Insights: Legal Updates - December 2015

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‘Tis the season…to reopen your divorce settlement?

Teresa Cullen |

It emerged last week that a software error on the financial statement form (more commonly known as the Form E in divorce proceedings) produced by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) – on their website, no less – may lead to thousands of financial settlements needing to be reopened as they are based on incorrect calculations. […]


Communal heating systems – changes in regulations

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The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 are bringing in a change of legislation that will affect how tenants of buildings with communal heating systems will be invoiced for their use of heating, cooling and hot water. Purpose The legislation is designed to ensure that end-users of heat are only charged for the heating […]


Anti-suit in favour of employee

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An exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of the Massachusetts court was held by the Court of Appeal to be overridden by Articles 20-23 of the Brussels Regulation, giving the English employee the right to sue in England and to obtain an anti-suit injunction against a Massachusetts company: James Petter v EMC Europe Limited and EMC […]


The Consumer Rights Act 2015: what retailers need to know

Eddie Powell |

Readers will be aware of the trumpeting surrounding the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) which came into force on 1 October 2015.  It aims to bring the law up to date for consumer sales across the board, with particular focus on unfair consumer contract terms and the supply of digital content.  But what has changed […]


Penalty clauses in the spotlight

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When a contract includes a provision for payment on breach of contract, that payment may well be liable to challenge by the breaching party as falling foul of the legal rule protecting parties against penalty clauses, which are unenforceable. Until a recent decision of the Supreme Court in Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El […]


Two better than one: Why developers should embrace two-stage tendering

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Two-stage tendering is often cited as a tool for procurement efficiency.  We are told that it offers clients the opportunity to get value for money whilst improving ‘buildability’ by engaging contractors at an early stage in the process.  Yet, for many years it still seems to have been regarded with suspicion amongst developers or, at […]


Setting aside delayed arbitration award

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The Commercial Court has considered the criteria for setting aside an arbitration award where there is a substantial delay between the hearing and the award. In BV Scheepswerf Damen Gorinchem v Marine Institute [2015] EWHC 1810 (Comm), the delay had been 12 months and the unsuccessful respondent to the arbitration applied to have the award […]


New UK GAAP: Are you ready?

Amy Collins |

Introduction Major changes to accounting standards are producing both accounting issues and legal problems which UK companies need to plan for this year. Companies in the UK that are not following International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are required to move to new UK accounting standards for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015, […]


Forum non conveniens waiver overruled

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In Standard Chartered and Others v Independent Power Tanzania and Others [2015] EWHC 1640 (Comm) the parties had entered into various agreements which were governed by English law and contained non-exclusive English jurisdiction clauses with forum non conveniens waivers and an express acceptance of the possibility of concurrent proceedings in different jurisdictions, together with provisions […]


Changes to business investment relief: a sop to non-doms?

Helena Luckhurst |

Business investment relief (BIR) has been a feature of the UK tax system since April 2012 and it is unusual, being the only exception to the remittance basis of taxation that is ‘purpose-specific’. BIR allows UK resident non-doms to bring into the UK untaxed foreign income and foreign gains without making a taxable remittance of […]


Fine for online pharmacy selling customer details

Ben Milloy |

If carried out properly, the sale of customer or user information offers a potentially lucrative revenue source for any data-rich company. However, get it wrong and – as NHS-approved online chemist “Pharmacy 2U” can now testify – it can be quite the reverse. Pharmacy 2U’s rude awakening took the form of a £130,000 fine from […]


Japanese knotweed

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What is Japanese knotweed? Japanese knotweed, which was introduced to the UK in the 19th century as an ornamental plant, has now spread to become the most invasive plant in the UK and a real threat to the structure of UK buildings.  The plant spreads rapidly (up to 10cm per day some months!) by its […]