Archived Legal Articles from 2019

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December

New Guidelines for Pre-Birth Assessments and Care Proceedings

19/12/19

The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory has recently published a review which will assist in developing new guidelines for pre-birth assessments and the removal of infants at birth from their parents. A local authority may wish to intervene during pregnancy and subsequently issue care proceedings…

Derbyshire Council fined £500,000 for failure to provide safe care

19/12/19

Derbyshire County Council have recently been fined £500,000 following the first prosecution brought by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) against a local authority since the watchdog was given powers in 2015 to prosecute health and social care providers for failing to provide safe care and…

In Deep Water - The Pitfalls of Suing an Unincorporated Association

19/12/19

L v The Trustees of Anon Angling Society A claimant has had his claim for personal injury struck out after the Court found there was no legal basis for the claim. Background Claims against unincorporated member associations must be carefully considered as was illustrated by a recent…

Claim Misses the Target

19/12/19

A Claimant who was injured whilst attempting to move an archery target has lost her claim at trial. The facts The Defendant provided archery facilities and training sessions. The Claimant was a keen archer and attended sessions on a regular basis. Prior to an archery class starting, the…

Claims History Successfully used to Discredit Claimant

19/12/19

Evidence uncovered relating to a claimant's claims history led to the dismissal of his claim for personal injury following an alleged trip in a carriageway pothole. The facts The Claimant alleged that as he crossed the road, his foot went into a pothole, and he injured his ankle. The…

Claim defeated by CCTV evidence

19/12/19

Wilson v The Co-operative Group The Claimant was shopping in a supermarket when she alleged that she tripped on the upturned edge of a mat situated on the vegetable aisle. She fell forwards and sustained soft tissue injuries. The Claimant alleged that the upturned edge of the mat was a…

Regulatory Update - December

19/12/19

Council fined £1.4m after child suffers life-changing head injury on a street bollard Hampshire County Council has recently been sentenced and fined £1.4 million after being found in breach of s.3 (1) Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It has also been ordered to pay costs of &…

HSE Issues Laptop Computer Charging Trolley Safety Alert to Schools

18/12/19

The HSE has issued a safety warning to schools regarding the use of laptop computer charging trolleys. A HSE investigation into an incident involving a laptop charging trolley found that when a 3-pin plug supplying the trolley was removed from the supply socket there was sufficient stored electric…

The Court of Appeal has been getting philosophical

18/12/19

In the recent case of Gray v Mulberry Company (Design) Ltd, the Court of Appeal addressed the issue of 'philosophical belief' pursuant to s.10 of the Equality Act 2010. An employee of Mulberry had refused to sign an agreement confirming that any copyright over work created in her role would…

Health and Safety at Work Statistics released by HSE

18/12/19

The Health and Safety Executive ("HSE") has released its annual report summarising statistics for 2018/19 related to work-related illness, deaths in the workplace, injuries at work, and working days lost to work-related illness and injury. The report confirmed that the rate of self-…

The Court of Appeal has been getting philosophical

18/12/19

In the recent case of Gray v Mulberry Company (Design) Ltd, the Court of Appeal addressed the issue of 'philosophical belief' pursuant to s.10 of the Equality Act 2010. An employee of Mulberry had refused to sign an agreement confirming that any copyright over work created in her role would…

UCU begins strike action over pensions, pay and working conditions

18/12/19

Eight days of strike action began on Monday affecting over 60 universities throughout the UK as teaching staff take action over pensions, pay and working conditions. Alongside eight days of strikes, members of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) are taking other forms of industrial action including…

B (Secure Accommodation Order), Re (Rev 1) 2019 EWCA Civ 2025

17/12/19

The Court of Appeal has handed down an important decision, which analyses the law pertaining to secure accommodation orders. The local authority appealed an order refusing a local authority's application for a secure accommodation order under section 25 of the Children Act 1989 (s25) in respect…

Article 8 Rights of Prisoners and their Children

17/12/19

On 5 November 2019, the Ministry of Justice published the Government's Response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Twenty-Second Report of Session 2017-19, The right to family life: Children whose mothers are in prison . The Report highlights the difficulties in adequately supporting…

GDPR and BYOD - Some Practical Tips

15/12/19

As more organisations embrace the concept of remote working, the number allowing employees to utilise their own devices in the workplace to connect with organisational networks has increased. Bring your own device (BYOD) is thought to increase both employee job satisfaction and efficiency levels as the…

ICO Publishes Detailed Guidance on Special Category Data

15/12/19

The ICO has now published detailed guidance on "Special Category Data" which provides further guidance to organisations about the use of, and safeguards to protect, special category data. A copy of this guidance can be found here - https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection…

Biometric Data in the Workplace

15/12/19

As technologies continue to advance, we are becoming ever more reliant on the efficiencies that can come with those advancements. This has been the case with technology allowing biometric data to be harnessed and its potential to revolutionise the way workplaces can function. There is no doubt that the…

Is it Right to Shared Ownership or Wrong to Shared Ownership?

11/12/19

Recently the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has revealed the shared ownership Right to Buy plan. Mr Jenrick's plan is to allow tenants on new housing association stock to buy shares in their home allowing them to buy in 1% increments with the ability to increase the share over time up to full…

Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy Reforms, what you need to know

11/12/19

The Government is committed to delivering 300,000 new homes a year by the mid 2020s. In order to make this goal a reality the Government implemented reforms, as of 01 September 2019, to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Section 106 agreements. In short it is hoped that these reforms will…

Dealing with Subject Access Requests

07/12/19

As the Christmas period approaches, now is good time to review existing processes and procedures to see if any improvements can be made to ensure you deal with Subject Access Requests (SARs) efficiently and within the statutory timescales. Over the past 12 months, our clients have seen a real…

The Maternity Scandal

04/12/19

The Independent newspaper have recently reported on the failings of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust ("SaTH") maternity unit. This is due to a report being leaked, prepared by midwifery expert Donna Ockenden, who has led an independent investigation into more than 600 cases from…

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November

A cautionary tale: Defamation during the course of a presentation

29/11/19

Background We recently acted for an organisation which received notification of a claim pursuant to the Pre-Action Protocol for Defamation (now replaced by the pre-action protocol for media and communications as of October 2019). It was alleged that during the course of the two day conference a…

Education pledges in anticipation of the General Election on 12 December

29/11/19

With a raft of issues ripe for discussion in the lead up to the General Election, there is no rest for the main political parties vying for support. Education has always been a crucial social issue, and the pledges of each of the main political parties in relation to education has been eagerly awaited.…

Supreme Court finds for automatic unfair dismissal despite good faith

28/11/19

The Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal In Royal Mail Group Ltd v Jhuti confirming that where there is a hidden reason for a dismissal it will be held to be the reason for the dismissal irrespective of the fact that the decision maker had an alternative admissible…

Ineffective notice renders SPA tax claim out of time

28/11/19

The following case serves an important reminder of strict compliance with contractual notice provisions and the significant repercussions of failing to draft them accurately. Stobart Group Limited and another v William Stobart and another (2019) In March 2008, Stobart Group Limited (SGL)…

Agreement to agree: Court of Appeal rules SPA earn-out unenforceable

28/11/19

The following case serves as an important reminder of the importance of providing certainty within agreements and displays the perils of leaving the option to agree terms at a later date. Morris v Swanton Care & Community Limited (2018) In November 2009, Mr Morris (Claimant) and his…

Employment changes on the radar following manifesto publication

28/11/19

With a raft of issues ripe for discussion in the lead up to the General Election, there is no rest for the main political parties vying for support. The law surrounding employment and the workplace has always been a critical area of debate. But given the particularly wide gulf between ideological…

Claimant found fundamentally dishonest

27/11/19

Ryan -v- Rochdale Borough Council Forbes Solicitors has secured a finding of fundamental dishonesty against a Claimant who brought a claim for personal injury after allegedly falling in a pothole. In December 2014, the Claimant alleged he was crossing the street when he lost his footing in a…

Share Buybacks - Proceed with caution!

26/11/19

An in-specie contribution is a viable alternative to transferring cash into a pension scheme, and can include assets such as property or shares. Dangers can arise where the shares held in the pension scheme are bought back by the company for cash. Private limited companies can make use of a…

Claimant successful & beat Part 36 offer at Court

25/11/19

Hochtief (UK) Construction Ltd & Anor v Atkins Ltd [2019] EWHC 2109 (TCC) What happened in this case? The Claimant succeeded at trial in a claim for damages in the sum of £802,475.33 and interest of £77,372.41. The Claimant succeeded on a claim concerning a bridge, but lost…

Landlord problems: Beware of waiving the right to forfeit

25/11/19

The third instalment in our series of practical guidance for Landlords continues on with the theme of forfeiture, more specifically the issue of landlord's waiving the right to forfeiture. Scenario: a commercial property is let out to a tenant under a commercial lease with the rent payable on…

Inquest finds schoolgirl death was accidental

21/11/19

In 2017, a schoolgirl died after sustaining chest injuries when she fell from the Splash Canyon water ride whilst visiting Drayton Manor theme park. At the inquest, the jury delivered a verdict of "Accidental Death". The BBC reported that the inquest was told she had been standing up and…

Dental Claims: The Tooth of the Matter

21/11/19

Clinical negligence claims do not only involve medical care received in a hospital, they also include treatment and care received from your dentist. Claims can include periodontal mismanagement, dental caries mismanagement, lingual nerve and inferior alveolar nerve injuries and implant claims.…

Court rules the costs of an Inquest are recoverable in a civil claim

21/11/19

Fullick v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2019] EWHC 1941 (QB) The High Court determined that costs relating to an Inquest are recoverable in a civil claim but such costs will be subject to the new post-Jackson proportionality rules. Usually, Coroners have no jurisdiction to award costs…

The Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019

21/11/19

Following recommendations made by Dame Janet Smith, Chair of the Shipman Inquiry, new regulations have finally been introduced to ensure greater consistency in the reporting of deaths by medical practitioners in England and Wales. The Regulations came into force on 1st October 2019 with immediate effect…

Gym Equipment Injury Claim Fails

21/11/19

The Claimant was exercising at the Claimant's gym premises when she was involved in an accident. The 71 year old was using a machine known as the "Tummy Tuck", when she alleged that suddenly and without warning, the machine toppled over and fell on her causing pain, injury and loss.…

Defendant Successfully Bumps Claim

21/11/19

The Claimant brought a claim for personal injury after riding the dodgems at the Defendant's fairground attraction. The Claimant alleged that whilst on the dodgems, she was struck by another car driven by her cousin. She argued that as a result of the impact, she was propelled forwards and…

Forbes at Trial - Unreliable and Evasive Claimant Fails to Prove his Claim

21/11/19

A Claimant who brought a claim against the local authority after tripping in a damaged manhole cover has lost his claim at trial. The facts The Claimant alleged that he was unpacking shopping from his car parked outside his niece's house, when his right foot caught in a damaged manhole…

Regulatory Update - November

21/11/19

Council and Bus Company fined after a passenger was killed by a lorry at a bus station A bus passenger was run over by a grab lorry as she walked across a pedestrian crossing at a bus station. She subsequently died as a result of her injuries. The bus station had been demolished and was in the…

Portal Costs: Court of Appeal rules on the recoverability of disbursements

21/11/19

Aldred v Master Cham (2019) [2019] EWCA Civ 1780 CA The Court of Appeal has found that the cost of instructing counsel to advise on settlement in a RTA claim involving a child is not recoverable as a disbursement and should be included as part of the fixed costs. The facts A motorist…

Court Strikes out Claim Incubated in the Portal worth £2.6 million

21/11/19

Barry Cable v Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited - Case number D34BI037 On Appeal, the Court has endorsed a decision striking out a claim worth £2.6 million for abuse of process. The facts The Claimant was involved in a road traffic accident on 1st September 2014. On…

Preparing your professional negligence claim

21/11/19

Kamran Naqvi v (1) Harris Cartier Limited (In Liquidation) (2) Richard Slade & Co (3) Jeffrey Bacon (4) Brian Levy [2019] EWGC 3042 (QB) What happened in this case? The Claimant brought an action for damages for professional negligence against the Solicitors and Barrister who acted for…

Research reveals Facebook surveillance 'normalised' by social work teams

20/11/19

A 15-month participant study of social work and child protection practices in two local authorities in England has discovered the extent to which social workers use social media, particularly Facebook, to obtain information about service users' lives. The findings reveal that Facebook is used in…

The NHS and the General Election: The Good, The Bad and The Brexit

19/11/19

With the upcoming general election looming on 12th December, one of the main talking points (besides Brexit of course) is the current state of the NHS. There has been a number of recent explosive headlines, including 'A&E Waiting Time in England at Their Worst on Record', 'Waiting…

Don't Waste Your Energy Get Compliant NOW!

18/11/19

With the deadline for compliance with the ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) audit rapidly approaching (5th December 2019) are you ready? Here is a summary of what you need to know… Article 8 Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive states that all Member States must…

Forbes avoid disqualification for Company Director

15/11/19

We recently acted for a company Director who faced criminal prosecution by Companies House for late submission of company accounts. Because there had been two earlier similar breaches the Director was exposed to a disqualification from acting as a Director for up to 5 years. The company was…

Long Awaited Pensions Schemes Bill Published

15/11/19

The long-awaited Pension Schemes Bill was published on 16 October, detailing amongst other issues the proposed framework for collective defined contribution, new powers and sanctions for The Pensions Regulator and enabling provisions for Pension Dashboards. It also amends the 2004 Pensions Act…

Professional negligence claims in property transactions

15/11/19

Just as an administrator of a SIPP or SSAS has duties to the trust, a solicitor instructed on behalf of the trust has a duty of care. Forbes have experience acting on behalf of pension funds against their former lawyers for failing to spot a defect in the title, such as a restrictive covenant or a…

Court rules the costs of an Inquest are recoverable in a civil claim

14/11/19

Fullick v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2019] EWHC 1941 (QB) The High Court determined that costs relating to an Inquest are recoverable in a civil claim, but such costs will be subject to the new post-Jackson proportionality rules. Usually, Coroners have no jurisdiction to award…

The Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019

11/11/19

Following recommendations made by Dame Janet Smith, Chair of the Shipman Inquiry, new regulations have finally been introduced to ensure greater consistency in the reporting of deaths by medical practitioners in England and Wales. The Regulations came into force on 1st October 2019 with immediate effect…

HSE Publishes Annual Injury and Ill-health Statistics for Great Britain

08/11/19

The HSE has published its annual report "Health and safety at work - Summary statistics for Great Britain 2019". Despite Great Britain being one of the safest places to work compared to its EU counterparts, the HSE say the statistics show that the number of injuries and incidents of ill health…

Regional Cuckooing & County Lines - the way forward

01/11/19

County Lines describes gangs or organised criminals who export drugs into one or more UK importing areas. They use dedicated mobile phone lines or 'deal lines' and use children or vulnerable adults, to move / store the drugs. They use coercion, intimidation, violence, sexual violence and…

Potential Pitfalls for Pension Investors

01/11/19

The introduction of pension freedoms in 2015 means that investors have a lot more choice over what to do with their pension savings. Whereas in the past the pension had to come to an end on death, now residual funds are allowed to remain in the protected pension environment for the benefit of the…

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October

Environmental clauses are heating up leases

31/10/19

The increasing global environmental socio-economic awareness means that there is now a wealth of environmental laws and issues in practice which overlap with some areas of property law, in particular leases. What do Landlords want? As landlords will be keen to make sure that the tenant will be…

Causation and correlation in workplace harassment claims

25/10/19

The Employment Tribunal held in Raj v Capita Business Services that establishing an offensive or humiliating environment alone is not sufficient to establish that the conduct relates to a protected characteristic. In order to prove successful, a claimant must establish that the reason for the conduct…

Kinship Carers at breaking point

22/10/19

The charity, Grandparents Plus, has highlighted that kinship carers are at breaking point due to the care system's "dump and run" approach. Kinship carers are family members or friends who put themselves forward to care for a child when there is local authority involvement and the…

Supreme Court open up application of whistleblowing rights

21/10/19

The Supreme Court has taken a purposive approach to the interpretation of domestic employment legislation in order to comply with human rights obligations and ensure that a district judge was protected following a whistleblowing claim. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 and Employment Rights…

UK Biobank

21/10/19

An article published by Wellcome Open Research, titled 'Impact of Detecting Potentially Serious Incidental Findings During Multi-modal Imaging' , has noted that participants of UK Biobank Limited have been incorrectly flagged as having potential life threatening conditions and resulted in…

Avoiding an Accidental Sale of Land

18/10/19

Neocleous v Rees [2019] EWHC 2462 (ch) What happened in this case? The parties were in dispute about the use of a right of way. Rees' solicitors emailed Neocleous's solicitors, offering to transfer land in settlement of the dispute. The name of the solicitor was automatically…

Do you want a Smart-ER visit to A&E?

18/10/19

Most years the A&E wait times hit the headlines during the winter months due to the increased demand and we would expect it to be no different this winter, however Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals are looking to improve the waiting times in their A&E departments with new patient…

Forbes at Trial: Doors Close on Unsuccessful Claim

17/10/19

An employee has lost her claim for personal injury after the Judge concluded that the automatic doors to the supermarket were not faulty. The Claimant was employed by the Defendant supermarket. On the day of the incident, she had entered the supermarket through the main foyer. She was walking…

The Court of Appeal reaffirms the no delay principle in care proceedings

17/10/19

Re H (A Child) (Refusal of placement order) [2019] EWCA Civ 1557 On 12 September 2019, the Court of Appeal held that an 18-month adjournment of care proceedings concerning a baby, who was 7 months old at the time of the judgement, to allow time for the parents to make sustained changes, is…

Zero damages offer is a genuine Part 36 offer

17/10/19

MR v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2019] EWHC 1970 (QB) The High Court has ruled that a Part 36 offer to settle a claim for nil damages on the condition that the police admit liability for false imprisonment and assault was a genuine Part 36 offer. The facts The appellant…

Regulatory Update

17/10/19

Council fined £100,000 after exposing workers to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome The HSE has reported that a borough council has been fined for exposing seven of its grounds maintenance workers to Hand Arm Vibration (HAVS), caused by excessive use of power tools. The council pleaded guilty…

GDPR Damages

17/10/19

The principles on how damages are assessed are set out below: The subject matter The severity of the breach. The examples given are that breaches involving medical data or financial information will likely attract higher figures than other types of data, whereas 'social'…

Electronic Signatures: the new form of signing?

14/10/19

Both the Electronic Communication Act 2000, which defines electronic signatures and its authentication, and the EU Regulation elDAS (Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services), which seeks to standardise the use of electronic signatures, appreciate the rapid development of the digital…

Cause and Effect; the Anatomy of Liability

14/10/19

I recently found myself at trial, facing a man who had hit himself with a sledgehammer. Not a likely basis for a personal injury claim, you might think, and you are probably right. However, somewhere along the line two things happened; the Claimant decided that it probably wasn't his fault, and…

'Fire sales' - the pros and cons of buying out of administration

08/10/19

The financial gains to be made from buying a business out of administration can be significant. However, the potential risks involved can also be just as great. For this reason, it's vital that potential buyers consider the benefits and pitfalls of undergoing such process and take advice from…

Carpenter loses claim after breaking his own ankle with a sledgehammer

08/10/19

A Claimant who injured himself with a sledgehammer has lost his claim for personal injury at trial. The facts The Claimant had been tasked to work on a joint venture construction project by his employer, a labour-only sub-contractor. On 11th September 2014 the Claimant, who was a highly…

The 'digital' divorce - Is it leading to the end of more marriages?

04/10/19

Since April 2018, spouses have been able to complete the divorce application process online. This means that instead of posting paperwork, those wanting to file for divorce can complete applications, upload the documents needed and pay fees online. The cost of the fee to file for divorce is £550…

Environmental Liability

02/10/19

When purchasing or leasing agricultural land, one of the main unknowns can often be the environmental condition of the land in question. Farming practices often make agricultural land vulnerable and susceptible to contamination from waste products or potentially harmful materials that are used as part…

Restrictive Covenants in Long Leases

01/10/19

Shaviram Normandy Ltd v Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council [2019] UKUT 256 (LC), the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chambers). What happened in this case? Shaviram Normandy Ltd (Shaviram) was the tenant of a purpose-built office building let on a long headlease. The use was restricted to offices.…

Are natural births more risky after a previous caesarean?

01/10/19

There has been a number of recent media headlines stating that natural births are more risky if a previous caesarean has already been performed. These headlines have resulted following a research article being published entitled: 'Planned mode of delivery after previous cesarean section and short-…

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September

Are you ready for the new Rent Standard? It's no April Fool

30/09/19

In February this year the Government set out the new policy statement for rents on social housing effective from 1 April 2020. This policy replaces the Guidance issued in May 2014 and will apply to Registered Providers including private Registered Providers of Social Housing and Local Authorities that…

Protecting your intellectual property in the event of a no-deal Brexit

27/09/19

With negotiations between the parties reaching a stalemate over recent weeks, it is becoming more likely that the United Kingdom (UK) will leave the European Union (EU) on 31 October 2019 without a formal deal in place setting out the terms of its withdrawal. Unsurprisingly, this only adds to the level…

Too little too late for Thomas Cook creditors - don't wait to chase debts!

26/09/19

After 178 years of trading, the world's oldest holiday company, Thomas Cook, has collapsed leaving a collection of issues for many, including their creditors. Whilst many travel agents have been hit by retail migration to the internet, Thomas Cook's demise is largely the result of the &…

Employee accompaniment a laughing matter?

26/09/19

A redundancy, grievance or disciplinary process can be confusing and stressful for both employers and the individual involved. Employment law provides the employee with the right to accompaniment at related meetings by a trade union representative or work colleague to offer a degree of support. Often…

Data Protection Compliance in Education Establishments

26/09/19

After a well-earned summer break no doubt a myriad of issues require addressing by schools and establishments, with data protection compliance being amongst them. Returning back from any break brings about its own unique data protection challenges after a long period of reduced staffing as inevitably…

Education Case Studies

26/09/19

Costs down the drain The Dispute Resolution team at Forbes recently acted for an academy trust which had a vexatious claim issued against it by a neighbour. The neighbour's garden backed onto the school's playing field and he issued a claim for nuisance, alleging that his garden would…

Court of Appeal in holiday pay for part year workers clarification

25/09/19

The Court of Appeal gave a ground-breaking judgment in Harpur Trust v Brazel & UNISON regarding the calculation of holiday pay for 'part year' workers last month. Mrs Brazel was employed by The Harpur Trust as a part time music teacher. She was employed on a zero hours contract and…

EAT clarification on determining 'long-term' nature of a disability

25/09/19

In Nissa v. Waverly Education Foundation, the claimant, a science teacher, suffered from Fibromyalgia. She had suffered from the condition from December 2015, and resigned effective from 31 August 2016. She brought a claim for disability discrimination claiming her impairment caused her to suffer a…

Disputes Over Fish and Solar Panels

24/09/19

Borwick Development Solutions Ltd v Clear Water Fisheries Ltd What happened in this case? Borwick created lakes on its freehold land and populated them with fish before running the site as a commercial fishery whereby anglers could come and fish for sport, returning any fish they caught…

Licensing requirements for HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation)

17/09/19

Where a residential property is a house in multiple occupation (HMO), the person who has control of, or manages, the property must obtain a licence from the local housing authority (LHA) as required by the Housing Act 2004 (HA 2004). Under the HA 2004 a property is automatically classed as being a HMO…

Legal Advice Privilege

16/09/19

Legal advice privilege is a lot like gravity, most people know it exists and are glad it exists, but don't really understand it. If legal advice privilege didn't exist then whilst we wouldn't all float away into the atmosphere, it would make taking effective advice for your organisation much…

The Kylie Trademark Battle

11/09/19

In April 2015, reality star Kylie Jenner made an official attempt to register the mark 'Kylie' in the United States for the purposes of advertising and endorsement. This move was to trigger significant opposition from Kylie Minogue, the Australian singer/actress, and subsequently lead to a…

International / EU Trademarks

11/09/19

Did you know we can assist you with Trade Marks outside of the UK? In addition to dealing with UK Trade Mark registrations, we can support you with both EU and International Trade Marks. What is a Trade Mark? A trade mark is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognisable…

Government Consultation on Shared Ownership

05/09/19

Over the past decade, there has been a rise in the popularity of affordable housing schemes due to the affordability barriers present in many cities across the UK. The barriers have caused numerous aspiring first-time buyers, to approach housing associations who offer shared ownership schemes to help…

From DOLS to LPS...

05/09/19

On 16 May 2019, the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2018 received Royal Assent and is expected to come into force in the Spring of 2020. This legislation will create a new and more streamlined model for authorising deprivations of liberty in care and will replace the current Deprivation of Liberty…

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August

Future funding of social care

21/08/19

The Alzheimer's society have recently published analysis which states that people living with dementia have spent almost £15bn of their own money on social care since the Government reforms were first proposed in March 2017. The Government committed to publish a Green Paper on social care in…

Building Control sign-off needs insurers to sign up!

15/08/19

The building control industry have received increased scrutiny as a direct result of the increasing focus on public protection after the tragic incident at Grenfell Tower… the impact is becoming more prevalent as Approved Inspectors' insurance policies are up for renewal… There…

Forbes at Trial: Father and Daughter School Tripping Claim Fails

15/08/19

Saleem & Rizwan v Rochdale Borough Council In October 2017, the First Claimant was taking his daughter, the Second Claimant to school. It was alleged that as they walked through the school grounds, they both tripped and fell in the missing part of a dilapidated grate. They brought a claim…

Forbes at Trial: Costly Claim Fails at First Hurdle

15/08/19

Cox v Bury A Claimant's claim for personal injury was dismissed after the Court concluded that the alleged pothole was not cause of the Claimant's accident. The Claimant alleged that she tripped in a pothole measuring in excess of 50mm and sustained a fractured elbow. The Claimant…

Challenges and Opportunities in the Manufacturing Sector

05/08/19

With uncertainty presented by political unrest and the fast pace at which technology is advancing through Industry 4.0, great opportunities are currently being presented to the manufacturing and engineering sector. Whatever size your business, it is crucial to assess current business strategy,…

70th Birthday of Legal Aid

02/08/19

The Legal Aid and Advice Act received Royal assent on the 30th July 1949. Ultimately, the aim was to introduce a consistent approach in England and Wales to help and support those who could not afford legal advice or representation and provide them with access to justice. Legal aid was and still is…

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July

Department Focus - Commercial

31/07/19

Our Commercial Department provides support in areas such as: · Building contracts (including making use of JCT and NEC models) · Subcontracts · Collateral Warranties · Professional Appointments · Performance Guarantees and Bonds · Deeds of…

Consumer Regulation Review 2018-2019

23/07/19

Every year, the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) publishes their annual consumer regulation review, which sets out how the RSH has applied consumer regulation legislation as well as gives examples of this in action. The RSH, as a regulator, publishes these reports to ensure transparency in their…

Government Sets New PI Discount Rate at -0.25%

15/07/19

The Lord Chancellor has today announced that the new discount rate will be set at minus 0.25%. The announcement follows a comprehensive review of the rate as provided for in the Civil Liability Act 2018. Currently the discount rate stands at minus 0.75% after it was controversially reduced in 2017…

The Impact of Equality Legislation

15/07/19

It has not quite been 10 years, but it has been some time now since the Equality Act 2010 hit the statute books. The swansong of Gordon Brown's Labour administration, it was an ambitious piece of legislation which sought to consolidate nearly 40 years' worth of anti-discrimination laws into a…

Potential Fine of £99 Million for Marriot for GDPR Breach

11/07/19

On 09 July 2019, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) announced that it intended to fine Marriott International, Inc more than £99 milllion for breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The ICO confirmed that it has conducted an investigation into Marriot…

Inheritance Tax gifts shake-up

10/07/19

An independent review by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has concluded that the "seven year rule", a bedrock of UK inheritance tax (IHT) planning whereby assets given away during an individual's lifetime are exempt from IHT if the individual survives for at least seven years, should…

British Airways Breach Leads to £183 million ICO fine

08/07/19

British Airways (BA) has been issued a notice by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) regarding its intention to fine the airline £183.39 million for violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (the GDPR). What did they do wrong? The violation in question…

Effects of cyber attack continuing to be felt

04/07/19

The after effects of a deliberate cyber attack continue to be felt by the UK's largest provider of forensic analysis services. It has come to light that UK police have frozen all work with Eurofins, who conduct DNA analysis, toxicology, ballistics and computer forensics work for police forces, as a…

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June

Let's Twist Again - Defendant not liable for fairground injury

27/06/19

Cullum v Rainbow Amusement Park Ltd A Claimant brought a claim for personal injury after she alleged that she had been injured whilst riding on the "Twist" fairground ride at the Defendant's Amusement Park. The popular "Twist" ride rotates in one direction whilst the…

A Focus on the Professional Team

21/06/19

A construction project typically involves a number of professionals contracted to provide a variety of services. The role of a contractor and its sub-contractors is to carry out the physical work, whereas the role of a professional is to provide specialist advise relating to the project. The group of…

Releasing Restrictive Covenants

20/06/19

Alexander Devine Trust v Millgate 2018 What is a restrictive covenant on land? A restrictive covenant over land is a contract which runs with the land, and prevents that owner from doing certain things (usually relating to development or use). How is a restrictive covenant released /…

The Importance of Due Diligence

18/06/19

When purchasing a business, whether it is a purchase of its share capital or its assets and liabilities, the buyer of the business will often undertake due diligence (the level of which varies dependent upon the size of the undertaking, the terms of the deal and the level of pre-existing knowledge by…

Advice on Professional Negligence Claims

14/06/19

Advice given by professionals will be of the utmost importance to the client relying on it and be fundamental to business decisions. This may include examples such as legal advice on a significant transaction, an architect assisting with a construction project, engaging a chartered accountant to advise…

Social care liability - what does this case actually tell us?

14/06/19

Poole Borough Council v GN & Another Those of us who are involved with claims that deal with the actions of local authority social services have been waiting with baited breath for the handing down of the Supreme Court judgment in Poole BC v GN for almost 12 months. However, with the flood of…

Supporting Families; Investing in Practice

14/06/19

The Government has announced it intends to spend £15m to keep children out of care with an innovative scheme based on existing Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) and Family Group Conferencing (FGCs) models. The new scheme named Supporting Families; Investing in Practice will be rolled…

The Issue of Criminality Under Data Protection

12/06/19

The issue of criminality under data protection has once again come into the spotlight. A Stockport Home Limited employee, Wendy Masterson, was found guilty at Stockport Magistrates Court on 6th June 2019 of unlawfully accessing individual's personal data without having a legitimate reason to do so…

Future High Rise Building Regulation

07/06/19

The Government yesterday issued a consultation on its proposed changes for building safety for high rise buildings following the Hackitt Review. Please click here to view the proposed changes. The proposals are intended to improve safety and minimise the risk of fire in high rise buildings by…

Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2019 and Social Housing

05/06/19

The reform of developer planning contributions continues with the government proposing its seventh set of reforms to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations 2010. The latest set of draft reforms seek to improve the operation of CIL by reducing complication, increasing market responsiveness…

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May

NO FAULT DIVORCE: Proposed Changes and How Divorce Law will be Modernised

23/05/19

The existing rules governing divorce are set under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The law requires the petitioner to show that their marriage, or civil partnership, has irretrievably broken down. To do this they have to either prove that their partner (the respondent) is at fault, due to them…

Regulatory Update - May

23/05/19

NHS Trust fined after exposing workers to Asbestos Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has been fined for exposing employees and contractors to asbestos whilst carrying out refurbishment works. The NHS Trust pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and…

Claim Fails to Make the Threshold

23/05/19

Wigan Council A music teacher who brought a claim against the local authority, alleging negligence and breach of statutory duty has lost at trial. The Claimant was a peripatetic music teacher, who visited the school on a weekly basis to deliver music lessons. She tripped on a threshold whilst…

New Winter Service Guide Published

23/05/19

The National Winter Service Research Group ("NWSRG") has published a new practical guide for winter service. The latest national code of practice 'Well-managed Highway Infrastructure' published in 2016 no longer contains information relating to the delivery of the winter service.…

Asset Management Competence Framework Released

23/05/19

The UK Roads Liaison Group ("UKRLG") has released an Asset Management Competence Framework to help highway authorities implement the recommendations of the new Code of Practice (Well-managed Highway Infrastructure), in particular, Recommendation 15 'Competencies and Training' which…

A duty to inspect under the Defective Premises Act?

23/05/19

Elizabeth Rogerson v Bolsover District Council [2019] EWCA Civ 226 The Court of Appeal has confirmed that pursuant to s.4 Defective Premises Act (DPA) there is no specific duty on landlords to carry out a system of regular inspection. The facts The Claimant was a tenant of a house owned…

Scathing Judge finds Ludicrous Claim for Care to be Fundamentally Dishonest

23/05/19

Nazir v Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council A claimant who presented a grossly overstated and exaggerated care claim has been found to be fundamentally dishonest by the Court. The claimant tripped and fell on to her left elbow in 2014 and sustained a fracture. A breach of duty was admitted…

Regulator launches consultation on 2020 Rent Standard

17/05/19

On 7 May 2019 the Regulator of Social Housing launched a 12 week consultation on a revised Rent Standard that will come into force from the 1st of April 2020, replacing the current guidance which was published in May 2015. This consultation follows the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and…

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April

Amendments to the MEES Regulations

18/04/19

Following on from our previous article 'MEES, please….are you ready?' published on 16 February 2018, the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (the "MEES Regulations"), have now been amended as of 1 April 2019 by the Energy Efficiency (…

Not Complying with Court Orders can be Expensive!

16/04/19

Unfortunately we are seeing more and more cases where one party is either not complying with a Court Order in its entirety or, is picking and choosing which parts of the Order they will adhere to. This can be a very expensive risk to take. In a recent Judgement of CM and CM 2019 EWSC 16 , the…

I want to recover my debt, but what will it cost me?

12/04/19

British business is continuing to suffer from a damaging late payment culture. Recent research shows that small businesses in the UK are facing a collective bill of £6.7bn per annum due to late payments by other companies, up from £2.6bn in 2017. The cyclical nature of late payment…

Brexit Update - Working in the UK

12/04/19

In the latest development on Brexit, it has been agreed that the UK will now leave the EU on 31 October 2019, unless a further extension is agreed! However, there still remains a significant amount of uncertainty over what will happen to EEA citizens who are looking to live and work in the UK in the…

Brexit - Extracting the potential impact on workers' rights from the maelstrom

11/04/19

With the pervading sense of uncertainty consuming the arrangements for the UK leaving the EU, it is an unsettling time for both the populace and companies operating within the jurisdiction. One of the many uncertainties is the potential impact Brexit may have on UK employment laws, and consequently…

Managing litigation risk in the gig economy

10/04/19

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre published the findings of its research into the increase in global gig economy litigation last month in its report titled "The Future of Work: Litigating Labour Relationships in the Gig Economy". The report stresses the need for a rights based…

Brexit held not to have frustrated lease

10/04/19

Canary Wharf (BP4) T1 Ltd and others v European Medicines Agency [2019] EWHC 335 (Ch) The court's finding, on 20th February 2019, in favour of the landlord, Canary Wharf Group, will be met with a sense of relief by those in the Property industry. The tenant, European Medicines Agency (EMA),…

Protection from Forced Marriage

03/04/19

The media have recently reported on the protection for girls from forced marriage by increasing the minimum age to 18 years. Campaigners have raised the issue regarding children marrying at the age of 16 years with parental consent as remaining vulnerable to forced marriage. Conservative MP Pauline…

Forbes acted in Landmark Fraud Case

02/04/19

Craig MacKenzie and Craig Liversidge have acted for an accountant charged with multiple frauds and making employer-related investments. This was a high profile case widely reported in the press. It was the first case of its kind prosecuted by The Pensions Regulator (TPR). Proceedings followed…

Managing sickness absence as a result of an injury sustained at work

02/04/19

Accidents happen…just as much in the workplace as they do in the outside world. Employees may unfortunately sustain an injury while at work, which could result in them being off sick. This could be a slip resulting in a broken leg, with multiple operations required, or could be sustained due to…

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March

Head Teacher's sexual orientation discrimination claim upheld

28/03/19

The Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") has recently ruled upon whether adverse treatment of a gay Head Teacher can constitute constructive dismissal and sexual orientation discrimination. In Tywyn Primary School v Aplin, the EAT upheld the decision of the Employment Tribunal ("ET")…

Employee fails to secure compensation despite finding of unfair dismissal

28/03/19

The Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") in Beattie v Condorrat War Memorial and Social Club & Others recently upheld a tribunal decision that a procedural failing in carrying out an investigation and a finding of unfair dismissal did not necessarily lead to compensation. The Claimant…

Top Tips for Avoiding Business Debt

28/03/19

You can have all the ingredients for a successful business - a great product or service, happy customers and dedicated staff, but if the cash is not coming through, it can crumble. Currently, British business is continuing to suffer from a damaging late payment culture and SMEs are amongst the…

Judge Dismisses School EL Claim after Finding Training to be Exemplary

28/03/19

Wigan Council The Claimant alleged that during the course of her employment as a teaching assistant at a special needs school she suffered a serious injury to her right knee whilst trying to retrieve a keyboard from the highest shelf in a storeroom. The keyboard was required for a music lesson…

Discount Rate Review to Commence

28/03/19

The Lord Chancellor, David Gauke MP, has officially launched the anticipated review of the discount rate in a written statement to Parliament. The first review of the discount rate under the new Civil Liability review will start with immediate effect. Pursuant to the new process set out in the…

Medical Agency Fees are Recoverable as a Disbursement

28/03/19

In the case of Beardmore v Lancashire CC (Liverpool) (Judge Graham Wood QC) 06/02/2019, a Circuit Judge on appeal allowed the claimant to recover medical agency fees in a public liability ("PL") case that had exited the portal, and where the issue of disbursements was covered by fixed costs…

Doctrine of Mistake does not apply to the Portal

28/03/19

In the recent case of Fitton v Ageas (2018) Fam Ct (Judge Parker) 08/11/2018, a Circuit Judge has ruled that the protocol for low-value personal injury claims is a self-contained code and as a result the normal principles of contract such as the doctrine of mistake does not apply. The facts…

Regulatory update - March 2019

28/03/19

Reminder to Ensure Scaffolding is Stable and Safe in High Winds Following the recent exceptional high winds, the HSE is calling on construction workers to ensure scaffolding is stable and safe by following the scaffold design checklist. According to the HSE, the scaffold checklist is designed to…

FCA and Brexit

28/03/19

With Brexit potentially fast approaching, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has taken a proactive response to provide effective information and prepare inbound passporting financial services firms on their operation within the UK. Currently, financial services firms in any European Economic Area (…

Sub-contractors left in the lurch as public procurement problems continue

27/03/19

After the recent Seabourne Freight debacle, where a now infamous £13.8 million ferry service contract was awarded to the company even though it had no ships, public procurement is once again in the news for the wrong reasons. The Dawnus Group has filed for administration following claims that…

Blues and Two's - Accidents Involving Emergency Vehicles

22/03/19

How does the law treat the driver of an emergency vehicle passing through a red light whilst on an emergency call, probably on the way to save another life? In the case of Craggy v Chief Constable of Cleveland Police (2009) two emergency vehicles collided t a traffic light junction, one a police…

RTA Medical Reports Subject To Fixed Costs

22/03/19

Medical Reports in RTA cases are the latest part of the CPR to become subject to fixed fees. As of 1 October 2014, a new fixed costs regime will come into force governing the fees which can be charged for the obtaining of expert medical reports in RTA Protocol claims. The updated Rule 45.19…

What is the Difference between a Will and a Probate?

22/03/19

The terminology surrounding the execution of a will can sometimes be quite daunting, especially when you are dealing with the death of a person or relative close to you. At Forbes Solicitors, we understand the information regarding this subject may not be the easiest to process, which is why we have…

Prevention is better than cure

22/03/19

Obstetric claims represent 10% of clinical negligence claims by number and account for 48% of new claims reported. Birth injuries have significant human and legal cost. The consequence of such can result in permanent, catastrophic injury. Lawyers are often blamed for spiralling costs, but…

The New Fitness Regime - Our take on the new legislation

22/03/19

On the 20 March 2019, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 came into force. The Act is aimed at improving housing conditions in the rented sector. Helpfully, the government has been issued guidance for landlords*. As the government guidance says, there are no new obligations for…

Mistaken belief found insufficient to amount to disability discrimination

21/03/19

In iForce Ltd v Wood , the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that an employee's mistaken belief that her condition was under threat by working conditions did not establish unfavourable treatment due to a disability pursuant to s.15 of the Equality Act 2010. An actual rather than a perceived causal…

Can damages be awarded for negligent misrepresentation?

21/03/19

In cases of contractual dispute the question of when damages can be awarded is of obvious importance to the parties involved. But what happens in cases where the dispute is over negligent misrepresentation? Rescission of the contract is the normal remedy in such a case, but is there any situation where…

The Power of the 'Hypothetical Comparator'

21/03/19

The Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") recently addressed the issue of hypothetical comparators in employment claims in Governing Body of Sutton Oak Church of England Primary School & 2 Others v. Mr M Whittaker. The Respondent was a primary school teacher who was employed at the…

How Could Pension Scheme Trusteeships Look in the Future?

21/03/19

Recent surveys and high profile campaigns have highlighted changes in the pension's landscape across the UK. The role of a pension scheme trustee is more challenging than ever with funding, regulation and many other hurdles to overcome. What is a pension scheme trustee? A pension…

Discount Rate Review to Commence

21/03/19

The Lord Chancellor, David Gauke MP, has officially launched the anticipated review of the discount rate in a written statement to Parliament. The first review of the discount rate under the new Civil Liability review will start with immediate effect. Pursuant to the new process set out in the…

Medical Agency Fees are Recoverable as a Disbursement

21/03/19

In the case of Beardmore v Lancashire CC (Liverpool) (Judge Graham Wood QC) 06/02/2019, a Circuit Judge on appeal allowed the claimant to recover medical agency fees in a public liability ("PL") case that had exited the portal, and where the issue of disbursements was covered by fixed costs…

Changes to Entrepreneurs Relief

18/03/19

In the lead up to the Budget Statement at the end of October 2018, the Chancellor announced that changes to Entrepreneurs Relief ('ER') would be introduced in the New Year. ER is a relief applied on the sale of certain business assets or shares where Capital Gains Tax is charged at a reduced…

Usage of inaccessible work email accounts during employee's maternity leave

18/03/19

The Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") held in SW Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust v Jackson that it can be unfavourable treatment under the Equality Act 2010 to send a woman on maternity leave an important email at an email address that she can't access. However, it will be…

Right to Rent - more Wrong than Right?

18/03/19

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2019) EWHC 452 (Admin) Following a Judicial Review, the Court has found that Sections 20-37 of the "Right to Rent Scheme", as brought in by Immigration Acts 2014 and 2016…

What would a no-deal Brexit mean for Family Law?

13/03/19

The Law Society has recently published guidance for Solicitors to highlight the changes in both civil and commercial cooperation that is likely to occur should the UK leave the EU without having reached any agreement on the 29th March 2019. The result of the UK and the EU failing to reach a…

Strategic Partnerships - Making Affordable Homes Happen

11/03/19

Homes England introduced Strategic partnerships in 2018, an ambitious new mission to partnership with all areas of the housing industry sector to provide a response to the long-term housing challenges facing our country. The plan announced in the 2018 budget was to secure £653 million in grant…

The Law Commission's Consultation for Social Landlords

08/03/19

Partners Lachlan McLean and Lucie Cocker of Forbes Solicitors were delighted to host the Law Commission's consultation event for Social Landlords on leasehold home ownership and reinvigorating commonhold at our Manchester offices. The Law Commission put forward proposals for reform to Right to…

Eurotunnel Procurement Settlement

01/03/19

The importance of transparency and openness in public works procurement has made headlines with the £33 million settlement between UK Government and Eurotunnel after the former awarded contracts for a no-deal Brexit ferry service in a "secretive" manner. In December 2018, the…

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February

Regulatory update - Feb 2019

25/02/19

Two companies heavily fined after a girl is killed whilst using a lift in her own home In August 2015, a five-year-old girl was using an internal lift, which had been fitted in her home for use by her disabled brother. The girl put her head through a hole in the vision panel and as the lift moved…

Brexit: are EU ready?

22/02/19

After events on the 14th February the UK became the closest it has even been to a no deal Brexit. With further talks scheduled with EU leaders over the next few weeks, the future of the UK is uncertain. But what does this mean for business owners in a legal context and how should they prepare in light…

Increase to Probate fees from April 2019

22/02/19

From April 2019 there will be a significant increase in the fees charged by the Probate Registry for processing applications for Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration. At present, probate fees are a flat fee of £215 for applications made by individuals and £155 for applications…

Scottish Universities move to amend admissions process to address equality

20/02/19

An article by the BBC earlier today reported on the intention of Scottish Universities to lower the entry requirements to students from disadvantaged areas. The intention is not to guarantee those gaining the grades a place, but to take students over the threshold for consideration. For example,…

Employment Appeal Tribunal finding on religious discrimination in nursery case

20/02/19

Ms De Groen had been employed as a teacher by Gan Menachem, an ultra-orthodox Jewish Nursery, since July 2012. She was living with her boyfriend whilst working at the nursery, in contravention of the strict religious requirements of ultra-orthodox Judaism. This information came to light at a barbeque…

Rights to Work themed FAQ's

20/02/19

In schools where the employer is the local authority, if the school wanted to hire someone on a tier 2 visa, would the local authority need a licence to sponsor these visas? Yes, the Local Authority would need to have a tier 2 licence in order to sponsor the visa of the proposed employee. If the…

Claim Derailed By Compelling Statistics

15/02/19

Shaughnessy v Adrenalin Zone Ltd The Claimant brought a claim following an accident on an amusement attraction. The attraction in question offers riders the thrill of skydiving and hang gliding. Participants wear a full body flight suit that supports the flyer in a prone position. The flight suit…

Judge Reminds Claimant that we do not live in a Perfect World

15/02/19

Allinson -v- East Riding of Yorkshire Council An elderly claimant alleged that on 7th October 2014 she tripped over a sunken gully in the pavement and sustained an injury. Following the accident, the claimant's husband took photographs of the highway but unfortunately took photographs of…

Victim of Libel Tweet Receives Compensation of £40,000

15/02/19

A man has received £40,000 in damages after bringing a libel claim against the former Chairman of the UKIP Bristol branch following the publication of a Tweet during the 2015 general election campaign. In May 2015, a Tweet was posted by UKIP's Bristol branch consisting of a photograph of…

Bullying - School Defends Pupil Negligence Claim

15/02/19

Forbes has defended two unusual claims on behalf of a local authority. Two former pupils of a primary school brought a claim against the local authority alleging that they had sustained psychological and minor physical injuries as a result of being bullied by another child. It was specifically…

Are you ready for the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018?

15/02/19

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 ("the Act") comes into force on 20th March 2019. The Act will enable tenants to pursue claims relating to substandard housing conditions. Currently, there are no provisions requiring landlords to ensure that their properties are fit for human…

Post-Implementation Review of LASPO - Civil Litigation Funding and Costs

15/02/19

The Ministry of Justice has published its long awaited review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). Part 2 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) assesses the impact of five statutory reforms implemented following Sir Rupert…

What can SME's do to prepare for Brexit?

15/02/19

With the Brexit deadline imminently approaching, how can you prepare your business for Brexit? This is a challenge facing every SME based in the UK that either sells internationally, has an international supply chain or relies on international workforce. SME's employ over 15 million people and…

A Vision for Social Housing - Report

05/02/19

This month saw the release of 'A Vision for Social Housing', a report written by Shelter's Social Housing Commission. The report highlights a number of recommendations, one of which is that 3.1 million new social homes should be built in the next 20 years to help solve the housing…

Watch This Space - Changes on the Horizon in 2019

04/02/19

While Brexit currently dominates the majority of our discussions, updates and most frequently, the news, there will be a number of Employment Law developments for businesses to watch out for over the next 12 months. Post-Brexit Immigration rule changes Once the UK leaves the EU free movement…

'Alexa, Buy More Stuff' - Why Convenience Cannot Trump Consumer Law

04/02/19

Consumer habits are changing. That should be obvious to even the most casual observer. High Street footfall and takings continue to decline, whilst the internet boom shows no sign of giving up any ground. More recently, the advent of smart technology has opened up entirely new avenues for consumers…

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January

Is a dedicated Housing Court the solution to our problems?

31/01/19

The Government has recently consulted on the proposal to introduce a specialist housing court to try to tackle the problems frequently experienced by landlords and tenants bringing legal claims: delays, adjournments, lack of technical legal and procedural understanding, increasing numbers of litigants…

Property Guardians - A Legal Update

31/01/19

Property guardianship is an arrangement by which people are granted accommodation within a property at a below market rent in exchange for keeping the property under observation and in good condition. The guardian's continued occupation provides a disincentive for the property to be occupied by…

Fracking - What's the big deal?

31/01/19

Although relatively new on the scene, fracking has recently hit more news headlines and is unlikely to stop in the near future. The fracking site on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire near Blackpool has recently had a great deal of publicity, mostly negative, which includes reports of mini earthquakes…

D-Day for Disney

25/01/19

With 2019 well under way, some people may have already taken the opportunity to enjoy the many literary and artistic works that have lost their copyright protection as of 1 January, otherwise known in the legal world as 'domain day'. Typically, UK copyright protection lasts for 70 years…

Grenfell Tower 18 months on; where are we now?

24/01/19

It is now approaching 18 months since the terrible tragedy that took the lives of 72 Grenfell Tower residents on 14 June 2017. So where are we up to with the fallout, and what happens next? The press and public were quick to criticise. In the months following the incident, numerous companies and…

Sue/Do Not Sue - Bandersnatch's Toughest Challenge Yet

23/01/19

Ever since its launch in the last days of 2018, hundreds of thousands of television fans have been hooked on the phenomenon created by 'Bandersnatch', the latest episode of hit TV show 'Black Mirror'. For those somehow unaware, 'Bandersnatch' deviates from the standard…

Having a "Fit for Purpose" Clause that is, Well....

23/01/19

To the outside world, lawyers are often accused of focussing on some of a contract's finer details and seemingly small points but the recent case of Williams Tarr v Anthony Roylance has demonstrated how a company's fortune can change on a simple turn of phrase or absence of a clear obligation…

Caution - Man who walks into a Sign Loses Claim

22/01/19

Mark Birkett v Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council Bradford CC - A man who walked into a street sign has lost his claim for personal injury against the local authority. The Claimant alleged that he had been walking along a pavement when he hit his head and arm on a brown tourist road…

Court rebuffs Property Damage Claim

22/01/19

In January 2018 at approximately 9.30pm, the Claimant was driving along the road in heavy rain when the front drivers' side of his vehicle collided with a pothole. The Claimant continued home and upon examination of his vehicle realised that the front tyre of his vehicle had sustained damage. He…

Regulatory update - Jan 2019

22/01/19

Healthcare company fined following fatal minibus accident In March 2014, a vulnerable patient was being transported home in a minibus following a GP appointment. The minibus was travelling along the A52 at speed when the patient opened the door and leapt out. She was fatally injured. Elysium…

Council is the First to Prosecute House Owner over Japanese Knotweed

22/01/19

A Bristol property owner has been fined for allowing the spread of Japanese knotweed. It is reported that this is the first time the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 has been used in this way. In 2017, Bristol City Council served the property owner with a community protection…

2019 - It's not all about Brexit!

22/01/19

Last year was certainly another eventful year for insurers and defendants; and whilst Brexit looks set to be high on the agenda in 2019, we consider what other developments we are likely to see in the year ahead. Civil Liability Act 2018 At the end of 2018, the much-anticipated Civil Liability…

Employee, worker or self-employed?

17/01/19

It is common in the construction industry for a company to engage individuals to provide services on its behalf to an end client. Whilst the company may want the client to view these individuals as part of their company, it is also common for the company to argue that the individuals are self-…

When could works be considered practically complete?

17/01/19

A key part of a development agreement is ensuring clarity on what constitutes the practical completion of a project, and for it to cover what happens with any deviation from the specification of the project. In the recent case of Mears Ltd v Costplan Services (South East) Ltd and others (2018),…

Ignore Covenants at your Peril

17/01/19

Those dealing with the development of land for housing should take note of the recent case of The Alexander Devine Children's Cancer Trust v Millgate Developments Ltd and others [2018] EWCA Civ 2679 (LC), in which the Court of Appeal (CoA) refused to allow the modification of restrictive covenants…

Possession Trial success for Anti-Social Behaviour team

17/01/19

Forbes' ASB team were victorious in the County Court this week with our Housing Association client being granted an outright Possession Order and its legal costs by a High Court Judge, following a fully contested Trial. The Defendant tenant had been causing persistent anti-social behaviour…

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

17/01/19

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 will come into force on 20 March 2019 and have the effect of amending sections 8 and 10 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 as well as inserting new sections 9A, 9B and 9C. Here is a brief overview of the Act and the changes that it will make to…

Head teacher fined for breach of DPA

15/01/19

A former head teacher has been fined for unlawfully obtaining children's personal data from previous schools where he worked. According to the ICO, the head teacher had obtained the information from two primary schools where he had previously been employed, and uploaded it to his then current…

Why do I need to make a Will?

14/01/19

Recordings in 2018 show that over 60% of people in the UK do not have a valid Will, according to research from Unbiased.co.uk. This is an all-time high (passing the previous peak in 2011) meaning that now over thirty one million UK adults run the risk of dying intestate and having their estate…

The most expensive divorce in history

11/01/19

The world will now see the most expensive divorce in history. The Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife are to divorce after 25 years of marriage. The founder and CEO of US online retail empire Amazon is the world's richest man, worth $137bn (£107bn). Mr Bezos has claimed in his Twitter…

Now this is a story all about how... IP got twisted upside down

10/01/19

We are all familiar with the popular American sitcom 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,' a show that infected the 90's around the world. Yet recent events are scheduled to unleash a 'can of worms' for America's intellectual property law and potentially further afield. Fresh…

Divorced women over 50 left behind with pension value by £100,000

09/01/19

Divorced women over 50 end up with pensions worth £100,000 less than their ex partners The press has recently reported that divorced women over 50 end up with pensions worth £100,000 less than their ex-partners. This is very worrying, but unfortunately this is something that is often…

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