Home > Legal Opinions from August 2011


  • New challenges, new chances: Further education reform proposals

    Richard Cox

    Following the publication of two strategy documents in November 2010, the government has this week (16 August 2011) launched three consultation papers setting out the next phase of FE reform. This consultation process is seeking views on how best to implement the governments latest proposals, including; proposals to develop the shape of the sector, provide […]

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  • Keeping pace with apprenticeships

    Dawn Lobley

    Numbers of apprenticeships have sky-rocketed fuelled by the governments drive to tackle massive youth unemployment but what are the implications? The main purpose of an apprenticeship is to provide training; working is secondary. Apprentices have enjoyed additional rights compared to employees; premature termination of an apprenticeship can result in compensation for loss of wages, loss […]

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  • Who are you going to believe, Optical Express or your own eyes?

    Nina Best

    Earlier this year (2011) the ASA ruled that an Optical Express TV advert and brochure which implied that the two times Open winner, Padraig Harrington, had benefited from surgery with them had been ‘misleading’. The company stood by its advert and challenged the ASA’s decision, claiming that Mr Harrington was a patient and had received […]

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  • Getting your money back just got (slightly) easier

    Richard Nicholas

    Imagine buying something big e.g. a ship or production line. The seller wants a payment upfront. You agree in return for a promise from a third party that you’ll be repaid if the seller fails to deliver (an “advanced payment guarantee”). The seller disposes of its business, meaning that the guarantee no longer refers to […]

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  • Record employment tribunal costs award

    Peter Jones

    Unlike litigation in the civil courts, costs orders in the employment tribunals are the exception rather than the rule. An employer successfully defending a claim against it can only recover its legal costs of doing so if it can show that the claimant behaved “vexatiously, abusively, disruptively or otherwise unreasonably” or that bringing the case […]

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  • Can I fire the rioter on my payroll?

    Peter Jones

    As details of those involved in the recent rioting start to emerge, some employers might decide they no longer want to employ those who are implicated in criminal activity particularly where their identities have been revealed in the press. Whether you can dismiss an employee involved in the rioting will depend on whether you can […]

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  • Clinical commissioning groups: Getting the green light

    Emily Birkett

    The Department of Health has set out key details on the development and authorisation process for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in a draft guidance document leaked yesterday. Developing clinical commissioning groups: towards authorisation sets out 6 key competency domains that CCGs will be required to meet. These include a strong clinical and professional focus, proper […]

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  • Academy programme shows no signs of slowing down

    Hannah Rice

    With the anniversary of the “converter” academy fast approaching, the Department for Education has recently published the August figures for academy converters and the programme is showing no sign of slowing down. As of 1 August 2011, there are 1,070 academies open in England, with 269 opening in the last month. Those schools fortunate to […]

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  • Social media – its role in the riots

    Sara McNeill

    Its apparent that social media has been used extensively by those involved in the riots to organise and incite unrest. BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has been the most popular method of communication with messages then being posted on social network sites like Twitter and Facebook to increase circulation. Research in Motion, the maker of BlackBerry and […]

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  • Highways Agency redefines pothole to cut costs

    Steven Conway

    The Highways Agency, which oversees motorways and trunk roads is introducing rules requiring contractors to carry out emergency repairs only if the potholes are more than 4cm deep or 15cm wide, meaning that potholes under this size will not be repaired. Previously contractors were required to ensure the road gave an “even, comfortable and quiet” […]

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  • Riot damage claims

    Nichola Evans

    Disturbances in London and major cities is expected to cost the country around £200 million. While domestic and many commercial insurance policies will provide cover, the Riot Damages Act is broadly expected to permit both insurers and uninsured victims to recoup losses in relation to property damage. It is unclear what the police position will […]

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  • Economy remains fragile as insolvencies rise

    Dominic Offord

    The Insolvency Service has released statistics for insolvencies in the second quarter of 2011 which demonstrated the continued fragility of the UK economy. There were 4,233 companies that entered into insolvent liquidation, which was an increase of 2.7% on the previous quarter and an increase of 4.4% on the same period a year ago. Curiously, […]

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  • New SDLT relief for bulk residential purchases

    Andrew Noble

    Buyers acquiring multiple residential properties in one go may be able to pay less Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) than before. The relief was announced in the Budget earlier this year but has only recently come into force (from 19 July 2011). Instead of the existing linked transaction rules which use the aggregate purchase price […]

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  • CJC working party to progress civil litigation reforms

    Nichola Evans

    The Civil Justice Council are to put together a working party to develop practical proposals on the back of the Government’s plans following Lord Justice Jackson’s review of civil litigation costs. The working party will look at implementing secondary legislation, focusing on qualified one way cost shifting, the introduction of additional sanctions and rewards under […]

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  • Breaking the glass ceiling

    Ben Standing

    Theresa May and Business Secretary Vince Cable recently sent out a letter to all FTSE 350 companies setting out the business case for increasing the representation of women in senior positions. It quoted figures which show that companies with more women on their boards outperform their rivals. Before the stampede to fill their boards with […]

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  • Vince Cable announces support for intellectual property modernisation

    Alex Kynoch

    On 3 August, the Government announced its full support for the recommendations made in the Hargreaves Report on intellectual property and growth. The Government revealed its goal to “have measures in place by the end of this Parliament” and will prepare more detailed proposals for consultation. The report’s recommendations include: the creation of a digital […]

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  • PCT estate – at last some answers?

    Thomas Howard

    The Department of Health yesterday issued the first part of the long awaited guidance on the future ownership and management of the existing PCT estate. The guidance specifies five core principles underpinning the final arrangements of where the estate is to go: Protecting assets and maintaining future flexibility Ensuring efficiency Supporting the provision of safe, […]

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  • Counting the costs…

    Ben Troke

    Public bodies acting in good faith to bring proceedings to the Court of Protection appropriately should not fear a costs order, but where delay in doing this makes the case more complicated and costly, they can expect to be punished in costs, as well as publicity. In the long running Deprivation of Liberty case of […]

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  • No surprises in repackaging ruling

    Giles Parsons

    The European Court of Justice has previously held that trade mark proprietors cannot object to pharmaceuticals being repackaged if repackaging is necessary to market the product, it does not affect the products’ condition, the packaging clearly identifies the repackager, is not defective, and the importer gives notice to the trade mark proprietor. Merck brought two […]

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Claims Browne Jacobson LLP Katie Michelon further education teachers academies NHS child protection copyright adult safeguarding advertising Richard Nicholas advertising standards authority free schools Sarah Erwin-Jones schools government trade marks Richard Freeth education Social Care Nichola Evans Department for Education Dai Durbridge Oliver Sweeney Brands marketing local authorities Laura Richards employment Ofsted Mark Blois Intellectual Property Nina Best Public Sector James Arrowsmith Court of Appeal Fiona Carter Hayley Roberts Patents