A spouse seeking to remove an asset to a remote location and put its ownership into the name of a company, raises the strong inference that they are trying to avoid the asset being taken into account in a divorce settlement. In such cases, the court may 'lift the corporate veil' and treat the asset as belonging to the spouse not the company, a recent ruling has highlighted.
Landlords should be aware that they and their officers may be guilty of environmental offences, for example, carrying on a waste operation without a permit, if a departing tenant leaves unauthorised waste on the site, and the landlord knows about it but does nothing to prevent it or deal with it - a ruling makes clear.
Residential landlords should ensure that when deciding on the term of a lease, they take into account any potential obligations to consult with tenants about major works that will be triggered if the lease exceeds 12 months, and ensure there is no ambiguity over whether the proposed lease is for 12 months or more, a recent case makes clear.
Businesses who have been hacked and had data stolen have access to remedies that can severely discourage and undermine the hackers if they threaten to publish it online, provided they act quickly, a recent case makes clear.
Owners or tenants considering renting their flat out on Airbnb (the website allowing individuals to advertise and rent out their home or other property on a short-term let) or similar sites should check this does not breach their leases, following a recent case.
Employers cutting an employee's pay without their consent should note that they cannot justify breach of an express term of the employee's terms of employment, and breach of the implied duty to maintain mutual trust and confidence, by relying on reasonable or proper cause for it - as it automatically amounts to a constructive dismissal.
Businesses which generate and pass work to third party individuals to carry out on a 'self-employed' basis, should consider whether they may in fact be 'workers' under UK law and entitled to basic employment law rights, following a Supreme Court ruling.
An employer faced with unlawful harassment in the workplace by a third party - such as a customer or visitor - should consider whether they should take action as their failure to do so could mean the employer is also guilty of unlawful harassment, if their inaction is because of a 'protected characteristic' of the victim, a ruling makes clear.
Businesses should avoid using trade marks, or applying to register them, if the commercial value of the mark lies in the fact that it evokes a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), such as that enjoyed by Prosecco, so there is an association of ideas between the mark and the PDO - as that will be enough to infringe the rights in the PDO.
Employers dealing with allegations of harassment or direct discrimination against employees will welcome a ruling that employers can take into account the context of comments or actions which could otherwise be harassment or discrimination.