Legal Updates

Rates – an objective test

This article is taken from the latest edition of Fladgate’s Footfall Update. Please email the marketing team on to be added to the mailing list for future updates.

As we know, liability for rates falls on the person entitled to occupation, normally the tenant in relation to leasehold property. That applies whether or not the tenant is in actual occupation of the property. The tenant is the person entitled to occupation and liability therefore rests with the tenant.  More…

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Top tips on executing and completing construction contracts

Parties spend significant time (and costs) agreeing the terms of construction contracts. But only when a contract is correctly executed and dated will those agreed terms come into effect and a party be able to enforce its rights. Failing to execute contracts correctly can have significant consequences. It can create uncertainty as to the correct contracting parties and the enforceability of the rights under the contract.

Executing a construction contract is usually straightforward. The top tips below should help to ensure your contract is correctly executed and enforceable.  More…

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Breaking Employment Law Updates

This week there have been three developments in Employment Law which are worth noting. These concern restrictions on backdated holiday pay claims, UNISON’s challenge to the employment tribunal fee regime and a decision on whether obesity falls within the definition of disability.

Government to limit Holiday Pay Claims

The Government have announced they intend to introduce the Deduction from Wages (Limitation) Regulations 2014 which will seek to limit the impact of backdated holiday pay claims following the decision in Bear Scotland Ltd v Fulton (see our previous blog on this decision). The Regulations will limit all claims for unlawful deductions from wages to a period of two years prior to the date of lodging the claim. They also explicitly state that the right to holiday pay is not incorporated in employment contracts but is a separate statutory right.

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Unusual Wage Payment Issue in 2015: 27 Bi-Weekly Pay Periods, Not 26

There is an unusual wage issue for 2015 that will affect employers that pay exempt employees on a bi-weekly basis (rather than weekly, semi-monthly or monthly).

It is an issue that may have both financial and legal repercussions.

And it is an issue we suspect many employers had not noticed or considered.

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SoulCycle is Spinning Its Way Across the Country

Candlelight, loud music, and the chance for a potential celebrity sighting – it sounds a bit like a nightclub, or at the very least a trendy bar. While all of the above are nightlife commonalities, they are also a key factor in the success of SoulCycle – an intense, full-body workout done on a stationary bike.  The brand has turned “spin class” into one of the most successful fitness trends around, generating a cult-like following among its devotees, which include Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Charlize Theron just to name a few. In addition, celebs such as Lena Dunham and Oprah have even held SoulCycle birthday parties.

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Pilot trusts post the Finance Bill 2015

One of the bigger surprises in this year’s Autumn Statement was the news that the much consulted upon new ‘Settlement Nil Rate Band’ has been dropped. 
One of the reasons for proposing a Settlement Nil Rate Band was to make the use of multiple trusts less attractive for Inheritance Tax (IHT) mitigation purposes.  Each trust would no longer have its own IHT nil rate band to set off against the periodic charges to IHT, such as the ten year anniversary charge and any exit charges, that it may face during its existence.
Now, with the publication of draft clauses for the Finance Bill 2015 last week, we learn that, in certain situations, there remains a future for planning involving multiple trusts after all.This planning often involves the use of pilot trusts.  These are trusts set up, often with only a nominal amount initially, such as £10, and funded with more substantial sums later. 
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Multistate Tax Update — December 18, 2014

Colorado subjects online purchases to sales and use tax. Taking this a few steps further in 2010, the state passed a law designed to facilitate collection of these taxes. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) filed a lawsuit in response, and the case has made its way to the United States Supreme Court. Last week, in Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl, the Court heard oral arguments in that challenge.


The Colorado Department of Revenue’s FYI publication, General 10 informs readers that the state imposes a 2.9 percent use tax on Internet purchases, payable when tax is due but not collected by the retailer. The sales tax, which retailers collect at the time of a purchase, is also 2.9 percent.

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BC Court of Appeal Addresses Motor Vehicle Lessor Liability Cap

By Andrew Dixon

Last month, the Court of Appeal released an important judgment concerning the liability limit of motor vehicle lessors for accidents involving their lessees or drivers operating leased vehicles with the lessee’s permission.


In British Columbia, the Motor Vehicle Act makes owners, lessees, and lessors of vehicles vicariously liable for accidents committed by drivers of leased vehicles. While a permitted driver or a lessee is liable for the full extant for any damages flowing from the accident, the Motor Vehicle Act limits the liability of lessors. The limit of liability is prescribed in the section 82.1 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act (the “IV Act“) at $1 million (the “Lessor Cap”).

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Duty of Good Faith and Honest Performance Extended to All Contracts in Canada

By Warren Brazier with Shauna Towriss

On November 13, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada updated Canadian common law by extending for the first time the principle of good faith to all contracts. Previously, the duty of good faith existed only in employment and insurance contacts in Canada. The ruling now aligns Canadian common law with Civil Law in Quebec and the law in most U.S. jurisdictions. The Court expects its decision to bring certainty and coherence to this area of law.

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Supreme Court Lowers the Bar for Class Action Removal

Stuart M. GersonOn December 15, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens, a class action removal case.

In short, the Dart case is welcome news to employers. Standards for removing a case from state to federal court have been an abiding point of concern for employers faced with “home town” class actions. In more recent times, this problem has become a point of interest to employers in health care and other industries that are beset by cybersecurity and data breach cases originating in state courts but calling for the application of federal privacy standards. Dart should help them substantially.

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