Services
People
News and Events
Other
Blogs

Commercial Law News

 

Possible changes to flexible working

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

The Government is considering expanding the scope of flexible working requests, giving all employees the right to request flexible working from their first day. Since the pandemic has forced a majority of businesses to adapt to remote working, more...

Furlough at an end - what options do employers have?

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

Now that the furlough scheme has come to an end some employers may be wondering what options are available to them. It is important that employers are honest and transparent with their employees on decisions taken in respect of their employment According to...

Tesla to pay $137 million in damages for racial discrimination

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

Electric car manufacturer, Tesla, have been ordered to pay $137 million to a worker for racial harassment. An employee of Tesla who worked as a lift operator from 2015 to 2016 in Fresno, California, has been awarded the equivalent of £101 million in...

Companies House rejects 800 company names: Guide to naming your business

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

When it comes to starting a business, one of the most challenging but interesting tasks you must carry out is finding the right name. However, many people do not realise that there are restrictions on what you can name your business. In the last two years,...

Changes to self-isolation rules: who is legally required to self-isolate and when?

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

As of the 16th August, the requirements of self-isolation have changed. So, who will have to self-isolate if they come into contact with a positive case? Changes The Government's ever developing and (for the moment) easing of Covid-19 restrictions...

Pay cuts for remote workers

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

With remote working expected to stick around for a long time within many businesses, what impact will this have on an employee's terms of employment? In the US, Google is considering implementing pay cuts for employees who choose to work remotely....

When are directors personally liable for bounce back loans?

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

Directors owe certain fiduciary duties to a company. Breaching these duties could result in significant penalties. If a director removes a bounce back loan from the company's account and uses it for personal expenses this will breach their fiduciary...

Commercial Rent Arrears - Proposed new legislation

Susan Le-Sage
  • Posted
  • Author

On 16th June 2021, the Government confirmed that legislation would be introduced to "support the orderly resolution of rental payments accrued by commercial tenants during the pandemic". Essentially, this means that once the legislation is...

Why digital nomads can be a headache for employers

Nilam Dave
  • Posted
  • Author

The easing of overseas travel restrictions is posing an unexpected headache for employers, who need to be on the look-out for potential digital nomads in their home-working workforce. The opportunity to be wholly mobile and work from anywhere, when an...

Trademarks and Service Marks

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

Trademarks and service marks are similar mechanisms and therefore often confused. Trademarks are used to identify business products. They include words, logos, symbols, shapes, packaging and other devices which are intended to be used to identify and...

What are my Director Duties?

Nilam Dave
  • Posted
  • Author

Under the Companies Act 2006, a director must: act within powers (section 171) You must act in accordance with the company’s constitution, and only exercise your powers for the purposes for which they were conferred. The company's...

Government tackles late payments to small firms to protect jobs.

Jemma Bennett
  • Posted
  • Author

The overhaul of the Prompt Payment Code ( Code ) to crack down on delayed invoices owed to small businesses has come into force today.  This has come as good news as under the new reforms companies that have signed up to the PPC will be obliged to pay...

Domestic Abuse - how to recognise it in the workplace

Jemma Bennett
  • Posted
  • Author

The Covid 19 pandemic has resulted in new ways of working, with a significant increase in the numbers of people working from home.  For those experiencing abuse, the workplace often offers a safe space and respite away from the abuser.  The...

Menopause - How it affects women in the work place

Jemma Bennett
  • Posted
  • Author

Menopausal women are the fastest growing workforce demographic and the support provided to them at work might make all the difference in getting the best out of them and thereby minimising the risk of a range of potential claims.  Whilst, experiencing...

Firing & Rehiring: Acas Report

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

Acas have now published the report from their investigation into dismissal and re-engagement (otherwise known as " fire and rehire "). The recent flurry of media reports of large UK employers such as British Gas/Centrica implementing a strategy...

Firing & Rehiring: is it legal?

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of significant implications for businesses and employees alike. Consequently, a vast number of employers have changed the terms and conditions that their employees are employed under. Naturally, not all...

Understanding whether the force may be with you

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

‘May the force be with you’ is usually the concern of Jedi knights heading to battle in Star Wars, rather than something that company directors look for.  But for those companies looking to claim that the coronavirus pandemic has given rise...

Companies must be on track for Covid-safe workplace

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

Companies anticipating a return to the workplace in June, if the Government’s route map stays on track, should be planning how to protect workers and customers once the country is released from the current Covid-related restrictions.  Although...

Top 5 tips When Preparing Your Business for Sale

Nilam Dave
  • Posted
  • Author

Top 5 tips When Preparing Your Business for Sale Plan Plan Plan Plan in advance because it can take a long time, even several months, to sell your business. It is important not to rush and take the steps necessary to make the business an appealing...

Key Considerations for a settlement agreement

Nilam Dave
  • Posted
  • Author

A settlement agreement will be tailored to the specific circumstances of the employee, but there are key considerations for all settlement agreements to ensure the proposed deal is covered and we have highlighted the main ones below. 1. Scope of settlement:...

Brexit: A brief look at effects on businesses

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

The UK's separation from the EU plays host to a number of potential changes that businesses should carefully consider to ensure their contracts retain their desired effect. Contracts It is important to consider how your contract may be impacted by...

The Chancery Lane Project: Environmentally Friendly Contract Clauses

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

What is the Chancery Lane Project? The Chancery Lane Project (TCLP) is the name given to the group of lawyers and legal professionals helping to combat climate change with contractual clauses. TCLP is a collaborative project comprised of 700 legal...

Covid-19 Return to Work Guidance

Nilam Dave
  • Posted
  • Author

With businesses working to reopen, even if just partially, employers must ensure that they carefully plan for return to the workplace. At the time of writing, government guidance states that individuals should continue to work from home "if you...

Can Employers Compel Employees to be Vaccinated Against Covid-19?

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

As lockdown measures begin to ease and more and more employees begin returning to their workplace, many employers are considering whether they can introduce a requirement for their employees to be vaccinated. The Government is currently undertaking its plan...

Death of a company's sole director and shareholder.

Josh Fresle
  • Posted
  • Author

The death of a company's sole director-shareholder can have a severe impact on the running of the company and leave the business in limbo with no one in place with the authority to operate it. In the event of the death of a sole director where there are...

Can I get out of a commercial lease early?

Charlotte Strutt
  • Posted
  • Author

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on almost every business in the UK. For many businesses, it means they no longer require their business premises, or can no longer afford it. There are many other reasons, not directly related to COVID-19, that you may...

A new wave of lockdown - what does it mean for High Street retailers?

Charlotte Strutt
  • Posted
  • Author

In a pre-Covid world a retail tenant's primary concern was the effect that online shopping would have on the foot fall within the high street. However, post-Covid retail tenants may be facing new concerns not only with regard to the payment of rent but...

From Australia to Essex - This brilliant mum launched her own successful bouncy business

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

Kimberlee Perry is the founder of trampoline fitness company Bounce. In a recent interview with The BBC's weekly The Boss series, she told her story. Kimberlee is an Australian native but has moved to London when she was 18. Back in 2014, when she...

COVID 19 - Possession Proceedings - we have lift off!

Susan Le-Sage
  • Posted
  • Author

September 21st is the first day that Landlords can start to take action following the lifting of the 6 month stay on possession proceedings imposed by the Government at the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. It is expected that the number...

Checking that all your T&Cs match up to the 'new normal'

  • Posted

Companies should prioritise risk management in their approach to business and review their third-party relationships and contracts as the coronavirus pandemic continues.  While the degree of disruption to supplies and staffing has settled since its...

Renewing a commercial lease - what can be negotiated?

Charlotte Strutt
  • Posted
  • Author

If your commercial lease is up for renewal, you may wish to find out what you can negotiate to make the agreement work for you and your business. Depending on the terms of your current lease, it may be that any lease renewal would be governed by the...

Getting Ready For When The Office Lights Go Back On...

Charlotte Strutt
  • Posted
  • Author

Office spaces with communal areas and shared facilities will be in the frontline when the next stage of lockdown is lifted, and staff return to the workplace.  Managing the return and preparing the building for what is being called the ‘new...

Payments During The Pandemic

Charlotte Strutt
  • Posted
  • Author

During this unprecedented time, the Commercial Property team at Gepp Solicitors has been receiving numerous enquiries from both Landlords and Tenants needing urgent advice as to how the situation with COVID-19 affects them. As we are all aware, the current...

Coronavirus: Can I Cancel or Postpone AGMs and Other General Meetings

Jemma Bennett
  • Posted
  • Author

Can I cancel or Postpone AGMs and other general meetings The outbreak and spread of COVID-19 has already had a significant effect on business around the country and world. The government has now advised that further measures to reduce the rate and...

IR35 Changes: Postponed

Jemma Bennett
  • Posted
  • Author

IR35 Changes Postpostponed Initially, the changes were set to come into play on the 5th April 2020. Due to the effects of COVID-19 and the immense pressure businesses are currently under, the Government has announced that the extension of IR35 to...

IR35 Changes 2020: Is Your Business Ready?

Jemma Bennett
  • Posted
  • Author

From 5 April 2020, the IR35 regime currently applicable to public authorities will be extended to all medium and large private sector entities. A review will be undertaken in February to gather evidence from affected individuals and businesses in order to...

Professional Regulation: Using Social Media

Roger Brice
  • Posted
  • Author

Using social media... Such regulation involves professional bodies exercising regulatory functions to impose requirements, restrictions and to set standards in respect of a wide variety of professions including doctors, vets, solicitors and social workers...

Selling Privately-Owned Companies: It's All In The Planning

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

When it comes to selling privately-owned companies, it’s all in the planning... For the shareholding directors of many privately-owned companies, the end-game is focused on selling up before moving on to new ventures or sometimes retirement. But many...

Retail Failures: Where Does It Leave the Customer?

Michael Callaghan
  • Posted
  • Author

What happens when stores go into administration.... The last thing that anyone expected was that high street giant Debenhams could shut its doors on so many of its stores. It does go to prove, though, that the British high street is undergoing major...

Brexit: Maddening but not frustrating when it comes to contracts

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

Brexit may be maddening for business, communities and even the politicians in the thick of it, but in all the uncertainty, one thing seems certain, the UK’s exit from the European Union is no easy argument for ending a contract.   The ruling...

'The only way is Chelmsford'

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

Having been in Chelmsford looking after our clients for over 250 years we always knew it’s the place to be, both to live and to work. In last week’s Sunday Times in an article entitled ‘Going Places’ , Chelmsford was described as...

Is Brexit even more frustrating than first thought?

Michael Callaghan
  • Posted
  • Author

A High Court battle between the European Medicines Agency (the EMA) and Canary Wharf Group has taken place in January 2019 which has the ability to make Brexit a frustrating event for even more reasons than it might already be thought to be by some. In...

How are businesses coping?

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

Now that GDPR has been in force for a number of months, we thought it was time to take a look at how it’s affecting businesses. Are companies struggling to keep up? What impact have the regulations had on digital services? Are we likely to see...

Patently unfair

Justin Emerson
  • Posted
  • Author

What are your legal rights if somebody has stolen your idea or product? The definition of intellectual property is: ‘any type of intangible property that is a result of creativity’. This covers designs, logos, and artistic or literary, works...

Making a case study of an enforceable contract

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

The judgment in the case of Blue v Ashley The basic requirements of a contract are that both sides have reached an agreement, which is intended to be legally binding, is supported by consideration, and is sufficiently certain and complete to be...

LEI Registration: Legal Entity Identifier - Trusts

Marc Dorsett
  • Posted
  • Author

What is an LEI? The LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) is an initiative which was started in August 2013 giving every legal entity a 20-charater alphanumeric reference code. The purpose of creating the LEI is to generate a global referenced data system to...

Can your boss make you work at Christmas?

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

With just one month to go before Christmas, we’re all looking forward to a few days off with family, friends, or just curled up with a good film and a loved one for the day. However, life still goes on (even on Christmas Day) and there are plenty of...

Edward Worthy - The name to note for Agriculture & Estates

  • Posted

We are very pleased to announce the firm has been recognised for its excellent knowledge and expertise in the area of agriculture and estates law in this year’s Legal 500.  Each year The Legal 500 analyses law firms around the globe to bring...

Current data protection laws to be overhauled and replaced with new Data Protection Bill

  • Posted

Government proposals are looking to provide Britons with greater control over personal information that is currently held by companies and organisations. The bill, which the government is hoping to introduce, will make it easier to request the removal of...

If you are required to self-assess for 2016/17, be aware, you may need to file a paper return...

  • Posted

All tax software is based on HMRC software standards that currently contain glitches that affect two specific groups of people, resulting in overpayments of tax up to £1,000. The groups affected are: 1. taxpayers with non-savings income between...

Hinkley Point serves as a lesson in the importance of construction contracts

  • Posted

The construction of two new reactors at Hinkley Point nuclear plant is now estimated to cost up to £19.6 billion, an increase of 10% on what was originally estimated, according to a BBC article published today. Not only has the costs budget for the...

Nestle fails to trademark shape of KitKat bar

  • Posted

In a long lasting dispute between Nestle and Cadbury, Court of Appeal judges have ruled that Nestle fail in their attempt to trademark a four fingered bar. Nestle claimed that the shape of the bar was unique and thus should be protected by trademark laws. ...

Corporate Governance Code: Changes Imminent?

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

In February 2017, the Financial Reporting Council ('FRC') announced a fundamental review of the UK Corporate Governance Code.  It will then ask for consultation on the proposed changes later in the year. Following the disastrous corporate...

Small suppliers set to get intel on big company payment performance

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

New regulations designed to help small businesses get paid on time came into force this month, with a requirement for larger companies to publish information about how long they take to pay suppliers.  The requirement affects companies and LLPs who...

Resolving disputes for small businesses

Michael Callaghan
  • Posted
  • Author

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has reported that legal disputes cost small business enterprises in England and Wales at least £11.6 billion each year, with at least 70% of small businesses having faced at least one dispute in recent years. ...

Business Secretary to put forward proposals to ensure restaurant tips go to individual staff members

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, has said that restaurant tips should go to the individual workers, and not be deducted by their employers to make up pay. Proposals have been announced that attempt to limit these employer deductions, with a consultation...

Cuts to staff benefits

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

Risk of cuts to staff benefits on the back of the National Living Wage In April 2015 the new National Living Wage came into force, increasing the national minimum hourly wage to £7.20 for all over-25s.  In the wake of this employers have been...

Companies countdown to new transparency regulations

  • Posted

Companies are on a countdown to comply with new regulations around transparency of ownership. As part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, unlisted UK companies and LLPs will have to identify those people with significant control over...

Penalty clauses in Commercial Contracts now valid and enforceable

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

The Supreme Court recently considered a joint appealin the cases of Cavendish Square Holding BV v El Makdessi and ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67. Both cases involved commercial clauses which the claimants argued were penalty clauses....

Company Law Reform - SBEEA 2015 will affect all companies regardless of size

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 ('SBEEA') received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015. The name of the act is very misleading as most Directors and Shareholders may assume that they will not be affected as they are not part of a...

Data protection and direct marketing

Justin Emerson
  • Posted
  • Author

Businesses that use and rely on third party marketing lists should take note of a First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) decision relating to breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. The tribunal upheld the Information...

Sanctions for copyright infringement

Justin Emerson
  • Posted
  • Author

Two recent cases provide warnings to businesses on the sanctions that can be imposed for copyright infringement: In the first case, the High Court passed a 28-day custodial sentence suspended for 12 months on a nightclub owner for copyright infringement....

Is there a shortage of jobs or a shortage of people to do them?

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

A record number of people in the UK are in employment, and immigration from the EU is also at a record level. There would appear to be little evidence to suggest that there is currently a shortage of jobs. The latest  Labour Market Statistics...

Disciplinary procedure: business development briefing

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

Why is it important to follow the Acas Code? It can avoid a finding of unfair dismissal The Acas Code was introduced to help businesses and employees deal effectively with issues of alleged misconduct or poor performance. When deciding whether an employee...

Battle of forms highlights a hard truth for company contracts

  • Posted

The ruling from the High Court has said that neither company made enough efforts to deliver up their terms and conditions to the other side, leaving both without a leg to stand on in a dispute over a supply of rubber gaskets. The dispute arose between...

Be careful if you're leaving employees lonely this Christmas

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

It comes after convenience store operator McColl was fined £150,000 for failing to protect its staff during a series of store robberies in Merseyside. The case was brought by Wirral Council, who argued that the company’s “failure to carry...

£300 per week less for ZERO HOUR workers

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

Average weekly earnings for zero-hour workers are £188, compared with £479 for permanent. The article based its report on unpublished data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS has estimated there are 1.4 million contracts with...

What Businesses need to know under the new Consumer Contracts (Information Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

  • Posted

Relevant Contracts With the exception of certain specific contracts, which are either exempt or only partly covered by the CCR; the CCR’s apply to the following contracts for goods and/or services formed between a business and a consumer on or after...

Employers need to tackle team approach before the ref blows the whistle

  • Posted

But for UK business, many employers may be secretly hoping for an early knock-out for the home team, when faced with the potential of lost working hours due to employees staying home to watch the games.  It’s not too late to tackle the challenge,...

Changes to Employment Law

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

Acas conciliation The Acas early conciliation procedure will be introduced. Discrimination questionnaires Section 138 of the Equality Act 2010 (which deals with discrimination questionnaires) will be repealed. Employment tribunals Employment tribunals...

Compromise to settlement - Is the real power in the name?

  • Posted

A contract/common-law claim, that is where there has been a breach of the employee’s contract i.e. a wrongful dismissal claim or for a personal injury claim can be resolved by means of a contractual waiver. A statutory claim, however, and that is one...

Race for Business

  • Posted

In very sunny conditions eight Partners & Staff from Gepp & Sons successfully completed in the Race for Business in Chelmsford yesterday evening, run over the usual course of 5 kms through the town centre & surrounding parks. Well done to Steven...

Business must ready itself for new temp worker rights

  • Posted

Business must ready itself for new temp worker rights Getting ready to balance up permanent and temporary worker rights and benefits with the October deadline for introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010. Businesses need to get set to deal with...

Haven't signed that contract ? You might still be bound

  • Posted

A Supreme Court decision has reiterated the legal concept that where parties have negotiated contract terms "subject to contract" but one party begins work prior to terms being finalised, on the evidence a binding contract can be established on the...

No cure for fundamental breach of contract !

  • Posted

A recent Court of Appeal decision has held that a repudiatory breach of contract by an employer cannot be cured or amended prior to the wronged employee making a decision as to whether to treat the breach as a dismissal. Tuesday 10 August 2010 No cure for...