In-house news vlog: warranties and representations, the Insurance Act 2015, and the SFO and SMEs – September 2016

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September - the month when lawyers return from holiday to a reliable internet connection and the cogs of the legal world start to turn again. If you’ve made the great escape this summer, there’s no better way to get up to date on everything you’ve missed than our monthly in-house news vlog. Produced in association with Radius Law, we’ve digested all the latest developments whilst you’ve digested your gelato.

Here’s what’s covered this month:

Corporate & Commercial – tune in from 0:19

  • In a case concerning the purchase of a business, the Buyer brought a misrepresentation claim against the Seller despite the relevant issue being clearly referenced as a warranty in the purchase agreement. The Court refused the claim. It is a good reminder about the differences between warranties and representations.
  • The Trade Secrets Directive came into force on 6 July 2016. Subject to Brexit, it will be law by June 2018.
  • The recent case of The Software Incubator Ltd v Computer Associates UK Ltd has turned the definition of “goods” in the Commercial Agents Regulations on its head.
  • The Insurance Act 2015 came into force on 12 August 2016 and is the most significant reform of UK business insurance law in over 100 years.

Data security – tune in from 4:10

  • The ICO has flexed its muscles against nuisance calls by taking action against Change and Save Ltd. The ICO determined that the company had been “sugging” (selling under the guise of research).
  • A GP practice has been fined £40,000 for the unlawful disclosure of personal data.
  • The ICO has made it clear that it is no longer acceptable for companies to rely on the invalidated Safe Harbor scheme.

Advertising & Marketing – tune in from 5:40

  • The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has taken action to improve advertising transparency by sending a warning letter to 43 celebrities and 15 companies that pay celebrities to remind them of advertising responsibilities.
  • The CMA has also secured undertakings from a social media marketing company and a clothing retailer to prevent misleading online practices.

Employment – tune in from 6:50

  • In Dronsfield v University of Reading, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) returned the dismissal case to a fresh tribunal as there was suspicion that the report was not the product solely of the investigating officer. It demonstrates the need for HR departments and lawyers to tread carefully in disciplinary investigations.
  • Royal Mail Group Ltd v Jhuti has widened the scope of whistleblower protection.
  • There has been another Advocate General Opinion concerning a ban on wearing an Islamic headscarf. In this case, the Advocate General has stated that the ban is direct discrimination.
  • Public Health England (PHE) has published new framework advice for businesses and employers to help them create their own policies on the use of e-cigarettes.

Competition – tune in from 10:08

  • An Amazon Market Place trader has been fined £163,371 for agreeing on prices with a competitor through the use of automated repricing software.
  • The German competition regulator has investigated LEGO’s discount system that discouraged online sales due to a formula that rewarded shelf space.
  • In July, the EU issued its highest ever penalty for a cartel office.

Bribery & Corruption – tune in from 11.40

  • The Serious Fraud Office's latest action under the Bribery Act 2010 is against a company described as a "small to medium sized enterprise". Previously, cases have only concerned large listed companies so this dispels the commonly held myth that the SFO is only interested in blockbuster cases.


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