We recognise that some legal developments need to be understood in detail.

Our publications and briefings provide an in-depth analysis of commercial and legal developments, as they happen.


Duty calls

04 Sep 2020
As is well known, a professional such as an engineer or architect can owe a duty of care in tort (that is, not based upon a contractual relationship) to a third party. The precise circumstances in which such a duty of care arises are obviously heavily fact-specific but some general guidelines have been established in a number of cases. What is the position however if the third party who relies on the work supplied by the professional does not in fact exist at the time the work was supplied?

Crossing the border: wealth protection in England and Scotland

01 Sep 2020
In July, the UK Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case of Villiers v Villiers (2020 UKSC 30) which considered whether the Courts of England and Wales have the power to interfere in Scottish divorce proceedings. The case involved a couple who had lived together in Scotland.

New permitted development rights (PDR) for housing

27 Aug 2020
Back in 2017 we saw the temporary permitted right to change from office use to residential use made permanent. In 2019 we saw more freedoms with further rights to change shops and other high street uses to offices and residential uses within limits and with prior approval of the local planning authority (LPA). Now major new permitted development rights (PDRs) are being brought forward.

Court tells 'Nosecco' to leave it to the pro's

26 Aug 2020
The association responsible for protecting and promoting the use of the name 'Prosecco' – Consorzio di Tutela della Denominazione di Origine Controllata Prosecco (the "Consorzio") – has successfully opposed the registration in the UK of a stylised label containing the word NOSECCO (the "Sign") in class 32, for non-alcoholic wines and non-alcoholic sparkling wines.

How open is the open market? 1954 Act Valuation and the new Telecoms Code

25 Aug 2020
Since the Code was introduced in December 2017, professionals involved in the negotiation of new Code rights between landowners and operators have wrestled with how the Code and the 1954 Act interrelate. Their effective mutual exclusivity (confirmed both in the Code itself and in the subsequent decision of Ashloch) is by now well known, but until now there was no answer to this key question. The Deputy Chamber President's resulting judgment is interesting both as an illustration of a standard 1954 Act lease renewal, and in what it says about open market rentals in a new Code world.

Changes to CIL, S106 agreements and provision of affordable housing

24 Aug 2020
The Government's White Paper on its proposed changes to the planning system was released earlier this month to much excitement in the planning and development world, which it is reasonable to say, has had its fair share of #PlanningReformDay's over the decades since the introduction of the Town and County Planning Act 1947.

Virgin Atlantic restructuring plan: the first of many?

20 Aug 2020
As previously reported in our article of 21 May 2020, the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Act), introduced a number of new tools for businesses suffering financial distress. One of the new measures introduced by the Act was the 'Restructuring Plan' – a process modelled on the existing scheme of arrangement (Scheme).

Lack of inventive step: reading v appreciating

18 Aug 2020
Patents bestow upon their owners powerful monopolistic rights, entitling them to control the use of their inventions for a finite period. Although monopolies are generally regarded as being contrary to the public interest, an exception is made in the case of patents because there is perceived to be a 'bargain' whereby the grant of exclusivity is assumed to encourage the disclosure by patentees of their inventions, thereby adding to the pool of human knowledge such that the inventions will then become available for use by all at the expiry of the patent term (usually 20 years)[1].