Showing posts from January, 2014

Dawn Raids by Competition Authorities most likely on Tuesdays

From Mondaq 27/01/14: The rules governing dawn raids by competition authorities in the EU are complex. Powers vary depending on whether the raiding authority is the European Commission or a national competition authority; the suspected infringement; and the legal basis for the decision to investigate and the execution of the investigation. In the heat of the moment, companies can compromise themselves if they do not ask the right questions or do the right things.Yep, the days of calling through the front door that you “aren’t decent” while your business partner burns papers and takes a hammer to your hard drive without arousing suspicion are long gone.

Shame. We have analysed a random sample of 20 (relatively recent) EU cartel investigations to identify when the dawn raid that generally kickstarts these investigations took place.   Fifteen of the twenty raids first took place on a Tuesday, with the remaining five starting either on a Wednesday or Thursday. In our sample, there were no …

Conveyancing 101 – What Your Conveyancer Does and How to Choose One

Guest Post

For the uninitiated, conveyancing is the legal process that deals with the transference of property from one person to the other. With house-buying being one of the most stressful things a person can go through, choosing the right conveyancer is vital for your peace of mind and your wallet.You can choose a Solicitor as all are qualified to carry out the conveyancing work, but being able to do something and being good at doing something are two different things. Taking on a specialist who is able to carry out the work quickly and expertly such as Quick Move Conveyancing can take a lot of the stress out of the process as they will usually deal with your mortgage provider directly and manage things such as informing the land registry of the completion of your sale. Regardless of whether you choose a specialist or rely on your Solicitor, there are several key tasks that your conveyancer is going to perform:They will check that there are no outstanding liabilities on the prope…

Driver faces court after splashing schoolchildren with puddle

From the Telegraph 22/01/14:A motorist is facing prosecution after he allegedly drenched children walking to their primary school by driving through a puddle.He has been summonsed to appear before magistrates for driving without reasonable consideration over the incident, which was witnessed by a passing policeman.The man faces a charge under a little-known provision covered by [section 3 of] the Road Traffic Act [1988], which makes it an offence to “drive through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed”.Let’s be clear here: the Act itself does not contain a provision which expressly makes it an offence splash pedestrians by driving through puddles. However section 3 of the RTA provides: Careless and inconsiderate driving
If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence.S3ZA of the RTA gives guidance as to the …

The JACKSON REFORMS – are judges being too harsh?

Guest Post

As early as 2009 in his final report on reform of costs and civil procedure rules, Lord Justice Jackson made it very clear that his recommendations would herald radical and seismic changes to the conduct of civil litigation in the United Kingdom. When these became law in the LASPO ACT of 2012 and finally began to be implemented on 1st April 2013 the legal profession had no excuse to be shocked by the change of culture in the civil courts. The new watchwords were EFFICIENCY, ROBUSTNESS and COMPLIANCE. No longer was a culture of justice at any cost to be tolerated. The new regime would be justice at proportionate cost. To achieve this civil procedure rules were rewritten and budget control of cases became paramount in the new system. So nearly a year since its implementation, it is a prudent time to assess how the new system has influenced actual cases. To claim success, the new regime needed to win the support of the judges in the civil courts, for in the final instance it is…

Email sins revisited

Over time, it seems that email is abused more and more.Yet for all of the criticisms concerning its use and the promise that some new wave of social media for the corporate world will kill email off for good, it’s more widely used than ever.

Email, like all forms of communication, has evolved.It’s an on-going process.It’s also true to say that email should be used in different ways depending on the circumstances.When it comes to sending email, there is no one-size-fits-all.
Where email is used in a business or professional context, there are a few hard and fast rules which always apply. The Telegraph have picked up on a few of these (and, in my view, wrongly listed others).
Here’s my take on their list of ‘seven deadly emails sins’.
1. Ping pong - constant emails back and forth
Yes, absolutely.Taking time out to think properly about the situation and your response is always a good idea and amounts to time well spent.Firing back an immediate, ill-thought-out reply can often result in tears …

Movie Therapy for Law Students – Book Review

Movie Therapy for Law Students by Sonia Buck is, how shall I put it, one of the more niche titles that you’re likely to come across.Its chief aim is simple: to bridge the gap between legal study and the watching of legally-themed films. Confused? It’s simple really.Law students, being a fastidious and conscientious bunch, tend to feel pangs of guilt when they put leisure time above studying. Well, something like that. With the help of this book, law students should be able to freely engage in some movie-watching downtime without being unduly encumbered by their consciences.

The book considers 33 films, listed in chronological order – all of which have a legal theme running through them. The list spans a diverse spectrum, from the 1962 dramatisation of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird right through to the comedy Liar Liar. Like I said – diverse.For each movie listed, the book provides details of the plot, the lead actors featured, as well as a couple of key quotes from the script.…

Laura the Lawyer and Denise the Dentist: What’s in a Name?

From News Republic 08/01/14:Research suggests that people choose—or are unconsciously drawn to—careers that resemble their own names. In a 2002 paper in the journal Attitudes and Social Cognition, psychologists from the State University of New York at Buffalo, led by Brett Pelham, found that people’s first and last names may have an impact on the jobs they end up in, thanks to a phenomenon called “implicit egotism.” “The essential idea behind implicit egotism,” they write, “Is that people should prefer people, places, and things that they associate (unconsciously) with the self...people’s positive automatic associations about themselves may influence their feelings about almost anything that people associate with the self.”We began our assessment of career choices by focusing on whether people’s first names predicted whether they were dentists or lawyers.We searched for dentists and lawyers by consulting the official Web pages of the American Dental Association (…

An employee's guide on how to give notice effectively

Guest PostThinking of leaving your job? Amongst the many things for you to think about is how and when to give notice to your employer. Here are some common questions answered by employment lawyer Jon Curtis, managing director of myhrtoolkit. What's the best way to give notice
Unless there are unusual circumstances the best way is face to face with the relevant manager and then handing a confirmation letter over. Should I give notice in writing?
The short answer is, yes. Some more formal written contracts of employment have a "notices" clause which require all formal notices under the contract to be made in writing. It is important you check this clause because sometimes there may be rules about how such notices can be given. For instance email my not be allowed or service may only be valid if posted to the company's registered address (which might be different to the trading address). Most people though will not have such formal agreements but even if ther…

Police station representation: what to do if you get arrested

Guest PostMany of us don’t know our rights when it comes to interacting with the police, whether it’s being stopped and searched in the street or something more serious like being arrested. Even those who have been on the wrong side of the law on several occasions might not necessarily know what is the best practice in these situations.If you’re arrested, though it  might be a time of heightened stress, try to keep calm and have in mind that you have a right to be treated fairly and with respect by the police. Panicking may cause you to say something that might jeopardise your case and resisting arrest can lead to injury and even more serious criminal charges.Firstly, it’s important to remember that you are not required to say anything to the police when arrested and questioned. As you will have no doubt heard in plenty of movies and TV programmes, the arresting officer will usually say something along the lines of: "You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence i…

UK Labour Laws – Could things have been different for the family of John Wilson?

Guest PostWhat on the surface seems a rather standard case of negligence has proven to show that the cogs of liturgy become more convoluted the larger the case tends to grow. Therefore, following a criminal hearing against the management, the family has had 'the door to justice closed,' though remain intent on pursuing the case. In this regard, then, for all members of the British workforce it is worth considering what might have occurred should this event have taken place on UK soil, and could the outcome have been different? UK Labour Laws
UK labour laws are an umbrella system of interconnected laws governing everything to do with the workplace – from the statutory minimum wage, to the minimum number of days holiday an employee must be granted each year. Included in this roll-call is, of course, a health and safety law – something which is taken very seriously in Britain. The leading piece of legislation in this regard is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, an overbearin…

Oh Cakes… Oh My!

From the Metro 06/01/14:A woman was sent a cake that resembled human faeces with the words ‘eat s**t’ written on it after a dispute with the baker.Charming.  It must have been quite some dispute.Micaela Harris was left embarrassed, and her nieces upset, when she pulled off some ‘magnificent’ wrapping paper to reveal the rude looking creation at her engagement party in New Zealand.Still, I’m sure nobody present will ever forget it.  It’s not every engagement party that gives its guests the chance to munch on a turd-styled cake!  Thank God Oh Cakes were not supplying the wedding cake as well.The poo cake was retaliation against her sister who had had a disagreement with Oh Cakes owner Emma McDonald when organising the gift.[Harris said] ‘I think it [the disagreement] was taken too far.’‘As a business owner you come across customers you don’t like but you have got to take the highs and the lows, got to suck it up.’Given the style of the cake, I’d say that was an unfortunate choice of phr…

Are personal injury claimants vulnerable to “fickle” insurers?

Guest PostA recent case in which an insurer attempted to make changes to a claim for a road traffic accident based on a change of heart on admission of liability has highlighted how vulnerable claimants can be to the whims of insurers.In many cases claimants will deal with a number of different representatives from their insurance provider, making them exposed to changes in personal opinion – one insurer may want to approach the claim in one way, but another individual at the same company may have a very different view, and if they become the lead representative on the case it can cause real issues for claimants.In the case mentioned above a recent applications to resile from an admission of liability was rejected by the court. The application was rejected for many reasons including the fact that no new evidence had come to light and the main crux of the accident was that liability had merely been mistakenly admitted.As well as this there was no evidence to suggest that a claimant had…

The festive season draws to an end

Our Christmas decorations were taken down today and stuffed in a large plastic tub dutifully packed away all ready for next year. As has become something of an end-of-yuletide tradition for me, I spent a good hour or so chopping up the Christmas tree with loppers and a bow saw before depositing the ‘chimbled’ remains into our composter. This act has come to symbolise the ending of the Christmas period for me. At least it helps to burn off some of those excess Xmas calories. Just to ram the message home, I’ve removed the Christmassy header from Law Actually and reinstated the normal version. My blog now, just like our house, is looking barren, bereft and forlorn without its festive embellishments. And do you know what? It’s struck me as a great pity. This year more than any other, I found that Christmas very nearly passed me by entirely. December was so manically busy (apparently clients like to have certain matters wrapped up before Santa arrives) that it didn’t really dawn on me that…

It’ll be deadly this Christmas…

From This Week 24/12/13: True fact: You are more likely to die on Christmas, the day after Christmas [commonly known as Boxing Day in good ol’ Blighty], or New Year's Day than pretty much any other day of the year. Like ugly sweaters and bizarre fruitcakes, the spike in the fatality rate has become something of a yuletide tradition. I’m not sure that bizarre fruitcakes are one of the symbols most associated with Christmas, to be honest, but let’s not worry about that now. Indeed, the morbid trend appears to have held consistent since at least the 1970s, per a new CNN report. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 93 percent of all Christmastime deaths are due to natural causes — heart attacks, respiratory diseases, digestive problems, and the like. While examining U.S. death certificates, UC San Diego sociologist David P. Phillips noticed that the paperwork seemed to pile up every year around the holidays. So he and his team pored over three decades'…