The massive disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many more people working from home resulting in the number of face-to-face business meetings to drop to virtually zero. This has led to an explosion in the use of video conferencing technology. Whilst the benefits of these technologies are immense, they are not without […]
On 23 March 2020, the Government mandated non-essential businesses to close and ordered individuals to stay at home except in a few limited exceptions. This had a monumental impact on the UK’s economy, with airlines, retail, hospitality, sporting and tourism sectors suffering unprecedented disruption and financial loss. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development forecasts […]
Technology has always played a vital role in the agricultural sector and it should be no surprise that Smart Farming is due to increase significantly in the coming years given the needs of a rapidly growing global population, the requirement for increased yields and global warming threats. What is smart farming? A group of technologies […]
On Tuesday 5 May, the government made available the trial of the NHS contact tracing app (“test, track and trace”) to residents of the Isle of Wight as the first phase of a projected national roll-out by June. Making use of the app is voluntary. Users may download it to their smartphones to notify the […]
One of the challenges that directors of companies may face during these unprecedented times is holding board meetings and passing board resolutions whilst still adhering to the social distancing rules and keeping safe. Virtual board meetings are an efficient and relatively straight forward solution to this, and you may even find that you prefer to […]
What can directors continue to do to ensure good governance of their business? The directors of companies in the UK across many business areas are having to make unusually difficult decisions. Sometimes this even includes if their company can continue to trade and exist. Directors take advice where necessary and frequently have had to act quickly. […]
As with all significant events, novel viruses being no exception, people capitalise on ideas for products and services that could be relevant. For consumer goods, a commercially necessary first step is to launch trade mark applications in the expectation that they will result in registered and therefore more protectable marks. Coronavirus impact on IP and […]
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 […]
Data privacy law has always tried to strike a balance between individual rights and overwhelming social needs. With the COVID-19 pandemic now sweeping the world, Governments are taking extreme measures to save lives by encouraging social distancing and tracking infected persons. People in democratic countries are simply not used to some of the measures being […]
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 […]
Due to the material impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on UK business, the Government announced on 28 March amendments to existing statutory insolvency measures. This is in order to assist directors of businesses potentially unable to meet their debts in the current climate. Suspension of ‘wrongful trading’ rules The way this will be dealt with […]
This article examines the ongoing coronavirus public health crisis and its impact on contracts, the ability to terminate or cancel contractual obligations and refers to a recent case study. In general terms “Force Majeure” (FM) is a legal concept defined under a contract relating to the occurrence of events outside the control of the parties. […]
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 […]
Can I (or the other party) get out of an onerous contract because of coronavirus?
The off-payroll working rules under Chapter 10 of Part 2 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 were due to come into force on 6 April, however the Government has announced it is postponing reforms of the off-payroll working rules due to the economic impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).
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 […]
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 […]
From 6 April 2020, new IR35 rules come into force which mean that medium and large private sector companies in the IT and Tech sector generally will now have to assess whether a person supplied to it by an agency is a disguised employee or a true consultant and notify agencies and the worker. Getting […]
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 […]
Bentley 1962 Limited and another v Bentley Motors Limited The High Court has recently handed down a decision in a long-running trade mark dispute between commercial organisations of very different sizes and reputations. The Court has held in favour of a small clothing company (Bentley 1962 Limited) and found that its word mark Bentley registered […]
The outstanding progression of technology in the 21st Century has resulted in the phenomenon known as ‘the Internet of Things’; whereby devices can connect via the internet in order to communicate not only with us, but also with each other. The aim is to create a smarter way of life. Many devices are already available […]
Rudd v Bridle Following the arrival of GDPR there has been a notable increase in the number of subject access requests (SARs) whereby individuals have made formal requests to receive details of the personal data held on them by a business. As these requests can be time-consuming and expensive to deal with, it is no […]
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 […]
UK and EU competition law prohibits anti-competitive agreements between businesses. There are heavy penalties for infringements. When setting up a distribution network, whatever the size, status or sector of your business, it is important to be aware of the main competition rules.
The rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning applications is seeing exciting new technologies being introduced to the market across a wide variety of sectors.
Whatever your views on Brexit, the ongoing saga is recognised in many quarters as being bad for UK Plc due to great uncertainty as to whether Brexit will actually take place, and if so, on what terms the UK will leave the EU.
Earlier this year, Google was fined £44 million (50 million euros) by the French data regulator for breaching the data protection rules under GDPR. To date, this is the largest fine issued since GDPR came into force.
The Court of Appeal recently upheld a decision of the High Court that found Morrisons Supermarkets vicariously liable for the malicious and criminal actions of a rogue employee who intentionally damaged Morrison’s reputation by misusing the personal data of almost 100,000 Morrison employees.
Benjamin Franklin said “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” and that is never more than true in transactional work. As preparation is key to a smooth and ultimately successful acquisition or disposal, each quarter we will bring you some of our most important rules to follow leading up to that all important […]
In July 2016, the European Commission formally adopted Privacy Shield, a new framework for exchanges of personal data between the EU and US for commercial purposes. This means that Privacy Shield is approved by the EC as an adequate means of transferring personal data from the EEA to the US. This remains the position until the […]
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.
During this year’s London Tech Week, a new visa route aimed at the tech industry was announced. The Start Up visa has been designed following advice from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and feedback from the tech sector.
A recent case ‘Goodlife Foods Ltd v Hall Fire Protection Ltd’ 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.
A family run innovation company, Morgan Innovation and Technology Ltd design, develop and manufacture innovative products in medical, defence and commercial industries. They are passionate about innovations that have a positive impact on society.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Forgive me for harping on, but I am passionate about EMI Schemes and their benefits. If you are not, allow me a few minutes to convince you.
When Leonardo De Vinci first sketched a rough blueprint for a self-propelled cart 500 years ago could he have imagined that it would lead to an influx of driverless vehicles on our roads?
For thousands of businesses across the UK, outsourcing IT provides greater value, a better return on investment and peace of mind. It allows companies to spread their investment in IT infrastructure and call upon a wealth of expertise as and when needed, rather than employing a large in-house team.
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:
Databases can be protected by database right and/or copyright. A recent spat between the supplier of an internet-based electrocardiogram (ECG) reporting system known as the “ECG Cloud” has led to the conclusion that a simple PDF document relating to the ECG Cloud was protected by both database right and copyright.
On 25 May 2018, the largest ever overhaul of data protection laws in the EU will take effect. Businesses must comply with the changes or face fines of ‚Ç¨20m or 4% of worldwide annual turnover. Despite this, many organisations have not yet started preparing for the changes.
In what has become a stark reminder to all companies to take appropriate measures to protect customer data, TalkTalk has been fined a record £400,000 by the ICO for cyber security failings which Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has said, “allowed hackers to penetrate TalkTalk’s systems with ease”.
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.
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 […]
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will become directly applicable in all member states on 25 May 2018. It will create clarity for businesses by establishing a single set of rules across the EU.