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May
21
2014

Can a Tenant Recover Rent Paid for a Period After the end of a Break Notice?
#Real Estate

Break clauses have been making the legal news for several years. Many modern leases contain rights for the tenant to break the lease early, reflecting the increasing requirement of tenants for flexibility. However many older break clauses are drafted very restrictively, making them difficult to operate. A break clause will normally require payment of rent up to the break date, but may also require compliance with other covenants in the lease. This has led to many cases where the landlord and the tenant have ended up arguing about whether the break clause has been effectively operated. Of course in such circumstances the value of the break clause may be very substantial and make it worthwhile for the parties to engage in legal action to resolve the position...

May
21
2014

Clarification by the ECJ on the application of the in-house exception to the EU Public Procurement Rules
#Public Sector

On 8 May 2014, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on the application of the in-house exception to the application of EU Public Procurement Rules. This is an area which has developed, since the ECJ first took a look at it in the case of Teckal SrL v Commune di Viano and Azienda Gas in 1999 (Teckal)...

May
16
2014

Drop in Bulgarians and Romanians working in the UK
#Immigration

According to BBC News, the number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK fell by 4,000 in the period January to March 2014, following the lifting of restrictions on nationals from these countries on 1 January. Despite these citizens now having the same rights as other EU citizens, it appears that we have not seen the huge wave of immigration prophesised by some politicians and commentators...

May
16
2014

Revised code on preventing illegal working: simpler checks, higher fines.
#Immigration

On 6 May 2014 the Home Office published a draft code of practice on preventing illegal working detailing a revised civil penalty scheme for employers expected to come into force today. It will apply where any breach occurred on or after 16 May 2014. Having replaced the previous code issued in February 2008, it has statutory force and contains some comprehensive changes to right to work checks to...

May
16
2014

Immigration Act 2014 in force
#Immigration

The Immigration Bill received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014 The passage of the Bill has been controversial making way as it does for a number of reforms viewed to further target immigrants generally rather than to build on "existing reforms to ensure that our immigration system works in the national interest" as Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire commented in the Home Office`s pr...

May
13
2014

Resource efficiency becomes a necessity as we future-proof our cities
#Environment

"Resource efficiency in every form is vital as urban development grows at a rate never experienced before," Sir David King, The Foreign Secretary`s Special Representative for Climate Change, told a Thames Valley audience of business leaders and academic experts....

May
09
2014

Clarkslegal advises PSD Industrial Holdings and Lane Packaging on sale
#Corporate

Clarkslegal`s corporate team, led by solicitor Phillipa Hobbins, successfully advised the shareholders of long-established packaging distribution businesses PSD Industrial Holdings Limited and Lane Packaging Limited on the sale to a PLC....

May
09
2014

4,000 people have contacted ACAS about Early Conciliation
#Employment

ACAS say that around 1000 people have contacted ACAS about Early Conciliation every week since its launch on 6 April and that 100 employers have also got in contacts to try ACAS Early Conciliation. ACAS Chairperson, Sir Brendan Barber, said, "Early Conciliation has got off to a very good start and has given us the chance to help more people resolve their disputes early as well as save taxpayers...

May
09
2014

Small businesses at risk of false references
#Employment

A survey 1,800 small firms  conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses and BBC1`s Fake Britain reveals that 17%  had discovered  job candidates with fraudulent references. The survey found that fraudulent  references are most common for entry level positions and mid-level positions, although 12 per cent were for management positions and two per cent were for director level positions. It is o...

May
08
2014

Probate fees and capacity issues
#Real Estate

The government recently went ahead with its proposal to significantly increase the fee charged by probate registries for issuing grants and sealed copies of grants....

May
08
2014

Energy Performance: The Importance of Acting on F & G Ratings - A Reminder
#Real Estate

The Energy Act 2011 contains prospective legislation relating to energy efficiency in commercial buildings (and residential buildings) which threatens to have a significant impact on the property market...

May
07
2014

"SMEs are the lifeblood of economies and the Commonwealth can make a real difference" - UK lawyer tells international conference in Bangladesh
#Clarkslegal

"All around the world SMEs are the lifeblood of economies and the best hope of employment for the largest number of people" Michael Sippitt, Chairman of the Commonwealth Environmental Investment Platform and Clarkslegal LLP, told an international audience in Dhaka, Bangladesh, at the inaugural Sustainable SME Development in Bangladesh conference....

May
02
2014

Labour to restrict zero hours contracts
#Employment

Zero hours contracts have always been a hot topic and not necessarily for the right reasons.   Whilst they offer a flexible approach for employers as there is no obligation to provide work; individuals who are engaged under these contracts have little protection and fewer employment rights than employees.  Those who oppose these contracts believe that they provide little stability and security to...

May
02
2014

Would you agree to ACAS early conciliation? Your questions answered.
#Employment

You have probably heard already that from 6 May 2014, conciliation via ACAS becomes mandatory for claimants wishing to bring employment tribunal claims. If so, you may have heard of the new rules being referred to as "mandatory conciliation" or "early mandatory conciliation". As an employer, you may be wondering how a conciliation process can be mandatory. Mandatory for whom you may ask and also, what happens if you do not like what is being proposed in the conciliation process?...

May
01
2014

Men win equal pay case
#Employment

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) recently announced that it had conceded claims for sex discrimination and equal pay for a group of its male caretakers and maintenance staff. UWTSD merged with Swansea Metropolitan University in August 2013 to become the men`s employer and in so doing also became liable for the consequences of contractual changes implemented by Swansea in 2007...

Apr
30
2014

What happens when a business tenant remains in occupation after the expiry of its lease?
#Real Estate

Difficulties can arise when a business tenant remains in occupation of a property when its right to do so has come to an end. This may be because the tenant has a lease that does not carry protection under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 ("the Act") and the lease has expired. Alternatively the lease may be protected by the Act, and, following service by the landlord of a Section 25 notice terminating the tenancy, the tenant has not taken any steps to issue a claim for a new lease or extend time for doing so. Often when a tenant remains in occupation it is because negotiations for a new lease are ongoing, but there is a risk that, if the situation is not resolved promptly, the parties can find themselves with an implied periodic tenancy. The legal status of the tenant will always depend on the specific circumstances of each case, but the key factors the courts will look at are whether rent is being paid and accepted, and whether the parties are actively engaged in negotiations for a new lease...

Apr
25
2014

New Visa Fees Come into Force
#Immigration

A number of changes were introduced to the immigration rules on 6 April 2014 (see our previous Buddy blog). Alongside these changes came the yearly increase in fees for visa, immigration and nationality applications and premium services, which also apply from 6 April. As before, the fees vary depending on the type of visa application and whether the application is being made outside or inside the...

Apr
24
2014

War Horse: interfering with the Royal National Theatre`s "artistic freedom"
#Employment

In the case of Ashworth & Ors v The Royal National Theatre, the High Court dismissed an application which would force the Theatre to re-engage musicians who were replaced with pre-recorded music for the production War Horse.  The court concluded that to do so would interfere with the Theatre`s "artistic freedom".   Originally the Theatre used live music during its productions of War Horse. Howe...

Apr
23
2014

The persistent whistleblower - can an employer dismiss?
#Employment

If an employee "blows the whistle", any subsequent disciplinary action taken can result in a detriment claim or an automatically unfair dismissal claim (if the employee is dismissed).  There is no upper limit on the amount of compensation that can be awarded in these cases.  This can present difficulties for employers when managing an employee who raises multiple grievances and/or raises a grieva...

Apr
23
2014

Liability for claims for failure to inform and consult.
#Employment

The EAT in Allen v Morrisons Facilities Services Ltd has confirmed that the obligations to inform and consult employee representatives under Reg 13(2) of Tupe are vertical obligations between an employer (whether Transferee or Transferor) and its own employees. As such, any claims for failure to provide the required information must also be brought vertically by employees against their respective...

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