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Sep
14
2015

Changes to section 21 notices
#Dispute Resolution

Residential landlords need to be aware of the changes to section 21 notices which are coming into force from 1 October 2015....

Aug
24
2015

Controlling Abusive Behaviour by Ex-Employees
#Dispute Resolution

The growth of the internet and the readily accessibility of platforms for public comment have made it easier than ever for disgruntled or vindictive ex-employees to make disparaging comments about their former employer and colleagues. ...

Aug
14
2015

Defamation under a pseudonym
#Dispute Resolution #Crisis Management #Education

The long running case of Tardios & St John’s Preparatory and Senior School –v- Pammela Linton (aka Patricia Carpenter) raised a number of interesting issues both from an education and defamation perspective. ...

Aug
07
2015

Less than half of employers have a whistleblowing policy
#Employment #Dispute Resolution

The whistleblowing charity, Public Concern at Work, has published this week some YouGov survey results showing that, surprisingly, only 48 per cent of workers in a representative sample said their workplace had a whistleblowing policy. This was despite the fact that 81 percent of workers surveyed said they would raise a concern about possible corruption, danger or serious malpractice at work. In the last two years, 11 per cent of workers said they had such concerns. Of those, 59 percent had raised them with their employer....

Jul
22
2015

Surely it can’t mean that?
#Dispute Resolution

Two recent cases, one in Supreme Court and the other in the High Court give an interesting illustration of the approach taken to interpret a contract. Although in each case the court applied the same legal test, it reached the opposite result. ...

Jun
24
2015

Am I a commercial agent?
#Dispute Resolution

Agency arrangements often arise informally, and we are sometimes consulted by agents and principals who are not sure whether they fall within the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 (the Regulations) or not. ...

May
22
2015

Don’t wind me up!
#Restructuring & Insolvency #Dispute Resolution

A winding up petition can be a very effective tool to persuade a reluctant debtor to pay an outstanding invoice. Not only is there the prospect of the company being placed into liquidation, a petition can be advertised seven business days after it is served. Advertisement typically results in the company’s bank account being frozen, which will inevitably have a paralysing effect on its business. Once this stage has been reached the company may have passed the point of no return....

May
06
2015

Websites from Hell
#Crisis Management #Dispute Resolution

The recent case of Rada-Ortiz v Espinosa-Vadillo is welcome news for employers and others dealing with the actions of a disgruntled ex-employee....

Apr
01
2015

Increase in Court Fees - An Incentive to Settlement?
#Dispute Resolution

On 9 March 2015 the Government substantially increased the Court fee for starting civil claims – in some cases by as much as 600%....

Feb
10
2015

Celebrity Chef Litigation
#Dispute Resolution

You cannot have escaped the recent judgment regarding Gordon Ramsay. For those who haven’t heard of him he is a celebrity restaurateur and the star of several TV food programmes including Hell’s Kitchen. ...

Jan
15
2015

Mediation - what do you have to lose?
#Dispute Resolution

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential form of alternative dispute resolution (www.practicallaw.com/0-107-6391) (ADR). A neutral third party is appointed by the parties who are in dispute in an attempt to reach a settlement without the involvement of the court. Depending on what you want to achieve, mediation can offer a number of advantages. Parties retain control of the decision on whether or not to settle and on what the terms of the settlement will be. It is a far cheaper means of resolving a dispute than taking matters all the way to a court hearing and mediators provide more creativity and flexibility over settlement options than the court process. It is not surprising therefore that mediation statistics indicate a high success rate, with some mediators claiming success rates in excess of 90%....

Dec
15
2014

Software: goods or services - continued
#Dispute Resolution

In last month’s newsletter (“Software: goods or services?”) we discussed the recent court decision of Fern Computer Consultancy Ltd v Intergraph Cadworx & Analysis Solutions Inc. and the court’s confirmation of the distinction between agents who sell “goods” as opposed to agents who only sell “services”. The court considered that the Commercial Agents Regulations 1993 (“the Regulations”) – which afford important protections to agents who sell goods but not services in the EU – may apply to the supply of software but only if it is accompanied by some form of physical delivery (i.e. through a dongle, with documentation, or on a CD). ...

Oct
24
2014

The Only Way Is… Calculation of Loss of Profits
#Dispute Resolution

The case of Sugar Hut Group v AJ Insurance put an interesting slant on the question of how loss of profits should be calculated. A nightclub in Essex was damaged by a serious fire. Its owner (Sugar Hut) failed in its claim under its insurance policy because its insurance brokers (AJ Insurance) had negligently failed...

Oct
06
2014

Software: goods or services?
#Dispute Resolution

A significant feature of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 (the "Regulations") is that they only apply to agents who sell "goods". Agents who sell services are excluded and do not enjoy any protection....

Sep
02
2014

The Defamation Act 2013: what is serious harm?
#Dispute Resolution #Crisis Management

The Defamation Act 2013 (the "2013 Act") introduced a requirement that a statement must have caused (or be likely to cause) serious harm to the Claimant`s reputation for that statement to be defamatory. In order to show serious harm, a business (defined as a body that trades for profit in the 2013 Act) has to show that it had suffered, or was likely to suffer, significant financial loss as a result of the publication of the defamatory material. The relevant section of the 2013 Act came into force on 1 January 2014 and only applies to allegedly defamatory statements made since that date...

Sep
01
2014

Killing two birds with one answer: when jurisdiction is founded on choice of law
#Dispute Resolution

As the commercial world becomes increasingly international, the English Courts are called upon more and more often to rule on cases involving litigants that are not based in this country. In cases between litigants of different nationalities, the English Court may also need to determine which country`s law will apply to the dispute. This article looks at the peculiar circumstances where the separate questions of whether the English Courts have jurisdiction and what the is the law applicable to the dispute become intertwined...

Aug
04
2014

Recent Guidance from the Court of Appeal on how to calculate Compensation under Regulation 17 of the Commercial Agents Regulations 1993
#Dispute Resolution

For many years after the Commercial Agents Regulations came into force in 1994, there was uncertainty over how a commercial agent should calculate the value of the "compensation" they were owed under Regulation 17 following the termination of their agency agreement...

Jun
27
2014

Fresh proceedings on same facts - two bites of the cherry?
#Dispute Resolution

The recent Judgment in the Court of Appeal case of Kotonou v National Westminster Bank plc [2014] raises a number of interesting issues for litigation practitioners...

Jun
27
2014

Top tips for starting a small claim
#Dispute Resolution

Disputes are an unhelpful distraction to any business. They are costly and divert attention and resources away from the business`s main activities. Unfortunately, we must all accept that there will be situations where parties end up in dispute and may need to consider Court action. There are a number of dispute resolution mechanisms that can be used to chase debtors, such as issuing statutory demands. However, this article is focused on advising businesses that are considering commencing a claim through the small claims track. It is intended that this will be the first is a series of articles about the small claims track...

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