Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

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Jul
31
2014

Restrictive covenants: courts cannot give effect to commercial common sense
#Employment

The Court of Appeal has reaffirmed the well established principle that whilst a court can generally interpret an ambiguous clause it cannot rewrite a clause on the grounds that it does not make common sense and is contrary to the intention of the parties.  Restrictive covenants are often used in employment contracts in order to guard against unfair competition.  They allow an employer to protect...

Jul
31
2014

Freightliner holiday pay case settles but three other cases continue
#Employment

Neil v Freightliner, a key case on holiday pay, has settled in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. In this case the tribunal decided that Mr Neal`s holiday pay should have been calculated by reference to his normal earnings, which included overtime and shift pay. The case has been appealed and was expected that it would decide whether overtime should be included in the calculation of holiday pay. How...

Jul
29
2014

Tom Howell
#Clarkslegal

It is with great sadness that I have to announce the sudden death of Tom Howell on 25 July following a short illness. Tom was a partner in our real estate department from 1984-2007. Tom was an excellent property lawyer who both we and indeed his clients all had the highest regard for....

Jul
24
2014

Obesity can be a disability, European court says, relying on UN Convention
#Employment

We know that obesity is one of the most critical health issues facing the developed world, not least in Western Europe. The European Court of Justice now looks set to confirm, based on a preliminary opinion of the Court this week in a Danish case, that obesity, at least severe or "morbid" obesity can be a disability. In fact, leaving aside questions of European law, the Employment Appeal Tribuna...

Jul
24
2014

HR consultant`s costly drafting mistake put employees on higher band
#Employment

The EAT in the case of Hershaw and others v Sheffield City Council has held that an employer was bound by the rates of pay included in a grievance appeal letter that was written by a HR consultant. The Council had sought to reduce its patrol officers` pay following a pay review. The employees lodged a grievance so the Council engaged a HR consultant to investigate. Whilst the consultant had no a...

Jul
17
2014

Comet`s redundancy consultation failures result in £25 million potential protective award
#Employment

Last month the Leeds Employment Tribunal found that Deloitte, the administrators of Comet, had failed to consult with redundant employees.  The employees were entitled to awards of up to 90 days pay and it is expected that the total bill will be nearly £25 million. Background The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 ("TULRCA") provides that employers proposing to dismiss mo...

Jul
17
2014

£18,600 a year minimum to sponsor foreign spouse or partner
#Immigration

On Friday 11 July 2014 the Court of appeal finally handed down its judgment in MM (Lebanon) and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department and another [2014] EWCA Civ 985. Background The appeals were originally heard four months ago in March and the case concerns one aspect of the Home Secretary`s controversial rules on family migration introduced in July 2012. Under the new rules...

Jul
15
2014

Routes for graduates
#Employment

The number of international graduates in the UK is increasing; approximately 219,000 study related visas were issued in 2013. However, once migrants have completed their studies, many will want to stay in the UK.  This note sets out some of the visa routes that graduates can explore if they want to stay in the UK post study. Tier 2 (General)   What is it?   Under this route graduates from ou...

Jul
10
2014

Cameron promises tighter strike laws
#Employment

David Cameron promised yesterday that the next Conservative manifesto will include a proposal to require a minimum turnout threshold when union members vote in an industrial action ballot. That would mean that there would have to be a minimum percentage threshold of eligible union members voting in favour of industrial action for the action to be lawful. At present, a simple majority of union mem...

Jul
10
2014

Met Police deleted investigation records in discrimination claim
#Employment

An employment tribunal has found that the Met Police told staff to delete records on sex and race discrimination against one of its employees. Firearms officer Carol Howard, 35, was "singled out and targeted" for nearly a year, a panel ruled. An officer looking at her complaints was asked to delete references in a report into discrimination related to race or sex, it said. The Met said it was "...

Jul
09
2014

Landlord`s obligation to insure against terrorism
#Commercial Real Estate

The recent Judgment in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) case of Qdime Ltd v Various Leaseholders at Bath Building (Swindon) and others [2014] UKUT 261 (LC) is a decision that will be of interest to landlords and tenants....

Jul
08
2014

"Tour de Clarkslegal" - Clarkslegal staff cycle 120 miles for charity
#Clarkslegal

As part of the Tour de France celebrations, Clarkslegal organised a team challenge for staff to cycle 190 kilometres, the distance of the tour`s first stage, raising profile and donations for the firm`s three nominated charities - Alexander Devine Children`s Hospice Service, Contact the Elderly and Cardiff Foodbank...

Jul
08
2014

Rectifying a poorly drafted Will
#Commercial Real Estate

A recent Supreme Court case, Marley v Rawlings ruled for the first time at the highest judicial level on the circumstances under which a will may be rectified pursuant to s20(1)(a) of the Administration of Justice Act 1982...

Jul
04
2014

Procurement for growth - new Cabinet Office guidance
#Public Sector

On 21st May the Cabinet Office issued new ‘Procurement for Growth` guidance (‘Guidance`) on how the public sector can maximise economic growth via its procurement processes. The guidance followed the launch of the Government`s Procurement Pledge at the end of April 2012...

Jul
03
2014

Flexible working changes - Buddy`s new policy
#Employment

Due to the changes on flexible working that came in to force this week from 30 June 2014, a reminder that Employmentbuddy has updated our template Flexible Working Policy. Also this week, ACAS have also published a new flexible working code of practice and new homeworking guidance notes which should help employers understand the changes and how to handle requests appropriately. If you have any...

Jul
03
2014

Appropriate since 1973
#Construction

What happens in a residential construction contract where the value of defects might exceed the amount of Retention being withheld by the Employer? Is the Employer limited to the stated percentage of Retention, or, if not, how is the sum of what can be withheld established?...

Jul
03
2014

Standard references: are they legal?
#Employment

There are at least three legal duties for an employer to consider when providing a reference. 1. Reasonable care and skill must be taken to ensure that the reference provided is true, accurate, fair and not misleading. If an inaccurate reference is provided, which could include a standard reference, the referee may be sued for negligent misstatement (www.practicallaw.com/6-107-6878)....

Jun
30
2014

Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement
#Corporate

In October 2013, Canada and the EU concluded an agreement in principle on a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement ("CETA"). It is envisaged that the Agreement will generate substantial new trade in goods and services as well as additional opportunities for investment. Once implemented, CETA is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods by 22.9% or E25.7 billion, which will foster growth and employment in both the EU and Canada...

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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