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Monday, 4 September 2017

Electronic Wills

Old woman working on laptop computer at homeUp to 40% of adults die each year without a Will. There are various reasons for this, but one main reason is thought to be a direct result of people simply being put off by outdated laws, and the costs involved in making a will. Under these circumstances, it may appear easier for an individual to simply avoid the subject and not make a Will. Unfortunately, this means that if an individual dies without a will, the estate will be distributed under outdated Intestacy laws, under which there is no guarantee that the estate will be distributed in accordance with the deceased’s wishes .The Law Commission has branded the current system “outdated” and is currently considering proposals on how Electronic Wills could reflect the modern age in which we live.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Planning your wedding? Don’t forget the pre-nup!

prenuptial agreement wedding rings AdobeStock_127773221Wedding season is in full swing and many couples are busy organising their wedding venue, decorations, videographer and photographer and much more. The only financial security usually obtained is wedding insurance but there is a much bigger picture to consider.

No-one likes to think about the worst case scenario especially whilst planning what should be the happiest day of their lives. However, consideration should be given to a pre-nuptial agreement which if completed correctly can be your insurance for your future and can protect your assets.

Friday, 28 April 2017

What can I do if someone steals content from my website?

laptop-2411303_960_720While still a relatively new concept, most businesses in the UK now tend to have some kind of web presence. Whether with their own website, social media channels or Google listings, most businesses have begun to see the benefits of the internet. However, good websites take lots of careful planning, time and money to put together. So what happens if someone steals from your website, copying it’s coding or content? What does the law have to say about this and what avenues can you pursue for compensation?

Monday, 10 April 2017

How to avoid copyright infringement in the digital age

pexels-photo-313559When someone copies, distributes or edits someone else’s work online without their express permission this is known as copyright infringement. For businesses in the UK it is especially important to try and avoid copyright infringement which can result in both financial losses and harm to your reputation.

What is copyright?

Copyright is an intellectual property right that automatically covers a multitude of types of work including film, photographs, art, audio and more and lasts for the duration of the author’s life plus 70 years. Infringing on someone’s copyright can result in financial damage awarded through litigation and also damage to reputation through negative publicity.

Friday, 31 March 2017

What is Fair Use in Copyright Law?

movie-918655_640The term “fair use” relates to an exemption in copyright law that permits the free use of protected materials without first seeking permission from the rights holder. But how does it work in practice and can it be relied upon?

How are creative works protected online?

Copyright allows creators of media such as photos, videos, graphics, music and film to protect their work and to prevent it being manipulated, edited or copied by other people. However, while copyright is quite a well established idea, the digital age has presented a plethora of new challenges.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Dealing with employee theft

stature-935639_640From employees fraudulently filling in travel claim forms or time sheets, to stealing company information or expensive equipment, employee theft is a serious offence that needs to be handled properly but with caution. Discovering that an employee has been stealing from you in any capacity can be highly upsetting; however acting in haste can land you in hot water.

It is highly important for an employer to act methodically when dealing with a suspected case of employee theft and have a procedure in place to follow. Acting in haste and terminating someone’s employment without all the facts could lead to a lengthy and expensive unfair dismissal claim and an employment tribunal.

Monday, 27 February 2017

How non-disclosures can protect your business secrets

lock-1292282_640For many businesses, it is their trade secrets which provide them with an added edge over their rivals. Information, processes and plans can help them to gain an advantage and the unauthorised disclosure to third parties can be problematic and damaging. Here we will explain how Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA’s) can help in protecting these types of information from dissemination by third parties.

What are trade secrets?

From the complex algorithms that Google use to order search results to the secret ingredients used in Kentucky Fried Chicken, trade secrets give businesses an advantage that requires protection. Trade secrets could include specific methods of working or production, equipment that is used, ingredients, inventions, algorithms and formula as well as customer lists and other types of information. Trade secrets are defined under law as information that is “secret in the sense that it is not generally known among or readily accessible to persons within the circles that normally deal with this kind of information”, “has commercial value because it is secret” and “has been subject to reasonable steps under the circumstances, by the person lawfully in control of the information, to keep it a secret”.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

What to do if your work is pirated online

computer-1844996_640For media industries – particularly the music and film industries – file sharing is a controversial topic with many split over the positive and negative impact of the phenomena.

Some creatives, such as the Cuban born musician Pitbull, are proud advocates of file sharing and have even launched their careers of the back of piracy. In the early days of his career Pitbull uploaded his songs to the file sharing service LimeWire under the name of more popular artists in order to gain exposure. While many people were confused as to why the song they downloaded was another artist, many others liked the music enough to hunt down the true identity of the mystery artist and pay for his music.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Are grounds for divorce different in same-sex marriages?

hand-83079_640For the most part, the grounds for divorce in same-sex marriages are the same as that of an opposite-sex marriage. However, under the current system same-sex couples cannot use adultery as a ground for divorce. This is because the definition of adultery involves engaging in sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex.

So, does this mean that if your spouse has an affair with a person of the same sex that you are unable to use their actions as a grounds for divorce? Not quite, as although in this scenario you would not be able to use adultery as grounds for divorce, their actions could still be used as a ground for divorce as they could fall under ‘unreasonable behaviour’.

Monday, 30 January 2017

How to end a civil partnership

AdobeStock_109430181Divorce is one of the hardest and most upsetting experiences that can happen in our lives. Yet, one in three marriages in the UK is now said to end in a divorce.

For those of us in a civil partnership, we can also encounter severe problems that unfortunately can’t be resolved and require an end to our relationships. While the ending of a civil partnership is not technically called a divorce, how it happens is very similar. Here we will explain the exact steps that need to be taken.

Monday, 16 January 2017

The importance of responsible data handling for businesses

pexels-photo-132907There have been numerous cases in recent years where businesses and organisations have failed in their duties under the Data Protection Act (1998). Under the law, organisations must do all they can to safely store, maintain and correctly dispose of sensitive information. Failing to do so can leave you open to fines of up to £500,000 and can significantly damage your reputation. Take Japanese electronic gaming manufacturer PlayStation who were handed a fine of £250,000 by the ICO when a hack into their online network leaked the user logins and credit card details of their customers. So, with these dangers in mind what guidelines should businesses follow for storing, accessing and disposing of confidential data?

Friday, 6 January 2017

Converting a civil partnership to a marriage

AdobeStock_90025410In the UK, couples who are in a civil partnership are now able to convert their partnership to a marriage and there are a number of reasons why it can be beneficial.

First of all, in some countries civil partnerships are not recognised in the way they are in the UK. This means that if you are living abroad you might not enjoy the same rights as a married couple.

Being in a civil partnership can also present other issues in daily life such as being forced to state your sexuality on forms by declaring that you are part of a civil partnership. Many situations also force you to refer to your partner as your civil partner, rather than a husband or wife. In general, people often feel that there is a feeling of segregation around being in a civil partnership, which is not present when you are married.