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British Gas Smart Meters Roll-Out Survives Patent Infringement Claim

Patent infringement claims can come out of the blue and it is vital before embarking on a business venture to make sure that your plans do not conflict with others’ rights. In a case that illustrated this point, British Gas (BG) saw off one such claim that had the potential to derail proposals to install 16 million smart meters across the country. BG had...

Supermarket Cash Voucher Machines Win VAT Exemption

Thousands of machines have in recent years appeared on supermarket premises which shoppers can use to change the contents of their piggy banks into redeemable vouchers. In an interesting case for the financial services industry, the company that operates them has convinced a tribunal that the service it provides is exempt from VAT. Almost 2,000 of the machines...

Workers Caught in Middle of Park and Ride Bus Service Dispute

The termination of a subsidised park and ride bus service and its replacement by a fully commercial, unsubsidised, alternative on the same route, gave rise to a tribunal decision which provided important guidance on the operation of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE). The service had been run by a charity under...

Rules of Natural Justice Breached in £30 Million Contract Adjudication

It is essential that contract adjudicators must not only act, but be seen to act, fairly. In one case involving a contract to install a £30 million airport baggage handling system, the High Court ruled that that requirement had not been met. The main contractor, company A, had employed a subcontractor, company B, to perform the works. A number of disputes arose...

Consultation on Salary Sacrifice for the Provision of BiKs

As announced in the 2016 Budget earlier this year, the Government is seeking to limit the range of benefits in kind (BiKs) that attract Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions advantages when provided as part of salary sacrifice and flexible benefit arrangements. To that end, a consultation document has been published setting out the Government’s...

Purchasing Company Assets? Do You Know What You Are Buying?

When purchasing a company’s assets, professional advice and careful drafting are needed to avoid subsequent dispute about what exactly has been bought. In one case, a High Court resolution was required after two companies both claimed to have acquired another’s valuable intellectual property rights. After company A hit financial difficulties and went into...