Contact us on

020 7611 4848

email us


Arrange a Callback

Ask a Question


Friday, 17 January 2014

Shareholder Directors Take Note: Even Bill Gates Can be Removed

Business founders often end up as owner managers but a stake in the company does not guarantee a board or operational position forever.

As businesses grow and ownership diversifies, there is often serious potential for disagreement over who is best suited to hold key positions such as chief executive or chairman of the board of directors.

Even the most highly respected business people can be pressured to bow out, a situation Bill Gates was rumoured to have faced from large Microsoft shareholders towards the end of 2013.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

BP Wins Legal Battle to Plug Excessive Flows from Compensation Fund

BP’s legal fight over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill always looked set to match the intensity of the engineering battle to plug the damaged oil well. The political hostility BP faced in the early days of the spill as a foreign company that had damaged US interests in US territory meant that the fallout for BP was always going to be painful.

A legal ray of light did shine at the end of 2013 for BP though, as a panel of US judges sitting in the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled that the administrator of the BP compensation fund take a more restrictive approach to dishing out funds to compensation applicants.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

HIV is No Justification for Employee Dismissal

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) recently made its first ruling on HIV-related employment discrimination. It found that an employee’s dismissal on the basis that he was HIV positive was a violation of Article 8, the right to respect for private and family life, and Article 14, the prohibition on discrimination, of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The applicant was dismissed by his employer after it had come under pressure from other employees to remove him due to his condition.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Are You Prepared for Shareholder Votes on Executive Pay?

Since October 2013 listed companies have been obliged to give shareholders a binding vote on directors’ pay. Although the new rules were introduced in 2013 via The Large and Medium-sized Companies and Groups (Accounts and Reports) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, many companies will not yet have faced the practical realities of a binding shareholder vote.
As companies reach their financial year ends, the issue will become more prominent for remuneration committees.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Why Did John McCririck Lose His Age Discrimination Case?

In October 2012 the bombastic horse racing pundit John McCririck was unceremoniously dumped as a presenter by Channel 4 and production company IMG Media Limited.

Later, in 2013 the 73 year old declared that he would bring proceedings against both parties for age discrimination in a claim for £3 million in damages for stress and anguish and against a loss of future earnings.

However, the Central London Employment Tribunal ruled unanimously against McCririck’s claim leaving the former pundit suggesting that it was a “historic setback for all employees in their 30s to their 70s”.

It is notable that although the significantly younger Claire Balding took over the presenting of Channel 4’s racing programmes, that in itself did not mean McCririck had suffered discrimination.

Friday, 10 January 2014

That Sinking Feeling: London Duck Tours Disaster Highlights Business Risks

There is an element of risk in any business venture. Risk-taking is an essential element of business activity that enables businesses to thrive. Taking a leap into the unknown with a new product or strategy is what brings businesses rewards.

However, the risks that businesses are willing to take to generate rewards must be isolated as far as possible from other risks that may be inherent in operational activity but peripheral to its core purpose.

Certain identifiable risks such as those posed to customers or employees should be kept to a minimum or effectively managed to avoid or reduce the potential liability for damages.

A good example of the need for sound risk management was highlighted by the fire on the London Duck Tour vehicle on the Thames near to the Houses of Parliament.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

As Expected No Changes From The MPC


Fixed Rate Mortgage Pricing Has Virtually No Scope to Fall

2 Year Fixes Best Value at High LTVs but 5 Years Better at Lower LTVs

95% LTV Borrowers Less Exposed to Rate Rises than Others


Ray Boulger, of leading independent mortgage adviser John Charcol, comments on today’s statement from the MPC and the mortgage and housing markets.

“The only interest in today’s MPC meeting was whether or not it would result in a statement reducing the unemployment target but with the next Quarterly Inflation Report due in February there must be a good prospect that if the MPC plans to change its “Explicit Guidance,“ as indicated particularly by comments from MPC member Charles Bean even before unemployment had fallen to 7.4%, this will happen next month, especially if the next set of unemployment figures pushes the rate down further.

Enforcing Payments: Statutory Demands

A statutory demand is a legal instrument which can be used to force payment of an uncontested debt from an individual or a company.

Although chasing unpaid invoices can be a frustrating business, statutory demands should be seen as a last resort. They carry the threat of insolvency proceedings if they are not met so courts do not take lightly to creditors issuing them without clear reason.

It is therefore important that other avenues for expediting payment of valid invoices are exhausted before the statutory demand route is taken.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

UK Labour Laws: A World Cup Apart

According to recent newspaper reports Qatar’s migrant workers face exploitation amounting to modern day slavery as they work on the infrastructure for Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup.

Although the nature of the reporting may be somewhat inflammatory, there is evidence that at least forty four workers have died between June and August 2013 and thousands more have had to endure appalling labour abuses.

Few would argue that the UK has reached legislative nirvana in relation to employment or health and safety laws but such abuses do highlight the strength of the UK’s legal safeguards.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Winning Tribunal Costs Awards: A Tough Task even for Lord Sugar

The conclusion of an employment tribunal claim usually brings great relief for the parties involved but there can sometimes be one final hurdle to complete if costs awards are sought.

Despite succeeding in the tribunal claim, even the most persuasive parties such as Lord Sugar can fail to convince employment tribunals to award them their costs.

There is actually a sound underlying principle at issue in these circumstances.

Monday, 6 January 2014

FCA Fights for Mortgage Customers with Hefty Fines on Firms

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) demonstrated its increased willingness to exercise supervisory powers over regulated financial firms on multiple occasions during 2013.

Its pro-active approach to consumer protection was emphasised by its fining of Clydesdale Bank to the tune of £8.9 million in September 2013 for failing to treat its mortgage customers fairly and inform them of their rights.

Friday, 3 January 2014

What Are the Laws in Space?

The proliferation of private space enterprises such as Google founders Larry Page and Eric Schmidt’s Planetary Resources and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has got the lawyerly minded in a spin about the legal implications.

Until now manned space exploration has generally been the preserve of national governments due to the technological difficulties and the associated costs. The legalities have therefore been dealt with at international treaty level.

With improvements in technology and the emergence of commercial enterprises willing to shoulder the risks of tackling the space frontier, this far flung area of law is gradually gaining more attention.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Compulsory Purchase Orders: General Vesting Declarations

Recent speculation over the future of HS2 high speed railway in the UK has raised the prospect of significant numbers of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) being needed.

Local authorities can use CPOs to force property owners to hand over land or property without their permission where there is a compelling public interest in them doing so. This is usually where large public infrastructure projects such as motorways or HS2 require privately owned land to be built upon in order for them to go ahead.

As one would expect, there are very strict rules that govern how local authorities can go about acquiring land in this way with compensation for property owners forming an important part of the rules.

One of the primary CPO mechanisms is a general vesting declaration (GVD) under s.1 of the Compulsory Purchase (Vesting Declarations) Act 1981 and the Compulsory Purchase of Land (Vesting Declaration) Regulations 1990. The other is notice to treat (NT).