In-house news vlog: variation by email, vicarious liability and Trunkis – April 2016

British Summer Time has started and we've lost an hour. When time saving is more important than Daylight Saving, how can you claw back those precious minutes? You don't want to spend longer than necessary keeping up with the latest developments - that's why our monthly news vlog, in association with Radius Law, is indispensable. It covers everything an in-house lawyer needs to know in just a few minutes, leaving you with more time to do your job.

Below is a summary of the topics covered this month:

Corporate & Commercial – tune in from 0:23

  • In Littlestone v Macleish, the Court of Appeal has stated that it would only rule against costs where the tenant could show they were unreasonable.
  • Does an agreement that states a variation will not be effective unless made in writing and signed by or on behalf of each of the parties exclude a variation made by email? In C & S Associates UK v Enterprise Insurance Company, the Commercial Court found that an email would suffice.
  • The decision in African Export-Import Bank v Shebah Exploration & Production has given more clarity on what transacting on standard terms means.
  • Two recent cases (Reid v Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Bristow v The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust) have underscored the importance of genuinely considering mediation to resolve a dispute.

Data Security – tune in from 3:58

  • The ICO Data Protection Conference 2016 was held in March and many of the sessions are now available online.
  • The ICO has issued guidance on the 12 steps organisations should be taking now to prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation. 

Advertising & Marketing – tune in from 4:33

The Competition and Markets Authority has taken action against Total SEO & Marketing for writing over 800 fake online positive reviews for its clients.

Employment – tune in from 5:08

  • In Mohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets, where an employee attacked a customer, the Supreme Court has held the supermarket liable for the employee’s actions.
  • The EAT has ruled that the HMRC Guidance on providing childcare vouchers during periods of family leave is wrong.
  • Arch Initiatives v Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust considered whether TUPE will apply when services are split along functional lines at the point of transfer.
  • Kelly v Covance Laboratories has tested whether it is discriminatory to prohibit a person from speaking their native language at work.

Intellectual Property ­– tune in from 8:47

  • After a long-running battle, Magmatic, the design owner of the ride-on children’s Trunki case, has failed to stop a competitor coming into the market.
  • Daimler AG v Együd Garage has considered how far a party must go to withdraw its use of another party’s brand on the internet. This case will not be welcome news to trade mark owners.

Consumer – tune in from 11:31

  • A report by the consumer champion, Money Saving Expert, has named and shamed 17 well known online consumer brands for failing to correctly advise customers of their rights to reject under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013.
  • The government has issued a call for evidence on how terms and conditions can be made more user-friendly and on proposals to introduce fines for unfair terms.

Financial Services – tune in from 12:43

The Financial Conduct Authority conducted a study in 2015 concerning competition issues with insurance products that are sold alongside other products. This has resulted in the FCA making four remedies, including a ban on opt-out selling across financial services subject to certain exceptions.


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