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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Business contracts: best by design, not by accident

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 […]

A surge in business interruption claims due to Covid-19

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 […]

Smart farming – have you got the legal issues covered?

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 […]

Remote board meetings: how to get board resolutions passed amidst the COVID-19 crisis

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 […]

Directors’ difficult decisions during the COVID-19 lockdown

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. […]

Trade mark strategies in a pandemic outbreak

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 […]

Data privacy implications of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

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 […]

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 […]

Wrongful trading rules suspension: be careful what you wish for!

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 […]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Force Majeure and avoiding contractual uncertainty

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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:

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 […]