This week’s top 15 legal briefings – 8th December 2013

It was only a 45-second outburst – and what was really said may never be established conclusively. But when a former government chief whip robustly expressed his views about cycling and closed gates to Downing Street coppers, he set in train events that led to a recent landmark decision in the Court of Appeal that affects all litigation lawyers. Andrew Mitchell MP brought defamation proceedings against The Sun newspaper for its reporting of the altercation, and his media specialist lawyers were a bit tardy in submitting a costs budget for the litigation. This, said a costs master and subsequently three Appeal Court judges, flagrantly breached the Jackson reforms. Our commentators from Mills & Reeve describe the ruling as marking “a new regime in English litigation in which procedure remains the handmaid of justice but the balance of power between them is altered and ‘justice’ has been redefined”.

As any fan of 1980s television detective dramas knows, the Channel Island of Jersey is rife with corruption and dirty money. If not, why were Jim Bergerac and his colleagues at le bureau des étrangers so busy every week? But the island’s Royal Court recently handed down a ruling that will go some way towards debunking that myth. The judgment involving the local Rex Trust deals with the consequences of receiving bribes. Our commentators from leading offshore law firm Appleby assess whether Bergerac can stay in retirement.

Pirates used to be easy to spot – eye patch, peg leg, gobby parrot on shoulder. These days they are a lot more difficult to see on the horizon, as cyberspace piracy is conducted by twenty-somethings holed up in their bedrooms surrounded by a week’s worth of take-away cartons. A recent Advocate General opinion to European Court of Justice marks another move towards making modern pirates walk the plank. Analysts from top tier Italian law firm NCTM dissect the copyright implications on internet service providers.

Top five briefings by law firm 

DLA Piper: Auto-enrolment: how to operate salary sacrifice alongside automatic enrollment
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Mills & Reeve: A less tolerant handmaid — Mitchell v Newsgroup judgment
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Shoosmiths: Shared parental leave confirmed from April 2015
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Taylor Wessing: China tax update: VAT exemption on cross-border services
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Walker Morris: Unsuitable contracts: incomplete, but binding nonetheless
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Top five briefings by practice area 

Banking & finance: Dodd-Frank affects private companies too: practice points to note
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Company/commercial: Key legal issues for games businesses
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Employment: Living wage increased — costs and benefits to employers
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Intellectual property: Copyright: ISPs should block pirate websites, says ECJ advocate general
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Litigation/dispute resolution: Still Prest to disclose: Petrodel wound up
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Top five briefings by region

Asia & Australasia: Update on privacy compliance for app developers
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Middle East: Passporting Islamic funds: a path for growth
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Offshore:Accounting for bribes: a Jersey update
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UK and Europe: The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive — Luxembourg implementation
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US & the Americas : FATCA starts to become visible for multinational companies — part one
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