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Estate Agency Fined £80,000 for Exposing 18,000 Tenants' Data to Hackers

Businesses that store their clients' personal data are under a strict legal duty to keep it secure and any failure to do so is likely to have serious financial and reputational consequences. An estate agency whose negligence and technical ineptitude left the...

Twelve Month Reprieve on Construction Industry VAT Changes

The introduction of the new VAT domestic reverse charge for construction services , originally due this October, has been postponed until October 2020. The extended timeframe comes after businesses in the construction sector raised concerns that they would...

Email Footer Counts as Signature, High Court Rules

In a recent property case that will have a bearing on all contractual matters, the High Court ruled that a footer automatically appended to an email amounted to a legal signature and led to a contract for the sale of land being formed. A couple who owned...

Employee Shareholder Status Impacts Unfair Dismissal Claim

Few employees would say no if offered shares in the companies for which they work. However, as an important decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) showed, accepting such offers can in some circumstances involve the sacrifice of employment rights. ...

High Court Umpires Fierce Row Over Pharmaceuticals Company's Future

Shareholder disagreements as to the direction a company should take are generally fought out behind closed doors. However, as a High Court case concerning the future of a troubled pharmaceuticals company showed, judges are always there to act as umpires...

Packaging Patents Not Inventive Enough to be Valid

Patent protection is a valuable privilege that is only afforded to ideas and products that are genuinely novel and inventive. In a case on point, the High Court declared invalid two patents in respect of plastic food packaging on the basis that the central...

Upper Tribunal Paves Way for Former Corporate HQ's Conversion Into 114 Flats

Record employment levels mean strong demand for office space, but the need for more new homes is perhaps even more pressing. A case concerning proposals to convert an office block into 114 flats highlighted the difficulty of balancing those requirements. ...

Vegetarianism is Not a Protected Characteristic, ET Rules

People have all sorts of reasons for choosing not to eat meat, and that prompted an Employment Tribunal (ET) to rule that vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice, rather than a philosophical belief protected under the Equality Act 2010 . The case concerned a...

Can Wild Animals Ever Be Owned By Anyone? Novel High Court Ruling

It may seem obvious that no one can own a wild animal. However, in a novel case of interest to property professionals – and anglers – the High Court has ruled that there are nevertheless property rights in wild fish held in captivity in a...

Legal Landscape is Complex When Tenants Seek to Buy Freehold of Flats

Flat tenants in certain circumstances have the right to band together and acquire the freehold of the blocks in which they live. However, as a High Court decision showed , the process of doing so is replete with legal pitfalls and those who fail to take...
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