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 […]

Exchange of contracts within 48 hours

Buying a house is often one of the largest investments that we make, making it one of life’s most significant decisions. Given the importance of buying the right property, the process is regularly fraught with stress and pressure, and often over a period of months. It is, however, possible to limit the length of time […]

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 […]

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 increasing rapidly in the UK. It enables rapid surveillance of thousands of people. Whilst the use of LFR software to locate serious offenders has obvious benefits to law enforcement authorities, concerns have been raised by civil liberties groups […]

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 […]

Changes to Insolvency law and practical steps directors can take during these challenging times

During the last few weeks we have seen big names including Flybe, Carluccio’s and BrightHouse enter administration. Debenhams has entered into urgent talks with landlords regarding rent cuts and rent and service charge holidays in an attempt to save some of its stores. These talks will likely result in Debenhams entering into a second CVA, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Proposed abolition of Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988

The Government has issued a Consultation Paper entitled “A New Deal for Renting”, seeking views on how to implement its decision to abolish Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and to improve the implementation of Section 8, grounds for repossession. It concentrates specifically on the circumstances in which landlords should be able to regain […]

Stamp Duty Land Tax – Mixed Use update

On 25 June 2019 HMRC issued updated guidance on the meaning of ‘garden and grounds’ for the purposes of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). In considering whether or not a mixed-use rate of SDLT can apply to the purchase of a country house, questions are commonly raised by HMRC on the extent of land at […]

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 […]

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. 

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√©, […]

My journey as a trainee solicitor

Firstly I must say I cannot believe that I am drawing to the end of my training contract at Moore Blatch. The gruelling process of applying for training contracts seems a lifetime ago and I can safely say it was all worth it! In light of this, I wanted to share a small insight into […]

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. […]

Escape to the country

At Moore Blatch, we regularly act for purchasers who are based in London and other urban centres who are looking to purchase rural homes and escape to the country. They may be relocating or looking to purchase a second property as an investment or lifestyle proposition.

AHA Tenancies – Obtaining vacant possession

We are regularly being asked to report on the status of agricultural tenants who occupy land required for development by the landowner, whether access can be obtained by a promoter and buyer for site surveys and investigations; and for providing a strategy for delivering vacant possession of the land in question.

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  […]

Case law update – Restrictive covenants

The case of Jones v Oven [2018] EWCA Civ 1895; [2018] 8 WLUK 105 looked at the effect of restrictive covenants on a transfer of land. The Claimant and the Defendant are neighbours and the case concerned a four metre strip of land (the “Strip”). This case is of note as it demonstrates that “retained […]

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. 

How does a Personal Injury Trust benefit you during a Personal Injury claim?

Means-tested benefits such as housing benefit, universal credit and council tax credits and access to care services are assessed based on your income and savings. If you have been successfully awarded compensation [“damages”] in a personal injury claim this could affect your eligibility to receive these benefits, both now and in the future.

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 […]

Farm diversification- Film on a farm

At sunset, viewers are treated to the viewing of classic film favourites. I watched Notting Hill, but other films such as Jaws and Dirty Dancing are upcoming. It is all about the outdoor experience: picnicking outside in a beautiful part of the countryside, poshcorn, beetle cars, bbq’ing local meat and a great film.

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 […]

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 […]

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 distinguish around 10 million colours. The impact of having this all taken away can be […]

Personal Injury Trust

If you are awarded compensation after suffering a personal injury, and you are also receiving means-tested benefits, it may surprise you to learn that your compensation could result in you losing your benefits. This is because means-tested benefits are only payable if your savings are below a certain amount (usually between £16,000 and £6,000 depending […]

Salary sacrifice school fees – last chance saloon!

Hitherto, independent schools have been able to offer staff the opportunity to save some of the cost of the school fees relating to their own children’s attendance at the school via salary sacrifice arrangements. In March 2016, the government indicated it was considering introducing restrictions on the use of salary sacrifice schemes. From August to […]

Adekosan v Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited – can gross negligence justify dismissal without notice?

Usually when an employee’s employment is terminated, the appropriate amount of notice must be given by the employer. The Employment Rights Act 1996 sets out the minimum amount of notice that must be given while an employee’s contract could also stipulate that a greater amount of notice must be provided. If the employer dismisses the […]

Pimlico Plumbers & Anor v Smith: when is a plumber a worker?

Determining ‘worker’ status has been a major focus in the world of employment law recently, with several high-profile cases considering the issue. Aslam, Farrar and Others v Uber contemplated whether Uber’s taxi drivers were workers or self-employed contractors, while the employment status of CitySprint’s couriers was deliberated in Dewhurst v CitySprint UK Ltd. The issue […]

Septic tanks a dirty word

When you are marvelling in the peace and tranquillity of having bought a home in the countryside, you are unlikely to find yourself in your new garden, enjoying the spring blossoms whilst considering the subject of sewage.  Although a dirty word, come 2020, ‘sewage’ will be at the forefront of the minds of most sellers […]

Apprenticeship levy- Are you prepared?

As you may have seen in the media recently, despite Brexit, the new apprenticeship levy (“Levy”) is still expected to come into force on 6 April 2017. It is hoped the introduction of the Levy will give employers more influence over how apprenticeships are designed and paid for. This article considers what the Levy is, […]

Tribunal fees report: the introduction of Employment Tribunal fees has “broadly met its objectives” the government concludes

Employment tribunal fees were introduced by the government in July 2013. They range from £390 for a claim for unpaid wages, to £1,200 for unfair dismissal. Official statistics show that in the year after their introduction, the number of claims brought had fallen by approximately 70%. There has therefore been much debate about whether the […]

Do you operate a holiday year from 1st April – 31st March? If so watch out!

Attention employers! Due to the way that the Easter bank holidays fall this year and next year, it is anticipated that some employees’ holiday rights may be breached next year. Depending on the amount of holiday entitlement afforded to employees, together with the wording of their contract, employers may find themselves liable for an unanticipated […]

The National Minimum Wage – make sure your business doesn’t end up on the government’s name and shame list!

On 15 February 2017, the government ‘named and shamed’ more than 350 employers who had underpaid their workers the national minimum or ‘living’ wage. Department store Debenhams topped the list of offending employers, having failed to pay £134,894.83 to nearly £12,000 workers. Under the government’s ‘name and shame’ scheme, the names of all employers who […]

Divorce case of Mrs and Mr Owens

In the wake of the striking divorce case of Mrs and Mr Owens, BBC Radio Solent spoke to Debra Emery, Partner and Head of the Moore Blatch Family department about the implications of Judge Robin Tolson QC refusing Mrs Tini Owens application for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour at the Family Court sitting […]

The Trade Union Act 2016: an update

Last year we reported on the Trade Union Act 2016 (the “Act”) which received royal assent on 4 May 2016. The Act contains key provisions which apply to unionised work forces and have an increased effect on public services. In the words of the government, the aim of the Act is to ‘ensure strikes can […]

The Law Society calls for employment law reform in the wake of the ‘gig economy.’

There has been much debate in recent months over the legal employment status of workers within the ‘gig economy’ – a growing trend whereby corporations provide their services through a number of ‘self-employed’ contractors who (in theory) choose to work as and when they please. Because of their supposed employment status, those ‘contractors’ would not […]

What is ‘Gratuitous Care’?

Imagine what would happen if somebody in your close family were to be seriously injured in an accident. They would be taken by the emergency services to hospital, where the doctors and nurses would do their best to save their life and care for them until their medical condition was stable. At some point, your […]

Psychiatric Injury – time for reform?

27 years after Hillsborough, the jury who heard two years of evidence at the highly publicised inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans decided that the supporters involved in the 1989 catastrophe were unlawfully killed. The anniversary and decision from this long awaited inquest following the disaster, which resulted in over 700 casualties who […]

Compensation for the loss of a loved one – how are damages quantified?

When an individual successfully brings a personal injury or clinical negligence claim, they will typically be awarded a lump sum payment known as ‘damages’. The purpose of those damages is to put the injured person, as best as possible, back into the position they would have been had the accident or clinical negligence not occurred. […]