Monthly Archives: October 2017

Foster carer fights for worker status in potentially landmark case

In what may be a landmark case, foster carer Sarah Anderson fights for foster carers to receive “worker status” in an attempt to secure workers rights and protection. It will be interesting to see what approach the court takes, in an area of law which is already complex and the subject of much dispute.

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Financial Services matters

Robin Henry reviews the case of Daniela Shurbanova v Forex Capital Markets Limited,[1] the High Court has held an FX broker was entitled to revoke trades under its contractual terms on the basis that the trades amounted to abusive trading. The …

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Flossy the UKIP Lion

The letter I would write if I were the Premier League Lion…Dear FlossyHope you are well. I thought I should introduce myself, lion to lion. I am the Premier League Lion. I was born in January 2016. Unlike you, I evolved from another lion icon rather than the £ sign. My folks protected me by registering me as an EU and UK  trade mark in 19 classes. You don’t appear to have tried to get protection yet. I have a feeling that my people will probably challenge yours if they do.  It must have been unsettling for you to have to deal with the furore over your arrival. Not surprising though. Of all the lion looks your people could have gone for, they decided for a look very similar to mine. Like me, you are a lion head facing to the right, with the same white face and shading around the eyes, mouth, nose bridge and tip. Your mane also looks like mine especially the bit at the top of your head which is like my five pointed crown. And you are also purple in colour! I like being unique. A lot of time and money has gone into creating and making me distinctive. My creator, DesignStudio, did about 600 iterations before coming up with me as I am now, “warm, human, approachable and informal”.   Your chap, Paul Oakden, said that he “doesn’t mind UKIP being associated with the Premier League”. Hmmh, he is going to wish that he hadn’t said that. I am pretty sure that my people do not want to be associated with the “Brexit party” or for that matter any other political party or organisation. The whole point of being a brand is to be able to differentiate one from another, especially from those who stand for very different things.  It is  interesting that UKIP does not mind being associated with the Premier League? Could it be because the Premier League is the most watched football league in the world and generates the most revenue? It is ironic that UKIP does not mind the association given the fact that the majority of the players in the top division of the Premier League are foreigners. I guess the suggested points based system to reduce net migration into the UK to zero will need to factor in the entry of Premier League footballers.  If your people do hear from my people, they will have to decide whether you are worth a fight with the Premier League for copyright and trade mark infringement. Some would say that your creator copied a substantial part of me and therefore infringed Premier League’s copyright. Then there are my trade marks – they include class 36 for “charity fund raising” and class 41 for “arranging and conducting conferences, congresses and seminars”, activities which you are also involved in. There are two types of trade mark infringement they could go for. First, there is infringement if we are found to be similar and used in relation to similar services, which results in a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public. If this doesn’t work, the other type of infringement is if we are found to be similar, and I have a reputation in the UK and your use, being without due cause, takes unfair advantage of, or is detrimental to, my distinctive character or repute. They may have a good shot with this one.  I don’t think they may bother with passing off as it may be tricky to show actionable misrepresentation. The prudent course for your folks may be to retire you and change to the other UKIP logo that was put forward at the party conference. By the way, who decided to name you “Flossy”? Yours sincerelyThe Premier League Lion**Disclaimer – This is the author’s personal view.  Neither the author nor the firm acts for the Premier League.

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Employment Tribunal awards £10,000 for comment in birthday card

…is how this case is being reported, but there was in fact a series of lewd remarks.  Remember that age is a protected characteristic too, so think twice before you make any jokes about it in your colleagues’ birthday cards! 

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New Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims

The new Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims came into force on 1 October 2017 and applies to debts owed to businesses by individuals (which includes sole traders). Prior to this coming into force, creditors were of course already subject to the general Pre-Action Protocol and there are some similarities between that and the new Protocol. However, the latter is undoubtedly more onerous for creditors and it is now expected to take much longer for creditors to recover their debts. The new Protocol requires creditors to send the debtor a letter before action prior to commencing court proceedings. No change there then. However, whereas generally a debtor was expected to respond within around 14 days in a straightforward claim, now creditors are required to give debtors not less than 30 days from the date of the letter before action to respond. They are also required to enclose various prescribed documents, such as an Information sheet and Reply form. If the creditor receives the Reply form from the debtor, it must not issue proceedings for a further 30 days from receipt of the form. The parties are required to share documents and information and try to reach an agreement as to payment. Where the debtor responds to the letter before action and the Protocol has been followed but an agreement as to payment cannot be reached, the creditor must give the debtor 14 days’ notice of its intention to issue court proceedings. In summary, the Protocol could certainly see creditors waiting for over 60 days before they can even begin court proceedings to recover a debt. As ever, a failure to follow the Protocol will not be looked at kindly by a court when creditors eventually issue their claims and could see them being penalised on costs. Creditors are therefore advised to comply with the Protocol however onerous it may be.

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Interest in UK NPLs increases following Brexit

Is this the inevitable result of rising inflation leading to higher interest rates with a knock-on effect on the UK’s zombie companies?

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Commission fines Scania €880 million for participating in trucks cartel

Scania’s holding out against settlement always seemed odd. Its sister company, MAN (they’re both owned by VW) was the one that blew the whistle on the cartel in exchange for leniency. Wasn’t Scania at the famous “cosy” Brussels hotel in 1997, or at the cartel’s other meetings? Did they participate through MAN?Time will tell, but it’s good news for damages claimants. If the decision withstands an appeal, it should contain more useful material than the one against the other manufacturers. If you settle, you get to agree the contents.

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