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Contract – agreement to agree?

Suppose I agree to buy something but we do not agree the price, the specification or even the date for delivery. Is that a binding contract, or is it merely an unenforceable ‘agreement to agree’?

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Registered design – multiple applications

The Supreme Court’s decision in the Trunki case has been greeted with disappointment by many UK designers and innovators. The clear message that emerges, however, is that registering a design is still an important step to take but the utmost care should be taken when filing those registered designs. Too much detail can be counterproductive, since it may restrict the scope of protection. The best advice is to keep designs as simple as possible, and then make multiple applications to protect every variant and aspect.

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Winding up – capital or income?

Important changes in the taxation of capital received on a winding up come into effect on 6 April 2016. As a result, taxpayers may want to consider winding up or declaring substantial dividends before that date.

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Execution – ex-director?

What happens if a document is signed by a director, but that person is no longer a director by the time the document is dated and the transaction completed? Has the document been validly executed under CA 2000?
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Companies – significant control

Very few companies seem to be ready for the introduction of the new rules on disclosure of people with significant control (PSCs), on 6 April 2016. The rules apply to virtually all companies (save listed and AIM companies) and also to LLPs.
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Consumer – and non-consumer

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 creates a powerful new set of rights for ‘consumers’. But, it is important to remember that in non-consumer transactions the existing statutory regime applies. Accordingly, businesses that deal with both consumers and non-consumers need to ensure that their contractual terms and conditions cover both sets of customers.

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Penalties – drafting

As we noted in the December 2015/January 2016 issue (p19) the Supreme Court has given an important decision on penalty clauses in contracts:

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Agents – compensation or indemnity?

Many commercial agency contracts have termination provisions which say that the agent will get the lesser of an indemnity payment or compensation. But, will such a provision be valid?

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Copyright – private copying

Private copying is (once again) unlawful.

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Consumers – online dispute resolution

 A pan-EU electronic platform will come into operation on 15 February 2016. It provides an online dispute resolution service for online shops and their ‘consumer’ customers.

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Self-employed – or worker?
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The Pimlico Plumbers case was seen as a victory for workers in the gig economy, with the Supreme Court looking at the reality of the relationship (rather than the legal labels attached). So, what... Read more...
Offences – mens rea
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This was a pre-trial appeal of a ruling at a preparatory hearing. The two appellants (A) faced charges under s17 Terrorism Act 2000 of sending money overseas, or arranging to do so, knowing or having... Read more...

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