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It is no real surprise that insurers are often not wildly enthusiastic about paying claims and will deny liability when they are able to do so. One condition which is normally present in a policy application is that the insured discloses any past criminal...
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Following the Grenfell disaster in 2017, cladding has come under close scrutiny with surveys being carried out as a priority in buildings across the UK. The failure to comply with Building Regulations (Part L1A 2010), which provides a framework for ensuring...
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It is only right that those who make commercial use of others' creative ideas without permission should be hit hard in the pocket. Exactly that happened in a High Court case in which a greetings cards company was found to have serially infringed copyright...
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Relationships that start on the Internet are already leading to some interesting situations. A recent family case involved a British woman who had met a Pakistani man online and married him in the USA, where the couple had two children. Her husband had...
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It is an implied term of any contract of employment that an employer should not act in a way that is likely to destroy or seriously damage the trust and confidence which an employee can expect from them. A serious breach of an implied contractual term or...
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Taxpayers are personally responsible for filing their tax returns on time, and failing to do so can lead to stiff financial penalties. However, in one case, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) ruled that a self-employed website developer whose accountants lost all...
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Business owners that fail to take legal advice and occupy premises on an uncertain basis are always at risk. In a High Court case exactly on point , a business college found itself locked out of its office block and embroiled in a costly dispute with the...
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Money in a bank account represents the debt due from the bank to the account holder and is not 'property' in the eyes of the law. The Court of Appeal made that point in quashing the convictions of a woman who was accused of abusing her position as a senior...
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Every UK company is required to identify the people who are 'persons with significant control' (PSCs). Essentially, PSCs are the people who own or have significant control over the company. Their details must be lodged with Companies House. Surprisingly,...
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The additional rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is payable on purchases of 'additional dwellings' such as buy-to-let properties. A recent case dealt with the SDLT implications of the 2015 purchase of a house which the purchaser (a company) intended to...
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When a will is made late in life which materially changes how an estate is to be distributed (especially when the new will favours one of a number of children), a dispute following the death is almost inevitable. So it was when an 85-year-old woman made a...
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Family judges will approach pre-nuptial agreements with greater respect following a landmark Court of Appeal ruling in a 'big money' divorce case . The Court agreed with Lord Phillips' opinion in Radmacher v Granatino that failing to honour such...
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Contrary to popular belief, except in certain sectors (e.g. education and financial services), employers are not legally obliged to provide those who leave their employment with a reference unless they have given express agreement to do so. Where a reference...
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It is a common term in a lease for the tenants to have to seek permission from the landlord if they want to do something new to or with the premises they let. Typically, such clauses specify that permission will not be 'unreasonably withheld'. However, what...
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Obtaining planning permission is often a tricky process and the delight in getting permission can be tempered by the local council adding a 'pre-commencement' condition specifying something that must be done. The result is a planning permission granted but...
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There are special rules for people working in the UK on short-term secondment from employers based abroad. Many do not become taxpayers under the UK tax system. When one such person contacted HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to clarify his position, he was...
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The Supreme Court has decided a case which will be of significance to anyone who is used to making oral variations to contracts. The dispute involved a firm that had a licence to occupy office space provided by another company. The contract term was 12...
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With the holiday season upon us, a recent case shows that there are limits to the liability of tour operators when accidents occur, especially when they are the result of rash behaviour. The case involved a man who fell from the balcony of his hotel in...
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You'd have to be living on Mars not to know that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is now in force. Its strict provisions must be complied with (the penalties for failing are swingeing) and it is practically impossible to run any organisation or...
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A divorced man who remarried in his late 50s made a new will in 1998, one year after the marriage, which left his entire estate to his new wife. After he died, a home-made will was discovered, made shortly before his death. This left virtually his entire...
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Court orders have to be obeyed and those who defy them can ultimately be sent to prison. Exactly that happened in one 'big money' divorce case in which an 83-year-old businessman repeatedly tried to thwart his ex-wife. Following the end of the former...
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When a landlord appealed against his prosecution for breaking a planning enforcement notice with regard to a house in multiple occupation (HMO) he owns, he used a rather novel argument to justify exceeding the limitation on the number of residents of the...
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When valuing a property for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes, is it legitimate to take into account its potential for enlargement or improvement – so-called 'hope value'? In a guideline ruling, the Upper Tribunal (UT) has answered that question in the...
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There was a certain irony to a recent report that the directors of a debt management company – set up to offer advice and assistance to those with debt problems – have been banned from acting as directors for a total of 23 years after action was...
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If family members or friends are facing bankruptcy, it may be tempting to assist them in keeping their assets away from the clutches of creditors. The folly of such conduct was, however, strikingly revealed by a Court of Appeal case concerning a family...

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

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