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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