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Articles

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Breach of confidence - bringing a competitor to book

What can you do if a competitor obtains your confidential information through a third party and uses it in their business? A recent English High Court case [1] reviewed your rights against a competitor in this situation: When is your competitor liable? ...

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Time to update your company's constitution?

A recent case has highlighted the importance of having modern, up to date articles of association. It may seem an unnecessary expense to ask professional advisers to review your articles. However, it can save cost and inconvenience in the long run,...

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Can an employer take the decision to start disciplinary action part-way through an investigation?

In the case of Sattar v CitiBank , the Court of Appeal held that a decision to take disciplinary action part-way through an investigation did not render the dismissal unfair, as long as the employee had a full and fair opportunity to engage with any new...

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Two wrongs don't make a right - suspension of wrongful trading laws inches closer to the statute book

Hot off the press, yesterday we learnt a great deal more about the proposed suspension of the UK’s wrongful trading laws with the publication of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill 2019-21. News of this development first emerged in March when...

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The Future Fund opens for business

After great fanfare, the UK’s Future Fund is opening for business. From Wednesday 20 May 2020 applications can be made via the government’s Gov.uk website. The Future Fund is a UK Government-backed co-investment scheme delivered by the...

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Former tenants/guarantors: am I still on the hook?

A variety of restrictions have been introduced during the current COVID-19 crisis giving defaulting commercial tenants some extra breathing space. If you are a former tenant or guarantor of a lease read on because the landlord may look to you as an...

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NHS COVID-19 App - health vs privacy?

The launch of the NHS’s COVID-19 contact tracing app (“App”) is just around the corner, with a trial of the App currently underway on the Isle of Wight. The App is intended to take an important role in the contact tracing and testing...

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COVID-19: Rent arrears and CRAR during the lockdown

Since 26 March 2020 section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 prevents landlords of commercial premises exercising any right of forfeiture or re-entry for non-payment of rent. This prohibition currently runs until 30 June 2020, but may be extended. Following...

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New employer guidance on returning to work: offices

Following Boris Johnson’s greatly anticipated speech about easing lockdown on Sunday 10 May 2020, there has been a deluge of new guidance for employers on returning to work. The first was a lengthy document published on Monday 11 May 2020 entitled ...

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Furlough leave extended to 31 October 2020

The Chancellor’s announcement to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“the Furlough Scheme”) to the end of October will come as a relief to many. As ever with the Furlough Scheme the detail shared with this initial announcement is...

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Immigration alert - imposition of quarantine rules

The Government announcement on 10 May states that, as part of its strategy against COVID-19, quarantine rules will be imposed for most people arriving into the UK.  It’s not clear when this will come into force although the Government has said it...

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What a wind-up: when can COVID-19 be raised as a ground to dismiss a winding up petition?

Although the contentious background to the applications to restrain the presentation of two winding up petitions heard together in (but only listed singularly as) the case of Shorts Gardens LLB v London Borough of Camden Council [2020] EWHC 1001 (Ch) is...

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Five Point Guide: A landlord's guide to easing lockdown and opening offices

  UPDATE  - this briefing was written prior to the government releasing its guidance on working safely during coronavirus in offices and contact centres on Monday 11 May 2020, which can be found here .  ---------------- Many office...

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Bongo's Bingo and Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah cause IP Hoo-Hah

What do Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and Bongo’s Bingo have in common, aside from their equally intriguing alliterative titles? The answer: they have each recently been involved in disputes regarding the ownership of the intellectual property (“ IP...

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How does the furlough scheme apply to directors?

The Government announced basic details of the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) on 20 March 2020.  This scheme enables business whose operations have been severely affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic to furlough employees and apply for a...

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Anti-suit injunctions and determining the law of the arbitration agreement - the Court of Appeal In Enka v Chubb

The Court of Appeal in Enka Insaat Ve Sanayi AS v OOO “Insurance Company Chubb” & Ors [2020] EWCA Civ 574 has confirmed that the English courts can grant anti-suit injunctions where the seat of the arbitration is in England and Wales, and...

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Can a mathematical mystery be registered as a trade mark?

This was the question facing the Court of Justice (CJEU) [i] in relation to an application to register the Gömböc, a convex three-dimensional homogeneous body that, when resting on a flat surface, has just one stable and one unstable point of...

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Consultants, COVID-19 and carrying out site visits and inspections

There is a lot of commentary out there on COVID-19 and its effect on construction sites and how construction contracts might respond to the unique challenges of the lockdown.  However, there is not much commentary on the effect that COVID-19 and the...

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Sky's trade marks cut down, but SkyKick infringes anyway

Following the Court of Justice (CJEU)’s ruling in Sky v SkyKick [i]   - see our previous article - the English High Court has held [ii] that Sky acted in bad faith by pursuing a “deliberate strategy of seeking very broad protection for...

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Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19

With COVID-19 causing continuing financial turmoil for many UK companies, businesses are looking to their insurance policies to help them respond to the unprecedented circumstances they find themselves in. Business interruption (“BI”) insurance,...

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Patents - public interest argument fails in medical devices case

In a recent High Court case involving rival medical devices for the treatment of mitral regurgitation, the High Court has upheld the patentee’s right to an injunction despite the existence of a body of doctors who believed that the defendant’s...

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Clarification on how to calculate statutory pay for furloughed employees who take family-related statutory leave either during or after furlough leave

With possibly the longest name on the statute books, The Maternity Allowance, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Shared Parental Pay and Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (Normal Weekly Earnings etc.)...

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Right to rent - update

The Court of Appeal has held that the Government’s right to rent scheme (which requires landlords to carry out immigration checks on prospective tenants) is lawful in the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v R (Joint Council for the...

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Updated guidance confirms that tips, including those distributed through troncs, are excluded from furlough pay

In another blow to the hospitality sector, updated guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘ CJRS ’) has confirmed that employers cannot include shared tips distributed through a tronc system when calculating wages as part of their...

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Furlough Leave: HMRC and ACAS guidance updated as at 30 April 2020

It seems that a week cannot go by without further revisions to the published guidance on accessing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).  ACAS has also updated their advice for employers and employees.  Here we summarise the key changes. ...

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Corporate reorganisations - measure twice, cut once

During the COVID-19 crisis, various businesses will be looking at how best to reinvent or reorganise themselves.  In some cases this will be driven by an immediate need or new ways of working.  In other cases businesses may take advantage of...

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MAC clauses back in the spotlight

As was the case for the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and the economic crisis in 2008, the COVID-19 crisis is putting material adverse change clauses in M&A transactions back in the spotlight. On 22 April, it was announced that Brigadier...

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Payment of dividends during COVID-19 disruption: new ICSA guidance

For most companies, the focus during the current crisis is on conserving cash resources. It may be difficult to justify payment of a dividend, especially in the light of directors’ duties owed to the company and the focus on prioritising its...

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Update: Delay to implementation of EU Medical Device Regulation

The European Commission has proposed to postpone the application of the EU Medical Device Regulation (“MD Regulation”) by one year. The intention is to allow Member States, health institutions and economic operators to prioritise the fight...

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Can a company in liquidation adjudicate?

Can a company in liquidation adjudicate? Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Limited & Anor v Astec Projects Limited, or what happens when an irresistible force meets an immoveable object? “Art is born when the temporary touched the eternal; the...

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