December 2012 Archive

Mortgage broker banned and censured but not fined by FSA for serious misconduct

A recent FSA Final Notice provides an update on the FSA’s view on serious misconduct by mortgage brokers and the penalties they impose. Raymond Wagner had been investigated by the FSA for his alleged failings and those of his business Ambergate, a high net worth mortgage broker, based in Piccadilly. In April 2011 they notified him that they were going to impose a financial penalty and prohibit him from further regulated activities. In May 2011 Mr Wagner referred the decision to the Upper Tribunal, appealing the proposed financial penalty, a decision that was publicised in late 2012.

Who's liable for mud on the road?

Three recent road accidents in Herefordshire caused by mud on the road prompted the temporary closure of A-roads and an announcement from West Mercia Police that they would be monitoring excessive mud on public highways. This has been a particularly bad year as the wet weather has meant that mud on public roads has been an unfortunate, but regular, by product of farm operations. The NFU has released a recent briefing note for farmers on their legal liabilities relating to mud on the roads which we have summarised.

Consumer protection - website terms

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has recently written to 62 major retailers informing them that they need to change their website terms and conditions in order to avoid infringing consumer protection laws in the run up to Christmas. The OFT’s action followed its survey of 156 online retailers’ websites to check compliance with consumer protection laws.

Is a system "goods" or "services" and does it matter?

We all know that a system is a set of connected things or parts that work together. But for legal purposes does the supply of a system comprise the sales of goods or services? This issue was considered in the case of Trebor Bassett & Cadbury v ADT Fire and Security Plc [2012] before the Court of Appeal with literally millions of pounds at stake…and yes, the distinction really did matter!

Summary of employment law changes in 2012

Although a number of legislative changes were on the cards this year, fewer were implemented than anticipated. Therefore it looks likely that 2013 will be the year of change. However, to bring you up to date with what has happened in the last 12 months, here is a brief summary including some case law highlights from 2012.

Draft Finance Bill legislation published today

Draft Finance Bill legislation published today looks set to provide a much needed boost to one of the government’s key tax efficient employee incentive plans. The tax efficient Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) Plan has been used by many growth companies for a number of years now and allows companies to grant tax efficient options to acquire shares. Based on existing tax rules though, if the option is not exercised more than 12 months prior to the disposal of the resulting shares under option, those shares will not qualify for the 10% lowest rate offered by Capital Gains Tax Entrepreneurs Relief (ER).

Employee owners – “three way deal” or Bermuda Triangle?

George Osborne recently unveiled proposals for a new form of employment contract for “employee owners”. Described as a “three way deal” between companies (giving employees shares), employees (giving up employment rights) and the government (giving tax breaks on shares), these well-intentioned but politically emotive proposals aim to reduce regulation and costs (particularly for smaller employers) whilst incentivising employees to maximise growth in their employing companies.

Safeguarding children and adults at risk: are you compliant?

The requirements of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 are being changed by the introduction of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Many of the changes introduced by the PFA came into force on 10 September 2012. These include new vetting requirements for individuals who will be working with children and vulnerable adults. It is important that organisations understand and introduce measures to comply with the changes.

Autumn Statement 2012 - employee benefits review

Wright Hassall's employee benefits and tax team provide a brief summary of the changes announced today in the 2012 Autumn Statement. The government has confirmed (following its initial announcement on 8 October 2012) that it will introduce legislation from April 2013 introducing a new category of 'employee shareholders' who can be given shares worth up to £50,000 that will be exempt from capital gains tax on their sale in exchange for forfeiting certain employment rights.
Filter by expertise