Company Fined Over Unsolicited Direct Marketing Campaign

Company Fined Over Unsolicited Direct Marketing Campaign Almost everyone has been targeted by an unsolicited direct marketing campaign, but the authorities are getting on top of the problem and fines of up to £500,000 can be imposed on those who breach data protection rules. In one case, a company that sent almost 400,000 text messages was hit hard in the pocket. The texts, which offered assistance with debt relief, had generated 158 complaints from the public in just over two months. Following an investigation, the Information Commissioner found serious breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 and imposed a financial penalty of £50,000. Although the contraventions had not been deliberate,…

Football Fan Must Pay £18,000 Libel Damages for Angry Internet Post

Football Fan Must Pay £18,000 Libel Damages for Angry Internet Post Contrary to popular belief, you cannot say whatever you like on the Internet and ill-considered comments posted in anger can prove extremely costly. In one case, a disgruntled football fan was ordered to pay £18,000 in libel damages after falsely describing a club’s in-house lawyer as a ‘well-known struck off solicitor’. The fan was deeply upset by the way that the club was being managed and posted his comment on a website that was popular with supporters. In the end, he did not dispute that the comment was false, in that the lawyer had never been struck off and…

Oral Agreements – Do You Even Know Who You Are Contracting With?

Oral Agreements – Do You Even Know Who You Are Contracting With? One of the many drawbacks of oral agreements is that the status, and even the identity, of the contracting parties can be left in doubt. One High Court case involving a substantial waste removal contract underlined how very important it is to employ a professional to put such agreements in writing. A group of companies that provided waste removal, haulage and other services to the construction industry had agreed to clear the site of a waste transfer station with a view to the property’s sale. The deal had been struck orally with the owner of the site, which…

Acas Advice for Employers on Coping in High Temperatures

Acas Advice for Employers on Coping in High Temperatures On the whole, we are not accustomed in the UK to long periods of hot weather, so when high temperatures do arise employers may not be prepared to deal with situations that arise as a result. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has guidance for employers on this topic. This includes information on employers’ health and safety obligations as regards ensuring that workplace temperatures are reasonable as well as adjustments that may be necessary, such as: more flexible working where public transport is affected;measures to accommodate Muslims fasting during the Holy Month of Ramadan;measures to ensure vulnerable workers are not…

Ban on Compensating Injured Criminals Analysed by High Court

Ban on Compensating Injured Criminals Analysed by High Court It is a long-established principle of law that those who are injured in the course of their own criminal acts are not entitled to compensation. The rule came under High Court analysis in one case in which a severely injured accident victim was accused of being engaged in a drug dealing expedition when he came to grief. The man was a rear-seat passenger in a car that crashed head-on into a taxi. Police officers had tried to get the vehicle to stop after it shot a red light but it accelerated away on the wrong side of the road. Another passenger…

Office Worker’s Mild Visual Impairment ‘Not A Disability’

Office Worker’s Mild Visual Impairment ‘Not A Disability’ The definition of ‘disability’ has been the subject of much legal debate ever since the Equality Act 2010 came into force. However, an Employment Tribunal (ET) has shed some much-needed light on the issue in a case concerning a visually impaired office worker. The woman had worn spectacles since childhood and her eyesight had deteriorated with age. She had suffered from a macular hole and cataracts before starting her employment with a social housing provider, but those conditions had been corrected by surgery and she had described her vision as massively improved. Her job required her to perform detailed work on a…

High Court Aids Divorced Founders of $4 Billion Children’s Charity

High Court Aids Divorced Founders of $4 Billion Children’s Charity In a decision that will be required reading for family, charity and company lawyers, a divorced former couple who founded a $4 billion children’s charity have won the backing of the High Court in separating their benevolent interests. The couple’s marriage had ended upon the husband paying the wife $530 million. However, their charitable interests had remained intertwined. Whilst together, they were the driving force behind the charity, each contributing to its success, but the end of their relationship had caused governance difficulties. With a view to going their separate ways, they had agreed that the wife would resign as…

Law Society Guilty of Abusing Dominant Market Position

Law Society Guilty of Abusing Dominant Market Position In an embarrassing decision for the Law Society, a tribunal has ruled that it abused its dominant market position by only granting accreditation under its Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) to solicitors who had undergone its own in-house training in the detection of mortgage fraud and money laundering. A private company that provided such training had complained to the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) that the Law Society was engaged in anti-competitive conduct. If they wished to achieve accreditation under the CQS, conveyancing solicitors had no choice but to undertake the Society’s mandatory courses. In upholding the complaint, the CAT noted that, by mid-2016,…

Gypsy Families Must Move After Green Belt Policy Prevails

Gypsy Families Must Move After Green Belt Policy Prevails Gypsy encampments are often unpopular with locals, but members of the travelling community have the same rights as everyone else and need somewhere to live. In one case, however, the High Court ruled that the need to preserve the Green Belt took priority and ordered a group of 13 families off a rural site. The families had bought the farmland plots on which they stationed their caravans, and were all of good character and devout churchgoers. The local authority for the area, however, had characterised their unannounced arrival on the 1.3-hectare site as a carefully planned and executed surprise attack. A…

Suffering Harassment? Judges Have The Power to Help You!

Suffering Harassment? Judges Have The Power to Help You! Judges have a panoply of powers to assist those who suffer harassment, both on the Internet and in the real world. In one case, the High Court issued an injunction to protect a psychiatrist who had been targeted by one of his former patients. After receiving a diagnosis with which he was unhappy, the patient had taken to publishing scurrilous allegations against the psychiatrist on the Internet. He had made a death threat and the psychiatrist feared that he knew where he lived. He was concerned for his partner’s safety; the online allegations were harmful to his career and he had…