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VAT on Lapdancing Club Vouchers – Court of Appeal Ponders

People might think that the work of tax lawyers is technical and dry, but that is by no means always so. In one case, the Court of Appeal considered a VAT dispute in respect of vouchers issued to punters at lapdancing clubs. Using credit and debit cards, the vouchers were bought by customers of a number of clubs, largely towards the end of an evening when they...

When Do Cumulative Medical Conditions Amount to Disability?

Many medical conditions amount to disabilities for the purposes of employment law, but matters can become more complicated when the combined effect of more than one condition is considered. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) tackled that issue in the case of a man who suffered from both hearing loss and impaired movement in his arm and shoulder. The man worked...

Hotel and Spa in Titanic Struggle over Use of Doomed Ship’s Name

Obvious risks of confusion arise if businesses that trade in the same field use similar or identical names. However, in one case concerning two hospitality companies that both used the word ‘Titanic’ in their titles, the High Court found a way of ensuring that they can live together and continue trading successfully. The owners of the spa objected to the...

Workplace Disciplinary Investigations Have to Be Fair and Rigorous

All workplace disciplinary investigations must be fair, but even greater vigilance is needed where alleged misconduct is very serious and credibility is in issue. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) made that point in boosting the compensation hopes of a care assistant who was sacked after 25 years’ service. A patient had accused the woman of being abusive...

Fortunes Can Hinge on a Few Words – Professional Drafting Is Worth It!

Large sums of money can hinge on the interpretation of a very few words, and that is why professional drafting of agreements is so important. That point was powerfully made in a High Court case concerning an option to purchase a commercial property. The tenant of the property had paid £25,000 for the five-year option. It enabled the tenant to purchase the...

Bar Owner Pays Price for Failing to Pay Music Copyright Licence Fees

Everyone in the hospitality industry should know that playing copyright musical works in public requires payment of licence fees, but few may be aware of the potentially dire consequences of failing to do so. In one case, a defiant bar owner was ordered to pay more than £60,000 in compensation and legal costs. The man was the licensee of two venues where music...