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Trade Mark owners in Italy can oppose applications from Friday 1st July

The Italian patent office h...

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When a Joke becomes a Jeer

Discrimination claims acros...

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TMA Legal

 

Corporate & Commercial Fashion Rocked

The world of fashion and the luxury goods sector thought themselves unlikely to be very affected by the current economic situation, believing that their target client, the extremely wealthy, would be untouched and would still carry on consuming in the same profligate manner.  One by one the fashion houses, even the great ones, appear to be unravelling, some have been revealed as showing an astonishing lack of financial management ...

© Tanda Migliorini & Associates LLP 2010


Oracle Corp's proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems

The executive arm of the European Union issued a statement objecting to the proposed purchase of Sun Microsystems Inc. by Oracle Corp.  The focal point of the objection is that it would significantly reduce the choices open to customers in the database market.  The U.S. Justice department has already approved the purchase as it does not believe it would pose a competitive problem.  Whilst the EU objection does not necessarily mean that they will automatically reject the transaction, it will most certainly delay it.

Oracle believes the EU misunderstands the differences between the products the two companies promote.  If the EU blocks the deal Oracle  will then have the opportunity to appeal.  However that route could lead to a process that could drag on for months, if not years.

There are no signs that Oracle is inclined to walk away from this transaction, having come this far, and it is possible that they will fight to keep the deal afloat if the decision goes against them.

© Tanda Migliorini & Associates LLP 2009
 

Countering the Counterfeiters

The Italian government takes very seriously the worldwide battle against the counterfeiting of established brands.  Such is the popularity of Italian brands, in particular the luxury brands, they are frequently targeted by counterfeiters.  In an effort to bring more balance to the law... 

© Tanda Migliorini & Associates LLP 2009
 

Employment Law for Businesses

When a Joke becomes a Jeer
 

Discrimination claims across the board are steadily rising.  There are thousands of cases reaching the employment tribunal each year and whilst the highest average compension award is £52,087 - disability; race; sexual orientation and sex discrimination cases have all seen steep six figure awards.  The largest disability award was awarded to the News of the World sports writer Matt Driscoll who was subject to bullying and subsequently suffered from stress related depression who received £729,347...

 


 

Small Firm Exemption from certain Employment Law
 

The keynote speech at the Federation of Small Business was deliver by the Enterprise Minister, Mark Prisk, as the business secretary, Vince Cable, was embroiled in meetings with David Cameron relating to the Libyan crisis.  He announced taht the latest reaft of emplyment law would not apply to businesses with fewer than ten employees for the following three years. Also businesses with fewer than 250 employees will not be liable for off-site training.  There is the possibility that the right to request flexible working for parents of children under the age of 17 years will be repealed.  Mark Prisk promised that following a period of consultation as to how the moratorium will work the exemption will kick in very shortly.

These measures are intended to ease the red tape buden for the small businessman and were warmly welcomed by the Federation's chairman, John Walker, who said  "...Regulation is one of the most burdensome and complex issues for small businesses, so it is a real victory for the FSB and small firms across the country that the government has finally listened..."

SMEs account for nearly 60% of all jobs and over half the UK's economic output; there are also a surprisng 4.6 million "micro" businesses with ten or fewer staff all of whom struggle with the implementation of the ever evolving employment law.

Whilst there may be a collective sigh of relief from SMEs, there is one small cloud on the horizon as the proposals could cause the government to fall foul of European law.  Furthermore removing parental rights from some workers and not from others seems to be a high risk strategy for business growth.  Inevitably small firms will not be able to attract the best talent so easily if there is a two tier employee rights system which, in turn, will compromise the perception that excellence can as readily be found in a small firm as in a larger enterprise.


(c) tanda migliorini & associates LLP  2011

New Employment Law Regulations Coming into Force in 2011

As the New Year starts bringing with it hopes of an improving economic climate, it would be wise to ensure that future success is not knocked off course by failure to note the new raft of employment law regulations scheduled to come into force in 2011.

The new regulations cover a wide spectrum and we have set out below the new regulations and the implications in chronological order to help keep you compliant

Dealing with Absence due to Adverse Weather


There is no automatic right to be paid if unable to get to work due to adverse weather conditions.  It is a difficult issue that both employees and employers have faced during the extreme weather experienced over the past few days.

In light of the Authorities constant public warnings on the dangers of travelling in the snow and ice employers may be extremely unwise to...

Religion or Lifestyle Choice?

Tim Nicholson former Head of Sustainability at Grainger Plc, Britain's largest residential landlord, has successfully established that his strongly held views on climate change and green issues amount to a philosophical belief under the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003.  In a ruling by David Sneath in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) Mr. Nicholson's convictions were acceptable within the terms of the Act.  Mr. Nicholson lives his life in accordance with his green beliefs, he does not fly, his home has been adapted to be eco-friendly, he composts his food waste and limits his consumption of meat.  His views go way beyond mere opinion.

© Tanda Migliorini & Associates LLP 2010

Too Much Information

It has never been easier to access or pass information.  The global reach and instant nature of communication is an incalculable benefit to business which most of us consider to be an indispensible utility.  The obvious disadvantage to any organisation is the huge potential for accidental or deliberate misuse.

The new business communication kids on the block are social networks, which some organisations actively utilise to promote their businesses by having Facebook and Linkedin profiles.  The lines become blurred in this arena as communication on such sites is informal and light-hearted.  The similarity to personal blogs and profiles makes it easy for people to start posting information that is inappropriate.  Jokey or indiscrete posts can expose the employer to defamation actions if they get out of hand, or there may be damage to the business if sensitive financial information is leaked.

Employees posting inappropriate information about their companies on blogs has risen to such an extent that a term has been coined to apply to workers when they are sacked for their blogging - dooced - which relates to a US web designer sacked in 2002 for her posts about her employer on her own blog called Dooce.  In a recent case where a recruiter working for a large employment agency was sacked for storing contact information on his Linkedin profile which his employer asserted he had uploaded from the company database, the employee contended that he had been encouraged to join Linkedin and if a business associate accepted his invitation to join his network the information was in the public domain and ceased to be confidential.

A good IT governance policy which incorporates clear direction on blogging and social network posting is the obvious way to deal with this problem.  Most businesses have policies that prohibit the use of defamatory or pornographic content in emails and prohibit the viewing of adult website.  However, reviewing employes' internet use is not without its problems as the law prevents employers from monitoring employee's emails and internet use in a way that may invade their privacy.  Therefore policies should be robust and the extent and nature of any employer related content on any social network should be set down.

© Tanda Migliorini & Associates LLP 2009

 

Competition Law
 

Employees may have to help pay the fines when they breach Competition Law

Who should carry the can?

The global crack-down on anti-competitive behaviour by Competition Authorities world-wide sees the imposition of colossal "deterrent" fines on organisations who flagrantly engage in anti-competitive practices.

A recent High Court judgment seems to offer organisations a way to spread the load when they incur such fines...   

© Tanda Migliorini & Associates LLP

 

OFT's Largest Fine for Price Fixing

A whole raft of retailers colluded with tobacco manufacturers Imperial Tobacco and Gallaher to link the prices of cigarettes, tobacco and cigars to those of their competitors in an attempt to avoid being undercut on price by cheaper brands.  As a result the tobacco manufacturers could raise their prices knowing that the retailers would sell their competitors' brands at a similarly high price.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) handed out fines amounting to £225 million to... 

© Tanda Migliorini & Associates LLP 2010
 

Tesco's Price Hike by Stealth

The Times reports that One Stop, the convenience store chain owned by Tesco, charges 14% more for goods that its "Tesco" supermarkets.  This flies in the face of Tesco's boast that it charges exactly the same prices everywhere regardless of local competition.  Furthermore this claim to be completely even-handed with its pricing is the very argument that Tesco put forward to resist curbs on its expansion, causing the Competition Commission to decide that the big four grocery retailers - Tesco in particular - generally obtain lower prices.   The Competition Commission then turned its eyes solely on larger stores choosing not to consider grocery retailers.

When Tesco acquired the One Stop chain it re-branded roughly half the outlets as Tesco Express and kept the branding for the remaining stores as One Stop.  Approximately 38% of One Stop stores happened to be...  

© Tanda Migliorini & Associates LLP 2010

 

Inheritance Law

Who can Challenge a Will - How and Why

In general terms a will can be challenged if they are either a child, step-child, or considered of the family or spouse, former spouse who has not re-married, civil partner, cohabitee of at least two years standing, or possibly a close companion upon whom the deceased relied who had reasonable expectations of inheritance due to promises by the deceased.  The basis for challenge are:
  • inadequate provision for a person previously dependent on the deceased
  • lack of knowledge and approval of the contents of the will by the deceased
  • Inadequate drafting of the will e.g. not properly witnessed
  • Undue influence

© Tanda Migliorini & Associates LLP


 

Residential Real Estate UK

The Changing Structure of the UK Housing Market

Savills, the top draw global estate agency, has published its annual house price forecasts, reporting that its research appears to support the view that grade A prime properties will enjoy a price rise of 33% as opposed to the rest that will only achieve a modest 12% over the following five years.  If this forecast is correct it means that...

© Tanda Migliorini & Associates LLP

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