Latest News

-
When disputes arise over the meaning of a contract, it is usual for the court to look first at what the wording of the contract means and then at the commercial logic of that wording. In a recent case , the dispute essentially turned on whether two...
-
The planning system is very far from straightforward and sensible landowners seek legal advice before tackling it. The point was underlined by one case in which a farmer ended up with a part-built barn and at risk of enforcement action if he completed the...
-
The finding that more than a third of users of the Internet in the UK have been 'trolled' or been the subject of harassment or 'cyber-bullying', sometimes with severe effects on those singled out for online abuse, has led the Government to commission an...
-
References to 'seniority' or 'length of service' can all too easily be read as impermissible references to an employee's age, a point which was made by one case in which a sporting body narrowly defeated its former group marketing director's claim that his...
-
Even the most careful drafting cannot always succeed in dispelling ambiguity or in making provision for all future eventualities. As a High Court case concerning a family trust showed, however, the courts are always there to act as a neutral umpire in...
-
It is hardly surprising that directors of companies that face insolvency often wish to recoup their investments before the balloon goes up. However, as one High Court case concerning a failed furniture retailer showed, they are not entitled to give their...
-
An empty office block in Blackpool was given a rateable value (RV) of £490,000 by the local valuation officer, who made the valuation based on the expected rent for which the building could be let. The valuation was based on an assumed demand for a...
-
If you rely on your accountant's advice regarding a tax issue, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will now regard you as having taken 'reasonable care' to get things right and will not impose a penalty. On 14 February, HMRC issued new guidance relating to the...
-
For a person who has no need of the income from a family company, a dividend waiver, which allows other shareholders to receive dividends but not the person who has executed the waiver, can be a useful device. However, the use of dividend waivers can...
-
Signing a contract before you are sure you are willing to complete it can be a huge mistake: judges do not flinch from enforcing valid contracts, as a recent case shows . It involved a man who reneged on a deal to buy a family home for £5 million. He...
-
Under the Equality Act 2010 , direct discrimination occurs when the reason for a person being treated less favourably than another is one of the protected characteristics covered by the Act. This means that someone who does not have a protected...
-
Family judges know that children normally do best when they have direct contact with both parents. The Court of Appeal underlined that point in a case concerning five ultra-Orthodox Jewish children whose transgender father had been ostracised by the close...
-
When new partners are being introduced into a partnership, it is wise to finalise the arrangements quickly in case the partners fall out. Any lack of formality in the business arrangements can lead to trouble, as a recent case shows . The case concerned...
-
Thefts from hotel rooms are thankfully not an everyday occurrence, but when such a crime is committed, who, if anyone, is liable to pay compensation can become an issue, especially as the perpetrators, even if caught, frequently turn out to be penniless. In...
-
It is unusual when a case raises two different but significant points. A recent case dealt with issues raised when a landlord sought to obtain possession by 'peaceable re-entry' and the forfeiture of a lease when ground rent was not being paid. It...
-
When you discover that a business has breached your patent, what should you do? The answer to this question has two elements. The first is based on what you can do in law and the second is based on business strategy. Firstly, before picking a fight with...
-
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill was introduced into Parliament as a Private Members' Bill in July 2017. The Bill is being supported by the Government and is now wending its way through Parliament. The aim of the Bill is to give parents who...
-
When the male partner of a cohabiting couple died, apparently without leaving a will, after they had lived together for more than 40 years, his estate was administered according to the laws of intestacy, with the result that no provision was made for his...
-
Two recent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have looked at a worker's right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to respect for private and family life. In such cases, the ECHR...
-
About 900,000 UK citizens are long-term residents abroad, and it is no particular surprise that they may be less careful about managing their UK tax affairs than those who live in the UK. Many foreign residents retain UK properties, and when these are sold a...
-
The idea that the Internet is a free-for-all is nothing more than a persistent myth and the consequences of publishing copyright material online without permission can be severe. In one case, a television news broadcaster found itself in hot water after...
-
In a consultation paper published just before the December holiday season , the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is the Government department that deals with child maintenance payment arrangements, outlined significant powers that would enable...
-
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have recently carried out research on the 'sharing economy' – by which people share skills, resources, time or property with one another without cash changing hands. There are a number of websites that facilitate such...
-
You might think that something as seemingly simple as buying a pitch for a caravan is straightforward enough to do yourself, but a recent example shows why no sensible person would consider entering into a property transaction without employing a specialist...
-
Being made bankrupt is never a welcome experience, but failing to comply with reasonable requests of the Official Receiver can make matters even worse. Once a person is made bankrupt, they are required to deliver a statement of affairs within 21 days and to...

General Data Protection Regulation

With spring just around the corner changes loom on the horizon; on 25th May this year, Europe's data protection rules will undergo their biggest changes in two decades. Since they were created in the 90s we now exist in a comparatively digital date. We are constantly creating, capturing and storing data and the old regime quite simply is out of date.

The UK currently relies on the Data Protection Act 1998 but this will be superseded by the new legislation. Introducing tougher fines for non-compliance and breaches, it gives people more say over what companies can do with their data. The General Data Protection Regulation, often referred to as the GDPR, covers any information that is personal to an individual or can be used to determine your identity.

The legislation stipulates that businesses may be fined up to 4 percent of their global turnover, or 20 million Euro, whichever is highest for non-compliance and 2 percent for not keeping records in order. The fines obviously depend on the nature and circumstances of the breach, but the Information Commissioners Office is already listing organisations and businesses who are falling short of their Data Protection responsibilities.

Fines aside, it is worth remembering that in the highly digitalised age that we live in, the updated legislation is aimed at protecting our privacy and encouraging businesses to respect that. The impact commercially will be monumental, requiring structural and personnel compliance and adherence across the board.

JENNER LAMBERT-HILL

TRAINEE LEGAL EXECUTIVE

01458 271939

Jenner Lambert

Need some help or advice?

Let our legal experts give you a few pointers