of whether it is possible to enter into legally binding agreements […]

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans and Finance

Are you applying for a loan under one of the Government backed schemes? If your application is successful your bank will provide you with legal documentation for the new facility it has offered. This documentation will set out your rights and obligations under the facility, including any potential personal liability. We understand that at the […]

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Tronc and tips

We know that many of our clients have been eagerly awaiting further guidance from HMRC about whether tronc payments should be included in the calculation of wages for the purpose of the retention scheme. The guidance has been updated to confirm that “any tips, including those distributed through troncs” are not to be included when calculating wages. […]

EMI schemes in COVID-19

What is an EMI Option Scheme? Away from the legal jargon, an option is just an agreement that gives someone a right to acquire shares at a point in the future. An Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) option is a tax efficient option, structured in a particular way to meet specific criteria set by HM Revenue […]

Changes to written statements of terms

Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act sets out the right for an employee to be given a statement of terms of their employment. Such a statement contains key information such as holiday, salary, job roles etc. New legislation comes into force on 6 April 2020 relating to the rules around written statement of terms. […]

2020/2021 Rates

Quick and easy access to employment law data booklet. Following the announcement of our merger with Barlow Robbins, our data booklet which includes easily accessible brief employment law information, will this year be distributed a month later, in May. The data booklet includes the and limits for the upcoming tax year. As we know many […]

Coronavirus: How to deal with stamping formalities on the sale of shares

As UK companies continue to deal with the ever-changing effect on day to day business as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19), one of the challenges which companies may face is the impact of the closure of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) offices. This might be particularly challenging when faced with post completion matters following transactions […]

Interim payments and Rehabilitation

Interim payments and rehabilitation, in personal injury claims, are of great assistance to those who have either suffered serious injury or have been bereaved. As a solicitor specialising in serious injury I am dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for my client. Interim payments and rehabilitation help put injured people back on the road […]

How can I support my customers without giving up my legal rights?

The impact of Coronavirus has meant that many retailers and other businesses have had to close their premises or are suffering a severe downturn in business. As a consequence some are refusing delivery or delaying payment. Suppliers have been asking us for advice on how they can support their customers during this difficult time without […]

Immigration for schools update: sponsored students affected by Coronavirus

The Home Office has released updated guidance to deal with individuals affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus (COVID-19). Tier 4 students affected by the coronavirus restrictions Tier 4 students are not normally permitted to undertake distance learning, however if they are forced to due to the current exceptional circumstances, this will not be considered […]

The impact of the coronavirus on marriage, divorce and children

The outbreak of COVID-19 (“the Coronavirus”) brings unprecedented times with it, and family law is one of many aspects of life that will no doubt be impacted by this. You may find yourself in self-isolation with your partner, ex-partner or soon to be ex-partner for what might be months wondering what now. You may find […]

Coronavirus: Insolvency & Restructuring

In these challenging and uncertain times many will be concerned about the adverse impact on their business and worried about their families, employees, customers and suppliers. This is a changing landscape and lots of new measures are being introduced, so take a moment to digest, reflect and access advice and support before making any big […]

Budget 2020: Key points

On 11 March 2020, the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, delivered his first Budget. It was also the first Budget since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July, the General Election in December and the departure from the European Union in January. A lot has changed!

Coronavirus – How safe is your supply chain?

As coronavirus quickly develops from a local to a global threat, there are also increasing commercial concerns in relation to the ability of parties to perform contracts. In particular, the coronavirus outbreak is an illustration of the legal principles of force majeure and frustration which can, in the correct circumstances, excuse a party’s non-performance and/or […]

The corporate veil: an overview and update from recent cases

A key feature of a limited company under English law is that it exists as a separate legal entity. As such, the company itself assumes responsibility for its own debts and liabilities, rather than the directors and shareholders. However, there are specific circumstances in which directors and shareholders of a limited company can be found […]

UK announces new immigration system

The new Points-Based Immigration System will award points for an appropriate job offer, English language skills, and a salary threshold. The education threshold will be reduced to A-level (Higher Secondary School Certificate or equivalent) from degree level, and the general salary threshold is being reduced to £25,600 from £30,000. Applicants will be able to ‘trade’ […]

Firms failing to pay minimum wage

According to the Resolution Foundation think tank, one in four people over the age of 25 are beingpaid less than the minimum wage. The research also shows that the number of workers over the age of 25 has increased since the introduction of the National Living Wage in 2016 – from one in five prior […]

£9,000 settlement for transgender woman

A transgender woman who claimed she was rejected for a job as a temporary sales assistant withDebenhams has received a £9k settlement. Ava Moore was invited for interview which was said to have gone very well. She was thought to have all the skills and experience needed for the job as well as being able […]

Government sexual harassment survey

In one of the largest ever surveys of its kind to be carried out, the Government EqualitiesOffice is surveying thousands of victims of sexual harassment as the government continues to address the issue of harassment in the workplace. Wanting to strengthen protection for workers, the government has issued a survey to 12,000 workers, inviting them […]

£17,000 for sacked pregnant worker

Liz Earle beauty company has admitted to falling “short of our standards” after they were ordered to pay £17k to a pregnant employee who was made redundant. Helen Larkin, who had worked for Liz Earle for five years, was eight months pregnant when she was given two weeks’ notice of her redundancy. After unsuccessfully applying […]

Samira Ahmed wins equal pay tribunal

One of the BBC’s most high-profile presenters, Samira Ahmed, has won the equal pay tribunal shebrought against the broadcaster. Ahmed, as presenter of BBC’s Newswatch, was paid £440 per episode. Yet Vine, as presenter of Points of View, was paid £3,000 per episode. Claiming that these were like-for like roles, Ahmed claimed to have been […]

APPG for Inheritance & Intergenerational Fairness published a report which recommended a ‘complete overhaul’ of IHT

At the end of last month the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Inheritance & Intergenerational fairness (APPGIIF) published a report which recommended a complete overhaul to the inheritance tax (IHT) system. It should be noted that the APPGIIF is an informal group, and whilst is contains members from both the House of Commons and House of […]

Can I be paid to care for a relative?

More and more people are giving up either work or taking time to care for an elderly relative, something that isn’t always easy emotionally or financially. Many people face the dilemma of not wanting a stranger to look after their relative, yet for financial reasons are unable to care for that relative themselves. As such, […]

New UK Immigration system

Once the UK leaves the European Union (EU), a new immigration system will be introduced to replace the EU’s freedom of movement rule. The government favours a “points-based system” which can take different factors like skills and language into account when awarding visas. The Migration Advisory Committee recommended the use of points – earned on […]

Two new pre-action Housing Protocols introduced: Social Possession and Housing Conditions

Two new pre-action protocols were introduced on 13 January 2020. These were a new and revised pre-action protocol for possession claims by social housing landlords and a new pre-action protocol for housing condition cases in England. The new Pre-Action Housing Condition Protocol brings small changes to fully incorporate the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act […]

Is family mediation a cheaper way of sorting out my divorce/separation?

When couples separate or divorce they need to sort out how they are going to divide their finances, and the arrangements for any relevant children.  Sometimes couples are able to resolve things amicably between themselves but often some professional input and support is needed.  There are different ways that divorcing couples can resolve their financial […]

The use of social media by employees and how social media policies have been used by companies

Social media has revolutionised the way people communicate. With people increasingly creating andsharing content online, the nature of that communication has changed too. As people use social mediaboth inside and outside of the workplace, this can present a unique set of challenges for employers. Under UK law, employers are vicariously liable for the acts carried […]

The pitfalls of incorporating with Model Articles

All limited companies must have articles of association. They are a publicly available document setting out the rules that officers and shareholders must follow when running companies. Model Articles are the standard default articles prescribed by the Companies Act 2006 (the “Act”) and replaced Table A from 1 October 2009. It is increasingly common for […]

When Corporate Structures and Rugby collide

Not long after the dust had settled on the World Cup, Lord Dyson recently ruled that the rugby club Saracens should be docked 35 points and fined £5,360,272.31 for breaching the salary cap imposed by the English Premiership. The fine is the maximum a club could receive and the implications on the sport of rugby […]

Women in Leadership in Law

As part of my role at Moore Blatch, I have been asked to be part of the firms ‘Women in Leadership in Law’ group which has been setup to address the longstanding issue of the under representation of women in positions of leadership within the law. The reason I was asked to be a part […]

Employees living on site

Many roles in the UK require employees to live close to their place of work. Sometimes, employees are required to live on site. In these circumstances, it is not uncommon for an employee to be offered accommodation as part of their overall work package. If you are considering providing accommodation for your employees, it is […]

Applications for relief from forfeiture can extend to licences

The recent decision in The Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd v. Vauxhall Motors Ltd [2019] has expanded the Court’s jurisdiction to grant relief from forfeiture to licences deemed to give rise to possessory rights over land. The Facts Vauxhall Motors has a factory at Ellesmore Port, Cheshire, on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal. […]

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) – An update

Conclusion of Phase 1 of the residential schools investigation The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) was set up in 2014 to investigate concerns that some institutions had failed to protect children from sexual abuse, and to make meaningful recommendations to keep children safe in the future. The Inquiry, which is unprecedented in its […]

Benefits of rehabilitation

The purpose of a civil law claim for personal injury compensation is, as far as possible, to put the injured person back into the position they would have been had the incident not have occurred in the first place. After all, would you expect anything less if you had sustained a serious injury through no […]

New NHS Visa

The Conservatives are planning to introduce a “NHS visa” as part of their proposals for an Australian style points based immigration system should they win the general election. The aim is to ensure that the NHS is able to source overseas doctors and nurses once EU free movement comes to an end post-Brexit. The Home […]

New guidance on confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements from the Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has this month issued guidance on the use of confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements. The recommendations include: Settlement agreements should not prevent an employee speaking out about discrimination or harassment unless it is necessary to protect a victim of discrimination or if the victim has requested it. There may […]

Improper behaviour can lead to section 111A negotiations being admissible in Court

In the case of Harrison v Aryman Limited, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“the EAT”) has recently decided that a pre-termination negotiation letter that was sent from an employer to an employee could potentially be admissible in evidence. Ms Harrison (“the Claimant”) issued a claim against the Respondent (Aryman Limited) for a number of claims including unfair […]

Vegetarianism is not a Protected Characteristic

The Employment Tribunal (“the ET”) has recently handed down judgment in the case of Conisbee v Crossley that vegetarianism is not a philosophical belief amounting to a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. A philosophical belief is one which must satisfy one of the following: The belief must be genuinely held and not a mere opinion […]

Preventing Charity fraud – new Charity Commission guidance

The Charity Commission has recently issues important new guidance on preventing charity fraud which should be incorporated by all schools into their fraud action plan. The Charity Commission’s strategy is as follows. 5 tactics to fight back against charity fraud Recognise the Risk:Schools make very tempting targets and the Charity Commission are keen that governors […]

Immigration update – How Brexit will affect schools sponsoring international students

In this article we look at the recent developments affecting schools sponsoring international students, and discuss some of the anticipated changes that may come into force after Brexit. Errors on student Biometric Residence Permits There has been an increase in the number of academic institutions reporting incorrectly printed Biometric Residence permits issued to their students […]

Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) Update – recent developments

The past few months have seen a number of developments regarding the on-going impact of increases in employer contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) on the independent schools sector. It has now become apparent that significant numbers of independent schools have left (or are leaving) the TPS. As of 1 September 2019, 62 schools […]

No pro-rating of holiday pay for term-time only teachers on permanent contracts

The recent case of Harpur Trust v Brazel witnessed the Court of Appeal attempting to clarify the complex issue of holiday pay for teachers on zero hours contracts who work only during term-time.  Peripatetic music teachers are an obvious example of teachers who are likely to fall into this category.  The issue concerns the treatment of school […]

SEN exclusions – the Tribunal’s power to revoke discriminatory exclusions

Last year we reported on the case of C and C –v- Governing Body of a School and Others which changed the law regarding exclusion of pupils presenting with violence in school. As discussed in that article, a school can now only exclude a child presenting with violent behaviour, whose behaviour is connected to a disability, where […]

Four key considerations when selling your business

When the decision is finally made to sell a business, the prospect of receiving the full consideration often outweighs anything else meaning that sellers tend to look for a quick sale. However, a corporate transaction can be an intricate process with complex issues at stake and parties on both sides looking to achieve the best […]

Raising equity finance

Equity financing is a way of raising funds from investors to finance your company and its business. Companies are able to allot or issue new shares, whereby a new or existing shareholder subscribe for additional shares in a company and pay a price for those shares, usually at a premium. The Companies Act 2006 (the […]

Considering Gifts and Inheritance Tax

Many people want to give gifts to family and friends during their lifetimes. Not only does this mean that you can see loved ones benefit whilst you are alive, it can also reduce the value of your estate for inheritance tax purposes. However, the rules surrounding lifetime gifts and estate planning are complex. If you […]

Putting unused buildings to good use

There are many ways of putting redundant agricultural buildings back into use. Diversification can help stabilise the farm across the calendar year and boost income. At Moore Blatch we regularly advise clients on diversification, which can range from barn-to-office conversions for activity farms, to more ambitious schemes such as holiday parks.

Farming, family and divorce

Dealing with a divorce is stressful enough, but when farmers divorce there are usually additional considerations. It is not uncommon for both spouses to work on the farm, for their matrimonial home to be on the farm, for wider family members to work or live on the farm, and for long working hours to be […]

Funding care for farmers

For anyone requiring long-term care the impact on family can be devastating, but for farmers it can affect their business as well as their home life – and often the two are intertwined. The financial implications of a farmer unable to work the land, or a family carer having to run the farming business at […]

Receivers can issue possession proceedings against borrowers

The High Court has recently confirmed that receivers appointed over individual borrowers can issue possession proceedings against those borrowers. Until now there has been no conclusive authority on this point upon which receivers, lenders and borrowers could rely. Menon v Pask [2019] EWHC 2611 (Ch) The case itself stemmed from familiar facts. Mr and Mrs […]

Vegetarianism not a philosophical belief

Conisbee v Crossley Farms Ltd and others In an intriguing case, the Tribunal considered whether vegetarianism is a belief, and therefore a protected characteristic, or a ‘lifestyle choice’. Mr Conisbee, the claimant, resigned after being told off for not ironing his shirt. As he’d only been employed for five months, he didn’t have the requisite […]

Supervisor ordered to pay compensation

In an “unusual” move, a tribunal has ruled that a supervisor (as opposed to the employer) should pay a Claimant compensation. During a car journey, the supervisor made several racist remarks to the Claimant. The Claimant then told his manager what had happened, saying that as he considered the supervisor a racist, he didn’t feel […]

The importance of NHS Continuing Healthcare for Financial Advisers

The FTAdviser reports this week on the risk of litigation if a financial adviser has failed to consider all of the possible options for funding an individual’s care fees, including NHS Continuing Healthcare. Care fees can be expensive, particularly where an individual requires more complex interventions, or an intense level of support. Where they have […]

Demystifying pre-nups – understanding pre-nuptial agreements

Imagine that your wedding is just a couple of months away – the happiest day of your life – and your lawyer friend says you should be thinking about your divorce. For most engaged couples, thinking about divorce before you’ve even tied the knot might seem somewhat depressing. However, pre-nuptial agreements can establish a sounder […]

Know Your Numbers! Week 2019

All this week is Blood Pressure UK’s ‘Know Your Numbers! Week’ which is about raising awareness of the importance of blood pressure monitoring and health benefits. High blood pressure is something some of us unknowingly live with. It is something that can go unnoticed as there are usually no symptoms. So, getting your blood pressure […]

Open Sight Hampshire Petition for Mandatory Eye Tests for Children

You may have seen coverage on BBC South this week regarding Open Sight Hampshire’s petition to make it mandatory for all children to have an eye test before starting school. Open Sight, Hampshire’s principal charity for the visually impaired, have explained the reasons for the petition as follows: “Shockingly, 12% of children in the UK […]

BA fined £183 million

In the biggest fine to date from the Information Commissioner’s Office, British Airways (BA) has been fined £183 million for a widely publicised customer data breach, whereby users of their website were diverted to a fraudulent site and their details were harvested by hackers.

Changes to the shortage occupation list – More IT jobs added

In May, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published its full review of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), the first time the SOL had been looked at in six years. MAC recommended that they add more IT roles within the list for example, business analyst, systems designers, programmers and software development professionals. What does this mean? […]

Family holiday plans gone to Ashes

What you need to know about taking children abroad after separation The Ashes test series has begun, the sun is shining; summer is here. Attentions naturally turn to holiday. But there’s a word of warning if you are divorced or separated – you must have written permission from your former partner before you take the […]

No10’s first cohabiting couple

As Boris Johnson settles in to his new residence at No 10 Downing Street with girlfriend Carrie Symonds it seems that they may just be the first ever cohabiting couple to move in. Is this just another subtle sign that society is starting to accept and recognise cohabiting couples as equals to our married counterparts? […]

Impact of Annual Reviews on Care Provision

If you receive a financial contribution towards your care fees, either as a result of NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, or as a result of a financial assessment undertaken by the Local Authority, your needs should be assessed regularly. While legislation governing the assessment process and entitlement to these types of funding differs, the basic principle […]

Would an Australian points based system work in the UK?

Boris Johnson has recommended that we move towards an ‘Australian style’ points based system. We already have a points based system in the UK so how would this differ from the Australian one?The Australian system is based upon scoring according to a list of criteria such as language, ability, age, competency, professional qualifications and industry […]

British Airways to be fined a record £183 million for data breach

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published its intention to fine British Airways £183.39 million under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for serious breach of data protection. This fine is significant as this is the largest fine the ICO has ever issued; under the preceding Data Protection Act 1998, the maximum fine the ICO […]

Married fathers: an exceptional parental responsibility status?

Recent case law and statutes have reiterated time and again the importance of the child’s welfare. How does this link with parental responsibility? Parental responsibility is defined as the ‘rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property’. Here, there is […]

The shortage occupation list should be expanded

The shortage occupation list (SOL) needs to include other occupations. MAC has published its review of the SOL following an extensive period of consultation. The last SOL was reviewed in 2013. The advantages of being on the shortage occupation list are as follows: Not having to conduct a Resident Labour market test. Exemption from the […]

Identifying Parental Alienation

Recently, lawyers, judges and social workers have become increasingly aware of parental alienation. It is however just as crucial for parents to also recognise when this is happening and why this might happen. Parental alienation can manifest itself in many different ways but ultimately it is where a parent has been pushed out of their […]

Should the government guarantee the rights of EU Citizens living in the UK?

The Commons Home Affairs Committee said technical issues had ‘blighted’ the scheme with some struggling to navigate the online application system. MPS were not happy with the fact that European residents only get legal status post Brexit if they apply to it. Therefore, they need to take a active step, those who don’t do anything […]

The devastating effects of catastrophic lower limb injuries

Catastrophic injuries to the lower limbs can take many forms from complex compound tibia and fibula fractures to multi-ligamentous injuries of the knee joint including the medial collateral ligament (MCL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Following a traumatic event such as a road traffic collision, […]

Moore Barlow approach to brain injury

Our first port of call is to fully understand the mechanics of the injury, and to use our experience of similar injuries to provide initial guidance, albeit we are not medical experts. With this information we will ensure that expert opinions are sought appropriately. For example, even with minor injuries to the frontal lobe, clients […]

Who do you pay?

It is easy to forget that invoices were once sent by post – a cheque was raised, dispatched by post, and delivered by the supplier to their bank to deposit. The bank would check and confirm the recipient’s name and the payment would be completed.

A new royal baby and the possible legal issues arising with parents from different backgrounds

With the birth of the latest royal baby, Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, we have seen the first mixed race child born to a senior royal in centuries, a reflection of our modern multi-cultural society.  As a family law solicitor and mediator, I sometimes come across disputes between parents from different backgrounds about the upbringing of […]

Make your employees beam with a share scheme

Employee share schemes are increasingly common and increasingly seen as a cost-effective incentive for rapidly growing businesses in a range of sectors. We have recently seen some of the early schemes we helped to implement now come to fruition, which has been hugely satisfying. So why have employee share schemes become so common? We believe […]

Not all workers get 20 uninterrupted minutes off

In the recent case of Network Rail Infrastructure v Crawford, for workers deemed “special workers”, compensatory rest need not be an uninterrupted break for 20 minutes. This case concerned a railway signal controller, who had more than 20 minutes’ break available to him in an eight-hour shift but his breaks weren’t for a continuous 20 […]

When sacking isn’t religious discrimination

In the case of De Groen v Gan Menachem Hendon, a teacher was sacked from an ‘ultra-orthodox’ Jewish nursery in London because she was living unmarried with her boyfriend. The nursery, Gan Menachem Hendon, dismissed Zelda De Groen for acting contrary to her employer’s “culture, ethos and religious beliefs”.

No more staff parties?

Following a recent compensation claim for £300,000 against Cancer Research UK by one of its employees during a staff party, employers may need to review the potential health and safety risks at social events, and think twice before throwing office parties.

Home or Away

Easter offers many parents an opportunity to take their children on holiday and the big question is often home or away? If you are a separated parent, the decision to take your kids abroad can be more complicated than it first appears. 

Does suspension breach the implied term of trust and confidence?

In London Borough of Lambeth v Agoreyo the Court of Appeal recently considered the circumstances in which an employee may be suspended without the employer breaching the implied term of mutual trust and confidence. Ms Agoreyo was a primary school teacher who was suspended pending investigation five weeks into her employment at the school. Three incidents […]

Department for Education publishes draft Relationships and Sex Education statutory guidance

The Government has recently conducted a consultation on Relationships and Sex Education in schools in England and produced new draft statutory guidance. It is anticipated that the new statutory guidance will apply to all independent schools with effect from 1 September 2020. Relationships Education This will be compulsory for primary aged children. Relationships Education will […]

Fee fraud – what can schools do?

“Invoice fraud”, “mandate fraud”, “transfer fraud”: this particular scam has acquired many names over the years and now fraudsters are known to be targeting parents of children at independent schools. Fraudsters obtain access to a school’s IT system (or replicate a school email). They then email parents informing them that the school’s account details have changed and […]

Can a direct discrimination claim be based on the employer’s religion or belief?

In Gan Menachem Hendon Limited v De Groen the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered whether an employee could bring a claim for discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief based on the employer’s religious beliefs. Gan Menachem Hendon Limited ran a Jewish nursery in accordance with ultra-orthodox principles and employed Ms De Groen as a teacher. […]

What counts as ‘long term’ in determining if an employee has a disability?

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has recently considered the meaning of “long term” and “substantial” when assessing whether a person is disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 in Nissa v Waverly Education Foundation Limited. Ms Nissa had been employed by Waverly as a science teacher and resigned on 31 August 2016. She brought a claim for disability […]

TPS contributions set to rise by 43% – what’s your strategy?

With employer contributions set to rise by 43% in September 2019, many schools are reviewing the viability of continued membership of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). We can support you as you devise your strategy and assist with the logistics and practical steps. We can assist your school as you consider: Alternative pension provision, if […]

Will Jenny from the Block have a pre-nup?

The announcement that Jennifer Lopez has become engaged to former US baseball player Alex Rodriguez has caught the public’s imagination. The couple, widely referred to as ‘J-Lo and A-Rod’ have been dating for two years. Their combined wealth is staggering: Jennifer Lopez is estimated to be worth an incomprehensible 400 million dollars, and her fianc√©, […]

Assets of community value

The recent case of Banner Homes Limited v St Albans City and District Council illustrates how the Asset of Community Value scheme can cause problems to development. In this particular case, a field was listed as an Asset of Community Value (“ACV”) – despite its use by the local community having been unlawful.

Effects and symptoms of brain injury

A brain injury can have a devastating effect and cause a wide range of different symptoms. In this article, Moore Blatch Associate Solicitor, Matthew Tuff, explores the most common effects and symptoms: Excessive fatigue This is a common symptom of brain injury. People often feel exhausted much more easily than they did before the accident. […]

Degloving injuries

A Degloving injury is a severe injury where the outer skin becomes separated from the tissue underneath. Degloving injuries of legs, hands and arms are the most common. Degloving injuries of the head or torso are normally fatal. In this article, Moore Blatch Associate Solicitor, Matthew Tuff, discusses the causes of this particularly distressing injury […]

Headway South West London

Headway South West London (HWSWL) is a dedicated charity that helps individuals with brain injury, and their families and carers, across the boroughs of Merton, Kingston, Sutton, Croydon, Richmond and Wandsworth. It provides monthly support meetings for brain injury survivors in Wimbledon, Richmond, Croydon and Balham, a free telephone advice service for social security benefits, […]

A guide to orthopaedic negligence claims

What is the definition of an orthopaedic injury? Put simply, an orthopaedic injury is any deformity/disorder/disease of the skeleton (bones) or its connecting structures, such as muscles, joints, tendons or ligaments. What are the levels of orthopedic injury? There are varying levels of injury to your bones from very serious to minor: Fractures Spinal deformities  […]

Succession Planning for Farmers – Top tips for success

Farming succession is absolutely imperative to the success of individual farmers, but it is also integral to the overall agricultural picture in the UK. Factors such as falling revenue across the rural sector, increased competition from foreign competitors and the evolving nature of the ‘modern farmer’ all contribute to the importance of planning correctly for […]

Perry v Raleys Solicitors

In today’s decision in Perry v Raleys Solicitors, the Supreme Court has over-turned the Court of Appeal’s decision, and confirmed the County Court judge’s approach to Mr Perry’s ‘loss of a chance’ claim against his former solicitors. Mr Perry claimed that his former solicitors (who had acted for him on a personal injury claim arising […]

What is unfavourable treatment in discrimination?

The Supreme Court (“SC”) has clarified what amounts to “unfavourable treatment” for the purposes of a claim for discrimination arising from disability under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 (“EA”). In Williams v Trustees of Swansea University Pension and Assurance Scheme the SC held that a disabled employee who was entitled to a pension because of […]

Working parents to get bereavement leave

Employed parents will have a statutory right to two weeks’ paid leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018, which received Royal Assent on 13 September and is due to come into force in 2020, […]

Morrisons loses at High Court

The supermarket Morrisons has failed in its challenge to the High Court that it be held liable for a security breach that saw the personal information of thousands of its staff posted online. The case, the first data-leak class action in the UK, follows the events of 2014 when Andrew Skelton, then a senior internal […]

Christmas party bust-up: boss to blame. The case of Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Ltd

An employer can be held liable for the unlawful actions of one of its employees if it takes place during the course of their employment. This is known as ‘vicarious liability’.  ‘Employment’ is provided with a very wide meaning and can extend to social events that take place off-site and outside normal working hours.

New requirements for providers of essential services

The Network and Security Information Regulations 2018 came into force earlier this year.  These regulations impose security, incident reporting and registration requirements on providers of essential services (water, energy, transport, health, and digital infrastructure) and on businesses that provide online services to operators of essential services. 

ICO gets tough: Equifax fined £500,000 under the “old” rules for very serious data breach

The recent introduction into UK law of the more stringent General Data Protection Regulation rules (GDPR) has certainly raised awareness of data protection and security.  The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has just announced a record fine in relation to a very serious breach that took place in 2017, which meant that the fine was imposed […]

Confused about holiday pay?

‘Flowers V East of England Ambulance Trust’This case centres around a group of claimants who worked for East of England Ambulance Trust.   Occasionally, they were required to work extra time at the end of their shift in order to complete a job such as caring for a patient or dealing with a call made to […]

Should you pay national minimum wage for sleep-in/on-call workers?

‘Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake’This case considered whether two care workers (Mrs Tomlinson-Blake and Mr Shannon) were entitled to national minimum wage for the whole time they were ‘on-call’ during the night, or just when their services were called upon.Finding in favour of the employer, the Court of Appeal decided that only the time spent […]

The eviction process

To lawfully obtain possession of residential property where the tenant has not voluntarily vacated (or surrendered possession), you will require a Court order granting you possession. If the tenant does not vacate the property on the date provided in that Court order, you will need to instruct a bailiff to attend the property to lawfully […]

The importance of insurance in exclusion of liability clauses

Goodlife Foods Limited v Hall Fire Protection Limited  This decision has once again shown that the courts often place considerable importance on the availability of insurance in interpreting the validity (or not) of an exclusion of liability clause in a commercial contract. It also shows the courts being generally supportive of businesses limiting liability through […]

Update on EMI Options – 2

You will be aware from our EMI Option Scheme update found here that there was a lapse in the State Aid Approval for the extension of the EMI tax reliefs scheme, which expired on 6 April 2018. HMRC advised against the creation of new EMI Option Schemes from 7 April 2018 as the lapse in approval meant the tax […]

GDPR and Immigration Exemptions

In a few weeks, data protection rules across Europe will experience their biggest change in the last 20 years.  On 25 May 2018, the Data Protection Bill 29017 (that incorporates provisions of GDPR) will come into force in the UK. It will change how businesses and public sector organisations can handle the information of their […]

The health and social care crisis

The Care Funding crisis has been a topic of debate for quite some time. Despite the government’s commitment to ‘put the state-funded system on a more secure and sustainable footing‘, extensive media coverage and various reports, effective progress towards tackling our overburdened health and social care system remains to be seen. The pressure is caused […]

Best interests and mental capacity

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) is a defining piece of legislation designed to protect and empower vulnerable people who lack capacity to make their own decisions. The Act and Code of Practice should be followed at all times to ensure that vulnerable people are supported as far as possible when making decisions in their […]

Beware of annual reviews

Anyone who receives a financial contribution towards their care fees, either as a result of NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, or as a result of a financial assessment undertaken by the Local Authority, ought to have their needs assessed regularly. While legislation governing the assessment process and entitlement to these types of funding differs, the basic […]

The high street suffers despite falling unemployment – ensure redundancy policy is fair

We have just seen the lowest unemployment figures since May 1975, but despite this positive outlook, in many parts of the country the High Street is suffering. Already in 2018, according to the Press Association, 21,413 staff have been made redundant or had their role threatened – the bulk of these losses being at established […]

1948-2018: Happy 70th Birthday NHS

The nation’s best loved institution. 70 years is a long time to endure at a time in this nation’s history of unprecedented and very rapid change. Conceived and introduced in the post-war era in recognition of sacrifices made, offering free health care to all.  The country it serves has changed so much in that time: […]

Are you ready for gender pay reporting?

While gender pay reporting currently only applies to organisations employing over 250 people, it’s advisable that any organisation employing over 100 people take a keen interest in the legislation as the rules could be rolled out more broadly over time. Although organisations employing less than 250 people aren’t obliged to report, they can do so […]

Stanhope-Seta – interview with director, Giles Verity

What will happen when the oil runs out? In particular to those companies involved in black gold? It’s a question that elicits fascinating responses from those involved in the oil industry, not least from Giles Verity, whose family business derives 80% of its revenue from petrochemicals. The test equipment and quality control instruments designed and […]

Employee dismissal – being aware matters

In a complex and ongoing case, the Court of Appeal reversed a ruling by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) which had found that an employee could succeed in a claim for automatically unfair dismissal for whistleblowing even if the person making the decision to dismiss was unaware of the employee having blown the whistle.

Countdown to GDPR day – Top tips 1: Consent and the GDPR

Under the GDPR, consent needs to be “…freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous…”  In other words, consent will only be validly given where there is a clear statement or conduct by an individual which indicates his/her acceptance of the proposed processing.  Accordingly, the following will no longer be satisfactory evidence of consent:

Uber loses a battle but the war continues

In our previous update, we advised you that the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) had held that Uber’s drivers are to be classed as workers. This means that they are afforded employment rights, including protection from unlawful deduction of wages, entitlement to the national minimum wage and paid annual leave.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Christmas can be a notoriously tricky time for employers, with numerous social events and of course the inevitable office Christmas party. How can you deal with these situations if something gets out of hand? What do you do about calculating employees’ holiday allowance for the festive period? Our mini guide below will help you overcome […]

The Digital Economy Act: introducing the “New Code”

The 27th April 2017 brought the Digital Economy Act, a refreshed version of the previous Digital Economy Act of 2010. As well as updating sentencing for criminal copyright infringement, the most interesting aspect is the so called “New Code”, which replaces the existing electronic communications code found in both the Telecommunications Act 1984 and the […]

Rip-off leaseholds: the problem of onerous ground rents

Esther Millard, and Sara Abou-Jaoude and from Barlow Robbins solicitors, discuss the proposals contained in the Government’s consultation paper, “Tackling Unfair Practices in the Leasehold Market”. Sara is a residential property solicitor and Esther specialises in professional negligence claims against solicitors. Esther: The consultation paper covers a range of leasehold-related issues. But the issue about which there has […]

Changes to employment law proposed by review of modern working practices (the ‘gig economy’)

The gig economy is often defined as “a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs.” Prior to going mainstream, the term ‘gigging’ was most commonly used in the musical world, for those musicians who are only paid per concert, or ‘gig’ they do. Now the […]

Don’t forget about gender pay gap reporting!

The BBC has, once again, found itself amongst a media storm after publishing the salaries of its highest paid stars. It transpired that Gary Lineker was paid ten times more than Clare Balding and the BBC’s highest paid woman, Claudia Winkleman, was paid just a fifth of what its best paid male star, Chris Evans, […]

Fit for a King?

In these times of austerity when the NHS faces perhaps its greatest challenge yet trying to meet incessantly rising patient demand with dwindling financial and human resources it is tempting for patients (at least those who can afford it) to look to the private health sector for salvation.

National minimum wage – don’t panic!

John Lewis has suffered very public criticism in relation to alleged payment of some of its seasonal workers below National Minimum Wage (NMW). This has caused a good deal of concern among schools, which clearly engage employees/workers to perform work at certain times of the year, while not necessarily requiring performance throughout the school holidays. […]

Facebook and others lose $500 million virtual reality headset case

A US Court has recently ordered social media site Facebook, virtual reality headset developer Oculus, the co-founder of Oculus and the former CEO of Oculus to pay Zenimax Media Inc $500 million after finding the defendants unlawfully used virtual reality technology belonging to Zenimax and the co-founder of Oculus broke a confidentiality agreement with Zenimax.

Changes to Anti-Money Laundering Regulations may soon affect online lettings businesses

There are an increasing number of businesses solely providing lettings services via online platforms and apps. Businesses purely providing lettings services should be aware the Government recently underwent a consultation in relation to the proposed Fourth Money Laundering Directive which when introduced as legislation will change how lettings agents currently carry out and assess anti-money […]

Cycle safety

As a keen cyclist I am delighted to have the better summer weather arrive to enjoy my chosen routes, and not surprising that there is an increased number of cyclists around on our roads with the same objective in mind.

An update on the gig economy

The term ‘gig economy’ is a fairly new term which you are likely to have heard in the media. Some have defined the gig economy as “a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs”. It is thought that approximately 5 million people work in this […]

What is Mediation Advocacy?

Most parties to a mediation will benefit from having formal representation to assist and advise them throughout the process and present their case. Mediation advocacy is the skilled technique of presenting and arguing a client’s position, needs and interests in a non-adversarial way. The role of the advocate Mediation advocacy is more than simply arguing a client’s […]

What is Commercial Mediation?

Commercial mediation is a flexible, voluntary and confidential form of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third party assists parties to work towards a negotiated settlement of their dispute. The parties retain control of the decision whether or not to settle and on what terms. Unlike a judge or arbitrator, the mediator will not decide the case […]

Spinning out without falling over

When a spin-out company is successful the results can be spectacular. In 2014 Zynga Inc acquired NaturalMotion, a leading games and technology company from Oxford University Innovation whose game titles include Dawn of Titans and CSR Racing, for more than US $527 million. 

Are your contracts clear on when notice to terminate employment is deemed to be given?

If an employment contract is silent on when notice is deemed to be given, notice of termination doesn’t take effect until the notice has been actually received. This may potentially have immense consequences for your company if it means the employee has completed an extra year service by the time they receive the notice, and […]

Update on holiday pay cases

The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal to British Gas in the holiday pay case Lock v British Gas. This provides some much needed clarity. We now know that results-based commission (i.e. commission based on sales received) and non-guaranteed overtime (i.e. overtime which employers are not obliged to offer but workers are contractually obligated to perform) must […]

Funding for cataract surgery

It was recently reported in the Sunday Times that the Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group, an NHS body which plans health services for the London Borough, proposes to stop one of the most common NHS operations as part of cost-cutting measures. It reportedly blames rising demand from an ageing population. In future, it is suggested the […]

Let’s support the RNIB

Loss of vision or visual impairment can be one of the most devastating and frightening things that can ever happen to you. The human eyes are an extraordinary organ. They make approximately 200,000 movements per day and are able to disting