Good news for the folk over at ACAS – or the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, for those who prefer to see the name in full. From 6 May, any employee wanting to take an employer to a tribunal will first have to contact ACAS to see if the dispute is suitable for an attempted settlement round a table with tea and biscuits. But, as our commentators at law firm Gateley point out, neither side – employee or boss – will be obliged to go down the cosy chat route. Indeed, some view ACAS’s enhanced role as little more than an elaborate rubber stamp. But, say the lawyers, if nothing else, the reformed process ‘will lead to important changes to the time limits for presenting claims’. Click here for more information.
Britain’s national lottery – in common with those around the world – has created many millionaires as well as a corresponding stream of tabloid stories detailing how sudden riches by no means equate to unbridled happiness. Now a case before Europe’s highest court involving the lottery logo could have the unwelcome side effect of piling on costs in trademark cases. According to analysts at law firm Taylor Wessing, national courts hearing trademark disputes are likely to require more detailed statements from expert lawyers. Not necessarily bad news for those in the legal profession, but clients will feel it in their wallets. As the lawyers explain: ‘As experience from evidence of foreign law in cases before the English courts has shown, such evidence can be both extensive and expensive and the inevitable affects will be greater delays and expense before the EU tribunals.’ Click here for more information.
Privileged is about as core a legal principle as they come – so any court ruling on the concept is worth chewing over. And just like London buses, two judgments have rolled along at more or less the same time. In Starbev GP Ltd v Interbrew Central European Holding BV  EWHC 4038 (Comm) and Rawlinson and Hunter Trustees SA v Akers  EWCA Civ 136, it has been held that professionally prepared correspondence and reports were not protected by litigation privilege. Not good news on the face of it for clients who like to think that every hiccup issued in the presence of their lawyers is confidential and will not be disclosed to the other side in a dispute – or the wider world for that matter. Lawyers from Macfarlanes look at the implications. Click here for more information.
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Asia-Pacific: How ‘advice’ and ‘independence’ influence claims for privilege by in-house counselDownload
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