Forbes Blog

New Era of Higher Standards Signalled by Charity Commission

This week the Charity Commission unveiled its new five-year strategy laying down what it believes its role to be, what goals it wishes to achieve and how it aims to achieve them. The strategy signifies a change in tone that charities should take note of given the Commission’s wide-ranging powers. Read more

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Civil Partnerships Law to Change for Mixed Sex Couples

Theresa May has announced that the law will soon change to allow same sex couples and mixed sex couples to both have the option of a civil partnership.

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The Toxic Rentcharges Review

Before the case of Roberts v Lawton [2016] UKUT 395, rentcharges were less of a concern as the amounts were often small and were to be paid to rentcharge owners that were missing or unknown, however attitudes have now changed.

What is a rentcharge?

A rentcharge is a historic property device and dates back to the 1800s and is an annual payment secured on land. Rentcharges affect freehold properties and are not the same as ground rent payable on leasehold properties. Rentcharges have been used previously if a property has been sold below its open market value and the new owner agreed to pay an annual rentcharge to the seller to make up the difference over time. Although the Rentcharges Act 1977 prohibited the creation of new rentcharges of this type, there are many thousands of historic rentcharges still in existence and these will continue to exist until 2037 when they will no longer be enforceable. However, estate rentcharges can be created to secure the payment of maintenance costs or the cost of providing services and will be enforceable after 2037. Read more

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ICO Issues Fines for Failure to Pay the Data Protection Fee

On 26 September 2018, the ICO reported that it had begun formal enforcement action against 34 organisations that have failed to pay the new data protection fee. These organisations span across many sectors, including the NHS, recruitment, finance, government and accounting. Of note, the ICO has stated that more notices are currently being drafted and will be sent out in the immediate future.

Paul Arnold, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the ICO, said:

”We expect the notices we have issued to serve as a final demand to organisations and that they will pay before we proceed to a fine. But we will not hesitate to use our powers if necessary. All organisations that are required to pay the data protection fee must prioritise payment or risk getting a formal letter from us outlining enforcement action.”

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Equifax Data Breach – Another Maximum Fine from the ICO

The Information Commissioners Office has once again handed down the maximum fine available at its disposal, and in doing so has reinforced its recent trend of tougher punishments for breaches of data protection laws. Read more

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Fault-Based Divorce Could Be A Thing Of The Past

It is in the news again this week that Justice Secretary David Gauke is set to announce a consultation on plans for a major change to divorce laws which could see couples being allowed no-fault divorces and spouses losing the right to contest the breakdown of a marriage. Read more

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Recent progress on electronic signatures

A study published on 23rd August was deemed to be proof enough by the Law Commission that an electronic signature is sufficient to fulfil requirements for a signature on a document. The study tries to modernise the way in which we execute documents where there is a statutory requirement that a document must be signed, and, the electronic execution of deeds, including the requirements of witnessing and attestation and delivery. Read more

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Another Step Closer for Electronic Signatures

With a Law Commission Consultation Paper adding its voice to the advocates for electronic signatures, the advancement of electronic signatures continues towards universal acceptance. Read more

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British Airways Data Breach – Making the Best of a Bad Lot

Today’s headlines are being dominated by the story that British Airways have suffered an illicit data breach that has left the personal details and payment cards of 380,000 customers potentially exposed. The theft occurred via the airline’s website and mobile app.

It is hardly a surprise that many are already beginning to wonder if this breach will be the first high profile test case for GDPR and the new Data Protection regime. Read more

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Coca-Cola to Buy High Street Heavyweight Costa Coffee for £3.9bn

Coca-Cola look set to buy British multinational Costa Coffee for a staggering £3.9bn. The deal marks a key time in Coca-Cola’s history, as it aims to break into the coffee market. The deal allows the global giant other opportunities for revenue and is thought to have come about in order to try and combat falling revenues on their portfolio of sugary drinks. Read more

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