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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Changes to CPR disclosure rules from April 2013

On 1 April 2013 the reforms designed by Lord Justice Jackson to tackle the huge cost associated with civil litigation will come into force as the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) are updated.

To halt the increasing costs of disclosure, exacerbated by the exponential growth in the volume of electronic data, two key reforms will be enacted. The first will be a ‘menu option’ of possible disclosure orders and the second will be the submission of a disclosure budget prior to the first case management conference (CMC).

Moving Assets Within a Group Structure - A Diligent Approach

Business managers usually like to avoid over complicating internal matters but moving assets within a group structure will always entail a number of formalities. Although less critical than in an acquisition of a target business at arms length, due diligence should still be part of this process to ensure that the relevant legal issues are properly dealt with.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Is it always necessary to pursue divorce when a couple separates?

When a relationship breaks down, it is common for a married couple to separate. Whether it is always necessary to get a divorce depends on a variety of factors and the personal circumstances of each case.

On the one hand, mutually agreed arrangements on finances, property and children may turn out to be more than enough to put off a divorce. On the other hand, holding back on divorce will be a legal obstacle for a spouse who wishes to remarry in the future and cannot go on with their life without committing a criminal offence.

Rollingsons Helps Applicants Successfully Seek Recognition of a Non-Hague Adoption in England & Wales

Rollingsons is proud to have successfully helped applicants seeking to have their non-Hague adoption recognised within the jurisdiction of England and Wales. The High Court case of Re J (A Child) [2012] EWHC 3353 (Fam) required the judge to consider the validity of a foreign adoption order granted in India under the court’s inherent jurisdiction. Indian adoption orders are not automatically recognised in England and Wales under the Hague Convention.

The court’s decision to declare the validity of the order was based on various considerations, some established by previous case law and others unique to the circumstances.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Can a Business Unilaterally Vary Contract Terms?

The general position in contract law is that a party cannot unilaterally vary the terms of a contract. The position reflects the principle that a unilateral material change of terms may equate to a repudiatory breach of contract. A repudiatory breach is one that is so fundamental to the contract that the aggrieved party may terminate it and sue for damages.

However, the position is not so straight forward where a party is allowed to amend a contract unilaterally by virtue of a term in that contract.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Software Licensing Risks For Small Businesses

In today’s digital age, the rapid growth and expansion of the IT industry has led most businesses to use a vast array of software. The widespread use of computer programmes inevitably involves copying and, to some extent, adaptation.

As a result, it is very difficult to thoroughly prevent the use of copyright material, particularly that accessed via the Internet and users can easily end up infringing copyright laws.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Whistleblower Legislation Set for Change

Criticism of the protections afforded to whistleblowers has intensified calls for reform of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA). Flaws in the legislation have been highlighted by the current media focus on NHS whistleblowers, coupled with a perceived rise in abuse by those seeking to misuse the law on whistleblowing to simply improve their personal circumstances.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Copyright Issues in Education

Commercial enterprises usually have at least a general awareness of the risks associated with infringing intellectual property rights. Common sense suggests that profiting from someone else’s intellectual property without their permission could lead to trouble.

Less obvious are the dangers that intellectual property rights pose to educational establishments. Even if no profit is being made and an organisation is non-commercial in nature, intellectual property rights are not a free-for-all. Education is subject to less stringent restrictions on the use of copyrighted material than businesses but care must still be taken to keep within the rules.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Opposition Proceedings for Trademark Applications

Whenever an application is made to register a trade mark, third parties will have an opportunity to oppose that application. Normally, once a trade mark application has passed the examination process and been published, parties are then open to oppose that application for a fixed period of time. Opposing parties can file an opposition through the UK system of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) or the Community trademark (CTM) system.

There are a number of differences in the two forms of opposition proceedings.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Essential Elements of Joint Venture Agreements

Joint ventures are usually the result of commercial agreements between two businesses, whereby those businesses collaborate to work towards a common goal. Each party will bring something to the table, such as expertise, equity or some other valuable input.

The commercial agreement will specify what each party will contribute, and what each party will receive in return from the arrangement. To ensure smooth operation of the joint venture, it is perhaps most important to properly consider what trading structure, or ‘joint venture vehicle’ is to be adopted.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Buying and Selling a Business Diligently

Businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and exist in an increasingly globalised world market where whole companies frequently change hands. Buying or selling a business can be an intricate and complex process which raises a number of important legal questions.

When buying or selling a business it is essential manage any risks that might lead to problems later on. There is a vast array of issues which parties should consider in order to ensure the most positive outcome of buying, or indeed selling a business.

Appointing Commercial Agents and The Importance of Having an Agreement Between Principal and Agent

The engagement of commercial agents using standard form contracts or otherwise has become commonplace for businesses today. However, it is imperative that businesses understand the legal implications of a principal-agent relationship before proceeding to authorize a commercial agent to act on the behalf of the company in relation to daily commercial transactions.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Action to stimulate the economy deferred but probably not off the agenda

  • Loose Money Policy set to Last Several More Years

Ray Boulger of leading independent mortgage adviser John Charcol comments on the mortgage market and today’s announcement from the MPC of no change in Bank Rate or the amount of Quantitative Easing (QE).

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Divorcing Couples Hiding Assets

During a divorce, each spouse is legally required to fully disclose assets to the court for consideration in financial resolution of the separation. Property and assets acquired before and during the marriage can all be subject to pooling and division.

The divorce rate in England and Wales hovers around 40%, up to 120,000 divorces per year, and in a survey of 800 couples conducted for The Co-operative Legal Services by Onepoll, almost a quarter of divorcees admitted they had hidden financial assets in order to withhold funds from their spouse. Assets are most commonly concealed through transfers or loans to relatives, fictionalizing debt, overspending on a joint credit card, withdrawing all money from joint accounts, or hoarding cash assets.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Matrimonial Assets: The Implications of Petrodel v Prest for Future Financial Remedy Proceedings

The Supreme Court is today hearing the appeal following a landmark ruling by the Court of Appeal in October 2012 that an oil tycoon need not hand over to his wife £17.5m in assets held by his companies as part of their divorce settlement. The appeal has dramatic and far reaching implications for family law practice and financial remedy proceedings in high net worth divorce cases.