In-house news vlog: legally binding agreements, the GDPR and the danger of pulling sickies – May 2016

In-house news vlog: legally binding agreements, the GDPR and the danger of pulling sickies – May 2016

Snow in April? Feeling the urge to curl up in front of an open fire to catch up with legal developments but don’t have the time? Let our monthly news vlog, in association with Radius Law, warm your cockles faster than the British weather changes. We’ll bring you up to date with all the latest legal news for in-house lawyers in a matter of minutes.

Below is a short summary of what’s covered this month:

Corporate & Commercial – tune in from 0:17

  • The Court of Appeal has given its ruling in Nobahar-Cookson and others v The Hut Group Ltd, a case involving a dispute about the time requirements to bring a claim under a warranty. Most interesting are the arguments advanced concerning the proferentem principle.
  • In One Step (Support) Ltd v Morris-Garner and another, the Court of Appeal has ruled on valuing damages for a restrictive covenant breach, stating that the proper basis for awarding damages was Wrotham Park.
  • JAS Financial Products LLP v ICAP Plc highlights whether a legally binding agreement can be formed by email exchanges and a meeting.
  • A number of changes have come into effect under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.

Data security – tune in from 4:43

  • The European Parliament has adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) marking the final stage in the legislative process for the new Data Protection Regulation. To help businesses prepare, the Information Commissioner’s Office has published 12 steps to take now.
  • The EU-US Privacy Shield, intended to replace the Safe Harbor scheme, has yet to be implemented. There is guidance on the ICO website on what companies should do in this interim period.

Advertising & Marketing – tune in from 6:43

  • The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued an Open Letter concerning paid promotions not being sufficiently transparent and the publishing of fake reviews.
  • The Advertising Standards Authority has advised that if User Generated Content is adopted and incorporated by an organisation, then it is likely to be caught by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code.
  • CAP has published guidance for advertisers concerning verifiability for comparative advertising.

Employment – tune in from 8:22

  • In Metroline West Ltd v Ajaj, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has confirmed that employees who pull a ‘sickie’ can have their employment terminated for misconduct.
  • The recent case of Bartholomews Agri Food Ltd v Thornton [2016] has highlighted the risks of drafting restrictive covenant clauses too widely.
  • The EAT’s decision in Private Medicine Intermediaries Ltd and others v Hodkinson has given a stark warning about the risk of not carefully managing sensitive employees.
  • Wasteney v East London NHS Foundation Trust has provided useful guidance on navigating through the rights to manifest religious beliefs and religious discrimination.
  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has produced technical guidance for organisations on the implications of the age discrimination ban.

Intellectual Property – tune in from 13:40

  • BMW has successfully opposed a community trade mark application for MINICARGO by a French company, LG Developpement, on the grounds that the registration would be likely to cause confusion for the public.
  • Changes to EU trade mark law mean that owners of European Union Trade Marks (EUTMs) filed before 22nd June 2012 need to ensure that any goods or services that are of interest to them are expressly protected.

Consumer – tune in from 16:23

The Competition and Markets Authority has issued new guidance to assist businesses that are still grappling with the requirements of the Consumer Rights Act.

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About the author:
Iain founded Radius Law in September 2013 which has been designed to meet the exacting standards that Iain had of his law firms during his time as an in-house counsel.


Iain’s in-house career spans 14 years with the 7 years from 2006 to 2013 being the General Counsel and Chief Compliance officer for the Mercedes-Benz UK Group. In this role he led a team of 18 staff.
Iain has previously been recognised in the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers report as a thought leader in legal management. He has spoken regularly and had published articles particularly on how to measure legal value.

Aside from legal management, Iain has significant expertise in regulatory work, particularly competition law and anti-bribery. Iain has led the implementation of large scale compliance programmes and also managed regulatory investigations.

Outside of the day job Iain has a passion for community projects and has been a non-executive director of a housing association and also established a debt advice centre. This social conscious approach continues in Radius Law with a bold commitment to pay 10% of profits to charity.