Solicitor

Leases in Lockdown: Covid-19 and Business Tenancies

Business Tenants struggling to meet rent and other lease costs are increasingly reaching creative agreements with their Landlords to reduce or suspend rent payments or draw down rent deposits. Meanwhile Landlords are facing increasing numbers of Tenants with cashflow difficulties, and consequential problems collecting rent. A proactive approach is best and there are still multiple…

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Covid-19, Debt Collection, and Winding Up Petitions

In these unprecedented times for small and medium sized businesses, when lockdown and furloughing has left many unable to trade and earn profits at all, can it be proper for a creditor to choose to issue a winding up petition immediately, without first warning the debtor or using other remedies? And what action should a…

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Restraint Clauses: Wrongful Competition and the Blue Pencil

There is an air of curiosity about Tillman v Egon Zehnder, the first employee competition case to reach the Supreme Court for 100 years. Ultimately, the employer (EZ) won its argument that two words could be “blue pencilled” from a non-competition clause, so that the unaffected content remained valid and enforceable. But there was a…

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Small Claims Action Costs: our recent exception to the norm

“I know my claim is for less than £10,000. The defence is nonsense and the defendant knows that. I’m told that I’m highly unlikely to recover any of my legal costs. But I can’t take the risk of losing because there are really important principles at stake…” Have you ever contemplated this dilemma when your…

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When workplace procedures are followed, and common sense is not

Imagine that you have had an argument with a work colleague that led to a “fact finding” interview with HR and a verbal reprimand then and there. It leads you to realise that you might have given offence, even if the colleague had been oversensitive in taking it. In turn, you decide to apologise to…

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Suspending Employees (2): No, It’s Not A Neutral Act

Imagine you are an employee. You have been summoned to an unexpected meeting with HR and you have no idea why they want to see you. No sooner does the meeting start when you are told that you are going to be suspended pending a disciplinary investigation. You are handed a letter prepared in advance that describes the…

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Suspending Employees: sensible step or overreaction?

When might it be a bad idea to suspend an employee ahead of a disciplinary process or investigation? Or, from the other side of the divide, when might a suspended employee be entitled to conclude that the exit door is firmly open and the mind is firmly closed? Sometimes, suspension is a matter of plain…

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Pre-Termination Negotiations: what happens if they break down?

The opportunity for an employer to hold a pre-termination negotiation with an employee under s.111A Employment Rights Act 1996, to explore possible termination of employment on an off the record basis, is a very useful way to avoid prolonged workplace disputes. What happens, though, if the discussion breaks down, an unfair dismissal claim is made,…

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Religious Beliefs In The Workplace

An employer decides that a devout Christian employee (VW) overstepped professional boundaries when she invited a Muslim junior to church events, prayed for her and laid hands on her during a 1:1 meeting, gave her a book promoting conversion to Christianity, and told her that she needed to let Jesus into her life. It issues…

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