This week’s top 15 legal briefings – 3rd November 2013

Cyber attacks and breaches of online security currently seem to be emerging faster than fireballs in a Godzilla film. Yet you don’t expect the UK government – let alone its justice ministry – to be caught with its pants down. Yet that’s exactly what happened when details of all 1,182 prisoners at Her Majesty’s Prison Cardiff were erroneously emailed to the families of three inmates.

Cyber attacks and breaches of online security currently seem to be emerging faster than fireballs in a Godzilla film. Yet you don’t expect the UK government – let alone its justice ministry – to be caught with its pants down. Yet that’s exactly what happened when details of all 1,182 prisoners at Her Majesty’s Prison Cardiff were erroneously emailed to the families of three inmates. The administrative snag resulted in more than just red faces at the MoJ, as the Information Commissioner’s Office clobbered the mandarins with a £140,000 fine. Our commentators from law firm Shoosmiths draw lessons from the embarrassment.

More than a million UK workers are toiling away on zero-hours contracts, recent figures from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development reveal. Our briefing from Mills & Reeve points to the worrying lack of best-practice guidelines on the use of these contracts, although the government has launched a consultation. In the meantime, the lawyers make several recommendations, not least for voluntary sector employers using casual workers.

From corporate boardrooms to the partnership tables of global law firms, not a day goes by without someone uttering the word China – and they are not having a moan about the tea cups. At the end of September, China launched the mainland’s first free-trade zone in Shanghai, designed as a blueprint for the communist government’s planned reforms of the country’s economic structure. Lawyers from law firm Pillsbury analyse the implications of what is going on in the 29 square kilometres of the city’s Pudong New District.

Top five briefings by law firm

DLA Piper
Deferred prosecution agreements — a new tool for the UK

Mills & Reeve
Charities face scrutiny on use of zero-hours contracts

Shoosmiths
Ministry of Justice fined £140,000 for ‘sensitive personal data’ breach

Taylor Wessing
Making game apps pay: the OFT’s warning about in-app purchases

Walker Morris
Woodland v Essex County Council — is this the end of school swimming lessons?

Top five briefings by practice area

Banking & finance
Facility agents — lessons from a recent English High Court decision

Company/commercial
Honing a compliant gifts policy: the trends we are seeing today

Employment

National minimum wage moves to centre of political agenda

Intellectual property
New fast-track trademark opposition procedure

Litigation/dispute resolution
Yam Seng Private Ltd v International Trade Corporation Ltd — all in good faith?


Top five briefings by region

Asia & Australasia
Free-trade zone — new frontier for foreign investment in China

Middle East
New rules of the Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Centre

Offshore
Guide to listing on Bermuda Stock Exchange

UK and Europe
Spotlight on the new EU public procurement directive

US & the Americas
Indefinite leave may be required under broader New York City law