Commercial news update July 2018: Corporate Governance Reform, Disability Discrimination and Trade Secrets

28 Jun 2018 | 5 min read

This month we bring you updates across Corporate & Commercial, Employment, Intellectual Property and Competition Law.

We focus on the commercial aspects and look at the practical steps for you to consider.

Listen to this month’s latest news, on the go.

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This month, we cover the following:

Corporate & Commercial—tune in from 0:14 secs

Exclusion clauses - In the recent case of Motortrak v FCA Australia shows the courts will enforce the literal words of a contract even where this leaves a party with no effective remedy for a contractual breach.
See News Analysis: Affirming repudiatory breach—no right to rescind following bribery (Motortrak Ltd v FCA Australia PTY Ltd)

Corporate Governance Reform – An update on Theresa May’s planned reforms for Corporate Governance, but new draft laws, subject to Parliamentary approval, will apply to financial years on or after 1 January 2019.
See LNB News: House of Commons briefing paper confirms corporate governance reforms likely to apply from January 2019

Good faith - Commercial contracts do not usually have any implied duty of good faith, however, the judge in a recent case held that in these circumstances each party should be able to trust that the other party will act with integrity and in the spirit of cooperation.
See News Analysis: Duty of good faith implied into a commercial contract (Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Saeed Bin Shakhboot Al Nehayan v Kent)

Removing director addresses – New regulations came into force in April to make it easier to remove home address information about directors, secretaries and people with significant control from Companies House public records.
See Practice Note: Residential addresses of individual directors—protection from disclosure

Employment—tune in from 2:50 secs

Worker status cases – The Supreme Court decision in the Pimlico Plumbers and the Employment Appeal Tribunal decision in Addison Lee have been published.
See News Analysis: Plumber engaged as contractor was worker confirms Supreme Court & Case: Addison Lee Ltd v Gascoigne

Zero hour workers can compare to full-time employee - The recent Employment Appeal Tribunal case of Roddis v Sheffield Hallam University has overturned an earlier Tribunal decision and confirmed that zero-hour workers are entitled to compare themselves to full-time colleagues.
See News Analysis: When a part-time worker is employed under the ‘same type of contract’ (Roddis v Sheffield Hallam University)

Disability discrimination – The Court of Appeal upheld the decision that an employer was liable for discrimination arising from a disability even though it was not aware that the employee's actions were due to their disability in the recent City of York Council v Grosse case.
See News Analysis: Discrimination arising from disability: no requirement for employer to know employee’s behaviour occurred in consequence of disability (City of York Council v Grosset)

Consultation on IR35 rules for the private sector - The government has launched a consultation on IR35 rules for the private sector. The consultation process closes on 10 August.
See News Analysis: Off-payroll working consultation to tackle non-compliance in the private sector

New guidance on discriminatory dress code – Two years since ‘Heel-gate’ when Nicola Thorp’s story of being sent home for not complying with her employer’s policy of high heels for women. New Government guidance on work place dress codes has however now been published.
See LNB News: Guidance published for employers on setting dress codes

Intellectual Property-tune in from 6:20 secs

Costs of blocking ISPs – The Supreme Court has ruled7 that trade mark owners must pay the costs of implementing a court order to require a UK Internet Services Providers (ISPs) to block access to websites selling counterfeit goods.
See: Supreme Court allows appeal in Cartier case (Cartier v BT)

Trade secrets – On the 9th June the UK’s Trade Secrets Regulations 20188 came into force.  The new Regulations  implement the EU Trade Secrets Directive.
See News Analysis: Examining the Trade Secrets (Enforcement etc) Regulations 2018

Competition-tune in from 7:35 secs

Dominance and excessive pricing – We previously reported on the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decision that Pfizer and Flynn Pharma had abused their dominant market position by charging excessive prices for their anti-epilepsy drugs.  The Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) has however now annulled this decision and asked the CMA to look at the matter again.
See LNB News: CAT appeal: Pfizer and Flynn partially succeed in phenytoin sodium capsules appeal as decision set aside in relation to abuse


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