Home > Legal Opinions from May 2011


  • Part 36 clarified – Court of Appeal rules against time-limit...

    Steven Conway

    The uncertainty over the validity of Part 36 offers expressed to be “open for 21 days” ended with Friday’s Court of Appeal judgment in C v D [2011] EWCA Civ 646 which confirmed that Part 36 offers cannot be time-limited. The Part 36 offer in that case was however saved from failing by the court construing […]

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  • Limit of Financial Ombudsman Service jurisdiction to be increased ...

    Jonathan Newbold

    The Financial Ombudsman Service’s maximum binding award will be increased to £150,000 from the current limit of £100,000. The change will come into force on 1 January 2012 and will only apply to complaints referred to FOS on or after 1 January 2012. How a decision – which will soon mean a binding award of […]

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  • New admissions code published

    Katie Michelon

    The Department for Education has today published its new proposed changes to the admissions code and appeals code. The changes would see a much slimmed down version of the codes making the admissions process simpler, fairer and more transparent for parents. Local authorities will no longer be allowed to use lotteries in order to place […]

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  • Social workers score in the blame game

    Christian Webb-Jenkins

    Sharon Shoesmith, the Haringey Children’s Services Director who was sacked in December 2008 after an investigation into the death of baby Peter Connelly found failings in her department, has today in the Court of Appeal won her claim that her sacking was unlawful. This result will be welcomed by social workers. It highlights the difficult […]

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  • Making secure healthcare secure

    Christian Webb-Jenkins

    Today Paul Burstow, Care Services Minister, has announced that responsibility for commissioning health services for children and young people in secure Children’s homes and secure training centres is to pass to the NHS. Until now each secure home or centre has commissioned its own health services. At first glance this makes practical sense. The NHS […]

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  • Councils redefine potholes to save money

    Steven Conway

    Lambeth Council has changed its definition of potholes as part of its attempt to save £37 million this year in order to protect key services. The Council used to repair holes 25mm deep but will now only repair those over 40mm deep and will check roads once every six months instead of once every four. […]

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  • Confidentiality is defeated by publication; privacy is not

    Giles Parsons

    Mr Justice Tugendhat recently held that “the court does not grant injunctions which would be futile”. But yesterday, Tugendhat refused to remove the anonymity granted to the claimant in CTB v News Group Newspapers even though his identity had been disclosed in parliament. The judge said that the question that had been asked in parliament […]

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  • The myth, the legend, the groceries code adjudicator

    Fiona Carter

    Almost two years after the Competition Commission published its final version of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) it appears that the tiger may finally be getting some teeth. But not yet. A Bill introducing legislation to establish the GCA (a body to adjudicate on the application of the rules) is imminent – but […]

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  • Debate over procurement of insurance for local authorities

    Steven Conway

    There has been considerable debate in relation to the most appropriate method of procurement of insurance for local authorities with many adopting different practices. After the EU Commission opened an infringement procedure against the Netherlands for awarding public contracts for fire insurance by means of the negotiated procedure with publication of a contract notice, the […]

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  • Government propose new system of shared parental leave – but...

    Gemma Steele

    The Coalition government has set out its proposals for a “radical” new system of parental leave from 2015 in its Modern Workplace Consultation. The government plan to replace the current maternity, paternity and parental leave scheme with a system that aims to give parents greater choice and to facilitate shared parenting. Proposals include preserving the […]

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  • Adult safeguarding boards get legal footing

    Dai Durbridge

    Paul Burstow the Care Services Minister has announced that as part of the governments review on adult social care, Adult Safeguarding Boards (ASB’s) will now be mandatory and will be placed on a statutory footing. ASB’s are made up of key agencies including social services, police, heath and other groups involved in the protection of […]

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  • Cookie law change on the horizon

    Helena Wootton

    The new Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations will come into force from 26 May 2011. The regulations cover any information which may be stored on, or accessed from, a user’s computer, but for the sake of brevity such information will be referred to as cookies. The position prior to the amendment was […]

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  • Hargreaves Review recommends strategic shift for the digital age

    Laura Phillips

    A review of the UK’s intellectual property framework has urged that IP laws should be changed to promote economic growth and adapt to internet-based businesses. Some key suggestions include: establishing a digital copyright exchange, enabling automated licensing allowing licensing of ‘orphan’ works (with no identifiable author) incorporating into UK law a number of copyright ‘exceptions’ […]

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  • Munro – one size does not fit all for child protection – what’s th...

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    Professor Munro has published her final report, reviewing child protection. She recommends, amongst other things, that local areas should have freedom to design their own services and that those working in child protection be given more scope to exercise professional judgment. She has cautioned against cherry picking parts of her report. We deal with an […]

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  • Pepsi pog case appeal – the Advocate General’s opinion

    Ryan Harrison

    The Advocate General (AG) has advised the ECJ to dismiss Pepsico’s appeal against an invalidity ruling concerning a design for promotional discs known as “pogs”. Pepsico’s design was challenged on the basis that it did not have individual character having regard to an earlier CRD. A design has individual character if it creates a different […]

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  • Wolf report on vocational education gets government backing

    Katie Michelon

    Yesterday the Government published its response to professor Wolf’s report on vocational education. The Government has endorsed all of Professor Wolf’s recommendations and has committed to ensuring that every student studies only the best vocational qualifications to ensure that they can progress into either higher education or employment. The Government have also pledged its commitment […]

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  • “Anti- censorship” Wikileaks gags its own employees

    Alex Kynoch

    In a beautifully ironic twist, the secret confidentiality agreement imposed by Wikileaks (described as being “at the forefront of anti-censorship” on its own website) on its employees has been leaked to the press. The confidentiality agreement states that any significant breach of its terms will result in a loss to Wikileaks of £12,000,000, which it […]

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  • Celebrity chef goes from frying pan into fire

    Peter Jones

    From Max Mosley to Andrew Marr, debate rages about the extent to which famous people should be able to use court orders to prevent their dirty laundry being aired in public. Now there are reports that a well-known celebrity chef has obtained a gagging order to prevent details of employment tribunal proceedings against him by […]

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  • Putting the “gross” in gross negligence

    Richard Nicholas

    Unlike other jurisdictions, courts in the UK have not normally made a distinction between gross negligence and negligence of any other kind (para 54). In a recent case however where a set of terms and conditions excluded liability for negligence “other than gross negligence or wilful default”, the court held that a distinction does exist […]

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  • Be careful what you say about former employees

    Peter Jones

    Employers have long been liable to employees for financial loss caused by an inaccurate reference. In McKie v Swindon College the High Court has extended the principle beyond the giving of a reference. His new job at Bath City College brought Mr McKie in to contact with his former employer, Swindon College. Swindon gave him […]

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employment litigation local authorities government High Court NHS advertising Oliver Sweeney teachers Richard Freeth Intellectual Property education Nichola Evans Richard Nicholas adult safeguarding Hayley Roberts child protection Gemma Steele Browne Jacobson LLP free schools Mark Blois Court of Appeal Brands Claims Laura Richards Dai Durbridge copyright Browne Jacobson Department for Education Fiona Carter personal injury Social Care Public Sector Ofsted trade marks James Arrowsmith academies schools DfE Sarah Erwin-Jones