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Competition in the Mobile Phones Market – Ofcom Passes High Court Test

Auctioning off radio spectrum to mobile phone providers and others is a rich source of revenue for the public purse. However, as a High Court case showed, regulators also keep a weather eye on fostering market competition in the public interest. With the roll-out of 5G mobile phones on the horizon, telecommunications industry regulator Ofcom proposed to dispose...

Pensions Regulator Cracks Down After Retail Group Goes Bust

Thousands of employees rely on company pension schemes to fund their retirement and that is why both regulators and the courts enjoy broad powers to ensure they are properly managed. In one case that proved the point, a businessman was convicted of failing to comply with notices requiring him to provide information to the Pensions Regulator. The case concerned a...

Environmentally Sensitive Planning Decisions – The Need for Transparency

Transparency is a hallmark of the planning system, particularly where developments might cause environmental harm. The Supreme Court made that point in striking down plans for hundreds of new homes in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The would-be developer’s proposals for 521 new homes and a 90-bed retirement village had faced stiff opposition from an...

Boundary Disputes Can Be Swiftly Resolved With the Right Legal Advice

Boundary disputes can be intractable and painful for all concerned. However, as one case concerning adjoining terraced houses showed, obtaining specialist legal advice is the best means of achieving a swift, decisive and cost-effective resolution. The houses, one to the north and the other to the south, were mirror images of each other and had a drain-down pipe...

Railway Signalman Triumphs in Rest Breaks Dispute

Since the advent of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR), those who work shifts of six hours or more have been legally entitled to take a continuous 20-minute rest break. There are, however, a number of exceptions to the rule and one of them – relating to railway workers – came under analysis in a guideline case. The case concerned a railway signalman who...

Ministry of Defence Broke Rules in £385 Million Contract Tendering Exercise

Judges are astute to the enforcement of the strict rules of fairness that apply to public contract tendering exercises. In one case that proved the point, the High Court found that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had applied arbitrary criteria in awarding a very large contract in respect of logistical support for the Royal Navy. The contract was worth up to £385...