Tenants wishing to assign their leases should avoid assignments to their guarantors as these will be treated as void, even where the tenant and guarantor are companies in the same group.
Legal Alert - June 2016
A monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.
Case law: Business could not claim 'passing off' on basis of rival product's colour when product names were distinctive
Businesses faced with rivals selling apparently similar products should consider the look and feel of the rival's whole product, not just individual elements such as colours, when assessing whether there is sufficient similarity to bring a passing off action against the rival.
Case law: Court clarifies how to interpret contract clauses excluding or limiting liability for breach
Parties to an agreement should ensure there are no ambiguities in clauses excluding, limiting or reducing liability for breach, and consider how the rules of interpretation of contract terms will apply if there is a dispute
Case law: Employers may have to take wholly voluntary working into account when calculating holiday pay
Employers should consider whether to include wholly voluntary overtime, and standby and call-out payments when calculating employees' annual holiday pay, following a recent ruling.
Parties negotiating a potential joint venture should ensure their discussions are completed, and preferably committed to writing, before taking any action to carry out their joint venture, or risk the court ruling that there was no enforceable agreement.
Case law: Employer contacting employee off sick, without reasonable or proper cause, could amount to constructive dismissal
Employers who contact an employee who is off sick should think carefully about the nature of the contact and its potential effect on the employee, taking into account the importance and urgency of their reasons, and the reasons the employee is off sick. If they don't, they risk a constructive dismissal claim.
Case law: Misconduct by disabled employee due to a personality trait may also be caused by disability
Employers should beware of blaming misconduct by a disabled employee solely on a personality trait, as disability may also be a cause - leaving the employer at risk of unfair dismissal and/or discrimination claims - according to a recent ruling.
Directors should ensure they monitor their company's activities for acts that might amount to infringement of someone else's trade mark (or other intellectual property) as they are usually personally liable, jointly with their company, for any such infringement.
Case law: Employee with strong views on public sector spending may be protected by discrimination law
Employers who subject an employee to detriment for their strongly held views, for example, about the proper and efficient use of public money in the public sector, may be discriminating against them on grounds of 'philosophical belief', following a recent ruling.
Parties to a commercial agreement who are discussing its termination should consider whether their discussions relate to a dispute or potential dispute and are undertaken with a view to a settlement, so they are 'without prejudice', even if the discussions seem to involve only statements of intent.
Disclaimer: These publications from Atom Content Marketing are for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.