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If you are facing menacing demands for money, you should take legal advice straight away. In a recent case, the High Court came to the aid of a wealthy married businessman who claimed to have been subjected to blackmail following a brief affair with a work...
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Recent changes have made it easier for company directors to withhold disclosure of their private addresses in publicly filed documents. Prior to 2009, the usual residential address of all company directors was on file at Companies House in publicly...
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The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 – often referred to as the 'Whistleblowing' Act – gives workers legal protection when disclosing information relating to crimes, breaches of legal obligations, miscarriages of justice, dangers to health...
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Financial pressure can easily lead the unwary into the arms of unscrupulous lenders. One High Court case, in which numerous borrowers found themselves in legal limbo , shows how unwise it is to enter into such transactions without professional advice. A...
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There have been a number of recent cases looking at the precise nature of the employment status of those working for employers who like their operatives to appear to clients as their representatives but who operate a model of self-employment. One such 'gig...
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Setting up family trusts with minors or those with mental incapacities as beneficiaries is by no means uncommon and it sometimes occurs that such trusts need to be varied for one reason or another. The mechanism for this is the Variation of Trusts Act 1958...
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Many commercial leases provide that the formal document represents the entirety of the agreement, superseding any prior agreements that may have been reached. An important Court of Appeal ruling has, however, made clear that such clauses do not preclude...
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The validity of pre-nuptial agreements depends on legal advice being taken on both sides, equal bargaining positions and overall fairness. In one case, the High Court found that a wife in a big money divorce case was bound by such an agreement and awarded...
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Harassment is very unpleasant and, when a person is subject to a campaign of abuse, it can prove extremely upsetting. Furthermore, it is often quite possible for the abuser to preserve their anonymity. In such circumstances, it might seem that there is...
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Directors have a wide range of legal duties that do not always coincide with their own interests, and seeking expert legal advice is the best way of ensuring that these are performed. In one case in which that did not happen, two directors of a phoenix...
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Giving someone else power of attorney over your finances can be a useful means of ensuring that your affairs will be properly managed if you lose the capacity to do so yourself. However, one case in which a war veteran's money was plundered by a man he...
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Quite apart from any breach of sex discrimination law which might occur, it is automatically unfair dismissal if an employer dismisses a female employee for reasons connected with her pregnancy or the birth of her child. In determining whether or not a...
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When HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) suspect serious tax evasion, they will normally launch a full-scale tax investigation into the person they suspect. They use many tools in such investigations and one of the more common ones is to compare the cost of a...
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Legal arguments between cohabitants who break up are commonplace. However, a recent case dealt with a lengthy legal dispute between the surviving partner of a gay couple and his deceased partner's family. The couple lived in a property that was owned by...
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Under law which originated in the EU, agents of firms have considerable protection if their agency is terminated, and can normally be compensated. This reflects the commercial reality that agents frequently make a considerable investment in time and money in...
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When a wealthy construction business owner and his wife divorced in 2011, a 'clean break' agreement was made to include the sale of the two properties they owned – the family home in the UK and one in Spain. In the event that neither had been sold, the...
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When a tenant wishes to assign a lease, it is usual for the landlord's consent to be required, and that consent can be withheld if there are sufficiently good grounds for so doing. In a recent case, a landlord was asked by a tenant to agree to the...
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Although they may not know it, many householders are banned by restrictions in their title deeds from using their properties for commercial purposes. Recently, a man who converted his garage into a dog grooming parlour discovered why he should have sought...
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There can really be no excuse for a modern employer not to have in place comprehensive anti-discrimination policies that are fully understood by all workers. In one case that illustrates the consequences of failing to comply with the law in this respect, a...
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You may think that because a firm has an email address, you can serve a writ or other legal document on them by sending it via email…and so you can, but not unless the firm has agreed to that. It took a visit to the Supreme Court to resolve the...
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The 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup starts on Thursday 14 June with a match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. England’s first match, against Tunisia, is on Monday 18 June at 7:00pm. Employers should...
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When a tenant of industrial land failed to adhere to a notice to quit the premises, the landlord brought a legal action under the law of trespass for its lost rental income – £12,000 per annum. The tenant did nothing and the landlord then...
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The dangers inherent in adopting a casual approach to one's will were starkly illustrated in a case that considered the validity of three 'templated' wills written by an elderly woman within a period of four years. The woman had three children and two...
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When a person is not capable of looking after themselves, the Secretary of State has the power to appoint someone else to do so. A recent court case shows that failing to do so in a balanced way can have adverse consequences and saw a judge condemn the...
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This year, Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May), which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is focusing on stress. Whilst not a mental health problem in itself, stress can lead to depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. A recent...

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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