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Can I get out of a commercial lease early?

Charlotte Strutt
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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
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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
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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
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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'

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

Gemma Lee
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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
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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
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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

Neil Ashford
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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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

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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...

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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

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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

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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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...

£300 per week less for ZERO HOUR workers

Alexandra Dean
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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...

Be careful if you're leaving employees lonely this Christmas

Alexandra Dean
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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...

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

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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

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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
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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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 !

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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...

Avoiding the penalties of misleading advertising

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A local solicitor has highlighted the need for businesses to ensure that their advertising is accurate, or face some potentially expensive consequences. This warning follows a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that a poster by online...