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New ‘Vento’ Bands

Following a consultation, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunal have issued revised guidance on the amount of compensation payable for injury to feelings in discrimination cases (the ‘Vento’ bands). In future, the guidance will be subject to revision on an annual basis, without the need for further consultation, with the first review taking place...

Evidence Overkill Incurs Judge’s Wrath

The general rule with regard to legal costs in litigation is that the winner’s legal fees are paid by the loser. However, in a recent case a judge who thought that a firm had gone too far by producing 2,000 pages of ‘largely irrelevant’ evidence produced a scathing commentary, including the comment that ‘the practices that were followed...

Oil Tanker Freed from Anchor as High Court Breaks Commercial Deadlock

The high seas may be wild and uncontrollable, but they are not lawless. In one case that proved the point, the High Court broke a commercial impasse that had left an oil tanker drifting at anchor thousands of miles from her home port for almost a year. The owners of the vessel claimed to be owed about $7.7 million in hire charges by the owners of her cargo,...

Interpreting Contracts – What Matters Is the Parties’ Intentions

Some contracts are better drafted than others, but the courts are always keen to give effect to the intentions of the parties and are equally reluctant to find that provisions are void for uncertainty. Those points were clearly made in a case concerning a subcontract to install a new airport baggage handling facility. A contractor carrying out major works at the...

Agency That Failed to Pay the National Minimum Wage Hit Hard In Pocket

Paying the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a strict legal requirement and employers that fail to do so can be hit with punitive penalties. In one case, an employment agency that laid on thousands of underpaid workers at a warehouse received a six-figure fine. Following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), it emerged that workers who clocked on one...

High Court Steps in to Protect Troubled Insurer’s Policyholders

Confidence in the insurance industry, and peace of mind for policyholders, demands that transfers of insurance business between providers are closely scrutinised by the courts. In one such case, a judge approved the dissolution of a technically insolvent insurer and the transfer of its policies to a secure and better capitalised home. The insurer had closed to...