Parties negotiating an agreement who wish to exclude liability for any misrepresentations they make during those negotiations should ensure the agreement expressly and clearly excludes liability, rather than rely on a general ‘entire agreement clause’ to exclude that liability, a recent ruling makes clear. This applies to commercial contracts including employment contracts.
Employers wanting potential recruits to work an unpaid trial period before taking them on will welcome updated government guidance to help them determine whether a new recruit on trial is in fact a ‘worker’, and must be paid at least the living or national minimum wage during the trial period.
Sellers of land must understand the steps they need to take to prove they are ready, willing and able to complete the sale on the completion date – including compliance with a requirement to give vacant possession of the site – following a recent ruling.
Employers should beware dismissing an employee who would then lose their rights under a long-term disability benefits plan on dismissal, following a recent ruling that a dismissal in those circumstances was unfair.
Parties in litigation, or in a dispute where litigation is reasonably contemplated, should consider whether internal emails and/or other communications discussing commercial solutions to their dispute, and correspondence with external experts, may have to be disclosed to the other side following two recent rulings.
Companies and their advisors should be wary of characterising a payment to a director as a dividend without knowing if there are sufficient profits available to lawfully pay dividends, because they cannot later re-classify it as salary if they find there were insufficient profits after all, the Court of Appeal has made clear.
A landlord proposing to oppose a business tenant’s lease renewal on grounds it intends to do substantial works on the premises should ensure its motive for doing the work does not contradict its claim that it genuinely intends to carry out the works, or risk the tenant being entitled to renew.
All partners in a partnership must consent to property becoming partnership property before it is treated as such, and that there is written, formal evidence of this - or risk a claim that it is not partnership property, following a recent ruling.
Landlords should be aware that they and their officers may be guilty of environmental offences, such as knowingly permitting the keeping of unauthorised waste on their land if a tenant leaves unauthorised waste on the site, a ruling makes clear.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has announced a new edition of Service Charges in Commercial Property, due to take effect from 1 April 2019.